Status: Updated unfrequently, but trying for frequent.

Slow Spinning Redemption

Chapter 15: Isolde finds a Friend She Can Finally Lean On

Saturday February 19, 2011
Las Vegas, Nevada
10:30 pm
9 Weeks Pregnant

Josef wiped a towel over his face, grinning as he opened his arms to catch his ex-dance partner in his arms and hugging her tightly.

“Oh Josef! You were wonderful!” Soya gushed, her arms wrapping around his neck and squeezing.

“I know. You don’t have to tell me,” Josef laughed, hugging her back tighter. He missed his friend. “No, fuck it, I love the compliments! Tell me how fucking graceful I was.”

“So graceful,” Soya grinned. “Though your partner…” Soya trailed off teasingly as they pulled away from the hug.

“I know,” Josef said with a sigh, thinking of his new partner with a wince. “She still has a lot to learn. I’m trying, but you, miláček, you were so easy to train.”

“Truthfully, I was just scared of your wrath.”

Josef laughed. “I’m sure.” He kissed her cheek. “Where is that boy of yours?”

“He’s outside waiting. We wanted to take you out to dinner.”

“Perfect! Let me take a quick shower and get dressed. Casual or fancy?”

He watched Soya bite her lip. “Dress pants, button down shirt.”

Josef frowned but nodded slowly. Something was up, he thought, before responding to her. “All right, I’ll be out in a bit.”

“Great!” Soya said, looking out onto the empty stage.

Josef chuckled, seeing the temptation in her eye. “Go. It’s nearly empty anyway. No one will notice.”

Soya grinned, leaning up to kiss his cheek. “Thanks.”

“Want me to grab you a pair of ballet shoes?”

“No…” Soya laughed. “I think the tights I have on will do.”

Josef nodded, watching her go out to the stage. Soya slipped off her heels as she started with a small twirl in the middle of the stage. Smiling, Josef walked back to his dressing room. He took a quick shower, dressed in black slacks and pulled on a clean white shirt. He grabbed his phone as he buttoned his shirt, calling Isolde.

“What?”she answered.

“Hey, don’t be a bitch,” Josef sighed.

“Stop checking in on me every five minutes, I’m fine.”

Josef rolled his eyes. “It’s not every five minutes.”

“It sure as hell feels like it.”Isolde mumbled.

“You do remember that you’re the one crashing in my hotel room,” Josef pointed out.

“I’m fine Josef, I promise. I’m on the couch watching TV.”

“I figured, you’ve been doing that for the last few days. Look,” he said, forging on not letting her interrupt, as he knew she wanted to. “I’m going out to dinner with Soya and Ville.”

“Figured,” he heard her mutter.

“Do you want to come with? I’m sure Ville and Soya won’t mind.”

“No, fine here.”she said.

Josef scrubbed his face in agitation. “Fine, see you in a few hours.”

“All right.” Isolde said before hanging up the phone. Josef stuffed it in his pocket, along with his wallet and ran his fingers through his hair before heading back towards the stage. A smile slowly spread across his face when he heard Soya’s teasing voice.

“Oh yes, you were so unwilling. I very much took advantage of your weak state,” Josef heard Soya laugh as he picked up her shoes and purse.

“You did!” Ville laughed.

Josef stood at the wings, watching Soya’s mouth drop in shock “Excuse me!” she laughed. “You were the one that initiated the second and third rounds that night, Ville!”

“Please tell me you aren’t talking about your sex life,” Josef interrupted, coming out of the wings of the stage and walking towards the couple. Soya sat on the edge of the stage with Ville standing between her legs. They both turned to look at him as he handed Soya her shoes and purse. “Because,” he continued with a smirk. “I’d like for you to wait so you can tell me all about it.”

Soya laughed as Ville took the heels from her hands and slipped them onto her feet. “Dinner first.”

“Really? You’re going to share?” Josef laughed. “My, Ville, you really have changed my little Soya.”

“I didn’t change a thing,” Ville laughed as he helped Soya down from the stage. “She just…grew into herself.”

“I’ll say,” Josef muttered as he hopped down from the stage. “So where are you taking me to dinner?”

“Anywhere you want.”

Josef nodded slowly, keeping his face blank as he thought about Isolde. “I’m staying at the MGM; I’ve never been to any of the restaurants there.”

“Done.” Soya grinned. “Let’s head out.”

They took a cab back to the restaurant and spent half an hour figuring out where to choose from before settling for Shibuya, a Japanese restaurant. They talked about the turn the dance company had taken since Soya had left. Though he was happy his friend had found happiness in Helsinki, Josef missed the hell out of her, as well as the partnership they shared on stage. He heard about her plans for her dance studio, and about her tentative plans to start building a dance academy in the empty lot next to her studio.

He watched as Ville kept his eyes on Soya, her hands moving in excitement as she spoke of her plans and the plans to have the house in Sipoo empty by the end of the month. When a lull in the conversation hit, he eyed Ville and Soya as he took a sip of his iced tea. They seemed to be communicating with eyebrows, causing him to snort lightly.

