There Was You

32: I’m Willing To Give It A Shot

“Auntie Riley, door”

Riley, who’d been stirring the bowl of cookie mixture in her hand, glanced up from her recipe book, her eyes settling on Matilda who was stood in the kitchen doorway. It had been a last minute thing, with her brother and his girlfriend having made plans for a night out to celebrate his birthday, Riley had been landed with babysitting her neice, and whilst she adored spending time with Matilda, it had meant that she had had to cancel plans that she and Iker had had, something which was made a little worse by the fact that they’d not seen each other face to face in a while. It had been a few weeks since the night in the bar with her ex, and with Iker having headed away for preseason with Porto, they’d not had the chance to get together for a while, something Riley had been looking forwards to right up until Garrett’s desperate phone call.

“Sorry?” Riley replied.

“There’s someone at the door” Matilda replied.

Riley frowned a little before a knocking sound filled the air, causing her to let out a small sigh before she moved to wipe her hands. Padding out into the hall, she stepped towards the front door before she pulled it open, her prepared complaints faltering as she looked up at Iker who stood outside, a shy smile on his face. Blinking a couple of times, she stared up at him blankly for a moment before she shook her head, trying, and failing, to stifle the little smile that itched to light up her face. “You do remember me cancelling our plans, don’t you?” she asked.

Iker breathed out a little laugh before he nodded, his fingers scratching his jaw sheepishly. “I do remember that” he noted.

“Are you sure?” Riley quipped “Because you still appear to be here” she added playfully.

Iker offered her a playful glare before he shrugged, stuffing his hands into his pockets. “I just...”


Iker startled a little at the sound of Matilda’s voice before the little girl bounced into the hall, grinning up at him brightly.

Iker couldn’t help smiling back. “Hello, Matilda” he greeted gently.

“Are you staying with Auntie Riley too?” Matilda asked “We’re going to make cookies and watch my films” she added excitedly.

Iker laughed at her enthusiasm. “That sounds like a lot of fun” he mused “I was actually going to ask your aunt if she minded me joining the two of you” he added.

“Really?” Matilda asked.

Iker shrugged nonchalantly, sending a grin over Matilda’s head towards Riley who caught it before she shook her head, looking down towards her feet so that she could try, and fail, to hide her own giddy smile. “What do you say, Riley?” he asked.

Riley opened her mouth to speak, only to be cut off by Matilda. “Please, Auntie Riley?” she pressed.

Riley looked between the two of them for a second before she sighed playfully, nodding her head. “Fine” she mused “I suppose can stay. But before we get to eating cookies and watching films, we’ve got to make some dinner and I promised your mama that it’d have some kind of vegetable with it” she added.

Matilda pouted. “But I hate vegetables” she mumbled.

“No, you don’t” Riley replied.

“Yes, I do” Matilda retorted.

“Then why do you eat them when we go to visit nana and grandpa?” Riley replied knowingly.

Matilda huffed, but didn’t argue anymore, instead opting to stomp through towards the living room.

Riley watched her go before she turned back towards Iker, gently pushing her dark hair off of her face. “You really don’t have to do this, you know” she mumbled “I mean, I know we had plans, but we can just...” she trailed off as Iker stepped over the threshold, pulling her into a soft kiss that she didn’t hesitate in reciprocating.

Smiling softly, she allowed the kiss to linger for a few seconds, before she pulled away, her eyes mirroring his. “What was that for?” she murmured softly.

Iker just shrugged. “It’s been a while” he quipped.

Riley stared up at him for a seconds, slightly dazed by the kiss, before the sound of Matilda’s voice filled the air, causing her to sigh gently. “You think you can convince her to eat some kind of vegetable?” she asked, gently pushing the front door closed.

Iker shrugged, a boyish smile on his face. “I’m willing to give it a shot” he quipped.

Gently brushing his thumb back and forth over Riley’s ankle which sat in his lap, Iker quirked a soft smile to himself, watching as Matilda, who was curled up beneath a blanket next to her aunt, stirred a little in her sleep, nudging Riley who’d been dozing herself. It hadn’t taken long, after Matilda had thrown a bit of a tantrum about eating the pile of peas that Riley had put on her plate, they’d quickly settled down in front of a film of the little girl’s choosing, and when Iker had looked over at her half way through it, she’d been sound asleep and Riley, despite her protests, had been on her way to falling asleep too.

