The Things That You Do

97: I Can Still Surprise You

Quietly nudging the bedroom door open, Alexa let Zachary toddle into the room ahead of her, smiling a little as he tottered to the side of the bed, his eyes looking up at Lionel, who was still fast asleep, expectantly. It was early, and with Lionel having taken the latest of Thalia’s night feeds, he had yet to stir, something which had afforded Alexa the chance to slip down stairs and prepare breakfast before she’d woken the two children, intent on making the most of the couple of quiet hours that they had before their families started to arrive at their home.

It had always been the plan, with Thalia’s due always having been only a few weeks before Christmas, it’d been agreed that they’d host the holidays that year, and whilst Alexa was looking forwards to celebrating the occasion with both her family and Lionel’s, a small part of her wanted to make the most of the time that they had to themselves. It had been fleeting, since Thalia had arrived a few weeks previous, they’d spent a lot of time around friends and family who were all itching to make a fuss of their new arrival, and whilst she was thrilled to see that everyone was so happy for them, she had grown to appreciate the quiet moments, even if they had proven to be few and far between. She liked it best when it was just the four of them.

Smiling softly, she watched Zachary pull at the duvet for a couple of seconds before she shuffled into the room after him, gently helping him up onto the bed before she sat down, adjusting Thalia in her arms slightly before she leant over, shaking Lionel’s shoulder. Lionel, who was curled up against his pillow, let out a small snuffle at the feel of her hand, but didn’t wake up, something which made Alexa shake her head before she turned to Zachary. “Why don’t you wake papa up with a hug, Zach?” she encouraged.

Zachary grinned at her widely before he shuffled over Lionel’s body, wrapping his arms around him tightly. “Papa!” he exclaimed with a giggle.

Lionel woke up with a start, caught off guard by the weight of Zachary against his chest, before he looked around slightly, his dark eyes settling on Alexa who stared down at him, a soft smile on her face. “Morning, sleepyhead” she greeted.

Lionel blinked a couple of times, trying to adjust to being awake, before he shook his head, hugging Zachary back slightly. “What time is it?” he mumbled.

Alexa, who’d moved to brush her fingertips through Thalia’s fine blonde hair, spared him a soft smile. “It’s still pretty early” she replied “A little after half past seven, but I thought maybe you’d not mind waking up a little earlier. I mean, I know you got up with Lia in the night...” she trailed off as Lionel let out a small laugh, something which made her shake her head, trying, and failing, to hide the slightly embarrassed smile which had spread across her face.

Lionel grinned at her impishly. “You have something planned?” he asked.

“I’ve made breakfast” Alexa replied “And we’ve got a little while before people are supposed to start showing up. I was thinking we could take these two downstairs, have some breakfast, and maybe open a few presents before you come back up here to wrap the ones you bought for my family and left unwrapped until the last minute” she added, sparing him a teasing smile.

Lionel, who’d been cheerfully babbling with Zachary, scoffed playfully. “Am I getting too predictable?” he asked.

Alexa shrugged. “I don’t think you’ve ever really been that surprising” she quipped, her tone warm and playful.

Lionel rolled his eyes, something which made Alexa giggle before she carefully shuffled back to her feet, trying to avoid waking Thalia who’d fallen back to sleep in her arms. Sparing a look down at the little girl, she watched her stir without waking up before she quirked a soft smile, something which caused Lionel, who’d been watching the two of them together, to smile too, more than a little smitten with the sight of his little family.

“Do you want to open another one, Zach?” Alexa posed as she gently wrapped her arm around the toddler’s waist, directing him back towards Lionel who sat ahead of him, another neatly wrapped parcel in his hands. It hadn’t been long, after she and the children had woken Lionel up, a little over an hour had passed, and Alexa was enjoying herself, even if all they’d done was have breakfast and opened a couple of presents. She had little doubt that that part of their day would be the one she liked the best.

Zachary, who’d been trying to toddle past, turned around before he took a few steps back towards his father, taking the present out of his hands before he sat down on the floor, pulling at the paper happily.

Alexa smiled, watching him pull at the paper for a couple of seconds, before the sound of a light cough reached her ears, causing her to look up, her blue eyes settling on Lionel who stood over her, an envelope clutched in his hand. “I didn’t see you move” she quipped, smiling up at him “What’ve you got there?” she added, gesturing with her head towards the envelope which he held in his hand.

Lionel smiled. “I got you something” he noted.

Alexa tilted her head. “It’s an envelope” she pointed out teasingly.

“I had noticed that” Lionel replied, playing along.

Alexa grinned up at him impishly before she slipped the envelope out of his hand. Gently slipping her finger under the top, she tore it open before she slipped out the card which sat inside, something which made her shake her head, laughing softly at the picture which was on the front of the card. It was an old one, taken before they’d started to date, and it made Alexa grin, a little amused by how awkward the two of them looked at being so close together. “When’d we take this?” she quipped, showing the card off to Lionel who’d sat down beside her.

“It was just after we’d met” Lionel quipped “We’d gone out for dinner together, and you insisted on taking a picture for Marco because he didn’t believe that we were friends” he added.

Alexa let out another cheerful laugh. “He was convinced I was making it up” she quipped.

Lionel merely smiled at her, something which caused her cheeks to flush a soft shade of pink before she turned her attention back towards the card, flipping it open before a piece of paper slipped it out. Quirking an eyebrow, she spared Lionel a suspicious look before she lifted the piece of paper into her hands, unfolding it to reveal a booking confirmation receipt for a trip for two to Paris.

“It’s short notice, I know” Lionel mumbled, pressing a soft kiss against her shoulder “But I thought we could use a little time for just the two of us. I’ve already spoken to your mama and she’s really excited about having Zach and Lia for a couple of days, but if it isn’t the right time...”

“You want us to spend New Year in Paris?” Alexa cut in, her voice a little soft in awe.

“I thought it’d be romantic” Lionel explained “But I know it’s pretty short notice and the kids are pretty small, so if you want to postpone it...”

“I love it” Alexa murmured, cutting him off again.

Lionel blinked, surprised by her interruption, before he tilted his head. “Really?” he asked.

Alexa nodded. “It is short notice” she murmured “But I really like the idea of it. You’ve really spoken to my mama?” she asked, a smile growing across her face.

Lionel nodded, something which made Alexa’s smile grow before she leant towards him, pressing two quick kisses against his lips. “I love it” she repeated between kisses.

Lionel smiled into the kisses for a few seconds before he dipped back slightly, mumbling a teasing quip about him still being able to surprise her.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)