A Mistletoe Celebration by Serena Yates

January 15, 2015

Title: A Mistletoe Celebration

Author: Serena Yates

Pairing: Magnus and Lance from Mistletoe Science

Prompt: marzipan

Author’s Note

 

This short story is set a year after glaciologist Magnus Carstens was rescued from the icy crevasse he fell into at the end of a three-month stay at the Polish Polar Station at Spitsbergen, Sweden. Sent there by Stockholm University after severe budget cuts in early 2012, the unexpected assignment almost made him miss his wedding day. The incident prompted him to quit his job with the university upon his return to Stockholm.

Magnus got married to Lance Rivera on June 25, 2012 under the mistletoe-covered gazebo in his parents’ garden, at the end of The Mistletoe Experiment (Mistletoe Science 3).

 

 

Chapter One

 

“This is going to be more difficult than I thought.” Lance frowned at his computer screen and the images of glaciers he’d been staring at for a while. The anniversary of Magnus’s return from his ill-fated stay at the Polish Polar station near Spitsbergen last year was coming up fast, and Lance was determined to celebrate his husband’s safe return with as much fanfare as possible. It being Thursday today, and the anniversary falling on Monday, he didn’t have much time left to complete his secret project.

“What are you doing?” Jakob’s voice came from right behind Lance and he almost jumped from the sudden interruption.

“Research.” Lance wanted to hide the googled images so the boy wouldn’t find out about his plans, but he quickly thought better of it. Jakob, who had turned ten last September, was as much a part of their little family as Lance and Magnus, and always happy to help with any project around the house. And a little over a week before the start of the school summer vacation, there wasn’t much homework left to do, so Jakob had the time.

“Those look like glaciers. Continental glaciers.” Jakob frowned and turned his face toward Lance. The orphaned boy looked more like his uncle every day, and was determined to become a glaciologist as well. Magnus might not be his father, but the family resemblance was strong. Magnus had become Jakob’s guardian just over three years ago when Jakob’s parents died in a plane crash and while Magnus was not normally emotional, he’d grown to love Jakob like a son. Lance had felt drawn to the boy from the moment they’d met back in Mistletoe, Wyoming, and everything they’d been through since then had only strengthened his feelings.

“That’s because they are glaciers.” Lance smiled, wondering what the next question might be.

“Are you going to be a glaciologist too?” Jakob tilted his head, as if to give the thought more consideration. “I thought you don’t like the cold and snow?”

“You’re right, even after more than a year of living in Stockholm, I still haven’t gotten used to the winters.” Lance shuddered. It wasn’t just the low temperatures, although they were bad enough, the darkness got to him even more. “So getting closer to the ice than I have to here in the city is not on my agenda.”

“Then why are you looking at glaciers?” Jakob didn’t give up easily.

“Can you keep a secret?” Lance narrowed his eyes, feeling like a spy about to share a highly confidential piece of information.

“Sure.” Jakob squared his shoulders.

“Even from Uncle Magnus?” Lance bit the inside of his cheek to stop himself from laughing. This was fun.

“Oh!” Jakob’s eyes widened. “Is it something good?”

“Yes, I think it is.” Lance nodded.

“How long do I have to keep it to myself?” Jakob fidgeted a little. “I’m not sure I can lie to Uncle Magnus.”

“No lying.” Lance ruffled Jakob’s blond locks. “Just—not telling him about the surprise I’m planning.”

“Okay. I think I can do that.” Jakob nodded, putting on his most serious face as he squeezed himself onto the same chair as Lance, moving as close as possible.

“Good.” Lance lowered his head and his voice for dramatic effect. “Do you remember when Uncle Magnus went away for three months last year?”

“Of course.” Jakob nodded. “It was horrible. I missed him a lot.”

“I know. So did I.” Lance had originally encouraged Magnus to go so he could keep his job with Stockholm University, but nothing had been worth the pain of separation. Thank God Magnus had come to the same conclusion and had ended up resigning from his position to find a job that wouldn’t require him to lead arctic expeditions or do field work. “He came back just before the wedding, and I thought it would be nice to celebrate his safe return.”

“That’s a great idea.” Jakob grinned. “But why the glaciers?”

“Well, I was thinking that any good celebration needs a cake, right?” Lance loved baking and had produced quite a few of the sweet confections since becoming a housedad. “So I thought I’d make a glacier cake.”

“A glacier cake?” Jakob looked from him to the screen and back. “Made of ice?”

“No, but it’s not a bad idea.” Lance filed it away for future reference. This one needed to be chocolate. The sweet was a huge turn-on for Magnus, and Lance loved reaping the rewards once they’d closed their bedroom doors behind them. “It’ll be chocolate, to make it look like earth or rocks underneath, and then I was thinking of decorating it with icing on top, shaping the whole thing like a glacier coming down from the mountains.”

