Read The Mistletoe Experiment Online

Authors: Serena Yates

Tags: #erotic MM, #Romance MM

The Mistletoe Experiment (9 page)

bury yourself in ice and snow, but I do know that it"s

important to you. And I don"t want to be the reason for you

losing your job.”

“You"re amazing, do you know that?” Magnus lifted his

hand and kissed it. “Losing my job wouldn"t be a problem,

but losing you and Jakob would.”

“You"ll never lose us, Magnus. We"ll be fine.” Lance

smiled, keeping his breaking heart to himself. “And even if

losing your job wouldn"t be a problem financially, it would be

a problem for you and your career, what you want to do with

your life. You like working at the university too much and

would miss the company of your colleagues and the

intellectual stimulation. Just like you missed both when you

were a Park Ranger.”

“You know me too well.” Magnus opened his arms. “It"ll

be hard, being away from you for so long.”

“It will. But they have satellite communication, don"t

they?” Lance moved as close as he could, circling Magnus"s

middle with his arms. It wasn"t the same as being close like

this, but Lance was sure that it would get them through the

worst parts.

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Serena Yates

67

“I guess they do.” Magnus grinned. “Long live Skype,

which we know is pretty reliable from all those long

conversations you have with Katie.”

“Yeah.” Except talking to his sister was very different

from talking to Magnus that way, once it was the only

alternative they had.

“But there is one thing they"ll have to accept.” Magnus

held him more tightly. “I will not miss my own wedding.”

“You won"t?” Hope made Lance"s heart beat faster.

“Of
course
not,
älskling
.” Magnus pulled back so he

could look into his eyes. “I"ll tell them they"ll have to live with

me returning a week earlier. No way are we going to

postpone getting married!”

Well, that was a relief.

Now, how were they going to tell Jakob?

IT HAD all turned out to be a lot easier than Lance had

expected. Jakob had taken everything in stride, more excited

about his uncle going on a big expedition than aware of what

that would mean for him at first.

Reality would hit them both soon enough, so Lance

focused on making the last few days before Magnus"s

departure as special as possible. Taking out and cleaning the

gear Magnus would take with him, including his special

clothing, took a fair amount of time, but they made it a

family event. Jakob loved learning the Swedish names for

everything, and Lance joined in on the fun side of it.

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68

Magnus said good-bye to Jakob on Sunday night, since

his taxi would pick him up really early on Monday morning,

and there was no point in disturbing Jakob"s sleep.

“I"ll miss you.” Jakob"s eyes had grown big with the

sudden realization that Magnus would be gone.

“I"ll miss you, too, Jakob.” Magnus had tears in his eyes,

and Lance wasn"t much better off. “But I"ll be back a week

after your summer vacation starts.”

“In time for the wedding, right?” Jakob bit his lower lip,

probably trying to hold back his tears.

“Yes, definitely in time for the wedding.” Magnus hugged

Jakob tightly, then took his small hand in his much larger

one. “In fact, I wanted to ask you if you"d agree to be my best

man?”

“Me?” Jakob"s eyes widened, the tears stopped for now.

“Yes, you.” Magnus smiled. “Who better than my favorite

nephew to stand beside me as we become a family in the

eyes of the law?”

“Well, I thought maybe one of your friends, you know? A

grownup who knows what to do.” Jakob frowned. “I"ve never

done this before.”

“Lance will help you get ready.” Magnus took Jakob"s

hand and put it into Lance"s.

Jakob"s fingers curled tightly around his, and Lance

smiled at the boy. The symbolism of that gesture wasn"t lost

on him. Only the need to be strong for Jakob stopped his

tears from flowing.

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69

“Okay.” Jakob lay back in his bed, tired from all the

running around they"d done all day.

“Good night, Jakob. Be good while I"m gone.” Magnus

bent down and softly kissed Jakob"s forehead. “I"ll be back

before you know it.”

“Night, Uncle Magnus. Love you.” Jakob"s eyes closed as

he turned his face into his pillow.

Lance and Magnus backed out of the room, tears

starting to run down their faces as soon as they"d closed the

door to Jakob"s bedroom. Lance fell into Magnus"s arms, the

reality of his fiancé leaving a few short hours from now

suddenly overwhelming. He buried his face in that warm

spot between Magnus"s neck and shoulder and let the tears

flow. Without saying a word, Magnus lifted him into his arms

and carried him into their bedroom.

They undressed each other slowly, exchanging caresses

and tender glances. They took a long shower together, each

washing the other lovingly, then crawled into bed. Lance

held on to Magnus with all his strength, kissing him with all

he had.

When Magnus finally entered him, his lover"s thrusts

were slow and deep, and they kept eye contact the entire

time. Lance had never been more in love, memorizing every

touch, every breath and each “I love you” so he"d be able to

remember these moments over the lonely months to come.

They came at the same time, their bodies shaking with

the physical release as much as with the emotional

closeness.

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70

Lance didn"t let go of Magnus. He couldn"t. He wasn"t

sure how he"d manage to ever let this man go. Magnus

wasn"t any better off, and so they clung to each other until

their passion rose again. This time he made love to Magnus.

He felt as though they were looking into each other"s souls.

