The hollow sound of footsteps grows louder with every step they take closer into their direction but then they suddenly disappear again. Rachel sighs in relief.
"What did you do?"
Rachel flinches. Jesse is standing only a few feet away, breathing the same stale air that she is after accidentally dragging him along into this- Rachel scans her surroundings- broom closet. She suppresses the feeling to roll her eyes and sighs, before she turns her head back to Jesse again.
"What do you mean with What did you do?? I didn't do anything," she replies throwing her hands in the air.
Jesse quirks a brow. "Are you sure? Because that," he says pointing to the door, "didn't sound like nothing at all. And you are most likely the one getting us into trouble, aren't you?"
Rachel blinks. She stares at him in disbelief, her mouth slowly opening, ready to throw the next insult at him that comes to her mind. Instead she bites her tongue and glares at him.
"What? You seriously can't blame that on me."
"How would you know? Just because she screamed my name it doesn't mean that whatever she is angry about is my fault!"
Jesse frowns. Rachel starts tapping her foot on the dusty ground when his face suddenly brightens up the darkness around them.
"I got it. Now that you keep me hostage here and she can't find me, she must think that you have killed me." He places his hand over his heart and shakes his head in disappointment.
Rachel can only stare at him. She has a hard time trying to suppress a laughter, and the more she tries the harder it is getting to keep a straight face. Jesse furrows his brows at the unusual silence and when he decides to raise his head again he knows he has interpreted the silence right. Rachel is looking at him with wide eyes, her cheeks flushed and a hand covering the lower part of her face. Jesse titles his head and studies her for a moment before his lips turn into an amused smile. She almost looks beautiful.
"I can't believe that you're laughing about this!"
Rachel clears her throat. "I'm not."
Jesse nods knowingly. "Wow. I need to get into the next witness-protection-program…" He answers dryly.
Rachel snorts with laughter.
"I'm serious," Jesse repeats laughing but Rachel only waves his response aside. She shoves him against the wall and the mob to his right falls to the ground.
Jesse raises a challenging brow at Rachel.
Rachel's eyes wanders to the sink in the corner but before she is able to reach out for the water hose, Jesse blocks her way with a swift move and presses her against a shelf. The little hitch of surprise in her voice makes him grin. Jesse brushes a strand of hair behind her ear and Rachel's heart starts to race. His mouth wanders to her ear and she can feel his hot breath on her neck when he quietly whispers, "Try that ever again..."
Maybe it is the thread or the sudden smell of perfume and their closeness that makes them lock their gazes. Blue eyes are boring into brown and it only takes a second before they are hungrily pressing their lips against each other in the darkness.
Rachel curls her fingers in Jesse's hair and he groans. His hands wander down her back and he lifts her up, her legs wrapped around him. He places her down on the sink and starts kissing her throat, and Rachel moans. She is pressing her legs together tightly and pulling Jesse closer, before she starts unbuttoning his shirt. Jesse smiles into the kiss and he cups Rachel's face in his hands before stormingly kissing her again. His tongue slides into her mouth and they immediately start fighting a battle with each other. Jesse unzips Rachel's dress in a hurry and her fingernails scratch the bare skin of his toned chest. He closes his eyes and groans. Rachel pulls at his hair and Jesse slams her body against the wall. She moans into his mouth and the shelf next to them starts shaking. A bottle of cleaning agent hits the ground.
And a pair of eyes shot open.
Rachel felt a painful sting in her right knee and unhappily decided that it was time to step from the cross-trainer again. Ignoring the sudden pain, Rachel's legs were shaking for a moment when her feet touched the floor of the hotel's own gym room. She grabbed her towel from the arm rest of the machine and made her way over to the dressing room before throwing a last dirty look at it. This thing wasn't joint-friendly at all.
She was angrily pushing her iPod in the little bag that she had brought down here when her phone started ringing. Briefly throwing a look at the screen Rachel answered the call immediately.
"You know it's only 6 AM here, right?"
"I'd hoped that were already up," Katie replied with a caressing voice. "But tell me why you aren't suffering from jet-lag? You're like the only person I know that still manages to keep their schedule up when their more than 4,000 miles away."
Rachel snorted. "I just couldn't sleep anymore."
Katie hummed in understanding.
"So," Rachel continued. "Tell me what is on your mind so late at night, that you extra wait for me to get up until you call me..."
