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Finding you

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Perry called you 30 minutes ago, asking if you felt better. You told her, yes you felt much better.

So you’re gonna see your friends at dinner.

You want to see Carm again, even though you’ve been with her all the morning. You want to be in her arms, feeling the warm of her body next to you, inhale her perfume. You also think both of you need to talk about what will happen after this cruise ends, you want to keep seeing her. Maybe when she goes on vacation you can meet her and have a relationship, sort of. You’re not sure about the how but you certainly want her to be in your life.

You sigh, it would be hard being away from her when she goes to work again. Long distance relationships are difficult but you know this, what you feel for Carmilla is worth it. You can’t imagine this would happen here and it such a short time develop this feeling for her.
It’s like you were meant to be, like two pieces of puzzle that belong to each other.

A knock on your door interrupts your train of thoughts.

“Coming” you say as you approach to open the door.

“Hey dear, how are you?” Ask Perry as soon you open the door.

“Hey, Perry” you see behind her “hello guys, how was the tour?” you say.

“We thought it would be a good idea to pick you up for dinner” Perry explains

“It was awesome Frosh” Laf answer

“We took a lot of pictures” Betty says

“And we bought a lot of things at the souvenir’s market” Elsie chimes “right Danny?” She adds

“Uh- Yeah, we bought souvenirs” Danny says.

She has a little frown and she looks like she’s studying you. Maybe she didn’t buy the “sick” excuse you claimed this morning.

“Great guys. Why don’t you tell me everything while we go to dinner” you say taking a light sweater and your keycard. “Let’s go” You say

You didn’t expect they would pick you up, but they probably miss seeing you today, that makes you feel a little guilty for lying to them.

 

/

“So what are the plans for later?” Ask Betty, She’s looks tired but probably she doesn’t want to waste time, tomorrow you’re going home. You sigh, you’re going home. You’ll miss Carm and the salty breeze you got used to.

“I’m going to Skywalkers to party till the end” Elsie bounces happily

“Me too” you say. Everyone turning to see you.

“Would that be a good idea Laura dear? You didn’t feel okay today because you partied yesterday” Perry says

“That’s true. You’ve been sick, so sick you didn’t go with us today” Danny says. You feel her some biting in her tone

“Ye-Yeah but come on guys it’s the last day. Don’t blame me for trying to have fun, we came to have fun, right?” You look around the group. Betty nods, Elsie winks at you and Laf grin

“You’re right Frosh! We’ll have fun tonight so let’s go change and go upstairs” Laf says excited

“I guess you’re right and we have the right to have fun the last day of cruise” Perry comments

“Yeeeeiii” says everyone but Danny

 

/

It’s almost 9:00 pm when you meet you’re friend in the aft elevator to go to the disco bar. The butterflies in your tummy haven’t stopped since you got dressed to see Carm again.

When you get to the disco they’re more people than you thought they would be. You’re about to go to the bar to greet your girlf- Carm But Danny grabs you by the arm, when you turn to see her

“What?” You can’t avoid sound annoyed

“You go to pick a table I’m going to the bar” she says too eager to go

“But-“ you start

“Let’s go Laura” says Betty as she passes by your side

You sigh and go, you will have time to share with Carm after her shift anyway “Okay” you say.

 

By 9:30 you can’t help it but go to the bar as your friends are dancing.
You search the bar but Carmilla it’s not there. There’s this feeling in the pit of your stomach that makes it churn, you brush off that feeling.
There’re JP and Ell though so you can ask them, maybe she’s in break.

“Hey Guys” you greet them

“Laura!” Says JP smiling “how was your day today?” He asks

“Pretty well thank you. What about you?” You say. You turn to see Ell as she avoids your eyes, you raise and eyebrow. You’re about to say something about it.

“What about you Ell?” You ask expectantly

“I-“ she says nervously

“May I have another Mojito?” Says a brunette

“Oh, S.J. of course! I’ll take care of you right away” Ell says jumping to that side of the counter

“What happened?” you blink and JP shrugs

“JP, have you seen Carm...illa” you ask awkwardly

“No, I just came from ‘Club Fusión’ though. Maybe she’s in break” he says “when she comes back I’ll tell her you’re looking for her” he adds and you nod.

 

/

By 11:30 you haven’t seen Carmilla at all. She’s supposed to work here, how can’t she be in her bar at this time? Has something happened to her? She was right when you got on board. You go to the bar again, you see Ell goes to the pantry as soon as she sees you getting closer.
Okay, that’s weird. And you’re gonna find out what the frilly hell is happening.

“JP, hi again. May I talk to Ell, please?” You ask as he nods and goes inside the pantry too.

