When We Were

Ninety Six: He Still Gets That Smile On His Face


Emilia, who had her head rested against the car window, blinked a couple of times at the sound of her name before she picked her head up, glancing over at Jordi who was sat a little away from her, regarding her with a slight frown on his face. She knew that she had been quiet. Since Marcella had urged them all into a car, she doubted that she had said two words, and she should have guessed that it would only be a matter of time before someone said something. She should have guessed that it would be Jordi who’d slipped into the car with her and father whilst her mother and children had gone ahead. “Hm?” she asked.

“You doing OK?” Jordi asked.

“You’re being quiet” David added.

“It is Isaac?” Jordi followed up.

Emilia’s lips quirked upwards slightly, both touched by their concern and amused by their expression of it. “I’m fine” she mused.

Jordi’s eyes searched her face, something which made Emilia shake her head, frowning gently down at her lap. “I wasn’t surprised that Isaac was late” she mused “I’ve known him for long enough to know how this was always going to go. I’m annoyed that I am still so upset by it. He’s been playing the same games forever, but I still wanted to believe that he could come through for me, just this one time. I’m sick of him making me look naïve” she added.

“You’re an optimist” David mused “It’s one of your best qualities” he added with a warm, doting smile.

Emilia just shook her head, something which made David take her hand, offering it a soft squeeze. “Luca’s here” he noted “He’s in the car ahead, probably laughing with his abuela, and that’s what’s important today. Isaac wanted to throw a spanner in the works, and if you keep dwelling on him being so…so Isaac, then he will succeed. He wants you waste your day thinking about him, when what you ought to be thinking about is how beautiful you look in that dress, and how Lionel’s jaw will drop when he sees you” he explained.

The ploy was a familiar one, Isaac did something which got Emilia’s focus on him, and away from what she should have been thinking about, and David didn’t want it to spoil that day of all days. It wasn’t about him, no matter many games Isaac played or how many spanners he tried to throw into the works, the day was about Emilia and the man she loved, and David didn’t want it ruined. Emilia, and Lionel, deserved better.

Emilia’s cheeks tinted a soft shade of pink as a little bashful smile tugged at the corner of her lips. “You think his jaw will drop?” she asked.

“It usually does” Jordi quipped “I’ve seen you look like a mess, and he still gets that goofy smile on his face when he looks at you” he added.

Emilia scoffed playfully, shaking her head. “Am I supposed to take that as a compliment?” she asked.

Jordi held his hands up innocently. “I’m just saying, the guy loves you” he quipped.

“Don’t let Isaac ruin this for you” David quipped “You deserve this, Em. You and Lionel” he added.

Emilia quirked a slightly sheepish smile before she nodded her head. “Gracias, papa” she murmured.

David squeezed her hand tightly, right up until they felt the car slow underneath them. Gently untangling their fingers, David pushed the car door open before he climbed out, turning back to gently help Emilia out after him.

“I should get inside” Jordi quipped “I ought to make sure that Leo’s not freaked out too badly. I’ll see you up there, Em?” he asked.

Emilia, who was carefully smoothing out the material of her dress, nodded distractedly, something which made Jordi chuckle before he stepped towards her, gently pressing a kiss against her cheek. “Congratulations, Millie” he mused softly.

Emilia’s nose wrinkled as she looked up at him. “You promised you’d stop calling me that” she quipped.

Jordi just flashed her an impish grin before he made his way inside, allowing Marcella to fill the space in front of Emilia had he had vacated. “My beautiful little girl” she cooed softly, the tears already gathering in her eyes.

Emilia smiled, self-consciously touching her hair. “Do I look OK?” she asked.

Marcella’s laugh was half sob. “Do you look OK?” she squeaked “Honey, you look spectacular” she added.

“Thank you” Emilia whispered.

Marcella pressed a kiss against her forehead. “I love you, sweetheart” she cooed “Congratulations. I am so happy for you, and for Lionel. He’s wonderful, Emmy” she added, offering Emilia a look which finished the thought for her. Lionel was wonderful, and she was so thrilled that it was him that Emilia was marrying, and not Isaac.

Emilia nodded her head in agreement.

“Ella” David said softly “You should get Maisie inside” he added.

Marcella nodded, pressing another kiss against Emilia’s forehead, before she padded inside the church, Maisie settled on her hip.

Emilia watched them head inside before she turned back towards her father, frowning a little when she spotted that Luca was stood in front of him, her bouquet of flowers clutched in his hands. “Mama isn’t taking Luca too?” she asked.

David’s lips quirked upwards slightly. “We had another thought” he quipped “I thought, maybe, he could help me give you away” he added.

Emilia’s expression softened, growing bright with a tender smile. “Really?” she squeaked.

“Really” David confirmed “He’s even practiced, haven’t you, Luca?” he asked, squeezing his grandson’s shoulder gently.

Luca beamed. “Auntie Samia helped” he confirmed “I walk with you, kiss your cheek gently, and then go and sit with grandpa” he explained.

Emilia just let out a little happy squeak before she threw her arms around the two of them, hugging them tightly for a few seconds before the first strains of music reached her ears. Pulling out of the hug, she self-consciously smoothed out her dress before she offered her hands out towards Luca, asking for the flowers that he held. Luca obliged, handing them over to her with a grin. “You look so pretty, mama” he cooed “Like a princess” he added.

Emilia smiled. “Thank you” she mused.

Luca flashed her another bright smile before he followed his grandfather’s lead, his little hand wrapping around one of his mother’s arms whilst she linked her other arm with her father. “Ready?” David asked.

Emilia just nodded, allowing him to lead her forwards. She wasn’t quite sure when she had started to hold her breath, but when she stepped through the doors and spotted Lionel at the top of the aisle, it slipped out of her in a soft gasp, one which was dwarfed by the gasps of the crowd that turned to look at her. Feeling her cheeks warm, she looked down slightly, finding herself reassured by the warm smile that Luca sent up to her. Smiling back at him, she directed her attention back towards the head of the aisle, giggling a little at the awed expression which lit up Lionel’s features.

Reaching the end of the aisle, she felt David detach his arm from hers, before he leant over, kissing her forehead softly. “I love you” he mumbled.

“Love you too, papa” Emilia replied.

David turned, offering Lionel a quick handshake, before he stepped to the side, something Emilia watched until she felt a tug on her arm, causing her to look down at Luca. Smiling, she crouched down slightly, allowing the little boy to touch a kiss to her cheek. “I love you, mama” he whispered.

Emilia’s eyes stung with tears as she smiled back at him. “I love you too, baby” she mused.

Luca grinned, mimicking his grandfather perfectly as he stepped forwards and shook Lionel’s hand, before he stepped to the side, allowing Emilia to take her place in front of Lionel. Feeling her cheeks flush, she flashed him a gentle grin, something he responded to by leaning over, kissing her cheek gently. “You’re late” he whispered playfully.

Emilia nodded her head. “I’ll explain it later” she mused “Let’s get married first” she added.

Lionel grinned back at her. “That’s a wonderful idea” he played along.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)