Slow Dancing in the Darkness

14: I’m Not Yours Now

“Gabriela” Elliot smiled gently as he stood at his ex-wife’s door. He was early, he hadn’t been meant to collect Noah for another hour, but with his curiosity peeked, he couldn’t resist the shot to talk to Gabriela alone. He knew that it shouldn’t have bothered him, he and Gabriela had been divorced for almost two years, but the notion that she had found someone to move on with irked him. He knew that he didn’t have a right to be upset, it had been his fault that their marriage had failed and his fault that Gabriela had filed for divorce, but it didn’t mean that he was alright with the idea of her finding someone new, especially since it meant that Noah would spend time with another man.

“Elliot” Gabriela replied curtly “I didn’t expect you to show up at all, let alone for you to be early” she commented as she stepped out of the way, allowing her former husband into her apartment.

“I told you that I could take him this weekend” Elliot mused as he stepped over the threshold, his eyes searching the apartment for any sign of the man that Noah had mentioned. It wasn’t the first time, in the two years since their divorce had been finalized, Gabriela had dated more than one man, but each time, Elliot’s reaction was the same. He didn’t want her to move on, he didn’t want her to find someone else, and if it meant that he had to move her around for the rest of her life, then he was more than prepared to do it. He loved her, even if he hadn’t gone the right way about showing it, and he didn’t want her to find someone to replace him.

Gabriela watched him look around the apartment before she rolled her eyes. “He’s not here, Eli” she muttered.

Elliot scoffed. “I wasn’t looking around for him” he defended.

Gabriela nodded. “Of course not” she muttered “I will go and check on Noah. He’s only just out of bed so he might be a little cranky” she mused before she stepped out of the room, making her way towards her son’s room. She was used to it, even despite their divorce, Elliot had always taken a keen interest in her personal life, and she doubted it would stop, even if she told him to. He was a jealous man, he always had been, and Gabriela doubted that a little detail like their divorce would be enough to stop him.

Shaking her head, she gently pushed Noah’s bedroom door open and smiled, her blue eyes noting the shirt that he wore. She knew that he loved it, since Lionel had given it to him, Noah hadn’t wanted to take it off, and she couldn’t help but find it sweet. If she was smitten with the argentine, then Noah was head over heels. “Look at you” she cooed gently as she closed the door behind her, causing the 4 year old to look up at her, a small smile on his face. “You look very sweet, Noah” she mused “But I am going to have to ask you to change. Papi is not going to like that shirt” she mused as she edged towards him slightly. She felt bad for asking, Noah adored his little shirt, but she knew as soon as Elliot set eyes on it, he’d figure her out.

“No” Noah squeaked.

Gabriela sighed gently. “Please, sweetie” she mused “It’s just a couple of days and then you can come back and wear it all of the time” she mused.

“No” Noah replied “I like my shirt” he added, his little hands gripping at the material.

“I like it too, Noah” Gabriela mused, her fingers gently pushing his dark curls out of his eyes “But papi might not and we…”

“Are trying to keep secrets” Elliot interrupted, his frame leaning against the door frame.

Gabriela blinked a little before she ducked her head, letting out a small sigh.

“Where did you get that lovely shirt, Noah?” Elliot mused as he knelt beside his former wife, gently pulling their son into a hug. He knew what the answer was, it was all over Gabriela’s face, but he wanted to hear it and he knew that Noah wouldn’t lie to him.

Noah grinned. “Lionel gave it to me” he enthused “He even got his name put on the back” he added as he turned around, showing off the yellow lettering which contrasted with the red and blue stripes. Elliot frowned for a second before he read the name which had been placed on his son’s shoulders.

“Messi” Elliot murmured.

Gabriela sighed gently and climbed to her feet, tugging on Elliot’s arm. “Outside” she muttered.

Elliot quirked a bitter smile before he nodded, quietly instructing Noah to get himself ready to leave before he followed Gabriela back into the living room. “Your boyfriend is Lionel Messi” he muttered, checking that Noah’s bedroom door was shut.

“My boyfriend is none of your business” Gabriela returned “I don’t know why you care so much about it, but it really does have nothing to do with you, Eli. I am moving on with my life and that really doesn’t concern you” she muttered.

“My son is wearing his name on his back. He talks about him all of the time. How well do you even know this man?” Elliot snapped, trying to keep his voice down so that their son wouldn’t overhear.

Gabriela rolled her eyes. “Do you think I am that bad a mother that I would let Noah spend time around someone I didn’t trust?” she hissed “He’s a wonderful man and he’s the reason your son knows how to tie his shoes. What did you teach him? It’s OK to lie to his madre” she snapped.

Elliot rolled his eyes. “When are you going to get over what happened between me and Elena?” he muttered “It was years ago, Ela” he added.

Gabriela let out a loud sarcastic laugh. “You cheated on me from minute one, Eli, made a fool out of me, and you want me to just forget it? I’ll tell you what, I’ll forget that you fucked my best friend for years the second you get it through your thick skull that I am not yours now. I am not the little trophy wife you had before, Eli, and you have absolutely no grounds to stand there and criticize me on my choice of partner. You’re ridiculous” she snapped.

Elliot scoffed before he padded back towards Noah’s bedroom, collecting the four year old who smiled widely at both of his parents. “I will see you Sunday, madre” he grinned.

Gabriela sniffled, trying to hide the fact that she was crying, and pressed a kiss to her son’s head. “I will see you Sunday, sweetheart. Be good for your papa” she mused “I love you” she added.

“I love you too” Noah grinned before he toddled ahead of his father, leading Elliot out of the apartment.

Elliot offered her a bitter glare before he followed Noah into the elevator allowing the doors to close quietly. Gabriela watched the metal doors shut before she noticed Lionel’s door slightly ajar, his figure just visible as he quietly pulled it open. “I heard the yelling” he murmured, offering her a small smile.

“We tried to keep it down for Noah. If he heard it, he didn’t let it show” she mumbled, wiping her eyes softly.

Lionel sighed and padded towards her, placing his arms gently around her. “He’s not worth the tears, nena” he murmured, the pad of his thumb gently wiping away her tears.

Gabriela nodded. “I know that” she whispered softly “He just…”

“I know” Lionel comforted gently as he placed a kiss against her temple “And we will deal with him when he starts kicking up a fuss, but right now, you should come with me. I have that coffee you like and I think I could even find a couple of biscuits” he offered softly.

Gabriela laughed. “I’d really like that” she mused.