"Galvin?" Mina whispered into the darkened night. She pulled her silk robe tighter around her chest against the early morning chill. She knew it was him, could smell him from her bedroom, but very old habits still died hard.

"What are you doing up?" he muttered, spinning on the cold stone step. His mack was buttoned up fully with the collar shielding his neck from the London spring. He held a hand out as she closed the door behind her and took a seat next to him.

She shrugged, "You know I can't sleep properly when you're out a-hunting."

He smiled.

"So how'd you fair?"

The night had turned into boys-only thanks to a piano recital. "Not bad. Two two's, a four and a six."

"Not bad," Mina agreed. "Luke okay?"

"Yeah," he chuckled with a memory. "The six gave him a run for his money."


"Literally. It had his wallet for a while."

She smirked, nudging his knee with her own. She heard his lighter spark to life as he relit his usual post-grading cigar. She reached over and took the tobacco from his mouth.

"Hey," he warned, blowing out a puff of smoke.

"These'll kill you," she scolded, sliding it between her eternally ruby lips. He watched , unashamedly mesmirised, as her cheeks dimpled and she blew plumes of flittering smoke into the moonlight.

His mouth agape, he realised his silence when Mina tilted her head ever so slightly to him, curious where his witty retort had gone.

He cleared his throat, reclaiming his cigar. "And I'll kill you if you try that again."

She smirked, clasping her hands on her laps, her face cast to the unseen horizon. He inhaled, taking a deep breath through the roll, slowly blowing out through pursed lips.

Mina leant back, resting her elbows on the cold steps behind her. "Lord, that takes me back."

He looked to her, mimicking her position.

"That smell. Jonathon and the boys, they'd sneak off to his study to smoke. The smell would seep under the door and coat the entire house. I didn't care, I would have done anything to be in that room," a wistful smile crossed her lips before an almost imperceptible shiver ran down her spine.

Galvin, though, picked up on it and unbuttoned his jacket, draping it across her shoulders.

"No, you need it more than me," she said, peeling it from around her. Though it was cold, it wasn't the temperature that made her shiver.

"Keep it," he whispered, "what would the neighbours think?"

She smiled, wrapping it tighter. Though it wouldn't warm the cold blood that ran through her veins, she could feel Galvin's body heat emanating from the fabric, as well as the scent of his cologne and cigars.

She sighed contentedly, her face cast to the sky. "Is the moon out?"

He looked around, "Yeah. To the left. Looks like a thumbnail."

She smiled, closing her eyes and letting the icy breeze bite at her cheeks. She missed the moon and stars. She missed a lot of things, but to be able to just sit out and watch the night was something she had always enjoyed. Now she was trapped in perpetual darkness, but with no stars to shine through. Exhaling a deep breath, it dancing from her mouth like the smoke had earlier, she tapped her knees in finale. "You staying?"

"Yeah," he nodded.

Mina got to her feet, Galvin instinctively taking her hand and guiding her to the door. She found the handle and twisted it, leaving it open for him to enter behind her. He flicked on the hall light, closing the door and watching as Mina placed his jacket on the banister. "I'm going to bed," she whispered, walking back towards him. "Goodnight, Rupert."

He kissed her cheek, her hand on his arm, "Night."