If It Gave Us Time

70: Longer Than You Know

“Are you sure that you don’t want to come with us?”

Isla, who’d been pouring herself a mug of tea, smiled a little at the sound of her mother’s question before she slowly turned around, offering her a small shake of her head. She wasn’t surprised by the question, since she had arrived at her parents’ home the previous night, her mother had barely left her alone for more than a few minutes at a time, and whilst Isla appreciated that she was just trying to look after her, she was looking forwards to her parents heading out with some old family friends for the night, more than ready for a little quiet time to herself.

“I’m sure, mama” Isla replied.

“Really?” Eva pressed “Because it’s not too late. I can call Maria and...” she trailed off as Isla giggled a little into her drink.

“What?” Eva squeaked.

“Nothing” Isla replied, shaking her head slightly “I’ll be fine, mama. You and papa enjoy your night. I’m going to take this tea and curl up in bed with the book that Rodrigo bought back. I’ll see you in the morning?” she posed.

Eva offered her an uncertain look, briefly contemplating pushing a little more, before she slowly nodded her head. “Goodnight, baby” she mused.

Isla offered her a small smile before she stepped towards her, pressing a quick kiss against her cheek before she stepped out of the room. Sipping on her drink, she carefully padded up the stairs before she reached her bedroom, closing the door behind her softly before she stepped towards the bed, sparing a brief glance towards the phone which she had left in the middle of it.

She hadn’t stopped checking it, after she had left Gerard the previous night, she had spent more time than she would have liked staring at the screen of her phone, willing him to text or call, but as yet he had done neither, something which upset her, even if it didn’t surprise her entirely. A small part of her had hoped that, in the light of day, he would see that she had been telling the truth when she’d insisted that it was nothing.

Setting her mug of tea down on the end table, she carefully perched on the side of the bed before she picked the phone up, hitting the home button which illuminated the empty screen. Staring at it for a second, she let out a quiet sigh before she leant back, falling against the mattress with a huff. She wanted to speak to him, but she also didn’t want to push him into talking to her, something which had prevented her from calling him, even if she had highlighted his number on more than one occasion. She had always managed to talk herself out of pressing call.

Lifting her hand, she carefully pulled her glasses off of her face before she heard the bedroom door open, something which caused her to stifle sigh before she shook her head. “I’m really going to be alright, mama” she complained.

“Your mama left”

Isla stilled for a second before she carefully sat up, her forehead furrowing at the sight of Gerard who stood ahead of the bedroom door, his hands stuffed awkwardly into his pockets.

“She tried to stay” Gerard continued, not wanting the uncomfortable silence to settle between them “But your papa managed to get her out of the door with him, despite her protests. You couldn’t hear them?” he added, offering her a brief smile.

Isla just stared at him, blinking a couple of times.

Gerard held her stare for a second before he lowered his head, scratching the back of his neck gently. “Isla...”

“I’m surprised to see you” Isla murmured, cutting him off “I mean, no calls, no texts...I was hardly expecting you to visit” she added, her voice caught somewhere between teasing and upset.

Gerard quirked a sheepish smile. “Sorry” he muttered.

Isla watched him for a few more seconds before she shuffled back to her feet, quickly gathering him into a soft hug that Gerard didn’t hesitate in returning. Holding her close, he closed his eyes for a few seconds, relishing the soft hug before he dipped down, kissing the top of her head gently. “I’m sorry” he mumbled softly.

Isla pulled back a little. “You’re sorry?” she repeated, a small confused frown on her face.

Gerard nodded. “I shouldn’t have...you shouldn’t have had to come here last night” he stumbled out.

Isla shook her head, tucking her hair off of her face. “It’s OK” she mused “I mean, you were upset, and one of us needed to get out of there, and my parents were closer. It doesn’t matter” she added, smiling up at him shyly.

Gerard glanced down at her, admiring her smile for a few seconds, before he gently shook his head. “Last night...” he trailed off, unsure of what to say “Last night was...you and him...” he struggled to get out.

Isla’s shy smile melted off of her face, replaced by a soft frown. “I should have gotten away from him” she murmured “I mean, I should have seen what was coming and I should reacted quicker. I shouldn’t have...have let him kiss me. I’m sorry that I did” she stumbled out.

Gerard’s face flinched a little, but he quickly composed his expression, nodding his head slowly. “I know that it’s his fault” he murmured “I mean, I knew that from the moment you told me what happened, but I just...it’s hard for me. You and him...you remember our first date? I told you that I knew that you’d dated before, and that whilst I didn’t need to know the details, I wanted to know that you’d been happy?” he pressed.

Isla frowned, but nodded.

“That’s what’s hard for me” Gerard continued “Knowing that he made you happy when I...I had not” he added.

Isla tilted her head. “What?” she posed.

Gerard pushed a hand back through his hair, taking a few seconds to think, before he shook his head, smiling ruefully to himself. “I should have taken my chances” he mused “I should have just...told you how I felt then and that’s why I don’t love the idea of Sergio. In my mind, I should have been the one making you happy then, and he’s just...I’m really bad at explaining this, aren’t I?” he quipped, offering Isla an impish look.

Isla shook her head, smiling up at him gently. “You’re not so bad at it” she teased gently.

Gerard let out a soft laugh, a soft blush spreading over his cheeks. “The point is” he noted “That I know that you weren’t trying to hurt me. You’ve never done anything to deliberately upset me” he added.

Isla scoffed playfully. “I wouldn’t say that” she quipped “I mean, I did have a game when were younger where I’d hide things I knew you’d look for. It used to make you so mad” she added brightly.

Gerard rolled his eyes. “That was you?” he quipped “I blamed my brother” he added.

Isla arched an amused eyebrow. “You didn’t know it was me?” she quipped.

Gerard shook his head. “Of course not” he replied “I got into so many fights with my brother for that. You used to watch us” he added.

Isla merely offered him a nonchalant shrug. “You think I wanted you yelling at me?” she chirped.

Gerard scoffed playfully. “I really love you” he breathed.

Isla’s teasing smile softened a little. “Yeah?” she asked.

Gerard didn’t hesitate nodding. “Yeah” he quipped “I’ve loved you for a long time, Isla, longer than you know” he added.

Isla chewed on her lip for a second, allowing the words to hang around them, before she carefully lifted her hands, settling them at the back of his neck before she guided him into a soft kiss that Gerard didn’t hesitate in melting into. Lifting his hands, he nestled them in her hair before he pulled back slightly, brushing kisses over her nose and forehead before he kissed the top of her head softly as Isla murmured a soft ‘I love you too’, something which made him smile tenderly. “Come on” he mumbled, tugging her towards the door.

“Where are we going?” Isla asked.

“Home” Gerard replied “I missed our cuddles last night” he added.

Isla let out a laugh. “You’re such a softie” she teased.

“You say that like you don’t love it” Gerard quipped in return.

Isla just grinned at him in return, something which caused Gerard to flash her a playful wink as he squeezed her hand, more than a little relieved that the conflict between them seemed to have been smoothed over.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comments :)