When You Close Your Eyes

59: Here & Now

Pushing his sunglasses up his nose, Lionel quirked a soft smile, his dark eye settled on Isabelle who sat a little away from him, mumbling quietly to Isla who sat in her lap as she gently kicked her feet in the water of the pool. It had been a little out of the blue, with the ankle injury that he had suffered ruling him out for a little over a month, he had been quick to suggest that they take a couple of weeks away from Barcelona, and whilst they’d not travelled too far away, he was glad they’d gone. He like the idea of spending some time alone with his fiancée and their daughter.

Stretching his legs out a little, he rested back against the sun lounger he sat in before he closed his eyes, a small contented sigh falling out of his mouth. It had been a hectic few months, with Isla’s arrival and the start of the new football season, both he and Isabelle had found themselves more than a little busy, but he was glad that they had the opportunity to get away, even if it had come as a result of an injury, he was glad to have the opportunity to relax for a little while.

“You look pretty comfortable”

Lionel, who’d drifted off a little, startled at the sound of Isabelle’s voice, something which made her giggle a little as she sat down beside him. “I didn’t mean to make you jump” she quipped softly “I was just trying to get Isla out of the sun. Are you OK?” she posed, carefully moving to settle Isla down on his chest.

Lionel watched the little girl for a couple of seconds, offering her a small smile, before he nodded his head, making a little room for Isabelle at his side. “I’m fine” he mused, his fingers gently adjusting the small sun hat which had been placed on the top of Isla’s dark hair.

Isabelle admired the small movements of his fingers before she carefully cuddled into his side, something which caused him to wrap an arm around her, holding her close as a small silence fell over the two of them.

Isabelle smiled a little at the feel of his arm around her before she carefully tilted her head, pressing a gentle kiss against his cheek. “You know, I am pretty glad that we’ve done this” she mused softly “I mean, I know how much you hate missing games, but I’m enjoying this. I like it, just the three of us” she fussed gently.

It had been a busy few months, with Isla having arrived almost 3 months previous, people seemed keen to make a fuss of them, and whilst Isabelle was glad that people were excited for them, she had enjoyed spending time alone with Lionel and Isla, even if she knew it was only a couple of weeks, she liked having the two of them to herself.

Lionel, who’d moved to trace shapes into her hip, mulled her words over for a couple of seconds before he nodded his head. “I like it too” he mused softly “Don’t get me wrong, I love that our families and friends are still so excited about her, but I like it more when it is just me and my two favourite girls” he added, pressing a soft kiss against her temple.

Isabelle’s cheeks warmed a little at his words before Isla let out a soft whimper, pulling the attention of her parents down towards her.

“I think someone would like a nap” Lionel quipped, his fingers gently brushing against the baby’s back.

“I should go and settle her down” Isabelle mumbled softly, gently pushing herself back up to her feet “Are you going to stay out here?” she added, gently moving to lift Isla into her arms.

Lionel admired the two of them for a second before he nodded his head. “I think so” he quipped gently before he leant up, pressing a soft kiss against the top of Isla’s head “Dulces sueños, princesa” he added gently.

Isabelle offered him a soft smile before she padded into the house.

Lionel watched after her for a couple of seconds before he carefully moved to rest back against the sun lounger, a soft smile playing on his lips. He knew that it wasn’t the best thing, for as long as he had been playing football, he had hated being injured, but a small part of him was glad for the break, even if it did mean missing a few important matches for Barcelona, he was glad for the opportunity for him and Isabelle to get away for a little while.

“Did she settle OK?”

Isabelle, who’d moved to step quietly onto the patio, startled a little at the sound of Lionel’s voice before she lifted her head, offering him a soft smile. “She was a little fussy” she mused softly “But, after a little feed, she settled pretty quickly. She was pretty tired” she added, gently moving to settle down beside him.

Lionel nodded his head gently before he shifted his arm, gently wrapping it around her waist as she cuddled into his side, her eyes closing for a couple of seconds.

Lionel watched her for a couple of seconds before he shook his head, moving to press a soft kiss against her temple. “You know” he murmured “If you wanted to go and take a nap, I’d not mind. You’re supposed to sleep when Isla sleeps” he added, his fingers gently brushing against her side.

Isabelle shook her head. “I’m Ok” she mumbled softly “Besides, I kind of like sitting here with you” she added, offering him a small smile.

Lionel offered her a dubious look, wordlessly asking if she was sure, before he nodded his head. “OK” he mused gently.

Isabelle offered him another soft smile before she leant her head against his shoulder, allowing him to kiss the top of her head. “Can you quite believe that almost a year ago, we were on the verge of ending this?” he posed quietly. He didn’t want to start a fight, the idea that they’d almost broken up was still a sore one for them, but he had to admit that he was a little proud of how things had changed. He liked how far they’d come.

Isabelle allowed his words to hang around them for a couple of seconds before she nodded her head softly. “It seems strange now” she mused softly “But I am glad that we put things back together. I mean, we’ve got Isla now and eventually, we’re going to think about getting married. I’d say it worked out pretty well for us” she enthused, a warm grin on her face.

“It did” Lionel agreed softly.

Isabelle offered him another soft smile before she carefully snuggled a little closer to him, enjoying their embrace.

Lionel watched her briefly before he ducked his head, pressing a soft kiss against her head. “Marry me” he mumbled quietly.

Isabelle cocked an eyebrow. “You’ve already asked me that” she quipped, a teasing grin on her face “That’s sort of why I am wearing this” she added, showing off the engagement ring she sported on her finger.

Lionel rolled his eyes playfully. “I know that” he quipped “But what I was suggesting is that we do it, here and now” he added, his tone softening a little.

Isabelle blinked a couple of times, caught off guard by his words. “What?” she squeaked, her voice more than a little surprised.

“I know it’s sudden” Lionel breathed softly “And if you don’t want to do it, then we really don’t have to, but I thought…I thought maybe we could elope” he added, his dark eyes peeking towards her shyly. He knew that it was sudden, for as long as they’d been engaged, they’d both talked about getting to wedding planning eventually, but a part of him didn’t want to wait anymore, even if he knew that they ran the risk of hurting people, a part of him wanted Isabelle as his wife as soon as possible.

Isabelle stared at him, a look of surprise etched onto her features, before shook her head. “Leo…”

“It’s OK” he interrupted softly “It was a stupid thing to say” he added, shaking his head.

Isabelle shook her head before she leant towards him, fingers lacing through his. “It’s not stupid” she mused softly.


“It’s not” Isabelle interrupted softly “I actually like the sound of it, but you know how many people would be hurt by the idea that we did this without them. My padre would be devastated not to give me away, your madre would be upset not to be there when her youngest son gets married…I just don’t want to cause a problem” she explained softly. She was tempted, the idea of marrying Lionel sooner rather than later was very appealing, but she was a little hesitant, even if she did want to be his wife, she was slightly worried about the idea of people being hurt by their decision.

Lionel allowed her words to hang around them for a couple of seconds before he lifted their hands, moving to press a soft kiss against the back of hers. “We can do both” he mused softly “I mean, we can still plan a wedding and do it again in front of everyone, but right now…I want to marry you, Isa, and I’d like to do it sooner rather than later” he added, pressing another soft kiss against her hand.

“You’d not mind doing it twice?” Isabelle posed softly.

“Not at all” Lionel quipped “So, what do you say?” he added, offering her an impish smile.

Isabelle was quiet for a second, mulling over the idea, before she quirked a soft smile. “Let’s get married” she enthused gently.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)