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Author Topic: Northern Star (closed to Panicbroadcast13)  (Read 504 times)

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Offline MidnightSunTopic starter

Northern Star (closed to Panicbroadcast13)
« on: January 18, 2021, 01:22:58 pm »

 Catherine shuddered and folded in on herself, not from the cold, but from the wounds it reopened and the memories it brought to the surface- Nicholas. She allowed herself this moment to speak his name in her mind only, to feel the consequential warmth and coldness that came with it; it had been almost two years since Nicholas had left, taking with him everything but what she could remember.

Almost two years of pain, nightmares, and sadness. Only just recently had she started to feel- something other than numb, that is. But that was good- it meant she was healing… slowly. The pain that once consumed her entire being now burned slowly beneath the surface. To anyone else, she would seem perfectly at ease… cheerful even. The average college student… a bit antisocial, but average nonetheless.

She sighed audibly once she reached her destination- the Espresso Express. It was not a long journey- the café was just across the street from her dorm, and only then some- but in the frigid winds of Alaska even the shortest journey can seem like a lifetime. She could see the fire crackling merrily through the windows and was immediately engulfed by its warmth and the inviting smell of coffee and syrups when she walked through the door.

The café was small, cozy, and warmly decorated in shades of gold and brown, with pops of green in knick-knacks and plants. The fire brought light and warmth to the large room; two walls lined with bookcases, students lounged, socialized, and studied among the many sofas, armchairs, and beanbags that surrounded the area, sipping their favorite hot beverages.

“Your usual, Cat…” the handsome bartender greeted her as usual with his most charming smile, his voice hopeful that perhaps this time, she would return his flirtations with more than just polite friendliness, as he held out a latte in a mug that was big enough to be a bowl. It was still steaming, the ceramic edges hot when he handed it to her, just the way she liked it.

“Thanks, Joe!” she replied gratefully, completely oblivious to his advances as she handed him the money and placing a few ones in his tip jar before heading towards her favorite armchair by the fire. In classic Cat fashion however, the large hood to her parka slipped over her eyes, obscuring her vision.

She felt herself lurch forward and bump into someone, the coffee falling hard from her grasp, the mug cracking and its contents spilling everywhere. Her cheeks burning with embarrassment, Cat grabbed the shattered pieces and straightened up, placing them on the nearby table as she sputtered her apologies.

“I’m so sorry, are you o-?” Cat gushed, removing her soaked, jacket before meeting the strangers beautiful gaze and stopping dead in her tracks, a small gasp of surprise falling from her mouth. A tidal wave of buried emotions rose to surface and threatened to crush her- fear, anger, sadness, crippling depression- all the things she thought she had carefully hidden suddenly broke the locks and sprung free.

She recognized him of course; what she didn’t understand were the heavy emotions his gaze invoked her. Although Violet was not personally acquainted with him, they had moved within the same circle of friends years before. How odd that after all this time, fate would bring them together states away from their hometown.

Her mouth fell open as she tried to develop a coherent sentence, but communication failed her as she was engulfed by the weight of her emotions- it was almost as if it were twice as strong as it was before she had carefully locked it away in the darkest, smallest part of her heart…
« Last Edit: January 18, 2021, 06:09:26 pm by MidnightSun »

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Re: Northern Star (closed to Panicbroadcast13)
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2021, 08:59:08 am »
Jonas sat comfortably in a chair by a window. He wasn’t the social type. He had his circle of friends of course, but he rarely went out to social gatherings; only when he was forced by some girl who was his flavor of the moment. To the others, he even seemed a bit arrogant. In a way he was. He relished the idea that he was different. He hated Alaska and being forced to go to school here and interact with people that he considered not as good as him. His family were Swedish and his father and grandfather before him were big names in Sweden; his grandfather having started one of the largest steel firms in Scandinavia and his father having succeeded him in recent years.

Jonas of course was expected to follow along and become part of the family business. So naturally, his family would summer in Sweden and Jonas would spend his time visiting factories and businesspeople in Finland, Norway, and Sweden with the occasional trip to Denmark. The fjords were home and at the end of summer he was forced to come back to Alaska and try to blend in. His summers abroad were the reason no one really knew who he was.

He didn’t watch American TV instead, preferring Nordic series and books. He chafed when people tried to talk to him about shows that just arrived in North America but were popular long before they arrived here. He spoke Swedish at home and spoke English with a Scandinavian accent. He was blonde, slim, and built enough for fitted shirts to look good on him. His skin a pale white and eyes, blazing green.

He came to the café to watch the weather. It was cold outside, but nothing like wintering in Lapland. He considered it quite humorous that people here wore thick parkas and craved coffee. It reminded him of home where coffee culture was a genuine thing. He even made sure that the baristas had Swedish coffee that of course he provided, and they made sure only he got some. He was reading a copy of Det Dagliga Svenska on his iPad, a newspaper from Sweden that focused on business affairs. After all school here in Alaska was a formality. Everything he needed he learned at home and in Sweden. He was sipping his coffee when he felt someone bump into him. He wasn’t the type to get angry so when he felt the hot drink soak him, he stood up, more concerned for the young lady who had just tripped.

As he stood, he felt his mind start to boil. He felt a cold feeling in his head. This always happened when he was about to connect to someone else’s mind telepathically. It was an ability that he had since he was a child and he had learned over the years to control it. His father and grandfather had it too. Often, they would have entire conversations in complete silence. Of course, in Jonas’ youth, he had used this gift to control girls for sex and other fleeting past times, but he was above that now. This girl’s energy was strong and burned red hot. From the color of her thoughts, he knew that she was suffering even though she tried to hide it. He opened his eyes and they glowed softly as he made eye contact with her. He sent her some calm energy and as time seemed to resume its natural ebb and flow, he smiled at her. “I’m fine, no need to fuss at all” he said casually.

He grabbed a chair and pulled it close to her and helped her sit down. “Let me get you a new drink” He motioned to the barista in the corner and pointed to the Swedish coffee. He sauntered over to the counter and grabbed the coffee when it was ready firmly grasping the mug and imbuing it with some calm energy and handed it to the girl. “I think you will like this” he said as he sat back down and turned off his iPad. “Jonas” “Nice to meet you” he said as he held out his hand.

Offline MidnightSunTopic starter

Re: Northern Star (closed to Panicbroadcast13)
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2021, 03:50:03 pm »
It had been years since she had last seen Jonas; he had matured quite a bit since- he had grown some, was reasonably built, and while he always been attractive, his boyish charm gave way to sharper definition. He was strikingly handsome. Despite the great change in his physique and countenance, she recognized him immediately, if not by name.

She was just entering her Junior year when he graduated and he had quite a reputation for himself, particularly among the other females in the high-school; Wasilla, Alaska was a small town and men were slim pickings. Jonas’ exotic accent and striking good-looks made him a favorite among her peers. She probably would have fallen in the same fascination had she not been so preoccupied with Nicholas (Cat cringed internally as she thought about him)

Catherine fleetingly wondered if he recognized her as well- she had always been acceptably attractive, but she had truly blossomed over the last few years, mostly due to her exotic features; her long, silky golden-brown hair, hazel-green eyes, and sun-kissed skin that retained its glow even in the dead cold of winter made her a rarity in the small Alaskan town.

She doubted it- though they had friends in similar circles, Cat mostly kept to herself- Nicholas did not like her socializing, and she was decidedly too bookish for the popular crowd had she wanted to. Thinking of school brought unwanted thoughts of Nicholas, eroding violently at the dam she carefully built to keep from flowing into her heart. The pain was excruciating, blinding even… and then nothing.

Cat let out a sigh of contentment when all of a sudden, an intense calm washed over- the pain, all but gone, receding into the depths of soul. To her surprise, Cat smiled- her first genuine smile in longer than she could remember. She felt relieved, elated, at ease- but why?

She had no idea why this non-stranger invoked such feelings of serenity, but she liked it. For the first time in too long, there was no pain.

“I’m fine, no need to fuss at all…”

Cat could not help returning his grin as Jonas pulled out her chair and helped her into her seat- this was certainly different. She wasn’t used to chivalry from men other than her father. “Thank you,” she said appreciatively.

