Can’t Look Away

39: I Don’t Think It Now

“Stop fidgeting”

Sasha rolled her eyes, sparing a glare at Lionel who was sat next to her, an amused smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth. It wasn’t a first. With her and Lionel having been together for a few months, she had spoken to his parents a few times, but that night was the first time she was meeting them in person, something which had her feeling slightly nervous. It wasn’t going to be as awkward as it could have been. They knew who she was, what she was to Lionel, and she knew that that would make things easier, but still she was nervous. A few brief conversations were one thing, but a couple of hours at dinner felt like something else entirely.

“How are you so calm about this?” Sasha asked “You know I make terrible first impressions” she added.

Lionel grinned around his glass before he set it back down onto the table. “Firstly, you make a fine first impression” he quipped “And secondly, this isn’t the first time I’ve introduced you. You’ve spoken to them before, Sasha, and they’ve loved you, so as far as I am concerned, there’s no reason to be nervous. They’re excited to spend some time with us, with you, and I am sure it’ll be fine” he added.

Sasha’s expression was dubious as she looked at him, something which caused Lionel to reach across the table, his hand gently squeezing hers. Sasha returned the squeeze gently, wordlessly thanking him for the comfort, before someone cleared their throat, causing the two of them to look up, glancing at the older couple who stood over them. Swallowing, Sasha gently slipped her hand out of Lionel’s before she stood up, offering her hand out first to Lionel’s mother. “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you in person” she mused.

Celia glanced at Sasha’s outstretched hand before her stare bounced toward Lionel who offered her a small smile. Quirking a grin of her own, she gently pushed Sasha’s hand down before she stepped closer to her, wrapping her in a soft hug. “It’s good to meet you, too” she said warmly “You’re just as beautiful in person” she added.

The laugh that Sasha let out was gentle and shy as she pulled away, briefly embracing Lionel’s father. “You’re kind to say so” she mused.

“Sasha’s nervous” Lionel pointed out, pulling out of his mother’s hug.

Celia rounded on Sasha, offering her an affectionate smile. “There’s no need to be” she insisted “We’re not here to scare you, Sasha. Please don’t think that we are” she added.

Sasha smiled bashfully. “I don’t” she mused.

“Good” Celia replied “Now, let’s sit. We’re excited to learn more about you, Sasha” she added, offering Sasha’s shoulder a gentle squeeze. She wanted her to feel comfortable.

Sasha shuffled back into her seat, exchanging a few more nervous smiles with Lionel’s parents, before she felt Lionel’s hand find hers again, offering it another gentle squeeze to tell her that it was going to be fine.

“Are you sure that you don’t have to get back tonight?” Sasha asked as she pulled her duvet back, her eyes glancing across the room towards the open bathroom door.

“My mother all but told me not to bother” Lionel replied, poking his head out of the bathroom “Why, do you want rid of me?” he added.

Sasha offered him a pointed look, causing Lionel to grin before he dipped back into the bathroom. It had gone well. Almost as soon as they had sat down, his parents had warmed to Sasha, and slowly but surely, she had relaxed and opened up to them, and he couldn’t have been happier with how it had gone. It was another indication of how well things were going between the two of them. Smiling to himself, he placed his toothbrush back into the holder before he stepped out into the bedroom. Putting his clothes and shoes away, he padded towards the bed and climbed into his side.

Sasha, who’d been staring at the screen of her tablet, smiled a little when she felt the mattress shift, but she didn’t say anything, allowing them to fall into their quiet night time routine. For a few minutes, it stayed like that. Sasha quietly scrolled through something on the screen of her tablet, and Lionel found something to watch on television, but they were both happy in the silence.

“I don’t think I did too badly tonight”

Lionel’s eyes drifted away from the television, settling on Sasha who was still staring at her tablet. “It wasn’t some kind of test” he countered “My parents were just interested in meeting you, in getting to know my girlfriend” he added.

“I know” Sasha replied “It doesn’t mean I wasn’t worried. I worry a lot” she added, a self-conscious laugh falling out of her mouth.

“Too much, sometimes” Lionel mused “I mean, when you introduced me to your parents, you were so worried that I thought they were going to hate me” he added.

Sasha shook her head quickly. “I knew they’d love you” she replied “I was worried that they’d love you too much” she admitted.

Lionel’s stare had drifted back to the television, but at those words, it snapped back to Sasha, a small crease appearing between his eyebrows. “What?” he asked.

Sasha was quiet for a moment before she let out a soft sigh, settling her tablet down onto the nightstand. Smoothing the duvet over her lap, she took a few moments to think of what to say, before she looked over at him. “I knew that they would like you” she reiterated “Everyone I’d introduced you to did, and I had know doubt that they’d be the same, but I worried...I worried that they’d be too smitten with you that they’d be disappointed if, or when, things went wrong” she explained carefully.


“I don’t think it now” Sasha interrupted, hearing the pang of disappointment in his voice “I just, I didn’t know what we were going to be then. It was messy, and complicated, and I didn’t know it was going to work out, but it’s not like that now. I want them to love you. I want my friends to invite you when they invite me places. I want you at all of the family things that James and Leila bring Ellie and Olivier to. I want this, Leo” she added.

Things had changed. In the beginning, Sasha hadn’t been sure that what they had would withstand a lot. She had thought that, when things got tough, they’d both back away from each other, but they had proved her wrong. They were strong, and they were getting stronger, and she wanted him to know that her doubts about them had receded. She wanted him to know that, for as long as he was in it, she was in it with him.

Lionel’s face slowly brightened with a smile, causing Sasha to smile back at him warmly. “What are you smiling at?” she prodded.

“You” Lionel replied.

“Why?” Sasha asked.

“Because I am happy, Sasha” Lionel quipped “And I am happy that you’re happy in this, too” he added.

Sasha just continued to smile at him until he leant over, kissing her softly. Letting out a contented sigh, she held him close, enjoying the soft kisses until he pulled away, mumbling the words ‘I want it too’ before he kissed her again.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)