The Space Between Us

59: I Don’t Think It’s Our Company

"Are you sure that you don’t want me to cancel?”

Lionel, who was stood over his suitcase, quirked a lopsided grin as he looked up from it, glancing over at Amelia who was sat on the opposite side of the bed, scrolling through something on the screen of her phone in an attempt to avoid looking up at him. He knew that she knew that he wasn’t nervous. They had been together for months, and in that time, they had already been to more dinners and things with her friends and family than he could count, but whilst he had gotten used to them, he knew that they still made Amelia apprehensive.

He didn’t quite know why. Everyone in Amelia’s immediate circle of friends and family had welcomed him with open arms. Even Victor, who they had both been worried about, had grown used to the sight of Lionel at Amelia’s side, but Amelia still seemed anxious. It was like she was waiting for someone to say something, for them to find a fault with them that neither of them had seen, and whilst Lionel hated to see her still so uncertain, he didn’t quite know how to ease the anxiety. He figured that, the longer they were together, the more Amelia would grow used to the idea that no one was watching or waiting for them to fall apart.

“Why would I want you to do that?” Lionel chirped.

“You’ve got a flight tomorrow” Amelia replied, still not looking up from her phone “And you’re not finished packing yet. I am sure that Lexi and Asier would understand if we postponed this until after you get back” she added.

Lionel huffed out a laugh as he padded around the bed, sitting down next to her. “You know that my flight isn’t until tomorrow afternoon” he mused “Which means I can finish packing in the morning, and that there’s no reason to skip out on dinner. Besides, I heard Alexa on the phone. She sounded excited about something. Don’t you want to know what?” he prodded as he pried her phone out of her hands and settled it on the mattress behind them.

Amelia watched him put the phone down before she looked up at him. “You really want to go?” she asked.

Lionel didn’t hesitate to nod his head. “I like your brother-in-law” he mused “And Alexa’s OK, too” he added.

Amelia scoffed out a laugh, something which caused Lionel to nudge her side gently. “I like doing these things with you” he said “I like your family, and your friends. You don’t have to be worried about asking me to do these things with you. If anything, I should be asking you to do them, too” he added.

Amelia’s eyebrows climbed up her forehead. “You want to invite me to dinner with your family?” she asked.

Lionel’s lips quirked. “Maybe I do” he said “What do you say to dinner with my parents when I get back?” he asked.

Amelia opened and closed her mouth a couple of times, not quite sure of her answer, before she slowly nodded her head, a cautious smile brightening her face. “I...I think I would like that” she said “You’ll ask them to go easy on me, won’t you?” she added.

Lionel mimed crossing his heart, something which made Amelia grin up at him, comforted by his cheesiness. She didn’t quite know how he did it, but he had a knack for making her feel better. Shaking her head, she leant up and kissed him softly before she pulled away, mumbling something about them needing to get going. Lionel grinned up at her, making a quip about her wanting to cancel, something which made Amelia roll her eyes before she leant in and stole another kiss, feeling Lionel’s smile against her lips.

“So, are you going to keep us in suspense?” Amelia mused as she settled her glass down onto the table, her stare fixed on her sister and brother-in-law who were sat across from them, trying, and failing, to hide the giddy smiles that they wore. There was clearly something that they wanted to say. Alexa’s overexcited phone call a few days previous, twinned with an air of giddiness about the two of them, confided it, and whilst Amelia had a sneaking suspicion about what it might be, she wanted to hear it from Alexa.

“Suspense?” Alexa chirped innocently “What makes you think that we have a reason for inviting you out?” she added.

“You two can’t stop smiling” Lionel pointed out “And I don’t think it’s our company” he added.

Alexa made a show of rolling her eyes. “You don’t know that” she quipped.

“Alexa” Amelia’s warning was more of an exasperated sigh.

Alexa shared a brief look with Asier before she turned back to Amelia, still unable to hide her smile. “OK” she mused “Maybe we have a little news, and maybe I wanted to share it with my favourite sister who I know loves being an aunt, and the guy who could well be a future uncle?” she added.

Amelia ducked her head, trying, failing, to hide the blush on her cheeks.

Lionel almost choked on a mouthful of his water.

Alexa held up an apologetic hand, sensing that she had strayed into uncomfortable territory. “Sorry” she said “I’m just a little overexcited. Let’s pretend I didn’t say that, and focus on what I am going to say next. I am pregnant” she announced.

Amelia’s face lit up, and she was on her feet in an instant. Stepping around the table, she embraced both Alexa and Asier before Alexa handed her a sonogram, something Amelia was happy to gush over, even turning towards Lionel who was happy to join in with her, even despite the sinking feeling in his stomach.

There was so much they hadn’t talked about. After everything that had happened with Fernando, there were so many things that Lionel had refrained from asking, partially not wanting to scare Amelia off, and partially scared of what the answers would be, but he couldn’t pretend that he hadn’t seen the panic in Amelia’s eyes at what Alexa had said, and he knew it meant having a conversation he had been determinedly steering clear of. It meant that he had to ask the questions, and confront the answers that scared him the most.