Status: Updated unfrequently, but trying for frequent.

Slow Spinning Redemption

Chapter 18: Isolde Figures Shit Out and Jussi Puts His Foot Down

Saturday, April 16, 2011
Stockholm, Sweden
17 weeks pregnant

Jussi answered the Skype call tiredly, his yawn wide as Isolde’s face popped up on his computer screen.

“Hey! Did I wake you?”she asked.

“No. I was up,” Jussi lied, causing Jyrki, who sat across from him, to snort.

“Liar. That’s okay, though; way too anxious to care. Did you get my email?”

Jussi groaned, rubbing his face tiredly. “Um…Which one?”

“The one I sent a week ago?” Isolde asked, her raised eyebrow very obvious on the grainy screen.

“I haven’t had a chance to check it lately, I’m sorry,” Jussi said. He clicked a button on the window to make the Skype call smaller on his screen so he could pull up his email. Since they’d parted, Jussi and Isolde tried to call each other once or twice a week. The last week, however, had kept Jussi occupied and away from his phone. Though he knew Isolde had texted him, he hadn’t had a chance to check them or the emails she had sent. “I’m pulling it up now.” He typed in his email into the username box, only to pause at the password. “Huh.”

“What?” Isolde asked.

“I don’t remember my password,” Jussi frowned. He looked up at Jyrki. “Do you know my email password?”

“Why would I know it?” Jyrki asked in confusion.

“You set it up for me.”

“Yeah, five years ago.” Jyrki chuckled. “Haven’t you had to sign in since then?”

“No, it does that thing where I’m just logged in.” Jussi scratched the back of his head as he clicked the ‘forgot password’ link, only to groan when he saw that the site was sending the password reset link to an email account he’d never logged in to. “Isolde, this is going to take forever. What was in the email?”

“Only the thing you’ve been wanting since you found out about your spawn,” Isolde said, her face disappearing from view as he made the call window take over his screen.

He frowned. “Huh?”

Her face came back briefly, but then the screen was covered by a grainy black and white picture. The air left his lungs in a whoosh as he realized what he was looking at. “That’s the-”

“Ultrasound. The bean looking thing is your porcupine.”

Jussi snorted at Isolde’s nickname for the baby. “Our porcupine,” he corrected. Jussi frowned at the screen. “Is it just the screen, or does it look like there’s two bean looking things?”

“Nah, I asked about that. Shelly says it’s a glitch on the screen.”

“Can I see?” Jyrki asked. Jussi looked at him and nodded, turning the screen so he could see the ultrasound. Jyrki looked at it, seeing the shape Jussi was referring to. “Isolde, I’m pretty sure that’s two.”

Isolde moved the picture and glared at Jyrki on the screen. “I’m sorry. Should I trust you, a lead singer of a crappy band; or my friend Shelly, a licensed OB-GYN?”

“Did you say ‘crappy?’” Jyrki asked with a raised eyebrow.

“She doesn’t mean it,” Jussi assured, moving the screen back to him.

“The hell I didn’t!” Isolde said closer to the speaker so that Jyrki could hear it.

“Remember that talk we had about you being nice about the things I do to make a living?” Jussi reminded.

“Yeah, but you know; pregnant.” Isolde shrugged, pointing towards her stomach.

“You need to stop using that as an excuse, Isolde.” Jussi chuckled. “Mostly because you felt like that before you got pregnant; it’s not a valid excuse.”

“Says who?” Isolde scoffed.

“Says me; the drummer of the band you just called ‘crappy.’”

“I’m sorry- are you pregnant? Do you have to carry your spawn around for ten months? Are you a human incubator?”

“No...” Jussi said slowly, already knowing when the conversation was headed. Isolde had been making progress in joking about her pregnancy in the last couple of weeks. This week’s jokes tended to be blaming him for the pregnancy and using it as an excuse for her more snarky comments. He didn’t complain though; he enjoyed Isolde’s sarcasm.

“Then no opinion,” Isolde said, crossing her arms over her chest as she leaned back in her chair. “So when are you coming out?”

“One more show after today. I’ll head out right after, so about a week.”

“Good,” Isolde said, leaning forward to grab something. He could see a small notebook in front of her as she scribbled in it. “I’ll schedule another appointment with Shelly for when you get here.”

“Perfect.” Jussi nodded. “We’re heading back to Hels tomorrow morning. I’ll be there for a few days; pack a bag… And I’ve booked my flight for the 23rd in the morning after Sonisphere, so I should get in just before the afternoon.”

“That’s fine. I’ll go get you; just let me know the time.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll grab a cab.”

Isolde shrugged. “All right. Let me know either way.”

“You’re okay though? The baby is good?” Jussi asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Shelly says the baby is healthy. Still too soon to tell the sex, though. Because, you know, it still looks like a little bean thing. The throwing up part has gotten better, but not by much, as your kid is still making me throw up, but not as often.”

“Why do I get blamed for the bad stuff? It’s your kid, too!” Jussi harped.

“I’m sorry, my eggs were completely happy with going through their normal ovulation process. And then your porcupine shaped sperm came around and knocked one of my eggs up. So I’d say you are at fault for the bad stuff,”

Jyrki snorted as Jussi sighed. “I apologize that my spawn is making you sick.”

“As you should be.” Isolde teased. “Now I have to go. I’m going to go stock up on food and shit. Have fun at work!”

“Thanks,” said Jussi. “Be careful.”

She showed him a thumbs-up before disconnecting. Jussi closed his laptop, making a mental note to figure out his email passwords.

“A little hard on you, isn’t she?” Jyrki noted.

Jussi looked up at his friend. “What?”

“Isolde. She’s a bit hard on you, isn’t she?”

“What do you mean?” Jussi asked.

“Takes two to get pregnant. She puts a lot of the blame on you,” Jyrki pointed out.

Jussi laughed and shook his head. “No, that’s just how she is. She’s always been like that.”

“And you’re okay with that?” Jyrki asked, not used to a more passive Jussi. His friend usually took charge in his relationships. But Jyrki had noticed that with Isolde in his life, his friend tended to submit more to Isolde’s whim.

“Jyrki, the girl could barely even look at her stomach when she told me she was pregnant, let alone touch it. The fact that she’s teasing me about it and now has a nickname for the baby is a vast improvement and a huge step forward for her. Let her blame me for knocking her up. It makes her happy, and I’m all for making the mother of my child happy,” said Jussi.