“That’s perfect.” Jakob jumped up and down on the seat, his sky-blue eyes twinkling as he laughed. “It’ll look really real that way.”

“Exactly. And that’s why I was looking at examples of glaciers on the Internet.” Lance pointed at the three best ones he’d found. “I’ll print them out and we can use them as models. What do you think?”

“I love it.” Jakob jumped up. “When can we start? Oh, and will there be marzipan?”

“I think there will definitely have to be marzipan.” Lance grinned. Ever since Jakob had been introduced to the Swedish specialty “Prinsesstårta”, consisting of alternating layers of sponge, crème patisserie, whipped cream, and jam, topped with a layer of green marzipan, he’d become a huge fan. During the fourth week in September, just after Jakob’s birthday, a proportion of each sale was donated to the Crown Princess Victoria’s Fund—a charity for chronically ill and disabled children in Sweden. Most children’s birthday cakes were also variations of this recipe, and Jakob had quickly become addicted.

“Yay, marzipan!” Jakob did a little victory dance.

“It will help make the cake look more like a real glacier.” Lance nodded as he copied the pictures into a document, then saved and printed it.

“How do you mean?” Jakob took the sheets when Lance handed them over.

“Come to the kitchen and I’ll show you.” Lance checked the time before he logged off and powered down the computer. They had about two hours before Magnus returned from work. “We’ll have to hurry so we can finish the preparations and hide the cake.”

“Makes it feel like Christmas.” Jakob was a fan, just like the rest of the family.

Lance led the way to the kitchen, where a five-centimeter-high chocolate layer cake was already waiting. He’d baked it on a large sheet, planning to cut the glacier shape from it once he’d decided on the final shape.

“Oh, this is like an art project.” Jakob set up the pictures so they could look at them and rubbed his hands before putting on his little apron. “You’re going to cut the glacier from the bigger shape, right?”

“Yes.” Lance washed his hands, then took the big knife and started to shape the cake, setting aside the pieces he cut off for later use. “And this is where the marzipan will help. See how the edges are fairly straight and pointy right now?”

Jakob nodded.

“Once I’m done, I can mold the marzipan over and around them, so they’ll look more rounded, like a real glacier.” Lance finished the cutting and went to the back of the pantry, where he always kept some marzipan in an airtight container. He opened it, unwrapped the light-blue mass he had prepared, and put it on the cleaned workspace. Time to let Jakob help. “You want to roll it into a sheet, about half a centimeter thick?”

Jakob beamed at him and went to work. Lance added some of the cutoff pieces to the top of the cake to make it look like a mountain with a valley between two peaks. When Jakob was done, Lance covered everything in marzipan, making sure the surfaces were rounded and looked like ice flowing downhill. He left a small sliver of the brown cake at the bottom, making it resemble the earth and rocks pushed ahead of the mass of ice and snow.

“Wow, this looks amazing.” Jakob stood back when they were done.

“I’ll add some icing tomorrow, to make it look even more real. Then we’ll hide it at Ragnor’s house so Magnus doesn’t find it over the weekend.” Lance took the baking sheet with the piece of art into the pantry and stowed it at the back before carefully covering it with a couple of towels. Ragnor, their friendly neighbor from across the street, had already agreed to help set up the surprise party.

Lance couldn’t wait!

Moments after he had closed the pantry door behind him, the front door opened and Magnus strode in. With his leather briefcase in hand and wearing smart casual summer clothes, he looked every inch the professor he now was. Jakob ran up to greet him with a quick hug, then raced to the living room to watch TV.

“Hello, älskling.” Magnus closed the door, dropped the briefcase, and opened his arms.

“Hi, baby.” Lance stepped right into his husband’s embrace and tilted his head for a kiss. Magnus’s hot lips on his made him forget where he was, and for a while all that existed was Magnus’s strong arms around him, and the loving caresses they exchanged. Lance finally sighed into Magnus’s mouth and pulled back.

“Did you have a good day?” Magnus looked a little dazed.

“Very good.” Lance smiled and cupped Magnus’s cheek, feeling the slight stubble against his skin and looking forward to having it touch other places on his body later that evening. “Did the students behave?”

“No worse than usual.” Magnus grinned. “They all want to do well on their exams and papers, so they’re making an effort at the end of the academic year, at least.”

“You need some time for grading their work?” Lance was counting on Magnus being a little distracted over the next few days.

“I’ll get started this weekend, but I mainly have Monday and Tuesday set aside. With no lectures, I can easily work from home.” Magnus winked.

Lance blushed. With Jakob at school and only the two of them in the house, Magnus’s work wasn’t all that would get done….

