There Was You

16: Because You Are You

The kiss, to Riley, was perfect.

It was soft, tentative and uncertain, and for a few moments, Riley couldn’t help but get a little lost in it, amazed that they had managed to wait as long as they had before they’d shared their first kiss. She knew that there was talking that they needed to do, there were words that she needed to hear and questions that she was sure that Iker would want to ask, but she couldn’t will herself to pull away from him, adoring the sensation of butterflies in her stomach.

Lingering in the kiss, she felt Iker peck her lips a couple of times before he pulled away something which caused her to open her eyes, admiring the goofy smile on his face. “That was...” he mumbled softly “It was really...I don’t know what to say” he admitted, laughing nervously.

Riley smiled a little at the nervous sound before she shook her head, subtly ghosting a finger over her lips. “You think I do?” she joked quietly.

Iker let out another soft laugh, his fingers scratching his jaw sheepishly, before he shook his head, allowing a couple of beats of silence to pass between them before Riley cleared her throat. “I...” she murmured “I’m going to go inside” she added, pulling her key out of her bag.

Iker nodded his head slowly. “Do you want me to come with you?” he asked.

Riley’s eyes widened a little, something which caused Iker to think his words over before he shook his head, spluttering out a soft sound. “I didn’t...” he spluttered “I wasn’t suggesting that...I just thought we should talk. I mean we were talking and then know what? I’ll just...” he trailed off as the sound of Riley’s laughter reached his ears.

“I know what you meant” Riley mused softly.

Iker just nodded, scratching his jaw bashfully.

“Are you sure that you don’t want to take some time to compose yourself?” Riley asked, her voice caught between soft and amused “I mean, since you got in the elevator, I don’t think you’ve gotten through a full sentence. Do you want me to give you a few minutes?” she added, a small smirk tugging at the corner of her lips.

Iker rolled his eyes, laughing softly. “Don’t stand there and act all confident, Ry” he quipped “You spent the whole night avoiding me” he added.

Riley scoffed lightly, but couldn’t hide the blush which spread across her cheeks. “We should go inside” she mumbled after a few quiet seconds “This...This probably isn’t a conversation to have in the hallway” she added, turning to stick the key into the lock.

Pushing the door open, she stepped across the threshold before she turned around, glancing back at Iker who still stood a little away from the door. “Are you coming or not?” she asked gently.

Iker hesitated for a second before he nodded his head firmly, stepping through the open door behind her.

“Give me a minute?” Riley mumbled after a few seconds “I just want to go and change out of this dress. You can help yourself to something from the kitchen or you can just go through to the living room. I’ll be a couple of minutes at most” she added before she stepped away, making her way towards her bedroom.

Iker watched her up the hall briefly before he stepped forwards, padding into the living room. Shrugging his jacket off of his shoulders, he hung it over the back of the couch before he walked further into the room, his eyes stuck to a picture frame which was still stuck to the wall. He had seen it countless times, with him being a regular visitor to Riley’s apartment, it was something he had noticed instantly, but it was enough to give him a knot in his stomach.

He was hesitant, despite his obvious attraction to Riley and his increasing feelings towards her, he was uncertain about them, and the picture, one of Riley and what he assumed to be her ex-boyfriend, was enough to bring his doubts to the surface again. He liked her, he was pretty sure that he had had feelings for her from the moment that she had taken his hand when they’d first gone out to dinner with Marisol and Nuno, but the fact that she still had a picture of her ex on her wall worried him. The last thing he wanted to be to her was a rebound fling.

Staring at the picture for a moment, he let out a soft sigh before he heard Riley’s footsteps heading towards him, something which caused him to turn around, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his trousers. “I’m scared” he announced softly.

Riley, who’d been pulling her hair up into a messy bun, looked up at him in surprise. “What?” she asked.

“I’m scared” Iker repeated “I mean, I like you, Riley. I like you so much, but I don’t...I don’t want this to be some kind of rebound thing for you, and this...this makes me worry” he added, stepping to the side slightly.

Riley furrowed her forehead slightly before she looked past him, her eyes softening a little as they settled on the picture on the wall.

“You have no idea how much I look forwards to spending time with you” Iker mumbled, sensing that she wasn’t going to say anything “I think about you, more than I ought to, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve envisaged that kiss we shared, but...”

“This isn’t some rebound thing” Riley murmured, cutting him off.

Iker shook his head, letting out a quiet scoff. “His picture’s on your wall, Riley” he mumbled.

Riley shook her head before she stepped past him, leaning up to the take the frame off of the wall. Pulling it down, she walked back past the goalkeeper before she made her way towards the kitchen, dropping it into the bin.

“I can’t tell you I haven’t thought about him” she muttered, glancing up at Iker who’d stopped in the doorway “And I can’t tell you that the thought of him having moved on didn’t feel like a kick to my stomach, but that...he isn’t the reason I care about you, Iker. It’s all you. I don’t know how you’ve done it, but you’re easily the first person I want to call now, you’re the first person I want to make plans with. You make me laugh, and no matter how I am feeling, you know the right thing to say to me. This isn’t some stupid crush I have on you just because you’re here and Ben’s making out with blondes at nightclubs. These are feelings that I have for you because you’re you” she insisted.

Iker held her stare for a second before he shook his head, looking down at his feet.

Riley sighed gently as she watched his head drop, feeling her stomach drop with it. “You don’t believe me, do you?” she whispered gently.

Iker stood quietly for a few seconds, allowing her question to hang between them, before he straightened up slightly. Crossing the room in a couple of purposeful strides, he carefully cupped the back of her head before he guided her into him, kissing her warmly. Riley let out a small sound, but it was swallowed in the kiss which lasted for a few long seconds before Iker pulled away, his dark eyes searching hers. “I don’t want to ruin anything, Ry” he murmured softly.

“I don’t either” Riley replied gently.

Iker leant up, kissing the bridge of her nose tenderly. “Slowly, then” he murmured softly.

“How slowly?” Riley asked, closing her eyes as he dipped back down, brushing their lips together briefly.

“Slow enough that no one sees anything changing” Iker mumbled “We don’t need anyone chipping in to something we don’t even really get yet. We’ve clearly got things to figure out before we’re both comfortable as a couple. It’s just you and me that know about this, OK?” he prodded, leaning back slightly so that he could meet her eyes.

Riley held his stare for a second before she quirked a small shy smile, nodding her head slightly. “Alright” she agreed.

Iker smiled at her in return before he leant forwards, kissing the top of her head as she hugged him close to her. “I really like you, you know that?” he mumbled into her hair.

Riley nodded against his chest. “You could always say it again though” she mused “I like hearing it” she added, turning to grin up at him.

Iker laughed softly, wordlessly hoping that they were a risk worth taking.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony and FootieJo for the comments :)