The room darkened with the passing hours as did Talia's face.
She squatted bolt upright on the floor , two freshly sharpened blades balanced on her knees . Her dark eyes were fixed in alert to the door.
Snow had spent the time so far trying to find a reasonably comfortable position on the cold tiles... so far unsuccessful .
Muttering angrily to herself she turned to her friend .
"Can you finally stop? " She complained. " How can one sleep like this!
Talia frowned but otherwise remained in her pose.
"I'm completely silent."
" That's just it . Pointlessly siting alone and in a cold dungeon ? Scary . In a cold dungeon together with a human statue? Horrible ! "
Talia shook her head silently then turned her attention back to the door.
The silence did not last long .
"You know, it's not as if many people know of this room . "
Talia sighed inwardly . Snow was really a child, her aged appearance couldn't belie it.
"Queen Bea has commanded us to guard it. So sorry if I 'll take this seriously. "
Amazingly, Snow replied nothing. Talia was listening intently to a subdued whisper but nothing came .
Finally, she risked a quick glance over her shoulder . A bad idea.
Snow lay sprawled on her blankets , the perfect curves of her body clearly visible. Her hair was basking around her face in a silky mess and her eyes looked directly at her .
The sight brought Talia's blood to boil and she could not look away . For a while they stared at each other, until Snow whispered: "Can you sing me a lullaby ? "
Talia moaned loudly . "When will you stop with this? I do not sing . "
If she had a expected the usual snappy remarks of her friend , she was disappointed .
"That's not true. I know that you sing for Jacob every night. And Danielle heard you sing, too." Snow 's voice was soft, almost sad.
" We've know each other for six years and you've never sung for me. "
Talia's eyes widened a little . Snow's sadness unsettled her, but she still had to look into her big blue eyes.
"You're not a little kid ," she retorted wittier than she felt. " And I don't like to sing . "
"But why not ? "
"You know very well . "
Snow bit her lip briefly but remained steadfast . "You've never had a problem to use your strength. Why not your voice? "
Talia fell silent . The elves had sung when they had given her their ' gifts ' . When she sang she sounded like them - clear and polished , charming and engaging.
"Please Talia ," Snow said softly . "Just a little teeny-weeny song? "
Talia' shoulders slumped.
"Will you keep quiet then? "
"Sure ! "
"Oh alright... " Slowly, she turned around and walked over to Snow's bed where she knelt down and began to sing .
The song was arathean. It told of farmers who begged for rain and when they finally got it thanked the gods .
The whole song long Talia knelt with lowered eyes and only when she finished she dared to look up to Snow.
Snow lay there with her mouth open and looked a little stupid .
Talia had to grin.
"Clap your mouth," she teased .
Snow shook her head. "I've never heard anything so beautiful . "
Talia shrugged. "It's just elf magic. "
"It's your voice. "
Talia did not answer. That was something that Snow couldn't understand.
"And what's that song? " asked Snow curiously, "I've never heard of it."
Now Talia was embarrassed . Unconsciously, she turned a corner of Snow's blanket in her hands.
"Well, that's probably because I wrote it..." she admitted quietly.
The expression on Snow's face was priceless.
"My mother made sure that I got a good musical education . Did you really think all I do at night is practicing with weapons ? "
Snow enthusiastically pressed her hands to her cheeks. "That's great! I had no idea Talia! You have to show me absolutely everything! And teach me how to sing! "
Talia sighed but inwardly she was as happy as she hadn't been in days.
"You wouldn't hit a straight tone. "
"Don't be so mean! "
Talia allowed himself a slight smile . "Alright. But only if we guard the room now. "
Snow beamed. "Agreed! "