There Was You

34: Let The Girl Go

Neatly adjusting the tie which was tucked underneath his collar, Iker turned to spare another look up and down the street, shifting his feet nervously as he looked for any sign of Riley or the rest of her family. He had gotten there early, with him having been busy earlier in the day day, it had always been the plan that he would arrive at the restaurant that Garrett and Mia had chosen for their shared birthday meal alone, but still he couldn’t help but be a little apprehensive, doubting whether or not he had got the place or time right.

It had been a sudden invitation, when Riley had called him a couple of days after they’d babysat her neice, he hadn’t quite been anticipating that she would ask him to come to another dinner with her parents and siblings, but he hadn’t hesitated in accepting, even if it had come a little out of the blue. He had been quick to insist that he would love to go with her. He knew that it wasn’t the biggest thing, he’d already met her parents and her siblings and he’d already spent time with them, but the idea that Riley had invited him, especially since she had done it seemingly without prodding, meant a lot to him. It made him more and more sure that what they had together was beginning to become something special.

Stuffing a hand into the pocket of his jacket, he quickly pulled out his phone before he pulled up a text from Riley, scanning the information to ensure that he was in the right place.

“You look lost”

Iker, who’d turned to study the name of the restaurant, smiled a little at the sound of Riley’s voice before he shook his head, turning to look at her. “I was just making sure that I was in the right place” he quipped “I mean, I must have been stood here for nearly half an hour and there was no sign of the rest of you...” he trailed off as Riley let out a little laugh, shaking her head gently.

“You really just stood out here?” Riley asked “You could have gone inside” she pointed out.

“And you could have showed up half an hour ago” Iker countered with a grin “What took you so long?” he added, leaning over to greet her with a soft hug.

Riley held onto him for a second, relishing the feeling of his arms around her, before she leant back, offering him a little shrug as she tried, and failed, to hide the little smile which had almost instantly started to pull at the corner of her mouth. “A combination of things” she mused “My mother took forever to pick a dress. Matilda threw a tantrum because Garrett told her that the restaurant doesn’t serve was a bit of mess, but I am sorry for keeping you waiting. I should have called or something” she added, her voice softening a little.

Iker shrugged, sheepishly stuffing his hands into his pockets. “It’s OK” he mused “You’re here now” he added.

Riley reached up, shyly pushing her hair behind her ear. “You look nice” she complimented softly.

Iker smiled gently. “Gracias” he quipped “And you...”


Iker startled a little, caught off guard by the sound of Maria’s voice, before he turned towards her, greeting the older woman with a warm hug. “It’s good to see you again, Maria” he mused gently.

“You too” Maria chirped “I mean, this is the third time we’ve met? You two must be getting serious” she added, sparing a quick teasing smile towards Riley before she stepped past.

Riley rolled her eyes, but couldn’t stop a faint blush from spreading over her cheeks, something which made Iker grin gently before he stretched his hand out, lightly bumping it against hers. Riley felt his light touch against her hand before she moved it into his, gently tangling their fingers together before she stepped towards the restaurant’s door. Hesitating for a beat, she briefly contemplated asking if he was sure that he wanted to go inside, but Iker cut her off before she had the chance to speak, squeezing her hand softly. “I’m sure” he quipped gently.

Riley just shook her head, smiling goofily to herself as they walked inside.

“Are you sure that you don’t want to come back with us, Riley?” Isaac asked “We’re heading back to Garrett’s so that we can have the twins’ cake” he added, gesturing towards the large taxi which stood behind them. It had been a good night, the conversation had flowed easily and Iker, who’d been a little worried about sticking out amongst the dynamic of Riley’s family, had been made to feel instantly at ease, and Riley could see how much it had meant to him, even if he hadn’t said anything. The slight hint of awe in the smile he wore told her all she needed to know about how much it mean to him.

Riley, who’d been waving to Matilda, blinked a couple of times at the sound of her father’s voice before she turned back to him, shaking her head gently. “I’m sure, papa” she mused, sparing a brief glance towards Iker who stood a little away from her.


“She wants to go home with her boyfriend, Isaac” Maria interjected knowingly “Let the girl go” she added, rolling her eyes good-naturedly.

Riley’s cheeks flushed a bright shade of pink. “Papa...”

Isaac chuckled, shaking his head. “I should have seen that” he quipped.

Riley opened her mouth to say something, but Isaac cut her off, wrapping her in a soft hug before he stepped back, gently tucking her hair off of her face. “You know we like him, don’t you?” he asked quietly.

Riley nodded. “I do, papa” she confirmed.

Isaac kissed her forehead softly before he stepped into the taxi, offering her a small wave before it pulled away. Riley watched it go before she turned towards Iker, offering him a little sheepish smile. “I’m...”

“You’ve really got to stop apologizing for them” Iker interrupted, knowing precisely what she was about to say. She said the same thing every time they spent time with her friends or family. “I think they’re a lot of fun” he added.

Riley nodded her head slowly, allowing a beat of silence to pass between the two of them, before Iker cleared his throat, stuffing his hands into his pockets. “I’ve been thinking” he noted gently.

Riley quirked an eyebrow. “About?” she asked.

Iker shrugged. “A lot of things” he quipped “About us mostly” he added.

“Us?” Riley prodded, trying to keep the apprehension that had bubbled in her stomach out of her voice.

Iker nodded, keeping his eyes on his feet. “You were going to say something the other morning” he mumbled “The morning after we babysat for Matilda, I really thought you were going to and then you stopped yourself and that got me a little worried, but then we did this, tonight, and I...kind of just want to say it. I can’t quite put into words how much it means to me that you’re willing to invite me to things like this, that you want me to spend time with your family and I can’t really express how much I can’t wait to go back to Madrid with you so that you can meet my family. I like that you want to involve me in things, I know that I can’t wait to involve you in my things...Riley, what I am trying to tell you, very awkwardly, is that...”

“I love you” Riley interrupted quietly.

Iker’s head whipped up. “What?” he spluttered.

Riley quirked a half-smile. “I love you” she repeated “I mean, that is what you’re trying to say to me, because if it isn’t, then...” she trailed off as she spotted the wide-eyed expression on Iker’s face.

Blinking a couple of times, she felt her face grow hot before she shook her head, taking a step back from him. “I...I shouldn’t have...”

“I love you too” Iker interjected softly.

Riley opened and closed her mouth a couple of times before she let out a soft laugh, something which made Iker laugh too. “I love you” he repeated quietly “I’m in love with you, Riley” he added, marveling at the way the words felt as they fell out of his mouth.

Riley just made a soft sound in awe, something which caused Iker to step towards her, gently wrapping her in a hug that she reciprocated instantly, swaying him as they both grinned giddily, the words hanging around the two of them.
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Thanks to FootieJo and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)