Status: Updated unfrequently, but trying for frequent.

Slow Spinning Redemption

Chapter 9: Jussi Gets Sage Advice from a Relationship “Expert”

Saturday, November 6, 2010
En Route to Barcelona, Spain
6:45 am

“Are you okay?”

Jussi blinked and looked away from the airplane window to frown at his friend. “What?”

Jyrki chuckled. “Are. You. Okay?” he asked slowly.

“Fine, why?”

Jyrki shrugged. “You’ve been a bit…off for the last week.”

“Have I?” Jussi asked with a raised eyebrow.

Jyrki shrugged. “You’ve been quiet and a bit moody.”


Jyrki laughed. “Jus, every time we ask you if you’re all right, you go off on us on how you’re fine and want to be left alone and then storm out, only to come back ten minutes later, calm as can be but never apologizing for it. I’ve been the one voted to talk to you about it.”

Jussi winced. He had been doing that, he thought. He hadn’t meant to take his frustration out on his friends, it had just happened. Rubbing his hand over his face and leaning back on his seat, he nodded. “I’m fine, I’ve just been thinking a lot. I’m sorry I’ve been taking it out on you guys, though. That wasn’t my intention.”

“It’s fine.”

“It’s not if you’re talking to me about it,” Jussi said, rolling his head to look over at Jyrki. “I’ve just been inside my head a bit this week.”

“We all have the right to do that every once in a while, Jus. It’s not like its affecting your drumming.”

Jussi chuckled, rolling his head back to stare at the top of the plane. “Well, thank Christ for that.”

“Does your thinking have to do with a certain blonde?” Jyrki asked in a teasing tone

Jussi sighed and shrugged. “A bit, but mostly just thinking in general.” Lie, he thought to himself; his thinking had everything to do with a certain blonde.

Jyrki nodded slowly. “Well if you want to talk out some of those thoughts, I’m here for you.”

Jussi grinned. “Thanks, I know that. I just….have to think it out on my own on this one. I can’t promise I won’t be an ass about it, though, but I’ll be more conscious of it.”

“That’s all we ask,” Jyrki said with a nod, watching his friend closely. “Is this why you wanted to come out with me?”

Jussi blinked, and looked over at Jyrki again. “What do you mean?”

“Your thinking, is that why you wanted to leave the tour bus and come to Imp’s soccer game with me?”

Jussi shrugged. “A bit,” he admitted. He’d felt the walls of the bus closing in on him with the way his thoughts kept circling about in his head and thought that maybe a reprieve to go see his pseudo-niece’s soccer game was the best way to clear his head. “That, and I missed the girl.”

Jyrki nodded, knowing Jussi loved his daughter. And just as Jyrki tried to get to every one of Impi’s events, Jussi tried his best as well; with no other reason tying him to it other than he wanted to be there for Impi. “She’ll be excited to see you,” Jyrki pointed out, seeing the flight attendant starting to let people know they were getting ready to land.

I am excited to see her,” Jussi laughed, buckling his seatbelt as Jyrki did the same. Which was true, Jussi thought as the plane made its descent. He hadn’t seen the little bundle of energy in a few months, and though he did get to talk to her via the Skype conversations Jyrki had with her nearly every evening, he did miss seeing the girl in person.

Once the plane landed, he and Jyrki grabbed their small carry-on bags that they’d packed -as they didn’t plan on spending more than a few hours in Barcelona, due to a concert they had that night. They got off the plane, making their way through the crowds of the airport before grabbing a cab that would take them to Rosalind’s flat where they had settled on meeting.

“Why are football games so early in the morning?” Jussi groaned, leaning his head back against the seat. “You’d think that the kids being so young they’d let them sleep in and then have the games in the afternoon.”

“You’d be surprised how much energy they have this early in the morning,” Jyrki chuckled. “Impi’s usually up by six; Rosalind had to show her how to turn on the TV and get to her cartoons so that she’d stop jumping on the bed and waking her up so early.”

“Show her?” Jussi laughed. “Don’t you mean train her?”

Jyrki snorted. “As much as it amuses me, you comparing my daughter to a dog, you probably shouldn’t do it in front of Rosalind.”

Jussi laughed. “I’m not stupid. I like my balls right where they are, thank you.”

“I’m sure Isolde does too,” Jyrki quipped, causing Jussi to wince. Damn, he thought. He’d nearly gone a good twenty minutes without thinking of her. That was progress, wasn’t it?

The cab stopped in front of Rosalind’s building, Jyrki paid the cab before getting out. Jussi followed, silently thankful for the early morning overcast as he really didn’t feel like digging out his sunglasses from the bottom of his bag. They made their way through the building and to the lift, Jyrki pushing the button for Rosalind’s floor as Jussi leaned against the wall, feeling exhausted.

The early flight wouldn’t have killed him had he been able to sleep peacefully the night before, but his mind hadn’t been able to settle and he’d spent most of the night staring at his phone, his finger hovering over Isolde’s name before cursing himself and throwing his phone at the end of his bunk, only to repeat the process ten minutes later.

“Maybe I should have stayed back on the bus,” Jussi teased, causing Jyrki to laugh.

“We’ll get to rest a bit after the game and during our flight,” Jyrki pointed out.

“True,” Jussi nodded, stifling a yawn.

“And if you’re this tired, you can always stay at the flat,” Jyrki told him as the lift doors opened and Jyrki scrounged around for the keys in his bag. “I don’t think Rosalind would mind if you crashed on the couch while we’re out.”

“Yes, because I flew from Finland to Spain just to spend the morning on a couch sleeping,” Jussi muttered, causing Jyrki to smirk as he unlocked the door to the flat, letting themselves in.

“It’s an option,” Jyrki laughed, just as his five year-old caught sight of him from the couch she was sitting on. Jussi watched amused as she launched herself over the couch and onto her father with a squeal.

“You came!!” Impi yelled as Jussi closed the door to the flat, grabbing Jyrki’s carry-on bag as Jyrki lifted Impi up into his arms.

“Of course I did!” Jyrki laughed, kissing his daughter’s cheek. “I wouldn’t miss this for the world, and look who I brought for you!”

Setä Jussi!” she laughed, wiggling out of her father’s embrace to go over to Jussi, who dropped their bags by the door and hugged the girl as he reached for him.

Hei, pikkuinen,” he said, kissing her cheek as she hugged him. (Hello, little one)

“Hello boys,” Rosalind greeted with a grin, causing Jussi to turn to her while Impi clung to him. In rare form, Rosalind was wearing jeans -though true to her nature they were bright pink- matching her daughter’s pink soccer uniform and a black (another rarity) tunic that fell loosely past her hips. She walked up to Jyrki with a smile and kissed him lightly. “How was the flight?”

“It was good,” Jyrki said with a smile, kissing her forehead.

“Good. Then I’m putting you to work,” Rosalind grinned. “Mind helping me get the camping chairs out of the closet? Luis put them up there last and I think he purposely stuck them up high so I couldn’t reach them.”

“Is ‘camping chair’ code for something?” Jussi asked with a frown.

Rosalind laughed and leaned over to kiss his cheek. “Hello to you too, Jussi. Mind helping Impi finish getting ready?”

“You haven’t answered my question,” Jussi smirked.

“It’s not code,” Rosalind laughed, causing Jyrki to frown.

“It’s not?”

“No!” Rosalind laughed, hitting his chest playfully. “I really do need the camping chairs down, Jyrki! I don’t want to sit on the grass, and neither does Soya.”

“Fine,” Jyrki laughed as he went towards the closet in the hall to fish out the camping chairs.

“Everything she needs is on the bed; if you could just pack them into her bag, you would be a life-saver, Jussi,” Rosalind asked. “I just need to get some blankets from my closet so Soya and I don’t freeze to death.”

“Is Impi going in her cleats?” Jussi asked, tickling Impi’s bare foot, causing her to laugh and squirm in his arms.

“No,” Rosalind laughed. “Just get her slip-ons on her and we’ll get her in her cleats once we’re at the park.”

Jussi nodded, taking Impi to her room and setting her on the bed next to her soccer gear. “All right, pack your things.”

Mami said for you to do it,” Impi pouted.

“Yes, but you’re five. I’m pretty sure you know how to put things into your own bag, Imp,” Jussi pointed out, causing her to sigh and look down at her things before placing them into the small pink duffle that sat on the bed. Jussi went into her closet where he knew her shoes were and grabbed the pink TOMS that matched her pink soccer uniform, watching as she packed her gear into her duffle. Shin guards, knee socks and cleats went into the bag before she turned with a grin and wiggled her feet at him.


Jussi chuckled, crouching down in front of her and sliding her shoes on. He let her walk into the living room while he grabbed the bag off the bed and went to the kitchen, knowing Rosalind would ask him to also pack the girl’s snacks. He heard Rosalind and Jyrki talking in Rosalind’s bedroom, though it was a quiet conversation, as the door was still open and he could clearly hear Rosalind’s laugh.

