All This Time

11: I Haven’t Danced In A Long Time

“You know, you’re more than welcome to stay here for the night”

Amelia, who was nursing a glass of water, shook her head, smiling gratefully up at Molly who was perched on the coffee table in front of her, gently pushing her slightly messy hair out of her face. She had gotten carried away. For the first time in a long time, she hadn’t had Fernando on her mind, and in an attempt to keep it that way, she had eagerly accepted every drink that had been placed into her hand, determined to have one night where she wasn’t dwelling on her ex-husband. She knew she that it was still something she did too often.

“Thanks for the offer, but we both know how I am going to be tomorrow morning” Amelia said “It’s not going to be pretty and you’ve already got Una to deal with. You don’t need me too” she added, letting out a soft laugh.

Molly laughed despite herself, something which made Amelia reach out, gently squeezing her hand softly. “I’ll be fine” she insisted “Leo’s going to come back with me to make sure that I get there safely. I’ll even ask him to text you when we get there because there’s no way I am going to remember to do it” she added, flashing Molly a tipsy smile.

Molly shook her head, trying, and failing, to hide her amused smile.

“Did you talk to him?” Amelia asked “I know you wanted to. I didn’t see you together, though” she added.

Molly’s warm expression sobered slightly before she nodded. “I did” she confirmed.

“Does he still want to be my friend?” Amelia asked playfully.

Molly let out a quiet sigh before she gently squeezed Amelia’s hand. “I was never trying to get in the way of that” she insisted “I just...It wasn’t long ago that he was stood in front of you, trying to convince you not to marry Fernando. Your friendship is complicated, Lia, and I just wanted to tell him to be careful. I don’t want either of you to get hurt” she added.

Amelia closed her eyes for a second, trying to compose herself slightly, before she shook her head. “I’m not made of glass, Mol” she murmured.

“Amelia...”

“I appreciate the thought” Amelia interrupted “But it’s not necessary. I am more than capable of figuring this out for myself” she added.

“I am just trying to look out for you, Lia” Molly insisted “This thing with Fernando...” she trailed off when Amelia pushed herself to her feet, shaking her head firmly.

“I am done talking about Fernando” Amelia said “And I am going to go home now. I’ll...I’ll speak to you later, Mol” she added before she padded away towards Lionel who was happily talking with Stefan.

She knew that Molly was only trying to look out for her. Since things with Fernando had ended, everyone that was close to her had tried to help her, to look out for her, but it wasn’t what she wanted to hear then. In that moment, she was tired of people treating her as though she would break if they pushed her too hard.

~#~
“Are you going to be alright from here?”

Amelia, who’d been staring down at her feet, blinked a couple of times before she lifted her head, finding Lionel looking at her with a curious smile on his face. “Huh?” she spluttered.

Lionel inclined his head, gesturing towards the front door that he had just pushed open. “Are you going to go inside?” he quipped.

Amelia let out a huffed laugh before she shuffled past him, walking into the apartment. Toeing off her shoes, she placed them beside the coffee table before she turned around, slightly surprised to see Lionel closing the door behind himself. “Did you just invite yourself in?” she asked.

“Just for a second” Lionel replied “I promised Molly I’d make sure that you were OK. She is kind of scary when she wants to be” he added with a small grin.

Amelia huffed, sinking down onto the couch. “I don’t need babysitting” she scoffed “I had a few too many drinks, but I am not going to fall apart the moment she takes her eyes off of me” she added.

“Amelia...”

“I know what you’re going to say” Amelia interrupted, shaking her head gently as the frustration in her expression dissipated “You’re going to tell me that she’s my friend, and that she’s just trying to help me through something that I am still struggling with her, and I know that, but I just...I wish she hadn’t said anything to you” she added.

Lionel padded towards the couch, settling into the seat next to her. “She didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know, or hadn’t thought myself” he said gently “She was just trying to make sure that I...I wasn’t going to do something to make things harder on you. I told her that I didn’t plan on it” he added.

Amelia blinked up at him, something which made Lionel sigh before he wrapped his arm around her shoulders, squeezing them gently. “You need to get some sleep” he quipped “I don’t know what Stefan’s uncles were giving you, but it looked strong” he added with a tired smile.

Amelia’s cheeks flushed a gentle shade of pink. “It was tequila” she admitted “It was good stuff, too. I haven’t danced in a long time” she added wistfully.

Lionel gently hugged her again, planting a kiss on the crown of her head. “Goodnight, Amelia” he murmured as he pushed himself up.

Amelia watched him cross the living room and pull the door open before she spoke again. “I almost went with you” she said.

Lionel frowned confusedly as he turned back to her. “I haven’t asked you to go anywhere” he said.

Amelia swallowed before she ducked her head. “Yes, you did” she said.

“I think the tequila might be going to your head, Amelia” Lionel quipped “Get some sleep” he added before he moved to walk out of the open door.

“You asked me to leave my wedding with you” Amelia’s voice was soft, but it was still enough to stop Lionel in his tracks.

Amelia watched him turn back to her before she met his eyes, holding his stare as she whispered her next words quietly. “I almost did” she murmured.