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Scream Me a Dream

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Prologue:

 

1996

 

Ville Valo watched in pure enjoyment as his best friend Soya Toivonen walked off the couch to pick up the guitar Linde had left against the wall and put it over her shoulder before flopping back on the couch quietly strumming the instrument with a look of sheer pleasure on her face.

 

“And to what do I owe this private concert?” Ville asked as he sat down next to her, her fingers working over a melody that she probably heard only in her head.

 

“Mmm.” She looked over at him with a grin. “The entire time you and Linde practiced all I could do was wish that I was in his place.”

 

Ville laughed. “You know we have a gig next weekend.”

 

“Mmhmm.” She nodded. “Mige told me.”

 

“I’m sure Linde wouldn’t mind sitting out a few songs so you could indulge you’re guilty pleasure.”

 

“What guilty pleasure?”

 

They both looked up to see Linde standing in front of them with three bottles of water instead of the beers they usually drank. Soya smiled as Linde handed one to Ville, set Soya’s on the floor and kept his as he sat on the stool by the microphone.

 

She wasn’t a drinker, one because it wasn’t legal for her yet, seeing as she was sixteen, and two because she wasn’t fond of the effects alcohol had on even the calmest and shyest of people.  The boys having noted her being uncomfortable around them when they were drinking made a conscious effort to keep from drinking when she was around.

 

“Soya’s guilty pleasure of playing guitar.” Ville said twisting the top off his water.

 

“What about it?” Linde asked as Soya grinned playing the opening chords to Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love causing Ville to grin.

 

“Ville has the absurd notion that you’ll sit out a few songs so I can play with the band during the gig next Saturday.”

 

Linde grinned himself at the idea. “I wouldn’t mind at all.” he said quickly. “But you have to be serious about it and not get my hopes up.” He warned her causing Soya to give a bark of laughter.

 

“You do realize that it would never happen.” She told them, looking over at both of them as her fingers naturally slipped from Elvis to Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell “My parents have micro-managed my life since I was conceived, my mother even held off giving birth to me because she swore it would be so much better if I were actually born on Christmas.” She looked at both of them again letting her fingers slip off the guitar. “Do you both even know where I told my mother I was going in order for me to hang out in the garage full of boys, and not only that but boys who are socially unacceptable?”

 

“Library?” Linde guessed with a smirk.

 

“I say museum.” Ville said knowing that she had used that one before.

 

“I’m at a lecture about the values that classical music has on youth.” She said seriously bending down to pick up her water.

 

Both boys burst out laughing as she glared at them. “You’re both lucky that Nathan likes you.” She said, referring to her driver that was usually in on her plans to visit her friends.

 

“Just don’t tell you’re parents.” Linde said with a roll of his eyes as if pointing out the obvious.

 

“That is easier said then done.” She said taking the guitar from around her neck and setting it so it leaned carefully against the couch.

 

“If you’re serious about playing with us for a few songs,” Ville said looking at Linde who nodded. “Then we’ll make it happen.”

 

Soya laughed again looking at both boys who seemed hell bent in getting her to play in front of a crowd.  She shook her head in amusement as she looked up and saw Mige getting out of his car and walking over. “Okay, how’s this, since your plan of sneaking me out or even convincing my parents to let alone allow me to go to a bar but to play an instrument that is not Jonah or Elizabeth approved, is so very far fetched. If you succeed…” she bit her lip and looked at Mige who was walking into the garage hearing the tail-end of the conversation. “I’ll let Mige have my first kiss.”

 

They all stared at her, causing her to smirk. They all knew how seriously she took her firsts. They all teased her for romanticizing things that they’d just done without thinking.

 

“You underestimate us kulta.” Ville smirked.

 

“No,” she said with a laugh. “I just know my parents very well.” She laughed standing up and patting Mige’s chest who was still confused as to why he was going to be kissing her. “I have to go; I think three hours is long enough for a lecture.”

 

Linde reached for his guitar before holding it out for her with a smirk of his own. “Here, you’re going to need something to practice with for the gig.”

 

Soya laughed and took the guitar knowing Nathan would take it up to her room later. “Boys, as always it has been a pleasure.”

 

They watched as she flounced out of the garage with the guitar firmly in her grip before turning to each other.

 

“So what are we going to do?” Ville asked.

 

“I don’t know, but we better figure it out.” Linde laughed. “Mostly because I want to see Soya eat her words.”

 

Mige looked at both of them before speaking. “Why will Soya be kissing me again?”

 

Both Ville and Linde laughed before explaining.

 

XxxxxxX

 

Soya sat on the couch of the library in the huge palace her parents deemed home, putting her feet up with a groan. Three hours of warming up before actually practicing for another three hours for the dance recital she had coming up, it was torture on her poor little feet.

 

She flexed her toes and looked up at the domed ceiling, she loved dancing, she really did. It was something she’d been doing since she could fit into a pair of ballet shoes and something she could definitely see herself doing in the future. But lately dancing had become more of a burden then her passion, and knowing her parents as she did, she knew that even saying the word quit, no matter the subject just wasn’t in the Toivonen vocabulary.

 

She gave a snort of laughter, her father would probably stroke if she even talked about taking a break from dancing.

 

“Soya!”

 

Soya lifted her head at her mother’s voice and promptly put her feet down, sitting up straight.

 

“I’m in the library.” She called back, preparing herself for the onslaught of criticisms her mother probably had for her.

 

“What is this?”

 

Soya looked up at her mother, her eyes widening when she saw Linde’s guitar that he had let her borrow two days ago in her mother’s grasp.

 

“Mamma.” She started as she stood up.

 

“What is this Soya?”

 

“A guitar, Mamma.” Soya said quietly, bowing her head.

 

“And why was it under your bed?”

 

“I…” she sighed. “A friend let me borrow it.”

 

“A friend?” her mother scoffed. “Those older boys you met at the music store are not your friends.”

 

“But mamma.” She started again trying to explain.

 

“I don’t want to hear it Soya, go to your room and stay there until your Papa comes home, because you know he’ll be hearing about this.”

 

Soya nodded silently, resisting the urge to wrestle the guitar out of her mother’s hands and went up the winding staircase to her room, silently closing the door. She flopped down on her bed and closed her eyes keeping the tears at bay waiting for her father.

 

Sure enough promptly at 5:10, she heard her father’s footsteps on the marble steps before her door opened without any warning.

 

“What’s this about a guitar hiding under your bed Soya?” her father asked, she looked up at him and noted that her mother hadn’t wasted any time in telling on her. Her father’s tie was still tight against his throat and his grey suit jacket was still buttoned. She looked higher and met his dark grey eyes that held anger while his jaw was tight as if trying to keep him calm and failing miserably.

 

Forget about him stroking if he found out she wanted to quit dancing, she was pretty sure he was about to at just the mere mention of her even touching a guitar.

 

“A friend lent me the guitar papa.” She said quietly as she stood up from her bed.

 

“Those boys you met at the music store last year, they lent you a guitar.” Her father stated more then asked.

 

“Yes, sir.”

 

“Why?”

 

Soya looked up in surprise. She was expecting a lecture on how it wasn’t proper for a young girl of her age to play an instrument that wasn’t considered classical. Piano, violin, cello, flute, all of those were considered classical to her family, all of which she’d learn to excel at. Guitar, bass drums, those were not even to be spoken about let alone thought about.

 

“Why Soya?” her father asked again. “Why did your friend loan you the guitar?”

 

Soya bit her lip, maybe if she told her father the truth he’d find it in his heart to allow her to go. “My friends have a show on Saturday and…” she looked up swallowing harshly before speaking again. “And they thought it’d be nice if I played a few songs, the guitar was lent to me so I could practice.”

 

She didn’t see her father move across the room, but she felt the slap he delivered. She resisted the urge to cover her now red cheek, and bit her lip harshly to keep the tears in. Instead she looked up at her father slowly.

 

“No child of mine will be playing any type of show that isn’t in front of a socially accepted crowd. This show was probably in a bar in front of people you have no business even associating with.” He said angrily. “You’re mother and I have let this friendship go on for far too long, I have every mind to go downstairs and break that damn guitar.”

 

“No, please.” She said quickly, knowing Linde prized his guitar more then anything.

 

Her father shook his head in irritation. “Your mother and I have worked too hard for you to go and ruin your reputation for one night of carelessness. What if someone had seen you Soya, prancing along with those men who are older then you, playing a guitar and in a bar of all places?”

 

“I’d ask what they were doing there.” Soya said, only to wince at her subordination. She looked up at her father who narrowed his eyes.

 

“Go downstairs, you’ll go with your mother.” He said pointing out the door.

 

“Where?” she whispered.

 

“You’ll be returning the guitar and ending the friendship Soya.” Her father shook his head. “Your mother and I have talked, we’re sending you away.”

 

“Away?” Soya asked in surprise.

 

“To America to study dance. Structure, discipline, rigidity, this is what you need. Not bad influences to ruin a pristine reputation. You leave Friday, now go.”

 

Soya stared at her father in disbelief, but his stern glare had her leaving the room defeated. She walked slowly down the steps and saw her mother already in her pristine red jacket over her pearl colored shirt and matching red skirt and heels. She walked out the door, her mother’s heels clicking behind her as they slid into the back of the black town car.

 

Nathan looked up at her through the rearview mirror before leaving the driveway and making his way through Helsinki to what she assumed was Linde’s house to return the guitar that was sitting between her and her mother.

 

She stared out the window before frowning when they made a turn away from Linde’s house; she turned to her mother who was sitting rigidly in the seat next to her. “Mamma, this isn’t the way.” She said quietly.

 

“Of course it is.” Her mother said, leaving the conversation at that.

 

Soya only frowned and stared out the window, only to sit straighter when she realized where they were going. Sure enough, ten minutes later they reached the Valo house, Nathan parking on the curb across the house, stepping out of the car to open the door for her mother. Her mother picked up the guitar and looked at Soya before she exited the car. Soya slid out after her mother and reluctantly followed her up to the house standing behind her as she rang the doorbell.

 

The door swung open to the smiling face of Anita Valo, only to have Anita frown when she saw them. “Elizabeth,” she looked behind Elizabeth and smiled kindly at Soya. “Hello Soya.”

 

“Hello, Mrs. Valo.” Soya said quietly, earning a stern glare from her mother.

 

“Please come in.” Anita said holding the door open.

 

“No, thank you.” Elizabeth said primly.

 

“All right.” Anita said leaning against the door jamb, she heard a squeak on the steps and turned her head slightly to see Ville standing at the steps with a frown. “What brings you by Elizabeth?”

 

“I found this under my daughter’s bed today.” Elizabeth said holding the guitar out for Anita to take. Anita took it before Elizabeth dropped it and held it out behind the door. Ville’s eyes widened and took the guitar from his mother standing near the door. “I want your son and his friends to stay away from my daughter.”

 

Anita rolled her eyes. “My son can do what he pleases, Elizabeth.”

 

Elizabeth glared at Anita. “It looks wrong for your twenty year old son to spend as much time as he does with my sixteen year old daughter.”

 

“Wrong for whom?” Anita laughed. “It’s not like they’re having sex.”

 

Soya looked up with wide eyes feeling her face heat.

 

“They sit around in the garage and play music Liz, not have orgies.” Anita said with a roll of her eyes.

 

Soya looked over at her mother who was glaring at Anita, “You would say that Ana, owning a house of ill repute.”

 

“Please,” Anita scoffed “It’s a sex shop; maybe if you used some of the toys we have, you wouldn’t be such a frigid bitch.”

 

Ville’s eyes widened at his mother’s tone, his mother never talked to anyone in that manner, not even the unruly customers at the store. She was the very picture of patience.

 

“I will not stand here and be talked to like this. You keep your son and his friends away from my daughter Anita, or there will be hell to pay.”

 

“I will do no such thing,” Anita shook her head. “You think that just because you married rich you’re better then all of us. I’m proud you clawed yourself out of the hell you lived Elizabeth I really am, but you forget who helped you get to where you are today.”

 

Elizabeth shook her head. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

 

“I understand Lizzie, you want better for your daughter, but managing every second of her life isn’t going to help you do that. One of these days you’re going to have to let her go and for her sake I hope its sooner rather then later.”

 

Elizabeth turned on her heel. “Soya, let’s go.”

 

“But…”

 

Elizabeth turned to her daughter. “Now, Soya.”

 

Soya looked at Anita, just as Ville came to stand behind his mother. He gave a small wave causing her to bite her lip as she turned to follow her mother to the car.

 

Ville watched with his mother as the car disappeared from view, before looking at her. “Do you think Elizabeth will listen mamma?”

 

Anita snorted as she closed the door. “No, Elizabeth is hardheaded and will continue doing what she’s doing. Sadly I understand it, not that I like it.” She patted her sons arm and looked down at the guitar. “Go, take it back to Linde.”

 

Ville nodded, and went upstairs to put on shoes, when his mother called back out to him. He turned around and saw her standing at the bottom of the steps. “Yes?”

 

“I know I don’t usually tell you what to do and who you can and can not see. Even less now that you’re twenty, but…” she looked away contemplating her words before looking back at her son. “But for Soya’s sake,”

 

“Stay away.” He said finishing his mothers thought, knowing she didn’t actually want to say it.

 

“Please.” She said. “I know you care for her deeply, you and all the others, but for her sake and making her life easier, please.”

 

Ville stared at his mother and couldn’t help but sigh before nodding. “All right.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

XxxxxxX

 

Soya stood against the wall of the elegant ballroom, staring at the couples dancing in the center of the room, her parents being one of the couples twirling around the floor.  They were celebrating the dance recital that Soya and the company she was a part of had just been in as well as Soya’s own acceptance to The Juilliard School in New York.  An honor she knew she hadn’t gained on her own merits, but with money and persuasion on her father’s part.

 

“Aren’t you going to dance sweet Soya?”

 

She looked over her shoulder at Mikko Takko, who was eyeing her body up and down. She shifted in the ivory silk strapless dress that fell down to the floor and moved slightly away from the dancer.

 

“Not tonight.” She said quietly. “I think I’ve danced enough.”

 

“Oh come now, a pretty girl like you should be twirled about the dance floor.”

 

She looked at her lead male dancer with disinterest. “I’m not some show dog to be trotted about.” She said shortly.

 

Mikko smirked. “Sure you are.”

 

Soya rolled her eyes, knowing that that wasn’t him talking but his parents ideas of what a woman was and the alcohol he probably had in his system. Instead of responding she turned on her heel and walked away, causing him to laugh and turn to his friends.

 

Soya walked around the ballroom, her gaze wondering to some of the people who were entertained and not paying her the slightest of attention before she walked out of the ballroom and towards where the cars were lined up.

 

She walked up to the town car that belonged to her family and slid in only to have Nathan frown at her. “Is that party over already Miss. Soya?” he looked down at the dash where the green numbers blinked. “It’s only ten thirty.”

 

“No, it’s not, do you mind taking me to the Valo’s?”

 

Nathan turned in his seat to get a better look at her. “Are you sure Miss. Soya?”

 

“Please.” She whispered. “I just need to talk to him before I leave tomorrow.”

 

“All right.” He nodded before turning back and starting the car, effortlessly slipping out between two other cars and onto the street.

 

Soya leaned back against the plush seat and sighed. She hadn’t heard from the boys since she’d left the garage last weekend, and made the small bet with Linde and Ville and hadn’t actually seen Ville since her mother had yelled at his mother.

 

She missed them, all three of them Mige, Linde and Ville, and she missed Ville probably more then she should. The idea of leaving in the morning without seeing him one last time, apologizing for the way her mother acted, hell apologizing for not stopping her mother, killed her.

 

“Looks like rain, doesn’t it Miss. Soya?” Nathan asked as he looked up at the sky before looking back at the road. Soya looked out the window, casting her eyes upwards; sure enough dark clouds were crawling forward slowly covering the night sky. She was sure that the rain would start in a matter of minutes; she looked back towards the city lights to see them already rolling past the neighborhood where the Valo’s lived.

 

Nathan parked in front of the house, as Soya glanced at the driveway. The Valo’s car was gone, then again Thursday nights were their usual date nights when Anita and Kari would go out and Ville would visit with his brother Jesse.

 

“Do you want me to go with you?” Nathan asked.

 

Soya shook her head as she slid towards the door. “No…” she sighed. “No, I have to do this on my own.”

 

Nathan nodded. “I’ll be here if you need me.” He assured as she stepped out of the car.

 

Her heels clicked on the stone walkway as she made herself up to the door, and sure enough the minute her knuckles rapped on the door Mother Nature opened up and let the rain come down in harsh waves.

 

The door blew open the reveal Jesse Valo’s smiling face, only to drop in surprise when he saw her. “Soya, what are you…?”

 

“Is Ville here?” she asked not bothering to notice that the rain was now soaking her silk dress through.

 

“Yeah, yeah, hold on.” He said stepping away from the door and calling out for his brother. Jesse disappeared seconds later to be replaced with Ville’s tall frame.

 

“Soya?” he asked, looking at her. “God it’s raining outside, come in.” he said, going to grab her only for her to shake her head vigorously, ignoring the way that her hair was now falling out of its elegant twist or that her makeup was probably running down her cheeks. “Soya?” he asked.

 

“I’m sorry.” She called over the harsh sound of rain that was pounding on the roof and on the pavement around them.

 

“Sorry for what?” he called back, shutting the door behind him, but standing under the eve to stay dry.

 

She shivered as she stared at the ground and then back up at him. “I’m sorry that my mother yelled at Anita,”

 

Ville smiled. “Soya there’s nothing to be sorry about.”

 

“I’m sorry that I can’t play with you on Saturday.” She said. “I’m sorry that I can’t hang around you guys any more.”

 

“Don’t be stupid.” He said. “Linde, he has a way of getting you to come out with us on Saturday, you’ll still be able to play.” He assured.

 

“I can’t.” she called.

 

“Don’t let your mother tell you, you can’t Soya, you’ve got this amazing talent that…”

 

“No!” she cried causing him to stare at her in surprise. “I can’t, I leave tomorrow morning.”

 

Ville stared at her, staggered by the confession. She was leaving. She was leaving. He thought with a shake of his head. “What do you mean?” he called out, taking a step away from the door immediately getting soaked by the rain.

 

“My parents are sending me to America.” She said stepping closer to him.

 

“When did this come about?”

 

Soya swallowed as she looked up meeting his green eyes with her grey. “Around the same time they found Linde’s guitar under my bed.”

 

Ville lowered his head, feeling guilt wash over him. “God if we hadn’t pushed you Soya, this wouldn’t have happened.”

 

“No,” she laughed, touching his now wet arm. “I don’t want you blaming yourself; my parents are…” she shook her head. “They’re cracked Ville, if they hadn’t found the guitar they would have found something else.”

 

“I’m so sorry Soya.”

 

“No I am.” She said tucking a wet strand of hair behind her ear, not even noticing the fact that rain was still pouring harshly over them. “I couldn’t leave without at least apologizing for how my mother acted Ville.”

 

Ville couldn’t help but laugh. “Trust me, we’ve dealt with much worse Soya, it’s in the past, I’m not angry and my mother is most definitely not angry.”

 

She swallowed again nervously, before looking away from him. “I…”

 

“Soya?” he asked, trying to meet her gaze.

 

“I also wanted to give you something.”

 

Ville chuckled as he looked her up and down; her silk dress was now plastered tightly to her body, outlining each and every one of her curves. Her dark hair was out of the twist he knew she probably had it in, and was cascading down to fall a bit past her shoulders “I can’t even begin to imagine what you’ve got hiding in that dress of yours.”

 

Soya bit her lip and reached up to cup his cheek, her fingers playing with the hair that hung past his ears.

 

“Soya?” he questioned.

 

Before she rethought her choice she lifted herself up and pressed her lips against his. Ville stood shocked as her lips moved timidly against his not quite believing that she had actually given him her first kiss.

 

She pulled away, her eyes closed before she whispered. “I couldn’t stand the thought of Mige taking this.”  She took a step back and looked back up at him. “I should go; my parents have probably figured out that I’ve snuck away.”

 

Ville watched as she took another step back, before he reacted the only way he knew how. He grabbed her hand and hauled her back over to him, his arms wrapped around her waist almost groaning at the feel of the wet silk underneath his fingers. He looked down at her surprised eyes causing him to smirk and lean down.

 

“You caught me by surprise kulta.” He whispered his lips only millimeter from hers. “That last one didn’t count, let me give you a real first kiss.” He didn’t wait for her response before pressing his lips back to her, and tightening his grip on her waist. He felt her hands grip his arms before moving up to cup his face tenderly.

 

He moved his lips slowly and softly against hers, before nipping on her bottom lip slightly, taking advantage of her gasp of surprise, he gently probed her mouth with his tongue causing her to moan in surprise and pull him closer to her.

 

Unwillingly he pulled away, nipping her bottom lip one last time before pulling away completely. He opened his eyes to find hers still closed. “Don’t leave.” He whispered.

 

She looked up in surprise, only to smile at him. “I wish it were that easy. I wish I could just…move in with you at your flat, travel with you when you guys make it big, not have to answer to anyone.” She shook her head in disappointment. “But it’s not that easy, especially not for me.”

 

“Fuck it, just…come inside.” Ville said quietly. “Stay.”

 

She shook her head again and pulled away from his grip. “I can’t.” she said taking a step back before smiling at him. “I’m not worried you know.”

 

Ville frowned at her. “What do you mean?”

 

Soya laughed as she walked back to the car still facing him. “I have a good feeling we’ll be seeing each other again Mr. Valo.”

 

Ville smiled back lightly. “I’m sure we will.”

 

Soya bit her lip before speaking. “Thank you.” She said quietly, though the sound of her voice still carried, before she got in the car.

 

“Back to the ballroom Miss. Soya?” Nathan asked as he started the car.

 

Soya shook her head. “Home, please.” She said looking outside and noticing that it had stopped raining, yet her cheeks were still wet. Touching them, she was surprised to find herself crying, feeling the need she looked out the back window and saw Ville still standing in front of his house, soaking wet, and staring at her car as it disappeared around the corner.

 

“You all right Miss. Soya?” Nathan asked.

 

Soya shook her head. “No, but I will be.” She stared out the window and could only hope that she would be okay. She knew leaving Helsinki would be hard; it was the only home she knew. Leaving Ville, however, she hadn’t counted on that being the most painful thing she’d ever experienced. She hadn’t counted on that at all.

Chapter Text

Friday, May 7th, 2010

 

She closed her eyes as the intro to her solo dance came over the speakers, she could feel the stares of the audience as she began to move about the stage, the soles of her ballet shoes barely making a noise as she floated across the stage making her pirouettes.

 

She moved across the stage, focused on making her cues, doing the right turns at the right times while at the same time trying to keep the graceful movement about her, her body straight and her arms looking graceful while really they were taut with tension. She swallowed before she stood center stage, her feet in position before the cue came and she turned her body gracefully to make the first of the thirty pirouettes she had to do in a row.

 

She counted in her head, trying hard to keep her breathing in control as she reached fifteen, the music swelled and she felt her feet moving faster.

 

Twenty-two

 

Twenty-three

 

Twenty-four

 

Twenty-five

 

Twenty-six

 

Twenty-seven

 

Reaching twenty-eight, she readjusted herself minutely, but just enough for her foot to catch around her ankle the wrong way and send her tumbling down to the ground, her bottom sliding across the wooden floor a bit before she put her hands down to catch herself.

 

“Damn.” She muttered, before opening her eyes to see her own reflection looking back at her. Dropping her head in her own self-disappointment, she glared down at her ankle before rubbing the bone.

 

“Hej miláček.”(Hey, sweetheart)

 

Soya looked up, dropping her hand away from her ankle only to smile when she saw who was standing at the door of her rehearsal space. “Josef.”

 

“Is your ankle bothering you?” he asked in perfect English as he stepped into the room.

 

“No, it’s fine.” She said with a quick smile. “What brings you here?” she asked as she looked over him. He was wearing his nice dress jeans, and a black long sleeve button down shirt, while his blonde hair that was usually unruly and slicked back in sweat from dancing all day was fixed with hair products. “You look nice.”

 

“Thank you.” Josef said looking down at himself with a satisfied smirk. “It’s been awhile since I’ve dressed up for someone other than you.”

 

Soya laughed as she tiredly reached up and took her hair out of its bun letting the long brown tresses fall down her back. She tilted her head back and arched her spine, the tips of her hair hitting the floor as her spine cracked back into place. “It’s been a while since I dressed up period.”

 

“Well maybe you’ll have the chance soon.”

 

“Oh?” Soya asked looking back over at him, meeting his bright blue eyes with her grey ones. “Where are you taking me?”

 

Josef laughed. “Not where I’m taking you, sweet Soya, it’s where you’ll be taking yourself.”

 

She watched as he bent down and slid a white envelope across the wooden floors, so the tip barely hit her thigh. “What’s this?” she asked picking the envelope up.

 

“Open it, silly girl.”

 

Soya shook her head but humored the blonde, opening the envelope and peering inside, only to look back up at Josef in shock. “How did you get this?”

 

Josef moved across the floor and settled down next to her. “I went with a few others of the crew to make sure everything for the show was delivered for tomorrow and I met one of the security guards that works for the band.”

 

“Josef.” She whispered looking back into the envelope.

 

“He’s beautiful specimen of a man, Soya.” Josef laughed. “Gave me the tickets as an exchange for a date, I told him I wasn’t a fan, but I had a friend who was.”

 

“And?” she asked looking at him with a raised eyebrow.

 

“Told him that if I could keep the tickets, he would be rewarded.” Josef smacked his lips together. “And rewarded he was.”

 

Soya crinkled her nose in disgust. “That’s crude.”

 

“That’s life.” Josef laughed. “I’ve got a date with him tonight and you, my dear girl, have a concert to go to.”

 

Soya shook her head, holding the envelope back out to him. “I can’t go.”

 

“Of course you can.”

 

“Josef, my parents are in town, the last place they’d ever allow me to go the eve before a performance is to a concert, let alone their concert.” She nudged him in the chest with the envelope. “I can’t go.”

 

“Miláček, you’ve wanted to go to one of their concerts ever since you saw his face on a poster when you were eighteen. You know you want to go now.”

 

“I know I want to, I just won’t be able to.”

 

Josef smiled. “You underestimate me, I’m going out tonight and so are you.”

 

Soya frowned at him and was about to respond when they heard her name being called loudly.

 

“Soya!”

 

They both looked up at hearing the young voice, knowing exactly who would be following. Josef snatched the envelope from Soya’s fingers, standing and stuffing it in his back pocket just as a young girl came tumbling into the room, falling to her knees on the hardwood floor.

 

Josef and Soya both held their laughter in as the little girl stood up, dusted off her pink dress before giving them an embarrassed smile. She looked over at Soya, grinning and continuing her run. “Soya!”

 

Soya laughed as the little girl launched herself into Soya’s arms, holding onto her neck tight. “Oh Aida, how I’ve missed you.”

 

“Don’t coddle her Soya,” a feminine voice echoed across the room. “And get off that dirty floor.”

 

Soya peeked over Aida’s shoulder and saw her mother standing at the entrance of the room stiffly looking around, before spotting Josef next to them. Instantly her tight and disapproving demeanor changed to a large smile.

 

“Josef! I didn’t know you were going to be here!”

 

Josef smiled, reaching down a hand for Soya, Soya took it and allowed him to help her up, Aida still attached to her neck.

 

“Aida, let your sister go.” Elizabeth said sternly.

 

“No, mamma, she’s fine, I don’t mind.” Soya said quietly, rubbing her sisters back.

 

Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “I know you don’t, but I do.”

 

Soya sighed and placed her little sister on the ground, smoothing out her wavy brown hair that fell down her back. Aida refused to cut it until Soya did, and at the rate Soya was letting her hair grow, they were both going to have floor length hair by the summer.

 

“I didn’t know you were coming by Elizabeth.” Josef said walking Soya and Aida over to the women.

 

“Yes, well, Soya said she would be done rehearsing four, and it is now four, we’ve come to pick her up.”

 

“I wish I would have known.” Josef said, “I, myself, came to pick up Soya for a night out.”

 

Elizabeth raised an eyebrow and looked over at her daughter eyeing her appearance, worn out ballet shoes, white tights that had runs in them, a wrinkled wrap around pink skirt and white sweat stained leotard, her face glistening and her hair in disarray. “Are you sure you want to take her out?”

 

Josef laughed and wrapped his arm around Soya’s waist. “Of course, I couldn’t ask for better company.” He leaned down and kissed Soya’s temple. “I was going to take her to her home first so she could freshen up.”

 

Elizabeth sighed. “I don’t think Soya going out the evening before a performance is such a good idea Josef, even if it is with you.”

 

Josef laughed, “We’ve rehearsed everyday for the past three days for the show Elizabeth and Soya has been putting in extra hours, trust me with a pair like us nothing can go wrong.”

 

“Speak for yourself Josef.” Elizabeth said. “I saw your last show in Los Angeles, Soya could use a lot of improving.”

 

Soya winced. “Mamma,” she started only to be cut off by Josef.

 

“Really?” he asked. “I thought she danced beautifully.”

 

“She did.” Aida smiled, hugging her sister’s leg.

 

Soya tightened her grip on Josef’s waist and smiled down at her sister. Thank god, for them both, she wasn’t sure how she had survived so long without Josef’s quick tongue and Aida’s innocent nature.

 

Elizabeth sighed, “As long as it’s not too late, Josef.”

 

“You have my word Elizabeth.”  Josef said with a smile bow of his head and a large grin playing on his lips.

 

“Well all right, Aida, come, we’ll go back to the hotel and see what your father wants to do now that Soya is going off with her boyfriend.”

 

“Mamma,” Soya said. “I really didn’t know Josef was coming to pick me up, I didn’t mean to ruin plans.”

 

“No, its fine Soya,” Elizabeth said with a regal shrug of her shoulders. “We’ll see you tomorrow for breakfast, Aida?”

 

Aida smiled up at Soya, “You’ll come tomorrow right?”

 

Soya bent down and kissed her sisters forehead. “Sinulle mitään.”(For you, anything)

 

Aida grinned, hugging Soya once more before going over to her mother and grabbing her mother’s hand. “Bye Josef.”

 

“Bye sweet Aida.” Josef said with his own grin waving at the young girl before Elizabeth led her out.

 

Once they were both sure Elizabeth and Aida were out of the building, Soya let out a breath of relief and looked up at Josef. “I swear, they love you more then they love me.”

 

“Well of course,” Josef said with a roll of his eyes. “I’m marvelous.”

 

Soya laughed. “Thank you Josef, for everything you do for me.”

 

Josef turned and hugged her, resting his chin on the top of her head. “Don’t let them get to you Soya, you’re a beautiful dancer.” After a moment of silence, he pulled back and stared at her. “So does this mean you’re going?”

 

Soya laughed. “Yes, fine I’ll go!”

 

Josef laughed and swung her around before leading her out of the room. “Then let’s get you a shower and dressed.”

 

Soya laughed and followed her best friend out of rehearsal room, they walked out to the small lobby area, where she grabbed her bag and keys, then left the building, Soya turned around and made sure the door was closed before she locked it. Looking up she smiled, as she always did when she saw the sign over the door, “Soya’s Dance Studio”.

 

Her parents had hated the idea of her setting up a dance studio in New York, had even refused to help her pay for it but because she wasn’t a materialistic girl and for the most part only needed her ballet shoes to keep her happy, she’d saved every check her father had sent her. She had decided to save when he had decided to ship her away from Finland and to New York and because of her habit, she had been able to pay for the building without a problem and still have money to spare. It was the one thing she had ever defied her parents on, and she could not have been prouder of it.

 

“Let’s go Soya!”

 

She looked over and saw Josef standing next to a taxicab with the door open waiting for her. She looked once more at her building before running over to Josef and sliding into the cab.

 

XxxxxxX

 

Ville sat on one of the couches in their dressing room, a water bottle in one hand and his pack of cigarettes in the other. Lifting his hips he searched for his lighter, only to look down when he felt something hit his lap.

 

“Why’d you take this?” Ville asked in amusement, lifting the lighter up to the cigarette that now hung between his lips.

 

“You don’t want to know.” Bam laughed as he fell onto the couch.

 

Ville looked down at the lighter in his hands, wondering what mayhem the little thing had just caused, before stuffing it back in his pocket, making sure he had it with him for the show.

 

“So you guys coming back to West Chester for your days off?” Bam asked

 

Ville shrugged. “Probably, I think at this point we all miss a home cooked meal.” He looked over at Bam with a grin before tilting his head back and blowing out smoke. “And I am missing April dearly.”

 

Bam put a hand to his heart in mock hurt. “I knew you only hung around for my mother.”

 

Ville laughed. “I do like those older women.”

 

Bam laughed, just as the door opened and the rest of the band came in followed by the owner of the stadium.

 

“All right,” Mark Peters said as the rest of the band took seats around the room. “I just want to thank you guys first and foremost for choosing us to hold your concert; it’s a huge honor for us.”

 

“Thanks for having us.” Ville said with a nod.

 

“Second, I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but there are people wondering around the stage that are not a part of your crew.”

 

“We have.” Linde said with a nod.

 

“Right, well tomorrow and then Sunday morning and afternoon before your show we have Benjamin Miller’s Ballet Company doing their recital and it’s their crew. They are just finishing up sets and making sure everything is set for tomorrow afternoon for their rehearsal and then the recital itself. They won’t be in your way or anywhere near the stage, they’ll be on the sidelines finishing sets and making sure everything got shipped out from LA.”

 

“LA?” Bam asked.

 

“It’s where their last show was.” Mark explained. “Well they travelled all over California really, they’ve just made it back to New York and it’s their last two shows before their break.”

 

“Are they any good?” Linde asked.

 

“Why?” Mige asked with a smirk. “Are you planning on taking up ballet?”

 

Linde shot him a glare before Mark spoke again. “The company is amazing actually, my wife loves catching any of their shows, and their lead dancers are probably the best anyone’s ever seen. If you have time you should definitely catch their show, I saw them when they opened…” Mark stopped talking when he saw everyone in the room raise a brow. “Right, anyway, they won’t be a bother.”

 

Bam smirked. “Are any of the dancers here tonight?”

 

Mark frowned as he thought about it. “I think Josef was here earlier,”

 

“I think Bam meant more of the female dancers.” Burton laughed.

 

“Oh, right,” Mark laughed running a hand through his hair. “Not that I know of, I think all the dancers have strict schedules before the show, anyway,” Mark said with a shake of his head. “I’ll let you guys rest, and I apologize for the inconvenience.”

 

“No inconvenience, it’s fine.” Ville shrugged, blowing out smoke with a smile, Mark gave a nod before leaving the room again.

 

Linde looked at Ville with a smile. “You know the last dancer we knew…”

 

“Don’t start.” Ville warned as Mige started laughing.

 

“God I wonder how Soya is?” Mige smirked. “From what Linde’s told me, you took my kiss.”

 

Ville groaned as he got up and started out of the room. “I told you not to start.”

 

Linde laughed once the door closed behind Ville. “I think we’ve upset him.”

 

“Who’s…Soya?” Bam frowned, “That her name?”

 

 Linde nodded. “She’s an old friend of ours,” Linde shook his head with a smile. “God it’s been almost thirteen years since the last we saw her.”

 

“What happened?” Bam asked, knowing it must have been huge to have Ville leave the room at the mere mention of her.

 

“I’m not aware of the entire story.” Linde admitted. “All Ville would share was that she got sent away, I don’t even think he knows the entire reason why.”

 

“Were they close?” Bam asked.

 

Mige snorted. “Linde got him drunk a few nights after she left.”

 

“Yeah?” Bam grinned turning back to Linde.

 

“They’d kissed,” Linde, laughed. “They’d both been dancing around each other for the year in a half that they’d known each other and the night before she left she went over to say goodbye and they ended up kissing.”

 

Bam looked over at the door as it opened, Ville walking back in, a new cigarette between his lips. He looked over at all of them before sighing. “I’m assuming Bam knows all about Soya now.”

 

“Not all about her.” Bam laughed. “But I’m betting I’ll find out more.”

 

“I have no doubt in my mind that you will.” Ville said with a shake of his head, before grabbing his beanie off the couch.

 

Bam watched as Ville went over to talk to Linde and couldn’t help but let his mind wonder how he could find Soya. Hell, if they could find Raab’s Russian bride with little to no information, he could definitely find Soya.

 

XxxxxxX

 

Soya stared up at the old theater nibbling her bottom lip all the while Josef sat in the seat next to her laughing.

 

“Just go in Soya, you have the pass, they’re not going to stop you.”

 

“That’s not what I’m worried about.” Soya whispered, she looked away from the building, and over at Josef. “What if they just don’t care anymore? It’s been thirteen years Josef.”

 

Josef sighed and took her hands in his. “Soya, of course they care, you’ve told me how close you all were, they care miláček.”

 

Soya shook her head. “They’ve probably changed so much.” She whispered, looking back at the building.

 

“So have you.” Josef teased as he rested his chin on her shoulder and looked at the building with her. “Change is expected after thirteen years Soya, there’s no stopping time.” Josef pulled away and got out of the car, going around and opening her door.

 

Hesitantly, she undid her seatbelt and stepped out, just as the back door of the theater opened. They both looked over and saw a large built man walk over with a grin on his face, Soya looked over at Josef and saw his own grin.

 

“You must be Soya.” The man said once he reached them.

 

“I am.” Soya smiled, accepting his offered him.

 

“Russell, Josef told me you’re a fan of the band.” Russell said with a grin. “They just went on stage, so you haven’t missed anything.”

 

Josef looked over at Soya. “See, now you have time to think about what you’re going to say. It’s going to be fine Soya.”

 

“All right.” Soya sighed. “I’ll go in.”

 

“Of course you will, I’m not giving you a ride back home, we’ve got reservations.” Josef laughed.

 

Soya rolled her eyes before looking at Russell, “You’ve picked a wonderful man Russell.”

 

“Oh I know.” Russell laughed.

 

Soya bit her lip before lifting up to whisper loudly in Russell’s ear so Josef could hear her as well. “I don’t know if you know this, but dancers…they’re very flexible.”

 

Russell burst out laughing while Josef flushed a light pink at her unexpected comment. “Go in you minx!”

 

Soya laughed as she went towards the back door, looking over her shoulder she watched as Russell and Josef talked briefly before getting in the car, two seconds later they were gone. Biting her lip, she knocked on the door as Josef had told her earlier to do, the door swung open to reveal a security guard on the other side.

 

“Soya right?”

 

Soya nodded. “Yes.”

 

“You have your pass?”

 

Soya nodded and showed him the pass she had clipped on to the bottom of her shirt. He gave a nod and let her in pointing out the way to the stage.

 

“Thank you.”

 

“They just started like ten minutes ago,”

 

Soya gave a nod and followed the directions, not that she really needed them, she’d spent the last week moving around this particular theater and even more time on the stage itself. As she moved closer to the stage, she found herself getting nervous, her palms began to sweat and her heart began to beat much more rapidly then was normal.

