Thank you all for reading! I hope you liked this story that is set in one of the coldest places on the planet, and one of the most barren and other-worldly. Cheers! =D


Epilogue

A mosquito buzzed near my face and I swat it away. I don't need another mosquito bite in addition to the twenty or so that I already have on my legs, arms and face. This is the one downside to camping. Even when I use bug spray, they eat me alive. I scratched one on my arm subconsciously, and I groaned. My whole body tingled with itchiness due to the bites.

"What's up?"

I looked over at Justin as he sat next to me in the blue two-person camp chair that sat near an unlit campfire. He sipped coffee from a red camping mug. It was still morning, but late morning. It was just the two of us on the camping trip, in the middle of nowhere in the mountains west of Seattle. Our camp sat by a small lake surrounded by evergreen trees.

"I think another mosquito bit me," I said.

"They just love you because you're so sweet. That's why I love you."

I smiled at that and nudged his arm. "Aw, you're such a sap, you know that?"

"I know. You are, two."

"I know it, goo-goo bear."

He chocked on his coffee a little after I said that. "Okay, maybe don't call me that name."

"Why not?"

"Because I would call you it right back, goo-goo bear."

We both laughed and I put an arm around his shoulders as we faced the serene lake. The sunlight was shining on it, making it glitter.

"I'm glad we are finally able to have this camping trip," I said after a couple minutes of silence, other than birds chirping and critters scampering around in the trees and bushes surrounding our camp. "After planning it for the past year."

"Yeah, I'm just sorry it couldn't have happen sooner."

"Being a scientist at a prestigious lab in New York will do that to a person."

"Yeah, and so will being a famous author."

I grinned at that, not wanting to contradict it. "Yes, and all thanks to Daniel for taking my story under his wing and publishing it." I grabbed a copy of my book from the little side fold-out table next to me. The cover showed a beautiful Antarctic landscape, but a couple people were down walking it it. The cover read, "The Antarctic Expedition By Nathan Conwell." I opened up the back flap. "I could have given him a different picture of myself, though."

"But I like that one. You look so studious. And cute. No doubt a good portion of the twenty thousand copies sold were from women... and possible gay men. Makes my teeth grind."

I put the book back and leaned in, my nose touching his soft cheek. "I love it when you're jealous," I cooed. "It's so cute."

He turned his head and our gazes met. "Oh really?" he dared.

"Yes. Whenever I so much as talk to another man, or woman—any person—you make this really adorable jealous face. I love it."

He put his coffee mug down on the ground, near the chair, and looked back at me, coming very close. "You mean the face you make whenever anyone talks to me?"

I smirked. "Yeah, that one."

"Well, I think we both know that there's no other person on the planet that can turn our sights away from one another."

Our lips were close to touching. "Yeah, you're right."

He sat there in the position as some bird chirped up in a tree. "How about we take advantage of being alone out in the middle of the woods with no one around for miles?"

That low and husky tone made my nerves tingle. "Yeah, let's. Just like the past couple nights."

He nodded once and brought my face to his. We stood up, kissing, and made our way to the tent. We have been together for a full year, but we haven't seen each other for most of it, so we're making up for lost time. Justin is fully open about being bi, and has been since Antarctica. Yes, we love each other, and have met each other's full families, and they are a great love for us, too, but there is one thing—one place—that will always top both of our love lists...

Antarctica.