Slow Dancing in the Darkness

09: It Becomes My Problem

“Noah’s asleep in there” Lionel mused as he stepped into the living room, his thumb gently gesturing back towards the bedroom that he had left. It had been a pleasant afternoon, the pair along with their children had spent it in the park before returning to his apartment for a small dinner, and Lionel was glad that it had gone well, even if it wasn’t the romantic date he had hoped to give her for their second date, he was pleased by the way things had gone. Gabriela, who had been quietly flicking through the television channels, peeked up at him, offering a light smile.

Lionel tilted his head. “What’s with the smile?” he posed gently.

“You” Gabriela replied simply.

Lionel shook his head. “What about me?” he specified.

Gabriela smiled bashfully and shook her head, a little embarrassed by just how smitten with him she was. It was fast, with Elliot, the attraction that had originally formed between them had been purely physical, but with Lionel, Gabriela couldn’t help but like everything about him. He was likeable, his smile melted her heart, and she was amazed by how wonderful he had been with Noah. He had broken down walls that the 4 year old had never even let some of his relatives get through in a matter of hours, something Gabriela knew boded well for them. “Just you” she smiled gently.

Lionel chuckled gently before he padded into the kitchen, returning moments later with a bottle of wine and a pair glasses, one of which he was quick to offer to Gabriela. “You were amazing today” she commented, her eyes watching as he poured the red liquid into her glass.

“I was?” Lionel returned.

“Noah adored you” Gabriela cooed as she took a sip of her drink “He likes you more than he likes his uncle” she added.

Lionel smiled gently and sat down beside her. “I wanted him to like me, Gabby, so I tried hard with him” he explained softly. It had been nerve-wracking for him, the idea of spending time Gabriela’s son, but he felt as though he had done a good job. The shy little boy had come out of his shell relatively quickly and had even rewarded him with small hug before he had fallen asleep in the spare bed that Lionel had set up in Thiago’s room.

“Well, he certainly liked you” Gabriela smiled, gently swirling her drink a little “And that made me like you a little more too” she cooed, a small blush on her cheeks.

Lionel quirked an eyebrow. “You could like me more?” he teased, setting his glass down on the coffee table.

Gabriela shook her head. “I really don’t think that I could. You’re irritatingly wonderful” she grinned.

“Irritatingly?” the argentine quipped.

“I don’t like getting attached to things, Lionel” Gabriela commented gently “I don’t usually get a chance to settle in a place for very long before the ass demands that I up and leave again. I can see myself getting quite attached to you, and whilst it seems wonderful right now, it’ll probably hurt more when Elliot changes his mind again” she explained gently.

Lionel sighed. “Who’s Elena?” he murmured.


“Gabby, Elliot is clearly going to be a problem between us, and I think I ought to know what I am up against. Are you still in love with him?” Lionel interrupted, his dark eyes studying her face.

Gabriela shook her head. “I cannot stand him” she mumbled “He’s the biggest mistake I ever made and if it wasn’t for Noah, I would never have had anything more to do with him” she added.

“Then tell me about it, Gabby” Lionel cooed gently, his hand moving to take hers.

Gabriela sighed but nodded her head, knowing that it wasn’t fair to keep him in the dark. “I met Elliot when I was 18 years old” she murmured gently “He was an assistant to the lawyer who was sorting out my father’s divorce from my mother and it was an instant attraction. We dated for 3 years before he proposed and we were married for 3 years, with Noah arriving just over a year into our marriage. Elena was my maid of honor, my best friend, and the puta who was sleeping with him for the 6 years I was with him” she murmured.

Lionel blinked. “What?” he murmured shyly.

Gabriela shook her head. “She used to tell me that she hated him” she mumbled, her voice a little bitter but at the same time a little broken “She used to ask me what I saw in him, but it was a cover she used. 3 weeks after I started to date him, they slept together and for the next 6 years they were at it every chance they got. Noah even knew, Elliot used to tell him that his ‘special friend’ was coming over and that he had to stay quiet in his room until he came to get him. He played me out to be a fool, Leo, I was a publicity stunt, the pretty little housewife who gave him the baby and showed up to all his work events so that he could schmooze his clients. He used me” she explained, a loose tear falling out of her eyes.

Lionel swallowed a little and reached over, softly brushing it away from her skin. “I am sorry, Gabby” he whispered gently.

Gabriela shook her head gently. “It’s not your problem” she whispered.

“But it is yours, and if we are going to make something out of our thing here, then it becomes my problem” he explained, his hand gently tilting her head so that her blue eyes met his “Gabby, I like you, a lot, and I want us to make a go of this, something which would make Elliot my problem too. I want to take that on for you, do you think you could let me?” he posed softly.

Gabriela furrowed her brow, somewhat perplexed by his desire to still want to be with her despite the obvious flaw she still carried.

Lionel smiled and placed a soft kiss on her left cheek. “I like you, Gabby, regardless of your problems with Elliot” he mumbled, moving to kiss the right cheek “I am not going to be him, and I am not going to make things complicated for you. Gabriela, I am here if you want me” he rambled before he kissed her lips gently. Gabriela relaxed into his touch slightly, liking the way his kiss made her a little giddy. Lionel smiled at her relaxing and placed his hands on her hips, gently shifting her so that she straddled him. “If you want me, you have me” he whispered, his fingertips running along the hem of her shirt before they dipped inside, catching her skin briefly.

Gabriela smiled gently and peeked into his eyes. “I want you” she mused impishly.

Lionel grinned and carefully ushered her back to her feet, his hand grabbing onto hers. “That’s what I was hoping you’d say” he murmured before he led her towards his room, carefully knocking the door closed behind them.