There Was You

09: I Actually Expected Worse

“Iker, shirt”

Iker, who’d been staring at Marisol, blinked a couple of times at the sound of Riley’s voice before he glanced at her, his forehead furrowing slightly. It had been a long few seconds, after Marisol had stepped into the hall, both Iker and Riley had fallen quiet, not quite certain what to say, and it meant that the blonde had merely stood there, looking between the two of them with an amused smirk on her face as they both attempted to avoid one another’s looks, something he knew had instantly made Riley anxious. They had both been trying to avoid it, despite their relationship only being a friendship, neither one of them had been overly keen to share it with Marisol or Nuno, and Iker knew the look on Marisol’s face was bad news for them, even if they weren’t trying to hide anything. He knew from her smirk alone what conclusion she had immediately jumped to.

“Huh?” he spluttered.

“You’re not wearing your shirt” Marisol chirped “I think Riley’s trying to tell you to put it back on” she added with a smirk.

Iker spluttered a little, his cheeks flushing a bright shade of pink, before he pulled his stained t-shirt back over his head, something which made Marisol giggle, her eyes still flitting between the two of them. “So” she mused “How long’s this been going on?” she added.

Riley, whose eyes were fixed on her feet, shook her head. “Marisol” she warned softly.

“What?” Marisol chirped innocently “You can’t expect me not to ask questions, Ry. I didn’t even know you two knew each other, let alone that you were sleeping together” she added with an amused look.

Riley’s head whipped up, her cheeks burning red. “Marisol!” she exclaimed “We’re not...that’s not...” she spluttered.

“We’re not sleeping together” Iker finished for her.

Marisol quirked an eyebrow dubiously. “Then what is going on?” she asked.

“Nothing” Riley replied quickly “We just...we were getting coffee and I spilt my drink on his shirt. I bought him back here to replace it, that’s all. It was the least that I could do” she added quietly, sparing a brief timid glance towards Iker.

Iker caught her look and quirked a small smile in return, something which caused Riley to shake her head, shyly pushing her hair off of her face.

Marisol watched the two of them for a second, not missing the slight way in which Riley’s expression softened when she looked at Iker, before she shook her head, smiling a little. “So you’re dating?” she pressed.

Riley fought the urge to groan before she shook her head. “No” she mused “We’re not” she added.

“We’re just friends” Iker contributed gently “We’ve been spending some time together recently, but that’s all it is” he added.

Marisol furrowed her forehead slightly. “Why?” she asked.

“Marisol” Riley warned softly.

“What?” Marisol prodded “I was just asking why that is all it is. I don’t see the problem with that. I mean, you two have seen one another, right? Could you imagine how adorable you’d be?” she asked, focusing her attention on Riley.

Riley just shook her head at her friend’s question, something which caused Marisol to turn, looking up at Iker.

Iker held her stare for a second, mulling over the question, before he shook his head, offering a little shrug. “It’s just what it is, Marisol” he quipped “We’ve been hanging out some, but that’s all it is. You’ve got yourself a remarkable best friend” he added, sparing another quick look towards Riley whose lips quirked upwards ever so slightly.

Marisol smiled a little, looking between the two of them once more, before she cleared her throat. “I should...” she trailed off, stepping back towards the front door.

“Didn’t you have something you wanted to show me?” Riley asked.

“It can wait” Marisol quipped “I didn’t realize that you had company” she added with a slight smirk towards Iker.

Riley rolled her eyes and stepped around Marisol, pulling the front door open. “Goodnight, Marisol” she mumbled.

Marisol grinned before she stepped towards the door. “Goodnight, Ry” she quipped “And goodnight, Iker” she added before she left the apartment.

Riley pushed the front door closed after her before she leant her head against it, letting out a quiet sigh. “I’m so sorry about that” she mumbled.

Iker, who’d been shifting his feet slightly, quirked a small smile before he shrugged. “I actually expected worse” he quipped.

Riley scoffed, turning around to look at him. “Really?” she asked.

“I wasn’t wearing a shirt when she showed up, Riley” Iker pointed out “I expected a lot more squealing” he joked, wanting to keep the mood light.

He knew that Riley was embarrassed, the soft redness that had yet to fade from her cheeks as well as her attempts to stop Marisol from talking confided it, but he wanted her to know that there was nothing to be embarrassed about. He had been expecting it, sooner or later, Marisol and Nuno were going to find out that they were spending time together, and Marisol’s reaction, whilst it had been to jump straight to the conclusion that he and Riley were sleeping together, it had been better than he had been anticipating.

Riley laughed despite herself. “She’s probably saving that for me the next time I see her” she replied.

Iker laughed gently before a brief silence settled between them, something Riley broke when she spoke softly. “You know that I wasn’t trying to keep this a secret, right?” she asked “I mean, it’s’s not anything that needs to be kept a secret, but I hadn’t told Marisol, and I hope that you don’t think that I was trying to hide it. I’m not...I like spending time with you, Iker, and I didn’ silly as it sounds, I didn’t, and I still don’t want to start...I like it when it’s just the two of us” she stumbled out shyly.

Iker was quiet for a moment, allowing her words to hang in the air, before he stepped towards her, hesitantly lifting a hand so that he could push a loose wave of dark hair back off of her face and behind her ear. “I like it too” he mumbled before he lifted his eyes, briefly meeting Riley’s grey ones before he dropped his hand, taking a step back with a bashful laugh.

Riley felt her cheeks warm up again as his touch slipped away from her, something which caused her to shake her head gently, trying to ignore the little jump her stomach gave. “I’ll show you where to find that t-shirt” she mused.

Iker just nodded his head, watching her step past him before he followed her into the bedroom, lingering in the doorway as she stepped towards her dresser. Leaning against the doorframe, he watched her rifle through a drawer before she stood up, a navy blue t-shirt clutched in her hands. “It should fit” she mused “If anything, it’ll probably be a little big on you” she added as she stuck her hand out, offering it to him.

Iker took it with a thankful smile.

“You can use the room to change” Riley mumbled as she stepped past him, her body just brushing against his as he stepped out of the doorway and into the room. Shaking her head, she padded out into the hall before she made her way through towards the living room plopping down onto the couch with a soft sigh.

She wasn’t surprised by what Marisol had suggested, if she had walked in on what her friend had, she was certain that she would have jumped to the same conclusion, but it made her think of things that she had tried to avoid thinking about. She knew that Iker’s primary interest in her wasn’t romantic, since they’d started to spend time together, he had been more than content in just spending time with her and had never given any indication that he wanted more than that, but still Riley couldn’t help but wonder if it was something he was interested in, something which was likely to change things between them.

She wasn’t ready for it, despite over a month having passed since things between her and Ben had ended, she knew that she was nowhere near over it and probably wouldn’t be for a while longer, and she didn’t want to lead Iker on if it was going to take too long. The last thing she wanted was him waiting on her when she couldn’t give him any kind of timescale.

Closing her eyes, she attempted to swallow the little lump that had grown in her throat before she heard Iker sit down at her side, something which caused her to look up, her expression immediately softening as she caught sight of his warm smile. “So” he quipped “We should go and get that coffee, no?” he prodded.

Riley just smiled at him, not quite sure what she ought to do next.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony, Brittt, FootieJo and Jayme112234 for the comments :)