“So what’s the real reason you guys came out to Vegas?” Josef asked with a raised eyebrow. He knew by the sound of Soya’s voice over the phone that they had an ulterior motive.

Soya blinked. “You begged me to come see you dance, then you told me Aster was dancing a few days after you and that this was my chance to finally see him perform.”

“Oh come on,” he laughed. “You willingly left Aida in Helsinki by herself to come see your friends dance?”

“We didn’t willingly leave her,” Soya muttered.

“Aida actually pushed us out the door.” Ville chuckled. “We left her with Linde and Toni this time around since Linde has Olivia. She was very excited about staying there this week, as she missed her friend.”

“So you came out to Vegas just to see me?” Josef asked with a raised eyebrow, eyeing them both. “Who died?”

“No one!” Soya laughed, looking at Ville who shrugged before looking back at Josef. “Okay, fine. Originally we were coming just to see you dance.”

“What changed?” Josef asked slowly, still looking between them.

“Um…” Soya bit her lip as she grinned. She looked over at Ville, who was smiling at her, before turning back to Josef. “We found out that I’m…pregnant.”

“You’re…” He only hesitated for a second, looking at the wide smiles on both Ville and Soya and couldn’t help but smile himself. “Soya!” Josef laughed, getting up from his seat to go across the table to scoop his friend in a hug as she laughed and hugged him back. “Congratulations! Seriously this is just…amazing.” Josef laughed, leaning down to give Ville a hug before returning to his seat. “When did you find out?”

“Valentine’s Day, actually,” Soya admitted. Josef resisted the urge to laugh and rub his hand over his face. Valentine’s Day seemed to be the day everyone found out they were pregnant. “And other than Ville’s parents, you’re the only person we’ve told.”

“You haven’t told the band?” Josef asked.

“Uh…not quite yet,” Ville said slowly. “We will once we get back.”

Josef narrowed his eyes before sighing. “There’s something else.”

Soya gave a nervous chuckle. “There is.”

“Out with it, Eeva.” he said, pulling out the middle name card, knowing she was hiding something else. He watched her wince at her middle name before she spoke.

“So, you know that beautiful wedding dress I found in New York that we both…”

“Fell in love with? Yes, I remember the one.”

Soya bit her lip. “Well, I was looking at it, and it really has no give to it, Josef. I mean…I won’t be able to fit in it come May.”

“All right,” Josef said slowly, not seeing the point.

“Well, I’d really like to wear it before you have to roll me down the aisle in a completely different dress,” she said.

Josef blinked in surprise. “You want to elope?”

Soya nodded slowly. “We’d still have the big wedding in May for his parents and our friends and of course for us, but…”

“Soya really wants this. We both really want this,” Ville cut off. “My parents and our friends are expecting this big wedding, which we still want to have, but Soya and I feel that eloping right now may be best.”

“And you want to elope in Vegas?”

“This is where you are,” Soya said, biting her lip. “Other than Aida, I really don’t have blood family that I can, or want, to turn to. You’re it Josef; love it or hate it, you’re part of my little family and you’re the one I still want walking me down the aisle, be it at The Graceland Wedding Chapel here in Vegas, or a ranch in Finland.”

He had been about to choke up at Soya’s mini speech, but had been deterred by the name of the chapel. “Seriously, The Graceland Chapel?”

“One of my conditions to us eloping here,” Ville grinned. “We get married by an Elvis impersonator.”

Josef looked at Soya in disbelief. “Seriously?”

“He’s going to wear a tux for me, Josef, I couldn’t really say ‘no.’” Soya shrugged. “And it makes him happy.”

“It makes me very happy,” Ville nodded.

“And I still get to walk you down the aisle in May?” Josef asked.

“You do,” Soya nodded.

Josef sighed, looking at the eager couple before nodding. “Fuck it; let’s go get you guys married.”

“Really?!” Soya asked in surprise.

“Of course! If this is going to make you happy, then I’m more than happy to go along with it!” Josef signaled for the check. “Did you want to do this tonight?”

Soya looked up at Ville, who grinned. “I think we do.”

Josef smiled as the waiter came back with the check. He handed over his card before Ville and Soya could protest. “It is your wedding night; I pay,” he said with a grin. “Look, why don’t you guys go gather everything you need and head towards the chapel? I’ll settle the bill. I have to run up to my room, and then I’ll meet you guys there.”

“Are you sure?” Soya asked.

“Positive,” Josef said, watching as Soya and Ville stood. He stood as well before going back around the table and hugging Soya. “I am very happy for you, Soya.”

Soya grinned up at him, leaning up to kiss him on his cheek. “I know you are.”

“I’ll meet you there,” he said, waving them away. He accepted the receipt from the waiter and wrote out a tip before leaving. Josef stuffed his hands in his pockets as he walked towards the back of elevators and pushed the number of the floor he was on.