 

Without realizing, she had reached the side of the stage and looked straight at him. Her hand to her mouth she couldn’t believe what she saw.

 

“Oh my god.”

 

XxxxxxX

 

Bam nodded his head with the music, his arms crossed over his chest as he watched Ville and the guys take over the stage and command the audience as they were known to do. Feeling a presence stand behind him, he ignored it thinking it was just a security guard making his rounds, that was until he heard them speak.

 

“Oh my god.”

 

Bam turned around, surprised to see a young women standing behind him. He looked her up and down with a raised eyebrow, dark skinny jeans, black heels, black ribbed tank top with a denim jacket over, her hand was over her heart while a large grin was on her face. Bam frowned when he saw tears gathering in her eyes.

 

“Who the hell are you?”

 

Her startled grey eyes met his before she looked back out towards the stage. “I…” she shook her head and raised the hem of her shirt slightly. He looked down and saw the backstage pass hanging there.

 

“Yeah, I have one too, doesn’t answer my question, who the hell are you?”

 

She shook her head again and stepped closer so she was standing next to him, her eyes still on the stage. “Just an old friend.” She whispered. “They’re so much better then I remember.”

 

Bam raised his eyebrow. “Who?”

 

She gestured towards the stage. “I listen to their music all the time, I just…” she laughed and covered her mouth. “I forgot how amazing they are live.”

 

Bam looked at her again, she was so put together, even in skinny jeans, he could tell every inch of her clothing was designer brand, from her hair, which was slicked back into a perfect ponytail at the top of her head to the manicure she had. “You don’t look like a HIM fan.”

 

She finally looked away from the stage to him. “I’m sorry?”

 

Bam shook his head. “It’s just…you don’t look like the HIM fans I’ve met.”

 

“Do you always judge people by how they appear on the outside?” she asked.

 

Bam shrugged. “Getting to know someone takes too fucking long.”

 

The girl shrugged. “You’re loss, and for your information, I’ve been a fan of HIM before you even knew who they were.”

 

Bam snorted. “I highly doubt that.”

 

Soya shook her head. “Believe what you want, it’s the truth.” She turned again to watch the band and couldn’t help the grin that formed. Ville and the boys had definitely come a long way from the small band that use to practice in Linde’s garage. She watched as he stripped off his shirt and couldn’t help but swallow as she saw the tattoo’s that covered his body. She didn’t remember him having so many the last time she’d seen him.

 

She took a step back, away from the man who had been talking to her, as Ville made his way towards them. He tossed his shirt over to the man, who squealed like a little girl as he caught the shirt, causing Ville to chuckle into the microphone. Soya shifted in her heels, causing Ville to look up and at her with a frown, he looked back over at the man, nodding his chin towards her in question, only to have the man shrug. Ville shrugged himself before going back towards the stage, allowing Soya to release the breath she’d been holding.

 

She hadn’t known that she hadn’t want to be seen by him and she wasn’t sure if she had the guts to even stay after the show and talk to them. She watched as the man put the shirt over one of the amps that was sitting backstage with them. She went over and settled down on top of it, lifting her leg, hugging it to her chest as she rested her chin on top of her knee and watched the rest of the show in complete and utter amazement.

 

Two hours later, Bam watched as the guys left the stage, Ville held out his hand and Bam looked at it confused.

 

“My shirt.” Ville laughed.

 

“Right.” Bam said walking over to the amp where he had set it down, only to frown when he found it gone, he looked around about to ask the girl that had been sitting there about it, only to find her gone too. “It’s gone.”

 

Ville laughed. “I know you love me Bam, and I’ve come to accept it but if I find out that you’re building some sort of voodoo shrine of me in your closet and my shirt was the last piece, I don’t think this friendship will survive.”

 

Bam shook his head. “No, it was right here, I set it down right here, I think that chick took it.”

 

Linde frowned. “What chick?”

 

“The girl that had a backstage pass.”

 

Ville shook his head. “The only people that had backstage passes this show are security and you.”

 

“No, she had a pass, I saw it, she had to have taken the shirt.”

 

Linde frowned, walking towards the dressing room, only to see Mark a few feet away. Wanting to ask about the mysterious girl that Bam swore he saw, Linde started walking towards Mark, only to see him talking with a girl. Stopping he frowned again when he saw the girl hand something to Mark with a small smile, tucking a stray piece of hair behind her ear.

 

“Linde!”

 

The girl looked up as Gas called his name, she smiled slightly at him and gave a wave, before turning around and walking away, a shirt hanging over her shoulder. Mark walked towards him as the rest of the band and Bam gathered around him to see what was holding him up.

 

“The girl I was talking to, she wanted you guys to have these.” Mark said handing Linde a white envelope.

 

“The girl with a backstage pass?” Bam asked.

 

Mark laughed and nodded. “Yeah, she got it legitimately. She said she really enjoyed the show and she hopes you enjoy hers.” He laughed again before walking away.

 

Linde opened the envelope and saw tickets inside, pulling one out, he read the print on it only to grin widely before running towards the backstage door, where he saw her walking, ignoring the calls of his band mates.

 

He pushed open the door and ran outside just in time to see a yellow cab pull away from the curb. He looked back down at the ticket he had in his hand and grinned widely at the name that was printed on it “Soya Toivonen” he whispered with an amused shake of his head, before walking back into the theater.

 

He went back into the dressing room where he found everyone else talking, only to look up when he came in.

 

“Where the hell did you run off too?” Bam asked.

 

“We need to get formal clothes.” Linde said ignoring Bam.

 

“Formal clothes?” Ville asked with an amused smile. “What do you mean formal clothes?”

 

“Whatever would be appropriate for a ballet, that’s what we have to get.”

 

“We’re going to a ballet?” Bam asked. “Why the hell would we go to a ballet?”

 

“Yes,” Ville asked. “Why?”

 

Linde looked back down at the tickets, before looking at his friend. “Trust me; this is one ballet you won’t want to miss.”

Chapter Text

Saturday May 8,2010

 

“Do you still get nervous before a show?” Josef teased as he entered her dressing room closing the door behind him, muting the chaos that was happening behind the door.

 

“Do not start with me Josef.” Soya warned as she looked over at him, black suit pants that had been made especially for the dance, his black ballet shoes that looked like boots and a white poet’s shirt. Josef looked very much the prince that he was supposed to be playing. “I’m not in the mood.” she continued as she slipped her red peasant skirt over her flesh colored tights, the gold rings that lined the skirt jingled as she moved.

 

“You’re nervous about the turns.” Josef stated as he sat down on her makeup chair, propping his feet up on her vanity as she pulled on the matching off-the-shoulder peasant top that ended just below her cleavage. “You’ve done these turns for the past four months Soya, you know you can do them, I don’t see why you worry about them.”

 

Soya sighed as she stood behind him so she could see herself in the mirror to braid her hair. “It takes one slight movement to cause me to go tumbling down,”

 

“A slight movement you’ve never made.” He reminded her, grabbing her hand as she began to fidget with the ends of her hair. “You’ll do perfectly fine Soya,” he shook his head. “You’re acting like the eighteen year old I first danced with, skittish as a new colt, dancing to please others. What happened to the Soya I’ve spent that last eight years bringing out huh?”

 

Soya laughed. “Josef.”

 

“I’m serious Soya, I don’t want to dance with the Juilliard graduate tonight, in fact,” he dropped his feet off the table and stood in front of her meeting her grey eyes with his blue. “I refuse to dance with her. I want to dance with Soya, the twenty eight year old women who has the confidence in her own abilities and dances for herself.”

 

Soya sighed. “Rebecca said the critics are coming to these next two shows.”

 

“Fuck the critics.” Josef said harshly. “Bunch of wash out reporters that don’t know a devant from an arabesque. You need to forget what Rebecca and your parents say and just dance Soya, forget the turns at the end of the shows, that’s hours from now. I’m right there with you all right?”

 

Soya took a deep breath and shook her head with a laugh. “You’re amazing, you know that.”

 

“I do,” Josef laughed. “But why now?”

 

“You know just the thing to tell me before every show to get me over my nerves.”

 

“Ah, that’s because I know you miláček.” He let her sit down on the makeup chair and start her makeup as he went and sat on the brown leather couch against the wall where Soya had tossed her clothes. “So tell me about breakfast.” Josef said grabbing her laptop out of the case, hidden beneath the clothes, opening it up.

 

Soya gave a grumble as she started applying the white makeup. “My mother made me feel guilty for not joining them last night swore that it ruined all of their plans.”

 

“And your father?” Josef asked, putting in the password to unlock the computer before accessing the internet.

 

Soya rolled her eyes. “Didn’t even notice I hadn’t joined them, he’d taken his pain pills by the time mother had gotten back to the hotel and was out of it an hour later, according to Aida anyway.”

 

“How is my sweet little Aida?”

 

“She’s going to be the next Toivonen dancer, or haven’t you heard?” Soya teased. “She starts her lessons this next summer; she couldn’t be more excited about it.”

 

Josef smiled. “Aida looks up to you Soya, she wants to be you when she grows up you know.”

 

Soya shrugged. “I just wish I could tell her burden of being a dancer, especially a dancer in this family, I just don’t want to ruin her dreams.”

 

“Then don’t, you have no right to that anyway. Let her make her own mistakes, and if dancing ends up being a mistake, it’s one she needs to learn.”

 

Soya nodded in agreement, she just hoped her parents were much more lenient on Aida’s dancing career then they were on hers. “How was your date? You weren’t home when I got in.”

 

“Didn’t get back until late.” Josef said with a shrug. “And it went well, we’re going out tomorrow night after the last show and before he has to work.”

 

“He seems like a nice man.” Soya said leaning closer to the mirror as she carefully applied the fake lashes to her eyelids.

 

“He’s very nice,” Josef nodded, his eyes trained on the screen in front of him. “I’m having a good time getting to know him, which is much different then all my other relationships. It’s a nice pace.”

 

Soya looked over at him and couldn’t help but chuckle lightly, Josef was surprised at actually enjoying the beginning of a relationship, when he usually skipped the getting to know a person part and jumped into bed with a man he happened to enjoy.

 

“Just because I’m distracted with my own love life doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten that you saw your friends again after thirteen years.” Josef teased.

 

“I would never think you’d forgotten Josef.” Soya said before applying her bright red lipstick.

 

“So what’d they say?” Josef asked finally looking up from the computer. “Were they just as excited as you were? Oh! Oh! Were there tears? Tell me there were tears!”

 

Soya laughed as she sat back on her makeup chair and turned to face him putting her foot up on the seat and hugging it to her chest, massaging her ankle. “No tears on their part, just tears on mine.”

 

Josef frowned, not quite liking what she was saying. “Elaborate. Now.” He said glaring at her.

 

Soya sighed and dropped her chin on her knee. “I didn’t actually talk to them; I just watched them and then left as they were coming off stage.”

 

Josef hit his forehead with the palm of his hand. “Oh Soya!”

 

“I was nervous.” She defended. “I wasn’t ready for them to see me, I just…it wasn’t time.”

 

“Thirteen years Soya! You haven’t seen them in thirteen years and you flush it all down the toilet because you were nervous!” Josef groaned. “By the time you gather the nerves to actually talk to them you’ll be wrinkly and much too old to act on any sexual tension between you and Ville.”

 

Soya burst out laughing, throwing her head back at Josef’s ridiculous rant. “There is so much wrong with that statement.”

 

“Tell me, what’s wrong with it?”

 

“Well for one, there is no sexual tension between Ville and myself, there never was.”

 

“That kiss you described tells me different.”

 

“The very reason I don’t drink.” She groaned, before staring up again. “And secondly you assume that I didn’t have a plan.”

 

“You had a plan?” Josef asked amused.

 

“Of course I did,” Soya said with a roll of her eyes. “I knew the night could have gone one of two ways, I either stayed and talked to them or I didn’t. Either way I wanted them to know I had seen them.”

 

“And?” Josef asked moving to the edge of his seat.

 

“I left them tickets to the show.”

 

Josef’s eyes widened. “Tonight’s show?”

 

Soya nodded with a small smile. “They’d always wanted to see me dance.” She admitted. “I never wanted them to. I was beginning to resent dancing, I hated it and I wasn’t at my best, I didn’t want them to see me going through the motions.”

 

“And now?”

 

Soya shrugged. “Now, I’m proud of what I do, I accept it as part of myself. I have to dance just like I have to breathe.”

 

Josef studied her for a minute before grinning. “Is that why you’re nervous? Because they might be in the audience?”

 

Soya laughed, Josef really did know her, “Partially.” She rolled her eyes at herself. “All right a lot, but it’s also just plain nerves.”

 

“You’ll be fine.” Josef said with a wave of his hand. “So what exactly happened last night?”

 

Soya shrugged. “Nothing really, except,” she shook her head as the annoyance came back. “There was another guy backstage with me; he was a cocky little bastard.”

 

Josef smirked. “Really?”

 

Soya nodded. “He said I didn’t look like any of the HIM fans he’d ever met. Then when I out and out told him that I was a fan of HIM before he even knew who the hell they were he said he doubted it. As if he were the one and only HIM fan in the world, looked like he and Ville are close though.”

 

Josef sucked on his bottom lip, before going back to the computer and typing into the search engine, finding what he was looking for her turned the computer back to Soya. “Was that him?”

 

She leaned over and squinted at the screen, turning her lip up as she saw the scowling face on the screen. “Yeah, that’s him.”

 

Josef laughed. “Miláček, you met Bam Margera.”

 

Soya raised an eyebrow. “And?”

 

“He’s a very big HIM fan and a very good friend of the band. From what I’ve seen on his show and read about he’s one of Ville’s very close friends.”

 

Soya rolled her eyes as she got up, grabbing her red ballet shoes from the hook next to her vanity before placing them on her feet. “That doesn’t mean he had to be rude.”

 

“He makes his living off being rude.” Josef pointed out as he closed the laptop and got up from the couch. “Have you truly never seen Viva La Bam?”

 

Soya shook her head. “Never heard of it.”

 

“Which is something seeing as Ville is in four of the episodes”

 

Soya frowned as she followed Josef out of the dressing room, watching as everyone started to take their places at the wings. “I’m not that obsessed with Ville or the band that I follow their every movement Josef.”

 

Josef snorted. “Tell that to the collection of magazines you have in your closet.”

 

“I’m proud.” She defended.

 

“Sure you are…stalker.”

 

Soya laughed and pushed him away from her. “I am.”

 

Josef grabbed her and laughed. “You know I’m kidding. Now,” he looked up at the stage manager who was tapping his watch. “Break a leg.”

 

Soya pushed on his chest. “Break your own.”

 

Josef chuckled at their tradition before a show before kissing her forehead. “We’ll do fine,”

 

Soya swallowed. “We always do.”

 

Josef smiled down at her. “That’s my girl, now go, I can see Bill is getting agitated that we’re not in our places.”

 

“See you out there.” She said pulling away, giving him one last smile before walking away towards the other girls. Josef sighed before walking to the other side of the stage to his own group, saying a silent prayer that everything went right.

 

XxxxxxX

 

“We’re late!” Linde said as they got out of the cab and started up the steps of the theater they had just played at the night before, but instead of teens and adults lining the streets in HIM hoodies, men and women milled about in dress gowns and tuxedos.

 

Linde dug the tickets out of his jacket pocket handing them to the man at the door. Ripping off the stubs the man handed the tickets back to Linde and directed the group towards the balcony where their seats were.

 

Ville sighed as he went to grab a program, only to have Linde smack his hand. “What?” Ville asked.

 

“Let's go.” Linde demanded as he started pushing the group towards the stairs.

 

“We’re not that late.” Mige groaned as they climbed the steps. “And why didn’t Gas and Burton come?”

 

Ville nodded. “Yes, why were they allowed to weasel their way out of this, but we weren’t?”

 

“I could have weaseled.” Bam muttered. “You just wouldn’t let me.”

 

“If I have to suffer, so do you.” Ville said grabbing his arm and pulling him up the steps faster.  It wasn’t that he didn’t occasionally enjoy a show like a ballet, he had gone to a few and enjoyed them, he just wished he had a say in going or not.

 

When Gas and Burton had asked Linde if they really had to go to a ballet on their night off, Linde had easily accepted their excuse and said no they didn’t. When Mige had tried, Linde had cut off his excuse, said he was going and left the room. At that point, Ville hadn’t even tried to argue with Linde or offer an excuse; instead, he had dragged Bam along, knowing the night would be much more entertaining that way.

 

They reached their balcony seats just as the lights dimmed; Ville took his seat between Bam and Linde and crossed his legs, as the curtain raised. The stage that had been used as a concert arena the night before had been transformed into a forest scene. The music from the orchestra started with a playful somewhat fast-paced piece as a group of men came out onto the stage in white pants and black poet shirts, just as a single man in black pants and a white poet shirt, sauntered out with a quiver and bow over his shoulder.

 

“I could have stayed home for this shit.” Bam muttered.

 

Ville turned to him. “What?”

 

Bam shrugged, before smirking up at him. “Novak would be more than willing to dress up in tights and dance for me.”

 

“Shhh.” Linde hushed, glaring at them. Mige snorted beside him, causing Linde to glare.

 

“Oh come on, you’re taking this so seriously Mikko.” Mige whispered.

 

“You will too, trust me.”

 

“We would if you told us why you’re so excited for the damn thing in the first place.” Ville grumbled as he glanced down to see the men dancing, from what he could catch of the ballet so far, the man was some sort of royal, hunting in the forest. He looked over and saw Linde straighten just as a group of women twirled out on stage, surrounding a lone woman, before they separated, partnering up with one of the men, leaving the lone man in white with the one woman dressed in a red skirt and matching top.

 

“Ugh, when do they start talking?” Bam asked.

 

“They don’t.” Ville muttered.

 

“What do you mean they don’t talk?” Bam asked loudly, causing the others from the balcony next to them to shush them.

 

“You’re supposed to follow the story from the dance itself, not any type of dialogue or from the program, but since Linde refused to let me get one.”

 

Linde sighed knowing they wouldn’t shut up until he explained; he had researched the ballet the night wanting to see how long it took Ville and Mige to figure out just who the female lead dancer was.

 

“It’s a story of forbidden romance.” Linde started. “The girl in red is a gypsy, while the man she’s dancing with is a prince. The prince’s family has just put out a ban on all gypsies in the town.”

 

“And that’s what makes the love forbidden, blah blah blah, do they have sex?” Bam asked.

 

Ville snorted as Linde sighed. “Just watch Bam or go to sleep.”

 

Ville frowned at Linde, as he continued keeping his eyes on the female lead dancer as she flew across the stage with the man. “Why are you so into this?” He asked.

 

Linde sighed. “You’ll see, just…watch.”

 

Mige looked away from Linde, knowing that there had to be a reason he was taking the ballet so seriously. Usually Linde was easy going, humoring Bam in his comments, but tonight it seemed like he had a short fuse concerning, what Mige thought, was a trivial thing. Looking back down at the dancers, he couldn’t help but frown as he watched the women in red, who Linde was watching intently.

 

He watched as her braid flew around her as she made her turns, her skirt flying at her sides, as the man lifted her up mid twirl. It wasn’t until her face was clearly in view that Mige recognized her. He held in the gasp, instead grabbing Linde’s arm and squeezing.

 

Linde frowned at Mige’s grip on his arm and was about to tell him to let go, when he looked up and saw Mige staring at him wide eyed.

 

“You knew.” Mige hissed.

 

Linde smirked. “Last night when I saw the tickets.”

 

Mige looked over at Ville who was talking quietly with Bam, every so often looking at the dancers but not really paying attention. “He doesn’t know.”

 

“He would if he’d start paying attention.” Linde whispered back.

 

Mige went back to watching the dancers on stage, keeping his eye on Soya, shaking his head in wonderment. “Holy shit she’s amazing.”

 

Linde grinned. “We always wanted to see her dance.”

 

“And to think I didn’t want to come tonight.” Mige muttered as he looked back over at Ville who was still talking quietly to Bam. “He’s going to kick himself when he realizes that it’s Soya down there. You should just tell him Linde.”

 

“Let him kick himself, not my fault he’s not paying attention.” Linde shrugged as the curtain dropped on the first act.

 

“Nice, is it over already?” Bam asked.

 

“Just the first act.” Mige corrected. “There’s one more act then an intermission.”

 

“Ugh, this is taking forever.” Bam groaned, growling as he loosened his tie.

 

“It’s just an hour in a half more.” Ville said trying to placate his friend, while searching his pockets. “Think I have time to get a smoke in, before they raise the curtain again.”

 

Linde sighed and let Ville pass him down the aisle before he left the balcony.

 

“I’ll go make sure he comes back.” Mige said getting up before Linde could argue.

 

“If those two leave us here…” Bam warned.

 

“They’re not leaving.” Linde said to Bam.

 

Bam narrowed his eyes on the blonde before he spoke again. “So really, why are you so interested in this ballet, you have something going on with one of the dancers?”

 

“I have a girlfriend Bam.” Linde reminded.

 

“Doesn’t mean the best men don’t step out.”

 

Linde sighed. “You swear you won’t tell Ville?”

 

Bam frowned. “Depends.”

 

“Bam.”

 

“Yeah, sure.”

 

Linde rubbed the back of his head just as the lights went down and the curtain raised up again. “The lead woman, the dancer in red.”

 

Bam nodded. “Yeah?”

 

“That’s Soya.”

 

XxxxxxX

 

“Linde send you to check on me?” Ville teased as he blew out a puff of smoke and looked over at his friend, who looked very uncomfortable in the suit Linde had forced him in to.

 

“Look, this is important to Linde, and…” Mige sighed. “It’s important to me.”

 

“Since when?” Ville laughed, “Thirty minutes ago you were bitching about having to come too.”

 

“God, Linde is going to kill me for this.”

 

Ville frowned as he tossed the butt of the cigarette down and crushed it with the sole of his shoe. “Kill you for what?”

 

“There’s a reason Linde dragged us here tonight and it’s not to torture us Ville and it’s not because he’s taken a sudden interest in ballet.”

 

“Then what is it?”

 

Mige sighed, and held out his hand, looking down; Ville saw the show’s program hanging between Mige’s fingers. “The Love of the Gypsy.” It read in the front along with the company’s name. Mige gestured for him to take it and open it. With a sigh, Ville took it from Mige and flipped it open reading the names.

 

“Prince Kai played by Josef Kolar,” Ville muttered. “The gypsy Maria played by…” Ville trialed off looking up at Mige with wide eyes. “Soya?”

Chapter Text

Chapter 3: The Mistake

 

Saturday May 8, 2010

 

Ville stood at the entrance of the balcony watching the ballet, more watching Soya as she tiptoed her way across the stage in a loose white gown.

 

Mige settled back in his seat, causing Linde to turn back to look at Ville and grin widely. Ville couldn’t help but share the sentiment as he went and took his seat again.

 

“Now aren’t you glad I dragged you here?” Linde asked with a smirk.

 

Ville rolled his eyes. “You wouldn’t have had to drag me if you’d just told me she was dancing in the first place.”

 

“Where’s the fun in that?” Linde asked with a snort, before they both turned back to the stage watching Soya.

 

“So that’s her?” Bam asked.

 

Ville gave a short nod. “Yes, that’s her.”

 

“You like her.” Bam stated.

 

Ville looked away from the stage to look at Bam. “Of course I like her; she was one of my best friends.”

 

“No, I mean…” Bam shook his head. “Nevermind.” He muttered, as they both turned back to the stage.

 

Ville knew, of course, what Bam had meant. That he liked Soya as more than a friend, and yes, he was now willing to admit that when he was twenty and Soya was sixteen he would have enjoyed pursuing a relationship with her. He would have loved to call her his, but he knew then just as he did now, that it would never have worked back then. They weren’t ready for each other. The band was just gaining its popularity while Soya was still in school and still under her parents thumb.

 

Now, though, he was in a much better place in his life and if her dancing was any indication of her life, he would say she was in a much better place as well. Of course, thirteen years changed a person and as a thirty three year old man, he could honestly say that he wanted nothing more out of Soya then her friendship, for the time being anyway.

 

“She’s good.” Bam spoke as Soya stretched her body in ways that Bam had thought impossible.

 

“She’s amazing.” Ville corrected.

 

“Have you ever seen her dance, other then this?” Bam asked.

 

Ville shook his head. “She would never let us, we’d catch her dancing sometimes when we would pick her up from practice but she would stop before we ever got a good look.”

 

“Weird.” Bam muttered.

 

“Not really.” Ville quickly amended. “Not for Soya anyway, she kept her family life and the things she did for them separate from us.”

 

Ville turned back just as the music began to slow, Soya tiptoeing back to the prince who was sleeping before lying next to him. The curtain dropped and the house lights came back on, signaling intermission. Linde stood and got out of the row only to stop when Ville called out to him.

 

“Where are you going?”

 

Linde raised an eyebrow. “I believe there are these places now, where when one needs to relive themselves they can go into these rooms and do so.”

 

“Smartass.” Mige muttered with a smirk.

 

“I have to take a piss Ville,” Linde sighed. “Do I have your permission?”

 

Ville narrowed his eyes. “If you go see her without us…” Ville warned.

 

Linde laughed. “How in the world would I go see Soya backstage Ville? I don’t have any backstage passes.”

 

Ville smirked. “You’re going to tell me, that after thirteen years Soya reaches out to us with tickets to her show but no way of contacting her? Really? That’s your story?”

 

“Ville,” Linde said slowly. “I really have to piss.” With that said he turned on his heel and left the balcony.

 

“He’s going backstage.” Mige said with a laugh.

 

“Bastard.” Ville muttered leaning back in his seat and crossing his arms over his chest.

 

XxxxxxX

 

Linde found himself face to face with a security guard in front of the door that led to the back stage area of the theater.

 

“Name.” the guard asked with a sigh.

 

“Mikko Lindström.” Linde said, wondering what name Soya had put down.

 

The guard looked down at his list, before giving a nod and opening the door, allowing Linde backstage. Walking through, he looked around the backstage area that looked much more hectic and crowded then it had the night before when they had played.

 

He saw dancers changing in front of others, while others were helping with hair and makeup, everyone rushing around during the fifteen-minute intermission in various stages of undress to get ready.

 

“You look lost.”

 

He turned around to see a young blonde girl looking at him with a teasing smile. “Uh, a bit.” He admitted. “I’m looking for Soya.”

 

The girl nodded and pointed out a woman standing with her back to him, long brown hair falling down her back and resting at the small of her back, talking with the dancer that was playing the prince.

 

“Thank you.” Linde said before walking over to her. He saw the man look over Soya’s shoulder at him with a frown, before grinning widely and saying something to Soya, causing her to turn.

 

Linde grinned as Soya’s eyes widened, soon finding himself in front of her still grinning. “Oh my god.” She whispered, her hands finding his cheeks. “Oh it’s really you.” She laughed.

 

“And it’s really you.” He teased back.

 

“Ten minutes Soya.” The man said with a wink before walking away.

 

Soya gave an absent nod before grabbing Linde’s hand leading him into a room. “I have to change real fast, but come with me.”

 

“No, Soya, I just…” Linde tried only to be pulled into the room they had used as their own dressing room the night before. He looked around at amazement at how twenty-four hours could change a room so much.

 

“Sorry for the mess, I’ve been coming back here, throwing my costumes off and putting on the new ones.” She laughed, before turning back to him. “Oh! I can’t believe you’re here!” she laughed wrapping her arms around him in a hug.

 

“I can’t believe it’s been thirteen years.” Linde said in amazement as he hugged her back. “Look at you Soya, you’re even more beautiful then I remember.”

 

Soya laughed, “Please, I’m covered in sweat, my makeup’s caked on my face, I am definitely not at my best. And look at you!” She giggled, taking one of her dreadlocks into her fingers. “God thirteen years, oh, I still can’t believe you’re here! Is it just you or…” she trialed off as she backed away with a grin going over to her portable wardrobe, grabbing her new outfit.

 

“Ville and Mige are here as well,” Linde said as he turned around to allow her to change. “Bam as well.”

 

“Not the others?” Soya asked as she slipped off the white gown she had worn in the last act and pulled on a black gypsy outfit, much like the red one she had worn earlier.

 

“Not tonight, I thought this was more for us than anything else, but you’ll meet Gas and Burton later.”

 

“Later?” she teased, as she pulled on her shirt.

 

Linde smirked. “You don’t think that after thirteen years of not seeing you, we’re just going to let you go again.”

 

Soya laughed, “You can turn back around now.” She said smiling at him kindly as he turned around to see her dressed, she walked to her vanity and did a touch up of her makeup. “And no, because I don’t plan on letting you guys go either.”

 

“That’s good to hear.” Linde laughed. “God Soya, we’ve missed you.”

 

Soya looked at him through the mirror, not being able to help the large smile that was taking over her face. “I’ve missed you all as well, so much.”

 

A knock came to her door, before it opened; they both looked over as the man Soya had been talking to came in shutting the door again. He smiled at Linde and held out his hand. “I’m Josef.”

 

“Linde.”

 

“Nice to meet you,” Josef said with a smile. “Soya’s talked a lot about you guys,”

 

“All good, I hope.” Linde said.

 

“Of course.” Soya said with a smile, before turning back to Josef. “Ready?”

 

“Two minutes, Bill’s getting everyone together.”

 

Soya nodded as she took off her white ballet shoes, switching them out for her black ones. She looked back over at Linde. “You’ll come back?” she asked, “After the show?”

 

Linde couldn’t help but laugh. “I think Ville would chain himself to his seat if I even suggested we leave without seeing you first.”

 

Soya shook her head in amusement. “I do not doubt that in the least.” She grabbed his hand with a large grin. “It really is amazing to see you Linde, thank you for coming, I didn’t think you would.”

 

He clasped her hand, trapping it between both of his. “Soya, we wouldn’t have missed this for the world.” He leaned down kissing her cheek. “Have fun out there.” He whispered before pulling back.

 

“I always do.” Soya laughed, gently pulling her hand away. “I’ll see you boys after.” She grinned once more before allowing Josef to pull her out the door.

 

Soya walked towards the center stage with Josef, their hands clasped as they got in position for the next dance. Josef grinned over at her. “You look like a child who’s just been led into a toy store and given free reign.” He teased.

 

“I feel like one.” Soya laughed, only to get a disapproving glance from their stage manager.

 

“You’re supposed to be upset.” Josef teased her, referring to the next piece, which was much more somber, then the last.

 

“Then stop making me laugh.” She teased back, before relaxing her face, closing her eyes, she laid her head on Josef’s shoulder, pointing her foot out and making sure she kept her leg straight as she reached over her head, bowing her arm to clasp Josef’s opposite hand.

 

“Ready?” he whispered, as he watched their stage manager from the corner of his eye; give the signal to raise to curtain. Soya gave a brief nod against his shoulder. “Almost done Soya.” He whispered, clasping her hand tighter, kissing her temple quickly, just as the curtain rose all the way and the lights came back on.

 

Three costume changes, a million pirouettes and an hour later Soya found herself minutes away from the scene she was dreading. Josef grasped her hand tighter as they danced, as if feeling her fear being transferred on to him. He let go and did his high jump, catching Soya mid air as she did her own. Sliding down Josef’s back, they heard the music swell which was their cue; she danced into position at Josef’s side.

 

She bit the inside of her cheek as the moment came faster, while the outside of her appearance showed a serene dancer, a gypsy at peace with her relationship with a prince, the inside of her was trembling with nerves at the final scene of their dance. Their thirty turns, something she had been doing for the last four months, as Josef had kept reminding her throughout the night.

 

She could do this, she thought to herself as Josef looked at her, giving her a wink just as the cymbals crashed. With that crash, Soya and Josef both started the first of the thirty turns. She kept her left leg pointed and on the ground, her Pointe shoes holding her up as her right pushed her into the turns. She kept her eyes trained on the low chandelier that hung from the center of the building, finding it every time to she made her turn.

 

An old trick she had been taught her first year of dance class to keep their turns straight. Even though she knew she didn’t need her stationary spot, she always found one, just for her own piece of mind. She counted her turns, finding herself on fifteen right on time with the music; she tensed her leg tighter, wanting to make sure she would make it, only to feel her ankle tremble with the weight.

 

She inwardly winced at the pain that radiated from her ankle to her leg and reviewed the count, twenty five, she had five left. She made three more turns before she felt her ankle begin to fold. Not willing to fall in front of the audience, especially an audience that contained her parents, she placed her foot down at the end of her twenty eighth turn, watching as Josef finished the last two in time with the music. His eyes widened slightly in surprise to see her waiting, but grasped her awaiting hands, turning her, before dipping her down and nuzzling his face in her neck, as her arms wrapped around his back.

 

“What happened?” he whispered his breathing harsh as he kept his face hidden, the lights lowering, and the curtains slowly closing.

 

She shook her head slightly, feeling the tears starting to gather. He stood her back up once he was sure the curtain was down all the way and led her off stage, while the rest of the dancers took their place to do their bows, the curtain rising as the audience applauded.

 

“Soya,” Josef said as they took their place at the right of the stage, waiting for their turn to take their bows. “What happened?”

 

She shook her head. “I didn’t make it.” She muttered.

 

“I realize that.” Josef muttered, with a slight glare. “Why didn’t you make it?” he looked down at her ankle. “It’s bothering you, isn’t it?”

 

“No.” she quickly denied as they waited.

 

“Soya.” Josef warned.

 

“It’s not.” She said with a shake of her head. “I just lost my balance and had to stop before I fell.”

 

“Bullshit.” Josef muttered before they both plastered smiles on their faces, gliding out to center stage holding hands, Josef did his bow as Soya curtsied, both giving their formal waves to the audience. Josef pushed her lightly to the front as she curtseyed to each end of the audience, before stepping back and gesturing for Josef to take his place in front of her.

 

 The curtain dropped for that last time and Soya walked off stage and towards her dressing room without waiting for Josef, only to stop when she saw her parents and little sister waiting in front of the door. She could already feel herself regressing from the twenty eight year old women that lived to dance, to the sixteen year old that danced to please her parents. With a deep breath, she took a towel and a bottle of water off the table that had been set up before the last scene and walked towards her parents.

Chapter Text

Chapter 4: The Reunion

 

Josef walked off stage, annoyed that Soya had left without even looking back at him. He knew that her missing those last two turns was going to eat her alive and he would find her in her rehearsal studio at two in the morning, practically killing herself to make the thirty pirouettes for tomorrow’s show.

 

“What the hell is wrong with Soya?!”

 

Josef looked over his shoulder where the female voice had come from to see the company’s co-owner, Rebecca Miller yelling at their stage manager Bill. Not finding Soya, he walked over to Rebecca to calm her down; knowing that after Bill her next target would be Soya herself.

 

“Rebecca.” He called over the chatter of all the other dancers who were still high off the adrenaline from the performance. Rebecca looked over at him, her sharp brown eyes glaring at him while her hair swung around her shoulders in an angry wave of dirty blonde.

 

“She missed two fucking turns, her timing was off Josef! Do you realize what that could do to the company?!”

 

Josef sighed, wishing he could get out of his tights and ballet shoes and into his sweats go home and sleep, instead he pushed the thought of sleeping away and focused on Rebecca. “One off night in the past eight years isn’t a bad thing Rebecca. That’s what this was, it was an off night.”

 

“An off night would be if she was off her timing the entire night, this was one big fucking mistake at the end of a two hour show!”

 

“I’ll talk to her Rebecca,” Josef said quickly, watching her eyes start scanning the area for Soya. “Go home love, sleep your anger off, I’ll talk to Soya, tomorrow will be better, I promise.”

 

Rebecca narrowed her eyes on him, her jaw clenched. “You tell Soya that I will be having a very long talk with her tomorrow, you understand me?”

 

“I’ve lived in America for ten years Rebecca, I understand you perfectly.”

 

“Don’t get smart with me Josef.” Rebecca hissed before she stormed away.

 

“Crisis averted huh?” Bill said with a weak smile.

 

Josef scoffed. “I wish, Rebecca is a light rain compared to the hurricane that’s about to hit.” he heard Bill laugh weakly before Josef scanned the crowd that was beginning to thin out. Just as one of the newer girls moved away, he saw Soya with her head bowed and her mother talking to her lowly.

 

“Fuck.” Josef sighed, running a hand over his face tiredly. He started towards them only to stop when he saw a very familiar dreadlocked male, followed by three other men coming through the backstage door. “Double fuck.” Josef growled detouring and making his way over to Soya’s friends.

 

“Josef right?” Linde asked with a polite smile.

 

“Yes, look, I need you four to wait right here.” He looked over and saw that they were in direct eye line of Elizabeth for when she turned around. The last thing Soya needed was a lecture on the company she kept, he heard that one when Soya had made friends with a scholarship student her first year at Juilliard. He looked over and saw a pillar that would be perfect for them to hide behind. “Actually,” he shepherded them over to the pillar, “I need you to stand here.”

 

“Who the fuck are you to tell us where to stand or to wait?” Bam asked with a growl.

 

“Bam calm down.” Ville muttered, though he raised an eyebrow in Josef’s direction as if waiting for a response.

 

Josef narrowed his gaze on Bam. “Look, I don’t care who you are, what you do for a living or how much money you make, this is my territory and you’ll do as I say.” Josef growled, not in the mood to deal with them, especially when he had Elizabeth to contend with, instead he turned to Linde, who he’d talked to before and trusted to be level headed. “I know you want to talk to Soya; I even understand your need to, but for her sake, stay here.”

 

Linde looked over and caught sight of Elizabeth. “You’ll come get us?” Linde asked.

 

Josef gave a breath of relief before nodding. “The minute it’s clear, I’ll come get you.” He gave them all a warning glare before walking over to Elizabeth and Soya.

 

“Josef!” Aida giggled as she rushed over and hugged his legs.

 

“Sweet little Aida!” Josef laughed swinging her up and settling the seven year old on his hip, truly happy to see her.

 

“Josef didn’t miss his turns Soya,” Elizabeth accused, apparently not letting up in her reprimand even in his presence.

 

“I know mamma.” Soya said quietly, her eyes trained on the ground in front of her feet.

 

“Elizabeth you have to admit, Soya danced beautifully tonight.” Josef tried, use to playing the mediator between the two. He looked over at Jonah Toivonen, somewhat surprised that he didn’t have his own two cents to add, though by the glazed look in his eyes, Josef had the feeling Jonah had taken his pain medication early.

 

Josef looked down at Aida, who opened her mouth and mimicked popping a pill into her mouth. Josef shook his head, it was sad that the seven-year-old knew that her father had quite the dependency problem.

 

“She was off on her timing throughout the show.” Elizabeth said shaking her head in disgust. “Missing those turns just proved to those critics that Soya is an amateur dancer even after eight years.”

 

Soya looked up at her mother with wide eyes as Josef winced. “I think that’s a bit harsh Elizabeth, her timing wasn’t off at all, in fact I found myself off on the timing a few times throughout the show.”