“What do you want, Imps?” Jussi asked, opening the cabinets as Impi came in, her blue eyes bright and awake. For it being a bit past seven in the morning and even with Jyrki’s comment, he was still surprised at the girl’s energy. “Fruit or gummies?”

“I’m five,” Impi said, staring at him in disbelief. “Gummies.”

“Fruit it is,” Jussi said, grabbing an apple with a laugh as Impi launched herself at him with a laugh, trying to grab the apple out of his hands.

“Gummies!” she laughed, only to squeal as Jyrki came into the kitchen and picked her up.

“I don’t know; according to your mum, you’ve been a bit of a bad girl.” Jyrki said as Jussi put the apple in a separate pocket of her duffle so it wouldn’t get crushed by the girl’s cleats.

“Have not!” Impi said looking over at her father. “I’ve been a princess.”

Jyrki snorted. “Of course you have,” he chuckled, kissing his daughter’s temple. “So you haven’t been throwing tantrums in stores?”

“No,” Impi said slowly, starting to look away from Jyrki.

“And you haven’t been hitting your cousins?”


“And you’re not lying to me?” Jyrki asked with a raised eyebrow.


“You and I are going to have a very long talk,” Jyrki said, dropping Impi back onto the floor and crouching in front of her. Sensing a fatherly lecture, Jussi grabbed a water bottle from the fridge and moved out of the kitchen, nearly running into Rosalind, who was going in.

“Jyrki’s going all ‘daddy’ on Impi,” Jussi explained as Rosalind raised an eyebrow in question.


“Is she being a total nightmare?” Jussi asked, setting the duffle on the couch and zipping it up.

“She’s five.” Rosalind shrugged, looking over at the kitchen before shrugging. “I’d be worried if she wasn’t. I just think she misses Jyrki, so she acts out. But telling that to Jyrki is like-”

“I’m going to stop you right there,” Jussi said with a chuckle. “Last time I let you bitch about Jyrki to me, we ended up in a situation that nearly cost me a friendship.”

“You swore we’d never talk of it again!” Rosalind teased before shrugging. “That involved a lot of alcohol, too. I’m sober now.”

“Still not risking it, I know you find it hard to resist me.”

Rosalind scoffed. “Please.”

“You miss this,” Jussi laughed, gesturing to himself.

“Not at all,” Rosalind laughed, before kissing his cheek. “You’re a good friend, you know that?”

“To you or to Jyrki?”

“To everyone. It’s an honor to be able to call you a friend,” Rosalind said, patting his cheek.

“You’re a good friend too,” Jussi said with a frown, wondering where Rosalind’s sentiment was coming from. It wasn’t often that the Spaniard expressed her love or gratitude towards her friends; she just assumed they knew she loved them. Which was true for Jussi; he’d known her for the better part of ten years, both as a friend and that one intimate time. He’d been with her during her ups and down, as Jyrki and the rest of their friends had. He loved her as a sister, protected her as one, and Rosalind didn’t need to tell him or acknowledge the fact that for her, he’d very much gone above and beyond. He just knew she was thankful, just like he was when Rosalind helped him.

“Not all the time, but for the most part I am,” Rosalind smiled.

Jussi patted her arm. “Where’s this coming from?”

Rosalind shrugged. “I don’t know. I don’t think I say ‘thank you’ enough, especially to you or Jyrki. God knows I very rarely say it to Soya. Just thought I’d say it.”

Jussi frowned at her before nodding, having a feeling where it was coming from. “You really need to stop listening to your idiot brother.”

Rosalind laughed, kissing his cheek again. “Maybe. Luis is an idiot, isn’t he?”

“Yes, he is. And I’ve only met him a handful of times.”

Rosalind chuckled. “So how’s the girl of yours?”

“Change of subject, all right,” Jussi nodded. “She’s not my girl, she’s just a girl. And it’s actually woman; the word ‘girl’ makes it seem like I’m dating some teenager.”

“How old is she?”

“Just shy of thirty,” Jussi said with a frown. “Not that age really matters.”

“No,” Rosalind laughed. “I would be the first to agree on that, age does not matter. I hear she’s amazing in bed.”

“Who’d you hear that from?” Jussi asked with a laugh, sitting on the arm of the couch as Rosalind crossed her arms in front of her and watched him.

“I have sources.”

“You mean her blog?” Jussi smirked.

“She speaks very highly of herself.”

“That she does, and she has reason to.”

“So that’s a ‘yes’ to amazing in bed.”

Jussi chuckled. “Yeah, it is.”

“And as I can attest to your bedroom etiquette, I can only assume that if mathematical logic still applies, two positives still make a positive?”

“A very amazing positive,” Jussi said with a smile.

Rosalind tilted her head to the side and smiled lightly back at him. “She makes you happy and frustrated all at the same time.” She patted his arm with a small laugh. “Welcome to the club, my friend.”

“What club?” Jussi asked with a frown.

“The ‘I’m in love with a flight risk’ club.”

Jussi frowned at her. “I’m not in love.”

“Denial. First stage, you know.”

“That’s stages of grief,” Jussi pointed out.

“Grief, love, it’s the same thing in the long run; both end up playing with your emotions and making you their bitch.”

Jussi blinked at her. “I’m not in love with her.”

“You keep telling yourself that, Jussi,” Rosalind said with a smile. “Remember, I’m the friend that sees all,” she said tapping her temple. “Hell, I probably predicted this. Now while you sit there in stunned silence, I’m going to go grab Jyrki and Impi and we’ll get going before we’re late. Soya will have my head if we’re late.”

“Rose?” Jussi called before she started towards the kitchen.


“What do you mean, flight risk?”

Rosalind smiled at him. Jussi could feel the pity rolling off of her in waves; he had a feeling her explanation wasn’t going to be a good one. “Someone that’s more likely to run away from you than actually stay. Someone who leaves at a moment’s notice; someone who’s not quite at the same page as you are in the relationship, but you know if you just wait, they’ll eventually get where you are. You just have to have the patience for them. That’s what I mean by flight risk. Trust me, I know what they look like,” she said, patting his arm once more before going towards the kitchen, leaving Jussi to stare after her.

He hoped to God he’d never had a relationship like the one Jyrki and Rosalind had, he thought, as he sat on the couch rather than its arm. He respected his friend; he and Jyrki had been through…hell and back, he thought as he rubbed his forehead, Rosalind’s comments adding the mess in his head. But one of things he’d never understood about Jyrki was his relationship with Rosalind.

They loved each other, had a child together, yet neither one of them budged when it came to moving their relationship forward. Jyrki wanted to get married. Whether it was because he wanted Rosalind to be his wife or because he thought it was the right thing to do, Jussi wasn’t sure, but he knew that Jyrki had a ring for Rosalind for whenever she said yes, and five years later, she had yet to give in.

Jussi doubted she ever would. He looked over at the kitchen, where he saw the small family. She loved Barcelona too much, preferred it over the Arctic Circle that made his home. He could see Rosalind being content in a non-touring life, staying home with her daughter, living a “normal” life, whatever that was for someone as well-known as she was. Even now, Rosalind and her family toured less and less because both she and her older brother had kids who they both wanted semi-normal lives for. She had a strong sense of family, and even though Jussi knew her family was a bit fucked up at times, she wouldn’t leave them for the world.

On the other hand, Jyrki loved to travel, and rarely stopped working, whether it be touring, writing songs, recording, or his side project of DJing. Or even just traveling for the hell of it. Jyrki loved keeping busy and loved his life that revolved around music and the band. At the end of the day, Helsinki would always be Jyrki’s home, and if he hadn’t budged in moving in the last five years, Jussi doubted Jyrki ever would.

Jussi wondered how the couple even worked. The love they held for each other, that was clear as day, but even Jussi wasn’t naive enough to believe that the power of love was able to hold even the strongest relationships together. Somehow, though, Rosalind and Jyrki held steady in their relationship. Something they were doing was working. But then Rosalind’s words rang back at him; someone who’s not quite at the same page as you are in the relationship, but you know if you just wait, they’ll eventually get where you are. You just have to have the patience for them. He looked back at the family and couldn’t help but wonder just how long Rosalind had been waiting for Jyrki to catch up. He snorted to himself. Or was it the other way around?


“Jussi, are you sure you don’t want the blanket?” Soya asked as she settled in her camping chair. Jussi sat on the ground, enjoying the coolness of the grass as he settled down on it. It didn’t quite have that morning dew, but it still had that morning coldness that seeped through his black jeans and allowed his mind to clear for just a spilt second before it started to swirl again.

“No, I’m fine,” he said, bringing his knees up and resting his arms on top of them as he watched Impi with her team, putting on her shin guards and socks. Rosalind was talking with her eldest brother Luis, who had a daughter on the opposing team.

He was absently aware of the conversation that was taking place behind him; Soya and Ville were talking of their trip thus far, Ville complaining good-naturedly about the things Soya had dragged him out to do, while Soya teased him. They made a good couple, Jussi thought, turning his head slightly to look at them. Both were grinning while they spoke to Jyrki, Soya’s fingers intertwined with Ville’s on his armrest. They weren’t overbearing with their feelings for each other, or if they were, they never were in public. They weren’t the couple that was large on PDA’s but even without it, he could feel the love they held for each other.