“Children,” Jyrki corrected.

“I really don’t think Isolde is going to want to go through this again, so no sense in making it plural,” Jussi said with a roll of his eyes.

Jyrki raised an eyebrow. “No, I mean that the extra spot on the ultrasound is not an extra spot, but another child. You’re having twins.”

Jussi blinked. “No, her OBGYN-”

Lied to her, because it’s really obvious it’s two babies in there.” Jyrki chuckled. “Why she lied, I have no idea. But you are definitely having twins.”

“How do you know?” asked Jussi,

“Because Rosalind was pregnant and I still have all the ultrasounds.”

“So? You didn’t have twins.” Jussi pointed out.

Jyrki smirked. “But I know that ultrasounds don’t glitch like that. It’s two babies.”

“Who has two babies?” Timo-Timo asked, coming out from the bunks, tiredly rubbing his face.

“Jussi,” said Jyrki.

“Hey! Congratulations!” Timo-Timo said with a grin. “Double the work, but that’s great.”

“No, it’s only one,” Jussi argued.

“I’m confused. Is it one or two?” Timo asked with a frown as he sat on the couch across from the other two band members.

“Two!” said Jyrki said as Jussi said, “One!”

“Look, I’ll show you the ultrasound,” Jussi said, pulling his laptop open, only to groan when he remembered he couldn’t log into his account. “Stupid email,” he grumbled, getting out of his seat. “Let me grab my phone. I think my email will work on that, and then we’ll see.”

“Timo would be the expert on twins,” Jyrki called. “He has a set.”

Timo grinned. “That I do.”

Jussi came back, unlocking his phone and opening his email. He was relieved to see it open and refresh with new mail. “Fuck. How the hell does this many people know what my email is?” he muttered, looking at the number of new messages; the amount was well into the triple digits. He found Isolde’s email, opened the attachment, and pulled up the picture. Jussi handed his phone to Timo, who looked at it for a minute. “See? One bean,” Jussi confidently stated.

Two beans,” Timo laughed. He turned Jussi’s phone around and circled the picture with his index finger. “Baby number one,” he pointed out. He moved his finger a bit to the left. “And baby number two.”

“No. One baby and glitch,” Jussi argued.

No. two babies.” Timo said slowly, only to laugh at the look of disbelief on Jussi’s face. “Trust me, there are two kids in that uterus.”

Jussi pulled the phone out of Timo’s hand and looked at it more closely. It took him a minute of staring before his heart started beating a bit more frantically and he felt the air he hadn’t known he was holding exhale all in one long whoosh.

“Oh. Holy shit,” he muttered.

“Yeah. Twins!” Jyrki laughed.

“Oh fuck,” Jussi panicked.

“It happens, Jussi. More often than this, actually,” Timo teased. “It’s not a rare occurrence, and with the frequency you and Isolde had sex, I’d say you’re lucky there’s only two in there.”

“No!” Jussi said with wide eyes. “I mean… Isolde is going to kill me when she finds out.”

“Yeah, but there’s that whole rule of not killing the messenger. You’ll be fine,” Timo said with a shrug.

“Who the fuck says I’m telling her?” Jussi said rather incredulously. “As far as I know, that is one baby, and a fucking glitch. The OB-GYN probably had a good reason for not telling Isolde about it being twins. And until I talk to her, no one tells Isolde anything. Got it?”

Timo and Jyrki held their hands up in surrender. “Got it,” they said.

Jussi nodded. He stared at the ultrasound again on his phone. “Twins,” he breathed.

“Bit of a mindfuck, isn’t it?” Timo asked.

Jussi nodded slowly. ‘Mindfuck’ was definitely an understatement.


Saturday, April 23, 2011
Castlebar, Ireland
18 weeks pregnant

God, I’m so fucking tired, Jussi thought, as he rested his head on the backseat headrest of the cab. He still had a twenty minute trip to get to Isolde’s house, which was “in the middle of fucking nowhere,” according to the cabbie who had picked him up. He closed his eyes and the sound of the cab on the rough road relaxed him, much like the familiar sounds of the band’s tour bus on the freeway. Jussi was just planning to close his eyes for a bit, when the next thing he knew, his eyes snapped open when the cabbie’s loud voice told him they were there.

“Sorry,” Jussi said.

“’ine lad.” The cabbie smiled, told him the fare, and pointed towards the privacy gate they had stopped at. “Not much I can do about your trek, though.”

Jussi shook his head as he pulled out the money from his wallet and handed it to the cabbie. “It’s fine. The owner knows I’m coming.” Jussi pulled his bag over his shoulder and slipped out of the cab. He pulled out his cell phone to call Isolde as the cab pulled away. She answered after a few rings.

“Hey! Are you at the gate?” she asked.


“It’s opening,” Isolde said. Jussi looked at the gate and noticed that it had started to slide open.

“You can close it,” he said as he walked through the opening.

“Thanks.” Isolde answered. He heard a beep behind him and watched as the gate shut closed. “I’ll meet you halfway; it’s not that far of a walk.”

Before he could answer she had hung up on him, leaving him to tuck his phone back in his pocket and start the walk down the paved driveway. He hadn’t gone too far when he noticed the small blonde heading his way. He stopped, letting Isolde get closer to him. Her outfit had started becoming clearer the closer she came to him: a blue and black plaid high waist bikini bottom and halter bikini top that pushed her breasts up and showed of her growing belly.

“I know. I’m huge,” Isolde said with a small smile as she reached him, her fingers tucking that ever-pesky piece of blonde hair behind her ear.

He wanted to assure her it was normal for a woman carrying twins to show so much; that he’d done the reading, and that she looked wonderful. Instead he placed his hands on her stomach and rested his forehead against hers.

“You look like shit,” Isolde whispered, causing Jussi to bark with laughter as he pulled away.

“Yeah, being up for nearly forty eight hours will do that,” he wearily responded.

“Come on,” Isolde said as she lead them towards the house. “I’ll feed you. Shelly’s due over in about half an hour. Then you can take a nap.”

“That sounds great.” Jussi looked around and saw the house as they came closer. “When you said your grandmother owned a house out here, I imagined a small cottage. Not this.”

