There Was You

02: I Didn’t Think There’d Be A First Time

Holding her phone out ahead of her, Riley lifted a hand, carefully smoothing out her dark hair as she studied her picture on the phone’s screen. She knew that she looked rough, after she and Iker had snuck out of Marisol and Nuno’s party, she had had another tearful moment in the front seat of his car before she had composed herself, and whilst she knew that Iker didn’t care about how she looked, she wanted to try and make herself a little more presentable, not wanting to embarrass herself in front of him any further. She knew that the damage was already done, between her rambling about what had happened between her and Ben and crying in the front seat of his car, she was pretty certain that Iker already though she was a mess, but she wanted to try and show him that she wasn’t usually, even if she was in the moment. He’d simply caught her on a bad night.

Studying the phone’s screen, she moved to wipe a wayward smudge of mascara off of her face, before the sound of something being put down on the table caught her ears, causing her to lower the phone and glance up at Iker as he sat down opposite her. “You did just want tea, didn’t you?” he asked, sipping on his own drink.

Riley nodded. “I did” she confirmed “Thank you” she added.

Iker merely offered her a small smile, allowing a couple of minutes of silence to pass between before Riley shook her head, her fingers drumming shyly against the side of her mug. “You really didn’t have to do this” she mused.

Iker shrugged. “I can take you back if you want me to” he joked uncertainly.

Riley couldn’t help but smile a little at the tone of his voice, but she dropped her head, trying to hide it from him. “I think we can probably give that a miss” she mumbled quietly.

Iker watched her, allowing a few more quiet moments to pass between the two of them, before he cleared his throat. “Do you want to talk about what’s going on?” he asked “I mean, you obviously don’t have to, and I won’t press it anymore if you don’t want me to, but I just thought...I mean, you really didn’t want me to get Marisol before, and I thought you could...” he cut himself off, not wanting to babble out anymore words than he already had.

Riley shook her head. “I am certain that you don’t want to listen to my problems” she mused, staring into her cup.

Iker leant forwards slightly, causing Riley to look up at him. “Why haven’t you told Marisol?” he asked.

Riley’s eyes searched his face before she lowered her stare, settling it down on the table. “I tried” she noted “But I barely got two words out before she was shoving that ring of hers in my face. I mean, I don’t blame her of course, she and Nuno, they’ve been dancing around getting engaged for a while, and I am thrilled for them, and I couldn’t bring myself to ruin the moment for her. Ben...” her voice caught at her ex boyfriend’s name, something which caused Iker to lean across the table before he reached a hand out towards her, hesitating for a beat before he covered hers.

Riley looked at his hand on hers for a second, composing herself, before she shook her head. “We broke up two weeks ago” she murmured “But I’ve still not found the right moment to tell her. She jumped straight from getting engaged to planning that party and I wasn’t going to be the reason she put it on hold. She’s been waiting on this forever” she insisted.

“You have to tell her” Iker mused.

“You don’t think I know that?” Riley replied, grimacing at how sharp her voice had come out “Sorry” she muttered.

Iker smiled. “It’s not the first time” he noted “And I am starting to get the feeling that it won’t be the last” he added.

Riley felt her cheeks warm. “Still” she murmured.

Iker just squeezed her hand, offering her another small grin.

Riley stared at their hands for a few seconds before she looked up, hesitantly meeting his eyes. “She thought I’d follow her” she murmured “Me and...him, we were together for four years, and Marisol was convinced that he’d...he’d...” she trailed off, clearly struggling to force the words out of her mouth.

Iker gripped her hand, his grip warm and reassuring. “The Marisol I know will not care about that” he insisted.

“You don’t know her like I do” Riley countered “Once she gets an idea in her head...” she trailed off, shaking her head ruefully.

“You really think she’s going to be disappointed in you?” Iker prodded tentatively.

Riley shrugged. “It wouldn’t be the first time” she replied.

