There Was You

23: Nuno’s Friend

“Are you sure that we don’t need to stop off somewhere to pick something up for your parents?” Iker asked as he steered his car around another corner, sparing a glance towards Riley who sat in the passenger seat, watching the familiar streets pass them by.

He was nervous, despite the fact that he had met Riley’s entire family before, the prospect of spending the day with them was something which had a few knots in the pit of his stomach, and he wanted to ensure that he made a good impression, not wanting to undo what he had accomplished when he had met them at Marisol and Nuno’s wedding. He knew that there was nothing for him really to be worried about, since he had accepted the invitation that Riley had extended to him, she had been quick to insist that her parents, and siblings, were excited to see him again, but he couldn’t shake the nerves entirely, no matter how many times Riley smiled up at him and told him there was nothing to worry about. There were still knots in his stomach.

Riley, who’d been quietly staring out of the window, smiled a little at his question before she shrugged, glancing over at him. “My mama assured me that they had everything covered” she mused “But if you want to stop and grab something, I am not going to stop you. Whatever will make you the most comfortable” she added gently.

Iker was quiet for a second, thinking it over, before he shook his head. “They have everything covered?” he asked.

Riley nodded. “I asked if they needed anything” she mused “But my mama was pretty clear. But don’t let that stop you. They’re not going to turn you away if you show up with a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers” she added.

She knew that he was nervous, the fact that he had been quiet for most of the morning had given it away almost instantly, and Riley wanted to do whatever it was it took to make him comfortable, even if it did mean taking a detour on route to her parents’ home. She wanted him to be as comfortable as he could be.

Iker quirked a small smile, offering her a glance out of the corner of his eye. “Do you think I am being stupid?” he asked.

Riley shook her head. “Of course I don’t” she replied.

“Really?” Iker quipped.

Riley didn’t hesitate in nodding. “You’re trying to make a good impression” she mused “There’s nothing silly about that. Besides, you’re a lot more composed than I would be. When I meet your parents, I am probably going to be a lot worse than this” she added brightly.

Iker, who’d moved to steer the car around another corner, quirked a soft smile. “When you meet my parents?” he prodded, impishly stressing the word ‘when’.

Riley blinked a couple of times before she shrugged her shoulders, settling her eyes shyly on her lap. “It’s more likely to be a ‘when’ than an ‘if’ no?” she asked quietly “I mean, I know that you meeting my family was more of a coincidence than a plan, but I figured that...maybe, eventually, you’d be interested in me meeting yours. It doesn’t have to be soon, but I just...I thought you’d probably want me to...” she trailed off as Iker let out an amused laugh, something which caused her to shake her head, pushing her hair out of her face.

Iker watched her out of the corner of his eye before he carefully pulled one hand off of the steering wheel, hesitating for a beat before he settled it down on her knee, squeezing it softly. “I’d love for them to meet you. How could I not want that?” he murmured softly.

Riley glanced down at his hand for a moment before she placed hers over the top of it, squeezing gently as a soft smile lit up her features. “You’re not worried about me embarrassing you?” she teased softly.

Iker flashed her an impish smile. “We’ve not got through this barbeque with your family yet” he played along.

Riley laughed, shaking her head gently. “I don’t have any worries about that” she quipped “You know, aside from my papa deciding that he likes spending time with you more than he likes spending time with me” she added.

Iker scoffed playfully. “That’s a given, Ry” he chirped.

“I do hope that you came hungry” Maria enthused as she pulled the front door open, greeting Riley with a tight hug “Your papa’s bought enough food to feed the entire street, Riley” she added.

Riley laughed gently before she pulled out of the hug, taking a step back towards Iker who waited patiently behind her. “Mama, you remember Iker?” she asked gently.

Maria grinned. “Of course I do” she mused “Nuno’s friend, no?” she added, flashing a teasing look towards her daughter.

Riley rolled her eyes, something which made Maria laugh before she stepped forwards, wrapping Iker in a soft hug. “It’s good to see you again, Iker” she mused.

Iker hesitated for a split second, surprised that the older woman had opted to embrace him, before he hugged her back gently. “You too, Mrs Munuera” he mumbled bashfully as he pulled away “Gracias for the invitation” he added.

Maria waved a hand, smiling up at him warmly. “How could we not invite you?” she asked “I mean, you’ve been kind enough to allow Riley to stay with you whilst she’s in town. This is the least we could do. I hope she’s not been too much of an imposition” she teased, offering a playful look towards Riley.

Iker followed her look, watching as Riley rolled her eyes good-naturedly, before he quirked a small smile of his own. “She’s not too much trouble” he played along.

Maria laughed brightly. “If she starts to be, let me know” she quipped “Now, we should get outside. Iker, I was about to get myself some lemonade. Can I interest you in some?” she asked.

“I’d love some” Iker replied “Thank you, Mrs Munuera” he added.

Maria laughed again. “Maria, dear” she mused.

“Maria” Iker corrected himself with a sheepish smile.

“I’ll grab you some” Maria mused “Riley, show him through to the garden. Everyone else is already here” she added before she walked away.

Riley watched her mother pad down the corridor before she turned back to Iker, smiling up at him gently. “Are you still feeling nervous?” she asked “Because if you are, it is not too late to bolt. I’ll distract my mama, and you can just run out of the door” she added, her voice flitting between teasing and soft.

Iker’s lips quirked upwards slightly. “Somehow, I doubt we’d get away with that” he quipped.

Riley laughed before she shook her head, pushing her hair behind her ear. “Seriously” she mumbled “If you’re having second thoughts...” she trailed off as Iker leant towards her, pressing a soft kiss against her lips. Riley let out a soft sound of surprise, but didn’t break the kiss, allowing it to linger, even when the sound of footsteps reached her ears.


Riley jerked back at the sound of Matilda’s voice before she whipped around, her eyes settling on the little girl who’d stopped a little away from her and Iker, her nose wrinkled. “Tilly” she breathed.

“You were kissing” Matilda pointed out.

Riley blinked a couple of times, trying to figure out what to say.

“We were” Iker replied confidently.

Matilda tilted her head, looking up at Iker curiously. “Are you Auntie Riley’s boyfriend?” she asked.

Iker blinked a couple of times at the question, making brief eye contact with Riley, before Riley shook her head, smiling gently. “Something like that” she replied “Now, let’s get outside. I bet nana and grandpa bought you presents when you got here, and I’d love to see them. Iker would too, wouldn’t you, Iker?” she posed.

Iker, who’d been staring at Riley in surprise, blinked at the sound of his name before he nodded, his face blooming into a soft smile. “Sure” he replied “I’d love that” he added, his eyes fixed on Riley’s as his soft smile widened a little.

Riley held his stare for a moment, knowing the smile was meant just for her, before she took a hold of Matilda’s hand, allowing her to lead her out towards the garden, Iker following close behind.
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Thanks to Jayme112234, FootieJo, Twisted;;Symphony and mslou1 for the comments :)