Like a hobbit hole, the house was nestled into a large green hills. The roof was the only thing to be seen from Jussi and Isolde’s position at the top of the driveway. The house was surrounded by lush green hills from the eastern and western sides as well as the southern. To the north was a beautiful view of Lake Lough Lannagh. Jussi noted that he didn’t see any close neighbors, but did see a small paved path that led out of Isolde’s house and disappeared over the hills.

“It’s nice, isn’t it?” Isolde grinned. “It’s not as big as it looks. Dĕda didn’t think all that space would make him and babička happy, so it’s only two bedrooms. I mean, hugebedrooms, but just two.”

Dĕda?” Jussi asked. “Grandfather, right?”

Isolde nodded. “Mmhmm. He built the house. Shelly, who lives over the hill, takes care of it for me. I only come out here about once or twice a year.”

“You look more relaxed,” Jussi noted.

“Because I’ve been sleeping.” Isolde looked up at him her brown knitting in concern. “Probably more than you have.”

Jussi groaned in agreement. He noticed the white vintage Toyota 2000GT as they reached the end of the driveway. Jussi raised his eyebrow in amusement.

“Yeah, Granddad was a bit of a James Bond fan,” Isolde said with a fond smile. “Still runs perfectly.” She opened the door and let Jussi in.

She was right, Jussi thought as he walked in. The house was small but the rooms were bigger than a normal cottage home would be. The kitchen alone had to have taken up a good portion of the western side of the house.

Isolde took Jussi’s duffle bag and pulled it over her shoulder. “I’m going to go get dressed real quick. I was out soaking up some of the sun before it disappears; looks like some storm clouds are coming in. Poke around if you want. There’s things to make sandwiches in the fridge if you’re hungry.”

“Thanks,” Jussi nodded as he watched her leave the room with his bag. He stood still and looked around the kitchen.

There was a large window that took up a good portion of the northern wall. It opened to a view of a large back patio and glittering lake. Heavy storm clouds were rolling in above it. To the left of the window was a nook area that housed a small white cabinet. A rotary phone was placed on the cabinet’s countertop, along with a leather bound open notebook. The book’s red ribbon hung through the crease of the pages and over the counter; the air making its edges brush against the knob of one of the drawers.

On the other side of the window were white built-in cabinetry. The doors were partially open, giving Jussi the idea that the space was used as a pantry. There was a wall to his left. It was bare and white but opened into what he could see was the living room. After peeking around the corner, Jussi could see that the staircase to the second story was situated on the opposite side of the wall in the kitchen.

The entire southern and western wall was L-shaped counter space, built in cabinetry and stove sat at the start of it, leading into clean marble space a separate stove sat in the center of the first half of the counter space, on top of it sat a kettle that looked recently used as there was still steam pouring out of the spout.

Top of the line appliances occupied the counter space. Stainless steel blender, coffee maker with a bag of decaf coffee sitting open next to it. A large sink was located on the other half of the counter. There were a couple of dirty dishes sat next to the sink rather than inside of it. White distressed cabinets were anchored above the countertop, following the “L” of the counter’s design. The only open space between the cabinetry held a stainless steel vent above the stove.

The counter space ended near a large industrial-size refrigerator bedecked with random magnets holding pictures in place. A banana magnet held a picture of an older couple smiling into the camera, while a black sheep held a picture of a teenage Isolde pouting; her hair parted into pigtails and her body covered in a flannel shirt and mud. The baby ultrasound was in the dead center of the fridge’s surface, held in place by a red phone booth magnet.

Turning away from the counters, Jussi looked at the island that took up a large portion of the kitchen. Mirroring the counter space, the island was designed in an “L” shaped manner. The longer part of the island held a clean cutting board, a knife block, and a mint green square metal bread box. The short end of the counter held two green rectangular place mats, with two bar stools tucked underneath the surface.

It was what was fastened to the other side of the counter that displayed the reason as to why it took up so much of the kitchen. The back of the island held booth-like seating made out of dark wood. A mint green cushion followed the hard wood of the booth seating. Grey plump pillows sat against the back of the booth’s surface, though the corner pillows seemed to be pressed against the wood more than the others. Jussi assumed that was Isolde’s favorite seat, as the pillows held an impression of Isolde’s figure in them. A black oval table was tucked over the booth, while three black chairs were placed on the empty end of the table to allow more ample seating.

Isoldes laptop, notebook, and camera occupied most of the table. Random papers were scattered across the table’s surface, along with a mug of tea that was still warm.

Jussi took his jacket off and set it on the table next to Isolde’s laptop. The booth spanned the length of a large window that opened onto the view of the glittering lake. There were French doors to the right of the refrigerator that led out to Isolde’s back patio and dock.

Jussi walked over to the refrigerator and pulled open the door. He was not surprised when he saw the inside full of food and water. Isolde had told him she enjoyed cooking, but because of her traveling and living in hotels, she never got to enjoy it as much as she wanted to. He liked knowing she was indulging that vice while she was living in the house.

“Hungry?” Isolde asked behind him.

Jussi closed the door and saw that she had changed into black ripped jeans and a teal shirt with the Eifel Tower printed on it. Her feet were still bare as she padded into the kitchen. “I’m fine,” he answered.

“You sure? I made some veggie soup last night. I can warm it up and make you a sandwich.” Isolde ran a hand over his back and looked up at him. He felt her sigh and lean against his back.

“Missed me?” he teased.

“I actually did,” Isolde whispered, kissing the center of his back. “Amazing what a lot of silence will do to a person.”

He chuckled. “You sit. I’ll fix it up for myself.”

“I don’t mind,” Isolde said, though she moved away to sit at the booth, leaving Jussi standing in front of the refrigerator. “Though if you’re offering, I’ll take food too.”

Jussi chuckled, and pulled out the items needed for the sandwich. He carried the ingredients over to the island before grabbing the pot of soup from one of the fridge’s shelve and set it on the stove. He looked in the pot and noted there was enough for both of them, so he turned on the heat.

“Bowls are on the cabinets to your left, silverware in the drawer right underneath your hand.”

“Thanks.” Jussi said as he grabbed some bowls and plates. “How are you feeling?”

“I’m…good,” Isolde said slowly, scooting down on the beach so that her back was on the rounded edge of the bench, where Jussi had noted the squished grey pillows earlier, her feet propped up on the long length of the bench as she watched him work on making the sandwiches.

“You look a lot more relaxed,” Jussi commented. He had noticed that she didn’t look as pale or as tired as she did when she had told him that she was pregnant. She seemed to have that glow that all pregnant women tended to have.

