Wow! I am so amazed by the number of people who chose to subscribe to this story, review it and/ or write me a review. Thank you so much. You make me dance around in the streets of Oslo!
I forgot to have a disclaimer in chapter 1, but if anyone doubted, I do unfortunately not own these characters – Charlaine Harris does. I only brought them closer to my home and took them out to play.
I also forgot to mention that the THiNK-car is in fact in production – and partly owned by a blond playboy billionaire. His name is not Eric, though…
A huge hug to Rascalthemutant at the Alexander Skarsgård library forum for reading this through and deleting all my Scandinavianism.
I had gotten dressed, my teeth were brushed and I was now back with the three members of the Spanish Inquisition, Norwegian Branch.
“I have nothing to do with whatever Bill has or has not stolen and I’m getting on the first plane back to Louisiana. I wish you the best of luck, but this is not my business.” I got up.
“So you are running with your tail between your legs, home to a house you have leased out and a job you have quit?” Chow said with a thick East-Asian accent. He stared at me. There was no lost love between Chow and me and I was pretty sure he thought I knew more than I was telling.
“How do you know I’ve quite my job…” I trailed off, remembering that it wasn’t Bill I had e-mailed back and forth with the last 2 weeks, but these three sneaky bastards.
They looked at me the way I imagined a spider looks at a fly that has just landed in its web. I felt trapped and mad. Of course that made my eyes think they should produce masses of water.
“And now she’s crying.” Pam said dryly.
“What the hell would you do if you came to a foreign country, thinking you were going to live happily ever after with your boyfriend only to find that three….. ” I couldn’t find a swearword bad enough to describe them so I just waved my hand in their direction. “Have set it all up just to trick me to come over and spill some kind of information that I don’t have.”
“Plus we would like you to help us find Bill.” Eric said in a neutral tone of voice.
“Well, that’s rich. Why would I want to help you find Bill? And how? It’s not like he told me where he was going.” I was pretty angry now.
“She should know the truth.” Pam said. Eric growled. They apparently had some disagreement there.
So that was how I was told the tale about Bill’s former lover Lorena, a woman Bill had never mentioned to me. She coincidently owned a computer game company that was a competitor to Eric`s company.
“So we believe that Bill has been a spy at ‘Viking Games a.s.’ for quite some time and that everything we have worked on is in the hands of Lorena.” Chow concluded.
They were all looking at me as if they expected me to pull out my long sword and chop Bill`s head off. As it happens, I never packed one. I only packed my heart and it had just been broken into a thousand pieces.
“And how is this information going to make me want to help you find Bill?” I asked.
“Ok, let’s make a deal. You have nowhere to live and you don’t have a job. I know you came here to visit Bill and write the book you have wanted to write for years. You planned on staying for the 6 months you visa allows you to and I suggest you do just that. You can stay here in my house. I will hire you from time to time to make sure you are not broke and you will still be able to write your book. You will help us find Bill and make a case against him for corporate espionage and you will get revenge on him that way.” He smiled. “If that’s what you want. If revenge is not important, you can just look at it as a well-paid job. So how does that sound?”
When I didn’t answer immediately, he continued.
“You’ll be able to see Norway and Scandinavia and I may also give you some odd jobs in your primary field of work, which is PR, if I’m not wrong? That could look good on your resume when you get back home.”
What could I do? For once in my life I had actually burned a couple of bridges. I had put all my money on Bill and he had run in the wrong direction on the race track. Eric was giving me the opportunity to change horses and even if I was fond of the first horse I had put my bet on, the new one didn’t look too awful. And there really wasn’t any alternative.
Furthermore – I could always go home if I didn’t like it here.
“I’ll do it.” I said with a sigh.
I hadn’t realized how important I was to them before I saw their relief at my acceptance. Eric even grabbed me for a huge bear hug.
“Come on, I’ll show you your room. We’ll get along perfectly, I’m sure.”
He ran down a long corridor, with me flying behind him being held by my hand.
This was how I came to work for Eric and ‘Viking Games a.s.’. I was tricked first by my boyfriend and then by his boss. But looking at the room – it was huge and had a view straight over to the royal palace – I felt that I could live with it.
