Status: Updated unfrequently, but trying for frequent.

Slow Spinning Redemption

Chapter 2: Isolde Contemplates the Benefits of Relationships and Gets No Where

Thursday October 28, 2010
Helsinki, Finland
7:55 am

I have a question for you fellow followers: why is it such a sin for women to enjoy sex? Let me assure you, I’m not promiscuous by any means, though I have had my fair share of lovers. But I can honestly say that I, as a woman, have needs and those needs must be met. So I ask you, why is that such a ‘sin?’

I feel that as a woman, admitting that I occasionally like a romp with a good looking man (see last month’s post about my requirement of said man), or the occasional romp with a trusty vibrator (see last week’s post on “Sex Toys and Their Uses”) is seen as obscene. Well I am here to tell you, it’s not.

While I was a bit late- well, what’s considered late in this society- to the losing my virginity (20, for all you nosey people out there wondering), I can honestly say that I lost it to a person I cared for and while it wasn’t the best sex I’ve ever had, as I’m still searching for the illusive person that will rock not only my bed but my world, my first time opened doors that I refuse to let shut again.

While my relationship didn’t last, my curiosity for sex definitely did. I played at first, I won’t deny it. Masturbation is a healthy progression of life! Hell, studies even suggest that masturbation may reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men, and cervical infections in women. And, a little fact, at this very moment 797,151 Americans are masturbating, which is more than the entire population of Alaska. Fucking Alaska, people!

So yeah, I masturbated, and still do. And when a wiggling vibrator just doesn’t cut it, I find myself someone that will. I’m not ashamed to admit that in my 28 years of life and 8 years of sexual activity that I enjoy the act of sex, and I don’t believe woman shouldn’t. Why should men be the only ones at the local pub sharing their conquest stories? As you’ve seen in my three years of running my webpage, I’ve had my fair share of worthy conquests, and fuck all if I’m not going to share!

I was at a pub the other week visiting with a girlfriend of mine in Prague that I went to school with. She’s married and has a couple of rugrats running around, and she talked about her life and her great job, and I was genuinely happy for her. Then she asked me what I was up to, so I told her I was working as a freelance photographer and haven’t quite settled down yet, not that I’ve ever really had the urge to. I told her I traveled a lot due to my job. She mentioned that it sounded lonely, to which I agreed, as my job does get a bit lonely, but I enjoy it. At this point I gave her a little grin and said, quite kiddingly, that it helped that I had lovers scattered all over Europe to abate the loneliness.

The offence she took to that statement was just outrageous. She went on a ten-minute rant about how it wasn’t proper behavior for a woman of my standing, to which I snort. While my parents have made quite a name for themselves in Prague, I don’t like associating myself with that name in order to get my own out there. But I digress. She went on and on about how it wasn’t proper, and that I should have saved myself for marriage, and whoring myself out was something my parents would just die over.

Here’s my issue. While I have no problems to those that save themselves (more power to you!), I’m not that person. I’m comfortable with my body, and I’m damn comfortable with its needs, and by God it needs a healthy dose of sex- let it be by my own hand or someone else’s. I refuse to be told that I should feel ashamed by these actions.

I don’t go whoring myself about; I’ve had five sexual partners, which is considerably less than the town whore that stands at your corner. Now the amount of times I’ve had sex with these men, that’s a different story. *insert saucy grin here* And while no, I’m not in a relationship with those men (see post of “Isolde’s Big List of Life No-No’s”), I don’t see anything wrong with having a lover here and there to kill my boredom between jobs.

I should be the one offended! So what if I’m 28 and unmarried? Who says I want to be married? Why do I need a man or children to get a sense of fulfillment in my life? Why should my life revolve around any man? Why should men be allowed to go about sharing their stories of sexual prowess and be patted on the fucking back and be called a stud, yet when I do it (because I’m fucking amazing in bed and deserve the chance to share), I’m looked down upon and called a whore or a slut?!

I’m a woman and I enjoy sex. I’m proud of this declaration and you women should be too!

Isolde smiled proudly at herself, giving herself a mental pat on the back, as she got what had been bothering her off her chest ever since Alicia A. Parker had called her a whore in the middle of a busy Prague pub that had left Isolde if not a little stunned, definitely simmering in anger. She hadn’t been able to put stupid Alicia in her place, as the red head had grabbed her purse, paid for her meal and left the minute Isolde’s mouth had opened to defend herself.

Though Isolde didn’t blame the woman for leaving, since Isolde’s temper was infamous throughout their school days; she was the kind of person who would be screaming in the hallways, red faced, with fists clenched ready to knock out the next person that dared pissed her off. A girl didn’t grow up with Josef Kolar and his four older siblings without having a mean right hook and a semblance of self-defense.

So without having lost her temper after Alicia fled, Isolde did the next best thing: she smothered her anger, paid for her meal and left the pub with her head held high, and walked the short distance to her flat. It had taken her nearly a week to feel calm enough to compose a well thought-out post for her website, but it wasn’t until she’d woken up that morning that she felt ready enough to actually write and post it.

After having written it, it felt like a heavy weight had been lifted off her shoulders. So she pressed the button to post her thoughts, reread the entry, checking for any mistakes, and let her eyes wander to the time at the corner of her screen.

“Oh fuck!” she cursed, closing the computer screen roughly as she ran around the room in her ivory button down shirt and her pink and black lace hipster panties, before pulling her black trousers over her legs and adjusting its suspenders over her shoulders. She grabbed the black booties with its flower detail on the side that she had the foresight to put near the bed the night before and slipped them onto her feet, before rushing back to the table she’d been working on.

She grabbed her camera and made sure it had a memory card inside of it, as she’d been downloading some of the pictures she’d taken of Helsinki onto the computer the night before. Stuffing the camera carefully into her green canvas camera bag, she made sure she had her notebook, pens, and recorder all inside, her eyes scanning the room to see if she’d forgotten anything quickly. Grabbing her black loose cardigan off the chair, Isolde rushed out the door, only to remember her keycard and shove her foot between the door and the frame before it shut and locked her out.

The door slammed on her foot, causing her to swallow a curse and lean her head on the door frame, trying to regain feeling into her foot. “Calm down Iz,” she whispered to herself. “You’ve still got fifteen minutes to make it to the coffee shop. Take a breath, in and out. Thatta girl,” she praised herself with a smile. “Calm down, wiggle your toes, nothing’s broken this time.” She laughed at herself as she opened her eyes, casting them down to look at her smashed foot. “Grab the key and calmly walk to the elevators before you break a heel.”

Doing as she told herself, she slightly pushed the door open in order to grab the keycard that sat on the table next to the door and stuffed it in one of her camera bag’s pockets next to her phone before sliding her foot out from the frame and letting the door close behind her.