“I think you will like this”

Catherine gratefully accepted the new coffee, enticed by its strong aroma. It was so strong, in fact, that the cream had little effect on the steaming pitch-black contents of the mug. The heat of the cup seemed to resonate with her soul, filling her too with warm, comfort, and dare she say it…happiness?

She took her first sip and sighed once again as the bitter concoction brought her taste buds to life. Ambrosia. She was expecting to feel a sharp peak of alertness, but instead felt herself relaxing even more- her shoulders softened, and her entire countenance shifted. She felt completely at ease- as if she had had a few glasses of fine, rather than a mere sip of coffee.

How very odd, indeed.

“This absolutely delicious.” She said, her smile dazzled, lighting up her face and complimenting her beauty. “Joe has absolutely been holding out on me…”

“Jonas…Nice to meet you”

“Cat…” she replied, taking not of how much larger his hand was, as hers was enveloped by his. His grip was firm, gentle. “The pleasure is all mine…”
To her surprise, she meant it too.

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Re: Northern Star (closed to Panicbroadcast13)
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2021, 09:02:13 am »
Jonas sat back down in the chair opposite Cat smiling softly. “Joe has been keeping this very special blend of coffee just for me” he said looking at Catherine with his piercing gaze, almost reading her like a book. “But in your state, I thought you might need some, they say in Sweden that these beans have healing properties” He caught himself before he said anymore almost giving himself away. He eyed Catherine almost as if he knew her. He did, there was nothing that she could hide from him. All her secrets were his. “Nicholas is not here, you need not worry, relax” he said softly understanding that this boy was the source of her anxiety. He recognized her from High School, albeit vaguely. He noticed that her parka was soaked with coffee and the weather was getting worse. He touched he edge of his leather jacket and imbued it with warmth. At once, he got up and wrapped the jacket around the young woman sitting across from him. He knew that she must have been cold, though she tried to hide it.

The café was indeed warm and one of the things Jonas genuinely appreciated was the anonymity it provided him. Here he was just another person sipping coffee and reading and not “Jonas Akerlund son of Gustav of Akerlund Steel” He knew he could have this woman any way he wanted, but there was something special about here that he could not put his thumb on. He wanted to save her. These thoughts of hers were much too intense and from a distance, the fiery pain burned him as well. He looked at his watch and realized he had lost track of time after using his gift to comfort the young girl. “I must be going it is late and I have a board meeting to get to” After all it was 9pm and Stockholm was 9 hours ahead of them. He really did have a board meeting, but Jonas had an ulterior motive for leaving so soon after meeting this woman. He would use his business connections to find out more about her. He stood up as custom demanded and shook her hand again. “Keep the jacket and get back to your dorm safely, I assume you are a student here? I am sure we will cross paths again” Swedes were very direct, and he handed her his business card. Emblazoned on a cream background was the Swedish flag and the words “Jonas Akerlund - Chef för internationell upphandling. Stockholm, Sverige – Jonas Akerlund Manager for International Procurement. The card had his number and all his social media handles.

“Joseph, please make sure that this young woman gets more of this coffee” Jonas said placing his hand on a bag of the Swedish coffee on the counter both indicating what he wanted her to drink and adding warmth and relaxation energy into the beans. He leaned in and whispered into Joe’s ear “No one else” He walked towards the door and turned back “Please do call me” He said tempted to plant the thought into her mind, but he decided against it. He opened the café door and a gust of cold wind enveloped him immediately. He stepped out into the cold grey night; the streets illuminated with a phosphorescent orange glow from the streetlamps. He walked around the back where his BMW M Series was waiting for him.

He stepped into the driver’s seat and drove off into the night. BMW’s were a rare sight in this Alaskan town and the Akerlund’s were not the type of people to draw attention to themselves. Typical Swedish modesty. He drove out of town and up some winding mountain roads towards his family home. The home was built in the standard Scandinavian style with giant windows and contemporary furniture. He parked his car in the garage and walked inside. His mother at once noticed a change in his demeanor. “you found a new girl didn’t you Jonas?” she said chuckling and noticing his missing jacket. “Yes mother” Jonas replied pouring himself a glass of water. “But I will not use the gift on her to make her mine” She is different” he said.

He took the glass of water into his office on the second floor and turned on his computer. The electronic glow from his monitor was the only light in the office and after a few clicks, a live video flashed on his screen. Immediately he was in a boardroom in Stockholm with his father at the head of a long table on the other side of the screen. He was on a monthly business trip to sign a contract with the Swedish Army. Akerlund Steel was going to provide steel for a new series of fighter jets and Jonas and his father needed to sign off on the agreement. As the meeting went on, Jonas has his MacBook Pro open looking for details on Catherine. He found their yearbook from high school and immediately recognized her. He liked her and wasn’t sure why that was. Though he was sure he was not going to reach out first, he placed his phone on his desk and sipped on the water softly listening and conversing with the board members. He was still learning the ins and outs of the business world and still had much to learn to be able to head Akerlund Steel someday.

He had learned a lot in the years at his fathers’ side and indeed the cutthroat skill of finding out who to trust and who could be discarded. This was one of the benefits of his gift and the main reason Akerlund Steel still had two Akerlund’s in charge despite a board made up stakeholders. Anytime there was a whiff of disloyalty, board members were removed and replaced. In effect, Jonas’ family was modern day royalty. They did as they pleased with no repercussions. However, they realized they could be gone at any moment and resolved to treat people as well as they could. They were generally well liked. After the meeting Jonas went to bed keeping his phone close hoping for Cat to reach out.

Offline MidnightSunTopic starter

Re: Northern Star (closed to Panicbroadcast13)
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2021, 10:17:27 pm »
“Joe has been keeping this very special blend of coffee just for me, But in your state, I thought you might need some, they say in Sweden that these beans have healing properties”

“And I can see why…” Cat said, taking yet another sip. The steaming, bitter concoction warmed her as she drank it, and she could feel herself growing stronger with every sip. The pain that once crashed over her, had calmed down considerably. It was all but gone as it ebbed barely noticeable beneath the surface. “I’ve never had coffee such as this… it’s not espresso, its much stronger than that. I keep expecting to feel like I’m ready to jump out of my skin with energy, but it is so calming. I haven’t felt so relaxed in a while.”

She suddenly realized the importance of their unplanned coffee break- it was what the Swedish referred to as fika, very different from the American tradition that Cat was accustomed to. As opposed to the fast and fueling of the American way, fika was all about slowing down and enjoying the moment, and bonding.

After years of struggling to keep her head above the waters of her turbulent emotions and just trying to keep up with life, it warmed her heart. Slowing down was everything that she needed and Jonas kindness did not go unnoticed.

Most people seemed either irritated or unsettled by her feelings- even her own father could not cope with her sadness- it broke his heart. So she buried her emotions and struggled with them in silence. Until now, that is.

“Thank you,” Cat said, her gratitude and fondness revealing in her blushing cheeks. “for your kindness. I fear I’ve repelled most of my friends.. I’m feeling much better, better than I have in ages.”

“I must be going it is late and I have a board meeting to get to Keep the jacket and get back to your dorm safely, I assume you are a student here? I am sure we will cross paths again”

Catherine looked up at the large decorative clock behind Jonas and balked at the time- curfew would be soon. It had flown by so quickly she hadn’t even noticed.

“Ah, th-thank you.” Cat stammered abruptness, caught off-guard by Jonas, as she stood up to gather her bag and soaked jacket. “Thank you, thank you for the company. I ought to be heading out myself. I hope to see you again soon…”

With her new found inner peace, and the warmth of Jonah’s jacket, she made it back to her dorm in no time. Closing the door behind her, she removed his coat and carefully hanging it. Now that she was no longer in the coffee shop, she could smell his cologne on it and she inhaled deeply- it reminded her of Autumn, spicy, fresh, and with a hint of vanilla.

Suddenly exhausted, and utterly relaxed, she kicked off her shoes and collapsed on her bed, Jonah’s handsome face the last thing she remembered before drifting off to sleep.


Cat awoke suddenly in a cold sweat, her heart beating irratically, her nightmare and Nicholas’s face still fresh and vivid in her mind. She sat up slowly, as her heart raced, weighed down by the sudden pain of the memories. All of the progress she had made with Jonas seemed to have evaporated, leaving her cold and anxious.

