Everlasting Snow: Chapter 30
And you’re scared.
But not by your own will. It’s like an enchantment put upon your subconscious.
You sit up, rubbing the back of your head. You feel extremely lightheaded. Probably from the hard landing you took. Your back is very sore, as if you’ve been sleeping on a concrete bed.
You groan and blink multiple times, trying to get your blurry vision to focus.
You hear the rattle of chains.
You reach down to your ankle and feel something cold and metallic.
Now more focused, you look down and see a large metal bangle wrapping around your ankle. It’s linked to a chain with huge, thick links. They’re a good inch and a half long, thick as a marker is round. You lift it up a little. It’s extremely heavy. You follow the line of the chain to its end.
It’s attached to the floor with a wide-topped, heavy-duty stake going through the last chain.
Which digs into a black metal floor.
The one you’re on.
You look around you,
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 29Everlasting Snow: Chapter 293 years ago in Romance More Like This
The Easter Bunny.
The Tooth Fairy.
They’re all there, looking at you excitedly.
Well, except the Easter Bunny. Bunny, you remember he’s called. He’s standing there with his furry arms crossed, an apprehensive look on his face, glancing at you from the corner of his eyes.
He’s almost nothing like how you pictured the Easter Bunny to look. Sure, you had once pictured a larger-than-life rabbit. And boy, is Bunny tall. Just over six feet, you’d say, not counting his long silvery-blue ears. He’s a rabbit, that’s for sure. The fur on his cheeks is long and brushed back, sticking out to the sides. Black fur patterns his forehead, forming what you make out to be three leaves on his brow. He has jet-black eyebrows and springtime-green eyes that are teeming with life. His hair grows longer on his shoulders and middle of his chest, as well as on his knees, reminding you of a wolf’s coat. The layers in this hair are a mix of black, silve
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 28Everlasting Snow: Chapter 283 years ago in Romance More Like This
At least, you’re pretty sure the man standing before you is Santa.
He’s dressed quite differently than in all the fairy tales and legends.
Looks a bit different, too.
He has maintained the basic facial features of the myths. You know, the jolly red cheeks that are round as apples and pink-tipped nose. He has piercing, clear blue eyes that sparkle with an inner light.
This is when he starts really differing from the Santa of stories. His eyes sit beneath a pair of extremely thick black eyebrows that are accented with a lighter grey here and there, the hair becoming longer at the curve, flaring up and out like the flames of a fire, giving the illusion that his eyes are opened wider than they really are.
Blond and dark grey highlights streak his otherwise white beard and whiskers, which stretch down to the end of his chest. The tips of the hair brush the top of a thick sash-like belt that has a pattern that matches the ones on the stained glass windows and found all aro
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 35Everlasting Snow: Chapter 353 years ago in Romance More Like This
The hours turn into days,
The days into weeks,
And the weeks into months.
You and Jack become virtually inseparable. The only time you spend apart is when Jack leaves to go conjure up winter weather.
“I travel with the weather,” he tells you when you ask why he has to leave and can’t just stay. “Y’know, with the cold and stuff. Wherever it goes, I go, and I do my thing wherever that may be. Feels natural. Sure, the clouds and chilliness would still exist—I mean, it all existed before I did (I did float out of a frozen lake into snowy scenery that I didn’t create, after all)—but I’m a channel of sorts for it and really bring the Winter and all things associated with it on, emphasizing it in a way. It’s a pretty important job. Can’t really call it a job though, since it’s so much fun. I could go places where it’s not winter-like at all and make it snow and such, but I have a feeling that’d c
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 33Everlasting Snow: Chapter 333 years ago in Romance More Like This
You slowly open your eyes.
“Hello there. Long time no see.”
Your little elven friend in teal smiles in response, his hat jingling with emotion.
He steps back a little as you swing your legs over the side of the bed, yawning.
You look around the room, concluding from your surroundings—and the elf—that you must be back at the North Pole.
You walk up to the open window, slipping on the thick, soft red robe that your friend held out to you. He stands beside you as you gaze out upon the scenery.
Even in times of trouble, the world can be so peaceful.
The sun is setting behind the mountains, casting a beautifully mysterious golden light upon the land. The sky turns from warm yellows, oranges, and reds to cool nighttime blues and purples in a perfectly analogous color scheme. The snow takes on a rich orange color, the flakes glinting like the million gold coins of a pirate’s treasure. It almost looks like the earth is covered i
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 31Everlasting Snow: Chapter 313 years ago in Romance More Like This
Your heart is pounding.
You search around you for anything, anything, you can use to get yourself out of the metal cuff.
