There Was You

41: Stumble

Allowing a strand of Riley’s dark hair to pass through his fingers, Iker quirked a small smile to himself, watching as it fell back against her head messily. It had been a while, after he and Riley had talked, she’d agreed to stay for dinner, and with evening having faded into night, she was still sat next to him, messing gently with his fingers as she stared at the television ahead of them. It wasn’t how he had envisaged things going, after the last time that he and Riley had spoken, he had half anticipated that the next time he saw her, she would be telling him that she didn’t know if she could continue in their relationship, and whilst he knew that things were still going to be moving slowly between the two of them, maybe even slightly slower than before, he was pleased that they spoken again. The last thing he had wanted was for something which seemed to be going so well to fall apart at the first hurdle.

Feeling Riley’s hand move in his, Iker smiled goofily for a few seconds before he leant over, dropping a soft kiss on the top of her head. “You know that you’re probably going to have to go soon, don’t you?” he mumbled into her hair.

Riley, who’d been messing with his fingers, turned to look up at him with a grin. “Is that you’re way of telling me to go?” she asked.

Iker shook his head. “Of course not” he mused “I just thought I’d remind you of that before you get too comfortable. I mean, I’d love you to stay, but you’ve got work tomorrow morning, and no change of clothes here. I thought you’d probably want to...” he trailed off as Riley leant up, kissing him softly.

Letting out a small surprised sound, he hesitated for a beat before he gently pulled back, his eyes meeting hers. “What was that for?” he asked.

Riley shrugged, a little smile flitting around the corner of her lips. “I’ve leant it’s the quickest way to stop you from babbling” she mused.

Iker breathed out a soft laugh, shaking his head slightly, before he lifted his hand, gently tucking her hair back off of her face. “Do you want to stay?” he asked.

Riley tilted her head. “Stay?” she asked, her cheeks flushing a soft shade of pink.

Iker smirked a little, not missing the blush on her cheeks, before he nodded his head. “Spend the night here” he noted “And just spend the night here. I mean, I’ve spent a couple of nights in your apartment, so maybe it’s about time that you spent one here, no?” he asked.

Riley smiled bashfully down towards her lap. “You did outline all of the reasons to say no” she pointed out.

“I know” Iker quipped “But there’s an even bigger reason to stay” he added.

Riley lifted an eyebrow, her expression caught between bashful and amused. “Yeah?” she asked.

Iker grinned impishly, gesturing to himself.

Riley couldn’t help but smile. “That is a big plus point” she quipped.

“So?” Iker prodded.

“You’d really not mind me staying?” Riley asked “I mean, I am probably going to have to wake up ridiculously early and we both know that you’re not much of a morning person. Are you sure?” she asked.

Iker didn’t hesitate in nodding, something which made the soft blush on Riley’s cheeks darken a shade before she nodded. “Ok” she breathed.

“You know that you don’t have to hide in here all night, right?” Iker quipped as he knocked his hand against the bathroom door, a small amused grin flitting around the corner of his mouth. It had been a little while, after he had convinced Riley to spend the night, she had disappeared into the bathroom to get ready for bed, but with nearly twenty minutes having passed, he had opted to check on her, almost certain that her nerves had gotten the better of her. He hadn’t meant anything by it, the invitation for her to spend the night at his home had simply been that, an invitation for his girlfriend to spend more time with him, but he had seen the look on her face when he’d said it and knew that he’d made her nervous, even if he hadn’t intended to.

“I’m not hiding” Riley called back.

Iker chuckled quietly. “Then come out of there” he chirped

Riley was quiet on the other side of the door for a moment before it clicked open, allowing her to step into view.

Iker, who’d been staring at the closed door, watched it open before he took a step back, his teasing expression softening a little as Riley stepped into his gaze, her fingers gently toying with the bottom of the t-shirt of his that she wore. Blinking a couple of times, he looked her up and down briefly before he shook his head, smiling sheepishly to himself. “I...uh...” he stumbled out “I like your shirt” he added.

Riley, who’d been glancing down at her feet, shook her head, chewing on her lip gently. “You ought to” she mumbled “It’s yours” she added, the corners of her lips turning upwards slightly.

Iker laughed before he flinched, realizing that it had come out a little louder than he had anticipated.

Riley caught the little flinch in his expression before she shook her head. “I’m sorry” she whispered.

Iker’s eyes widened a little. “Sorry?” he asked.

Riley shrugged. “The last few days have been weird” she noted “I mean, we’ve had a first...stumble, and now we’re back here, together, and I just...I. don’t know. I want things to be normal, but...” she trailed off as Iker stepped towards her, closing the gap which existed between the two of them with a soft kiss.

Riley stumbled a little, not quite expecting the kiss, but Iker’s hands were quick to find her waist, steadying her before he pulled back. “We did stumble” he mumbled “But we didn’t get knocked over. Ok, maybe it’s going to take some time for things to progress, but that doesn’t mean we have to backtrack either, does it?” he asked, gently tucking her hair off of her face.

Riley leant into his touch slightly, but didn’t say anything, encouraging Iker to lean forwards, kissing her forehead softly. “We’re OK” he mumbled against her skin.

Riley let out a soft sigh before she wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him into a hug that Iker didn’t hesitate in melting into, squeezing her waist tightly. Holding onto him for a few seconds, she relished the familiar warmth which had spread through her before she took a pace backwards, gently straightening the shirt she wore. “I’m going to go and try and get some sleep” she mumbled “Will you be...?” she trailed off.

Iker grinned. “Absolutely” he enthused.

Riley couldn’t stop herself from smiling at his enthusiasm before she pushed herself up, kissing his cheek softly. “I’m glad we’re OK” she mused “I don’t quite know what I’d do now without my friend” she added before she walked away, heading towards the bed.

Iker watched her before grinned goofily to himself, wordlessly hoping that things would be back to what they’d been in no time at all.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)