From what Jussi had witnessed, just from their short courtship, they’d had their ups and downs. He knew they fought. Well, more like bickered, according to Soya. Though, she and Ville always made up soon after they fought, rarely staying upset at each other. He knew that they were already each other’s support systems, having witnessed Ville very much being Soya’s rock after her father’s death. They were patient with each other and seemed to have their relationship all figured out. They fell into sync so soon after getting together that it amazed Jussi that any couple could be so in tune with each other.

He thought of Isolde then, looking back towards the field, though not really watching the game that was now in play. He wondered if they would be on the same page. He mentally scoffed at himself. Obviously they weren’t; she’d up and left while he’d expected to have more time with her.

The words flight risk moved to the front of his thoughts, which was a good word for Isolde. She enjoyed her traveling, but then again so did he. She didn’t enjoy staying put, enjoying the benefits that came with her job. A job that she was very good at, as he’d finally given into his curiosity and looked up her professional page online to see the prints she sold. He did, however steadfastly refuse to go to her personal blog, as he felt that was crossing a line he didn’t quite have a right to cross as of yet, even if Isolde had given her permission.

Rubbing his face against his arm, he groaned quietly. Why the hell could he not get her out of his head? Every aspect of her circled round and round and round until he was so mentally dizzy, surprised that he could focus long enough to even play the drums. His drums had always been one of few things that were able to clear his mind, allowing him to focus. Luckily, Isolde hadn’t hindered that…yet.

Sighing, he rested his chin on his arm, his eyes still on the game. Impi had the ball, so he concentrated on that before his mind filled again. Their nights spent together, the way her body fit against his, and dear God, how responsive she was to his every move. The way she nearly melted underneath his fingers when he found that spot behind her ear, or the way she’d nearly kicked him when he found a particular ticklish spot behind her knee. He internally groaned. There had to be something that would get Isolde out of his head. A pill, a fucking ritual, anything!

“…last night?”

He felt a poke on his shoulder, causing him to blink and look behind him to see who had been trying to get his attention, only to find Soya smiling kindly at him, waiting for a response.

“I’m sorry, what?” he asked, shaking his head a bit to concentrate on Soya.

“The gig last night, in Rauma? How’d it go?”

“Oh, yeah, good.” he nodded. Assuming that was all she needed, he turned away again and looked back at the field. He heard her laugh, before poking his shoulder again, getting him to turn back to her.

“You okay?” she asked with a raised eyebrow.

“I’m fine.” He said slowly, though he felt his ire rise. “Why?”

“You seem a bit out of it,” Soya admitted.

“I’m just tired, Soya,” he half lied. He was fucking tired, but that wasn’t the full reason he’d been ignoring his friends. “We left right after the gig last night. Got here, helped Rosalind get everything together before coming out here, only to head out again in a few hours. Just wiped.”

He watched Soya chew on her lip, before nodding. “All right.”

He could tell she was letting the situation go, but his annoyance level had risen and his tongue already had the words formed and out before he realized that he was taking his annoyance out on Soya. “I mean, what’s the big deal? A man has the right to be tired after all,” he ranted, noting that Ville and Jyrki had turned to him as well.

“Yes….he does,” he absently heard her say, but kept talking.

“And I’m tired of everyone asking me if I’m all right. I’m fucking fine,” he said, watching as Soya held her hands up in a gesture of peace.

“I’m sorry I asked,” Soya said. He could hear the worry dripping from her voice, obviously not used to her friends just going off on her for no reason. He would have dealt just fine with her anger, but Soya wasn’t quick to anger. She was quick to worry and her fucking worry made him feel like he’d kicked a fucking puppy.

Sighing and rubbing his face in agitation he stood up, “I’m going to get some air,” he muttered, realizing how stupid that sounded as they were already outside, but leaving the group anyway. He really needed to get himself under control, he thought as he walked up a small hill that overlooked the field Impi was playing on and sat down.

He was ready to wallow in his guilt when he felt someone sit next to him and nudge his shoulder with theirs. “Okay, really, what’s wrong?”

Jussi gave an aggravated groan and looked over at her. “Soya.”

“Jussi,” she mocked, knocking her shoulder with his again. “Come on, we’re friends, talk to me. It might help to get an outside perspective in whatever issue is apparently circling that head of yours.”

Jussi stared at her for a second before shaking his head. “I don’t want to talk about it, Soya. In fact, there is nothing to talk about.”

He watched Soya nod slowly before smiling at him. “If you don’t start talking, I will bug the hell out of you, and trust me, when I put my mind to it, I can be just as annoying, if not more annoying than Rosalind.”

Jussi half groaned, half snorted as he thought about that. “I did not know that was even possible.”

“Oh trust me, with the right prompting it’ll happen,” she teased. “And it usually involves a very off key rendition of ‘Relax’ by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.”

Jussi stared at her, putting his hands up in surrender when she opened her mouth. “Okay, I’ll talk,” he said quickly, while her boyfriend had that voice of an angel, Soya did not.

“That usually does it.” Soya laughed. “So what’s wrong?”

Jussi sighed, stretching his legs out in front of him. “Of all people, I really don’t want to talk to you about this.”

“Well now I’m offended. Why not?”

“Because you’re…well…” Jussi looked at her. Christ she was so good and innocent; he felt like a sinner just saying the word ‘sex’ in front of her. And though he knew that she and Ville had had sex, thank you Jyrki’s Tales of Berlin, he still felt like he’d ruin her. “I feel like I’d spoil you,” he finally admitted.

“Spoil me?” Soya laughed.

“You’re just so…” he waved a hand in front of her. “Innocent.”

Soya sighed, rolling her eyes. “Start talking, Jussi.”

Jussi groaned, knowing she wouldn’t give up until he spoke to her; she had the patience of a saint and would wait forever if she had to, longer if the waiting was for her friends. “I think I like someone.”

Soya stared at him. He wasn’t sure if she was surprised that he liked someone or surprised that liking someone was such a worry for him. In hindsight, it did seem like such a trivial thing. It was Isolde though, and Isolde wasn’t a trivial worry. “You like someone.”

“A girl…a woman,” Jussi corrected nervously.

“And that’s a problem?” Soya asked, confusion in her voice.

Jussi jumped up and started pacing in front of her, the agitation he felt earlier coming back two-fold as he thought of Isolde and how badly he’d fucked up the situation with her.

“It’s a huge problem!” Jussi said, waving his hands as he talked. God he felt like a lunatic. “It was just supposed to be a fuck, quick, simple…I mean there was nothing quick about it, trust me, nothing quick!”

“Got it, you take your time. Go on,” Soya said. He could tell at this point she was humoring him but was avidly listening to him as he spoke.

“And then she left…” he said slowly.

“Right,” Soya nodded.

“And now…I can’t stop thinking about her,” he slowly admitted, looking at Soya, who was watching him. He could see the amusement creeping up in her eyes, and though it should have annoyed him, her taking pleasure from his issues, it oddly made him feel just a bit better.

“I want to call her. And I want to talk to her. And I really want to fuck her again,” he said before sighing, losing his steam, though he kept up with his pacing. “I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me, Soya!”

Soya chewed on her lip, trying not to laugh as she watched Jussi pace. He looked over at her when he heard her fail to stifle in a snort and raised an eyebrow in question, causing Soya to speak before he got the wrong idea. “You like the woman Jussi. There’s nothing wrong with you liking someone. I’m sure she likes you too.”

“I don’t know that though!” Jussi said quickly. “And that bothers me! I don’t know why it bothers me, but it does! It shouldn’t bother me as much as it does! She shouldn’t be able to get under my skin like this!”

“Jussi, maybe you should just call her and tell her how you feel,” Soya suggested, only to stifle her laughter again when Jussi stopped his pacing to scowl at her. Obviously the wrong thing to say, she thought in amusement.

“I can’t do that!”

“Why not?!” Soya laughed, not bothering to hide her amusement anymore. “Worst case scenario is that she doesn’t feel the same for you, but at least you’d get that closure. Best case scenario, you get a girlfriend….or is that the worst case for you?” she teased.

“Ha. Ha.” Jussi said with a glare. “The worst case scenario is that after I tell her, she avoids all of Helsinki and its surrounding areas to stay away from me.”

“Oh come on!” Soya laughed, not believing any woman would actually do that when a man showed interest in her.

“I’m serious!” Jussi said, falling back down next to her and sighing, rubbing his face. “So I’m just stuck here, feeling these stupid…feelings, and I can’t call her, because then that would scare her off.”

“Jus,” Soya said with a small laugh, not quite sure what to say to the drummer, but patted his back in sympathy.

“I hate feeling like this,” he said, groaning into his hands. “I thought coming here would take my mind off of it, but I just…it keeps going around in circles. Should I call her, should I not, should I leave it, or should I poke?”

