When You Close Your Eyes

77: This Isn’t Last Time

Sparing a soft look towards the closed bedroom door which stood ahead of him, Lionel let out a soft sigh, his stomach twisting at the thought of the conversation which laid ahead of him. He knew that there was no avoiding it, after the way they’d left things when Isabelle had left for Grace’s, he knew that he and Isabelle needed to talk, but a small part of him wanted to duck out, even if he did miss having her and Isla home, a small part of him was dreading the conversation.

Offering the door another soft look, he briefly contemplated heading back down the stairs before he shook his head, gently nudging the door to the bedroom open. Stepping quietly into the room, he nudged the door closed behind him before he lifted his head, his dark eyes settling on Isabelle who sat on the bed, quietly flicking through the messages on her phone. “Isabelle?” he breathed softly, his voice slightly uncertain and quiet.

Isabelle startled slightly at the sound of his voice before she lifted her head, a shy expression etched onto her features. “Leo” she breathed softly “I…I wasn’t expecting you. I mean, Grace told me that you were here, but I figured you’d have training or something” she babbled, her cheeks tinting a soft shade of pink.

Lionel admired the colour on her cheeks for a moment before he shook his head, gently moving to settle down on the bed beside her. “It’s a day off” he noted softly “And I figured I’d come to see you rather than call. We need to talk, don’t we?” he posed, his dark eyes peeking towards her briefly. He could see that she was nervous, the expression that marked her face was one that he knew well, but he still he wanted to talk to her, even if it was likely to be awkward and tense, he knew that they couldn’t avoid it forever.

Isabelle briefly mulled his words over before she nodded her head. “We do” she confirmed softly, her fingers gently pulling at a loose thread which stuck out of her sock.

Lionel watched the movement of her fingers for a couple of seconds before he shook his head, his hand gently moving to take a hold of hers. “I’m sorry, Isa” he murmured softly “When we got the result of that pregnancy test, I should have handled it better…”

“You should have done” Isabelle interjected, the tone of her voice undecipherable.

Lionel blinked a couple of times, slightly surprised by her interruption, before he nodded his head, wordlessly encouraging her to keep talking.

Isabelle offered him a soft look before she shook her head softly. “I know it was a surprise” she mused softly “I mean, until I started to feel nauseous, I’d not even thought about the idea of me being pregnant again, but you should have handled it better, Leo” she added, her blue eyes meeting his darker ones. She knew that she had caught off guard, the idea that she was pregnant for the second had come along out of the blue, but she had been expecting a better reaction, even if it was a surprise, and she wanted him to know that she was hurt.

Lionel allowed her words to hang in the air for a couple of seconds before he sighed, shaking his head a little. “I know that” he mumbled softly “And I am sorry for reacting like I did. I just…it is soon, Isa” he added, his fingers gently messing with hers.

“I know that” Isabelle mumbled, her blue eyes fixed on their hands “But this isn’t like it was before. Last time, things weren’t good, we were struggling, but now? It’s different this time around, Leo, we’re married, we’ve already got Isla, and I thought that you’d be happy about bump too, even if it was a little quick. I thought you’d at least crack a smile about the idea that you’re going to be a papa again” she added, her tone caught between upset and soft.

Lionel, who’d been watching the movement of their fingers, noted the tone of her voice before he shook his head, his hand gently lifting hers so that he could press a soft kiss against the warm skin. “You’re right” he mumbled “This isn’t last time and I should have handled it better this time around. We are in a good place, we have been for a while now, and I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did. I am so sorry, Isa” he mumbled, pressing another soft kiss against the back of her hand.

He knew that he had hurt her, even if she hadn’t said it, the tone of her voice confided it, and he wanted to apologize for it, even if he knew that he had to make it up to her, he wanted her to know that he regretted how things had worked out.

Isabelle offered him a soft look, her blue eyes searching his earnest expression, before she shook her head, a soft sigh tumbling out of her mouth. “I know that you are” she mumbled softly “And I appreciate that, but this isn’t the first time, Leo, and it is going to take some time to put this right, you know that, right?” she added, her finger nervously twisting in her blonde hair.

She knew that he was sorry, the expression he wore made it more than clear, but she didn’t want to just let it go, even if she had missed him, she wanted him to know that it was going to take some work.

Lionel offered her a soft look, not missing the serious expression she wore on her face, before he nodded his head. “I know” he noted softly “And I want to do whatever it takes to make things right between us. I love you, Isa” he added, pressing another soft kiss against the back of her hand as a soft silence fell over the two of them.

“I’ve got a midwife’s appointment in a couple of days” Isabelle mused, breaking the silence which had settled around them.

Lionel, who’d been messing with her fingers, startled a little at the sound of her voice before he lifted his head, offering her a soft look. “You do?” he posed gently.

“I do” Isabelle confirmed softly “You want to come?” she added shyly.

Lionel quirked a soft smile before he nodded his head. “I’d love to” he mumbled softly.

Isabelle nodded her head gently before she offered his hand another soft squeeze. “I am going to come home” she noted softly “But, Leo…”

“I will stay in the spare room” Lionel interrupted softly, not missing the tone of her voice.

Isabelle tilted her head. “You’d not mind that?” she posed softly.

Lionel shrugged. “I want to figure us out, Isa” he mumbled softly “And I know that that is going to take some time. I hurt you, Isabelle, and I want to make that right, even if it does mean sleeping in the spare room and taking things slowly. I want you, Isla, and bump home” he added, his dark eyes briefly peeking down towards her stomach.

Isabelle followed the line of his stare before she offered his hand another soft squeeze. She knew that it was going to take a little time, after the way he’d reacted to the news of her pregnancy, it was likely to take some time for the two of them to piece things back together, but Isabelle wanted to be cautious, even if she did want to figure things out, the last thing she wanted was to find herself hurt again.
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