The first day of their journey was coming to a close. The sun made its inevitable decent behind the mountains as the cold breeze picked up and darkness fell on the forest. Above glittered thousands of bright white stars as a big beautiful moon rose into the dark night sky.
Anna gazed around in wonderment at the beauty all around her as she made her way through the snow. The fresh snowfall had blanketed the forest in a deep, glistening powder that sparkled like diamonds in the moonlight. Even though it was technically July and this was all caused by an accidental curse her sister had cast, she had to admit, Elsa's powers were absolutely beautiful. She really did have an amazing gift. Anna was so entranced by the beauty of the scenery that she hardly noticed her feet going numb and her audible shivers as the temperature continued to drop.
Kristoff trailed behind Anna, holding Sven's reigns in one hand and a torch in the other, slowly leading him onward. He couldn't help but watch this feisty little princess waltzing about in front of him twirling around and talking to herself every now and then. She was in her own little world, taking in the surrounding scenery with such child-like curiosity. Kristoff smirked at the sight and continued on, only becoming aware of the crispness of the air when he heard Anna start shivering and breathing heavily ahead of him. "Anna?" he asked with a questioning look on his face.
She stopped in her tracks and turned around to face him, cheeks aflame and eyes wide in amazement, "Oh K-Kristoff, isn't it g-gorgeous out here?" she said through chattering teeth. "It's been s-so long since I've been ou-outside of the k-kingdom."
Clearly she was too caught up in her self-guided forest tour to realize she was freezing to death. Kingdom-dweller… figures, Kristoff grunted to himself, bemused. The mountain man was so used to the snow and the biting wind that it didn't even phase him. Ice was his life. He had definitely built up a resistance over the years of ice harvesting but seeing Anna shaking to death told Kristoff that they should find somewhere to stay for the night out of the elements. "Hey Anna, you look like you are freezing and I don't want to be responsible for freezing the Princess of Arendelle to death. Perhaps we should look for somewhere warm to stay for the night and get a fresh start tomorrow morning."
"Oh…yeah, s-sure… that s-sounds g-good if t-that's what you want. I-I'm g-good for w-whatever," she chattered, trying to downplay the situation, not trying to seem like she couldn't handle the cold weather. She was after all responsible for them being out here in the first place, the least she could do was try to toughen up and not be annoyingly needy. She was lucky he even agreed to tag along and help her at all.
Kristoff shook his head, amused at her stubbornness, and smiled to himself, "Oh you are? Your chattering teeth say otherwise." Anna dramatically rolled her eyes at him and turned back around, continuing forward when she suddenly slid down an ice-covered slope and crashed into a massive bank of wet snow below.
"Anna!" Kristoff cried, running down the embankment to where she lay buried in the frosty white powder. "Are you okay?" Kristoff bent down and effortlessly lifted her body up out of the snow with one arm and held her tightly against his chest.
"O-Okay-y-y….n-now I'm definitely c-c-cold!" Anna gasped as the snow seeped into her clothes, soaking her to the bone.
Kristoff knew he needed to get her to a fire and out of those wet clothes fast or she wouldn't last long. Purposefully, he scanned the surrounding forest and realized where exactly he was. They were quite close to the old, abandoned Vonhelsuer cottage, a small cottage where he used to deliver ice back when the Vonhelsuer family resided there. The family had decided to move into Arendelle kingdom a few years back and had left the old cottage vacant in the woods. Perfect, he thought. Still gripping Anna to his chest he mounted Sven and took off into the night in the direction of the abandoned house.
When they arrived at the old cottage Kristoff kicked open the door and carried Anna inside. Wasting no time, he made her a little bed on the floor in front of the fireplace with this fur-lined coat and lit a fire with his torch and a few forgotten logs stored up against the wall. "I'll be right back Anna."
Kristoff went outside and treated Sven to a feast of some much deserved carrots before returning inside. When he re-entered the house he noticed Anna was still laying on the floor shivering uncontrollably.
"K-Kristoff…I'm s-still s-so c-c-cold…" Anna closed her eyes tightly trying to will the cold away but it wasn't helping. Kristoff bent down to Anna and felt her arm. Her clothes were completely SOAKED. No wonder she was still freezing. He sat back and looked at her knowing what she had to do but wondering if it was even okay for him to even suggest it…
He cleared his throat nervously, "Anna…uhm…you really need to get out of those, uh, clothes. They're completely drenched and they need to dry…"
Anna opened her eyes and looked up at Kristoff, considering this, knowing he was right. The only way to warm up would be to get out of this soaking wet dress. She couldn't believe what she was about to do in front of a man. She had never removed her clothes in front of anyone before… but without giving it anymore thought Anna began removing her boots and stockings.
