Status: Updated unfrequently, but trying for frequent.

Slow Spinning Redemption

Chapter 10: Isolde Has a Bad Run In and Unnecessary Emotions

Chapter 10: Isolde Has a Bad Run In and Unnecessary Emotions

Guilt. It’s such a stupid feeling. I’m allowed to say this because I never get myself into situations where I feel guilty; I don’t lie, I don’t cheat or steal, and I avoid any situation that may make me feel guilty. So why when I woke up this morning did it feel like someone took a sledgehammer and just hit me in the stomach? And why, even after I rationalized the situation, do I still feel like this?

It’s not as if it’s the first time I’ve done what I’ve done. I tell myself over and over again that I have no reason to feel like this, that this feeling is so stupid and so unjustified, that I’m overreacting. But even as I tell myself this, I still feel as if when the other party finds out, they’ll be hurt or angry, and that makes me feel horrible.

I feel as if I should confess; call and tell them what I’ve done. But then it’s as if I’m admitting that I’ve done something wrong and I haven’t. I haven’t! (I say this with an aggressive nod of my head and a fist slamming down onto the couch next to me.)

I haven’t felt guilty in years, I swear I haven’t. I’ve felt an inkling, as sometimes I speak before I think and my words tend to hurt people that aren’t used to me. I figure though, that if my words hurt those around me it’s because they weren’t quite ready to hear my words and now they can walk away just a bit more aware of themselves. Bitchy I know, but for the most part I believe this is true. Sometimes I just say shit to be a bitch.

The last time I felt guilt had to be at least five years ago, after the car accident. I was in the hospital in tears (Pretty sure it was the last time I cried as well) when I decided that I had no reason to feel guilty over things that were out of my control. I slowly, so ever slowly, let go of that guilt, reassuring myself that nothing that had happened that night was my fault nor did I have any reason to feel guilty or sorry for myself.

I felt like I had banished the emotion, marked it in a box labeled ‘useless’ and tossed it to the trash bin… much like Sherlock when he goes to his ‘mind palace’.

So why do I feel like this? Why do I feel like I’ve unintentionally hurt someone? Why does it feel like my heart is going to beat out of my chest and I feel like crying and throwing up at the same time? I feel like these are such….extremes in the feeling, but its how I feel, and argh.

Fucking emotions!

Oh, I’m sorry, my loyal readers for being so vague. I’m sorry this post has turned more into a teenage diary entry than anything worth actually reading. I’m sorry for my whining. I guess I’ll just ‘sack up’ and make a phone call.

Until next time.

Friday November 5, 2010
Prague, Czech Republic
Caspari Residence
8:35 pm

“Well, don’t you look wonderful?”

Isolde looked up from her champagne glass and smiled lightly at Alex. “I always do,” she said, tilting her cheek, allowing him to kiss it.

“I don’t think I’ve seen this dress,” Alex said, looking at her appreciatively.

“Josef sent it to me this week,” Isolde said with a quiet laugh, knowing she looked good. Her pale pink dress with the lace overlay was nearly skintight, with a high rounded collar that made the dress classy enough for the party her parents were hosting at the moment. It was also sexy enough to obviously get Alex’s attention. She’d matched it with a pair of peep-toe heels of the same color. Josef had also sent the shoes, his inability to complete an outfit having benefitted her.

They’d arrived two days after her little meltdown on the phone with him, and she couldn’t stop smiling when she’d opened the box. Her best friend knew her so well; they both didn’t do emotions well, especially when it came to the emotions that caused a person to breakdown. So sending her the dress and heels was Josef’s way of telling her that he loved her, hope she felt better and to call whenever he was needed or whenever he wasn’t. It had warmed her heart and she’d called him to thank him. Instead of the haughty ‘You’re welcome’ that she had expected from her friend, he’d simply said, ‘You’re worth it, Isolde.’

“I needed a bit of cheering up a few days ago,” Isolde admitted.

“Expedited shipping?” Alex teased.

Isolde nodded. “Is there any other way to ship things?”

“Well, us normal people do like the standard shipping every once in a while.”

Isolde scoffed teasingly. “You mean the poor.”

Alex laughed. “Or the normal.”

“So how’s your week been?” Isolde asked, taking a sip of her champagne and looking up at the crowd that had stuffed themselves into her family’s home. According to her father, with her back in town it had been a perfect time to provide a united family front to the hospital board. She really was supposed to be schmoozing with the people her father had invited, but she’d vehemently refused to kiss ass willingly for her father, only agreeing to talk the hospital and her father up if she was approached.

“Hectic,” Alex sighed. “I’m sorry I haven’t called to meet up at the hotel.”

“Yes, about that,” Isolde said, looking back up at Alex. “Can I just say that I’m very offended?”

“I told you, I’ve been busy, Isolde,” Alex sighed.

“No, I’m offended by how you handled the situation on Tuesday night.”

Alec frowned. “What do you mean?”

Isolde rolled her eyes. “Alex, I adore you. Really, I do. But Tuesday, you handed me the hotel room key and said ‘wait for my call’ as if I was just some common whore you picked up from the street.”

“Well aren’t you just classy, Isolde.”

Isolde stiffened at the male voice that came from behind her. She looked up at Alex and saw him wince. Shaking her head, she didn’t bother to turn around, but instead handed Alex her glass and left the spot she’d been hiding in, making her way across the room.

She ignored her father’s call, trying to make her way through the crowd and get out of the house. She turned when she heard her mother’s voice, and winced inwardly when she caught sight of her mother standing with Morgan, and the small smirk Morgan had on her lips.

Shaking her head, she made it through the crowd and out the door, only to stop just outside the door when her father called her name again.

“Where are you going?”

Isolde turned to her father and shook her finger at him. “You knew.”

