Can’t Look Away

60: Thank You For Trying

Pressing her hands against her eyes, Sasha took in a deep breath, trying to swallow the sob that was working its way up her throat. She didn’t know exactly why she was crying. The dress that she had been putting on had been slightly too tight, and she hadn’t liked the way it had looked when she had moved to look at it in the mirror, but she hadn’t expected the tears. She had been trying to find something for a while. James had called earlier in the day and invited her and Lionel to dinner, and whilst he had been purposefully vague about why he was offering the invitation, Sasha could tell that it was important. There had been something in his voice that told her that it wasn’t the kind of thing that she could skip out on.

Rubbing her eyes gently, she took in another shaky breath before she felt something touch her knee. Slowly, almost hesitantly, she lowered her hands away from her eyes, a tearful smile pulling up at the corner of her mouth. “I might need a few more minutes” she teased weakly.

Lionel, who was crouched in front of her, simply lifted a hand, using his thumb to gently brush the tears away.

Sasha took another couple of soothing breaths before she shook her head, ducking it slightly. “Sorry” she whispered “I don’t even really know why I am crying” she added.

“Is it the bump?” Lionel asked.

“Baby’s fine” Sasha replied, shaking her head slightly.

“That’s not what I meant” Lionel said “I know that baby’s fine, you would have told me if you thought there was something the matter. I meant the actual bump. Have you noticed that you have started to hide it from me?” he asked tentatively.

It had caught his attention. Her bump was obvious, there was no mistaking the fact that she was pregnant, and since it had become prominent, Sasha had grown shier about it. Before it had been noticeable, Sasha had loved having it fussed over. She had forever been coaxing him to put his hands on her stomach, or encouraging him to talk to it, but increasingly, she had started to shy away.

Sasha blinked a couple of times. “I can’t hide it” she said softly “It’s...It’s pretty huge” she added.

Lionel’s expression softened. “Sasha...”

“These hormones are the worst” Sasha cut him off with a laugh that sounded more like a sob “I know it’s probably not as big as it feels. I know it’s probably just the hormones. I just…I’m having a pretty hard time feeling attractive right now. I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to tell me that I still look beautiful, and that you love that I’ve got our little one growing in here, and I know that you mean it, I just...I don’t feel it right now” she added, offering him a tearful smile as she placed a hand on her bump.

Lionel opened and closed his mouth a couple of times, not entirely sure what to say to her, something which made Sasha’s smile widen slightly before she leant forwards, kissing him softly. “Thank you for trying” she said.

“Do you want me to call James?” Lionel asked, wiping a couple more tears off of her cheeks.

Sasha didn’t hesitate in shaking her head. “No” she mused “He wasn’t very specific, but it sounded like this evening meant a lot to him. I’ll find something to wear” she added.

Lionel offered her a slightly dubious look, something which made Sasha smile again before she kissed his cheek. “I’ll be fine” she insisted “And you should be getting dressed to. James wants us really dressed up for some reason, so a nice suit and tie wouldn’t go amiss” she added.

Lionel hesitated briefly, but Sasha offered him another encouraging smile, coaxing him back to his feet. Letting out a gentle sigh, he bent over her and kissed the crown on her head. “I love you” he murmured softly.

Sasha gently wrapped her arms around him, hugging him close. “I love you, too” she replied.

“Are you sure that this is the right place?”

Sasha, who’d been staring at the screen of her phone, looked up at the sound of Lionel’s voice, her forehead creasing at the sight of the small church that Lionel had pulled up outside of. “Is it the right address?” she asked.

“It’s the one you gave me” Lionel replied “Are you sure that you read it right?” he asked.

Sasha fiddled with her phone briefly, checking the address that James had sent to her, before she nodded her head. “It’s the right place” she mused.

Lionel offered her a slightly confused look, something Sasha mirrored until she spotted James wandering towards the car, a nervous grin on his face. Pushing the door open, she climbed out of the car and met him on the path, Lionel trailing close behind. “You know, it’s mean to promise a pregnant woman food and not deliver” she quipped impishly.

James laughed. “Who said I wasn’t going to deliver?” he retorted.


“Ellie and I are getting married” James interrupted, cutting of Sasha’s complaints.

“What?” Lionel spluttered whilst Sasha just gaped at her brother.

James smiled sheepishly, adjusting his tie. “I asked her a little while ago” he said “We didn’t tell anyone because, well, we didn’t want the fuss. We've been together forever, and we’ve got Ivy, we didn’t want it to become some kind of big thing. If I had told our mother, or Ellie’s mother, it would have gotten out of hand. You remember how bad they were when Leila and Olivier got engaged. Ellie and I didn’t want that” he explained.

Sasha blinked. “You’re getting married?” she whispered.

“Tonight” James confirmed, not at all able to stifle his beaming smile “Mama and papa are already inside with Leila and Olivier. Ellie’s mother is with her and Ivy. We were just waiting on the two of you” he added.

“Are we late?” Lionel asked, his forehead creased in worry.

James shook his head. “It doesn’t matter” he mused “I’m just glad that you’re here” he added.

Sasha stared at her brother briefly before she stepped towards him, wrapping him in the best hug she could manage. James laughed and hugged her back carefully before he pulled away, squeezing her upper arms gently. “I actually need to ask you something” he mused “Before we go in” he added.

“Anything” Sasha replied.

“I know things aren’t great between you and Leila” James said “And I have had this talk with her already, so don’t think I am singling you out. I just...This is a huge night for me, for Ellie and Ivy too, and I just...”

“We’ll behave” Sasha interrupted “Anything to make this the best night for you and your family, James” she added.

James looked between her and Lionel for confirmation before he grinned. “Thank you” he mused.

Sasha beamed back at him before Carina appeared in the doorway, calling the three of them inside. Sasha pushed up onto her toes, kissing her brother’s cheek, and Lionel shook him by the hand, before he walked ahead of them, barely able to contain his excitement. Lionel and Sasha followed after him, taking their spot in the front row of pews, before they turned towards the back of the church, watching as Ellie, accompanied by her mother and carrying Ivy, drifted up the aisle.

“She looks amazing” Sasha whispered, her voice soft in awe.

Lionel’s arm wrapped around her waist, but he didn’t say anything, watching as Ellie reached James and beamed up at him. Sitting down, he kept his arm around Sasha’s shoulders before he leant a little closer, pitching his voice low enough for just her to hear it. “Marry me” he murmured.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)