Slow Dancing in the Darkness

58: Because Right Now, I Don’t Know

“How are you doing this morning, Leo?” Shakira noted as she sat down ahead of the argentine, her youngest son resting on her hip. It had been sudden, Gerard had been more than surprised to receive a call late the previous night from Lionel asking if he could take their spare room, and Shakira wanted to know what had happened. Since Amelia had been born, Gabriela and Lionel had looked more together than ever and she wondered would could have caused such a sudden change.

Lionel, who had been sipping on a glass of juice, sighed. “Not great” he murmured.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Shakira posed gently.

Lionel looked at her and let out a small breath, his spare hand pushing back through his dark hair. “It’s the same problem it’s always been” he murmured.

“Elliot” Shakira guessed.

Lionel nodded. “He’s been messing her around again over Noah” he noted “Since Elena left with her son, Elliot’s been an ass about seeing Noah and Gabriela wanted to fix it. She wants the best for that little boy and when Noah said he missed his papa, Gabby wanted to be the one to make sure that it didn’t stay that way. She went to see him and, like he always does, Elliot took advantage. He kissed her, Shakira, again, and Gabriela said that she didn’t push him away right away. Am I wrong to be upset?” he posed, his eyes peeking over at the blonde woman.

“You’re not wrong” Shakira assured him gently.

“Then why do I feel so awful for yelling at her and leaving?” Lionel countered “She cried, Shakira, because of me” he added.

Shakira sighed and reached out a hand, gently brushing his. “Something like this was always bound to happen, Leo” she noted softly “You married the girl after 2 months, you never took the time to assess her feelings towards Elliot or the complication that he provided to you and her. Gabriela loved that man, Leo, and even though he hurt her, you can never be the first man she fell for, that’s always going to be Elliot. You’re not wrong to feel upset, Leo, and you probably weren’t wrong to let her know that, but it’s always going to be complicated with her and Elliot” she explained carefully.

Lionel shook his head. “I know that I can’t ask her to pretend he doesn’t exist. Noah needs his father as much as he needs his mother, but I…I just wish she could stop trying so hard. Elliot doesn’t care about Noah, he never has, and I wish Gabriela would just let it be. It was a kiss this time, Shakira, but what if the next time she sleeps with him?” he posed, his voice soft and a little shaky.

“Do you trust her?” Shakira posed.

“I want to” Lionel noted “But with Elliot, I don’t know” he added.

Shakira looked at him for a second before she shook her head. “You need to talk to her, Leo, calmly, and the two of you need to decide whether or not this marriage of yours can work. It’s not fair on Amelia if you two carry on if it is destined to fail” she noted before she stepped away from him.

Lionel watched her go and sighed. He knew he had to speak to Gabriela, but the idea of doing it terrified him. A little part of him worried that it would spell the end of something he had grown to be rather fond of.

~#~
Closing the front door, Lionel peeked around the quiet house, a bad feeling gnawing in his stomach. He didn’t want things to be over, he liked what he and Gabriela had and was reluctant to let it go, but he knew that it was at risk. He needed her to put a distance between herself and Elliot, even if she couldn’t completely get rid of him, and until she did, he wouldn’t be able to pretend that everything was fine. “Gabriela?” he called out, stepping a little deeper into the house “Ela, are you here?” he added.

“Living room” Gabriela’s voice called back.

Taking a small breath, he slipped his jacket and shoes off and moved into the living room, a faint smile filling his face at the sight of Gabriela and Amelia. There was no doubt in his mind that they were perfect together and even if things didn’t quite work out, a small part of him would always love seeing Gabriela with their baby girl.

“Buenos dias” Gabriela murmured, her blue eyes not shifting away from Amelia who cooed a little, her eyes peeking up at her father.

Lionel let out a small sigh. “Ela…”

“I’m sorry” Gabriela interrupted, shaking her head gently “I am sorry for everything” she added.

“Ela…”

“This is precisely why I didn’t want us to rush into this, Leo” she noted, her eyes peeking away from Amelia who stirred in her mother’s arms “I knew that somehow, I would mess this up and I am so sorry for letting you get in the middle of something that had nothing to do with you” she rambled.

Lionel listened to her for a second before he shook his head, sitting down beside her. “You didn’t mess up” he murmured.

“I let him do it, Leo, 3 times” Gabriela refuted, her voice growing a little heavier and sniffy.

Lionel sighed. “I hate that, of course I do, and I wish I could make it different, but I knew it would be like this” he noted.

“Leo…”

“I want to be with you, Gabriela” he interrupted, his words thought out and meticulous “And I appreciate that you can’t just toss Elliot aside because of Noah, but you need to do something because this circle that we’re going in is not fair on me. I can’t be your first love, that’s always going to be Elliot, but I do want to be the man that you end up with and I won’t be if you keep letting him in. Ela, I want to make this work, I really do, but for now, I think we need to take time” he murmured gently.

Gabriela swallowed thickly, her tearful blue eyes staring at him in shock.

“You need to figure this thing out, I can’t do it for you, and until you have, I am probably going to stay at a hotel. I’m more than happy to be around for Noah and Amelia, you know that, but you need to get your head together and decide if you’re really with me or not, because right now, I am not entirely sure” Lionel explained, swallowing thickly.

Gabriela sniffed, a few tears slipping out of her eyes.

“I just want to make this work, querida, and I need to know that you’re with me before I try” he mused as he placed a kiss on Amelia’s head.

“Ok” Gabriela sniffed.

Lionel nodded his head slowly and peeked up at her, his stomach flipping a little at the thought of their relationship ending. He had gotten used to it, to them, and he didn’t quite know what he would do if it ended. He just wanted thing to work for them.
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Thanks to FootieJo, Jayme112234 and Luuuc_19 for the comments :)