“Isolde,” Georg sighed. Much like her mother, her father didn’t age. Only a year older then Ita, his face was smooth and only showed the age lines around his eyes and mouth. Isolde wished she could say they were laugh lines, but with the amount of frowning her father did, she’d aptly named them frown lines when she was fourteen.

His dirty blonde hair was starting to show bits of grey, but he still slicked it back; his light blue eyes stared at her in disappointment, as if hoping that the look would cause her to calm down and come back in. That look never worked, though.

He was tall and tended to tower over her and her mother, broad shoulders that tapered into narrow hips. Her mother had aptly named her father’s figure a triangle when Isolde had been thirteen; the name had made Isolde giggle incessantly every time her father had walked into the room.

He was kind-hearted, Isolde thought in her mind as she stared at her father, her own disappointment reflecting in his eyes. She’d seen him with his patients and remembered when she was younger that he would smile at her as if the world revolved around her. It had made her feel special. But once she’d started making a path for herself instead of following the one her father had set out for her, he’d pulled away bit by bit. They had a good relationship; one that worked for both of them, but it was by no means as close as it had been as when she’d been with Richard.

She shook her head free of her thoughts, focusing on her father again. “You knew and you still made me come anyway. That is a shit move, daddy.”

“It wasn’t for sure, Morgan-”

“I’m not staying,” Isolde said with a glare. “I refuse to stay. I left without making a scene and you’re lucky for that.”

She watched her father wince. He knew her tantrums were legendary; if she’d wanted to make a scene she could have, and she would have made one to leave a lasting impression on the hospital board.

“Fine,” her father nodded.

“Fine,” The word clipped as she spoke through clenched teeth, before turning on her heel and walking down the drive, ignoring her father’s quiet curse.

“Of all the things to do…” she muttered, running a hand through her loose hair. She turned at the corner of the driveway and onto the dirt road. She’d gotten a taxi to her parents, not really feeling up to driving, and figured she’d get a lift back to her flat from Alex; she hadn’t planned on the night to go to hell. She would walk to the Kolar’s house, find the hide-a-key and let herself in (as Ivana and Kristof were at her father’s party), and crash there until a cab was able to pick her up.

She heard the rumbling of a car make its way towards her, causing her to move further off the road, only to look at the car as it pulled up next to her and started to inch along the road with her. The window rolled down to revel Alex’s worried face.

“Come on.”

“I really don’t feel up to dealing with anyone right now.”

“You’re not dealing with me. It’s better to stew in a nice warm car than kill your feet in the cold.”

Isolde stopped and turned to look at him fully. “Did you know?”

“That your ex, a key holder in the hospital board was going to be at a party for the hospital board? No, I had no idea.” Alex said dryly.


“I thought you’d assume he’d be there, Iz; it’s the reason I was surprised to see you there. But I thought the guy would keep his distance.”

“Not really Richard’s style,” Isolde muttered. “You really thought I knew?”

“I really thought you knew,” Alex nodded.

Isolde sighed, running her fingers through her hair before going around the car and sliding into the passenger seat. “Thanks.”

“Any time, I’m sorry about-“

“Can we just …not talk about it?” Isolde asked as Alex started down the road again. “Believe it or not, running into one’s ex isn’t very fun.”

“I don’t know, running into my exes tends to be.”

Isolde snorted. “Yes, because your relationships all end on good notes; your break up with them and they end up apologizing to you because you’re so sweet about it.”

Alex laughed. “That’s not true.”

“I hung out with you in high school, Alex. I’ve seen you break up with girls. They always leave smiling as if it was more of a pleasure to even get a chance to be with you than upset that you’ve broken it off.”

Alex shrugged. “It’s a gift.”

“It’s honesty,” Isolde muttered.

Alex looked over at her, rubbing her hand that sat in her lap. “How about I make it feel better?”

Isolde snorted, looking at Alex. “Pub crawl?”

Alex laughed. “That, or we could get naked and I could make you forget all about your run-in with Richard.”

Isolde stared at him for a minute, feeling a frown mar her face as she remembered the night she spent with Jussi.

“I refuse to be used when you can’t take the feelings inside of you. I don’t want to be that person.”

Isolde bit her lip and shook her head. She hadn’t used Jussi that way because he refused to let her, and even after his explanation as to why she’d felt bad for even asking him to make the hurt go away. He’d reminded her that she was a selfish person but that she didn’t use that selfishness to hurt people. Even with Alex offering, she didn’t want to use him and hurt him in the long run; it wasn’t fair to him. “Sex won’t solve anything.”

“I’m not offering because I think it’ll solve your inability to let go of the past.”

Isolde winced and looked out the window. “Thanks.”

Alex squeezed her hand lightly before laughing quietly. “I’m offering because sometimes it helps to forget just for a minute.”

“And because you want sex,” Isolde said dryly.

“Yes, but this is purely for you.”

Isolde highly doubted that. She looked back at Alex. “I don’t want to use you, Alex.”

“Not using if I’m offering,” Alex pointed out as they reached the edge of town.

Isolde covered her face with her hands and groaned before shaking her head.

“Fine, I’ll take you home,” Alex said with a shrug, as if it didn’t matter to him one way or another. And for that she hated him, because she knew it did.

“No,” Isolde sighed. “No, let’s go to the hotel.”

“Are you sure?”

“Are you taking back your offer?

Alex snorted. “No.”

“Then yes,” she nodded. “I’m sure.”

“Hotel it is then,” Alex said, causing Isolde to sigh quietly as he headed towards the hotel, already having the feeling she was going to regret the action later. And she hated regretting things.


Saturday November 6, 2010

She peeled her eyes open, only to be greeted with an aching back; something she hadn’t felt in weeks, and the familiar yet unfamiliar sight of the back on the couch. Familiar since she often woke up to the sight, unfamiliar as it wasn’t her couch. Groaning softly, she turned to lie on her back and stretched, feeling her back pop, causing another groan to slip from her lips.

