Slow Dancing in the Darkness

28: It’s Not a Mistake I Intend to Make

“Are you sure that Noah’s going to be OK with Antonella?” Gabriela murmured as they walked into the restaurant where they’d agreed to meet her father for dinner. She was nervous, Lionel’s parents had taken the news far better than she had expected them to, but she knew that her father would provide a sterner test. Luca had already made it clear that he wasn’t on board, after Elliot, Luca doubted his daughter’s ability to find a partner and she knew that Lionel would have to do a lot to win him around, something which concerned her. Lionel was a lovely man, he was bright and considerate, and whilst that was enough for Gabriela, she doubted it would be enough for her father who was probably going to make it hard on them.

“He’ll be fine” Lionel noted “Thiago loves having him around and Antonella said she was more than happy to keep an eye on him. It’s not like we have anywhere else to leave him since Elliot decided to run off” he added. He didn’t like it, since he’d found out about their marriage, Elliot had been missing from his son’s life but Lionel doubted it would last. Elliot seemed to have a desire to make Gabriela’s life miserable and he doubted that he would stay away forever, no matter how much Lionel would have liked it.

Gabriela offered him a small look before she spotted her father, letting a small sigh fall out of her mouth. “You ready for this?” she murmured.

“You don’t think he’ll like me, do you?” Lionel commented, his dark eyes peeking over in the direction that Gabriela was looking in.

Gabriela shook her head. “He’s convinced that I have awful taste in men and that you’re just another mistake waiting to happen” she noted.

“Elliot really fucked things up for you, didn’t he?” the argentine commented.

“In ways I am only just figuring out” Gabriela replied “You can leave if you want to” she added.

“Not a chance” Lionel replied firmly.

Gabriela nodded her head gently and stepped towards her father’s table, greeting him with a small smile. “Hola, papa” she noted softly.

“Gabriela” Luca noted as he pushed himself up out of his seat “You look beautiful” he added, embracing her swiftly.

Gabriela smiled at him bashfully before she turned back to Lionel. “Papa, this is Leo, the guy I told you about” she murmured.

“Your husband” Luca noted “Luca Cruz” he noted, offering his hand out to Lionel.

“Hola, Senor Cruz” Lionel smiled politely.

Luca looked at the argentine for a second, his eyes wandering up and down his frame, before he flicked his stare to Gabriela, offering her a look which made her sigh. She knew it well, it was the same look he had given her when she’d brought Elliot home, and Gabriela knew that it wasn’t a good sign. Lionel noted the sound from his wife and frowned. “Gabby?” he murmured, leading her to her seat.

Gabriela shook her head. “Just…don’t get your hopes up” she replied gently.

Lionel offered her a look before he turned to Luca. “Sir, I appreciate this must be a shock for you” he mused.

Luca scoffed. “A shock was finding out that my daughter had to leave her home for her idiot ex-husband. Finding out that she is married again is a catastrophe” he muttered.


“No, Gabriela” Luca interrupted “How many more times do you need to be hurt before you realize?” he muttered.


“I am not going to hurt your daughter, Luca” Lionel interrupted, cutting Gabriela off again.

“The last one said that too” Luca muttered “And he fucked around on her for 6 years. She’s known you five minutes” he muttered.

Lionel shook his head. “I am not Elliot” he insisted “And I think it is remarkably unfair that you’re looking at me as though I am. I am not him, I am not just another guy looking to mess your little girl around, Luca, and I would appreciate it if you could stop looking at me like that. I could be good for her, but you’re writing me off before you even give me a shot” he said strongly.

Gabriela, who had sunk back into her chair, smiled a little. She kind of liked the way he always stuck up for them, not matter who he was talking to.

Luca eyed the argentine. “You’re not the same?” he muttered.

“I want a life with your daughter. Her and Noah, they matter a hell of a lot to me and I want to make that clear” Lionel replied.

“She’s your first marriage?” he posed.

“No, my second. I have a son with my ex-wife” Lionel replied honestly, knowing that lying was going to get him nowhere.

Luca nodded slowly. “You want to have a life with her? What does that mean?” he posed.

Lionel looked at the older man before he turned to Gabriela, taking her hand in his. “I want to be with her. I want to make a home for her and Noah, and then I want to start thinking about having a family of our own. I’d love another baby or two, but I am not in a hurry. You’re right, I haven’t known her for very long, and I would hate to put pressure on something which could so easily fall apart before it gets off of the ground. Luca, I promise you now that I am not going to do what Elliot did. He made the mistake of letting Gabriela go and it’s not a mistake I intend to copy” he explained softly, his brown eyes peeking at Gabriela who smiled at him gently. It was the first time he had admitted it, his want for a larger family, but she couldn’t help but smile at it. It was a thought that had tentatively crossed her mind too.

Luca admired the pair before he sighed. “You’re serious about this, Gabriela?” he posed.

Gabriela nodded her head. “It makes sense, Papa. This way, Noah gets stability and I get to be with someone who I think is special to me” she enthused.

Luca nodded thoughtfully. “Then I offer my blessing” he noted, his words considered carefully “But Leo” he noted.

“Yes, Luca?” the argentine replied.

“I have one daughter. The last idiot fucked it up with her, left her a mess, and I am not prepared to pick things up for a second time. Hurt her and you deal with me” Luca noted, offering his son-in-law a stern look.

Lionel nodded his head. “I don’t doubt it” he mused “But you can rest assured, I’m not going to screw this up” he insisted.

Luca nodded. He was almost tempted to believe him.
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Thanks to FootieJo and Jayme112234 for the comments :)