JP goes out after some minutes, a blush in his cheeks.
“I’m sorry Laura. Ell took the crew elevator inside the pantry” he says “she says it was her break”

“JP, what going on with Ell? And where’s is Carmilla?” You ask a little annoyed by Ell’s behavior

“I really don’t know, Laura. I haven’t seen my sister since this morning when she went out” he says sincerely “I’ve never seen Ell like that before” he adds

“JP, I know what I’m about to ask is not allowed but” you hesitate at this. But not knowing what’s happening bothers a lot. “May I have Ell’s cabin number or her schedule after her break?” You plead with your eyes. You put your best puppy eyes.

“Ell is coming back in 30 minutes. But you didn’t hear it from me, otherwise I’ll get a warning” JP worried

“I won’t say anything. I promise...thanks” you say before going back with your friends.

 

/

It’s midnight and people are going to their cabins, tomorrow everybody leaves in the morning.

You see Ell making her way to the counter, you stand and go to talk to her before she gets to it.

“Ell, can we talk?” You say walking next to her.

She winding her eyes and start shaking her head vigorously. “No, we can’t. I’m sorry Lau- Miss Hollis” she says and you feel slapped. Why the heck is she doing this?

“I just want to know what’s going on? Where’s Carm? Why are you behaving like that?” Your voice cracks and you have to clear your throat.

“I- Carm-“ she starts

“Miss Sheridan, you’re in working hours. Your place is inside the bar” Mattie’s voice startles both of you

“That’s where I’m going, miss Belmonde” Ell practically runs to the bar.

Mattie clears her throat. “Is there any problem with the cocktails, Miss Hollis?” She asks

“I was wondering where Carmilla is? This is the last day and I wanted to say goodbye to her” you say

“Miss Karnstein was transferred to another bar-“

“What? That can’t be true” you say in shock

“Mis Hollis, is there something I must know?” She inquires “is there any problem between Miss Karnstein and you?” She adds

“I- we- no” if you say something Carmilla could be fired. You sigh heavily

“Then, let my bartenders work” she punctuated each word. You feel small under her intense and arrogant look.

“I just need a word with Ell” you say trying to turn to the bar

“Mis Hollis, if you harass my bartender I will be forced to call security” she threatens

You step back and look at her eyes, she’s honest with her words.

“Laura, dear. Is there any problem?” Perry asks

“No. I’m going to the table” you say deflated

 

You went back to your cabin, you can’t stop thinking about what happened to Carmilla, why Ell was behaving like that? And Mattie...Did she know? Why was she so aggressive?

 

/

You haven’t slept at all, your mind relives the night before trying to figure it out.

The ring of your phone makes your stomach flips, you think Carmilla is the one calling.

“Hello!” You say excited

“Good morning Laura. I was checking if you were already awake” Perry says and you deflate

“Yeah, I- I’m awake” you say almost whispering

“Don’t forget we’re meeting in the theater. The gangway would be in that deck but we have to wait until they call our color luggage” she informs

“Yeah, I’ll-“ you sigh “I’ll meeting you there” you say before hanging up

 

When you get to the theater your friends are already there.

“Morning!”
“Good morning Laura”
“Hey
“Good morning Hollis”

Laf, Perry, Elsie and Betty greet

“Hi guys” you wave your hand to them.

Danny just sees you. She looks like she’s struggling with something, you should ask about it when you get to the airport or maybe when you get home.

You sit with a frown in your face thinking about a logical explanation for the day before when a song is played by the radio.

 

The moment we met
I just couldn't explain
I find myself drawn to you naturally
When I saw your eyes everything changed
And somehow I knew
You were different from the rest
Is it wrong that I feel this way?
I don't know if I should walk away
But my heart tells me otherwise,
For once in my life I want to do what feels right

 

Your lost in the lyrics, you feel identified with it. You sigh for fifth time

 

“Laura, can we talk?” Says Elsie

“Yeah” you say

“In private” she says pointing one corner of the room. You walk there and turn to see her.

“You’ve been weird since yesterday, What’s wrong?” She asks

“Carm and I, we went out yesterday and it was amazing but- we were supposed to meet at the bar, and we went, I waited for her until I realized she didn’t get back. Then I ask Ell or at least I wanted to ask her. But she was distant...and, and then Mattie came and ask me not to ‘harass’ her crew” you take breath

She glances you surprised, “wow Hollis, you really know how to talk eh?” she says

“I’m serious, Elsie. I’m worried about it. She didn’t even call me to tell me what happened” you want to cry, your eyes shine but you take some deep breaths.

She rub her hand on your arm before saying.

