The Things That You Do

24: I Don’t Want To Get Ahead Of Myself

Readjusting her grip on the handles of the two gift bags which she held in her hand, Alexa glanced up at the door which stood ahead of her, taking a moment before she lifted her hand to knock.

She knew that there was no skipping out, with it being her niece and nephew’s fifth birthday, she knew that Marco and her mother wouldn’t let her get away with not showing up, but still a small part of her was tempted to shy away, not wanting to spend the day trying to define what was going on between her and Lionel. She knew that they would ask, with their first kiss having been as public as it was, there was no way that they wouldn’t, and whilst a part of Alexa wanted to fuss over what was going on between them, she knew that it was best not to, not wanting to get ahead of herself when things were still so new between them.

Hesitating for a second longer, she spared a glance back towards her car before the sound of the door being pulled open filled her ears, causing her to look up, her eyes settling on Marco who stood in the doorway, a slightly amused smirk playing at the corner of his mouth. “Are you planning on coming inside?” he quipped “Because if not, I can just take the gift bags and you can run off” he added, sparing a look down towards the bags which she clutched in her hand.

Alexa followed the line of his stare, briefly mulling over his offer, before she shook her head. “I should probably come inside” she noted.

Marco let out a chuckle before he nodded, stepping out of the doorway. “Everyone is out back” he noted.

Alexa offered him a swift nod before she moved to step past him, padding through house and out into the garden with Marco in tow. “Look who finally made it” he announced brightly.

Alexa scoffed. “I am not that late, am I?” she noted as she padded across the garden, greeting her sister-in-law with a soft kiss on the cheek.

Isabel shook her head. “Not at all” she noted “If anything, I am glad that you made it. It’s been a while since I’ve seen my favourite sister-in-law, Alexa” she noted.

Alexa offered her a small smile, wordlessly agreeing that it had been too long since they’d seen one another, before she felt a pair of arms wrap around her waist, something which caused her to startle. Letting out a soft squeak, she quickly dropped her stare before she shook her head, smiling a little at the sight of her nephew before she lifted her hand, ruffling his dark hair. “Happy birthday, Adrian” she mused warmly.

Adrian hugged her tightly for a second longer before he stepped back, looking up at her. “Did you get me a present?” he asked.

Alexa laughed at the bluntness of his question before she nodded. “I did” she confirmed “So, why don’t you go and get your sister so that I can give them to you?” she posed, glancing across the garden towards Ariana sat, playing happily with her toys.

Adrian nodded his head dutifully before he scampered across the garden, something which made Alexa shake her head gently before she moved to sit down on the chair that Isabel had offered her.

“Alexandria, you made it”

Alexa, who’d moved to slip her jacket off of her shoulders, startled a little at the sound of her full name before she lifted her head, peeking up at her mother who stood a little away from her, a soft smile on her lips. It had been a while, since she had gone back to work, Alexa’s visits to her mother had become few and far between, and she felt bad for it, even if her mother had been quick to insist that it was alright. She felt bad that she hadn’t spent more time with her mother. Blinking a couple of times, she quickly fixed a small smile onto her lips before she nodded. “Of course I did” she noted “I wouldn’t miss it” she insisted.

Madeline, who’d moved to place a drink down beside Isabel, smiled a little at Alexa’s words before she stepped towards her, wrapping her up in a tight hug. “It’s good to see you, sweetheart” she fussed warmly.

Alexa jumped slightly, surprised by the strength of the hug, but she returned it quickly. “It’s good to see you too, Mama” she enthused.

Madeline held onto her for a couple of seconds before the sound of Adrian’s voice filled the air, causing the older woman to pull away. “You should really give them those presents” she quipped “They won’t leave you alone until to you do” she added teasingly.

Alexa nodded, making a quip about them being a lot like Marco, before she padded over towards the twins, something which made Madeline smile gently, glad that her youngest child had made it.

Tossing another empty cup into the trash bag, Alexa padded around the patio, her ears doused with the quiet which filled the garden. It had been a long afternoon, with both Ariana and Adrian having been particularly excitable, it had been difficult to calm them down for longer than a couple of minutes, but Alexa had enjoyed spending time with them and everyone else, even if Isabel had spent a lot of time trying to guide her into a conversation about Lionel. She was glad that she hadn’t shied away.

Scanning the patio, she made sure that there was no more rubbish to collect before she felt her phone vibrate in her pocket, something which made her smirk to herself. Setting the trash bag down, she moved to take a seat on the edge of the patio before she slipped her phone out of her pocket, her smile softening a little at the sight of Lionel’s name on the screen.

“I’m guessing that that is from Lionel”

Alexa, who was typing out her reply to Lionel’s text, jumped a little at the sound of her mother’s voice before she shook her head, timidly keeping her eyes on her phone. “It might not be” she mumbled, her voice a little defensive.

Madeline, who’d moved to step out onto the patio, shook her head, an amused smile pulling at her lips. “You smile at his texts, Alexa” she mused “You always have done” she pointed out as she sat down beside her.

Alexa shook her head. “Mama...”

“I am not here to press you on it, Alexa” Madeline interrupted softly “You’ve never liked talking about boys with me, you always did it with your papa” she added with a sad smile, her voice slightly pained at the mention of her husband.

Alexa noticed the heaviness in her voice before she shuffled a little closer, offering her a brief sideward hug as a silence hung over the two of them.

Madeline patted Alexa’s hand, something which made the blonde sigh softly. “It’s early days” she murmured quietly.

Madeline frowned. “What?” she posed.

“Me and Leo” Alexa clarified “Whatever it is that is going on between the two of us, it’s very early days. We’ve been out on one date, and it was good, but I am very wary about getting ahead of myself. I’ve liked him for a long time, Mama, you know that, but I am not really sure on where he stands and I don’t want to get my hopes up too soon, that’s why I am a little cagey when it comes to talking about it. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself” she explained, shyly pushing her hair behind her ear.

Madeline watched her before she gently shook her head, offering her hand a light squeeze. “I understand that” she explained “And if you want to keep it under wraps for a little while, I am not going to push you on it. Just promise me one thing” she mused.

Alexa lifted an eyebrow. “What?” she posed.

Madeline smiled. “That, if things do work out, you don’t wait forever to bring him home to meet us. I can’t recall the last time you were brave enough to bring home a boyfriend to meet me” she quipped, her voice warm and motherly.

Alexa scoffed playfully, a slight blush on her cheeks. “That’s a way off, mama” she insisted.

“Perhaps” Madeline replied “But I have a good feeling about you two” she enthused warmly before she pressed a soft kiss against her daughter’s head.

Alexa smiled at the light touch, hugging her tightly for a few seconds, before Madeline patted her back. “We should get back inside” she noted “Your brother is trying to put the twins down to bed and they’re insisting that they won’t go to sleep until they’ve said goodnight to their favourite aunt” she added, gently brushing Alexa’s hair off of her face.

Alexa nodded her head gently before she pushed herself up to her feet, feeling her phone vibrate in her pocket. Pausing, she scanned Lionel’s message swiftly before she moved to compose her response

Madeline, who’d stepped back towards the patio door, smiled fondly at the sight before she shook her head, wordlessly hoping that things worked out for Alexa.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to FootieJo and Jayme112234 for the comments :)