The Things That You Do

70: At Least I Can Tell You I’m Jealous

“Remind me, how did we let your mother convince us that this was a good idea?”

Alexa, who was running a straightener through her blonde hair, smirked a little at the sound of Lionel’s question before she lifted her head, meeting the stare of his brown eyes via the mirror which stood ahead of her. It had been a little while, after they’d agreed that they wanted to get married sooner rather than later, a couple of weeks had passed, and with them having started to make tentative plans for their wedding, Madeline had been quick to suggest that she throw them an engagement party, something that Lionel and Alexa had hesitantly agreed to.

It wasn’t something they’d given a lot of thought to, with Alexa having been hesitant when it came to sharing the news of their engagement, the prospect of planning an engagement party had been one which had been pushed to the back of their minds, but when Madeline had suggested it, they hadn’t been able to say no, even if they had been tempted to. The older woman was more than a little excited about the prospect of celebrating her youngest child’s impending marriage and neither Lionel nor Alexa had had the heart to turn her down.

“She’s a pretty convincing woman” Alexa replied, straightening another strand of her blonde hair “And you’re pretty terrified of upsetting her. I don’t we made her work that hard” she added, her voice warm and playful.

Lionel, who’d moved to collect his tie from the end table, scoffed. “I am not scared of your mother” he countered.

“Of course you’re not” Alexa quipped sarcastically “You’re always the picture of composure around her” she added, smirking up at him.

Lionel offered her a mildly unimpressed look, something which made Alexa giggle before she turned back towards the mirror, gently smoothing out the last of her blonde hair. Lionel watched her run the straightener through her hair for a second before he stepped towards her, pressing a light kiss against her cheek which made her let out a quiet squeak, a little surprised by the affectionate action. “What was that for?” she murmured as she lifted her head slightly, a soft smile pulling at the corner of her lips.

Lionel, who’d moved to fix his tie, shrugged, a coy smile pulling at the corner of his mouth. “I just felt like it” he mused “Is that a problem?” he added impishly.

Alexa rolled her eyes playfully, mumbling a comment beneath her breath before she reached towards him, straightening his tie.

Lionel watched the movement of her fingers for a moment before he gently lifted his hand, softly brushing a few strands of blonde hair behind her ear. “You know” he mumbled “It’s still not too late. If you’d rather we didn’t do this, we can just hide out up here. I can go downstairs, grab a bottle of champagne, and we can just hide up here. Just the two of us” he added, his thumb lightly tracing the line of her cheekbone.

Alexa leant into his touch slightly, a soft smile on her lips, before she gently shook her head. “It is tempting” she mused “But my madre would never forgive us. She’s spent the last week perfecting things and I think she’s expecting us to at least put in an appearance” she added.

Lionel feigned a pout, something which made Alexa scoff before she leant forwards, pressing a tender kiss against his nose before she dipped down, meeting his lips. “You’ll cope” she mumbled as she pulled away, making her way towards the wardrobe.

Lionel watched her across the room, preparing to retort, before the sound of the doorbell ringing caught his ears, causing him to let out a light sigh instead. “We should go and answer that, shouldn’t we?” he mumbled.

“It’d be an idea” Alexa retorted as she crouched down, fastening the buckle of her shoes.

Lionel stepped towards her, helping her back to her feet, before he took a hold of her hand, offering it a light squeeze before he led her out of the room.

“Did you give my madre a guest list?” Alexa posed as she spared a brief glance up at Lionel, a slight frown pulling at the corner of her mouth.

It hadn’t been long, after they’d greeted their first guest, they’d spent a while accepting the congratulations of the arriving guests, and Alexa was a little overwhelmed by the number of people that had shown up. It wasn’t what she had been expecting, when Madeline had suggested that she wanted to throw an engagement party, she had thought that her mother would only want to invite a few friends and family, and she was more than surprised that it was bigger than that, even if the people that Madeline had invited were their friends or their family. She had been expecting something small.

Lionel, who’d moved to greet one of Alexa’s uncles, shrugged. “She showed me a list” he quipped “I didn’t read it closely. She didn’t show you?” he posed.

Alexa shook her head. “She didn’t” she mused “You don’t think it’s too many people?” she added.

“It’s not like we don’t have the space” Lionel countered, shaking the hand of one of Alexa’s cousins.

Alexa offered him a dubious look before she felt a light nudge against her shoulder, causing her to turn, her blue eyes settling on Henry who grinned down at her. “Hola, stranger” he quipped warmly.

“Henry” Alexa grinned “I didn’t know my madre had invited you. It’s so good to see you” she fussed as she stretched her arms up, wrapping them around Henry’s neck.

Henry chuckled. “I knew you’d miss me whilst you were on maternity leave” he quipped “Though, I am a little surprised at you. I thought you’d at least drop by the office to make sure that I am not stuffing up anything in your absence” he teased warmly.

“I’ve been tempted” Alexa countered with a soft laugh.