“I don’t want to say this, but maybe she got what she wanted and then sent her old sister to clean up her mess” she says

 

This may not be our time
And the world may not be on our side
But our love is written in the stars

 

You frown, “what? What sister?” You ask

“Well Mattie, She’s her sister too. Didn’t you know?” Elsie says tasing her eyebrows

“No, I- we really didn’t talk about that. And I don’t believe she could do that. She was so caring yesterday. She was the one who told to go to the bar in the first place. Why would she do that if she didn’t want to see me again?” You inquirer

“I don’t know-“ she starts

“A very good morning ladies and gentlemen, I hope you enjoyed your time aboard the Sapphire Princess. Passengers with the yellow luggage tags are allowed to disembark. Once again we thank you for choosing Princess Cruises, come back new” says the officer

 

“Alright, let’s go girls” say Perry grabbing her suitcase.

You walk slowly almost waiting for Carmilla to show up and explain to you what happened, to give you her email or her phone number. But the hopes does when you put a foot outside the ship.
You can’t believe she just let you go that easily after everything she told you yesterday.

 

****

A month ago:

 

“I wouldn’t ask you to do this if it weren’t important and you know that!” You huff

“But- If Mattie finds out. I’m dead” JP says shaking his head

“Look mate, we don’t have other option. Don’t do it for us. Do it for Carm, do it for your sister” Monica says while rubbing her hand on your back

He sighs, “Okay, I’ll do it” JP Says

“Besides JP, Mattie is not longer your boss. You work in the main office and she is in Morocco right now, she won’t find out” you say

“Okay, I’ll call you when I get it” he says before going to the office again.

“I can’t believe we’re doing this” Monica takes a deep breath

“Me neither” you answer

 

/

 

A few days later JP calls you and you go to the main office in Santa Clarita, California.

“Good morning ladies” says JP as you get inside his office

“Hi JP” Monica says

“Hey, JP. So did you get it?” You ask nervously.

“Yes, I did. And let me tell you it was difficult, but here it is” he says handling you a piece of paper.

“Thanks” you says hugging him

“Don’t mention it. It’s for my sister and I appreciate you’re doing this” he says fidgeting with his hands

Monica takes them in reassurance, “we know you love her, and she loves you too...on her sarcastic broody way though” she says as he smiles

“Thanks again JP, We’ll See you in a couple of months. Right?” You ask

“Yes, of course.” He says nodding

 

/

 

“Babe, are you sure you don’t need me here?” You ask as she helps you with the suitcases

“Don’t worry about it. I can do it, trust me” Monica says

“I do trust you” you peck her lips “I love you” you say

“See you in two weeks” she says

You go to the right path, where the airplane from “Iberia” will take you to Madrid.
While Monica takes the left one, she’s taking “Air Canada” to Toronto and then to start with this plan.

 

****

 

You called for an Uber to get to this address, you see the piece of paper in your hand

“Suite 100, 366 Adelaide St. W.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada”

Your Uber comes and you blow a deep breath before getting down the vehicle.

 

You knock at the door twice before it’s opened by a Laura sleepy in pajamas and with her hair disheveled.

“Oh hey” you say

She widen her eyes and look around probably not believing you’re there.

“Monica?” She says and you smile because she remembers your name.

“Hey” you say warmly “May I come in? I would like to talk to you about something important” you explain

“Ye-Yeah! Of course come in” she says still doubting if this is really happening

When you get inside she asks you to take a seat in one of her kitchen stools while she makes cocoa for her and coffee for you.

“Soooo What- I mean why are you here? How did you know my address? Why would you have address?” She asks pacing in her kitchen

“If you allow me to tell you the whole story, you’ll get it” you say

/

“So what you’re telling me is, that Mattie somehow found out about Carmilla and I, and she mainly kidnapped her for two days until my cruise was over so that she wouldn’t be in touch with me. And she threatened Ell to get fired if she says something or get close to me?” You nod

“So Ell and you decided to ask JP’s help now that he works in the main office, which is something wonderful but wasn’t he a bartender? I may ask an explanation for it too. As I was saying, he looked for my information in the data base so that you could come and tell me all that.” You nod again

“And, and Carmilla wanted to see me and she was so sad she unlinked with her brothers and sister to be alone in another ship because she couldn’t stand Mattie after she did what she did.” You nod for the third time

“Wow, that- that’s pretty impressive guys” she says and you smile.

“Please don’t think that I just came here to tell you all that and go home, I’m here because Ell and I, we saw how happy you were together and if nothing has changed, I mean if you still feel something for Carm...you- would you like to go to Spain and see her in two weeks. I- Ell and I, we’re getting married and we’d love to see you there” you conclude

“Holy Hufflepuff! You’re getting married! Congratulations!” She hugs you “I may have to change my schedule- or I can take all the days off I didn’t take for the almost 8 months I’ve been working” she says

“Then it’s settled” you says taking off your backpack.