 

“That may be true Josef, but Soya’s mistakes are much more blatant then yours.”

 

“It’s impossible to have a perfect show every time,” Josef said kindly. “Even for the best of dancers.”

 

“Timing, I could forgive.” Elizabeth said, causing Josef to withhold his snort of disagreement. “But the turns, I can’t believe you Soya, twenty eight turns! What will the critics say?!”

 

“I highly doubt the critics knew how many turns I was supposed to do, mamma, let alone count them.” Soya said defending her actions for the first time since her mother started on her.

 

Elizabeth looked over at Josef, before looking back at her daughter, switching from the English they had been speaking in to Finnish, causing Josef to lose track of the conversation. Josef kept in the growl of frustration, Elizabeth only switched languages when she wanted to put down Soya without his interference.

 

Catching a few words, he narrowed his eyes, about ninety percent positive Elizabeth had just said the words ‘failure’ and ‘disgrace’, which caused Soya to look back at the ground. Josef saw the tears making her way down her cheek, which was enough to make him turn back to Elizabeth ready to stop her.

 

"Tarpeeksi.”(Enough) They all looked up to see Jonah rubbing his face tiredly. “That’s enough Elizabeth,” he said in English. “Soya is tired, we’ll leave her alone.”

 

“You have nothing to say Jonah?” Elizabeth said lowly, glaring at her husband.

 

He shook his head. “I’m tired Elizabeth, we are all tired. Tomorrow at breakfast you will be able to reprimand Soya all you want, but for now leave her be.”

 

Soya and Josef looked at Jonah wide eyed. “Papa?” Soya whispered.

 

“You danced beautifully tonight Soya.” He said with a slight nod, taking Aida out of Josef’s arms and walking away. “Let’s go Elizabeth, let Soya rest.”

 

“You have not heard the end of this Soya, do you understand me?”

 

Soya gave a nod. “Yes, mamma.” She said lowly, as Elizabeth walked away.

 

“Soya.” Josef said, touching her arm light, only to have her pull away.

 

“I…” Soya shook her head, turning on her heel and walking into her dressing room. Josef looked over his shoulder at the four men waiting, probably having heard much of that conversation seeing as the hallway had cleared out a lot more since he had walked away from them. Holding up a finger for them to wait, he walked into Soya’s dressing room, to find her sitting on the couch among her costumes, holding her head in her hands, her shoulders shaking as she cried silently.

 

“Soya.” Josef whispered sitting next to her and wrapping his arm around her shoulders.

 

“I don’t want your pity Josef.” Soya murmured once her sobs subsided shrugging his arm off her shoulders.

 

“You know you’ll get none from me Soya.” Josef reminded her just as quietly, he had learned fast that the last thing Soya ever wanted was pity. “The only thing you’ll get from me is comfort.”

 

“I don’t want your comfort either.” Soya said as she stood, sniffing and wiping her cheeks with the palms of her hands, before looking back at him. “I’m use to this Josef, no matter how well I dance, no matter how many hours of practice I put in, no matter how many friendships I put on hold; it will never be enough for her.”

 

Josef stared at her shaking his head. “You shouldn’t be use to this Soya, no one should be use to this type of abuse.”

 

“What abuse Josef?” Soya said giving a bitter laugh. “She believes it’s for my own good to tell me that I’m a disgrace to the family and you know what? It is.”

 

“How in the world is that good for you Soya? “ Josef argued. “I see what her comments do to you; I see how tired you are of having to take it. You are twenty-eight for god’s sake; you have to tell her to stop. I can’t keep saving you Soya.”

 

“Who asked you?!” She yelled.

 

Josef narrowed his eyes and stood, causing her to take a step back. “Don’t you dare speak to me like that Soya Eeva, I’ve been by your side for eight fucking years and you know very well that what I do is by my own choice, including mediating between you and your mother. Just as my opinions will be shared with you about the situation, as they always have been. You’re frustrated I understand that, but don’t you dare take it out on me.” He said with a growl before he left the room and slammed the door.

 

He looked over at the men who were waiting a lot closer to the door then before, and he knew they had heard every word. Shaking his head in disgust at the situation, he waved a hand towards the door. “She’s all yours.” He said angrily before he stormed off to his own dressing room.

 

The group stared at the blonde man as he went into another dressing room, slamming the door behind him, causing some of the dancers who lingered to stare at both doors before whispering to each other.

 

“Maybe we should wait.” Linde said quietly.

 

Before Ville could agree, prepared to leave his phone number on the program that was tucked into the inside pocket of his jacket, Bam reached over and knocked on the door. “Bam!” he hissed.

 

“You’ve all waited thirteen years to see her,” Bam shrugged. “Trust me; one night was going to hurt.”

 

The door swung open, reveling Soya looking down at her hands as she tied her robe. “Look, Josef if you’re here to yell at me some more, I can’t…” she trailed off once she looked up, her breathe catching at the sight of them. “Oh.”

 

“We were going to leave.” Mige said quickly, “But Bam knocked.”

 

“No!” she said opening the door wider. “No, no, no need to leave.” She gestured for them to come in and quickly wiped her eyes again, before closing the door behind Bam. She turned to face them and couldn’t fight the grin that appeared. The sight of Mige, Linde and Ville in front of her was definitely what she needed to end the night. Before she knew it, she was hugging Mige, laughing as she touched the full beard.

 

“Last I saw you; you were still trying to grow this out and failing.”

 

Mige laughed. “Well I’ve succeeded,” he leaned down and hugged her slight frame again. “I have missed you so much.” He whispered.

 

Soya closed her eyes and hugged Mige tighter, though he had been the last she would go to with any type of problem; he had always been there when no one else was around. He’d listen, he’d advise, he’d say ‘fuck it’ and had handed her, her first guitar telling her she should play out her frustration instead of bottling it in

 

She pulled away and kissed his cheek as he let her go pushing her towards Linde. She grinned at him as he grinned back, pulling her into another hug. “I know I just saw you,” she whispered in his ear as she wrapped her arms around his waist. “But I still can’t believe you’re here.”

 

Linde laughed quietly. “Do you need me to pinch you?”

 

“No!” she laughed, pulling away and touching one of his dreads, Linde had been the one she could always talk seriously too. She could always find her sense of calm with him, whether it be sitting in his car on her way to his garage from her dance practice or even at that moment, hugging him, he brought with him that calm that she so craved at times.

 

“Go, hug Ville.” Linde whispered loudly. “He might burst if you don’t.”

 

She looked over and bit her lip, her grey eyes catching his green, before she even realized she had moved, she was in his arms, hugging him tightly as he buried his face in her neck. That was when she felt the dam burst, the tears flowing freely from her eyes and onto his coat. She felt his hand slowly rub circles on her back as he whispered in her ear.

 

“Se on okei kulta, minä olen täällä.” (It’s ok sweetheart, I’m right here)

 

“Olen kaivannut sinua niin paljon.” (I’ve missed you so much) she said hoarsely as she tightened her grip on him, before pulling away.

 

He laughed quietly bringing his hands up to cup her cheeks, wiping her tears away with his thumbs. “Trust me kulta, I’ve missed you [i]so[/i] much more.”

 

He had been thrumming with excitement when he saw the last curtain drop and had had to restrain himself from strangling Mige and Bam when they’d announced they’d needed to go to the bathroom once they’d hit the lobby. He had seen the gleam in Mige’s eyes and knew he’d been delaying them on purpose.

 

But now, holding her in his arms again he forgot about the fact that Mige had delayed them, he forgot about the scene he had witnessed with her and her mother, and he forgot about the thirteen years that had put their friendship on hold.

 

 He stroked her cheeks, wiping the still falling tears away leaning down to kiss her forehead. “On niinhyvä nähdäsunua,rakastaa.”(“It’s so good to see you, love.) He whispered against her forehead.

 

Mige nudged Linde with a smirk. “Why is it she cries with Ville but not us?”

 

Linde rolled his eyes, “I always knew he was her favorite.”

 

And just like that the mood was broken as Soya laughed wiping her eyes with her palms. “Oh, I didn’t mean to cry.” She admitted laughing at herself.

 

“This is Bam, by the way,” Mige said.

 

“We met last night.” Bam said sticking out his hand.

 

Soya laughed as she shook it. “I told you I was a HIM fan before you even knew who they were.”

 

Bam rolled his eyes as the others looked at them oddly. “Whatever.” He muttered.

 

Soya rolled her own eyes, before she waved for them to take a seat. “Sit, sit, no need to be standing.” She said as she moved away from Ville to sit on her makeup chair, she brought her knee up to her chest as she was prone to sit when not around her parents and massaged her ankle absentmindedly, while she smiled at them.

 

“I’m still in shock that we’re all in the same room together.” Soya admitted.

 

“I’m in shock that you actually allowed us to watch you dance.” Mige teased.

 

Soya giggled, hiding her face in her knee before looking back at them. “Mige, I’m surprised you made it through the whole show.”

 

“Watching you dance is an entirely new art.” Linde said. “You were beautiful out there, I can’t believe this is the first time we’ve seen you.”

 

Soya shook her head as she thought about her mistake at the end of the night. “I was awful tonight.”

 

Linde frowned. “What’s got you so down Soya, you weren’t like this when I saw you at intermission.”

 

Soya laughed. “I forgot how observant you are Linde,”

 

“You weren’t awful at all Soya, the complete opposite really.” Ville said softly. “I’ve never seen you like that.”

 

Soya smiled softly. “I messed up during the last act, missed two turns.”

 

Bam raised an eyebrow. “You count the fucking turns you have to do?”

 

Soya nodded. “I have to, to keep in time with the music; I lost my balance and had to stop two counts before I had to, to keep from falling.”

 

“We didn’t notice at all.” Linde admitted.

 

Soya laughed. “I wouldn’t expect you too, but the critics are sure too and I’m positive my boss did.” As did her mother, she thought with a wince. “But I don’t want to talk about the show tonight.” She said with a quick shake of her head.

 

“Then what do you want to talk about?” Ville teased.

 

“You!” she laughed. “Linde’s a father now!” she giggled, as Linde grinned.

 

“She’s seven, she’s wonderful,” Linde laughed. “She’s perfect,”

 

“I bet.” Soya laughed.

 

“And you?” Mige asked as Ville leaned back on the couch, keeping his eyes on Soya. She was still as beautiful as the night he had last seen her. Her face glistening with sweat and her hair high on her head in a messy bun, the white robe cinched at her waist though he could see the flesh tone leotard peeking out from underneath. He couldn’t believe he had forgotten how enchanting she was.

 

“What about me?” Soya asked with a raised brow in confusion.

 

“Any children, any significant other?” Mige asked with a smirk.

 

“No, no children for me. As for a significant other…” she laughed as she thought of Josef. “It’s very complicated.”

 

Linde frowned. “You and Josef?”

 

“Who’s Josef?” Ville asked, ignoring the racing of his blood.

 

“He’s my dance partner, he played the prince. He’s the one that left the room a few minutes ago in a bout of anger.”

 

“You’re with him?” Bam asked. “What happened to not shitting where you eat?”

 

“I’m sorry?” Soya asked with a frown.

 

Ville laughed. “He’s surprised that you would get involved with a co-worker.”

 

Soya laughed again. “Like I said, my relationship with Josef is very complicated.”

 

“Indeed it is.”

 

They looked up to see Josef standing at the door, wearing grey sweatpants and a white undershirt carrying a black sports bag over his shoulder.

 

Soya rolled her eyes turning away from him. “It’s called knocking, Josef.”

 

Josef scoffed as he walked further into the room. “I’ve never knocked before, I’m not going to start now because we’ve had a tiff.”

 

“It’s more than a tiff.” Soya muttered under her breath.

 

Josef rolled his eyes. “I’m your ride home, so are you coming or staying?”

 

“I’ll get a cab.” Soya said still not looking at him.

 

“Right, like I’m going to let you take a cab home Soya.”

 

“We’ll take her.” Ville said quickly.

 

Soya shook her head. “You don’t have to Ville; I’m fine with a cab.”

 

Josef shook his own head. “You’ll come with me or you’ll go with them, I don’t trust cab drivers this time of night.”

 

Soya stood and glared at Josef. “You’re not my father Josef, stop treating me like a child.”

 

“Thank god for that.” Josef muttered under his breath, Soya started for him, only to grab onto her chair quickly when her ankle buckled underneath her. Her wide eyes met Josef’s angry ones as he dropped his bag and pushed her back into her seat with a glare.

 

“Hey!” Linde said standing. “Don’t manhandle her.”

 

“It’s fine,” Soya said with a sigh as she watched Josef pull down her legging, growling under his breath when he saw the swelling on her ankle.

 

“Já to kurva vĕdĕl!”(I fucking knew it) he said pushing her leg away in disgust, “Take care of that fucking ankle Soya, you’re of no use to me otherwise.” Josef growled harshly, picking up his bag and leaving the room, slamming it shut once again.

Chapter Text

Chapter 5: The Ride Home

 

“I really can just call a cab.” Soya assured adjusting her black gym bag as Ville led her out of the theater and towards the black limo that was waiting for them.

 

“And we don’t mind taking you.” Mige repeated. “It’s fine Soya.”

 

Soya inwardly sighed, after Josef had stormed out, he had left the room filled with awkward silence and while Soya was very use to Josef’s temper tantrums, especially when they revolved around her health, the others were not. She knew they were taking a personal offense to the way Josef treated her, when in reality, the fight was long overdue and it wasn’t anything she couldn’t fix with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food and a bottle of raspberry syrup.

 

“Is there any place we need to stop before taking you home?” Ville asked as he slid in next to her. She scooted closer to the window, giving him more room, while Bam got in next to him, followed by Mige and Linde who sat across from them.

 

She thought about her studio, where she had planned on going even before her mother had started in on her. Nibbling the bottom of her lip, she looked down at her ankle before giving Ville a nod. “My studio, if you guys don’t mind.”

 

“Of course not.” Linde said, waiting for the address, she gave him the directions and he relayed them to the driver.

 

“So,” Ville teased, putting a hand on her leg, before lifting it up and settling her hurt ankle on his lap, “What happened?” he tapped on her ankle with a long finger, before he massaged it through the pink legging.

 

Soya laughed. “Josef and I were being idiots.”

 

Ville raised an eyebrow, which caused her to laugh. She looked over at Mige and Linde, who were also, looking at her incredulously. “Fine, I’ll elaborate, we were being idiots, for us.”

 

“That sounds better.” Mige laughed.

 

“Not much of a risk taker?” Bam asked with a small smirk.

 

Soya wrinkled her nose. “Not much of one, no, my story just proves it, which isn’t all that interesting anyway.”

 

“Just tell us what happened!” Mige groaned, his patience starting to wear thin.

 

Soya laughed. “Fine, we were on our Winter break, we had about a month left since we actually wanted to enjoy Christmas this time around we decided to bow out of the winter recital and be a part of the Spring one.”

 

“Which is this one?” Linde asked.

 

Soya nodded. “We started rehearsals towards the middle of January so we had all of December off. Josef had the crazy idea that we absolutely needed to skate in Rockefeller center. Now we may be dancers and damn good ones at that but put us in ice skates and we’re both useless.”

 

Ville laughed, having seen her a time or two in ice skates. “I remember that.”

 

“It’s horrible.” Soya giggled, not realizing that her leg was still in Ville’s lap and he was still absently massaging her ankle. “Anyway, we went and about an hour later we were able to actually stand on the ice and somewhat skate around. Josef decided to get fancy and do a jump that’s very simple to do on a ballet floor. Needless to say he fell and when he saw me laughing he bet me I couldn’t do it.”

 

She laughed at herself as he remembered that night, she had been laughing so hard at Josef falling, that she had had to grab onto the railing to keep from falling herself. Josef had glared at her and said. Well if you’re so fucking good, you do it.”She said she could and he had bet her she wouldn’t make it.

 

“My pride wounded, I went to do the jump and needless to say I didn’t make it.” She chuckled. “I fell on my ankle wrong and it folded underneath me.” She wiggled her ankle slightly. “I was suppose to stay off my ankle for a month, but because I had to start rehearsals a few weeks later and put so much weight on it, it hasn’t healed properly.”

 

“Is that why Josef is angry?” Mige asked. “Because it hasn’t healed?”

 

Soya laughed as she dropped her leg from Ville’s lap once she saw her studio come into view. “He’s angry because he feels guilty for pushing me to do it.”

 

“But he won.” Bam pointed out.

 

Soya laughed. “The pint of Chunky Monkey we bet says differently.”

 

“You bet ice cream?!” Mige asked in surprise.

 

Soya looked over at Mige with a raised eyebrow as the limo stopped in front of her studio. “Mige you go almost two years without junk food and you tell me that almost breaking my ankle wasn’t worth the last pint we had in the freezer. Josef felt so terrible after we got home from the hospital that he gave me the pint.”

 

Ville shook his head as the limo door opened; Soya dug the keys out of her bag before stepping out of the limo, Ville following her causing her to turn around. “You don’t have to go with me Ville, I’ll be quick.”

 

“It’s fine, I want to.” Ville grinned as he followed her to the door; he saw her look up at the sign with a small smile, causing him to look up as well. “This is yours?” he asked in surprise.

 

Soya nodded as she unlocked the door and pushed the door open, Ville walked in after her, making sure the door was closed as he looked around.

 

“Is it just a studio for you?” he asked as he looked around the large lobby area, there was a desk where he assumed a secretary sat on his right, next to a large bulletin board filled with papers advertising recitals or times for classes and pictures of children in different dance poses or holding certificates.

 

“It’s a school.” Soya said as she walked further into the lobby, the further he walked he realized that while the lobby was a reception area it was also a small store where she sold dance merchandise, from the wall filled with boxes of ballet and tap shoes to leotards and tutus to pink sweatshirts that read ‘Dance’ across the chest.

 

“There are three dance studios.” She said as she pointed out three doors that circled the small store. “I have two full times teachers here for when I’m away or doing a recital and two part time ones that take turns replacing me when I’m gone.”

 

“You teach?” Ville asked with wide eyes.

 

Soya nodded. “I need to keep busy, I need to dance, and since I can’t do recitals year in and year out my dance studio keeps me busy. We do more than just teach ballet though, one of my teachers does yoga and Pilate’s classes on weekends for adults while another teaches tap and jazz.”

 

“It fits you.” Ville said looking around. “It really does.”

 

Soya shrugged. “The average retirement age for a professional dancer is about thirty, if I can go more years I would love it, but I like the idea of having something already established for me to do once I do retire.” She gestured for him to follow her, doing as she wished he followed her through one of the doors that led to a staircase.

 

“I own the upstairs too, I have my office up here.” She said as they begun to climb the steps, “and a smaller studio. Josef and I use it when we’re in season and want to practice on our own.”

 

“How many students do you have?” Ville asked as he came to a small landing that was a small lobby with a couch and coffee table that had dance magazines on the surface along with vending machines that offered snacks and beverages.

 

Soya walked into her office on the right as Ville went to the left looking in amazement at the small studio. Garment racks filled with costumes lined the far wall covering the window that allowed for natural light and the amazing view of the New York skyline. While the left side had her portable exercise bars lining the mirrored walls, the right side of the room held more exercise bars that were screwed to the wall as well as blue mats piled on top of each other. The corner closest to the door held an entertainment center with an up to date stereo and CD cases and loose CD’s lining the interior and the floor, as well as wires that he assumed connected with her iPod.

 

“It took me about a year to renovate this place.” Soya said flipping the switch that dosed the room in light. With the light he was able to see she had painted the room dark brown with a thick band of light brown in the center. It opened the room up making it look much larger then it was.

 

 “And when I teach I have about fifty students.” She said answering his previous question. He turned around and saw that she was carrying something under her arm.

 

“What is that?”

 

“Foot spa.” She laughed. “I keep it under my desk for when I do paperwork,” she looked inside and picked up the items she had put in. “Tape for my ankle, ice cream for Josef and…” she picked up the bottle of Hershey’s raspberry syrup. “The last piece of bribery to get back on his good side.”

 

Ville laughed. “You don’t keep that in your apartment?”

 

“That’s just bad news for us.” Soya said with a small laugh. “Ice cream is our weakness, and keeping it in our apartment during the season is just asking for trouble. We hide it here since we tend to forget I have a small refrigerator in my office, it’s buried underneath paperwork that I tend to ignore.”

 

Ville chuckled. “Still don’t like numbers huh?”

 

Soya shrugged. “I send everything off to our family’s accountant and he takes care of everything for me.”

 

“The costumes?” he asked gesturing to the garment racks. “Are those yours?”

 

Soya nodded. “Every costume I’ve worn for my shows I keep, they come in handy for some of our teen students who do things for their school talent shows.”

 

Ville couldn’t help the amazement that washed over him. “You really have done so well for yourself Soya.”

 

“Was there any doubt?” Soya asked as she turned the light back off and started back towards the first floor.

 

“Not at all, but I assumed you were purely a dancer, I didn’t think you had ever planned on doing this.”

 

Soya should have felt offended, or at least a little annoyed, but she didn’t. During the time Ville had known her, dancing had been all she had on her mind, and only dancing. Had someone asked her at sixteen what she planned on doing for the rest of her life, dancing professionally would have been her quick and only answer. There would have been no room for anything else.

 

But after seeing so many dancers quit their careers early due to injury, she’d started to think about what she really wanted to do after retirement. She knew she wanted to dance in a show every once in a while but other than that, she really didn’t have a backup plan.

 

Originally her dance studio had been a place just her own, but one drunken night with Josef had led her to realize that she wanted to teach others to dance. So during her off seasons, much to her parents displeasure, she had taken some business classes at a local community college, gotten certified to teach ballet and gotten her building approved for what she had wanted to do and [i]Soya’s Dance Studio[/i] had been born.

 

Three years later, they were still up and running and because of her and Josef’s connections with Juilliard, many of her students that she recommend for admittance were offered scholarships and went on to perform with some of the best companies. She had at least three of her older students already auditioning to be in the company Soya was currently with.

 

“It was a late dream.” She admitted as she walked out the door, jingling the keys as she locked it behind Ville, “But a dream nonetheless.”

 

“Like I said you’ve done well for yourself Soya.” Ville grinned as they walked back to the limo. He opened the door and allowed her to slide in first before he took her previous seat by the window.

 

“And you haven’t?” Soya teased. “You guys are famous rockstars now.” She nudged his arm with her elbow before she adjusted the foot spa on her lap, pulling her black bag from in front of Ville’s feet to in front of hers. “I’m just a lowly dancer.”

 

Linde shook his head. “I’m surprised your name isn’t up in lights. I’d heard you were an amazing dancer Soya, but to see you…”

 

Soya shook her head. “I’m not as good as you make me out to be, trust me, it all depends on the partner you have and I’m lucky Josef is mine. Without him I’d be stuck in the back line with the rest of the girls.”

 

“You’re amazing on your own merit Soya.” Mige said. “You really don’t need someone else,”

 

Soya shrugged, knowing that while she was a good dancer, without Josef or if fate had handed her another partner her dancing would never be as good as it was now. Josef pushed her to do her best, ever since they had met at eighteen then placed in the same company at twenty. Not wanting to argue the fact, she smiled instead. “How long are you guys staying in New York?” she asked curious as to how much time she had with her old friends.

 

“Ville is staying until the end of the month.” Linde said. “But the rest of us leave on Monday.”

 

Soya did a mental check of her schedule for the weekend, she knew her last two shows were the next day and her parents left that same evening, she didn’t start teaching again until the next month and she didn’t have any new recitals to practice for.

 

“Monday afternoon or evening?” she asked.

 

“Evening.” Mige said.

 

“Then I refuse to let you go without having lunch on Monday.” Soya said matter of factly.

 

Mige laughed. “You’re acting as if you won’t see us in Helsinki when you go back.”

 

Soya frowned as she thought about the last time she had been back to her home country. “What do you mean?”

 

Ville frowned back at her. “Don’t you go back home after your recitals?”

 

Soya laughed. “Home? As in Helsinki home?”

 

“Is there another home for you?” Mige asked.

 

“New York.” Soya stated. “I haven’t been back in Helsinki since…” she thought back. “Since I was twenty-one, and I don’t even count that. I spent ninety percent of my time flying to and from Helsinki and the other ten percent in the hospital.”

 

“Hospital?” Bam asked. “You went to Finland just to go to a hospital? What’s wrong with the care here?”

 

“Nothing’s wrong with the care here,” Soya said, “My sister was born in Helsinki though, I got to the hospital, saw her in the nursery for about five minutes before I had to fly back out to San Francisco for a show. The last time I actually saw anything of Helsinki was when I was eighteen, and even then I was in the theater most of time rehearsing for our show.”

 

“But you’re parents are there…” Ville said, he remembered Elizabeth vividly and knew that if Soya was anywhere else in the world alone, she would have to go back to Finland on her off time to be with her family. Elizabeth use to have Soya on a tight leash there was no way she would let a sixteen-year-old Soya stay in New York alone.

 

Soya nodded. “They are, but when I joined the first company at eighteen we were based in LA, then Rebecca’s company is based here in New York. When I’m in season my parents go to every one of my shows as we travel and when I’m not they’re back in Helsinki and I stay here.” She shrugged. “It’s been like that ever since I left.”

 

“And you haven’t been back?”  Ville shook his head. “I find it hard to believe you’re mother allowed this.”

 

Soya shifted in her seat, “Well she did.” Soya said shortly, looking out the window, thankful to see the white townhouse that she and Josef owned together. She climbed over Ville as the limo parked, said a quick goodbye and got out, pulling her bag behind her as well as carrying her foot spa in her arms.

 

Bam smirked over at his friends as they watched Soya from the window, “I think you offended her Ville.”

 

Ville sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “I think I did too.” He got out of the car and called her name, causing her to stop at the top step of her house.

 

“I’m sorry.” He said once he reached her. “I didn’t mean to offend you Soya.”

 

Soya shook her head. “I’ve had a bad night Ville and you unknowingly pushed a button that shouldn’t have been pushed.” Dropping her bag and setting the foot spa on the stone railing by her door, she walked down a few steps and hugged him. “It really is amazing seeing you.”

 

Ville smiled and kissed the top of her head as he hugged her back. “Trust me, the feeling goes both ways.”

 

“I told you we’d see each other again, didn’t I?”

 

Ville laughed as he pulled back. “You did and I never did doubt you kulta.”

 

Soya sighed happily, reaching up and stroking his cheek with her thumb. “Don’t tell the others,” she said quietly. “But you really were my favorite.”

 

Ville shook his head, reaching up and taking her hand in his. “Trust me; that’s no secret. They know.”

 

Soya couldn’t help but chuckle at that, before she remembered that she’d left the limo is such a huff that she hadn’t given him her phone number. “Oh! Before I forget.” She turned and bent down to get her notebook from her black bag, flipping to a clean page that wasn’t filled with notes of choreography, pulling a pen from the binding and scribbled down her numbers. “I’m always running around someplace and most of the time I don’t hear my cell phone.” She pulled the paper out of the notebook and handed it to Ville. “I gave you every place you can possibly reach me.” She laughed at herself. “Josef’s number, the house, the office and my cell phone.”

 

“Are you still scatterbrained Soya?” Ville teased stuffing the paper in his pocket.

 

“Just a bit.” She smiled. “I should get inside, knowing Josef, he’s spying.”

 

Ville nodded. “Tomorrow’s our last show, you should come.”

 

Soya bit her lip. “I don’t think I’ll be able to.” She admitted. “My parents leave tomorrow after my last show and I want to spend time with Aida before she leaves.”

 

Ville nodded in understanding. “I’ll leave tickets at the door for you if you decide to come.”

 

“That’s sweet of you, thank you.”

 

“Night Soya,”

 

“Good night Ville.” She said quietly as she watched him walk back towards the limo. He turned back one more time, giving her a small smile before sliding into the car. Turning herself, she gathered her things, digging her keys out of her bag once again before entering the house.

 

Dropping her bag on the inside of the door next to Josef’s, she kicked her flats off leaving them by the brown L-shaped couch, dropping her keys on the dark brown side table. Climbing the steps to the second floor, she noticed that Josef’s door was closed, before going into her own. She pulled the grey Juilliard sweatshirt off as well as the black tights and pink leggings she had on, before pulling a t-shirt out from under her pillow.

 

Bringing it up to her nose briefly, she couldn’t help but smile at the scent on cigarettes and pure Ville. She pulled on the shirt, she had stolen from him the night before, over her head, before grabbing the ice cream and syrup from the foot spa and left her room going to Josef’s to find him sitting up in bed, reading. She threw the ice cream at him, the carton landing on his stomach.

 

“Oomph,” he groaned rubbing the cold spot on his belly before picking up the carton, his eyes wide with delight. “You’ve been holding out on me miláček.”

 

“You’re lucky it’s still good.” She pointed out, before biting her lip to hide her smile, holding up the bottle of syrup. “Truce?”

 

Josef gave a moan of reluctance before grinning at her. “I guess.” He patted the spot next to him, putting his book down on the night table before opening the drawer and producing two spoons. Soya climbed into the bed next to him, accepting the offered spoon as he peeled the top off the ice cream. She shook the bottle, putting some syrup on their spoons before they dug them into the cold treat.

 

“We’ll be regretting this in the morning.” Josef pointed out before he stuck his spoon in his mouth.

 

Soya shrugged, “We’ll just work it off anyway…” she bit her lip before looking at him. “Am I really of no use to you Josef?”

 

Josef scoffed. “Please miláček, you think I have the patience to train another woman to not only dance with me but to handle my temper tantrums. You are truly one of a kind, you’re of more use to me then the entire company combined.”

 

Soya shook her head in amusement. “That’s good to know.”

 

“Your friends, they’re very good looking, please tell me I’ll be seeing more of them.”

 

Soya giggled as she settled back against the headboard, bringing her bare knee up to her chest as she left her spoon in the carton. “Ville yes, the rest leave on Monday.”

 

“You’ll miss them.” Josef pointed out.

 

“A lot.” She sighed. “How long do you think we’ll have off this time?”

 

Josef shrugged. “A little more than six months, Rebecca wants me to choreograph the next recital, but she already had the male and female leads picked out. It’s a smaller dance so she doesn’t want to waste our talents on it. Her words not mine.”

 

“And I refuse to dance without you.” Soya said softly, she really did refuse to dance with any other male dancer besides Josef, mostly because she did not trust any of the others to catch her during her jumps and she was so use to Josef just as Josef was use to her. They decided together what recitals to do as they had done so for the last eight years.

 

“Rehearsals start next week, I’ve already have most of it planned I just have to see if the dancers are up to par. The recital starts middle of June and ends end of August.”

 

“Then the winter recitals…” Soya said quietly.

 

“Which we’re not a part of anymore, but…” Josef trailed off.

 

“But…” Soya prompted.

 

“But if Rebecca has her way, our rehearsals for the Spring recital will overlap with the winter ones so we would start up again in November. At the latest December.”

 

“Giving us a little more than six months”

 

“Which tends to be Rebecca’s pattern.” Josef frowned at her as he put the cap back on the ice cream and set it down on his nightstand. “Why do you ask? You always hate having such a long amount of time between dances.”

 

“I know.” Soya said quickly. “And I do, but…”

 

“But…” Josef said his turn to prompt her.

 

“But…I think I want to go home.”

 

“Home?” Josef asked, looking around his room. “I thought you were home.”

 

“Finland, home.” She corrected with a sly smile.

Chapter Text

Chapter 6: Never Doubt Lily Lazer

 

Sunday May 9, 2010

                                                  

Breakfast at the hotel restaurant was an awkward occasion, the only sound being the scraping of utensils against fine glassware and their own breathing. Soya had gone that morning prepared to spend the hour listening to her mother go on and on about her missed turns of the night before. Instead, her mother had greeted her with the usual kiss on the cheek before sitting next to Jonah, leaving Soya to sit next to Aida at the table.

 

She looked at her father who seemed to look much more tired than when she saw him last night. With every trip she saw him make into the states, she was sure the bags under his eyes got bigger and the lines on his face got deeper. She never remembered having seen her father look so…old. She thought to herself.

 

“What’s your plan Soya?”

 

Soya blinked and looked up from her fruit plate. “I’m sorry?” she asked her mother.

 

“You’re plan Soya. You have six months off.”

 

Soya nodded. “I do, I start teaching again next month.” She saw her mother roll her eyes but kept silent much to Soya’s surprise.

 

“Do you enjoy teaching, pikku tanssija?”(My little dancer)

 

Soya looked at her father in surprise, before smiling softly. “Papa, you haven’t called me that since I was five.”

 

Jonah raised an eyebrow. “Is it wrong to call my daughter by a term of endearment?”

 

“No, papa, I just…” she shook her head trying to clear away the shock before answering. “Yes, I enjoy teaching papa.”

 

“Good, good, your mother says your studio is doing well.”

 

“I wasn’t aware mamma had a kind word to say about the studio.” Soya muttered.

 

“Soya!” Elizabeth reprimanded.

 

“Anteeksi.”(Sorry) Soya apologized lowly. “That was rude of me.”

 

“Other than teaching do you have any plans?” Jonah asked before biting into some of his eggs.

 

“Not many.” Soya admitted, she bit her lip and decided to approach the subject carefully, “Josef is talking about going back home for a while, he hasn’t seen his family in over a year, he’s missing them.”

 

Elizabeth gave a rare smile. “I bet Ivana is missing her dear boy dearly.”

 

Soya gave a short nod, having met Ivana Kolar many times; she knew that Josef was every bit a mamma’s boy as Ivana was a mother who loved to coddle all five of her children. “She is, she calls every week and speaks to Josef for hours updating him. It just makes him even more homesick.”

 

“Were you going to go with Josef this time around?” Elizabeth asked. “You haven’t been to the Czech Republic in almost two years, you know Ivana misses you.”

 

“I…” Soya swallowed. “I was actually thinking, maybe I could come home for a while.”

 

She didn’t see the looks of shock on her parents face, having been distracted by her little sister’s squeal of excitement.

 

“Truly Soya?!” Aida asked, bouncing in her seat. “Are you coming home!?”

 

“Of course she isn’t.” Elizabeth said firmly.

 

Soya looked up in confusion. “Why not Mamma? I haven’t been back since Aida was born, and even then I didn’t get to go home, technically I haven’t been back in Finland in almost ten years.”

 

“You’ve made your home here Soya.” Jonah said. “You’re work is here, there’s nothing in Finland for you anymore.”

 

Soya’s frown deepened. “Of course there is, there’s you guys and Aida, I think that’s more then enough keeping me tied to Finland. I miss it.”

 

“The studio needs you Soya.” Jonah said. “You’ll go with Josef to visit his family or you’ll stay in New York with the rest of the company.”

 

“But Papa, I don’t see why…”

 

Jonah slammed his hand on the table; causing Soya to wince and reach for her sister’s hand as Aida jumped then lowered her head, keeping her teary eyes off her father. “Enough Soya, I’ve already said what you’re choices are and going back to Finland is not one of them.” Jonah looked down at his watch and sighed. “Go now or you’ll be late for practice.”

 

Soya nodded silently, leaning down to kiss the top of her sisters head, whispering a quick ‘I love you’ before grabbing her purse and leaving the restaurant.

 

She was going to go to Finland damnmit, not just because she wanted to spend more time with Ville and the guys, but because she missed her home country, she hated only spending four hours with her little sister when her parents were in town an entire month.

 

She threw her purse in her car, before backing out of the space and heading towards the theater where the rest of the company was gathered. She had one quick rehearsal before the last two back-to-back shows and then she was done for the next six months. It was the first time in eight years, she was actually looking forward to having nothing pressing to attend to other then her classes. Soya shook her head in amusement, the first sign that her time to retire was nearing, not only was her ankle starting to give out on her, but now time off was a blessing instead of the curse she usually thought of it as.

 

XxxxxxX

 

“I’m surprised you’re not staying for the last show.” Ville teased as he snuffed out his cigarette against the side of the building he was leaning on before walking over to Bam’s blue hummer.

 

“Shit to do, people to harass.” Bam shrugged as he climbed into the car. “You’re still coming right?”

 

Ville nodded, reassuring his friend. “Yes Bam, I’m still coming over after. We’re staying here tonight and then on Monday evening I should find my way into West Chester, if anything changes I will call you.”

 

Bam nodded. “I’ll have April get your room ready.”

 

“Really?” Ville laughed. “I get to sleep on clean sheets this time around; you must really want me to stay.”

 

Bam smirked. “If clean sheets is what will get you to stay, then clean sheets you will have!”

 

Ville shook his head in amusement, before speaking. “Do you think it would be all right if I invite Soya to come?”

 

Bam frowned. “Why?”

 

Ville smiled. “So I can see you in a jealous rage.”

 

Bam rolled his eyes. “Other than that.”

 

Ville shrugged. “She’s not going back to Finland anytime soon, so this may be the last time I see her in a while and an hour in the car last night and a few hours tomorrow for lunch isn’t enough time for us to catch up.”

 

“It’s enough for Linde and Mige.” Bam pointed out.

 

“Not really.” Ville corrected. “But they’re willing to take what they can get, and if a few hours with Soya is what they’re getting, then they’re more than happy with that. Me, myself, I have a month in the area before heading back home and if I can spend that month with Soya then…” Ville smirked. “It would make me very happy Bam.”

 

Bam shook his head. “That’s a low blow man.”

 

“Is it alright then?”

 

“I don’t have much of choice do I?”

 

“Not really no, I just thought I’d be polite first and ask before I invite her anyway.” Ville shrugged.

 

Bam laughed. “Not like everyone else doesn’t do it. See you Monday night then?”

 

Ville nodded as he backed away from the car. “Monday night.” He watched as the Blue hummer peeled out of the parking space, before Ville turned and made his way into the hotel and up to his room.

 

As he entered the elevator, he patted his jean pockets pulling out the vibrating cell phone. He looked down and saw a new text from Linde. Opening the message, he read;

 

Sending Soya flowers, want your name on them?

 

He rolled her eyes, he really didn’t know why Linde bothered asking, before he texted back the response.

 

Of course.

 

Slipping the phone back in his pocket, he took out the room key and waited as the elevator door brought him to his floor. Thirty seconds later, he was walking into his room to see Linde putting his phone on the nightstand and smile up at him.

 

“Bam off?”

 

Ville nodded as he grabbed his guitar off its post leaning against the wall before falling onto the couch in front of the TV. “Yep,”

 

“I sent Soya flowers, had your name put on them too.” Linde said as he sat next to Ville, pushing his feet off the couch to make room.

 

Ville brought his legs up, cradling the guitar between his chest and thighs as he lifted his hips up to get his pack of cigarettes out of his back pocket. He took one out and lighted it, before going back to strumming the guitar. “Much appreciated, what did you send her?”

 

Linde laughed. “I haven’t forgotten Ville, I know tulips are her favorite, so I had a vase of those sent.”

 

“Good, now I don’t have to go back and remedy the mistake.” Ville smirked.

 

Linde leaned back, propping his feet on the coffee table, “Are you really going to stay here for a month?”

