Varg’s still not sold on the whole Svalbard wildlife thing. Andreas plans to do something about that. By taking him out onto the tundra. Varg is not happy, nor is he convinced.
But the snowmobiles are fun. The bonding time is even better. But when Varg falls from a glacier cliff, it appears all his fears about the dangerous wilderness of Svalbard come true.
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“Want to head out with us today?”
I straightened from my crouch behind the bar to blink at Andreas. He leaned over the counter, staring at me. I asked, “Out where?”
“Out of town.” There was definitely a duh at the end there. “Up on the tundra. We’re thinking perhaps the Tuna and Von Post glacier.”
“’We’ being…?” If it was Christian and him, I had no plans to being the third wheel. “And how’re we getting up there, anyway?” No dogs, please, no dogs. Sled-dogging was bloody scary.
“Snowmobiles, of course.” Another duh tacked on the end. As if I was a fucking mind reader.READ MORE
“Snowmobiles are not the obvious choice, you know.” I tapped my fingers against the bar. “There’s sledding, skiing, hiking. So don’t take that tone with me.”
“You need some fresh air, grouchy.” He nudged me. “And it’s Jørgen and me. We’ve been talking about it for a couple of days. Want to bring you with us too. It’ll be fun. You need to loosen up a bit.”
I needed to loosen up? I was a loose person. Maybe that should be past tense, what with going steady and all. Still. I wasn’t uptight. I didn’t need to loosen up.
“I take serious offence at what you’re implying.” I narrowed my eyes into a glare. “You’re the one who’s always been the stuck-up one. I’m the loose one.”
“These days it’s different.” He folded his arms in front of him. “This is part of our ongoing mission to make you love this place as much as we do.”
“Me, Jørgen, Frey. Jonathan. He took you out dog-sledding the other day. Wasn’t it fun?” He looked at me expectantly, like a simple trip out of the settlement was going to make me do a complete heel-face-turn.
“More like heart-attack inducing. Good thing I’m entirely too young for one of those. Yet.” It wasn’t an exaggeration. I’d sat in the sled with my heart in my throat the whole time.
“Come on.” He prodded me. “Come with us.”
I was conflicted. On the one hand, spending time with them was something I wanted, on the other was the wilderness of Svalbard. I didn’t care for it. I probably never would.
“We hardly ever get to hang out anymore.” Now he turned to guilt-tripping. “When I’m not busy you are, and vice versa. Come on, Varg. It’ll be fun. I promise.”
“Don’t make promises you can’t keep.” But okay. “All right.” I yielded entirely too quickly.COLLAPSE