She took in her surroundings. White walls, coffee table in front of her, low murmur of the TV that had been turned on when she couldn’t sleep. She sat up, letting the comforter slip from her body. She was naked, she thought with a nod. She looked at the floor and found the two bottles of wine that attributed to the cotton mouth and headache she was currently feeling, along with the small bout of memory impairment.

She looked behind the couch to the bed to see Alex sleeping, a sheet covering his bottom half, and sighed as she looked away. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that she and Alex had gone to the hotel and had gotten drunk before having sex.

“Wonderful,” she muttered with a sigh, grabbing the remote from the table and turning off the television. She looked around the room once more, finding her dress close to the couch and got up to grab it. It was at that point as she shimmied her dress over her hips that she thought of Jussi; how in the two days they’d been together, he’d wake up in the middle of the night to find her on the couch. How he made a point to move her onto the bed, telling her it would serve her back well. She’d thought the real reason was so he could have a warm body next to him, but as he wasn’t a cuddle-er, she really had started to think he was doing it for her own welfare.

She looked back at Alex, who was still sleeping. A bomb could go off and the man would still find a way to snuggle deeper into the pillow and sleep. The only thing that woke him was the sound of his hospital pager, and that was more of a trained behavior than anything else. The first couple of times they’d slept together, Alex had woken up to her moving to the couch and had tried to move her back to the bed, but she’d put up such a fight, having hit him when he’d tried, that he’d given up after the second time and never woke up when she moved off the bed.

She hadn’t put up much of a fight when Jussi had moved her; she’d slept deeply and so soundly that she hadn’t even felt when he picked her up and moved her.

Zipping up her dress, she moved quietly around the room looking for her shoes, finding them at the end of the bed. She sat at the edge and started to slip them on, only for Alex to groan. She looked over her shoulder and smiled lightly at him.

“Well this is a first; you’re usually gone by the time I wake up,” Alex muttered, groaning into his pillow before sitting up.

Isolde snorted, knowing it was the early morning hangover that had Alex making an idiot of himself. “You’re making me sound like a whore again.”

“Sorry,” he muttered, running a hand over his blonde hair, making it stick up even more. Though, his short blonde hair had nothing on Jussi’s soft black.

‘Oh god, stop, Isolde!’ she thought with a mental groan as she focused on her shoes again.

“Was it me or was last night different?” Alex asked softly

Isolde chewed on her bottom lip before giving a shrug. “I really don’t remember much of last night.”

Alex snorted. “Liar.”

“All right, so I’m choosing not to remember last night,” Isolde muttered, getting up once her shoes were on and scouring the floor for her bag.

“Because last night was different.”

“Alex,” Isolde sighed.

“I’m serious, Isolde. And it wasn’t just because of what happened last night.”

“Thanks for reminding me,” she said with a roll of her eyes.

“You held back last night and you usually don’t. I’m actually pretty sure you faked that orgasm.”

Isolde winced; not the first time that had happened, it was the first time she’d been caught however. She turned to Alex, who was watching her in concern. “You got off, didn’t you?”

“Well, yeah.”

“Then that’s what matters.”

“No, that’s not what matters!” Alex said, his voice hard and his eyes narrowing. “God, just stop for a minute, Isolde!”

Isolde stopped in her search and looked over at him. “Why?”

“Last night was supposed to be about you.”

“Now that’s a joke,” Isolde said with a shake of her head. “Last night was about you and we both came into this room knowing it.”

Alex groaned, running his hand through his hair in agitation. “I think….”

“What?” Isolde sighed.

Alex looked up at her and frowned. “I think this is it for us.”

Isolde blinked and felt herself shoulders drop. She hadn’t realized how tense she’d been until she felt her body sag. “Oh.”

“Last night…that didn’t feel right, Isolde. It’s always mutual with us; has been since we got together four years ago.”

“Yeah,” she said softly.

“I love you, Isolde, I really do. But like you said, this isn’t going anywhere, and I can’t keep...” Alex shook his head. “When we first got together, I really hoped you would change your mind, you know? About this being causal. I’ve had a thing for you since high school.”

“I know,” Isolde said with a soft smile, going to the bed and sitting on the edge to be near him. “It’s why I chose you.”

Alex gave a short laugh and nodded. “When you didn’t change your mind, I figured I was honored that I got to be with you at all. It was hard at first, knowing you were sleeping or seeing other guys, but it’s who you are, Isolde, and I accept that.”

“Thanks…I think.”

Alex smiled. “I went on a date with a nurse the other day.”

Isolde frowned and started to ask why he was telling her this when he placed a hand over hers.

“It told her about you, She told me she already knew, as you two have talked from time to time when you got the hospital to come pick me up or to go see your dad.”

“Couple times.” Isolde shrugged.

“She thinks you’re interesting and sweet and she said she could see why I entered into this type of relationship with you. She said if given a choice, she would too.”

Isolde laughed. “Well, I’ll take the compliment.”

“She said she’d give me a couple of weeks to figure out what I want, and I want to make an honest go of it with her, Isolde. Last night…it proved that what we have is starting to…”

“Go downhill?”

“Fizzle,” Alex corrected. “I want to end this before one of us gets hurt. I want to keep your friendship, Isolde. We’ve always been friend’s first, lovers second and it’s…starting to make that slow switch and I couldn’t stand it if I lost your friendship if we ended this bitterly.”

Isolde sighed. “I’m sorry, Alex.”

Alex laughed. “I see now what you mean about my exes; I really am good at breaking up, aren’t I?”

“Well, you’ve ruined it now,” Isolde teased, causing Alex to grin at her.

