Can’t Look Away

17: Do You Really Need Me To Ask You?

Pushing her messy hair back off of her face, Sasha pressed the button on the side of her phone, a pent up sigh falling out of her mouth as she studied the home screen. She had a few missed texts, mostly from her mother, reminding her that she had agreed to visit on her day off, but there wasn’t one from Lionel, and whilst she hadn’t been expecting that there would be, the realisation still hurt. Shaking her head, she slipped the phone back onto her end table before she rolled onto her back. Closing her eyes again, she stifled a yawn in her hand, listening to the sound of voices downstairs for a few moments before her stomach rumbled, causing her to let out a huff. Usually, she would have been more than happy to see Cassie’s brother and his two sons. She had known Benjamin for as long as she had known Cassie, and he’d always been like another older brother to her, but she didn’t want to answer more questions and she knew that he’d ask them.

Reluctantly moving to her feet, she ran a brush through her hair quickly before she padded towards the door. Making her way down the stairs, she tried to be as quiet as possible, but only made it halfway to the kitchen before she was caught. “Sasha!” Milo, the older of Benjamin’s sons, chirped.

Sasha flinched before she turned around, fixing a smile onto her face. “Milo” she greeted.

“Auntie Cassie said you were sleeping” Milo mused “Your friend wanted to talk to you, but she said we couldn’t wake you up” he added.

Sasha’s forehead creased. “My friend?” she asked.

Milo nodded his head. “He’s in the other room” he noted “I was going to get a drink” he added.

Sasha looked over his head, briefly contemplating heading straight into the other room, before she offered him a small smile. “You want some help?” she asked “I was on my way to get a snack myself. I might know where your aunt hides her chocolate chip cookies” she added.

Milo grinned and nodded his head, following Sasha towards the kitchen. After she had made him a cup of juice, she collected the packet of biscuits and padded back towards the living room, being careful not to trip over Milo who walked slowly in front of her. “Where’s Evan?” she asked “I’ve got Auntie Cassie’s hidden cookies” she added.

“Sasha” Cassie’s voice was amused, causing Sasha to frown a little before she picked her head up, her eyes widening as they landed on the sofa.

Lionel, who was sat next to Benjamin, looked up at her, a sheepish smile on his face.

Sasha opened and closed her mouth a couple of times before she shook her head. “Why did no one wake me?” she asked quietly.

“I told them not to” Lionel answered “Cassie told me that you’d worked the night shift, and I didn’t want you to miss out on sleep. I was happy to wait” he added.

Sasha nodded her head slightly before she stepped forwards, placing the packet of biscuits into Benjamin’s hands. “We can talk upstairs” she said softly.

Lionel stood up. “Lead the way” he mused.

Sasha hesitated for a second before she turned and left the room, Lionel following after her. They walked up the stairs in silence, but once Sasha had pushed her bedroom door closed, she turned to look at him, her arms folded shyly over her chest. “You...You got my voicemail” she stumbled out.

Lionel turned away from studying the room, offering her a small nod.

“I didn’t think you had” Sasha said “I mean, you didn’t text or call. I just assumed that...”

“Sasha” Lionel interrupted her gently.

Sasha let out a soft, embarrassed laugh. “Sorry” she said “I do that. My point is, I am surprised to see you” she added.

Lionel wandered towards her bed, sitting at the foot of it. “I didn’t like how we left things” he admitted.

Sasha wanted to move towards him, but she stopped herself. Whilst she thought that him being there was a good sign, that it meant that he wanted to try and sort things out between them, she didn’t have it in her to watch him scoot away from her if she sat too close. Shifting her feet, she reached up to fiddle with her hair before she let out a soft sigh. “I’m sorry” she said softly “I didn’t come over to your place to argue, at least, I didn’t mean for that to happen. I got that voicemail from Leila and I just...I took her annoyance with me out on you, when really, I am pissed at her for being weird about us” she explained.

Lionel nodded, but didn’t say anything.

“I actually thought it was really sweet that you went to see her” Sasha continued, not wanting the silence to settle in “I mean, it was probably a terrible idea, but you did it to be sweet, and I should have said that before” she added, offering him a timid smile.

Lionel’s lips twitched slightly, a sight which eased the knot in Sasha’s stomach. “I was just trying to help” he said.

“I know” Sasha replied “And I know that you were doing that because you care. I’m sorry that I suggested that you shouldn’t just because we’ve not...” she trailed off.

Lionel nodded his head slowly before reached forwards, gently unfolding her arms so that he could take one of her hands in his. “Do you really need me to ask you?” he asked, twining their fingers together.

“Ask me what?” Sasha asked, staring down at their hands.

Lionel gently lifted her hand, pressing a soft kiss against the back of it. “To be my girlfriend” he said.

Sasha’s head snapped up, something which made Lionel laugh gently. “You don’t mean that” she argued.

“I really do” Lionel replied without hesitation “I like you, Sasha. I look forwards to seeing you. I like parking away from your house because I really like that little walk back here with you. If you need me to put a label on it, I am happy to” he added.

Sasha just stared at him for a moment before she shook her head. “The other day...”

“Was a bad moment” Lionel finished for her “But we can put it behind us” he added.

“You really want to do that?” Sasha asked.

Lionel quirked a small smile. “Don’t you?” he asked.

“Well, yeah” Sasha replied “I just...I kind of thought you were here to end things, not make them official” she added.

Lionel turned her hand over in his before he leant forwards, touching a gentle kiss against her palm. “We’ve got things to figure out” he said softly “But I want to figure them out, Sasha. I am asking you if you want to be my girlfriend, mostly because I’d really like to be your boyfriend” he added, looking up at her with a bashful smile.

Sasha stared at him dumbfounded for a moment before she nodded her head, a soft smile ticking up the corner of her mouth. “OK” she whispered “Yeah. I’d...I’d really like that” she added, trying, and failing, to keep her voice from wobbling.

Lionel stood up and opened his arms, allowing Sasha to step into them slowly before he wrapped them around her, holding her tightly.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)