His orgasm almost took him by surprise. It was longer and

deeper than the first, and he was so exhausted that he

finally fell asleep in Magnus"s arms.

The ringing of the alarm clock rudely awakened him a

few hours later. Magnus looked at him, his eyes red-rimmed.

“Are you okay, baby?” Lance stroked a stubble-covered

cheek. “Did you get any sleep at all?”

“Couldn"t sleep.” Magnus swallowed. “Didn"t want to

miss watching you.”

“Oh God.” Lance stretched so he could kiss his lover.

“You"ll be exhausted.”

“I can sleep on the plane.” Magnus smiled and kissed

him back.

“Come on, let"s get you dressed. The taxi will be here at

six.” Lance got up to make some coffee while Magnus got

ready for his long trip.

When the taxi arrived, Magnus put his suitcases into

the trunk and turned around to say goodbye.

This was it.

Lance embraced him, kissing him within an inch of his

life.

“I love you, baby.” Lance stepped back, forcing himself

to let go.

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71

“I love you,
min älskling
.” Magnus got into the taxi,

rolling the window down before he closed the door. “I"ll be

counting the days till we see each other again.”

“Me too.” Lance smiled.

He held his heart as he waved at the departing taxi. He

watched a waving Magnus get smaller and smaller, until the

car went around the corner and took Magnus away with it.

He had never felt more alone.

MAGNUS was sitting in the communal room at the station,

pretending to read a book. He hadn"t been able to stare at

his own four walls of the cell-like, tiny room for another

second. So he"d joined his colleagues, or at least those not

outside on some research mission, to try and bide his time

there. Sunday mornings seemed to last forever since he"d

moved here.

He"d looked forward to the call since last Sunday. The

weekly calls with Jakob and Lance were often the only thing

that kept him going. He had e-mail exchanges with Lance on

an almost daily basis, and Jakob sent him the occasional

message, but it wasn"t the same as hearing their voices and

seeing their faces via the webcam. Of course, holding them

in his arms would have even better, but there were a few

weeks yet to go until that would finally happen again.

The work at the station was interesting enough, even

though the measurement of glacier dynamics could get a bit

boring after a while. He"d realized that fieldwork, the way he

remembered it, was a lot more exciting than the reality.

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72

Maybe he just wasn"t cut out for making meticulous

measurements and keeping detailed records. His colleagues

came from all over the world, though, so exchanging

information and experiences provided at least some

entertainment.

And yet, time seemed to be passing at a less than glacial

pace.

He missed Lance more than he"d ever thought possible.

The man had brought so much joy into his life, making him

laugh and reconnect with other people, making life fun just

by being his own irrepressible, exuberant self. He missed the

intimacy he shared with his fiancé, the closeness and love. It

was worse in the evenings and at night, when he tossed and

turned in is narrow bunk bed, fighting to find the sleep he so

desperately needed to stay awake and alert during the

daytime when he went outside. Mistakes could be life

threatening in this climate, and ice and cold were very

unforgiving opponents.

He also missed Jakob a lot. In the two years since

Magnus had taken over the responsibility for raising the boy,

Jakob had become as close to him as if he"d been his own

son. One thing he had realized, being away like this, was

that he needed to make sure that Lance would be able to

take care of the boy, should anything happen to him. Even

their wedding wouldn"t solve that part of the problem, so he

was going to talk to Lance about adopting Jakob. Anything

to avoid another battle over custody if someone wanted to

fight the provision he"d made in his will. And it would be a

lot more difficult for Lance, as a non-relative, should it ever

happen.

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73

“Is it time for your call yet?” Fumio grinned as he looked

up from his book. “I know you"ve been waiting for it since

you hung up last week.”

“Almost.” Magnus didn"t mind Fumio"s friendly ribbing.

“Good. You"re always in a much better mood after the

call.” Fumio winked and returned to his book.

Better mood, indeed!
It was his lifeline.

He went back to his room fifteen minutes ahead of the

call time, just to make sure the laptop was switched on and

he was connected. Two p.m. couldn"t come quickly enough.

When he"d put on his headset and had logged into

Skype, Lance popped up as already online. Magnus grinned.

It looked like he wasn"t the only impatient one. He was about

to initiate the call when the familiar ringing sounded and the

box with his options came on screen. He answered the call,

the webcam switching on automatically.

“Hi, Magnus.” Jakob beamed at him.

“Hey, Jakob.” Magnus smiled back. “How did your big

soccer tournament go yesterday?”

“It was great. We won!” Jakob held up a picture of his

team, taken after the game. Everyone was all smiles. “I even

scored a goal!”

“Wow, that"s excellent. Well done!” God, he wished he

could have been there. Watching the video Lance had sent

just wasn"t the same as being there.

Why had he ever agreed to go on this stupid

assignment? He was missing some of the most important

events in Jakob"s life. Interesting university job or not, this

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74

wasn"t going to happen again. No more expeditions. He"d

have to figure something else out.

“We miss you.” Jakob held up a sheet that had the last

three days of May and all of June on it. June twenty, his

return date, had a big fat red circle around it, as did the

twenty-fifth, their wedding date. “I"ve started a countdown so

I know exactly how many days are left until you come back.

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