 

Ville shrugged. “Jesse’s out of town right now, he doesn’t get back to Finland until August and Mamma and Papa are at some sort of convention.”

 

Linde looked over at Ville with a smirk. “Convention as in convention or is that just their code for a fifth honeymoon?”

 

Ville winced. “One, I really wish you would stop reminding me of my parents very active sex life.”

 

“Never going to happen.”

 

“And two, it is a convention, Jesse and I made sure of it before they left.”

 

“What type of convention?”

 

Ville rolled his eyes. “It’s to see some new products that papa might carry in the store.”

 

“A porn convention!” Linde laughed. “God I love your parents.”

 

“It advertises more than porn…” Ville shook his head in amusement; he had no trouble admitting that he adored his parents. He was well past the embarrassment of his youth over what they did for a living, it was a job just as his job was singing with his band and Jesse’s was beating people to a pulp. “Anyway they’re not back until the end of the month so besides you guys I don’t have anyone in Helsinki waiting for me. And while I adore you Linde, I’ve seen a bit too much of you.”

 

Linde laughed. “A month with Bam.”

 

“It’ll be fine.” Ville said resting his hand on the neck of the guitar. “I’m thinking of inviting Soya to come with me.”

 

“Go with you? To Westchester? With Bam?” Linde burst out laughing, “Ville, it’s been thirteen years since I’ve seen Soya, and even [i]I[/i] still see the naïve and innocent fifteen year old you met at your fathers sex shop!”

 

“Music shop.” Ville instinctively corrected, only to laugh at himself in amusement. “Elizabeth isn’t even here and I’m still doing it.”

 

“You really think it’s a good idea to take Soya to Bam’s?”

 

“It wouldn’t be for the entire month.”

 

“Even for a week, you think it’s a good idea?”

 

“I miss her Linde,” Ville groaned, his head falling back in defeat.

 

Linde nodded. “I know you do, I know her leaving definitely hit you a lot harder then it hit me and Mige, but putting her in that type of environment just so you guys can spend time together?”

 

“Bam can be calm when he wants to be.”

 

Linde nodded in agreement. “True, when he wants to be, not when he’s asked to, but I know you’ll do whatever you want to and if asking Soya to West Chester is what you want to do, then you better make clear to Bam that there are boundaries.”

 

“Soya’s not her mother.” Ville pointed out, knowing that Soya had no problem with people being loud and rambunctious.

 

“No, she not, otherwise I would be questioning your sanity in ever pursuing a relationship with anyone like Elizabeth Toivonen.” Linde said as he stood up.

 

Ville frowned at him. “Who said I was pursuing a relationship with Soya?”

 

Linde laughed as he grabbed his jacket off the bed. “Please Ville, Mige and I saw it when we first saw Soya with you thirteen years ago and we saw it again last night. You care for each other in a way that is much more then friends. She may have trusted us with certain things back then, but you were the first she would go to with everything.” Linde couldn’t help but give an amused laugh. “You really were the favorite Ville, and you still are. Mige and I only hope that this time when she kisses you, you can convince her to stay.”

 

With that said Linde put on his jacket, grabbed his phone and decided he would go outside to give his daughter a call, leaving Ville alone. Ville scooted further down on the couch, stretching out his legs as the guitar rested high on his chest. With a sigh, he lifted his hips again, digging his blasted cell phone out of his pocket before looking at the time.

 

“I hate it when Linde’s right.” He muttered flipping the phone open and finding Soya’s number in his phone book where he’d entered it the night before. Pressing ‘send’ he heard it ring, before her out of breathe voice answered.

 

“Hello?”

 

“Soya?”

 

He heard her laugh before she spoke again. “Ville, I have to say, you have the best and the worst of timing”

 

“Did I catch you at a bad time?”

 

“I’m in the middle of an intermission, give me two seconds to change and I’m all your for the next ten minutes.”

 

“Deal.” He laughed. He heard her rustling around then a slight ‘damn’ before she came back on the line. “You all right?” he teased.

 

“Fine.” She huffed. “Fell on my laptop.”

 

“Is it all right?”

 

I’m fine, thank you.”

 

“Yes, but is the laptop okay?”

 

“It’s fine.” Soya laughed. “How are you?”

 

“I’m fine, you?”

 

“Tired as all hell, Josef and I spent most of the evening eating ice cream and icing my ankle, then I woke up early to have breakfast with my parents, rehearsal and a show and I’m on my last one. I have an hour left before I have my break.”

 

“You sound excited.” Ville pointed out, hearing the large grin in her voice.

 

Soya laughed. “Truthfully I am, I’m excited to have the next few months to myself. No agenda, no early morning warm ups, and my end of recital cheeseburger.”

 

Ville laughed. “I’m sorry you’re what?”

 

“Don’t laugh, it’s a tradition, after every recital I have a cheeseburger and fries.”

 

“You do live dangerously Soya.”

 

“Again, you go two years without putting any type of junk food into your body and then we’ll speak. I have been living on salads, lean unseasoned meat, and fruit bowls. I deserve a cheeseburger.”

 

“Forgive me and do remind me never to get in between you and your cheeseburger again,”

 

“Ugh,” Soya moaned. “Now you’ve got me hungry.”

 

“Sorry.” Ville teased.

 

“Yeah right, so did you call for a reason or just to say ‘hi’?”

 

“Reason, I was wondering if you would make it tonight to the show?”

 

“Oh Ville,” He winced at the slightly apologetic tone to her voice. “Aida leaves an hour after my show, and then Josef is dragging me to the after-party, he says it’s our duties as the leads to go, I don’t think I’ll be able to make it tonight, but we’re all still on for tomorrow right?”

 

Ville nodded, and then remembered she couldn’t see him. “Yes, Gas and Burton can’t wait to meet you kulta.”

 

“Oh Ville, I have to go, Josef is starting to get impatient, call me tomorrow morning and we’ll set a time to meet. Bye!”

 

Before he could respond the line went dead, causing him to sigh. He dropped the phone on the ground, before running a hand through his curls. “Fuck I really hate it when Linde’s right.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 7: Serious Talk

Ville tugged the beanie over his head as he showed the security guard at the door his pass to get into the backstage of the theater.

“Some of the dancers and crew are still clearing out from the last performance, so it might be a while before you guys have your dressing room ready.” The man at the door said as he opened the door.

“It’s fine.” Linde said from behind him. “Is Soya still here?”

The guard shrugged. “I’m just told to check passes and let people in and out.”

“Right.” Ville muttered as they walked in, sure enough their crew was mixed in with the crew from the ballet company, as well as some of the dancers that Ville vaguely remembered from the night before.

“We’ll see you tonight, right Josef?” A girl asked as she talked over her shoulder.

“Yes, I’ll be there Amanda,” they heard the male voice call back from one of the rooms. Linde smirked as he went over to the room and stuck his head in.

“Josef?”

Josef turned and smiled kindly at them. “Hey, if you’re looking for Soya, she’s already left.”

“We were hoping to see her.” Linde admitted. “But we doubted we would.”

“She said she was going to spend time with Aida.” Ville said leaning against the doorjamb as Josef went around the room gathering his things.

“She did,” Josef looked at the clock above his makeup table. “Her parents left a good two hours ago, I think she went home after that to take a nap.”

“Resting up for the party tonight?” Linde asked. “I have got to admit I never did take Soya for a partier.”

“Party?” Josef asked stuffing his tights in his bag. “What party?”

Ville straightened. “Soya said she was going to the after party with you. You aren’t going?”

Josef frowned. “No, I’m going, I always go to the after parties.”

“Josef!”

“Oh fuck.” Josef sighed running a hand tiredly over his face as a blonde-haired woman pushed past Ville and Linde and into the room. “Hello Rebecca.”

“Where is the hell is Soya?!”

“Home is my best guess.” Josef shrugged. “She left with her parent’s right after the show.”

“Did you tell her I wanted to talk to her Josef?”

“I did, she probably just didn’t want to talk to you.” Josef pointed out. “You have a way of intimidating people Becca.” He gestured towards Ville and Linde. “Have you said hello to Ville and Linde?”

“Why would I?” Rebecca said with a glare. “You tell Soya to come into my office tomorrow morning Josef, she and I have to have a long talk about her lack of commitment the past two nights.”

Josef shook his head. “What lack of commitment Rebecca? Soya made the turns both times tonight, both our timing throughout the shows were impeccable, we didn’t miss a move. You’re overanalyzing a simple performance because of the critics who have no baring on the company.”

“Of course they have baring!”

“No, your father, the [i]real[/i] owner of this company has a say on what happens, and since he loves me and Soya, it doesn’t matter what the critics say, it matters what [i]he[/i] says.”

“Listen to me Josef…”

“No you listen Rebecca, for the next six months Soya and I are going to take a much needed break, I’m going home to visit my family and Soya is going back to her studio and teaching. I will tell Soya you want to talk to her, but it is up to her to go or not. You can’t fire us Rebecca, according to the contract you’re stuck with Soya and myself for the next two years. Also keep in mind without Soya you don’t have me.”

“I can always send you to the back of the line Josef.”

“Yes, that is possible but that wouldn’t please daddy would it?”

“I hate you Josef Kolar, I hope you know that!” Rebecca yelled before storming out of the room.

“Force to be reckoned with that one.” Ville said watching as Rebecca practically pushed everyone out of her way as she stormed out of the building.

“She had a bit of a problem,” Josef said zipping up his bag.

“Problem?” Linde asked.

Josef tapped the side of his nose. “Of the white kind, her father found out and handed her the company to keep her busy. Really he has all the power, Rebecca just likes to think she does.”

“She doesn’t seem to like Soya.” Ville pointed out.

Josef shrugged. “She doesn’t like me either, but like I told her she’s stuck with us for two more years and she can’t change much of that. Soya and I would willingly go to the back of the line again, give others a chance for the spotlight, but Mr. Miller would never have it.” Josef shook his head. “Anyway, before the wicked bitch of the west came in, we were talking about something.”

“The after-party.” Ville muttered.

“Oh, right, I go to them, Soya hasn’t been to one since…” Josef put a hand on the back of his neck and rubbed as he thought. “Jeez, I think the last time she went was when I got her drunk….so seven years ago? Soya’s never really forgiven me for that,” Josef laughed. “She’s convinced that if she goes to another one I’ll push her to drink again and trust me she admitted way to much that one night.”

“You saw Soya drunk?” Linde laughed.

“Most amusing night of my life.” Josef said with a chuckle.

“So she’s free tonight?” Ville frowned.

Josef nodded slowly. “She is,” he shrugged. “If she blew you off, don’t take it personally, after a long season she likes to keep to herself for the most part and unwind. We’ve been on the road for the last year dancing, we’re both wiped.”

Ville nodded. “Of course.”

Josef laughed. “She loves you guys, she wouldn’t just not show up to something without a valid reason. You should have seen her after she got off the phone with you before we went on stage. It was damn near impossible to wipe that smile off her face.”

Linde raised an eyebrow curious on two counts, the fact that Ville had talked to Soya probably after their own conversation about Soya, as well as Josef’s reaction to it. Josef seemed more amused and excited about the situation rather then a worried boyfriend or counterpart.

“You don’t seem upset by Soya’s relationship with us.” Linde said.

Josef shrugged, slipping on his Vans, definitely prepared to go home and rest before drinking the night away. “Why would I be?” Josef said absently, before looking up at Linde who looked amused then at Ville who seemed to be avoiding his gaze. Josef couldn’t help but laugh at the turn of events. “Trust me, I have nothing to worry about. Now I wish you the best of luck on your show tonight. I am going to go home, change, give Soya her damn cheeseburger, then drink the rest of the night away.”

Ville smiled. “Send our love.”

Josef nodded, before stopping near him. “By the way, Soya loved the tulips you all sent. Really made the rest of her night.”

“Good to hear.” Linde smiled, as Josef walked past them, shrugging his bag over his shoulder.

“He’s an interesting man.” Ville said watching as Josef smiled a little too kindly to one of the security guards, waving before leaving the theater.

“Very much so, but I can see why he and Soya get along.” Linde said before walking away and catching up with the rest of the band. Ville nodded slightly in agreement, shaking off the feeling of being blown off.

He really did understand the need to unwind, hell the fact that he was staying in West Chester for a month and not going home with the rest of the band was his own way of unwinding after the tour. He wasn’t upset with Soya, but deep down he knew he was disappointed at not being able to see her until the next afternoon and that feeling of disappointment mixed with anxiousness really did not sit well with him.

XxxxxxX

Soya sat cross legged in the middle of her studio, her eyes closed as she listened to the soft sound of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. With a quiet sigh she straightened her spine, keeping her eyes closed, stretching her arms over her head, before bowing them. Her fingers barely touching each other before she dropped her arms behind her head arching her back slightly and bringing her hands back up, dropping them to the right, her side arching with the stretch, before returning to the top. She repeated the process as she leaned down to the left, then back to the top, then to the front, finally stretching out her hands and resting her palms on the floor straightening her spine and breathing deeply before arching her back, groaning in delight as she heard each vertebrae pop.

She lifted up slowly, vertebrae by vertebrae, her fingers guiding her back as they tiptoed their way to her sides. Opening her eyes, she looked at herself in the mirror, before uncrossing her legs and stretching them out straight in front of her, flexing her toes. Though the music that floated through her speakers didn’t quite match the speed of the way she stretched, she had a fondness for Swan Lake. Probably because it was the ballet that had made her ask for parents for dance lessons at the age of five. Then at fourteen, it was the first big recital she had been a part of. Not as the lead, but still, Swan Lake held a part of her heart and would never let go.

“I can’t believe you still stretch to this.”

Soya looked up, and turned towards the door, rolling her eyes as she crossed her left foot over her right leg, twisting her body in the opposite direction. “I can’t believe I made the mistake of giving you a key.”

“That was mean thing to say, especially to the man holding your dinner.”

Soya sighed as she switched legs, this time facing Josef. “Salad with light dressing, no thank you, I’m done with the rabbit food for now.”

“How about a double cheeseburger with large fries and a large Coke, regular not diet?”

Soya lifted her eyes to meet Josef’s smirk. “In that case I say ‘welcome friend and have a seat,’”

“Thought so.” Josef laughed as he walked across the floor and sat down next to her, dropping the bag of food on her lap before setting the large soda next to her knee.

“Oh baby I have been dreaming of you.” Soya said, before moaning, as she smelled the grease mixed with the smell of beef and cheese.

“The ability to eat that after so many months of dieting and not get sick is amazing Soya.”

“Mmm.” She brought a fry to her mouth and grinned at him. “Impeccable metabolism, that and my body and I have an agreement.”

“Oh and what’s that?”

“I eat well and not slip throughout the season, and I don’t throw this up,” she said holding up the cheeseburger, “It’s taken years for us to be friendly and find a middle ground, but found it we have.”

“You’re crazy Soya,”

Soya laughed. “But you love that about me.”

They sat in silence, the only sound filling the room was the crinkling of the wrapper Soya had her cheeseburger wrapped in and the music still flowing through the speakers.

“I saw Ville and Linde before I left the theater.”

“Did you?” Soya smiled. “Did you tell them I loved the flowers?”

“I did.” Josef said, eyeing the pink blossoms that sat on the window sill. “They said a couple things that caught my interest though. Well one that caught my interest and the other just amused me.”

“Oh?”

“Apparently you told Ville you were going to the party tonight.”

“Oh.”

“Why did you lie Soya? I’m sure if you told Ville that you didn’t want to go to the concert he wouldn’t have minded.”

“I did want to go Josef, I still do, I just…” Soya sighed as she took the last bite of her cheeseburger, chewing slowly she thought about her words before swallowing and speaking again. “Seeing Ville even after this long,” she smiled softly at Josef. “I feel like a sixteen year old again you know?”

“How so?” Josef asked, though he knew what she meant he needed her to get it out in order for her to deal with the situation in the open instead of keeping everything bottled inside like she usually did.

Soya laughed as she started in on her fries. “When I was sixteen, it felt so wrong to like him so much, to trust him unconditionally and without reserve, never questioning anything when it came to him. I think my mother’s belief of him being too old for me became mine and I never did anything about it.”

“Four years isn’t that old Soya.” Josef pointed out.

“It is when you’re sixteen and he’s twenty going on twenty-one.” Soya laughed. “Now, though, now it isn’t bad in my mind, and these feelings are coming back full force and I don’t know what to do with them.”

“Act on them.” Josef teased nudging her arm with his. “You’re a grown women Soya, you’ve never had a true boyfriend, you don’t even like to get in relationships, the only reason we pretend to be in one is because our families don’t know I’m gay and it allows me to date the men of my choice without them judging me. What’s your excuse?”

“My excuse for what?”

“For leading Ville to believe that we’re involved.”

“I never…”

“You have,” Josef nodded, “The way they looked at me tonight, as if I should be acting the jealous boyfriend instead of the excited best friend, leads me to believe that you have led them to believe that we’re together. So what’s your excuse? How do you benefit from this fake relationship Soya? Because for the five years we’ve been at it I don’t see how you benefit at all. I have never seen you take lovers, I have never seen you even accept a proposition from another man. In fact, if I were to guess, Ville is the first man I’ve ever seen you take an interest in other then [i]me[/i] when we first met.”

Soya groaned. “Ugh don’t remind me!”

“So, what’s your excuse, why do you stay in this?”

Soya shrugged before leaning over and resting her head on Josef’s shoulder, staring at their reflections. “I think….this is safe for me Josef.”

Josef laughed, “You’re getting nothing out of it Soya, just because we tell our parents that we’re in love and that we’re moving forward doesn’t mean we actually are. I’m gay miláček, and as beautiful as you are and as much as I love you, you aren’t enough to turn me straight.”

Soya raised an eyebrow, still looking at their reflections, meeting his eyes through the mirror. “You sure about that?” she smirked.

“Fucking positive.” Josef laughed, leaning down to kiss her temple. “We’re a quite a pair, you and I.”

Soya sighed tiredly. “We would make such beautiful babies Josef.”

Josef threw his head back as he laughed. “Yes, but I believe you and Ville would make much more handsome babies then you and I.”

Soya shook her head as she turned on the hardwood floor and looked at him. “What is it with your idea of me and Ville? We’re just friends.”

Josef sighed as he stood, stretching his back as he did so. “Soya, as much as I know you try to please your parents and part of you is also trying to please me and my parents by keeping up this pretend relationship when their around. I hope you know, that when you find that person you want to be with, I’ll step aside and come clean.”

“Josef.” Soya sighed.

Josef put up a hand to stop her. “No, I’ve thought about this, and I think deep down, I’m ready for my parents to know, but a part of me wants to keep you safe and that part is keeping me from saying anything.”

“You know you don’t have to do that Josef.”

Josef nodded slowly. “I know that, I do,” he shrugged “I think I just want to ensure your happiness before I start reaching for my own.”

Soya smiled at him. “That is unbelievably sweet, and I’m lucky to have you as my best friend Josef, and I hope you know that when you find that man of yours, I will willingly step aside for you and your happiness.”

Josef nodded. “I know Soya,” he shook his head. “Enough of this serious talk, I’m going to the after party, are you sure you don’t want to come with?”

Soya nodded “I’m sure, I’m just going to clean up here, go home and sleep.”

“You have your car?”

“Yes, I drove.”

“Okay then, good night and don’t wait up.”

“I never do.” Soya laughed, watching her friend walk out the door, before turning back to face the mirror.

Chapter Text

Chapter 8: Meeting Up

Monday May 10, 2010

Soya groaned as she peeked her head out from under her covers, growling when she saw a camera lens in her face. Ignoring Josef persistence, she reached around him for her cell phone, which had been the original cause for waking her up, bringing it up to her ear before crawling back under the covers.

“Hello?” Soya asked hoarsely, clearing her throat.

“Oh Soya, I’m sorry to wake you up.”

Soya rubbed her eyes. “Brooke?” Why in the world would her receptionist from the dance studio be calling at, she pulled her cell phone away to look at the time, nine o’ clock in the morning?

“Yeah,”

“Is everything all right?” Soya asked as she pushed her way back out of her covers, glaring at Josef once more, before covering the lens with her hand and pushing it away from her. “Get that blasted thing out of my face Josef!”

Josef smirked, standing at the end of her bed still pointing the camera at her. Soya glared but listened to Brooke on the other end of the phone. “It’s just Anya isn’t able to make it in today,”

Soya rubbed a hand tiredly over her face, “What time is her first class?”

“At eleven, Anya’s usual sitter has finals and because her daughter is sick Anya can’t take her to day care.”

“Yeah, of course.” Soya looked at her clock again, she was really hoping to sleep in, but she had told Brooke to call her any time now that she had the time off. “Give me an hour.”

“Thanks Soya,”

“It’s not a problem Brooke.” Soya said kindly, before hanging up the phone.

Josef turned the camera towards him with a disappointed frown. “I know dedicated fans, this is not the Soya Show that you are use to, but never fear, I’m sure Soya will not disappoint.”

Soya shook her head as she got out of bed, slipping her feet in her slippers. “If I see that damn camera in my face one more time Josef, I swear it’s going to the bottom of the Hudson with you still attached to it!”

“Ah! And there she is!” Josef laughed, before he stopped recording.

“How is it you party all night and still you’re up at the crack of dawn to annoy me?”

“Miláček, I haven’t even been to bed!” Josef laughed. “I just got in.”

Soya shook her head again as she padded her way to the kitchen, happy to see the coffee already brewing.

“Forgive me now?” Josef laughed as he set the video camera down.

“Getting there.” Soya admitted. “So other then sleeping, do you have any plans for the day?”

“Not really.” Josef said with a yawn, “I was just going to stay home, why?”

“Just wondering.” Soya said, pouring herself a mug of coffee. Josef walked to the refrigerator, handing her the Half and Half, which she poured into her mug before handing it back to him, getting a spoon and stirring, before bringing the coffee up to her lips.

“Good?”

She nodded with a small smile. “I have lunch with the boys today, I’m not sure what time yet, but I’ll probably be home late.”

“Going to send your boys off?” Josef asked as he yawned again.

“Yes,” Soya laughed as she kissed her friends cheek. “Go to bed, hunaja [i](honey)[/i]. I’m going to get ready and head to the studio.”

Josef nodded. “All right, I’ll be here.”

Soya smiled at him as she went to her room with her coffee, watching in amusement as Josef dragged his feet to his room, she closed her door and grabbed her towel from the hook behind the door, setting her coffee on her nightstand before going to the bathroom to take a shower.

Forty-five minutes later she was getting out of her car, dressed in her black boot cut knit pants that she tended to work out in and a grey Julliard sweatshirt. Grabbing her black bag from the backseat, she waved at some of the younger girls going into the studio.

“Miss Soya!” the girls squealed as Soya walked closer to them.

“Hello girls.” Soya smiled.

“Are you back for good or are you just here to practice?” One of the girls asked as they walked into the building.

“I’m here until Miss. Anya is able to come back,” Soya told them. “But next month I’ll be back to teaching my regular classes.”

“Really?” Another girl asked.

Soya nodded as she waved to Brooke and turned to the girls. “Really really, now go get ready I’ll meet you girls in there in about five minutes. Jenny, why don’t you choose a CD and start warm ups?”

“All right!” Jenny said as the girls rushed into one of the studios.

Soya smiled at the girls, breathing deeply as she felt the excitement at being back and teaching again coursing through her body. Their excitement reminded her why she loved teaching. She turned to Brooke and smiled, “Anything new?”

Brooke shook her head. “Anya said that she may be out the rest of the week and should be able to come back on Monday.”

Soya nodded, “Then I will definitely take over her classes for the week.”

“Are you sure Soya?” Brooke asked. “Because I can find a way to spilt the class between Megan and Evie.”

Soya shook her head. “No need, I’m here and not busy for the next month, I really don’t mind taking the classes.” She shook her head with a laugh. “And shouldn’t I be the one to decide to designate who gets what classes? Am I not the boss?”

Brooke smirked. “I guess I’m on a power trip.”

Soya laughed as she took the mail that Brooke handed her and gathered her bag up from the floor. “Well I’m back; it’s my turn for the power trip.”

Brooke giggled. “Deal, I’m tired of the stress anyway.”

“Trust me, this type of stress is a relief compared to the stress I’ve been under these past few months.” Soya said before she went upstairs to her office. Dropping her bag next to the door inside her office, she flipped through the envelopes, tossing them on her desk, before grabbing her worn ballet flats that lay on the top of her desk.

She toed off the Uggs she had pulled on, on her way out the door before pulling on her ballet shoes, tying the pink ribbons around her ankle. She winced when she saw the tape around her left ankle and tied the ribbon a little more loosely around that ankle, she pulled off her Juilliard sweater leaving her in a white lycra spaghetti strap tank with a built in bra, so the under-wires wouldn’t dig into her skin when she stretched.

She grabbed a bottle of water from her mini fridge before leaving the room and going downstairs to meet her class.

XxxxxxX

“Try her again.” Linde said as he zipped up his suitcase sitting on the edge of the bed, watching as Ville dialed the phone, putting the phone on speaker so Linde could listen.

[i]You’ve reached Soya, I can’t get to the phone right now, but leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can![/i]

Ville flipped the phone closed and stared at Linde. “That’s the fifth time I’ve called, she’s not answering.”

“Didn’t she give you other numbers to reach her at?”

“Josef’s and the studio.” Ville admitted.

“Call Josef, maybe he’s with her.”

Ville sighed, as he searched his phone for the number. It was nearing four in the afternoon and he’d been trying to get in touch with Soya since around noon to see when she wanted to get together for lunch. While he wanted to see her, he knew that he would probably see her throughout the month since he was staying in the area, but Linde and Mige were dying to see her before they headed back home, wanting to continue talking to their friend, since they didn’t know when the next time they would see her would be.

He pressed send on his phone, the ringing on the other side echoed around the room, before it cut off, replaced by a rough voice.

[i]“Talk.”[/i]

“Josef, it’s Ville, I’m lo-” He was cut off by Josef before he could even finish the rest of his sentence.

[i]“She’s at the studio”[/i] Josef said before hanging up the phone. Ville raised an eyebrow in surprise at the man’s attitude before dialing the last number Soya had given him.

“Soya’s Dance Studio, this is Brooke speaking, how can I help you.”

“Hello, I’m looking for Soya.”

[i]“Soya’s in the middle of a class right now, but I can take a message if you want.”[/i] Brooke answered, Ville could hear the smile in her voice.

“No, no, do you know what time she’s done for the day?”

[i]“Yeah, she’s done in about an hour.”[/i]

“All right, thank you.” Ville said before saying good-bye and hanging up.

“Kidnap?” Linde asked with a smirk.

“We haven’t done it in a while and I do miss kidnapping Soya.”

Linde laughed. “You do realize that she probably just forgot.”

Ville nodded “I know, you and the rest of the group go to the airport and I’ll go get Soya.”

“Why can’t we just all go?” Linde asked.

“Because I’m not the one with a flight to catch.” Ville pointed out with a smirk.

Linde sighed, “Fine, we’ll meet you there.”

Ville nodded as he grabbed his beanie off the couch, grabbing his wallet before leaving the room. Making his way down to the lobby he hailed a cab and gave the directions to Soya’s studio to the cabbie before leaning back in his seat, his eyes trained on the passing buildings.

He really hated the anxious feeling he got when he thought about seeing Soya. The way his leg would start jumping, the way his palms would actually sweat or the way knots would form in his stomach. He felt like a teen about to go on his first date, something [i]he[/i] hadn’t even felt during his first date.

But something with Soya was different, he’d known the minute he’d seen her exasperated face when she entered his father’s sex shop with two other giggling girls. He had stared at her, thinking her another little girl who had just turned eighteen wanting to see the scandalous items. Instead she’d stayed near the door, her arms crossed over her chest, glaring at the other girls as they picked up items and giggled before rushing to the next display.

When he had told her that none of the items would bite, teasing her, she had turned her glare on him, said ‘I know’ in a snappish voice before turning back to the girls. She then admitted that she wasn’t eighteen and probably shouldn’t even be inside. Which had been true, at the point Ville should have kicked her out, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it, instead he’d motioned her forward so she would stand closer to where he had been sitting and coaxed her into a conversation.

As it had turned out, while she was embarrassed to be in the sex shop, that was her own personality, she embarrassed easily anyway. She was more bothered by her friends reactions then the shop itself, even at fifteen she knew that the items that hung in the shop were more than just to be giggled at. He had taken to her instantly.

When he’d found out that she was a student at the ballet school just a couple of blocks away from the shop and that she was there every Wednesday afternoon, he couldn’t stop from going and meeting her the next Wednesday. He had waited for her across the street, leaning against the building’s wall. It was when he had caught site of her that he realized that he had actually become nervous. When she came to a stop in front of the dance studio and stared at him in surprise, he couldn’t help but stare at her either. But he’d snapped out of it before she had and crossed the street and before he could censor himself he admitted that there was something about her that he couldn’t put his finger on, but he wanted to try.

She’d made a smartass comment about her not being that type of girl, before he laughed and admitted he just wanted friendship. After that, everything had fallen into place, every Wednesday for a month he would pick her up from the studio and they would frequent a little coffee shop. After that month, Mige and Linde had gotten curious and followed him, which had ended up in them picking Soya up two times a week from dance practice and even a few times after school.

Even after the year, he still couldn’t figure out what it was about Soya that had gotten his attention. She was so different then the women he had usually dated or even caught his attention. She was a classic beauty, the soft lines that made up her face, the way her hair was always perfectly made up in a tight ponytail or braid, not a hair out of place. The way she walked, as if she floated across the ground, to the way she talked, her Finnish so proper and her English so exact as if she thought out every single word before she said it.

Linde and Mige had always told her that when around them she didn’t have to censor herself, to Ville she had admitted that she didn’t know any other way. It was difficult to stop doing something she had become so accustomed to doing.

“Twenty-eight fifty.”

Ville blinked. “I’m sorry?”

“Twenty-eight fifty pal.”

Ville looked at the meter seeing the twenty eight and the fifty blink at him before he looked out and saw Soya’s dance studio outside the window. “Right, sorry.” He said before taking forty dollars out of his wallet and handing it to the cabbie. “Keep the change.” He muttered before getting out of the cab.

He walked to the door, and just as he was about to open the door, it flew open letting out a group of girls in different colored leotards that almost ran him over.

“Girls, slow down!” A woman yelled as she walked out behind them. “I’m sorry sir.”

“It’s fine.” Ville chuckled as he followed the women back in.

“I’m Brooke.” She said as she took her seat behind the reception desk. “Something I can do for you?”

“Is Soya in?”

Brooke raised an eyebrow. “You the guy that called earlier asking for her?”

“I am.” Ville nodded.

“She’s still in class,” she said slowly. “You a friend or something?”

“I am, do you know when she’d due out?”

The girl looked down at her computer before biting her lip. “About ten minutes ago. She’s in room three with the girls if you want to go in.”

“Oh no, it’s fine, I’ll wait.”

Brooke laughed. “Apparently you don’t know Soya very well.”

Ville winced; he knew that while he didn’t know this Soya, he did know the old one pretty damn well. But it still hurt a bit to be reminded that he didn’t know Soya very well anymore.

“If someone doesn’t go in there and interrupt then she’ll never stop. I was about to go in, but you can do it.”

“You’re sure?”

“Positive, she really won’t mind.”

“Room three?” Ville asked as he walked towards the studio rooms.

“Three.” Brooke teased as she watched him go. Ville looked and heard the music coming from one of the open doors, he walked over and peeked his head in, smiling when he saw Soya on the floor in front of a wall of mirrors, her legs open in front of her as she tapped the palms of her hands on the floor to the beat of the music.

“One, two, three, four!” she shouted over the music. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight!”

He looked at the group of five girls and three boys as they moved to the sound of the music, just as one girl went tumbling down. The music stopped as the girl was helped up, Soya walking over to her. He expected there to be exasperation in her voice as she stood behind the girl. He could tell by the way some of the kids breathed heavily that they had been at it for some while. Instead she smiled at the girl and bent down, fixing the girls feet.

“Remember Lisa, keep to the balls of your feet not your toes, all that’s doing is hurting your feet. Remember the ball exercise?”

Lisa nodded. “Yeah.”

“It’s just like that.” Soya said lifting up Lisa’s foot. “You want to keep your weight right here.” She said, her fingers moving across the top of the ballet shoe, where the ball of the foot was. “If you’re on your toes, it’s not enough support [i]hunaja[/i].”

Lisa frowned. “Hunaja?”

Soya laughed but before she could respond one of the other girls spoke. “It’s ‘honey’ in Finnish, Miss. Soya speaks it.”

“It slips out, is all.” Soya admitted, Ville watched as she dropped Lisa’s foot gently before standing back up. “You guys are doing so well.” She said proudly, causing Ville to grin as he leaned against the door jam. Soya looked up at the wood squeaked underneath his weight.

“Ville?” She asked with a frown only to gasp and look up at the clock. “Oh! Lunch!”

“It’s fine Soya.” Ville laughed.

“Oh and I’m already twenty minutes over!” she muttered a small curse under her breath. She looked at her group of students, frustrated with herself.

“Soya, finish the class,” Ville said seeing her struggle at not wanting to just kick her students out. “We still have time before the group leaves.”

“Are you sure?” Soya asked.

“Positive.” Ville nodded.

Soya nodded before turning back to the curious expression on her students faces. “Ville is a friend of mine from Finland, why don’t you show him what you’ve been working on?”

“Will you dance with us Miss. Soya?” one of the boys asked.

Soya sighed, as if it were a burden only to nod. “Fine, you’ve convinced me, I’ll dance with you. But I better not see any of you following my moves.” She warned with a teasing smile. “You all better have this routine memorized or Miss Anya will kill me.” She walked over to the stereo and cued the music. “Ville, do you mind pressing play?”

“Not at all.” He said.

“On four.” She told him as she went and stood behind the students. “All right, ready?” she asked.

The group nodded as they all got into first position. “Ready.”

“Wonderful.” Soya said with a smile. “One, two, three, four.”

On four, Ville pressed play on the stereo and watched as the group move in uniform, Soya behind them, moving with them. He could tell that compared to Soya’s skills the routine was simple and not something she had to think much about. However, he saw the looks of concentration on the student’s faces as they glided around the floor, trying to catch all the steps.

“Rupert, loosen you’re arms, you’re too tense.” Soya said as she stopped to watch them, moving to the front of the room to stand in front of the mirrors, copying their movements. “Lisa, balls of your feet.” She reminded. “And pirouette!” she said doing her own turn before standing with her hands on her hips as she watched the students repeat the routine. She smiled over at Ville, mouthing him to stop the stereo. Ville did as he was instructed causing the students to stop.

“That’s it for today.” She said. “You all did wonderfully; you’ve come so far from when you all first started!”

“Do you think we’ll be ready for the recital next month?” Lisa asked as they started making their way to the back of the room where their bags were lined.

“I think you’ll do amazing at next month’s showcase. Miss. Anya has done a wonderful job.”

“We’ve missed you Miss. Soya.” Rupert said as he walked towards her. “Are you coming back?”

Soya laughed as she tussled the boys dark head. “Next month, I’ll be taking over Miss. Megan’s beginner classes as well yours. So you’ll see me every day.”

“Good.” Rupert smiled as he waved goodbye and left the room, followed by the rest of the group who waved and left.

Soya took a breath and turned to Ville. “I am so sorry!” she said as she went over to the stereo and started taking out the CD’s putting them in the cases.

“It’s fine Soya.” Ville chuckled.

“No,” she said shaking her head. “No it’s not, I promised you all lunch and…”

He grabbed her arms and shook her slightly. “Hey, we all realize you have a life outside of us Soya, you don’t have to apologize for it. We’ve come into your life after thirteen years; we don’t expect you to put everything on hold for us, all right?”

Soya nodded slowly. “All right.” She closed the entertainment center doors before leading him out of the room and up the stairs to her office. “Where’s everyone else?”

“The airport.” Ville said with a shrug, causing Soya to groan. “It’s all right.” He laughed.

“I’m just going to change really quick.” She said as they walked into her office. “I didn’t expect to stay so late, but I kept running over time and the classes kept being pushed back.”

Ville looked around with a raised eyebrow as she put her black bag on the mahogany desk that was littered with papers.

“Soya…” Ville smirked, trying to keep his laughter in.

“I know! I know!” she said with a roll of her eyes. “Josef has already lectured me, but I’m organized with the rest of my life so my office is the place where I just dump things.” She said as she pulled out a pair of jeans and a shirt. “I’ll be right out.” She said as she went through a door that was behind her desk that led to her private bathroom.

Ville nodded as she closed the door, looking around. She had built in bookcases that surrounded the three walls, all of which were filled with books. He looked at some of the spines and couldn’t help but smile when he saw that she had a collection of Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories next to [i]“The Ballet Companion: A Dancer’s Guide to the Technique, Traditions and Joys of Ballet”[/i]. Shaking his head in amusement, his Soya was definitely a unique one.

Between some of the books, there were spaces where framed pictures sat. Most of them of her and Josef in costumes, smiling at the camera or each other, a few others of her and her little sister in various places around New York though one was on the Golden Gate bridge, while a few others were of Soya herself mid-dance. It was one she had on her desk that caught him by surprise, as he didn’t even know the picture existed. It was one of him with Soya, they were sitting at a table, Soya was laughing at something while he grinned at her.

“You’re mum sent that one to me.”

He turned and nearly groaned when he saw what she was wearing; tight black skinny jeans that seemed like a second skin, with stitching on the legs that made them seem like motorcycle pants. She wore a tight white shirt that was nearly see through and a small grey vest that just pushed her breasts tighter.

[i]She’s trying to fucking kill me[/i] he thought as she put her other clothes back in her bag and took the picture from his hand setting back on her desk with a smile.

“My mum?” he asked with a frown as she grabbed a small clutch from inside her desk, opening it and checking inside before grabbing a black hat from inside as well and leading him out.

She closed the door behind him as she led him back downstairs. “The first company I joined after Juilliard, we had a short run in Helsinki, I was eighteen.” She said as she walked over to Brooke who was gathering papers off the desk.

“Done for the day Brooke?”

Brooke nodded. “Megan just left, I just have some things to look over for tomorrow, by the way, the provost called from Juilliard, he says he’s very interested in the applicants you’ll be producing this year.”

“I bet he is.” Soya muttered. “Don’t work to late Brooke.”

“No promises.” Brooke teased as she waved them away.

“How’d you get here?” Soya asked as she looked around the street.

“Cab,” Ville said grabbing his beanie from his pocket and sticking it on his head. “The boys took the limo to the airport.”

“We’ll take my car then.” She said leading him around the building to the small parking lot where a light blue mini cooper sat.

“You expect me to fit into that?” Ville asked, clearly amused.

Soya rolled her eyes. “The seat’s already adjusted for Josef’s height. You’ll fit.” She said sliding into the driver’s seat.

Ville shook his head as he folded himself into the small car, even more amused when he saw the CD case that was resting on the center consol. He lifted it up and watched as Soya blushed taking it from his fingers.