He was genuinely happy for his friend. If anyone deserved to be knocked up and wedded to the love of her life, it was Soya. The elevator doors opened and he walked towards his room. Slipping in and looking towards the TV area, he saw Isolde wrapped in a blanket from the bed, watching infomercials.

“Hey,” Josef said cheerfully.

Isolde looked up from her cocoon. “Hey, I didn’t expect you back till later.”

“Uh, I’m actually heading out again; I wanted to see if you wanted to come with me.”

“Where?” she asked.

Josef couldn’t help the smile that found its way on his face. “Soya’s getting married.”

“Yeah, in May,” Isolde said pointedly.

“No,” Josef chuckled as he walked over to Isolde and settled on the coffee table in front of her, blocking the TV, “Tonight. Want to be my date?”

Isolde snorted. “What? Did Valo knock her up?” Josef grinned wider, causing Isolde to raise an eyebrow. “Seriously, she’s pregnant?”

“Happy little accident, like yours.”

Isolde stiffened as she glared at him. “We’re not talking about it.”

“No, you’re not talking about it. I never agreed to this. Come on, put on a pretty dress, watch them get married. Watch me blubber my way through it; might be your only chance to see me cry,” he teased.

“I’m not going,” Isolde declared.

Josef groaned. “Iz.”

“Nope, “ she said with a shake of her head, dislodging the blanket hood and uncovering the loose mess of blonde curls that she had piled on top of her head. “They’re eloping and only invited you. You really think they want a virtual stranger there? They probably haven’t even told anyone their plan. I’m not going.”

“Look, you and Soya are in the same position. Maybe talking to her about this is what you need.”

“What, so she and Ville can go blab to Jussi before I get a chance to?” Isolde chided.

“So you’ve decided to tell him?” Josef asked.

“I haven’t decided anything. Back off, Josef,” Isolde snapped.

“All right, that’s it, I’m done!” Josef said, throwing his hands up in the air. “I am done coddling you.”

“This is what you call coddling?!” Isolde laughed in surprise. “Oh, well, then wonderful job Josef! You sure know how to take care of a girl.”

“Isolde, I am not your enemy. I am trying to help you. You are the one clinging to me, you’re the one avoiding the issue. I’m trying to find something to get you to realize that you are going to have a baby in seven months. Soya is in the same position; maybe talking to her about it will help.”

“We are not in the same position, Josef! The fact that you think because we got knocked up on accident is the same situation is insulting!”


“I highly doubt Soya had a breakdown in her bathroom when she found out!” cried Isolde. “I’m sure she and Ville are over the fucking moon about their newest addition. I, however, am not pleased to be in this situation.”

Josef groaned as he shot up from the table. “Then fucking do something about it, Isolde. Figure your shit out! Do you want the baby or not?”

Her jaw clenched as she glared at him. “Drop it.”

Josef ran his fingers through his hair. “You know what, fine. I’m going to go watch one of my best friends get married. At least someone has their fucking life together.”

Isolde glared as she watched Josef pick up his key card and leave the room. She bunched herself back into her blanket, glaring at the TV, before blowing out a slow breath and letting the tension leave her shoulders. She pulled out the notepad from under the blankets and sighed at the list she’d made while Josef had been out.

Tell Jussi – tour starts in March.
Tell parents?
Figure out where the fuck to stay (NOT PRAGUE)
Doctor appt – baby okay?
Buy baby stuff? Wait?
Tell Jussi?

Groaning, Isolde rubbed her face with her free hand before pushing the blanket away from her body and standing up. She stretched out before walking over to her messenger bag, pulling out her laptop and starting it up.

She’d take a quick shower. She hadn’t in a few days; really since she and Josef had hit up Vegas. Then she’d change and book a flight. Where, she wasn’t sure yet, she thought as she made her way to the bathroom and stripped. But she needed a break from her own mind.

She’d made the decision to keep the baby; really, it hadn’t even been something that had to be thought about. It was the rest of the decisions that were killing Isolde. Telling Jussi, especially after their fight, was almost impossible to figure out. She’d dialed his number about half a million times since she’d found out she was pregnant, but what she had definitely decided was that she hadn’t wanted to tell him over the phone.

Isolde just hadn’t been able to decide whether to tell him before his tour started, which was only a month away (she did want to visit a doctor before telling Jussi), during his tour (which honestly seemed like a bitch move, as she didn’t want him distracted from his career) or after his tour (in which she’d definitely be showing and would probably piss him off that she hadn’t told her sooner).

“Fucked either way,” she muttered as she let the hot water run over her hair, washing out the conditioner. She turned off the water once she was done, dried off and wrapped the towel around her body before padding her way to the table to connect her laptop to the hotel’s internet signal.

Waiting for the internet browser to boot up so she could check her email, Isolde changed into a pair of worn flare jeans she usually wore on her lazy days around her flat, and a loose black shirt. She plopped down on the chair, squeezing the water out of the ends of her hair with the towel. Scrolling through her mail, she found that nothing seeming important.

