Until The Sunshine Fades

Three

“Where do these go again?”

Isabella, who was topping off her glass of wine, looked up, quirking a small amused grin when she saw Gerard stood in the middle of the room, turning in a slow circle in an attempt to recall which cupboard held the rest of her plates. He had stayed longer than she had thought he would. Before she had asked for his help, a large part of her had been convinced that he’d run a mile as soon as the request was out of her mouth, but he hadn’t. He’d teased her. Throughout their dinner, he had made a few teasing quips, making fun of her for getting herself into the mess in the first place, but mostly, he had been supportive, and it meant that the knot of tension that she had been battling with since she’d called him to ask for a favour had started to untangle.

“Have you forgotten already?” Isabella quipped “It’s only been a few weeks since you had dinner here” she added.

Gerard offered her an unimpressed look, causing her to giggle into her glass before she lifted her other hand, pointing to a cupboard. Gerard tipped his head in thanks, a slightly sarcastic smile on his face, before he walked over to it, putting the plates inside. After pushing the door closed, he padded over to the island where Isabella sat, resting against it.

Isabella wordlessly slid his empty glass towards her, pouring a splash of wine into it, before she nudged it towards him.

Gerard took a sip from the glass before he set it back down, fixing Isabella with an amused look. “So” he quipped “Have you thought about the story we’re going to tell?” he prodded.

They hadn’t talked about it. After he’d agreed to help, Isabella had been quick to change the subject, focussing on catching up instead of talking about the favour she had asked of him, but he wasn’t prepared to leave without the two of them having at least made an attempt to come up with the story they’d tell her parents. If they went into it without any thought, people would see through the lie immediately and the embarrassment that Isabella was trying to save herself would be made even worse.

Isabella gently tucked her hair behind her ear before she ducked her head, staring into her glass. “I haven’t” she admitted “But, in my defence, I was pretty sure that you were going to say no. I didn’t exactly think through what would happen after I asked and you said you’d help” she added.

“Think about it now” Gerard quipped “Is it going to be a big party?” he asked.

“Probably” Isabella confirmed “But really, the only people you need to be worried about are my parents and my brothers. They’ll be the ones asking the questions” she added.

Gerard nodded his head slowly. “You have two brothers, right?” he asked.

Isabella’s lips quirked, slightly surprised that he had remembered. “I do” she confirmed “One older and one younger” she added.

“What are they called again?” Gerard prodded.

“Alejandro and Unai” Isabella replied “But you’ll need to remember that my father and my older brother share the same name. My father is exclusively Alejandro, but my brother can be Alex or AJ. It depends how he introduces himself. Don’t guess, whichever one you say will be wrong” she added, rolling her eyes slightly.

Gerard let out a laugh. “He sounds fun” he quipped.

“He thinks he’s fun” Isabella huffed out on a laugh “I don’t think anyone actually agrees with him” she added.

Gerard laughed again, something which caused Isabella to look over at him, her eyes studying his face for a moment. “It was a night like this one” she said, the humour fading from her voice slightly.

“What?” Gerard asked, a slightly confused smile on his face.

“The story” Isabella clarified “You said I needed to think about it, so I...I have. It was a night like this one. We’d had dinner like we do sometimes, probably slightly too much wine, and I walked you to the door...”

“But I had noticed you staring at me” Gerard chimed in “Probably because I was staring, too. So I kissed you” he added, his blue eyes meeting hers for a moment before Isabella looked away.

Isabella’s cheeks flushed a soft shade of pink before she nodded. “Do you think people will believe it?” she murmured.

“I think it’ll work” Gerard said, offering her a slightly sheepish smile.

Isabella fiddled with the stem of her wine glass, allowing a brief silence to settle over the two of them before she turned her head slightly, subtly checking the time on the clock which was hung on the wall. “Are sure that you want to help me with this?” she asked as she climbed to her feet, moving to place her glass in the sink.

Gerard smiled, recognising the tactic Isabella used when she wanted him to leave, but was too polite to just say it. Following her to the sink, he placed his glass inside before he took a pace back, making space between them. “Are you prepared to admit to your mother that you were lying?” he asked.

“I really don’t want to do that” Isabella replied “I mean, she’s going to have told people by now. I can only imagine how hilarious my brothers are going to find it. I will never live it down” she added.

“It is funny” Gerard chirped, grinning when Isabella turned to offer him a glare.

“Remind me, why are we friends?” Isabella prodded.

Gerard laughed. “Because if we weren’t, you’d be calling your mother right now to admit that you lied to her” he countered easily.

Isabella smiled, even though she was rolling her eyes at him. “You can still quit” she said “I won’t hold it against you if you do” she added.

“It’s one night” Gerard replied “I can handle one night” he added.

Isabella smiled at him softly, something which caused Gerard to lean over, pressing a kiss against her cheek. “We still need to figure some stuff out, but I really ought to be going now. Goodnight, Izzy” he mused as he pulled away, offering her a last smile.

Isabella lifted a hand, offering him a slightly goofy wave. “I’ll call you” she mused “Goodnight, Gerard” she added.

Gerard mimicked her wave before he left the room, leaving Isabella shaking her head after him.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)