Status: Active, seeking feedback.

Searching for Estelle.

A Warm Welcome

"Welcome to Helsinki, ladies and gentleman. The temperature is a fair 14 degrees and the local time is 10:25. Thank you for flying British Airways and enjoy your stay."

The flight had been relatively short, the distance between London and Helsinki was not huge and I felt awake and excited. Finland. I had dreamed of coming here for years and had finally made it. I unbuckled my seat belt and stood, stretching out all 5'2'' of my body which was surprisingly cramped for being so small. Grabbing my messenger bag and jacket, I began to follow the other passengers off the plane.

I smiled at the perky blonde flight attendant who thanked me, flashing a toothpaste-commercial smile as she did so. The enclosed walkway blocked any view of the wonderful country I had made my way to, but I figured that an airport tarmac wouldn't really do it justice anyway.

After I had maneuvered my way through the busy airport I grabbed my luggage; one lone, large, battered black suitcase, identifiable by a small leopard print scarf stitched onto the handle, and headed outside to find a taxi. The crisp Helsinki air hit me the minute I stepped through the doors and I shivered, buttoning up my black jacket. Although it was summer, the temperature was positively arctic compared to my usual climate.

I put my suitcase in the boot of a waiting taxi and climbed inside, greeting the driver with a quiet, uncertain "Hei". He glanced at me before mumbling what I was pretty sure was the Finnish equivalent of "where to?" and I fumbled in my purse for the address of the hotel. I looked at it and frowned.

"Um... here, please," I replied in English hoping that he spoke it, because I knew the chances of my accidentally insulting him in Finnish were high.

He glanced at the piece of paper but didn't answer, just pulled into the street and headed towards the city. I drank in the scenery the whole trip; fascinated by just about everything. I was excited to finally be in Finland after years of dreaming, traveling in Europe, miles away from my hometown in New South Wales, Australia.

I'd graduated university with an English degree when I was 21 and began working as an editor at a publishing company. I'd saved most of what I made and now had a bit of cash behind me, so I was determined to live it up - which brings me to Helsinki.

Throughout my teenage and young adult years I'd developed a love for Scandinavian bands. The 69 Eyes, HIM, Hanoi Rocks, The Rasmus, Apocolyptica, Nightwish... just to name a few. I couldn't think of a more inspiring place than the home of my favourite musicians and I longed to be inspired.

I'd left my job and Australia to spend a year or so writing fiction. Finnish was the only other language I spoke and it wasn't very strong, so I'd decided that London seemed like the best place to do this. While in London I'd been offered a position in a much larger publishing company, so I'd also have financial security.

However, this decision was not going to stop me enjoying some time in Helsinki while I could, especially with Ruisrock just under a fortnight away. I had a day to myself here before my best friend was flying in from Paris, which was where I had left her before going to London to meet with the company.

The thought of being by myself in a foreign city had terrified me in London and the fact that I had managed to survive it still astounded me. I felt more confidant in Finland; I'd spent many hours dreaming about its cool climate and interesting culture and I'd heard that the locals kept to themselves, which suited me to a tee.

The taxi pulled up outside my hotel. The hotel was nothing special, but it was clean and tidy and we were only staying a fortnight. Besides, why spend all my hard earned cash on a hotel when I could spend it on concerts and exploring?

I paid the driver and thanked him. When I opened my door the cool air hit me once more and I stepped out onto the sidewalk and walked around to grab my suitcase from the boot. The minute I closed it, the driver took off without a second glance back. Well, I thought to myself, this seems like a friendly city... I was happy enough to keep to myself though and knew I'd feel more at ease when Danielle arrived tomorrow.

I checked in and made my way to room 27. I pushed open the heavy door to reveal a bland room styled entirely in beige. It was drab and smelled of cheap vanilla air freshener, so I assumed the cleaning staff had just vacated.