Breathing deeply, she walked to the elevator. She pushed the down arrow, smiling when the door opened in front of her. Walking in, she set her bag on the ground, pushing the button for the ground level as she slid her loose cardigan on and buttoned it up. While it wasn’t the coldest weather she had ever been in, she could feel Helsinki start to get ready for its upcoming winter months, and knew she’d be safer with a sweater than without.

Shouldering her bag just as the elevator reached the ground floor, she walked out, sending the door man a flirtatious smile before hailing down a cab and directing it to the coffee shop Soya Toivonen had asked Isolde to meet her at.

She had met the quiet young Finnish woman briefly nearly three months ago at a coffee shop in Prague. She’d been with their shared best friend Josef Kolar. Isolde had been running late to catch her flight to Germany, and hadn’t been able to talk with Soya as she’d wanted to, though Josef talked about his best friend/roommate/dance partner/business partner nearly non-stop.

At first Isolde had received any story about her best friend and Soya with jealousy; Josef was hers since she’d moved two miles away from him when she was ten. She had stake on the man, no one else. But as the years went on, she realized that her friendship with Josef never faltered even when they went years without seeing each other and months without talking to each other. She’d also found through Josef’s stories that the Finnish girl needed Josef’s emotional support a hell of a lot more then Isolde did. So she let go of the jealousy, and became curious instead.

Of course in August, she’d finally met the woman properly, and had found out that not only was she temporarily moving to Helsinki because the dance company she was employed with was on a break, but that she was dating the ever sexy, ever mysterious Ville Valo.

The gossip monger in Isolde nearly trembled in anticipation when she thought of all the juicy details she could extract from the Finns. The photographer in her nearly groaned in orgasmic excitement at how pretty the couple must look together. Alas, Soya had balked at an interview and pictures -quite politely at that-, saying that she and Ville had only been together a week and weren’t quite ready for the publicity.

Which Isolde had seen was true as pictures of them together hadn’t circulated all that much in the trash magazines she loved to read, or in any or the fan forums she loved to stalk. People speculated. Oh, how people speculated that Valo had a new girlfriend, as they’d been caught out and about Helsinki. But Soya had somehow always managed to keep her face hidden. So Isolde knew that Soya wasn’t lying to her; it really did seem like the couple were keeping their relationship quiet.

That was until someone had caught them kissing in a very public Helsinki street very much dressed up and very much on a date. That person had also managed to get a picture of Soya’s grinning face as she and Ville walked in the Finnish rain. And thus the secret was out, but people still didn’t quite know who Soya was. Which was a pity, Isolde thought, as Soya was a wonderful dancer and very well known in that community. Although from the little she knew about her, Soya seemed a bit too innocent for a rocker like Ville.

Which only made Isolde all the more intrigued. She wanted to know what it was about Soya that had caught her best friend’s attention, for Josef Kolar was a finicky bastard that chose his friends wisely and gave his trust sparingly. Yet he seemed to love this girl. She wanted to know what it was about Soya that had caught Ville Valo’s attention, as Isolde had always assumed Valo enjoyed women who were more confident in themselves. Soya -no offense to the woman- seemed a bit more on the reserved side.

Anxious to get to the coffee shop, she nearly tripped out of the cab when it pulled up, grinning at the cabbie that was trying not to laugh at her. Thanking him, she handed him the fare and rushed into the coffee shop, scanning it quickly before seeing the brunette sitting near the window, lifting a coffee mug to her lips.

Isolde rushed over and started to apologize as she dropped her bag carefully on the floor. “I’m so sorry I’m late!” She exclaimed as she took a seat next to Soya at the round table, causing Soya to pause in her sip of coffee as she blinked and focused before smiling at Isolde.

“It’s fine, just got here myself,” she said politely, though her smile was definitely genuine.

“So sweet of you to lie,” Isolde laughed, knowing that the brunette had most likely been waiting quite a while. She seemed like the prompt type, while Isolde hated wearing watches or following any type of schedule. She looked at Soya’s mug, which was being hugged by her hands and grinned. “Now, what are you drinking? ‘Cause if it has caffeine, I want one.”

Soya laughed looking down at the inside of her mug. “It’s just black coffee.”

“Well, that’s boring,” Isolde sighed, getting up. “I’ll be back.” She went up to the counter and ordered a mocha coffee with whipped cream and a breakfast sandwich much like the one Soya had had in front of her, before going back to the table and taking her seat.

“So, tell me. What have you been up to?” Isolde asked, taking off her cardigan and letting it drape on the back of her chair.

“Nothing really,” Soya laughed. “I see your hair’s grown out though.”

Isolde reached up and touched the ends of her hair, thinking of the last time Soya had seen her. In a spur of the moment action, which she was wont to do, she’d cut her long hair that had fallen near the mid of her back so that it touched the tips of her ears and ended up layering it. The first time Soya had seen her had been a couple of months after the haircut, and now, two trims later, her hair brushed her shoulders. While her hair fell in blonde natural ringlet curls, she dyed a good two-inch stripe on her right side bi-weekly. This week it was black. “I can’t decide whether I want it short or long. I’m letting it grow out again until I get tired of it. Josef’s probably told you how indecisive I am.”

“He may have mentioned it,” Soya laughed good naturedly, causing Isolde to grin back.

“So, tell me. Where’s that man of yours?” Isolde said, scanning the coffee shop to see if she could catch sight of the lanky Finn. “Did I scare him off with my tenacious will? I tend to do that,” she teased, looking back at Soya as she laughed and lifted her coffee mug to her lips.

“No,” Soya answered, her voice still holding amusement. “He and his brother had plans this morning. I’ll pick him up when we’re ready to take the pictures, but I am wearing his shirt,” she said, causing Isolde to look at the Black Sabbath shirt that was much too large for Soya’s tiny frame, and the tan jeans and grey converse she’d paired it with. “So he’s with us in spirit,” she shrugged.

“Are you two going to talk to me?” Isolde teased, knowing that Ville could be quite vague or tightlipped when he wanted to be. Soya didn’t seem like the kind to spill her sexual exploits with just anyone.

Soya laughed, her fingers fiddling with the handle of her mug. “He’s still deciding whether or not he wants to be quoted.”

“And you?” She asked, wondering if she really could pull something out of Soya.

“I’m free to talk,” Soya admitted slowly. “That doesn’t mean I’ll answer all your questions, though.”

“Fair enough.” Isolde smiled, faintly hearing the bell above the door that announced someone was new coming into the coffee shop as she reached down into her bag to get her tape recorder. She was about to ask Soya if she wanted to start, only for a male voice to cut her off.

“Soya! Fancy seeing you here again! How’s the head?” Isolde looked up and instantly recognized the tanned man that the loud voice belonged to. Isolde chewed the corner of her lip as she watched Soya tease him.

“Better, no thanks to you,” Soya said as she accepted the kiss he placed on her cheek before he sat next to them. “Isolde, this is-”

“Jussi Vuori,” Isolde finished for Soya, sticking out her hand for him to shake. “You can’t be friends with Josef without knowing everything about The 69 Eyes. I’m Isolde Caspari.”

