tagCelebrities & Fan FictionStockholm Syndrome Ch. 04-07

Stockholm Syndrome Ch. 04-07

byAddicted2Writing©

CHAPTER FOUR

The rest of dinner went smoothly, and the conversation was even better. It was either because I was feeling more comfortable with him or the three glasses of wine (which Alex had poured without asking me) had done the trick. I teased him a little, asked if he was trying to get me drunk. He never denied it.

I hadn't immediately realized that the light Alex was slowly being bathed in was the sun going down behind me. His face was absolutely glowing, softer, and if it were possible he appeared even more better looking.

When Fredrik returned he asked how everything was, and if we wanted dessert. "Alex, do they have anything with cloudberry?"

Before he could answer, Fredrik turned his attention to me. "You must try Hjortronparfait." I didn't get the first part of the word, but I understood parfait very well. "Two layers of yellow cake with cloudberry preserves, topped with cloudberry liqueur with a ... er, um, scoop of vanilla ice cream."

I thought, no more alcohol, please! "Alex, did you want something else or would you like to split it with me?"

"That sounds good," he replied, but his terse tone was back.

"Can I get some coffee, too?" I asked Alex.

He grinned. "Of course, you light-weight."

"You won't be disappointed. I'll be right back with your desserts and coffees." Fredrik left with our empty plates.

I hadn't taken my eyes off of Alex, and his eyebrows furled. I ignored it. "I've been trying to sample all the native foods while I've been up here. Cloudberry is the only one I haven't tried. I could have—" He sat there pouting, sipping his beer. "What's wrong?" I asked, though I thought I knew what it was.

"I don't remember asking for coffee," he spurted.

I sat there for a second, shocked. "Alex, seriously. There's no need to be jealous."

"I'm not." He finished his fourth beer.

I did the only thing I could think of to get him off his high horse and make him stop acting like a jerk. I reached over and covered his hand with mine. Leaning in, I whispered, smiling reassuringly, "Alex, he's not the one I'm leaving with." I impressed even myself with that comment.

His eyes shot to mine, and he stared at me for the longest time. Instantly I grew uncomfortable and took my hand away. "Sorry. You're right," he said genuinely, his warm smile slowly returning. "Did you just come up with that?"

"No. I heard it in a movie once." He laughed and seemed to calm down. "I didn't think you Virgos were the jealous type. That's us Scorpios."

"Please don't tell me you're into that psychic shit."

"I'm into that psychic shit. I do palm reading and tarot cards, too, just for fun." It took a second for him to smile. "Did I lose a brownie point?"

"Yes, you did."

"Damn," I giggled.

Fredrik came with dessert and the coffees. The parfait was good but a little more tart than I thought it would be. Finally it was time to leave, and thankfully Alex behaved himself, and did indeed tip Fredrik. "Wait, I want to show you something," he said as he pulled out my chair.

I followed him to a deck just outside the restaurant, where I immediately noticed the sun setting behind the buildings across from us. We were immersed in sunlight, but it wasn't too bright not to appreciate the view. The sky above the huge ball of the sun went from red to orange to yellow then to a faint light blue. "Wow. I can't believe how different the sunsets are in different parts up here."

"Yeah, the view is amazing." I noticed he was looking at me when he said that. Turning back to the sky he added, "I was hoping we'd be out of here in time for you to see this." Just then another couple came on the deck, and Alex moved closer to me. "You're shivering, with the wind up here. Do you need the shawl?"

I highly doubted it was the cold that made me shiver, considering it wasn't cold at all. Peering endlessly up at him, I replied, "No, thanks. You're keeping me safe and warm." At that moment I knew I'd had enough to drink for the night.

He grinned almost shyly. I was surprised he was jealous, but more surprised how shy he was in not being able to accept a compliment. He put his elbows on the railing and bent over a little. "There's this place I like to go that has the most astounding sunsets. I've been going there since I was a kid."

I wanted to ask him to take me there the following night, but I had to keep in mind that that moment, the next couple of hours, really, were the only time we'd have together.

He lightly swept his shoulder against mine. "Let's get going. Rain's heading in. We don't want to get caught in it."

I looked at him dumbfounded. "Alex, it's beautiful out here. It won't rain. Are you psychic?" I teased.

"No," he said with a wink. "Weatherman."

I couldn't help but laugh before he led me back into the restaurant and toward the door to the elevator. As we passed our waiter on the way out the door, Fredrik said to Alex something like, "duh tvah gore et packet par." I just figured he was talking about the parfait. But something was odd. Alex had stiffened, and his cheeks appeared to blush.

