Until The Sunshine Fades

Eight

“I thought you and Dani would have all of this stuff ready by now” Isabella mused from her place on the floor, her forehead creasing as she studied the pamphlet of instructions that was laid out on the floor in front of her.

“We’ve got the most important things ready” Elena replied “Our bedroom is prepared for his arrival, but we wanted to get ahead of the game and set up his nursery. Are you going to help or not?” she prodded, carefully lowering herself onto the floor.

Isabella watched her, making sure that she was alright, before she turned back to the pamphlet, nodding her head. “I’ll help” she mused “Though, I don’t actually know how much help I’ll be. I don’t think these instructions make any kind of sense” she added.

Elena rolled her eyes. “Let me look them over” she said “And whilst I do, you can tell me how your parents’ party went” she added, glancing up at Isabella amusedly.

Isabella settled the pamphlet in Elena’s hand before she shrugged, her stare dropping down towards her lap. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to talk about it. Aside from the moment that she and Gerard had shared and the nagging sensation of guilt that she had felt, everything had gone exactly as Isabella would have wanted, but in the few days that had passed since the party, she hadn’t heard from Gerard, and it bothered her.

They often went periods of time without seeing each other, their schedules often clashed, and Isabella wasn’t surprised that she hadn’t seen him, but she was surprised that he hadn’t at least texted. It had her worried that the conversation that they had had in the back of the taxi hadn’t been enough to make sure that they were alright. She had thought that it was. After the initial awkwardness, Gerard had returned to making jokes like normal, and things had felt OK again, but he hadn’t replied to the texts that she had sent him, and Isabella couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong between them.

“Izzy?”

Isabella blinked a couple of times, breaking out of her thoughts, before she looked over at Elena. “Huh?” she spluttered.

“Are you alright?” Elena asked “Did something happen?” she added.

Isabella thought about shaking her head, about insisting that everything was alright, but she knew that Elena would see through it. Instead, she nervously scratched at her collarbone before she sighed. “The party was fine” she mused “Gerard charmed my parents, like I always expected he would, and aside from the guilt for lying to them, the plan went off perfectly” she added.

“But?” Elena asked.

Isabella smiled ruefully. “How do you know there’s a ‘but’?” she asked.

“It doesn’t matter how I know, it matters that there is one” Elena said “So, what is it?” she asked.

“There was...a moment” Isabella said carefully.

Elena’s eyes widened.

“It’s not a big deal” Isabella insisted, not wanting Elena to have the chance to blow it out of proportion “And we talked about afterwards. He said that we both just got carried away, and I agreed with him, and I thought that things were alright. It was a little awkward at first, but we seemed to have gotten past it, but now he’s not answering my texts and I...I’m worried that things aren’t as alright as I thought they were” she added.

Elena was quiet for a moment, taking in what Isabella had told her, before she nodded her head slowly. “What sort of moment?” she asked.

Isabella’s cheeks flushed a soft shade of pink. “I think we almost kissed” she admitted.

Elena rubbed her back, trying to get comfortable. “And you both think that that was just you getting carried away?” she asked “That it just came about because you’d spent the whole night pretending to be a couple?” she added.

Isabella wanted to say yes immediately, but she couldn’t. Instead, she shrugged. “Gerard thought it was probably that” she mused “And, I guess he’s probably right. I mean, what else would it be?” she added.

Elena shook her head, letting out a soft laugh.

Isabella frowned. “Lena?” she asked.

“How do you feel about it?” Elena mused “And don’t just say it’s not a big deal, or tell me what Gerard said. How do you feel about it, Izzy?” she asked.

Isabella felt her cheeks grow warmer before she lifted her shoulders. “Honestly, I don’t know” she admitted.

“Izzy...”

“I thought we were fine” Isabella interrupted “And as long as we were fine, then I was happy to write it off as just a moment” she added.

“But you might not be fine” Elena noted.

Isabella smiled sadly. “Yeah” she mumbled.

Elena watched her for a moment before she gently reached out, squeezing Isabella’s hand. “Did you want to kiss him?” she asked quietly.

Isabella didn’t react to the question for a long moment. Eventually, she slowly lifted her shoulders in a small shrug. “Honestly?” she murmured “I don’t know. In the moment, I think I did, but afterwards, when I had time to think, I kept thinking about how it would have been a mistake. What we are is safe. I know what we’ve got, how it works, how it’s going to keep working, and I don’t have to worry about complications and figuring out how far we’re going to go. I don’t know that I could risk that” she explained.

Elena’s expression was soft. “Do...do you have feelings for him?” she asked tentatively.

Isabella shrugged again. “I’ve always felt the same way about him” she admitted.

“And how is that?” Elena asked.

Isabella offered her a bashful grin before, again, she shrugged.

Elena squeezed her hand softly, but whatever she had planned to say next was cut off when Isabella’s phone buzzed, causing her to lean back, reaching into the pocket of her jacket which was hung up behind her. Hesitating for a second, she turned the phone over in her hand before she unlocked it, letting out a soft sigh of relief as she read Gerard’s text. “He wants to get dinner” she announced, unable to stop herself from smiling.

Elena nodded, just about biting back the urge to say something about Isabella’s entire face lighting up at the sight of Gerard’s name on the screen of her phone. “Maybe things will be fine” she quipped.

Isabella smiled despite the dip her stomach gave. “Hopefully” she said.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)