There Was You

18: What Was There To Tell?

“If you could all put your hands together” Riley gushed into the microphone that she held in her hand “It is my pleasure to introduce to you all, for the first time as husband and wife, Nuno and Marisol Gomes” she added, her eyes settled on the newlyweds who stood beside the door, the same immovable grins plastered on their faces that had been stuck there since Marisol had walked down the aisle. They hadn’t stopped smiling, even when Marisol had started to cry during her vows, the smiles that she and Nuno had worn hadn’t faltered, and Riley couldn’t help but marvel at them, more than glad to see them both looking so happy. It’d been a long time coming.

Settling the microphone back into its stand, she joined in the round of applause for her friends before she stepped off the stage, making her way across the room towards the top table. Sparing another brief glance towards Marisol and Nuno, she smiled as Marisol let out a soft squeal in excitement before she felt her shoulder bump into someone causing her to turn back around, her eyes softening a little as she peeked up at Iker. “I...uh...I wasn’t watching where I was going” she mumbled “Sorry about that” she added.

Iker, who’d lifted a hand to steady her, smiled gently before he quickly dropped his hand, stuffing it into his pocket. “It’s OK” he noted. They hadn’t seen much of each other, aside from the few moments that they’d had alone together earlier in the day and a few shy glances that they’d cast towards one another during the ceremony, they’d both been attempting to give each other space, and it had led to them being a little awkward with each other, not wanting people to catch onto anything being different between them.

Riley shifted her feet a little, trying to distract from the soft blush which had bloomed across her cheeks. “Where are you sat?” she asked.

“At a table with the rest of the groomsmen and bridesmaids” Iker replied “We’re not all important enough to be sat at the top table with the newlyweds” he joked gently.

Riley laughed softly and went to reply, but was cut off as another woman stepped up to her side, poking her side playfully. “We haven’t got all night for you to find your seat, Ry” she chirped.

Riley shook her head. “I was just on my way” she mused before she looked up, meeting Iker’s curious stare “Have you met Iker?” she asked, turning to look at the other woman.

“I haven’t” The other woman replied “But his reputation precedes him. Mama hasn’t shut up about the handsome man at your door in days, Ry” she added brightly.

Riley rolled her eyes before she shook her head, looking at Iker once more. “This is Samia” she mused “My older sister. Mia, this is Iker. He’s a...”

“A friend of Nuno’s?” Mia chirped with a knowing smile.

Riley blinked a couple of times, surprised that Mia had been able to finish her sentence so easily, before she nodded her head gently.

Iker smiled politely and stuck a hand out. “It’s nice to meet you, Samia” he greeted.

“Please, call me Mia” Mia replied “Any...friend of Nuno’s can call me Mia” she added with smirk.

Iker laughed whilst Riley rolled her eyes, her already pink cheeks flushing a shade deeper. “What exactly did mama tell you?” she pressed.

Mia shrugged. “What was there to tell, Ry?” she prodded impishly “She told me that a handsome man showed up at your door and that he was a friend of Nuno’s. Is there something more you’d like to add to the story?” she added, grinning.

Riley opened and closed her mouth a couple of times, something which made Iker snicker quietly before the sound of someone calling Mia’s name reached them, causing Riley to let out an audible sigh in relief. “That’s my cue to find my seat” Mia mused “I hope we’ll get the chance to chat more, Iker, Riley, make sure that you at least come and say hola to your family at some point” she added before she moved away towards her table.

Riley watched her away before she shook her head, looking up at Iker apologetically before someone called her name, causing her to sigh again. “I have to...” she trailed off.

Iker nodded. “I should probably...” he mumbled.

Riley smiled shyly up at him. “I’ll see you later, Iker” she mused before she stepped away.

Iker watched her wander off before he shook his head, unable to stop himself smiling gently as he padded towards his own seat.

Placing his empty glass down onto the table, Iker quirked a small smile to himself, his stare fixed on Riley who stood a little away from him, cooing happily to a little girl who stood ahead of her, clearly showing off the dress that she wore. It wasn’t the first time that he had found himself staring at her, with the reception having been in full swing for a couple of hours, he had found his eyes drawn to her more than once, and whilst he had tried to stop himself, it never lasted long.

“Can I get you another?”

Iker, who’d been watching as Riley fuss over her own dress, looked up at the sound of a voice from behind him, his eyes settling on Isabella who stood there, a smile on her lips. “Hm?” he asked.

“Another drink” Isabella quipped “I did say I owed you one” she added, holding a glass out towards him.

Iker blinked a couple of times before he quirked a polite smile, taking the glass out of her hand. “Thank you” he mused.

