When You Close Your Eyes

21: You’re Good For Her

Sparing a soft yawn into her hand, Isabelle leant her weight back against the kitchen counter, enjoying the quiet and stillness of the early morning. It had been a couple of days, after the wedding, things had calmed down a little, and Isabelle had to admit that she was pleased, even if she had enjoyed the wedding, she was a little glad that it was out of the way.

Allowing another yawn to fall out of her mouth, she closed her eyes for a couple of seconds before the soft rumbling of the kettle came to an end, causing her to blink her eyes open, moving to collect a mug from the cupboard which stood a little away from her.

“What are you doing up?”

Isabelle, who’d moved to place a teabag into her mug, startled a little at the sound of Lionel’s voice before she turned around, peeking towards where he stood in the doorway, a sleepy expression fixed on his features. “I woke up a little while ago” she noted softly “And my parents are due to leave this morning so I figured I should get up rather than curl up back in bed again. What are you doing up? It’s a day off, isn’t it?” she posed, padding towards the fridge to collect some milk.

Lionel, who’d been trying to straighten out his hair, watched her for a couple of seconds before he nodded his head. “It is” he confirmed softly “But someone might have left their alarm clock on when they got out of bed, meaning I am awake a little earlier than I would like to be” he added, offering her a sleepy smile.

Isabelle shook her head. “I’m sorry” she mused softly “I was sure that I had turned it off” she added gently.

Lionel spared a soft chuckle before he shook his head, padding towards her slightly. “It’s fine” he mumbled wrapping his arms around her waist “Besides, I should probably be awake to see your parents off anyways seeing as I plan on taking you away for the holidays” he added, carefully pressing a soft kiss against her shoulder.

Isabelle’s cheeks flushed a soft pink before she shook her head. “My parents aren’t thrilled about that by the way” she mumbled teasingly “With Grace away on honeymoon, they’d been counting on us to show up” she added, offering him a small smile.

Lionel rolled his eyes playfully. “They’re not the only ones” he noted with a small shake of his head “My parents were less than thrilled by the idea that we’d not be around for Christmas, but I am sure that we can find a way to make it up to them, even if they are a little irked right now. I think a few days away could be good for us” he added, pressing a gentle kiss to the side of her neck.

He knew that people weren’t thrilled, as soon as he and Isabelle had suggested the idea that they’d be away for the holidays, both sets of parents had been more than a little irked, but still Lionel wanted to go, even if it did upset their parents, he wanted the opportunity to spend a little time alone with his girlfriend, something he was confident would be good for the two of them.

Isabelle smiled gently at the feel of his lips against her neck before she nodded her head softly, wordlessly agreeing with him before she pushed herself away from him slightly, mumbling about wanting to take a shower before she padded out of the room.

Lionel watched her out of the door before he shook his head, a grin playing at the corner of his mouth. It wasn’t something he’d given a lot of thought to, with him still wanting to take his time, the prospect of proposing was one which he had pushed to the back of his mind, but a small part of him was tempted to do it sooner rather than later, even if he did still want to take his time, a small part of him couldn’t help but think about the idea of her saying yes.

“Are you sure about going on vacation for the holidays?”

Isabelle, who was helping her mother to pack the last of the things, startled a little at the sound of Francesca’s voice before she lifted her head, offering her a small smile. “We’re pretty sure, mama” she noted softly “It’s been a while since we went away, just the two of us, and we want to make the most of it” she added, moving to place another item of clothing into the suitcase which stood ahead of her.

“You could go away in the summer” Francesca countered softly “You know we’d love to have the two of you over” she added gently.

“I know” Isabelle mused “But I think we’ve both made up our minds, mama. It’s been a little while since we headed away on vacation and I know that I am excited about it, something I think Leo shares in too” she added, offering her mother a soft smile.

Francesca admired the look on her daughter’s face for a couple of seconds before she shook her head, playfully rolling her eyes. “I guess I will just have to spend time with your papa” she quipped teasingly.

Isabelle spared a soft laugh before she leant across the bed slightly, wrapping her mother in a soft hug. “It’s been nice to have you around, mama” she mumbled softly “Even if you’ve spent the last few weeks preoccupied with Grace’s wedding, it’s been really great to see you and papa” she added gently.

Francesca smiled a little at her words before she ducked back, pressing a soft kiss against her forehead before the bedroom door swung open, allowing Marco, trailed by Lionel, to step into the room. “Are you nearly ready to get out of here, amor?” the older man posed, offering a look towards his wife.

“Almost” Francesca noted “I’ve just got to go and get a few things from the laundry room…”

“I’ll go and grab them” Isabelle interrupted softly before she pushed herself up to her feet, moving to pad out of the room.

Francesca watched her out of the door for a moment before she shook her head, her blue eyes settling on Lionel who stood a little away from her, shifting his feet nervously, something which made the older woman smile a little. “I’d like to thank you for putting up with us, Lionel” she noted softly “I mean, a month is a long time to have your girlfriend’s family in town for, let alone in your home” she added, offering him a soft smile.

Lionel shook his head. “You know you’re more than welcome here, Francesca. I know how much Isa loves having you both around” he noted softly.

Francesca nodded her head a little before she pushed herself up to her feet, moving to wrap him in a soft hug. Lionel stilled a little, not quite expecting the hug, before he wrapped his arms around her, hugging her shoulder. “You and Belle” she mumbled softly “You’re OK, aren’t you?” she posed softly, tugging away from him slightly.

Lionel blinked, slightly surprised by her words, before he nodded, knowing it was better not to protest and insist that there’d been no problem. “I think so” he confirmed softly “I mean, things seem pretty good right now, so much so, I am thinking of asking her to marry me whilst we’re away” he revealed softly.

Francesca tilted her head. “You are?” she posed.

“I am” Lionel confirmed “I mean, it’s nothing definite yet, but it feels like the right time” he added, offering her a small smile.

Francesca was quiet for a couple of seconds, taking in his words, before she shook her head, a bright grin on her face. “You’re really going to ask?” she squeaked softly.

“If I can find the right moment, yes” Lionel confirmed softly “But please, don’t say anything to Isa” he added, a soft look on his face.

Francesca shook her head. “Of course not” she noted softly.

Lionel offered her a small smile before Francesca stepped towards him once more, pulling him into another tight hug. “You’re so good for her, you know that?” she mumbled softly.

Lionel, who’d jumped a little at the sudden hug, smiled a little at her words, glad that she had taken the news so well.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)