When You Close Your Eyes

16: He’s The One To Ask

Running a hairbrush through her blonde hair, Isabelle spared a soft look towards the mirror that stood ahead of her, her blue eyes quietly scanning her appearance. It had been a little while, after she had spent the day with Grace and her mother finalizing a few of the wedding plans, almost a week had passed, and with only 10 days left before her sister’s wedding day arrived, the house appeared a little hectic and frantic, something which made Isabelle a little grateful for the night which stood ahead of her.

It wasn’t something she did a lot, even when she was younger, she had tended to shy away from nights out with her friends to clubs and bars, but the idea of heading out for Grace’s bachelorette party excited her a little, even if she had no intention of going overboard, she was looking forwards to an opportunity to let her hair down for a little while.

Ensuring that she had brushed the last kinks out of her hair, she moved to settle her hair brush down onto the end table before the sound of a low whistle caught her ears, causing her to lift her head, her blue eyes peeking at Lionel who stood in the doorway, a slightly amused smirk playing on his face, something which made Isabelle roll her eyes. “Don’t say it” she quipped, padding towards the wardrobe in order to collect her shoes.

Lionel quirked a playful smile before he shook his head, raising his hands defensively. “I was merely going to say that you look beautiful” he quipped innocently as he stepped a little further into the room “It’s just been a little while since I saw you all dressed up like that” he added, his dark eyes surveying her body for a couple seconds.

Isabelle, who’d moved to sit down on the bed, blushed a little at the compliment and offered him a shy smile before she shook her head, focusing on pulling her shoes onto her feet. “I shouldn’t be gone for too long” she mused softly “I mean, Grace is likely to be out all night, but I am probably only going to stay for a couple hours. I’ve got work in the morning” she explained.

Lionel, who’d sat down beside her, shook his head. “You should enjoy yourself, Isa” he noted softly “It’s been a little while since you headed out with your friends and your sister, and you should enjoy it, even if it does mean calling in sick in the morning. You deserve a good night” he enthused, his fingertips gently brushing some of the loose blonde hair off of her cheeks.

Isabelle watched the movement of his fingers for a couple of seconds before she lifted her head, leaning into him softly before she pressed a brief kiss against his lips. Lionel smiled softly at the contact before the sound of Grace’s voice filtered into the room, causing him to duck back a little. “You should get moving” he noted softly.

“I should” Isabelle agreed softly “I’ll see you in a couple of hours?” she added, moving to collect her bag which sat on the top of the dresser.

Lionel offered her a playfully stern look before he nodded his head, something which caused Isabelle to lean into him, sneaking another brief kiss before she padded out of the room. Lionel watched her out of the door before he shook his head, a small amused smile playing at the corner of his mouth.

It had been good, after their last fight, things between him and Isabelle had been as good as they had been in a long time, and he had to admit that it pleased it him, even if he was still a little nervous about the chances of things continuing to work so well, he had to admit that he liked where they were.

“So, Belle, how long do you think it will be before it is you wearing the bride-to-be sash?” Lola, one of Grace’s friends, quipped as she peeked towards the blonde, an amused smile on her lips.

Isabelle, who’d been nursing her latest drink, blinked a couple of times at the sound of the other woman’s voice before she lifted her head, offering her a small shrug. It had been a good night, even despite her insistence that she wouldn’t stay for long, Isabelle had spent a few hours sat with her friends and Grace, and she had to admit that she had enjoyed herself, even if she had been keen to steer clear of drinking too much, it had been nice to head out for the night.

“I don’t know” she mused softly.

“You don’t know?” Grace quipped tipsily, falling into the seat beside her sister “You two have been together for ages, Belle. You must have an idea” she added.

Isabelle offered her a small look, briefly contemplating telling her about the problems that she and Lionel had been having, before she shook her head, offering her another soft smile. “I don’t” she mused softly “I mean, we’ve talked about it briefly, but I don’t know if or when it will happen. Besides, it’s Leo who’s supposed to ask, isn’t it?” she added, her tone deliberately bright and jovial.

Grace offered her a slightly dubious look, not quite believing her, before her name was called by one of her friends, causing her to excuse herself, something which made Isabelle sigh a little in relief. It wasn’t the first time, since things between her and Lionel had started to struggle, she had often thought about confiding in her little sister, but with the wedding approaching, she wanted to avoid it, not wanting to distract her in the run up to the happiest day of her life.

Closing the door quietly behind her, Isabelle quietly shrugged out of her coat, trying not to disturb the quiet which filled the house. It wasn’t overly late, despite having stayed a little longer than she had planned for, she had still made it home a little after eleven thirty, and she was glad to be home, even if she had enjoyed spending time with Grace and their friends, nothing appealed to her more than the idea of a glass water and the prospect of her bed.

Making sure to be quiet, she slipped her feet out of the heels she wore before she padded into the kitchen, making her way quietly towards the sink where she filled up a glass of water.

“I thought you were only going to be gone a couple of hours?”

Isabelle, who’d been quietly staring out of the kitchen window, let out a small sound of surprise at the sound of Lionel’s voice before she whipped around, something which made him chuckle. “I heard you come in” he noted, answering the question before it had a chance to fall out of her mouth “And I thought you might be a little worse for wear and so I thought I’d come and check on you. How was it?” he posed, moving to pull out one of the stools which sat beside the counter.

“It was nice” Isabelle noted, sitting down beside him “I mean, Grace was completely out of it by the time Sam came to get her, but she seemed to enjoy herself and that’s the main thing” she added.

Lionel nodded. “And you?” he posed “You enjoyed yourself?” he added.

“I did” Isabelle mused “I could have done without the usual fussing about you and the questions about when we’re going to start moving forwards, but once that was out of the way, I had a nice time” she insisted, twisting a strand of blonde hair around her finger.

Lionel tilted his head at the tone of her voice. “They ask you about that?” he posed.

Isabelle nodded. “Often” she confirmed softly “But don’t worry, I am careful with what I say” she added, offering him a soft look.

Lionel mulled her words over for a couple of seconds before he shook his head. “I’d ask you tomorrow” he mumbled quietly.

Isabelle, who’d been playing with her glass of water, tilted her head. “What?” she asked.

“I’d ask you to marry me tomorrow” he reiterated softly “But, I think we both know that we still need a little time to fix things before we think about that. I love you, Isabelle, and I’d do it in a heartbeat, you’ve got to know that” he explained softly before he pushed himself to his feet, pressing a gentle kiss against the top of her head. “Come on” he mumbled softly “We’ve both got work in the morning and we should probably head up to bed” he added, knotting their fingers together.

Isabelle, whose ears were still ringing with his words, blinked a couple of times before she followed his movements, a little smile on her face.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)