A quick glance at her alarm clock told her that she had only been sleeping for a few hours, but if she went back to sleep, she knew Nicholas would be waiting for her in her nightmares and that was the last thing she wanted. Her emotions seemed so strong after her short reprieve from them in the coffee shop with Jonas…


Her gaze flickered over to his jacket, hung over the back of her computer chair. She walked over to it, comforted by the fact that it still smelled of his cologne and the faint aroma of coffee. Without even thinking, she put it back on, surprised that it still held some warmth when she remembered the card he had given her.

After a moments hesitation, she decided to call. She swiftly dialed his number and sat on the edge of her bed, anxiously waiting as the dial tone rang on her end. She nearly lost what little gumption she had when the phone picked up on the other line.

“H-hello?” Her voice quivered, hoping she hadn’t woken him or caused a disturbance…

Online Panicbroadcast13

Re: Northern Star (closed to Panicbroadcast13)
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2021, 08:52:31 am »
The board meeting had taken a lot of Jonas’ energy and he was noticeably tired after the long meeting in which, his father made it a point to discuss Key Performance Indicators and the Quality Assurance Process ad infinitum until Jonas was bored to tears. He took a sip of water from a glass next to him and heard one of the maids shuffling about. Her parents always kept housemaids of young girls from Sweden in Jonas’ wing of the house. Their hope was that he would have his fun with one of them as opposed to accidentally getting an American pregnant. After all, American’s did not share the same values as they did and would pollute the bloodline that the Akerlund’s had preserved intact for hundreds of years. It was a shameful fact that the family kept well hidden that one of the dynastic founders of the Akerlund family was not Swedish but Norwegian. They justified it with the idea that Finland, Sweden, and Norway were once all part of the same kingdom. This was why they made sure their heir was surrounded by beautiful Swede’s.

Indeed, in his youth, Jonas did have his fun. He bedded a housemaid every night. His sexual needs were met and then some. But as he grew older, this felt more like a chore and even bored him to a slight degree. So, while he still bedded one now and then it was not nearly as frequent. He was more interested in the local culture and people, which at first scared his parents, but then subsided as they realized this was likely some sort of social experiment. He was rubbing his temples during an explanation of quality steel. He was bored, but he was still taking the information in. He was sure he would need it someday. The bustling became louder when a topless woman appeared in the doorway to Jonas’ office. “Jonas’ you need to go to bed it is way past your bedtime and you need your rest” He looked up irritated by the disturbance. When he saw the half-naked woman, he felt rage build up inside of him. He threw the carafe full of water at the door “do you not see I am in a meeting with the board?!?” he raged loudly. “Firstly, you come in here half expecting me to fuck you, but then you have the indecency to show yourself to the board members?” “Clean it up and get out you are fired” he barked not realizing his microphone was on.

Looking at the screen in a state of embarrassment, he began to apologize profusely to the men on the other side of his screen. He wasn’t aware of it, but the board had sent the young lady to Jonas as a sort of test for the young man to see where his priorities were, and this display of rage had passed the test and then some. “My apologies gentleman, this will be taken care of and will not happen again. Father you were saying something about the entwinement of different steel compounds for Project Konungsariket?” Jonas’ father smiled and chuckled to himself. “Don’t worry son, I’m sure this has happened to each one of us at some point. I am incredibly happy to see that you are at least paying attention” After about another hour, the meeting ended with Jonas’ being advised he was expected in Stockholm in a month to open a new factory in Malmo. Jonas obliged and thanked each board member in turn and turned off the computer.

He hadn’t noticed the housemaid still cleaning and went over to apologize to the girl, sending her energy that would calm her. He assured her that her job was safe and kissed her on the cheek. He went to his safe and pulled out $1000 American Dollars. “Here take some time off and enjoy yourself” he said handing her the money. I have been stressed out lately and I did not mean to take it out on you” He said. He wasn’t sure why he was so stressed out, but the fact that the memory of a chance encounter with a woman at a coffee shop kept coming back to his mind surprised him. He tapped the screen on his phone and saw the time. He had notifications from different people, but not from Cat. The one notification he really wanted. He couldn’t really expect her to reply when he wanted. He did not want to control her and wanted this friendship if that is what he could refer to it as to blossom naturally. He attached his phone to the charger near his bed and collapsed into the crisp sheets awaiting him. He took a final sip of water and decided he would read a little before bed. He started reading the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson and found that he was engrossed in the novel, quite enjoying himself.

Though he knew the author was Swedish, he was still amazed at the vivid and accurate descriptions of Sweden and was very appreciative at his skill with words. He thought he would visit this mans grave on his next trip home as Mr. Larsson had committed suicide. It was a sad thought and he had tried to put it out of his mind. He started feeling drowsy and sat up in bed one last time to see if Cat had reached out to him. When he saw that she had not he went to sleep.

A few hours later, he awoke to the sound of his phone buzzing. The bright screen illuminating the dark room. He sat up and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and felt his feet hit the floor. The floor was warm thanks to Jonas’ insistence of heated floors. He picked up the phone to see an unknown number was calling him He picked up the phone and let it ring a few times. “Hello, this is Jonas.” He said still half asleep.

Offline MidnightSunTopic starter

Re: Northern Star (closed to Panicbroadcast13)
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2021, 10:45:00 pm »
“Hello, this is Jonas.”

Cat let out a deep sigh of when she heard Jonas’ familiar voice, groggy and gruff with sleep. She felt an odd mixture of excitement, relief, and embarrassment- she had woken him up. Somehow he sounded even more irresistible half-awake.

Her cheeks burned with the chagrin of having disturbed him, especially when he was at rest. It wasn’t like her to call men in the middle of the night- or anyone really. She was closest to her father, but even he was kept at arms length and as far as he was concerned everything was perfect. Cat was the only person that was privy to her own suffering… until Jonas, that is.

His voice took her back to the comfort of their out-of-the-way booth in the cozy café, the aroma of baked goods and strong, fresh coffee… and of Jonas. Jonas and the feeling of peace and protection that she had shared with him. She found herself longing for that comfort more than ever…

“Hey… it’s Cat…” She said, somewhat awkwardly, but the note of hope in her voice was unmistakable. “I’m sorry I’m calling so late… I wanted to earlier, but I was relaxed when I got back I fell asleep…”

“I usually have a hard time sleeping at night…night terrors” Her face was so hot with embarrassment, she feared he would feel its warmth through the phone.

“I’m sorry I woke you. I just… well, I had one and you were the first person that came to mind” She apologized sincerely, standing up to sit at the window-seat across from her bed.

It was noticeably cooler on her seat near the window and she found it refreshing. As much as she detested the small town she had grown up in, Cat could not deny it’s beauty. She gazed out the window  to look at the sleepy town, snow falling down in thick blankets on the ground and snow-capped mountains, the stars shining brightly against the velvet-black sky.

She grabbed the throw she kept nearby and wrapped it around her shoulders and took a deep, steadying breath. “I know it sounds crazy, but I feel like I can trust you…”

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Re: Northern Star (closed to Panicbroadcast13)
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2021, 09:09:34 am »
Jonas smiled listening to Cat’s words coming through the phone. He sensed he was too forward with his gift and had made her want him. He was hoping he didn’t overdo it because he wanted things to progress naturally and organically. Though he was not going to turn down a night of steamy intimacy if they both wanted it and had the opportunity. The mild neediness he could sense in Cat’s heart was a nice feeling, arousing even. This was what made Jonas different from his family. They could fulfil their needs at any moment and indeed, he could to, but if there was one deficiency, he knew he had, it was that deep down, he wanted to be needed. To be wanted for who he was. Women threw themselves at him because of his money and status. All they really wanted was trips on the private jet, sojourns to Sweden and beyond where they could have fun at an Akerlund’s expense. This is what drew Jonas to Cat. At least he hadn’t bothered to find out just yet, but he wasn’t sure she knew who he was. Of course, they had met in school. But he wasn’t sure if she knew about his status in the international community.