“I want to move forward with my life, Iz. I’m nearly thirty, I’ve got a stable job at the hospital; I eventually want miniature copies of myself running about, and whether it’s with Bela or not, I won’t ever know if I don’t move forward.”


“My nurse, Isolde. Her name is Bela,” Alex said patiently.

“Pretty name.”

Alex nodded. “Yes it is.” Alex reached forward and took her hand in his. “You’re going to hate me for saying this.”

“Then don’t say it,” Isolde muttered.

“You need to let go, Isolde.”

Isolde sighed, taking her hand out of Alex’s. “Stop.”

“Not every guy is like Richard, you know.”

“I know,” she said sharply.

“No, you don’t.” Alex shook his head. “You compare us all to him. Instead of seeing the differences in us, you see the similarities.”

“No, I don’t.”

“Really?” Alex asked with a raised eyebrow. “Because I see the similarities in myself and Richard. I see the similarities in most of your lovers and Richard. I looked up your drummer, though.”

“You did not!”

“I did,” Alex nodded. “I don’t see the similarities there.”

“Yes, well, beneath the jet black porcupine hair, he’s actually blonde,” Isolde said dryly.

Alex snorted. “I’m pretty sure the similarities end there. All I see are differences. You chose him for a reason, and you won’t ever know those reasons until you give that an honest go of it.” Alex shrugged. “But to hell with me, I’m just the guy you use for sex.”

“You’re a friend,” Isolde said softly.

“A friend who in the last four years has never seen the inside of your flat,” Alex pointed out. “I adore you, Isolde, but really, let go of whatever is holding you back. You’re never going to happy if you hold onto it. And honestly, Richard was never worth holding onto.”

Isolde stood and shook her head. “You don’t get it.”

“Of course I do. You just think it’s this complicated thing that it worth holding onto.”

“No, you just don’t get it,” Isolde said again as she found her clutch near the couch.

“All right, I don’t get it.” Alex shrugged.

Isolde sighed as she turned back to look at him. “I don’t want…there’s a lot of things about Richard and me that you don’t know, Alex. And if you did, you’d think it’d be worth holding onto.”

“Bitterness and anger are never worth holding on to.”

“You think I’m bitter?”

Alex shrugged. “Sometimes.”

Isolde laughed softly and shook her head. “No, Alex, I’m not bitter, I’m hurt. Hurt that after nearly six years together, he spent four of those years cheating on me. I’m hurt that my first and only relationship was just a complete and utter failure, and I’m only angry at myself for not learning anything from my experience. But not bitter, never bitter. I know what I’m holding onto and I have reasons for holding onto it, and I’m working on letting it go slowly, but it’s not as easy as you think it is.”

“It’s been five years.”

“Time doesn’t help, Alex. If anything it makes it worse,” Isolde shrugged.

“You should let someone in.”

“I plan on visiting Josef soon.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

“I know,” Isolde nodded before giving him a small smile. “I’m happy Alex. In my own offbeat way, I’m very happy, and I hope you and your nurse are happy.”


Isolde nodded, running a hand through her curls. “I should go.”

“I’ll call.”

“Give me like…a month to process this? Yeah?”

Alex chuckled. “Yeah.”

“Thanks,” Isolde said, turning towards the door.



“You should let the drummer in.”

Isolde laughed, not bothering to turn around. “Something else to think about, then. Bye, Alex.”

“Bye, Isolde.”

Isolde sent him a small smile over her shoulder before leaving the room and closing the door behind her. She leaned against the door, closing her eyes for a minute. With a sigh she pushed off and made her way to the elevator, pushing the button and trying not the think about what had just ended in the room behind her as she waited.

The doors opened a minute later, revealing an occupant already in the elevator. Isolde’s eyes widened, as did those of the woman in the elevator.

“Well, I thought my morning couldn’t get any worse,” Isolde muttered.

“Oh, mine’s looking better already,” Morgan sniped back.

Isolde rolled her eyes and stepped away from the doors. “I’ll take the next one.”

“Oh, please don’t,” Morgan said, holding the door open. “I’m sure we’re civil enough to share.”

“I don’t know, we don’t have little Andre between us; nothing stopping me from ripping that bottle black hair from your head.”

Morgan gave a tight smile, still holding the door. “It changes back to blonde tonight.”

“Richard likes role playing, doesn’t he? I can’t believe you actually dyed it rather than getting a wig. I always went with wigs.”

“Get in the elevator, Isolde.”

Isolde rolled her eyes and stepped inside. “Fine. Really can’t get any worse than this, right?”

“’Course not.”

Isolde leaned against the elevator wall as far from Morgan as she could in the tight space before eyeing her. Long legs encased in tight jeans, white button up blouse, designer bag over her arm and dyed black hair pulled into a perfect ponytail, not a hair out of place. Perfect, Isolde thought with a roll of her eyes.

“Must kill you to know I got the ring.”

Isolde blinked and looked back at Morgan, who was smirking at her. “You really don’t want to start this, Morgan.”

“What am I starting?”

Isolde looked down at the diamond ring that was on Morgan’s finger and smirked back at the woman. “I see it’s new.” Before Morgan could respond Isolde continued. “I got his grandmother’s engagement ring. It wasn’t really my style, but it meant acceptance into the family, you know? God, his grandmother adored me! And his parents, well, they of course loved me.” She eyed Morgan, who’d started to tense. “So you getting a new ring must mean Babička doesn’t approve of you. Sore point between you and Richard, I assume?”(grandma)

“I still have him.”

“Oh dear God, keep him, Morgan,” Isolde said with a wave of her hand. “It’s not like you guys are this picture perfect family you pretend to be.”

“Of course we are!”

Isolde snorted as the elevator doors opened. “You have an illegitimate child that you can’t pass off as Richard’s even though…oh! He is!”

