When We Were

Eighty Six: How Can You Not See It?

Gently settling Maisie in her lap, Emilia pressed her back against the headboard, smiling down at Lionel who was still asleep. It wasn’t overly late, the only reason that Emilia had pulled herself away was because Maisie had woken up, but she had opted to let Lionel sleep in, knowing that the day ahead of them was one which was likely to have its ups and downs. It had always been the plan, after what was supposed to be a couple of quiet days, they were due to visit her parents that afternoon, and it meant seeing Isaac who’d promised that he’d bring Luca by too, something she knew that Lionel would be anxious about when he woke up. She had always know that he worried, he’d brought the topic of Isaac’s feelings for her up on more than one occasion, and she knew that he did it out of worry that she could one day just change her mind, but she hoped that the conversation that they had had would have soothed his worries. She knew her own mind and she knew that any feelings that she had had for Isaac had dissipated a while previous, leaving room for her feelings for Lionel.

Smoothing out Maisie’s pajama shirt, she watched the little girl crawl over her legs before she sat down in front of Lionel, one of her tiny hands pushing at his chin as she babbled at him, still not quite able to get her first proper word out. Lionel stirred a little, letting out a sleepy grumble, before he slowly blinked his eyes open, his lips quirking upwards into a gentle smile. “What are you doing here?” he asked, gently poking her tummy.

Maisie giggled, squirming away slightly.

Emilia gently brushed her fingers through Maisie’s hair. “We’ve already been up and had breakfast" she mused “So we thought we’d come and get you. It was all Maisie’s idea” she added, turning her doting smiling from Maisie to Lionel.

Lionel laughed as he rolled onto his back. “Yeah?” he asked.

“She insisted on it” Emilia played along.

“She hasn’t said her first word yet” Lionel pointed out, smirking up at Emilia.

“I deciphered it from her babbling?” Emilia quipped back impishly.

Lionel rolled his eyes playfully before he scooped Maisie up into his arms, causing the little girl to squeak with the laughter as he sat her down on his chest. “What does mama want me for, eh?” he asked “Have you run her ragged already?” he added.

Emilia laid down next to him, wanting to just watch him with Maisie for a few moments.

Lionel’s smile widened when Emilia’s chin landed on his shoulder. “Are we in a hurry?” he asked.

Emilia shook her head, tipping it forwards to kiss his shoulder. “My parents aren’t expecting us until midafternoon” she mumbled.

Lionel nodded his head before he refocused on Maisie, offering her a grin. “Nana and grandpa Moretti aren’t going to believe how big you’ve gotten” he gushed “Or how much you look like your mama” he added.

Emilia shook her head. “She doesn’t look like me” she noted, a small pout on her face.

Lionel smiled to himself. It was a running thing between them. There was no denying that Maisie and Lionel had their similarities, unsurprisingly, she had his dark eyes and her coppery brown hair had almost certainly been something she’d inherited from his side, but everything else was Emilia and everyone had said it, expect for Emilia herself who seemed completely unable to see the resemblance. “How can you not see it?” he teased as Maisie slipped off of his chest, crawling back towards her mother.

“Because she looks like you” Emilia retorted “Your big brown eyes, your adorable smile, her hair is the colour of your beard” she listed off.

“Those things are true” Lionel conceded “But other than that, she’s all you” he quipped.

Emilia looked down at Maisie who was sat in her lap, a soft smile pulling at the corner of her mouth. “We made a beautiful little girl” she cooed.

Lionel leant over, kissing the top of Maisie’s head gently before he turned, pressing a sweet kiss to the corner of Emilia’s lips, earning another soft smile. “Yeah, we did” he agree “I never doubted that we would. I mean, I’m not awful to look at, and you are beautiful. How could she not be so adorable?” he asked playfully.

Emilia felt her cheeks flush a soft shade of pink before she ducked her head, something which made Lionel laugh as he moved to get up. Stretching his arms over his head, he let out a yawn before he stood up, moving to collect his phone from across the room. Scratching his jaw, he flicked through a few texts before he peeked over the top of the phone, his face lighting up with a small smile as he watched Emilia carefully lift Maisie above her head. The little girl’s laughs filled the room, and Emilia’s smile was bright and easy, something Lionel knew he would never tire of seeing. Lowering the phone, he watched them for a few moments before Emilia cleared her throat. “You’re staring” she pointed out with a small grin.

Lionel just shrugged, smiling.

“Do you want to come and take over?” Emilia asked “I’d really like to go and take a long bath” she added.

Lionel scoffed playfully, a playful retort crossing his mind, before he stepped back towards the bed, gently lifting Maisie into his arms. “Go on, then” he noted.

Emilia shuffled to her feet. “Gracias” she cooed, kissing his cheek softly.

Lionel offered her a small smile, watching as she moved around the room, gathering a set of clean clothes. “Isaac and Luca are coming later, aren’t they?” he asked, disturbing the silence which had settled over them.

Emilia’s hands fumbled, dropping the bra she’d gotten out of the drawer. Crouching down to pick it up, she nodded. “As far as I know” she noted “I mean, Luca wants to come, he’s missed his grandparents and Isaac knows that my parents want to see Luca, especially since his trip to the hospital. I’ll probably text him to confirm. Are you going to be OK with him?” she asked.

Lionel, who’d sat down on the side of the bed with Maisie, nodded. “Why wouldn’t I be?” he asked.

Emilia touched her face, wordlessly signaling the bruise that Lionel still wore on his.

Lionel smiled, a little amused by her not wanting to say it out loud. “I’ll be fine” he noted “He’s the one with the problem, not me” he added.

Emilia looked at him dubiously.

Lionel just offered her a grin. “I’ll be fine, Emmy” he repeated.

Emilia nodded her head gently, turning her attention down towards Maisie. “There’s a couple new dresses in her room” she mused “Will you dress her in one?” she asked.

Lionel smiled, smoothing back Maisie’s messy curls. “I am capable of dressing her myself” he teased.

“They’re from my mama” Emilia pointed out.

“Sure they are” Lionel replied, his voice playfully sarcastic “You heard it, didn’t you, Maisie? Mama doesn’t think papa has any fashion sense” he added impishly.

“Papa!” Maisie squeaked.

Both Emilia and Lionel looked at her, eyes wide, before Lionel let out a loud laugh. “I knew it would work” he quipped brightly.

Emilia rolled her eyes, but couldn’t hide her smile. The combination of hearing Maisie’s first word and seeing the grin on Lionel’s face when she’d said it was enough reassurance to her that Isaac, who was inevitably going to try, couldn’t spoil that day for them.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)