Slow Dancing in the Darkness

10: Like Papa Did

Trailing a finger over Gabriela’s face, Lionel smiled a little, admiring just how beautiful she looked as she slept. It had been a little unexpected, Lionel hadn’t envisaged that she would spend the night when they had gone to the park with Noah and Thiago, but he was glad that she had, even if it had come as a result of her crying and ranting about her ex, Lionel didn’t regret what had happened for a second. He was under no illusions, from the way that Gabriela spoke about Elliot, the other man was going to cause them a problem down the line, but he didn’t want to think about it then. All he wanted to think about was the beautiful girl who was sleeping happily at his side. Running his finger over her skin, he leant over and pressed a light kiss to her cheek before he padded towards the bedroom door, slowly closing it behind his as he made his way into the living room.


The argentine paused for a moment before he peeked down, his brown eyes mirroring Noah’s which stared up at him, a concerned expression on his face. “Noah” he replied “What can I do for you this morning?” he posed, crouching down to the four-year-old’s height.

“Where is my mama?” Noah posed, his lips quirking a little frown.

“She’s still sleeping in my room” Lionel replied softly “But I can fix you some breakfast and then hopefully she will be up” he added, offering the toddler a smile. He knew that he wasn’t comfortable, Gabriela had explained that Noah wasn’t good in strange situations, but he wanted to make an effort with the little boy. He was key to things working out between Lionel and Gabriela and the argentine was acutely aware that if the little boy changed his mind about him then things with Gabriela would be over as quickly as they had started. Noah shifted a little, offering the argentine an unsure look before he nodded his head, earning another smile for Lionel. “Alright then, what would you like? I have all sorts, including a chocolate cereal that Thiago loves” he grinned, leading Noah into the kitchen where he helped him up onto a stool beside the counter.

Noah looked around for a moment before he turned back to Lionel. “Do you have eggs?” he posed.

“Eggs?” Lionel posed.

Noah nodded his head. “Mama cooks them in the shells and gives me toast to dip into the yellow bit” he explained.

“I think I can manage that” Lionel smiled fondly before he padded towards the fridge, collecting a carton of eggs.

“Why is my mama in your room?” Noah posed, chewing on the side of his lips gently.

Lionel stilled for a second, a little caught off guard, before he turned back to the little boy. “Because she stayed in my bed with me last night” he explained as softly and as simply as he could. He doubted that Noah would understand, he was only little, but he didn’t want to lie to him. Elliot had done enough of that for a lifetime.

“Why did she do that?” Noah poked, kicking his feet a little.

“Because we’re very good friends” Lionel replied simply “Noah, your mama and I like one another very much and that means that sometimes, she will sleep in my room with me. We’re going to see a lot of each other, me, your madre and you, and I want you to understand that I like her a lot” he explained, levelling his eyes with Noah’s.

Noah nodded. “Will you make her cry like papi did?” he posed, his voice shaking in a way that felt like a punch to the stomach to Lionel. He didn’t quite know how aware Noah was of the tension which was clearly evident between his parents. “Papi made her cry a lot when I was little. Him and Elena” the little boy rambled “Will you make her cry?” he posed, looking up at Lionel.

The footballer blinked for a second. “You knew that it was your papi that made your madre cry?” he posed.

Noah nodded. “He did something called sex with Elena. It made mama very sad” he replied innocently.

Lionel smiled. “I won’t make her cry, Noah” he promised gently “I want to make you and your madre very happy and I think that I could. Do you think you could give me a chance to do that?” he posed.

Noah nodded. “I like you” he admitted softly “You’re nice and make mama smile. I like her smile” he enthused.

Lionel smiled. “I am glad you like me, Noah” he enthused before he padded back towards the island, preparing the eggs to boil. Noah watched him for a second before the sound of the bedroom door opening reached his ears, causing him to scoot off of the stool and run towards it, his little arms quickly wrapping around Gabriela’s waist.

“What are you doing up, little one?” Gabriela quipped as she padded into the kitchen, Noah on her hip.

“I woke up” Noah replied simply “Lionel’s making breakfast” he added.

Gabriela nodded her head. “And what is he making?” she posed, offering Lionel a smile which he quickly returned.

“Eggs” Noah grinned.

Gabriela smiled. “That sounds lovely, Noah. Why don’t you go and put on some cartoons and we’ll bring them through in a little bit OK?” she noted, settling him on his feet. Noah grinned and padded away, leaving his mother alone with her boyfriend. “I am sorry that you were alone with him” she commented.

Lionel shook his head. “He’s a wonderful boy, Gabby” he enthused “And we had a very nice chat. He seems to be OK with the idea of us” he explained.

Gabriela tilted her head. “You told my 4 year old son that we’re dating?” she posed.

“No, I told him that I liked you, that you liked me, and that we’re probably going to see a lot of each other. He’s intuitive, Gabby, very much so, and I think him and I are going to be OK” he explained, stepping towards her so that he could give her a good morning kiss. Gabriela smiled into it before she leaned back, her blue eyes searching his face briefly. Lionel smiled. “We’re good, Gabby” he assured her, kissing her lightly again “Really good” he grinned.