“How did you-”

“Find out? My father’s Chief of Medicine, Morgan. Of course I know,” Isolde said with a shrug. “So go ahead, taunt me with the ring. Taunt me with your little family. In the long run I still have the upper hand and some left over to ruin your so-called perfect life.”

“Like you would ever say anything.”

“If you keep harassing me every time I come back, then don’t doubt what I’ll do, Morgan. I’m vicious when I’m pissed and you’re starting to piss me off. So leave me alone and we’ll both be happy.” Isolde walked out of the elevator without waiting for Morgan’s reply, only to walk straight into a hard body.

“Oh, for fucks sake!” she muttered, looking up only to deflate when she saw the smirking face.

“Morning just got worse, didn’t it?” She heard Morgan taunt behind her.

Isolde tensed and looked up at her ex. “Richard.”

“Isolde, you left so fast last night, we didn’t get a chance to catch up.”

“Emergency. Now, excuse me,” she muttered, starting to move past him.

“I bet you’re wondering what we’re doing here,” Richard said.

“Not really,” Isolde shrugged. “I assume the rugrat is off at grandma’s and you two took a day off from parenting, though how that’s different than any other day is beyond me. Now, I have to go.”

“Where are you running to next, Isolde?” Richard asked, grabbing her arm, preventing Isolde from moving forward.

Isolde blinked looked at the hand on her arm then back at her ex. Her jaw tense and anger started to swirl inside of her. “What do you care? You made your choice, and if you and your wife keep harassing me, I reveal the real reason we broke up. And I doubt your parents would enjoy the scandal. And god forbid your wife find out why you really broke it off with me. Now let. Me. Go.”

Richard’s fingers slowly uncurled from around her arm, a glare on his face as she tugged her arm free. She walked away from the couple before they had a chance to say another word and left the hotel, catching a cab easily and heading back to her flat.

“How’s your morning?” the cab driver asked.

Isolde snorted. “Oh wonderful, just fucking wonderful.”

She rubbed her hands with her face and had never been happier when her apartment building came into view. She paid the driver, not bothering to wait for her change before going into her building and taking the stairs to her floor, not having the patience to wait for the elevator. She dug her house keys from her clutch, the red Dalek keychain looking odd in the formal purse. She pushed the key in and unlocked the door, finally breathing in and out slowly, and calming her beating heart once she was locked in the safety of her flat.

She didn’t want to prove Alex or Richard right, but she couldn’t stay in Prague anymore. Richard and Morgan were the reason she hated staying so long, as every time she came they ended up harassing her to the point of a near breakdown. She couldn’t stay.

Biting her lip, she undid her shoes, leaving them to drop by the door before moving to her room. She changed from her dress to a pair of denim shorts that lay on the floor, along with a plain white top and a black hoodie that depicted five skeletons getting electrocuted; merch from one of her favorite shows, Misfits. Going over to the bed, she flipped open the lid of her suitcase that still sat on the bed. She sorted through it quickly, taking out what she knew to be dirty and kept what she knew to be clean, before going to her dresser drawers and gathering clothes as she thought of the places she could go.

The word Helsinki ran through her mind so many times, it that had her seriously considering getting the plane ticket there. Maybe visiting Jussi.

“Oh, Jussi,” she muttered as she stopped in the middle of her room. She felt her gut tighten as she thought of what she’d done last night and how it might affect…

“It won’t,” she muttered to herself, dumping the clothes into her suitcase, not bothering to fold a single piece of it. Her sleeping with Alex wouldn’t affect whatever it was that she had going on with Jussi. He knew, had gone into their little arrangement, knowing that she had someone else. They’d had that entire conversation on cheating and how what she was doing wasn’t cheating. as they both knew about each other.

So why in the world was she worrying about how he would feel if he found out she’d slept with someone else? Especially the reasons she’d chose for sleeping with someone else. Guilt, hard and obnoxious guilt settled itself in her body. She felt weighed down by it and she wasn’t sure as to why. She had no reason to feel guilty for sleeping with Alex; she technically hadn’t used him for sex, as in the long run the sex hadn’t helped her at all.

Chewing on her bottom lip, she closed her suitcase and sat on her bed. “Okay, Helsinki’s out,” she muttered, only to frown when she heard a quiet meow. Turning she found Charlemagne sitting on the bench by her window, staring at her.

“No! It’s not because I feel guilty,” Isolde argued as she crossed the room to pick the tabby up. “Jussi’s on tour so he’s not even there; pointless to go to a city for one reason if that reason’s not there now, isn’t it?”

Charlemagne meowed again, causing Isolde to sigh. “So where to go, huh, Char?”

A meow again, this time with a wiggle, signaling that she wanted to be put down. Isolde dropped the cat gently on the floor, rubbing her fingers between Charlemagne’s ears before letting the cat go wander the flat.

“Where to go?” she muttered, rubbing her face in agitation, only to blink and shake her head at herself. “You are an idiot, Isolde.”

She moved away from her bedroom to the living room where she’d left her laptop the day before, flipping the top open she took it out of its sleeping state and opened her internet browser to look up flights to New York. She couldn’t get further away from Prague than heading across the fucking world. And she could kill two birds with one stone; get away from Prague and visit with Josef. Perfect.

She found a non-stop flight that left in the early afternoon, putting her in New York a bit after four in the afternoon, which would be perfect, as Josef always tried to make it home by five at least to rest before he went back to the studio to keep working. Booking the flight and paying for her tickets online so she would be able to pick them up at the airport, she shut down and closed her laptop, stuffing it in her messenger bag that lay at one side of the couch.

She picked up her phone, which rested on the ottoman, as she hadn’t taken it to the party the night before, and dialed Ivan.

