When You Close Your Eyes

42: I’ve Never Given Them Reason To

Pushing the front door closed behind him, Lionel spared a soft sigh, glad to be home. It had been a long night, with things between him and Isabelle’s mother slightly off, Isabelle’s birthday dinner seemed to have dragged, but he was glad to be home, even if Francesca’s words still played on his mind, he couldn’t wait to go to bed and attempt to forget about it.

Ensuring that he had locked the door, he toed off his shoes before he moved to climb up the stairs, padding into the bedroom where Isabelle sat, carefully removing her shoes from her feet. Pausing in the door way, he watched her quietly for a couple of seconds before he stepped towards her, pressing a soft kiss against her shoulder.

Isabelle, who’d been preoccupied by removing her shoes, let out a small squeak at the feel of his lips against her shoulder, something which made him chuckle a little before he settled down beside her, his arms gently wrapping around her waist. “I didn’t mean to scare you” he mused softly.

Isabelle spared a soft look down towards his arms before she tilted her head, offering him a soft smile. “It’s OK” she mumbled softly “I just didn’t hear you come in. Are you going to come bed?” she posed, her fingers gently moving to play with his.

It had been a long evening, with her parents and Grace more than happy to make a fuss of her and her bump, she’d barely had a second to relax, and she was looking forwards to curling up beneath the comforter, even if it was a little earlier than she’d usually head to bed, a small part of her couldn’t wait to fall asleep.

Lionel, who’d been watching the movement of her fingers, quirked a soft smile before he ducked his head, pressing another kiss against her shoulder. “I think an early night sounds pretty good” he mused softly.

Isabelle smiled a little at the feeling of his lips against her shoulder before she carefully tilted her head, moving to press a soft kiss against his lips. “Gracias for today” she mumbled as she ducked back a little “I mean, I know you didn’t want to go to dinner with my parents, but I am glad that you did. I’ve have a pretty lovely birthday” she mused gently. She knew that he hadn’t wanted to go, from the moment she’d mentioned that her parents intended to visit on her birthday, he had been a little cagey whenever they came up in conversation, but she was glad that he had gone with her, even if there was a little tension between him and her mother, she was pleased that he’d put it aside.

Lionel mulled her words her words over for a couple of seconds before he quirked a soft smile, moving to press a light kiss against her forehead. “I’m glad that you had a good day” he mused warmly.

Isabelle cuddled into him for a second, enjoying the warmth of their embrace, before she carefully pulled back, her blue eyes peeking into his darker ones. “My mother” she mumbled softly, breaking the silence which had settled around the two of them “You spoke to her when I left to say goodbye to Sam and Grace, didn’t you?” she posed softly.

Lionel, who’d been tracing shapes against her bump, startled a little at the sound of her voice before he nodded his head softly. “I did” he confirmed softly.

“What did she say?” Isabelle posed softly. She knew what it was likely to be, her mother, for a while, had been itching to have an opportunity to speak to Lionel alone, but Isabelle wanted to ensure that she hadn’t upset him. The last thing she wanted was for Lionel to feel pressured by her parents.

Lionel was quiet for a couple of seconds, briefly contemplating switching the subject, before he shook his head. “What do you think she said?” he posed softly.

Isabelle offered him a soft look before she shook her head. “Leo…”

“I know that they’re trying to look out for you, Isa” Lionel interrupted gently, his voice slightly exasperated “And I don’t blame them for that, but it is starting to grate on me” he added, his fingers moving to knot with hers. He knew that Francesca and Marco meant well, for as long as he had known them, they had been protective of both of their daughters, but still Lionel was a little irked, even if he hadn’t expected anything less of them, he was slightly annoyed that they appeared to have doubts about him.

Isabelle allowed his words to linger around them for a couple of seconds before she shook her head, a soft sigh falling out of her mouth. “They’re my parents, Leo” she murmured softly “And they’re always going to worry about me, I can’t change that” she added gently.

“I know that, Isa” Lionel countered softly “And I am not asking them to stop worrying about you. I like that they seem to care so much about you, but I am getting a little irked with them asking me to promise that I am going to stick around for you and bump. I’ve never given them a reason to doubt that that is my intention, Isa” he added, his tone deliberately soft and tentative.

Isabelle offered him a soft look, not missing the tone of his voice, before she shook her head. “They’re worriers” she mused softly “Where did you think I got it from?” she added, quirking a half-smile.

Lionel admired her smile briefly before he shook his head. “I had one moment” he noted “When you told me about bump for the first time, I freaked out, and I hate that I did, but I don’t want my intentions to be questioned, Isabelle. I think we both know that you’re more of a worrier than I am” he added, his dark eyes peeking towards her softly.

Isabelle allowed his words to hang around them for a couple of seconds before she nodded her head shyly. “I am” she agreed softly “And I will try and talk to my parents, to get them to lay off of you” she added, offering him a soft half smile.

Lionel admired the soft smile on her face for a couple of seconds before he leant towards her, pressing a soft kiss against her forehead. “I’m going nowhere, Isa” he mumbled softly “You can’t get rid of me so easily” he added, offering her an impish smile.

Isabelle marveled at the expression on his face briefly before she tilted her head, pressing a soft kiss against his lips. “I hope not” she mused softly.
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