All This Time

44: I Don’t Think I Thought You’d Come With Me

“I was just coming to wake you”

Amelia, who was sat on the side of her bed, slowly lifted her head, her lips quirking into a tentative smile at the sight of Lionel in the doorway, a plate of food and a glass of juice clutched in his hands. She had planned for the worst. From the moment that she had admitted to the kiss, she had been waiting for the moment that Lionel arrived at her door and told her that their relationship didn’t have a future, and whilst it hadn’t happened yet, she was hesitant to believe that it wasn’t still on the cards.

They had talked for hours. They’d talked about Fernando, and about the ways what he had done was still weighing on Amelia’s mind. They had talked about Lionel’s worries that there was still something between Amelia and her ex, and Amelia had done her best to try and convince him that he had nothing to be worried about, but she was hesitant to think that they had made progress. She wanted to believe it. She wanted to think that they were going to be OK, but she wouldn’t let herself be too optimistic. A few hours of conversation weren’t likely to be enough to remove all of the worries and reservations that they both had about being together.

“Is that for me?” Amelia prodded, tipping her head towards the plate in his hand.

“I don’t see anyone else it would be for” Lionel quipped back, offering her a playful smile.

The hesitation in Amelia’s expression receded, but didn’t fade completely as her smile grew a little wider. “You didn’t have to do that” she said.

Lionel shrugged, settling the plate and glass down onto the bedside table. “I was up before you” he quipped “I am sure you’d have done the same thing for me” he added.

Amelia just watched him, allowing the room to fall quiet for a few beats before she shuffled towards the bedside table, pulling the plate into her grasp. Moving towards the headboard, she pulled the duvet up before she set the plate in her lap, turning back towards Lionel to flash him another soft grin. “It looks good” she cooed.

Lionel returned her smile as he carefully sat down on the bed’s edge. “Can I ask you something?” he asked, nervously bouncing his foot against the floor.

Amelia stilled for a split second before she slowly nodded her head. She didn’t know what was coming, but the look on his face and the tone of his voice were enough to convince her that it wasn’t going to be an easy question, and as much as she wanted to shy away from it, she knew that she couldn’t. She had promised him that she wouldn’t hide from him, and it wasn’t a promise she intended to back out of. “Anything” she said softly.

“You told me once that you almost went with me” Lionel said, carefully keeping his stare away from her “Did you mean it?” he asked.

Amelia’s chest tightened, causing her to gently push the plate off of her lap before she pulled her knees up towards her chest. “I know I thought about it” she said after a long moment of quiet “There was a moment, before my mother started yelling in the hall outside, when we were looking at each other and I...I believed you when you said it could be worth it, but I...I don’t know is the honest answer” she added, her tone slightly hesitant.

She hadn’t lied to him. She had thought about going with him, but the more she thought about it, the less sure she grew that she had ever contemplated actually following through. She had told herself that she had, that she had been swayed by the sight of Fernando’s goofy happy grin, but lately, she had started to think that the entire day had been a mess of emotions, and that she couldn’t really be sure of anything. She had been nervous about getting married, surprised by the admission that Lionel had feelings for her, and there had been a voice at the back of her head that had been warning that Fernando was maybe not the man she thought he was, something which meant she didn’t know what she had wanted then.

Lionel closed his eyes for a long moment, absorbing her words, before he slowly nodded his head. “Did I ever apologise to you for doing that?” he asked.

“Leo...”

“It wasn’t fair” Lionel interrupted, turning his head to offer her a pained smile “It was your wedding day. No matter how it worked out, I shouldn’t have...I shouldn’t have tried to take that away from you” he added.

Amelia pulled at a loose thread on the duvet. “Why didn’t you say something before?” she asked “You said that it’d started before Nando, so it wasn’t because of him” she added.

Lionel rubbed his jaw, the tops of his cheeks turning pink. “Is it a cop out to just say that I was scared?” he asked.

Amelia wordlessly shook her head.

“I was” Lionel sighed “And then somehow I convinced myself that I had to say something before it was too late. I don’t even think I really thought that you’d come with me, but I was just so determined to give you the choice. You chose him then, and I know he’s not an option now, but I am worried that if, somehow, he became one again, you’d still choose him. You wanted to spend your life him, Amelia, and I...” he trailed off when Amelia sat up and kissed him.

It was soft, unhurried and careful, but it was enough to render him speechless when Amelia pulled away and gently brushed her fingertips over the back of his neck, nestling them in his hair. “I know it’s hard to just believe it” she whispered, her nose lightly brushing his “But all of that, Fernando especially, it’s over. He’s not a choice, he won’t be again” she added.

Lionel’s slightly shaky breath fanned her lips as he exhaled a soft sigh. “I know” he said.

Amelia brushed her lips over his again. “I’ve always cared about you” she murmured “And now, I know that I love you. I couldn’t be sure before, but I am now” she added.

Lionel didn’t say anything, but Amelia didn’t prod him, she just stayed in their embrace, hoping that eventually she’d hear him say it back to her.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)