If It Gave Us Time

56: The Odd One Out

Pushing her messy hair back off of her face, Isla spared a glance into her bag, searching for any sign of her door key. She had had a long day, with her scheduled to be the photographer at a wedding that weekend, she had spent the day going over the details ahead of the ceremony with the couple who’d hired her, and she was more than glad to be home, more than ready for a quiet night in. it had been a little while, after she and Gerard had discussed the possibility of them potentially starting a family in the future, a couple of weeks had passed, and it meant that Isla’s birthday was just around the corner, something she was looking forwards to, even if she knew that Gerard would be absent for most of the day. She knew that there would be enough people around to make a fuss.

Letting out a frustrated sigh, she rifled through the contents of her bag for a few more seconds before the front door ahead of her pulled open, something which caused her to lift her head up, her eyes widening a fraction as her eyes met her father’s. “Papa?” she squeaked “What are you doing here?” she asked.

Daniel blinked a couple of times in surprise before he shook his head, scratching the back of his neck. “Gerard said you’d still be out for a while” he mused “I was supposed to get in and out without you seeing me” he added.

Isla frowned, something which made Daniel chuckle before he took a pace forwards, placing a soft kiss on the top of her head. “Don’t look so worried, baby” he cooed “It’s nothing bad. Your boyfriend just wanted a hand with something and I was more than happy to lend it, but I ought to get out of your hair. We’re still on for dinner on Sunday?” he asked as he stepped back.

Isla nodded her head slowly, a frown still fixed on her face. “Of course” she confirmed.

Daniel smiled. “Great” he mused “Your mama can’t wait. She’s already planning out what to cook for your special birthday dinner” he added.

Isla rolled her eyes. “She’s going to go over the top, isn’t she?” she asked.

Daniel shrugged nonchalantly. “It’s your mother” he quipped “What do you think?” he added.

Isla shook her head, but couldn’t contain her small smile, something which made Daniel grin back at her before he stepped forwards, embracing her tightly. “I’ll see you then, baby” he mumbled as he pulled back, making his way up the front path.

Isla watched him walk away before she padded into the house, carefully pushing the front door closed behind her. Shrugging out of her coat, she listened for any sign of movement before she caught the sound of Gerard’s footsteps, something which made her shake her head to herself before she padded through the hall, stopping in the kitchen doorway.

Smiling a little to herself, she watched him pad around the kitchen, mumbling along to a song which emanated away from his phone before she cleared her throat, something which caused him to whip his head up, his eyes widening a little in surprise. “You’re back” he breathed.

Isla pushed her glasses back up her nose, a playful smirk pulling at the corner of her lips. “You sound surprised” she quipped “I mean, I do live here” she added.

“You do?” Gerard played along with a grin “I just thought you’d really overstayed your welcome” he joked.

Isla offered him an exaggerated roll of her eyes, something which made Gerard laugh as he stepped towards her, leaning down to greet her with a soft kiss. Isla lifted a hand, cupping his neck gently before she pulled away, smiling up at him softly. “Hey” she breathed quietly.

“Hey” Gerard mimicked, a tender smile on his face.

Isla felt her cheeks warm up a little before she shook her head, shyly glancing down at the floor. “What was my papa doing here?” she asked quietly “I mean, I ran into him outside, but he wouldn’t say more than you’d asked him to lend a hand with something. Do I need to be worried about something?” she prodded, her voice caught between uncertain and teasing.

Gerard glanced at her, not missing the slightly apprehensive expression that had passed over her features, before he shook his head, his hand gently moving to take a hold of hers. “It’s just a little surprise I have up my sleeve” he quipped “I mean, I’m not going to be around on Sunday morning to wish you a happy birthday, so I thought I’d bring it forwards a couple of days. I had planned for us to have dinner first, but I suppose we could do the good bit first” he quipped as he turned her hand over, allowing him to place a soft kiss on the inside of her wrist.

Isla opened her mouth to say something, but Gerard was quicker, pressing a soft kiss against her lips before he guided her through towards the living room, pulling her to a stop ahead of the couch, something which caused Isla to tilt her head, frowning a little at the square of wrapping paper which seemed to be hung on the wall. “Did you get me a wall for my birthday?” she quipped.

Gerard scoffed playfully. “Why don’t you try opening it?” he encouraged.

Isla offered him a playful smirk over her shoulder before she shuffled forwards, climbing up onto the couch before she pulled the wrapping paper away, her expression softening a little as her stare settled on the photographs which sat behind it. Lowering herself down into the couch slightly, she allowed her eyes to scan the array of pictures before she shook her head, smiling gently to herself. There were a lot of them, the frame which had been hung up on the wall was full of a plethora of pictures of her and Gerard, as well as some of her and her family and him and his family, and it made Isla grin. It was pretty similar to the one that she had had in her bedroom when she had lived with Luna, something she’d not got around to finding a spot for in her new home.

Studying the pictures, she took a second to marvel at each one before a sound behind her caught her attention, causing her to glance over her shoulder, a soft sound falling out of her mouth as she looked at Gerard who stood happily behind her, a small, bundle of fur sat at his feet. “Did you find the odd one out yet?” he chirped.

Isla blinked, diverting her stare up to his. “Huh?” she spluttered.

“The odd picture out” Gerard quipped “You’re telling me you didn’t see it?” he pressed amusedly.

Isla frowned before she turned back to the picture frame, her eyes almost immediately finding a picture of Gerard who was grinning at the camera, a puppy sat beside him. “It’s a lot less cute if you don’t see that first” Gerard quipped.

Isla shook her head, turning back to look at him. “What?” she spluttered.

Gerard offered her a nonchalant shrug before he dipped down, gently scratching the Labrador puppy behind the ears. “You always talked about wanting a dog when we were kids” he quipped “Am I misremembering that?” he added.

Isla shook her head. “I mentioned that once, maybe twice” she mused “You remember that?” she asked, a slightly goofy smile on her face.

Gerard just shrugged again. “Your mama’s allergic, no?” he asked.

Isla nodded. “She is” she confirmed.

“I knew it was either her or Rodrigo” Gerard mused “Either way, this little guy gives them less reason to visit. It’s a win-win, we get this adorable puppy, and see less of your mother” he added with an impish grin.

Isla let out a slightly breathy laugh before she shuffled off of the couch, carefully crouching down ahead of the puppy. Smiling tentatively, she allowed him to sniff her hand before she reached up, gently scratching his ears. “I love him” she announced quietly.

Gerard watched her for a second before he crouched down, softly stroking the puppy’s fur. “Good” he quipped “Because he’s a part of the family now, and if you hadn’t liked him, I would have seriously considered asking you to move out. That’s how much I already love him” he quipped impishly.

Isla snorted out a laugh before she shook her head, smiling a little as the puppy tentatively sniffed around her, something which made Gerard smile too before he leant over, pressing a soft kiss against the top of her head. “Happy birthday” he mumbled quietly.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)