“How long have you known this woman?”

Jussi shrugged, knowing that if anything would make the situation worse, it would be what he was about to tell Soya. “A few days,” he muttered.

Soya laughed. “A few days?”

“More like…” Jussi hesitated. “When you put all our meetings together, it maybe makes…a full twenty-four hours?”

“Jus!” Soya laughed, before putting the pieces together and gaping at him. “Isolde! You like Isolde!”

Jussi responded with an agonizing groan, covering his face with his hands again. This wasn’t making him feel better anymore, he thought. This was actually much more painful than admitting he liked a girl. Soya knowing that it was Isolde made the situation worse; it meant that she now knew how to advise the situation, which killed him. He knew what she going to advise, and it’d been the same thing that he’d been arguing with himself about.

Isolde wasn’t one for commitment, so let it go. And as much as he tried, he just couldn’t.

“I thought you just wanted to…sleep with her a bit; I didn’t realize you actually liked her!”

“Yeah! How do you think I feel?!” Jussi asked, looking at his friend wide eyed.

Soya chewed on her lip, watching the game on the field before looking back at Jussi. “Not to make you feel worse, but I don’t think Isolde does relationships, Jus.”

“I know,” he sighed, running a hand through his hair. “I know; I slept with her for that exact reason, Soya. We both wanted no strings, no holds barred sex, and we got just that. At least one of us did.”

“Now you want the strings.” Soya stated looking at her friend, trying not to pity him.

“I don’t want all the strings, like you and Ville have. I don’t think I’m really cut out for all this marriage and babies crap,” he said, waving a hand in her direction.

Soya frowned. “We’re not getting married, nor are we pregnant.”

Jussi snorted, raising an eyebrow as he grinned at her. “Don’t try to hide it; Jyrki already told us you guys are engaged. Congratulations by the way!” he said, nudging her shoulder with his.

“Damnmit!” Soya cursed, glaring over at Jyrki.

Jussi laughed at her reaction. It was rare to hear Soya curse and it was always amusing when she did. “Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone else,” he assured.

“Thanks,” she laughed, bring her knees up to her chest. She circled her arms around them, resting her chin on her knees as they both silently watched the soccer game going on in front of them. She looked over at Jussi, who was in the same position before smiling at him, resting her cheek on her knees.

He’d make a good boyfriend, she thought, never doubting her friend’s ability to settle for a minute. She just felt a bit sorry for him that he’d fallen for a woman who had proclaimed herself that she enjoyed her gypsy ways, as well as her lifestyle as a self-proclaimed bachelorette. Soya leaned to her side and nudged Jussi, causing him to look up and at her.

“Jus, maybe you are cut out for it. Maybe you just haven’t found the woman that will change your thinking. Yes, Isolde is-”

“Amazing.” Jussi sighed.

Soya giggled and nodded. “That too. I was going to say independent. There’s nothing, and I mean nothing wrong with liking her, or wanting to have a string or two with her other than just-”

“Fucking?” Jussi asked with a raised eyebrow.

“That,” Soya laughed. “I think it’s sweet,” she said, pinching his cheek

Jussi sent her a playful glare at her, smacking her hand away, causing her to laugh.

“I’m so glad you’re getting enjoyment out of this,” he grumbled.

“Jussi, you’ve worked yourself up into this near panic because you like a girl; you can’t expect me to take the entire situation without wanting to hug you and laugh at you.”

“Thanks Soya, really thanks,” Jussi said with a roll of his eyes as he stood, holding his hand out to help her up. They walked back towards Ville and Jyrki, only for Soya to smack the back of Jyrki’s head.

“What was that for?!” Jyrki said, glaring at the woman and rubbing the back of his head as Soya sat on Ville’s lap, letting Jussi take her previous seat.

“You not being able to keep your mouth shut,” Soya stated as if it should have been obvious why Jyrki had received the hit to the back of the head.

Jyrki looked over at Jussi. “I told you not to say anything!”

Jussi shrugged, before grinning over at the couple. “I’m happy for them. Now, what do you want for an engagement gift? Where are you registering?”

Ville groaned, leaning his head back. “Wonderful.”

“As long as Jussi keeps his mouth shut, along with Rosalind, it won’t leave the band,” Jyrki said.

Soya laughed. “It’s going to be all over the tabloids by the end of the week.”

“No it won’t,” Jussi laughed, assuring Soya. “We’ll keep it quiet. Now, seriously, do you guys expect separate gifts from us or are we allowed to get you one big gift as a band?”

“No gifts,” Ville said with a roll of his eyes, only to look at Soya when she spoke at the same time.

“Depends on the gift,” Soya grinned, causing Ville to laugh just as the whistle blew out on the field and a wave of pink came rushing at them.

The rest of the soccer game passed by in a blur for Jussi. For the most part, his head had been cleared thanks to the talk with Soya. He’d been able to pay attention and focus on the conversations going on around him, as well as actively cheer for Impi when she’d gotten the winning goal.

While Rosalind talked to some of the other parents on the field and Impi said her goodbyes to her teammates, Jussi and Jyrki packed up the camping chairs to take out to Rosalind’s car.

“Did you want to come back to the hotel with us?” Soya asked as she folded the blankets that she and Rosalind had been using.

“Would that be okay?” Jyrki asked.

Ville nodded. “Don’t see why not, we’re all headed to the same place at the same time; might as well split the cab.”

“In that case, I’m going to go say goodbye to Impi and Lyn real quick, help them out to the car. Jussi, do you have our bags?”

“We left them in the car, want me to go grab them?” Jussi asked.

“I’ll grab them,” Jyrki said, just as Rosalind came up to them, Impi trailing behind her, eating the apple that Jussi had packed for her.

“Are you guys off?” Rosalind asked, mostly looking at Soya when she asked.

“We are,” Soya said with a small smile. “But we’ll see each other at Christmas.”

“Fine,” Rosalind said, giving a suffering sigh before hugging her friend. “I expect frequent phone calls as you start planning your wedding.”

“We’re not planning!”

Jussi caught Ville rolling his eyes and smirking at his fiancée; apparently Soya caught it too because she jabbed him in the ribs, causing Ville to wince then chuckle.

“Then at Christmas! We’ll do something. As your maid of honor, I’m making you start at Christmas.”

Soya rolled her eyes. “Josef is going to be very offended when he finds out you’ve named yourself my maid of honor.”

“I’ll fight him for it if it comes down to it,” Rosalind teased, kissing Soya’s cheek.

“I’ll call,” Soya laughed, before Rosalind let her go, allowing her to hug the young girl who was still munching on her apple, though Impi did have a firm grip on Jyrki’s pant leg, as she usually did when she sensed her father was getting ready to leave.

Rosalind went to Ville and hugged him before moving in front of Jussi and smiling, cupping his cheeks. Jussi frowned at the moment, remembering a time she’d done that and predicted his future.

A woman and babies. Just beautiful babies

Jussi blinked and focused on Rosalind again as her words whispered along the edge of his brain.

“Everything will work out, you know.”


“With you and your girl,” Rosalind teased. “Everything will work out.”

“I don’t think it will, but thanks.”

Rosalind gave a short nod, dropping her hands and kissing his cheek. “Don’t be so negative, Jussi.”

“I’m not.” Jussi shrugged. “It’s just fact.”

Rosalind nodded again, surprised when he could see in Rosalind’s eyes that she wanted to say something but held herself back. It was a rare day to see Rosalind actively using her filter. She moved away from him before he could ask her what she was going to say and grabbed two of the chairs from Jyrki’s hand, saying her last goodbyes before moving towards her car, leaving Impi with Jyrki.

Crouching down he gestured for Impi, who came into his arms willingly and hugged his neck tightly.

“I’ll see you at Christmas, pikkuinen.”

“Are you getting me a puppy?”

Jussi laughed. “Is that all I’m good for? Getting you puppies?”

“Yes,” Impi said with a grin, causing Jussi to laugh as he kissed the girl’s forehead.

“Go on,” he said, accepting the kiss she gave him before moving back towards her father. Jussi stood, dusting off his jeans as Jyrki let them know he’d be just a minute. Jussi knew from experience that Jyrki preferred saying goodbye to his little family in private. With a gesture to his daughter, Jyrki and Impi started for the parking lot where Rosalind was waiting, while Jussi, Ville and Soya started towards the street where they would call a cab.

“Hey, do you think we can get two separate cabs?” Soya asked.

Ville blinked and looked down at Soya, “Why?”

“I was thinking; you and Jyrki could go get something for us to eat before we head to the airport while Jussi comes with me and I can finish packing our stuff.”

Ville nodded slowly and Jussi couldn’t help but wonder what Soya was aiming at. “Sure, what do you want to eat?”

“Anything’s fine, Ville.” Soya assured as they reached the street and Ville hailed the cabs.

“All right, you guys go on and I’ll wait for Jyrki.”

