Status: Active, seeking feedback.

Searching for Estelle.

Making Friends

I stood in my hotel bathroom, dressed only in my plain black matching underwear and bra staring into the mirror. I sighed and ran a hand through my wet hair. It was 4:30 and I was showered, but that was about it.

At 5 different points in the afternoon I had picked up my phone to cancel on Jyrki and then thrown it back on to the bed with frustration. I picked it up again, but this time I dialled Dani's number hoping that a chat with her would transfer some of her confidence.

“Hey, Stelle!” came her cheerful voice.

“Hey yourself. How are you?”

“Great! I'm just getting ready to go to the theatre, actually.”

“Oh, I won't keep you long. I just wanted to chat. I'm getting ready to go out myself.”

“Really? With who? Where? To do what?” Dani sounded surprised and I couldn't blame her.

“Going to a concert. The 69 Eyes.”

“Oh, good! Are you nervous about going on your own?” She sounded concerned and I knew that she was wishing she was going with me. Not for the music, just for moral support.

“A little, but I met someone yesterday and he'll be there with his friends so I'll probably see them,” I left out a few details, but I figured if it all went ass-up I'd have less explaining to do. Not to mention Dani would probably think I'd lost the plot completely in her absence.

“Ooooh, he? What's his name? What's he like? Is he good looking?”

I rolled my eyes. “His name is Jyrki, he has long hair and is almost 20 years my senior. He's very good looking and lovely, but don't get too excited.”

“Oh,” I could hear the disappointment in her voice.

“I'm nervous, Dan. I need a pep talk.” I whined, feeling about 3 years old.

“Okay. Estelle Vera Jacobs, you are beautiful, intelligent and lovely. You will stop sitting around in your underwear and get dressed and get ready to go. You will chat and get to know Ricky- or whatever his name is- and his friends and win them over with your personality.”

I smiled. Dani always did know just what to say. “How did you know I was in my underwear?”

“Because you always put off actually getting ready while you're trying to think of reasons not to do things.”

She had a point. “His name's Jyrki, by the way.”

“That's what I said. I have to go now, but finish getting ready and have a good night!”
“I will, you too.”


“More love.”

After I hung up I focussed on the make-up bag on the vanity and bit my lip. I didn't want to leave the room looking like the Joker's understudy so I decided that less was definitely more.

I used a small amount of concealer and foundation and applied a thin layer of black eyeliner and mascara. I brushed finishing powder over my face and assessed my work.

I looked natural but still as though I'd made an effort. I realised, however, that I was still quite under-dressed. I slipped on the dress and heels I had bought earlier and walked back into my room. It was now 5:15. The time had flown while I was finishing getting ready and I couldn't decide if this was good or bad.

I now had no time to back out. I began to gather my phone, purse and coat with trembling hands and, as I reached into my handbag to grab my purse, I noticed a red bandanna that was peeking out from behind it. I smiled, remembering my afternoon. The odds of me seeing Jyrki twice in two days, in quite a large city, with no previous arrangement were low. I felt as though fate may have had something to do with it.

What have I got to lose? I thought and, grabbing my things, left my room.

Downstairs the taxi was waiting. The driver was friendly and chatty and I attempted to reciprocate this, but my nerves were making things difficult. I checked in my purse half a dozen times for my ticket and it was there each time. When we pulled up outside the bar I attempted to hand money to the driver but he told me “It's already done, miss.”

Shocked, I thanked him and climbed out of the cab making my way nervously to the door. I walked inside the bar which was still pretty quiet- it wasn't being opened to the concert-goers until 6. I scanned the room and noticed a stage that was slowly being set up with equipment and a door that was tucked off to the side with a very large standing in front of it. I assumed he was security and that I should probably head in that general direction to find Jyrki.

I walked over to him, heart pounding in my chest, well out of my comfort zone. He merely stared down at me and, unsure of what to do I muttered a shy “Hei” and showed him the backstage pass that Jyrki had given me. He nodded and opened the door for me. I'd expected to find the guys on the other side of the door, instead it was a hallway and I walked slowly through the door, almost expecting someone to jump out at me and tell me it was all a cruel joke.

