No Way Out(A HTTYD Love Story Part 26)

Tired scarlet eyes fluttered open to meet concerned, sea blue ones.

Carstella gave a sad smile to him as the blond rung out a cloth and put it on her burning forehead with a kiss on her nose.

“I’m sorry, Tuff.” She said weakly.

The man just smiled sadly at her, “It’s okay, Stell. Just please, don’t do it again. I can’t take losing you. Not again, please.”

“I know.” She smiled, extracting a hand from under her blanket to find his and grab it tightly, “I’m really sorry.”

Tuff smiled, leaning down to kiss her nose again.

“I think now’s a good time to talk.” He said after a moment.

Carstella nodded sheepishly. She knew this was coming, but at the same time felt very awkward about it as it could have easily been avoided.

“How long have I been asleep?” She asked, swallowing thickly.

“Little over twelve hours.” Tuff shrugged and help her sit up slightly before handing her a glass of water.

Carstella drained the contents of it before handing back to him. Tuff placed it back on the bedside table before laying the girl back down and readjusting the cold cloth on her forehead.

“I called Bucket and Mulch.” He started, not looking her in the eye, “Told them what happened. They said they’d talk to what’s his name about it and you won’t have to worry about handing in that report or whatever you need to get done.”

Carstella nodded, holding his hand tightly.

“I talked to Stoik and the others as well.” He coughed, “Told them all what happened and I guess the council had a meeting. Ruff and Fishlegs are going to take over the tourism.”

“But-” Carstella began, only to stop herself after a moment seeing as she couldn’t say anything about it.

“Fishlegs wanted out of teaching anyway. Ruff’s a great secretary so the work load’ll be easier on them.”

Carstella nodded, it made sense.

She waited for Tuff to continue, but he didn’t. He just sat there, holding her hand in his tightly.

“Tuff?” She asked gingerly, “There something wrong?”

The blond finally looked at the girl, his blue eyes misty and red rimmed.

“Tuff?”

He had been crying, she knew. But why?

“The doctor gave you the once over.” He began, “He said you were pregnant.”

Fear and ice seized the girl’s body.

“Did he say for how long?” She asked.

The blond shook his head, “Just your first trimester. And that the odds of it surviving right now are very slim because of the poor condition you’ve been keeping yourself in.”

Carstella shook her head as her throat began to tighten.

“I am so sorry, Tuff.” She said, “I shouldn’t have done this to you. To us. I am so sorry. It will never happen again. It should not have happened this time, but it did, and I am very sorry.”

Tuff took a shaky breath as he lifted her hand up and placed a chaste kiss on her knuckles.

“It’s okay, Stell.”

“No it’s not.” She sniffed, “I shouldn’t ever have put either of us through this. You deserve so much better than me, damn it.”

“I chose to love you everyday, Stell.” Tuff said, gripping her hand tighter, “I chose to be with you. And I chose to take everything that comes with it. I just want you to promise me you won’t ever do something like that again. You need to take care of yourself too you know.”

Silent tears slid out of her crimson eyes as she nodded.

“Promise.” Tuff reiterated.

“I promise.”

 

 

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No Way Out(A HTTYD Love Story Part 25)

Carstella groaned and rubbed her eyes furiously to rid them of any sleep that dared to impede her scarlet orbs from doing their job.

She glanced at the clock siting on her desk with a yawn and flinched seeing that it was almost 7 in the morning. Last time she had checked the thing, it had hardly been past 2.

The dark haired girl let out a whine as she looked back at the half written report for the government she needed to get in. She desperately wanted it to get done as soon as possible, as that would be the last thing she needed to do for that for the week.

She sighed and stretched out in her chair for a moment before picking herself up and stumbling out of her office and into the kitchen to make another pot of coffee.

Carstella yawned again and rubbed her eyes as she waited for the liquid to brew. She hadn’t gotten any sleep over the past couple of days.

She had mountains of research into the tourism industry, submitted reports to Stoik about what was done, had to be done, and further ideas to make things run smoother. She had estimated and explained various results of encrypted letters and had even found time enough to make a key for them to make life a little easier. She had identified previously unknown drug, sex, and weapon traffickers, and had busted a shipment of illegal substances.

Despite doing all this good, however, the girl felt like absolute garbage.

