Slow Dancing in the Darkness

15: It’s Not Your Fight

“Are you feeling better?” Lionel posed as he placed another pot of coffee onto the table, his dark eyes glancing at Gabriela who was curled up on the couch, a blanket pulled around her shoulders. She had been quiet, after Elliot had left, she had barely said two words, and Lionel wanted to make sure that she was alright. As much as he may have disliked it, Elliot had an uncanny knack of getting to his ex-wife and it was clearly something he was going to have to get used to.

Gabriela nodded. “I am, thank you” she mused gently as she adjusted the blanket, covering her feet.

“I’m glad” he noted gently.

“I’m sorry you had to see that” Gabriela sighed. She hated it, the way that Elliot still managed to get at her, and she felt bad that Lionel had seen it. It hadn’t conveyed her fantastically.

“I am too, but not for the reason you’re thinking about” Lionel noted as he sat at her side, his arm wrapping gently around her shoulders. “You were right to yell at him, Gabby, he’s got no right to question me and you after what he did with Elena, but it did make me wonder” he explained.

“I don’t have feelings for him” Gabriela returned defensively.

Lionel raised his hands. “That’s not what I was going to say” he commented with a slightly crooked smile.

Gabriela frowned. “Then what were you going to say?” she posed.

Lionel thought for a second before he looked at her, his dark eyes searching her face for a moment. She was beautiful, he’d noticed it about her as soon as he had met her, and it made him wonder why Elliot thought he could have done better. Gabriela was beautiful, she was sweet and thoughtful, and Lionel could only imagine what Elena must have been like for Elliot to have chosen her over Gabriela. “Why do you let him get away with it?” he murmured.

Gabriela frowned. “What?” she posed.

“He’s not exactly father of the year, Gabby. He comes to see Noah when it suits him and when he is here, all he does is try and get at you, showing little if any interest in his son. I have known Noah mere weeks and already I taught him to tie his shoes and it makes me wonder what exactly Elliot wants from keeping you around. I don’t think he comes here for Noah and I think part of you knows that” he explained gently. It wasn’t his place to say, he’d never met Elliot and had little interest in doing so, but he was curious. He’d seen how Elliot was with Gabriela and he doubted that the end of their marriage had stopped him from still having feelings for his ex-wife.

Gabriela sighed and gently pushed her hair out of her face. “He used to be a wonderful papa” she mused.

Lionel nodded his head, squeezing her hand gently.

“When Noah was first born, he was wonderful with him, but as he grew up, Elliot pulled away from him, like he pulled away from me. Noah idolizes him, to that little boy, Elliot is the best thing in the world and I know it’s not the same for Elliot. You’re right, I don’t think he comes here for Noah either, but he’s not going to ever admit it. He’s remarkably good at convincing people” she muttered.

Lionel tilted his head. “Why don’t you amend the custody agreement?” he posed.

Gabriela snorted. “Elliot’s papa is one of the top lawyers in Spain and the reason things are the way they are” she mumbled “Rodrigo fixed it so that I cannot leave the country with Noah without Elliot’s supervision, I can’t stay in a city if Elliot moves away and the only feasible way of stopping it would be for me to find someone else to marry. He can’t make me leave a husband behind, but I doubt that he’ll have a problem making me leave you behind” she muttered. She knew what was coming, now that Elliot was aware of Lionel, it was only a matter of time before he appeared and demanded that they moved and Gabriela didn’t quite know how to stop it. She had been threatened more than once by her ex-father-in-law that if she broke the terms of their agreement then full custody would be handed over to Elliot.

“You don’t have to go with him, Gabby” Lionel reasoned softly.

“I do” she noted “If I don’t, I lose Noah and that is something I am not going to do for anyone” she insisted.

Lionel nodded his head. He knew that Noah was the most important thing in her life and didn’t want to change it. The little boy had to come first. “We can find someone to talk to” he mused.

“We?” Gabriela posed.

Lionel nodded his head. “Of course. Gabby, I am not about to let you go without some sort of fight. I like having you here, I like spending time with Noah and I am not just going to let that go because Elliot’s got a problem with it. I have a problem with the way that he treats you, the way he almost completely ignores his son, and I want to do something about it” he insisted.

“It’s not your fight to fight” Gabriela noted gently.

“No, but you’re my girlfriend and I am not going to let you go” he replied “Elliot shouldn’t have the control he does, Gabby, he shouldn’t have a say in where you live and who you see, and I want to take it on with you. I want to keep you around” he smiled, placing a small kiss on her hand.

Gabriela blushed gently. “You’re wonderful” she murmured.

Lionel smiled. “I like you, what can I say? You’re the first person to capture my interest since Antonella and I am not about to just give it up. I have to fly out to Georgia in a couple of days, but when I get back, I will find you a lawyer that will help you. I want you to stay” he mused, kissing her temple gently.

Gabriela smiled.

She wanted to stay too.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)