She saw the frown Jussi gave her as he shook her hand and knew what was coming. While she didn’t regret posing nude for an adult magazine, she hated that look men -and some women, got when they saw her -as if they could recognize her by just staring at her.

They usually couldn’t, as people tended to focus more on her tits when looking at the magazine rather than her face. Not that she blamed them; she did have wonderful tits. She resisted the urge to look down proudly at them when Jussi said the three words she was much too used to hearing when visiting any part of Scandinavia.

“You look familiar.”

“I get that a lot,” Isolde said, as she usually did when those three words came out of a person’s mouth. She gave a non-committal shrug, taking her hand back and putting it around her mug. The warmth seeped into her fingers, replacing the warmness that Jussi had brought when his larger hand had encased her own. “I lived and worked in Hels for about a year before moving.”

“What kind of work?” Jussi asked, as the waitress placed both her and Jussi’s coffee and food in front of them and refilled Soya’s cup, causing them to thank her.

“Yes, Jussi, you can join us,” Soya teased lightly. Isolde saw him wink at Soya as he took a long drink of his coffee. Obviously Jussi had figured out that Soya was much too polite to shoo him away, and he had been counting on that fact when he’d asked for his food to be sent to their table.

She answered Jussi’s question as he took a bite of his sandwich. “When I lived here I only modeled.” Which was true; she’d taken odd modeling jobs here and there when she’d lived in Helsinki, but she’d indulged in her artistic eye more than anything else. The city was a fountain of pictures just waiting to be taken, no matter the season, and Isolde had taken advantage of it. “But I’m mostly a photographer now. I still model every once in a while though.”

She watched as he swallowed, nodding slowly before he spoke. “I must have seen something you did then.”

Isolde shrugged, and a tiny amused smile made its way onto her glossed lips. The way he stared at her, she knew he’d seen the magazine and was most likely trying to figure it out. “Probably.” She looked over at him. He was still staring. She wondered if he was one of those tenacious types that would try to figure it out, or one of those easy to please ones that would let it go.

She felt his eyes scanning her as she took a sip of her mocha. She could feel the goose bumps break out on her arms when his eyes reached her upper body and tried to will them away. “You have any tattoos?”

“Um…” Tenacious, Isolde thought with an inward grin as she looked over at Soya to see her reaction to Jussi’s question. Soya just shrugged, before they both looked back at Jussi.

“…A few,” she admitted slowly before deciding to throw him off a bit. “But they get Photoshopped out during my shoots, so you probably haven’t seen them,” she said quickly with a smile. Her nude shoot had been one of the few shoots that her tattoos hadn’t been edited out. It was also one of the couple of shoots where a person got to see all of her tattoos, including the rather intimate one on her inner thigh.

Jussi nodded again. “Yeah, probably.”

Isolde shook her head before reaching into her bag once again, grabbing her tape recorder and setting it on the table. “Is it all right if I record our conversation Soya? I’ll edit it when I write the article. And like I told you; before it gets published, I’ll send you a copy so you can trash it before I even publish it.”

“Its fine, Isolde. Go ahead.”

“I told you,” Isolde said, pressing record. She felt the spare eyes at the table silently scan her from head to toe again, before she smiled at Soya, ignoring her body’s reaction to the casual perusal of her body. “Friends call me ‘Iz.’”

“Sorry,” Soya laughed, taking another drink of her coffee.

Deciding to continue ignore Jussi, she started the interview. “So tell me how you and Ville met; I read somewhere that he said you were old friends, but no one’s really heard the story.”

“Take off your shirt,” Jussi said, still staring at her.

“Jussi!” Soya exclaimed hitting his arm.

Isolde laughed at Soya’s reaction before turning off her recorder. “It’s fine, Soya. Believe it or not, I get that a lot too.” She turned to Jussi rolling her eyes as she said, “Yes, I posed nude for Erotiikan Maailma. Showing you my tits isn’t going to help with you remembering where you saw my face.”

Jussi chuckled, drinking his coffee. “Wasn’t your tits I was interested in seeing. Though from what I remember, you had quite the pair.”

“Jussi!” Soya groaned, covering her face as she blushed.

“You have a very unique tattoo on you,” Jussi continued with a smirk. Not being able to help it, she smirked back, knowing which tattoo he was talking about.

“An Ankh isn’t very unique,” Isolde told him. “And I didn’t get it because of your stupid little band.”

‘Stupid little band’,” Jussi repeated. Though he seemed amused, she could tell he was holding back the wince at the slight on his band. “Right.”

Isolde rolled her eyes, getting annoyed at his insistence. Kudos for him that he’d placed her, it proved nothing other than the fact that he was a perverted little genius that had an eye for pinpointing nudes with their clothes on. “I don’t have to explain why I have an Ankh on me.”

“And in such an intimate place too,” Jussi smirked. She shook her head as Soya admonished, her friend trying to get him to stop as she stared at him in disbelief.


“It’s fine,” Isolde said to Soya, never taking her eyes off Jussi. “You know, you may think that this whole charm thing you’re trying is making me weak at the knees, but all I really want to do is kick you where it hurts. I posed nude once. If you liked the shoot so much, go look at it in the sticky magazine you probably have stashed underneath your mattress like the sixteen year-old you’re acting like.”

She watched as he chuckled softly, taking a drag of his coffee before turning to Soya. “Are you cooking tonight?”

Soya blinked. “What?” Isolde stared at them both in confusion. Had that really been the end of their conversation?

“Are you cooking tonight?” he repeated. “I’ve been eating out all week. I wouldn’t mind a home cooked meal.”

“Are you inviting yourself to dinner? Because I won’t be in my flat tonight, I’ll be over at Ville’s.”

“How long have you been there, by the way?” Jussi asked with a raised eyebrow.

“At Ville’s?” Soya asked slowly. “I don’t know…past two nights I think. Jus, are you okay?”

“Fine,” Jussi shrugged. “Just thinking how the guys and I have a gig tomorrow. Then you and Ville are off to Berlin and Spain for a week, and when you come back we’re starting our acoustic tour, so we won’t see each other.”

“Aw, Jus, are you going to miss us?” Soya teased, reaching over to pinch his cheek. Isolde smiled lightly at the action as Jussi moved away from the fingers that wanted to grasp at his cheek.

Jussi shrugged. “I think it’d be nice if we all got together for the night.”

“All? As in…?” Soya prompted.

“You know, everyone.” Jussi shrugged.

Soya laughed. “Jussi, sweetie, as much as I love the idea, you have to take that up with Ville. Everyone isn’t going to fit in my flat, and Ville’s the one with the large yard.”

Jussi nodded. “I’ll give him a call.” He looked back at Isolde, who was watching both of them amused. “How about if you come?”

Isolde blinked, surprised at the sudden attention. “Me?”