I put my case on the armchair and rummaged through my handbag for my mobile phone, realising I had forgotten to switch it back on post-flight. 2 missed calls came up- both from my friend who were in Paris. I dialed Danielle's number and got her voicemail.

"Hey, it's Dani. I'm in Europe, so your phone bill just went up. Leave it at the beep and I'll get back to you in between eating croissants and running with the bulls."

I smiled at the message she'd recorded just before we left.

"Hey Dan, it's Estelle. I just landed in Hel-fucking-sinki, can you believe it? Just got your missed calls. Looking forward to seeing your skanky arse tomorrow. Call me back whenever, I'll leave my phone on."

I hung up and wandered over to the window of the hotel. My view was just of city buildings, which was not surprising considering its price. But the fact that the buildings were in Helsinki was pretty special and I stood with a giddy smile on my face for a few minutes.

Dani and I had been traveling for a little over a month now and had seen France, Germany, Holland, England and Scotland. Every single moment of the trip had been breathtaking and I was constantly in awe of our surroundings, particularly because it had been the first time I'd left Australia.

People had often remarked that we seemed old to be going traveling for the first time, but we argued that it made more sense to spend a couple of years working so that we could save up enough money to make the trip really memorable. And memorable it would be.

With that in mind I decided that I'd spent enough time sitting (or standing) in the hotel room, the day was still young; it was only just getting to 11:30. I was feeling a little lethargic after sitting still so long on the plane and decided to grab a coffee.

I looked in the mirror and assessed my outfit. I was wearing plain dark grey skinny leg jeans and a black and white striped t-shirt that was adorned with a red bow on the shoulder. I decided this was appropriate, along with my beaten up black converse. I was a comfort over style sort of girl. I picked up my bag again and left the room, only closing the door after ensuring I had my key- a lesson I'd learned in Berlin.

When I left through the front doors of the hotel the cool breeze hit me once more and I was glad I'd left my jacket on and grabbed a scarf before I left. I decided to walk and began heading in the direction that looked most populated. My theory was correct and I soon found myself in a street full of shops. I spotted a small cafe and headed inside. I managed to order a strong flat white.

Considering my complete lack of social skills and immense shyness I has a knack for finding coffee in any given country. It was my fuel. I decided to take a seat and get something to eat, after all it was nearly lunch time. I ordered a muffin as well and took a seat at a small window table. I took Dante's Inferno out of my handbag and began reading. The waitress interrupted only moments later, placing both my blueberry muffin and coffee on the table.

"Kiitos," I said with a smile, which she returned before leaving.

I sat there, drinking, eating and reading in silence for awhile before a man interrupted me. He spoke in Finnish and I paused for a moment, trying to wrap my head around his fast and fluent pronunciation of the words, some of which I was sure I hadn't even heard before. Panic washed over my body as I realised I had no idea what he'd said and I was sure I was making myself look like a complete fool.

I looked up, with confusion all over my face I'm sure, and met striking blue eyes attached to an equally striking man with long black hair, dressed in black jeans and a black t-shirt, covered by an open leather jacket.

"Sorry," I began, a slight blush colouring my cheeks "my Finnish is truly appalling."

He smiled before speaking again in a thickly accented, deep voice. "It's okay. I just commented on what you're reading... Considering the text is in English, I probably should've spoken in it, but it's only early so my brain isn't working so good yet."

I frowned. "It's almost midday!"

He grinned at me. "That's early!" I laughed at him and he motioned to the empty seat. "May I sit?"

I smiled and closed my book with shaking hands. "Please do."

He sat and I held out my hand. "I'm Estelle."

He took my hand, but rather than shaking it, kissed it and I blushed. "Jyrki," he said with a smile.

All of a sudden I realised that I knew who this man was.
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First chapter! This is my first fanfiction of this sort, I've only ever done Harry Potter stuff before so let me know what you think. Apologies for any stuff-ups/typos/spelling or grammar errors. I'll re-edit if it causes any problems. Thanks for reading!