After we got on the elevator, alone, I asked him what Fredrik had said. He hesitated then replied, "He told me we make a nice-looking couple."

I seriously wished I hadn't asked.

---------------

It being a Friday night, the streets were packed with partiers scouting the tons of bars as we walked the block to the IceBar, and it was only nine. Music filled the streets, not one song I recognized. The sun had almost set, though I was surprised it was still fairly light outside.

I was too busy looking around to talk to Alex, and he seemed to be in his own little world anyway. I wasn't sure if it was the comment that upset him or something else. I'd learned my lesson not to ask questions if I didn't want to hear the answer. He had many quiet moments, most made me wonder ... "What are you thinking?" Oh, hell. What the hell did I say that out loud for? I admonished myself.

He promptly shoved his hands in his pockets and looked down at his feet. "Intighet," he muttered.

"What?" Thank god he hadn't heard me. "Alex, come on. Lighten up," I fussed, skipping just ahead of him and turned to face him, walking backwards. "You pitched such a fit that I have a good time." He put his arm out quickly, but I didn't take it. "Stop moping over some stupid wai—OW!" I'd run into something hard and tall, a metal 'bong' sounded from behind me, my head screaming at me.

"Carrie, are you alright?!" Alex asked as he grabbed my arm and pulled me to him.

"Ow! Damn it, Alex! Why didn't you stop me?" I yelled, rubbing the back of my head.

"I tried!" he replied, trying not to laugh. "You veered off to the right and ... I did put my hand out."

"Not quick enough!" Looking up at him I was about to keep yelling, but his grin made me laugh. "So much for keeping me safe." He laughed, grabbed the back of my neck and kissed the top of my head. "That kiss doesn't make up—"

I was stopped cold, again, when his smile faded, and he looked long and deep into my eyes. "Will this?" he asked, leaned over, pressed my head to him and kissed me softly on my lips.

By reflex I closed my eyes, my whole body woke up, and I sobered right up from my just-beginning buzz. I hated it. I absolutely freaking hated how I felt.

"Carrie?" I heard him say and opened my eyes. "Sorry, but I've been wanting to kiss you since I met you at the hotel." My mind was completely gone. "Say something, damn it." He removed his hand and stuck his hands back in his pockets. I felt like a shit.

"Why?" Why? I had to ask. What the hell is wrong with me?! "Alex, I didn't mean—"

"I get it," he muttered. "Sorry."

I frowned, mad at myself, but more mad at him for apologizing. "No, no. Don't be. I just meant ... Why? Why me?"

"I don't know," he replied, sighing heavily.

He looked around uncomfortably, and I followed his eyes to a bench. I pulled his hand out of his pocket, pulling him behind me; he didn't resist at all. He stood until I sat down. "What's going on with you? You've done a complete turn-around since dinner." He shrugged his shoulders. "Yes, you do. Alex, I'm sorry I misjudged you. You're not who I thought you were. But look, I'm twelve years older than you, eighty pounds overweight and sure as shit don't belong with someone like you—"

"Someone like me? What the hell does that mean?" he asked, looking at me; though his voice didn't sound angry his eyes did.

I exhaled heavily. "Okay, on an episode of 'House' he had a male patient with a great-looking wife. He was a two, the wife was a ten. House theorized the two didn't belong together. A ten marries a ten. Not that we're getting married, but, my point is, like I said, I'm way out of your league."

"Do you know what attracts me to a woman?" He turned his body toward me, seemingly towering over me. "It's not her damned bra size or how good she is in bed or how pretty she is. It's her strength, her sense of humor, being open-minded, someone that's intelligent and knows what she wants out of life. I know little about you as well, but what I do know is you're all that, and your smile ... touches me. I'm sorry if I went too far."

"You ... you didn't, at all!" I had to take a second to get my thoughts together. I was sorry I even started it. "I'm not angry you kissed me. I'm glad you did, actually. But what you don't know about me is I'm not 'that girl.' I've had one night stands but they didn't mean anything; they weren't fulfilling, you know? I don't ... I like you, but—" I sighed and ran my fingers through my hair.

"Are you scared too?" he asked, his voice sounding like that of a confused teenaged boy.

"I ... yeah. But why are we?" I sighed heavily.

"I don't know. The unknown, maybe."

I thought for a second. "That makes sense, sort of."

"So, where does that leave us?"