Kristoff suddenly became bashful and could feel his cheeks begin to blaze. He averted his gaze away from her, feeling as if he was being rude. The Princess of Arendelle was starting to take her clothes off in front of him. He was more nervous about this situation than he thought he'd be.
"Uh, Princess…I think I have an extra shirt in my bag. I'm much larger than you are so it would probably fit like a nightdress on you." Kristoff swallowed and pulled the white linen shirt from his bag.
"Kristoff…I uh…I ummm…need a little help with this…" Anna nervously chuckled, clearly embarrassed, as she pointed to the corset lacing on the back of her bodice.
"Oh, uh, okay." Kristoff closed the space between them as Anna turned around waiting for him to unlace the bodice on the back of her dress. He sucked in a sharp breath and began working with the laces, expertly loosening them in a matter of seconds. Without warning Anna's dress slipped down to the ground leaving her standing there in her thin linen shift in the fire-lit room. He could hear Anna let out a quiet gasp, clearly thinking the dress would stay up long enough for him to turn around again. Kristoff knew he should look away but he was suddenly entranced by her feminine silhouette in the flicker of the fire light.
Anna's eyes widened in shock as the dress fell to the floor. She stood there frozen in place not knowing what to do or say and heard Kristoff's breathing quicken from behind her. Her heart began to pound against her chest. Anna only took a split second to think about it and decided to be brave. She turned around slowly to face him and when his gaze met hers something ignited inside her.
Kristoff stared into two sparkling blue eyes, open wide with a look of uncertainty and something else…desire perhaps? He wasn't sure. This was all unfamiliar territory to him. He allowed his eyes to travel down the length of her body and take in the beautiful sight before him. She was perfect.
Anna stared up at him and smiled with a knowing look on her face. Kristoff opened his mouth to speak but Anna raised her hand up to it and gently placed a finger on his lips. She allowed her hand to drop to his chest and caress his exposed skin. The air between them suddenly became charged with electricity. Kristoff sucked in a breath and gently cupped Anna's face in his hands. He allowed his eyes to leave hers and fall to her flushed mouth. Slowly and ever so gently he bent down his head and placed a sweet, sensual kiss on Anna's lips.
Anna felt sudden warmth rush through her veins and responded to his kiss by deepening it with her own, pushing into him and moving her mouth rhythmically against his. His large hands slid down to her waist and lifted her up into him slightly. Anna let out a little gasp at the sudden movement but deepened her kiss even more when his hands ran along her skin under her thigh.
She felt as if she were melting and desire pooled within her. She had never experienced anything like this. He embraced her tightly and continued his exploration of her mouth. Finally he slipped his arm around her and lifted her up. Her legs naturally wrapped around his waist like they had a mind of their own.
His instincts told him what to do next. Carefully he brought them down to the wooden floor and laid Anna down into the fur of his flattened coat. He kneeled over her as she continued to kiss him with all her might. Quickly she broke away and trailed a string of kisses down his neck onto his exposed chest. Kristoff sat up, his breathing heavy, and eyes darkened with intense desire. She had never seen Kristoff look like that before and it thrilled her. She could feel it on every surface of her skin. This felt so right and so wrong at the same time. She never wanted it to stop but could feel this going to a dangerous place very fast. She could feel herself losing control.
WHAT IS HAPPENING!? Her brain screamed at her. This is certainly not how Princesses should act! GET IT TOGETHER ANNA! She suddenly sat up as reality came crashing back into her mind and placed her hand on Kristoff's shoulder. "No…Kristoff, we can't."
Kristoff sat back and took a deep breath. Anna gazed up at him wide-eyed like she had just been struck by lightning. His eyes softened as he saw the concern growing on her face. He suddenly felt embarrassed that he was stupid enough to kiss her and that he let it get that far. He was supposed to be protecting her for Christ's sakes, not defiling her! "Anna…Oh my gosh…I'm so sor-"
"No…no Kristoff, it's okay." Anna smiled up at him knowing realizing her felt responsible for what just happened between them. "No Kristoff, I mean, we just can't…do THAT…not yet at least…"
Kristoff's eyes searched hers for what she meant by that but became distracted by the look on her face. He couldn't help but smile at her sitting there all flustered in her undergarments with disheveled hair trying to be the responsible one. It was absolutely adorable.
Kristoff happily surrendered, not wanting to push the situation past the point of no return, and helped her put on his extra shirt. They snuggled in front of the fire until she was almost asleep. "You warm now?" He chuckled sheepishly into her ear.
"Um…yes…yes I most certainly am…" she whispered as she drifted off to sleep in his arms.
Kristoff laid there in the darkness a little longer soaking in the moment. This is all he ever wanted. Someone to call his own, a family. There was no turning back.
Kristoff knew in that moment that he was a goner. He had fallen for the princess.