Read The Mistletoe Experiment Online

Authors: Serena Yates

Tags: #erotic MM, #Romance MM

The Mistletoe Experiment (8 page)

gotten each other, had a light lunch of sandwiches, took a

walk in the snow, and came back to hot cocoa spiked with a

little Malibu coconut rum and some amaretto liqueur. It

made for an excellent way to warm back up.

Once they had changed for dinner, Magnus insisting on

elegant casual
, meaning no ties, thank God, they went back

downstairs, and Lance crawled right into Magnus"s arms as

they sat in front of the fireplace and made out like teenagers.

He loved having Magnus this close, his warmth and strength

like a wall protecting him from the cold.

“I wish we didn"t have to leave the house.” Lance sighed.

“I know how much you dislike the lack of sunlight and

the cold.” Magnus smiled and placed a small kiss on his

nose. “So, I"ve made alternative arrangements.”

“You have?” Lance looked at Magnus, wondering what

he meant.

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58

“Yeah, I thought it would be nice to have a romantic

dinner, so you don"t have to cook for once.” Magnus winked

at him and Lance melted. “So I"ve ordered in.”

“Pizza?” Lance laughed. “That could be kind of fun, we

haven"t done that in a while.”

“Maybe if they did heart-shaped ones, so we could stay

with the theme.” Magnus shook his head. “No, it"s not pizza.”

“Chinese?” Lance giggled. “Do the Chinese even

celebrate Valentine"s?”

“I have no idea. But no, it"s not Chinese either.” Magnus

grinned as the doorbell rang. “Perfect timing. You stay right

here and let me get that.”

Magnus got up and walked toward the front door,

checking behind him to see if Lance was still where he was

supposed to be.

Lance smiled and waved at him. Curiosity was almost

killing him, but he was determined to be good. Magnus had

obviously thought this through. And it was still very early.

Magnus must have more plans for after dinner, which boded

well for the evening.

Magnus opened the front door, ushered someone in but

they vanished straight into the dining room. Clinking of

plates followed, then Magnus accompanied the delivery

person to the front door and watched him leave.

“Dinner is served.” Magnus came back into the room

with a big smile on his face.

Lance got up and took the outstretched hand, following

his lover into the other room. The table had been covered

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59

with a white tablecloth, set with expensive looking plates,

crystal wine glasses and heavy silverware. The appetizer was

already on the table, and he could see covered plates on

hotplates in the kitchen.

“Magnus?” Lance stared at what looked like lobster on

his plate.

Magnus moved around and pulled out his chair for him.

“I hope this tastes as good as in the restaurant when we

went there for my father"s birthday last month.” Magnus saw

him seated, then went around to his own chair and sat

down. “I remember how much you liked their food, so I

decided to have them deliver.”

“You got
Gondolen
to deliver?” Lance almost fainted. It

was only one of the top five restaurants in Stockholm and

more expensive than he cared to remember. “I don"t even

know what to say.”

“How about „
smaklig måltid’
?” Magnus smiled.

“According to the menu this is lobster with mango and chili

salsa, mayonnaise, and toast. Enjoy.”

Lance loved lobster, so he didn"t hesitate to try the dish.

“This is divine!” He licked his lips. “Thank you.”

“You are more than welcome.” Magnus turned serious.

“I don"t always take the time to thank you for everything you

do for Jakob and me. You"re always there, taking care of us.

This is just a small way for me to say „thank you" in a way

that is meaningful for both of us.”

They ate in silence for a while, and their glances grew

increasingly hotter. If the food hadn"t been so outstanding,

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60

Lance would have suggested they move to their bedroom

even earlier than planned.

When they were done, Magnus got up to clear the

plates, waving him back down into his seat. The man was

clearly determined to wait on him hand and foot tonight.

Lance was going to make it up to him later.

He was looking forward to it.

LANCE was happier than he"d ever been. His love life with

Magnus had been even more exciting and intense after that

memorable Valentine"s celebration almost seven weeks ago.

The scenes that had taken place in the bedroom after an

outstanding dinner still made him blush—right after the

memories gave him a raging hard on. But he wasn"t alone.

Magnus had the same
issue
, and they usually
solved
it

together.

Spring was finally around the corner, and while it was

still cold for the end of March, even
he
had to acknowledge

that the days were getting longer and warmer.

Life surely couldn"t get any better.

“Are you sure that"s the color scheme you want?”

Ragnor looked at the color swatches that lay strewn across

the entire living room floor, the sofa, and coffee table. “It

looks more like Christmas than a summer wedding.”

Ragnor had become a very good friend. Once their

neighbor had understood that Magnus and he were

inseparable, about to get married, and that he didn"t stand a

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61

chance, the good-looking stay-at-home writer of children"s

books had become an important ally in Lance"s fight with

planning deadlines and wedding details.

“Yes, I"m sure.” Lance knew it was unusual and would

probably raise a few eyebrows, but he"d discussed his idea

with Magnus and had his fiancé"s full support. “Green, red,

and white are our colors. After all, we didn"t just meet under

the mistletoe two Christmases ago, we realized that we really

belonged together permanently and forever, thanks to the

Solstice Mistletoe Effect last summer. Magnus proposed to

me on Midsummer Eve, under more mistletoe.”