“This house tends to have that affect one me. Just wait a couple of weeks until we’re technically living together somewhere else; I’ll be the same basket case Isolde.”

Jussi raised an eyebrow. “Then why not just stay here? Not that I mind basket case Isolde.”

Isolde shrugged. She watched Jussi set the sandwiches on plates before checking the soup on the stove. “Because I need a city close by. I like being in the middle, no more than ten minutes away from isolation or a town center. Here, I have to drive nearly half an hour to the closest city, and that’s just too much for me.”

Jussi chuckled as he poured the soup into two bowls and walked them over to the table. Isolde took them from his hands and set them on the table as Jussi went to grab the plates with the sandwiches. She shifted over so her feet were propped up on the other side of the bench, leaving the spot next to her free for Jussi.

He slid in next to her, only to slide back out and go to the fridge to grab two bottles of water.

“Thanks,” Isolde said as Jussi and slid back into the bench.

“Mmhmm,” Jussi nodded, taking a bite of his food.

“How long do you have before you head out again?” Isolde asked.

“Mm… Not until a bit after Ville and Soya’s wedding. So…little longer than a month,” he answered.

Isolde frowned at him. “They’re getting married again?”

Jussi turned to her with a raised eyebrow. “As far as I know, this is their one and only wedding.”

Isolde frowned, he watched as her eyes squinted as if pondering his words before her lips tilted in an amused smirk. “Right…only Josef and I know about the other one. So yes, the one in a couple of weeks is the only wedding for you.”

“So Soya and Ville are married?” Jussi said slowly. Thinking of his friends, Jussi figured that the quiet wedding made sense; he knew Ville had been bugging Soya to elope since they had gotten engaged.

“And pregnant,” Isolde pointed out.

“That I knew,” Jussi laughed. “They sent a little announcement to their friends.”

“Got that one.” Isolde nodded. “It was cute. The pictures they chose of them with Aida and the little pair of Converse in the band’s rehearsal space? ‘New Valo Limited Edition Package, to be released Fall 2012.’ Musicians,” she said with an amused roll of her eyes.

Jussi snorted. He had seen the announcement when the couple had sent it out and found it hilarious. “So you went to their wedding?”

“No. Josef did. He wanted me to go with him. I was working through some things, though.” Isolde took a bite of her sandwich, humming happily.

He wanted to ask, but figured it was probably the baby issue she was dealing with. “Are you going to their wedding next month?”

“Mmm,” She nodded, swallowing a spoonful of soup. “Have to; I’m their photographer.”

“And their friend.”

“That too.” Isolde smiled. “You okay? You’re quiet, which is weird for you.”

“I’m fine.” Jussi said rubbing his face. “Just tired.”

Isolde looked over his shoulder, towards the window and smiled. “Shelly’s on her way; I see her coming up the drive.”

Jussi looked over his shoulder and watched as a strawberry blonde hefted a bag over her shoulder and opened the door to the kitchen. She was muttering to herself as she stepped in. Dressed in baggy light blue jeans, a black tank top and a red and black flannel shirt, which Jussi felt belonged to a man rather than the tall lithe blonde walking into the kitchen.

“No, please! Don’t get up. I don’t need help or anything,” she muttered. Jussi heard an English accent come from the woman as she shot a look at Isolde.

Jussi stood to help, only to have her wave him of. “I’m kidding. I’m mostly talking to Isolde. You’re sweet though.”

“Morning Shelly,” Isolde called.

“Morning, Iz,” Shelly sing-songed. She turned back to Jussi. “You must be Jussi. The boyfriend?”

“Uh…” Jussi turned to Isolde, who grinned at him and answered.

“He’s the father. We’re not really into giving our relationship a title.”

Shelly rolled her eyes as she walked towards the table. Her tan work boots slapped against the dark wood floor of the kitchen, echoing around the room as she walked. Shelly set her black bag on one of the chairs across from them. “Whatever. Be modern or progressive or whatever people are calling it these days. I don’t care. Have a seat Jussi.”

He slid back into his seat next to Isolde. “How did you two meet?” he asked.

“Went to school together,” Shelly said absently as she pulled out her phone and set it on the table before pulling her bag on her lap.

“We had a few classes together,” Isolde explained. “She came out here to study medicine and met her very Irish husband and married him a couple of years ago. Her engagement photos were one of my first professional shoots that I did under my own brand.”

”You grew up in Prague?” Jussi asked Shelly.

“Just secondary school. My dad moved there for work when I was starting school. I made the mistake of hanging out with Josef and Isolde a couple times a week; now I’m apparently a friend,” Shelly said with a roll of her eyes as she took out an ultrasound wand from her bag. She pulled out the wand’s long attached wire and set it on the table. “Nausea still present, Isolde?”

“Not as bad; still a little present,” replied Isolde.

Shelly nodded as she plugged in the ultrasound wand into the headphone jack of her phone. “It’s common; you’re well into your second trimester though, so that should go away soon. Any back pain?”

“Little bit,” Isolde said.

“But that’s normal right?” Jussi asked.

Shelly nodded with a smile as her fingers tapped on her phone. “Very. The uterus grows, and with its growth, it just shifts Isolde’s center of gravity. Her lower back gets pulled forward and the abdomen is being thrust out, so it puts a lot of pressure on the back. Nice long baths at night will help relax the muscles. Isolde seems to have been propping her feet up too, which helps keep some of the pressure off. Prenatal yoga also helps.”

“Four days a week,” Isolde said with a smile.

“Good!” Shelly nodded. “And once you’ve set a plan on where you’re staying, you can start going to regular yoga classes; not just prenatal. Now, up goes the shirt.”

Isolde settled into her seat, pulled up her shirt, and unbuttoned her pants to tug them down a bit.

“So, this isn’t going to be the best picture,” Shelly explained to Jussi. She tapped her phone’s screen once more before taking a bottle of gel from her bag. She squeezed some out of the bottle onto Isolde’s stomach. “But as Isolde refuses to make the trip to my office, this is the best I’m going to get.”

“Hey! Who bought you the super cool portable ultrasound machine?”

Shelly rolled her eyes as she set the wand on Isolde’s stomach. “You did,” she muttered. “Also, the sound isn’t going to be too loud but you’ll still be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat,” Shelly continued as she moved the wand around, looking at the screen before settling in the wand tip on one place of Isolde’s stomach. She turned her phone towards Jussi and Isolde. “There’s the little peanut.”

