There Was You

14: I Have No Idea What You’re Talking About

Tapping his hand against Riley’s front door, Iker took half a step back, waiting for her to answer it. It had been a few days, after Marisol’s bachelorette party, a week had passed, and with the rehearsal dinner having arrived, Iker had arranged to give Riley a lift to the restaurant. She had insisted that he didn’t have to do it, with things still feeling ever so slightly strange between them, she had taken to offering him outs of things he had developed a habit of doing for her, but he had insisted that he didn’t mind, pointing out that they were going to end up at the same place anyway, meaning it was no inconvenience to him.

He knew that she was doing it out of discomfort, despite him insisting that he did want to kiss her eventually, he knew that she was still a little uncomfortable about the fact that he had stopped her, and he knew that she was trying to create space between them, something he didn’t want to allow her to do. He liked them, just as they were, and he didn’t want it to change over something which was really nothing.

Readjusting the knot of his tie, he stared down at his feet before he heard the door open, something which caused him to look up, his greeting dying on his tongue as his eyes landed on an unfamiliar woman. “Uh” he stumbled out.

The woman grinned at his response before she turned, shouting over her shoulder. “Riley!” she called “There’s a handsome man on your doorstep” she added.

Iker felt his cheeks warm before he quirked a bashful smile.

The woman just grinned at him before Riley appeared, her cheeks already glowing a familiar shade of pink. “Sorry” she muttered “I didn’t know that they were coming here straight from the airport. If you just give me a second...”

“Why don’t you come inside and wait?” The other woman interrupted “Riley can introduce us” she added.

Riley fought the urge to roll her eyes before she nodded, offering Iker a slightly apologetic look. “Of course” she mused “Come through” she added, padding through towards the living room.

Iker watched the two women walk into the room before he followed, his eyes settling on an older man who sat inside. “Riley?” he asked.

“These are my parents” Riley answered, knowing the question he had meant to ask “Iker, this is my mother, Maria, and my father, Isaac. Mama, papa, this is Iker. He’s a friend of Nuno’s” she added gently.

Iker lifted an eyebrow, slightly perturbed that she had introduced him as a friend of Nuno’s, before he quirked a grin, holding his hand out ahead of him. “It’s a pleasure to meet you both” he noted politely.

Maria shook his hand gently. “It’s nice to meet you too” she mused.

“Nice?” Isaac chirped “Maria, he is Iker Casillas. It’s an honor” he added as he stood up, enthusiastically shaking the keeper’s hand.

Iker laughed bashfully. “That’s kind of you, Mr Munuera” he mused.

Riley, who was watching them, caught Iker’s eye before she flashed him another apologetic look, something which caused him to shake his head slightly, wordlessly insisting that he didn’t mind. Riley smiled back at him softly before she cleared her throat, gesturing towards the hall over her shoulder. “I just...I need a few more minutes to finish getting ready” she mused “Iker...”

“I’ll be fine” Iker interrupted, anticipating her question.

Riley offered him a dubious look, something which made Maria scoff playfully. “Do you really think that me and your father can scare him off in a few minutes?” she quipped “Honey, it’d take at least an hour” she joked.

“Mama” Riley complained.

“He’ll still be in one piece when you get back” Maria replied “Now go, or you’ll be late and Marisol won’t shut up about it” she added.

Riley rolled her eyes, making sure to offer Iker another more subtle look, before she stepped out of the room, reluctantly leaving Iker alone with her parents.

Pushing the last of her food around her plate, Riley spared another look over the table, her eyes lingering for a split second on Iker before she returned them to her plate, letting a little sigh slip out of her mouth. They hadn’t spoken much, with only a short car journey between her home and the restaurant and a room full of people to start conversations with, they’d barely caught seconds to speak to one another all night, and whilst Riley didn’t mind that they’d not spent the entire night attached at the hip, she was slightly irked that Iker hadn’t been to shake Isabella, even if their seats had been together. There was merely something about watching the other woman talk to him that got at her.

Nudging her fork around her plate, she took the last bite of her dessert before she felt eyes on her, something which caused her to look up subtly, catching Iker’s eye before he quirked a grin and looked away. Feeling her cheeks blush, she smiled a little to herself, before she felt a nudge against her side, causing her to turn, glancing up at Marisol who sat beside her, grinning amusedly. “He’s subtle” she teased quietly.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about” Riley replied, returning her eyes to her plate.