Isabella just offered him a grin, slipping into the empty seat beside him.

Iker watched her sit down before he cleared his throat. “How are you enjoying the party?” he asked kindly.

“It’s been good” Isabella replied “I mean, Marisol’s not stopped smiling all day, so that’s probably a good sign, and my parents seem to be thrilled with how it’s going. What about you?” she asked.

“It’s been a lot of fun” Iker replied.

Isabella grinned at him. “There are a lot of single women here” she commented.

Iker, who’d been sipping on his drink, spluttered. “Are there?” he asked.

Isabella nodded. “I mean there’s me, of course” she chirped “A couple of my cousins. Nuno’s sister’s just gotten a divorce. And then there’s Riley, Marisol’s friend. Word is that her boyfriend dumped her recently, which is hardly a surprise. She’s really dull” she added.

Iker wanted to snap back, but he stopped himself, instead opting to offer her a shake of his head. “You clearly don’t know her” he murmured.

“Riley?” Isabella prodded, a frown on her face “I know her. She’s all awkward and shy, and it’s no wonder that her boyfriend got bored of her. I’m amazed he lasted as long as he did” she added dismissively.

Iker shook his head. “I’d rather spend my time with her than you” he retorted, trying to keep his voice calm and even. It got at him, hearing Isabella talk about the end of Riley’s previous relationship as though it had been the brunette’s fault, and he couldn’t stop himself from saying something. He didn’t know the details, other than the few that Riley had let slip the first night they’d met, he didn’t know what had gone wrong, but he knew about Riley, and whether she was awkward and shy or not, he knew that she didn’t deserve to be dumped in the way she had been.

“What?” Isabella squeaked.

“You heard me” Iker replied “She might be awkward and shy, but she’s also the most interesting and funny person I’ve met in a long time, and I’d rather spend five minutes talking to her than an hour talking to you” he added.

Isabella scoffed, shaking her head.

Iker pushed his chair back. “Excuse me” he mumbled.

“You’ll get bored of her too” Isabella called after him “Most people do” she added.

Iker just shrugged before he turned and walked away.


Iker, who’d been focused on getting away from Isabella, looked up at the sound of his name, his previously sharp expression softening as his eyes settled on Riley who stood ahead of him. “You Ok?” she prodded.

Iker swallowed, but nodded. “Yeah” he replied “You need something?” he asked.

Riley shrugged. “I don’t need anything” she replied “I papa keeps asking after you and I’ve yet to introduce you to my brother who’s just as excited to meet you. If you’re not doing anything right now...” she trailed off, smiling shyly.

Iker felt himself relax as she smiled, a soft smile appearing on his lips. “I think I can probably spare a few minutes” he quipped.

“Great” Riley replied, grimacing at her over enthusiasm “I mean good, cool” she added.

Iker laughed softly before he caught movement out of the corner of his eye, causing him to tilt his head slightly, smiling a little at the little girl who stood behind Riley, looking up at him shyly. “Hello” he greeted gently.

Riley blinked a couple of times before she looked behind her, smiling a little at her neice who clutched her dress, regarding Iker cautiously. “Aren’t you going to say hello?” she asked softly.

The little girl shook her head, hiding her face in Riley’s dress.

Riley laughed softly. “This is Matilda” she mused, glancing back up at Iker “She’s my brother’s daughter. Tilly, this is Iker” she added.

Matilda peeked up at the goalkeeper before she offered him a little wave. “Hello” she whispered.

“Hello” Iker replied gently “Your dress is very pretty, Matilda” he added, remembering just how excited she had looked when she’d been showing it off to Riley.

Matilda’s face lit up. “It is so pretty” she gushed “But Auntie Riley’s is prettier. I like yellow better than blue” she added.

Iker smiled. “I like yellow too” he gushed, sparing a playful glance towards Riley that had her cheeks flushing pink.

Matilda offered him a grin, showing off the gap where her front teeth ought to have been, before Mia appeared. “There you are, Matilda” she quipped “Your madre’s looking for you. It’s time for you to get upstairs and get ready for bed” she added.

Matilda pouted, but didn’t argue when Mia took her hand, instead opting to offer Iker and Riley a little wave before they padded away.

Iker and Riley watched them away before the keeper turned back to the brunette, offering her a small smile. “Your papa and brother?” he asked.

Riley grinned back at him. “Just this way” she mused, leading him across the room “Though, I ought to warn you, they’ve already had a little to drink, so they’re probably going to be like two teenagers. I can only apologize in advance” she added.

Iker shrugged. “You’ll just have to make it up to me somehow” he quipped impishly.
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Thanks to mslou1, FootieJo and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)