You Loved Me Once

87: Say Something

“You weren’t supposed to find it”

Alba, who was still sat on the floor, startled a little at the sound of Lionel’s voice, not expecting to hear it. It had been a few minutes, after Lionel had found Alba with the box in her hand, he had moved to sit down before he spoke, not wanting to make the situation worse, but he knew that they couldn’t just ignore it, even if it did seem preferable to hearing her say that it was still not the right time, he knew that they had to talk.

“I didn’t think you’d look in my bag and I hadn’t planned on using it. It was just a spur of the moment choice to put it in there, just in case” he babbled softly.

Alba simply nodded, not looking back at him.

“Alba, I need you to say something” he protested quietly “I need you to say anything, I just need you to speak to me, nena” he babbled.

“How long’ve you had it?” Alba posed, messing with the box in her hand.

“This is one I bought just before Isabella was born” Lionel noted “I thought about using the old one, but that has so many bad memories wrapped up in it, I thought you’d hate it so I bought a new one” he explained gently.

Alba nodded her head, still not moving to look at him.

“I didn’t mean for you to find it, Alba” he mumbled gently “I was…I thought maybe the right moment would come along whilst we here, but I have no intention of pushing you into anything. You know I’d be more than happy to wait if it is what you want to do” he explained softly. He didn’t like it, the idea of waiting unsettled him slightly, but he was more than happy to do it for Alba. After the way things had ended before, he understood why she was worried and was more than happy to give her time if it was what she wanted. He merely wanted to ensure that they were moving at a pace that suited them both.

Alba sighed a little before she stood up, moving to sit beside him at the foot of the bed. “I love you” she murmured gently.

Lionel shook his head. “I get it” he murmured “You love me, but you’re just not quite ready. You don’t need to say it” he insisted.

Alba shook her head. “Leo…”

“Alba, I am more than happy to wait. You don’t need to say it” he interrupted softly.

Alba rolled her eyes and lifted her hand, placing it over his mouth. “Lionel, will you let me get a word in edgeways?” she posed.

Lionel frowned a little, but nodded, encouraging Alba to move her hand away.

“I thought I would say no” she admitted gently.

Lionel shook his head, but Alba cut him off before he had the chance to speak. “I thought I would” she insisted, stressing the word ‘thought’ “Since the last talk we had about this, I kept thinking that if you’d asked, I’d say no, but it…it feels different now” she explained haphazardly.

“Different?” Lionel posed softly.

“Things are so good between us right now” Alba mused, her hand messing with the ring box which sat in her palm “They have been for a while now and I guess that that got me thinking” she shrugged, trying to express her thoughts carefully. It had been coming, for a while, Lionel had been skirting around the idea of proposing, and for a while, Alba had been convinced that she would turn him down, but as she sat with the box in her hand, she couldn’t find the words to do it. She couldn’t tell him that she didn’t want to marry him.

“Alba” Lionel murmured, leaning a little closer to her “You don’t have to agree to anything. I know that what happened last time is still a major factor for you and I am not going to push it. I never meant for you to find this” he quipped as he moved to take the box out of her hand “I don’t even know why I bought it with me. I guess I just thought that maybe we’d find the right moment here. That was stupid” he muttered, flicking the box open.

Alba watched him, a little squeak falling out of her mouth as she spotted the ring he’d picked out.

Lionel smiled half-heartedly at the sound. “I thought you’d like it” he quipped.

“You picked this?” Alba posed.

“All by myself” Lionel noted, a half-hearted smile on his face.

“It’s beautiful” Alba mused softly.

“I thought so” Lionel commented before he closed the box, moving to his feet.

Alba watched him for a second before she reached out her hand, settling it on his forearm. “Leo” she murmured.

“It’s fine, Alba” he commented, not looking back at her “Too much, too soon, no?” he posed.

Alba looked at him for a second before she shook her head, a slight impish smile on her face. “Ask me” she mused.

Lionel frowned. “What?” he posed.

“Ask me” Alba repeated.

Lionel offered her a small frown.

“I want you to ask me to marry you, Lionel” she noted gently, her words soft and careful.

“You do?” Lionel posed.

Alba nodded. “I do” she confirmed softly.

“Alba, if you’re not sure about this, I am not going to push it. If you want to…”

“Ask me” Alba interjected gently, a small smile on her face.

Lionel offered her a slightly uncertain look before he nodded his head, shifting the box which still sat in his hand. Taking a small breath, he flipped the box open before he moved to kneel down, something which made Alba smile.

Taking another breath, Lionel looked at his feet before he flicked his attention to Alba, his confidence slightly buoyed by the affectionate smile she wore on her face. Nodding to himself, he shifted a little before he opened his mouth, trying to find the right words to use. “I have not been good at this” he noted softly “Our relationship, it’s had its good points, but more memorably, it’s had its bad ones and undoubtedly, that’s because of me. I messed up, Alba, I lost you and when I did, I thought it would be for good, but then Oscar and Eva’s wedding happened and it gave me a chance to show you that I’ve never stopped caring about you. I’ve made a lot of mistakes when it comes to us, but I know what I want and I want you and Isabella, and maybe another little one in the future. Alba, will you marry me?” he posed softly.

Alba watched him, her blue eyes a little tearful, before she nodded her head.

Lionel blinked. “Is that a…?”

“It’s a yes” Alba babbled softly, wiping her eyes a little.

“It is?” he posed, his voice a little uncertain.

Alba nodded her head, spluttering out a small sniffy laugh. “It is” she confirmed “I will” she added with a tearful smile.

Lionel looked up at her, trying to wrap his head around what she was saying before he pushed himself up, pressing a warm kiss against her lips. Alba startled at the strength of the kiss, but held onto him, not even attempting to mask the smile which grew on her face. she knew that it would take a little getting used to, their engagement would likely be a long one and Alba wanted to ensure that they were both certain about it, but in that moment, all she could do was smile, more than happy that he had asked.
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Thanks to FootieJo and Jayme112234 for the comments :)