I had no clue, but for the moment I wasn't going to waste my evening with him. "Let's get drunk," I told him as I stood and grabbed his hand again.

He looked up at me. "That's dangerous territory."

"Yeah, the great, dangerous unknown," I said sarcastically yet lightly. "Screw it. I'm on vacation." He smiled slowly and stood up, not letting go of my hand.

We headed back down the sidewalk hand in hand, and it felt like I was walking in quick sand. "Alex," I whispered, looking straight ahead. When I felt him peering down at me I told him, "That was a great kiss."

"Yeah, I know." I hit him on his forearm playfully. "Ow! I'm gonna bruise," he grumbled. "Vampires aren't supposed to bruise."

"Oh, hush. Just have your make-up person cover it up."

We took a few more steps. "Carrie?"

"Yes, Alex."

"Thanks."

I smiled, knowing what he meant. "You're welcome."

The time we had at the IceBar was the best fun I'd had in a long time. It was just as I expected it: ice walls, ice bar, ice chairs and benches, drinks served in ice glasses -- more specifically my three shots of peach Schnapps and his 'I lost count' shots of Whiskey. Only an hour had passed, we had done a little dancing just to warm up (no slow dance), laughing and teasing.

We settled down on the sheep-skinned covered ice bench, a wool blanket wrapped around Alex, enveloping me as I sat between his legs. We both liked to people watch, and I happened to notice a group of people with their hands flying. "Alex, that's Swedish sign language."

He didn't reply for a moment. "How do you know?"

"Because I know American Sign Language. It's the same in some ways, but, hey, look. Wow, that's got to be killer on the wrists. It's much more animated than ours."

"Do you know what they're saying?"

"Hell, no." I laughed. "I mean I could guess at some signs because it all originated by the French, and some are similar, even British sign is."

"How do you know sign language?"

"I have a deaf friend and took classes. I wanted to be an interpreter, but that lasted about a month." I suddenly got a chill, and he hugged me tighter. "This is nice, Alex."

"Nah. You're just drunk."

"Oh, not even." I pushed my head back and up so I could look at him. "Can we get out of here, though? I'm freezing, and if I stayed here much longer I'm going to fall asleep on you." Oops, maybe I am a little drunkerer than I thought. It's definitely time to get out of his arms.

CHAPTER FIVE

As cold as it was in the bar, it felt even colder outside, and it was damp, like rain was coming in. I kept the shawl around me, and Alex eventually put his arm around me, slowing down our pace. "Alex, would you stay the night? I mean, if you're not doing anything else—" Oh, yeah. It was clear I was a goner.

He stopped me and peered down and me, a look of confusion on his face. "Are you sure that's what you want?"

I forced myself to look into his eyes, my body starting to shake. "Alex, I don't have many regrets in my life, and I don't want you to be one of them."

Walking back to the hotel we were both quiet. I was complicating what my true intentions were when we got to the room -- more specifically whether or not I'd be able to go through what I had in mind when I asked him to stay in the first place. Thankfully Alex broke the silence when he asked what I was doing the following day.

"I'm going to Djurgarden. I just love how there are little oasises on islands all over, and each has its own vibe. I was thinking about the zoo, too. I've got the car for one more day so I may as well use it. Or there's Angso National Park."

"You'll just have to stay a few more days, won't you?"

"Oh, no. I can't. I'm not looking forward to going back to work, but I've got tons of reports due."

"That's a shame. Would you like some company tomorrow, wherever you go?"

I was really excited he'd asked and smiled. He was great to hang out with, and I wanted nothing more -- almost nothing more -- than to say yes. I was about to when I said, "I thought you had those scripts to look over."

He groaned. "Yeah, you're right." He shoved his hands in his pockets.

A little piece of my heart chipped away. I grabbed his wrist, pulled it out and held his hand, swinging it back and forth playfully. "Aw, Alex. You can come. I'd really like you to."

"No, no," he muttered. "It's okay." His arm was stiff at first, but eventually he went along with it.

"You have to come with me." He shook his head. "Oh, stop! Don't make me beg." I wasn't sure if he was fighting to hide a smile. "Please, pretty please?!"

He did grin; he was messing with me. I promptly smacked his upper arm. "Damn, woman!" he laughed.

"Baby," I spat jokingly. Rain suddenly and heavily swept up the street, though we had just walked under an awning of a shop. "Crap." I could see the hotel across the street. "We almost made it."