“Wow,” Jussi uttered, holding on to the phone and seeing the image of the baby on the ultrasound. He could clearly only see one baby, though, and he wondered where the other one was. “Can you tell the gender?” he asked as he passed the phone to Isolde and looked at Shelly. He watched her bite her lip before nodding slowly.

“Yes, but baby’s a bit shy,” Shelly grinned.

Isolde looked up with a grin. “Well, I’ve no idea who the porcupine got it from, because neither Jussi, nor I, are shy.”

Shelly laughed, taking the phone out of Isolde’s hand to turn the volume up. Jussi and Isolde sat quietly as they listened. There it was! Jussi clearly heard a thump-thumping echo across the kitchen. And there were definitely two. Years of listening to beats in the recording studio had his ears perking up, the heartbeats were nearly in sync, but he caught the second thump-thumping seconds after the first; like an echo. He looked over at Isolde, who had her eyes closed; her lips turned up and in a small smile. He leaned over and kissed her forehead, causing her eyes to open and nose to wrinkle.

“Cool, huh?” she asked.

“Very,” agreed Jussi.

“Everything looks great, Isolde,” Shelly said as she took the wand of her stomach. “I’ll email you the videos. Jussi, would you like a copy?”

“Don’t bother,” Isolde said. “He still hasn’t figured out how to recover his email passwords. I’ll take care of it.”

“Okay.” Shelly laughed. “Just going to check a couple more things and you’re all set!”

Isolde nodded and leaned back against the bench as Jussi watched Shelly move the wand to the opposite end of Isolde’s stomach, where she had shown the first baby. She looked at the screen and smiled lightly before removing the wand.

“Okay Iz, you’re all set! Go wash up.”

Isolde nodded and slid out of the booth, holding her shirt up. “I’m going to go wipe my belly down and then take a walk before the storm rolls in.”

Jussi nodded. “Mind if I just sleep?”

“No,” Isolde laughed as she started walking out of the kitchen. “Your stuff is in the main bedroom upstairs to the right.”

“Thanks,” Jussi nodded. He watched Isolde leave before turning to Shelly, who was wiping the ultrasound wand off. “Mind if we talk?”

Shelly looked up from her cleaning. “Uh…sure.”

Jussi looked over at the stairs where Isolde had disappeared before nodding towards the doors. “Outside.”

Shelly nodded, packing up her things to follow Jussi outside. “What would you like to talk about?”

Jussi crossed his arms over his chest as he looked over the glittering lake. He then looked up at the grey clouds that were slowly making their way towards them before looking at Shelly with a serious gaze. “I’d like to know how the other baby is doing.”

Shelly blinked before biting her lip. “I...Okay…So….The thing is-”

“The thing is you lied to Isolde.” Jussi glared.

“For her benefit,” Shelly quietly defended.

“How is this going to benefit her?” Jussi questioned.

Shelly sighed, rubbing her face tiredly. “You didn’t know Isolde a few years ago. After the accident, she was such a fucking mess, you know? When she came out here last month and I checked and saw two babies…She was freaked out enough about one; you should have seen her when she first came out here.”

“I did. I put her on the fucking plane here,” Jussi said between gritted teeth.

“Then you know! She was having a hard enough time with one baby, but throw in the fact that there are two in there? She wouldn’t have handled it well. I was trying to get her to accept the fact she was having one before someone threw out the fact that she was having twins.”

“You have such little faith in Isolde,” Jussi muttered.

“Please,” Shelly snorted. “I dare you to go upstairs right now and tell that woman that she’s having twins.”

“It’s not my responsibility. It’s yours, as her doctor and her friend, not to lie to her.”

“I’m not lying. I’m omitting.” Shelly defended. “And I repeat, it’s for Isolde’s own good.”

“No, it’s not,” Jussi retorted. “You need to let Isolde decide what’s for her own good and what is not. This isn’t fair to her.”

“You think you know her so well? Then feel free to tell her.”

Jussi clenched his jaw. As much as he felt she needed to know, he hesitated on being the one to tell her. Keeping it from her, though, would most certainly break the tenuous trust they’d just started rebuilding.

“How’s the other baby?” Jussi asked again.

Shelly stared at him, before nodding. “Fine. They’re both fine and healthy.”

“All right.”

Shelly crossed her arms over her chest. “Are you going to tell her?”

“You haven’t given me much of a choice. She has the right to know. Because while I may not have known Isolde for years, I know her well enough to know that telling her the truth is always the right course of action,” Jussi said, turning back to go inside. Shelly followed after him.

“I’ll just see myself out,” Shelly muttered. She gathered her bag and made a quick exit out the door towards the paved driveway.

Jussi shook his head in annoyance before climbing the stairs, ignoring the comfortable looking living room and his need for sleep. Instead, he turned right towards the bedroom, where he saw that Isolde pulling on a light brown sweater.

“Hey,” Isolde said with a small smile.

“Hey, can we talk real quick?” Jussi asked. He leaned against the door jamb, not wanting to enter the bedroom quite yet.

“Oh, good; we are going to talk. I thought we were going to keep pretending there wasn’t an elephant in the room,” Isolde said, wrapping the ends of the jacket around her, as if hugging herself and her belly.

“No. I mean, yes we need to talk about things in general, but I actually wanted to talk to you about…” Jussi sighed and decided to just say it. “About the babies.”

Isolde froze and looked at Jussi with a raised eyebrow. “Baby,” she corrected.

“No, Isolde. Babies, as in more than one.”

“No, Shelly said-”

“Shelly lied,” Jussi said quietly, not wanting to hurt Isolde, but also knowing that beating around the bush wouldn’t be helpful either. “I just spoke to her, and she confirmed it. Timo saw the ultrasound last week when you sent to me. Jyrki, Timo and I looked at it. It’s twins.”

“What makes Timo-Timo such an expert?” Isolde said, her shoulders tensing. Jussi could tell she was starting to shut down by the way she glared at him.

“He has twins, Iz. That echo of the heartbeat today? That’s the second baby. I wouldn’t fuck around with you like this. I wouldn’t lie about something like this.”

Isolde looked down, hugging herself tighter. “I…I need to take a walk.”

Jussi nodded, knowing that if he kept her, she’d shut down more. She’d turn their discussion into an argument and they’d go back to square one. “All right.”

