Can’t Look Away

47: Unpredictable

“Enough” Sasha answered quietly.

Lionel nodded his head stiffly, pulling his eyes away from Sasha uncertainly. “I...I’m sorry” he said “I shouldn’t have said so much to your brother. James asked a question, and I should have...”

“Do you really think that I am just waiting for you to fail?” Sasha’s voice was still quiet, but the look on her face conveyed the emotion her voice didn’t.

Lionel let loose a heavy sigh before he lifted a hand, rubbing at his jaw awkwardly. He wanted to backtrack. He wanted to pretend that she’d heard him wrong, but he knew it wasn’t an option. He knew that trying to skirt around the issue was only going to make things worse. “I said that it feels like that sometimes” he admitted.

“Why?” Sasha asked “You said it yourself, things are so good between us right now. How can you say that in one breath and then admit something like that?” she pressed.

“Things are good” Lionel retorted insistently. He didn’t want her to doubt that.

“Obviously not” Sasha argued.

“They are” Lionel insisted “You know that they are, Sasha. It’s just…Sometimes it feels like you’re keeping me at a safe distance, like you can’t let yourself trust this completely” he added, hoping that his words made his meaning clear.

It wasn’t a constant feeling. They had come a long way in the year that they’d been together, and Sasha had relaxed into things better than Lionel had expected that she would, but there were still moments when it felt like she was putting distance between them and he couldn’t help but notice it.

Sasha blinked, her slightly confrontational expression softening slightly.

“I’m not saying that you want me to fail” Lionel moved towards her slightly, hesitating fractionally before he gently took one of her hands into his “I know that you don’t. I know how you feel about me, about us, and I know that you want it to work. It just feels like, sometimes, you catch yourself getting carried away and convince yourself that it’s a bad thing when it isn’t” he added, his thumb softly brushing over the back of her hand.

Sasha watched the steady movement of his thumb before she shook her head, a sad smile on her face. “I told you that it would begin to annoy you eventually” she quipped with a sad laugh.

Lionel’s hand tightened around hers, squeezing it softly as he offered her a half-hearted smile.

Sasha stared at him for a second before she sighed, glancing down at her feet. “I know I do it” she admitted quietly.

Lionel’s other hand moved towards her face, gently moving her hair back. “I get why” he mused “You trusted what you had with Alex, and, to a lesser extent, Olivier, and that fell apart. I can understand why that would make you wary, I just...I wish you’d see the differences. I wish that you hadn’t gone through that so that you could see that me and’s better than good” he explained carefully.

“I do see that” Sasha argued gently.

“Then why won’t you get carried away?” Lionel asked “I do. Since Ivy has come along, I can’t stop myself thinking about you and me and a baby, but you...”

“Do you honestly think I don’t think about that?” Sasha interjected “Especially since Ivy was born. You honestly think that I’ve not let that thought cross my mind?” she pressed.

“Have you?” Lionel asked.

“Repeatedly” Sasha retorted without missing a beat “When I put her into your arms and walked out of the room, it took everything I had not to say anything. I practically melted, and she’s just my niece. I can’t tell you how much I would love it if that were our baby you were looking at like he or she was the most amazing thing ever, but it’s too early and...”

“Why is it too early?” Lionel countered “Because of your stupid timetable thing?” he added.

“It’s not stupid” Sasha argued.

“Yeah, it is” Lionel replied “Relationships can’t be planned out like that, Sasha. They can’t be predicted. Take Cassie, for example. Every time we saw her and Nolan, they were perfect, but look how it worked out for her. He knew he wanted to marry her in the space of months, and she didn’t feel the same way. Love is like that, Sasha, it’s unpredictable. If you feel ready now, then why put it off three years or more?” he asked, his voice softening slightly.

Sasha’s eyes stayed on their interlocked hands, keeping them away from his which scrutinized her features.

“Do you feel ready now?” Lionel asked softly.

Sasha swallowed, hesitating briefly, before she nodded her head slightly.

Lionel’s expression slackened.

“We should still wait” Sasha spoke quickly, seeing the starts of a grin at the corners of his mouth “We’ve only been living together for a couple of months, and we still don’t have any guarantee that that is going to keep working. We absolutely shouldn’t just run into it because we both feel ready. We should think on it for a while, make sure that we are sure” she added.

Lionel’s hand cupped her cheek as he finally let his grin take over his face.

“Please don’t get to excited” Sasha pleaded softly “I’m just agreeing that we can start thinking about it” she added.

“I understand” Lionel mused.

“Then dampen that smile” Sasha retorted “You look too excited for thinking” she added.

Lionel leant forwards, kissing her quickly. “You’re getting carried away” he cooed affectionately.

Sasha’s cheeks flushed pink. “That’s exactly why we should take our time” she mused “I can’t rule out that this is just because Ivy’s here now. I’m serious, Leo, I really do want us to think this through carefully” she added.

Lionel’s smile sobered slightly as he nodded his head. “I agree with you” he said earnestly “We should think on it, but you have to understand that even us thinking on it means a great deal to me. You’ve been trying to slow us down at every opportunity, wanting to be overly cautious from time to time, and I am relieved that you’re prepared to let these thoughts and conversations happen. You’re absolutely right, we do need more time to get used to living together, and maybe some space from Ivy’s coming along to make sure that these thoughts are the real deal, but I love that you’re prepared to have them with me. It means a lot that it’s not just me” he insisted.

Sasha pressed her lips to his quickly before she pulled back, offering him a bashful smile. “It’s not just you” she said.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)