Or maybe break one of the strong chains.
Or somehow pry the stake out of the cage floor.
Anything to free you from your prison.
The entire time, you’re thinking of nothing but how badly you need to help Jack—to perhaps somehow warn him, or something—and prevent a catastrophe from befalling him.
Much to your dismay, you find absolutely nothing.
You rattle the cage out of frustration. The Nightmare neighs at you as if telling you to be quiet.
You slump down, your back to the cage wall. You’re desperate, panicking, worried beyond measure. You feel all sense of hope leave you, making you feel heavier than usual. You’re completely helpless, and you don’t like it.
Sandy…Tooth…Bunny…North…someone, ANYONE, please…help!
You close your eyes. The tips of your fingers find the small snowf
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 32Everlasting Snow: Chapter 323 years ago in Romance More Like This
Fire and ice, dancing together chaotically behind a glossy surface.
That is the only way that you can describe the look in Jack’s eyes.
Reluctantly, he lowers his staff. He stands it up straight, taking a defiant pose.
“What do you want, Pitch?” he asks, the anger apparent in his voice.
You can hear the smile on Pitch’s face. “Now that’s more like it. I’d like to ask a little…favor…of you.”
“The answer’s ‘no,’” Jack fires back.
Pitch presses the dagger harder into you. A small whimper escapes your lips. “Tsk tsk. Such a pretty thing, too.”
“Don’t you dare!” Jack yells, taking up his staff once again.
Seemingly ignoring the command, Pitch leans down and whispers in your ear, though still loud enough for Jack to hear. “That necklace…did he give that to you? Oh, it suits you wonderfully. I assume it won’t melt so long as you believe in
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 38Everlasting Snow: Chapter 383 years ago in Romance More Like This
You finally exhale, the breath that had been trapped within you escaping past your lips to a long-awaited freedom.
At first, you’re not sure on what to say.
After months of knowing you, Jack just told you he loves you.
Jack Frost. A spirit. Immortal. The stuff of legends. In love. With you.
Your head is swimming.
But then something arises within you. A small, soft warmth. Like a single candle’s flame flickering brightly in a dark room filled with uncertainty.
Slowly, it grows, filling you and steadying your beating heart and racing mind. All other thoughts, all other feelings, are forgotten.
Just one remains.
You’ve never been surer of something in your life.
You smile warmly at Jack, who is staring at you, mouth slightly agape as he waits for you to say something, body stuck in the moment just after his confession.
“I love you too.”
He relaxes, unfurling the anxious fist that his staff-less hand had been in. A lo
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 39Everlasting Snow: Chapter 393 years ago in Romance More Like This
You’re experiencing some serious déjà vu.
Jack Frost is once again in your living room, lying on your couch, completely unconscious.
Except this time, you know who he is and for a fact that he’s extremely ill. Though with exactly what, you’re not sure.
And there’s no curiosity here. Just fear and panic for the one you love.
You lift off the damp wash towel that you have resting on his forehead. It needs to be changed.
You lay your free hand on his head, checking his temperature.
He’s still burning up, the same temperature from the last time you had checked it. He’s far too warm even for a regular human, let alone for the spirit of winter.
His cheeks are flushed a deep red to match the fever. His lips are parted, each of his breaths shuddering and strained. They’re so infrequent sometimes that you will anxiously rest your ear on his chest, listening for his faint heartbeat as your own races.
You refresh the cold towel and place it back on
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 34Everlasting Snow: Chapter 343 years ago in Romance More Like This
Warm, furry, feathery, and sandy.
You embrace each of the Guardians in turn, bidding them farewell.
You can see the worry behind each of their eyes, especially Tooth’s.
Jangle hugs the bottom of your leg, his stout arms almost too short to reach all the way around. You laugh and crouch down and pat his head, fearing that you’d squish the little guy if you were to actually return the hug.
You give a final wave as you follow Jack—your hand in his—outside into the arctic weather.
Just as you’re about to lift off, North runs out behind the two of you, yelling, “Wait wait wait!”
The two of you turn to face him.
After he recovers his breath, he holds out another snow globe in the palm of his hand.
“I hhhave better idea,” he says.
Jack holds up his hand, shaking his head. “Thanks, but no thanks. Fun as magic portals are, we don’t need that. Nothing’s going to happen to us on the way back, so you can stop worrying.”
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 24Everlasting Snow: Chapter 243 years ago in Romance More Like This
Your heart begins to race.