Henry laughed good-naturedly before he turned his head, his eyes settling on Lionel who watched the two of them, a familiar frown on his face. It wasn’t uncommon, with Alexa and Henry being particularly friendly, the frown on Lionel’s face was common occurrence when Henry was around, but Alexa didn’t seem to notice it, or if she did, she never mentioned it. “It’s good to see you too, Lionel” he greeted politely.

Lionel nodded stiffly and stuck out his hand. “Henry” he noted as politely as he could.

“I should offer my congratulations” Henry quipped “You’ve got a wonderful fiancée, Lionel. You’re a lucky guy” he added, sparing a wink towards Alexa who rolled her eyes.

“Charmer” she teased.

Henry let out another chuckle before he shook his head, spotting Gerard who stood beside him, waiting his turn to offer his congratulations. “I should get out of your way” he quipped “But I will get the chance to get a drink with you, won’t I, Alexa?” he posed.

“I should think so” Alexa replied.

Henry flashed her a warm smile before he stepped away, making his way through the crowd with Lionel’s eyes fixed on his back, a frown on his lips.

Sipping on his glass of water, Lionel glanced over the glass’s rim, his brown eyes settled on Alexa and Henry who stood a little away from him, giggling at some joke the other man had told. They had been at it for a while, after they’d finished greeting their guests, Alexa had quickly slipped away to catch up with her friends from work, and it irked Lionel slightly, even if he knew that she had been hoping to catch up with them at the party. He didn’t like watching her with Henry. He knew that there was nothing between them, whenever the other man came up in conversation, Alexa was quick to insist that they were just friends, but still he didn’t like the other man, even if he did trust Alexa. He didn’t like the way Henry acted around her.

Settling the glass down on the counter, he spared another glance towards Alexa, catching her eyes briefly before he gently shook his head, moving to step out of the backdoor. Padding across the patio, he made his way towards a chair before he flopped down into it, pushing a hand back through his dark hair.

“Are you going to tell me what is wrong?”

Lionel, who’d squeezed his eyes closed, jumped at the sound of Alexa’s voice before he lifted his head, a soft sigh falling out of his mouth. “What?” he mumbled.

“You” Alexa returned as she padded towards him, settling down in the chair beside him “You’ve been grumpy for a lot of the night. I know that this isn’t exactly how you wanted to spend tonight, but I don’t think it calls for you pouting this much” she added, her voice warm and teasing.

Lionel merely offered a look, something which caused Alexa to frown before she gently leant forwards, trying to capture his hand in hers. Lionel, however, was slightly quicker, pulling his hand back. “You and Henry seem friendly” he grumbled.

Alexa blinked a couple of times, surprised by his sudden movement, before she tilted her head. “You’re grumpy because I’ve spent some time with Henry?” she posed.

“No” Lionel replied curtly “I’m grumpy because you seem completely oblivious to how much that guy is flirting with you” he added.

Alexa shook her head. “He’s my friend” she noted “I’ve told you that before. He’s just a friend, Leo, and you have no reason to be worried. You know I am only interested in you” she insisted.

Lionel snorted. “A friend?” he grumbled “Alexa, he’s flirting with you. I should know” he added.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Alexa retorted.

“It means I’ve seen the way Henry is around you before” Lionel countered “I was very similar around you when we first met” he added.

Alexa shook her head. “You’re being stupid” she countered “Maybe Henry and I are a little close, but we’re not flirting, at least, I am not flirting with him. I have no interest in him, Lionel, I never have done, even before you and I got together, I never had any interest in him that way, and if he is flirting with me, that’s his look out, not mine. You don’t get to act all grumpy and jealous because of that” she insisted, her voice firm. It wasn’t the first time he had gotten jealous, when they’d first started to date, his reaction towards them running into Andres had been jealousy, but it irked Alexa. He had no reason to be jealous, she and Henry were merely friends, and it irked her that he couldn’t seem to get that into his head.

Lionel glanced at her for a moment before he shook his head. “At least I can admit that I am jealous” he grumbled “Remind me, when I started to date my ex, how did you react to that?” he sneered.

Alexa blinked a couple of times, surprised by his words and their tone, before she shook her head, a sarcastic smirk on her lips.

Lionel stared at her, replaying his words in his head, before his expression softened. “Alexa....”

“How dare you?” Alexa cut in lowly “How dare you take that and use that against me in some petty stupid fight” she added, glaring at him from beneath her eyelashes.

Lionel shook his head. “I...I didn’t mean to” he spluttered “Alexa, I’m...”

Alexa merely pushed herself up to her feet before she strode towards the house.

Lionel quickly followed after her, his hand catching a hold of her arm. “Alexa” he noted “Mi amor, I didn’t mean it. I shouldn’t have said that” he babbled.

Alexa merely shrugged off his hand, taking a couple more steps before she turned back towards him. “I’m going to take Zach back to my mother’s” she murmured “If you have any sense, don’t follow me for a while” she added before she stepped away from him, disappearing into the crowd of guests which filled their home.

Lionel watched after her briefly before he let out a quiet groan, more than annoyed that he had let those words fall out of his mouth.