Can’t Look Away

58: It’s Why My Best Friend Loves You

“I’ll leave the two of you to it”

Lionel, who was watching Sasha as she retreated towards the kitchen, startled slightly at the sound of Cassie’s voice before he turned, offering her a small grateful smile. He was grateful for everything she had done. From the moment that she had caught him and Leila together, she had been Sasha’s shoulder to cry on, supporting her and comforting her when she needed it, but whilst he was grateful for her help, he knew that he and Sasha needed some time alone together, something he could tell Cassie could sense. She had tried her hardest to give it to them. She had spent most of Sasha’s brief stay in hospital trying to distract Carina and Eddie, and later James who had arrived to dote on his younger sister, but her efforts had been in vain, meaning that Sasha’s room had been overrun with her family and there’d been no time for her and Lionel to talk more.

“Are you sure I can’t tempt you with breakfast?” Lionel quipped, not even trying to hide the fact that it was a hollow offer.

Cassie quirked a small smirk and shook her head. “I don’t think you really want that” she mused “And I know that the two of you need some space. I adore her parents, but they’re a lot and they didn’t exactly give you a lot of space yesterday” she added.

“She’s their family” Lionel replied with a little shrug “I couldn’t exactly throw them out” he added.

“I’d have loved to watch you try” Cassie retorted impishly.

Lionel rolled his eyes tiredly, something which caused Cassie to reach out, squeezing his shoulder softly. “You’re a good guy” she said warmly “That’s why it was so easy for Eddie and Carina to believe what you told them about Leila. It is why my best friend is in love with you. You’re wonderful. Now, get into that kitchen and give your equally wonderful girlfriend the hug I know she had been craving for days. I’ll drop the stuff you left at my place over some time soon” she added before she ambled towards the door.

Lionel offered her another thankful smile before he turned, padding towards the kitchen. Stopping in the doorway, he watched Sasha as she wandered around the room for a few moments before she stopped, looking over at him with a shaky smile. “I...I am hungry” she said softly “But I am not quite sure what I want” she added.

“I can make you something” Lionel suggested gently “I mean, if you want me to. If you want me to leave you to it, I can. Just say the word” he added, the tops of his cheeks flushing bashfully.

Sasha glanced at him shyly before she offered him one small nod.

Lionel nodded in reply before he shuffled towards the fridge. Opening the door, he scanned the contents for a few long moments before he let his head fall forwards, a soft sigh falling out of his mouth. It wasn’t the first time. After her parents had arrived at the hospital, the few moments that he and Sasha had had to themselves had been full of awkward silence and the sense that they had left things unsaid, but neither one of them had made a move to pick the unfinished conversation up, meaning that, all too easily, they’d fallen into letting the distance grow between them again.

“Are you OK?”

Lionel’s head snapped up. He hadn’t known that Sasha was watching him. “Uh, yeah” he spluttered “I was just trying to decide what to make” he added, peeking around the open door towards where she sat to offer her a thin smile.

Sasha examined his smile briefly before she shook her head, diverting her stare towards her lap. “I’m sorry that this is still weird” she murmured.

Lionel pushed the fridge door closed with a soft thump before he moved towards her, gently crouching down ahead of her. “Look at me, Sasha” he said gently.

Sasha hesitated briefly, but her eyes slowly moved to mirror his. “I got scared” she admitted “I was so scared that I had lost you” she added.

“I know” Lionel’s reply with gentle and accompanied by a gentle kiss which he placed on the inside of her wrist “But you haven’t, Sasha, and if I have it my way, you won’t. I love you, Sasha” he added, flashing her a hopeful smile.

Sasha’s lips slowly moved to return his smile. “I love you, too” she breathed.

Lionel’s smile grew warmer, brightening in happiness. He had heard her say those words to him countless times, but in that moment, they felt better than they ever had done before. As much as he had tried to keep his thoughts from wandering to the worst case scenario, he had, briefly, worried that he wouldn’t hear them from her again.

Letting out a slightly bashful laugh, he pushed himself upright again before he gently cupped her cheek, something which caused Sasha’s eyes to flutter closed, a happy sigh falling out of her mouth. For a moment, they simply sat like that before Lionel leant forwards, touching his forehead to hers.

Sasha gently brushed her nose against his. “I’ve missed you” she said softly.

Lionel pressed the lightest of kisses to the corner of her mouth. “Even my complaining about you leaving your socks everywhere?” he asked.

Sasha’s grin widened, even more so when he touched another feather-light kiss to the corner of her mouth. “I lived with Cassie for years” she murmured “Your complaining is nothing compared to hers” she added.

Lionel beamed against her skin. “I missed picking your socks up” he teased.

“Remember that when you think of complaining about it again” Sasha quipped.

This time, Lionel laughed, but the sound was cut short when Sasha’s lips met his. It was a tentative kiss, like Sasha hadn’t been quite sure that he would kiss her back, but slowly, it grew warm and familiar, something which had the two of them sporting goofy smiles when they drew apart. Lifting a hand, Lionel softly tucked her hair behind her ear before he bent over, touching a gentle kiss to her stomach which made Sasha let out another happy sigh.

“Your papa loves your mama very much” Lionel’s cooing was aimed at Sasha’s stomach, but Sasha knew the words were for her “He might make mistakes, but he’s going to love her for a very long time. You, too, when you come along” he added, pressing another kiss to her stomach.

Sasha weaved her fingers through his hair, keeping him close to her stomach, before she dipped down, kissing his head softly. She couldn’t quite believe that she had even contemplated ending things between them. It had only been brief. When he had told her what had happened with her sister, her immediate reaction had been a desire to put as much space as she could between them, wanting to protect herself from the kind of hurt that Alex had inflicted on her, but as she held him close to her and watched him fuss over her tiny baby bump, she couldn’t believe that the thought had ever crossed her mind. She knew that he wasn’t going to hurt her.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)