Can’t Look Away

63: Don’t Act Like You Don’t Love It

“Do you need me to get you anything?”

Sasha, who was sat on the floor with Ivy, leant her head back against the sofa, grinning up at her brother who stood in the doorway, trying, and failing, to hide his slightly irked expression. She knew that he didn’t want to be there. Usually, James spent his weekends with Ellie and Ivy, something he didn’t get much of a chance to do during the week, but with Ellie out of town for work, and Sasha’s due date approaching rapidly, Lionel had enlisted him to keep an eye on her whilst he was away for the day, something Sasha knew bothered her brother, even if he was trying to hide it. She had been able to tell from the moment that he had stepped through the door that he would rather have been anywhere else.

“I’m fine, thank you” Sasha replied “Though, I wouldn’t mind a hand up. I am starting to get a little uncomfortable down here” she added.

James rolled his eyes, but obliged. Stepping into the room, he offered his hands out to her, allowing Sasha to pull herself up before she plopped down onto the couch, rubbing her lower back gently. “Thanks” she mused.

“Are you alright?” James asked “That’s not the first time I’ve seen you rubbing your back” he added as he swooped down to pick up Ivy.

Sasha smirked. “I thought you were wasting all your time pouting” she quipped impishly.

James settled Ivy in her playpen before he padded over to the couch, falling into the empty seat at Sasha’s side. “I was kind of looking forwards to spending time with my daughter” he mused “I see her during the week, of course I do, but it’s usually at breakfast and then for a little while before she goes to sleep. Weekends are different” he added, glancing over at Ivy with a soft, doting smile.

Sasha’s teasing expression softened. “Didn’t you tell Leo that when he called?” she asked.

“I was his last resort” James replied, offering her a slight shrug “He’d tried mum and dad and Cassie, and all of them had plans. He sounded so desperate on the phone, I couldn’t say no to him” he added.

Sasha rolled her eyes, but it didn’t disguise the tender smile that brightened her features. “He worries” she mused “I’ve told him a hundred times that I am fine, but he still feels the need to be all protective” she added.

James smirked, nudging her side playfully. “Don’t act like you don’t love it” he quipped.

Sasha laughed, the tops of her cheeks flushing a pale shade of pink.

James watched her, the smirk on his face softening into a softer, happy smile. “You look happy” he said.

Sasha offered him a slightly confused smile. “I don’t usually?” she prodded.

“You withdrew after Alex” James said “I mean, you put on a good front, but you were just...different. But now, you look happy. I feel like you’re happy when I see you” he explained.

She had tried to hide the extent to which things with Alex had hurt her. She had always been vague when she had told the story, and tried to shrug off the idea that she was hurting, but everyone had known it. There had simply been something different about her after Alex had disappeared. She had played the part well. She had smiled when she was supposed to, spent time with her friends and her family like nothing had happened, and she had even tried to move on when the time was supposedly right, but it had always felt like she was simply going through the motions. She had been hurting. For years, she had been trying to recover from how badly she’d gotten hurt, and it felt like she was finally getting there.

Sasha blinked a couple of times, surprised by the statement, before she nodded her head slowly. “I am happy” she confirmed.

James nodded. “I’m glad” he mused.

Sasha smiled at him gently, allowing a moment of quiet to pass between them, before she tilted her head. “James?” she prodded.

James, who’d started to watch Ivy, turned back to look at her. “Yeah?” he replied.

“Can I tell you something?” Sasha posed “Without you freaking out or anything?” she added.

“You’re not about to have that baby, are you?” James prodded, his expression slightly panicked “Don’t get me wrong, I will drive you to the hospital, but I am not being in the room. I’ve seen that once and am in no hurry to see it again” he added.

Sasha shook her head, rolling her eyes slightly. “It’s not that” she mused.

“Then, of course” James mused.