He could feel the ebb and flow of her heartbeat and could sense some of his own energy still in Cat’s system, but for the most part, the energy she was directing at him was sincere. He decided to continue and directed more energy at her, this time he mixed calm with a mild pain and directed it at her with the name Nicholas all over the pain, which he imbued with blue. This was intended to force Cat to deal with the issues she was still facing over this Nicholas. Jonas did not want it to be dealt with all at once. After all, he wanted to be a Knight in Shining armor. But eventually when he made his move, he wanted Cat’s feelings to be for him and him alone. He didn’t want any hang-ups over Nicholas. “Cat, hello. I was hoping you’d call, just not at 3AM” He chuckled casually to make it clear that it was no big deal.

It really wasn’t a big deal as he was used to being woken up by international alerts on his phone and other affairs. There was a mild desperation he could sense in her voice as she told him about the night terror she had. He listened intently. “Night Terrors are the absolute worst thing. I’m flattered that you thought of me” He said. “What was your night terror, do you want to tell me about it?” He said sitting up in bed. “I’m glad I was able to contribute to your relaxation. That must have been the coffee, it has that effect on people that I consider to be special” He stopped suddenly realizing that he needed to be more careful that he didn’t reveal too much at once. He moved to put on a t-shirt and jeans as he was going to offer to go pick up Cat and take her for breakfast and most importantly coffee. He got up and went through the house slowly not wanting to wake his family. As he reached the front door, he realized that he and Cat had been talking the entire time and wasn’t sure how he managed to get dressed while being on the phone. He went to the garage and started his BMW and turned on the heated seats so that it would be warm.

He didn’t ask but told Cat: “Get dressed and meet me outside your dorm in 15 minutes. I know a great spot for breakfast and coffee, and you can tell me everything going on in your mind” He hung up the phone and plugged it in to the cars charging port. He backed out of the garage and could feel the ice as his car crunched along the road. The roads weren’t great, but he would make do. There was a sense of coziness in the car and he made sure to amplify it, so Cat felt it too. It felt very strange being out at this hour. There was no one about and aside from the occasional patrol car, Jonas was the only one awake and about. He drove slowly and carefully as the roads from his home down into the town were dangerous even in good weather. He arrived at the dorm and parked so that when Cat arrived, she could just get in. He grabbed his phone and added her to his phone. He would need her last name to add to the contact information. But he could just ask for it. He texted her. “I’m outside waiting, see you soon!” He hoped that she would take him up on his offer for breakfast and coffee. He also noticed something he hadn’t felt ever in relation to a girl. Excitement.

Offline MidnightSunTopic starter

Re: Northern Star (closed to Panicbroadcast13)
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2021, 12:26:50 pm »
TRIGGER WARNING: Brief mention of abortion/death.

Cat’s heart skipped a beat when Jonas mentioned that he had been hoping that she would, her whole body warm with excitement and happiness. Not to mention relief that wasn’t bothering him. “It Is such a relief to hear your voice and I’m happy to know that. I’m not happy often, either…” She cleared her throat awkwardly, embarrassed by her oversharing of feelings.

As they spoke, Cat remembered the business card Jonas had handed her the previous evening. She had a very vague understanding of the importance of Ackerlund Steel, and respectively the Ackerlund family. To say that they were loaded was a vast understatement. Hell, they were practically royalty.

This was big gossip in the small, traditional town such as Wasilla- it was impolite to bring up ones finances in discussion; despite the discretion of the benevolent townsfolk, the news spread like rapid fire.

To Cat- who was raised alone by her father for most of her life in a modest, lovely updated A-frame just outside of town- it was irrelevant. She had always been to value the simpler things in life, so while money had never been a problem for her, it had no importance other than it being  a tool to build a better life.

Most were, that is. Nicholas was the exception. He was charming, cruel, cunning, manipulative- and he had the entire town wrapped around his finger.

“What was your night terror, do you want to tell me about it?”

 She cringed as she was hit by yet another icicle of sadness as his reverberated in her mind. She couldn’t help gasping as her vision temporarily took on a blue tint as she remembered the events that led to her being the empty shell she had become.

She hesitated, anxious about letting him privy to this dark part of her history. Only her father knew the full truth of the matter, her mother having passed from cancer mere months before the event. The opinion of the town were split evenly, some pitied Cat’s clear “imbalance” from her mother’s death, the rest shunned her for ruining the reputation of their beloved golden boy..

To say that the whole situation had left her traumatized and with severe trust issues was an understatement. even after all this time, Cat had not been with anyone else and she only had a small handful of acquaintances now and her father, and now, dare she say it… Jonas?

Jonas was not like the others. Where everyone else seeped cold and disapproval, he leaked warmth and kindness. It was what had brought her here, what had lead her to call him. She trusted him.

She took a deep breath before telling him the memories that she had relived in her nightmares-much of it permeated tears and sobs: her mothers passing, the months Nicholas had put into wooing and seducing her. Her unplanned pregnancy and the abortion she had endured at his insistence- she was young, but she could not help feeling that getting pregnant so soon after her moms passing was a sign from her. Losing the baby was like losing her mother all over but even worse.

After Nicholas had made his conquest and the baby was out of the picture he had ghosted her for weeks before rumors began circulating about him dating Cat’s close friend, Amber. It wasn’t long before they were making their relationship public knowledge in school and throughout the town.
Nicholas completely and publicly denied everything that had happened between him Cat. the next year he had left for college out of state and she hadn’t seen or heard from him since, other than in her nightmares.

She had lost so much in such little time.

Cat was surprised to realize that she felt a little better rather than worse after telling Jonas her story- the fiery pain that usually consumed her heart was merely a slow burn. She could not help but worry that Jonas would not see her the same way after hearing it.

“Get dressed and meet me outside your dorm in 15 minutes. I know a great spot for breakfast and coffee, and you can tell me everything going on in your mind”

“No need to tell me twice, I’ll see you soon!” Cat’s voice radiated happiness and excitement despite the heaviness of their prior conversation, and for the first in a very long time, she found herself hopeful for the future.

Getting ready did not take much time-l As Jonas would eventually find out, Cat was a bit of a perfectionist and very organized. She hopped off her bed, crossing the room to her large closet and opening it. Like everything else in her, it was impeccably clean organized; everything had it’s own place and she had a couple weeks worth of outfits pre-hung.

She quickly stripped off her clothes and grabbed the first outfit, hurriedly pulling on articles of clothing. She chose a pair of distressed dark blue skinny jeans, a form-fitting v-necked black long-sleeve shirt, dangley turquoise necklace, brown leather jacket, and matching brown riding boots. She had just enough time to brush her hair and teeth, and apply some makeup when she received his text saying he was waiting for her outside.

She pocketed her phone, grabbed her bag and slung Jonas jacket over her shoulder before fleeing her room, her insides suddenly alive with excitement. There was only one car parked outside the dormhall- a sleeky, shiny black BMW.

Cat did not know brand-names- she had never really bothered too- but she could appreciate a nice car when she saw one- the glossy ebony paintjob, sleek build, and flawless cream-colored leather interior screamed luxury vehicle.

She was not disappointed when she sat down- heated seats. It even had the new-car smell. She was about to compliment him on his car when she made eye contact with him- he was even more handsome than he was the day before, his smile welcoming and warm . The small exchange was enough to warm her cheeks and send her stomach aflutter- a reaction she most definitely was not accustomed to.

“Hey,” she breathed, her smile glistened and leant even more to her natural beauty. She felt oddly chipper and confident beyond the scope of feeling her excitement to see him. She couldn’t understand why, but she did not mind.

Her next phrase fell out of her in a gush, faster than she could rear them in- “I missed you…”

Online Panicbroadcast13

Re: Northern Star (closed to Panicbroadcast13)
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2021, 09:42:03 am »
Jonas was mildly taken aback when Cat told him that she missed him. It was not often that he was missed. Mostly he was scolded for either missing a meeting or being late to one. He was so used to being in the spotlight that this moment, right here, right now felt like a dream. He felt an intense burning sensation in his chest. He reached up and placed the small amulet of the hammer Mjolnir in his fist. It was a token he always carried with him. He was not a religious person, but something inside him burned with rage when religious people approached him and tried to convert or speak to him about religion. Mjolnir was a way for him to connect to his ancestors, to the land that he felt was his and that was taken away by the Christians centuries earlier. Of course, these were thoughts he kept to himself and only shared with a select few people. He was thinking about the conversation he had with Cat on the phone and here she was getting into his car. He knew about Nicholas being evil, he remembered the weird vibes he got from him when they had met years prior. He was determined to help Cat separate from him.