There were a few emails from Alisha and Ben - which added London to her list of places she could go and relax- a few from Ivan reminding her of shoots. That caused her fingers to run over her stomach lightly, making a mental note to tell Ivan to cancel any modeling shoots for the next year; she had always been more comfortable behind the camera than she had ever been in front of it.

Chewing her lip, she kept scrolling through her email, before frowning at the subject line ‘Family pictures? Please!’ She tapped it open and read the message from a


It seems we have a mutual friend in Soya, as well Josef. Anyway, we met at Bam’s Christmas party, albeit briefly. I saw the pictures you took of Soya and Ville that they’re using for their official engagement pictures and I absolutely loved those candid pictures you took! I’ve been looking for someone to take some family portraits of my odd little family.

I know this isn’t your usual thing, but I’m desperate for some new pictures of my baby girl with her father that aren’t of them when she was a baby. I’m willing to double your regular pay rate if you’re able to come out and take the pictures between now (February 16th) and before March 18th. We’re willing to meet you, though I don’t know anyone who would pass up coming to Spain.

You can either let me know by responding or calling me.


P.S. I could even be convinced to tripling your regular pay rate and buying your air fare (Yes, I’m that desperate)

Isolde chewed her lip before pulling up the calendar on her computer. Rosalind, whoever she was, was correct; she didn’t usually do family portraits. Mostly because families had these vague ideas when it came to themes and forced the pictures rather than just allowing Isolde to take pictures of them interacting.

She looked at the dates she pulled up. She could head out to Spain tonight; spend a couple of weeks clearing her head and making concrete decisions about everything without the constant criticism she could hear in Josef’s voice every time he tried to bring up the subject. She could meet up with Rosalind and her family on the first week of March to take the portraits, then head out again to put whatever decisions she’d come up with on her two week break into action.

Isolde felt the tension leave her shoulders as she came up with the loose plans. It was far from perfect, even she knew that, but it was something firm and something that slowly made it feel a little less like she was drowning.

She sent Rosalind a response, telling her she was free for the portraits the first week of March and she’d make her own way to Spain and that ‘no really, my regular rate is fine, but if you insist I’ll take the double.’ She did have a child to think of after all, she thought wearily. She just asked for a set date, time and place, and Isolde would meet her there.

She booked the tickets, finding a flight that left within the next six hours, before shutting off her computer and starting to pack her things. Once packed, Isolde slipped her feet into a pair of white and black flats before pulling on her purple hoodie. She scribbled a quick note to Josef and stuck it to the TV, knowing he’d find it. She left without looking back.


Josef had definitely cried when he’d seen his best friend get married. Blubbered, really, he thought, as he sniffed back the tears that were threatening to emerge again. It’d been wonderful seeing Soya in her dress and light up at seeing her groom, to see Ville’s own reaction to his bride, seeing the tears of happiness in both their eyes as they recited their Finnish vows. Seeing their grins as they allowed Elvis to marry them, those grins growing wider when they were announced husband and wife.

Josef hadn’t kept them after the ceremony, knowing Ville and Soya were both eager to get back to their own hotel room. The way they looked at each other had clenched Josef’s heart and had made him only that much happier for his friends. He’d been promised breakfast with them before he had to head to rehearsals. Josef then let them head up to their suite before making it to his own.

“Isolde?” he called as he walked in and noted the empty couch. He stood by the door listening for any sound before stepping inside. “Iz?”

He found her suitcase and messenger bag missing and when he took a spin around the room, he found the note stuck to the TV and sighed.

Getting my shit together – Iz

He sat roughly onto the couch. It was his own fault, really. He shouldn’t have pushed her. He knew she had a tendency to run when pushed to her limit. He looked back at the note and hoped that wherever Isolde had run off to, she’d find peace with her situation and come up with some answers.


Saturday, March 5, 2011
Barcelona, Spain
11:45 am
11 Weeks Pregnant

So being pregnant sucked, Isolde thought as she walked past a café and the smell of coffee made her stomach turn. The morning sickness was still in full gear, though the pregnancy sites she’d finally had the nerve to start looking at all said that it would go away soon.

The two weeks she’d given herself had done her good, she thought as she rubbed her hand over her stomach, which was starting to show; another thing she’d just started giving into, running her hand over her belly again. It was an area she’d avoided looking at the first few weeks after finding out she was pregnant.

Isolde had spent her weeks playing tourist and letting her mind wander onto other things. She’d spent the first week of her ‘decision-cation,’ as she’d dubbed it, in Madrid, hauling her camera around all the tourist stops, going to museums and wandering around until her mind would clear from the constant barrage of thoughts that were swirling in her head. She’d found peace, letting the answers come to her naturally instead of forcing herself to make them.

The loose plan Isolde had when she’d left Josef in Las Vegas had become firmer.

Figure out where the fuck to stay (NOT PRAGUE) had been answered as she’d wondered around the Prado museum. Her head tilted as she’d looked at a landscape painting that had reminded her so much of her grandmother’s home. Ireland, she’d thought with a fond smile. It was nearly that time of year she made the trip to the small house that was nestled in the countryside of Ireland. The house was taken care of by a friend of hers who just happened to be an OBGYN, which answered the ‘Doctor appt – baby okay?’ item on her list.