“Soya’s told us that you’re going to take pictures of her and Ville.”

“I am,” Isolde said slowly, wondering where he was going with the line of thought.

“You’re not going to get anything better of them unless they’re candid,” Jussi shrugged. “Bring your camera.”

“Jus, you still have to talk to Ville before you start making plans,” Soya reminded, before Isolde could respond with an enthusiastic yes. Without knowing it, he’d triggered a button in her. She loved taking candid’s, not for profit, but for herself. And the chance to get candid’s of Soya, Ville, and their friends made her heart race in anticipation.

“He’ll say yes,” Jussi assured with a slight shrug.

“Yes, after you nag him to death.” Soya laughed.

Jussi turned back to Isolde. “You’ll probably even get some information about these two from all of us that they won’t tell you.”

Now he’s appealing to the gossip monger in me, the bastard, she thought, watching as he pushed his empty plate away before standing up. “But that’s up to you. Soya, I have to go, rehearsals and all that shit.”

Soya nodded as he kissed her cheek. “All right. And if Ville says ‘no’, leave it alone Jus.”

“I know,” Jussi said with a roll of his eyes. He picked up Isolde’s hand, kissing the back of it with a smirk. “It was a pleasure meeting you, Isolde. I have to say, you’re even more beautiful clothed then you are naked.”

With that said, he sent her a wink, sauntering out of the café while pulling his coat tighter around him.

Isolde frowned as she curled her fingers into her palm as Soya looked at her. “You okay? I don’t know what’s wrong with him. He’s usually not that…forward, at least around me.”

“No… Yeah, I’m fine,” Isolde nodded dropping her hand onto her lap, looking down at the folded napkin that Jussi had slipped into her hand. “I’ve come across worse,” she said distractedly as she unfolded the napkin and saw his number scribbled at the top of it, along with the following words: ‘You should probably know, Ville and Soya are engaged…guessing it’s recent by the pretty ring that’s sitting on her finger ;)’

She looked up at Soya, spying her left hand that was around the mug and the simple silver banded ring with the small square cut diamond. It wasn’t a ring that screamed ‘Notice me! I’m getting married! I snagged a fuck hot rockstar!’ It was a ring that was meant to be a bit more personal and private; only intended to be noticed by those who wanted to notice it.

It was obvious that if Ville and Soya had gotten engaged, it was very much recent and it was very much a secret. And oh, how she was dying to pry. Instead, she smiled at Soya and switched on the recorder. “So tell me, how did you and Ville really meet?”

She watched as Soya laughed, her eyes lighting up as she told Isolde the story of how she had met Ville. Isolde had assumed they’d met a few months ago, which is when they’d started being spotted together. Apparently, though, Ville and Soya had met when Soya was fifteen and Ville nineteen at his father’s sex shop.

“My friends dragged me in. They were my ride home, so I had no choice!” Soya laughed, her cheeks flushing with red. “I kept close to the door, but I caught his eye and he told me to come closer to the register, and I don’t know…Apparently there was something about me that just caught his attention.”

“And he didn’t catch your attention at all?” Isolde teased.

“Oh he did,” Soya laughed. “He’s quite pretty, isn’t he?”

“Yes, Ville Valo is very pretty,” Isolde laughed with a roll of her eyes, causing Soya to laugh as well.

“Yes, Ville very much caught my attention,” Soya laughed as she continued to tell her story. How she and Ville had gone for coffee and got to know each other, how a couple of months later she met his friends and band mates and how a year in half later she’d been sent away to New York and torn away from her best friends.

Isolde asked how they had ended up reconnecting, and Soya told her that it was because of their shared best friend Josef that she’d finally been able to reconnect with Ville. Josef had gotten her concert tickets to see the band perform; her schedule had never allowed her to see them until that night. Ville had gone to see her dance the next night, and she rekindled her friendship with the guys.

Soya told her of the week in Westchester at Ville’s insistence, with Bam Margera and his merry band of men, so they could spend more time together and catch up. She talked of how they’d ended up kissing, but decided to put their feelings on pause until things calmed down for them both a bit; Ville had his tour, and Soya was busy with her work.

Isolde asked how they had ended pressing play on their relationship and Soya laughed, another red tint crawling up her cheeks as she told Isolde that she had surprised Ville and the guys by going to Sonisphere in Pori, Finland. They’d decided the next day to give their relationship a go; after a summer of flirting with each other over the phone and computer screens, getting into a relationship when they finally saw each other just seemed like a natural progression of things.

For Isolde, who didn’t believe in relationships, she snorted at the idea that falling into a relationship was a natural progression, but she let Soya speak. She asked her how the relationship was going so far; apparently it wasn’t without its ups and downs, but it was going well. All-in-all, a blind person could see just how in love Soya was with her rockstar, and Isolde couldn’t wait to see how Ville was with his little dancer.

“You know,” Isolde said, turning off her tape recorder as they wound down their conversation, finishing the last bit of their coffee. “As much as I hate to admit it, Vuori is right.”

“Jussi? What was he right about?” Soya asked with a raised eyebrow.

“That I would get much better pictures of you and Ville while candid,” Isolde said chewing on the corner of her lip before grinning at Soya when she laughed.


“I mean,” she started, hoping to get Soya to warm to the idea of candids, “We can do what I originally had planned. But fuck it; I really love the idea of getting candids of you, Ville, and your friends.” She grinned, deciding to lay her cards on the table. Soya seemed like the girl that enjoyed people being upfront with her rather than people beating around the bush.

Soya laughed. “I still don’t know if we’re all even getting together.”

“Well, if you do, then we’ll do the candids,” Isolde decided, not wanting to give Soya an out. “And if not, then I’m still here tomorrow, and we can do what I had originally planned.”

“Which was?” Soya asked curiously.

“Not telling!” Isolde laughed. “But Josef told me that it’s been your dream to play Odette in Swan Lake.”

“Ah, not a dream, more like wishful hoping,” Soya laughed.

“Well, I found her costume, and Josef says you’re an amazing dancer; I’d love to take pictures of you.”

Isolde watched as Soya’s pale cheeks filled in with the red of a blush and a small amused smile played on her unpainted lips. “Josef really called me ‘amazing?’”

“Best partner he’s ever had,” Isolde said with a grin.

Soya scoffed. “Now I know you’re just putting words in his mouth…but it does sound like fun.”

Isolde shrugged, knowing that anything that had her attached to her camera would be fun for her. “And if you want to pick up Ville and take him to the studio…” she hedged, hoping to get to see their interaction.

Soya laughed. “Fine, I give in; give me the address to the studio and I’ll give Ville a call, make sure he’s ready to be picked up.”

“I thought he had plans with his brother, shouldn’t he be ready?” Isolde asked with a raised eyebrow as she finished the last bit of her mocha, licking her lips lightly to get the entire chocolate flavor.

