When We Were

Forty Two: Make It Four

Absentmindedly twisting a curl of Emilia’s dark hair around his finger, Lionel quirked a sleepy smile, marveling at the gentle sounds of her breathing which still filled the quiet bedroom. It wasn’t somewhere he had anticipated that he would be again. Until he had sat down at the table opposite her, he hadn’t quite known what he was going to say, let alone whether or not it was going to work in convincing her not to jump out of their relationship at the first sign of trouble, but he couldn’t deny that he was relieved that it had.

He’d known from the outset that Emilia was more hesitant than him, he knew that out of the two of them, she was the one who spent more of their time thinking over the negatives rather than the positives, and whilst he knew that that wouldn’t stop, he was glad that she was open to keeping going, even if it did feel like there was a ticking clock on them, waiting for the moment that one of them asked something of the other that they couldn’t give. As far as he was concerned, something still existing between them was better than nothing at all

Leaning over slightly, he tucked the wave of hair he’d been playing with behind her ear before he leant down, brushing a kiss against her forehead.

Emilia’s lips quirked upwards, causing Lionel to smile against her skin. “I knew you were faking” he mumbled softly.

Emilia laughed, pushing his shoulder gently. “You’re just saying that now” she quipped.

Lionel just smirked, shrugging lazily as he rolled onto his back.

Emilia watched him, marveling at the warmth in his smile, before she moved a little closer to him, tucking her head beneath his chin. Lionel responded immediately, curving his arm around her waist before he dipped his fingers below the bottom of her t-shirt, tracing shapes against her warm skin.

Feeling her eyelids droop, Emilia quirked a soft smile, cuddling into him a little more. “What time is it?” she mumbled softly.

“A little after eight” Lionel replied, sparing a brief glance towards the alarm clock on the end table “Why? Have you got somewhere to be?” he added playfully.

“Isaac’s bringing Luca home a day early” Emilia replied, not opening her eyes “He texted yesterday afternoon. Didn’t I say anything last night?” she added, a soft yawn falling out of her mouth.

Lionel shook his head. “I don’t remember you mentioning it” he quipped “Why’s he coming back early?” he asked.

Emilia shrugged. “He didn’t say” she replied “But honestly, I am just looking forwards to having Luca back. It’s been too quiet around here for the last couple of days” she added.

Lionel quirked an impish smirk, briefly contemplating making a flirty comment, but Emilia was quicker, lightly pinching the arm of his which was rested around her waist as a giggle fell out of her mouth. “Don’t say it” she quipped.

“You don’t know what I was going to say” Lionel replied innocently.

Emilia scoffed playfully, causing Lionel to laugh, shaking his head amusedly. “Ok, so maybe you do” he quipped.

Emilia offered him a playful roll of her eyes before she settled back down against his chest, allowing a few moments of quiet to pass between the two of them before she turned her head, pressing a soft kiss against the material of his t-shirt. “Are you still sure about tomorrow?” she murmured.

Lionel, who’d started to twist another piece of her hair around his finger, nodded. “As long as your parents don’t mind me tagging along with you and Luca” he replied.

Emilia snorted. “My mother would mind more if you weren’t there” she replied.

Lionel tipped his head forwards, kissing the top of her hair lightly. “I’d best come with you then” he mumbled “I mean, unless you want to spend Christmas day answering the same question over and over...” he trailed off with a laugh as Emilia gently pinched his arm again.

Grinning, he leant down and kissed the top of her head again before the sound of knocking at the front door filled the air, causing Emilia to let out a gentle sigh as she turned to glance towards the bedroom door. Holding still for a second, she listened for the sound again before she pulled away from Lionel, moving to collect her dressing gown. Tying the belt around her waist, she smoothed out her hair slightly before she offered Lionel a look, something which made him grin up at her. Feeling her cheeks flush, she shook her head with a nervous little laugh before she made her way out of the bedroom, wandering down the hall until she reached the front door and pulled it open, her prepared greeting faltering as her eyes landed on the blonde woman who stood outside.

“Emmy, right?” The blonde woman chirped.

“Emilia” Emilia corrected “Can I...?”

“Sorry it’s so early” Isaac’s voice interrupted.

Emilia blinked a couple of times before she turned, watching as Isaac and Luca walked up the hall. “It’s...it’s fine” she stumbled out “Are you going to...” she trailed off, not so subtly tipping her head towards the other woman.

Isaac smiled a little at gesture before he nodded. “This is Naomi” he noted “Naomi, this is Emmy. She’s Luca’s mother” he added.

Naomi smiled pleasantly. “It’s nice to meet you, Emmy” she noted.

Emilia was quiet for a second, glancing back and forth between Isaac and Naomi, before she fixed a smile on her face. “You too, Naomi” she mused.

“We’re going to visit Naomi’s parents” Isaac quipped, interrupting the silence which had settled over them “That’s why I had to come back so early. It’s not a problem, is it?” he asked.

Emilia, who’d been trying to subtly study Naomi, shook her head. “Me and Leo were just about to have breakfast” she noted “Luca, baby, are you hungry?” she asked.

Luca nodded. “Can we have pancakes, mama?” he prodded.

Emilia nodded. “Of course” she mused “Leo will be up by now. Go and get him to help you get all the stuff together” she added, dipping down to kiss the top of his head as she guided him inside.

Isaac barely contained the roll of his eyes at the mention of Lionel’s name before he stepped towards Naomi, mumbling something to her which caused her to wander away down the corridor.

Emilia watched her go before she turned back to Isaac. “She seems nice” she mused.

“She is” Isaac agreed “And, before you freak out, I picked her up on the way here. She and Luca have been in the same place for a grand total of about 20 minutes” he added.

Emilia nodded her head slowly.

“I want her to meet him, though” Isaac continued “I mean, I know it’s only been a few weeks, but I like her and seeing as I mostly have Luca at weekends, I want her to be able to spend time with us. So, I was thinking that maybe the three of us could grab dinner” he added.

Emilia offered him a look, her eyes searching his features, before she nodded her head. “Make the reservation for four” she mused “Leo’s still got a few days before he heads back to Barcelona. It wouldn’t be the worst idea for you two to try and get along too” she added.

She knew that it wasn’t likely, both Lionel and Isaac had made it clear that they didn’t like that the other was around, but still Emilia wanted to try and smooth things over between them. As it stood, neither was going anywhere, anytime soon and she wanted to try and ensure that they were at least civil, if not for her sake, then for Luca’s.

Isaac’s expression twitched, but he fixed it quickly, smiling an obviously forced smile. “Four it is” he agreed.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)