"I even waited half an hour because I wasn't sure if I'd wake you."
"Very deliberate from you but back to the point."
Katie sighed. "It's nothing. Just forget it again."
Rachel nodded at her phone. "You're keeping me from getting back to sleep because of nothing? Yeah, right. That totally sounds like the Katie I know."
"Oh. I didn't want to stop you from getting some rest. I mean the flight has been long."
"It's fine." Rachel replied with a sigh. "It's not like there's any place left in my bed anyway-" she explained before biting her tongue. That was definitely nothing to talk about.
"What do you mean? Who's in your bed?" Katie's voice was piercing through Rachel's ears and she flinched. She started imagining how Katie was wiggling her brows at the other end of the line and sighed.
"You tell me what happened last night and I tell you who's lying in my bed, deal?"
"Is it Jesse?"
Katie pouted. "Okay, but you'll go first."
"I wasn't the one to call my best friend late in the night..."
"Fine," Katie said before taking a deep breath. " Tonight I found Luke waiting at our front door and he was waiting for Bev. Do you need any more information?"
"Bev?" Rachel repeated in disbelief. "Like in your step-sister Bev? How do they even know each other?"
"No idea," Katie answered with a shrug. "And now my mood's a little down if you know what I mean."
Rachel nodded. "I feel you."
Katie cleared her throat. "And you? Who's that mysterious boy in your bed?"
"Who said it was a boy?" Rachel responded mysteriously. She swung her bag over her shoulder and walked towards the elevators, waiting for any reaction from Katie and an elevator-door to open, after gently pressing the upwards button. But Katie was only narrowing her eyes at the phone until Rachel laughed. "Okay, just kidding. You were right, it's Jesse."
"OMG. How did that happen? I want to know every dirty detail."
Rachel sighed. "Jesse's brother organized us a suite with one bed for both of us, we were really tired after the flight and I had a bad conscience knowing that Jesse was going to sleep on the couch. So we shared the bed. That's it."
"That's it? You're so boring."
With a quiet ping the doors in front of Rachel opened and she disappeared into an elevator, rolling her eyes and shaking her head in amusement.
The loud and repeated knock on the door of their suite made Jesse flinch. He yawned loudly and took a look at the clock before burying his head under his pillow again and groaning louder. He had known that Rachel was an early riser but forgetting her key and waking him seemed like pure torture to him. He took a look from underneath the pillow and watched the door, waiting for the next knock. There. It was loud and definitely not the knock of a girl that barely even reached 5'2''. But who could it be? Who was actually daring to wake him at half past six? Jesse groaned again.
„I know that I already woke you up, so get your ass up and answer this damn door, Jesse," Sebastian called through the door.
„Ah, so I'm right," he noticed satisfied. „Good, that leaves you two options. Either you are going to open this door before I've finished talking or I'm coming in with this monkey wrench that I found at the reception last night and find you two in a hopefully very compressing position." Sebastian chuckled. „I'm sure Mom would like to hear about this, too."
Jesse opened the door only a bit and shot his brother a dirty look.
„Good choice," Sebastian decided with a wink. He pushed himself past Jesse and walked into the room before turning back around to him with a disappointed look on his face. „Where did you hide her?"
Jesse growled, rubbing his tired eyes.
Sebastian gave him a suspicious look and made his way through the room. „I can see that both of you slept in this bed," he mumbled. He was throwing a blanket aside and kneeling down to take a look under the bed.
„What is he looking for?" Rachel asked after entering the room quietly. She took an interested look around the bed, Sebastian bobbed his head at her sight and groaned in pain.
Jesse shrugged. „His intelligence, probably."
„Where have you been? I've been searching everywhere for you," Sebastian whined.
„You've been searching for me under the bed? Very thoroughly, especially since it's only one bed in this suite..." Rachel raised her brows at him but he pretended to look anywhere but her. She threw a glance at Jesse who only shrugged and Rachel shook her head in annoyance. „And to answer your question where I've been," Rachel explained looking down on her sports-dress. Sebastian followed her view and nodded slowly before giving her a wide grin. „Oh."
Rachel sighed. „If you don't mind I'm going to take a shower now."
She placed her belongings on the couch and grabbed a towel before heading to the bathroom. Sebastian's mouth opened in protest when Rachel raised her finger at him. „Oh, and before I forget it," she said motioning around the room. „When I come out of this room again I don't want to see you until I get my own bed. Got it?"