“You…You take your nap,” Isolde said, gesturing to the bed. “I’ll be back before the storm rolls in.”

“Isolde…” Jussi started as she came closer to him, “You needed to know this.”

“I know,” she said quietly. “I just…I need to deal with this,” said Isolde as she motioned to her stomach. “I just…I need to think…In the double now, and…” Isolde ran her fingers through her hair. “I just need to take a walk.”

“All right,” Jussi nodded. He stepped out of the doorway to move out of her way. As Isolde walked past him, she brushed her hand against Jussi’s. She tightly squeezed his fingers before letting go and disappearing down the stairs.

Jussi sighed, leaning against the door jamb. “This was good, Jussi, and this is progress,” he muttered to himself. Jussi winced when he heard the door downstairs slam shut. He walked over to the bed and fell onto it face first. “This is progress,” he reminded himself before kicking off his shoes and closing his eyes. He decided he’d take his nap and then wander into the living room to wait for Isolde so they could talk.


Isolde walked down the hill that lead away from her house, towards the lake’s edge. She crossing her arms as she walked, hugging her growing belly.

“Fucking twins!” she muttered with a shake of her head. Her fingers brushed the sides of her belly. “Of course he not only knocks me up in general, but it’s with twins!”

The man was virile, she thought as she stopped walking and looked at the storm clouds slowly rolling in. She looked back at the house behind her, then over the hill where she knew the memorial to her grandparents lay. She could make it there and back before the rain started. And even if it started to rain, she knew the path back like the back of her hand. Tightening the edges of her sweater around her body, Isolde started the trek up the green hills, her Converse squishing the wet earth underneath her feet from the rain the night before.

It wasn’t that Isolde was surprised it was twins; sure, she wasn’t expecting the fact that she had two little beings growing inside of her, but Isolde had already come to accept the fact that she was going to be a mother. She’d amazingly come to peace with that only a few days of being encapsulated in her grandmother’s house with only herself and the pattering of rain hitting the roof. Isolde always did well when she was alone. She had always been able to come to decisions and gain some peace when she had a few moments to breathe and make those decisions on her own without someone breathing down her neck.

However, Isolde did hate being lied to. She hated to be underestimated. Isolde hated that Shelly hadn’t trusted her enough to tell her that she was having twins. Since she found out she was pregnant, Isolde had been treating her body with the idea of one child growing and being nurtured, not two. Isolde felt odd about that, almost as if she’d been ignoring one in favor of the other.

She looked down at her belly. “Well, to whoever I ignored, I apologize,” she said quietly, rubbing her stomach before continuing the trek. She came to the other side of the hill, where the headstones that memorialized her grandparents were located. While they weren’t buried on the property, Isolde had wanted them to overlook it, so she had the headstones placed at the top of the hill in their memory. She ran her fingers over the marble carvings that simply read their names, date of birth, and date of their passing.

Isolde settled on the ground underneath the tree that grew at the headstones’ side. It was a tree she’d planted a couple of months after her accident. Isolde propped her feet in front of her, her fingers lying on the roots of the tree jutting out of the earth. She knew that on the other side of the tree was a silver plaque; a plaque that she knew shone as if it had been placed the day before. Isolde had only seen it once: the day the tree was planted and the plaque placed. All it read was ‘Baby Caspari’.

Isolde sighed and relaxed against the tree. She started talking to the headstones. “You know, I’m not even all that upset really. I’m pissed as all hell that Shelly kept this from me. I mean, shit, I know I’m crazy and I wasn’t in the best place when I got here, but I would have preferred to know that I had two of Jussi’s spawn in me rather than think it was just one.” Her finger sifted through the dirt underneath her.

“I think I’ll be an okay mother. I never really thought of it. You always had faith I would be though,” Isolde said, looking at her grandmother’s gravestone. “So I guess I just have to keep that in mind while going forward.” She sighed and brought her knees as close to her chest as her belly would allow. “And yes, I know; I can already hear your nagging voice about trusting Jussi,” Isolde said with a roll of her eyes. “Even from the grave I can hear you, babička. I’m working on it. Tomorrow we’ll talk, I’ll tell him…everything…” Isolde said, her fingers holding onto the dirt before letting it go. She rubbed her dirty hands on her jeans. Isolde looked up at the sky and still saw small peeks of blue amongst the rain clouds. She had time, Isolde thought as she lay on her side, staring at her grandparent’s headstones. Her eyes fluttering closed, letting the cold of the dirt and wind seep deep into her bones.

Isolde let the quiet surround her, and she told herself she’d only stay for a few more minutes before heading back to the house.


Jussi woke up with a start when he heard the thunder crashing next to the window. Rubbing his face tiredly, he gave a yawn before rolling out of bed and padding towards the window. He saw the rain pouring outside and the lightening flashing out in the distance towards the lake. Jussi looked towards the bedroom door that was still open. He began walking towards the hallway, only to see that the hallway was dark.

“Isolde?” Jussi called as he walked towards the other door across the hall. He figured it was the bedroom. Sure enough, Jussi thought as he walked into the room, it was another bedroom. Only it was empty. The other door down the hallway yielded a bathroom, but no Isolde.

Jussi carefully made his way downstairs, calling Isolde’s name. The house was cold and dark. The living room was empty and the kitchen still bore the evidence of the lunch he and Isolde had eaten, but the blonde was nowhere to be found.

“Isolde?” Jussi called again. He was only to be met with the silence of the house and the rain outside. He looked out the window to the back porch to see it empty, then to the window on the other side of the kitchen to see the car still sitting in the driveway.

“Fuck,” Jussi muttered, running a hand through his hair. He looked towards the nook, seeing Isolde’s cell phone sitting on its surface. Jussi grabbed it, knowing that while calling Isolde was obviously out of the picture, he figured he could probably call Shelly.

He unlocked the phone, having seen Isolde unlock it before and knowing the code on her phone. Jussi scrolled through her recent contacts, seeing Shelly’s name, and dialed the number. Jussi looked out the window as the line rang, feeling the growing apprehension in his gut.

“Heeeey,” Shelly answered slowly after about five rings. “So I figure you’d had enough time to cool down, and you’re now calling to lecture me, but-”

“It’s Jussi,” he said before Shelly could continue.

“Oh,” Shelly said in confusion. “Is Isolde that upset?”

Jussi groaned. “I’m guessing that means she’s not with you.”

