Slow Dancing in the Darkness

74: We’ve Got Nowhere To Be

Pulling the clips out of her hair, Gabriela allowed her dark hair to fall down, gently moving in the slightly cool breeze that pushed past her. It had been a little while, after Maria had been escorted out of the room, Gabriela had tried to pretend that she was alright, but when Lionel had been distracted by some of his friends, she had taken the opportunity to slip out, wanting an opportunity to wrap her head around the idea of seeing her mother for the first time in years. She knew why Maria had appeared, like always, the older woman’s intentions were selfish, and Gabriela didn’t buy the doting mother act for a second. If there was one thing that Maria had never been it was maternal and Gabriela struggled to buy the idea that she had come back out of love for her or her brothers.

Peeking out over the garden that sat ahead of her, Gabriela jumped slightly when she felt something warm land on her shoulders, causing her to look up.

“I thought you’d run off” Lionel commented as he stepped down a couple of steps, sitting down beside her.

Gabriela shook her head, pulling his suit jacket around her a little more. “I just wanted a couple of minutes” she noted.

Lionel nodded. “I figured” he noted “Your padre took the children back to the house. He’s going to stay there with them and your brothers until we get back tomorrow” he added.

“He didn’t mind?” Gabriela posed.

“He wanted to” Lionel noted “In fact, most of the party offered to take them. They seemed to think my attentions should lie with you tonight” he added, offering her a small shy smile.

“I can’t believe she showed up here, Leo” Gabriela murmured, inhaling the scent of his aftershave which emanated away from the material of his jacket “After all these years, she could have picked any day, but she picked today” she rambled.

Lionel sighed and shuffled a little closer to her, his arm wrapping around her. “I’m sorry, Ela” he murmured gently as he pressed a kiss to the side of her head.

“You don’t have to apologize” Gabriela murmured, cuddling a little closer to him.

Lionel sighed. “I just wish I could have stopped her showing up today” he murmured gently “Things were perfect and then…”

“Leo, today was amazing” Gabriela interrupted, her eyes peeking up at him “You did an amazing job with it, better than I could have done, and I don’t want you thinking anything else. My mother’s a selfish woman whose intentions were solely to make this day about her, and I don’t want you to let it be. Today was about me and you, and I cannot thank you enough for what you did, Leo” she insisted gently, her blue eyes a little tearful.

Lionel sighed, running his thumb along her cheekbone. “I hate that she came here, Ela” he murmured gently, brushing the tears off of her cheeks.

“I do too” Gabriela murmured “I always figured that if I saw her again, I would be able to handle it better, but just seeing her face…it took me back to the day that she told me that she was leaving” she sniffed.

Lionel merely tightened his grip on her slightly. He had a feeling she needed to get it off of her chest and he didn’t want to interrupt.

“I was 17” Gabriela murmured “I lived with her and my papa, and she just came home one day with this guy. Joao” she muttered, a bitter expression crossing her features “She’d been with him for years, she met him before Davi was born, and she just stood there, this emotionless look on her face, whilst my papa fell to pieces. She was cold, told us how it was going to be, and that was that. She packed her stuff, and left with Joao” she noted.

“She never tried to make contact before?” Lionel posed.

Gabriela shook her head. “I don’t think she’s thought about me or the others since she left” she muttered.

Lionel sighed, pressing another kiss to the side of her head. “You don’t need her” he murmured “You’ve got your papa, your brothers, you don’t need that woman” he insisted.

“I know” Gabriela murmured “And I hate I reacted like I did. I shouldn’t care” she murmured.

“She’s your madre” Lionel pointed out gently “Like it or not, she’s the reason you’re here” he added.

Gabriela nodded her head. “I wish she wasn’t” she muttered before she peeked down at his wrist, checking the time on his watch “It’s late” she added.

“We’ve not got anywhere to be” Lionel replied “We can sit here for a little while if you’d like” he offered.

Gabriela offered him a slight smile and nodded her head, guiding her eyes back out across the dimly lit garden which sat in front of them. “You know, you got everything spot on today” she murmured, her fingertips pushing his wedding band around his finger, a little smile pulling on her lips.

“I had help” Lionel admitted modestly.

“I’ll thank them too when I see them, but right now, I want to thank you” she smiled


“You’ve made this last year amazing, Leo” she fussed softly “You’ve made so many things so much easier and I haven’t given you enough credit for that. Thank you” she added, her blue eyes mirroring his.

“You don’t need to thank me” he insisted “Mostly because you’ve done the same for me” he noted.

Gabriela shook her head, kissing his cheek gently as she mumbled about how modest he could be.

Lionel smiled at the contact and held her close for a second before he took her head, leading her down the last few steps.

“Where are we going?” Gabriela complained as she followed him.

“Your madre ruined our first dance” Lionel commented as he slipped his phone out of his trouser pocket, placing it down on a nearby bench as it began to play music.

Gabriela watched him and shook her head. “You’re a moron” she teased.

“Your moron” Lionel grinned as he pulled her close, swaying her in time to the soft melody.

Gabriela held onto him tightly and rested her head against his shoulder, not quite sure what she would do if it weren’t for him.
♠ ♠ ♠
Only a couple of chapters left I think :)

Thanks to Jayme112234, Luuuc_19 and FootieJo for the comments :)