POV: Helia Heather
Jack flies us to the park and we walk together for a while. Not saying a single word. Just walking. His hand sometimes touches my hand and every time he does that, I shiver. It’s nice and it’s cold for the end of April, but that’s all because of the Winter Spirit who’s walking next to me. I can feel he tries to come up with a good conversation, because he breathes in more than usual sometimes to get enough air to talk. But after that he just sighs quietly, thinking that I won’t answer, or being afraid of the answer I would give. I don’t know what he wants to ask or say, but as long as he doesn’t say anything, I won’t as well. I don’t even know what to talk about. I can only think about what happened. How I almost got raped, or worse. Being taken in this black van to an old, building where nasty, old men come to buy women for the night. I shiver because of that thought, while breathing out heavily and I stop walking.
‘Are you alright?’ he asks. I hold my arms and step away a little. He looks at me with a worried look on his face. His dark eyebrows formed into a frown.
‘I don’t know,’ I whisper. He hesitates, but then takes my arm and leads me to a bench on which we sit down.
‘I’m with you now, Helia,’ he says quietly. ‘I’m here now. With you. I will protect you from harm, I promise. No one will be able to hurt you as long as I’m with you, okay?’ I don’t say anything. I’m just looking down to the path made of sand and trying to hold back the tears. ‘Okay?’ he asks again.
‘Okay,’ I almost whisper as my voice breaks. I start to cry again, but I feel comforted as Jack holds me tight.
‘You defended yourself,’ he says after a little while. I try to smile, but my eyes aren’t cooperating.
‘One year of self-defence class. Never thought it’d come in handy.’ I sigh again.
‘Why?’ he asks. ‘Why wouldn’t it come in handy?’
‘Well, I’m not…’ I’m questioning if I should say it.
‘Not…?’ He tries to help me finish my sentence, but I turn away from him.
‘I’m not… Pretty.’ A short silence falls. He agrees, I guess.
‘You’re the most beautiful girl I have ever seen in my entire existence.’ I look at him, not knowing how to react. Did he just say…
‘You’re lying,’ I say immoral. He makes several movements with his hands, trying to figure out how to reach my head to hold it. After some awkward attempts he holds my cheek in his ice cold right hand. I close my eyes as his cold flows through my body.
‘I’m not. It’s just that I’ve never… I’ve never seen another girl like you in the past three hundred years.’ His other hand reaches my other cheek. I can feel he’s not used to doing this. His movements are awkward and the look on his face tells me he’s questioning if he’s doing it right. ‘I don’t know how this works.’
‘How what works?’ His hands lets go of my cheeks and he then holds his staff tightly with it. His staff lights up a little blue-ish where his hand touches it. It looks fascinating.
‘How did you know I was there?’ he asks, ignoring my question.
‘The past weeks… It snowed everywhere I was. And I must admit that your white hair and bright blue eyes are pretty obvious behind those bushes and in those trees. I actually saw you before I got…’ I pause, thinking back at the horrible thing that happened. ‘Harassed,’ I say shortly.
‘Why didn’t you say something?’ He looks like he feels busted. He blushes and I’m not sure whether it fits him or not, because he’s the Winter Spirit. I look to my right. A bird flies away to its nest after picking on an old loaf of bread, left by someone. I sigh and shake my head.
‘I don’t know. Why didn’t you? Why did you follow me in the first place?’ I look at him and his eyes seem to drill through mine.
‘I couldn’t get you out of my head.’ Suddenly his cold hand holds my right hand. ‘You’re warm, your eyes are beautiful, your voice gives me goose bumps, your hair are golden strings, your scent is amazing and the way you move and play your violin is so graceful.’ I hold his hand with both of my hands and I look at him. A little amazed, but also flattered. Does he really think about me like that? I feel strange.
‘I also couldn’t get you out of my head. But, Jack…’ I look down at my back pack. I have the urge to play my violin as the great moon looks down on us. ‘You’re an immortal. We can’t be together.’
‘I don’t care if I’m immortal or not,’ he says. With the hand I’m not holding, he touches my cheek. He leans forward, comes closer. I can’t do anything else than follow his movements and copy him. I move towards him as well and I can feel his ice cold breath on my face. Our eyes can’t let go of each other and we’re stuck in the moment. ‘I really don’t know how this works,’ he whispers. I finally understand what he means. He’s never been this close to anyone of his age and he’s clearly trying to figure out how to show me his love.
‘That doesn’t matter,’ I say quietly. His breath on my nose feels ice cold. ‘Neither do I.’ I close my eyes and we kiss.