 

 

Chapter Two

 

On Monday morning, Magnus awoke slowly, enjoying the feeling of Lance in his arms. As usual, his husband was draped half over Magnus in sleep, warmer than any blanket, and much more welcome. The thin sheet they used as their only covering in summer had slipped to his waist, revealing his husband’s strong back and offering a tantalizing view of the top of Lance’s asscheeks. The light coming through the edges of the blackout curtains they used in summer was just enough to make Lance’s skin look golden.

I am such a lucky bastard! Magnus smiled. Meeting Lance and falling in love with him had provided Magnus with more than enough evidence for his scientific mind to start believing in miracles. But realizing exactly how precious their life together was while Magnus spent close to two days at the bottom of an icy crevasse a year ago had prompted him to make some changes in his life. Accepting a position at Uppsala University was one of them. Running their masters and doctoral programs and doing desk research was a job Magnus enjoyed, and, unlike his alma mater and previous employer, Stockholm University, they had been very understanding about Magnus’s priority being his family. No arctic expeditions or international field research projects loomed in his future. He was happy to do training, but his place was with Lance and Jakob now.

Exactly one year ago today he had returned to Stockholm on a medical flight, injured in body but not in spirit. That was the day he’d made his commitment to his new life, and he hadn’t regretted it for a single moment.

“Hmm.” Lance cuddled a little closer. “Please tell me it’s too early to get up.”

“It is.” Magnus smiled and stroked his husband’s back. The sun might already have been up for hours, but that was part of Swedish summers, and the alarm clock showed it was only just before six. “And I don’t have anywhere to go today, so we can stay in bed until Jakob gets impatient or needs to get up for school.”

“That may be sooner than we want.” Lance lifted his head and blinked himself awake, a tiny smile gracing his full lips.

“He’s a good boy.” Magnus smiled back and tightened his grip on Lance. “And we’ll spend the rest of the day with him, when he comes back from school, so I’m sure he won’t complain.”

“We will?” Lance raised his eyebrows.

“Oh yes, I’m declaring today a family day, and we’ll do something together.” Magnus didn’t mind what it was, even an amusement park was fun with Jakob around.

“No work for you?” Lance’s smile widened.

“None.” Magnus shook his head for emphasis. “I think we should make this an official family holiday. What do you think?”

“That’s a great idea.” Lance stretched and kissed Magnus.

“Good.” Magnus slid his free hand behind Lance’s head to hold him in place for more kisses. The heat between them rose quickly, and Magnus moaned in delight when Lance’s erection poked him. He pulled Lance up and fully across his body, making sure their cocks aligned as Lance straddled his thighs. Better!

Kissing Lance was one of Magnus’s favorite activities, and full-bodied naked kissing, like they were doing now, made everything even hotter. Magnus held Lance’s neck with one hand, and pushed their groins together with his other firmly holding on to Lance’s perfect ass. He enjoyed their artful squirming and rubbing that pushed his arousal higher and higher, until he was ready to explode. When Lance started moaning at the back of his throat and sped up his thrusts against Magnus’s stomach, he responded in kind. Before he knew it, his orgasm slammed into him, and his entire body stiffened as he shook through his release.

Additional heat from Lance added to the effect, and he held on for dear life as he enjoyed the aftershocks.

“Love you,” Lance whispered, his head back on Magnus’s chest.

“Love you too. So much.” Magnus closed his eyes and held on. They’d remove the mess with their morning shower soon enough, but these shared moments of spent passion were too precious to ignore.

A short while later, a sharp knock on the door roused Magnus from his slumber.

“Are you awake?” Jakob’s voice sounded muffled.

“We are now.” Lance sounded gruff but he was grinning when he lifted his head.

“We’ll join you in a minute.” Magnus sighed and stretched as soft footsteps sounded from the hallway, proof of Jakob’s retreat downstairs.

“Time to get up and face the day.” Lance pulled away and rose, on his way to the adjoining bathroom long before Magnus was ready to let him go, even for a short while. “There will be a reward for you if you make it downstairs on time for breakfast.”

“A reward?” That had Magnus racing after Lance and catching up with him just as he turned on the shower. He loved surprises, and a reward for getting up was definitely new.

“If you’re good.” Lance grinned and stepped under the warm spray.

“Oh, I’ll show you good.” Magnus quickly did his business, then joined Lance in the glass-encased shower stall. He soaped up his husband, touching every nook and cranny of Lance’s slim body.

When Lance returned the favor a few minutes later, Magnus closed his eyes and enjoyed the soft touches. He was looking forward to Jakob leaving for school; it would give them a few hours together before the boy got back around 4:00 p.m. The cleaning done, Magnus shut off the water and they dried, shaved, and got dressed in record time.

