"Have you asked him out yet?"
Jørgen hit the squash ball with his racket, sending it in full speed towards the wall. He chanced a glance over at Karina, his tall, blond-haired, blue-eyed best friend since school. "No, I haven't," he replied, then hit the squash ball again as it bounced off the wall and came towards him again.
"Why not?" She lunged to the side, hitting the ball right on. "You've been mooning over him since he moved here. It doesn't hurt to ask. The worst you can get is a no."
That was true. But then again ... Jørgen thought of Frey as he continued to bounce the ball. Frey had been living in Longyearbyen for about two months now and Jørgen hadn't been able to stop thinking about him since he'd gotten his very first look at him back in January. The attraction had caught Jørgen completely off guard and he had stared. Frey had looked back, his moss-green eyes wide. There had been several emotions flicking across his face just then, but the one that had caught Jørgen's attention was the blatant fear in his expression.
Jørgen had never met Frey before in his life, so he couldn't understand why Frey would be afraid. He still was, even after two months. He never spoke much to Jørgen, and when Frey looked at him there was always that glint of fear in his eyes. Frey did not like to be touched either, he flinched away if Jørgen, or anyone else really, got to close. The only one Frey seemed comfortable around was Andreas.
"Why are you suddenly so timid?" Karina questioned. "You've never had any problem going after what you wanted. Is there something special about this one or is it simply a result of it being a very long time since you've been interested in a guy?"
"It hasn't been that long," Jørgen commented dryly.
"Fucking around with Jonathan doesn't count." Karina gave him a hard stare, daring him to argue with her, then she hit the ball. Jørgen decided not to get into it with her. An argument with Karina was not a good idea. Ever. "I mean dating. You haven't dated anyone since we moved here."
"Another fuck-buddy," Karina interrupted him. "Between Jonathan and the Russian you don't lack sex. But it's been a very long time since you had a relationship, a deeper connection to someone."
"Not everyone finds their special someone as early as you did," Jørgen pointed out, but he knew she was right. He didn't lack sex, not at all, but he missed having something more with someone. It had been a very long time since he'd been in a relationship, long before he'd moved to Svalbard. He'd been a little interested in Andreas when he'd first met him, but it had quickly died out. Andreas had been fully devoted to Christian. Andreas and him had turned out to be great friends instead, and that was a friendship that Jørgen valued more than anything.
Then there was Frey ... Frey who blushed and stuttered and seemed afraid of everything. Jørgen should keep far away from him, but he simply couldn't. Frey drew him in like nothing else ever had. He had white-blond hair that was a little too long, but the length fit him. His eyes were moss-green, Jørgen's new favorite color. Frey wasn't very tall, he barely reached Jørgen up to his shoulders.
Jørgen was brought out of his thoughts by the squash ball hitting him right in the stomach. He groaned at the impact, the little thing hurt, then threw a glare at Karina.
"Don't give me that. You were the one going off into la-la land." Karina bent down to retrieve the squash ball. "I think you should just ask him. Walk up to him and ask him out. That way you won't have time to talk yourself out of it."
"Easy for you to say. Sara was interested in you. I don't think I'd be Frey's first choice." Jørgen didn't think anyone would be Frey's first choice. Besides, he never really saw much of him. When he did it was usually at work, when Frey came in to hang out with Andreas. Outside of that, Jørgen never saw him. Perhaps mostly because Jørgen only tended to be in one of only four places; at home, at Karina and Sara's, at work or at the sports centre.
Karina fixed him with another hard stare. "Do it."
Karina was a force to be reckoned with and Jørgen sighed in defeat. "I will. Sometime. Maybe."
"Soon, Jørgen." Karina started for the door. "Do it soon. Who knows, tourist season is coming up and maybe someone sweeps in and steal him from right under you."
Jørgen's head snapped up. She had a very good point. How often hadn't he had flings with tourists? He'd had last summer, and the summer before ... with either gay or bisexual men. Out or closeted. It hadn't mattered which, because the fling had only lasted for the short period they'd been on Svalbard.
The thought of someone else hooking up with Frey ... Jørgen didn't think it was likely, with how scared Frey always seemed to be of everything, but there was still a possibility. So Jørgen had to man up and do it. It was a simple question. If Frey was straight or not interested, that would be it, but then at least Jørgen would know.
But it was easier said than done.