Slow Dancing in the Darkness

20: I Can’t Fail Again

“Noah’s out of the count” Lionel commented as he stepped back into Gabriela’s living room, his eyes peeking at the back of her head. She had been quiet, since Elliot’s visit, Gabriela had barely said two words that didn’t seem forced, and Lionel had no doubt that it was somehow related to her ex-husband. Elliot, like his father, seemed to be skilled in the art of getting under her skin and it was another thing that made Lionel want to keep her away from him. He had no doubts about her, Gabriela hated Elliot and he didn’t doubt it for a second, but he knew that Elliot’s feelings weren’t the same. He wanted his ex-wife back, it was written all over his face, and Lionel wanted to do anything he could to make sure that it got through to Elliot that it wasn’t ever going to happen. Gabriela had traded up and she wasn’t about to change her mind about it.

“Thiago?” Gabriela posed, sipping gently at the mug of hot chocolate she had made for herself.

“Asleep too. He loves Noah” he grinned, sitting at her side.

Gabriela nodded her head slowly.

“What did Elliot say to you?” Lionel mumbled, prying the mug out of her hands.

Gabriela shook her head. “What do you think?” she murmured “He’s not going to give up on me no matter how much I ask and I have a feeling that sooner rather than later, I will be packing my bags to leave” she mumbled, gently curling up into his arms which had quietly wrapped around her.

Lionel sighed. “You know what it will take for you not to go” he mumbled, his fingers gently pushing her hair behind her ear “Marry me, Gabby” he mumbled.


“You don’t want to go, I don’t want you to go, and we both know the way to stop it. We’re onto a good thing here and I think we both I’d do this eventually, so why not now?” he posed.

Gabriela sighed. “I can’t fail another marriage, Leo” she mumbled.

Lionel’s expression softened.

“I tried so hard to make it work with Elliot. We were so mismatched, so wrong together, but I tried my hardest and it fell apart around me. I can’t fail another marriage by jumping into it because it solves a problem” she explained gently.

Lionel shook his head. “You didn’t fail, Gabby” he insisted, his hands gently squeezing hers “Elliot did. He messed up a relationship with someone whose only fault was loving him” he noted.

Gabriela shrugged. “Perhaps if I had been more like Elena…”

“Elena is a puta” Lionel quipped, not liking the tone of her voice “And you’re wonderful just the way you are. Elliot is the failure, Gabby, not you. Never you” he insisted.

Gabriela shook her head. “You’re so sweet” she murmured “I wish I’d met you first” she added gently.

“But you have me now” Lionel returned “And if you say the word, I can keep you away from Elliot” he added.

Gabriela offered him a thoughtful look, for the first time contemplating the offer he had made. She had rejected it out of hand, she didn’t want to drag him into something that was more than likely to see them both get hurt, but the more he suggested it, the more logical it seemed. They made sense, even if it was early, and she did like the idea of being with him. “How would it even work? You’d have to tell your family, your friends, and I would have to tell my parents…They’d hate us” she murmured.

“They’d understand” Lionel reasoned “And as soon as they met you, they’d be smitten. You and Noah are fantastic and they’d love you” he insisted.

Gabriela sighed. “Where would we live?” she posed.

“Here or at mine. We’re not miles apart here, Gabby” he insisted with a small smile. He could see that she was swaying, for once, her refusal was not immediate or definite, and he knew that she was close. A few more right words, and he was fairly confident that she would agree with him.

Gabriela shook her head. “It’s ridiculous. We’ve been dating 6 weeks” she murmured.

Lionel sighed gently and leant closer to her, pressing a kiss to her cheek. “We make sense, Gabby” he murmured “You and me, we’re good together. Noah and Thiago get along. I get along with Noah. Give me one good reason why you and I cannot make a marriage work after just 6 weeks” he murmured.

Gabriela thought for a moment before she let out a small sigh, drawing a blank.

“I want to look after you” Lionel murmured “I want to keep you away from a man who’s only ambition seems to be making you miserable until you have no choice but to accept him back. Please, Gabriela, let me” he insisted gently.

Gabriela took a little breath before she turned her head, admiring the earnest expression that was on his features. “Alright” she mumbled.

Lionel blinked. “Is…is that a yes?” he squeaked.

“If you’re sure about this, Leo” Gabriela mumbled “If you’re certain that this isn’t going to be a mess and I am not going to be dealing with a second failed marriage by the age of 30, then alright” she conceded gently.

Lionel shook his head. “I am going to do all I can to make this work” he promised her gently.

Gabriela nodded her head slowly. “Then I guess we can” she murmured.

Lionel thought for a moment before he carefully got down onto one knee ahead of her. “I don’t exactly have a ring for you” he mused, taking her smaller hand into his.

“You don’t have to do this, Leo” Gabriela mused, her cheeks warming by the second.

“I know” he replied “But I want to do this properly. Gabriela, will you marry me?” he posed, a small grin on his features.

Gabriela looked down at him, her stomach flipping slightly at the sight of him ahead of her. Taking in a breath, she let a smile fill her face and nodded. “Yes, Leo, I will” she confirmed.
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