I also felt very tired. So after unpacking my suit case, I went to bed. Unfortunately I had a nightmare of a Viking chasing a Southern soldier.
The next morning I felt far from rested. I took a good long shower in an effort to wake up, but when I came to the kitchen and saw the two pictures of perfection, Eric and Pam, I felt like I should just crawl back into bed. I snuggled closer into the bath-robe.
“Good morning, little one. I hope you slept well?” Eric went over to the coffee maker and poured me a cup without even asking if I wanted one. Well, I wanted one and I needed it too.
“Good morning. ” I couldn’t hold back a yawn.
“So what are the plans today? Where do we start looking for Bill?” I might as well act as if I could be professional about it.
“It’s Saturday, so there’s no point in looking for him today. That can wait until Monday. Today I plan on taking you out to see Oslo. Bring a bathing suit. It’s sunny outside so we can both catch some rays.”
Sunbathing may be up there with smoking and drinking as hazardous things to do to yourself, but as I didn’t drink (much) or smoke (any), I figured I could allow myself the pleasures of the sunrays. I had always loved lying in the sun with a good book.
I had a quick breakfast, put on a sun-dress and gathered my bathing suit.
“So where are we going?” I asked Eric when we were out the door.
“We’ll walk through the center of town and to the harbor where there are boats going out to the little island just off the shore. You’ll love it.” He said with a voice full of enthusiasm.
This was not a man worried about being ripped off by a competitor. This was a little boy going to the beach.
When we came to the beach after a beautiful boat ride, I had to revise my ‘little boy’-thoughts. There was nothing ‘little boy’ about Eric in swim trunks. Especially not close fitting, pink lycra swim trunks.
I gaped and Eric chuckled.
We had fun in the sun. Bill’s betrayal was lurking in the back of my head, but I had to hand it to Eric, he knew how to make me relax and enjoy myself. He had a certain mixture of innocent teasing and sexual innuendo that made me laugh even when I tried not to. Like when I noticed that we had the same hair color.
“We sure do. But are you blond all over?” He replied waggling his eyebrows.
“Don’t you wish you knew?”
“Yes.” He simply stated.
“Well, you’ll just have to wonder.”
“I am.” He said. “Blond everywhere.”
“I could tell as much from your chest hair.”
He raised my arm to check my armpit. “You silly, American women shaving your body hair.” He said, dropping my arm.
I opened my mouth to say something else on the topic, but realized that I was talking to a man I had met just the day before, a man who had apparently been tricked by the same boyfriend who had betrayed me, a man who would be my new boss, come Monday morning.
He took my arm again and pulled me up.
“Let’s go swimming!” And soon we were like two third graders splashing water at each other and enjoying the waves.
When we came home, I felt the full effect of the time zones I had travelled through and excused myself. My head had not hit the pillow before I was sound asleep.
It was still light outside when I woke up so I figured I hadn’t slept that long, but then I hadn`t taken the long summer nights of Scandinavia into account. I looked at my watch and was shocked to see that it was 10 at night. I was getting a bit hungry too so I got up and went into the living room.
“So there is Sleeping Beauty.” Eric said. He was sitting in the couch texting on his phone. “I was just about to go in and see if a kiss from a prince would have woken you up.”
“Oh, do you have any of those guys on call?” I pointed out the window towards the royal castle. There had to be a prince in that castle?
“Well, I`m not exactly considered a frog myself.” He smiled a crooked smile.
“No, I can imagine.” I said rolling my eyes.
We stood quiet for some time. Then Eric got up and clapped his hands.
“You must be starving. I know I am so I made a reservation at one of the best restaurants in Oslo. Only, the reservation was for two hours ago, but I`m sure they`ll arrange something for me. I`m a loyal customer. Come on, let`s go!” He took me by the hand and let me towards the door.
“But I`m still wearing the sundress.”
“You look fine.” He looked at my dress. And then he looked at my dress again. “Yes, you look just fine.” He kissed me on my cheek and we were off.
As you can see, the story will live its own life, but I`m using bits and pieces from all over the books – I`m all for recycling. Thank you for pointing me in the direction of your favorite scenes. I will certainly try and fit them into the story as most of your favorites are my favorites too.
I hope you liked this chapter – and I`m always open for more suggestions on stuff from the book you would like included in this story ;-D