After she had gotten in the car. He turned towards her and turned the actual heat on in the car. The snow was falling in thick flakes and was quite heavy. The streetlights emitted a faint orange glow as the car windows frosted up. He leaned in and hugged Cat intensely. “What you told me, that took courage and I respect you for that” He wondered if this was strange. The two of them had only met hours earlier and here they were in his car acting like they had known each other forever. Perhaps they had in some past life. Jonas’ mother was always going on and on about the cycle of death and rebirth as mentioned in the Icelandic Sagas.

These were tales of old Viking Raiders and heroes that made their homeland famous and the story that was most famous of them all was the story of Ragnarök. The death and rebirth of the gods after their heroic battle against the Jotunn. The giants. Jonas could never understand it. He always tried, but perhaps he never would understand his mother’s ramblings. But it always seemed that his parents knew something he did not. Why was he always feeling like he was missing out on something?

He smiled at Cat. She looked beautiful. He felt that she was a bit better from the night before. The permeating sadness he felt from her had abated a little bit, but it was understandable now that he had known what was going on in her head to a small degree. In time, he would win her heart he thought. “Breakfast and coffee?” he said laughing as he put his car in drive and started driving. He took the back streets out of Wasilla and drove for almost an hour and a half along the coast until they reached a small restaurant that unless you knew it was there, would be completely oblivious to anyone driving by. It had a small flag above the door three to exact. Representing Norway, Sweden, and Finland. These lands represented the Karelian Union, which had been united under the Swedish banner centuries ago. He got out of the car and motioned to Cat to follow.

“I’m sure you have never been here before, but I promise you, you will like it. He had to somewhat yell as the wind was picking up and the waves were crashing against the distant cliffs. To anyone else, this would have seemed scary, but Jonas was calm, like nothing bothered him at all.

He entered the restaurant and the owners smiled at him. He had been here before and the owners knew him and his family well. They had come from the same neighborhood that his parents did in Stockholm and watched Jonas grow up. The matron approached with a gleeful look in her eyes as they had not seen Jonas in a long time. “Ung mästare Jonas! du pryder oss med din närvaro, hur lång tid har det gått sedan vi har sett dig?” Roughly translated, that meant “Young master Jonas! you grace us with your presence, how long has been since we have seen you?” They spoke to him only in Swedish. He was used to it. Everyone he had met in the United States that was from Scandinavia spoke to him in their native tongue. Jonas was used to it and responded in kind. It was mandatory for the Akerlund’s to speak the other Nordic languages fluently. So, it was natural that he spoke Norwegian, Finnish and Danish with ease. In his father’s mind it would make Jonas’ life easier once he became involved with the business on a deeper level.

He sat down at a table in the corner. The table was practically there for him. The matron looked at Cat as well and back at Jonas. “Hon är en bra match för dig Jonas. Äntligen en bra kvinna för att hålla dig ärlig.” “She is a good match for you Jonas, finally a good woman to keep you honest” She turned towards Cat and in the faint light in the restaurant she smiled. In heavily accented English she directed herself towards Cat. “You take good care of this young man he deserves it.”

Immediately she took the menus off the table and insisted that she serve them a traditional breakfast to start the day off right. “Gustaf, en traditionell frukost för dessa unga älskare.!” She bellowed to the kitchen. She poured them coffee and left them in peace. It was the same coffee that Jonas had at the café, so Jonas hoped Cat liked it without the energy he had imbued into it earlier. He sipped on the coffee and looked Cat in the eyes with his piercing gaze and blushed a little bit. “I’m terribly sorry about all Swedish Cat. These folks know my family and have known them for a long time. In fact, this lady’s sister used to babysit me when we’d vacation in Stockholm over the summers as a boy.” He let his guard down a little bit and sat back into the hard chair. “She just told her husband that we were lovers and to cook us a traditional breakfast. It’s not what you are thinking in terms of American bacon and eggs, so I do hope you like it.

Some time later, which seemed like an eternity, the woman returned with all the fixings of a traditional Swedish breakfast with some contemporary items as well. She placed Knackebrod, mackerel fillets, tomatoes, cold cuts and piping hot eggs on the table and asked the young couple to enjoy the meal. Jonas inhaled the coffee deeply and took a sip. He liked his coffee black, so he never added cream or sugar to it. “I hope you like it; this is the same coffee that we had at the café” he said taking a piece of the bread and spreading what looked like pink paste on it. “This is Kalles Caviar, essentially fish eggs, I know it sounds gross, but it is an essential part of any Swedes breakfast, so I encourage you to try it. He sent some adventurous energy into Cat’s mind so that she would be willing to try it. He took a bite and sighed with delight. “This reminds me so much of home, I cannot wait to go back there permanently” he remarked without thinking.

He did not want Cat to think that he hated her, and he truly did not, but the dullness of life here in this town could be numbing at times, which was one of the reasons he was taking frequent trips abroad. He liked Cat, deep down maybe he loved her, and one thing was for sure, did not want to make her seem unimportant to him. He leaned forward after a few bites. “So tell me about your night terror and all about Nicholas, I’d like to know more.” He said softly as the sun began to rise outside the window. The timing was perfect.

He was determined not to let Nicholas hurt Cat anymore.

Offline MidnightSunTopic starter

Re: Northern Star (closed to Panicbroadcast13)
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2021, 12:12:24 am »
Cat could not help letting out a small sigh of contentment as Jonas drew her into his warm, firm embrace. She felt herself melting into him, her mind clouding with confusion and her heart skipping a beat as she drew in his scent. She felt an intense warmth blood in her chest followed by a stirring of desire in a party of her that she had thought was long dead.

As if her body had a mind of its own, she felt her arms loop around his neck and she pressed into him, intensifying their embrace, as the heat spread from chest throughout her body. It made no sense, any of it. Why did she trust him so implicitly? How was she so confident in her vulnerability around him… and this desire he sparked in her?

She felt as if she had known him her entire life rather than just a mere 24 hours- it seemed not only inevitable, but like fate. Like destiny had given Jonas to her exactly when she had needed him the most. It felt good in his arms- comforting, warm, stable… and what was that?

Loved. Yes, she felt loved- something she hadn’t felt for a very long time.

She shouldn’t be moving so fast… after all she had let herself give into these feelings before- though they were nowhere as strong- and it had left her broken. But Cat couldn’t find it in herself to stop- she had been depraved of affection and physical contact for so long it was almost therapeutic.

“What you told me, that took courage and I respect you for that”

Cat could not find a way to describe what Jonas made her feel when he spoke those words- validation, gratitude, relief. She had been so worried that he would have thought less of her- but of course he didn’t. She could trust Jonas… she could…

Kiss him…

It was as if her brain had turned off and she was being completely ruled by her instincts. She had already kissed him before her mind had formed the thought. How presumptuous of her. Rude. She felt a huge spike of anxiety, and pulled away from him slowly, looking down at her boots, unsure of how he would react.

“I-I’m so sorry…” she stammered her apology, her cheeks burning red with embarrassment. “Please forgive me… I should have asked…”

“I’m sure you have never been here before, but I promise you, you will like it.

Jonas was right- she had never been here- she found that exciting. It was a short walk to the small restaurant and she pulled up the collars of her jacket around her neck against the roaring winds as they made their way inside. Cat was very pleased that the distant crashing of the waves was merely dulled and not completely silenced- she found it very soothing.

It was very toasty and welcoming inside- enough so that she felt comfortable removing her coat. It wasn’t long before they were cheerily welcomed by the matron, her smile warm and light eyes full of fondness as she gazed at Jonas- it was clear that they knew each other very well, and she loved him very deeply.

The matron had a kind face and flitted about Jonas in a motherly way. Cat sensed this was not his mother, but it was very obvious that there was no love lost on him by the sweet lady.

