Can’t Look Away

53: I Can’t Hide This From Her

“It was nothing”

The words were out of Lionel’s mouth before he could stop them, causing Cassie, who still stood in the doorway, to let out a scoff. He had been the first one to speak. After Cassie had announced herself, a few excruciatingly long moments had passed with Lionel’s stare darting back and forth between her and Leila, but Leila hadn’t moved to say anything. Instead, she simply kept her stare on the floor, leaving him to try and find a way to convince Cassie that what she had seen wasn’t what it looked like. He hadn’t had time to react. Leila had moved quickly, too quickly for him to avoid the kiss, but not quickly enough for Cassie to not see it, and he didn’t know what to say. He couldn’t sort through his thoughts quickly enough to process both the kiss and the fact that Cassie, Sasha’s best friend, had witnessed it.

“Cassie” he protested gently.

“How could you do this to Sasha?” Cassie asked.

“Cassie, please” Lionel stressed again “It wasn’t anything. Leila, tell her. Tell her that you kissed me. Tell her that it was nothing” he insisted, glancing back at Leila in desperation. He needed her to say something. He knew that if she didn’t, then Cassie would assume the worst, and it wouldn’t be long before Sasha was faced with the revelation that he and her sister had kissed, something he knew would devastate her.

Leila shifted her feet slightly before she shook her head. “It was nothing, Cassie” she murmured “I got...I got carried away in a moment” she added.

“Carried away in a moment?” Cassie shot back “You have a husband, Leila, and Leo’s got a girlfriend. You know, your younger sister” she added sharply.

“Why are you even here?” Leila snapped “Last time I checked, you and my sister were no longer room-mates” she sneered.

Cassie let out a bitter laugh. “Really?” she quipped “I just found you making out with your sister’s boyfriend, but you’re going to lecture me on being a good guest?” she asked.

“Stop being so dramatic, Cassie” Leila murmured “It was a mistake, OK? I was upset, and Leo was comforting me. I did something I shouldn’t have done, but there’s no need to blow it out of proportion, and there’s no need to tell Sasha” she added.

Cassie’s stare, which had briefly moved towards Lionel, snapped back towards Leila, her eyes narrowing. “You think I am going to hide this from her?” she asked.

“What good would telling her do?” Leila countered.

Cassie let out a sound of disbelief before she shook her head, smiling bitterly down at her feet. “I’ve always said that you don’t deserve her as a sister” she mused “If you knew the first thing about her, then you’d know that, mistake or not, hiding it from her is the worst thing you could do. Even if it is nothing, in the long run, she would want you to be honest, even if it hurt her now. She’d rather be hurt now than somewhere down the line” she added.

Lionel looked at Cassie, his eyes pleading with her. “It’s her worst nightmare, Cassie” he said “She’ll be devastated” he added.

Cassie’s expression softened as she looked back at him. She could tell how much he cared about the prospect of hurting Sasha, but she knew that she couldn’t lie for him. She knew it’d break Sasha’s heart to know that her best friend, her boyfriend, and her sister were all hiding something from her. “Yeah, she will be” she confirmed “But I can’t...I can’t pretend that I didn’t see this. I can’t hide this from her. It’ll hurt far more if we hide it” she explained.

Lionel leant forwards, resting his head on the counter for a few moments.

Cassie stepped towards him, gently rubbing his shoulder. “You need to be the one to tell her” she said gently.

Lionel nodded wordlessly. He knew that if it came from anyone other than him, Sasha’s hurt would only increase.

Cassie rubbed his shoulder again before she glanced at Leila. “I just want to know why you did it” she asked calmly.

Leila fiddled with her empty glass before she exhaled a soft sigh. “It wasn’t about Sasha” she said gently “I didn’t do it to be spiteful or anything like that. Honestly, Cassie, I just got carried away and I shouldn’t have done. Leo was just...he was being so nice, and things with Ollie are so complicated right now, it was refreshing. I didn’t think, and I should have done. I am sorry” she added.

“Sorry?” Lionel asked sharply, picking his head up quickly “You’re sorry?” he repeated.

Leila blinked.

“I have to tell her” Lionel continued “I have to look into her eyes and tell her that you and I kissed. She’s going to cry, Leila, and she won’t let me hold her and tell her that it was nothing. She’s going to push me away, and probably end up spending nights on Cassie’s uncomfortable couch, which is even worse when you consider the fact that she’s pregnant with my baby. I am going to break her heart, just because you didn’t think, because when it comes to Sasha, you never seem to think. You just do, and expect everyone else to deal with the fall out. You’re so selfish” he added.


“I don’t know that she’s ever going to forgive me for this, Leila” Lionel cut off Leila’s attempted protests “I don’t know that she’s not just going to put up all the walls I’ve spent all this time breaking down again. I have spent so much time convincing her to trust me, to trust us, and now that’s all going to disappear just because you didn’t think. How is that fair?” he snapped.

Leila’s head dropped. “What do you want me to say?” she asked.

“I want you to get out” Lionel replied without hesitation “I don’t want to see you again” he added.

Leila thought about arguing, but thought better of it. Instead, she slipped out of the room, leaving it quiet for a few moments before the front door closed with a thud. At the sound of the door closing, Lionel slumped back against the counter, letting out a long groan in frustration.

Cassie watched him for a moment before she sighed. “I’m sorry” she whispered “But I can’t hide things from her. That’s not how we work” she added.

Lionel picked his head up slightly. “I’d not ask you to” he said “She only needs to hate one of us. It might as well be me” he added, trying, and failing, to smile.

“She might get over it” Cassie said.

“Might” Lionel noted “Probably won’t” he added.

“You don’t know that” Cassie argued.

“It’s a pretty educated guess” Lionel retorted “Just, when it happens, promise me that you’ll look after her. She needs someone right now, and if it can’t be me, you’d be my first choice to help her through the pregnancy” he added.

Cassie reached across the counter and took his hand in hers, squeezing it gently. “I hope it doesn’t come to it, but if it does, then obviously I will take care of her. You’ve got my word” she explained.

Lionel smiled at her sadly before doorbell rang, causing him to glance over his shoulder.

“Cassie, you borrowed my keys” Sasha’s voice was bright and happy, something which caused Cassie to flash Lionel another sad smile “The least you can do is answer the door for me” she added.

Lionel pushed his chair back and slowly walked towards the door, fighting against the ache that was growing in his chest.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to Jayme112234 and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)