Shaking his head, he watched Riley tuck her hair back off of her face before the sound of someone knocking at the front door filled the air, causing Iker to flinch slightly before he carefully lifted Riley’s feet up, lifting them out of his lap as he shuffled back to his feet. Settling her feet down on the couch, he spared her a brief look up at her face, making sure that he’d not disturbed her before he stepped away, making his way towards the front door.

Hearing another knock, he pulled the door open before he quirked a sheepish smile, not missing the smirk that was quick to light up Garrett’s face. “Iker” he greeted.

“Garrett” Iker replied “How was your night?” he added as he stepped out of the doorway, allowing the other man inside.

“It was good” Garrett replied “Eva had a couple of surprises up her sleeve, so it wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it was still good. What about you? Tilly didn’t give you or Riley too much trouble, did she?” he added, closing the door behind himself.

“There was one tantrum about peas” Iker replied “But otherwise, she was great. I think she wore Riley out, though” he added, leading Garrett through towards the living room.

Garrett snorted out a laugh, his stare landing on Riley and Matilda. “I can see that” he quipped “You’ve been here all night?” he asked, turning to look at Iker over his shoulder.

Iker blinked a couple of times, but nodded, something which made Garrett grin. “You must be something special” he quipped “Tilly couldn’t stand being around Ben” he added.

Iker couldn’t help but smile a little, something which made Garrett shake his head, still smiling to himself. “She really likes you” he murmured, turning back to look at his younger sister “Riley, that is. I mean, she’s never been one to talk much about her love life, especially not with her older brother, but I can...I can see it. All the little smiles and looks, they’re new and they’re very much unique to you” he added.

Iker, who’d turned back towards Riley, nodded his head slowly. “Garrett...”

“Just don’t be like him” Garrett interrupted, sensing what was coming.

Iker closed his mouth, nodding stoutly.

Garrett offered him another grin before he stepped around the couch, crouching down to where Matilda laid. “Baby” he murmured softly.

Matilda stirred a little, sleepily blinking her eyes open. “Papa?” she asked.

Garrett grinned. “Hello, sleepyhead” he murmured “You ready to go home?” he asked.

Matilda nodded her head, sleepily looping her arms around his neck so that Garrett could lift her up. “You going to say goodbye to Iker, baby?” he asked.

Matilda smiled. “Bye-bye, Iker” she cooed, waving a little.

Iker smiled, waving back at her. “Goodnight, Matilda” he replied.

“Tell Riley thanks, will you?” Garrett asked “I mean, I’d wake her, but she’s not much of a morning person” he added.

Iker laughed, nodding his head gently. “I’ll tell her” he mused “Goodnight, Garrett” he added.

“Goodnight, Iker” Garrett replied with a wave before he padded out of the room.

Iker waited for a moment, listening for the soft thump of the front door closing, before he stepped towards the couch, crouching down near to where Riley’s head laid. “Ry?” he prodded softly.

Riley grumbled sleepily. “I’m not sleeping” she muttered.

Iker laughed. “Of course not” he noted “I just thought I’d tell you that I was getting out of here. It’s getting a little late and I...”

“Stay” Riley interrupted.

Iker blinked a couple of times in surprise before he tilted his head. “Riley...”

“I’ve missed you” Riley cut in again, blinking her eyes open “And I don’t want you to go yet. You can leave at the crack of dawn if you have to, but please, stay for the night” she added.

Iker opened and closed his mouth a couple of times, thinking the offer over, before he quirked a small smile, fingers gently straightening out a wave of hair which had fallen into her eyes slightly. “Ok” he mused.

Riley’s expression lit up with a sleepy smile, something which made Iker chuckle before he leant forwards, touching a soft kiss against her forehead, stopping himself from saying something which he was sure he felt, but didn’t want to voice aloud just yet.
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Thanks to FootieJo, mslou1 and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)