“It’s just a little cabin in the Catskills.” Theo chuckled his low baritone and I hopped with a giggle when
his hand impacted my ass. “Come on, Sugar. The snow is fresh and we need to get up on that mountain
before all the kids have taken advantage.”
The six bedroom structure complete with two decks holding jacuzzies and was I counting four chimneys?
was anything but “little.”
“This place is bigger than our house in Santa Rosa!” I hefted my bag over my shoulder and grabbed a box
of provisions that a friend of his had procured for us and left with the car at the airport.
“Yep,” was the only response I got as Theo all but skipped up the stairs holding his own box. His grin
warmed me. Who knew my Polynesian surfer boyfriend loved the slopes so much?
After setting the box on the granite counter of the open kitchen that overlooked a huge living room, I
gave myself a quick tour. The place had been decorated by a designer and had a lot more furniture than
our home, each bedroom carrying its own color-scheme. I found Theo in the second master bedroom,
tapping on the holographic display on his arm. I didn’t have to ask my boyfriend, the technomage, what
he was up to as his modus operedi anytime we were in a new place was to magically secure it. I busied
myself with putting away our clothes until he was out of the Interface, his term for the cyber realm that
he mentally goes to.
“So, to your liking?” Theo grinned at me.
“Mmhmm.” I melted against him as he pulled me into a warm bear hug. “When you said cabin in the
woods, I was picturing a one-roomer but this…” I shook my head. Of course it was a mansion. Theo’s
motto was go big or go home.
“Anddddd, we’re off!” Theo sang out and suddenly I was looking at the floor from the vantage of his
shoulder as he bounded out and down the stairs.
I took the opportunity to spank his ample rump a few times only to be rewarded by being deposited in
the passenger seat.
Robbie’s energy was as infectious as his smile. He’d admitted to seeing what passes for the occasional
snow in Sacramento, California where he grew up, but only from his bedroom (aka prison) window. His
awe at the banks around us, the snowcapped mountains, the trees dripping with the stuff – was a secret
gift that he had no clue he was giving. There’s something to be said for experiencing things for the first
time, but to experience them for the first time through your partner is strangely healing in a way. A way
I never knew I needed.
As athletic as Robbie had become in the last few months, I just had to get him to try snowboarding. And
nothing at all like the Catskills to do it in. After spending half an hour getting him used to maneuvers on
the bunny slope it was pretty obvious that this was going to be another sport conquered by my
boyfriend. I pondered for only a moment how he’d fair in the Olympics before axing that line of
thought. He still wasn’t safe from his shifter family, so we always kept ourselves on the downlow.
“Ready for the big time?” I asked, handing him a cup of marshmallow-laden hot chocolate which he
gratefully slurped up as he eagerly nodded.
The serene ride up the mountain was interrupted only by a group of three kids cutting class, but who
could blame them? Their exuberance for the fresh powder only fueled Robbie’s excitement and soon
they had sucked him into the snowboard vs skies debate, and we all arrived at the agreement that skies
were so old school as to not even warrant being part of the discussion. I had offered Robbie his choice
of both, but when he learned that all I used was a board his mind was set.
My time on the slopes in the past had been half cruising and half flying, both enjoyed in equal measure.
This time, I didn’t even pause to scope out the ski patrol and slip choice studs my number. Instead, I
steered Robbie away from the herd to give him private tutoring on the best ways to handle drifts,
jumps, and speed. For on the board, speed is what we would be accomplishing.
“I got it,” Robbie said with a final nod.
Then he winked at me before just setting off! After some choice cursing, I snatched my board and
lowered my visor, intent on going in the direction I had seen him go.
I flashed down the hill, slipping easily around trees, dodging the occasional teen. Convinced he had to
have taken the jump, so I went ahead and pushed off after him. For a split second I forgot my
annoyance as I flipped mid-air, landing easily and twisting, pushing off and scanning the area. After a
solid ten more minutes it dawned on me that the old fashion search mission was getting me nowhere,
so I found myself a tree, leaned against, and slipped into the Interface. Connecting to the satellites, I
trained them to seek out his cell phone and then give me a visual of where he ended up.
I’m sure I facepalmed outside of the Interface as a mixture of horror was tempered with humor seeing
him laid out under a tree. The humor stemmed from the snow angel he was engaged in making. The
horror was the Robbie-sized hole through a drift and smack into a tree. His broke-in-two board was
strewn to either side of the tree. But ug, he was up the hill – hadn’t made the jump.
