All Over Again

02

“Isabel?”

Isabel blinked slowly, taking another half step backwards as Asier turned around, his slightly confused expression clearing into a lopsided smile that fell away just as quickly when he saw that Isabel was staring past him and at Sergio. Opening and closing his mouth a couple of times, Asier placed a gentle hand on Isabel’s shoulder, coaxing her attention towards him. “You’re early” he said gently.

Isabel wanted to smile. She wanted to make a joke about her brother not being happy to see her after so long apart, but as hard as Asier was trying to keep her attention on him, she couldn’t just pretend that Sergio wasn’t sat behind him. She wanted to. She wanted to greet her brother, and ignore the fact that her ex was sat behind him, staring at her like he couldn’t quite believe that she was real, but it wasn’t possible. As soon as she had met his eyes, she had been transported back to that morning in his bedroom and she knew that the expression on her face had given it away. Asier’s sympathetic smile spoke volumes.

Ducking her head, she nervously pushed a curl of hair behind her ear before she cleared her throat. “Our father sent me over” she said, trying her hardest to keep her voice as neutral as she could “He said you’d only come over here to get a bottle of wine, but that was about ten minutes ago. He wanted to know what was keeping you” she added.

Asier rolled his eyes, forcing out a laugh in an attempt to diffuse the tension. “It’s barely been five minutes” he said “And I was just sorting out some business. I was supposed to be back before you showed up” he added.

“I’m sorry for being punctual” Isabel quipped, attempting a small smile.

Asier’s expression grew soft again when her smile faltered, but Isabel didn’t give him a chance to say anything. “I’m going back to our parents” she said “Get over there as soon as you can, and bring a nice bottle with you. You owe me” she added before she turned and walked away.

Sergio went to say something, but stopped himself when Asier shook his head, a warning look on his face. It had taken him a few minutes to process that he was actually looking at Isabel. When he had spotted her over Asier’s shoulder, he had been convinced that he was just imagining things, even when Asier had greeted her, he still hadn’t quite believed it, but when he had finally realised that she was really there, words had failed him. There was nothing he could have said that would have changed the fact that Isabel’s last memory of him was from the morning that she had left, and the last thing he’d uttered to her was a lie.

“She’s moved back to the city” Asier murmured “That’s why we’re having dinner” he added.

“She’s moved back?” Sergio asked “What happened to the job?” he added.

Asier shook his head, glancing up from the seat chart he was studying. “I am not telling you that” he said “Other than telling you to just...just leave her alone, I am not going to talk about my sister with you again. All you need to know is that she is back in town, and I am telling you to just leave her alone. OK?” he asked.

Sergio nodded his head wordlessly, something which made Asier nod firmly before he excused himself, walking across the room to greet his parents. Sergio watched them for a moment before his eyes settled on the back of Isabel’s head, a soft sigh falling out of his mouth. Shaking his head, he dragged his stare away, trying not to think about how he would have changed the last time they’d seen one another. He had already spent too long thinking about what had gone wrong, and what he would’ve done to fix it.

~#~
“Did you order a bottle of wine?”

Isabel was aware of the eyes on the back of her head, but she didn’t make a move to glance back, opting instead of focus on Asier as he swanned up to the table, brandishing a bottle of red wine in his hands. Part of her was tempted to glance back. Part of he wanted to see the look that she had left on Sergio’s face, but she willed herself not to. It didn’t matter. Whatever had been between her and Sergio had died on the day she had left Madrid, his rejection still ringing in her ears, and it wasn’t going to change, not if she could help it.

Hopping out of her seat, she greeted him with an enthusiastic hug before she pulled back, gesturing to Parker who’d stood up next to her. “This is Parker” she mused “I believe I have mentioned him” she added impishly.

“You don’t stop mentioning him” Asier teased back.

“Really?” Parker chirped, his voice caught somewhere between playful and a little surprised.

“Really” Asier confirmed “It’s good to finally meet you. Now, order anything on the menu. It’s on the house, which basically means it is on me” he added.

Parker laughed, shaking Asier’s hand enthusiastically, before he sat down again, perusing the menu as he chatted with Alma and Eric happily.

Isabel settled into her seat, watching Parker for a few moments, before she felt a nudge against her side, something which caused her to turn, glancing up at Asier. “Everything alright?” she asked quietly.

Asier’s lips quirked into a rueful smile. “I was about to ask you that” he quipped “I mean, seeing Sergio...”

“I’m fine” Isabel interrupted gently.

“Izzy” Asier protested.

Isabel resolutely shook her head, a smile fixed on her face that, as hard as she tried, didn’t quite reach her eyes. “I’m really fine” she insisted “I promise” she added.

Asier wanted to press, but he was denied the chance when Parker caught Isabel’s attention, pulling her into the conversation that he was having with their parents. Settling into his seat, he watched Isabel with Parker for a few moments, smiling slightly as he watched her grin at something Parker had said, before his stare drifted past her, settling on Sergio’s back. He didn’t know why. Isabel had insisted for over a year that she was over Sergio, and he had already warned the defender away from his sister, but he had a feeling that they were far from finished, something he was almost certain was only going to end with someone getting hurt.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)