Isolde had been walking down La Rambla in Barcelona when she’d stopped at a flower cart, taking pictures of the old lady selling a batch to a young couple. Newlyweds, she’d heard them say. The old lady was saying her congratulations to the couple when the answer to Tell Jussi – tour starts in March. had come to her.

She decided to tell him before his tour started. She wanted him to know sooner rather than later. She had already purchased the opened-ended plane ticket to Helsinki to go tell him. She just needed to build up some courage to use the ticket before the eighteenth.

Running her fingers through her curls, Isolde stopped to admire the park that Rosalind had asked to meet her at for the family portraits. Park Güell was famous for its mosaic architecture that had been designed by Antoni Gaudí. She loved wandering the park with every visit to Barcelona, wandering around the municipal gardens and taking picture after picture of the mosaic structures and the tourists and locals alike.

Isolde looked away from the entrance of the park to spot a dark haired Spaniard wearing a bright yellow top and white floor length skirt. Just like Rosalind said she’d be wearing. She dropped her hand and quickly looked down at herself; leggings with the blue of the galaxy sprawled on them and an oversized black pullover poncho that hid her belly well. She’d gone with heels, wanting to make up for her laziness to get dressed with a pair of black heeled booties. Isolde adjusted her black distressed messenger bag over her shoulder as she smiled at the site of, who she now knew to be Rosalind, letting her small daughter twirl herself around on her arm.

Isolde started to unclasp her bag, wanting to capture the little moment, only to pause with her fingers in her bag when she saw a familiar male figure walk up to them and pick the young girl up by her waist, settling her on his hip as the girl laughed. She must have been staring, she knew she was staring, because suddenly his eyes were on her and widening in surprise.

“Isolde?” Jyrki called out.

Rosalind looked up when Jyrki spoke Isolde’s name and smiled at her as they walked closer. “Hey! You found us!” she greeted.

“That I did,” Isolde muttered, giving a small smile that she knew looked as forced as it felt.

“Since Jyrki called you by your name, I’m assuming you guys know each other.”

Suddenly, it clicked as she stared at Rosalind. Isolde had met her very briefly at Bam’s Christmas party, but they hadn’t talked much. They had been introduced in passing by Jussi as they’d waited for Ville and Soya to finish their office sex to say goodbye, but hadn’t talked. She’d stuck to Jussi’s side for most of the night and Rosalind had either been by Jyrki’s side the entire night or had been with Soya. Isolde hadn’t even remembered that Rosalind was not just a mutual friend of Soya and Josef’s, but of Jyrki and Jussi’s too. ‘Fuck my life’ she thought with a mental eye roll.

“I mean, I vaguely remember meeting you at Bam’s Christmas party, but I was pretty drunk that night. Soya had to remind me that we had met. I just didn’t realize you knew Jyrki too,” said Rosalind.

“I.., uh...” Isolde pulled on her curls that fell over her shoulder. “I used to...” She looked at the five year old, who was playing with Jyrki’s hair, ignoring the conversation in front of her. Biting her lip, she shook her head lightly, refusing for the meeting to be awkward. “I used to be a friend; we met through Soya and Ville after I interviewed them a while back. The guys answered some questions; it’s how I ended up at the Christmas party.” She blinked in surprise at how easily the lie had come out.

Rosalind looked over at Jyrki with a raised eyebrow before grinning at Isolde. “Soya showed me the engagement pictures, talked you up, which is what made me reach out to you. That, and Josef’s glowing recommendation; he so rarely has a nice thing to say, so when he does-”

“You listen,” Isolde finished with a small laugh as she thought of how she’d left things with her best friend. “I’m surprised he had anything nice to say, we didn’t really part on good terms.”

“Eh, even the best of friends argue,” Rosalind said with a wave of her hand. “It doesn’t mean that their opinions of each other change.”

“Right,” Isolde nodded, chewing the inside of her lip, feeling the heat of Jyrki’s stare.

“Anyway, thanks so much for doing this and for being so flexible!” Rosalind started. “I mean, between my touring schedule and Jyrki’s, this was really the only few days we had to do the family portraits.”

“Family…” Isolde frowned, looking between the quiet five year old in Jyrki’s arms and Jyrki. While the girl’s hair was a darker shade of brown instead of black like Jyrki’s -though Isolde had it on good authority that Jyrki also dyed his hair; thank you Jussi for that information- there was no mistaking the matching blue eyes and the pale complexion that obviously came from her father’s Finnish roots, rather than her mother’s Spanish ones.

She blew out a slow breath, suddenly feeling the overwhelming need to sit down and cry. “She looks like you,” Isolde said quietly to Jyrki.

Jyrki looked down at his daughter with a wry grin. “So I’ve been told.”

“So, how do you want to do this?” Rosalind asked, either missing or ignoring the awkwardness.

“Ah…candids,” Isolde answered. “I do much better with candids.”