“I left him lying in bed in his boxers. His brother was already downstairs waiting for him. For all I know, Ville is still in those boxers,” Soya laughed, finishing her third refill of black coffee before setting her mug down. “And please don’t quote me on that.”

“Oh, I won’t,” Isolde laughed, grabbing a pen she had left on the table. She scribbled the address on a stray and clean napkin before handing it to Soya. “Meet there in say…an hour?”

“Perfect.” Soya nodded, putting the napkin in her black clutch and getting up from the table. Isolde slipped back into her cardigan and lifted her camera bag onto her shoulder as Soya put on her black knit sweater and grabbed her clutch before following Isolde out. “I can see why Josef loves you so much.”

Isolde laughed as she thought about their best friend. Stubborn, temperamental jackass that he was, he was also a sweet, loyal, beautiful soul that never strayed from his friend’s side and seemed to always appear when she needed him the most. “Do you? Because most days he hates me,” she teased.

Soya laughed as they reached her car. Isolde leaned up against it as Soya stood in front of her, her arms crossed over her chest as she grinned at the blonde. “He talks about you all the time. It’s awful that it took us this long to meet!”

Isolde nodded in agreement, a small smile on her face. “I’ve been to a few of your performances, but I just never wait around for Josef, as he takes forever to get ready; I tend to just wait for him at the restaurant. And I’m horribly selfish. I love having him to myself for the couple of hours I get to see him.”

“He’s told me.” Soya smiled. “I don’t blame you; I was like that with Ville when we first started our relationship. The difference is that I have to share him.”

“Why?” Isolde frowned, not understanding why anyone had to share anything. Then again, because she had only child syndrome, she had been spoiled rotten as a child. It also didn’t help that Josef and his siblings had humored her selfishness, letting her have what she wanted when she wanted it. She’d been nicknamed Princess Isolde by his family, and the name still stuck with her whenever she went to her home country to visit the Kolars.

“Our friends make it hard not to,” Soya laughed. “It’s why we’re getting out of town for a week, just to be-”

“Together?” Isolde put in with a raised eyebrow.

Soya nodded. “Though we’re meeting up with friends, so who knows how the week will end up.”

“But you’re good at sharing,” Isolde pointed out with a teasing grin. “I’m horrible at it; just ask my lovers, I have them locked away in my basement.”

Soya laughed, obviously amused by the outlandish statement. “Of course.”

“No, I really am horrible at it,” Isolde said shrugging. It was a flaw of hers; one that she wasn’t changing, as she enjoyed her selfishness. “I’m fine with it though, as long as my lovers are.”

“And I’m sure having you to themselves is perfect for them.”

“Oh!” Isolde laughed. “I don’t share my lovers; but I can share myself quite easily. Oh that made me sound like a slut.” Isolde frowned. Alicia A. Parker’s statement came back to her mind full force, only to look up at when Soya started laughing.

“Just a tiny bit,” She teased.

Isolde grinned, loving Soya’s easy going nature more and more. Just as Soya saw why Josef loved her, Isolde could see why Josef loved Soya. Her happiness and light attitude was contagious. “I’ll see you in an hour then,” she said, pushing off of Soya’s car, seeing Soya’s nod as they parted ways. Isolde decided to take a walk to the studio, since it wasn’t too far away, while Soya headed back to…well Isolde assumed the tower Ville resided in.

Stuffing her hands in her cardigan pockets, she walked down the sidewalk towards the waterfront. Smiling, she unsnapped her camera bag and decided to indulge for a minute before heading to the studio. Putting the strap around her neck- as she tended to drop her camera in her excitement- she put her eye into the viewer and saw what she wanted, her finger snapping pictures of the boats floating in the water, to the people walking about downtown.

After indulging for twenty minutes, having gotten distracted by a street vendor and the people that swarmed his stand, she placed her camera back in her bag and finished her walk. Finding the building that housed the studio she rented, she opened the door and found the stairs easily that would lead her to the room.

Jogging up the stairs, she found the door and fished through her bag once more for the key. Unlocking the door, she was happy to find the black cases she’d sent up the night before right by the door, along with a note from the building manager letting her know she could lock up her items and valuables in the storage closet downstairs so she didn’t have to lug her equipment back and forth from her hotel.

“Thank God,” she muttered as she dropped her camera bag on the red Victorian style couch with the sloped back and looked around the room. Thankfully the lighting was perfect inside the room; there were large open windows showing the view of the waterfront on the far back wall she was able to use along with her own lighting equipment she had in the cases. The ballet outfit she’d bought specifically for Soya was hanging on a garment rack, along with a Chinese curtain. Whether the curtain had been brought up to be used as a makeshift dressing room, or was there as a prop, she wasn’t sure.

Either way, she pulled it away from the wall and set it up in the far right corner as a makeshift dressing room for Soya, rolling the garment rack over and hiding it behind the curtain. She also had a rack filled with men’s clothes that she thought would fit Ville well for the photo-shoot she’d had in her mind. She rolled it over to the left corner, wondering if he would even need it as from the pictures she’d seen of him, the man tended to be photogenic whether he had clothes on or not.

Looking around the room again, she spotted the couch that she’s put her bag on and eyed it. She could nearly smell the amazing musty scent of the bright red velvet upholstery that came with antique furniture; she ran her fingers over the sloped backing and the scarred, yet still slightly glossed cherry wood and eyed the antique bowed legs.

“Oh you’re nearly orgasmic in how perfect you are,” she muttered, her mind already forming the picture. She took her bag off the couch and started pushing it towards the center of the room, making sure Soya would have enough dancing room. Pulling out her two years of dance classes from childhood (something Josef had begged her to do), she did a quick and off-balance, pirouette, making sure her knee wasn’t knocking into the couch, which it didn’t.

Going back towards the door, which she’d left open for when Ville and Soya arrived, she laid her black protective cases on the ground -five of them in total- and unclasped them. Her lighting equipment was in three of them, while the second laptop she used was in one case surrounded by all her different lenses that had taken years to collect. The last of the cases was the smallest and held the Canon EOS-1D X that she used only for her work and more professional shoots, rather than her indulgences.

She left her laptop and camera case open and went about setting up her lightening in the places she thought she would need, as puffy grey rain clouds were making their presence very much known in the sky. Taking a break, she unzipped her shoes, kicking them off and letting her feet wiggle freely as she sat against the wall where her camera and laptop still sat packed up in their grey protective foam.

Using her foot, she tangled it in her camera bag strap and dragged it closer to her body, digging around the mess she had in there and took out her iPhone. Seeing that she still had about ten minutes before Soya and Ville showed up, she checked her texts, one being from her manager with a simple ‘Call me ASAP’.

Making a note on her phone to remind her to call him, she quickly checked her e-mail, not finding anything other than a reminder for an online sale at Agent Provocateur, where she bought 90% of her lingerie and sleepwear. She put her phone back, making a mental note to take a look at the website. She frowned at the flash of white that peeked out of her bag, only to smirk when she saw Jussi’s messy scrawl.