“Thank you,” Soya smiled, opening the door. She smiled over at Jussi and gestured him in. “Let me kiss my fiancée and then we’ll go.”

Jussi snorted as he slid into the cab, watching Soya lean up on her tiptoes. He looked away and out the window, not wanting to intrude on the private moment, only to feel Soya slip into the cab and hear the door shut before Soya told the cab driver where to go.

“Oh shoot!” she muttered. He turned and saw her hitting her forehead lightly with the palm of her hand. “I forgot to get cash from Ville, I didn’t bring my wallet.”

Jussi smirked at the sound of Soya’s voice, distressed, genuinely guilty for having forgotten her wallet. “I’ve got it Soya, don’t worry about it.”

“I swear this isn’t some trick. I was going to bring my purse and Ville said to leave it as he had his wallet. I didn’t even think about that when I asked to get separate cabs.”

“It’s fine, Soya.” Jussi laughed. “I would have paid the cab anyway.”

“Oh.” She frowned then sent him a smile. “Well, thanks.”

“It’s not a problem,” Jussi nodded. “But since I am paying, why’d you separate us?”

Soya shrugged. “I figured if you still wanted to talk, we could do so while Ville and Jyrki were occupied. I found out quickly that Ville doesn’t like packing when he travels with me.”

“Why’s that?” Jussi asked with a laugh.

“Because while we start off with the necessities at the beginning of our trip, it kind of gets out of control by the end.”

Jussi laughed. “That’s what happens when you hang out with Rosalind.”

“That and when I’m left alone in a store full of shoes and handbags with a credit card with no limit.”

“There is that,” Jussi nodded. “And I’m fine, Soya. I really don’t need to talk anymore. Our talk earlier helped.”

“So what have you decided?”


Soya blinked at him before smacking his arm, causing him to wince. “Are you going to call her!?”

“No,” Jussi said rubbing his arm as he glared at Soya. “I’m not going to call her.”

“Why not?” Soya asked. Jussi couldn’t help but be amused by the pout Soya’s lips had formed.

“I told you, Soya; if I call her, all its going to do is scare her off. She’s like a newborn deer; she’s skittish of new things.”

“Okay, for one I’m pretty sure it’s offensive comparing her to a deer.”

“No more offensive than me comparing Impi to a dog,” Jussi pointed out.

Soya blinked, before shaking her head. “We’ll come back to that one, because my godchild is not a dog. And for two, you said if you told her how you felt it would scare her off. A phone call isn’t telling her you love her,” Soya teased.

“I’m never talking to you ever again,” Jussi said with a shake of his head, only for Soya to laugh.

“Oh come on Jussi, I’m sure it’s not all that weird to call a person up just to say, ‘hi how are you’.”

“Did you ever do that with Ville?”

Soya blinked. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, when you guys reconnected, did you ever just call him to say ‘hi’?”

Soya nodded slowly. “I did, but I’m pretty sure that’s different Jussi.”

“How so?” Jussi asked.

“Ville and I, we were never in it to just have a one off. We knew eventually if anything ever came of us, it’d be something that we both wanted to make last. It was never about...” Soya waved her hand, looking for the word. “Giving into to our other….erm….”

“You can say it, Soya. Sex. Your relationship isn’t about sex,” Jussi teased, delighting in the way her cheeks turned red.

“I swear, you all get off in making me blush,” Soya muttered as the driver stopped. Jussi chuckled, paying the driver before following Soya out of the cab and into the hotel.

“All relationships are different,” Soya said as she pushed the button for the elevator. “My relationship with Ville will always differ from your relationship with Isolde, or even Rosalind’s with Jyrki.”

Everyone’s relationship differs from that of Jyrki and Rosalind.”

Soya snorted as the doors opened. “Yes, I believe they do.” Jussi rested against the back of the elevator as Soya pushed the button for her floor before leaning on the wall next to him. “What I’m trying to say is that while yes, Ville and I did talk from time to time, I’m pretty sure had I voiced my feelings for him during our conversations, they would have been welcome. You’re another case entirely.”

“Exactly, it’s different!”

Soya eyed him in a way that caused Jussi to shut his mouth and listen to her. “I’m saying that if you just call to say ‘hi,’ it’s not weird.”

“I’m pretty sure it is.”

“How so?” Soya asked as the lift doors opened and admitted an older couple. The man pushed the button for the floor level as the lift doors closed and started up towards the floor Soya was staying on.

“I mean, had she wanted more than a one-off, she wouldn’t have just left in the dead of night, leaving me naked in a hotel room that didn’t even belong to me.”

Soya felt her face heat as she looked down at her toes, feeling the stares of the older couple on them. She nudged Jussi’s ribs hard, causing him to laugh. “Jussi, hiljaa!” (Jussi, shut up!)

“Voi kiitos, emme koskaan näe heitä, antaa heille hieman jännittystä!” (Oh please, we’ll never see them again, give them a bit of a thrill!) Jussi couldn’t help but laugh as Soya glared at him, her cheeks still tinged red as the doors opened to their floor. He heard Soya mutter a ‘sorry’ before leaving the lift, which only caused Jussi to laugh harder as he followed her down the hall to her room.

“I hate hanging out with you guys,” Soya muttered, taking the keycard out of her back pocket and inserting it into the lock.

“You love it,” Jussi chuckled as she shoved him into the room. Jussi looked around the room and could pinpoint exactly why Ville didn’t enjoy packing when traveling with Soya; most of the clothes that were scattered around the room were hers, and a good 80% of them still had tags on them, marking them as new purchases. There was also a mountain of empty shoe boxes by the couch and a suitcase packed neatly with solely those shoes.

“Jesus,” he muttered.

“Do not say a word,” Soya said, pointing at him as she moved to the bedroom of the suite. “I’m very much aware I have a problem.”

“I’m pretty sure ‘problem’ is an understatement,” Jussi muttered before standing back up and walking to the bedroom where Soya was folding up clothes that sat on the bed. He threw himself on as Soya eyed him wearily. “So what’s your sage advice, Soya? You know she up and left me. Do you still think it’d be normal to call and say ‘hi?’”

Soya sighed as she picked up a black t-shirt that belonged to Ville and folded it before placing it on top of her dress. Jussi smiled lightly. For some reason he found the idea of mixing clothing in a suitcase intimate. Ville had trust in Soya to allow her to not only pack his bags, but to share the bag. Of course the man had to be a saint to go and buy the woman a whole new suitcase just for her shoes.

He wondered if that’s what love meant? Buying a suitcase for the one you love because she had an addiction to heels that she may only wear once, and then put in the closet and forget about them. It had to be, he thought, as he watched Soya fold more of Ville’s clothes, packing them neatly into the suitcase.

“Are you even listening to me?”

Jussi blinked and looked up at Soya’s amused face. “Sorry, what were you saying?” he asked, sitting up on the bed and crossing his legs, catching Soya’s wince as she eyed his shoes on the bed. Jussi ignored it though; it wasn’t as if the couple would be sleeping in the bed that evening, anyway.

“I was saying that from what I know of Isolde, she’s not really one for small talk, but I’m sure that if you called her and told her that you just wanted to talk, she’d find it normal. I mean, I’m sure you guys did other things other than….” She waved her hand again, causing Jussi to laugh as she tried to find a proper word.

“Other than fuck?” Jussi chuckled, causing Soya to blush and glare at him.

“Yes, that. I’m sure that in order to sleep together, you both had to see if you were compatible.”

“Any man is compatible with any woman as long as all the proper parts are there.”

“Ah, I don’t know about that,” Soya said with a shrug. “I mean, I dated men before Ville, and none of them made me feel even a percentage of what Ville makes me feel.”

“But that’s because you love him,” Jussi pointed out.

“No, that’s because I’ve always held Ville in high regard. There’s a difference, Jussi.”

“Not really,” Jussi said. “I mean, you hold me in high regard.”

“Sure.” Soya nodded.

“Does that mean you’re attracted to me?”

“Yes, Soya, does that mean you’re attracted to Jussi?”

Soya looked up and smiled at Ville, who was leaning against the door jam with a raised eyebrow.

“Eavesdropper,” Soya teased.

“Not really, I just caught that last part,” Ville laughed. “We got sandwiches,” he said as he handed Jussi a bag, which Jussi accepted and started handing one to Soya, only for her to push it away.

“Mind putting it in the refrigerator until we leave? I’ll eat it at the airport.”

Ville nodded. “That’s fine, are you almost done in here?”

“Nearly, just a few more minutes,” Soya said, patting Ville’s cheek. “Why don’t you and Jyrki go sit on the couch and watch some TV while I finish up in here. We’ll leave in about half-an-hour.”

Ville eyed Jussi sitting on the bed as he unwrapped his sandwich, then Soya who was folding clothes. “All right.”

“Oh! Before you go sit down, did you bring everything from the bathroom out?”

“Yes I did, it’s all on the dresser.”

“Thank you. You can go now.”

Ville snorted, kissing the top of Soya’s head. “All right then,” he muttered before eyeing them one more time in amusement, leaving the room to sit next to Jyrki on the couch.