“So I’m a fan.” She said putting the CD case in the glove compartment. “Sue me.”

“I think it’s nice that you’re a fan.”

“It’s just your pretty face I’m a fan of.” She teased as she started the car, only to blush deeper when Ville’s voice floated over the speakers.

Ville laughed as he turned off the stereo. “Also nice to know you listen to me on your way to work.”

“I listen for Linde’s awesome guitar riffs.” She said with a roll of her eyes causing him to laugh.

“Of course you do, now tell me about that picture you have on your desk.”

She backed out of the parking space and shrugged. “Like I said I had a short run in Helsinki when I was eighteen,” she bit her lip. “I had a free afternoon, and I guess I just wanted to see you so I went to your house.”

Ville frowned. “You did?”

Soya nodded. “You weren’t there though, you guys had just started a tour, I had missed you by two days.” She admitted. “But I saw Anita and Kari and had lunch with them. I think I may have said something along the lines of missing you guys. I didn’t have another free afternoon unfortunately, but when I returned to New York a couple of weeks later there was an envelope and it was the picture. You’re mum sent it to me with a note saying that you missed me just as much.”

“I did.” Ville muttered, only to frown again. “My mum knew where you lived?”

“I was still living in the dorms, she sent it to the school and they gave it to me.”

“How long did you live in the dorms?”

Soya shrugged as she merged lanes, “We’re going to JFK right?” at Ville’s nod she answered his question. “I left when I joined Rebecca’s company; since I danced year round I didn’t really have an apartment, just hotels rooms. It wasn’t until Rebecca started giving us breaks in between that Josef and I talked about getting a place together and that was about five years ago.”

“You and Josef have lived together for five years?”

Soya bit her lip as she thought about it, “Five sounds about right.”

“You’ve lived with your boyfriend for five years?” Ville asked with a raised eyebrow.

Soya looked at him quickly, before turning back to the road. “I…”

Chapter Text

Chapter 9: Loose Plans

“I…” Soya bit her lip before sighing. “Josef really isn’t my boyfriend Ville.”

Ville raised his brow in confusion. “But you said…”

“I said my relationship with Josef is complicated.” She said, looking at him through the corner of her eye. “Which it is, but we’re not…together.”

“You’re not?” Ville asked.

She shook her head before she laughed. “Don’t get me wrong, when I first met him I had the hugest crush on him, not only was he very handsome but he could dance, that crush became an instant dislike the minute he opened his mouth.”

“But you’re friends now?”

“Turned out we had and still have a lot in common, we bonded.” She shook her head in amusement. “The alcohol he poured down my throat helped a lot to.”

“[i]He[/i] got you drunk?” Ville laughed.

“He did, he swore he just wanted me to loosen up, but I knew he just wanted me to talk and open up.” She bit her lip. “I was so…” she sighed. “I didn’t know anyone when I first got here, and my English wasn’t very good, it was difficult for me to fit in with anyone at Juilliard let alone the private school I was attending.”

“I doubt that,” Ville said. “You were amazingly social back home.”

“Sure, because in Finland people knew my family, knew where I came from, it actually mattered that I was very high up on the totem pole. But here, if you’re not part of the elite from the Upper East Side, or have the connections then you might as well be trash.” She shrugged. “I was trash.”

“Soya.” Ville said touching her arm.

Soya laughed before scoffing. “Please, at least in Finland I knew that my friends were actually my friends, they weren’t talking to me because of what my father did, but because I was actually liked. Here, it was this contest to see who has the better connection, it’s disgusting. I didn’t fit in and I didn’t want to. It’s why I bonded to Josef so quickly. He felt the same way, he just dealt with it very differently. Where I was quiet and detached, he was loud and spoke his mind. I loved it.”

She pulled into the JFK parking lot, parking in the visitor section before frowning. “I thought we couldn’t go past security without a ticket?”

Ville reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out two tickets, handing one to her. “I got them.”

“You…” she looked at the ticket and couldn’t help but laugh. “You got two one way tickets to Hoboken, New Jersey…really, they actually sell plane tickets to Hoboken?”

Ville shrugged. “I wasn’t about to pay a hundred dollars just to have lunch in an airport.”

Soya laughed as she got out of the car, grabbing her clutch and cap, putting her clutch on the hood of the car with the ticket. Ville watched as she let her hair loose and piled it on the top of her head, before putting on her black knit equestrian style cap that had some type of shiny piping around the brim.

“What?” she asked when she caught him staring. “You can wear a cap and I can’t?”

Ville shook his head in amusement, watching her grab her things, locking her car, causing it to beep and sliding the keys into her clutch before locking her arm with his as they walked into the entrance.

“I’ve never seen you with any type of hat before.”

Soya hummed as she rested her chin on his arm and looked up at him. “Really? Because I have quite an affinity for hats, they are my weakness when it comes to shopping. That and shoes.”

He looked down at her feet and laughed when he saw the worn out converse with holes on the side and tattered material, on her feet. “Oh yes I can see that.”

She shoved him playfully as they walked into the airport straight to security; they showed their boarding passes, getting curious looks from the security people before they were allowed to pass. Ville led her through the airport to the gate where the rest of the group was waiting.

“I’m surprised we’re not being mobbed.” She teased, still holding on to his arm.

“Why’s that?” Ville asked in confusion.

Soya rolled her eyes. “You’re famous.”

“So are you.” Ville pointed out.

“The dancing fans and the rock fans are a very different group of people.” She laughed only to let go when she saw Linde standing when he caught sight of them, she ran over and hugged the man as Ville watched slowing down with a smile as she hugged Mige.

“What took you guys so long?” Mige asked.

“That was my fault.” Soya said with a light blush. “My classes ran over time. What time does your flight leave?”

“Not for another couple of hours.” Linde assured.

“Soya,” Ville said as he waved over the other two members of their band. “This is Gas and Burton, guys this is our very good friend Soya.”

“It’s nice to meet you guys.” Soya said shaking their hands.

“It’s nice to finally put a face with a name.” Burton said while Gas shook her hand.

“These three won’t shut up about you.”

“Well I hope it has all been good.” Soya laughed while a light blush crept into her cheeks.

“Only good, I assure you.” Burton assured.

“Now I’m hungry, let’s get some dinner before the flight.” Linde said rubbing his stomach while they started away from their gate and towards the restaurants that lined the airport.

“So how long have you been dancing?” Gas asked as he walked next to Soya

“All my life really.” Soya admitted. “My parents took me to go see Swan Lake when I was about five and I just fell in love with the dance.”

“What about it?” Gas asked with a frown. “I mean, what did you find appealing?”

Soya laughed. “Dance, especially ballet, is so precise, when you’re watching it from the audience it seems so easy, but when you’re up there…” Soya shrugged and smiled at Gas, “It’s like asking what you find so interesting about drumming?”

Gas laughed. “I get where you’re going with it.”

“It’s all the better when you have a great partner. And that’s with any type of dance, not just ballet.”

“Do you have one?” Burton asked. “A great partner I mean?”

Soya smiled as they walked towards a small café. “I got very lucky in having Josef as a partner.” She admitted as they were ushered to a table big enough for all of them.

“You were young when you left Finland to come to New York right?” Gas asked.

Soya nodded as she took a seat between Ville and Linde while Mige, Gas and Burton sat on the other side. “I was sixteen when I left. My father got me a position with Julliard’s after school program.”

Mige frowned. “What about schooling?”
Soya nodded. “I went to a private school, after school I would go to my dance classes. I had a dorm that I shared with other girls who were a bit older than me.”

The waitress came, greeting the table before taking their drink orders, before leaving them alone once again.

“Bet that was fun.” Linde said with a smirk.

Soya stuck out her tongue. “It wasn’t, I hated it. I hated my school, I hated the dorms, I hated the girls.” She laughed. “Hell I hated Josef at first too.”

Ville laughed. “I find that hard to believe, you two are so close.”

Soya nodded and smiled at the waitress as she down their drinks on the table, asking if they were ready to order. They all gave their varied orders before she walked away again.

Soya smiled at Ville. “Josef and I are close now, but we really disliked each other when we first met.”

“Really?” Mige asked. “Why?”

Soya laughed. “He was so…” she shook her head as she remembered what Josef was like when she’d first met him. “He was so pompous, thought the world revolved around him. I couldn’t stand him.”

“So how’d you two end up so close?” Mige asked.

Soya shrugged. “He found out I was having some trouble with my dorm mates, and helped me.” Ville was about to ask her to elaborate but she smiled and started again. “Enough about me, I’m sure the boys have regaled you about stories of our youth.” She teased. “I want to know about you guys! I’ve missed so much!”

“And we haven’t?” Mige teased back.

Soya laughed. “Please, my life has been insignificant compared to what you guys have accomplished.”

“It has not!” Linde argued.

Soya rolled her eyes. “I dance, Linde, I dance and I teach, compared to you guys, that’s been nothing.”

Gas started to correct her but Ville stopped him. “Don’t even bother Gas, she’s not going to back down.”

“I won’t.” Soya laughed.

“Linde says you play piano.” Burton said changing the subject.

Soya nodded. “A little. When I was younger my parents had me play every classical instrument under the sun, so I’m able to play a little of everything. Unfortunately with my schedule I haven’t been able to pick anything up to play.”

“She’s amazing on a guitar.” Mige spoke up.

“Really?” Gas asked.

“Amazing isn’t the word I would use.” Soya said with a glare in Mige’s direction. “I’m adequate.”

“Self taught.” Linde put in.

“Oh shut up!” she laughed as she looked at Gas and Burton. “I swear they put me on this pedestal so high I’m afraid I won’t be able to actually get on it.”

Burton laughed. “You’re only proving them right you know, you really are an amazing young women.”

Soya wrinkled her nose. “I don’t know about amazing, I’m more marvelous really.” She teased, causing the table to erupt in laughter.

The rest of dinner was spent talking, the boys talking about their tours and lives in Helsinki, keeping Soya entertained while Soya talked a bit more about her studio and some of her own tours. By the time they’d finished and started walking back to the gate, they had twenty minutes before the flight boarded.

“When will we see you again Soya? It can’t be the next time we’re in New York, because who knows when that’ll be.” Linde said as he wrapped her in a hug.

Soya sighed as she hugged him back, pulling away so she could speak. “I’m really not sure.” She admitted, she didn’t want to tell them that she was working out a way to go back to Helsinki, she didn’t want to get their hopes up only to disappoint when she couldn’t make it happen. “But now you know where I am, and you have my number and I have yours,” she laughed. “You will be tired of me by next week Linde.”

Linde laughed. “We never tire of you Soya.”

“I want pictures Linde,” she warned, “I want pictures of your little girl.”

“Of course.” He laughed hugging her again before passing her off to Mige.

“Don’t you dare think you can get away without calling either.” She warned Mige before going and hugging Burton and Gas who welcomed her hugs. “You two either, I’m sure Mige and Linde will tell you what a mother hen I am.”

“It was great meeting you Soya,” Burton said letting her go and allowing her to hug Gas.

“And don’t worry I’m sure you’ll hear from us soon.” Gas laughed, before he and Burton walked to gather their things leaving her alone with Mige, Linde and Ville.

“You sure you won’t be able to visit Finland anytime soon?” Mige asked.

Soya shrugged. “I’m really not sure.” She admitted. “I want to though, we’ll see how it works out with the studio and I will let you know the minute I work something out.” While she didn’t want to get their hopes up she was also embarrassed to let them know that her parents still dictated her life to the minute.

With one final wave and hug goodbye, Ville and Soya watched as the guys boarded their plane. Soya sighed as she leaned against the railing watching the plane.

“What?” Ville asked looking down at her.

“I’m going to miss them.” She whispered. “I just got you guys back,”

“You’re speaking as if you’re going to lose us.” Ville pointed out, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and tugging her under the shelter of his arm as he lead them out of the airport. “You’re afraid we’re going to tire of you.” Ville laughed. “Trust me you’ll be so annoyed with getting e-mails and phone calls from us, you’ll be blocking our numbers all together.”

“I doubt it.” Soya laughed as she wrapped her arm around his waist and gave him a half hug as they walked, not bothering to let go. “We still have years to catch up on!”

“You’ll see the boys again.” Ville assured as they walked into the late afternoon sun and back towards Soya’s car. “We’re not losing each other again, okay?”

Soya nodded. “Okay.” She opened her clutch and grabbed her keys, unlocking the door allowing them both to get in. “Where to?” she asked as she started the car.

Ville looked at the time, it was nearing six thirty in the evening and he had promised Bam he would be in Westchester that evening but he still hadn’t talked to Soya about coming with him. “I should probably go back to my hotel and pack my stuff, get to Westchester.”

“Oh.” Soya nodded. “All right I’ll take you.”

Ville smirked. “But, I’m much more interested to see the inside of where you live, then just the outside.”

Soya laughed, “All right, I’ll give you a quick tour of my house and then I’ll take you to your hotel all right?”

“All right.” Ville agreed. They drove in silence for a few minutes before Ville finally broke it. “How long is your break again, love?”

Soya smiled. “Roughly six months, not that I’ll actually stop dancing.”

“Other than teaching do you have any plans?” Ville asked, trying to get around his nerves to ask her to spend a week with him, knowing that smoking helped a bit he asked, “Do you mind if I smoke?”

“Not at all.” She said rolling down his window, watching out of the corner of her eye as he lifted his hips taking out a packet of cigarettes and a lighter from his pocket. “And not really, more like very loose plans.”

“Like?” he asked, sticking a cigarette between his lips before lighting it.

Soya shrugged. “Josef might go home to visit his family, I haven’t seen them in over a year, I might go with him.”

“Where’s home for Josef?” Ville asked.

“The Czech Republic.” She answered.

Ville smirked. “Not too far from home then.”

Soya laughed, as she looked over at Ville in disbelief. “Not far at all.” She said sarcastically as she rolled her eyes.

Ville laughed. “So teaching, Czech Republic, what else?”

Soya shrugged. “Not sure,” she looked over at him with a raised eyebrow before turning back to the road. “I’ve never really planned out my breaks before, last year was my real first break and Josef and I didn’t do anything at all which was what we needed. This year is different.”

“How so?”

“Josef and I both know what we want to do when we retire, I want to teach while Josef wants to continue in the company doing choreography. He has been asked to help with the choreography with the winter recital and he wants to keep busy so he took the job. That and he loves bossing people around.” Soya laughed. “So he’ll have long hours leaving me by my lonesome most days.”

“So no set plans, nothing that can be…changed?”

Soya frowned over at him, watching him blow smoke out the window before she pulled into the space in front of her house and parked. “Out with it Valo, what is it you want?”

Ville smirked, looking overt at her, taking one last drag, before dropping the cigarette butt to the ground outside. “You know me so well.” He said after he exhaled.

“I do.” She laughed, unbuckling herself and shifting in her seat to look at him better. “So, what is it?”

Ville shrugged. “You’re not ready to let go yet right?”

Soya bit her lip, “Of course I’m not.”

“Well I’m leaving in a matter of hours to go to Westchester and spend a month with Bam and the rest of his merry men.”

“And?”

“Well if you don’t have any plans, I was thinking…maybe you could join me?”

Chapter Text

Chapter 10: Tours and Unopened CD’s

Soya swallowed hard as she stared at Ville with wide eyes. “You want me to join you?”

Ville nodded reaching for his cigarettes again to calm his nerves, only to look down when he saw Soya’s hand on his to stop him. “Like you said, we still have years to catch up on.”

Soya sighed. “I don’t know, Ville.”

“Why?”

“I just…” she shook her head, “Come on, I’ll give you the tour.” She muttered, grabbing her clutch and keys and getting out of the car before Ville could stop her. She felt rather then saw him get out of the car and follow her up the stone steps to the door. Her keys clinked together as she found her house key, only for the door to fly open before she had a chance to reach for the knob.

“Well hello.” Soya laughed as she saw who was standing at the door and just who was behind him.

Josef smirked and looked behind her to Ville, who wore a smirk himself. “Hello yourself, I thought you were out.”

“And I thought you were sleeping.” Soya said smiling at the man behind Josef. “Hi Russell.”

“Hey Soya.” Russell greeted with a small wave.

“Russell has the day off and decided to give me a visit.” Josef said with a smug smile.

Soya shook her head putting a hand up to stop Josef. “I so do not want to know what type of visit.”

Josef smirked as he unblocked the door and let Russell through. “Of course you do.”

“No, I really don’t.” Soya laughed.

Russell smiled at Soya before turning back to Josef. “Pick you up in an hour?”

Josef nodded. “I’ll be ready.” He grabbed Russell’s hand before he could walk away and leaned up to give the big man a kiss. “Don’t be late, I hate tardiness.”

“That I know.” Russell laughed; he nodded at Ville as he walked down the steps. “Mr. Valo.”

Josef couldn’t help the smile that formed on his lips as he watched Russell walk down the street to where his car was parked. “That man has got a great ass.”

Soya rolled her eyes as she walked into the house, Josef looked at her, then back at Ville with a laugh. “Well it looks like my secret’s out.”

“So that’s what Soya meant when she said your relationship was complicated.” Ville muttered as he followed Josef through the door.

“That girl loves being vague.” Josef said as he closed the door behind Ville. “I thought you guys were hanging out with the rest of the band?”

“We did, they already left.” Ville said as he looked around the townhouse in curiosity.

“Do you want a tour?” Josef asked, looking up the stairs where Soya had disappeared.

“Sure.” Ville nodded.

“Well this is the living room.” Josef said walking further into the room. What Ville noticed instantly was the large bay window at the opposite end of the room that filled the living room with light, making it seem larger even with the dark wood furniture that they had filled the living room with.

The couch was a light brown L-shape couch that looked very inviting; with a glass oval coffee table with wood finishing sitting in front of the couch. On the top of the table was a half-filled coffee mug, an open laptop with a black screen, and dance magazines on the top. Across from the couch was a dark wood entertainment center with a flat screen TV on mute, the open shelves were filled with DVD’s. On either side of the entertainment center where matching bookcases that were also filled with books.

“If Soya had her way the entire house would be filled with bookcases.” Josef mentioned as Ville walked towards the books to see what they had.

“Really?” Ville asked with a smile.

“Mmm, I made her go through all her books and choose only the ones she couldn’t live without.”

“These are it?” Ville asked.

Josef scoffed. “Please that’s not even half, apparently she can’t live without ninety percent of her books, she’s got them scattered everywhere, in her room, the office here, the office at the studio, down here, the guest room, my room.” Josef said with a roll of his eyes, “And then we have a storage unit and she has some boxes of books in there as well. She sees a book at the store, reads the back and if it catches her interest she buys it.”

Ville grinned as he looked over at Josef. “She’s always been like that. We couldn’t take her anywhere without her buying a book. Didn’t matter what genre, who wrote it, hell half the time if she found the cover interesting she would buy it.”

“I never judge books by the cover.” Soya said as she walked back down the stairs. “I like to give all books a fair chance. Of course the downside of that is that I do end up with some horrible books.” She admitted as she stood next to Josef watching Ville look at the titles of her books.

“How was lunch?” Josef asked.

“Lunch turned into an early dinner.” Soya admitted, glaring at the back of Ville’s head when she heard him chuckle.

Josef winced. “I knew I should have called Brooke before I went to bed to remind her to go in and stop your classes.”

“It ended up working out.” Soya smiled. “And now Brooke knows to come in to remind me, not that it’ll really help.”

Josef rolled his eyes, “Next room Ville?”

Ville laughed his eyes still on the titles though he turned and followed Soya and Josef into the kitchen. Everything was state of the art, from the stainless steel double door refrigerator to the black marble top counters and the electrics that filled the counter space.

The counter was high enough to be a breakfast bar and Josef and Soya had placed black suede metal swivel chairs at the bar. Behind the bar was an iron wrought kitchen table with a glass top, the vase of tulips that Linde had sent from them, was sitting in the center in the direct sunlight that was coming for the French doors that led to a small porch and a large backyard.

“We cook a lot.” Soya said, as she saw Ville’s face. “We sort of have to, especially when we’re in season.”

“I didn’t know you cooked.” Ville said turning to her.

“Josef and I take turns,” Soya shrugged. “When we first started living together, we learned quickly to just make enough for two.”

“We got into a lot of fights about food, and since we’re pretty much on the same diet, we just alternate days.” Josef put in.

“You any good?” Ville teased Soya as he leaned against the counter.

“I hold my own.” Soya admitted with a teasing smile.

Ville pointed to the outside. “You’re backyard’s large for a townhouse.”

“It’s shared.” Josef said as Soya went and opened one of the French doors, leading Ville out to the porch. He saw that at the corner of the wooden porch was a round iron table with four chairs surrounding it.

“Both our neighbors are elderly couples.” Soya explained as she leaned against the railing and looked at Ville as he sat down on one of the steps of the porch. “Both couples are friends, and when Josef and I moved in, they asked if they could take down the fences separating our backyards. I guess the tenants before us wouldn’t let them.”

“And you guys did.” Ville stated as he looked around at the three combined yards.

Soya shrugged. “Josef and I travel a lot, so we’re barely home as it is, we really didn’t have any plans for the yard anyway.” She smiled down at Ville and his heart nearly stuttered to a stop when he saw that smile. “Plus, you try saying no to Millie and Bee when they coming asking if they can take down the fence so it would be easier for them to visit each other, we couldn’t help but say yes.”

“You both have kind hearts.”

Soya laughed as she went and sat down next to him, nudging his arm with her shoulder; even sitting he was still a few inches taller than her. “Josef and I had no reason to keep the fences, plus when the mood strikes us, we’ll drag out the practice mats and give them a show.”

Ville continued looking around, noticing the different flowers that were blooming all over the backyard in seemingly random patches on the border of the three properties along with a few in the middle of the yard. “Are you the gardener?”

“Oh god no.” Soya laughed, “Bee is.” She said pointing to the house on the right. “In the morning she’ll putter around out here watering every single patch, tending to each flower the way they’re meant to be tended, and in the evening she’ll come out do a bit of digging and planting if the weather permits.”

Ville looked down at her and smiled lightly. “You’re lucky to have such good neighbors.”

Soya nodded in agreement. “The best, I bet you have some good people surrounding you in that tower of yours.”

Ville frowned. “How do you know I live in a tower?”

Soya nudged his shoulder again. “I told you, I follow everything you guys do.” She stood and held out her hand, Ville took it and stood, following her back in. “Come on.” She led her through the kitchen and towards the stairs. “The only thing down here is Josef’s office that I’m not allowed to work in.” she said with a roll of her eyes.

“After seeing the disaster that is your office I can understand why.”

“Oh and you’re such a saint for cleanliness.” She teased. “There’s also a small bathroom.” She told him as they walked up the stairs.

“There are three bedrooms up here and two bathrooms. One in the master bedroom and one that Josef and I share.”

Ville frowned. “No one is in the master bedroom?”

Soya shook her head. “It’s another guestroom. Josef and I couldn’t figure out who should get it. It was three days of us playing for it, dancing for it, hell we played rock, paper, scissors for it.”

Ville laughed. “Really?”

Soya nodded. “We did, ended up sleeping in the living room on sleeping bags our first three nights here out of sheer stubbornness, before we just decided to take the other rooms and share the bathroom, it worked out perfect really.” Soya said as they stood in the middle of the hall. “I wake up early, Josef wakes up late and on the rare occasions we wake up at the same time someone just uses the other bathroom.”

“You and Josef are very compatible.” Ville pointed out.

Soya laughed. “In every way but one, as Josef constantly reminds me.”

Ville chuckled as he looked around the hall noticing the different paintings on the walls, all of them portraying a dancer in various poses. Ville looked at them closer and couldn’t help but be fascinated by them, each of the pictures showed a tenseness and almost pain like characteristic in the face and body. “These are amazing Soya.”

“Aren’t they?” Soya said. “Josef put them up, they were done by a friend of his.”

“You?” He asked, remembering that she use to draw a bit when she was younger.

“No,” she laughed. “Not me, I wish though. The artist is a ‘he’ I believe.”

“Oh.” Ville smirked. “That type of friend.”

Soya nodded with a small laugh. “Yes, that type of friend.”

“You know just because you’ve distracted me, doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten the question I asked in the car, or the fact that you failed to mention that Josef would most likely date [i]me[/i] then you.”

Soya laughed as she walked past Ville and opened her door. “Oh Ville, trust me, you’re not Josef’s type.”

He shook his head with a laugh as he followed her into the bedroom. “Your room?”

Soya nodded. “My room. Guest room is at the end of the hall, Josef’s is across and the bathroom is next door.”

An iron wrought bed sat at the right hand of the room in the middle of the wall, covered in an ivory comforter and matching pillows thrown on the bed. The bed was flanked by two nightstands, one of which held an alarm clock, a framed picture of Soya and Aida and a water bottle while the other held a sketch pad and whatever book Soya was currently in the middle of. There was a slightly open door to the right of the bed that led to her closet.

Opposite her bed was a large cork board, filled with pictures of Josef and her, along with people that Ville assumed were friends of hers from the company. There were also ticket stubs; magazine cut outs of dresses, shoes, jewelry, shirts and jeans, along with ballet costumes. It was all chaotic, no rhyme or reason to any of the pictures. In between some of the pictures were multi-colored post-it’s with Soya’s own personal notes and abbreviations on them. Obviously the cork board was for nobody else other then Soya.

“That is what is in my mind.” She said with a teasing laugh.

Ville laughed as he looked over at her away from the board. “Looks like mine, only mine tends to have lyrics and music notes amid the mess.”

“I bet.” She said as she sat at the edge of her bed, watching him. Underneath the corkboard was a desk, there weren’t any papers on it, just open magazines with a pair of scissors next to them, her blue MacBook and different colored highlighters scattered across the dark wood surface.

Near her window was a full length mirror with a purse and a few shirts hanging off the stand that held the mirror itself and a lavender Victorian chair sat in the corner holding a pile of folded clothes.

“It’s very you.” Ville told her as he leaned against the desk.

“I’ve been meaning to get a stuffed fox in here but I just don’t know where to put it.” She teased.

“Har. Har. Har.” Ville laughed with a roll of his eyes. “Are you stalking me as well now?”

Soya just laughed as she turned around climbing over her bed to get to her closet.

“If you have a shrine in there, I refuse to see it.” Ville warned as he walked towards her. “I don’t want out relationship to change because of your obsession with me.”

“You’re so full of yourself!” she laughed as she walked into the medium sized walk in closet and kneeled down towards the back and started pulling out boxes. Ville crouched down next to her and looked at the bright blue storage box reading the white paper that was in the small metal holder. [i]HIM 2007-2009[/i] it read in Soya’s neat little cursive writing.

“You can open it.” She told him motioning him to go ahead. “I promise you, it won’t bite.”

Ville ‘hmm’ed’ as he quirked an eyebrow and peeled the lid back. What lay inside caused him to fall back on his butt in shock.

“Soya.” He whispered.

“I told you I followed the band.” She teased.

Inside the storage box was every magazine that he and band had ever graced during the release and promotion of [i]Venus Doom[/i]. Not just the English ones, he noticed, but every one that he remembered doing in every country, Soya had it. Along with the promo pictures and video cassettes. When he looked at the white stripe that ran along the edge of the tape, it read [i]Ville – Ruisrock 2008[i]

“Josef hates the amount of tapes I use.” Soya laughed. “I use an insane amount, I keep extras in the cabinet downstairs.” She admitted.

“There are so many.” Ville said looking at the others, all with either his name or the others names, or if they had been all together, they would read [i]HIM[/i], with the year and sometimes the actual date. Most of the tapes held multiple interviews while some held one or two.

“You’re a very popular man.” Soya teased lightheartedly.

He closed that book and looked back where she had gotten it, she had seven different colored boxes, he grabbed the bright pink one setting it in front of him, reading the label it read[i] HIM - 1999-2001[/i], like the last it held everything from their time promoting and performing [i]Razorblade Romance[/i].

“I have them all.” Soya admitted, biting on the corner of her lower lip and bringing her knee to her chest as she watched him. She leaned over and grabbed a purple box, shoving the pink one back.

He read the label and laughed. [i]HIM – 1991 -1999[/i]. Sure enough when he opened it, she had [i]666 Ways to Love: Prologue[/i] and it’s matching items.

“My friends dragged me out to a CD store one evening when I was back in Finland, and I saw it, right there in front and I nearly killed one of the girls getting to it.” She laughed. “The man at the counter said I was lucky to have gotten it, seeing as you only released 1000 of them. It’s brand new. I bought two.”

“You did not.” He laughed.

“I did, I opened one and that’s the other.” She said taking it out. Sure enough it was in its original packaging and even had the price sticker on it still. “Worth a lot.” She told him, then smirked lightly resting her chin on her knee. “Bet it would be worth even more if you signed it.”

“You wouldn’t sell it.” Ville said with a shake of his head, though an amused smile played on his lips.

“Wanna bet?”

He looked at her and shook his head again. “No one goes through this much trouble to follow our lives only to go back and sell something like this. You wouldn’t sell it.”

Soya bit her lip and shook her head at him. “No, I wouldn’t sell it.” she watched as he closed the box still amazed at what she’d done throughout the years.

“When Josef first witnessed my slight OCD with the band we were at one of the hotel rooms in…” she frowned as she thought back. “We were in Texas I believe, and I started panicking because you were going to be on TV and I couldn’t remember if I had set my VCR to record back home, so I was trying to figure out if I could get one sent up and still run out and get a blank tape. Josef just started laughing at me, saying I was acting like a crazed fan for some group of guys I had never met.”

“You kind of were.” He teased.

Soya pushed his arm playfully. “I shoved him off the bed and told him that I knew the band and to shut up. He didn’t believe me.”

“When did he start believing you?” Ville asked curious as to how she had convinced her friend.

“Probably when I showed him the picture of you and me that your mother had sent me, I also had some that I took of us in Linde’s garage.”

“These I have to see.” Ville laughed.

“He teases me.” She said referring to Josef. “Calls me a stalker, especially when you boys release something new, I’m constantly on your website making sure I haven’t forgotten anything or on forums. Even with all my research and planning things have still fallen through the cracks.”

“I doubt that.” He said doubtfully, motioning to the boxes.

“Just limited edition things I haven’t been able to find in the states or anyway to ship them.” She shrugged. “I guess I thought if I collected everything, it would help.”

Ville frowned. “Help with what?”

“With me missing you…” she bit her lip and then added “and the guys.”

“Did it?” Ville asked with a frown.

Soya thought about it, did it? Every time they released something new, any time they did an interview she was there watching it, and no it hadn’t helped. If anything it reminded her just how messed up her life was and how many things she could have done differently to be there with them, or at least have kept in touch.

“No.” she finally said. “It didn’t.”

Ville scratched the back of his head and slid closer to her, pushing the box that sat between them away. “When we first released 666, we were sitting around looking at our copies just…proud you know?”

Soya nodded. “I can imagine.”

“Linde, he really missed you and he just kept staring at the CD and he looked up and said. ‘One of these should go to Soya.’. We carried that CD to every concert we performed, every venue, every interview hoping that at one point we’d run into you and be able to give it to you.”

Soya stared up at Ville, and quickly looked down when she felt tears prickling the back of her eyes.

Ville sighed as he looked down at Soya and scooted a bit closer, he rested a hand on her knee, causing her to look up. “Linde still does it.”

“What?”

“With every CD we release, he carries an unopened one everywhere for about six months.” Ville laughed as he remembered how they’d found out. “Mige was going through Linde’s bag for some reason or another, and he found a copy of [i]Venus Doom[/i] deep in the bag, hidden between some shirts,”

“Obviously Linde didn’t want it found.” Soya muttered.

Ville chuckled, “That’s what Linde said. Anyway, Mige found the CD and teased Linde for it when he came back into the room. Linde was annoyed that Mige had gone through his bags, yelling obscenities, great fun to watch.”

“I bet.”

“Mige kept annoying Linde about the CD, but Linde refused to tell us why he had it, finally before one of our performances, Mige was bugging him, prodding and just being annoying, Linde just turned around and said. ‘It’s for Soya all right!’ and then stalked on stage. We just stood there stunned. Apparently, he has been doing it ever since the first time, he just never told us. He carries it around usually when we’re doing the U.S. touring, then after that I’m not quite sure what he does with them.”

“I…” Soya bit her lip not quite sure what to say.

“Apparently.” Ville continued. “When you came to the concert the other night, Linde had the CD in his bag. Said he always knew it would work. We all missed each other, it has never been a secret, and we all have different methods of dealing with it. You follow our career, quite meticulously I might add, Linde carries around a CD just for you, and I…” he lifted his hips digging around his pocket before smiling when he reached the object he always carried in his pockets, no matter what he wore. “Carry this.” He said opening his hand.

“Oh!” Soya reached into his hand, picking up the silver flower clip. “You…”

“You,” Ville started with an embarrassed smile. “Wore this in your hair the night you left.”

“How did you…” Soya looked up at Ville in disbelief.

Ville gave an embarrassed smile. “It fell off when we kissed.”

Soya gave a low laugh as she studied the clip that had been secured in her hair thirteen years ago, it was a simple little thing. She had chosen them that night because the silver rose with the little diamond inside had gone nicely with her shoes and dress. She’d had four of them in her hair that night, she’d never thought about what happened with the fourth one since her hair was a wet mess when she’d gotten home she’d forgotten completely that she’d even worn the things.

The fact that Ville carried it in his pocket after so many years…she looked up at him, before launching herself into his arms hugging him tightly, her face buried in the crook of his neck as he held her tightly, righting himself so she was kneeling between his legs.

“Are you two done in there?!” Josef called from the room. “I’m bored!”

Soya pulled away and gave a quite laugh. “Josef always knows how to ruin a good moment.”

Ville nodded in agreement. “Yes he does.”

“Come on, let’s go keep him entertained.” She said, standing up and holding her hand out to him again, much like she had outside. Ville took it and allowed her to help him up, though he didn’t put all his weight on her. He jumped in surprise when he felt her hand slide into his front pocket.

“I didn’t want to lose it.” She whispered, before she walked out of the closet. Ville frowned and reached into his pocket only to feel the metal of the clip before following her out.

Chapter Text

“I still haven’t forgotten the question I asked you.” Ville said as he took a seat on the couch next to Soya.

Josef perked up sitting straighter in his seat. “What question?”

“It’s nothing.” Soya said with a wave of her hand.

Ville smirked, “I asked her to join me in Westchester for the week.”

“I’ll pack her bag.” Josef said standing up and starting back towards the stairs.

“You’ll do no such thing!” Soya laughed, grabbing his arm.

“Why not?” Josef asked as he sat back down. “You’re going to go Soya.”

Soya shifted uncomfortably in her seat with a frown. “I’m not sure if I am.”

Josef rolled his eyes but not before he caught the look of hurt that passed through Ville’s own eyes. “Don’t take it personally Valo, she’s like this with everyone.”

“I am not.” Soya argued leaning back on the couch with her arms crossed.

“You are so!” Josef argued back then turned to Ville. “Soya hates stepping out of her comfort zone. She doesn’t date you know, mostly because she’s too shy to get to know the men that ask her out.”

Ville smirked. “Is that so?”

“Shut up Josef.” Soya said with a glare.

“When we were in school, she never hung around the other girls, not that I blamed her, but the few girls that did show a genuine interest in Soya, she rejected.”

“I did not!”

“During our breaks between lessons, she would sit in the hallway, earphones in her ear, a small stack of CD’s besides her, and a book, while she ate.”

“Okay, so I wasn’t social, I was sixteen Josef, almost seventeen in a new country…of course I was shy.” Soya defended with a glare.

Ville laughed. “Come on Soya, even in Finland you weren’t that shy that you ostracized yourself. You had friends, hell, if you saw someone sitting by themselves you’d go over, introduce yourself and refuse to leave until you had lunch with them.”

“Really?” Josef asked with a raised eyebrow. “Completely different Soya when she came over here then.”

Soya scoffed. “And you expect me to believe you were your bright cheery self when you first came over?”

Josef snorted. “Please, I never claimed I was, and I’ve already admitted that I was a right bastard when you first met me.” He looked at Ville with a wink. “I thought the world revolved around me.”

“He still thinks that.” Soya muttered.

“But,” Josef continued ignoring Soya’s interjection. “At least I put myself out there and made friends. Soya you’re twenty-eight and you’re still holding yourself back and I know why.”

“Please enlighten me, oh wise one.” Soya said dryly as she looked at her best friend.

Josef shook his head. “Listen up Soya, you’re mother doesn’t live here and when she does she could care less what you do with your private life as long as she doesn’t find out about it. You still act like she’s going to criticize every little thing you do and because of that you hole yourself up in your studio teaching, up in your room drawing, or on the stage dancing. You rarely have fun Soya.”

“I have fun.”

“Really?” Josef asked smirking over at Ville, who was sitting quietly watching the exchange in amusement, before he turned back to Soya. “Other than the time I got you drunk, when was the last time you drank, for reasons other than the end of the show.”

“I don’t like to drink, you know that. Half of that reason is now your fault by the way.”

“I still really want to hear that story.” Ville interjected.

Josef laughed. “I’m sure you’ll hear it eventually.” He turned back to Soya. “Other than with me, when and with whom have you gone to go see a movie in the cinema in that last….four…No! Six months?”

Soya frowned as she thought about the last six months. “We haven’t had time Josef, we’ve been rehearsing and then the show…” she trialed off only to have Josef jump in again.

“Other than your business classes that you took to open the studio, when was the last time you took one of your art classes?”

Soya rolled her eyes. “It’s a hobby Josef, not something I want to excel at.”

Ville frowned thinking of something she had said at dinner. “Soya?”

Soya rolled her eyes. “Oh great, now you’re going to start!”

“When was the last time you picked up any type of instrument?”

“Oh! That’s easy it was…”

Jose was quick to cut her off and pointed at Ville. “You have to elaborate on the question; she fiddled around with the instruments the orchestra used during our show.”

“All right,” Ville nodded, “When was the last time you picked up any type of instrument, just for fun, not for work?”

“That’s like asking you when was the last time you sang just for fun, not for work.” Soya muttered, causing Ville to laugh.

“That’s easy love, I sang for fun last night. I don’t have to do what I do Soya, but because I enjoy it and I’m having fun still doing it, I continue to do it. When it stops being fun or I go insane from the things inside my head, then I’ll stop and even then I’ll take the insanity if I’m still happy performing.”

“Now for my last question.” Josef said happy that Ville had jumped into the conversation when he saw what Josef was getting at. “When was the last time you danced for fun? Not for a performance, not for your family, for you?”

Soya bit her lip, as she remembered the night after the last performance up in her studio as she had danced. “You’re a bastard Josef.”

“I know I am.” Josef smirked. “You’re going to Westchester, and you’re going to have fun.”

“But-”

“What in the world is holding you back Soya? It’s a week of doing nothing but being with Ville, someone you use to be close with, you have a chance to regain this closeness with a week of no responsibilities, so tell me what is holding you back?”

