Slow Dancing in the Darkness

23: He Makes You Happy

“Married?” Elliot spluttered out, his dark eyes narrowed on the petite brunette who stood ahead of him, her hand squeezing that of the man who stood at her side, a slightly awed expression on his face. He knew that he had heard her right, the word she’d said couldn’t be mistaken for anything else, but Elliot couldn’t wrap his head around it. They’d barely been in Barcelona two months, there was simply no way that she could be telling the truth.

Gabriela swallowed a little, but nodded her head. “Married” she confirmed “As in, I have a new husband” she added.

Elliot shook his head. “You can’t be serious” he muttered, stepping a little deeper into the room.

“I’m perfectly serious, Eli” she replied, trying to sound confident.

Elliot scoffed. “You’ve got to be lying” he muttered “There’s no way you’re married” he added.

“We are” Lionel insisted, his arm slipping around Gabriela’s waist.

Elliot eyed the smaller man before he shook his head. “You’re fucking serious?” he snapped, his hand striking the kitchen counter with a thud.

“Elliot, please” Gabriela protested “I get that you’re upset, but you need to calm it down. It’s still Noah’s…”

“What did you tell her?” he spat, his eyes fixed on Lionel “That you loved her? You’ve barely known her five minutes” he sneered.

“I love her more than you ever did” Lionel countered.

“And what would you know about it?” Elliot shot, his voice growing louder and more irate by the second.

Lionel smirked. “I know that you were a shitty husband. I know that you showed her off whilst all the time, you were sleeping with best friend. I know a lot more than you seem to think I do, Eli” he muttered.

Elliot glared at the smaller man before he looked back at Gabriela. “You’re serious?” he muttered.

“Very much so” Gabriela insisted softly “I love him, Eli, and whilst I know that is hard for you to swallow, I need you to. I’m married to him and that means that no matter where you go, I am staying in Barcelona. I want to give Noah a life, Eli, somewhere he can call home and he loves it here. He loves his school, he’s making friends, and he loves being around Leo” she insisted.

Elliot studied her face, his eyes scrutinizing her features, before he shook his head. “This is not over” he muttered before he stalked out of the room.

Gabriela stared him out of the room before she turned to Lionel. “That could have been worse” she murmured softly “I actually expected more of a fuss” she added.

Lionel shrugged. “Maybe he doesn’t want to ruin Noah’s day” he suggested, his arms gently wrapping around her waist “Or maybe he realizes there’s nothing he can do, but let’s not let it get in the way of why we are here. You’ve got a cake in the oven that still needs to be iced before we can sing happy birthday to Noah” he enthused, pressing a kiss to her cheek. Gabriela smiled at the contact with her skin and peeked up at him, a little amazed that she had him.

“Noah’s asleep in the back of the car” Lionel mused as he stepped back into the hall, collecting the bag of birthday presents that his grandparents and Elliot had given to him. The atmosphere was tense, Elliot couldn’t look at Gabriela or Lionel without glaring at them and Gabriela had no doubt that Elliot had told his father, if Rodrigo’s glares were anything to go by, he was already plotting away, but in that moment, Gabriela didn’t care. She knew it was a little petty, but the moment she had told Elliot about being married had been a little wonderful and small part of her wished she could do it again.

“You ready to get out of here?” Lionel noted as he took her hand.

Gabriela smiled. “More than ready. Let me just say goodbye to Elise and I will be with you” she enthused before she placed a kiss on his lips.

Lionel flashed her a small smile before he walked out of the house, allowing Gabriela to slip into the living room where Elise stood, clearing away plates of half eaten birthday cake. “I wanted to thank you for today, Elise” Gabriela mused.

Elise shook her head. “No need. I love that boy and I love spending time with him” she insisted.

Gabriela smiled at her gently before she moved to walk away, something Elise stopped by taking a hold of her hand. “I wanted to say congratulations” she smiled.

Gabriela’s cheeks flushed. “Gracias” she mused.

“He’s a nice guy, Gabby, a sweetheart, and you should keep him around, no matter what. Elliot and Rodrigo are not going to make this easy on you, either of you, and I want you to be happy, something he clearly makes you” Elise insisted.

Gabriela nodded. “He does” she confessed gently “Elise, if you could try…”

“They’ll never listen to me” Elise murmured “My son takes after his father in every way and none of them are good. I’ll do what I can, but it’s going to get messy” she insisted.

Gabriela let out a small sigh. “I didn’t expect anything less” she murmured.

“Gabby, you, Leo, and Noah, it makes sense and one day, I am sure Elliot will see it” she insisted before she stepped away, allowing Gabriela to make her way towards the car where Lionel greeted her with a kind smile.

“Elise Ok?” he posed.

Gabriela nodded. “You know that this is going to get messy, don’t you?” she murmured, her eyes peeking at Noah who was sleeping soundly in his car seat.

Lionel peeked back at the five year old and nodded head. “Of course I do” he mused softly “But I knew what I was getting when I signed on. Gabby, I meant what I said. Your problems are mine and I know what I am getting into. But I also know that I want to fight with you, I want you to be happy, and Noah too, and I want to be a part of that” he enthused, turning her face to look at him.

Gabriela sighed. “You’re wonderful” she murmured gently, her hand gently pushing the hair off of his forehead.

Lionel smiled. “I try” he teased softly.

Gabriela smiled at him softly and leant over to kiss him, grateful that she had him.
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