Slow Dancing in the Darkness

25: This Time Around

“Do we have to go and see Grandpa Cruz?” Noah grumbled as he climbed out of his car seat, his little arms folded across his chest in annoyance. It wasn’t the first time, with Lionel in Rome ahead of Barcelona’s match with Roma in the Champions League, the little boy hadn’t stopped pouting and as annoying as it was to Gabriela who merely wanted her son to settle down, she had to admit that she found it a little adorable. It was a little a risky, letting Noah get to know Lionel could well have backfired on her, but she liked the way her son was around the footballer. Noah lit up around him, he was cheerful and talkative and Gabriela liked that side of him. It was a welcome change to the shy and quiet little boy that she often saw when they were around his grandparents or his aunts and uncles.

“It’s been ages, Noah” Gabriela replied softly “And I am sure that your grandpa has a gift for you” she added, trying to quieten him a little. It had been on her schedule for a little while, with Lionel’s parents due to make an appearance in early October, Gabriela had decided to make the trip to visit her father, something which made her a little nervous. She knew that her father had never liked Elliot, Luca Cruz had never approved of his little girl’s choice to start dating the lawyer, but she doubted he would be overly fond of Lionel either. Luca was sharp, he was protective and a little rude when he wanted to be, and Gabriela was sure that he would take the news of her second marriage as well as he had taken the first.

Noah huffed, something which made Gabriela shake her head. “Noah” she warned softly “I just need you to behave for a little while, OK? I need to speak with your abuelo about something very important and I need you to be a good boy for me” she insisted.

Noah offered her a small pout, but nodded, something which made Gabriela smile. “Leo’s going to call me later” she insisted as she stepped towards the little boy, lifting him up onto her hip “If you behave, I will let you stay up and talk to him” she added.

“Really?” Noah posed.

“If you’re a good boy” Gabriela commented before she tapped on the door, waiting a few moments before her father appeared.

“Papa” she grinned.

“Gabriela” Luca returned “I wasn’t expecting you” he added.

“It was supposed to be a surprise” Gabriela grinned as she set Noah onto his feet “Noah and I thought we could come and pay a visit” she added.

Luca offered her a slightly wary look before he nodded. “Come inside” he mused “I have something I meant to send for this little one” he added with a smile towards Noah who smiled up at him. Gabriela ushered the little boy forwards and followed her father into his living room, her stomach flipping a little.

“I wish you had called, Gabriela” Luca replied as he stopped at a cupboard, pulling out a neatly wrapped box for Noah “I’d have called your brothers, had them over too” he added.

Gabriela shook her head. “I need to talk to you about something, Papa” she noted

“I figured” Luca quipped as he sat down on the couch “What has Elliot done now?” he muttered.

“It not about Elliot” Gabriela confessed as she sat down beside him “It’s about me, something I did” she added.

“Gabriela, I love Noah, but if you are pregnant by that idiot again…”

“No” Gabriela interrupted “I’ve not been near Eli like that since the day I ended things” she added.

“Then what is it?” Luca pressed.

“You remember the agreement I had with Elliot about Noah?” she posed.

“That ridiculous thing. His father is despicable” Luca grumbled.

“The only way I could stay in one place for longer than six months was to find a husband and I came here to tell you that I have. Papa, I got married again” she revealed carefully.

Luca stared down at the ground for a moment before he turned his head, his eyes narrowed on his daughter. “You did what?” he muttered.

Gabriela sighed. “I met a man, Leo, and we decided to get married. It was a whirlwind thing, but I really think…”

“How could you be so stupid?” Luca spat.


“Your taste in men is appalling, Gabriela. You pick bad people to surround yourself with and inevitably wind up hurt. I would have thought after the moron you married the first time around you would have learned to be more meticulous, not reckless” he hissed, trying to keep his voice in check as to not alert Noah to their disagreement.

“Elliot was a one off” Gabriela insisted “Leo’s nothing like him” she added.

“You hardly saw Elliot’s mistake coming” Luca noted “He was perfect too” he added.


“Gabriela, this is stupid” Luca muttered.

“It isn’t to me” Gabriela refuted “I’ll be the first to admit I was hesitant, but I like what I have and I wanted you to get on board with it. You never did with Eli and I was hoping for more support this time around” she added.

“Why would I support such a clear mistake?” Luca countered.

“Because I am your daughter” Gabriela muttered “Because I am your little girl and I need you to be OK with this. I don’t want to have the situation we had when I was with Elliot, where I didn’t see you on birthdays or holidays because you couldn’t stand him. You missed Noah’s first birthday, Papa, his second too, and I don’t want it to be that way” she insisted.

Luca sighed.

“Papa, I want you to come to Barcelona in a couple of weeks” Gabriela confessed “Leo’s parents are coming over from Argentina and I want you to meet them, and of course him. If you met him, I think you would like him” she insisted.


“Please” Gabriela murmured “Please, I just want you to meet the man that I love” she insisted.

Luca looked at his daughter, noting the fondness in her eyes when she spoke of her husband. “Alright” he conceded “I will come to Barcelona and meet Theo”

“Leo” Gabriela corrected.

“Leo” Luca repeated “I’ll meet him, but Gabriela, I don’t want to pick up the pieces again” he added.

Gabriela smiled a little. “I don’t think you’ll have to” she mused softly.
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Thanks to FootieJo and Jayme112234 for the comments :)