Telling Ivan to cancel all her appointments and move them to another day had caused the man to nearly seize in anger and resulted in a lecture about her responsibilities, to which she told him to fuck off, and if he wasn’t going to explain she’d call her clients herself and explain. She told him that if anything the appointments didn’t need canceling, but if they could move the locations to New York that would be preferable. While it had marginally appeased her irate manager, he’d still lectured her, pleaded with her to at least stay the week. And at her firm ‘no,’ he’d resigned himself to calling and telling her he’d send an e-mail with everyone’s responses.

He muttered once more about how disappointed in her he was, which had caused her to mutter that she was disappointed in herself, before they both hung up with promises to call in the next couple of days. She threw her phone into the messenger bag, making sure her bag had everything she would need for however many weeks she was in New York. Laptop, camera, phone, extra memory cards, and she could have Althea ship out her extra lenses when the girl got a chance.

She called a cab as she shouldered her messenger bag before going to her bedroom, putting on her custom converse that had the TARDIS floating around in a swirl of orange and yellow; a gift from Josef for one of her birthdays. She grabbed her suitcase from the bed, making sure Charlemagne’s window was open before she grabbed a piece of scrap paper from the dresser and scribbled Althea a quick note.

With one more rub at Charlemagne’s ears, Isolde left her apartment, made it one floor down to stuff the note under Althea’s door, and then out of the building and into the waiting cab.

While on the drive to the airport, she called her mother, letting her know she was leaving once more. As always, her mother was disappointed that her daughter hadn’t spent more time at home. Isolde had sighed and promised more quality time in the future. Her mother had ‘hmmm’d,’ causing Isolde to sigh and lean back against the cab’s head rest; her mother knew her well.

Her mother had then made Isolde promise to come home at Christmas, to which Isolde had agreed. It wasn’t like she was ever able to wiggle out of Christmas anyway. It was the one holiday her parents enjoyed sharing privately; just the three of them, only doing a big party a couple days before, which wasn’t mandatory for Isolde to attend. Christmas itself was a big one for the family, though, so Isolde promised and with that bid goodbye to her mother just as the cab pulled into the airport.

Picking up her tickets and going through security went faster than normal. She grabbed a coffee and a muffin before going to her terminal two hours ahead of time. With a sigh, she sat and sipped at her coffee, allowing, for the first time that morning, the thoughts she’d pushed back to come forward.

Richard was an ass. That wasn’t really new, though, she thought. Morgan being a bitch; again, not really new. The fact that they’d somewhat run her out of town, okay not new, but still killed her every time it happened. She felt she was a strong individual, a woman who could stand alone and not need anyone to lean on. But enter Richard and his bitch of a wife, and she tended to lose that backbone she’d worked very hard to build and maintain the last five years.

She didn’t feel like she ran away from her problems. It was more that she removed herself from a situation she wanted no part of. She didn’t like being a source of entertainment for Richard and Morgan, so she either left Prague before they had a chance to corner her, or left directly after not wanting the opportunity to rise again. Richard had a way of lowering her defenses and bringing out of the very worst in her. She wasn’t the quick-witted, hard headed Isolde that she’d grown into; she was the Isolde that was quick to get in line and follow the leader, and she hated that side of herself.

There’d never been any equality in the relationship; Isolde had always given and sacrificed, Richard had always demanded and taken. Again though, she reminded herself, it wasn’t something new and she’d corrected her behavior when Richard announced he no longer wanted to be with her while she was bed ridden in a hospital bed.

Old news, not worth stressing over. So she shoved that into her mental box and closed the lid. It was in the past; she wasn’t going to focus on it, she’d already removed herself from the situation. There was nothing more she could do…at least, nothing more she was willing to do.

The next topic that came to her mind was Alex. A mixture of sadness and relief filled her, along with a bit of regret. Not for starting what she had with Alex, but for not ending it sooner. She’d seen it, months ago when she’d last been with him; the fact that their sexual relationship had been dwindling while their friendship had somehow strengthened.

He’d started telling her more about his nurse, when talking about other relationships really wasn’t done. And yet, because she and Alex had known each other for years it seemed to be a bit of a comfort zone. She’d begun to share her frustration with Richard and Morgan, and Alex had begun to snoop for her, as well as letting her know if the pair ever talked about her or her family when they visited the hospital.

So yes, a bit a bit of regret steadily made its way through her for not ending her relationship with Alex sooner. Though she was relieved that he had ended it when he had, the fact that he had caught their shift and accepted it, when she had failed to, made her sigh at how unburdened she felt. She and Alex would remain friends, that was for sure; they’d ended it soon enough where no feelings were hurt, and only a bit of her pride wounded at being left once again.

Sighing, she pulled her Converse-covered feet up on the chair she sat on and pulled her legs to her chest, resting her cheek on her knees as she looked out the window at the planes coming to and from their terminals.

She was always the in-between, she thought to herself; the limbo for men who were in that place in their life where they were unsure of whether they wanted to settle or not. All four of her lovers were now either married or in a serious committed relationship, all of which she had helped give that final push. She was the in-between, never the final place for men. Richard had left her for what he thought was better, Alex had left her for someone who he could see a future with. How long until Jussi figured out that sex with her and a committed relationship with his drums wasn’t enough?

She groaned against her knees as guilt rushed to fill her body and her heart started pounding much faster than normal. Her stomach churned, rolling and twisting, as if unhappy with the feelings she was currently undertaking. For the first time in a very long time, she felt horrible for having sex with someone who wasn’t one of her other lovers. She tried to rationalize it with the fact that Jussi knew what he was signing up for. He knew about Alex, had to know that she would meet up with Alex when coming back to Prague, so why the fuck did she feel guilty about it?

Hearing her flight being called, she uncurled herself from the seat and grabbed her messenger bag. Handing her ticking to the flight attendant, she smiled a bit tightly and nodded her head when the woman wished her well.

