Leo, the gentleman lion.

It had been five weeks since I’d seen Leo, on our third date when he asked whether I was his girlfriend. When I told him by text I had neither the emotional or practical time or energy to have a relationship, he replied he completely understood. He told me he can be patient, that he didn’t want me to be the “one who got away” when he was old.

I thought it was sweet. He was understanding, and patient, and romantic without being creepy.

He kept in infrequent contact, checking in and saying hello. Never pressuring me. 

Then I had a nasty fall and managed to break a leg bone and incur a high ankle sprain. All my lovers, including Lewis (and even Kyle) managed to make all of the appropriate caring noises via text.

Tony, who hates hospitals due to memories of a dying parent when we was a teen, typically promised to see me and bring treats every day, then came to visit the last day I was in the hospital.

But I had to manage his timing rather closely, because Leo was also coming to visit. They missed each other by about 15 minutes, thankfully. My Mother just looked amused at the whole thing.

It was one thing for Tony to see me pale and makeup-free, drugged up, unshowered, miserable, and unable to get out of the hospital bed: we’ve been through a lot together. But Leo? A man I had only been on a few dates with? I’m uncomfortable being vulnerable at the best of times, and this was me vulnerable and helpless.

But he was so sweet about it I didn’t want to say no.

He happened to be there when the surgeon came by to tell me I could go home. My Mom put him to work and he carried at number of things down to my parent’s car.

I was so touched he came by to say hello. He’d been at another nearby hospital, because he’s donating bone marrow. If that’s not the sign of a decent person, I don’t know what is. I always think about donating blood but never seem to get around to it.

He offered to come keep me company early the following week. Liam was still in school and I was on vacation albeit working here and there on some conference calls.

I was starting to worry that I was allowing Leo to do too much for me – because he was being very kind, offering to do all kinds of things for me, and here I was, not particularly wanting anything more than something “light” and casual from him.

So I kept saying “thank you”, and he eventually told me “listen Ann, this is who I am, and I want to do these things for you.”

Okay, fine.

I had already broken the sex seal with Tony several days before (yeah, don’t judge, it’s different now) so I knew I was okay with it – meaning I was physically capable of it with my cast. I wasn’t sure what Leo and I would get up to, but I certainly didn’t expect it to be as explosive as it was!


All pictures from the Leo posts are from the 1962 film “Phaedra”

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