Kiena and Breigh spent much time together over the next few weeks, as winter set deeper in. Yule would soon be approaching, which meant the moments they weren’t together, Kiena was busy planning festivities. The fae celebrated something every few days during the holiday season, and she was continually moving to and fro with preparations. It was becoming easier for her to create decorations while she was caught up in the motions, and the holidays did not leave her much time to spend time alone thinking.
The forest around them was covered in white. Kiena didn’t generally do much exploring in the winter months, preferring to stay close to the dell. While she didn’t mind the cold, she didn’t like the way her wings felt when they were cold, and it took too much time to thaw them when she arrived home again. This did not stop Breigh from asking her to join him every chance he had.
“The sun is shining, we should take advantage of it.” Breigh held his hand to Kiena, his eyes bright.
Kiena chuckled, his expression charming and child-like, “You’re a Winter Fae, your wings are made for the cold. What will you do if my wings freeze?”
“I shall carry you,” he said matter-of-fact, as though he’d already planned every detail of the adventure. “Come with me, I couldn’t trust any guidance greater than yours.”
“What do you wish to see? The world is sleeping, and my friends sleep with it.”
“Anything, as long as it’s with you. Come. Go with me.”
Kiena coudn’t help feel drawn by the intensity of his gaze, she found herself taking his hand, and they flew together up and away from the dells.
Looking down at the forest, the trees were still. Their naked branches reaching to the sky, while the ground below slept under a thick blanket of snow. Sunlight brightened all the world, the world glaring bright back at the sky.
The river glinted, crusted in ice, as though enchanted by the Winter. Kiena imagined what it might look like surrounded by different colored lights and decorations.
Breigh guided them as they flew, firmly holding to her hand. They followed the riverbed until the reached the waterfall.
Kiena held her breath as they approached, the view of the frozen falls causing her eyes to grow in awe and wonder.
Icicles cascaded one into another down from the cliff above. A cave behind the water could be seen peeking through the delicate icy teeth, framed as though by magic, with an allure of grace.
Gently coming down onto a frozen plume of froth, Kiena took the sight in.
Breigh watched her intently, his gaze strong and passionate.
Reaching her hand out to touch the ice, she glanced up. Their tiny bodies were half the size of most icicles, she felt insignificant in the shadow of another plume of frozen froth above her. Many of these frozen clusters splayed around them, as though floating in time and space, waiting to fly away.
“Breigh,” she breathed, awestruck.
He smiled, taking her hand, and flying upward again. Gently guiding her, they danced in flight across, around, up and down the frozen falls.
Kiena laughed, closing her eyes to take in the feel of the brisk wind and listen to the stillness in this glorious place.
She could make out the sound of a low rumbling, as though the ice was breathing. Her eyes glanced up, as she took over, guiding them to the top of the falls.
The mountain range grew in height beyond the lake, rocky peaks surrounded by the skeletons of breathless trees stood about the frozen lake. The gentle rumble caught her attention again, and Kiena let go of Breigh’s hand to light gently on the surface. She knelt gently down, her hand stretched out to touch the ice.
“The water below is still moving,” she said, her eyes meeting his.
“It is. The fish are alive below us. The depth of the lake determines how frozen the water becomes.”
Kiena realized she did not know very much about winter. Which suddenly she found odd, considering her and Rynn used to spend a great deal of time exploring.
Reaching out his hand again, Breigh beckoned her to him.
They took hands, and on the surface of the ice, Breigh began to dance. Kiena wobbled a bit, not quite used to gliding on something so slippery and bumpy, she softly fluttered her wings to take her to her toes and hover above the ice until she got used to how it felt.
“Have you ever done something so amazing?” Breigh asked with a wide smile, clearly enchanted with Kiena.
“I have done many things, but this is not one of them.” Kiena allowed herself to move and glide as Breigh led.
After a few more moments, Kiena began to feel a shudder in her wings. She stumbled and fell into Breigh.
He caught her, righting her again, “Are you alright?”
“My wings,” she turned, “they’re beginning to feel the cold.”
He picked her up into his arms, “Let’s get you home. We can come again.” He smiled at her, before taking off again, heading back to the dell.
She found herself snuggled into his shoulder, wrapping her arms tight around him, not so much worried about falling or being dropped, but for keeping the memory close. To cherish new experiences with a new friend and remember them with joy.