There Was You

25: I Asked You First

Gently swirling his feet in the cool pool water, Iker leant back on his hands slightly, enjoying the quiet which lingered around him. They had been back at his place for a little while, after things had started to wind down at Riley’s parents’ home in the early evening, they’d said their goodbyes before they made their way back, and with Riley upstairs packing for her flight back to Porto in the morning, Iker had opted to take a little time for himself, wanting to reflect on how well things had gone between him and Riley’s family that day.

He couldn’t deny that he had been apprehensive, a combination of him and Riley not really being clear on what it was that was happening between them and being worried about sticking his foot in his mouth in front of Riley’s parents had created knots in his stomach, but they had quickly eased, allowing him to relax into a day which had been more enjoyable than he had thought it would be.

Closing his eyes, he quirked a small smile to himself before the sound of the patio door opening and closing gently reached his ears, causing him to look up, a soft smile blooming across his features as his eyes landed on Riley. “Are you finally finished packing?” he quipped.

Riley, who’d moved to plop down into a lounger a little away from him, rolled her eyes. “I was gone for half an hour” she replied.

“I know” Iker noted as he shuffled back to his feet “But you only had one tiny suitcase. How could it take so long?” he added, grinning impishly as he plopped down at the end of the lounger that Riley sat on.

Riley scoffed, nudging his leg playfully with her foot. “I was just making sure that I had everything” she quipped “I didn’t think you’d appreciate me leaving you guest room a mess” she added.

Iker offered her a small smile, allowing a beat of silence to pass between the two of them, before he shook his head, diverting his stare down towards his lap. “I’m glad we did this” he murmured.

Riley smiled a little. “Me too” she mused.

Iker turned his head slightly, offering her a curious look. “Yeah?” he asked.

Riley nodded. “Yeah” she quipped “I mean, I know that we’d spent a lot of time together just the two of us before, but these last few days...I feel like I know you better, and I feel like I know us better” she added gently.

“And what do you think of ‘us’?” Iker asked.

“What do you think of ‘us’?” Riley countered.

Iker smirked. “I asked you first” he quipped.

Riley rolled her eyes a little before she shook her head, gently tucking her hair behind her ear. “It’s still early days” she mumbled carefully “But honestly? I like where this is going. We...we seem to click, at least, in my mind we do, and I think that’s a good sign. I like that you’re my friend first, I like that there’s no pressure to be something more than what we are at the moment, but I equally like that kissing you...well, it’s clichéd and silly, but I actually get butterflies. I know we’ve not quite put labels on it yet, and I’d get it if you felt a little weird about Matilda calling you boyfriend, but I think I could see us getting there some time soon. It’s cool if you don’t think that right now, I am not in a hurry to change things, I asked” she spluttered, her eyes fixed on her hand which pulled at a loose thread on her shorts.

Iker was quiet for a moment, allowing her words to hang between the two of them, before he shook his head, letting a soft laugh tumble out of his mouth.

Riley, who’d been messing with her shorts, looked up slightly at the sound of his laugh. “Did I say something funny?” she asked, her voice caught between teasing and irked.

Iker’s eyes widened a little, not missing the tone of her voice, before he quickly shook his head. “No” he spluttered “I just...I can’t quite believe that you’d think I’d feel weird about Matilda calling me your boyfriend. Why would you think that?” he asked.

Riley shrugged. “I don’t know” she replied “I just...I thought it might scare you off a little” she added.

Iker laughed, shaking his head. “Riley, do you not see how smitten I am with you?” he asked.

Riley shrugged again, her cheeks flushing pink.

Iker grinned at her before he turned, capturing her hands in his. “Riley” he mused, causing her to look up at him “I’d love nothing more than to be your boyfriend” he added.

Riley blinked a couple of times, allowing the words to linger for a beat, before her face lit up with a gentle smile.

Iker marveled at the soft smile before he leant forwards, kissing her forehead gently. “What’s today’s date?” he mumbled quietly.

Riley frowned, leaning back slightly. “What?” she asked.

“The date” Iker replied “I’ll need to remember it for next year” he added with an impish grin that made Riley laugh, gently shoving his shoulder.

Iker captured her hand, squeezing it gently.

Riley looked at their hands, unable to stifle her grin, before she shook her head. “You didn’t answer my question” she mumbled.

Iker squeezed her hand again. “This isn’t making it obvious?” he asked “Riley, I like being around you and the last few days have only made me surer that I want to be around you for the long term. You make my days brighter. I like talking to you, about everything and nothing. I knew I was smitten before, but these last few days...I don’t know, I guess that they just made things clearer for me. I care about you, Riley, a lot” he insisted with a small smile.

Riley’s eyes searched his face, allowing his words to hang between them for a moment, before she leant forwards, lightly and briefly touching her lips to his. “I care about you too” she murmured as she leant back, her eyes looking up into his.

Iker held her stare for a second before Riley dipped her head, allowing a little yawn to fall out of her mouth. Quirking a small smile, he gently cupped the back of her head before he leant forwards, pressing a soft kiss against the top of it. “You should go inside” he mumbled “You’ve got an early flight in the morning. You need to get some sleep” he added.

Riley smiled at the feel of his lips against her head. “You’re probably right” she mused as she untangled herself from their embrace, shuffling back to her feet.

Iker helped her up before he followed her movements, sneaking a quick kiss before he stepped back, smiling sheepishly. “I’ll give you a ride in the morning” he mumbled.

Riley shook her head. “You don’t have to do that” she mused.

“I’d like to take my girlfriend to the airport” Iker replied, his smile growing a little as the word ‘girlfriend’ fell out of his mouth.

Riley watched his smile grow before she shook her head, grinning softly to herself. “How can I say no to that?” she asked.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)