He sat up suddenly, patting himself and fishing out his phone. “Hello….?”
“Sugar…what’r you doing?” I chuckled.
“Oh… yeah… Umm, nothing!”
He stood suddenly, let out a yelp and sat back down hard, dropping his phone and grabbing at his ankle.
I magically turned the phone on speaker. “Sugar, don’t take off your shoe. Just sit tight – I’m on my
“My ankle hurts, babe. Like… hurt-hurts,” he said incredulously.
“It’s ok, I’ll be there as soon as I can. 30 minutes tops, Sugar. Ok? I’d call search and rescue, but they
will want to take your vitals and you know how your heart rate and blood pressure are. They’ll have an
IV in you and –”
“I’m ok,” he assured me, having picked up his phone again. “I’ll just hang… I can play suduko. Or read up
for class. Or –”
I wasn’t quite sure what else he was saying because I was flying down the hill to catch another ride on
the lift. I had to leave the Interface to do so, and was just good old fashion blue-toothing it. But as long
as he was talking, that was fine. I’m pretty sure I broke world records making it to the lift where I bribed
a nice group of Chinese tourists to let me cut in line, with some cash and the magical illusion that I spoke
Cantonese spinning the story my bride was waiting for me at the top of the mountain.
How could my ankle hurt so much? I tried turning it which only made me grit my teeth as pain radiated
up my leg and down my foot. I kept up the discussion with Theo, having heard the worry in his voice.
But was consumed with curiosity of how I didn’t feel the pain in my ankle when I… Oh, that’s right. I had
knocked myself out. I woke up by the tree, broken board, and realized that I was laid sprawled out.
Theo hadn’t let me snow angel because we had to hurry to get here and it seemed the right thing to do.
I had planned on taking a picture before hiking back up the hill but then he had called.
I think I really hurt myself bad. I wanted to see, but Theo had told me not to take off the boot. “When
we get back to the cabin you’re so making me more hot chocolate,” I said, only to hear Theo’s
‘whatever you’d like, Sugar.’ I had to giggle at that and started my list of demands, “And some cuddle
time by the fire, and some hot soup, and you can binge watch some Desperate Housewives with me,
and then perhaps a dip in the hot tub….”
I knew he wasn’t listening carefully when he ‘mmhmm’ed’ to everything including the silly television
show that Kat and I had become addicted to. Theo hated stuff like that. I found myself becoming more
and more tired and curled up against the tree, yawning. A little nap wouldn’t hurt. Theo would be here
“Robbie,” I urged him to answer as I stomped out of the lift, getting to a quiet area where I could
Satellites showed him slumped against the tree. Fuck!
I set out slowly, maintaining my link to the Interface while going as fast as I dared. He had gone off the
marked path which is why he had hit the drift in the first place. My trek to him ended up taking twice as
long and when I arrived, he was sound asleep in the snow. “Robbie!”
I learned what it was like to take a breath “of relief” when he murmured my name. “Fuck boy! I swear
I’m going to kick your ass to hell and gone. Ok, Sugar, I need you to shift.” When he didn’t move, I
began undressing him.
“What?” He blinked, teeth chattering.
“Turn into a snake and get in here,” I instructed slowly, holding open my coat. Did I just ask my
boyfriend to turn into a snake and cuddle? I stifled a shudder.
Robbie complied and soon I had a long-ass snake just slithering all around me under my jacket. It was
going to take some time to expel that memory. After he was in, I zipped up and took off again working
really hard to control my breathing and focus anywhere but on what was gently constricting my love
handles and stealing my warmth.
“Mmmm, this is nice.” I curled up on the couch against Theo, sipping chocolate and watching TV.
I couldn’t believe I had gotten to cuddle around my boyfriend in snake form for an entire ride home. It
had been incredibly intimate even though I could sense his pulse pounding through him and taste his
pheromones which screamed primal fear. I thought about biting him, but decided that probably
wouldn’t be kind. That, and he was driving.
Theo hummed agreement, much more relaxed now that I had two legs and arms again; and if I wasn’t
mistaken it looked like he might actually be watching the show. He had been very attentive all the way
home and after – making sure the heater was set to high, that I was set up on the couch with my leg
elevated and soup and hot cocoa nearby. My ankle felt fine after I shifted back and it wasn’t swollen at
all, but Theo wouldn’t let me walk on it or even try it out. He said I’d just have to get used to being
carried for the next couple of days.
Oh well. Poor me.