Erik decides geocaching is the best way to heal himself after work and personal problems overwhelm him, but the trip goes horribly wrong. Falling down the side of a mountain deters Erik's plans for a quick cache find, but his rescuer is the one person who may be able to save Erik in more ways than he can imagine.
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Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Heat Level: 3
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Friends to Lovers, Hurt / Comfort, Out for You, Second Chances, Trapped Together, Coming Out / Closeted
Word Count: 19193
Languages Available: English
Looking down at his phone, Erik Broden's brows drew together in confusion. The coordinates had to be wrong. The geocache should be located here. Well, not this exact spot, but where the green marker indicated it should be. He looked back up. Nope, not so much. He had spent the better part of the morning tracking down a multicache, moving from one location to another, interpreting clues, figuring out coordinates and spending a lot—a lot!—of time walking around this particular location in the Appalachian hills.
Except I must have screwed up the clue at the last cache.READ MORE
Erik scratched the whiskers on his neck, annoyed and frustrated he would have to hike back down the mountainside to go over the last hint again. It irked him to no end to know he had gotten the clue wrong somehow. The clues were ridiculously difficult, and if he hadn't known some really random facts and had some interesting life experiences in different parts of the world with his friends, Erik wasn't so sure he'd have been able to solve the cache.
No wonder no one else had. He could see the average geocachers throwing their hands up in defeat after the first two hours of the find. Erik chuckled. He wasn't the average cacher though. He lived for cracking the challenging ones. He glanced back up.
A small cabin stood where his prize should have been. The geocache hadn't been found yet and the caretaker promised a 'rewarding prize' for the first find. But he couldn't claim the prize because he was in the wrong fucking spot, a spot that took him a better part of an hour to hike to.
He huffed, crossed his arms, and glared at the obtrusive house. For some reason it felt familiar but Erik shook off the déjà vu and resigned himself to the climb back down the mountain. Erik especially loved the problem-solving caches like this one. They were a challenge tailored made for him and he was particularly good at them. To have been stumped riled him.
I'm not going to be beaten. He narrowed his gaze at the house.
The structure wasn't huge, just a small log cabin with a front porch, a door in its center, and two windows on either side. But the green indicator clearly lay within the walls of the building, and not the area surrounding.
Some people had travel bug hotels in their front yards. They were a place for geocacher's travel bugs—a trackable tag a person could attach to any item with a particular wish or goal other geocachers collected, logged and then moved to a new cache—to rest and get repaired. Most geocachers didn't hide caches on private property other than the hotels though. Too many problems were involved… and trampled flowerbeds. Most people stuck to trails, parks, lampposts, and trees; basically they hid the caches in public places. In one case, a geocacher made a to-scale group of caches of the solar system starting at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. You could find the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and the other planets exploring Chicago as you went. In another instance, a geocacher hid his caches in unique ways, like having the log sheet hidden in a hollowed out screw.
Yeah, try and find a cache on a highway sign and not look nuts.COLLAPSE