Soren is a Security Officer with Antarctica National on his way home when he receives a call.
'Do I really have to babysit some tourists, Blake?' Soren glared
out of the window of his trusty Landrover at the snow-covered
mountain range in the distance as he drove carefully through the
pine tree forest.
'I'm sorry, Soren, but no one can reach them and if they don't have shelter, they'll freeze overnight.'
'Why don't you just give the coordinates of the nearest bunker?' Soren tried to mask his annoyance.
'Did that. They don't have a compass or GPS and their navman has
run out of batteries. Get them to the bunker and I'll have Graeme
with a new battery out to you tomorrow.'
'Thanks, Soren, Blake out.'
Jeff & Sue and Jane were waiting inside their All-terrain vehicle when Soren arrived.
Introductions were made. Jeff and Sue were married, in their
Soren thought Jane warm and beautiful in a careless manner and instantly was drawn to her. With her pale skin and dark her, she looked English and was in good spirits despite the current calamity.
Soren advised that there was an abandoned cabin with an in-built bunker about 200metres down in the valley, they had to walk through thick scrub to reach it and would need to take supplies from the vehicles.
Soren keyed in the emergency frequency and suggested that Jeff
stay in his truck to radio for any help that might be nearby. Sue
didn't want him to stay alone so she would stay with him. As the
sun was now setting, he would return for them in a couple of
He took an inventory, packed some items for Jane, left half the heavy gear for his next trip and took most of what they needed himself.
It was a very cold night as Soren and Jane left the vehicles. The wind threatened to push them over. Beyond the dense pine tree forest, it was 50metres to the cabin but it felt like a mile.
Soren took her arm just as a huge gust blasted them.
The sight of the logged cabin was a relief. Soren pulled open the door and they went inside.
Jane took off her beanie to reveal a mass of dark curls. Soren found the light switch and then smiled at her. Soren held the door to the main room open for her.
'Thank you. Bbbbrrrhhhh!! It's freezing!' Jane couldn't help stating the obvious and then looked down, slightly embarrassed by her comment.
'Let's get you warm then.' He opened the supply closet and started to rummage through it. 'We're going to be here a while.'
'How long?' Jane wanted to know.
'Well, a trooper will get a spare battery to us as soon as he can. But at least until the blizzard passes. Could be 24hours or 72.'
'We'll sleep in the bunker.' Soren unlocked the seal and heaved open the bunker door. There were 10 perilous steps to go down.
Jane shivered and looked around the bunker in alarm.
'Don't worry. I'm going to keep you alive.' He gave her a warm reassuring smile.
He handed her a case and gestured towards her parka. 'You need 2 of everything in case one fails.' He was far from experienced but he knew at least that. Spare batteries could be the difference between life and death out here.
'See if you can find a saucepan or container and we can boil some snow.' He indicated the supply closet and stood up.
Jane set to it as Soren lit a fire in the fireplace.
'What are you doing?' Jane surveyed Soren as he darted about on the floor like a rabbit.
'Checking the room for drafts.' He shot her a glance. 'It's going to be below zero in outside soon.'
'Oww!' Soren heard Jane exclaim.
'What?' he asked in concern going over to her.
'Just a scratch.' Jane tries to dismiss it but Soren takes her wrist to inspect it. It was a small cut red and bleeding. 'A rusty nail?'
'Yeah,' Jane indicated the bench and the nail.
'Have you had a tetnus shot recently?' Soren's caring brown eyes gazed into her large brown ones.
'Well… I don't know…' she fumbled. He was still holding her
wrist. 'There should be a medikit around somewhere. You don't
want a bacterial infection out here. I'll give you a shot.' He
headed for the supply closet.
Jane grimaced and sat down.
He had a way about him that inspired trust.
Expertly, Soren prepared the needle and asked Jane to take off her jacket and pull up her sleeve. Without drawing it out, he stuck Jane's shoulder with the needle and then held a cotton bud over the place. Jane didn't react despite the sharp pain. Soren pulled a coffee candy out of his pocket and placed it in her hand. 'For being a good patient.' He teased her.
'Have you found much food?' Soren asked from the other room where
he was setting up beds.
'Oh yes, there is plenty!'
'There should be some museli bars?' Jane came into the 'bedroom'
and threw one to him.
'Thanks,' he smiled at her.