Shoving the napkin back into her bag, trying not to think too hard of the handsome Finnish man that had obviously been hitting on her, she stood back up and pushed the black case that held her laptop over with her foot so that it sat a few feet in front of the red couch. She went back to the cases and grabbed her camera before sitting in front of her laptop and flipping the top open. Watching as it started up, she turned on her camera and looked through her lenses for the one she needed.

Twisting it on, she heard voices coming up the stairs and looked up with a smile when she saw Soya coming into the room with Ville in tow, their hands clasped tightly together.

“Hey!” she said, setting her camera down carefully and standing up to go over to the couple. “Glad you made it!”

“Of course,” Soya said with a kind smile, before looking up at Ville. “Isolde, you know Ville.”

“Of course! It’s nice to finally meet you,” Isolde said with her own smile as she shook his free hand.

“Good to meet you too,” Ville said with a nod and a kind smile of his own.

“Thank you for agreeing to do this,” she said quickly before grinning in excitement. Now that she’d seen them together, the image in her head clicked into place and she couldn’t wait to start snapping away.

“I’ve decided to do what I originally wanted to do,” she said, turning to Soya. “I got here, saw the couch and couldn’t help myself. So, Soya, you go change over there,” she said, pointing to the curtained corner to the right that she had set up. “And Ville, I have some wardrobe options for you there,” she said pointing to the left only to look him up and down, noting the black jeans and the classic Converse he wore. She could work with that. “But keep the jeans and converse.”

“All right,” Ville nodded. Isolde watched as their hands let go, although a bit reluctantly, as Soya went over to her corner. Ville watched her disappear behind the Chinese curtain before he made his way to his rack.

She sat back down in front of her laptop, setting her camera on her lap before looking over at Ville as he contemplated his options in clothing. Finding something he liked, she noticed him taking off his shirt and noted the tattoo on his back and stopped him when he reached for the white shirt that hung from the rack.

“No shirt.”

“Huh?” he asked, looking over his shoulder at her in confusion. She tilted her head as she assessed his bared upper body, from a professional standpoint, and nodded as she stood up.

“Yes. Definitely no shirt,” she said, setting her camera back down as she turned and adjusted one of her lights before grabbing her camera and putting the strap around her neck, crouching back in front of her laptop.

“You don’t have any help?” she heard Ville ask. She looked up at him and shook her head.

“For my contracted photo shoots, yes. Since I don’t pay for shit, the companies that contract me do. But when it’s something that I want to take pictures of, no. I’d rather just do everything myself, including lugging all of my shit up two flights of stairs. Now go sit on the couch,” she said pointing towards the couch.

“Soya told me how you guys met,” she started, as she went to the prop closet where she’d seen a microphone and its connecting wire. “In your father’s store,” Isolde said over her shoulder as she rummaged through the closet and found what she was looking for. She took it over and set it next to Ville, running the wire to the ground so that it coiled into a puddle at his feet.

“Ah, she told you the real version then,” Ville said absently, picking up the microphone she’d set next to him.

“There’s another version?” Isolde asked, putting the camera up to her eye and focusing on Ville as he slouched on the couch before taking a picture, testing her lighting.

As she tested her lens and lighting, Ville told her a bit about how Soya’s parents were a bit strict and wouldn’t have been happy to know that she’d met a boy in a sex shop. Ville’s father would have been upset about Ville not kicking an underage girl out of the shop as well. They both lied and said they’d met at a record store.

It was obvious with the few questions she’d asked and the near monosyllabic answers he gave that he didn’t want to talk to her about his relationship. When asked why, he made it clear that his relationship with Soya was different than anything he’d felt for in any of his previous relationships. It wasn’t something he wanted to take to the public, not because he was embarrassed or ashamed of his girlfriend, but because for the first time the relationship felt right and his need for privacy just came out that much more when it came to himself and Soya.

Isolde could understand that, especially when she saw the way Ville’s eyes lit up when he saw Soya come out in her costume. The way he straightened as he stared, his eyes taking in Soya’s dancer legs encased in white tights and matching Pointe shoes, ribbons tied at her ankles. His eyes traveled up to the white outfit, the tightly tied corset top -which impressed Isolde that Soya had done it by herself -and the frilly stiff tutu that came out to her sides.

Isolde watched as the couple stared at each other for a minute, snapping pictures, sure that they had forgotten she was in the room, before breaking their moment.

“Josef said you know Odette’s solo?” Isolde said, capturing a picture of Soya just as she turned to her.

“Mmm…parts of it,” Soya admitted, her fingers tracing the frill of her tutu. “I’ve never actually played Odette, but Josef would humor me and dance it with me when I felt like practicing something fun.”

Isolde laughed at Soya’s mention of fun as she stood and adjusted the second of her lights. “You and Josef have a weird definition of fun. For me, fun is a good romp in bed with a beautiful man, while fun for Josef’s is dressing up in tights and twirling around.”

Soya laughed. “The twirling is what matters, really.”

Isolde grinned at Soya before going over to her bag on the ground, grabbing her portable iPod and speakers. She connected the device and scanned her list of songs before finding the one she wanted, pressing play and noting Soya’s smile when she heard the classical music.

“Ville, just lay the microphone over your leg, just like that,” Isolde said when Ville did as he was told. “Soya, whenever you’re ready.”

She watched as Soya closed her eyes, obviously having danced this dance a million times before with Josef. But Isolde didn’t want to capture that; instead she focused on the Finn that sat on the couch. His face was entranced as he watched his girlfriend dance around him. The way the world melted away as if they were the only two people in the room, the way Soya would open her eyes and would instantly find Ville, her lips quirking but never missing a step in her dance. And finally, when the music came to the end, the way Soya leaned forward, her hands braced on the couch, one leg kicked up while she balanced on her toes and the light kiss they shared that was so filled with love that it nearly overwhelmed Isolde.

Oh, she saw it, she thought, smiling lightly, capturing their whispered conversation. The red tint of Soya’s cheeks as Ville whispered something to her was probably naughty, judging by just how red her cheeks got, and the grin she gave him as she backed away and did a slow pirouette. Ville laughed at her, obviously finding whatever conversation they were having amusing. As Isolde took a picture of Ville’s laugh, his eyes were trained on Soya as she grinned, her feet planted on the ground now. God they were too adorable for words, she thought with a shake of her head, looking over at her laptop to see the pictures that were slowly appearing on her screen.

“Soya told me that Jussi invited you over to my place tonight.”

Isolde blinked and looked over at Ville, the statement having been directed at her. “Ah, yes. Vuori,” Isolde said with a roll of her eyes, dropping her camera onto her lap as she looked over at her laptop, clicking on one of the pictures she’d taken.

