When We Were

Ninety One: Early Is Good

“You’re late”

Emilia, who’d just settled down against the headboard of her bed, rolled her eyes, grinning at Lionel’s face which filled the screen of her laptop. “I’m not late” she replied “I said I’d call at around this time, and that’s when I called. You can’t just say hello?” she prodded playfully. It had been a couple of days since they’d been face to face, with Luca’s school holidays having started before Lionel’s last match before the winter break, Emilia and the children flown home ahead of him, and that evening was the first opportunity she had had to video call him, something which made her smile, reminding her of how things had been when their relationship had started. At the time she had dreaded video calls, they were a reminder of how far apart she and Lionel were, and of how difficult it would be for them to make things work in the long term, but in retrospect, she had loved them. They had been infrequent, the two of them had been awful at making arrangements, but they had also been a lot of fun.

Lionel offered her a playful smile, lifting one shoulder in a lazy shrug.

Emilia laughed. “I’m sorry” she quipped playfully “Maisie didn’t go down easily. I think she’s missing you” she added, her voice softening a little.

Lionel’s smile grew softer too. “Well, she’ll see me in a couple of days” he mused “The game’s on Saturday night and my flight is on Sunday morning. I’ll be with you before you know it” he added.

Emilia nodded, gently tucking her hair behind her ear. “I can’t wait” she mused softly “I kind of miss you” she added.

“Kind of?” Lionel prodded.

Emilia’s shrug was gentle but playful. “I might like being around you” she quipped “And when I am not, I might miss it. I’ve got attached to you in the last couple of years” she added.

Lionel laughed, shaking his head slightly. “I love you too” he quipped.

Emilia smiled at him, allowing a beat of silence to pass between the two of them, before she cleared her throat a little. “I met up with Lara this morning” she noted.

Lionel tilted his head. “Our wedding planner?” he prodded.

“Why else would I mention it?” Emilia shot back impishly.

“You might have a friend named Lara that I forgot about” Lionel defended, holding his hands up innocently “You know how useless I can be when it comes to your friends” he added.

“I was talking about our wedding planner” Emilia mused “She wanted me to look over a sample of the invitation we worked up. I said I would show it to you, but she thinks she can start sending them out next week if all is alright” she added, trying, and failing, to keep the little smile away from the corner of her mouth. The idea that they were in a position to start sending out their wedding invitations was something which had her more than slightly excited.

Lionel blinked a couple of times, his dark eyes wide. “Next week?” he breathed “That’s soon” he added.

Emilia didn’t quite catch the awe in his voice. “It’s good to give people a lot of advanced notice” she mused, happily twisting the necklace she wore around in her fingers “We don’t want to leave it too late and have people missing it because they had other plans. I mean, our close family all know when it is, so they won’t double book it, but extended family might and friends. It’s better this way” she insisted.

Lionel just nodded his head.

“I’ll go and find the sample” Emilia gushed before she clambered off of the bed, moving to collect the invite before she sat back down again. Unable to stop her smile, she lifted the piece of paper towards the camera, eagerly showing it off. “It’s beautiful, no?” she asked.

Lionel hesitated, momentarily lost in his own thoughts, before he nodded, a genuine smile lighting up his features. “Yeah” he mused “It is. Have you checked the wording for mistakes?” he asked.

Emilia nodded her head. “I’ve tweaked the main wording a little” she mused “And I made sure that they’d corrected the spelling mistake in my name” she added.

“They spelt your name wrong?” Lionel laughed.

“My middle name” Emilia confirmed “Brynn has two ‘n’s, and they’d only put one” she added.

Lionel’s head tilted to one side. “I didn’t know that was your middle name” he noted.

“Is it something else you forgot about me?” Emilia chirped “Because I definitely know you used to know it. You used to call it a stupid name” she added.

Lionel rolled his eyes, but couldn’t contain his grin. “It must have slipped my mind, then” he quipped.

Emilia rolled her eyes playfully. “It was my grandmother’s name” she mused “My mother’s mother. She died when my mama was pregnant with me, and after a lot of arguments, my parents settled on it being my middle name” she explained.

“Your father and grandmother didn’t get along” Lionel contributed “And he didn’t want to give his little girl the name of a woman who couldn’t stand him, even if she had died” he added.

Emilia’s face lit up with a soft smile. “See?” she quipped “Maybe you didn’t forget everything about me” she added.

“Am I going to have to put up with you making that joke forever when we’re married?” Lionel quipped, playing along.

“What do you think?” Emilia chirped “I’ve made the same joke for almost two and a half years. Does it feel like I am going to retire it any time soon?” she asked.

Lionel shook his head, laughing gently.

Emilia watched him for a second before she wrinkled her nose, glancing at the camera. “Are you OK if Lara starts sending these out?” she asked, flashing the invitation in front of the camera again “You seemed to hesitate” she added gently.

Lionel smiled at her bashfully. “It might have caught me a little by surprise” he admitted “I mean, it’s December and we’re not getting married until next June, but you’re right. Early is good, just a little…a little overwhelming. It’s one thing to say we’re getting married, Em, but invitations make it a little more…a little more tangible and real” he stumbled out.

“Just wait until you get here” Emilia mused with a shy smile “Lara’s got caterers lined up for taste testing. She’s got a portfolio of photographers that she wants us to choose from. She’s even booked you a preliminary suit fitting” she added.

“Don’t I need to have groomsmen for that?” Lionel asked.

“Your mother’s already got your brothers in line” Emilia replied with a shrug.

Lionel shook his head, an awed laugh tumbling out of his mouth. “I knew I should have listened to Jordi and convinced you to elope” he quipped.

Emilia laughed loudly. “Like my mother would ever let you get away with that” she countered.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)