Slow Dancing in the Darkness

18: You Don’t Deserve This

Stirring a little, Gabriela blinked her eyes open, her stare drifting across Lionel’s body which was curled against her, his chest rising and falling as he slept. He’d gotten back late, the game against Malaga had been a tough one for Barcelona and they’d only managed to sneak away with a 1-0 win thanks to Thomas Vermaelen, but Gabriela couldn’t help but adore the idea that he’d still made the effort to come and see her. It was only a little thing, her apartment was only feet from his own and it didn’t take much of an effort for him to check in on her, but she liked that he did. Shifting, she slipped out from underneath his arm and padded out of the bedroom, making her way into the kitchen where she filled a glass with water.

“Gabby?” Lionel’s voice was sleepy as he padded into the room, his hands rubbing his eyes sleepily.

“I’m here” Gabriela noted, setting her glass down “I thought you were out of the count” she added.

“I heard you get up and I thought something might be wrong” Lionel noted, just about stifling a yawn.

Gabriela shook her head. “Nothing’s wrong. I just woke up” she murmured.

Lionel sighed and stepped towards her, his hand softly brushing the dark hair away from her eyes. “You’re still thinking about what Rodrigo said, aren’t you?” he murmured, his hands dropping to her hips. She had told him about it, the slightly veiled threat that Elliot’s father had made, and he had told her not to worry. He had a sense that Rodrigo was more bark than bite.

Gabriela sighed. “You shouldn’t have antagonized him” she murmured as she rested her head on his shoulder.

“He shouldn’t have sided with his idiot son” Lionel replied.

Gabriela shook her head. “I just want you to be careful” she murmured.

Lionel bit his tongue, not wanting to upset her, and nodded. “I will be” he murmured “The last thing I want to do is make the mess worse for you and Noah” he added.

Gabriela smiled at him gently. “Thank you” she murmured “You might have pissed him off, but thank you for sticking up for me, for us” she added gently. It was risky, irking Rodrigo was likely to get her in trouble, but a little part of her loved the way that Lionel had stuck up for them. He’d not been fazed, even if they had only been together for a little while, and reaffirmed the feelings that Gabriela was sure that she had for him.

Lionel smiled. “You don’t have to thank me for that, nena” he mused, his hands subtly slipping beneath the pajama shirt she wore “I wasn’t about to let him talk to the girl I love like that” he added.

Gabriela smiled, chewing her lip gently. “You’re not that subtle, Leo” she teased.

Lionel offered her his most innocent expression. “I have no idea what you’re talking about” he grinned.

Gabriela shook her head. “For what it is worth, I love you too” she smiled gently before she placed a kiss on his lips, her fingers gently weaving into a few of the longer strands of brown hair. Lionel smiled and backed her against the counter, lifting her up with ease.

Pulling back, he placed his hands on her hips, gently rubbing small circles into them with the pads of his thumbs. “Gabby, you should really think about what I offered” he murmured softly “I know it isn’t the right reason to do it, I’d much rather we were doing it because we wanted to, but it could be a solution” he murmured, placing a few kisses along her collar bone.

Gabriela sighed. “I am not going to let you do it, Leo” she murmured, tilting his head so that he looked up at her “You’re so amazing for even offering, I can’t thank you enough for that, but I can’t let you walk into a mess that will only blow up, probably on you. You don’t need to be involved in the car crash that was my marriage and is my ex-husband” she explained softly.

Lionel sighed. “You don’t deserve to be stuck with them” he murmured “You’re so wonderful, so sweet, and I can’t imagine why on earth you thought getting yourself involved with Elliot was a good idea” he added.

Gabriela sighed. “He was older, handsome, and I was a naïve teenager. Elliot was my first boyfriend and I was an idiot to think we could make it work. My friends all told me about his wandering eye and I was the stupid girl who insisted she could change him” she admitted, her fingers gently running through his hair.

Lionel kissed the inside of her wrist. “I want to look after you, Gabby” he murmured.

“I don’t doubt that” Gabriela mused “But you said it yourself, it’s not the right reason, and it sure isn’t the right time” she added.

Lionel nodded his head, conceding slightly. “I wish there was something I could do” he muttered.

Gabriela shook her head. “You don’t have to do anything. It’s my mess” she insisted.

“No, it isn’t” Lionel replied “It’s Elliot’s. He had you, a sweet, charming and funny girl, and he thought he could take advantage. He fucked up and this whole thing is about him keeping you close so that no one else wants you. He’s trying his hardest to make sure that no guy wants to, or has the ability, to stick around you and it’s not fair. Not on you, but especially not on Noah” he insisted.


“Gabriela, please, let me help” he insisted, directing his stare back to hers.

Gabriela stared back at him. “Leo, we can’t” she insisted “You don’t know me and I don’t know you” she added.

“We’ll pick it up on the way” he insisted, his hands gently squeezing hers.

Gabriela shook her head softly. “I can’t let you” she murmured before she slipped off of the counter, pressing a gentle kiss to his lips.

Lionel held her close before he gently pulled away. “Just think on it” he mused “Promise me, you’ll think” he added, his dark eyes surveying hers.

Gabriela nodded. “I’ll think” she mused “But Leo, you don’t know what you’re getting into and I can’t be the reason you get hurt” she mumbled before she made her way back towards her bedroom. Lionel shook his head, he didn’t care about Elliot or Rodrigo, he merely wanted to protect Gabriela and Noah, two people he had grown rather fond of.
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Thanks to Luuuc_19 and Jayme112234 for the comments :)