The scent of coffee greeted them, and Jakob was putting the finishing touches on setting the kitchen table for breakfast. The morning sun gave the eating nook a festive appearance, and Magnus sat down with a sigh.

“Close your eyes, baby.” Lance grinned. “It’s time for your reward.”

“His reward?” Jakob laughed. “For getting up?”

“For always being there for us.” Lance smiled and ruffled Jakob’s hair. “Can you make sure he keeps his eyes closed?”

“Oh ho, so Jakob is in on this—whatever it is.” Magnus pulled the boy onto his lap for a cuddle.

“I helped.” Jakob beamed at him then held up his small hands, clearly ready to enforce Lance’s order. “Close your eyes.”

Magnus did as he was told and relaxed back in his chair. He had no idea what Lance was up to, but his husband loved giving surprises as much as receiving them, maybe more, and Magnus was more than happy to play along.

Footsteps sounded, then the softly creaking pantry door opened, and the kitchen was silent for a while. Magnus listened to Jakob’s quick breathing and the birds tweeting outside as he wondered what culinary delicacy Lance had come up with. Then more footsteps followed, a soft thump told Magnus something had been placed on the table in front of him, then nothing.

Jakob giggled.

Lance snorted.

Magnus sighed. This was torture.

“Okay you can open your eyes now.” Lance sounded amused.

Magnus tore open his eyes, his gaze immediately drawn to a huge light-blue shape on a baking tray. In the middle of the table sat what looked like a small piedmont glacier, covered in white snow at the top, then turning the typical light-blue of glacier ice lower down. It came down from a perfectly formed valley between two mountains, its bulb-like lobe spilling into a relatively flat plain, pushing brown chocolate cake that looked like earth ahead of it.

“Wow.” It was the only sound Magnus could make.

“Do you like the glacier cake?” Jakob’s eyes had widened and he kept looking back and forth between the cake, Lance, and Magnus. “It has marzipan inside!”

“I love it. It looks absolutely breathtaking, and I am sure it will taste even better.” Magnus swallowed, touched by the effort Lance had put into this work of art, and amused by Jakob’s addiction to the sweet, almond-based confection. “Thank you.”

“It’s to celebrate your safe return from Spitsbergen last year.” Lance’s eyes looked suspiciously shiny. “I am so happy you decided to stay with us, and am sorry you haven’t been able to visit any glaciers. I thought maybe… maybe a chocolate cake would be the right thing to show you how much we appreciate your sacrifice.”

“Come here.” Magnus moved Jakob to his right knee and stretched his left arm toward Lance, pulling him in for a hug. “I love being with the both of you, and I haven’t regretted my decision at all. Not once.”

“Really?” Lance settled on Magnus’s left knee, hugging him and Jakob as he put his head on Magnus’s shoulder.

“Really.” Magnus was the luckiest man alive in that moment, with the man he loved beyond reason and the boy he wanted to become his son both nestled safely in his arms. “Glaciers are beautiful and interesting in their own way and they will always fascinate me. But this, here with you? That is where I really want to be.”

Lance’s smile was warm enough to melt ice, and caused the heat Magnus felt inside to increase beyond even what the thought of eating chocolate cake had done to him. Their afternoon together would certainly be interesting.

“Can I take some pictures before I go?” Jakob squeezed them both before letting go.

“Of course.” Magnus nodded. “As much as I want to eat the cake, it’s too beautiful to destroy. The least we can do is take as many pictures as we can.”

Jakob ran off to get his little digital camera, then snapped pictures until Magnus was sure the memory card was close to full. Lance set up the autotimer, and they got a few pictures with all three of them and the cake. When it was time for Jakob to leave for school, he clearly wasn’t ready to go.

“We’ll do something together when you come back.” Magnus smiled at the excited expression on Jakob’s face.

“Can we go to Gröna Lund?” Jakob loved the fairground with its rides and activities and went at every opportunity.

“Sure.” Magnus smiled and kissed him goodbye before Lance did the same. “Have a good day.”

“Bye.” Jakob raced outside to catch the bus, slamming the door closed behind him.

“Now, where were we?” Magnus tuned to Lance and pulled him into his arms.

“Right here.” Lance pushed closer and kissed Magnus deeply.

Right here indeed. Magnus kissed him back, ready to take their private celebration upstairs within seconds. With Lance, Magnus was always in the moment, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Did you enjoy Serena Yates’s story? If so, check out the rest of her books and take 25% off at checkout with the code SerenaYatesFlash. Coupon code is good for one order per customer through February 15, 2015.

2 Responses to “A Mistletoe Celebration by Serena Yates”

  1. Shirley Ann Speakman says:

    That was a great story it’s so nice to catch up with Magnus, Lance and Jakob again thank you.

  2. Denise Dechene says:

    So good to see Magnus and Lance and Jakob again. Thank you

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