The Space Between Us

73: You Always Do

Letting his head fall back against the wall behind him, Lionel squeezed his eyes closed, sighing softly as a gentle breeze brushed against his face. He had needed to get out of the house. After hours of meetings, and of listening to plans being made for a move away that he didn’t want, he had reached his limit, and before anyone had had a chance to stop him, he had stood up and left the room, knowing that he needed a moment to himself. He knew that he couldn’t run away from it. As much as he wanted to, he knew that the conversations that he had spent the day having and listening to were ones that had to happen, but it hadn’t done anything to dull the ache in his chest. If anything, listening to concrete plans being made had only made him feel worse.

Rubbing his forehead, he blinked his eyes open and stared up at the sky for a moment before he heard a door open and close somewhere behind him, causing him to turn around, blinking a couple of times at the sight of Amelia who was glancing around the patio.

“Leo?” Amelia called “Your papa told me that you were out here” she added.

“Here” Lionel called back.

Amelia turned around at the sound of his voice, greeting him with a soft smile.

Lionel smiled back despite himself before he shook his head, allowing it to fall back against the wall again.

Amelia watched his head settle against the wall before she moved towards him, settling into the space at his side. Without saying a word, she gently took a hold of his hand, twining her fingers through his, before she lifted it up, allowing her to press a soft kiss against the back of it. “You OK?” she asked quietly.

Lionel didn’t move to look at her, but did answer with a small nod and a tired smile. “It’s been a long day” he quipped.

Amelia’s lips quirked sympathetically, but she didn’t say anything, allowing a silence to settle between the two of them that lasted until Lionel tipped his head forwards again, glancing at Amelia. “I thought you weren’t coming back until the morning” he said.

“You’re not happy to see me?” Amelia’s voice was nervous, but she attempted a teasing smile anyway.

“I didn’t say that” Lionel played along half-heartedly “I just thought you wanted some time” he added.

Amelia busied herself, playing with his fingers as she nodded her head. “I did” she confirmed “And I’ve spent all day thinking. I went to my mother’s, and she called Nora and Alexa, and we all sat and talked, and I...I think I know what I want” she added.

Lionel watched their hands for a moment, absorbing what she had said, before he slowly nodded his head. “And what’s that?” he asked.

“You” Amelia answered.

Lionel’s eyes snapped up to mirror hers, something Amelia greeted with a timid smile. “Surprised?” she asked.

Lionel looked back down at their hands, nodding his head slowly after a moment of surprised quiet. “I had run through this a hundred times in my head” he mused “And I don’t think that I once thought that you’d be the one who wanted to go for it. This is a massive thing, Amelia, and if you’re not sure about it...”

“I am sure” Amelia interrupted.

Lionel exhaled a soft sigh, still determinedly avoiding her eyes. She had said what he wanted to hear. When she had admitted that she wanted to go with him, it felt as though a weight had been lifted off of his shoulders, but as much as he wanted to celebrate the idea that she wanted to go with him, he knew that he had to make sure that she understood just what she was agreeing to. It would change everything, and he wanted to make sure that Amelia knew it. He wanted to be sure that she had really thought through what she was saying.


“It would be just us” Lionel murmured “We’ll go, and once we’re there, the only person you’ll know is me. It’ll be a new city. You’ll have to look for a new job, and then there’s the living situation. If you come with me, that’d mean living together” he added.

“I know” Amelia said.

Lionel finally looked up at her. “And that’s OK?” he asked “You’re not terrified?” he added.

“I am not saying I am not scared” Amelia countered “Of course I am, but I want to do this. I want to be where you are” she added.

Lionel’s eyes searched hers for a while, looking for any sign that she didn’t mean what she was saying, before he leant forwards, pressing his forehead to hers. “I’m sorry” he whispered.

Amelia’s fingers gently traced the line of his jaw as she leant up, kissing his forehead gently. “We’ll figure it out” she murmured softly.

“I will do everything I can to make this as easy as I can for you” Lionel promised quietly “I don’t know what it’s going to be like, but if there is something that I can do to make it easier on you, just say the word and I will do it” he added.

Amelia pressed a kiss to the side of his nose, smiling softly. “I know you will” she said “You always do” she added.

Lionel pressed his lips to hers briefly before he pulled away, offering her hand a soft squeeze. “You’re absolutely sure?” he asked.

Amelia’s answering nod was confident, and without hesitation.

It was then that Lionel allowed himself to smile. It was small, and more than a little awed, but it was enough for Amelia to know that she was making the right decision. It was scary, almost to the point of overwhelming her, but the soft smile on his face was a reminder to Amelia of what she had, and what she would lose if she didn’t have the courage to try. They had something good, something which felt as though it could be big, and Amelia didn’t want to let it go. She didn’t want to let him go.