There Was You

48: I Just Like You

“Do you want another mug of coffee, Iker?”

Iker, who’d been vacantly staring across the dining table, jumped a little at the sound of Maria’s voice, something which made Riley, who was sat in the chair beside him, snicker a little beneath her breath. It was still early, with Riley having insisted that they make their way towards her parents’ home before eight in the morning, Iker had been forced to get out of bed a lot earlier than he would have liked, and he still hadn’t quite woken himself up yet, something which had gone unnoticed.

Blinking a couple of times, he lifted his head before he offered Maria a small, apologetic smile. “Sorry?” he asked.

“More coffee?” Maria repeated “I mean, I hope you don’t mind me saying, but you don’t exactly look awake yet” she added, leaning over to pour another drink into his mug.

“That’s because he’s not” Riley chirped “He’s not much of a morning person” she added, poking his side teasingly.

Iker scoffed quietly into his drink. “Because you’re usually such a delight first thing in the morning” he quipped playfully.

Riley just flashed him a playful grin, something Iker was quick to mirror before Isaac cleared his throat, pulling their attention towards where he sat at the head of the table. “Are you two done?” he asked “I mean, I only ask because the rest of us wanted to go through to the living room and start opening some presents, but if you two have more flirting you need to do, we’ll wait” he added impishly.

Riley’s cheeks flushed pink, something which caused Iker to snicker amusedly. “I think we’re good, Isaac” he quipped.

Isaac offered the two of them a playfully dubious look before he clapped his hands together, grinning at Matilda who sat next to him, practically bouncing in her seat. “Go on then, Tilly” he quipped, rolling his eyes good-naturedly.

Matilda grinned up at him before she jumped out of her chair, practically sprinting through to the next room with her parents and grandparents on her tail.

“Are you coming?” Riley asked, standing up from her seat.

Iker, who’d moved to take another sip of his drink, nodded. “Of course” he quipped.

Riley nodded before she stepped towards the doorway, stopping when she felt Iker’s hand gently brush against her wrist. Quirking a small smile to herself, she turned around slightly, her grey eyes meeting his darker ones. “Everything Ok?” she asked.

Iker nodded his head quickly, too quickly, something which made Riley shake her head, her fingers gently entwining with his. “You know that they love you, right?” she asked quietly “I mean, I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve told you that. They adore you, Iker, and it’s going to take more than some bad Christmas presents to change it” she joked.

Iker just offered her a look, something which made Riley laugh, gently squeezing his hand. “I didn’t say that they were bad” she quipped “I was just saying, if they were, they’d forgive you” she added.

Iker couldn’t stop himself from laughing, something which made Riley grin triumphantly before she pushed herself up onto her toes, kissing him quickly. “You’ll be fine” she mused “The gifts you got for them... they’re going to love them. I know it” she added gently.

Iker offered her a slightly dubious look before Riley leant up again, kissing him softly.

“Are you two joining or...oh, sorry”

Riley quickly pulled away from Iker, her eyes glancing sheepishly back at her father who’d stopped in the doorway behind them, his gaze averted to the floor. “Sorry, papa” she mumbled.

Isaac shook his head, a grin tugging at the corner of his lips. “I...I should have guessed what the holdup was” he stumbled out “I mean, I remember when I first got with your mama, Riley, I couldn’t keep my hands off of her. One time, when we were over at your grandfather’s house, we snuck away and...”

“Papa!” Riley interjected, her nose wrinkling slightly.

Isaac chuckled. “Sorry” he quipped “Now, come on. Tilly’s desperate to get started” he added, walking back into the living room.

Riley watched him go before she moved to follow, stopping only to offer Iker’s hand another small, reassuring squeeze before she padded into the living room, plopping down onto the floor beside the couch.

Iker trailed after her, hesitating for a second, before he shuffled into the spot next to Riley, something which caused the brunette to reach her hand out, settling it on his knee comfortingly.

Drying his hands on a towel, Iker let out a soft sigh, his back coming to rest against the kitchen counter. It’d been a long day, even despite Riley’s warnings that her family would be a little overexcited, they’d still managed to take Iker by surprise, and whilst he had enjoyed himself, he was grateful for a couple of seconds to himself, something he was almost certain he hadn’t had since he’d sleepily made his way to their front door that morning. Reaching a hand up, he scratched his jaw gently as a yawn fell out of his mouth.

“You should have taken the nap”

Iker smirked to himself before he glanced towards the doorway, his eyes landing on Riley. “I should have” he noted “I just thought your mother would think I was being rude” he added.

Riley laughed. “Jonah’s in the living room snoring now” she countered “I think she’d have been Ok with it” she added.

Iker breathed out a little laugh before he shook his head, allowing a couple of beats of silence to pass between the two of them.

Riley watched him for a moment before she stepped a little deeper into the room, stopping a couple of paces ahead of him. “Are you Ok?” she asked gently.

Iker, who’d been staring down at his feet, looked up again. “Yeah” he quipped “Why wouldn’t I be?” he added.

Riley shrugged. “You just seem quiet” she mused.

Iker shook his head. “I’m just tired” he noted “I mean, in case you’d forgotten, you did drag me out of bed before seven this morning” he added playfully.

Riley scoffed playfully. “You poor man” she teased.

Iker laughed gently.

“Seriously” Riley noted after a moment of quiet “I really hope that today’s not been too much for you. The last thing I need is them scaring you off” she added, her voice caught between soft and teasing.

Iker shook his head. “That’s not happening” he quipped “I mean, yeah, I would have liked to sleep in, and maybe I could have done without listening to Garrett’s snoring for an hour, but I can live with that. I might be tired, but I loved beating your papa at board games, and the dinner that your mama and sister made...Mia’s a chef, isn’t she?” he asked.

Riley just nodded, a little smile on her lips.

“Well, she’s an excellent one” Iker fussed “And Matilda’s face when she opened that present from your parents? It was adorable” he added.

Riley just smiled at him, something Iker noticed, lifting his eyebrow a little. “You’re smiling at me” he noted.

Riley nodded. “I am” she quipped.

“Why?” Iker prodded.

Riley shrugged. “I just like you” she mused impishly.

Iker opened his mouth to reply, but was stopped as Matilda skittered into the room, quickly grabbing a hold of Riley’s hand. “Come on” she chirped “I want to play” she added.

Riley rolled her eyes playfully. “Auntie duty calls” she mused.

Iker smiled. “I’d not want to get in the way of that” he noted.

“You’ll be through in a minute?” Riley asked.

Iker nodded, something which caused her to flash him a small smile before she allowed Matilda to pull her away.

Iker watched after the two of them for a moment, thinking about the way that Riley had been smiling at him, before he found himself smiling to himself, already picturing going through the same routine the next year.
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Thanks to FootieJo and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)