Jane stood in front of the fire, warming her extremities and supervising the saucepan, preparing to cook the pasta she found. Her nose was still red from the cold. Soren's features were blushing from his exertion with the equipment. He hauled in more logs and set them by the fire, brushing off the bark from his jacket.
He regarded her, catching her attention. 'I'm going to get Jeff & Sue now, be back in 40minutes.'
'Okay.' They smiled at each other.
Jeff & Sue settled in front of the fire as Soren continued to organise things they would need. They had brought their overnight bags with them but were without most of their luggage.
After a hearty makeshift dinner they sat in a diamond, comfortably warm, getting to know each other.
'So, you came up for an evangelical thing...?' Soren questions Jane.
'Yes, Jodi and Simon Winthrop were giving us a tour, do you know Whitehaven?'
>>> They talked of many things.
Soren went out to collect more snow for more tea and Sue noticed
that Jane was observing him.
'Is it still blizzarding?' Sue enquiried. 'Yes.' Soren informed them.
Jeff quizzed Soren on his Antarctic adventures and throughout the telling, they all laughed.
It was 10 o'clock when Sue dragged Jeff into the bedroom. (Soren was going to sleep in front of the fire.)
'Are you ready for bed too?' He had a easy way about him. It wasn't a come-on.
'I think I could have one more bedtime story.' Usually modest and conservative, something about the isolation had caused Jane to be bold. She poured some more tea and placed it in his outstretched hand. She switched seats to be closer to him and they gazed into each other's fire-lit faces.
'Where did you grow up? Your accent…' he smiled at her.
'I grew up in Sydney. I went to the UK in my 20's and I guess I picked up a bit of a swinge.'
'A swinge??! What is a swinge??' he laughed and she giggled as well.
'It's the inflections,' she laughed louder, spilling a drop of
her tea onto the floor and then Soren shushed her and pointed to
They continued to talk, sharing details and experiences of their lives. >>>
Soren stoked the fire and then looked at his watch.
'It's late, you should get some rest.'
Jane stood up, setting the cups on the bench, she turned to him. 'Thank you for looking after us. I know you didn't have to.'
Soren only gave a small nod, meeting her gaze.
Before he quite knew, the words were out of his mouth: 'How are you still single? You are a very beautiful woman.' He stared into her eyes, freezing her.
He stepped towards her and her mouth fell open. He took another step to reach her and kissed her gently. He kept his face close to hers and waited as her eyes reopened, inviting him to kiss her again.
'I…' she attempted to ask him something but his kisses were making it difficult to think.
'I don't even know where you live!'
He flashed her a cheeky smile in response: 'I can move.'
His hands were holding her close and his kisses were awakening her.
'I never do this.' Suddenly it occurred to Jane that she had only just met Soren today and perhaps this wasn't a good idea. It felt so good though.
He kissed her once more and she responded alike, her breathing
Soren stepped back. 'I think you might have "Rescuer's Infatuation".' He cleared his throat.
'Is that even a term?' Jane laughed again. 'Goodnight.'
'Goodnight.' He replied as she walked into the bathroom.
He got ready for bed and turned off the light.
Soren was first up and had heard the blizzard cease early that
Soren made tea, cooked some toast and went out onto the verandah. All of the clouds had cleared and the sunrise was magnificent.
'Good morning.' Jane joined him with her cup of tea and sleepy eyes.
While it was still cold, the sun warmed them both.
'We can get you back on the road as soon as Jeff and Sue are up.' Soren gazed out at the white hill before them and the mountain range beyond.
'Yes, Whitehaven will be worried about where we got to. We can return to Point Piper and continue our trip.' She paused and took in the 180 degree view. 'What a beautiful spot!'
He finished his tea and started to head inside. 'We have toast and jam. No butter, I'm afraid.'
Jane laughed at his comment. 'I'm not English, I am Australian!'
'Stay there. I'll bring it out.'
Jane lent on the railing, admiring the tranquillity.
After breakfast, they packed up their belongings, left the bunker
and headed for their vehicles.
The other 2 packed their gear into the truck as Soren stood back to farewell them.
'Will I see you again?' Jane asked him.
'I've got your number. I'll have to come to Sydney, won't I?' He added with a smile.
She waited expectantly. He held her shoulder and kissed her cheek caringly.
Soren watched as the truck drove up and out of sight.
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