Marisol scoffed playfully. “You might be able to fool some people” she mumbled “But I’ve seen the two of you making eyes at each other all night” she added.

Riley shook her head. “He could have been looking at anyone” she muttered.

“Sure” Marisol quipped “Or he could have been looking at you for the hundredth time since we sat down” she added brightly.

Riley felt her cheeks warm a little more before heard the chime of her phone, something which caused her to slip it out of her bag. Hiding it under the table, she spared a quick glance down at the screen before she felt a small smile on her face, something she was quick to stifle before she typed a reply to Iker’s text.

“Anything interesting?” Marisol chirped, trying, and failing, to get a look at the text over Riley’s shoulder.

“It’s just my mama” Riley lied “She and my papa got in this afternoon and they’re waiting at my place until their hotel check in time. She’s asking where a few things are. I’m going to go outside and call her. I’ll be right back, Ok?” she asked.

Marisol nodded. “Sure” she mused “Just hurry back. I’ve still got a lot more teasing to get out of my system” she added brightly.

Riley rolled her eyes before she excused herself, padding out of the restaurant with Iker following only a matter of minutes after her, unseen by Marisol who had been distracted by more of her guests.

Stepping outside, he looked around a couple of times, before he caught sight of Riley, something which caused him to let out a soft laugh before he stepped towards her, wrapping her in a tight hug that made her squeak a little in surprise. “What are you doing?” she quipped, laughing gently as she wiggled out of his grasp.

Iker shrugged. “I’m thanking you” he quipped.

“For what?” Riley replied.

“Answering my text” Iker noted “I don’t know how much more Isabella I can take” he added.

Riley tilted her head. “You didn’t seem that bothered by her” she quipped “I mean, we’ve been here for nearly two hours, and she’s been stuck to you since we sat down” she added, fiddling with her hair so that she could avoid meeting his eyes.

Iker smirked a little to himself. “Did you want me to be bothered by her?” he asked.

Riley shrugged, still not looking at him. “She’s irritating to me” she quipped “But maybe it’s different for you. I mean, you’re an attractive guy. She probably already likes you more than she does me” she added.

Iker shook his head, still smirking. “You sound a little jealous, Ry” he chirped.

Riley scoffed unconvincingly and shook her head, but didn’t say anything, causing Iker to sigh softly. “You told your parents that I was Nuno’s friend” he mumbled, changing the subject.

Riley looked up at him. “What?” she spluttered.

“You introduced me to your parents and you told that I was Iker, Nuno’s friend” Iker repeated “Why?” he asked.

Riley blinked a couple of times, thinking his question over, before she shrugged her shoulders softly. “What else was I supposed to say?” she asked.

“That I was your friend?” Iker countered as though it was the most obvious thing in the world. It bothered him, more than it should have done, and he wanted to know why she hadn’t just addressed him as her friend. It was what he was.

“But that’s...” Riley spluttered “I don’t think that that’s enough” she added.

Iker’s forehead furrowed, something which caused Riley to sigh as she pushed her fingers back through her hair, taking a moment to think about what it was she wanted to say. “You are my friend” she murmured “You know that you are, but it’s...I think we might be...I care about you, OK? A lot, and calling you Nuno’s friend...well, it seemed a lot easier than describing you as the guy I want to spend more time with than anyone else or the guy I look for first in a room now. It was easier, less complicated, and I am sorry that it upset you, but...” she trailed off, offering him a little shrug.

Iker just stared at her, something which caused her to shift her feet awkwardly, her eyes not moving away from the ground. “We should...” she trailed off again as Iker took a step closer, his fingertips carefully tilting her chin up so that her eyes mirrored his. Swallowing a little, she allowed her eyes to search his before she took a step back, evading his grasp. “We need to get back inside” she mumbled “Isabella’s probably missing you” she teased feebly.

Iker dropped his hand and nodded stiffly.

Riley flashed him a weak smile before she made her way back inside, her stomach turning uncomfortably as she made her way back towards the table. Retaking her seat, she spared a glance across the table and watched Iker sit down, feeling her stomach give another jolt as their eyes met before they both looked away awkwardly.
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Thanks to FootieJo and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)