All This Time

46: He Did Enough Of That

“Are you coming to mama’s tonight?”

Amelia, who was stirring milk into the mug of tea on the counter in front of her, sleepily glanced over her shoulder, watching as Thea padded out of her bedroom, pulling her damp hair into a bun on the top of her head. It happened a lot. Both Amelia and Thea lived alone, and so when they spent time together, they often ended up staying the night, something Amelia knew she liked more than her sister. She noticed the silence less. With Lionel often around when she came home from work, and her family and Molly still dropping in when they could, it meant she spent less time alone than she used to, but she was still grateful when someone spent the night. She missed the noise that she had gotten used to when she had shared her home with her ex-husband.

“Is that tonight?” Amelia asked through a yawn.

“It is” Thea confirmed “Had you forgotten?” she poked with a smirk.

Amelia moved to place the milk back in the fridge as she shrugged. “I knew it was coming up” she mused “And you know mama. She’d have called at some point today to remind me. She’s probably already texted” she added, her lips quirking upwards into a playful smirk.

Thea, who was already staring down at her phone, scoffed before she held it up, showing Amelia the text that filled the screen. “She’s asking if Charlie is going to be joining us” she quipped.

“Is he?” Amelia prodded, smirking over the top of her mug “You’ve been together for a long time now. It’s probably only a matter of time before mama starts dropping hints” she added.

Thea rolled her eyes, but couldn’t keep her cheeks from turning pink. “Shut up” she grumbled “Mama is not going to start hinting at me and Charlie getting married. I am 21” she added.

“She was 20 when she married my papa” Amelia chirped impishly.

Thea just offered her a glare, something which made Amelia giggle as she settled her mug down on the coffee table. Shaking her head, Thea tapped out a reply to their mother before she moved towards the sofa, plopping down into the space beside her older sister. “I told her that I would see if Charlie’s busy” she mused “Are you going to ask Leo?” she asked.

Amelia shrugged. “I hadn’t planned to” she mused “Though, if she has asked you about Charlie, I won’t be surprised if she has asked me about Leo. I know she’s bought him a Christmas present, and this is probably going to be the last opportunity to give it to him before he leaves” she added.

“You should bring him” Thea quipped.

“To save Charlie?” Amelia retorted with a grin.

Thea returned her grin, nodding slightly. “For that” she mused “And because it’d be nice to spend some time with him. If he’s the man you want to be with, then I’d like to get to know him better. I am sure mama and papa feel the same way, and I think Charlie would appreciate not being the only outsider when we sit down to dinner. You know many questions our mother likes to ask” she added, rolling her eyes.

Amelia’s amused smile grew into something shier for a beat before she nodded her head. “I can ask” she mused.

Thea flashed her another warm smile before Amelia pushed herself back up to her feet. “I’m going to take a shower” she announced “I assume you’ll be gone by the time I am done?” she asked.

“Probably” Thea answered “I am actually supposed to meet Charlie in a little while. He’s treating me to breakfast” she added.

“I’ll see you tonight, then” Amelia mused before she disappeared into her bedroom, closing the door after herself.

Thea padded around the living room, collecting her shoes, coat and bag before she heard a knock at the front door. For a second, she contemplated calling out to Amelia, but when she heard the quiet hiss of the shower running, she decided against it and chose to swing the front door open instead. “Lionel” she greeted “Good morning” she added.

Lionel looked up from the screen of his phone, smiling in surprise at Thea. “Morning” he said.

“Amelia’s just got into the shower” Thea said as she stepped out of the doorway, allowing Lionel inside “She didn’t mention that you were coming over. If she had, I would have gotten out of the way sooner” she added.

“It’s an impromptu visit” Lionel replied, shrugging out of his jacket “I’ve not seen her for a few days, and I thought I’d come over this morning and we could do something. You two don’t have plans, do you?” he asked.

Thea didn’t hesitate to shake her head. “Not until dinner at out parents’ house this evening” she mused.

Lionel nodded his head slowly.

“Lia’s going to ask you to come tonight” Thea quipped after a beat of silence “I hope you do” she added.

“You do?” Lionel asked.

Thea nodded her head emphatically. “I’d like to get to know you better” she mused.

Lionel flashed her a slightly bashful smile. “If I am invited, I would love to come” he said.

Thea nodded her head, wordlessly confirming the invitation, before she looked down at her feet, allowing another silence to stretch between the two of them. She wanted to say something. As much as she knew Amelia would hate it, she wanted to offer the Argentine some kind of warning, but she didn’t quite know how to phrase it. She didn’t want to scare him off. As much as she had disliked seeing the uncertain expression on Amelia’s face when she had admitted that Lionel hadn’t returned her ‘I love you’, she knew that he had made Amelia happier than she had been in a long time, and that wasn’t something that Thea wanted to take away from her, but she wanted him to know what he was getting into. It wasn’t casual for Amelia. It was a huge deal, and clearly, Lionel meant an awful lot to her, and if he didn’t feel the same, then Thea wanted him to be honest about it. Dragging it out was only likely to hurt Amelia more.

Exhaling a quiet sigh, Thea debated whether or not to say something for a moment more before she lifted her head, meeting Lionel’s eyes. “Amelia doesn’t know I am about to say this” she said “If she did, she would probably kill me, but I can’t not say anything. If you’re not in this with her, just tell her” she added.

Lionel’s eyes widened. “Thea...”

“You’re not helping her by putting off telling her” Thea talked over him like he hadn’t said a word “There’s not going to be a right moment to admit that...that maybe she, and her baggage, is more than you bargained for. If that’s the case, just tell her. She doesn’t need another idiot to mess her around. Fernando did enough of that for a lifetime” she added.

Lionel opened his mouth to say something, but was cut off when the bedroom door open, revealing Amelia who tilted her head, a surprised expression spreading across her face. “Leo” she squeaked “I wasn’t expecting you” she added.

“He wanted to surprise you” Thea chirped.

Amelia smiled shyly. “That’s sweet” she mused “I’ll only be a few more minutes” she added, ducking back into the room.

Both Lionel and Thea watched the bedroom close before they looked at one another again. “Thea...”

“Just don’t hurt her, Leo” Thea interrupted again “That’s all I ask” she added before she slipped out of the front door, leaving Lionel staring after her in surprise.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)