“You’re welcome to come out,” Ville offered, causing Isolde to look back up at him as Soya took a seat next to Ville.

“I wouldn’t want to intrude on a gathering of friends,” Isolde said absently with a wave of her hand. And she really didn’t. As much as getting candid’s of Ville, Soya, and their friends appealed to her, she had a feeling Jussi had an ulterior motive for inviting her out to Ville’s tower. And she was pretty sure that motive had to do with his interest in her nude form.

She watched as Ville shrugged, taking Soya’s hand in his, his thumb rubbing over his girlfriend’s knuckles. Isolde resisted the urge to pick up her camera and capture the moment. “We’ll just be fucking around. I doubt Soya and the girls really want to cook for all of us, so we’re ordering in.”

“Why do you assume it would just be us girls cooking?” Soya asked, looking over at Ville with a raised eyebrow.

“Do you really want everyone to eat my cooking, Soya?” he turned back to Isolde. “You can even take pictures; though if Linde brings Olivia, he’d probably prefer it if you didn’t take pictures of her,” Ville paused. “And of Aida, Soya’s little sister.”

Isolde sighed, standing and stretching out her arms before smiling lightly at Ville and Soya. “Any picture I would take would be for my own collection, and copies would be sent to the people in the pictures. I don’t like to share candids; especially those of more private moments, like a backyard get-together.”

“All the better,” Soya said with a smile. “You should come Isolde, unless you have other plans tonight.”

Isolde sighed, thinking about it. She really didn’t. She’d been planning on taking her work laptop back to the hotel and editing some of the pictures, calling her manager back to see what he wanted, before stuffing herself in her pajamas and ordering a romantic comedy on Pay-Per-View while ordering ice cream from room service.

God, she needed to get laid, she thought with a mental eye roll. Maybe going out and seeing what exactly Jussi wanted from her would be a good thing. Maybe it would get her laid in the long run; the man was handsome, and she’d seen pictures (thanks to one horny Josef Kolar for showing her the shirtless pictures of him), and he did have a nice body.

She chewed on the corner of her lip. Who the fuck was she kidding? The man’s abs were like tan chiseled marble! She’d have to be brain dead not to want to lick every one of those fucking contours. She winced at her inner thoughts. She really needed to get out.

She nodded slowly, smiling at the couple. “All right, you’ve convinced me; I’ll go. Free food, free drink -nothing better than that,” she teased, before motioning them off the couch as they smiled at her agreement “All right, both of you up from the couch. I want to take a few more shots before I let you both go.”

An hour later she’d captured enough posed pictures of Ville and Soya to satisfy her. All of them revolved around Ville’s rocker image, while she played up Soya’s more innocent image as the girl danced around her boyfriend in her costume, smiles never leaving their faces as the verbally teased each other with little private jokes.

She’d gotten a few cute pictures of Soya sitting on the couch with Ville, her back against the opposite arm rest of the couch, her white ballet shoe-clad feet resting on the tops of his thighs, clashing with the black of his jeans. The microphone wire that Isolde had had puddled on the ground intersected them, wrapped around Ville’s bare torso, to around Soya’s legs, tying them together while the microphone lay dangling, forgotten over the side the of couch.

Once she was happy with the pictures she’d got, she allowed Soya to get dressed again. Ville sat on the floor deep in thought, though he had offered to help Soya get dressed, to which she’d laughed, patted him on the cheek and went behind her curtain. He then turned and smiled at Isolde and offered to help her take down her lights.

To which Isolde had refused as kindly as she could. Without her usual assistants, she hated when people helped her, as they tended to fuck things up or break things, which in turn got Isolde in a pissy mood. She much rather liked doing things herself, though she appreciated the sincerity in which he asked if she needed help.

She was sitting on the floor, when she heard Ville’s odd question to Soya, concerning whether she liked candles or not. Apparently Soya was also confused by the question, as Ville was quick to respond with a ‘nevermind’ when she asked why he needed to know.

Isolde looked over at him as she took the lens off her camera and stuck it into her case between the padding, noticing the small furrow of his forehead as he thought. “You are thinking about something pretty hard over there.”

“I’m distracted,” Ville admitted, shaking his head as he looked at her.

“Why?” Isolde asked, with a raised eyebrow.

Ville chuckled. “Soya has me in a permanent state of distraction.”

“Soya was telling me you guys were going out of town for a bit this next week,” Isolde stated as she stood and put her camera away in its protective case before grabbing her shoes and camera bag from the ground, going back to sit next to her laptop case.

Ville nodded. “Jyrki and his girlfriend Rosalind invited us out to Berlin for Halloween; we’re going to go see The Fuzztones at a club down there. Then Rosalind asked us to spend some time in Barcelona; she invited us to her daughter’s last soccer game next weekend”.

“God, that sounds so normal,” Isolde teased, trying not to wrinkle her nose at how domestic it all sounded.

Ville laughed. “Soya now hates the word ‘normal.’ We were actually talking about this the other night; we both travel for work, so right now that we’re both on breaks we’re able to act…domesticated.” Ville laughed at himself. “It’s been nice.”

“Like playing house,” Soya teased as she came out from behind her curtain. Ville stretched out his legs, patting the space he’d made, signaling Soya to sit. She did, bringing her knee up to slip on her converse.

Ville nodded as he lent forward to kiss her cheek before turning back to Isolde who was watching them. “Very much so.”

“So, do you guys live together?” Isolde asked, taking her camera out of her bag and bringing it up to her eye, seeing the image of the sitting couple. Soya’s hair tumbled over one shoulder as she tied her shoe while Ville spoke; one hand holding him up, while the other combed through the soft brunette waves.

“We might as well,” Ville snorted. “We take turns in where we sleep; one week at Soya’s one week at mine.”

“And what makes you guys…domesticated?” Isolde asked tilting her head curious, bringing her camera down.

Ville shrugged. “We enjoy being with our friends, don’t get me wrong; we both have the moments were we tire of each other and just want-”

“Time with the girls or guys,” Soya finished.

“And we both still work. Soya’s working on reopening her studio, having just finished the construction,” Ville continued.

“And Ville’s finishing up the remix, and I can tell he’s starting to get ready to lock himself in his studio at home to work on some new things,” Soya grinned as Ville leaned back on his elbows, grinning back at her. Isolde raised her camera again, snapping a picture of the grinning couple as they spoke, Soya turning back to her with a laugh.

“But in between the chaos of our work schedules -which is going to get even crazier once January rolls around, we still find time to be together at night, fixing dinner, helping my little sister with her homework.”

“We read aloud to each other from whatever book we’re reading. We watch TV just before bed,” Ville shrugged. “Just…blessedly normal.”

“I think…we enjoy both sides of our lives, and we’re not complaining now because this is all we know. This routine we’ve made for ourselves. I think if you visit us in the summer when Ville’s working with the rest of the guys here in Hels, and I’m in the states dancing we’ll have something different to say.”