„Good," Rachel replied with a smile. „If you'll excuse me," she added before closing the bathroom door behind and locking it.
„Your girlfriend's intimidating."
Sebastian raised a disbelieving brow at his brother and sighed. „If you'll excuse me now... I'll have to get you two another room. We'll talk at breakfast."
Sebastian disappeared through the door, his shoulders hanging down and wearing a clearly unexpected expression of defeat on his face.
Rachel grinned widely. They were sitting in a train to Dortmund after unanimously agreeing to visit the city's Christmas market and Rachel was excited to see the world's largest Christmas tree. It was supposed to reach 145 feet, made up of 1,700 individual spruce trees piled one atop the other and lip up with thousands of lights and candles.
On their 75 minutes long ride, Rachel already planned to buy plenty of Christmas gifts for her family and friends, even if she wouldn't celebrate the holiday at home. Her camera was fully charged, and Rachel was watching the landscape passing by with a feeling of fascination. She was looking back and forth between her brochure of showplaces in the Ruhr and the view behind her window, with sparkle in her eyes.
Taking in every little detail of the given information, Rachel thumbed through the pages, not noticing that they were nearly reaching their destination, when they were driving through a city called Bochum. Rachel was turning the pages and suddenly her eyes lit up. She raised her head at her two companions and found Jesse sleeping.
When her eyes drifted to the elder brother she quickly tried to hide her disappointment. Sebastian furrowed his brows at Rachel's expression and when his view followed the way to the brochure in her hand, he was giving her an encouraging smile.
"Did you know that it's already been here for 22 years already?"
"I can read, Sebastian." The corners of Rachel's mouth turned up. "But thank you," she whispered with an honest smile.
Can't go a minute without your love
Like a satellite I'm In an orbit all the way around you
Humming one of the songs from the concert the day before,Rachel disappeared into one of the booths, watching for souvenirs when Sebastian gave Jesse a slap on the back on his head. He opened his mouth, ready to ask what he had earned that for, but Bash was already shaking his head at him. Jesse titled his head in confusion when the twitch of his brother's head pointed into the direction Rachel had disappeared into.
"What have I done this time?"
Sebastian stared at his brother, before he decided to slap him again.
Jesse winced. "Are you serious?"
Sebastian sighed. "I can't believe you are so ignorant. You do know where we are, right? And where we've driven past?"
Jesse nodded wryly. "Y e s."
"You-" Sebastian started when Rachel suddenly returned. She was holding a stick with chocolate strawberries and smiled widely "I couldn't resist."
Sebastian chuckled. He was waiting for the reaction of his brother but Jesse said nothing. Instead his view was straight directed to the strawberry at Rachel's lips. Rachel turned around again, leading the way and with a last slap on Jesse's head, the brothers followed.
After spending almost the whole day in Dortmund, Jesse and the others made their way back to their hotel to prepare themselves for dinner. Jesse's grandmother was an extraordinary woman who didn't like it when someone arrived late to a meeting, or in her case, her very own birthday dinner. She had always been an ambitious woman who had always supported the decisions her grandchildren were making, as long as they were firmly following their plans.
When their train pulled out of the station, Jesse was watching Rachel who was going through her bunch of bags filled with souvenirs, scribbling down into the notebook on her lap. They weren't even driving for ten minutes when Jesse recognized the landscape around them and smiled.
His eyes were searching Rachel's and when they finally met, Jesse opened his mouth. Rachel's view drifted to the window and she grimaced, remembering her disappointment from only a few hours ago. With a broad smile, Rachel turned back to Jesse again, spontaneously deciding to interrupt every attempt Jesse would make to talk about Starlight Express.
"Did you know," he started like Sebastian before, but Rachel cut him off quickly.
"Do you know how it comes that Luke knows Bev? Katie called this morning and told me they went out for a date and he never mentioned it..."
Jesse furrowed his brows. "I don't know," he stammered.
Rachel nodded. "Ok," she replied before starting a conversation with Sebastian about joint-friendly gym-equipment and how she could expect the dinner to be.
To be continued...
A/N: I'm going to change a few little details in the last few chapters (~24+) when I have time, so that Rachel never really admitted for having fallen for Jesse.
August 30, 2015. R&R :)