“I’m certain that that’s not true” Iker countered “She talks about you all of the time and never has a bad word to say. I think you’re worrying for nothing” he added.

Riley eyed him dubiously. “What do you know about it?” she asked.

“About you and Marisol? Nothing” Iker replied “But I have known Marisol since I moved here, she and Nuno, they were some of the first people I met, and I know that she’s very protective of her friends. If your ex has hurt you, I don’t think she’d hesitate in rushing over to his place, and kicking his ass for you” he added, trying to brighten the mood slightly.

Riley shook her head, trying, and failing, to refrain from letting a soft laugh fall out of her mouth. “She’s about five foot two” she mumbled.

“She’s still scary” Iker retorted “She scares me” he added brightly.

Riley quirked an eyebrow. “Really? Why?” she asked.

Iker, who’d moved to check the time on his watch, looked up at her with a grin. “It’s a really great story” he mused “But it is probably one that’s going to have to wait until next time. It’s getting late and I, for one, have to get home” he added.

“You think there’s going to be a next time that you’re going to have to whisk a stranger off to a café to stop her crying at her friend’s engagement party?” Riley prodded, swallowing the last of her drink.

Iker laughed bashfully, shrugging a little. “I didn’t think there’d be a first time” he quipped.

Riley smiled. “You know, for a friend of Nuno’s, you’re not so bad” she quipped.

“Is that a compliment?” Iker asked, moving to pull his coat around his shoulders.

Riley nodded. “Have you met Nuno’s other friends?” she asked, flashing him a brighter, playful smile as she stood up, pulling on her own jacket.

Iker smiled gently, marveling at her grin for a second, before he cleared his throat, fixing his stare on his shoes. “We’ll hopefully see more of each other” he murmured “I mean, the way Nuno tells it, they’re not hanging around, and with the wedding, I’m sure our paths will cross again” he added.

“Hopefully?” Riley asked.

Iker grimaced. “Did I say that?” he asked “I meant it will probably happen. I mean, you and Marisol are close, and Nuno’s already asked if I would like to be one of his groomsmen, so we’ll probably bump into each other eventually, right? Not that I don’t hope for that, because...” he trailed off as Riley shook her head, letting out a quiet laugh.

Feeling his cheeks warm slightly, he took a composing breath before he shook his head. “You’ll tell Marisol soon, right?” he asked.

Riley’s expression hardened slightly before she sighed, relenting slightly. “I will” she confirmed “I mean, maybe not...”

“Riley, you’ve just got to tell her” Iker interrupted “If you keep waiting for the right time, you’ll keep talking yourself out of it. Just do it” he insisted.

Riley sighed before she nodded. “You’re right” she murmured.

Iker just offered her a small, reassuring smile, something which made Riley nod, smiling a little in return. “Thank you” she noted “It’s been good talk to someone, even if I am sure that you already think I am a complete and utter mess. It’s been good to just get it off my chest, so thank you, for listening to me rant, for letting me snap at you without fleeing. I’m sure that you were just being polite when you said you hoped that we crossed paths again, but I really do. You’re very nice, Iker” she complimented shyly.

Iker grinned bashfully, something which caused Riley’s cheeks to flush a light shade of pink before she stepped towards him, pressing an uncertain kiss to his cheek before she stepped back, offering him one last timid grin. Collecting her bag from beside the table, she offered him a little wave before she walked towards the café door and ducked out into the night.

Iker stood still, watching her as she went, before he shook his head to himself, following after her. “Riley” he called out.

Riley stopped at the sound of her name before she turned around. “Hm?” she asked.

Iker stepped closer before he held out his phone.

Riley tilted her head. “Iker...”

“Just in case you need someone to talk to” Iker interrupted “I’m not so bad at it, you said it yourself” he added.

Riley hesitated briefly before she smiled, taking the phone out of his hand so that she could type her number into it before she sent herself a text, ensuring that she had his number too.
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Thanks to Jayme112234, Twisted;;Symphony and FootieJo for the comments :)