Can’t Look Away

62: You Don’t Have To Do It Again

Readjusting the duvet around herself, Sasha let out a quiet sigh, her eyes staring at the empty pillow that sat beside her own. She hadn’t expected him to come. Whilst they had managed to keep up appearances around her family for a while longer, the awkwardness had been back in full force as soon as they had gotten into his car, and it meant that, whilst it upset her, Sasha had expected to have their bed to herself. She didn’t know what to say to him. She wanted to make things right, but was terrified of making them worse, and so, when they’d gotten home, she had been quick to retreat to their room, worried that if she hung around, she would say something else to hurt him.

Rubbing at her forehead frustratedly, she tossed onto her back briefly before she felt a movement in her stomach, something which caused her to let out a small squeak in surprise. Blinking a couple of times, she pressed her hand to her bump, waiting for a few moments until she felt it again, before she swung her feet out of bed. Without any hesitation, she padded out of the bedroom and made a beeline for the spare room, pushing the door open.

Lionel, who’d been vaguely staring at the television on the wall, glanced over at her, his forehead furrowing. “Sasha?” he asked.

“Come here” Sasha replied, her voice urgent.

“What’s going on?” Lionel prodded “You’re not feeling dizzy again, are you?” he added.

Sasha shook her head. “Just get over here” she replied “Quickly” she added.

Lionel shot out of the bed, almost tripping over the duvet which was wrapped around his legs, but he made it safely to over to Sasha who didn’t hesitate to take his hand in hers, guiding it to the spot where she felt movement. “Can you feel that?” she asked excitedly.

Lionel’s concerned frown melted away to be replaced by a soft, awe-filled, smile. “That’s him?” he asked “Our baby?” he added.

Sasha’s smile was equally giddy as she nodded her head in confirmation.

For a moment, they both stood there, marvelling in silence at the gentle movements before Lionel lifted his head, his dark eyes searching Sasha’s face. He didn’t say anything straight away, taking a moment to think it through, before he gently sighed, his gaze dropping back towards her stomach. “I shouldn’t have walked away like I did” he said quietly.

Sasha’s expression sobered, growing nervous. “Leo...”

“I got upset” Lionel interrupted “And I overreacted. I sprung this on you, and I know that that’s not a good idea usually, let alone when you’re pregnant. I just...I am so sure of this, Sasha. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, I don’t think I got that across to you earlier, and it felt like that moment was the right one. It felt right to me, but clearly, it didn’t feel right to you, and then, when you compared me to Alex...”

“I didn’t mean to do that” Sasha interjected.

“But you did” Lionel replied “It felt like you were comparing his proposal and mine, that you thought I was asking for the same reasons that he did” he added.

Sasha closed her eyes, taking a moment to think of a response, before she looked up at him. “I know that you weren’t” she said softly.

“It didn’t feel like you knew it” Lionel retorted “You made me think that you thought that the only reason I could be asking you to marry me, is him” he added, his head tilting towards her bump.


“You are all I want” Lionel interrupted, his voice softening “You have been since we stood in your kitchen, avoiding broken bits of plate as you kissed me for the first time. I adore you, Sasha, and yes, I love that you’re carrying our baby, but that, as wonderful as it is, has nothing to do with what I asked you tonight, and it devastated me that you thought it could. I am thinking clearly. I want to marry you” he added, his voice firm, but warm with emotion.

He understood where the doubts came from. The end of her relationship with Alex had revolved around what she had thought was a pregnancy, and a marriage proposal that had quickly soured, and he could understand her reservations about wanting to accept his proposal, but he couldn’t grasp why she would doubt that he meant it. He was in love with her, and he had been so sure that she knew it.

Sasha’s eyes searched his for a long moment before she reached a hand up, the tips of her fingers tracing the line of his jaw lightly. “It’s moving fast” she said quietly “That...that is what I should have said earlier. I know that you love me, and I know that, despite how immensely bad at these conversations I am, you love me for a hell of a lot more reasons than the fact that I am carrying your baby” she added, offering him a self-deprecating smile.

Lionel moved her hair out of her eyes, wordlessly encouraging her to continue.

Sasha caught his hand, holding it lightly against her cheek as she allowed her eyes to flutter closed. “I’m overwhelmed” she admitted “That’s what I should have said. I should have told you that the pace of this is slightly overwhelming to me. We went from dating, to living together, to pregnant very quickly, and then you were asking me to marry you, and I just...I panicked” she added.

Lionel leant forwards, touching a soft kiss to her forehead that made Sasha sigh contentedly. They stayed like that for a few moments, Lionel’s lips pressed affectionately to her forehead, Sasha’s hand cradling his against her cheek, until she took a pace backwards, allowing her eyes to flutter open and look up into his. “Can you give me some time?” she asked softly “I am not saying no, please don’t think that, but I would like some time to try and get my head around it” she added.

Lionel’s answering smile was slightly sad, but still warm enough to assure Sasha that things would be alright. “I was kind of hoping you’d not have to think” he joked weakly “But, if you need it, then, obviously, you can have it. Just let me know when you’re ready for me to ask again” he added.

“You’ve already asked” Sasha pointed out “You don’t have to do it again” she added.

Lionel grinned at her, his expression still tinged with a slight sadness despite his best efforts to get rid of it. “I can do better than that” he quipped.

Sasha shook her head, but her objections were stifled when Lionel leant over, kissing her bump gently. “I am going to do it better, Sasha” he mused “Whenever you’re ready. It’ll be spectacular” he promised.

“Yeah” Sasha murmured, gently running her fingers through his hair “I’m sure it will be” she added.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)