She leaned against the counter to keep herself upright. Her head started to pound and she grew slightly dizzy.

You finish that report, and then get some sleep. She told herself.

You can’t. She argued, Bjorn isn’t going to be in today until 3. You have to make it until then.

Carstella opened her eyes and saw that the coffee was done. Resolving herself to sleep once Bjorn was in, come hell or high water, she took a step towards the coffee pot to fill up her mug that sat on the counter next to it.

She never made it there, unfortunately.

Her knuckles turned white as she gripped the edge of the counter, bent double over the sink emptying her stomach into the stainless steel bowl.

She choked and coughed as she did, trying desperately to keep it down.

The yellow, brownish substance quickly became red as her mouth filled with a copper flavour. Her mind swam and her vision blurred. The red eyed girl fought to keep herself upright, putting all her weight on the counter as needed.

I’m still not recovered, am I? She asked herself as she turned the tap on to clean out the sink.

The attempted execution still had more than a few lingering effects on her, despite her best efforts to keep them hidden.

Carstella felt her hair get lifted back from her face and a gentle hand begin to rub lightly on her back.

“Are you okay, Stell?” Tuff whispered to the girl, worry and concern were all too apparent in his voice.

She opened her mouth to reply but stopped.

You just threw up blood. She reasoned, you can’t see straight, and I wouldn’t trust your legs right now if your life depended on it. If you tell him that you are alright, I’m smacking you.

“No.” Carstella choked out as she spat to remove the taste from her mouth, “No, I’m really not.”

No Way Out(A HTTYD Love Story Part 24)

“Three bookings already?” Stoik asked in amazement as he looked over the log book.

Carstella nodded sheepishly before saying something else to the board.

“And each of them had said they wouldn’t mind giving feed back for us to work with.”

“It’s a start, definitely.” Spitelout admitted.

“We have to start somewhere.” Carstella told him.

“Carstella,” Stoik started, “I would like to put you in charge, for now, of tourism.”

“I accept gratefully.” She replied meekly.

Stoik nodded, “We’ll add an extension to the town hall for that work.” He told her, “I just hope this will go as well as we hope.”

The door to the second floor slowly shut trying not to disturb the other occupant living there.

“You’re home exceedingly late.” Tuff commented as Carstella jumped hearing his voice, “What held you up?”

“Stoik made me minister of tourism.” She said softly as she put her bag down and slipped off her shoes, “I was at Miss Gothi’s cleaning up rooms with her, and making it presentable. Then I was drawing up plans for furnishings of luxury lodges.”

“It took you all night to do that?” He asked as he pulled something out of the oven.

Carstella shrugged, “We got three bookings already,” She told him as she brought her things into her office on the other end of the floor, “We are seriously considering building a hotel now.”

“I told you it would be good for you to put some energy into something good like this!” He called to her as he dished out a breakfast quiche.

“It is.” Carstella replied and entered the dinning room where Tuff just set down a large helping of steaming food for the girl who hadn’t eaten all night.

“Thank you.” The dark haired girl said as sat down in front of the plate.

“Eat up, you need your strength.” Tuff encouraged as he approached the table with his own plate.

The two tucked into their food in comfortable silence. When they were finished, Carstella cleared the table and started on the dishes.

“I have a couple of teenagers coming in this morning for interviews.” Tuff said as he leaned against the door frame.

Carstella nodded, “I’ll be down to man the cashier after I’m done.”

Tuff shook his head, “You should be getting some sleep.” He told her sternly.

It was Carstella’s turn to shake her head, “I can go a while without sleep and still be fine.” She assured, “Besides, I need to get ahead on my work for the government.”

Tuff just stared at her as she finished up the dishes, he let out a defeated sigh.

“If you’re sure.” He started.

“I am,” Carstella told the blonde with a reassuring smile, “But I appreciate your concern about me.”

Tuff stared at her for a moment before he took a few steps to close the gap between the two of them. His left hand wrapped around the shorter girl, resting his hand on the right side of her head, and pulling her closer to him. He pressed his lips against the other side of her head repeatedly as he gave her many loving kisses before he turned his head to rest his cheek against the place he had just kissed and wrapped his other arm around the girl.

“Tuff?” Carstella asked curiously unsure of how to react, she hadn’t seen him act like this before.