“I’m still teaching Anya’s classes Josef.”

Ville frowned. “I thought that was only for the week.”

“Ha!” Josef laughed; loving the fact, that Ville was also ganging against Soya to crack her resolve on the issue. “It’s only until Anya’s daughter is better Soya, and best bet that’s going to be in a couple days, after that you have three weeks of doing absolutely nothing. You had purposely planned it that way Soya.”

“But what about you going to visit...”

“My mum?” Josef asked with a raised eyebrow. “First, I did not know you wanted to go see my mother that badly. Secondly, I haven’t even called my mum to let her know I was thinking about going, and third, if I did go, it would be next month or late August Soya, I have commitments to the company with the new recital to complete before I even think about leaving.”

“It’s not that I don’t want to go.” Soya said looking at Josef, then up at Ville. “I do want to,” she assured. “I would love to spend the week with you Ville, you know that…”

Ville nodded. “I do.”

“I just…” she sighed before she muttered something under her breath.

“Wait what?” Ville asked, leaning closer.

“I don’t think Bam likes me very much.” She said a bit louder looking at him with wide eyes.

Ville stared at her wide eyes before he started laughing. “Seriously? That’s what’s keeping you from coming and spending time with me?”

“Well I don’t want to put myself in that type of situation if someone doesn’t like me.”

Ville shook his head. “Bam…he comes off as a little fucker, but he’s harmless kulta. He really is that way with many people. I’m not asking you without him knowing my plans Soya, I asked him before he left yesterday if I could invite you to come spend some time with me, and he said it was fine.”

Soya bit her lip. “I just…”

Josef rolled his eyes as he got off the couch. “I don’t know why we’re arguing about this, you’re going to end up going. Ville, she will be in Westchester this weekend. She’ll leave the minute Anya steps back into the studio and when I get back from my date I’ll start packing for you.” He called just before he jogged up the stairs to his room.

Soya shook her head and looked at Ville. “I guess I’m going to Westchester.”

“I don’t want you to feel forced to go Soya,” Ville told her, reaching over and grabbing her hand, clasping her small hand with his bigger one.

“I don’t feel forced.” Soya laughed, tightening her hand on his, she looked over at the clock by the TV and sighed. “I should probably take you back to the hotel now. It’s nearing eight.”

Ville nodded scratching the back of his head through his beanie, “Finding a cab to take me to Westchester is going to be hell.” He muttered as he stood up.

Soya gaped at him. “I’m not letting you take a cab there Ville!”

“Well how else will I be getting to Bam’s?”

“I’ll take you.” Soya shrugged walking around the couch towards the stairs and stood on the first step. “Josef!”

“Co?!”(what) Josef shouted back in Czech.

“We’re leaving! I’ll be back in a few hours!” she heard the door to his room open then close before she saw him appear at the top of the stairs buttoning his shirt.

“It’s going to take you a few hours to take Ville to his hotel?”

“I’m taking his to Westchester,” Soya said. “He was going to take a cab there; you know I can’t let him do that.”

Josef sighed as he walked down the stairs, reaching her and kissed her forehead. “Být Opatrný (Be careful)”

Soya rolled her eyes. “I’m always careful.”

“If I’m not home when you get back, text me and let me know you got back all right.”

“You act as if I’m going to on a road trip.” She teased. “It’s only a three hour drive.”

“Soya.” Josef warned.

“I’ll text, I’ll text.” She laughed as she backed away and motioned for Ville to follow her. She opened the door and smiled at Russell who was getting ready to knock.

“Soya.”

“Russell.” She grinned. “Josef is almost ready.”

“And he thought I was going to be late.” Russell laughed.

“Oh!” Soya said looking at Ville behind her. “Russell this is my friend Ville, Ville this is Josef’s….well…”

“We’re seeing where things go,” Russell filled in and held out his hand for Ville “I’m Russell.”

“I saw you earlier, you worked security at the venue we played last night.” Ville said shaking his hand.

Russell nodded. “I actually own the security company, but every once in a while I like to jump in the fray.” He looked at Soya. “I see those tickets Josef gave you worked in your favor.”

Soya laughed. “I’m guessing Josef didn’t tell you that Ville is an old friend?”

“No, he did not, just that he had a friend that was a fan of the band.”

“That’s an understatement.” Ville muttered, causing Soya to hit his stomach with a playful glare, before turning back to Russell.

“Have fun tonight.”

“You too.” Russell returned before he walked into the house as Soya and Ville exited.

“He seems nice.” Ville commented as they walked towards Soya’s car.

“Doesn’t he?” Soya asked as she got in, turning on the car before buckling her seatbelt. “I really hope it lasts between them. Russell seems like he has the patience to deal with Josef’s moods and Josef has a lot of them.”

Ville smirked. “I’ve witnessed his temper.”

“Yes, and you didn’t even see the worst of it.” Soya nodded as she made sure there were no cars coming before she pulled out.

“So…what exactly is your relationship with Josef other then best friends?”

Soya sighed as she drove towards the hotel Linde and Ville had mentioned they were staying at. “Josef’s family doesn’t know he’s gay.”

“Oh.”

“And when my mother met him she took an instant liking to him.” Soya nibbled her bottom lip and sighed. “I don’t date, maybe it’s because I don’t want to step out of my comfort zone like Josef said, maybe it’s because I have a hectic schedule and I don’t think any self-respecting man will want to deal with it, or maybe it’s because no one has caught my interest in years really.”

“So…” Ville hedged.

“So, when we’re in front of our families we’re in a relationship, Josef already acts like my other half so it’s really not like we have to put much effort into it. The problem has been the media.” Soya sighed. “Especially when we’re in season, my mother and Ivana, Josef’s mother, they took to the relationship a little better than we anticipated so the media found out about it. It’s difficult for Josef to be himself when he’s stuck in a fake relationship with me.”

“I bet that also contributes to you not dating.” Ville put in.

Soya laughed. “Not really. Like I said, no one has caught my attention.” She looked at him with a little smirk, causing him to smirk back.

“What?”

“Technically other then Josef when I first met him, you’re the only other person I’ve ever had an interest in.”

Ville looked at her in shock as she parked in front of the hotel. “I…Really?”

Soya rolled her eyes. “You really think I let you have my first kiss just for the hell of it Ville?” she pushed his arm playfully. “Please! I liked you…a lot in fact.”

“Why didn’t you ever say anything?”

Soya’s eyes widened. “Ville! I was sixteen, you were twenty, I didn’t think you would ever even show interest in me. That and I could barely sneak out of the house to hang out with you and the guys for an hour, if, by some miracle, you did like me back, how would I have ever managed to hide my relationship with you from my parents!”

Ville laughed. “Wow, you’ve thought about this a lot.”

“I use too,” she said quietly, she shook her head. “Now, let’s go get you packed.”

He thought about the room he was using and winced slightly. “It won’t take me long, give me ten minutes.”

Soya laughed. “You have a disaster in your room don’t you?”

“A bit of one yes.” Ville smiled, “Ten minutes?”

“Fine, I’ll go get some coffee at the shop down there, you want anything?”

“Anything you get is fine.” Ville said as they got of the car, Soya walking down the street to the coffee shop while Ville went into the hotel.

He made it to his room in record time and started gathering his clothes and belongings stuffing them in his bag, not bothering to fold anything. Most of his clothes were dirty anyway so wrinkles wouldn’t matter at this point. Zipping the bag up, he put his guitar case on top of the bed, grabbing his guitar that was leaning against the wall near the bed, placing it inside and snapping the closed as well.

He made one final round around the room, making sure he didn’t forget anything, before he went to the bathroom and gathered everything there, then stuffed his toiletry bag on the side of his bigger bag. One more trip around he had managed to find a pair of converse he had stuffed under the bed as well as one of his notebooks that was sitting on the table outside where he had left it that morning.

He gathered his bags and made his way out the door, giving one last glance at the room, before heading out and back down to the lobby. After checking out, he made his way outside where he saw Soya leaning against her car, sipping on a coffee cup.

“Fifteen minutes, not bad.” Soya teased as she opened the trunk of her car.

Ville rolled his eyes at himself. “I kept having to recheck the room.”

Soya laughed. “You’re like the girls in the company.” She teased as she watched him put his suitcase in the back and then the guitar case carefully on top.

“How so?” he asked as he closed the trunk.

“The girls in the chorus line are always the last to check out of every hotel or get on the bus, because they’re always packing at the last minute. It’s usually the new girls too.” Soya said as they got back into the car. Soya handed Ville a can of Red Bull and he smiled gratefully.

“Bless you,” he grinned popping the tab, “And I’m usually better about it, just got caught up today.” Ville admitted, looking over at her with a smirk.

“You can’t blame me!” she laughed. “It’s not my fault you forgot to pack.”

Ville shook his head in amusement as he looked at her CD player. “So do you have any music besides me in here?”

She shifted her arm as she drove down the street heading towards the freeway and opened the center console between them. “Everything I have in the car is in here.”

He put his coffee in the cup holder next to him and looked inside. “You have ‘The 69 Eyes’.” He said with raised eyebrow.

“Mmm, Josef actually turned me onto them when we started in the company together; he’s got a thing for Jyrki.”

“Does he?” Ville laughed as he sifted through the CD’s.

“I’m pretty sure that is one celebrity Josef would die to meet….or maul.” Soya teased.

“I’ll let Jyrki know to watch himself whenever he’s in New York next.”

“Please do.” Soya laughed. “Didn’t find anything?” she asked as she watched him close the console. She checked her mirrors as she turned into the freeway and merged lanes expertly.

“No, I’m having fun talking to you.” He said though he did turn on the radio, turning it on low so it would be background noise. “So tell me the full length story of how you met Josef. You keep talking about it, but you never elaborate.”

Soya chuckled. “There’s really not much to tell,” she admitted. “I had been in New York a total of…I don’t know two weeks before I actually met him. He’d already been here a year so he’d had a group of friends and he was quite popular, not to mention he was having much better luck at his school then I was at mine. I met him on my first day of one of our Partnering Classes.”

“What’s that?” Ville asked curious as to what exactly she had done at Julliard. He had known she was an amazing dancer in Finland, and from what he had read about Juilliard only to best and talented got in and even then, most of them had so much more to learn.

“Um…it’s where we learn the art of working with partners. Men work on developing their strength to lift a partner and still make the move look effortless while women work on strengthening their legs to do all the Pointe work required to do the moves. It’s a lot of work.” Soya sighed. “Especially when you have bad partners, you leave in a lot of pain after that class.” She said rubbing her side as she remembered one nasty little incident after working with a newer dancer.

“So you met him during that class?”

Soya nodded. “It was my first official day there, they’d let me settle into the dorms and into school before I was asked to start my dance classes. I walked in…and I saw him and just…fell in love.” She laughed, causing Ville to raise an eyebrow. Soya bit her lip. “He was dancing, showing off, now that I think about it, and I’d never seen someone dance like that, not even back home. It just amazed me. And then he went and opened his mouth.”

Soya shook her head amused as she thought back to the day she met Josef.

Soya stood in shock as she watched the blonde headed boy twirl around the room to the sound of the music one of the girls had put on. She quietly set her bag down next to all the others, never losing contact with his form as he moved.

“Amazing, isn’t he?”

Soya turned and looked at the redheaded girl standing next to her. She thought about the words carefully before she spoke them. “Um… he is very good.”

“Ah, you transferred here to.”

“Sorry?” Soya asked.

“Hey Josef!” The girl called out walking away from Soya, Soya looked over and saw the boy stop mid Pirouette and turn to the girl, clearly annoyed to have been stopped.

“What?” he asked.

“We have another foreigner.” The girl said pointing to Soya.

Josef sighed looking straight at Soya, his blue eyes meeting her grey ones before muttering, “Další kurva amatérská, jsem si jistý”(Another fucking amateur, I’m sure)

Soya stood in shock, sure she didn’t know much Czech but she knew enough to know that he had just called her an amateur and she had worked for far too long and far too hard to ever be called that, pulling out the little Czech she did know she glared at him.

“Ukážu vám amatérská, nechat tu hubbe zpĕt.” (I’ll show you amateur, have them turn the music back on” She said in what she was sure was broken Czech, his smirk just confirmed it as he turned to the rest of the group.

“We have quite the feisty one on our hands, I say she quits in two weeks.”

“I don’t quit.” Soya bit out.

“Really?” Josef smirked. “It doesn’t matter how good you are miláček, you will never be as good as me.”

Soya felt a smirk cross her lips as she crossed her arms over her chest and walked closer to him. “Is that right?”

“That’s right.”

“I bet you a thousand Euros I’m better then you.”

Josef laughed. “Euros?! I don’t know if you’ve noticed but you’re in America now, Euros aren’t worth shit here.”

She winced at the profanity, which he noticed causing his smirk to widen.

“Ah, not only an amateur, but a prude as well.”

“A thousand dollars then, that I’m better then you are.”

Josef raised an eyebrow. “You really are a tenacious little bitch, aren’t you?”

“Why are you so rude?” Soya asked exasperated, not taking the obvious insult to heart, she had been called much worse at the private school she was attending.

“Why are you so hell bent to show me that you’re better, if you really are better you’d shut that pretty little mouth of yours and just dance.”

Soya nodded. “Fine,” she said, her own smirk appearing, “Do you know Swan’s lake, Dance of the Swans?”

“Like the back of my fucking hand.”

“Then try to keep up.”

Soya laughed when she was met by Ville’s silence. “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Swan Lake, or even The Dance of the Swans, but it involves a lot of lifting. It is the prime example of partnering because there’s so much strain involved. Our teacher walked in just as Josef was dropping me from a headstand that he was holding me in, above his head granted and we got in so much trouble for doing it without any type of supervision. We were both sent to clean all the mirrors on that floor, which is a good twenty rooms, floor to ceiling mirrors.”

“You both bonded?” Ville asked with a smile.

“God no!” Soya laughed, looking at him in disbelief, “he demanded his money, and when I told him he wasn’t getting it, he had a fit, saying that obviously he was the better dancer since he was the one that had to lift me up, while I argued that I had to keep myself straight and still work my legs. We argued the entire time.”

“Did you ever pay him?”

Soya grinned at him. “Why? Obviously I’m far more the superior dancer then he is.”

“I’m sensing that this is an ongoing argument between you too.”

Soya nodded. “At least once a year we’ll start up again, and then a round of competition starts and we both just end up calling a truce before forgetting about it. But we still battle it out, which is a nice tradition if I do say so myself.”

“You are both very odd.”

Soya scoffed. “You’re one to talk.”

The rest of the ride to Westchester continued in that fashion, a series of comfortable silences and random conversations about everything and nothing. Soya smiled at the dark road during one of their silences and couldn’t help but relax, this is what she had missed most about being around Ville for long periods of time. He was one of the only people that she could be absolutely silent with and feel comfortable.

She looked over at him out of the corner of her eye, he was staring out the window, his fingers drumming lightly to whatever tune was in his head. They had picked up exactly where they had left off thirteen years ago with their relationship, there was no awkwardness in any of their conversation and she found herself un-censoring herself, the only way Ville was capable of making her do. This is where she was comfortable; this was where she loved to be.

Chapter Text

“So Soya knows Ville?” Russell asked as he dropped his keys into the bowl that sat on a table near his front door.

 

Josef nodded as he followed Russell to the kitchen, before he hopped up on the counter to watch him. “Yes, they know each other.”

 

“You didn’t tell me that when I gave you the tickets.” Russell smirked pouring them each a glass of wine handing one to Josef as he leaned on the counter next to him.

 

“Didn’t know I had to.” Josef shrugged, taking a sip of his wine.

 

“So how do they know each other?”

 

Josef smirked into his glass. “Why do you want to know?”

 

“Pure curiosity, I assure you.”

 

Josef shrugged. “They met when Soya was sixteen so Ville was…” Josef searched his brain. “Twenty? The way Soya tells me is that they just clicked. Everything that Soya does, has to be proven.”

 

“How so?” Russell asked.

 

Josef shrugged. “She has to prove to her mother that teaching dance was worth the money and time, she had to prove to her father that taking college courses was advantages, she has to prove to the world that she is one of the best dancers the world has ever seen. Her word is never trusted. She’s told me that Ville, Linde and Mige are the only people that accepted her word and never questioned it. She never had to prove anything to them.”

 

“You’re not like that with her?” Russell asked with a raised eyebrow. “I would assume since you’re so close it would be that way with you too.”

 

Josef shook his head. “Oh fuck no, Soya and I are constantly proving our worth to each other. It’s what makes our relationship work so well. If we didn’t I don’t think we’d dance half as well as we do.”

 

Russell nodded looking at Josef. “You want them to work don’t you?”

 

With a smile, Josef nodded. “I do, Soya deserves some good in her life, and I think Ville is the person to bring that good. I don’t care if they keep a strong friendship or fuck each other senseless really. I just want her to be happy.” Josef put his hand on Russell’s arm and squeezed lightly. “You know, while I’ve seen Soya laugh and smile, I’ve never seen her this happy. The only time I have ever seen her like this is when she sees them on TV or she’s looking in her old pictures albums and even then her smile never quite reaches her eyes.”

 

“Doesn’t it bother you that it wasn’t you that made her that happy? I mean…technically, haven’t you know her longer then they have.”

 

Josef shook his head. “Technically I have, but it took years, years for Soya and I to come to the level of friendship that we have, even when we first moved in together we rarely got along and we weren’t fully comfortable around each other. The main reason we moved in together was because it was convenient, we held the same schedule, we did everything at the same time, and we both loved the area, it just…worked for us. But it took us a year of living together to be this close.”

 

Josef shrugged again. “We’ve seen each other at our worst and at our best. We have seen each other cry about the most fucked up things and the stupidest things, we dealt with all the shit our families put out, and we love each other. However, even my relationship with Soya doesn’t begin to compare with what she had with them, what she still has. Am I bothered? Not at all. Should I be?” with a lift of his shoulders he said. “Probably, but I’m not. Like I said, Soya deserves to be, happy and so do I.”

 

Russell smirked as he lifted the glass to his lips and took a sip. “And what’s making you happy Josef?”

 

“At the moment? This wine,” he smirked. “You, and the dinner you promised me would make me quite ecstatic.”

 

“You’re quite the pushy man.”

 

“So I’m told, darling, so I’m told.” Josef laughed taking another sip of his wine.

 

XxxxxxX

 

Ryan Dunn leaned against the deck landing watching as dark Mini Cooper pulled up the snake drive, causing the sensor light to turn on and reveal the Mini Cooper to be a light blue. Dunn frowned, who the hell did they know that owned a blue Mini Cooper?

 

“Oh fuck.” Dunn cursed as he saw a young women get out of the car and stretch.

 

“What?”

 

Dunn turned and saw Novak walking over to him. “I think Bam needs to change the security code again, some fan got in.”

 

“No fucking way.” Novak said looking over at the car that was parked and the girl that was walking towards the back of the car. Novak frowned. “I think there’s someone else in the car.”

 

“Great,” Ryan groaned, “It just keeps getting better.”

 

“No man! It’s Ville.” Novak said pointing towards the car as Ville got out of the passenger seat, and said something to the girl, causing her to nod and back away slowly from the car with her hands raised slightly, causing him to laugh as he walked over pulling the truck open and pulling out his luggage. He put them on the ground and closed the trunk, leaning up against the back of the car, opening his arms and motioning for the girl. The girl laughed and launched herself at Ville hugging him.

 

Dunn raised an eyebrow. “Okay then.”

 

“You think it’s his girlfriend?” Novak asked watching them.

 

“Bam would have talked about it when he got back from New York though.”

 

“True.” Novak nodded, watching as the couple talked.

 

“What are you fuckers staring at?”

 

They both turned to see Bam walking out to the deck; he leaned against the railing and frowned at the unknown car parked in front of the house. “Who the fuck is that?”


“Ville’s ride, I guess.” Dunn shrugged.

 

Bam slid his eyes away from the car to the two people hugging near the back of the car.

 

“Do you know who the chick is?” Novak asked.

 

“Yeah.” Bam nodded, recognizing the long black hair that was pulled into a ponytail. “Her names Soya, she’s an old friend of Ville’s.”

 

Dunn frowned, that name rang a bell with him and Soya wasn’t a very common name. “Soya…the dancer?”

 

Both Bam and Novak turned to Dunn in amusement and surprise that he knew whom Soya was. Dunn rolled his eyes. “Angie dragged me to one of her shows when we were in San Francisco a while back and how the fuck does Ville know Soya? I didn’t think dancers and rock stars ran in the same circles.”

 

Bam rolled his eyes. “They met in Finland when she was sixteen I guess,”

 

“I wanna go say hi.” Novak said with a smirk as he sauntered away from the deck. “I hear dancers are flexible as fuck.”

 

They both watched Novak leave the deck before they followed. Dunn looked at Bam with a frown. “You don’t like her?”

 

“What?” Bam asked.

 

“You have that face of not liking someone, why don’t you like her?”

 

“I like her…fuck,” Bam ran a hand through his hair. “I don’t know,”

 

Dunn rolled his eyes. “Do you even know her?”

 

“Not really…” Bam hedged.

 

“Dude, this is your problem, you judge someone by how they look and instantly they’re either your friend or not worth knowing.”

 

“Well obviously, Soya may not be worth knowing.” Bam said with a roll of his eyes. “And I tend to be right about shit like this.”

 

“Yeah…like twenty-five percent of the time.” Dunn laughed as they walked out the door behind Novak, causing Ville and Soya to look up.

 

“Bam-Bam.” Ville smiled, though he didn’t let go of Soya’s waist where his arms were holding her.

 

“Hey Ville.” Bam smiled. “Soya.”

 

“Hello.” She said with a slight wave, than hid her face in Ville’s shirt causing him to laugh.

 

“You’re sniffing me.” Ville accused, though the soft smile on his face took away any annoyance that might have been in his voice.

 

“I can’t help it!” Soya laughed as she pulled away. “You’ve always smelled good, you know this!”

 

“I smell of cigarettes and sweat, kulta, that is in no way appealing.”

 

“To you.” Soya laughed she looked at the other two men standing next to Bam looking utterly amused by her conversation, causing heat to rise in her cheek. “Hello, I’m Soya Toivonen,”

 

“Ryan Dunn.” Dunn introduced, holding out his hand for her to shake, she smiled, pulling lightly away from Ville’s grasp, though he still circled her waist as she shook his hand. “And that’s Novak, I would avoid touching him, who knows what types of STD’s he has.”

 

Soya laughed and looked at Ville who smirked. “I really would avoid touching him.”

 

“Ha. Ha.” Novak said with a roll of his eyes. “So you’re a dancer?”

 

Soya cleared her throat and nodded slightly. “I am…,” she said slowly.

 

“So how far can you bend?” Novak smirked.

 

Soya frowned. “Far…I guess. I don’t understand the question.”

 

The group laughed, and while Ville tried to hold it in, he couldn’t help it, he leaned down and whispered in Soya’s ear. “Hän tarkoittaa, kuinka pitkälle voi taipua sängyssä?”(He means, how far can you bend in bed?)

 

“Oh!” Soya blushed and hid her face in Ville’s chest as she laughed, causing Ville to chuckle. She bit her lip and motioned for him to come lower, he bent down letting her whisper in his ear. “En tiedä kokemuksesta, mutta Josef sanoo sen melko pitkälle.”(I don’t know from experience, but Josef says it’s pretty far.)

 

She stood back on her feet and Ville straightened, staring at her. “Really?”

 

Soya laughed and pushed him. “You have a very dirty mind Mr. Valo.”

 

“Me!” Ville laughed. “You’re the one that started it!” he looked at Novak. “She says it’s pretty damn far Novak.” Novak smirked, but before he could respond, Ville put his hand up. “She’s not like that, so I wouldn’t even try it.”

 

“Damn.” Novak grumbled.

 

“So are you staying Soya?” Bam asked, for some reason feeling uncomfortable witnessing their exchange.

 

“Not this week.” Soya admitted. “I just came to drop Ville off, he was going to take a cab here and I just couldn’t stand to think of him paying that fare.”

 

“As if I didn’t have the money.” Ville muttered.

 

Soya rolled her eyes. “If it’s still all right with you, I was thinking about coming back up next week.”

 

“Not like you have much of a choice.” Ville pointed out, causing Soya to glare at him.

 

“No, yeah that’s totally fine.” Bam nodded.

 

“Are you sure? I don’t want to impose.” Soya asked, “Ow!” she looked up at Ville who wore an innocent smile. “Did you just pinch me?”

 

“No!”

 

“You pinched me!” she accused pushing away and looking at her hip where he’d pinched. “Ohhh! If this bruises you’re going to be in so much trouble!”

 

“Tell her she’s not imposing.”  Ville said, knowing that Soya was looking for an out in asking.

 

Dunn smiled and shook his head. “Trust me, you’re not imposing, Bam has people coming and going from his house all the time. Novak and me being two of them, one more person won’t be making a difference.”

 

“Bam?” Soya asked.

 

“You’re not imposing.” Bam nodded. “Like Dunn said, I have people staying here all the time, it’s fine.”

 

Soya nodded and bit her lip. “Then I’ll be back next week.” She looked at Ville. “I should get going, I have to get up early tomorrow.”

 

“Stay,” Ville said. “I don’t like the idea of you driving back this late.”

 

“I’m surprised I’m allowed out of the house between you and Josef,” she muttered. “It’s fine Ville, I have to be in the studio early tomorrow and get some paperwork done.”

 

“You’ll be fine?”

 

Soya shook her head amused. “After all these years you’re still the same? Will Linde be following me home as well to make sure I make it through the door, or will it be Mige?”

 

“You’re hilarious.” Ville said dryly. “And if they were here it would probably be Linde.”

 

“Of course it would.” Soya said. “Would it make you feel better if I texted you the minute I walked in the door, like I will with Josef?”

 

“Marginally.”

 

“Then I’ll text you.” She nodded. “Now go, I can see your friends are getting impatient.”

 

Ville sighed and grabbed his bag and guitar case moving them out of the way of Soya’s car to let her get in. He tapped the window, causing her to roll it down once she started the car, he leaned in though the window and opened the consol at the center rummaging through it, before handing her a CD.

 

She took it with a frown, realizing it was his own CD, she laughed and pushed him away. “Just for that, I’m not listening to it.”

 

“Of course you will.”

 

She leaned in and kissed his cheek. “Olet ystävät odottavat, Ville.”(You’re friends are waiting, Ville.)

 

”Antakaa heidän odottaa”(Let them wait.) he whispered.

 

“I’ll text you the minute I walk in, promise.”

 

Ville nodded. “Ole varovainen, kiitos.”(Be careful, please)

 

“Lupaus”(promise) she nodded.

 

He stood straight and watched in amusement as she put the CD in the player, before rolling up her windows and pulling out of the driveway. Ville watched until the red lights of her car disappeared, he ran a hand through his hair and turned to his friends. Dunn looked amused, Bam looked confused, while Novak just looked proud.

 

“What?” Ville asked

 

“You dating that hot piece of ass?” Novak asked with a smirk.

 

Ville rolled his eyes. “Don’t call her that and no I’m not.”

 

“You’re not?” Dunn asked taken back. “You looked pretty fucking intimate to me.”

 

Ville shrugged. “We’ve always been that way. She’s a very close friend.”

 

“Right.” Dunn laughed as he walked away with Novak. “I give you guys two days after she comes back, before you’re hiding up in your room fucking.”

 

“You all right Bam-Bam?” Ville asked, deciding to ignore Dunn’s comments, hefting his bag over his shoulder and picking up his guitar.

 

“What? Yeah, I’m fine.” Bam nodded. “You’re rooms ready, by the way.”

 

“Thanks, I’m kind of tired, is it all right if I crash or did you have plans for us?”

 

“Nah,” Bam shook his head. “It’s all right if you crash, we’ll go out tomorrow.”

 

“All right.” Ville nodded as he walked towards the house.

 

Bam frowned at him then looked back out at his driveway where Soya had just driven off. That was the first time in a very long time he’d seen Ville that continuously happy.  The smile hadn’t left the man’s face the entire time he was talking to Soya, not until she was driving away. Bam shook his head in confusion; how the hell had he missed that when he’d first seen them together?

 

XxxxxxX

 

Ville lay in bed, his back to the headboard while his legs were brought up so that he could rest his book on his knees while he read. He had tried going to sleep once he had settled into the room but he found that his worry about Soya driving back so late was keeping him up.

 

He looked at the clock and noticed that it was nearing one in the morning, which meant the Soya should have reached New York by now if traffic had been light like it had been when they drove to Westchester.

 

Sure enough fifteen minutes later his cell phone buzzed with a new message. He opened it and laughed when he saw it.

 

“All right I’m home you overprotective freaks, I’m going to bed and if either one of you wakes me up before eight, there will be hell to pay. Night – Soya.

 

Ville didn’t bother responding, having a feeling she’d probably passed out once she hit the bed. He had seen her yawn on the trip to Westchester, he could only assume how tired she was on the way back. Setting his book down and turning off the light, he settled into bed and found sleep easily, knowing the Soya was safely home.

Chapter Text

Tuesday May 11, 2010

 

“Hello?” Soya grumbled into her phone, almost cursing when she saw the time. “Whoever you are, I’m disowning you.”

 

The chuckle on the other end had her sitting up. “It’s Linde, love, sorry if I woke you.”

 

“I forgive you this once.” Soya laughed as she settled back in her bed, leaning against the iron rods of her headboard. “Are you home?”

 

“Just landed, I’m waiting for Manna to pick me up.”

 

“You’re in Finland now,” Soya pointed out. “I don’t hear the screaming of fans.”

 

“I’m in disguise, I’m unrecognizable.” Linde teased.

 

Soya scoffed. “Please, those blonde dreads of yours are quite hard to miss.”

 

“The reason I stuffed them under my hat.”

 

Soya laughed. “So everything was fine?”

 

“Everything went perfect, ah I see Olivia.” Linde said. “I just wanted to let you know I’m home safe, we all are, you’ll probably get a call from Mige later.”

 

“Thank you Linde. I’ll talk to you later.”

 

“Of course, bye Soya.”

 

“Bye.” She smiled as she hung up the phone. She looked at her clock and sighed, her alarm was meant to ring in fifteen minutes anyway. Turning off her alarm, she put her feet on the ground and winced slightly. She brought her knee to her chest resting the heel of her foot on the mattress as she looked at her ankle.

 

The swelling had come down a lot since the last performance, but it still wasn’t healed. Running a hand through her hair, she made a mental note to go to the corner store before going to work and get an ankle sleeve. She rotated the ankle slowly before putting it back on the ground slipping her feet in her pink slippers before dragging herself out of her room, grabbing her towel and making her way to the bathroom.

 

Twenty minutes later she was pulling on her black leggings and her pink and black striped top that fell off her shoulders showing the top of the black tank she had on underneath. She pulled on her grey corded Ugg boots before heading downstairs.

 

“Morning.” Soya said seeing Josef at the stove.

 

“You’re chipper this morning.” Josef said setting down a plate of eggs, toast and bacon on the breakfast bar. “Eat.”

 

“You made breakfast for me?” Soya asked, not that it was uncommon for him to make her breakfast but usually there was a reason for it, especially since breakfast for them usually consisted of fruit or a muffin.

 

“Made it for me, just made enough for two.” Josef muttered sliding her a cup of coffee. Soya nodded, there it was, she thought with a smile.

 

“You have got to stop with the late nights.” Soya teased.

 

“You have got to stop pushing your cheer on me this early in the morning.” Josef said setting his plate on the counter across from Soya and sipped on his coffee. “How was your night?”

 

“Good, I dropped Ville off, got home around one and slept soundly the rest of the night. Did you get my text?”

 

“I did, thank you for sending it, but you used the plurals on words. Why?”

 

“Ville asked for a text as well to assure I’d gotten home safely so I sent one to the both of you.”

 

“Good sense that man.”

 

“How was your night with Russell?”

 

Josef smirked slightly and nodded. “It went very well. He cooked me dinner.”

 

“You seem to really like him, Josef.”

 

“I do.” Josef said quietly. “He’s not like the other men I’ve dated.”

 

“You’ve dated dancers before, dancers that have your exact temperament. You’ve butted heads with every single man you’ve gone out with.”

 

“Russell isn’t like that, it’s nice, different.” Josef admitted. “He runs a successful business, he’s well established, he doesn’t care that I may have to travel months from now and he loves that I dance.”

 

“Everyone loves that you dance.” Soya laughed. “But last night I found out just how much people love it.”

 

“Oh?”

 

“I got teased.” Soya laughed. “One of Ville’s friends asked me how far I could bend.”

 

Josef snorted into his coffee cup and stared at Soya, amusement dancing in his eyes. “What in the world did you answer Soya?”

 

“Far.” She laughed, “I didn’t understand the question. Ville had to explain it to me.”

 

“You are so innocent. I love you even more for it.” Josef said with a laugh.

 

Soya rolled her eyes and pushed her empty plate away. “Well I’m off to work. What are you up to today?”

 

“Mmm, I’m heading to the studio to meet with the dancers.” Josef said grabbing both empty plates and placing them in the dishwasher. “I want to see what they have so far and how far I can push them until they cry.”

 

Soya shook her head as she grabbed her keys and phone from the counter. “I’m so glad I don’t work with you on chorography anymore.”

 

“Admit it, you miss it.”

 

“Not even a little bit, Josef. You’re a drill sergeant when it comes to teaching people dance, especially other dancers.”

 

“I’m good with the kids I teach!” Josef said.

 

“Well yes, they’re children Josef,” Soya rolled her eyes, Josef really was good when it came to teaching the younger children at the studio, “But when it comes to trained dancers, you can be the devil himself.”

 

Josef shrugged “They should know how to dance, I shouldn’t have to repeat myself three times about one move. It’s frustrating.”

 

“You love it.” Soya laughed. “I’ll see you later, hunaja.”

 

She grabbed her purse and left the house, slipping on her Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses and walking down to her car to start her day.

 

XxxxxxX

 

“Smells good in here.”

 

April Margera turned around in surprise, dropping her spatula on the stove to bring the tall Finnish man into a hug. “When in the world did you get here?!”

 

Ville chuckled as he hugged April back, before settling down at the kitchen bar. “Last night, I got in around ten.”

 

“We’ve missed you around here.” April told him as she put a plate of toast in front of him. “I’m almost done with breakfast, do you want an omelet?”

 

“That sounds nice.” Ville nodded, tearing the corner of his toast off.

 

“So how was your tour?”

 

Ville smiled. “It went very well, they always do. I’m thinking this is by far my favorite though.” Ville admitted, thinking of Soya with a fond smile.

 

“Well that’s good.” April smiled. “Are the rest of the boys here?”

 

“No, they flew back last night, they send their hello’s though.”

 

“I’m surprised you didn’t go with them, you usually visit for a day or two then head home.”

 

Ville shrugged. “Jesse’s out of town with some friends of his and my parents are at a convention for the shop. They all come back at the end of the month when I plan to fly back anyway, just before we start the European leg of the tour.”

 

“Well I’m glad you stayed,” April smiled as she slid his omelet in front of him.

 

“I am too.” Ville smiled. “Thank you for breakfast.”

 

“You’re very welcome, morning Missy.” April greet with a smile as she saw her daughter in law coming down with her laptop.

 

“Morning Ape, hey Ville.” Missy grinned when she saw him.

 

“Hey Missy.” He greeted accepting the hug from Bam’s wife. “I didn’t see you when I came in last night.”

 

“I was already in bed.” Missy explained as she settled down next to him. “I didn’t even hear you come in, how’d you get here?”

 

“A friend dropped me off.”

 

Missy frowned. “One of the guys?”

 

Ville shook his head. “No, she’s an old friend of mine from Finland,”

 

“She?” April smirked, setting down a plate in front of Missy.

 

Ville chuckled. “Yes, ‘she’, we had dinner with her before everyone left then I spent some time with her before she drove me over.”

 

“She lives in Westchester?” Missy asked.

 

“New York,” Ville answered.

 

“Well that was nice of her to drive you out here.” April said patting his hand.

 

Ville smiled. “She heard I was going to take a cab and refused to let me.”

 

“I hate that you take a cab here Ville.” April stated, while Missy laughed.

 

“Had you just called Bam, he would have been more than happy to pick you up.”

 

Ville shrugged. “Didn’t even think about, Soya just offered and wouldn’t hear of anything else.”

 

“Soya,” Missy repeated. “That’s an interesting name, unique.”

 

“Mmm, she’s Finnish.” Ville smirked. “Of course she has a unique name.”

 

“Well, I would love to meet her.” April said. “We need more women in this house.”

 

“Glad to hear you say that.” Ville grinned. “She’s coming next week to stay here a while. She’s a sweetheart April, you will love her.”

 

“Mmm, anyone you boys are fond of, Ville, is good in my book. Well, with the exception being Novak.”

 

Missy laughed then pouted at Ville. “I won’t be able to meet her then; I’m going to go visit some friends in Boston.”

 

Ville shrugged, “She’ll be here a week, it was the most I could convince her to stay.”

 

“Is she in a band too Ville?” April asked as she took Ville empty dish and placed it in the sink.

 

“No, she’s a dancer.”

 

“What type of dancer?” Missy smirked, causing Ville to laugh.

 

“Not that type of dancer, she’s a ballerina.”

 

April frowned. “Soya…Soya… Toivonen?”

 

Ville nodded. “That’s her.”

 

“You know her Ape?” Missy asked, looking at her mother-in-law in interest.

 

“Of her!” April said excitedly. “After Bam came back from New York, he was talking about some ballet he got dragged to and I wanted to see, it so I dragged Phil to New York for the day. She’s the lead dancer. How in the world do you know Soya?”

 

Ville grinned. “I met her before…well before we both got our starts. She was fifteen when I met her, she walked into my father’s shop with some friends and we just got along. About a year later she moved from Helsinki to New York to go to Julliard and a few months later we got signed.”

 

“It must have been nice to have someone other than Bam in New York to come visit.” April said with a smile.

 

“Well, actually,” Ville began. “I had no idea she was in New York. I only saw her the night before she left and after that we lost touch, this is the first time I’ve seen her in almost thirteen years. It’s why Linde dragged us to the ballet the other night, he knew Soya was dancing and we’d never seen her dance before.”

 

“She’s amazing, isn’t she?” April sighed.

 

Ville nodded with a small smile. “Very much so,”

 

Missy giggled as she watched Ville sigh then looked over at April. “Seriously, I want to meet the woman who’s making Ville Valo love drunk.”

 

Ville shot Missy a glare, though the amusement in his eyes told Missy he really wasn’t upset, only to jump slightly, when he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket, where he’d forgotten he’d put it. Looking at the caller ID, he stood. “I have to take this, it’s Seppo.” He muttered answering the call as he walked from the kitchen, outside, greeting his manager.

 

“I’ve never seen Ville talk about a girl this much since Jonna.” April said watching his form walk further outside.

 

“Neither have I, I really want to meet this girl now.” Missy said as she opened up her laptop.

