There Was You

44: Never Usually Stops Me

Staring down at the screen of her tablet which rested in her lap, Riley took a sip from the mug of tea that she had made for herself, her ears filled with the silence which lingered around the apartment. It was early, when Riley had snuck out of her bedroom a while previous, the clock on the end table had read a little before eight in the morning, but with Iker still sleeping soundly, she had opted to sneak out, not wanting to disturb him with the fidgeting that would inevitably start if she tried to get back to sleep.

She felt nervous, with the two of them having been intimate for the first time the previous night, she was apprehensive about seeing him that morning, and she wanted to try and put it off, even if she knew that he’d wake up eventually. She wanted a little time to try and compose herself. They had skirted around it for a while, whenever it looked like one of them was preparing to make a move, they’d quickly chickened out, and whilst Riley didn’t regret the previous night, she couldn’t quite stifle the little butterflies in her stomach.

Shaking her head to herself, she scrolled down the page she was looking at on her tablet before she took another sip of her drink.

“I was wondering where that had disappeared to”

Riley jumped, almost spilling her tea in her lap, before she lifted her head, glancing over her shoulder at Iker who’d stopped in the doorway, his fingers trying, and failing, to smooth out his messy hair. “What?” she spluttered.

Iker quirked a sleepy grin. “My t-shirt” he quipped.

Riley frowned a little.

“You’re wearing it, Riley” Iker chirped with a laugh “I spent ten minutes looking around your bedroom for it and you’re sat there, wearing it” he added.

Riley glanced down at herself before she shook her head, her cheeks glowing pink. “Sorry” she mumbled “I just...uh...I just picked up the first thing I found. If you want me to go and take it off...” she trailed off as Iker plopped into the seat next to her, quickly cupping her jaw before he guided her into a soft kiss.

Riley froze for a second, a little caught off guard, before she tentatively pulled away, blinking as she looked up at him.

Iker looked down at her, marveling at her dazed expression, before he let out a soft laugh, his thumb tracing the line of her jaw. “You Ok?” he asked.

Riley nodded slowly. “Yeah” she breathed “Just...I don’t know, a little awkward?” she asked more than stated.

Iker quirked a grin, briefly contemplating making a joke about how she was always a little awkward, before he shifted his hand away from her jaw, gently tucking a few loose waves of hair behind her ear. “There’s no need to be” he murmured tenderly.

Riley smiled gently. “I know” she mused “Never usually stops me, though” she added.

Iker just leant forwards, kissing her temple softly.

Riley closed her eyes at his touch, relishing it for a few seconds, before she pulled away, pushing herself up to her feet.

“What are you doing?” Iker asked, watching as she ducked out into the hall.

Riley reappeared a matter of seconds later, her hand holding the gift bag that he’d left next to the front door the night before. “I never got around to opening these last night” she announced.

Iker smirked. “You were otherwise occupied” he quipped impishly.

Riley offered him a mock glare before she sat back down, settling the bag on the coffee table ahead of them before she pulled out one of the gifts inside.

Iker watched her lift the gift into her lap before he gently reached out, stopping her hand before she had the chance to tear at the wrapping paper. “Just bear in mind I only had a week to think, OK?” he noted softly.

Riley’s forehead furrowed a little. “What?” she asked.

“They’re probably not going to be the most exciting things you’ve ever gotten” Iker clarified “I mean, I imagine that whatever you got from your parents, your siblings, your friends...I imagine it’s all a lot more exciting than what I got for you” he added, his voice soft and uncertain.

He had tried, from the moment that Marisol had let slip of when Riley’s birthday was, he had spent a lot of time trying to come up with an idea for what to buy for her, and whilst he had bought a few things, he didn’t want to get her hopes up. They were little things, safe things that he’d been sure that she would at least like, and he didn’t want her to be disappointed by them. He was sure that, if he had had more time, he could have come up with something better.

Riley looked up at him for a second before she gently cupped his face, a soft smile on her lips. “I don’t care what it is” she murmured “It’s from you, isn’t it?” she added.

“You’ve not seen it yet” Iker replied, a bashful smile on his face.

Riley laughed gently. “I still don’t care” she murmured “Dinner last night...after dinner last night...that was...” she stumbled out, her cheeks glowing pink.

Iker smiled gently before he dipped his hand, kissing her palm gently. “Go on” he mumbled, pulling his hand away from the gift in her lap.

Riley flashed him a quick grin before she turned her attention downwards, tearing at the paper for a couple of seconds before she pulled out the contents. Tossing the paper on the floor, she held onto the bundle of material before she unfolded it, grinning brightly. “You bought me blanket?” she asked.

Iker nodded. “You’re always cold” he quipped “And I thought you could keep it out here. It’s personalized too” he added, showing off the corner of the blanket which had been embroidered with her name.

Riley grinned, gently brushing the soft material against her chin. “I love this” she gushed.

Iker quirked an eyebrow. “Really?” he prodded.

Riley, who’d moved to settle the blanket over both of their laps, nodded before she leant forwards, taking out another gift from the bag. Tearing at the paper, she discarded it onto the floor before she held up the new tea mug that he’d bought for her.

“That’s a strange one” Iker quipped “I mean, I’m giving it to you here, but I thought...maybe...that it could be something we keep at my place. I mean, you do spend time there, and I thought...I don’t know, now I am saying it, it sounds stupid” he added, shaking his head.

Riley, who’d been tracing the inscription on the mug which read ‘two sugars, too much milk’, shook her head. “It doesn’t sound stupid” she mused.


“It doesn’t” Riley interrupted “I think it’s sweet” she added.

Iker smiled bashfully, but didn’t say anything else, instead opting to lean forwards, collecting the last gift from inside the bag. Handing it over to Riley, he leant back into his seat and watched her pull it open, his smile widening a little as her face lit up. It was a sight he was sure he’d never find himself tired of.

Riley caught his wide smile out of the corner of her eye before she shook her head, staring down at the piece of paper in her lap. “You bought me a painting class?” she asked.

Iker shook his head. “I bought us a painting class” he corrected “They do date nights for couples and I thought...” he trailed off, shrugging nonchalantly.

Riley laughed gently before she turned, pressing a soft kiss against his lips. “Gracias” she murmured between little kisses.

Iker shook his head. “I know that they’re not the best...”

“I love them” Riley interrupted softly “Really, Iker. They’re lovely” she added with a soft smile.

Iker glanced at her before he quirked a bashful smile, something which encouraged Riley to steal another soft kiss, a kiss Iker was more than happy to return, glad that he had gotten things right.
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Thanks to FootieJo, mslou1 and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)