Until The Sunshine Fades

Seventeen

Hearing the vibration of her phone inside of her jacket pocket, Isabella let out a soft sigh, trying her hardest to ignore it. She knew who it was going to be. With her having curtailed their date early the previous night, she had been anticipating a message or a call from Gerard at some point, playfully checking in and making sure that things between then were still alright in the light of day, and as much as she wanted to answer it, she knew that she didn’t have the time. She liked talking to him. Quick phone calls between the two of them had always had a habit of getting out of hand, and she had no doubt that that one would be the same. They had a lot to talk about and it wasn’t a conversation that Isabella wanted to rush through before she headed into a meeting.

Trying to refocus on the screen ahead of her, she rubbed at her collarbone, trying to alleviate the small knot of worry that lingered in the pit of her stomach. She knew that things had gone well. When Gerard had dropped her off at home, he had done so with a soft smile and another soft kiss, but still she was nervous about what it would be like when they saw each other again.

It’d been easy to get swept away. Despite them both knowing that it was a date, it’d felt as easy as it normally did when they spent time together, and before Isabella had known what was happening, they’d kissed and there was no taking it back, something which made her slightly anxious. She didn’t regret it. The moment had felt right, but she worried that it was the first step across the line that separated their friendship and a relationship, and it worried her. The idea that they could ruin their friendship was likely to be something that worried her for a long time.

Hearing the phone vibrate again, Isabella swivelled in her seat, staring at her jacket for a long moment before she finally stood up, pulling the phone out of her pocket. Turning it over in her hand, she pressed the home button before she rolled her eyes, laughing gently at the text that Gerard had sent to her, playfully warning her that if she tried to ignore all of his calls, he’d just show up at her office instead. Shaking her head, she started to type a reply before she heard a knock at her office door. “Come in” she called, pressing send on her text.

“Meeting starts in five, Izzy” Lucas, one of Isabella’s colleagues, announced, poking his head around the door.

“I’m on my way” Isabella replied “Do you have any idea what this is about? I know we have a lot of meetings, but this seems early” she added.

Lucas’s lips quirked slightly. “Late night?” he posed.

Isabella smirked before she turned back towards her desk, hoping to hide her pink cheeks. “Wouldn’t you like to know?” she prodded.

Lucas shook his head, smiling amusedly. “As much as I would love to hear about it, we do need to go” he quipped “Rumour has it that this is a pretty important meeting” he added.

Isabella nodded before she followed him towards the door, a faint smile pulling up the corner of her mouth when she felt her phone vibrate in her hand.

~#~
“Izzy, you’ve got a visitor”

Isabella, who was staring at the screen of her computer, flinched at the sound of the receptionist’s voice before she lifted her head, frowning slightly. “Huh?” she spluttered.

“A visitor” The receptionist repeated “He said you were expecting him” she added.

Isabella thought for a moment, briefly wondering if she had made an appointment that she had forgotten about, before she sighed. “I don’t remember having a meeting scheduled, but send him through anyway. I probably made it and just forgot” she said, offering the receptionist an exhausted smile.

The receptionist smiled back before she disappeared, allowing Isabella to settle her head against her desk, trying in vain to stifle a yawn. She was exhausted. Between an approaching deadline, fretting about things between her and Gerard, and the meeting that morning which had informed her that the company was restructuring, she had a lot on her mind, and she was already exhausted, even if it was barely lunchtime. She could already feel a dull ache forming in her head.

Letting out a soft huff, she sat up in her chair before she let out a surprised squeak, her stare landing on Gerard who stood on the other side of her desk, an amused grin tugging up one corner of his mouth. “Rough day?” he quipped impishly.

Isabella just blinked at him, something which caused Gerard to chuckle softly before he stepped slightly closer, smoothing a wayward strand of her hair off of her face. “You look surprised” he quipped.

“You were joking” Isabella countered “I know you were” she added.

Gerard’s lips quirked a little. He could hear just how surprised she was in her voice. “I was” he confirmed “But, I did happen to be nearby, so I thought I’d drop in, see if you were free for lunch. I can go if you want me to” he added, his voice softening slightly in nervousness.

It wasn’t a first. In the time that they had known each other, he had dropped by her office on a handful of occasions, but it felt like it was a bigger deal in light of the previous night. He knew that Isabella was apprehensive. He knew that she worried about things changing too much, too quickly between the two of them, and he didn’t want to push his luck, even if he did like the idea of their relationship progressing. He knew that Isabella was going to want to be careful, and that meant he was going to have to adjust to going at her pace.

Isabella’s wary expression softened, transforming into a small, shy smile. “Lunch sounds good” she admitted “It’s already been a long day” she added, letting out a tired laugh.

“Has it been bad?” Gerard asked concernedly.

Isabella shrugged tiredly. “It’s not been good” she replied.

“That doesn’t exactly answer my question” Gerard quipped, his tone caught between teasing and worried.

“I’ve just got a lot on my mind” Isabella clarified as she stood up “But, I’d rather not talk about it right now. Can you find other stuff to talk about at lunch?” she asked as she stepped towards him, her arms gently wrapping around his waist.

Gerard didn’t hesitate to wrap his arms around her, more than happy to hug her if that was what she wanted. Quirking a small smile, he dipped down, kissing the top of her head lightly before he nodded. “I think I can probably handle that” he quipped.

Isabella’s arms tightened around him slightly, a soft smile brightening her face. “Thank you” she mumbled.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)