You nearly knock over a hat stand in your rush to it. Why are you even worrying? It’s not like the store is going anywhere or that there’s anyone else in this store to nab it before you do. Nevertheless, you don’t slow down until you’ve come up it.
It’s even better up close. You reach out your hand and grab the cuff of the sleeve.
So soft. Cotton. Thick and warm. Beyond comfortable.
Just his size.
A blue hoodie.
It’s a wonderful shade of blue, not too dark, not too light. It just screams “Winter.” Dark blue thread runs in detail stitching from each of the two top corners of the pocket to the armpit and down the side seams, forming a semi-distorted rectangle, the top line probably following along the slant of the ribcage when worn. The same is done in symmetry on the back—minus the slant—the two lines meeting towards the center at the edge a little over an inch from each other. The shoelace-like tasse
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 26Everlasting Snow: Chapter 263 years ago in Romance More Like This
It’s your turn to be a deer in the headlights.
You should turn away, but you’re completely frozen. Stuck. Hypnotized. Captivated.
“I can’t wait. I’m going to put it on now!” he had exclaimed after releasing you from the hug.
You had thought that he meant he was going to go to a different room to change.
And then that maybe he’d at least keep on the white shirt and put your Christmas present to him on over that.
But no. He had literally meant putting the blue hoodie on in that very moment. In that room. Right in front of you. And to change into just the hoodie.
I guess you somewhat forget how to act in front of people and proper social behavior a little if you go unseen for centuries.
You secretly don't mind it.
His old shirt and brown vest lie forgotten on the floor amongst the crumpled wrapping paper. His cloak is carelessly thrown over the closest arm of the couch. You’re holding the Santa hat, which he had tossed
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 43Everlasting Snow: Chapter 433 years ago in Romance More Like This
Your hand meets cold, satiny skin.
The two of you are frozen there for a few seconds, you with your hand still in midair, Pitch with his face turned to the side. Your expressions are the same—sheer shock. He never it saw it coming. You never thought you had it in you. It just kind of happened. As if out of instinct, from the depths of your brain, an out-of-the-blue reaction to a sudden wave of anger. You immediately regret it.
You just slapped Pitch Black clear across the face.
An extremely powerful, dark being who towers over you.
Knowing that you have to go with it, you stretch out the same hand, your tingling palm upwards and towards the staff.
“Give it here, Pitch,” you shakily command the Nightmare king.
He snaps out of it, rubbing where you hit him with his spare hand. “More of a fighter than the last I saw you, but I'll forgive that for now,” he mumbles under his breath as his cold eyes lock on yours. He then speaks directly to you. “I kind of
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 51Everlasting Snow: Chapter 513 years ago in Romance More Like This
The steam from the hot chocolate warms your face as you stare down into its brown depths, the warmth from the piping hot beverage heating up the palms of your cupped hands as they hold it up.
The golden base of the goblet rests patiently on your knees, which you have folded up to your chest in a makeshift table as you sit on the right side of the large window’s expansive ledge, nothing but a thin sheet of glass separating you and the artic scenery beyond.
Jangle sits a bit in front of your feet, staring up at you, concerned.
He’s the one who brought you the hot chocolate, waddling around a corner a few moments after Tooth had left you alone to the devices of the otherwise vacant hallway, the jingle bell on the top of his head softly chiming with each step.
You only took the goblet out of politeness. You really have no appetite right now.
Still, you’re thankful for the company. And the hot chocolate has helped you a little, its steam bearing a calming effect on you, pr
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 27Everlasting Snow: Chapter 273 years ago in Romance More Like This
How can you possibly have fun when you’re freezing outside in subzero weather, snow mounded on your head, shoulders, and around your feet, gluing you to the spot where you stand?
You shiver heavily as a clump crawls under your shirt and down your back.
Your nose begins to run.
You try to move your legs. They don’t even budge. The snow is far too heavy.
You look up at the large building that stands before and above you.
“Hello?” you call out to it, teeth beginning to chatter. “Anybody there? Help!”
You sigh, your exhale visible in the chilly air. You look around you for any signs of life, twisting in either direction to the furthest extent possible in your current situation.
Out of nowhere, you feel a pair of big hands hook under your armpits, lifting you up and out of the snow.
“W-whoaaa!” you find yourself exclaiming.
Instead of setting you back down, though, they lift you up even higher. You are then slung
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 36Everlasting Snow: Chapter 363 years ago in Romance More Like This
“Jack,” you whisper cautiously, eyes fixated on the moon.
You also reach out to tap his shoulder in hopes of gaining his attention.
Don’t, the voice comes again.
Your hand freezes in its motion.
