Since I Last Saw You

14: Why Would I Be Thinking About Him?

“So, how is the book coming along?”

Ava, who’d been pouring milk into her tea, rolled her eyes playfully before she glanced up, smirking at the blonde woman who sat at the kitchen table, stirring her own drink. “Can we talk about anything but that?” she asked.

Emma’s lips quirked upwards. “How hard can it be?” she asked “I mean, it’s just writing out your recipes. Are you still missing your deadlines?” she added, her voice light and teasing. It had been a while, after they’d gotten back to Barcelona, chances for Emma and Ava to get together had been few and far between, but with a free morning, Emma had ventured over to Ava’s apartment, wanting to catch up with her friend. They hadn’t known each other long, the two of them had met whilst they’d been away, but once they’d learnt that they both came from the same part of the Spanish city, they’d bonded immediately.

Ava, who was leaning against the kitchen counter, shook her head, swallowing a mouthful of her tea. “I missed one deadline” she quipped “And I’ve made it up, it’s just a little harder than I thought it would be. There a lot of recipes that have already been approved, but I’ve still got to come up with a few to pull it together” she explained.

Emma nodded her head slowly.

Ava smirked a little, sipping on her drink for a few seconds, before she shook her head. “You can ask” she quipped knowingly.

Emma, who’d been nonchalantly twirling the spoon around her cup, looked up, feigning an innocent smile. “Ask what?” she pressed.

Ava arched an amused eyebrow, something which made Emma laugh, shaking her head gently. “Ok” she mused “Maybe I do have a couple of questions” she added.

“I thought so” Ava grumbled playfully.

Emma just grinned impishly for a few seconds before she glanced down at her drink. “The guy that you’re seeing” she noted “He’s the guy from before you left?” she asked.

Ava nodded. “Leo” she confirmed.

“And how is it?” Emma asked gently.

Ava sipped on her drink again, mulling over the question for a few seconds before she sheepishly shrugged her shoulder, not quite sure what to say. There was no denying that things between them felt better, from how awkward she and Lionel had been when they’d first gone out to dinner, they’d come on leaps and bounds, but whilst they had made progress, things still felt tentative and uncertain, something which made Ava unsure of how well things were going. She liked spending time with him, she knew that she did, but equally she felt hesitant, not wanting to just run back into things with him.

Allowing a mouthful of tea to linger, she mulled over Emma’s question for a moment longer before she sighed. “It feels like it could be getting somewhere” she admitted carefully “I mean, I took him with me to my papa’s birthday party last week so that he could meet my parents, which was a pretty big deal...”

“A pretty big deal?” Emma scoffed amusedly.

Ava just shook her head, smiling shyly. “I wanted to do it before” she admitted “But things just...” she trailed off with a little shrug.

Emma nodded her head. “Are we calling him your boyfriend yet?” she asked, her voice caught between teasing and tentative.

Ava glanced down at her cup, shaking her head a little. “Not quite yet” she murmured “I mean, I think...I know that he’s going to be, I want him to be, but...I don’t know, I just don’t feel like it’s quite there yet” she babbled, grimacing a little at how awkwardly she had expressed herself.

“Are you still thinking about Giovanni?” Emma asked.

Ava’s lips quirked upwards into a smirk. “Why would I be thinking about him?” she asked.

“Because he spent almost six months flirting with you” Emma quipped “Because he was pretty gorgeous and smart, and if it hadn’t been for the fact that you and Leo had broken up just before you left, then you would have probably been all over him. I’m just wondering if he’s the reason that you’re hesitating about Leo” she added with a little shrug.

Ava slowly shook her head. “It’s got nothing to do with Giovanni” she replied.

Emma lifted a dubious eyebrow, but didn’t say anything, something which made Ava lift her hand, gently tucking her hair back off of her face. “I like him, Em” she announced “Leo, that is. I just want to take my time and get to know him again, let him get to know me too. Is that such a bad thing?” she asked.

Emma shook her head. “Of course not” she noted “You know how things feel. If you want to take things slowly, then do it, but don’t hesitate for the sake of hesitating. You know that you’re not going anywhere, anytime soon, don’t you?” she added, her lips quirking with a slight knowing smile.

Ava laughed softly, nodding her head. “I know” she confirmed.

Emma grinned. “So” she pressed “When do I get to meet your not-boyfriend?” she added.

Ava scoffed playfully. “You’re going to have to wait until I’ve dropped the ‘not’ in that phrase” she replied “I don’t want you scaring him off” she added.

Emma rolled her eyes. “You let him meet your parents” she pointed out “From what you tell me, they’d have had a better chance of scaring him off than I would” she added.

“He loved them” Ava replied, a small, fond smile curving the corner of her lips upwards “I mean, he was a little nervous when we got there, but he didn’t duck away, even when my parents got drunk and stopped with what little subtly they had been using. He just smiled at their jokes and made conversation...he was amazing, Em” she cooed gently.

Emma was quiet for a second, marveling at the expression on her friend’s face, before she smiled. “He sounds like a keeper” she noted.

Ava shrugged, glancing down at her feet sheepishly as she felt her cheeks warm up. “I told you, I like him” she muttered.

Emma grinned. “Giovanni never stood a chance, did he?” she asked.

Ava just shifted on the spot, tucking her hair off of her face again, something which made Emma grin, knowing that she was right.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)