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Midwinter Bears

by Blaine D. Arden

When secrets thaw, can love endure?

Tahl navigates the melting mess of love, identity, and secrets as ey face the chilling task of revealing eir true self to Enfys, eir partner, before they weave their lives together.

Ey promised Enfys ice bears for Midwinter, but neglected to tell him that ey and eir kin are the ice bears.

Now Tahl's fears of rejection might freeze the warmth of their relationship before Enfys' embrace can melt away the barriers between them.

Written for the Rainbow Advent Calendar 2018

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With Midwinter blowing in, my life resembled a melting mess.

On the one hand, the sun smiled on my house with Enfys moving in soon. On the other, ice nibbled at my feet as I'd promised to take him to see the ice bears during the celebration, but had yet to tell him I was one of them.

I wiped my clammy hands on my woollen dress as I stared out the window at the cubs building snow sculptures. It was the tip of the iceberg of things I hadn't told him during our eight months of courting.

Enfys and his family hailed from the tropical southern island of Taranau Ynys, an almost two-day flight from Kalbuhr, my beloved but cold northern island city. While his work as a natural programmer took him all over the world, his busy schedule had only allowed him a handful of visits after our first meeting. He had given me one of his communication gadgets, so no matter where he was, we spoke every day, even if only for a minute or two.


Not even those daily conversations could bring me to reveal the secrets eating at me when we were together. Our relationship was too new, and our time together too precious to risk letting them running Enfys off like they had my exes. It had nothing to do with my fear of losing him once he knew the truth. Or so I kept telling myself.

Now, I had mere days before Enfys flew in to stay, and I was no closer to finding the right words to express the way I felt when he was with me, and how deeply it shamed me to have kept this from him for so long. All I had was a desk strewn with crumpled attempts.

I shoved my chair back and dragged myself down the spiral stairs with heavy heart. Might as well do one last check of the house. Then at least that would be perfect when Enfys arrived, even if nothing else would be.


About the Author

Blaine D. Arden is a non-binary, EPIC Award-winning author of Romantic SFF who sings eir way through life in platform boots.

Pronouns: ey/em/eir | she/her