 

“I’m very curious too.” April smiled.

Chapter Text

Thursday May 13, 2010

 

Soya sighed as she settled down behind her desk and moved the mouse of the desktop computer that sat humming peacefully. It had been three days since she had last seen Ville, though they did talk every evening, either before he headed out with his friends or before she went to bed. Resting her chin in her hand, she clicked on the internet icon on the desktop and went into her e-mail, sighing when she saw one from Anya.

 

Anya had sent her an e-mail everyday that she had been gone, with the itinerary for her classes. It was getting a bit annoying for Soya, who knew exactly what need to taught, seeing, as she was the one that had set up the standards for the classes.

 

Opening Anya’s message, it was full of instructions on what Soya was supposed to go over with Anya’s class with her older students. This was the class that Soya looked forward to everyday that she taught it, especially when she taught full time. It was a class with girls and boys, ages fifteen to eighteen years old all in advanced dance.

 

While she loved teaching her younger kids, mostly for the look of joy that came across their faces when they landed their first jump or did their first pirouette, there was something about teaching her older students that left Soya fulfilled and leaving her studio proud of herself.

 

Making sure she wrote the notes that Anya had left for her in her notebook, she looked at the clock and sighed, she still had an hour and a half before the class actually started and she couldn’t go down to the classroom because another teacher was using it for her Pilates class.

 

Taking her cell, she contemplated calling Josef before she remembered that he had gone down to the company’s studio to get together with the main dancers. She smiled remembering how proud he had been when a girl started crying the minute he had walked in the door on his first day, a personal record for him. Biting her lip, she wondered if Ville was up, before dialing the number.

 

XxxxxxX

 

Ville looked over at Bam as he raised his hands in triumph after beating Raab at some video game, shaking his head in amusement he went back to his book, only to look back up when he heard the familiar ring of his phone. He grabbed it from the table beside him, before Bam had a chance to and answered, not bothering to check the caller ID.

 

“Hello?”

 

“I’m bored.”

 

Ville smiled as he stood up from the couch, walking down to the Pirate Bar, unnoticed, with his book, before settling down on the stool. “Aren’t you at the studio?”

 

“Yes,” Soya sighed. “But my next class isn’t for another hour and a half. I have nothing to do until then. Entertain me.”

 

“How would you like me to entertain you?” he laughed.

 

“I don’t know.” Soya whined, causing him to laugh. “What are you doing?”

 

“I was reading.”

 

“Reading what?”

 

He looked down at the tattered book of Poe’s short stories and answered. “Poe.”

 

“Is that the only book you have with you?”

 

“Doesn’t matter how many times I read them, the stories never get old.”

 

“You don’t have to defend your choice to me.” Soya laughed.

 

“I saw a book on your nightstand when I was over, didn’t have a chance to see what it was. What was it?”

 

“Much like you, I have my own author I enjoy reading over and over again, and her name is Sylvia Plath. I’m reading “The Bell Jar” for the hundredth time.” Soya teased herself.

 

“Depressing much.” Ville teased back.

 

“And yours isn’t?” Soya laughed. “We make quite a pair don’t we?”

 

“Mmm.” Ville murmured, as he watched the sliding door leading from the backyard open, Missy smiled at him as she let the cats into the house before she moved around him to the refrigerator to his side. “Että teemme.”(That we do.) He said, causing Missy to look up at him with a frown.

 

“You’re speaking Finnish.” Soya accused.

 

“Olen.”(I am)

 

“Why did you switch?” Soya asked, he could hear the confusion in her voice.

 

“Miksei?” (Why not?)

 

“Ville! Tell me why?” she laughed.

 

“Tuntui että.” (I felt like it) He laughed as Missy continued to look at him oddly, as she unscrewed the cap to her water.

 

“Valehtelija!”(Liar!) She laughed. “Is someone else in the room with you? Are you embarrassed to be talking to me?” she teased.

 

“Olet harmittaa, te tiedätte, että?” (You’re annoying, you know that?.)  he teased.

 

“So I’ve been told.” Soya laughed. “So who’s in the room with you?”

 

“Bam vaimo.” (Bam’s wife) Ville answered, smiling over at Missy, who was still looking at him oddly before she walked past him with a small wave walking up the stairs towards the living room where the rest of the boys were.

 

“Hey babe.” Missy said as she wrapped her arms from behind Bam to rest on his chest. “Who’s Ville talking to?”

 

Bam frowned as he looked around the living room, to the corner of the couch where Ville was sitting not twenty minutes ago, reading. “Where is he?”

 

“He’s talking down at the Pirate Bar with someone, I could have sworn I heard him talking English and then I walked in and he switched to Finnish.”

 

Bam frowned as he got off the couch going towards the Pirate Bar, but instead of going all the way down, he sat on one of the steps out of Ville’s sight, but still within hearing range.

 

“I don’t know.” He heard Ville say. “I don’t want anyone else knowing my business is all.” There was silence while the other person talked causing Ville to laugh. “Yes, I consider you business….there’s no need for offence!” he laughed. “I just like keeping you to myself for a while, its bad enough I have to share you with Linde and Mige…”

 

Bam looked to his side where Dunn settled down next to him; Bam put his finger to his lips for Dunn to keep quiet, while Dunn raised his chin, questioning what they were doing. “Ville’s taking to someone.” Bam whispered.

 

“Dude, this isn’t right.” Dunn whispered back, not noticing that the conversation from below had stopped.

 

“Why not, I just wanna know who he’s talking to.”

 

“And that’s an invasion of privacy.” Ryan pointed out, though he knew Bam wouldn’t care.

 

“Ryan’s right.”

 

They both looked to the bottom of the stairs to see Ville standing there, phone still to his ear, while his eyebrow rose in question.

 

“Since when do I give a shit about privacy?” Bam asked them both.

 

“I would hope that you respect me enough to give me five minutes on the phone.” Ville told Bam only to frown at his phone. “Don’t laugh.”

 

“We’ve been talking for twenty minutes Ville.” Soya told him with another giggle.

 

“Has it been that long?” Ville frowned.

 

“Entertaining me has its price.” Soya said, her voice holding a haughty tone, though he could tell she was teasing.

 

Ville shook his head, and turned back to Bam. “Did you need something?”

 

“Just wanted to know who you’re talking to.” Bam told him. “Missy said you switched languages on her and she found that weird.”

 

“Told you it wasn’t normal behavior.” Soya said, in his ear.

 

Ville sighed. “I’m talking to Soya,”

 

“Oh.” Bam muttered. “You can talk to her upstairs you know, you didn’t have to come down here.”

 

“I know.” Ville said slowly, “I’ll meet you back upstairs in a minute; I’m going to grab my book.”

 

Bam nodded and followed Dunn upstairs, while Ville grabbed his book from the counter and started up the stairs.

 

“I’m still bored.” Soya sighed as she fiddled with her iPod that she had connected to the iHome that sat on her desk.

 

“What are you doing now?” Ville asked, she could hear him moving and she assumed that he was going to the living room with the rest of his friends.

 

“Playing with my iPod.”

 

“How long do you have until your next class?” she heard the squeak of the leather as he sat down and sighed.

 

“An hour, are you with the rest of the boys?”

 

“I am,”

 

“And look at that no Finnish.” She teased.

 

“Voin aloittaa uudelleen, jos haluat.” (I can start again, if you want.) He taunted, though Bam glared at him when he heard the Finnish.

 

“Its fine!” she laughed. “As much as I love that I have business coming in, I hate that all the studios are being used right now.”

 

Ville frowned as he remembered the layout of her studio. “I thought you didn’t have classes in the room upstairs.”

 

Soya froze. “I don’t…” she said slowly, as she looked down at her iPod and saw that her finger had stopped its circling motion on the ‘H’ section of her music. “Oh!”

 

“You’ve found entertainment.” Ville said.

 

“I have, but I need a favor.”

 

“For you anything.” He teased.

 

“Call me in exactly one hour.”

 

“What?” Ville asked confused.

 

“One hour, exactly, five minutes to one, you need to call and keep calling until I answer.” Soya told him as she kicked off her flats that she had worn to work and grabbed her ballet shoes from their peg, going towards the studio across from her office.

 

“All right, one hour.”

 

“Thank you, I’ll talk to you later.” Soya smiled. “And thanks for the idea.”

 

“I’m not sure what idea, but you’re welcome.”

 

“One hour Ville.”

 

“Lupaan,” he said with a nod, receiving another glare from Bam. “Yksi tunti.” (I promise, one hour.)

 

“Kiitos.” (Thank you) Soya said before she hung up, causing Ville to look at his phone, before he hung up the call himself.

 

“What did Soya want?” Bam asked, wincing when his voice came out harsh, apparently Ville noticed too because his eyebrow shot upwards, while Missy rammed her elbow into his side.

 

“She was bored; her next class isn’t for another hour, so she called.”

 

“Needy?” Bam asked, causing Missy to ram him again.

 

“Be nice.” Missy said with a glare.

 

“Yes, Bam-Bam, be nice,” Ville smirked. “You do know that eventually you’re going to have to share me right?”

 

“I don’t have to do shit.” Bam muttered crossing his arms over his chest.

 

Ville sighed. “Look, I know you don’t know Soya very well, but if you take the time to talk to the women, you’ll find that she’s a very interesting person.”

 

“Is that what you’re attracted to Valo?” Ryan asked with a smirk. “The fact that she’s interesting?”

 

Ville raised his hand flipping Ryan off, causing the bearded man to laugh. “Give Soya a chance Bam-Bam, she’s spending a week here, so you’re going to have to get use to not only her, but sharing me.”

 

“Yeah, sharing toys, didn’t you learn that in like kindergarten?” Raab asked with a laugh.

 

“I’m not going to be here to at least help even the playing field Bam, she’s going to be the only girl in the house, with an occasional visit from April, I want you to be nice when she gets here.” Missy told him.

 

“I will be. Why do you expect any different?” Bam asked his wife.

 

“Because you’re Bam fucking Margera.” Missy said with a roll of her eyes. “I know you better,” she looked at the rest of the men scattered around the living room. “That doesn’t just go for Bam, that goes for all of you. Best behavior guys.”

 

Ville laughed. “Trust me, she doesn’t expect you to roll out the red carpet, she’s use to hanging out with a group of guys. She was always with me, Mige and Linde, and her best friend is a man, she’s use to being around them. She’s just a bit nervous because she doesn’t know you guys…and you have a bit of a reputation.”

 

“So what?” Bam asked with a raised eyebrow. “I’m supposed to act like a completely different person just to make some chick feel better. Fuck that.”

 

“I’m not asking you to change at all.” Ville said with a shake of his head. “I would never ask that of anyone, I just don’t want you to be overtly mean, like you tend to be with people you’re not fond of.”

 

“Who says I’m not fond of her?” Bam asked, causing the group to laugh, while Ville stared at him in disbelief.

 

“Bam, you wouldn’t be putting up this much of a fight for someone you liked.” He settled back on the arm of the couch and opened his book again, resting the spine on his knees. “Soya isn’t going anywhere Bam, we’ve been apart for thirteen years and we’re not going to let go now that we’ve found each other again. Even if I had the choice to let her go, Linde and Mige would not allow it and frankly I don’t want the choice. I really hope you learn to accept her.” With that said, he set the alarm on his phone to remind himself to call Soya then started back on “Fall of the House of Usher” where he had left off when Soya had called.

 

XxxxxxX

 

Soya stood in the middle of the room, staring at herself in the mirror as Ville’s voice filled the room. She stood up straight trying to control her breathing before she walked back over to the stereo and started the song over, thinking about the tweaks she had to do to the dance, only to growl in frustration, remembering her notebook wasn’t with her but in her room, sitting on the bed where she had left it that morning.

 

She was about to press play, when she heard her cell phone start vibrating on the floor, the chirping coming from it getting progressively louder the longer she left it ringing. Grabbing it from the floor, she answered, still out of breath.

 

“Hello?”

 

“It’s been an hour,” Ville said into her ear. “Have you been dancing?”

 

“Mmm, I have.” She said, turning off the stereo, unplugging her iPod and walking to her office, only to wince when she found herself limping. “Oh hell.” She muttered, shaking her head at herself.

 

“Soya?”

 

“Hmm.”

 

“You all right?” Ville asked, concern lacing his voice.

 

“I’m fine.” She said.

 

“You’re out of breath.” Ville pointed out.

 

“Forgot to get water.” She laughed. “I haven’t stopped since I hung up with you,” she leaned down and grabbed the water from her mini fridge that was hidden underneath papers, before she grabbed the notebook that was lying on top of the desk. “It was a good work out; I haven’t danced like that all week.”

 

“You’ve been teaching, don’t you dance with them?” Ville asked.

 

“It’s not the same; it’s very stop and go, especially with the younger students.” She explained as she walked down the stairs, to the store part of the studio, smiling at a few of the parents who were waiting for their kids to come out of their class.

 

“Were you practicing for something?” Ville asked.

 

“Not really.” She admitted, as she smiled at Brooke and walked into her class, only to be bombarded by the squeals of girls as she got hugged.

 

“Miss Soya!” The girls laughed as they hugged her.

 

“Hi girls.” Soya laughed as she hugged some of them with one arm.

 

“Who are you talking to?” one of the girls asked as they separated and allowed Soya to walk further into the room.

 

“None of your business.” Soya laughed as she closed the door and walked over to the stereo, some of the girls following her. “I have some fans in this class you know.” She said into her phone.

 

Ville laughed. “Do you?”

 

“I’m talking about die-hard fans.” Soya said, watching in interest as some of the girls stared at her curiously. She shook her head in amusement. “Don’t stare to hard girls, start your exercises while I set up, boys off the wall and into your spot.” She said pointing to the group of five boys that were standing in the corner talking.

 

“Really, Miss. Soya, who are you talking too?” Regan, one of the boys asked, “Is it your boyfriend?”

 

Soya rolled her eyes. “Regan, if you knew who was on the other end, you would scream like a girl.” Knowing that one of the main reasons Regan loved taking her class was because she had them dance to a lot of rock, including HIM.

 

“I doubt it.”

 

“I want to say hi!” Ville said with a laugh.

 

Soya plugged in her iPod and flipped her notebook to the correct page as she laughed. “Are you sure?”

 

“Positive!” Ville laughed.

 

Soya shook her head as she stood up and walked to her group. “All right, you guys want to know who’s on the other end?” she teased.

 

“Yes!” the group shouted.

 

She laughed at their eagerness. They usually weren’t so nosy, but then again she didn’t usually come to class with her phone attached to her ear. She just found it so hard to hang up on Ville once they started talking. “Fine,” she said with a roll of her eyes she took the phone away from her ear and put it on speakerphone. “Ville say ‘hi’ to my class, class say ‘hi’ to Ville Valo.”

 

“Hello.” Came from the phone, followed by a high-pitched scream.

 

Soya looked up and laughed when she saw Regan holding his hands to his mouth, his eyes wide with shock.

 

“What was that?” Ville asked, “It didn’t come from my end.”

 

“It came from mine.” Soya laughed.

 

“Ah, thought maybe Bam had done something to one of the guys.”

 

Bam!”  Jasmine, one of the girls, mouthed in shock.

 

“How do you know Miss. Soya?”  Brady, another of the boys asked, still shocked that Ville Valo was on the phone.

 

“We’re old friends from Finland.” Ville answered. “You guys are very lucky to have her as a teacher, you know?”

 

“We know.” Jasmine smiled. “We like her so much better then Ms. Anya.”

 

“Hey!” Soya laughed. “That’s not nice.”

 

“Why do you like her better?” Ville asked, clearly amused.

 

“Don’t humor them!” Soya admonished.

 

“Don’t get us wrong, Ms. Anya is a great teacher. She was hand-picked by Miss. Soya.” Brady explained. “Ms. Anya is just a bit more rigid.”

 

“She likes structure.” Soya explained. “She’s definitely more of a traditionalist when it comes to teaching Ballet.”

 

“And you aren’t?” Ville asked.

 

“Not when we’re dancing to HIM.” Regan said, causing Soya to blush, she hadn’t told Ville any of that.

 

“Wait, wait, wait.” Ville laughed. “You dance to our songs, Soya, you never told us that.”

 

“She choreographed an entire number to “Resurrection” and “Dead Lovers Lane” that won us last year’s competition!” Emma, another of the girls that had found her voice, said.

 

“Why in the world wouldn’t you tell us this Soya?!” Ville asked, stunned. “I didn’t even think it was possible for someone to choreography any type of dance to any of our songs. The fact that you did…does Linde know? You always told Linde shit like this.” Ville muttered.

 

“We have it videotaped!” Brady said.

 

“Bring it with you.” Ville said. “I want to see it, better yet I want to see you dance it.”

 

“How come you haven’t told him about it?” Jasmine asked. “You have an entire notebook-”

 

Soya cut her off with wide eyes, covering Jasmine’s mouth with her hand.

 

“Kokonainen muistikirja! Jumala, Soya, täällä kerroitte meille, että olet tehnyt mitään tärkeää elämässäsi ja voit piilottaa tämän?!” (An entire notebook! God, Soya, here you are telling us that you've done nothing important in your life and you hide this?) Ville said quickly, frustration lacing his voice, which Soya knew was half the reason he had switched to Finnish.

 

“I wasn’t hiding it.” Soya muttered, taking him off speakerphone.

 

“I want to know these things.” he said quietly.

 

“I know.” Soya said, “I was going to tell you.”

 

“Really?” He asked full of skepticism.

 

“Of course, you know, eventually.” She hedged.

 

“So when I found the notebook or when Josef told me?”

 

“One or the other, it’s embarrassing Ville.”

 

“How is it embarrassing?”

 

Soya sighed, and smiled at her class. “You should see the amount of trophies they’ve won,” Soya said. “Most of them to your songs.”

 

“Most?” Ville smirked.

 

“Most.” Soya nodded. “I’ll talk to you later, I should probably start my class.”

 

“All right, you know I wouldn’t mind watching your class perform.”

 

“Really?” Soya asked surprised.

 

“Really.”

 

Soya bit her lip and smiled. “They have a showcase in two weeks.”

 

“I’ll be in the area; I have no reason not to stop by.”

 

“I’ll let them know, maybe that’ll make them work harder.” Soya teased. “Talk to you tonight?”

 

“Of course, bye Soya.”

 

“Bye.” Soya said quietly shutting her phone and looking at her class.

 

“Sorry we got you in trouble.” Reagan said with a shy smile.

 

“I’m not in trouble.” Soya laughed. “I just hadn’t told him that I use their songs, I haven’t told him a lot and I plan on keeping it that way. Now.” She walked back over to the stereo. “I know Ms. Anya has something a bit more traditional planned for the showcase, and we’ll still practice that number in this class.” She said looking at the time. “But first, I hope you all remember the number to ‘Dead Lovers Lane.’.”

 

“But we’ve already performed that one.” Emma pointed out.

 

“True.” Soya nodded as she motioned for them to get in their places. “But I think it would be wise to practice it so Mr. Valo can see it when he comes to the showcase.”

 

“He’s coming?” Regan asked with wide eyes.

 

“Ville is curious by nature, he’s interested to see you guys dance, doesn’t hurt that we’re using one of his songs, does it?” Soya laughed as she nodded for them to get ready. “And…” she pressed play. “one, two, three, one, two, three, four, and down!”

Chapter Text

Friday May 14, 2010

 

“So you’re leaving for a week?” Brooke asked as Soya looked through the messages Brooke had taken while Soya had been teaching.

 

“Ville’s spending his vacation time in Westchester with a friend of his.”

 

“Bam Margera.” Brooke said, causing Soya to look up at her in surprise.

 

“Yes.”

 

“I watch Jackass and Viva La Bam.” Brooke said with an embarrassed smile. “So you’re going to Castle Bam?”

 

“What’s Castle Bam?” Soya asked absently.

 

Brooke looked at Soya in shock. “How in the world are you friends with Ville and not know about Bam?”

 

Soya shrugged. “I don’t watch much TV.” Soya admitted. “If HIM isn’t on TV I rarely turn it on, Josef is more the one that watches it.”

 

“Castle Bam,” Brooke said taking it upon herself to educate her friend. “Is Bam’s house.”

 

“Oh.” Soya nodded as she remembered the house. “I can definitely see why it’s called that and yes, Ville invited me to go spend the week with him down there.”

 

“Aww, he’s such a sweetheart.”

 

“That he is.” Soya said with a small smile. “But I don’t want you to hesitate to call Brooke, if something happens, I don’t want you to take all the responsibility, I know I put a lot on your shoulders when I’m gone, but you know you can always call.”

 

Brooke shrugged. “I think I handle everything fine.”

 

“You do!” Soya amended. “Don’t think I don’t appreciate everything you do Brooke, without you here I know this place wouldn’t run as smoothly as it does but I feel like I’m putting too much on you.”

 

Brooke scoffed. “Please I live for this, and you know that I would call with anything. Soya we go through this every time you leave, I get the feeling you don’t trust me.” Brooke teased, sticking out her tongue at Soya, causing Soya to laugh.

 

“I trust you with my entire studio Brooke, that’s as close to trusting you with my life as you can get.” Soya said running a hand a through her hair.  “And we go through this every time I leave, because I’m just waiting for the day that you have enough and quit on me.”

 

“Please!” Brooke laughed, “I would never quit this place, you pay me more then what other offices around here pay, I get to sit in a cushy seat and answer phones while I play solitaire all day, and I get to boss people around. I mean…where else am I going to find a cushy job like this?”

 

Soya laughed, knowing that Brooke did a lot more than just answer phones, not only did she deal with all the payments that the parents made monthly, but she handled all the money that came into the studio. She also scheduled the monthly dance schedules and made sure all the parents and students had them so they knew if classes changed, which they did month to month depending on the schedule of the teacher.

 

Brooke also dealt with any students who were planning to apply to any type of performance art school, making sure Soya knew who was planning on applying so Soya could help them or even write out letters of recommendation. There was also inventory for the store that Brooke handled as well. Without Brooke, the studio would not have made it as far as it had, and they both knew that.

 

“So,” Brooke asked leaning her hip on the side of Soya’s desk as Soya signed her name to some of the letters of recommendations for three of her students. “What are you going to do down there?”

 

Soya shrugged. “I don’t know if Ville really has anything planned,” she bit her lip as she signed her last signature before looking up at Brooke. “We’re friends right?”

 

Brooke frowned at her. “I’m offended you even have to ask.”

 

Soya gestured for her to take a seat, and Brooke did, taking a seat on one of the chairs across from Soya’s desk, bringing it closer to the desk so she could be closer to Soya. “I’m sort of nervous to go.”

 

“Why?”

 

“I don’t know his friends very well, and compared to them I’m…somewhat of a wet blanket.”

 

Brooke rolled her eyes. “Soya, don’t let what they may think of you affect your time with Ville, he’s only here for a month right?”

 

Soya nodded. “Right.”

 

“After that, who knows how long it will be before you guys see each other again. I didn’t see you with Linde or Mige, but I can already tell you miss them from the times you’ve come in talking to them. I can only imagine how much worse it’ll be with Ville. You shouldn’t care what the others think Soya, be your wonderful self and just spend the time with Ville.”

 

Soya nodded as she saw the logic in Brooke’s statement and decided to take it to heart. “All right.”

 

“Also, I hope you know I’m honored to be one of the few to call you my friend Soya, I really do hope that I’m more than an employee to you.”

 

Soya smiled. “Of course you are Brooke.”

 

“Good, cause if not, then I’d have to kick your ass.”

 

Soya laughed as she handed Brooke the letters and stood from her desk. “And you’d succeed as well. Is Anya done with her class?”

 

“In about ten minutes,” Brooke said looking at her watch. “Why?”

 

“Do you mind sending her up before her next class starts?”

 

“Not at all, I’ll let her know.” Brooke smiled, grabbing the rest of the files. “Oh, I deposited the money in the account and called Mr. Laine and let him know that all the current paperwork is in for him to go over, so I would expect a call from him. Oh, and there’s a message in there from a Rebecca Miller.”

 

Soya groaned as she sifted through the messages and found one that said ‘Call ASAP’ with Rebecca’s phone number written in. Rolling the paper in a ball, Soya tossed it in her garbage can. “If she asks, you’re just wildly incompetent and forgot to give me the message before I left.” Soya said, causing Brooke to laugh.

 

“I can deal with that, but isn’t she your boss?”

 

“She just thinks she is.” Soya said with a roll of her eyes. “She just wants me to help Josef with the recital, from the proud smirk Josef wears every evening when he comes home, I can only assume that his reign of terror has reached an even higher proportion of evil then last time.”

 

“But Josef is so nice to the kids when he teaches here.” Brooke pointed out with a frown.

 

“He has patience for kids.” Soya said. “He understands that their just learning and if they mess up or don’t understand how to do something, he needs to be patient. His patience tends to waver a bit more with the older kids, but even than he is a million times kinder to them then he is with the dancers of the company. As he says, he has no patience for amateurs pretending to be professionals.”

 

Brooke shook her head, definitely able to hear Josef saying that. “I’ll be downstairs if you need me, and if Ms. Miller calls I’ll be sure to let her know you’ve left on vacation.”

 

“Thank you Brooke.”

 

“It’s not a problem, and Soya, I’ll be sure to e-mail you every day, before I leave, with an update like I always do when you’re gone.”

 

“You know me so well.”

 

“Better then you know.” Brooke said with a shake of her head as she closed the door behind her and started down the stairs. Brooke had met Soya in a business class they had shared at the community college, and they had just clicked, as most people that were close to Soya did. Brooke had admitted that she wasn’t sure what she had wanted to do with a business degree, and was just taking classes to keep her small town parents happy when Brooke had moved to the big city.

 

Soya had admitted that she was opening a dance studio and if Brooke ever wanted a job, she was more than happy to have help. After graduation, Brooke couldn’t help but wonder if the offer was still up for grabs, and had asked Soya. The rest was history, Brooke had first started as just a receptionist, since they were both still getting on even footing and Soya had wanted to do as much as possible, that involved the studio, by herself. But once they both figured out that between the studio and the company Soya would need help, a little bit more responsibility fell on Brooke’s shoulders, until she become the only other person besides Josef and Soya who knew the security code for the safe.

 

Four years later Brooke was officially a silent partner in Soya’s Dance Studio, unofficially she was Soya’s personal assistant when Soya was on break. Putting her files down she went over to Anya’s door where the kids were running out to meet their parents waiting in the lobby.

 

“Hello Brooke,” Anya greeted, her short red hair was pulled back away from her face with a headband while her green eyes were looking at Brooke questioningly.

 

“Hey, Anya, Soya wanted to see you before you next class started.”

 

“Oh, all right.” Anya nodded. “I’ll be up in a minute, thank you.”

 

“No problem, how’s your daughter?”

 

Anya smiled, “She’s doing much better, bouncing off the walls when I left this morning.”

 

Brooke laughed. “That’s great.”

 

“Well I’ll head up and see what Soya wanted.” Anya said with a small smile walking past Brooke.

 

 XxxxxxX

 

There was a knock on the door, causing Soya to look up from her computer. “Come in.”

 

“You wanted to see me Soya?” Anya asked as she sat in the seat Brooke was previously sitting in.

 

“Oh, yes!” Soya smiled. “I just wanted to update you on your advanced class.”

 

“Oh, are they on schedule for their showcase?”

 

“They are.” Soya nodded. “They are more than ready to perform, anxious in fact, I just tweaked it a bit.”

 

“Oh, all right.”

 

“I’m sorry if…”

 

“No,” Anya laughed. “I know your judgments best Soya.”

 

“I just saw some things that could be adjusted so it would flow better, but if you want to change it back Anya, please do so, it’s your chorography.”

 

“It’s fine Soya, I trust your judgment.”

 

“Also, I was wondering if for the last half hour of your class if you would mind having them practice the Dead Lovers Lane routine, if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, that’s fine, I can just have them do it when I get back.”

 

“Not that I mind Soya, but why are they practicing that routine?”

 

“Uh,” Soya bit her lip, seeing the irritation in Anya’s eyes. “My friend Ville, he’s the one that sings the song, he heard that I had choreographed a dance to it and wants to see it. I was thinking they could show him after the showcase.”

 

“Oh, I just…it’s your choreography Soya, I’m not sure if I feel comfortable having them practice a routine I’m not quite sure of myself.”

 

Soya smiled kindly. “That’s fine Anya, I’ll have Brooke schedule them a time to meet with me next week and we’ll go over it.”

 

“All right, was that all?”

 

“That was all Anya, thank you. I’m glad Joy is feeling better.”

 

Anya smiled. “So am I. You’ll still be taking over my classes’ next month right?”

 

“Yes I am.” Soya nodded. “It’s been planned.”

 

“Great, have fun on your vacation Soya.”

 

“Thank you.” Soya smiled as Anya left her office.

 

Once the door was closed, Soya slumped in her chair and sighed. She had a feeling that now that Anya had control of her class back, the routine would go back to being stiff and a little too precise for Soya’s liking, but she wasn’t the type of person to go behind her teachers backs and tell the students to do it a different way.

 

While Anya was a sweet women, only two years older than Soya, Soya knew there was a bit of bitterness that filled the red head over the fact that her career had been cut short due to her pregnancy and then problems with her knees. That bitterness led them to butt-head’s on more than once when it came to how the classroom should be run and taught.

 

Anya believed that the advanced class should only dance to classical music and taught much more rigidly then the younger students. While Soya believed that any type of music that fit the dance should be used and had a much more relaxed way of teaching. The fact that Anya’s students raved about Soya after Soya got through with them was also a bit of a sore point for the red-head.

 

Sighing, she gathered her things, her business done for the day, stuffing her things into her sports bag, along with her ballet shoes, before slipping on her Ugg’s that she’d left by the door and grabbing her notebooks that she’d spent the day writing in, along with her iPod and her ear buds.

 

Making her way down the stairs and through the store she stopped and talked to a few of the parents, always happy to rave about their children, before she bid goodbye to Brooke and headed to her car, not without reminding Brooke not to hesitate to call, causing the blonde to roll her blue eyes.

 

She made it home in record time, seeing Josef’s sleek black Ferrari gleaming in the sunlight in front of the house, parking behind him she shook her head. When she had gotten her car, she had wanted something small, compact and something that wouldn’t call attention to her, the car color was as far as she would go on the flashy factor, and even then she blended in. Though Josef had chosen black for his color of choice, he couldn’t help but want the flashy Ferrari when his father had dangled the offer of a new car in his face.

 

“You’re home!” Josef greeted. “Finally!”

 

“What do you mean finally?” Soya laughed as she dropped her bags, only to see her suitcase in front of the door. “Why is this down here?”

 

“I told Ville that as soon as Anya stepped foot in the studio you would be in Westchester, I’ve already pushed it, since Anya was at the studio since noon and it is now four in the afternoon.”

 

“I think Ville will understand.” Soya said with a roll of her eyes.

 

“And I think you need to go upstairs grab the rest of your shit, so we can hit the road.”

 

“You’re not going with me.” Soya laughed as she headed up the stairs.

 

“I’m driving you Soya.” Josef said following her.

 

“Why? If you drive me then I won’t have a car.”

 

“Exactly, I’ve seen Viva La Bam enough times to know that Bam doesn’t have the best track records with cars, your Mini Cooper is safer here then outside Bam’s house.”

 

Soya sighed. “Fine, give me half an hour.”

 

“Fifteen minutes.” Josef negotiated, causing Soya to stop at her door and look at him.

 

“Twenty minutes and I’ll buy you some coffee.”

 

Josef rolled his eyes. “Fine, but try to make it fifteen.”

 

“I’ll do my best.” Soya said with a roll of her eyes, walking into her room. She noticed that her towel wasn’t on her hook and her slippers weren’t on the floor near her bed where she usually left them, meaning Josef had already packed her essentials and had done well. Grabbing her black messenger bag, she put in her laptop and portable wand scanner, along with the pile of fashion magazines she had been pouring over for the last month and still hadn’t finished. Added to the pile she put her large drawing pad that she’d been working in recently, and two spiral bound notebooks.

 

In one of the side pockets of her messenger bag she put in both her phone and laptop charger, in the other she put in her drawing pencils and pens. Though she doubted she would have time to work on any of the drawing projects she had taken on, she decided taking them was probably a better choice than finding that she did have free time and not having them to work on.

 

Looking down at her attire, she decided it was fine to travel in, grey leggings, a black ruffled jersey skirt and a white and grey asymmetrical sweater that fell off her right shoulder reveling her black strap of her bra. Taking off her boots, she slipped on a newer pair of classic converse, deciding to leave her older ones at home. It was probably about time she retried them anyway.

 

Making sure she had everything, she went to the bathroom and double-checked that Josef had packed everything, before she made her way downstairs.

 

“Great, you’re ready.” Josef said with a sigh of relief.

 

“Calm down, I still have five minutes left in my time.” She teased as she opened her bag that she had dropped by the door and grabbed her iPod and the notebook she had stuffed in there, along with her ballet shoes.

 

“Why are you taking your shoes?” Josef asked.

 

“You never know.” Soya laughed as she put them in her beige and black suitcase with its swirly designs on it before taking one last look around. “Ok, I’m ready.”

 

“Great!” Josef said grabbing her suitcase.

 

“Why are you in such a rush to get me out of here? Is Russell coming over later?” Soya teased as she picked up her Ray Bans and keys and followed Josef to his car, making sure the door was locked.

 

“Yes he is, once I get back.” Josef said putting her bag in the trunk of his car.

 

“Why can’t we take my car?” Soya asked, standing on the sidewalk with a frown.

 

“My car has more leg room,” Josef said then smirked. “I fucking hate your car Soya.”

 

“Do you have the connecter for the iPod in your car?”

 

“Of course I do. How else do you think I listen to music?” Josef said with a roll of his eyes before getting in the car. Amused, Soya got in the car setting her messenger bag at her feet, pulling out her iPod knowing Josef would give her control of the music as long as she started the trip with The 69 Eyes. Starting the playlist that was aptly titled“Road Trip”.

 

“So is there a list of things you need me to do while you’re away?” Josef asked once they were on the freeway on the way to Westchester.

 

“What do you mean?” Soya asked, turning away from the window to look at Josef.

 

“I mean, when you leave me alone for a few days, you usually give me a list of things to do in your absence. What’s on my list?”

 

Soya smiled and shook her head. “Really nothing, Brookes taking care of the studio as usual, I didn’t have any type of meetings, and everything has been settled.” She bit her lip, before slipping off her shoe and settling her foot on the seat, hugging her knee to her chest.

 

“I know that position.” Josef teased looking at the way she sat. “That’s how you sit when you want to say something, but you don’t know how to say it or when you’re nervous. What is it?”

 

“I was wondering if you could stop by the studio sometime this week.”

 

“To check in on Brooke, I’m sure she can handle being alone a week Soya, you’ve been gone for much longer.”

 

“Not on Brooke, she doesn’t need checking up on, she never has. I was actually wondering if you could check in on Anya during her advanced class.”

 

“What for?” Josef scowled, he hated the idea of checking in on one of the teachers.

 

“When I was teaching her class, I fixed a few things in the chorography, and I have a feeling she changed it back.” Soya shook her head. “You know I’m not one to interfere with a teacher, but the way she was transitioning was just making it difficult on the kids.”

 

“And what the hell do you want me to do?” Josef asked.

 

“I want you to go and fix it back.” Soya laughed. “If you change it she’ll leave it be, for some reason she respects your judgment rather than mine.”

 

Josef scoffed. “Anya hates me!”

 

“She may hate you, but if you tell her to do something, she’ll do it. I just want them to dance and be proud of what they’re doing. If they keep it the way they have it, it is just going to frustrate them and they’re going to leave the stage disappointed in themselves. I’m trying to make their lives easier.”

 

Josef sighed; both he and Soya had a no interference policy when it came to the other teachers and how they taught their students. The only time they interfered was when they took over the classes themselves and were able to teach the way they wanted. Though he didn’t like the idea, he knew Soya felt strongly about the situation, and it would bother her that something wasn’t being done.

 

“Look, I’ll watch from the observation room.” Josef told her. “If I see the kids struggling or see a problem with the transitions, then I’ll step in. If it’s just your perfectionism kicking in, I’m leaving it be.”

 

“I can deal with that.” Soya said. “I have the list of things I changed up on my desk.”

 

Josef put his hand up. “We work the same way Soya, if there is something wrong and you caught it, chances are so will I.”

 

Soya gave a sigh of relief as she put her leg down and rested her head back. “Thank you, I know you’re not fond of the idea.”

 

“I’m not, but I understand where you’re coming from.” Josef admitted, “Anya can be a bitch,” Josef smirked as he looked over at Soya. “I’m sure it’s just the Russian in her that makes her that way.”

 

Soya slapped his arm with a laugh. “That’s horrible.”

 

“But true.” Josef told her.

 

XxxxxxX

 

“She’s an idiot!” Josef said an hour and a half later as he drove towards Bam’s house.

 

“I highly doubt she’s an idiot, Josef.” Soya placated.


“I don’t care whose niece she is, the fact that she was able to graduate from St. Mary’s dance program is a travesty!”

 

“Whose niece is she?” Soya asked.

 

“I don’t know, Rebecca just stuck her in the group, saying that she was the niece of a very wealthy benefactor and that made her the lead.”

 

Soya frowned. “That doesn’t sound like Ben.”

 

Josef shook his head in frustration. “I don’t think Ben knows.” He said referring to Rebecca’s father and their real boss. “But I’ve been on the hunt, going through her files, I just hope I found out who she belongs to so I can tell the benefactor to shove his money where the sun don’t shine and take his niece with him.”

 

“She can’t be that bad.” Soya laughed as Josef pulled in front of the gate. She told him the code, which she remembered from when she had driven Ville.

 

“I’m teaching the damn girl how to dance.” Josef growled. “And I don’t have time for this incompetent shit. I don’t have time for amateurs pretending to be…”

 

“Professionals,” Soya finished as Josef parked by the front door. “I know, hunaja, but you’re stuck with her. I’m sure the longer she spends with you, the quicker she’ll quit.”

 

Josef rolled his eyes. “Go, I’ll wait here.”

 

Soya nodded and got out of the car, going up to the front door, biting her lip nervously, before knocking. 

 

XxxxxxX

 

Dunn walked past the front door, only to stop when he heard a knock on the door. No one ever knocked on the door, seeing as whoever got past the gate was obviously a friend, therefore had no reason to knock. Looking towards the deck, he sighed and went to answer the door, only to smirk when he saw the women standing at the door.

 

“Hello, Ryan right?”

 

“Right,” Dunn nodded, “But, call me Dunn.”

 

“Dunn.” She tested with a smile.

 

“I knew you’d be back.” He started.

 

“I would assume so, seeing as I said I would be.”

 

Dunn laughed. “Didn’t finish, I just didn’t think you’d be back so soon, Ville was expecting you for Monday night.”

 

“I gave him the impression I’m afraid, I finished my work early so I was able to come up. It’s not a problem is it?”