Isolde shook her head as she thought about commitment and the responsibilities that came with it. “I could never imagine myself in that type of relationship….hell, in a relationship in general.”

“Really?” Soya asked with a tilt of her head.

“I hate commitment,” Isolde said with a shrug, though she felt a grin form on her lips. “Can’t ever see myself tied down to one person for any long period of time. Fuck, I don’t even settle in one place for too long because I hate being bored; I have a six month maximum for anywhere I settle down, and Helsinki is the place I’ve actually stayed the longest with a year. I get bored and distracted and can never quite sit still when I have nothing to do. I’m not afraid to admit, however, that I do envy those who can do it and even enjoy it… and you two definitely enjoy it.” Isolde grinned.

“It’s what happens when you find the person you love,” Soya said, wrinkling her nose teasingly at Ville, causing him to laugh as he leaned forward and wrapped his arms around Soya’s waist, her back settling into his chest comfortably.

“Oh, trust me, I fall in love way too much,” Isolde laughed, lifting her camera just as Soya leaned back to kiss the bottom of Ville’s chin. She caught their tangled fingers resting on Soya’s stomach, and snapped a picture of their entwined hands, and the sparking engagement ring that sat in between.

“I just don’t see myself in that forever type of relationship,” she admitted, finally putting her camera down and back in her bag as she started putting on her shoes. “But I see that in you two.” She had the pleasure of seeing Soya blush again; for some reason seeing the red tint amused Isolde to no end.

“We need to go pick up Aida,” Ville said as he got up from the ground. “It’s nearly time.”

Isolde watched as Ville helped Soya up, before Soya turned to Isolde with a smile. “So, you’ll come then?”

Isolde nodded, knowing that one way or another she’d find herself making her way to Ville’s tower with her camera. “Sounds like fun, and I’m always one for a good time.”

“Great!” Soya grinned as she looked at Ville for permission. At his nod, she turned back to Isolde, telling her how to get to Ville’s tower before assuring her they’d see her later and left the studio to pick up her little sister.

Isolde sat on the floor, zipping up her booties, before looking back at her laptop, smiling at the pictures she’d captured, scrolling through them as she thought back to the moments she’d captured them. She’d felt like such an intruder, seeing such private moments between the two.

Ville was so careful with Soya, as if one off word and Soya would break. Though by the looks of it, Soya was much stronger than the woman Josef had described. She didn’t see weak-willed in Soya, or any type of weakness at all. What she did see was a woman starting to be comfortable with her body and the man that had helped her get there.

Relationships worked for some people, Isolde thought as she closed her laptop and stuffed it in her camera bag carefully before closing the black case. Obviously the relationship that Ville and Soya had, very much worked for them. They played off each other, finished each other’s sentences, and even though they were still in the ‘newlywed’ phase of their relationship, they weren’t all over each other as most new couples were (which Isolde couldn’t stand to be around).

They didn’t seem to rely on each other to keep busy, she thought as she started taking down her lights, putting them back in their proper cases. They seemed to have their own lives and work and genuinely enjoyed spending time with each other, taking holidays together and just being committed.

It wasn’t for Isolde, as much as she saw happiness in couples she couldn’t find it in her to do it again. It wasn’t that she didn’t believe in monogamy; she could very much see herself keeping on one of her lovers on a more permanent basis, as she choose them because of their compatibly. But one bad experience in her first and only relationship had left her quite emotionally retarded, which she willingly admitted.

She wasn’t one to hand over her heart, she thought as she closed the last of her cases and picked up her camera bag, digging out the key to the studio before turning off the lights and leaving, locking the door behind her.

Her heart was something she very much kept guarded and kept in her own hands, protecting it from the evils of heartache. Her body, on the other hand, was something she gave willingly, though not easily. She was picky on who she let handle her body, and she felt there had to be more than just physical attraction between her and her lovers if she was going to give in. She didn’t do the chasing of men; instead, she let them chase her.

She pulled her cardigan closer as she walked down the street, knowing that eventually she’d spot a cab to take her back to her hotel. She liked to think of herself as independent; very rarely relying on others, let it be with financial help or emotional. She didn’t like the ties that came with committing herself to another person, and she wouldn’t be as free as she was at the moment, able to pack up and go at a moment’s notice without having to worry about letting her significant other know.

Isolde hated the feeling of being closed in. She enjoyed traveling, she enjoyed vacationing and while, yes, it got lonely at times, she enjoyed the freedom of moving too much to give in to the many offers of commitment that came her way.

Maybe she just hadn’t found the one, she thought mockingly, as she found a cab and slid in telling the cabbie the hotel she was staying at before leaning back against the seat. She really hadn’t found the man that made her weak at the knees, though she had thought for a brief time in her young life that she had. She hadn’t found a man that could quite keep up with her both in her personality and sexually, and she hadn’t found the man that she could see herself changing her views for.

She didn’t believe in love at first sight, though she did believe in lust at first sight. While she did believe in the bonds of matrimony, she didn’t believe they were for her. Maybe, at her young age, she was just cynical. Josef had always teased her, saying that when she found that man that would be willing to take her heart and protect it, she’d be too set in her beliefs to see what was right in front of her.

Maybe that was true. But if it meant having to settle down, get married and raise 2.5 kids, all while putting her own dreams and aspirations on hold so her husband could work, then she didn’t see, or want to see, the benefit of being in a committed relationship.

And really, she was happy with her life. She enjoyed having her lovers that didn’t expect more from her then a couple of stimulating dinner dates and a round of sex afterwards. She enjoyed being able to travel without feeling like she was being weighed down by someone else. She enjoyed her life way too much to change it.

She chewed on the corner of her lip as she thought about the empty hotel room that awaited her and the near empty flat in Prague that she stayed in while she contemplated where to move next. Maybe she’d get a dog, Isolde thought as she paid the driver and got out of the cab, making her way through the lobby of her hotel. If she got a dog, maybe it would kill the sense of loneliness that had started to slowly creep up on her, even though she firmly told herself that she was happy - extremely happy with her life.

There was no benefits to a relationship, she firmly reminded herself as she entered the elevator and crossed her arms over her chest. She’d been there, done that and had the fucking t-shirt to prove it. She wasn’t doing it again, and if she had to get a fucking dog to appease her doubts, then a fucking dog she would get.
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So so so sorry for the delay guys!!!! My beta just got this back to me tonight and it took me forever to go through it and add the codes for it!! Sorry!!!

Thank you guys for the amazing response on the first chapter!!! It means the world to me and I hope you guys enjoy this chapter and Isolde's POV, next chapter will be the backyard get together and Jussi and Isolde's POV of that get together. XD

Can't wait to see what you guys thought of this chapter!!! And again, comments deserve rewards! So tell me what you think and I'll send you a preview!! Next chapter up next Wednesday!


P.S. This chapter is for bibliophile Lots of love and hugs sweetie!!!!