Can’t Look Away

40: One Of Us Always Makes A Scene

“You’re sure that she’s not going to hate me for this, aren’t you?” Lionel prodded, glancing down at Cassie from where he stood on a step ladder, affixing a banner to the wall. It had been his idea. Sasha’s birthday was the first that they were going to celebrate as a couple, and he wanted to make a big deal out of it, but still he wanted to make sure that what he had planned was something that Sasha was going to enjoy. He wasn’t going over the top. He had extended invitations to Sasha’s brother and sister, as well as to Cassie and Nolan, to join them at Sasha’s apartment for a few drinks, but he wanted to be reassured that she wasn’t going to freak out when she opened the door.

Cassie, who was setting plates of appetizers out on the coffee table, looked up at him, rolling her eyes playfully. “I am starting to see why you and Sasha are so good together” she quipped.


“She’s going to love it” Cassie interjected, cutting off his protest “It’s exactly what she would want. I promise you” she added, her smirk softening into a comforting smile. She liked that it meant a lot to him.

Lionel looked unsure momentarily, but eventually, he returned to his previous task. Making sure that the banner was level, he quirked a small smile to himself before he hopped off of the step ladder. “How is living with Nolan?” he asked, breaking the comfortable silence that he and Cassie had been working in.

Cassie’s face brightened with a smile, but it wasn’t as bright as Lionel had been expecting it would be. To him, it looked slightly troubled. “It’s good” she replied “I mean, it’s a little weird. I haven’t lived with a guy since I moved out of my mother’s house, and stopped sharing a bathroom with my brother, but we’re getting used to it” she added.

Lionel nodded his head slowly. “Is he coming tonight?” he asked.

“He’ll be late, but yeah” Cassie answered “Now, do you want to keep talking, or do you want to make sure that everything is ready for when Sasha gets home? Leila’s good, but I don’t know that she can stall her forever” she added, her voice slightly strained.

Lionel thought about asking what was wrong, he could tell that there was something, but he opted against it. He didn’t know Cassie well enough to ask questions. Quirking a small smile, he nodded his head, allowing Cassie to scurry away whilst he made a note to hint to Sasha that her friend needed someone to talk to.

“You really didn’t have to do this”

Lionel chuckled as Sasha pressed a kiss against his cheek. “You’ve said that” he quipped, his arm gently squeezing her waist. She hadn’t stopped saying it. From the moment she had stepped in the room, and seen the scene he’d set up, she hadn’t stopped fussing, and it never failed to make Lionel smile, glad that he’d gotten it right.

“I know” Sasha mused “I’m just trying to say thank you” she added.

Lionel tilted his head up, allowing him to touch his lips to Sasha’s briefly before the sound of a raised voice caused them to pull apart. Frowning slightly, Sasha pushed herself to her feet, cautiously approaching Cassie who stood on the other side of the room, talking into the phone that she held against her ear. “Cassie” she said gently.

“You said you’d come, Nolan” Cassie spoke into the phone, not hearing Sasha “You said that that didn’t matter tonight. That you’d come and spend time with Sasha and Leo” she added.

“Cassie, what’s going on?” Sasha asked softly.

Cassie waved a hand. “I told you, I am thinking” she said into the phone “I am allowed to think, Nolan. You sprung it on me with no warning!” she added.

Sasha shook her head before she gently pried the phone out of Cassie’s hand. Mumbling something, she hung it up before she settled it down onto the coffee table, allowing her to stand in front of Cassie, her hands gently squeezing her shoulders. “I didn’t want you to say something you’d regret” she said softly.

Cassie deflated slightly, nodding. “Thanks” she mumbled “I’m sorry for causing a scene” she added, glancing around the room at all the eyes that were on her.

“One of us always causes a scene at a party” Sasha retorted, smiling gently when Lionel stepped up to her side, his arm settling around her waist.

Cassie let out a quiet laugh before she shook her head, sighing gently. Once she was sure that everyone else’s attention had slipped away again, she looked at Sasha and Lionel shyly. “Nolan proposed” she said quietly.

Sasha couldn’t have stifled the gasp that fell out of her mouth, even if she had wanted to. “What?” she asked.

Lionel nudged her side, fixing her with a look that caused her to mumble ‘sorry’ beneath her breath.

Cassie’s smile was slightly rueful. “He proposed” she repeated “A couple of days ago, and I haven’t given him an answer yet. I mean, it came out of nowhere, Sasha. We've been together for months, just months, and then he’s popping the question and thinking I’ll have an answer for him immediately? How am I supposed to respond to that?” she pressed.

Lionel and Sasha shared a look, wordlessly asking one another what they ought to say.

Cassie shook her head, not noticing the look between the two of them. “Did you know it was wrong when you said yes to Alex?” she asked “I mean, I know how it ended, but when he asked, and you said yes, did you think it was the right thing for you?” she added.

“When she said yes?” Lionel asked.

Cassie’s head snapped up then, firstly glancing at Sasha and then at Lionel who looked at her, his forehead creased in confusion. “I...I thought he knew about Alex” she stumbled out.

Sasha shifted her feet. “He knew he cheated on me” she murmured “The other stuff...” she trailed off, shaking her head.

“Sasha” Cassie squeaked “I am so sorry. I just thought...i shouldn’t have said anything” she added.

Lionel slowly turned, his eyes landing on Sasha who stared down at the floor, determinedly avoiding the stare she could feel on her. “You said he was more than Olivier was to you” he said slowly.

Sasha slowly lifted her head, meeting his eyes. “That’s true” she replied “I just never told you how much more” she added.

Lionel spluttered out a laugh that caused Sasha’s stomach to drop. It wasn’t his usual warm laugh, but one that was hurt and a little sharp. “Cassie...”

Cassie moved before Sasha finished, already ushering the other guests out of the door to leave Lionel and Sasha alone, staring at one another.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)