This should have made her nervous, but instead filled her with warmth and happiness as she returned her smile. This was only further improved as she listened to the quick, light-hearted banter between Jonas and the matron in their native tongue- it was beautiful, and almost sounded like they were singing.

“You take good care of this young man he deserves it.”

Cat was taken aback by the matron’s sudden English, but smiled warmly in return anyways, glancing fondly in Jonas direction  “I couldn’t agree more.”

“I’m terribly sorry about all Swedish Cat. These folks know my family and have known them for a long time. In fact, this lady’s sister used to babysit me when we’d vacation in Stockholm over the summers as a boy.”

“Don’t apologize for that…” Cat said sincerely, melting beneath his fervent gaze. She was both shocked and pleased to see that he too was blushing, and her smile widened. “I think it sounds lovely, almost like you are singing- I would love to learn one day. Also, I bet you were a very cute boy…”

“She just told her husband that we were lovers and to cook us a traditional breakfast. It’s not what you are thinking in terms of American bacon and eggs, so I do hope you like it.

Cat blushed profusely at the mention of her thinking they were lovers- was her infatuation so prevalent? She could not deny, though that part of her reveled in it. Her stomach made its presence known as it growled loudly.

“I can’t wait.” She said halfway between excited at the prospect of eating and embarrassed as her stomach growled again. “I have a very healthy appetite.”

This was quite an understatement- despite her slight figure, Cat had an appetite that rivalled her fathers after a hard day of work. He often joked that she would eat them out of house and home.

Cat let out a moan of desire as the delicious aromas of them cooking wafted from the kitchen to the dining area where her and Jonas sat- true to his word, it smelled nothing like the traditional breakfast she was accustomed to, but she was not known to be picky, and it all smelled wonderful.

She all but jumped up with excitement when the food arrived, grinning broadly and she uttered a very appreciative thank you to the matron.

Cat wasted no time loading her plate with a little bit of everything, asking Jonas what things were, and how it was typically eaten- fish, eggs, coldcuts, crispbread. All of it was delicious. She eyed a small dish of what looked like pink curiously and was about to inquire about it when he explained that it was caviar.

She had only mild misgivings about eating fish eggs- it would be first for sure, but she liked fish in general and she did eat chicken eggs… so…why not? She was feeling particularly adventurous today.

She accepted the bread he had spread with caviar and took a bit, chewing slowly for the full effect. She found it to be salty and slightly fishy- not bad at all. She topped it off with some fried eggs and finished it up before helping herself to some coldcuts and tomatoes. “Tell me about yourself…your childhood. It’s so odd, I feel like I’ve known you my whole life, yet I know so very little about you.”

This reminds me so much of home, I cannot wait to go back there permanently”

Cat stopped chewing and slowly lowered her fork, as she felt a sharp sudden sadness in her heart- of course it had been too good to be true. It’s not like she could blame him. IF she could would leave this town too- she had always dreamed of adventure and a whirlwind romance. But even if she could afford to leave, she couldn’t without her father- she was all he had.

She forced to keep her tone light and her smile bright as it had been up until that moment but she was sure that her eyes gave her away- they always did. “it must be very hard to be away from your home and family… when do you think you’ll be leaving?”

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Re: Northern Star (closed to Panicbroadcast13)
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2021, 09:14:01 am »
Jonas felt the sadness rise in Cat when he mentioned that he wanted to return to Sweden on a permanent basis. Of course, this was true, he really did not want to be here longer than he had to, but there was one variable that he had not considered; that was Cat. Yes, they had known each other for 24 hours, but he could tell and feel that they were forming a connection and that was the link to this place. Unless he could convince Cat to come with him to Sweden, though he was sure that this was just a fantasy. He watched her eat the breakfast and continue to keep her tone light and he was about to say something about it when the lights went out. The power was suddenly cut to the small shack and the winds picked up. The weather was really getting out of hand, but Jonas was not overly concerned. As the matron began lighting candles and shuttering windows, Jonas rose and assisted her the best he could. After making sure that the restaurant was secure, he went back to the table and sat next to Cat. He sensed fear and pulled her into his arms. “don’t worry Cat, I’m here and nothing’s going to happen to you” He took off his scarf and wrapped it around her neck to help keep her warm.

In the corner of the restaurant, there was a small fireplace, that looked like it had been used quite frequently. Jonas rose and stopped Gustaf from going outside and opened the door and walked straight into the storm to gather firewood from the side of the building. Surprisingly, he returned completely unharmed. He set a large pile of firewood on the floor next to the fireplace and arranged them so that the fire would start. He looked at Gustaf and in Swedish, told him to get some of the grease from their meal and to cover the wood with it so that it would burn. He returned to Cat and sat beside her. “That statement about me leaving REALLY affected you did it not? I didn’t mean it like that” He looked down. He was never the greatest with words. He looked her in the eyes and decided against influencing her emotions. This was something that in his mind he wanted her to make up her mind on her own. He looked her straight in the eye and explained himself:

“It is true, this place holds no warmth for me and to be honest, I’m not sure why I’m here, I graduated already and yet my father keeps me here ostensibly to maintain business contacts” he fell over his words a few times. “It’s hard to explain, but I want you to meet my family and then I think you’ll understand. But I’d really love to take you to Stockholm, so you can see where I’m from and get to know me and by that statement, you more” He smiled hoping that she would take him up on the trip. He wanted to say more when the wind picked up. “you may want to call who you need to, let them know that you are okay. I don’t think you’re going to make your classes today” He laughed softly as he grabbed his phone and texted his mother that he was alright. He noticed Gustaf struggling with some windows and some repairs that needed urgent fixing else the wind would rip a hole in the wall. He excused himself from Cat “Many apologies Cat, but this needs to be fixed” He got up from the table and removed his jacket revealing a built physique and walked to help Gustaf patch the wall. After a few minutes he walked into the kitchen and brought Cat some warm tea that was made by the fireplace. Bringing the hot mug to Cat, he sat down and wrapped her hands around it.

“It’s not much, but that should keep you warm while we try and get the power back up. Hopefully, it shouldn’t be much longer” He smiled at her in a way that he hadn’t really smiled at anyone in quite a long time. She really meant something to him, and he wanted to show her that she was important to him. He wanted to make up for the stupid statement from earlier.

He walked into the maintenance room where Gustaf was trying furiously to get the generator working. Jonas smiled at him and deep inside himself broke a lock that was present on his subconscious. Something he knew that was there, but he didn’t understand it and his parents for whatever reason refused to explain it to him. It felt warm and electric. Energy surged and he felt a renewed vigor. The electricity ebbed and flowed and with one swift punch to the electrical panel, the generator buzzed to life and the lights flickered back on. After making sure all was set, he heard the boiler that they used for heat roar back to life and the radio came back on. He wasn’t sure what happened, but Gustaf didn’t seem unnerved. Something told Jonas that Gustaf and his wife had some inking as to what was happening, but now wasn’t the time. He looked at his watch and realized that Cat was still there, and she needed his attention more than anything.

He walked slowly back into the dining room and sat down.  “Sorry Cat, but the good news is that the lights and power are back on” He handed her his phone and smiled at her trying not to influence what she would say or how she would feel. “Just in case you need to call someone and let them know you’re okay.”

For the first time in a long time, he felt…human. It wasn’t a feeling he was used to. With Cat, he felt like he could open up and he worried that he might lose her. All for saying he wanted to home.

Offline MidnightSunTopic starter

Re: Northern Star (closed to Panicbroadcast13)
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2021, 01:16:05 am »

It had become a routine for Catherine to spend the winter break with her father, Michael, so it did not take long for her pack up her small impeccably organized room. The entirety of her belongings were able to fit in three large boxes, seldom her clothes and a select assortment of shoes which were packed in two large suitcases, as well as her passport and a variety of other important documents. It all fit neatly, albeit a bit snugly in the back of her second-hand Subaru outback.

It could have been any other weekend or vacation except for a few minor (major) details- the first being that she was actually happy; the second was that she would not be staying longer than the night- long enough to bring home her belongings and say her goodbyes before leaving first thing in the morning with Jonah.