“Great!” Rosalind grinned. “I hate those posed ones. My brother has those with his family and they seem so stiff!”

“Yeah,” Isolde nodded. “Soya and Ville’s were for the most part candid. I just tend to get the best pictures if people forget I’m there. Just give me a minute to get everything ready, and then we’ll start.”

“Rose,” Jyrki said, kissing Impi’s forehead before putting her on the ground. “Why don’t you take Impi to the gardens? I’ll stay here with Isolde and make sure she doesn’t get lost.” He passed Impi off to Rosalind’s waiting hand.

“All right, vamos, Impi,” Rosalind smiled, leading her daughter away from them and through the entrance of the park.

“You don’t have to stay.” Isolde said, setting her bag down on a stone wall and flipping it open.

“The park’s tricky; I got lost the first couple of times I brought Impi here by myself. The architecture here is amazing though, and Jussi says you tend to get distracted by architecture.”

They both stiffened at the name, Jyrki having caught his slip of tongue. Isolde swallowed, keeping her eyes to the inside of her bag, recovering before Jyrki. “You shouldn’t act like his name is some sort of taboo. It’s not like we broke up.”

“Sounded like a break up from what we heard though the wall when you two were yelling at each other. In a room, I might add, that I got kicked out of,” Jyrki pointed out.

Isolde rolled her eyes, setting her camera carefully on the stone wall, fumbling through the bag for the correct lens. She was inwardly grateful that she wasn’t far enough along for Jyrki to see her belly, and for the foresight of wearing a looser shirt that hid her figure.

“If you’re still sore about that, I’ll compensate you for the damn room, Jyrki.”

“That’s not…”

Isolde cut him off. “Look, I’m having a bit of a rough time right now, so if you’re here to talk up your friend, just don’t.”

Jyrki narrowed his eyes at her. “Jus has been having a rough couple of months.”

Isolde glared up at him, her hands still in her bag, searching for the lens. “I have nothing to feel sorry for. Vuori knew damn well what he was getting into when he first pursued me. He knew I didn’t commit. It’s his own fault that he got hurt!” She turned back to the inside of her bag, rifling through it.


“God! Where the fuck is my lens?!” Isolde growled.

“He’s here, you know,” said Jyrki softly.

“What?” Isolde asked. She looked up at Jyrki before casting a glance at their surroundings, only to look back at him when she heard his soft chuckle.

“Not now, but he’s in town and planning on meeting us in a few minutes. He loves Impi, so when I come down, nine times out of ten he follows to be with her.” Jyrki frowned at her when he noted her sliding her camera back in her bag. “What are you doing?”

“I…I can’t do this right now.” Isolde admitted, closing the clasp of her bag. “I just…can’t. Tell your girlfriend I’ll refund her the money or we can reschedule another day. I just…”
She shook her head as she shouldered her bag and looked up at Jyrki, tears ready to spill. “I can’t.” She turned on her heel and left Jyrki staring at her in confusion.

“Isolde!” Jyrki called, staring after her, only to be ignored and lose her within the crowd. Rubbing a hand over his face, he turned back around and walked towards the gardens. He noted Impi was racing around with the other kids as Rosalind sat on a bench nearby watching her.

She was a vision in her bright yellow top and white skirt, the yellow flats peeking out from between the hem. Rosalind was so bright compared to his own dark wash blue jeans and white t-shirt. She’d refused to allow him to wear black for the family photos, which he’d now fucked up.

He moved to sit next to her, causing her to smile at him, look around and meet his gaze with a frown. “Where’s Isolde?”

“Ah…she left,” he admitted, rubbing the back of his neck.

Rosalind nodded slowly, obviously not surprised. “I wasn’t going to say anything, which for me is a very difficult thing, but I sense you know her better than just some interview she did on Ville and Soya.” Rosalind eyed him. “Did you sleep with her?”

Jyrki’s bark of laughter seemed to break the tension Rosalind had created for herself. “No,” he chuckled.

“I wouldn’t blame you, she’s pretty.” Rosalind shrugged.

Jyrki shook his head in amusement. He leaned down to kiss Rosalind softly on the lips, draping his arm on the bench behind her, playing with the dark stands of her hair as they watched Impi play. “Yes, she’s very pretty,” he admitted, causing Rosalind to bristle. “But I can barely handle you most days sydämeni, trust me, I couldn’t handle Isolde as well.”

“She slept with one of you boys,” Rosalind stated.

Jyrki laughed. “Yes, she did.”

Rosalind nodded. “Jussi.”

“She was at the Christmas party with him. I don’t think Isolde made the connection that you were the same Rosalind that had been with me. And you were pretty far gone by the time we left, so you obviously don’t remember Jussi introducing you two.”

“I remember her briefly. I think I saw her come in with him, but really don’t remember us leaving. I’m guessing things didn’t end well?”

“I only heard part of the argument through the wall,” Jyrki admitted. “So I have no idea what happened. I know it was bad that Jussi didn’t really speak to anyone for a few days afterward. Then he just…snapped out of it, like Isolde never existed.”

