There Was You

43: That’s My Girlfriend You’re Talking About

Clutching a pair of shoes in her hand, Riley skittered down the hall, her ears filled with the sound of someone knocking at the front door. It had been a rush, with her last meeting of the day having overrun, she had been late getting home, and with Marisol having made a reservation at her favourite restaurant, she had had to rush to get ready, not wanting to be late for her own birthday celebrations. She knew that it wasn’t the most exciting thing, the routine that she had followed that day was the same one she had followed since she was in her early 20s, but she liked it, even if Marisol did joke every year that they could do literally anything else. The things that she did on her birthday, no matter how many times she did them, were things that she enjoyed and to her, that was all that mattered.

Dropping the shoes down beside the entrance to her living room, she continued down the hallway before she reached the front door, pulling it open.

Iker, who’d been stood patiently on the other side, glanced up at the sound of the door opening before he quirked grin, gently thrusting the vase of flowers that he held in his hand out ahead of himself. “Happy birthday, Riley” he enthused.

Riley’s cheeks flushed a soft shade of pink before she reached out, taking the flowers from him. “Thank you” she mused “These are...they’re really gorgeous. Did you choose them?” she added, marveling a little at the bouquet.

Iker let out a soft laugh. “You sound surprised by that” he quipped.

Riley, who’d stepped back slightly so that he could step over the threshold, shook her head quickly. “Of course not” she spluttered.

Iker smiled, stepping inside the apartment before he knocked the front door closed, settling the gift bag that he’d also bought with him beside the door. “It’s OK” he replied “I mean, I might have had a little help from your sister” he added.

Riley lifted an eyebrow, half in amusement, half in curiosity. “You just casually talk to my sister now?” she asked.

“Your brother too” Iker quipped, shrugging nonchalantly “I’ve spent the last week trying to come up with something to get you for today and I needed some help, so I enlisted Mia and Garrett. Is that Ok?” he asked, his voice softening a little in concern. He had wanted to try and find something, even despite Riley’s insistence that he didn’t have to go out of his way to find her a birthday present, he had wanted to at least try and find something that she would like, but after a couple of days struggling to come up with ideas, he had opted to contact her brother and sister, something he hoped that Riley didn’t mind.

Riley noticed the change in his voice before she quirked a small smile, nodding her head gently. “Why wouldn’t it be Ok?” she asked.

“I don’t know” Iker replied “I just...I just worried that maybe you’d think I was overstepping” he added.

Riley shook her head, moving to pull on her shoes. “I like that you feel comfortable enough to talk to them” she mused “Though, I will warn you to take any story that they tell you about my childhood with a pinch of salt” she joked, glancing back up at him.

Iker smirked. “Mia actually promised that, the next time we’re at your parents, she’ll show me your baby pictures” he quipped.

Riley rolled her eyes. “Of course she did” she mumbled playfully before she straightened up, smoothing out her dress.

Iker watched her, taking a moment to admire her, before Riley lifted her eyes, catching his eye. Quirking a shy smile, she gently tugged at the bottom of her dress before she shook her head, her eyes settling shyly on her feet. “We should go” she mumbled “We’re already running late” she added.

Iker nodded his head slowly before he took a pace towards her, gently tilting her head back so that her eyes mirrored his. Quirking a small smile, he gently traced his thumb along the line of her jaw before he leant forwards, brushing his lips over hers briefly. “You look beautiful” he whispered softly.

Riley couldn’t stifle the blush which quickly spread over her cheeks, something which made Iker’s smile widen a little before he stepped back. “Jacket” he mumbled.

Riley nodded, gesturing to the jacket which hung on the rack beside the door.

Iker followed the gesture before he moved to pick it up, holding it up so that she could slip her arms into it before he took a hold of her hand, knotting their fingers together. “We ready to go?” he asked.

Riley didn’t hesitate in nodding. “I can’t wait” she gushed.

“A toast” Marisol announced, lifting her glass up from the table “To my oldest and my best friend. Happy birthday, Ry” she gushed.

Riley, who’d been finishing the last of her dessert, grinned bashfully. It had been good night, despite it being the same thing they did every year, Riley had still loved every minute of it, and she knew that she wouldn’t have wanted to do anything else. She loved it, the restaurant they went to served food she loved, it was a good excuse to see her two closest friends, friends she hadn’t seen that much of since they’d gotten married, and the fact that Iker was sat beside her, happily joining in with conversation, made it even better.

She had been slightly concerned, since she and Iker had started to see one another, they’d spent little to no time around Marisol and Nuno as a couple, and she had worried that they would spend most of the night gushing over the fact that they were together, something which, much to her relief, they hadn’t.

“I can’t believe that you’re 28” Nuno chirped “I still remember meeting you when you were 18. Have I really known you for ten years?” he asked.

“I’m afraid so” Riley quipped “And, seeing as you’re married to my best friend, you’re probably not going to get rid of me any time soon” she added.