“So it is kind of your mascot?” Ragnot grinned, his cute

dimple showing.

If Lance didn"t love Magnus already, he could so easily

fall for this man.

“Yeah, you could say that.” Lance grinned back. “It"s

almost as though our life together is one big Mistletoe

Experiment.”

They"d finished with most of what they"d set out to do

that afternoon and were packing the swatches and

everything else back into the boxes the wedding planner had

left with them, when the front door"s lock turned.

Lance jumped up to greet Magnus, but when he saw the

other man"s angry expression he held back.

“Where"s Jakob?” Magnus threw his briefcase into a

corner of the foyer with uncharacteristic vehemence before

taking off his jacket. It immediately followed the briefcase

into the corner.

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62

“He"s upstairs, doing his homework.” Lance wasn"t sure

what to think. Magnus had never behaved like this before,

ever.

“Good. We need to talk.” Magnus went over to their

rarely used bar, pulled out a whiskey glass, and poured

himself a large drink. He kicked back his head and devoured

the alcohol in one go, almost throwing the empty glass onto

the coffee table when he was done.

Lance was rooted to the spot in shock.

“I"ll be going, then.” Ragnor was halfway out the door

before Lance acknowledged him with a distracted wave. Wise

man.

“What is going on, baby?” Lance sat down on the sofa,

right next to Magnus. “I"ve never seen you this upset.”

“The assholes at the university decided to cut the

budget.” Magnus was livid, hands fisted at his sides now, his

knuckles turning white.

“So they went through with it?” Lance had a bad feeling

about this. They"d been discussing that for a while, but due

to the public relations effect of Magnus"s job as the leader of

the preparations for the next planned expedition to the North

Pole, his job had never been threatened.

“Yes.” Magnus looked up, pain and anger warring for

dominance in his eyes. “To make up for the loss of the

expedition to the North Pole, they decided to send me to the

Polish Polar Station on Spitsbergen instead, as their

contribution to some „international exchange program". That

will apparently bring them some money from some

international organization or other.”

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63

“Oh my God!” Lance felt like fainting.

“Yeah, you can say that again.” Magnus slumped in his

seat, not looking at him. “They told me I"m leaving after the

weekend.”

“For how long?” Lance could only whisper, his throat

suddenly too tight to speak.

“Three months.”

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64

Chapter Six

“THREE months?” Lance closed his eyes for a moment, trying

to get a grip on his emotions before he reacted.

This was clearly difficult enough for Magnus without

him breaking down and making his fiancé worry even more.

The fact that Magnus had reached for a drink, which he

almost never did, spoke volumes.

He loved Magnus and their life together so much, he

wasn"t sure he"d be able to survive three months apart. And

how would Jakob deal with it? They"d just moved to a new

country, and even though he was doing really well in school,

it was all still very different for him. That, on top of trying to

deal with his parents" death a little less than two years ago,

was more than enough for a nine year old to deal with.

Then there was his fear for Magnus, so far away and in

possibly dangerous conditions. The slightly warmer summer

season was coming up, but the weather wasn"t exactly

stable, and glaciers were notoriously dangerous places to do

research.

Then another realization made him shudder. The

wedding was supposed to be a little under three months

from now—would they have to cancel that? His heart broke

over that thought, but he held back the tears. He needed to

support Magnus; after all, it was his job they were talking

about.

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65

“Yes, three whole months. Might as well be an eternity,

as far as I"m concerned.” Magnus still wasn"t looking at him.

“What about…,” Lance took a deep breath. “What about

our wedding?”

“That"s the reason I told them I can"t go.” Magnus finally

looked up.

“You did?” Lance"s initial joy quickly vanished when he

realized it might mean Magnus got fired, or was about to get

fired. “They accepted that?”

“They told me I"d have till tomorrow to change my

mind.” Magnus snorted. “As if I would. I can"t leave you and

Jakob for that long.”

“So they really do want you to go.” Lance closed his

eyes. This was going to be the most difficult thing he"d ever

done. He looked Magnus straight in the eyes. “And I think

you should consider it.”

“What?” Magnus"s eyebrows rose.

“Baby, this is your
job
we"re talking about. You love your

work at the university, even if the students sometimes drive

you to distraction. And you"ve been wanting to go back into

field research for a while now.”

“How do you know?” Magnus frowned. “I never said

anything.”

“Oh, I"ve seen your eyes light up when we watch those

documentaries on the National Geographic channel. Or when

there"s an article about „glaciology in action" in
Science &

Nature
or another one of your magazines.” Lance shrugged.

“It was pretty obvious to me.”

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66

“Well, it"s true that I was
thinking
about it. But I know

that it"s no longer possible. My place is here now, with you

and Jakob.” Magnus held out his hand and Lance took it,

grateful for the physical contact.

“I agree.” Lance moved closer, so their thighs touched as

well as their hands. “And God knows that I"m not trying to

push you away. But I do want you to know that I"ll support

whatever decision you make. I don"t understand your need to

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