“Well then, we’ll just have to ask him about it, won’t we?” Rosalind said, just as Impi’s squeal of delight echoed around the park. They watched as the girl ran up to Jussi, who picked her up, swinging her around before kissing her cheek and settling her in his arms as he walked over to the two of them.

“Look who I found!” Impi grinned as Jussi adjusted her on his hip.

“Hey,” greeted Jussi.

“Hey, glad you could come.” Rosalind smiled as Impi kissed Jussi’s cheek and squirmed to get out of his arms. He let her go; Rosalind’s warning to stay where she could be seen followed Impi as she ran back into the fray of kids.

“Where’s the photographer?” Jussi asked, sitting on the bench on Rosalind’s other side.

“I may have scared her off,” Jyrki admitted.

Jussi nodded an amused smirk on his face. “Your face has that effect.”

“Ha!” Rosalind snorted as Jyrki rolled his eyes.

“She actually heard you were coming and left running,” said Jyrki.

Jussi frowned at him over Rosalind’s head. “Me? Why me?”

“I don’t know, you tell us. She was a pretty blonde,” said Rosalind.

Jussi blinked, still staring at Jyrki. “Isolde?”


“Want to tell us what would cause her to run off?” Rosalind asked, getting Jussi’s attention again.

“As she’s the one that ended it, no, I have no idea why she would leave,” Jussi scoffed.

“Jussi,” Rosalind breathed, looking at him through narrowed eyes.

“Look, I haven’t talked to her in nearly two months. And I would just like to point out that it’s your fault I even got involved with her,” he blamed, glaring at Rosalind.

“My fault!?” Rosalind asked, affronted.

“Her fault?” Jyrki asked with a raised eyebrow. “Rose didn’t even meet Isolde until the Christmas Party, and even then she barely remembers the meeting. How the hell could it be her fault that you fucked her?”

“We’re at a park Jyrki!” Rosalind groaned, slapping a hand on his stomach. “Censor yourself! Now, how is it my fault that you two fucked?”

“Censor yourself,” Jyrki mocked.

“It was that stupid vision you had!” Jussi said, ignoring their bantering as he jumped up to pace in front of them.

Rosalind stared at him drolly before shaking her head in amusement. “Okay, I’m sorry. Refresh my memory as to what vision it was, as I’ve had so many.”

“The one about me meeting my match.”

Rosalind blinked. “What?”

Jussi paused in his pacing to turn and look at her. “We were talking about your relationship,” Jussi said, motioning between her and Jyrki. “You asked me if I wanted a relationship and when I said no, you touched my face and had a vision. You said that I had a beautiful future awaiting me, that it had a woman and babies. And then you said, and it’s a direct quote: ‘One of these days, Vuori, you’re going to meet your match, and I really hope you have the patience to handle and love her,’” he accused.

Rosalind clapped a hand over her mouth as she stared at Jussi with wide eyes.

“What? What’s the face for?” Jussi asked as both he and Jyrki stared at her.

“You believed me?” she asked slowly.

Jussi stared at her. “Yes!”

“Oh my god! Jussi! I didn’t think you’d take me seriously, much less nearly ten years later!”

“What are you talking about?” Jyrki asked.

“I didn’t actually see what I told you I saw. Technically I didn’t see anything,” Rosalind confessed.

“Rose,” Jussi groaned, running his fingers through his hair. “Do you know what the stupid vision you had has done to my relationships?”

“I didn’t realize you were going to take me so seriously!” she said, trying to stifle a laugh. “You were teasing my relationship with Jyrki and you never take me seriously when I have a visions. How the hell was I supposed to know that the one time I teased you with it, you believe me.”

“Did you actually see anything?” Jussi asked.

“I…” Rosalind sighed. Had she known Jussi had taken what she’d said to heart she would have never teased him.

“I just saw…figures?” Rosalind said with a shrug, trying to remember what she’d seen nearly ten year ago, and what she always felt when around Jussi. “I saw a flash of bare legs, you and a girl... I did see a baby,” she said, closing her eyes. “But I didn’t see much more than that. Nothing really…set. It was more what I felt…” Rosalind said with a frown as she thought of Isolde, and opened her eyes to see Jussi staring at her.

“What did you feel?” he asked.

“Patience,” she whispered, looking over Jussi’s shoulder towards the flowers. She sifted through the mixed emotions that were radiating off Jussi and remembered what’d she’d felt in Isolde. “Trust, a lot of adoration, but it wasn’t quite love. Not yet. Frustration and sadness,” she said, clutching at her shirt as she felt the emotion bubble inside her. “Oh, it’s an overwhelming sadness, Jussi.”

“Rose?” Jyrki whispered.

Rosalind blinked and felt her own emotions return, before looking at Jussi, then Jyrki. “I…uh...” She stood and shook her head. “I need to make a phone call.”

“What?” Jussi asked.

“Take Impi home, I have to go meet someone,” Rosalind told Jyrki, grabbing her purse and kissing Jyrki.