“I don’t want to talk about this anymore,” Jussi muttered around his sandwich.

“No, no. Ville’s not paying attention and neither is Jyrki,” Soya said quietly, “Though I don’t know why you don’t want them to know.”

Jussi shrugged. “It’s not really something I want to share with too many people.”

Soya nodded as she placed one of her shirts into the suitcase. “All right, let’s rephrase my previous statement.”

“Which was?”

“That you have to hold someone in high regard to be attracted to them.”

“Oh that.”

“While you don’t have to respect the person to be attracted to them, there has to be respect if you’re going to sleep-”

“No there doesn’t,” Jussi cut off. “Trust me; you really don’t have to respect the person you’re sleeping with; especially if it’s a one-off.”

Soya sighed and put down the pair of jeans she was in the middle of folding. “You’re impossible.”

“Hey, I’m just pointing out the inaccuracies in your argument. I don’t have to respect the person I’m sleeping with. It helps, but not a necessity.”

“Jussi, there has to be something other than Isolde’s pretty face that’s keeping you interested. While you may not respect or care about your other bed partners, obviously something’s calling you back to Isolde. Like you said, she’s under your skin.” Jussi watched her smirk, obviously pleased with herself as she continued folding the last pair of jeans into the suitcase. “Which means you did something other than just sleep together to think about her so constantly, to seek me, of all people, out for advice.”

Jussi snorted. “I didn’t seek you out Soya; you kind of just wormed your way into the situation without me having much say in it.”

“Same thing,” Soya shrugged as she moved to the nightstand, gathering Ville’s black toiletry bag, unzipping it and making sure he really did pack everything inside of it. “So you guys did talk.”

Jussi sighed, smirking slightly as Soya’s actions of double checking after Ville. “Yes, we talked.”

“And I’m guessing it wasn’t about superficial things like favorite colors.”

“She really doesn’t have one.”

Soya laughed lightly. “All right, so you guys did talk about that.”

“You’re right though, we did talk about other things,” Jussi said, picking at the last of his sandwich. “I shared things that I really don’t talk to anyone about, and I think she did the same.”

“Like what?”

Jussi looked at Soya, before shrugging, not sure if Rosalind had shared with Soya the one time they’d slept together. “Stuff about Rosalind and Jyrki.”

Soya chuckled. “If you think Rosalind kept her mouth shut about your…” she waved her hand, letting the word hang in the air between them. “Then you’re wrong. She told me all about it, not that I really wanted to hear it,” she muttered with a roll of her eyes.


“I also know that it’s not something that’s talked about….at all,” Soya said with a smile. “So you telling Isolde about it…that’s…big!”

Jussi sighed picking at his sandwich. “Yeah.”

Soya smiled slightly, packing Ville’s toiletry bag on one side of the suitcase. “You know, Ville is the first person that I really talked to about things.”

“Like?” he asked, wondering if she would share like he had.

Soya chuckled softly before gathering her own toiletry bag, along with her cosmetics bag, “Like my parents, when I was younger my father had slapped me a time or two.”

Jussi stiffened as he watched Soya shrug as she packed her things in the suitcase. “That’s not something you shrug off,” he pointed out.

“My father and I were in a much better place relationship-wise when he passed than when I was younger. It wasn’t a regular thing either,” she said patiently. “I’m not saying it was okay; I’m only saying that it wasn’t a weekly or monthly thing he did, it was just a…‘Soya’s rebelling’ type thing.”

“Still not okay,” Jussi said firmly.

“No, it isn’t,” Soya nodded in agreement. “Ville’s the only one that I’ve really ever talked about it with.”

“Soya, you love Ville,” Jussi stressed. “So there’s a level of trust between you both where you feel comfortable talking to him about that kind of stuff.”

“True, but obviously there’s a level of trust between you and Isolde if you’re telling her about Rose,” Soya pointed out, flipping the lid of the suitcase closed, eyeing it in surprise. “I’m surprised it all fits.”

Jussi snorted as he finished off his sandwich, crinkling the paper it had been wrapped in and stuffing it in the plastic bag before throwing it in the trash next to the bed. “Okay, so maybe on some level I do trust her.”

“Jussi, what is about her that you like?” Soya asked, placing the suitcase on the floor before double-checking the room.

Jussi shrugged as he watched her look under the bed, only to come out with a pair of Converse that belonged to Ville, rolling her eyes she set them on the bed. “I don’t know, she’s just…I’m comfortable with her,” he admitted, finding no point in censuring himself now. Soya would find a way to prod it out of him one way or another.

“That’s a good sign,” Soya nodded. “Being comfortable around a person means a lot.”

“I don’t mind just listening to her talk.”

“She does have a nice voice, doesn’t she?” Soya said, giving him a teasing smile before going over to the door and throwing Ville his shoes. “You said you double-checked everything,” she accused teasingly as Ville grabbed the shoes from where they fell on the floor.

“I was getting around to it,” Ville muttered, throwing them into the suitcase with her heels.

Soya rolled her eyes as she focused on Jussi. “So, voice.”

“Yeah. I mean I like it, but it’s more that I’m content in just sitting back and letting her talk. I don’t mind…letting go of the control when she’s around.”

“Is control big with you?” Soya asked, standing by the bed in front of him.

“I prefer having it,” Jussi said. “In or out of the bedroom, Isolde really….she kind of steamrolls over you and doesn’t give a person much of a choice. It’s her way and anyone that disagrees can just fuck off.”

“So I’ve heard,” Soya laughed.

Jussi rubbed his face in agitation. “I really like her, Soya.”

“I can tell,” Soya teased, patting the top of his head. “Come on, let’s call and cab and start towards the airport.”

Jussi nodded, getting off the bed as Soya got Ville and Jyrki up from the couch and had them help take the bags out of the room. He watched, amused as she made Ville do a second sweep of the room before asking Jyrki if he wouldn’t mind dragging her suitcase out of the room. She had a way of wrapping them around her finger so that all she had to do was look at one of them and they’d be tripping over themselves to do whatever Soya wanted if it ultimately made her happy.

Jussi even found himself dragging the second suitcase out of the room and waiting for the couple out in the hall as Soya and Ville walked out, Ville carrying both the carry-on bags while Soya walked out of the room empty handed. Even when she thanked them and made a move for one of the suitcases, Jussi pushed her hand away and wrapped his free arm around her shoulder as he and Jyrki rolled the suitcases down the hall and into the elevator.

Once in the lobby, Ville handed Soya their messenger bags while he took care of checking out, only to take them again when he came back. They walked out of the hotel, Jussi surprised when he saw two cabs waiting for them.

“Did you do this?” Soya asked with a laugh, looking up at Ville.

“It looked like you and Jussi were in the middle of a very serious and private conversation; thought you’d want to continue it.”

Soya laughed as she leaned up and kissed the bottom of Ville’s chin. “Thank you.”

Jussi watched as Ville and Jyrki loaded one of the suitcases in one of the cabs, before getting in and taking off, leaving him with Soya.

“Well,” Soya said looking at him.

“What?” Jussi asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Help me with the suitcase,” she laughed.

“Oh! Sorry,” Jussi said, helping her lift it into the back of the cab before sliding into the backseat with her. After telling the cab where they were headed, Soya turned to him with a smile.

“Are we still talking about this?” Jussi asked with a sigh.

“I just want to say a few things before we get to the airport.”

Jussi grinned at her. “Do I have a choice over whether I want to hear it or not?”

“Not really,” Soya laughed. “But you have a choice on following through.”

Jussi sighed. “All right Doctor, what’s wrong with me?”

Soya frowned at him. “That’s just it, nothing.”

Jussi stared at her. “What?”

“Jussi, you’re acting as if liking Isolde is this great big problem and the end of the universe as we know it, and it’s not. You like the girl, you want to talk to her, and you act as if a girl has never gotten under your skin before.”


“Yes, I can tell you right now, Isolde may be different. How, well that’s up to you to figure out, isn’t it? She may be someone that you just need to….get out of your system or she may be the one,” she teased. “But there is nothing wrong with liking her, Jussi.” Soya shrugged. “From the few times I’ve met Isolde I can tell she’s a good fit for you, so I don’t blame you for liking her. She’s an interesting woman, isn’t she?”

“Very,” Jussi nodded.

“On the other hand, while there is nothing wrong with liking her, there is something wrong with the way you’ve been dealing with it.”

“Yeah?” Jussi smirked.

“Yes,” Soya nodded. “Because you’re annoyed with your feelings and don’t quite know what to make of them, you’re snapping at your friends.”

Jussi stared at her. He thought she’d make some smartass remark about his feelings, not get serious about them. He could hear in her tone of voice that she was taking her ‘mother’ tone, a tone reserved for Aida and Impi. It meant a lecture was coming.

“Soya-” he started.

“No, wait, hear me out,” Soya said, quickly talking over him. “I just think you need to find another way of sorting with your feelings other than taking it out on us, especially if we’re just trying to help.” Soya shrugged. “It isn’t fair to us.”

