Slow Dancing in the Darkness

63: Crazy About You

Flicking on the light, Lionel stepped into Amelia’s nursery, his sleepy dark eyes looing over at the crib where the little girl laid, crying loudly. It had surprised him, the sound of Amelia’s whimpers and cries had caught him off guard on the first night when he’d returned home, but after a couple of days, he had grown used to it, often beating Gabriela out of bed when the time came around for Amelia’s night feeds.

Just about stifling a yawn, he padded over to crib and leant over it, smiling a little at the little girl who laid inside of it. “Mañana, princesa” he murmured as he leant down, carefully picking her up “Shall we go and get you something to eat before you wake up your madre? She’d be very grumpy if we woke her now” he noted, pressing a small kiss to the top of her head.

“It’s a little late for that” Gabriela’s voice caught Lionel off guard, causing his cheeks to warm a little.

“What are you doing up?” he posed, carefully soothing Amelia whose cries had quietened a little.

Gabriela, who had been rested against the door frame, smiled. “You may have kicked me when you got out of bed” she teased as she stepped a little deeper into the room “You were so quick, you didn’t even notice” she added gently.

Lionel shook his head. “Lo siento” he murmured “I didn’t mean to” he added.

Gabriela waved a hand, dismissing his apology before she carefully moved to take Amelia out of his arms, making her way towards the rocking chair which had been set up beside the crib. “You know, you don’t have to do every night feed now you’re back” she mused as she carefully started to feed Amelia.

“I know” Lionel noted, sitting himself down on the floor beside the crib, resting his back against it “But you did a couple of weeks’ worth and I figured I could do more now that I am back. It lets you sleep in and I like spending this time with her” he noted with a small smile towards their daughter. She had grown a lot, even in the couple of weeks that he had spent away from their home, and he was still a little amazed that she was there. He couldn’t quite wrap his head around the idea that between everything, he and Gabriela had managed to create such a beautiful baby.

“You’ve done more than enough since you came back” Gabriela murmured, her blue eyes peeking down at Amelia who stirred softly.

Lionel smiled. “I missed it, being here” he noted.

“I’d like to hope so” Gabriela teased, nudging him with her foot.

Lionel spared her a smile before he dropped his stare, pulling at a few loose threads on the carpet. “I was scared, Ela” he murmured.

“Of what?” Gabriela posed. She didn’t want to fixate on it, the period that they had spent apart had done them some good, but she wanted to hear his feelings about it. What had started as another minor disagreement had developed into something that had put their marriage at risk and she wanted to know why. She wanted to stop it from happening again.

Lionel shrugged. “Of getting hurt again” he muttered “My marriage to Antonella ended amicably, but the root was the same. She didn’t feel the same for me as I did for her and I worried, especially when you told me that you’d not pushed Elliot away when he kissed you, this was going to go the same way. A small part of me, no matter how stupid it seemed, thought you’d come back one day and tell me that we were better off as friends” he explained softly.

“Leo” Gabriela murmured.

“I know it’s stupid” he noted, his hands still playing with the rug “But you and Elliot had something between you” he added, his tone defensive.

Gabriela shook her head gently and moved to her feet, quickly burping Amelia before she placed her down into her crib, allowing her to drift off whilst Gabriela settled on the floor beside her husband. “You’re not wrong” she murmured “There was something between me and Eli and there is always going to be something there, not least because we have Noah, but Leo, it never changed what I felt for you” she assured him gently.

Lionel shrugged. “I didn’t know” he murmured “And I figured, seeing as you’d had years with Elliot, then you’d have no issue choosing him over me” he added.

“Those years were ruined, Leo” Gabriela pointed out “And no amount of feeling was ever going to make him anything more than the man who cheated on me. A history doesn’t always mean a lot, Leo, and given a straight fight, I know I’d pick you all the way. I loved Elliot once, or at least I loved the man I thought he was, but I am crazy about you” she insisted as she moved to rest her head against his shoulder, a fond smile on her lips.

Lionel rested his head against hers, letting a small silence fall over them.

“We should really think about getting back to bed” Gabriela murmured after a couple of minutes of quiet “Noah’s going to be up before long and Amelia’s going to need another feed in a few hours” she added, carefully moving to push herself back to her feet.

Lionel followed her lead, but caught her hand, pulling her back against him. “I never did apologize for making you cry” he muttered, his thumbs slipping beneath her shirt, carefully rubbing against her skin.

“It’s water under the bridge, Leo” Gabriela noted, her head ducked.

“I know” he smiled “But I’d still like to apologize for it. Lo siento, Ela” he murmured, placing a little kiss against the corner of her jaw.

Gabriela’s cheeks warmed. “I’m sorry I gave you the wrong idea about me and Eli” she muttered.

Lionel, who had his nose against her jaw, shook his head. “It doesn’t matter” he murmured “Ela, I’m over it” he added, kissing the same spot on her jaw.

Gabriela smiled and took his hand, carefully leading him out of the nursery and back to their own bedroom “I love you” she grinned brightly as she placed her arms around his neck.

Lionel grinned. “I’m crazy about you too” he admitted impishly before he leant in, stealing a couple of brief kisses from her. It was still on his mind, the idea of losing her wasn’t going to be shaken easily, but he was sure that with time, he could grow back to where he had been before, confident and sure of them. He just wanted to make sure that things didn’t fall apart all over again.
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