“What other delights of winter am I missing out on?” Kiena asked Breigh as they sat together on her tier of the dell, legs dangling over the edge, and all the world growing silent with the coming night.
“A great many things.” Breigh smiled.
They were wrapped in blankets now, sipping warm cider. Kiena’s wings had warmed and flitted gently once in a while to circulate.
“That tells me rather little, don’t you think?” Her smile was bright, energetic in a new kind of way. Perhaps getting out more with someone new, to see the sights she’d never known before was what she’d needed all along.
Breigh’s eyes were fixed across the way, “Winter is among the most relaxing of times. There is no one else out, and you can hear the earth as it sleeps.”
“How is that, exactly? What does the sleeping earth sound like?”
“Close your eyes and listen.”
She did, a bit reluctantly, clasping her warm cup in both hands, holding it a might tighter as she looked into the darkness. “Now what?”
Kiena did. Her ears sharpened, and she focused on the sounds around her. There was nothing there. Faint sounds of others laughing or talking around the dell, faint whispers of wind calling through the trees. But little else.
“I don’t hear anything.” She opened her eyes and looked at him.
Kiena laughed, “That’s all I get? There’s silence and that’s why it’s so enjoyable?”
Breigh winked at her, “Don’t tell me you don’t enjoy the silence from time to time. In fact, I think you crave it more than you wish to admit.”
“You’re not wrong. However, sometimes it’s nice to know others are around to hear you. My friends sleep during the winter.” Kiena added.
“Did you say you have friends?” Breigh cocked an eyebrow, “I was sure you said there were no friends.”
Kiena let out a laugh of disbelief, “Animals are friends, believe it or not, and I do enjoy their company.”
“I can see the appeal.”
She glanced at him a moment, soaking in the joy she felt being with him. His black hair had never been restyled after they landed, and locks had fallen out of his ponytail, swirling gently around his face once in a while when the wind blew. His crystal blue eyes turned to her, and she blushed, looking away.
He took her hand, stroking it with his thumb, “What’s wrong?”
Kiena’s lips tugged to a shy smile, “Nothing at all.”
Without hesitation, Breigh took her face in his hands, kissing her.
Taken off guard, Kiena put her hand on his wrist, and as the kiss deepened with passion, her fingers strayed to his loose strands of hair, gently weaving her fingers into it.
Breigh’s arms wrapped around her, drawing her near, and she melted into his embrace, feeling overwhelmed.
They parted and he pressed his face into her shoulder.
“Are you okay?” Kiena asked.
He pulled back, looking her in the eyes. Gentle and yet strong. Serene and yet passionate. “I am.”
Kiena felt nervousness slide into her heart. When winter was over, and his colony went home, would Breigh go with them?
Breigh noticed the change, “Are you okay?”
Kiena looked down, feeling ashamed of the brief pause, “I am.” She looked back up at him, sitting up right.
“Did I do something wrong?”
She took his hand reassuringly. “Nothing at all.”
“Kiss me again.” He said, putting his hand to her cheek, leaning in before she could respond.
Kiena melted again under his touch, a silent tear tracing her cheek as she let his nearness and warmth overpower her heart in ways she thought she’d never feel again.