“We’re in the middle of something!” Jussi said, glaring at her.

“Do not start with me Jussi!” she snapped, glaring right back at him. “And don’t you dare blame me for something you willingly started. I did not tell you to sleep with Isolde and I did not tell you to argue with her. It is not my fault that your heart is broken, and it not my fault that you decided to take me seriously and hold all your relationships to a certain standard. Do you understand me?”

Jussi glared before giving a sharp nod. “Yes, I understand.”

“Good!” Rosalind snapped. “Now I have a phone call to make. You two take care of Impi.” She walked off to say goodbye to her daughter before pulling her phone out and walking out of the park.

Jussi blew out a breath before falling onto the bench with a groan. “I was doing so fucking well, too.”

Jyrki looked over at him. “I had no idea that Rose had hired Isolde. Had I, I would have-”

“What? Not hired her?” Jussi shook his head. “Look, Isolde and I…We’re this…screwed up combination, but she’s an amazing photographer. I don’t want you guys hesitating in talking to her socially or professionally because we just happen to be on the outs.”

“And how is taking the high road working for you?” Jyrki laughed.

“It sucks so hard,” Jussi groaned. “How’d she look?”

Jyrki shrugged. “She looked fine. When she found out you were here she took off. Looked like she was close to crying.”

Jussi snorted, looking at Jyrki with a raised eyebrow. “Isolde was going to cry?”

“I wouldn’t lie about a woman crying,” Jyrki said, seriously causing Jussi to nod. “Are you going to call her?”

“No,” Jussi responded, his voice agitated. “She made it clear she wants nothing to do with me. I’m respecting that.”

“She hurt you,” Jyrki sympathized.

Jussi nodded slowly. “Yes.”

“You really did nothing wrong, did you?”

“No, but Isolde needs to work that out on her own. I’m done bending myself backwards for someone that obviously doesn’t want to be with me.”

Jyrki tried to bit his tongue. He knew that Jussi letting go of Isolde, though he obviously cared for the woman, was for the best, and Jussi was working his way towards that. Her reaction kept playing through his head though; her tears and her obvious discomfort at the possibility of seeing Jussi. It wasn’t the reaction of a woman that didn’t want to be with someone. It was the reaction of a woman hiding something from that someone.

“I think…” Jyrki started slowly, thinking of his words. “That Isolde is very lost, and I think she wants to be with you, but doesn’t know how.”

Jussi raised an eyebrow in disbelief. “You got that out of what sounds like a very short meeting with her?”

“I got that out of how she acted.” Jyrki chuckled, smiling when his daughter came running up to crawl into his lap. “Then again, we can always wait to see what Rose finds out.”

Jussi frowned. “What do you mean?”

“You do realize that the phone call Rose made was to Isolde,” Jyrki said matter-of-factly. “She’s probably dying to know that full story. Play match maker; you know how she is.”

With that said, Jyrki stood with his daughter in his arms, Jussi groaning after him about annoying Spaniards.


“Hello?” Rosalind asked as she walked down the street, the person on the other end of the phone call having answered after two rings.

“Hi,” Isolde said softly before taking a shuddering breath and speaking again. “I’m so sorry about leaving. It was so unprofessional and I never let my personal issues get in the way of a job, but there are some extenuating circumstances that I just don’t want to deal with. Not true; I just wasn’t prepared to deal with right at that moment.”

Rosalind chuckled. “Its fine, I get it.”

“I really don’t think you do,” Isolde retorted.

“I really think I do. Look, I’ve got half the story. And as the woman sleeping with your ex-lover’s best friend, I have to say you and I have a lot more in common than loving good photography. So, lunch?”

“I’m sorry?” stuttered Isolde.

“I’m starving, Isolde. I was planning on asking you after the shoot if you wanted to get lunch, but as that’s cancelled, did you want to get lunch? Maybe talk a bit?”

“I won’t be lured into some type of trap where you get me to share my sob story and then go tell Jussi the sordid details.”

Rosalind laugh. “Oh sweetheart, you do not know me well. What gets talked about between us, stays between us. You ran off so fast that obviously something is bothering you and you’re a friend of Soya’s, so I feel responsible for you.”

“I don’t want to be babied,” Isolde mumbled.

“Good, because I don’t want to baby you; I want to talk to you. I want to listen. Not for gossip’s sake, but because….I see myself in you.”

“And how’s that?” rebuffed Isolde.

Rosalind snorted. “Because you’re pregnant and you don’t want to be.”
♠ ♠ ♠
Isolde’s Vegas and Barcelona Outfits

Thank you guys for the amazing response for the last chapter! I'm so sorry I haven't gotten a chance to respond to you guys that way I've been wanting to!! But I read every single one of your comments and will be answering them today!

This chapter marks the start of many of my favorite scenes that I've had in my head since the start of this story! I'm very excited with the path this story is taking and I hope you guys are too!!

Can't wait to see what you guys think! Next chapter is all done and will be up soon!!