“I know it’s not,” Jussi agreed.

“I also think that if you just call Isolde, you’ll be better able to sort through things.”

Jussi ran a hand through his hair, before smiling at Soya. “You know talking to you has helped.”

“Has it?” Soya asked with a grin.

“It has, it feels good to let someone in. It doesn’t feel like I’m letting it rest on my shoulders anymore, and while I know I may have been overreacting just a bit-”

“Only a bit,” Soya teased.

“I know it’s not the end of the world for liking Isolde. I, however won’t be calling her.”

Soya blinked at him. “Well isn’t that a plot twist,” she murmured, causing him to laugh.

“I told you Soya, I don’t mind taking a backseat in this with Isolde.” He shrugged. “I don’t mind her calling the shots. So if she eventually wants to call me just to say, ‘hey I’m in the area, lets fuck,’ I’m okay with that.”

“Really?” Soya asked, raising in eyebrow in surprise.

“Isolde isn’t the type to allow anyone to make the rules in any game she plays,” Jussi told her. “Right now, I’m…content with the way it’s going. I mean, I haven’t dealt with the past week well, what with the panic and anxiousness.”

Soya laughed. “Right.”

“But now that I’m thinking about it, I really am fine with letting her take control over this situation.”

Soya bit her lip. “What about when you’re not okay?” Soya asked quietly.

Jussi smiled kindly at her, feeling the urge to pat her head. “Then I stop. She’s not some drug…”

“The way you’ve been speaking of her, she may as well be,” Soya told him.

“When I’m not happy with the arrangement, I’ll stop seeing her. And who knows if there’s even an arrangement? For all I know, she’ll never be in Helsinki again.”

Soya contemplated letting the comment pass without any of her input but decided it wouldn’t be nice to torture Jussi that way. “According to Josef, Helsinki is one of her favorites. She tries to visit once every couple of months if her schedule allows, so if there is an arrangement between you two, then expect a call in a month.”

“Good to know,” Jussi nodded. “Thank you.”

Soya nodded as well, before patting his arm. “If you’re happy Jussi, then I’m happy.”

“I’m content,” Jussi corrected.

“All right then.”

“So what’s with the sudden interest in my romantic life?” Jussi asked.

Soya shrugged. “I don’t know; you’re probably easier to fix then Rosalind and Jyrki, so I took a shot.”

Jussi snorted. “Right.”

“I’m just…” Soya sighed happily before looking at him with a smile. “For the first time in a very long time, I can honestly say I’m happy with my life, and I want my friends to be able to say the same.”

Jussi laughed. “I think all of us can say we’re happy with our lives, Soya.”

“I don’t mean career-wise though,” Soya said quickly.

“Neither did I,” Jussi shrugged. “We don’t all have to be with someone to say we’re happy with our lives, Soya.”

“I know that,” Soya said with a roll of her eyes.

Jussi smirked as he looked at his friend. “It’s not that you want to see us happy Soya, it’s that you can’t bear to see us unhappy.”

“Well who would want to see their friends unhappy?” Soya asked with a raised eyebrow.

“You’re such a bleeding heart, Soya. It’s near impossible for you to see us and not want to make us smile. Lucky for you, just seeing you makes us smile.”

Soya laughed, before leaning forward to kiss his cheek. “Such a sweet thing to say.”

“So what about you?”

“What about me?” Soya asked.

“Well your relationship is going well; according to the gossip going around, it’s going…extremely well.”

Soya eyed him before nodding. “As we’re engaged, I’d say it is…and as that is only being spoken about between…what, three other people? Other than myself and Ville, it means those people are saying something else, so what have Jyrki and Rosalind been telling you?”

“You’re a scratcher,” Jussi smirked.

Jussi couldn’t help but laugh at the way Soya’s eyes went wide, and the way her face flushed bright red. He was pretty sure he’d set a new record on how red one could make Soya.

“It’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” Jussi teased. “Really! Rosalind bites. It’s good to know you switch it up and scratch. And obviously, Ville has no qualms about it. War wounds, we all enjoy them.”

“Oh my God, shut up,” Soya muttered, hiding her face in her hands. Jussi could see her shoulders shaking in suppressed laughter.

“So I’m guessing the sex was good if you left…” Jussi frowned at himself as he looked over at Soya, who had removed her hands and was looking at him amused, still red in the face and obviously still embarrassed. “Oh crap,” he said, shaking his head.


“I can’t tease you about sex anymore,” Jussi told her with a sigh.

“Well I’m thankful for that, but why not?”

“Because you’re like a sister to me now,” Jussi sighed. “And really, what brother wants to tease their sister about losing their virginity?”

Soya blinked at him. “So all of a sudden our relationship has shifted? Just like that?” she asked, snapping her fingers.

“Well, I wouldn’t say it was that fast,” Jussi said with a laugh. “I think it’s been gradual…and now talking about you having sex…not fun anymore.”

Soya bit her lip, before shaking her head. “I could be very mean, you know, and start teasing you about my sex life.”

“But you’re too kind-hearted for that,” Jussi laughed. “Oh I’m sorry, Soya. I swear I won’t tease you or Ville anymore.”

Soya shook her head. “Please don’t tease Ville about it; I think he takes our sex life much more seriously than I do.”

“I heard about what happened with Bam in Berlin.”

“Jyrki sure does have a big mouth.” She muttered.

Jussi snorted. “We’re all gossip mongers at heart.”

Soya laughed. “So I’ve noticed.”

“Are Bam and Ville okay? I heard that some harsh words were spoken.”

“I’m not sure what was said, I only got the shortened version,” Soya admitted. “But I think they’ll be fine.”


“I hope so.” Soya said as the cab parked in front of the airport. Soya went to pay when Jussi pushed her hand out of the way with a roll of his eyes and paid the driver himself. “I could have paid,” she muttered as she pulled the trunk open and Jussi grabbed her suitcase.

“We were talking about Bam and Ville,” Jussi said, ignoring her comment and closing the trunk.

“They’ll be fine,” Soya said as they walked through the airport, looking around, wondering if Ville and Jyrki had already gone through security. “I think if they both sit down and talk, they’ll realize they’re both being idiots.”

“We’re men Soya; we don’t talk about our feelings,” Jussi teased.

“Well then with that theory, wouldn’t that mean you’re not a man?” Soya asked with a teasing grin. “All we did today was talk about your feelings.”

Jussi stared at her in amusement, looking up when he caught sight of his friends coming. Ville leaned down to wrap his arm around his fiancés waist, kissing the top of her head before resting his chin on top of it.

“Ready?” Jyrki asked.

“Very much so,” Soya sighed happily, leaning against Ville as he started walking her toward security. They got cleared through security and went to their terminal and were able to board the plane. When they’d compared tickets, Jussi and Jyrki had figured out that they were nowhere near close to sitting next to Ville and Soya. After charming a couple of flight attendants however, they were able to finagle sitting behind the couple.

Once the plane was in the air and they were allowed to unbuckle their seatbelts, they spent most of their time leaning over Ville and Soya’s seat to talk to the couple, or Soya on her knees on her seat to talk to them, while Ville just watched, amused at the childlike behavior his fiancé was exhibiting.

Jyrki teased the couple about joining the mile high club, while Jussi winced and wisely kept silent, as he noted Soya’s teasing smirk that had been sent in his direction, though she did assure Jyrki that she wasn’t that type of girl. Though by whatever Soya had whispered in Ville’s ear soon after and Ville’s near choking experience, Jussi imagined that once Soya became more confident in sex, joining the mile high club wouldn’t be that far off.

A few hours later they landed in Helsinki, Jussi and Jyrki bidding goodbye to their friends. Jussi making sure Ville would take care of Soya, much to Soya’s amusement. He swore he heard the woman laughing when he turned his back.

He and Jyrki jogged to their terminal that would take them to Vaasa where they would be playing that night, making it just in time and getting to their seats ten minutes before the flight took off.

“We’re just lucky the flight attendants know us practically by sight,” Jussi sighed, settling down in his seat.

Jyrki chuckled in amusement. “Very true. You and Soya were talking a lot today.”

Jussi shrugged. “She’s nice to talk to.”

“I didn’t think you two were very close,” Jyrki admitted.

Jussi laughed. “We have our moments. She’s quickly turning to be like a sister. She’s a sweet person.”

“Not arguing that,” Jyrki laughed in agreement. “It’s very easy to grow attached to Soya, I just didn’t think you guys were all that close.”

Jussi shrugged. “She was helping me with some stuff.”

“Isolde stuff?” Jyrki asked with a raised eyebrow.

Jussi nodded slowly, still not sure how much of his Isolde-related problems he wanted to share with people other than Soya. “Yeah. Soya, she has this tendency to let people talk and just listen. She gives good advice too.”

Jyrki looked over at Jussi with a raised eyebrow. “Like relationship advice?”

Jussi nodded. “Yeah, why?”

