I Know I Was for a While

56: Maybe You Could Talk Me Out Of It

Quirking a small smile to herself, Camila rested her shoulder against the door frame, her eyes settled on Lionel who stood a little away from her, carefully guiding Oscar through a few wobbly steps, oblivious to her presence. It had been a few weeks, after she had taken Oscar to his first Barcelona match, a couple of months had passed, and with Oscar’s first birthday having arrived, both she and Lionel had spent most of the morning getting things ready for the small party that they’d opted to throw for him, something which Camila was excited about, even if a small part of her was dreading the prospect of her mother and Noah’s parents being in the same place at the same time. She couldn’t wait to make a fuss of the fact that her little boy was already a year old.

Softly brushing her hair off of her face, she watched as Lionel gently pulled his hand out of Oscar’s grasp, something which made the little boy wobble a little on his feet before he plopped back down, sitting on the floor. “He’s getting closer” she mused gently.

Lionel, who’d had his back towards the door, visibly flinched at the sound of her voice, something which made Camila laugh before she stepped a little further into the room, moving to kneel down ahead of Oscar, greeting the little boy with a soft kiss against his cheek. “Sorry” she mused “I didn’t mean to scare you. I just didn’t want to interrupt the two of you. You looked busy” she added, turning to smile up at Lionel.

Lionel looked down at her, admiring her smile for a second, before he shook his head, quirking a small smile of his own. “It’s OK” he noted “I mean, he’d pulled himself up on the sofa and I thought I’d try and encourage him to take a couple of steps, but we didn’t get very far. You need my help with something?” he asked curiously.

Camila, who’d been happily babbling to Oscar, smiled a little at his question before she shook her head, sparing him a brief look over her shoulder. “I think I have everything under control” she mused “I mean, my mother’s picking his cake up on the way through, and the rest of the food is ready to go. I’ve just finished with the decorations in the other room, so I think we’re probably ready. We just need to get him dressed” she added, smiling a little at Oscar who sat beside her, a grin of his own stuck on his face.

Lionel looked between the two of them for a moment, admiring just how much Oscar looked like his mother, before he shook his head, unable to stifle his own smile. “He’s a year old, Mila” he fussed, disturbing the momentary silence which had settled over them.

Camila’s grin grew a little before she looked up, her dark eyes mirroring Lionel’s. “I know” she fussed.

Lionel let out a soft laugh, not missing just how happy she looked, before he stepped towards her, leaning over so that he could press a soft kiss against the top of her head. Pausing for a few seconds, he pressed a couple more soft kisses to the top of her before the sound of the doorbell filled the air, causing him to let out a quiet sigh. “Are you on greetings or am I?” he mumbled as he stood back up.

“It’s probably going to be my mother” Camila quipped as she followed his movements, standing up.

Lionel mulled over her words for a second before he leant down, lifting Oscar up into his arms. “I’ll go and get him changed” he quipped with an impish smile before he padded out of the room.

Camila rolled her eyes playfully before she quietly shook her head to herself, hoping that the party that they’d planned for that afternoon went by without incident. She knew that there was a high chance something could go wrong, with her mother and Noah’s parents both in attendance, she knew that there was a potential for someone to say something which upset somebody else, but still she hoped that they could be on their best behavior, even if she knew that they weren’t going to warm to one another. She merely hoped that they’d not want to spoil a day that ought to have been entirely about her little boy.

Sipping on the drink that had been placed in his hand, Lionel quirked a warm smile, his dark eyes watching Camila who was sat on the floor a little away from him, helping Oscar to open another batch of presents. It wasn’t the first lot he had opened, with Camila having invited a lot of people to the party that she’d thrown for the little boy, he’d been plied with copious amounts of presents, but despite having watched him and Camila open a lot of gifts, Lionel couldn’t stop himself from smiling, still a little amazed that a whole year had passed since the little boy had arrived.

Watching as Camila pulled the paper off of another present, he smiled a little over the rim of his cup before the sound of someone sitting down beside him reached his ears, causing him to turn slightly, offering a small nod towards Lucille who’d slipped into the empty seat at his side. “You’re not over there?” he quipped, gesturing towards Camila and Oscar.

Lucille shook her head. “Isabel and Victor are” she mused, gesturing to the older couple who sat on the couch at Camila’s side, enthusiastically fussing over Oscar “And I thought I ought to steer clear of them. I know Mila’s pretty worried about me saying something and so I thought I’d give them some space. Besides, Oscar’s been opening presents for nearly half an hour. I’ve had my go at fussing. Have you?” she added.

Lionel cleared his throat slightly, something which made Lucille shake her a little, slightly amused by how nervous he still seemed to be around her. “Me and Mila helped him open a few presents from us this morning” he quipped “She was waving around her video camera, so I am sure that she could show it to you later” he added, pushing a hand back through his hair.

Lucille watched him for a second, a soft smile on her face, before she opened her mouth to speak, only to be cut off by Lionel, who was quicker. “I’m going to propose” he blurted out, the words rushed and almost unrecognizable.

Lucille frowned. “What?” she asked.

Lionel took in a shaky breath before he shook his head. “I am going to propose to Camila” he repeated quietly “I mean, our first anniversary, it’s in a couple of days, and I...I am planning on asking her to marry me, and I just...I thought maybe I ought to let you know. Maybe you could talk me out of it if it’s a terrible idea” he added, breathing out a clearly forced laugh.

Lucille stared at him, allowing his words to hang around them for a few long seconds, before she shook her head, her face lighting up with a warm smile which soothed, albeit only slightly, the butterflies which thumped in the pit of his stomach. “You’re really going to do it?” she asked.

Lionel nodded. “I’ve given it a lot of thought since we spoke at Christmas” he noted “And I think it could be the right moment. I’ve not got it all figured out yet, but...but I am pretty sure that it’s going to be then and I thought I ought to tell you. I was really hoping you could maybe take Oscar for the night?” he asked.

“Of course” Lucille replied without hesitation.

Lionel spared her another shy smile, allowing a couple of beats of silence to pass between them, before he opened his mouth to speak, something Lucille cut off as she reached her hand out, squeezing his tightly. “Of course she will” she mumbled, answering the question she was sure that he was gearing up to ask.

Lionel breathed out a small laugh, amused that she knew that he was going to say, before someone stepped into his vision, causing him to look up at Isabel who’d stopped ahead of him. “Isabel?” he asked.

“Camila asked if you’d bring Oscar’s cake through” Isabel replied politely.

Lionel nodded. “Of course” he quipped “I’ll be right back” he added, stepping away from the two older woman.

Lucille and Isabel shared a look, but neither one of them spoke, instead opting to watch as Lionel stepped back into the room, Oscar’s birthday cake clutched in his hands. Stepping through the room, he moved to place it at the end of the table, before he lit the candle, grinning as Camila quickly stepped up to his side. Slipping his arm around her waist, he gently pulled her a little closer before he lifted his head, grinning at the guests who’d gathered around them before he caught Lucille’s eye, something which caused his cheeks to flush a light shade of pink before he cleared his throat, starting to sing happy birthday to Oscar who sat in his mother’s arms, grinning happily.
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Thanks to mslou1 and FootieJo for the comments :)