 Typically, this trip would be a sad one- she would be returning home where the ghost of her mother left an emptiness in her heart and where she was haunted by bad memories. Had it not been for Michael- her lonely loving father, her rock- she would never go back. She loved him dearly, however, and her mother’s passing and circumstance had brought them closer than ever. It was this that dampened her spirits slightly, weighing her down with guilt- he did not have much other than Cat.

She thought of the day before, when Jonah had asked her to go home with him to Sweden and of the whirlwind that had been the past week. It was absolutely crazy- she barely knew this man- nothing of his aspirations, his family and very little of his childhood, and yet she knew everything she needed. It was as if they had lived out an entire life-time together in the few days they had known each other and the love and passion he inspired in her was undeniable. He filled the void in her heart with a warmth and happiness she hadn’t experienced in years. And she loved him for it.

She knew that her father would understand- he too was a whimsical, hopeless romantic- it was where she had gotten it from. When her mother was still around, they would often joked that she was the husband in the relationship- she never missed the superbowl, always forgot dates, and couldn’t keep house to save her life. He would understand. He would have to. She hoped.

It wasn’t a long trip, and soon she was pulling into the freshly plowed driveway of their small home. As always, the house was cozy and warmy lit- it was small, but looked much bigger due to clever decorating- an open concept, vaulted ceilings, the walls a lovely shade of cream. Many windows, pops of color, mirrors and plants leant much more space and life to the simple, two story home.

He sat waiting in his usual spot- the recliner in front of the wide-screen TV that was mounted above the electric fireplace, which was crackling merrily. His tall, lanky frame seemed a bit fuller than usual and some of the ghosts had left his eyes- he looked happy, healthy. This brought warmth to her heart- he hadn’t been the same since her mother had passed away and he typically had seldom more to happy for than her.

“Kit-Cat!” He exclaimed with excitement as he sprang to his feet to embrace- he towered over her diminutive form as she hugged him back. She felt oddly optimistic- everything would be fine. Something told her it would all work out. But she had plenty of time to deal with that later- they had catching up to do, and today would be the last time that she would see him for a while.

The rest of the day went by smoothly, the only difference being the atmosphere in the home- although they were always happy to see each other, it was difficult for either of them to pull out of their grief long enough to properly communicate. It usually ended up with Cat reading in her window seat while her father watched the news nearby.

After a quick inventory (Cat’s genuine preparedness and organization was very much a learned trait as her father always kept a well-stocked fridge and pantry) they spent the first half of the day prepping meals together and getting caught up- it turns out Cat wasn’t the only one with someone special in her life- his high-school sweet-heart had lost her husband not long after Cat’s mom had passed and they recently rekindled her flames.

She supposed this bit of news should have bothered her, and perhaps it would have had it not have been for Jonah- but she couldn’t be upset. All she felt was happiness that her father had found love again. He deserved it.

“I missed your smile,” Her father said lovingly, his tone revealing a touch of sadness as he surveyed her from across the table. “You look so much like your mother- so beautiful… but there is something you are not telling me…”

“Dad,” Cat said cautiously- she did not want to make her father sad. “I’m not staying this time... Jonah asked me to meet his family in Sweden…”

He took a bite of his lasagna and nodded in agreement- he did not look upset or angry; instead he had the same air about him as someone who accepts that the sun rises in the east and sets in west- it was inevitable.

“You’re not upset…” the words came out slow in her confusion, like they were made out of molasses.

“Ah, Kitty Cat, how could I be upset?” He grinned, giving her hand a delicate squeeze over the table.  “For the first time in years you are genuinely happy. You are smiling. Anyone can see that you are in love. As a father, I couldn’t hope for more.”

Cat’s eyes brimmed with tears of happiness as he continued… “You are smart, kind and beautiful and you deserve far more adventure than this small town has to offer. To not trust in your judgement is a lack of faith in the way that I raised you.”

“Are you sure you will be okay?” She implored, overwhelmed with his support.

“I’ve seen enough romantic comedies to know that if you don’t follow the one you love you will regret.” He said with a laugh- romantic comedies were a shared guilty pleasure. “Go live your life… just don’t forget about your old man. I love you.”

“I love you too…”

“I’m awake!” Cat suddenly jolted upright, startled out of her sleep at he the loud ping resounded in the cabin, followed by the flight attendant’s smooth clear voice, reminding the passenger’s to buckle up their seatbelts and prepare for descension.

After spending much of their journey awake, not wanting to miss a single detail (it was her first time traveling by plane) she had fallen asleep. The ascension had taken off without a hitch, to her surprise, despite her mild anxiety before takeoff.

She could  feel the plane tip forward ever so slightly as it started to glide down, shaking and she felt her fear skyrocket. This emotion intensified as she realized that Jonah had gotten up while she was napping, presumably to use the bathroom, and he was nowhere in site

She felt the room spin uncomfortably as her anxiety quickly developed into a full-scale panic attack, hyperventilating. Cat leaned forward, burying her face in her hands to try to block out the  room.

Where was Jonah?

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Re: Northern Star (closed to Panicbroadcast13)
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2021, 11:27:42 am »
Jonas had never seen someone so excited to be flying as he did when their plane took off. He was amazed at the small things he took for granted. Catherine’s excitement to be travelling to a foreign land was understood, but Jonah felt something deeper. He was going home. He was going to a land he called his. He was understood here, he would not be considered an outsider here. He turned the water on in the small cubicle that was considered the bathroom and washed his hands. The water was cold, and it stung slightly; moreover, it brought his mind back to the present, back to reality. He wasn’t sure what his family, neigh his friends were going to thing of Cat. This wasn’t the first time he had brought an American woman home and every single time before; it had been a fling. Jonah wasn’t serious about these women like he was about Cat. He genuinely cared for Cat, but the big sticking point was she wasn’t Swedish, and he wasn’t sure his family would approve of her as a match.

He heard the ding from the speakers as the lead flight attendant announced that the plane was beginning its descent into Stockholm. She repeated the message in both English and Swedish. There was something almost honey sweet about hearing his language in his home country that made him smile. He wasn’t sure how Cat would take to Sweden, but he was going to make sure she at least had a good time. He stood still for a moment taking in a deep breath and letting it out slowly. He exited the bathroom and headed back to their seats. From a distance he noticed a man and a woman trying to comfort Cat. She seemed like she was in distress.

He closed his eyes and focused in on her energy. It wasn’t life threatening; she was just very scared and extremely nervous. He walked towards them slowly and thanked the man and sat beside Catherine. He placed his hand on the small of her back and whispered softly “It’s okay sweetheart, I am here” He rubbed her back softly in circles and exercised soft control over her emotional state to bring her out of this panic. The flight attendants brought over a moist towel and he accepted it gratefully.

He took the towel and placed it on Cat’s forehead massaging the cool water into her temples. “I keep forgetting you’ve never been on a transatlantic flight before” he said laughing softly. He buckled his seatbelt and hers as well as the plane landed with a deep thud as the wheels hit the tarmac.  As the plane came to a complete stop, he looked out the window. It was raining. Stockholm was usually rainy this time of year, but the forecast indicated that there was supposed to be a few sunny days during their two-week trip. He stood up and pulled Cat into his arms to help her up. “Welcome to Stockholm Sweden” He said leading her to the exit.

The airport was not like anything in America. To Jonas, America was characterized by controlled chaos. Everyone was everywhere and airports felt like military checkpoints. Of course, in the context of events that had taken place in the last 20 years in America, this made sense. But Sweden was relatively isolated by these events and everything here was done in complete order. He walked out into the airport arrivals area holding Cat’s hand. He showed her how everything was meticulously organized.

Everything was done in queues. No one was rushing and everyone took a ticket and waited their turn for almost everything. Jonas looked at Cat and smiled as he led her right past the ticketing booth and straight for the exit. He looked at Cat and reassured her. “not to worry we have people for that, by the time we get home, your things will already be in a bedroom neatly put away for you. He walked towards a man who smiled and pulled him into a hug. “Jonas nephew! Welcome home” he said almost choking Jonas with his hug. “Who is this lovely young lady you have brought home with you. Jonas smiled. “This is Catherine a friend from America. She has never been outside the US before and I thought it would be nice for her to see another way of life.”

