Slow Dancing in the Darkness

60: You’re Not Coming Home?

Placing his jacket beside the door, Lionel let out a little sigh, his dark eyes peeking around his home. It still felt a little strange, the idea that he and Gabriela weren’t living together still felt slightly surreal, but he knew that it was the right call. She needed to get things straight, to find a solution when it came to her and Elliot, and he wanted to give her the chance to do that without him around. He knew that things would only be harder if he insisted on sticking around and watching over her. Slipping his shoes off, he placed them beside the door and padded into the living room, his dark eyes landing on Gabriela who sat on the floor ahead of Noah, playing a game whilst Amelia sat in her lap, her face lit with a small smile.

“She smiles” Lionel squeaked.

Gabriela jumped at the sound of his voice and looked up, her eyes a little wide. “Uh…yes” she spluttered “She started doing it this morning when we were getting Noah ready for school” she noted, carefully moving back to her feet “You’re early” she added gently.

Lionel nodded. “I missed her” he noted with a small look towards Amelia, a small smile appearing on his face.

Gabriela smiled gently. She had always liked his smile. “She’s missed you too” she noted as she moved to place Amelia into his arms.

Lionel took her gratefully and pressed a kiss to her cheek, babbling to her softly in Spanish.

“I spoke to Elliot yesterday” Gabriela commented as she moved to turn on the television, settling Noah down ahead of it.

Lionel’s head shot up. “You did?” he posed.

Gabriela nodded her head “I did” she confirmed gently.

“And how did that go?” Lionel posed. He was curious, he doubted that Elliot would have taken anything laying down, but he needed to know. He wanted to get his relationship with Gabriela back on track and couldn’t do it until he knew the problem that was Elliot was out of the way.

Gabriela peeked over at Noah before she took Lionel’s hand, carefully leading him a little way out of the living room. “I managed to amend the custody arrangement for Noah” she noted gently “I’ve agreed with Elliot that Elise will collect Noah for the weekend and drop him home again, limiting the contact that I have to have with Elliot” she added.

Lionel blinked. “He agreed?” he posed.

Gabriela nodded. “It took a little work, but he did in the end. It’s the best of both worlds, Leo. Noah gets to have his papa around and I hope it shows you that my affections only lay with one man and that’s not Eli” she explained, her blue eyes looking up at him a little hopefully.

Lionel returned her look with a sigh. “Ela, this still needs some work” he murmured.

Gabriela tilted her head, but didn’t say anything, allowing him to keep talking.

“I’m glad that the Elliot problem is solved, I really am, but this thing hurt me, Ela. We had a good thing going on here and in second, we almost lost that. It’s not just going to fall back into place just like that” he explained carefully. He had to admit, he was thrilled that Elliot was finally out of the picture, but he doubted that jumping back into them was the best idea. Things had been too close to falling apart for things just to slip back to normal.

“Are you saying we’re over?” Gabriela posed.

“No” Lionel refuted, gently adjusting Amelia who had begun to whimper a little “I am not saying that at all, but I am suggesting that we don’t just jump right back into what we were before. This is an opportunity, Ela, the opportunity we lost when we rushed into a marriage. We can take our time about this, get to know each other” he noted, a small smile appearing on his face.

Gabriela was quiet for a moment before she looked at him. “You want to date me?” she posed.

“Yes” Lionel noted, his smile growing a little “We never really got the chance to do it before and I think it would do us some good to get to know each other more. I like that we’re married, and of course I love that we have Amelia, but it was quick and now there’s nothing to stop us taking a little more time about things” he noted.

Gabriela mulled his words over for a moment. “You’re not coming home?” she posed.

“Not right away” Lionel noted “I still need some time and I hope that you can understand that, Ela” he added.

Gabriela swallowed. A large part of her had just wanted him to come home.

“Ela?” he posed.

“You need this?” she posed gently.

“I’d like it” Lionel replied gently “I’ve made no secret of how much I want this to work between me and you, Ela, but I’d like to take some more time to grow back into it. This is a good chance to get to know one another again, maybe even remind ourselves why it worked out so well” he mused, gesturing down towards Amelia who stretched her little arms, showing off her smile again.

Gabriela eyed their daughter for a second before she slowly nodded her head. “Alright” she agreed gently.

“Really?” Lionel posed.

“I want you to come home, Leo, I miss you, but I understand where you’re coming from and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to show you that this is the relationship that I want to be in. It’s an opportunity and I am not going to spurn it and demand that you come back and that we rush all over again. I’ll do whatever you want just as long as there’s a chance that it gets us back to where we were before” she noted.

Lionel smiled. “Gracias, querida” he smiled as he stepped towards her, ducking down to kiss her gently. Gabriela smiled into the touch, liking just how warm and safe it made her feel.

She’d missed it.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and Luuuc_19 for the comments :)