The Things That You Do

68: It’s A Part Of The Job

“We should only be gone for a couple of hours” Lionel mused as he padded into the living room, his dark eyes sparing a brief glance towards Madeline who sat on the sofa, quietly flicking through television channels. It had been a few weeks, after he and Alexa had shared the news of their engagement, a little over a month had passed, and with Alexa’s birthday having arrived, Lionel had arranged a night out for them, something which had led him to call his future mother-in-law, needing a babysitter to watch Zachary. “I don’t think Alexa will forgive me if we’re gone for too much longer than that” he quipped as he moved to sit down, his voice a little shy and awkward.

Madeline, who was staring at the television screen, lifted her head at the sound of his voice before she quirked a fond smile, not missing the shy tone of his voice. It wasn’t unusual, despite the fact that they had spent a lot of time together over the years, Lionel still seemed a little awkward around her, and it never failed to make Madeline smile, even if she did want to see him grow more comfortable around her. She liked that he still seemed keen to making a good impression on her, and on Marco.

“I don’t think she will mind too much” she mused “I mean, I know it is the first time that you’ve both been away from Zach, but I am pretty sure that she’ll be a little glad for the chance to spend some time with you. I think she kind of likes spending time with you, you know” she added, her voice warm and teasing.

Lionel, who’d moved to tie the laces of his shoes, smiled a little at her teasing before he gently shook his head. “I’d like to think so” he mused.

“She does” Madeline replied “She’s liked you for a very long time, Lionel” she added, her voice softening slightly.

Lionel offered her a sheepish look. “You knew that she liked me?” he posed.

Madeline shrugged. “She never talked about boys with me” she quipped “She was always very much my husband’s daughter, and she told him everything, but I did pick up on the way she was around you pretty quickly. She had boyfriends before you, a couple of them that she was quite serious about, but she never quite looked at them like she looks at you. She’s always been fond of you, Lionel, and I hope that you know that. I hope it isn’t something that you’ll take for granted” she added, her expression growing firm.

It wasn’t her place to interfere, Alexa’s relationship with Lionel was something which was solely between the two of them, but she wanted to make sure that the argentine was serious about them, even if he hadn’t given her a reason to doubt it. She wanted to hear him say the words.

Lionel glanced at the older woman for a moment, a little surprised by the expression which had appeared on her features, before he nodded his head, opening his mouth to reply. “Madeline...”

“Leo, are you ready to go?” Alexa’s voice chirped as she stepped into the room, clipping her blonde hair off of her face.

Lionel blinked a couple of times, surprised by her interruption, before he fixed a smile on his lips, offering her a stout nod. “I’m ready when you are” he mused.

Alexa returned his smile briefly before she turned towards her mother, offering out the baby monitor which sat in the pocket of her jacket. “Zach’s asleep” she mused “And he should sleep for a couple of hours before he wakes up for a feed. I’d like to think we’ll be home in time for that, but in case we’re not...”

“This isn’t the first baby I’ve looked after, Alexandria” Madeline interrupted “You might have forgotten, but I did manage to raise both you and Marco, and I’ve babysat for your brother and Isabel more times that I can count. I am sure that I can handle little Zach just fine” she fussed with a motherly smile on her lips.

Alexa’s cheeks warmed a little before she shook her head sheepishly. “Lo siento” she mumbled

Madeline rolled her eyes gently before she stepped forwards, pressing a soft kiss to the top of Alexa’s head. “You’re allowed to worry” she murmured “He’s your baby and you’re allowed to fuss and worry about him. It’s part of the job. I still fuss over you and Marco all the time and you two are all grown up” she added, sparing a meaningful look towards Lionel over Alexa’s shoulder.

Lionel caught her look before he nodded his head, quirking a soft smile that was aimed at wordlessly reassuring Madeline that he knew what he had.

Madeline smiled a little at the sight of his grin before she gently nudged Alexa back. “You two should get out of here” she mused “Leo’s made plans and I am sure you’d hate to miss them, Alexandria” she added warmly.

Alexa hesitated slightly, something which caused Madeline to nudge her gently. “Get out of here” she quipped “It’s your birthday, and you deserve a couple of hours with your lovely fiancé. Go, Alexa” she fussed.

Alexa spared her mother a slightly dubious look before she nodded, a soft smile appearing at the corner of her mouth. “We’ll see you later, mama” she mused as she turned towards Lionel, taking a hold of the hand which he held out towards her before they padded out of the room, leaving Madeline behind, a soft smile on her lips.

“Are you tired?”

Alexa, who had her head rested against Lionel’s shoulder, blinked a couple of times at the sound of his voice before she gently shook her head, offering him a gentle smile. It had been a good night, with Alexa having insisted that she didn’t want too much of a fuss made of her birthday, Lionel had been sure to keep things relatively simple when it came to their date, but Alexa had adored it, even if they had simply enjoyed a quiet picnic dinner on the beach. She had really enjoyed herself. “I’m not too tired” she replied “I’m just enjoying your company. Tonight has been good” she added.

Lionel smiled gently at her words before he gently tilted his head, resting it softly against hers. “It has been” he quipped “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love having Zach around, but it’s been pretty nice to have a couple of hours to ourselves” he added quietly, his fingers lightly brushing against her thigh.

Alexa watched the movement of his hand for a second before she gently shook her head. “I know what you mean” she murmured “It’s going to sound stupid, but I’ve sort of missed...this” she babbled gently, motioning between the two of them.

Lionel smirked. “It doesn’t sound stupid” he mused “I kind of like the idea that you like to spend time with me, Alexa” he added, his voice slightly smug.

Alexa scoffed playfully. “I didn’t say that” she argued, playing along.

“It’s what you meant” Lionel countered with a knowing smile “Admit it, Alexa, you like me” he chirped.

Alexa rolled her eyes. “I don’t like you” she countered, a half-smile playing on her lips.

Lionel tilted his head, a feigned frown on his lips. “What?” he posed.

“I don’t just like you, Leo” Alexa countered “I am kind of in love with you” she added impishly.

Lionel stared at her for a couple of seconds before he shook his head, laughing gently.

Alexa marveled at the soft sound of his laugh before she shifted slightly, settling herself down in his lap before she lifted her hand, cupping his cheek. Lionel leant into the contact slightly before he craned his neck upwards, allowing him to press his lips to hers. Alexa grinned at the feel of his lips against hers and kissed him back warmly for a few seconds before she gently pulled back, resting her head against his. “Te amo” she murmured between soft kisses.

Lionel pecked her lips a couple of times before he leant back, tucking her hair off of her face. “Te amo” he repeated gently.

Alexa’s warm smile grew a little at the sound of those words before she shuffled backwards, moving to stand up before she offered her hand back to him. “Come on” she mused “As nice as this has been, we do have to get back. Zach’s due a feed in a while and I can’t quite remember if I made him up a bottle before we left” she fussed as she pulled him up to his feet.

Lionel followed her movements easily before he wrapped his arms around her, hugging her tightly. “I think I forgot to say this earlier” he mumbled “But, happy birthday, Alexa” he added before he stepped away, making his way back toward his car. Alexa shook her head and jogged to catch up with him, wordlessly hoping that he was around for many more of her birthdays.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)