Shelly was silent. “She’s not at the house?”

“She went for a walk a few minutes after you left. I thought maybe she walked to your place?” Jussi asked.

“God, no. I’m, like, five miles away going through the hills. Are you sure she’s not-”

“I’ve looked all over the house. I mean, she seemed overwhelmed when she left, not upset…”

Shelly was silent for a beat before sucking in a breath and releasing it quickly. “Brian!” she screamed, making Jussi wince.

“What’s going on?” Jussi asked uneasily.

“I think I know where Isolde is,” said Shelly. “It’s not too far from the house; it’s just a bit hidden. We’ll get her back to the house; she may have gotten stuck out there. I would get the house warm, though.”

“All right,” Jussi nodded, hearing Shelly start talking out of the receiver before the call disconnected. He rubbed her eyes tiredly before pushing off the counter he’d been leaning on. Jussi ran out of the kitchen and up the stairs, taking the steps two at a time. He went to the bedroom he’d taken his nap in, making a bee line towards the fireplace that was set across from the king-sized bed. Jussi found the gold ignition key on the mantel and put it into the valve on the ground, turning on the fireplace to warm the room up.

Jussi stood in the middle of the room, feeling at a loss of what else to do. He felt frustration rise up in him as he paced the length of the room, noting the little things of the room he hadn’t really cared about when he’d first arrived. The king sized bed had a dark wooded sleigh frame that took over the room. The white duvet situated on the bed was in disarray from his sleeping on it. There were two nightstands that stood on either side of the bed. One held a lamp and a glass of water while the other held Isolde’s laptop and glasses. The bay window that was located on the other side of the room had a built-in reading bench. There were several pillows scattered on it, as if Isolde spent a lot of time sitting on it while she read or worked from her laptop. Two high back love seats flanked the window, through Jussi assumed they were more for decoration than actual sitting. Jussi continued to pace the room.

He stopped when he heard the door downstairs slam open. Jussi immediately rushed out of the room. He was about to go down the stairs when a burly male appeared, carrying a huddled and shivering form in his arms.

“I can’t believe you, Isolde!” Shelly hissed as she followed her husband up the stairs.

“Oh, fuck off, Shelly,” Isolde shivered. She looked up at the red-headed man holding her. “Sorry, Brian.”

The man shrugged as he climbed stairs two at a time. “Between you two. I’m staying out of it,” he muttered as he continued up the stairs.

“You put yourself and the babies at risk!” Shelly argued, stopping only when Brian came to the top of the stairs and look at Jussi.

“You want her?” he asked the drummer.

“I’m fine,” Isolde said indignantly. “You guys are overreacting.” Her teeth were still chattering as Brain put her down in the hallway where Jussi was waiting. Brian made sure Isolde could stand on her own before moving away from her. Jussi crossed his arms over his chest and heaved a sigh.

“Just…” Jussi shook his head. “I’m so fucking angry right now.”

Isolde nodded as stood in front of Jussi, soaked to the bone. Isolde was honestly not sure what to say to defend herself; it had been a stupid decision on her part to stay up on the hill. She could see Jussi’s tense shoulders and his grinding jaw. She felt her own heckles rising at his tense posture, wanting to lash out just like he was prepared to. Instead she relaxed her shoulders and run her fingers through her dripping hair, glaring over at Shelly when the doctor started speaking.

“I’m just going to check on Isolde…” Shelly started.

“You’re coming nowhere near me!” Isolde snapped, looking at Shelly with a glare. “I don’t enjoy being lied to, especially from my friend and fucking doctor. I’m fine.”

“Let her check,” Jussi said softly.

“I’m fine!” Isolde defended.

“She’s checking!” Jussi snapped. “You do not want to start with me, Isolde. So go fucking change and let her check.”

Isolde felt the fight stirring in her, but instead turned on her heel and headed into the bedroom. She shut the door just enough so that she could hear the murmuring of voices outside in the hall as she striped out of her sweater, letting it plop onto the floor.

She heard Jussi thanking the couple for finding her. Brian was quiet, as he tended to be; a real contrast to his traditional Irish upbringing. Shelly was telling Jussi not to worry, and that she was positive Isolde and the babies were fine.

“Condescending bitch,” Isolde muttered as she heard Shelly continue to reassure Jussi. Isolde toed off her Converse and stripped out of her jeans and socks, letting them stay on the floor in a pile with her sweater. She felt the heat in the room coming from the fire Jussi had started and padded to the bed to pull her cream silk nightgown out from under the pillow. Isolde pulled it on as she went to the bathroom to grab a towel. She ran it over her hear to wring out the water in her curling hair. There was a knock at the door as Isolde walked out of the bathroom.

“Ready?” Shelly asked, poking her head into the room.

“Whatever,” Isolde muttered as she climbed up on the bed.

“Isolde-” Shelly began.

“I really just don’t want you to talk right now,” Isolde said, lifting the edge of her nightgown up so Shelly could probe her belly. “Just check what you need to check and leave.”

Shelly nodded in reluctance, biting her lip as she touched and pressed Isolde’s belly. She felt the slight but strong kicks of the babies, annoyed at being pushed around. Shelly looked up at Isolde, who was biting her lip, staring at her belly in wonder.

“You hadn’t felt them kick before, have you?” Shelly asked quietly, her hands dropping to her sides.

“Please, leave,” Isolde whispered back, pulling her nightgown down and crawling under the duvet.



Shelly nodded as she left the bedroom, leaving Isolde in the bed, her hands on her belly where the babies had kicked. Shelly closed the door and met an anxious Jussi in the hall. “They’re all fine,” she answered his unasked question. “She’s under the covers and warmed up. The babies are kicking up a storm; I probably woke them up with my poking.”

Jussi nodded. “Thanks.”

“She’s not pleased,” Shelly stated.

“I would imagine not,” Jussi muttered. “I’m not very pleased myself. Brain is waiting downstairs for you.”

“And I’m obviously being dismissed,” Shelly said, turning towards the stairs. “I’ll uh…I’ll leave a number of another doctor on the table for you guys.”

Jussi didn’t answer, trusting that the couple would show themselves out. He walked into the bedroom, closing the door behind him. He noted the definite body-shaped lump in the bed and didn’t bother walking towards Isolde. Instead, he picked up the wet pile of clothes and eyed the two doors he hadn’t yet explored within the room. He opened the one next to the fireplace and entered a walk-in closet. Grabbing his duffle that sat next to the door, he headed to the door on the other side of the room, figuring it for the bathroom.

