“Here, you’re frozen, take my cape.” He dumped the firewood, shrugging off his fur cape. Without waiting for my acknowledgment, Calder draped it around my shoulders. It was warm from the heat of his body and mine drank it in. I pulled it close around, wishing I could curl up inside its protection and wake from the dream of my life. The idea of being so warm and then to have it taken away again…
His second gesture of kindness left me shaking. He interpreted my reaction as having been out for too long. Suddenly he reached, bringing me into his embrace, rubbing his hands all along my back to warm me.
“What have they done to you?” He choked the words out. This was not the Calder they wrote into their songs. His hold tightened on my shoulders, and for a second I thought he was going to say something, but he didn’t. Instead he kissed me, but I didn’t kiss him back. I didn’t know anything about kissing or holding.
“Open your mouth.” He smelled of leather and smoke and the sea. I opened my mouth, feeling his hand leave my shoulder to hold my hair.
He broke the kiss to speak. “Raven. I want to call you Raven. Your hair is so dark and has sheen, like a raven’s feathers bathed in the sun.” He covered my mouth with his and I couldn’t breathe, but I didn’t want to. If anyone saw us, I’d be the one thrown to the wolves. For these fleeting moments under his touch, a flame lit deep inside my heart and the crisp edge of the wind teasing the strands of my hair made me feel alive.