“Don’t push yourself, Stell.” He told her as he rocked them slowly back and forth, “You don’t have to be a superhuman anymore.”

Carstella reached up and grabbed his left arm since she couldn’t turn in his grasp at the moment and leaned more against him.

“I never was before.” She had told him quietly, “But the government needs the information from me to intercept other international criminals, distinguish between gangs, and now with tourism I need to be on the ball and doing everything I can to help you guys out. After all, you helped me when I was in need.”

“Stell.” Tuff started.

“Three hours of meditation a week and I’m always fine.” She assured.

“Really?” Tuff asked in disbelief.

“While going through therapy, I couldn’t sleep” Carstella started, “So, I meditated to keep my strength up, and it worked.”

Tuff and Carstella embraced each other for a while longer before Tuff reluctantly let the dark haired girl go. He turned to head down stairs to open up the shop, but not before placing a soft kiss on her lips.

Carstella watched the blonde go down stairs sadly. She knew he wanted her to be okay and that he cared for her more than anything in the world. She sighed sadly and turned to dry and put away the dishes.


“I think that’s everything.” Carstella told the employee she had just hired.

“I can take of it.” Freya told her with a smile, “You get to the town hall.”

Carstella nodded picking up her shoulder bag from the counter, “Tuff is downstairs if you need anything.”

Freya nodded and waved as Carstella left.

The red eyed girl sighed as she closed the door and hurried across town.

Thorston boutique had two new part timers, Freya and Bjorn. They both worked on the weekends together, they had two for sure days on during the week after school and alternated on Wednesdays. They were good kids in the middle of their highschool careers. They did good, hard, honest work. And Carstella felt right with leaving one of them in charge of the store when she had other work to attend to.

The brunette was just exhausted. On top of trying to organize, plan and update the tourism she was trying to push, she was researching heavily the tourism industry to gain a better edge. And the F.B.I had just sent her an even larger work load than she had before which she needed to keep up with. There were days when Carstella wouldn’t even make it to bed because of how busy she was, and it was beginning to take its toll.


“Hi, Ruff.” Carstella greeted with a tired smile as she entered the building.

“You look exhausted.” Ruff commented, “When was the last time you slept?”

“Couple days ago.” The brunette replied, “Where’s Stoik?”

“His office.” She said slowly not fully understanding what had been said to her.

“Thank you.” Carstella said and hurried to his office.

The dark brunette pushed open the door and entered to see the red haired man reading over papers. He looked up, his green eyes meeting her red ones. Before he had a chance to say anything Carstella dropped a very large file folder on his desk and said;

“These is everything I have gathered so far, for the program. You requested copies when I was done.”

Stoik said nothing for a moment as he looked at the girl, “You look exhausted.”

Carstella shrugged, ignoring the question, “I hope everything is up to the standards of Berk.”

“I’m sure it will be.” Stoik said leaning back in his chair and looking at the brunette in front of him, “Have you been sleeping well?”

“As well as I can.” She told him, “I believe we should also market a special travel pack during Thawfest time, Christmas, and when the Arvandil’s Fire occurs. But I wanted to speak with you about it first.”

“I think these are fine ideas.” Stoik told her, “I will present them to the committee later today, for now you should go home and get yourself some sleep.”

Carstella said nothing as she nodded and turned to leave the office. However, she did not go directly home. They needed groceries, and she needed to double check with the farmers about the hay rides, and several other people about guided tours, boat rentals, fishing expeditions, etc.

By the time Carstella got home it was almost 8 pm.

“I thought it would be a quick thing.” Tuff said as she entered, bags in her hands.

“Quick with Stoik.” She said toeing off her shoes and walking into the kitchen to put away the groceries, “Had other things to do.”

“Like what?” Tuff asked as he started putting food away.

“Double checking on things mostly.” She admitted as she put groceries away too.

“You look exhausted.” Tuff told the brunette.

The red eyed girl shrugged but didn’t say anything as she finished putting everything away.

Tuff eyed her suspiciously.

“You know there’s a difference between good and bad stress, right?” He asked her.

“I have good amount of stress right now.” Carstella smiled at him, “Some things are just taking a little longer than I hoped they would have.”

Tuff scratched the back of his head, not really believing her but not wanting to call her out on her bluff either.

“If you say so.” He shrugged.