Nuno grinned. “You’re not so bad” he quipped.

Iker, who had been taking a sip of his drink, grinned over the rim of the glass. “That’s my girlfriend you’re talking about” he joked.

Nuno held up his hands playfully. “Sorry” he played along “You’re very lovely, Riley and Iker’s a lucky guy” he added impishly.

Riley laughed gently. “Thank you, Nuno” she noted “That might just be the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me” she added.

Nuno shrugged nonchalantly before he lifted his glass, toasting it towards Riley. “Seriously” he noted “I know that the early part of this year was...tough for you, but I am glad to see that things are...that they’re good for you, Ry. I hope that they stay that way” he added with a sincere smile.

Riley smiled back at him. “Thank you, Nuno” she replied.

Iker, who had his arm around the back of Riley’s chair, shifted his hand, brushing her shoulder gently. “Happy birthday, Riley” he cooed softly.

Riley glanced up at him, her cheeks turning a familiar shade of pink, before Iker dipped forwards, pecking her lips softly.

Marisol and Nuno shared a look before they quietly shuffled out of their seats, mumbling two vague excuses before they wandered away from the table, something which made Riley giggle as she pulled away from Iker. Shaking her head, she gently brushing an imaginary speck of dirt off of her dress, before she glanced down at her lap, focusing on her fidgeting hands. “Thank you” she mumbled softly.

“For what?” Iker asked.

Riley shrugged. “I don’t know” she mused “Tonight’s’s been a lot of fun and I wanted to thank you for your part in that. I’m going to thank Marisol and Nuno too, so don’t start thinking that you’re special” she joked awkwardly.

Iker just smiled before he leant forwards, kissing the top of her head softly. “Firstly, I am special” he mumbled, earning a soft giggle from her “And secondly, you don’t need to thank for me celebrating your birthday with you. I want to be the one making the fuss” he added, smoothing out a few wayward hairs which had fallen out of the intricate bun that she pulled her hair into.

Riley sat up, smiling softly at him. “Yeah?” she asked.

Iker nodded without hesitation. “Of course” he noted “And hey, at least I know when it is now” he joked.

Riley rolled her eyes playfully, laughing.

“We’ve taken care of the check” Marisol’s voice interrupted softly “And we’re going to get out of here, leave the two of you alone” she added, trying, and failing, to keep the corners of her lips from quirking upwards into a slightly teasing smirk.

Riley felt her cheeks blush before she stood up, wrapping both Marisol and Nuno in tight hugs. “Thank you for tonight” she mused.

“No problem” Marisol mused “Same time, same place next year?” she asked playfully.

Riley nodded. “Absolutely” she enthused.

“I remembered my overnight bag” Iker chirped as he padded into Riley’s bedroom, dropping a small bag down at the foot of the bed.

Riley, who’d been tugging at pins in her hair, glanced over her shoulder, offering him a little smile before she turned back.

Iker frowned, slightly surprised by her lack of response, before he turned back to his bag, rooting through it for a few seconds before he felt Riley’s presence at his side, something which caused him to lift his head, a slightly bemused smile on his face. “You Ok?” he asked.

Riley stood quietly for a few seconds, mulling the question over, before she nodded, stepping away from him again. “It’s nothing” she murmured.

Iker shook his head. “It’s clearly something” he quipped “You’re fidgeting” he added, gesturing to her hands which were messing with her dress.

Riley glanced down towards her hands before she shook her head, letting out a bashful laugh. “I am trying suggest that we could...” she stumbled out before she looked up, offering Iker a meaningful look.

Iker frowned at her, not quite catching on.

Riley shook her head, her cheeks growing redder by the second.

Iker watched her cheeks turn red before it hit him. “Oh” he breathed.

Riley shifted on the spot. “It was just an idea” she mumbled “And if you don’t want know what? Forget I said anything” she added, trying to step past him towards the bathroom.

Iker, however, was fractionally quicker, his hand gently wrapping around her wrist before she had the chance to close the bathroom door between them. Taking in a breath, he glanced at his feet for a second before he looked up at her face. “Are you sure?” he asked.

Riley smiled timidly. “I am” she confirmed “I mean, it’s got to happen eventually, so why not now?” she joked shyly.

Iker smiled a little, his hands shifting towards her waist. “Riley...”

Riley cut him off, gently pushing herself up onto her toes to kiss him as her hands moved, one of them sneaking up a little way beneath his t-shirt. Iker flinched a little in surprise, letting out a little noise, something which made Riley smile softly as her other hand took a hold of one of his, guiding it to the fastening of her dress. “Iker” she murmured.

Iker nodded, staring at his hand on her dress. “Yeah?” he asked.

“I want you” Riley breathed softly.

Iker’s eyes flicked up to her face, flitting momentarily between there and his hand on her dress, before he leant down towards her, capturing her in a kiss that she was eager to return, feeling his hand gently tug the fastening of her dress loose.
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Thanks to FootieJo and mslou1 for the comments :)