I heard voices and laughs and continued hesitantly towards them, my heels echoing slightly on the floor. All of a sudden a door flung open next to me, and I just about jumped out of my skin. It was Jussi and his eyes lit up when he saw me, instantly grabbing me in a warm hug. I was so taken aback I couldn't speak.

“I didn't think you'd come. Jyrki said you were shy and Australian. Do you speak any Finnish? The others are down here, come on,” he took my hand in his and began pulling me down the hallway. I could barely keep up with his steps or conversation. “Why are you in Finland? Do you like the band? Have you seen our show before? Do you have any tattoos?”

He stopped after the last question and I shook my head for a second, trying to make sense of everything I'd just heard.

“Um, I'm travelling with a friend, but she's in Paris. I speak a bit of Finnish, not very well though. I do like your band, but I've never seen you guys before. No tattoos,” I answered quietly and Jussi nodded enthusiastically and began to talk about how he liked tattoos but couldn't see himself getting one. He reminded me of a puppy. He was absolutely adorable but I had no idea where all that energy was coming from.

“Jyrki!” He called to the older man as we entered a room filled with couches and men wearing leather. Jyrki looked up and smiled when he saw me. He walked over to us and hugged me, much more gently than Jussi had.

“You look wonderful,” he said quietly before we parted and I blushed scarlet.

“Estelle, this is Archzie, Timo-Timo and Bazie. The other vampires,” he said with a smirk, and each waved and greeted me as they were introduced. They were absorbed in a heated conversation in Finnish and from what I translated it was about which song the encore should be.

“I didn't think you'd come,” he said, leading me over to an unoccupied couch.

“I almost didn't,” I admitted with a shy smile.

He shook his head and laughed. Jussi bounded over and threw himself on the couch between us.

Jyrki frowned. The younger man was obviously testing his patience a little but it was hard for me not to giggle at him.

Jussi looked at my empty hands.

“You don't have a drink,” he said in an accusatory tone.

“No,” I answered “I don't really drink all that often.”

“Well, tonight's a special occasion,” he declared before leaving again; presumably to get me a drink.

“Is he always like that?” I asked Jyrki.

“Yes,” Jyrki replies with a sigh “But more annoying before the gig than any other day.”

I giggled, amused by both Jussi's boyish attitude and Jyrki's apparent frustration with him.

“Laugh now, but it's not so funny after sharing a bus or hotel room with him,”

I gasped a little, the thought of Jussi being kept in a cramped space for long periods of time was a scary idea indeed.

“Are you enjoying your trip?” Jyrki asked.

I nodded. “Yeah, I guess... it's strange and a bit scary being without Dani though.”

“You're close?”

“Yeah, we've known each other since high school and she makes up for my shyness. Actually she's a lot like Jussi...”

Jyrki groaned and shook his head. “You mean there's two of them?”

I laughed and nodded. “We can only hope they never meet.”

Jussi appeared again pushing a glass filled with an odd coloured liquid into my hand.

“Drink, Estelle!”

“What is it?” I asked with a frown.

“Vodka and redbull.”

I smiled and said thanks and Jussi soon lost interest in mine and Jyrki's conversation again. I sipped my drink slowly. I figured it couldn't hurt to relax a little but I would be careful not to get carried away.

The sound of unfamiliar voices caught my attention and I glanced towards the door to see a familiar, stunning man walk through chatting to his companion, who was less stunning but not unattractive.

The first was tall and slim and his hair was hidden under a dark beanie. Although he was wearing a long sleeved, button-up shirt I could see some tattoos on his forearms. His friend was not as tall and not as thin, but I could see some tattoos on him as well.

Jyrki looked over and noticed them too. He called out to them.

“Ville, Mige!” he motioned for them to come over and turned to me.

“Time for you to make some new friends.”

I took a sharp breath in. The other 69 Eyes guys had been too busy to really chat but these two were walking straight over and I knew I'd have to attempt to hold a conversation.

As they neared us, I realised my suspicions were correct. Two of the members of HIM had just joined the party.
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Thanks for your feedback last chapter, guys! You all agreed with my initial response to my question too, so that makes me happy. Next chapter will involve more Ville and more interaction between the band members and Estelle. Feedback in the form of comments would be amazing. Thanks for reading! Next update will probably be a couple days away because I've got Uni.