 

Dunn watched her worry her lip, and look back towards the black Ferrari that was sitting in Bam’s driveway. “It’s not a problem at all, come on in, your friend coming?”

 

“He’s just waiting.” Soya said following Dunn inside.

 

Ville leaned against the railing of the deck, watching Bam as he and Novak skated on the ramp that Glomb had constructed two days before. He was about to turn around and head inside, when he felt two arms wind themselves around his bare waist, clasp and rest on his stomach.

 

He couldn’t help but chuckle. “Dico, I’ve told you, I don’t swing that way.” He teased, only to freeze when he heard the familiar feminine laugh. “Soya,”

 

XxxxxX

 

Soya’s Outfit

Chapter Text

“Soya.” He breathed, looking down at the hands that were still resting on his stomach, small, feminine, and neatly trimmed unpainted fingernails. He turned in her arms so her hands readjusted and settled on his bare back, her pinkies hooking onto the belt loop of his jeans. “You’re here.” He said softly looking down at her.

 

“I am, is it all right that I’m early?” she asked just as quietly, ignoring the fluttering in her stomach as her fingers came in contact with his bare skin.

 

“Perfect.” Ville smiled, leaning down to kiss her forehead. “Where are your things?” he asked, noticing that she didn’t have any bags with her.

 

“Out in the car,” Soya answered, reluctantly loosening her grip on his waist. “Josef’s waiting.”

 

“Come on, I’ll go help you.” Ville said, his hand going to the small of his back as he led her towards the door, only to notice Dunn standing there, with a smirk.

 

“Two days man.” Dunn laughed.

 

Ville shook his head as he and Soya went towards the front door, with Dunn following them. “You should have called.” he told her. “I would have gone to pick you up.”

 

Soya shrugged. “Josef didn’t give me much of chance and I wanted it to be a surprise.” She said nudging his hip with hers as they stepped outside.

 

“Finally!” Josef groaned as he pushed off from the side of the car only to put his hand up. “Hold up, scruffy.” He said pointing at Dunn. “I’ve seen the show; you stay away from the car.”

 

Dunn laughed, “I promise I won’t do anything,” but he stayed by the door watching them.

 

“I’ve already taken your suitcase out.” Josef said. “Your bag and phone are still in the car.”

 

Soya nodded as she went around the car and grabbed her messenger bag from the floor and stuffing her phone in the pocket of her skirt. “Do you want the iPod?” she asked.

 

“No, I’ll survive without it.” Josef called back just as she unplugged it and put it in the side pocket of her bag before she closed the door.

 

She saw Ville standing by the door with her suitcase, biting her lip she went over to Josef and hugged him.

 

Josef sighed as he hugged her back. “Call if you want me to come get you.” He whispered. “If you don’t call I’ll be here Sunday night to pick you up, all right?”

 

“All right.” She murmured into his chest, before she pulled away. “Have fun with Russell tonight.”

 

“Have fun this week Soya, don’t stress about what’s going on in New York, everything’s getting taken care of, all right?”

 

“I trust you guys.” She leaned up and kissed his lips softly, patting his chest. “Go, I’ll see you in a week.”

 

“See you later Soya, love you.”

 

“Mm, love you too Josef, and be good.” She warned. “I don’t care how much of an idiot this girl is, you need to stop making her cry.”

 

Josef rolled his eyes. “Tears just mean they’re not up to snuff Soya.”

 

Soya shook her head. “So glad I don’t work with you in this.”

 

“Have fun.” Josef sang as he closed the door, starting the car, backing out of the driveway and zooming down the drive. Adjusting her bag on her shoulder, she walked over to the door and stood next to Ville.

 

“I’ll go put your things in my room for now.” He told her. “I’ll ask Bam which room you can use after dinner.”

 

“All right.” Soya nodded as she followed Dunn and Ville back into the house.

 

“Have you eaten yet?” Ville asked.

 

“Not yet.”

 

“Ape’s making dinner, so that should be ready in a few.” Dunn said as he took the suitcase from Ville. “I’ll take it up to your room.”

 

Ville raised an eyebrow. “Don’t go through it Dunn.”

 

“I won’t.” Dunn laughed, motioning for her messenger bag.

 

“Oh…” She bit her lip and slowly slid the bag off her shoulder. “My laptop is in there…” she trailed off.

 

“I’ll be careful, jeez, she’s not here two minutes and she already doesn’t trust me.” Dunn muttered.

 

“Oh no, it’s not…”

 

“He’s kidding.” Ville assured, cutting off her apology as Dunn walked away. “Come on,” he said putting a hand on the small of her back and leading her towards the kitchen where he knew April was. “April’s been dying to meet you.”

 

Soya rolled her eyes. “The way you probably talk about me she’s expecting some sort of saint.”

 

“How do you know I talk about you?” Ville asked. “That’s a bit egotistical of you.”

 

“I know you Ville,” she teased. “Apparently you, Linde and Mige wouldn’t stop talking about me to Gas and Burton, with the others not around, you make up for it by talking for all three of you.”

 

Ville laughed as they walked into the kitchen, Novak looked up from his place at the counter as Bam looked away from the stove where April was cooking.

 

“Hey, you’re back!” Novak laughed.

 

“Hi.” Soya waved with a smile. “Hi Bam.”

 

“Hey.” Bam greeted, going and sitting next to Novak with a bottle of water. “It looks like shit Ape.”

 

“Well then you can starve.” April said, looking over her shoulder at her son, before her gaze went to Ville and Soya. “Hello.”

 

“Hi.” Soya greeted.

 

“April, this is my friend Soya, Soya, this is Bam’s mother April.”

 

“It’s so good to meet you.” Soya said as she went to shake April’s hand only to be pulled into a hug. They pulled away and Soya grinned. “Ville has wonderful things to say about you.”

 

“And he has just amazing things to say about you.”April pointed out.

 

“Ville exaggerates.” Soya said, glaring over at Ville as he grinned. “Especially when it comes to me, they all do.”

 

“We’re proud, kultaseni, allow us to brag.” Ville said with a smirk.

 

“Brag!” Soya laughed pushing at his chest, though it didn’t move him. “Is that what you call it?! They’re tall tales!” she looked over at April, who was grinning as she cooked. “I’m not half as amazing as the boys make me out to be.”

 

“Oh I doubt that, I’ve seen you dance.” April said.

 

Soya blushed. “Oh, I must have been horrible.”

 

“Wonderful actually.” April said. “I’ve never seen anyone dance the way you do. All the reviews, they don’t do you justice.”

 

Soya felt her cheeks heat up even more. “Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Which one did you get to see?” Soya asked.

 

“Oh, I dragged my husband to ‘The Love of the Gypsy., even Phil was entranced by the ballet, and he can barely make it through a movie without falling asleep.”

 

Soya laughed. “It was fun to dance.” She thought about all the sleepless nights she had gone through, the long hours and the pain. “Very glad it’s over though.”

 

“I bet,” April turned to Bam, who was sitting quietly at the counter with a frown. “You’re quiet.”

 

Bam shrugged. “Don’t feel like talking.”

 

“Well why don’t you go gather the guys for dinner, it’s done.”

 

Bam stood, grabbing Novak’s arm and dragged him up the stairs to get the rest of the guys.

 

“I should probably go change.” Soya said looking down at her leggings and skirt with a frown, only to look up when she heard Ville chuckle and April laugh.

 

“Sweetie, if anything you’re overdressed for dinner.” April said. “I’m lucky if the boys put on pants,” she looked over at Ville and rolled her eyes. “Or a shirt.”

 

“You look fine.” Ville laughed very amused by Soya’s etiquette.

 

“Well in that case, do you need any help Mrs.-”

 

“Its April sweetie,” April smiled, cutting her off. “And no, its fine, why don’t you and Ville go and sit, I’ll be out in a minute.”

 

“All right.” Soya turned to Ville and followed him up the stairs. “En usko, että hän pitää munusta hyvin paljon.” (I don’t think he likes me very much.) She said quietly, speaking in Finnish so she could have a semblance of privacy with Ville.

 

Ville frowned. “Kuka?”(Who?)

 

Soya stared at him in disbelief as she sat down at the large black dining table, with him sitting beside her. “Kuka?! Tiedätkö, kuka!” (Who?! You know who!)

 

Ville rolled his eyes, “Anna hänelle aikaa, hän vain ei tunne sunua. Hän on hyvin suojaava.” (Give him time, he just doesn’t know you. He’s very protective.) He looked behind him as he saw Bam and the rest of the crew consisting of Raab, Dunn, Dico and Novak coming down the stairs. “Aivan kuten mina olen teidän kanssanne.” (Just as I am with you)  he whispered in her ear causing Soya to sigh.

 

“Who’s the chick?” Raab asked as he sat across from her.

 

“Hello milady.”

 

Soya jumped as she heard the exaggerated British accent come from behind her. “Hello.” Soya laughed, looking at the slightly balding man.

 

“That’s Brandon DiCamillo.” Ville said.

 

“Sir Dico, at your service, milady.” He said bowing and kissing her hand before sitting next to her.

 

Ville pointed across from her. “And that’s Raab Himself.”

 

“Hey.” Raab waved.

 

“This is Soya, she’s a friend of mine.” Ville introduced as April came out with the food, followed by Phil who was carrying another tray. “She’s going to be staying here for a week.”

 

“Nioce.” Raab grinned as he grabbed one of the corncobs that was on the tray and put it on his plate. Once all the food was passed around, conversation came to a halt when April directed her attention on Soya who had been talking to Ville quietly.

 

“Soya, Ville says you’re on break right now?”

 

Soya looked up and nodded. “I am, I have a little less than six months now before I have to rejoin the company to start rehearsals on the next ballet.”

 

“Do you know what you’ll be dancing?” April asked curious.

 

Soya shrugged. “I’ll probably find out around Christmas time what we’ll be doing; I think Josef will be choreographing again.”

 

“Again?” Ville asked.

 

Soya bit her lip and nodded. “He’s doing this one right now and he had a large part in choreographing this last one.”

 

“Who had the other part?” Ville asked suspiciously.

 

Soya sighed. “I may have helped.” She replied hesitantly. “But Josef did most of the work,” she added quickly, “I refuse to work with him in that capacity.  The man’s a genius, but he’s an evil one.” She said with a shake of her head.

 

“Every day, something new with this girl.” Ville muttered with a shake of his head.

 

“Any plans for your time off?” Phil asked.

 

Soya shrugged. “I own a small dance studio in New York, one of my teachers takes a month off around this time of year to spend time with family in Russia, so I take over her classes. Other than that just some loose plans.”

 

“April took me to that ballet you did last week, you’re good.” Phil said with a kind smile.

 

“Thank you.” Soya blushed, just as the theme song to ‘Psycho.’ filled the air in the room. Both Ville and Soya reached for their phones only to laugh. “It’s mine.” Soya said, reaching into her pocket and looking at the ID, already knowing who it was. “I’m sorry I have to take this.” She said starting to get up.

 

“You can take it here.” Bam said, causing everyone to look at him.

 

“Oh…” Soya bit her lip and looked down at the still ringing phone.

 

“Let the girl talk in private Bam.” April said hitting his arm.

 

“Why? She should get use to the lack of privacy, its non-existent here.” Bam said with a smirk, looking over at Soya.

 

Soya smiled kindly and sat back down, knowing he was testing her. With a sigh, she answered. “Yes?”

 

 “Where in the world are you?!”

 

“I’m out of town.” Soya replied, knowing if she said where she was exactly, Rebecca would drive down and get her.

 

“I called at the studio. You never called me back.”

 

Soya shook her head and gave a small laugh. “My secretary is very incompetent Rebecca, I was there all day, you should have just had her patch you right through.”

 

“You’re avoiding me.”

 

“Whatever gave you that idea?” Soya said with a roll of her eyes. “Did you need something other than interrupt my vacation?”

 

“You need to come back now!”

 

Soya sighed and rubbed her temples. “Does this have anything to do with Josef making the dancers cry?” she heard a few chuckles around the table and couldn’t help but blush at the attention that was on her.

 

“It has everything to do with him making the LEAD dancer cry.”

 

“I hear she’s not that great Rebecca,” Soya said with a shrug. “If she can’t deal with Josef’s standards she has no place in the company.”

 

“This girl is amazingly talented Soya! Even better then you, if I do say so myself!”

 

Soya straightened. “Better?” Soya asked with a raised eyebrow. “Josef has made even me cry Rebecca, countless times, if this girl is better than me, then she would have tougher skin. I’m not coming back.”

 

“You’re the only one that can stop him! If he continues on the warpath he’s been on…”

                                                                                                                                     

“I wouldn’t call it a warpath Rebecca, especially if it’s just one girl that has the problem. Why do you even care?” Soya asked, finding Rebecca’s worry off-putting. “You don’t even care about me and Josef this much and we’re the two most highly paid dancers in the company. What is this girl to you?” The minute she said it, her eyes widened and she gasped. “Oh Josef is going to be so mad.”

 

“You tell him Soya and you’re off the company!”

 

“I doubt it.” Soya laughed. “Get her out Rebecca, or the next call I make will be to your father and you know he won’t be happy with you putting your niece as the lead to one of the largest recitals of the year. Get her out and I won’t tell Josef.” She couldn’t help the large smile the overcame her face as she heard Rebecca hesitate. “Really it’s your choice…I’m just thinking of your niece. If she stays and Josef finds out, he’s just going to go harder on her since she has so much more to prove then the other dancers.”

 

“You won’t tell him?”

 

Soya shrugged, “Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. It really depends on your next move Rebecca because I’m not coming back.”

 

“I hate you Soya.” Rebecca growled into the phone.

 

“Oh how I adore you Rebecca.” Soya said sweetly. “I expect a call from Josef tomorrow, telling me he has a new dancer, I also expect your niece to be placed somewhere else in the company.” Before she had a chance to say goodbye, Rebecca had hung up causing Soya to frown. “What in the world was she thinking?” she muttered.

 

“What the hell was that?” Bam asked, having trouble understanding what had just happened from the one sided conversation he’d heard.

 

Soya shook her head, now that she had successfully diffused the situation, annoyance was creeping in. “Excuse me, I have another call to make,” she eyed Bam. “This one in private, unfortunately.” She left the table and walked out of the room into the privacy of a hallway as she called Josef, hoping she wasn’t interrupting anything.

 

XxxxxxX

 

“What the fuck was that?” Bam asked again.

 

“You know,” April said looking at her son. “I’m use to you being rude, because I know at the end of the day we raised you right, but making her answer that call, which was obviously business, was very rude Bam.”

 

“Whatever.” Bam muttered.

 

Ville shook his head, amused with the situation. He should have expected Bam to do something like this. “You’re testing her Bam, and I should warn you, Soya doesn’t crack easily.”

 

“She doesn’t?” Bam asked with a raised eyebrow.

 

“No, she doesn’t.” Ville said with a smirk. “She may seem innocent, but trust me when I say that she’s dealt with a lot worse then you. You’re a kitten compared to her parents.”

 

“I’m sure they’re not that bad.” April said with a frown.

 

“The elder Toivonen’s can be very cold-hearted when they want to be.” Ville said, thinking of some of the moments he had witnessed with Soya and her parents. She was so strong willed when she was around her friends, talkative, happy. The minute her parents appeared, Soya shut down and became meek, a shell of the girl he knew her to be. He couldn’t help the bitter laugh that escaped him. “Much worse then you Bam.”

 

“You sure she won’t break?” Bam asked, matching Ville’s smirk with his own.

 

“I’m positive.”

 

“Then I guess this is a good time to tell you that all the guest rooms are full and she’ll have to room with you or one of the other guys.”

 

Ville chuckled and nodded. “That’s fine, we’ve shared a confined space before, I’m sure we won’t have trouble adapting again.”

 

Bam’s smirk turned down; at the same time Soya came back into the room finishing her call. “Thank you Ben, I’m sure everything will work itself out…. Yes, see you in a few weeks.” She laughed. “Bye.” She hung up the phone and sat back down. “Sorry.”

 

“It’s fine.” April smiled.

 

Ville put a hand on hers, getting her attention. “Bam’s informed me that we’ll be sharing my room, unless you want to sleep with one of the other men.”

 

Soya looked around the table, then back at Ville. “I’m fine sharing with you.” She grinned. “It’ll be Linde’s couch all over again.”

 

Ville grinned back then turned to Bam with a smirk.

Chapter Text

“I’m not going to pick you up tonight Soya, I’m actually refusing that pretty little face of yours and saying no, and don’t you dare use the voice!”

 

Soya laughed. “I wasn’t going to ask you to pick me up, though I believe Bam is testing me.”

 

“How so?” Josef asked interested.

 

“I’ll tell you later, I actually called with a question.”

 

“Ask away.”

 

“The girl that’s been crying…did she audition for the part?”

 

“Of  lead?” Josef asked. “No.”

 

“She didn’t?”

 

“Nope. I was going to cast Jenna.” Josef said, talking about the limber blonde that Soya was actually good friends with. Soya nodded in approval, Jenna was a wonderful dancer. “But Rebecca came in the day I was going to announce it and proclaimed that Megan would be our lead.”

 

“You’d never seen her dance before that?”

 

“No, and I threw a bitch fit about it, too. But that’s when Rebecca said that she was the niece of some rich guy and well, you know the rest.” Josef said, she could hear the frustration in his voice. “Why?”

 

“Just wondering. I’ll call you later.” Soya said, hanging up on him before he had a chance to question her further and called the second number. She had promised Rebecca that she wouldn’t tell Josef about her niece, she had promised nothing when it concerned her father.

 

“Soya! My love! What in the world are you doing calling?” the deep voice of Benjamin Miller greeted, causing Soya to laugh. She couldn’t help but love the sound of the older man’s voice. Though Rebecca dealt the most with the company for the past two years, Benjamin Miller had been the one to hire her and take her under his wing, he was like a father to her and she definitely loved him as one.

 

“I just called because I became aware of a bit of a problem concerning the company.”

 

Benjamin sighed. “What has Rebecca done now?”

 

“I have no qualms with Rebecca putting family into the company, I actually like the idea.” She said. “But from what Josef has told me, your granddaughter, Megan was put in the lead spot without auditioning first.”

 

“Oh fuck.”

 

Soya smiled at the obscenity. “My thoughts exactly.”

 

“I can only assume Josef’s been having a field day with the poor girl.”

 

“He’s quite proud that she burst into tears at the mere sight of him. Apparently his reputation of being a bastard has exceeded far beyond Juilliard.” Soya chuckled.

 

Benjamin laughed. “This is quite a problem then.”

 

“It wouldn’t be one, had the girl auditioned. I just don’t believe it’s fair to have placed her in the lead spot if she didn’t deserve it. Josef’s been frustrated for the past few days because she’s not quite up to par with the rest of the dancers, he thinks that her….” Soya hesitated. “inadequacies with the dance may push rehearsals back weeks.”

 

“Which is a disaster seeing as they have to be ready in a month.”

 

“Exactly. I don’t doubt Rebecca’s competency with the company.” Soya lied. “But I think this was a bad move.”

 

“Of course it was.” He said.

 

Feeling the conversation wind down as she literally heard him think she started making her way back to the table.

 

“I’ll talk to Rebecca. And I assume Josef was going to cast Jenna.”

 

“He was.”

 

“Then I’ll have a talk with both Josef and Rebecca and get everything straightened out.”

 

“Thank you, Ben.” Soya grinned. “I’m sure everything will work itself out.”

 

“Now I know you’re on break, but I want us to have lunch. I haven’t seen my little Soya in months!”

 

Soya laughed. “Yes, I’ll see you in a few weeks.”

 

“All right then, thank you for calling me. Bye Soya.”

 

“Bye.” She smiled as she hung up, before sitting back down at the table. She looked around the table and apologized, only for April to wave it off.

 

“It’s fine.”

 

Ville got her attention, putting his hand on hers, causing her to turn to him. “Bam’s informed me that we’ll be sharing my room, unless you want to sleep with one of the other men.”

 

Soya looked around the table and was positive that she wasn’t going to be spending the night in anyone’s room other than Ville’s, before she looked back at him. “I’m fine sharing with you.” She grinned. “It’ll be Linde’s couch all over again.” She laughed, thinking of the times she and Ville would nap on the couch in Linde’s garage as they waited for Mige to arrive or Linde to finish with his chores.

 

Ville grinned back; she reached for her fork to finish her dinner. The rest of dinner went by semi-smoothly, after all it wouldn’t be a Margera dinner without some food making contact with another person.

 

“I’m so sorry you had to witness that.” April laughed as she helped Soya pick mashed potatoes out of her hair. The boys had all gone towards the living room leaving the mess for April to clean.

 

Soya laughed. “It’s fine, I’m just glad my hair was up, I’m sure it would have been worse if I’d had it down. Plus, at least I get to shower this off, when we get into food fights in the bus it’s usually twenty minutes before we go on stage with no time to shower.”

 

“Then you got off lucky this time.” April laughed.

 

“Do you want some help cleaning this up? I don’t mind.”

 

April waved her hand at the mess. “The boys made the mess, the boys will clean it.”

 

“Do you really think they will?” Soya asked.

 

April scoffed. “Probably not.”

 

Soya laughed as she and April walked towards the TV room where the boys were scattered.

 

“Phil it’s time to go. Soya, do you want me to stay?”

 

Soya grinned at April, as Ville looked up. “That’s very sweet, but it’s fine.” She laughed.

 

“All right, don’t say I didn’t ask.” April warned as she and Phil said goodbye to the boys, April giving Bam a warning. “Be nice.” She muttered into his ear, before she left with Phil.

 

“Well,” Bam said getting off the couch. “I saw we go to Duffers for a drink!”

 

The boys hooted and got off the couch to get ready, while Ville stayed and looked at Bam. “I think I’ll stay.”

 

Soya frowned at him as did Bam, both for different reasons.

 

“Olet menossa, Ville.” (You’re going, Ville.)

 

Ville shook his head. “Ei, jos et.” (Not if you don’t) Soya glared at him and stomped her foot, causing Ville to grin. “I haven’t seen you do that since that time we wouldn’t help you sneak out of your house.”

 

“Ville, go.”

 

Ville rolled his eyes. “We’re talking as if you hadn’t been invited; if you don’t go then I don’t go. You go, I go.”

 

Soya rolled her eyes. “I don’t drink.” She said crossing her arms over her chest. “No point in me going to a bar and not drinking.”

 

“I don’t drink either.”

 

“Ville!” she laughed. “Go! I’ll be fine. Just show me where the room is and I’ll work on the things I brought to work on.”

 

“You brought projects?” Ville asked. “Were you expecting to be bored?”

 

“No, but it’s safer to bring my work, than leave it at home.” Soya argued. “Go out with your friends. I’ll be here when you get back.”

 

“Yeah, she’ll be fine, it’s not like anyone but us can come into the house anyway.” Bam pointed out.

 

“I don’t feel comfortable leaving you by yourself,” Ville said. “I invited you out here; I would feel guilty if I left you by yourself.”

 

Soya laughed. “It’s fine Ville, its only one night, I’m tired anyway, I’ll probably end up working for an hour then falling asleep on top of my laptop.”

 

“Liar.” He muttered.

 

Bam rolled his eyes. “Dunn!” Bam yelled.

 

“What!?” Dunn yelled back, appearing on the landing above them.

 

“You’re staying here.” Bam told him, and then looked at Ville. “There, it’s fixed. Soya has a babysitter and you can come out now.”

 

“I don’t need a babysitter, and Dunn doesn’t need to stay.” She looked over at Bam. “Unless, you don’t trust me by myself.”

 

“Hey, we both want Ville to go, the only way he’s going is if someone stays. Dunn stays, Ville goes, problem fixed. Plus Dunn doesn’t care.”

 

“I would have liked to be asked, but whatever.” Dunn said as he walked down the stairs then jumped over the couch to sit next to Ville.

 

Ville sighed. “You’re sure?”

 

“Positive.” Soya laughed. “Go put on a shirt and go.” She said, grabbing his hands and pulling him off the couch. “And in the mean time you can show me where the room is so I can change.”

 

“Fine.” Ville groaned as he walked towards the stairs, he looked over at Bam. “Give me ten minutes?”

 

“Yeah.” Bam nodded, watching as they disappeared.

 

“Dude, you have got to be nicer to her, all you’re doing is pissing Ville off.” Dunn warned.

 

“I’m trying, I just,” Bam dropped off the couch. “She’s so….nice!”

 

Dunn laughed. “That’s your problem with her, she’s too nice?”

 

Bam shrugged. “I guess, I don’t know, she’s just...I know she’s close to Ville. I do, I see that.” Bam groaned. “I just…if I were in his shoes it’d be hard to accept someone who’s been gone for thirteen years back into my life like that.”

 

Dunn shrugged. “Yeah, for you, but it’s not hard for Ville.” He looked over at Bam. “It’s not like Ville’s the only one accepting her with open arms, Bam. It’s the entire group.”

 

Bam groaned and rubbed his hand tiredly over his face. “I’ll fucking try harder.”

 

Dunn laughed. “That just means you’re not going to keep testing her patience.”

 

“Pretty much.” Bam muttered with a sigh.

 

 XxxxxxX

 

“Is it all right if I take a shower?” Soya asked as she walked into the room that she would be sharing with Ville.

 

Ville grinned. “I love that you ask, the bathroom’s down the hall, my advice is to take the clothes in with you. It’ll just be Dunn here, but still.”

 

Soya nodded as she unzipped her suitcase that was lying on the bed, grabbing the pair of blue cotton boxer shorts. She was about to take out the matching tank top, when she saw Ville’s vintage Hanoi Rocks shirt laying on the bed.

 

“Mine!” she said grabbing it and hugging it closely to her chest.

 

Ville looked over his shoulder and sighed. “Haven’t you already stolen one of my shirts?”

 

Soya frowned. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

 

“I thought it was Bam who had taken it,” Ville said, “But when Linde told me you were at the concert, I knew you’d stolen the shirt I’d taken off during the show.”

 

“Well it’s at home and you can’t have it back.”

 

“I like this shirt Soya.” Ville said tugging at the sleeve that was peeking out from her under her arm.

 

“You’ll get it back.”

 

“I’ll never see it again!” he teased, going back to the dresser and pulling out a‘69 Eyes’ shirt that Jyrki had given him as a gift for his last birthday.

 

“Of course you’ll see it again, just not on you.” She teased back as she took her towel out of the suitcase, along with her pink slippers, then dug around until she found the small black ruffled toiletry bag that Josef had packed for her.

 

“Come on.” He said grabbing his wallet from the dresser and stuffing it in his back pocket. He led her to the bathroom, “Take your time, Dunn will probably be downstairs watching TV when you’re ready.” He frowned. “Are you sure you don’t want me to stay?”

 

“Go!” she laughed pushing him out of the doorway. “I’ll be fine,”

 

“Tomorrow, we’re going to spend all day together.”

 

“I don’t think Bam will like that very much.” Soya pointed out.

 

Ville shrugged. “Don’t worry about Bam.”

 

“Valo!” Bam yelled. “Let’s go!”

 

“I’ll be back later.” He said, kissing her forehead.

 

“Have fun.” She called as she shut the door. Ville went down the stairs to see the group waiting; he turned to Dunn who was looking over the couch at them.

 

“Soya’s taking a shower,” Ville said, grabbing the back of Novak’s shirt as he started up the stairs.

 

“I forgot my wallet!” Novak said with wide eyes.

 

“Bullshit,” Ville laughed. “I doubt you own a wallet.”

 

“And it’s not like you pay for shit anyway.” Bam laughed.

 

Ville shook his head. “She’ll be down in a few minutes, if she’s not, pull her out of the room.”

 

“Got it, use force.” Dunn nodded, turning back around to the TV.

 

“Then let’s go.” Bam said leading the group out to the Hummer.

 

Ville took one last look upstairs causing Dunn to laugh as he looked back at him. “Dude, she’ll be fine. I promise I won’t attack her or anything.”

 

Ville shook his head. “Yeah, I know.” He muttered before following the rest of the group outside.

 

XxxxxxX

 

Soya wiped the condensation off the mirror, before going through her bag, finding her brush and brushing out her hair, before parting it in half and plaiting both sides so that two braids hung down her back.

 

She unfolded the boxers and pulled on the blue polka dot cotton panties before pulling on the sports bra she’d made sure she’d packed, knowing that she couldn’t walk around this house without a bra like she did at her own home. She looked in the mirror, catching sight of the blue inked ivy that was scrolled against her ribs before she pulled on her blue shorts and Ville’s Hanoi Rocks shirt. Leaving the bathroom, she went into the bedroom, hanging her towel next to Ville’s on the hook above the door, pushed her feet into her slippers and left the room, heading down the stairs.

 

She saw Dunn sitting on the couch flipping through the channels of the TV with a beer at his side.

 

“I’m sorry you had to stay behind.” She said as she sat next to him.

 

Dunn jumped and stared at her. “Jeez, give a man some warning next time!”

 

“Sorry.” She laughed, pulling her leg up to her chest and resting her chin on her knee.

 

“Its fine, and I don’t care that I stayed, why pay for a beer when I can get one for free here?” Dunn said waving the beer bottle that was now in his hand.

 

“True.” Soya laughed.

 

“You want one?” Dunn asked.

 

“I don’t drink.” Soya admitted.

 

“Court order?” Dunn asked with a grin.

 

“Personal choice.” Soya grinned back. “I’ll have a drink here and there, but not often.”

 

“Then indulge.” Dunn told her. “It’s just you and me here.”

 

Soya bit her lip and gave a nod. “Fine, only one, I’m what you would call a ‘lightweight’.”

 

Dunn laughed. “That’s definitely the wrong thing to say, in the wrong house. You let anyone else hear you say that and they’ll be shoving drinks down your throat.” He warned as he got off the couch to get her a beer, coming back minutes later with two cold ones.

 

She accepted the bottle and as she usually did when accepting a drink, she checked to make sure it was unopened.

 

“Don’t trust me?” Dunn asked.

 

Soya looked up at the serious look on his face and quickly backpedaled. “No! No, it’s not that, I just…It’s habit.” She said quickly.

 

Dunn laughed. “Dude, I was kidding! You have every right to check, you don’t know me, it’s common sense. Smart, especially here.”

 

Soya sighed in relief. “It’s just a habit.” She assured him before she accepted the bottle opener from him and opened the bottle.

 

“So.” Dunn started. “How did you meet the band?”

 

Soya looked over at him as she took a sip of her beer. “You mean HIM?” she asked.

 

“Yeah.” Dunn nodded looking at her. “How’d you guys meet?”

 

“Ville hasn’t told you?” Soya asked with a raised eyebrow.

 

“Just that you were sixteen and he was twenty when you guys met.”

 

“I was actually fifteen turning sixteen.” She told him. “And I met Ville first.” She admitted. “After school I had dance practice twice a week, I was in advanced dance classes so I use to dance with girls who were a few years older than me.”

 

“All right.” Dunn nodded, showing her he was listening and actually was curious about her. There was something that Ville saw in her, and Dunn wanted to know what it was.

 

“The studio I used to go to was about two blocks away from Kari’s shop.”

 

“The sex shop?” Dunn asked having been in there before.

 

“Yes, that’s the one.” She laughed. “Anyway, a couple of the girls I used to hang around with wanted to stop by. Apparently one of the girls was very adventurous with her boyfriend.” Soya said with a giggle, remembering that day.

 

“I don’t know why I have to go with you.” Soya whined, as she followed Elli and Inka down the sidewalk.

 

“Because we’re your ride home Soya.” Inka said impatiently as she grabbed Soya’s wrist and tugged on it.

 

“I won’t even be allowed in!” Soya pointed out, as they got closer.

 

“Then just stay by the door and out of the way,” Elli said with a roll of her eyes. “We’ll only be a minute.”

 

Soya sighed and didn’t have a chance to fight it as she was dragged into the store, then left by the door as the girls walked in giggling, shooting glances at the boy at the counter as he checked their ID’s before they went giggling further into the store, causing him to roll his eyes.

 

She looked over at him and bit her lip, before scooting closer to the door to avoid his gaze, only her movement caused the opposite to happen as his green eyes met her grey ones. He raised an eyebrow and smirked.

 

“You can come closer.” He teased. “None of the merchandise bites….much.”

 

“I know that.” She snapped, only to wince at the sound of her voice. She looked over to see if he was annoyed, but he only looked amused. She sighed. “I’m fifteen.”

 

“Yes, and I’m nineteen.” He laughed then looked over at the other girls who were giggling at one of the packets on the wall. He looked back over at her. “You can stay, as long as you stay near the register.”

 

She nodded, but stayed near the door. “Thank you.”

 

He rolled his eyes. “That was a hint for you to come closer.”

 

“Oh.” She muttered, nibbling her bottom lip and moving slowly closer to him.

 

“There you go.” He laughed. “I don’t bite either.”

 

“Hmm.”

 

“So if you’re fifteen, why are you here?”

 

“They dragged me in.” she said looking at her friends. “They’re my ride.”

 

“Ride from where?” Ville asked.

 

“I practice at the dance studio a few blocks down.” She admitted, pulling her sports bag up for him to see the dangling ballet shoes.

 

“Ah, so you’re flexible.” He smirked.

 

She frowned. “I have to be.”

 

He snorted in amusement as he looked at her, eyes gleaming in amusement. “I’m Ville Valo.”

 

“Soya Toivonen.”

 

Ville frowned. “Toivonen?” he asked. “As in…”

 

“Yes, Jonah Toivonen, I’m his only daughter.” She said with a roll of her eyes.

 

“I didn’t think the Minister of Finance had a daughter.”

 

“I’m not in the news much, they keep me pretty well shielded.” She admitted. “Go to school, go to practice and go home.” She shrugged. “That’s my life.”

 

Ville smirked. “Then I think I need to help you branch out.”

 

Soya laughed. “I don’t even know you.”

 

“Then I say you get to know me.” He said with a grin, causing her to grin as well.

 

“You met him at his dad’s sex shop?” Dunn asked in surprise.

 

Soya nodded. “I did, though Kari still doesn’t know that’s where I first met him, and my parents would have a fit if they ever found out I walked near a sex shop.”

 

“So how do they think you met?” Dunn asked.

 

“That we met at a music store that’s also pretty close to the studio, it was one we both frequented so it was believable. Linde and Mige didn’t know the real story of how we met for about six months before we finally told them.”

 

“How’d you get to know Linde and Mige?”

 

Soya laughed. “After our first conversation, I had mentioned that I practiced every Wednesday and Saturday at the studio. After that, Ville just ended up meeting me almost every time I had practice, I guess he was missing band practice or running late a lot and Mige and Linde got suspicious and followed him.”

 

Soya laughed as she thought back to that day. “We were having coffee at a small shop and I just kept seeing this wave of blonde hair flying over the corner every few seconds. I told Ville that I thought someone was watching us, and when he turned around and saw Linde, he groaned, apologized and waved them over. I guess Ville never really explained what he was doing when he was running late, just apologized and got to practicing.”

 

Dunn smirked. “He’s like that here, too.”

 

“How so?” Soya asked, finishing her beer and putting the empty bottle on the table in front of her. She was already feeling the alcohol go straight to her head and knew that one was definitely her limit.

 

“Every time he talks to you on the phone, he leaves the room. We all know it’s you on the phone when he gets the stupid grin and leaves.”

 

Soya blushed. “He’s always been like that. Linde and Mige tease us, because Ville’s always been my favorite of the three of them.”

 

“I can’t believe you pick favorites.” Dunn laughed.

 

“Don’t get me wrong.” Soya quickly amended. “I love them all; I’m close to all three of them in different ways, just…Ville’s always been different.”

 

Dunn nodded. “Sure.”

 

Soya smiled. “You can tell, can’t you?”

 

“Tell what?” Dunn asked wondering if they were speaking of the same thing.

 

Soya bit her lip. “That we’re close.” She smiled and hid her face in her knee before looking back at Dunn, who was looking at her, amused. “If you don’t see it, then I’m not telling you.”

 

Dunn laughed. “Oh I see it.” He said with a nod, he had watched them when she had dropped Ville off a week ago, he had seen at the dinner table when they would talk quietly with each other in a mixture of Finnish and English. “You guys are super tight.”

 

“I still find it amazing that it hasn’t been awkward after all this time. We saw each other and just…jumped right back in.” Soya said. “It’s always been like that with us, including with Linde and Mige. It’s never been awkward with us.”

 

Dunn smiled at her. “That’s not what I meant when I said I see it, but you were close.”

 

Soya frowned. “Huh?”

 

Dunn smirked. “If you don’t see then, then I’m not telling you.” He mocked, causing her to laugh.

 

“I like you.”

 

Dunn nodded. “I can truthfully say I like you too.”

 

“Good, having one of Ville’s friends hate me is bad enough.” She muttered, she patted his hand and got up from the couch. “The beer did me in, I’m off to bed.”

 

Dunn raised an eyebrow. “It’s barely ten thirty.”

 

“Then it’s definitely past my bedtime.” She mocked herself. “Good night.”

 

“Night.” Dunn called back as she climbed up the stairs.

 

Two hours later, Dunn looked over the couch to see the crew walking towards him and fall onto the couch, Novak falling on top of him.

 

“Get off!” Dunn said, pushing Novak off his lap, causing Novak to groan as he hit the ground.

 

“Dude you missed it!” Bam laughed. “Novak totally had the waitress in the palm of his hand, then she found out he’d slept with her sister and just went off on him.

 

Dunn chuckled. “I wouldn’t have missed it if you hadn’t told me to stay here.”

 

Bam frowned as he looked around the living room. “Where’s the chick?”

 

“Soya.” Dunn said with a roll of his eyes. “And she went to bed a couple hours ago,” he looked around at the crew and saw Dico and Raab on the other couch and Novak was still on the floor. “Where’s Valo?”

 

XxxxxxX

 

Ville closed the door quietly behind him, stripping off his shirt and pants, throwing them on the corner with the rest of his clothes, leaving him in his boxers. As carefully as he could he slipped into the bed and was about to turn around with his back to Soya, only for her to turn around and look at him with sleep filled grey eyes.

 

“Tämä on tuttu.” (This is familiar) she whispered.

 

Ville chuckled as he wrapped an arm around her waist and brought her closer, much like he had when they would take naps on Linde’s couch, crawling as close together as they could to keep from falling off the edge.

 

“I didn’t mean to wake you.” He whispered.

 

She frowned, her sleep filled mind a little slow in translating the English to Finnish. “Mmm, ette.” (You didn’t) she whispered, her accent more pronounced, causing a shiver to run down his spine. “Ville?”

 

“Kyllä?” (Yes?) he asked, making it easier on her and speaking in their own tongue.

 

She laughed quietly as she snuggled closer to him. “When was the last time you washed your clothes?”

 

Ville couldn’t help the laugh that escaped him. “It’s been a while kulta.

 

“Mmm. Then I know what I want to do tomorrow.”

 

Ville smiled and kissed the top of her head. “Sleep, kultaseni.”