Can’t Look Away

25: Your Heart Was In The Right Place

Chewing on her lip, Sasha tucked her knees against her chest, her eyes settled on the bed where Lionel laid, still sound asleep. She had been careful not to wake him. When she had woken up, his arm had been draped across her bare stomach and their legs had been entwined, but Sasha hadn’t wanted to disturb him, not wanting him to wake up to her slightly apprehensive expression. She didn’t have regrets about how the night had ended. When he had been reassuring her that she hadn’t made a fool of herself at dinner, she had seen something in his stare, something warm and affectionate, and it had blown apart any lingering doubts she had about letting herself fall for him, but in the light of morning, she felt a little unsettled. It was inevitable. Some day in the near future, she was going to find herself looking into his eyes and admitting that she was in love with him, but the thought overwhelmed her. It had been a long time since she had said it to someone, years had passed since she had last said it to her previous boyfriend, and he’d proceeded to throw it back in her face, leaving her terrified of being so vulnerable again.

Letting out a quiet sigh, she pushed her fingers through her messy hair, trying to calm herself down before the bed creaked, causing her to lift her head.

Lionel’s face brightened with a slow, sleepy smile. “Hi” he said.

Sasha smiled back without thinking about it. “Hi” she mused.

“You’re pretty far away” Lionel quipped “Have you been up already?” he asked.

Sasha nodded, her fingers playing with the hem of her pyjama shorts. “I woke up a little while ago” she admitted “I was trying to figure out if I should wake you or not” she added.

Lionel moved beneath the duvet, turning over to glance at the clock on the nightstand, before he turned back to Sasha. “I don’t have to be anywhere for a while” he noted “What about you?” he asked.

Sasha shook her head wordlessly.

Lionel grinned before he lifted the duvet slightly, inviting Sasha back towards him with nothing more than a slight tilt of his head. Sasha hesitated for a moment, still feeling slightly unsure, but she could feel herself giving in even before her feet met the slightly cold floor. Shaking her head amusedly, she slipped underneath the part of the duvet he held up before they arranged themselves, settling into a comfortable cuddling position.

“Do you have work today?” Lionel asked after a few moments of quiet, tipping his head forwards to kiss the top of hers.

Sasha smiled softly at the feel of his lips before she nodded. “I’m in at two this afternoon” she confirmed.

“When is your next day off?” Lionel prodded.

“I’m off all of next week” Sasha replied.

“So, I could see you every day?” Lionel quipped impishly.

Sasha laughed softly, but shook her head. “I’ve got some plans already” she mused “I don’t see nearly enough of my parents, so they’ve already booked up a couple of days, and it’s Leila’s birthday next Friday. Olivier has invited the whole family to their place for dinner to celebrate. But early in the week, I can be all yours” she added, leaning up so that she could press a smiling kiss against the side of his nose.

Lionel’s fingers moved through her hair, keeping her close as she peppered his face with soft kisses. “Are you going to be OK?” he asked gently.

Sasha pulled back, her forehead furrowed slightly. “OK?” she asked.

“With Leila” Lionel clarified “The last few times you’ve gotten together haven’t exactly ended well” he added.

Sasha blinked up at him a couple of times before she nodded her head. “I hope so” she mused “I’ve not seen her much since you went and spoke to her, so it’s probably going to be a little awkward to start with, but I hope it will be alright” she added.

If she was honest, she had no idea how it would go. Whether she was avoiding Leila, or Leila was avoiding her, they hadn’t seen much of one another since Leila had left the voicemail that had almost ruined things between Sasha and Lionel, and it meant that Sasha had no idea what things would be like when they were in the same place again. It was awkward. There was something about Sasha being with Lionel that Leila didn’t like, and Sasha had no idea what it was or how she could fix it, and it meant that it was highly likely that things would remain awkward between them for a while.

Lionel gently smoothed her hair behind her ear. “I’m sorry I made things worse” he said.

“Your heart was in the right place” Sasha said “It it what it is. If I knew what the problem was...” she trailed off, shaking her head.

Lionel leant in, kissing her softly. He could feel the moment slipping away. Sasha’s previously bright grin was slowly being lost in the expression that clouded her features when she was anxious, and he wanted to pull her back into the moment. There were still things that they had to handle, but they weren’t going anywhere and could afford to wait for a moment that wasn’t that one.

Sasha melted under his touch, lingering in the kiss before she slowly drew back, a goofy smile on her face.

Lionel gently smoothed the remaining faint crease between her eyebrows with his finger. “Are you hungry?” he asked.

Sasha nodded. “I am” she confirmed “But there is a rule I have to warn you about before we get up” she added.

“A rule?” Lionel prodded impishly.

Sasha played along with a feigned sombre expression that made Lionel laugh softly. “It’s not one me or Cassie have had to enforce a lot recently” she mused “But, boyfriends are to be fully clothed in all shared areas of the house” she added.

“Cassie’s not here” Lionel argued impishly.

“She will be soon” Sasha replied “She’s got work this morning and her lanyard’s downstairs in the kitchen. If we’re going to have breakfast, you’re going to need to get dressed” she added, slipping out from underneath the duvet.

Lionel watched her for a few moments, more than content to just admire her, until his shirt hit his face, followed by a chorus of Sasha’s soft laughter. “I didn’t realise that it was such a big decision” she chirped as she ambled towards the bedroom door “Get dressed, Lionel” she added, glancing at him over her shoulder with a teasing grin.

Lionel grinned back at her easily, unaware of the painful twist her stomach gave at the sight of it. She didn’t want to be scared to say it. She wanted the words to fall out of her mouth with no overthinking or concern, but she knew that they wouldn’t. She couldn’t tell him that she loved him until she was absolutely one hundred percent sure that it was the right moment, and she had no idea if that moment would ever come.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comments :)