You Loved Me Once

70: You’re A Lucky Man

“Are you certain that you don’t want any help with that?”

Lionel, who was sat in the middle of their spare bedroom, glanced up at the doorway, his dark eyes glaring at Alba who grinned at him, clearly amused by how much he was struggling to assemble the crib they’d purchased. He’d been at it for a while, with a couple of weeks off, he had insisted that they at the very least make a start on the nursery, but with most of the decorating completed, all that remained was to assemble the furniture, something which had posed him an issue. It looked straightforward, the instruction booklet had made it look simple, but thus far, it had proved a tougher task than he had been expecting.

“I am sure that we could find someone to come and help” Alba quipped “I’d do it, but every time I try, you start fussing” she teased, moving to sit on the floor ahead of him.

“Aren’t you supposed to be working?” Lionel posed, disassembling the parts he’d put together in an attempt to start again.

“I’ve got no work to do” Alba shrugged “They’re already lightening my load in anticipation of me going on maternity leave in a couple of weeks” she grinned.

Lionel rolled his eyes. “So you came up here to bother me?” he posed.

Alba shrugged. “I came up here to see how it was going” she clarified with an impish smile “It’s not my fault that you’re no further along than you were when I walked past here earlier” she added.

Lionel shook his head. “It’s more complicated than it looks” he defended.

Alba shook her head. “I am sure that we can find you someone to help out if you wanted” she offered gently “You don’t have to do this all by yourself. You’ve done most of it” she added, her hand taking his and squeezing it gently. She knew it meant a lot to him, even if she did tease him, she knew that decorating the nursery was important to him, and she wanted to help him out, even if he refused to let her help, she wanted to find someone that could.

Lionel offered her a little look before he nodded, conceding. “OK” he agreed.

Alba smiled. “You have someone in mind?” she posed.

Lionel shrugged. “Do you?” he posed.

Alba nodded. “Jess has been on at me for a while about letting her help out more. I am sure that between the two of you, you could get this furniture built” she enthused.

“Alright” he agreed softly “Do you need me to call her?” he posed.

“No” Alba quipped “I’ll call her, but I do need you to help me get up” she grinned as she held her hands out.

Lionel smiled and padded towards her, helping her back to her feet. “You should really stick to sitting on couches or chairs where it is easier for you to get up” he mused as he pulled her into a soft hug. It was a little clingy, ever since he’d returned from the Copa America, he could barely go and hour with hugging or kissing Alba, but it was something that the blonde woman had come to love, even if she did worry that it would trail off when the baby came along, she was merely pleased to be the centre of his attention.

“Have you two come up with a name for the little one yet?” Jess posed as she sat on the floor, perusing the instruction booklet. It had been a surprise, Jess, who’d taken the day off, had not been expecting to spend it helping Lionel assemble nursery furniture, but she had to admit that she was a little excited at the prospect of spending time with him alone. She didn’t know a lot about him, whenever she tried to broach the topic with Alba, the blonde would merely offer her a loved up smile in return, and Jess was pleased to have him alone. Part of her wanted to get to know the man who’d undoubtedly made Alba happy.

“Not yet” Lionel admitted “Alba’s flicking through a name book, but thus far, we’ve not got anything. I am sure that we’ll have a name by the time she comes along though” he enthused.

“I am sure that it will be beautiful” Jess enthused “Just as I am sure that the little girl it belongs to will be. You’re hoping she looks like Alba, no?” she fussed.

Lionel’s cheeks warmed a little, but he nodded nevertheless, offering Jess a bashful smile. “She’s a beautiful woman and I would be more than happy if our daughter took after her” he enthused softly.

“She’ll be fighting off the boys when she’s older” Jess teased.

Lionel rolled his eyes. “Don’t remind me” he joked with a feigned grimace.

Jess smiled at him gently before she flicked her attention back towards the furniture which sat between them. “You love Alba, don’t you?” she fussed quietly.

Lionel, who was sorting through the bag of fixings, looked up. “What?” he posed.

“I know it’s not my business” Jess defended softly “But I care for her, Lionel, and for the last year or so, she’s been so happy, something I can tell is connected to you. She adores you and I just want to know that the feeling is mutual. I know what happened last time…”

“She told you?” Lionel cut in.

“She did” Jess confirmed “And I want to know that that this isn’t going to end the same way. You broke her, Lionel, and I don’t want to see that happen again, especially not now bump is in the picture. Can you promise me that it won’t happen again?” she posed softly.

Lionel shook his head. “You think I could do it again?” he grumbled.

“I don’t know you well enough to make that call, but I know Alba loves you and I merely want to ensure that she’s not being set up for a fall. She’s an amazing woman, something I know you know, and I want her to be happy for a long time to come” Jess insisted.

Lionel offered her a look before he sighed. “I am going nowhere” he mused.

“You’re sure?” Jess pushed “I know Alba merely wants you two to make it work. She adores you” she added.

Lionel nodded. “I’m certain” he insisted “I am going nowhere, Jess, not now. I want to be with Alba, and with our little girl, and that’s not going to change. I’m right where I want to be” he added, his expression firm. He had grown tired of it, reaffirming his intentions, but he knew that it was something he was going to have to do a lot of, especially if he proposed to Alba, he was going to have to reassure a lot of people that it wasn’t going to be like the last time.

Jess smiled at him softly. “You’re a lucky man” she fussed softly “Alba’s quite the catch” she added.

Lionel merely nodded his head, a small smile filling his face. “I know” he agreed gently.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)