Finding her seat, thankfully next to the window, she buckled up, closing her eyes as she let the guilt wash over her, trying to figure out why, no matter how much she tried to rationalize it, it didn’t go away. She zoned out during the flight attendant’s safety speech; she’d been through the speech enough times to do it herself. She felt the take-off and opened her eyes to look out the window to see the city of Prague slowly shrink and disappear before her eyes.

Once the seatbelt light came off, she pulled her laptop out of her bag and let the computer load, finding the plane’s Wi-Fi connection before opening her personal blog and staring at a blank text post, posing her fingers to begin typing. Soon enough, her fingers started their taping against the keys.

She wrote about how stupid she felt for being guilty and how stupid the emotion was. She wrote about how she really didn’t have a reason to feel guilty, but guilty she felt. She allowed her emotion to reign, leaving the text as vague as possible, but open enough to allow her a bit of relief from what she felt.

Before she’d even realized she’d made a decision, she was posting that she would make a phone call. And she would. She would call Jussi and speak to him, not confess, but at least speak to him to weigh what his reaction would be to her sleeping with Alex for comfort.

Feeling pleased with herself, she felt the guilt abate a bit, allowing her mind to focus on other things. With a nine hour flight ahead of her (thank God for non-stop flights), she opened some of the articles she’s started for Alisha, letting her mind focus on that rather than Jussi.

Nine hours did not pass quick enough for Isolde. She attempted to write the articles, only to find that her attention lacked. She tried focusing on whatever movie the flight was showing, but found it too stupid to waste her brain cells on and resigned herself to putting in her ear phones, turning on her iPod and focusing her attentions outside her window to the passing clouds, hoping her mix of calming songs -including the voices of Ida Maria and Florence Welch- would sooth her mind. It helped, she thought, feeling her body relax and un-tense.

Her issues flouted into the back of her mind, but stayed there as she focused on the music in her ears, listening to the lyrics, the beat, the tone, allowing it to wash over her, keeping her issues at bay for the time being.

Once in New York, she felt herself smile as she got off the plane, eager to get her suitcase and head for her friend’s townhouse. She found her suitcase on the turnstile easily enough, leaving the airport and finding a cab. She told the driver the address to the townhouse, which she’d only visited once before, before settling down into her seat and watching New York pass by her.

She felt a genuine smile on her face when the townhouse came into view and sighed happily as she paid the driver and gathered her bags before getting out of the cab. She made her way up the steps to the townhouse, knocking loudly in case Josef was asleep. She would have gone for the hide-a-key she knew Josef kept somewhere, but wasn’t in the mood to search for it, as Josef wasn’t one to keep an extra key under the mat.

When no answer came, she knocked again, harder this time, only to grin when she heard a shuffle behind the door, and Josef’s angry Czech accent-laced voice yelling at the door.

“I’m coming! For fucks sakes! Work 12 fucking hours and I can’t even take a shower!”

Isolde grinned and leaned against the brick railing by the door, biting her lip to keep from laughing when Josef opened the door in a pink towel.

“Well, fuck me sideways,” Josef muttered, looking at her, a grin appearing on his face.

“If I were a lesser being this, I imagine,” she said, waving her hand at his bare chest and tiny towel, “Would be something I would masturbate to. But alas, your face ruins it for me.”

“Thanks.” Josef snorted. “I’m honored that I would make your spank bank if it weren’t for my face.”

Isolde grinned. “So are you going to invite me in, or am I sleeping out here?”

Josef shrugged leaning against the door jamb. “I don’t know; I get a call two weeks ago with you in near tears...”

“I was not in near tears,” Isolde argued.

“And now you’re at my doorstep insulting me.”

“Not an insult, thinly veiled compliment,” Isolde corrected.

“That’s not helping your case,” Josef laughed.

“Move aside, you grumpy bastard. I’m tired, I’ve had a horrible morning, and I want to sleep,” Isolde said, pushing him out of the way and making her way into the townhouse.

“You think I’m not tired?”

“That, my friend, is not my problem,” Isolde said, putting her suitcase against the couch before turning to look at him with a smile. “So I’m guessing hugging is out of the question.”

“Eh, we’ve never been much for hugging, have we?” Josef smirked, leaning up against the now closed door. “So what are you running from this time?”

“Not running!” Isolde corrected. “Removing myself from an unpleasant situation.”

“Ah, the bastard and the mistress. Got it,” Josef nodded.

Isolde rolled her eyes. “So can I crash on your couch?”

“You can crash in Soya’s room if you want, it’s not like she’ll really give a shit.”

Isolde winced. “I don’t like spending the night in other people’s beds.”

“Or beds in general,” Josef pointed out.

“Why can’t I use the guest room?”

“Empty,” Josef shrugged, readjusting his towel before it slipped. “When Reagan moved we gave him the guest room furniture so he and Emmy could furnish their apartment. You can put your shit in there though if you’re going to sleep on the couch.”

“You’re such a great host,” Isolde said, watching as he turned away.

“Only the best service for my best friend!” Josef said as he started up the stairs.

“You know, you haven’t even said anything about the fact that we haven’t seen each other since last year,” Isolde mentioned as she followed him up the stairs.

“Not true. I saw you in July.”

“That half-assed meeting did not count, and you know it.”

Josef rolled his eyes as he entered his bedroom, not bothering in stopping Isolde as she followed him in and made herself comfortable on his bed. “We talk,” Josef shrugged.

“Oh, fuck you; we talk every six months, if that,” Isolde said, crossing her legs underneath her, not bothering to remove her shoes, returning the glare that Josef sent her way with a grin.

“Not my fault,” Josef said, knowing it was pointless to tell Isolde to get her feet off the bed, especially since she was doing it to annoy him.

“All your fault!” Isolde argued. “I had to find out from your mother that you had come out of the closet to them after I had made an ass out of myself by calling Soya your girlfriend.”

