A/N: Well, I can honestly say I'm impressed and glad so many people like this fic. ^_^ And yes, I am easily swayed by my lovely readers and followers. Here you go. ^_~

Ice and Warmth

chapter 2

The first thing he felt was cold. The second thing he felt was pain.

Cold he understood. He lived with it on a daily basis. The heavens were always cold. But pain... It burned him, froze him, stung him. He was terrified. What was this pain?

And why was this cold...cold?

He opened his eyes -eyes?- and saw...moving light. It flowed and ebbed and rippled. But light didn't move like that. It glowed, shone, flickered, and glimmered. This light was...wrong. It was bright and...golden...and...and...

His chest hurt. Pain. This pain. It wasn't right. What was happening. He felt heavy and light at the same time. And the pain in his chest was steadily increasing. It was a pressure, a heavy pressure pushing against his lungs.

He felt himself move -it felt slow, heavy- up towards the strange un-star-like light. A long, silver thing stretched out in front if him reaching up to the light before pulling down only to be replaced by another identical silver thing. As the silver things -clouds?- moved, he noticed the strangeun-star-like light grew closer and closer.

And then something stopped him. A cold, solid thing that touched the long silvery things -arms he realized, his arms- and stopped their movements. He pushed at the cold, solid thing -ice- and it pushed back with equal force.

His chest hurt.

The cold burned. But cold isn't supposed to burn. Cold was supposed to be gentle, encompassing, and friendly. Frost.

...Frost?

The pressure on his lungs increased and he felt fear enter his heart. He pushed harder against the ice, but it didn't give. If anything it pushed back with strength equal to his own.

Something had to give.

The fear changed to terror. It wouldn't move. He couldn't get out. The pressure burned.

Something had to give.

It hurt. It wouldn't move. It burned.

Something had to give.

He gasped and something cold and liquid rushed down his throat. He gasped again trying to expel the unwelcome cold that rushed and burned and hurt. And still the ice refused to give. Sound rang in his ears -ears?- and still nothing move. He had to breathe. Air. He needed air!

His hands hit the ice as hard as they could between scratching at his throat trying to pull out the icy cold. But it was useless. The un-star-like light was fading. The dark that wasn't of the heavens was enclosing around him.

Something moved, blocking out the light. No. That light. It wasn't right but...he needed...he needed...

Frost.

There was a dull crash followed by a rush of cold and something caught him and dragged him up. And then the heavy, sluggish cold was gone. In its place was a light, airy cold that flowed around him like an old friend.

Somethings, hands his frozen mind provided, grasped and pulled at him, dragging him over the ice to a more solid cold. He rolled onto his side and coughed out the unwelcome, burning cold from his lungs. Slowly, ever so painfully slowly the pressure faded leaving him exhausted and shivering from exertion. The cold air whispered against his ears and caressed his skin, cradling him.

He opened his eyes and beheld...

"...a human?"

Then darkness.


A human? Of course he was a human. This was the human kingdom of Lamadary. The Fae rarely strayed far outside of their sanctuaries unless visiting the larger cities for trade and such. So why was this person so surprised he was a human?

Unless he wasn't human.

Quickly, Jamie rolled the stranger on his back and really looked him. Snowy hair, pale skin, and...pointed ears. No human then. But figuring out the stranger's lineage was could wait until he'd warmed up. Carefully, he pulled the unconscious stranger over his shoulder and began the trek down the mountainside to his camp.

His legs were aching when he finally made it to his home. It wasn't much, just a temporary hunting lodge that'd been passed down from his grandfather. It w old but well taken care of. But more importantly, it had a fireplace and a stockpile of blankets.

He quickly laid down his new friend on the bed and began stripping him. Honestly, he would've felt incredibly awkward about this but he was not about to let this person die, especially after already saving him once. But the fabric was heavy with icy water and just would not come off. If Jamie hadn't known better, he would have sworn the dress was connected to the stranger's skin.

Well, not dress exactly. That would imply the person was a woman, which he definitely wasn't...right? I mean, he didn't look like a woman. But then again, he didn't look like a man either. He was androgynous almost. A fairly common trait for Fae, he'd heard.

It was said the Fae were beautiful to behold, both the men and the women. He'd heard his father once say at he accidentally thought he'd been talking to a woman for an entire conversation before realizing the Fae was male. And even then, he had to be explicitly told.

But that didn't explain the fabric. It was strong and light like spider silk, but gleamed a dull silver almost bluish in the right light. The Fae were more known for brilliant colors, feathers, and beads. This was just plain silk of some kind that clung to its wearer like a second skin. The long sleeves flared out like drowned lilies and the long skirt was sliced in two by long splits that climbed indecently high.

Well, it would have been indecent if the stranger wasn't wearing loose pants a silver only a shade or so lighter then the dress, robe, thing. Speaking of which, Jamie pushed back the silvery hood and began laying blankets over him. If he couldn't undress this...person, then he was going to keep him by other ways.

He stood to light a fire and prepared to cook some food for dinner. He was right in the middle of adding some potatoes to the hopefully tasty stew when he heard a moan and turned to the bed. The Fae had rolled over so he face away from the heat and had kicked the covers so they lay mostly off his, her...his body.

Yeah, it was going to be an interesting night.