Jyrki shook his head. “No, I just…Soya’s only been in one relationship. She’s sweet as all hell, just not sure how sound her advice would be after being in a relationship for all of…what three-and-a-half months?”

“And in those three-and-a-half months, she’s gotten engaged,” Jussi pointed out.

“True,” Jyrki said slowly. “But why wouldn’t you come to me to ask about relationship advice?”

Jussi laughed as he looked over at his friend. “Are you jealous that I went to Soya?”

“No, just curious as to why you went to someone with less experience if you were looking for advice.”

“Well for one, I wasn’t looking for advice, Soya made me talk, and then out of her own volition, advised me as to what I should do. Whether or not I’m going to actually do it is still in consideration,” Jussi pointed out.

“All right,” Jyrki nodded.

“And no offence,” Jussi said with a smirk. “But even with ten years under your belt, I still wouldn’t call you an expert on relationships.”


Jussi shrugged, not caring whether Jyrki’s voice held a tone of warning. “I’m just saying, you and Rosalind aren’t the most stable of relationships. It works for you guys, but I wouldn’t call you an expert, Jyrki. Really, I wouldn’t consider Soya an expert, either; she just knows Isolde a bit better.”

“Whether you want to admit it or not, our situations are a lot alike.”

“Oh Christ, kill me if they are,” Jussi teased, causing Jyrki to mock glare at him.

“I’m not kidding, Jussi. You think Rosalind and I started off wanting to be in a full on relationship? We started off as casual too.”

“Yes, I remember that,” Jussi nodded. “If I also remember correctly, you guys didn’t last a month before you got so jealous of Rosalind taking another guy to the Latin Grammys that the next time you guys got together, you made that stupid rule of not dating anyone else.”

“We’re allowed to date other people,” Jyrki pointed out.

Jussi snorted. “You have only seen one other person besides Rosalind in the last ten years, and that was early in your relationship and didn’t last long at all, Jyrki.” Jussi shook his head. “I love you guys, you know that, but I don’t think I could ever handle a relationship like yours and Rose’s. I either want casual like I have right now with Isolde, or a full on relationship, none of this half crap that you and Rose have going on.”

“I don’t think my relationship is that bad.”

“And I’m not saying it is,” Jussi said quickly. “I’m just saying it’s not for me. I’d rather have a relationship based on sex or a relationship based on more than something in-between.”

“I think-”

“Think all you want,” Jussi said, cutting Jyrki off and smiling lightly at him. “Your relationship works for you Jyrki, and it works for Rosalind. And maybe in the ten years I’ve known you guys, there’s something I don’t see and you guys are based off of more. But I know that that type of relationship isn’t for me. It would kill me to have a family and not have them either on the bus with me or waiting at home for me. I just know that of myself.”

“You think it doesn’t kill me?”

Jussi shrugged. “I don’t see you fighting any harder to get Rosalind to move to Hels, and I don’t see you packing your bags to Barcelona. You guys have been at a standstill about this for the past five years. If it hasn’t changed now, I doubt it ever will.”

Jyrki nodded slowly. “This works for Rosalind and I. I’m not saying it’s the best of situations, but it’s a good one.”

“For you,” Jussi reiterated, before shrugging. “Like I said, I didn’t go to Soya for advice; I just started talking to her, and because she knows Isolde a bit better, she was able to see where I was coming from.”

“I’m not jealous.”

“Yes you are,” Jussi laughed.

Jyrki rolled his eyes. “Did she at least give you good advice?”

“She did,” Jussi nodded. “Not that I’m really going to follow it.” Jussi laughed. “But it helped to talk to her about it and because of it I’m in a better place up here,” he said, tapping his temple. “The situation isn’t bugging me as much now. I’m content and I’m not going to overthink it.”

“So you’re going to call Isolde?” Jyrki said, wondering if his friend was content because he’d decided to give in and call the woman he’d been thinking about for the past week.

“No,” Jussi laughed. “I find that I’m quite happy in letting Isolde take the lead in this. If she wants to call and talk, then I can wait. She wants to call for a quick hook-up, I can wait.”

Jyrki blinked. “How is this better than what I have?”

“I never said it was,” Jussi said. “But this works for me, and I’m hoping in the long run, it’ll work for Isolde.”

“Is it going to stop you from snapping at us?”

“Most likely.”

“Then glad it works,” Jyrki chuckled.

Jussi looked at his friend before asking the question on his mind. “Does it work for you?”

Jyrki looked back at Jussi. “What? My relationship?”

“Yeah,” Jussi nodded. “I mean, I always assume it works; you and Rosalind are still holding strong, but I’ve never really asked you.”

Jyrki nodded slowly in understanding before speaking slowly. “Sometimes our relationship feels like it’s slowly unsticking, like a binding on an old book that’s teetering on the edge of falling apart. Its days like those that I’m glad we don’t live together for Impi’s sake. Rosalind and I just won’t mesh, we won’t get along. We fight and it usually results in one or two things flying across the room. It’s volatile and hurtful, and its days like that that I wonder if it’s worth it.”

“Then why stay together?” Jussi asked.

“Because some days, most days, everything works; our relationship feels fresh and new and everything just fits together. The binding of our book gets fixed and we’re perfect.” Jyrki smiled. “And it makes the fighting worth it. I love the woman to death, Jussi. And I’m not sure how things would work if we weren’t together in some capacity. Nothing’s changed in the last five years because there’s nothing to change, Jussi. This relationship I have with Rosalind, it very much works. It’s not perfect by a long shot, but it works.”

Jussi nodded. “And you’re happy.”


“Then that’s what matters.”

Jyrki nodded in agreement. “That’s what matters.”


It wasn’t until later that night that Jussi thought about his conversation with Jyrki on the plane. They’d stopped talking about relationships after that, instead switching to a safer topic: the band. When the plane had landed, they had grabbed a cab to the venue, just in time for sound check. This had caused Jussi to push the conversation to the back of his mind, and it wasn’t until that moment as he lay on his bunk with his laptop, checking his e-mails, that he was really able to think back to what had been said.

He could tell there was more to Jyrki and Rosalind’s relationship that his friend was both happy and unhappy with. He’d noted that when it came to Impi, Jyrki was mostly pleased with the arrangement because Impi wasn’t subject to his and Rosalind’s worst moments. Which was good, Jussi thought, as he would worry if the young girl were to witness that. Hell, he’d been witness to one of Jyrki and Rosalind’s fights, and he’d been traumatized by it. He could only imagine how a five year-old would be affected.

Then he thought of the arrangement he’d made with Isolde. If there was an arrangement, he thought to himself. For now it was perfect. His life was hectic; he didn’t have the time or the energy to commit himself to a relationship, especially with someone as high maintenance as Isolde. And Isolde was high maintenance.

Sighing, he looked at his laptop screen and poked his head out from his bunk when he heard his name being called. Timo-Timo was offering him a drink. Jussi waved him off, telling his friend he’d be out in a few minutes before returning his eyes back to his screen.

He closed the screen when the words on the e-mail he was reading started blurring together and tossed it to the corner of his bunk, making a mental note to put it in his bag before going to bed. He closed his eyes and thought of Isolde, as many of his thoughts did in the past week.

He knew that if he allowed it, he could feel a lot more for the woman than he already did. He knew that if he really admitted it, he was already feeling more for her then he should and that he was already treading in dangerous waters. But he did feel content in his decision to allow Isolde to take control of their situation. If there even was a situation, he reminded himself.

They hadn’t made any promises to each other. She’d never agreed to more than their weekend together, and he’d never really asked for more. There’d been a brief moment when they spoke of getting together whenever they were both in the same area, as rare as it seemed to be. But it was a brief mention and it never turned into an agreement. She called him her new lover, but he was pretty sure Isolde called all the men she slept with her lovers, so he didn’t exactly feel like a special case.

He did however, feel special that she shared her problems with him. He had a feeling Isolde was very slow to trust, most likely because of her ex, Richard. And he was honored that for that one night she’d seen something in him that was worthy of her trust, just as he’d seen something worthy in her to trust her with his own personal story. There was something about Isolde, he thought with an amused smile as he opened his eyes and started to slip out of his bunk, only to stop when he felt something vibrate underneath him.

Scrounging around the blankets, he found his phone and saw Isolde’s name and face pop up on his screen. A picture of her with her camera to her face, a picture he’d taken during their get-together at Ville’s tower in the day they’d met.

Speak, or think, of the devil, he thought with a wry smile, before answering the call and putting the phone to his ear.

“Hey,” he said a grin on his face.

“Hey back.”
♠ ♠ ♠
Soya and Rosalind's Outfits

Thank you so so so so so much for baring with me guys!! Works been hectic and I've been working non-stop, only finding a couple hours to write during my free time so i'm sorry the chapters are taking so long!!

My goal is to post every other week so keep your fingers crossed that this works out!!!

Thank you so so so much for the comments on the last chapter!! and as always comments deserve rewards!!! So i'll send out the preview once i have it!! Can't wait to see what you thought of this chapter!!!