Josef laughed. “Did you really? Bet mum loved that.”

“She’s happy you have friends to protect you, not that you really need it.”

Josef shrugged as he dropped his towel, causing Isolde to wolf whistle as he pulled on his underwear, not bothering to be embarrassed by his nudeness or Isolde’s presence; not the first time she’d seen him naked, most likely wouldn’t be the last. “I am sorry I didn’t call you when that happened, but you didn’t call me when you slept with fucking Jussi 69.”

“Because I knew you’d do that fan thing, and squeal and hover and ask for all the details.”

“As if you wouldn’t do the same if I slept with David Tennant.”

“You shut your whore mouth!” Isolde laughed.

Josef looked over his shoulder and winked at her, causing her to laugh as he scrounged through his dresser for a pair of jeans. “So really, how was it?”

Isolde shrugged, picking at his comforter. “I really don’t want to talk about it, Josef.”

Josef frowned as he pulled on his jeans. “Really? Usually you love to share.”

“Yeah, I don’t know. Jussi’s a bit different.”

“You shared the couch story with the world.”

“Yeah, but I think airing out my sex life on my blog bothered him. So out of respect, I don’t think I’ll write about us anymore.”

Josef nodded. That wasn’t new; if one of Isolde’s lovers had an issue with her blog, she kept it a secret or wrote it out and kept it on her computer just for her piece of mind. Without consent she didn’t post anything. She may have been a bitch half the time, but she had respect for her lovers and loved ones.

“Are you going back to work?” Isolde asked, picking at the comforter still.

“No, I’m done for the day, as well as tomorrow. I actually have to head out to Soya’s dance studio for a bit.”


“Yeah, we lost a couple of teachers, so I’m taking over a beginner’s class until Brooke and I can hire some more.”

“Why isn’t Soya out here dealing with it?”

“Because she hasn’t taken a vacation in 13 years and I told her I would handle it,” Josef said with a teasing grin.

Isolde nodded, only to look up when Josef leaned over and kissed her forehead. “What’s that for?”

“I don’t know; you look like you needed it. You okay?” he asked, trying to get his voice to remain neutral, but knowing by the raised eyebrow Isolde sent him he’d let worry slip.

“Yeah, I’m tough. I can deal,” Isolde assured.

“I know you can. But usually you’re angry whenever you have a run-in with Richard and Morgan; you call upset and seething, you’re never…”


“Sad.” Josef said carefully. “Your eyes look sad.”

Isolde shrugged. “I’m fine.”

Josef nodded, taking her word as he grabbed a t-shirt and pulled it on. “All right, I have plans with Russell afterwards, but I can cancel if you want to spend time together tonight.”

Isolde shook her head. “No, it’s fine. Is he coming over?”

Josef shrugged, leaning against his dresser, eyeing his friend. “I don’t know; would you like him to?”

“As your best friend, I think I should meet this guy.”

Josef chuckled. “I’ll have him come over then and pick food up on my way home. Chinese okay?”

Isolde wrinkled her nose as Josef started to move out of the room. Before he could make it past the bed, she scrambled up and jumped onto his back, causing him to groan at the added weight and adjust her so her legs wrapped around his waist as he could carry her down the stairs. He smiled lightly when her face buried into his neck.

“I’d prefer sushi. Haven’t had that in forever and you always know the best place to get it.”

“Fine, sushi it is,” Josef said, making his way down the stairs and dumping her on the couch.

“Thank you!” Isolde laughed as she lay back on the couch.

Josef leaned over the back of the couch, staring down at her with a smile. “It’s good to see you, Iz.”

Isolde rolled her eyes. “Of course it is.” She reached up and patted his cheek. “It’s good to see you, too.”

Josef grinned, leaning down to kiss her forehead once more, before moving away, grabbing his gym bag by the front door. “I’ll be back in a couple of hours, make yourself at home.”

“I was going to even if you didn’t give me permission,” Isolde teased, not bothering to look up. Instead, she tossed her feet over the back of the couch, knowing it would annoy him.

Josef rolled his eyes and left the house, not bothering to reprimand her. Isolde laughed, sitting up when the door closed, taking her feet off the couch and slipping off her shoes. Kneeling on the couch, she leaned over the back of it and grabbed at her messenger bag, pulling it up and over into her lap.

She’d stalled enough. Technically, she should have given Jussi a call the minute she’d left Helsinki a week ago, but had figured he’d call first. When that hadn’t happened she’d kept a mental note to call him in the back of her mind. It wasn’t until everything had happened with Alex that she’d finally decided to give the man a call. She needed to know that she had nothing to feel guilty over. She needed to hear him say that everything was okay.

With that in mind she dug through her bag for her phone and searched for his name in her contacts. Her finger hovered for a second before releasing a breath and touching her finger to the screen, letting the phone ring, half hoping to hear his voice and half hoping to get his voice mail.
♠ ♠ ♠
Isolde's Outfit
Sherlock's Mind Palace Pt. 1
Sherlock's Mind Palace Pt. 2

Okay before you guys get up in arms about Richard, please go re-read chapter 6 when Jussi and Isolde talk about the accident, I enjoy playing with words as does Isolde. If after you re-read and still have questions I will be more then happy to answer them, I'm just telling you that right now as that's what I'll tell you if you ask and haven't re-read lol.

Anyway, yay! New chapter!!! So so so sorry about the wait you guys. It was meant to be longer, but I hit a snag on the part that was meant to follow so I decided to split the chapter. Next chapter will hopefully comes soon, its a tough chapter to write but I'm hoping to remove the block soon! So fingers crossed!!!

Thank you all for the responses on the last chapter!!! I'm anxiously awaiting what you guys thought of this one!!! Leave your comment and I'll send you a preview....once i have the sucker ready!!!

Thanks again guys!!!