Slow Dancing in the Darkness

75: When I Needed You

“You ready?” Lionel posed as he lifted the overnight bag onto his shoulder, his dark eyes peeking over at Gabriela who stood just inside the bathroom, fixing her hair. It had been a quiet night, after their talk about her mother, they’d retired to a hotel room for the night, and Lionel was pleased to see that it hadn’t taken much of a toll on her. He was glad that it hadn’t ruined a day that he had worked hard to perfect.

“Almost” Gabriela replied as she moved back into the bedroom, slipping her feet into her sneakers “Did you call the house?” she posed as she tied her laces.

“Luca said that Noah was a little fussy, he misses his mama, but he said that Amelia was an angel” Lionel smiled.

Gabriela smiled. “I know it’s a little selfish to say, but I am slightly dreading going home” she murmured as she stood back up, her arms gently wrapping around his neck.

“You are?” Lionel posed, his arms happily sitting around her waist.

“It’s been a little while since it was just you and me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the children to pieces, but one night just doesn’t seem quite enough” Gabriela enthused, pressing a kiss to his cheek.

Lionel chuckled. “We kind of have to get back, Ela” he teased as he moved to collect the suit and dress bags from inside the wardrobe “But we can definitely talk about making it a more frequent occurrence. I am sure that your padre would love to spend more time with his grandchildren” he enthused.

Gabriela nodded her head. “I am sure he would too” she mused as she moved to take one of the bags out of his hand, settling it on her shoulder “Leo…”

“Don’t say thank you” Lionel interrupted with a small grin “You’ve said that more than enough” he added.

Gabriela shook her head. “You did do something pretty great” she mused.

“Only pretty great?” he teased as he moved to open the door, allowing her to step into the corridor “I thought it was pretty spectacular” he added.

Gabriela offered him a playful glare before she pulled the door closed, moving to place a kiss on his lips. “It was wonderful” she enthused as she began to move towards the elevator “And I will have to come up with a way to thank you” she added.

Lionel rolled his eyes. He could see that they would be having that discussion for a while yet.

“Let’s just get home, eh?” he posed as he caught up with her, hitting the elevator button to take them down to the lobby “I am sure that the children would love to have their mama back” he added.

Gabriela flashed him a smile before she moved to step across the lobby, her footsteps coming to a halt as the sound of her name echoed from across the room. Lionel looked up at the sound of the familiar voice and stepped towards the brunette, his dark eyes narrowed on the older woman who stepped towards them, a sheepish expression on her face. “I figured you’d still be here” Maria noted.

“I thought we were clear with you” Lionel murmured as he slipped his hand into Gabriela’s, squeezing it gently.

Maria offered him a look. “I want to speak to my daughter” she noted, her eyes peeking up at the brunette who dropped her stare to her feet.

“She doesn’t want to speak to you” Lionel noted “So, if you could…”

“Lala” Maria murmured.

Gabriela shook her head. “Don’t call me that” she murmured “That’s the name my family have for me, not you” she added.

“I am your family. Gabriela, I am your madre” Maria protested softly.

Gabriela peeked up at the older woman for a moment before she turned to Lionel, wordlessly asking for a moment alone with her mother. Lionel looked at her dubiously, not entirely comfortable with the idea of leaving Gabriela alone with the woman who had an uncanny knack for making her cry, but a small nod from his wife acted as confirmation, causing him to slip the bag from her shoulder. “I’ll go and pack up the car” he noted.

Gabriela nodded, kissing his cheek, before she turned back to her mother. “You want to talk?” she posed.

Maria nodded, a timid smile pulling at the side of her mouth.

“You have 5 minutes” Gabriela muttered “Then I intend to go home with Leo and not deal with this again” she added.

Maria nodded her head and led Gabriela across the foyer to the restaurant where she took a seat.

“Why are you here, Madre?” Gabriela murmured, her hands fidgeting in her lap.

“I wanted to see you, Gabby, you and the boys” Maria replied.

“After 10 years? Madre…”

“I have another son” Maria murmured, her blue eyes peeking at Gabriela guiltily.

Gabriela opened and closed her mouth a couple of times before she shook her head. “With Joao, or did you get bored of him too like you did with papa?” she muttered.

Maria shook her head. “It’s Joao’s son” she noted “He’s eight now” she added.

Gabriela shook her head. “You came all the way here to tell me how great your life is? Madre, you left my papa in tatters, my brothers and me too, and a few pleasantries aren’t going to change that. You ran away” she spluttered.

“I regret it” Maria noted.

Gabriela shook her head. “You weren’t there when I needed you, madre” she muttered “You don’t know that I married a man who cheated on me for the entire duration of our relationship and broke my heart. You don’t know that I was alone when I gave birth to my son, or that I cried out for you when I did. I needed a mama, my mama, and you weren’t there” she spluttered, trying to ease the lump in her throat “And now you’re here, just as things fall into place for me and my family, and you want to say sorry? I don’t want to know, Madre” she muttered.

Maria stared at her, tears in her eyes. “Gabriela…”

“You had ten years to come back, to give me the support I needed, and you didn’t, and I am not going to let you stroll back into my life with Joao and your son just because you feel like it. I’m happy, madre, I have Leo and my children, and I don’t need you, not now” Gabriela mumbled before she pushed her seat back, moving to her feet “I hope you and Joao get it right, madre” she muttered before she moved to leave the restaurant.

Maria looked after her daughter before she shook her head, hating that she’d not been there for her when she’d needed her.

“Ela?” Lionel noted as he watched the passenger door open and close, allowing his wife to sit at his side.

“She wanted to say sorry” Gabriela mumbled, her voice heavy with a small sob “She wanted to tell me that I have another brother” she added.

Lionel sighed and gripped her hand, pressing a light kiss against her skin. “Mi amor, you don’t need her” he murmured gently, his thumb brushing her hand softly.

Gabriela nodded. “I know that” she murmured “It just…”

“I know” Lionel assured her, placing another kiss against her hand “Let’s just get out of here, Ok?” he noted.

Gabriela nodded her head and moved to rest it against the window, hoping that her mother would take the hint and stay away.
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Thanks to Jayme112234, Luuuc_19 and FootieJo for the comments :)