Author's note: I'll be finishing up "The Moments of Separation" soon. So this is a new story. Its an AU (heavily so) that's based off and inspired by the Hindi film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. I thought it was a scenario that had potential for a Daniel/Betty spin. If anyone's reading, I hope you enjoy it!
Disclaimer: I own nothing. No copyright infringement is intended. I'm just borrowing these characters for a creative exercise.
Sunlight streamed in through the venetian blinds bathing the figure sprawled across the rumpled bed sheets in a natural glow. The chords of a guitar drifted through the small New York apartment.
Betty lazily opened one eye and smiled at the sound of Jesse practicing. In other things he might be a little laid back, lazy even, but in his music he was nothing if not a perfectionist.
Sitting up in the bed, Betty pulled on Jesse's discarded t-shirt, emblazoned with the name of some band she'd never even heard of, but that he absolutely loved. She padded barefoot into the living room where she knew Jesse would be. He was sitting on the sofa in only his boxers and softly strumming chords, pausing every so often to scribble something down.
"New song?" Betty spoke, alerting him to her presence.
Jesse turned round to face her, his eyes immediately lighting up.
"Hey beautiful," He smiled, getting up to give her a lingering kiss. "I didn't mean to wake you."
"Don't be sorry," Betty shrugged, smiling back at him, "I love it when you play. I just hope I'm not disturbing you."
"Never babe," Jesse gave her another kiss. "Come on, sit down. Let me make you breakfast."
Betty nodded, following him into the kitchen area. That was when she caught sight of the time on his microwave.
"Oh crap!" Betty jumped from the barstool she'd settled on in alarm.
"What's the matter?" Jesse popped his head round the fridge door from where he was getting some eggs.
"I've got to go. My family will be expecting me," Betty dashed off, disappearing back into the bedroom.
"But it's only 8:00. And I know you never emerge earlier than 9:30 on a weekend," He called after her.
"Yeah, but it's my dad's birthday today. We're supposed to have a special family breakfast," Betty called back; it sounded like she was hopping around.
A moment later she re-emerged, dressed in her jeans and bright-coloured blouse from the night before, clutching her bag and sweater in her hands. By this time Jesse had cracked a few eggs into a mixing bowl and was beating them efficiently. He looked so cute and domesticated; sporting genuine bed-head, standing in his boxers barefooted, while he whisked up an omelette for breakfast that Betty almost didn't want to leave him.
But she quickly snapped out of it. If she wasn't at the breakfast, it would raise far too many questions that she wasn't in the mood to deal with yet.
"I'm sorry, I've got to go," Betty gave him an apologetic smile and met him for a quick kiss.
"I know, I know. I just wanted to do something nice for you," He kissed her again. "Will I see you tonight?"
"I can't. The party's tonight."
"With all of high society I'll bet," Jesse teased slightly, "hardly the place for a struggling musician like yours truly."
"Hey," Betty said tenderly, cupping his cheek. "You know I don't care about all that stuff right? I love you. That's the only thing that matters."
"Ditto babe," Jesse smiled and kissed her again. "Now get going. I don't want to get you in trouble."
She gave him a grateful smile and kissed him one last time, promising to call later before she dashed out the door.
Betty managed to sneak back in to the Suarez house easily enough. At times like this she was grateful for her family's Manhattan mansion. With so many wings in the house it made it a lot easier to move around without being noticed. Showered and dressed in a pretty sundress, Betty made her way out to the garden patio where they had decided to have breakfast.
"Someone's cutting it fine," a voice murmured from just behind her. Betty turned to see her heavily pregnant sister, Hilda. The elder Suarez sibling gave her younger sister a knowing smile.
While Hilda knew about her relationship with Jesse, Betty hadn't told her parents yet.
"So," Hilda gave a saucy smile and nudged her little sister, "was he good?"
"Hilda!" Betty squealed in outrage, blushing, "Papi is right outside! We're not talking about this now."
"So we'll be talking about it later then," Hilda arched a carefully sculpted eyebrow, laughing slightly as Betty blushed about five different shades of red.
"Hilda, what are you doing to your sister?" Rosa came out to meet her daughters. She smiled at Betty.
"Come on Elisabetta, we've been waiting on you."
Betty walked arm in arm with her mother. At the breakfast table her brother-in-law, Bobby, and nephew, Justin, were greeting her father. When they'd finished giving him their birthday wishes, she went over to him.
"Mjia! There you are," Ignacio spoke warmly at the sight of his youngest daughter.
Betty hugged her father warmly and kissed his cheek. "Happy Birthday Papi and may you have many more. I love you," She said.
"Thank you mjia," He planted a loving kiss on his daughter's forehead, "I love you too."
"Now come. Let us sit and eat! Your mother didn't go to all this trouble for nothing," Ignacio gestured towards the neatly laid breakfast table.
"Wait till you see what grandma planned for your surprise party!" Justin spoke idly, as he finished pouring himself some orange juice. There was a moment of frozen silence before,
"Justin!" An annoyed chorus rang out from the Suarez women. The young boy slapped a hand over his mouth in self-reproach for what he'd accidentally revealed.
"Honestly," Rosa tutted, "nothing stays in that child's mouth."
"That's because there's already so much in there!"
Justin mock glared while his family made fun of his talkative nature and tendency to blab.
As they all settled down once more, the moment passing, Ignacio turned to his wife.
"A party? You didn't have to go to so much trouble," He said, smiling at her.
Rosa took her husband's hand.
"Of course I did. We love you very much and are so lucky to have you. We wanted to celebrate that."
"I am lucky to have all of you," He spoke warmly. "I don't know what I would do without my family. And my Rosa," Ignacio gazed at his wife lovingly, "you are too good to me. You spoil me."
Ignacio caught his wife's hand and kissed it tenderly.
Betty smiled at her parents. She hoped to have the kind of love that they shared one day. Maybe she would have that with Jesse, she thought, and a smile rose to her face unbidden.
"Who's all coming tonight Grandma?" Justin asked eagerly. "Will there be someone famous?"
The Suarez family was well known in elite New York circles and whenever they held a big function, Justin was always curious to know who would be on the guest list.
"Not really mijo. Just some good friends and close business acquaintances. Although, there is someone coming tonight that might be of interest to you Betty," Rosa glanced at her youngest daughter.
"Really? Who is that Mama?" Betty asked curiously.
"The Meades will be coming tonight," Rosa said, sharing a secretive smile with her husband.
"I've met Mr. and Mrs. Meade plenty of times," Betty said, confused as to why her meeting one of her parents' closest friends again should be any different this time.
"Yes, but Claire and Bradford are bringing someone else with them. Their son has just moved back from California and they are bringing him with to the party. Tonight, ninita, you will meet Daniel Meade."
AN: "Elisabetta" is actually an Italian version of "Elizabeth". While "Isabela" or "Elisabeta" are the Spanish forms of Elizabeth. But I felt "Elisabetta" was closer to "Betty", which is a derivative of "Elizabeth". So I'm using a little creative license here. As far as I know a.k.a. based on various discussion boards on Spanish terms of endearment, "ninita" means little girl.
I know nothing about Spanish though, so any Spanish terms I use are what I've sourced using Google. I'll apologise now for any inaccuracies.