Jussi stepped into the bathroom and threw Isolde’s clothes into the sink, letting the excess water drain. Jussi stripped off his own jeans and t-shirt before turning on the shower’s hot water. Stepping in, he let the water run over him. He felt like he had just gotten off a roller coaster ride. Jussi’s stomach churned with anger and frustration. He was mostly upset at the stupid situation Isolde had put herself in. He knew deep down she hadn’t done it on purpose; she hadn’t meant to stay out in the rain. In the few hours he’d been there, he’d seen how protective she was of her belly. But nonetheless, his anger seemed to prevail.

Even as he stepped out of the shower, and dried off, Jussi felt the anger churn within him. He dug through his duffle, pulling out a pair of black sweats and an old Texas Terry T-shirt he had stolen back from Rosalind.

Jussi moved back to the bedroom, seeing that Isolde was still curled inside the bedspread. Dumping his bag back in the closet, he went over to the bay window and sat on the bench. He looked over at Isolde, her blues eyes meeting his.

“Warm?” he asked.

She nodded as she sat up slowly. “Look I-”

“Can I talk?” Jussi asked. “You can defend yourself all you want in a minute. I just…I need to talk. I need to get this out.”

Isolde nodded slowly. “All right.”

Jussi looked down at his fingers before looking back up at Isolde. “I’m fine with taking a back seat in this relationship, Isolde, whatever our relationship is. I’m fine with compromising parts of my life to make you more comfortable. I’m fine with you making ninety percent of the decision in what we do, or what we are, or even when and how we have sex, because honestly, I enjoy your company, I enjoy you.”

He took a breath before continuing, letting his anger simmer and calm rule his words. “What I refuse to take a backseat on is the welfare of my children. Our children.”

“Jussi, I-”

“I’m still talking,” Jussi snapped, meeting Isolde’s heated gaze. She looked like she wanted to snap back at him; it was in her nature, too. Instead he saw her tense shoulders relax and her bottom lip get sucked between her teeth as she bit it.

He continued once he knew she wouldn’t interrupt again. “Whether what happened tonight- you getting caught in the rain- was an accident or on purpose, if you put my children at risk again, I will not hesitate to contact my lawyers, Isolde.” He watched her eyes widen and knew he’d gotten his point across. Jussi wasn’t prone to anger: he was prone to boredom, and he was prone to a bit of hyper-activeness, but he was slow to anger. The idea of his children being in any type of danger, inside the womb or out, seemed to be tapping into a part of himself he hadn’t known existed.

“Are we clear?” he evenly asked.

Isolde nodded slowly. “Yes, we’re clear.”

“All right.” He waved his hand at her. “Now it’s your turn.”

“I didn’t stay out there on purpose,” Isolde said, only to shake her head. “I mean, I did stay out there on purpose. I thought I would make it back before the rain started. I just…I woke up, and the rain was coming down, and Brian found me as I was starting down the hill. I didn’t stay out there because I was upset or to hurt myself or the babies.”

Jussi nodded. “All right.”

“Okay,” Isolde said quietly.

Jussi stood and started towards the door. “Get some rest. I think I’m going to sleep in the other room.”

“Jussi…” Isolde began.

Jussi shook his head and turned to face Isolde, who was still sitting in the bed. “I just…Logically, I know you weren’t out there on purpose, but I have this… anger right now about the situation that I need to work out on my own. You took a walk. I need to sleep it off. So get some rest and we’ll talk in the morning.”

Isolde watched Jussi leave the room without a backwards glance. The door closed silently behind him. She felt his anger radiate off him. She regretted being the cause of that, and Isolde didn’t regret much in her life. She knew she’d screwed up. And God, Jussi had every reason to put his foot down as he had. Isolde was pissed at herself for putting herself in the situation she had.

Isolde lay back down and rolled onto her side, her hand rubbing over her belly. “You little porcupines are okay, though” she said affectionately. “Your daddy’s a bit angry at me, but he’ll come around.” Isolde felt a little flutter against her hand and smiled. She couldn’t see the movement, like she knew she would be able to later in her pregnancy, but the little flutter made her heart skip.

She’d fallen so in love with her little porcupines, and in such a short amount of time! She thought she’d fight it more. She thought she’d hate every minute of it; thought the past would crash in on her so hard she would resent Jussi and her babies. Instead, she ran her hand over her belly, feeling the flutters. She felt the need to share it.

Climbing out of bed, Isolde slipped her feet into her slippers and made her way out of the room and opened the door to the guest room down the hall. She saw that Jussi was already in the bed. His eyes closed and his arm was hanging off the mattress. Isolde settled on the ground next to his hand and brushed his fingers with hers. His eyes snapped opened at the contact and groaned into the mattress as he caught her eye.

“Isolde, not right now,” Jussi said tiredly.

“You need to feel this,” she whispered. Isolde took his hand and settled it on her belly. Jussi looked down at their hands, only to frown as he felt a little flutter of movement against his palm.

“Was that…Is that a kick?” he asked in awe, lifting his head from the mattress to look at her.

“It’s a something,” Isolde said, grinning up at him. “I haven’t felt them before tonight.”

“Probably pissed they got woken up with all the activity,” Jussi remarked.

“Maybe they were just waiting to hear their daddy’s pissed-off voice,” Isolde teased.

Jussi snorted. He moved his hand, wondering if he could feel that flutter on the other side of Isolde’s baby bump. He suddenly wished he had the little portable ultrasound to see how the twins were positioned.

“I didn’t get this far last time,” Isolde whispered, her fingers following his. “I never got to feel this.”

Jussi nodded absently, too distracted by the flutter against his palm to really register the words. He blinked as the words Isolde had said fully registered in his head. He looked over at her and watched carefully as she stared at their hands on her belly.

“Isolde,” Jussi quietly began.


“What do you mean by ‘last time’?”
♠ ♠ ♠
Isolde's outfits and Home

All I want to say is sorry and thank you! Sorry for the long ass wait on these chapters! I have this story planned but finding the time to write is proving harder then I wish it was. New years resolution is to make time to write and get these out faster to you all! And thank you, thank you to those still reading and still leaving comments! Thank you for continuing to enjoy this adventure!

Next chapter is started and I’m hoping to have it out sometime in January. Hoping sooner rather than later!