Slow Dancing in the Darkness

16: Then I’ll Do It

“Are you sure that you don’t mind doing this?” Gabriela murmured as she fixed the bottom of her dress, her eyes peeking at the office door which was closed a little away from them. It had been a few days, after Barcelona’s victory in Georgia, Lionel had insisted that they visit a lawyer that he had found, but still Gabriela remained a little despondent. She doubted that it would change, Rodrigo had written an agreement that was designed to be ironclad and she doubted that there was anything she could do. Rodrigo wasn’t an idiot, he had written a divorce petition and custody agreement designed specifically to benefit his son, and Gabriela wasn’t certain that she could get the better of him, even with Lionel’s support. She doubted that she could get the result that best suited Noah.

Lionel shook his head. “Not at all, Gabby” he insisted from his seat at her side “You clearly need someone to help you out and as your boyfriend, I am more than happy to do it” he added with a small smile. He could see that she was nervous, since they had left Noah with Antonella who had kindly agreed to watch the four year old, Gabriela had been on edge, and Lionel wanted to calm her down a little. She was at her most charming when she was calm.

“You don’t have to do it” Gabriela reasoned “It’s not your problem” she added.

“I know” Lionel smiled, his hand reaching out to take hers “But it gets at you, Elliot’s presence, and I want to do everything in my power to make that stop. I like you far more when you have your pretty smile on your face” he enthused, gently pressing a kiss to the back of her hand.

Gabriela smiled softly and leant down, pressing a kiss against his lips as the office door opened. “Ms. Dominguez?”

Gabriela lifted her head away from Lionel and nodded, her cheeks a little warm. “Hola” she mused gently “I’m Gabriela Dominguez” she added, reaching out to shake the man’s hand.

“I’m Ethan Williams” the man replied gently “Would you like to come inside?” he posed, gesturing back over his shoulder.

Gabriela nodded her head gently before she turned to Lionel. “Are you going to come with me?” she posed gently.

Lionel flashed her a grin and moved to follow her in, greeting the lawyer a stiff handshake. “I’ve had a chance to look over the agreements that were signed when you divorced from your husband, Ms. Dominguez, and I have to say, I am not all that hopeful” Ethan admitted as he sat down behind his desk, setting the file down on the desk.

“You don’t think there is anything you can do?” Gabriela posed.

Ethan shook his head. “I am not hopeful” he repeated gently “I have asked to have a meeting with Mr Dominguez, your husband’s lawyer, but I have a feeling I know what he’s going to say. You don’t earn money, Gabriela, your income is largely given to you by Elliot, and I have a feeling if you challenged the agreements in place, then his lawyer would start a petition to hand over full custody for Noah” he explained gently.

Gabriela shook her head. “I can’t let that happen” she protested, her eyes a little tearful.

Lionel reached his hand out and took hers, squeezing it gently. “Is there no way around this?” he posed.

“Elliot’s lawyer was very clear” Ethan mused “The only event which would see Gabriela able to stay in Barcelona in the event that Elliot moves is that she finds a husband, and from what I gather, she’s not about to do that” he explained.

Lionel shook his head. “Moving from place to place can’t be good for Noah” he noted.

“I agree with you” Ethan noted “That child deserves stability, but Elliot’s insistent. He wants his family around” he added.

Lionel scoffed. “More like he wants to work his way back in Gabby’s pants” he muttered.

Gabriela sighed and rested back into her seat, frustration on her face. “There’s nothing I can do?” she posed.

“It’s unlikely that I can get any movement” Ethan admitted “Unless you find a husband, I can’t prevent him from making you move, even despite the lack of stability that it provides for you son. I am sorry, Gabriela” he apologized gently.

Lionel, who had fallen quiet beside Gabriela, shook his head. “I’ll do it” he noted.

“Do what?” Gabriela posed.

“I’ll marry you” Lionel announced.

Gabriela shook her head. “You won’t” she protested.

“Why not?” Lionel posed.

“You’ve known me for a month, Leo, four little weeks, and I am not about to let you get in the middle of this. I appreciate the offer, I really do, you’re so sweet for trying to help, but I am not going to let you marry me just so that I don’t have to leave” Gabriela refuted gently. It was a remarkable offer, one that had caught her entirely off guard, but she couldn’t let him do it. No matter how bad things were with Elliot, she didn’t want to put him in the middle of it.

“Gabby, I know what I am doing” Lionel protested.

“I don’t doubt that, but we’ve been seeing each for a month. We have no idea whether or not we’re capable of making this work” she returned.

“Gabby, I want to keep you around” he noted earnestly “I know we haven’t known each other long, I am acutely aware of it, but I don’t want to let you go. I adore spending time with you, and with Noah, and that’s not something I want to lose in a month when Elliot decides that he can’t possibly leave you with me because he’s far too concerned with you and not concerned enough with his son. I am not suggesting that we’re going to make it work, but I would do it if it meant that I could keep you around for little while longer and seeing where we go. I want to make you and Noah happy and I don’t want it to be for a month or two before Elliot decides that he can’t leave you to be happy” he insisted gently.

Gabriela smiled at him softly and placed a kiss against his lips. “You’re amazing” she insisted gently, her fingers gently brushing his cheek “You really are, but I can’t let you do this, Leo” she protested softly “You don’t need to be stuck in the middle of me and my ex” she added.

Lionel sighed. “Just give it a thought, Gabby” he noted as he moved to stand up, leading her towards the door.

“I will” Gabriela noted “But I am pretty sure it’s a no” she added, pressing a kiss to his cheek.

Lionel placed his arm around her. He just wanted to keep her around.