Sasha fidgeted slightly, trying to figure out what she wanted to say. They hadn’t talked about it. After Lionel had proposed, and Sasha had asked for time to think on it, the subject hadn’t come up between them again, and Sasha hadn’t told anyone about it, almost certain that if she did, people wouldn’t understand why she needed to think. Pushing a hand back through her hair, she let out a soft sigh before she glanced at her brother. “How did you know that you wanted to marry Ellie?” she asked.

James blinked a couple of times, surprised by the question, before he shrugged his shoulders. “I love her” he mused “I mean, I figured that out pretty quickly after we started dating, but the more time we were together, the more I started to have trouble picturing being without her. Marriage wasn’t a priority for us, you know that, but I knew pretty early on that if I was going to get married, it was going to be to her. I can’t see myself with anyone but her any more. Why do you ask?” he asked.

“Leo asked me” Sasha admitted.

James’s eyes widened, but he wasn’t afforded the chance to say anything.

“It was your wedding day, actually” Sasha continued “He just...asked” she added.

“That was a while ago” James pointed out “Have you secretly been engaged for three months?” he pressed.

“I didn’t say yes” Sasha replied.

“You said no?” James’s voice was incredulous.

“I didn’t say that either” Sasha said.


“I needed time to think” Sasha interjected “He sprung it on me, and I needed time to get my head around it. I was just wondering how you knew that Ellie was it” she added.

James stared at her for a moment before he nodded his head slowly, a gentle smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. “Can you picture being with anyone but him?” he asked.

Sasha thought on the question briefly before she lifted her shoulders in a shrug. “I don’t know” she mused “I just...I know that this, right now, it’s the happiest I’ve been in a long time. I don’t think I would want to change anything” she added.

James’s grin grew slightly. “I think you might have your answer” he quipped.

Sasha stared at him, allowing the words to sink in, before she felt a wave of pain in her stomach, causing her to let out a groan, her hand gripping at her t-shirt.

“Sasha?” James squeaked.

Sasha shook her head. “It’s fine” she mumbled.

“You’re clearly in pain” James quipped “Your back, and now your stomach. Sasha, you’re a midwife. Surely you know what is going on” he added.

Sasha shook her head, still grimacing. “No” she muttered.


“Leo’s in Seville” Sasha grumbled “My baby isn’t coming until he’s here” she added.

“You don’t have much say in that” James replied.

“James...” Sasha’s voice trailed off as she felt a liquid sensation spread across her lap. Letting out a soft gasp, she stared down at the puddle which had formed on the floor before she slowly lifted her head, meeting James’s sympathetic gaze.

“You want that ride to the hospital now?” James quipped.

Sasha nodded wordlessly.

“Have you got a baby bag ready?” James prodded.

“It’s in our bedroom” Sasha replied “It’s a blue holdall” she added.

“I’ll go and grab it” James mused “Then, we’ll get you into the car. I’ll call mama and...”

“Cassie” Sasha interrupted “Please, get her” she added.

James nodded, smiling at her soothingly. “Cassie it is” he mused “I’ll be right back, OK?” he added.

Sasha’s nod was slow in shock.

James ran out of the room.

Sasha listened to his footsteps as they moved up the stairs before she leant forwards, shakily retrieving her phone from the coffee table. Finding Lionel’s number, she dialled it and listened as it flicked over to his voicemail before she exhaled a slightly shaky breath. “Hey” she whispered “I know you’re not going to see that I’ve called for a little while. You’re probably in the middle of your warm-up, and I know you won’t have the chance to check this until after the cool down, but if, by chance, you sneak a peek, just to check on me, please know that I need you, OK? James is here, and he’s going to get Cassie because I can’t...I can’t handle my mother’s fussing through this, but really, you’re the one I want here. The baby’s coming, Leo, he’s coming now, and I need you to get back here, OK? I need you” she added.

“Ready to go?” James asked as he rushed back into the room, gathering Ivy up into his arms.

Sasha hung up the phone before she nodded, offering him a tremulous smile. “As ready as I will ever be” she answered.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)