His eyes gloss over her flawless features – the smooth corn silk hair, the burning ocher eyes, and the lush feel of soft skin, practically warm against his own – and he feels a small fracture across his icy heart.
She smiles and it's as if the sun has finally deemed itself worthy to shine in such a dreary town. He tries to return the well timed gesture with one of his own but he's terribly afraid that he looks more goofy than gentlemanly.
They meet in the hallway, arms brushing as they pass and he feels a spark of something he cannot name, something he never thought he had it in himself to feel again. Immediately, he tries to quail the feeling, but as she steps around him, she shoots him a second glance. There is curiosity lingering in her gaze, curiosity and a hint of a challenge.
He always has been a man who loves a good challenge.
Cool detachment collides with a shriek of agony and suddenly his body is flying through the air. The ground rises up too fast, shock after shock courses through every dead pore in his body but he clings to her slender form like a lifeline. If he lets go now, he'll loose her forever. The thought triggers something deep within him and he feels an impossible tug on his silent heart. But I've just found her!
Time stops. There's nothing but them, the snow and the ground and all the unsaid things that singe the air around them, crackling like too much electricity though his veins.
If I let you up, will you knock me down again, Katie?
It doesn't matter her response. He peeks towards the black mass before him and knows the end is near. What he wouldn't give for just a moment alone with her, a moment gone in a hallway, both to blind to see where they were heading.
If we live through this, I'll follow you anywhere, woman.
His finds that smile he lives for hidden in her eyes and the fracture deepens, continuing to thaw the ice ensconcing his heart.
When he said he would follow her anywhere, he had meant it with every fiber of his being.
Her hand fit perfectly into his as if it was molded just for him to hold. He still fells a jolt when his fingers interlaced with hers, but it was not the painful electricity from before. It is static, pure unadulterated heat in the form of adoration and pleasure. Having abandoned all hope of love some centuries ago, he revels in this feeling as a newborn revels in the dawn.
Fingers brushing soft against his cheek draw him back to the present. Without thinking his hand is on hers, cradling it against his skin as he breathes her in, memorizing every inch of this marvel before him. His eyes wander past her for a moment, taking in the sight of his new home against the pristine backdrop of the Alaskan wilderness.
Home. It has always been a foreign noun to him, something he's never had.
Gentle kisses that taste of beauty and forever lead him into the next chapter of his life, the door to his past clicking shut with a whisper as her fingers fist into his hair. Home. Family. He adds two new words to his vocabulary, and he finds he likes the way they roll so easily off his tongue.
I'll follow you anywhere. Whispered words carried on a gentle breeze are rewarded with a charming smile. Her strange golden eyes are alight with something bordering on love. He can feel it pouring into him as her eyes search his as if trying to see down into the depths of his soul. Odd sensations of formerly destitute passion wash over him, the ambience soothing his ruffled soul and the last sliver of ice melts away.
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