Status: Active, seeking feedback.

Searching for Estelle.

Pasta & Promises

“Honestly, nothing happened!” I said, stirring the pot of pasta sauce that was bubbling enthusiastically on Jyrki's stovetop.

“You're lying,” Jyrki said leaning against the counter and smirking at me. He'd been interrogating me about the night before since I arrived.

“No, I'm not!” I argued, a slight blush rising to my cheeks and completely giving me away.

That said, however, not a lot had happened. It hadn't progressed past an innocent kiss but that was enough for me. The rest of the picnic was nice and when it had started to get dark, Ville had walked me back to my hotel and, with another soft kiss, had promised to call or text me tomorrow.

And he had. I'd woken up to a text message Which was surprise number three. Surprise number one was the date and two the kiss- well, kisses.

Jyrki's smirk turned into a wide grin, apparently reading my thoughts. “Did you kiss him, Estelle?”

“No,” I said, focusing my attention entirely on the sauce.

“Tell me what happened!” Jyrki whined, causing me to giggle.

“I didn't kiss him,” I said, biting my lip “But he did kiss me...”

“You were lying!”

I shook my head. “Shut up and get some bowls out.”

Jyrki laughed and did as he was told. “Way to change the subject, Stell.”

I spooned pasta and sauce into two bowls and turned the stove off.

“And dinner is served,” I said with a smile.

Jyrki's eyes lit up as he picked up the steaming bowl of food. “This looks so good. You can stay.”

I laughed as we made our way to the living room. We sat down and ate in silence until Jyrki spoke.

“You should stay.”

I choked on a mouthful of pasta and coughed several times before I regained my composure. “I beg your pardon?”

“Stay in Finland,” Jyrki said with a shrug as he took another mouthful of food.

“Are you crazy?” I asked, incredulous.

“Probably,” he said with a laugh.

“I can't,” I said quietly.

“Why not?”

“Because... I'm organised to go to London. I have a chance at a job there, I've seen apartments.”

“You could get a job here.”

“I don't speak Finnish well enough.”

“You'd pick it up.”

“What would I do? I'm an editor. I can't edit things written in a language I'm still learning!”

“You could find something.”

I shook my head. “I'd have to find an apartment as well.”

“No, you wouldn't,” Jyrki said, scooping the last of his pasta onto his fork.

I raised an eyebrow at him.

“Stay with me.”

“You're kidding, right?” I said, with a laugh.


“But... I... We... You've only known me for a week!”

Jyrki sighed. “So?”

“So? That's ridiculous. I could be some sort of crazy murderer!”

Jyrki burst out laughing. “Oh, sure. I'd believe that.”

I giggled softly and shook my head. “Shut up.”

His expression grew serious. “Seriously, Stell. What's in London for you?”

I looked down at my feet and shrugged. I felt his hand on my shoulder and looked up, meeting ice blue eyes filled with sincerity.

“Stay. At least for a bit longer and see how it goes for you.”

I smiled. “I'll think about it.”

“Promise?” Jyrki asked sternly.

“Promise. I'll even start looking into jobs and stuff.”

Jyrki grinned. “Good girl.”

The door was flung open at that point and Jussi strolled in.

“Yeah, come in,” Jyrki said dryly.

Jussi ignored him and leaned down, pecking me on the cheek.

“There's pasta on the stove,” I said with a smile.

He was out of the room like a flash and returned with what I strongly suspected was the remainder of the dish piled in a bowl.

“Thanks,” he said through a mouthful.

I screwed my nose up. “No worries.”

I was pleased to see Jussi again and we chatted, catching up on everything that'd happened since the night we'd gone out drinking. Well, everything in his life... I left out Jyrki's invitation and my date with Ville.

I was startled when my phone buzzed in my pocket.

I got it out to see a text from Dani that read:
Stelly, I have booked a flight for tomorrow evening! I will see your lovely face on Wednesday. I'll give you a call tomorrow! xx.

A wide smile rose to my face as I eagerly replied.
Yay! Cannot wait to see you!! You'll love Finland =) Talk soon, xo.

“Is that your boyfriiiieeend?” Jyrki asked with a cheeky smile. I rolled my eyes and hit him with a cushion.

“No, it was Dani. She's leaving Paris tomorrow night!” I said, still grinning.

“Is she hot?” Jussi asked, looking up from his pasta.

I giggled. “Yes. But I'm pretty sure she has a boyfriend.”

Jussi shrugged. “So?”

I frowned at him and shook my head. “Anyway, you'll both love her.”

“I'm sure we will if she's anything like you,” Jyrki said smiling.

I blushed. “She's nothing like me. She's pretty, smart, confident and really funny.”

“She sounds a lot like you,” Jyrki said, raising an eyebrow “Except for confident... but you're getting there.”

I rolled my eyes and blushed more. I felt my phone buzz again and looked at the screen. Ville.

I excused myself and stood up, leaving the room.

I heard Jyrki say “Ooooooooooh!” as I left and I turned around and poked my tongue out at him, making him laugh.

“Hello?” I said, running my fingers through my hair before remembering that he couldn't see me and feeling a little bit stupid.

“Hi,” Ville's deep voice flooded my ears.

“Hi...” I said, not really knowing where else to take the conversation.

He laughed. “How are you?”

“Great,” I said “How's your day been at the studio?”

Ville took a deep breath before replying “Long. Very long.”

“Are you finished now?” I asked, fiddling with the sleeve of my cardigan.

“Yes. I was actually wondering if you wanted to do something?”

“Well, I'm at Jyrki's with him and Jussi, actually...”

“Oh,” Ville replied, sounding a little disheartened.

“Tell him to come over,” Jyrki called out from the living room.

“But apparently you're more than welcome to join us,” I replied, walking further away from the living room to ruin Jyrki's fun completely.

Ville laughed. “I might do that. I'll head straight over now if that's alright?”

I smiled. “Sounds good. I'll see you soon.”

“Okay, bye love.”

I hung up and walked back into the living room, scowling at Jyrki. “Don't listen to me when I'm on the phone!”

He just grinned. “My house. You'll have to get used to that when you're living here.”

I rolled my eyes. “I haven't said yes, yet!”

“You will. Wait until Ville finds out, he'll be happy.”

I frowned. “You think? I thought it might seem a little weird.”

Jyrki shrugged. “Not really, you have friends here. Are you actually together?”

I shook my head, blushing a little. “No, it's nothing really.”

Jyrki raised an eyebrow at me. “Sure.”

I just ignored him and sat back down, noticing Jussi staring at me, looking confused.

“What's going on?” he asked.

I shook my head. “Nothing, Juss. Don't worry.”

“Okay,” he shrugged, satisfied by that. I was grateful for his short attention span.

I sighed and closed my eyes, thinking. I didn't know what Ville would say when I told him that I was thinking about staying in Finland. It really had nothing to do with me having any expectations of a relationship with him, I was just really enjoying it here. And like Jyrki said, I'd made friends here. I wasn't ready to leave yet.

Besides, it was only a temporary thing. I'd probably only end up staying an extra week or two. I was definitely not ready to agree to actually moving there, and strongly suspected Jyrki may have lost the plot when he'd suggested it.
♠ ♠ ♠
Sorry for the wait- work's been crazy lately!

Thanks to everyone for the feedback last chapter. There seemed to be a little bit of confusion about something, though. The person who took the photos was Ville Akseli Juurikkala, NOT Ville Valo. Ville V did give them to Estelle on their date, but he wasn't just talking about himself in 3rd person, it was the "other Ville" who was mentioned in Chaps 12 & 13. I'm really sorry if I confused anyone!

Thank you for reading, and please please please let me know what you think =)