Alex took my elbow and pulled me further under the awning until my back was against the window display, not letting go but stood protectively by me. He was so close I could feel the heat coming off of him; it permeated my body, staved the damp, chilly night air. My body ached for him at that moment, wanting to taste his kiss, feel his arms around me.

Looking only at his collarbone, for fear of seeing the rejection in his eyes, I barely whispered. "Alex, I want to kiss you so bad right now." I knew with a clear head exactly what I was saying.

"So what's stopping you?"

"I can't reach them."

"Well, then. I shall have to remedy that," he cooed, slowly leaning down closer to me.

As he did I'd inhaled, not realizing I held it until I slowly let it out. My eyes trailed to his, and my heart started to pound. I'd seen a few scenes he'd done when he'd kiss a woman, and it was so assertive and determined, not to mention hot as hell, that that's how I expected him to kiss me. But he didn't. He kept his hand on my elbow, only moving it slightly to my forearm before his brushed his lips against mine, as softly as he had done earlier when I ran into the pole. This time, however, he didn't pull back so quickly.

I closed my eyes, my lips opened slightly as his did, and he pressed them harder to mine. The pit of my stomach churned when I heard him growl, and I returned the compliment. My hand had a mind of its own as it ran up the front of his jacket to his neck, cupping it, gently massaging and kneading his skin. He huddled against me before both of his hands were on my cheeks, lightly moving my head left then right as he took control of my mouth.

I slid my hands behind his neck before wrapping my arms around it, the tips of my fingers running through the loose strands of hair at the base. Goosebumps sprang to his skin. With that, I rapidly lost all feeling in my legs and they buckled, but I wasn't about to, or willing to stop what we were doing. Apparently, it was enough for Alex to. He pulled back, and only after several seconds of feeling like I was being watched did I open my eyes. His cheeks were flushed, and the grin on his face was indescribable. Neither one of us said anything as we looked over each other's faces.

"Carrie," he finally croaked, but didn't say anything else, his breathing was heavy.

"Yeah, wow."

"No. Oh, yeah! Yeah. No, that was incredible. It's just, uh ... If you want ... I don't have, uh, do you ..."

I couldn't help but chuckle at his stuttering, though I was completely oblivious. "What, Alex?"

His eyes brightened, then he said, "Oh! Never mind."

"What?!" I asked, getting a little angry he wouldn't just come out and say it. Then it dawned on me. "No, I don't have any condoms. I meant to pack them in case I came across a hot Norwegian so I could cross that off my bucket List, but I forgot them." He laughed. "You can get some?" He nodded. "Okay." I could have given him a 'This wasn't my intention but I really want to fuck you so I'm glad it worked out' speech, but then wasn't the time to overthink shit.

We both turned toward the street, and I was pissed there was no sign of the rain stopping. I didn't want to stand there for hours waiting, and apparently neither did Alex when he said, "Beat you to the hotel."

"Yes, you will."

He threw his head back and laughed. "Very true, shorty. I'll give you a head start."

"Nah, I don't need—" Without finishing my sentence I ran to the corner, briefly paused to look for cars before crossing the street. Right as I reached the curb on the other side I heard a low, deep 'whoosh.' Water splashed over both of my feet and pants legs to my knees, then I saw a tall, lean figure run past me, taunting me. "Hey! Cheater!" I screamed as I followed him to the top of the stairs of the hotel. "That was sooo low!"

I stomped my feet, which basically did nothing to get rid of the water. Finally I looked up at him. "I won, didn't I?" I lifted my arm to playfully hit him. "Don't you dare!"

Laughing, I went in the revolving door expecting Alex to get in the slot behind me. Instead he stood directly behind me, his arms up and over my head, pushing the door so hard that I didn't get the chance to get out. "Alex!" I screamed as we took one revolution until we stepped into the lobby. "What are you? Eight?" I teased, shuttering when I got a sudden chill.

He shrugged his shoulders like he really was eight. "Sorry. I've always wanted to do that." He removed his jacket and put it over my shoulders. "Stay here. I've got to go to the bathroom."

"Thanks. I will."

He asked the concierge where the bathroom was and was gone for only a second, too soon for actually peeing. Then I remembered I'd read they have certain items in dispensers in men's room for situations a couple find themselves in, just like he and I were. Then, like a bolt of lightning slicing into my brain, I realized it was actually going to happen.

As the elevator doors closed behind us, he took my hand. "Carrie, it's been a while since I've felt this—"

"Drunk?" I finished, knocking his shoulder with mine.

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