His uncle smiled and nodded at Catherine. “Well young lady, I hope you enjoy Sweden. I am Rolf, Jonas’s uncle, and brother to Martin his father you might notice that there are a lot of people with the same name in this country and that is normal. Even we forget who we are now and again.”  He bellowed with laughter so loud that Jonas thought it might affect someone’s Nordic sensibilities. But at the end, no one seemed to notice. Maybe because it was an Akerlund, but everyone seemed to let it go. Jonas smiled happy to be home and led Cat outside. The air smelled of mossy earth, something that Jonas hadn’t experienced before anywhere else. He chalked it up to the fact that Stockholm wasn’t really a city in the traditional sense, but a collection of small islands strung together, and a sprawling city built on top.  Jonas stood outside their waiting car and breathed in a deep breath of the air. “It sure is wonderful to be home!” He remarked happily. He slumped into the warm town car and pulled Cat in with him.

Inside the car, there was a bottle of red wine and 3 glasses. One for Jonas, Cat and Rolf. Rolf poured a glass for each of them and toasted loudly “To the King! It sure is nice to have you back where you belong Jonas and with a lovely lady on your arm to boot. Birgitte will be happy to see you so…happy” Rolf paused at the number of times that he said happy. Birgitte was Jonas’ aunt and of the many matriarchs of the Akerlund family who took the place of Rolf and Martin’s mother when she passed away. The car pulled into traffic and took the long way through Stockholm. Nothing had changed. The rooftops were red, and the skyscrapers were larger than ever. A far cry from the small town of Wasilla. Jonas pointed out all the landmarks that he planned to show Cat in the next few days.

After about an hour, they arrived at a large sprawling Victorian style mansion on the outskirts of the city. The car pulled up to a gate and the gate slowly opened. The occupants of the car could hear the gentle movement of gravel on the pavement as the car pulled them towards the entrance. Jonas leaned into Cat and smiled. He jokingly whispered “Welcome to Wayne Manor” a clear reference to Gotham’s Wayne Family and Batman.

Offline MidnightSunTopic starter

Re: Northern Star (closed to Panicbroadcast13)
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2021, 01:01:03 pm »

Through her excitement of traveling with Jonah, Catherine could not help but notice the significant shift in Jonah’s temperament- he seemed relaxed- no, relieved- and his happiness rolled off of him and crashed over her in warm waves. He seemed as composed as ever, but he exuded a contention that he had lacked in Alaska.

As she gazed out the window, she pondered over the intense connection they seemed to share- it seemed to grow the longer that she stayed in his presence. They were almost symbiotic- it was not just that she was getting better at reading his expressions and body language, she could almost feel him as if he were an extension of herself. And that wasn’t to mention her emotional reactions to him- it made no sense.

Buried deep within her- for the most part (she found it very hard to be truly upset in Jonah’s presence)- calm display, she felt a growing fear- what if his family didn’t approve of her? She had a vague understanding of the Ackerlund’s power and wealth- she had never let it bother her before as she considered it to be trivial at best, but she was only a small-town American girl with humble beginnings; nothing to write home about.

Sure, she was probably pretty enough and she had good enough marks in school, but that was a dime a dozen. And she would stick out like a sore thumb in Sweden with her olive skin, long dark hair and exotic green eyes.

This possibility of her rejection made her deeply sad- she wanted for them to like her, for their approval. And what if they didn’t? What would that mean for her and Jonah?

“It’s okay sweetheart, I am here. I keep forgetting you’ve never been on a transatlantic flight before”

Cat could almost physically feel the anxiety and panic leave her body and she all but melted into Jonah as he reclaimed his seat beside her and rubbed her back, leaving a trail of fire where their skin had made contact. The fire spread it’s way up her back and into her chest in warm, dizzying spirals filling her with desire, a sensation she hadn’t felt in such a long time. Jonah’s voice had an almost instant calming effect on her, his laugh making her all but forget about the slight turbulence that had upset her as the plane made it’s descent.

“I’m sorry,” Cat apologized, her cheeks flushing in mild embarrassment. There was another mild shake and she gripped his hand tightly, closing her eyes so as not to be tempted to look out the window. “I don’t know why I got so upset- I guess I was scared. I’ve never flown before.”

Cat let out big sigh of relief when the plane finally came to a stop and opened her eyes. There was some low mumbling among the other passengers and some clamoring as everyone began reaching for their carry-on and filing out.

Finally, she looked out the window to see a small portion of Stockholm through the steady curtain of rain- from what she could see there was a great expanse of water and clusters of buildings on the small amount of land she could make out.

“Welcome to Stockholm Sweden”

Cat’s knowledge of airports was restricted to mainly movies and this most recent trip- which was in fact her first. She could not help but be blown away by how significantly different this was from the airport they had departed from in Anchorage. It was like night and day- where America’s was bustling, strict, and chaotic, Sweden’s was almost peaceful and organized, everyone taking their time and waiting their turn.    

She listened eagerly with, grinning with excitement as she took everything around her in and he explained how everything worked- it was fascinating. Not just the airport, but to see Jonah’s so clearly in his element.

“This is Catherine a friend from America. She has never been outside the US before and I thought it would be nice for her to see another way of life.”

It warmed Catherine’s heart to see Jonah’s interaction with his uncle- there was much love there and it thrilled her to see Jonah so happy. Just as quickly, she felt the sharp sting of ice in her chest when Jonah introduced her. Her blush, as always, gave Cat away and she could not hide her embarrassment.

It just seemed a bit … impersonal? Did he really only see her as a friend? Either way, Jonah’s introduction inferred that he had brought other women home in the past, and frequently enough for there to be an explanation. Had the other’s been rejected by his family? Was she just a flavor of the week? A million thoughts and emotions quelled inside of her, but she pushed it aside. Now was not the time.

Despite her worries, Cat offered Rolf a brilliant smile and replied warmly to his cheerful greeting, remembering how Jonah had firmly grasped her hand upon first meeting and she mimicked the gesture. “It’s a pleasure to meet you! Please, call me Cat, everyone does.”

“Well young lady, I hope you enjoy Sweden. I am Rolf, Jonas’s uncle, and brother to Martin his father you might notice that there are a lot of people with the same name in this country and that is normal. Even we forget who we are now and again…”

Cat could not help but laugh along with Rolf, his good-natured, cheerful personality was
Infectious and she quickly found her worries subdued. She rolled down the window to breathe in the sweet, damp, earthy air- it was so fresh she could almost taste it. Alaska certainly held its own beauty, particularly in the summer with it’s majestic mountains and greenery, but nothing could have prepared for the beauty of Stockholm with it’s cluster of small islands and clear, glistening waters, and smattering of colorful buildings. It was absolutely lovely.

“It is so beautiful here.” She remarked, happily- she could only hope the rest of Jonah’s family were so welcoming- she felt very much at ease in Rolf’s company and enjoyed his positive energy. “It is like being in a fairy-tale. So much beauty and colors!”

“To the King! It sure is nice to have you back where you belong Jonas and with a lovely lady on your arm to boot. Birgitte will be happy to see you so…happy”

Cat let out a small sigh of relief- perhaps she had been overthinking things, earlier after all- Jonah certainly didn’t seem embarrassed by her or secretive any means. She had been burned badly enough by love in the pas to be cautious.

Cat glanced at Jonah- he had always been devilishly handsome and charming, but here in the country he loved and called home, surrounded by family he was truly breath-taking. He seemed so at ease and happy- she could not help but the same way. Cat smiled and squeezed his hand affectionately, her soulful eyes gleaming with all the emotions she couldn’t find the words to say.

“Welcome to Wayne Manor”

“Holy smoke, Batman!” Cat replied in her best Robin impersonation, her mouth falling open in shock as the Ackerlund estate came into view- they had driven down a long gravel path lined with massive spruce trees for what felt like ages until it opened into a large clearing. The lawns were sprawling and impeccably kept, and at the far end, winding for miles it seemed was a massive Victorian mansion with beautiful red rooftops.
She glanced nervously at Jonah, unsure of how to respond, feeling more like a duck out of water than ever- she knew the Ackerlund’s were wealthy. She didn’t know they were this wealthy…