“Yeah” she says brightly, you can see she can’t stop the grin and you know it’s because she’ll see Carm

“I’m going to Spain in two weeks and Carmilla is supposed to be there in a week, so if you want to we can book you a flight ticket and you get there with me, is that’s okay” you ask

She thinks deeply, maybe taking some reserves for everything she just heard.

“Okay, let’s do it” she finally says

 

****

 

“Why do mean Monica hasn’t come here yet, she’s supposed to marry you in a week!” Carm says

“She’s not running away, she needed to run some errands before she comes here, so you’re coming to pick her up or not?” You say, you know that if she says no, you’ll make her change her mind.

“Are you kidding me? I haven’t seen that girl for 8 months, I missed her more than I missed you” she smirks

You touched your hurt and with a fake hurt in your face
“You’re losing me, Karnstein. I may have to change my best woman” you say as she rolls her eyes

“You know I was joking right?” She says

“And you know I was joking too” you say hugging her. “Come on grumpy cat, let’s go before her airplane arrives”

You made a poster with a phrase and you made Carmilla hold it as you’re going to jump to kiss your fiancée you need your hands free.
The poster.

 

****

“She doesn’t know I’m coming, right?” You ask nervously, this is one of your most impulsive actions, you have never even thought about getting into a plane and go the other side of the world for a girl. But you hadn’t met Carmilla yet, and she’s worth it.

“She doesn’t know the plan” Monica says

You remember that time Ell had a plan with a funny name.

“So what’s the name of the plan this time?” You ask smiling

Monica shrugs “Winning The Fangface Back” she says

“I like how much effort she puts in the name of her plans” You comment

“Oh you have no idea” Mon says “let me call her and ask her if she’s here already”

You nod. Mon waits a minute until Ell answers, “Hey babe, how are- what do you- But she says the next week- Yeah, Yeah, she’s with me but- Okay, improvising...vale!” Mon says

You frown when you hear her laugh nervously, you’re supposed to be the nervous one. She hangs up.

“Hey Laur, you remember when I told you Carmilla was going to come next week for the wedding?” She asks

“Mmm- Yeah, Why?” You frown again “what happened? Oh- don’t tell she’s not coming, oh gosh I should’ve known. Oh my god this is embarrassing-“ you ramble

“She’s here with Ell. She thinks she’s picking ME up, obviously doesn’t know you’re here too” Mon says

“What? She’s here, ohmygodohmygodohmygod! What are we going to do? What do I do?” You ask nervously

“Laura, please breathe. What we’re going to do is go there and you’ll see her. Isn’t that the reason you’re here? Isn’t that the reason you’ve traveled this far?” She reasons

You take a huge breathe “Yeah, well I didn’t know She’s was going to be here” you say

“I take this as a signal, you two belong to each other” she says calmly

****

Ell is pointing something in the poster she made and she’s telling you to fix it, you roll your eyes but do it anyway. The last thing you want is her rambling in Spanish, you remember how dizzy they made you feel. You’re fixing the damn letter that is almost falling when you hear

“Hey love! How are you?” Monica says

Ell jumps to her fiancée and clings on her like a koala. You stand up and smile at her.

“Monica” you say hugging her awkwardly because Ell is in the middle and it’s like it’s a three persons hug.

“Hey Carmilla, how are you?” She asks

“I’m good” you says but you know your tone is not convincing.

“You know I think I may know how to cheer you up, my friend” she says

“Yeah, how?” You ask

“By introducing you a friend...she will be my made of honor” she says. It’s then when you realize there’s someone else with you. A blonde woman whose face is covering by a book with big yellow letters “what to do in Madrid”

“Yeah- no thanks. I don’t think is a good idea” you say sincerely, you haven’t get over Laura and probably you never will.

“At least let me introduce her” she insists

You frown, Monica never insists when you say no, she respects your choices. You don’t want to be rude though.

“Okay” you roll your eyes

“Carmilla, let me introduce you to my friend Laura. Laura Hollis, She’s Canadian like me and it’s her first time in Spain. She’s my made of honor too” she grins at you while your eyes widen.

She starts putting down the book and you can see her beautiful hazel eyes with that smile, you smile immediately.

“Hey- Carmilla, nice to meet you” she says smiling

“What- what are you doing here?”
You asks incredulously

“Home is where the heart is and mine is finally back. Missed you”

she finally says before you hug her like a life jacket. You hug her fearing she disappears if you let her go again.

You turn to see Monica and Ell side hugging, your shining eyes telling them thank you.

“I missed you too, cupcake. My cupcake” you manage to say