When We Were

Twenty Nine: You Think?

Gently tugging at the hem of the t-shirt she wore, Emilia stopped outside of her bedroom door, briefly rethinking the decision she had made to wear the t-shirt of Lionel’s that he had left behind the last time he’d left. It had been an inside joke, during one of their video calls, Lionel had caught her in a t-shirt that she’d first been given by her mother when she had been pregnant and had commented on it, and as a result Emilia had asked him to leave one of his t-shirts, something she hadn’t worn until that night.

She knew it wasn’t that big of a deal, the t-shirt she was wearing, despite having the faintest trace of his aftershave weaved into the material, was no different to the t-shirt that he’d already seen her in, but she was nervous about him seeing her in it. From time to time, she still found herself feeling a little awkward about the milestones of relationships. She hadn’t had one for so long, after Isaac, and even for part of the time when she was with him, she’d not really gotten comfortable in a relationship, but she was growing to be comfortable in what she and Lionel had, something which had her equally pleased and terrified, almost certain that there would come a moment where she proceeded to stick her foot into something which seemed to be progressing better than either of them had envisioned.

Toying with the material between her fingers, she spared a glance over her shoulder, briefly contemplating making a break for the bathroom which stood across the hall, before she felt a light touch against her hip, causing her to slowly turn around, her cheeks flushing pink as her eyes met Lionel’s. Chewing on her lip hesitantly, she searched his eyes for a beat before she shook her head, glancing shyly down at her feet.

Lionel watched her tip her head forwards before he carefully reached out, his fingertips gently pushing her hair away from her face. “I was starting to wonder where you’d gotten to” he quipped, gently tucking her hair behind her ear.

“I was just getting changed” Emilia mumbled “And then thinking about getting changed again” she added.

“Why?” Lionel prodded.

Emilia shrugged. “I don’t know” she mumbled “Nervous, I guess” she added.

Lionel tilted his head, but didn’t say anything, instead opting to knot their fingers together before he tugged her back into the bedroom, gently pushing the door closed behind them. Untangling their fingers, he took a pace backwards, his dark eyes looking her up and down for a moment before his lips quirked upwards, something which made Emilia shake her head, her arms crossing self-consciously across her chest. “Leo...”

“You can talk to me” Lionel interrupted gently “I don’t want you to feel nervous, Em” he added, holding her stare.

Emilia searched his eyes for a moment before she shook her head, moving to sit cross legged at the foot of the bed. “It’s just been a while” she mumbled, tugging at the bottom of the t-shirt to cover the pair of underwear that she wore “And whilst I think things are going well, I do have moments where I second guess myself. You do remember the first time you tried to kiss me, don’t you?” she asked.

Lionel sat down next to her, an awkward laugh spilling out of his mouth. “I remember you rejecting me” he replied.

“That’s what I am talking about” Emilia noted “A lot of the time, most of it, actually, I think this is going really well but there are other moments, little ones where I start to get nervous. I’ve not dated properly in seven years, Leo, longer when you consider that whatever I had with Isaac was just a mess from the get go, and sometimes I just...” she trailed off, offering him a shrug in place of the words that she couldn’t quite find.

Lionel nodded his head slowly, allowing a beat of silence to pass between them, before he gently reached over, taking a hold of one of her hands which was still busily fussing with the bottom of his t-shirt. “We’re good, Em” he mused softly.

Emilia watched his hand slip into hers, their fingers tying together. “Now” she mumbled quietly.

Lionel sighed, gently tugging on her hand until she stood up, allowing him to gently guide her into his lap. Placing one hand on the small of her back, he lifted the other towards her chin, tugging it down lightly so that her eyes were looking into his. “Don’t spend your time worrying about problems that aren’t there” he murmured “That’s how you make problems. Emilia, this is good. I love you, OK?” he insisted.

It wasn’t a side of her he’d seen often, but it was one he’d caught glimpses of. She wasn’t completely sure of herself, whether it was a result of what had happened with Isaac or not, she had moments where she appeared timid and hesitant, and he wanted to reassure her. Despite her limited experience and the obvious problems that their relationship faced, they were doing well.

Emilia leant into his hand, a shy smile on her face. “I think I feel the same way” she noted.

Lionel’s eyes widened, a hopeful, but tentative, expression filling his features. “You think?” he asked.

Emilia looked down into his eyes before she leant down, pressing her lips to his.

Lionel tightened his hold on her, reveling in the soft, hesitant kiss before Emilia pulled back, smiling down at him again. “Yeah, I think so” she whispered “I love you, Leo” she added.

Lionel closed his eyes, enjoying the sound of the words, before he felt Emilia’s lips touch his again, urging him to kiss her back. Smiling gently, he returned the kiss before his fingertips strayed away from the small of her back, slipping beneath her t-shirt slightly, something which caused Emilia to jump. Feeling her flinch, he pulled out of the kiss and looked back up at her face, something Emilia greeted with a small, shy smile. Searching her expression, he gently tilted his head. “Emmy...”

“I’m sure” Emilia interrupted “We just have to be quiet” she added.

Lionel fixed her with a look, wordlessly asking the same question again, something Emilia responded to with a playful roll of her eyes that didn’t quite cover her nervousness completely. “I’m sure, Leo” she repeated “I promise you” she added.

Lionel stared at her for a couple of seconds, giving her another chance to change her mind, before he gently settled his hand at the bottom of her t-shirt. Taking a breath, he carefully lifted it up and over her head, tossing it onto the floor behind him as Emilia leant down, capturing his lips again.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)