Can’t Look Away

15: Maybe You Should Go

Shifting her feet, Sasha glanced at the door in front of her, waiting for it to swing open. She knew that Lionel was there. After she had heard Leila’s voicemail, she had called and asked if the two of them could get together, and Lionel had been quick to invite her to his place, sounding more than a little pleased at the prospect of the two of them having an opportunity to spend time together. She had to talk to him. Whilst she knew that he hadn’t gone to talk to Leila to cause trouble, he had done inadvertently, and she needed to make clear that whilst part of her loved that he was so keen to stick up for their relationship, he had to let her handle things with her sister herself. It meant a lot to her that he had tried to help, but things between her and Leila had been slightly precarious for a while, and his going over to her sister’ home, as well intentioned as it had been, had been another blow.

Tucking her hair behind her ear, she let out a quiet sigh before the door’s movement caught her eye, causing her to lift her head.

The small smile that Lionel had answered the door with slipped off of his face when he looked at Sasha. Blinking a couple of times, he shuffled out of the doorway, allowing her to step inside before he gently closed the door after her. For a moment, they both stood there quietly, almost waiting for the other to make the first move, before Lionel pointed through towards the living room. Sasha offered him a slightly stiff nod and walked away, padding towards the living room with Lionel trailing after her.

When she was part away across the room, she turned back to look at him, her arms folding awkwardly across her chest. “My sister called me” she said gently “Apparently, I sent you over there to tell her to back off” she added.


“You had no right to do that” Sasha cut in gently “I know you thought you were helping, but you had no right to go over there and talk to her about that. I didn’t ask you to do it, and I don’t remember giving off the impression that that was what I wanted. She’s my sister, Leo, and if we have problems, then they’re between me and her” she added, her voice flitting between firm and shy.

Lionel was quiet for a moment, absorbing what she had said, before he ducked his head, shaking it slightly. “I was just trying to help smooth things out” he replied.

“I didn’t ask you to do that” Sasha repeated.

“So I am supposed to do what?” Lionel countered “Just sit back and let her try and convince you that we’re a bad idea for some reason?” he added frustratedly.

Sasha shook her head, the tone of his voice striking against her nerves. “You can’t just waltz into the middle of my family and start accusing her of things” she shot back “You’ve known me for what, a few weeks? How could you possibly have a clear picture of the dynamics between me and her, Leo? I know that you meant well, but it wasn’t your place to get involved, not when we’re not even...” she trailed off.

Lionel let the silence hang for a moment before he shook his head. “Not even what?” he asked.

Sasha closed her eyes. She knew from the tone of his voice that he knew what the end of that sentence was supposed to be. “Leo” she protested quietly.

“Finish the sentence, Sasha” Lionel said “Tell me that you don’t think I can care about this because we haven’t stuck labels on us yet” he added.

Sasha shifted her feet, allowing a moment of silence to stretch out between them.

Lionel watched her, hoping that she would say something, anything, but the silence kept stretching until she shook her head, letting out a quiet sigh. “I shouldn’t have come over” she said softly “I only got Leila’s voicemail when I woke up this morning. I should have waited until I spoke to you” she added.

Lionel, in any other moment, would’ve nodded his head and allowed the moment to de-escalate, but he was frustrated. “You’re just going to try and back out this conversation?” he asked.

Sasha looked down at her feet, wordlessly confirming that that was her intention. The conversation hadn’t gone to plan. She had wanted to let him know that he had overstepped by going to speak to Leila, but she hadn’t wanted to upset him, and she feared if she said more, then their relationship would be over before it’d really had the chance to get off of the ground.

Lionel offered her a slightly incredulous look before he sighed. “Maybe you ought to go” he said gently.

Sasha wanted to shake her head, but nodded it instead. “I think I should” she agreed quietly.

For a second, neither of them moved, but eventually, Lionel moved out of the living room doorway, urging Sasha to step towards it. When she reached the door, she hesitated for a second, like she had something to say, but she seemed to talk herself out of it, resuming her steps and walking towards the front door. Lionel turned and watched her, willing her to turn around and say something, but she didn’t. She glanced at him over her shoulder before she swung the door open and stepped out. Lionel walked towards the door, lingering in the doorway as she climbed back into her car and drove away.

Sasha saw him out of the car window, but ignored the urge she had to stop the car and go back. She had made a mess of things, the conversation had shifted from Lionel’s conversation with Leila to what they were to one another, and she didn’t quite know how to keep it going without saying something else she regretted. She was still scared, even though she adored him and the time that they’d spent together, and she didn’t quite know when that was going to wear off.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)