You steal a quick glance at Jack, as if breaking your gaze from the moon will end the conversation. Well, something of a conversation, since you’re not exactly talking back to it.
He’s asleep, lips slightly parted, his chest rising and falling with each slow and deep breath.
Really? Sleeping. At a time like this? you think as you refocus on the moon.
You squint your eyes slightly, still not quite believing that the moon is speaking to you. Was something in the food that you ate today? Maybe it was just the wind. Or one of those times when you think you hear your name being called and after searching everywhere for the source of the call it turns out to be just your imagination.
You stare it down, waiting for the Man in the Moon to say something else.
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 23Everlasting Snow: Chapter 233 years ago in Romance More Like This
“In the pale echo of light, vague outlines moved through Bertie’s field of vision, but their details were lost to the dark. Her bedroom walls took flight in a soaring arc before…”
You trail off, holding your place on the page.
He’s not awake anymore.
His breathing has slowed significantly, his arms limp and his heartbeat now a slow, steadily-beating drum.
What’s more is that he has stopped interrupting you to ask a question or make a snide comment every few lines of the story.
After sharing in that kiss, you had thrown away the wrapping paper—all except the stuff that covered Jack’s—and tidied the room up a little. Somewhere in there, Jack revealed that he was in fact the one who brought and decorated the gorgeous tree sitting in your living room. In helping you clean, Jack had taken interest in another book, one of your absolute favorites. Blushing slightly, he had asked you to read it aloud to him. You had poked fun at him, askin
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 44Everlasting Snow: Chapter 443 years ago in Romance More Like This
You finally figure out why he really gives you the creeps.
No, it isn’t because of his height. Nothing about his outer physical appearance, really.
Nor is it his immense power.
Or the memories of your childhood and the fears he rekindles.
No…it’s because, even though you know he’s standing right behind you, he gives off no presence, like most living things do.
It’s as if you’re standing with your back to a giant void.
It sends that sixth-sense chill down your spine.
And that scares you.
Nevertheless, you don’t try to fight or break away. You need to hear what he has to say, to listen closely to what needs to be done to help Jack.
“What do I have to do?” you ask, trying to steady your shaking voice.
“It’s quite simple, really,” he says. You can practically hear the smile on his face. He’s winning, and he knows it. “Give him to me, and I’ll fix him right up. You can’t ta
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 52Everlasting Snow: Chapter 523 years ago in Romance More Like This
The sleigh skids to a stop on the lake’s surface, the skis leaving long white marks on the ice.
Above you, the tired stars begin to fade as the first light of day breaks over the horizon, giving themselves over to sleep until the night returns to reign once again.
North scoops the limp Jack back up into his arms, and the three of you wordlessly disembark from the sleigh.
You follow North off the lake, trying hard not to fall on the slippery surface. You breathe a small sigh of relief as you step onto the snowy bank, then continue after North, forced to jog a little to keep up with his long strides.
He stops in front of a tall tree with a thick, sturdy trunk, its leaves and branches dusted with white snow. It’s quite a few yards from the lake’s edge, but its view goes uninterrupted by other foliage. He crouches down and sets Jack in front of it, sitting him down so his back is propped up against the trunk.
He really does look like he just nodded off, his head bowed, ar
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 54Everlasting Snow: Chapter 543 years ago in Romance More Like This
Warning: This chapter contains spoilers regarding the Rise of the Guardians movie!
You abruptly sit up in your bed, gasping for air.
Beads of cold sweat dot your forehead, dampening the roots and tips of your hair.
Your hand shaking vigorously, you switch on the light to chase away the dancing shadows of darkness. You take a quick survey of your room, searching for anything that is out of place.
All seems well.
You bring your knees up to your chest, hugging your legs as you attempt to stop trembling. You take long, deep breaths, closing your eyes in your effort to calm down.
It eventually works.
Your eyes half-open but not truly seeing anything, the images of your nightmare play back in your head, flashes of dismal memory slowly fading away with the on-come of your consciousness and the light.
There was you, and there was Jack. Once again, he was in his old clothes, his hair that chestn
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 21Everlasting Snow: Chapter 213 years ago in Romance More Like This
The radio on your alarm clock switches on, telling you that it’s time to get up.
“…traffic on the freeways is close to heavenly. Light snow expected all throughout today, folks,” the radio host tells you. “It’s going to be a White Christmas!”
Wait. You didn’t set your alarm.
“And now back to the music! This next one’s for all you sleepyheads out there who are STILL IN BED THIS LATE ON CHRISTMAS MORNING.”
Wow, that radio is loud. It’s as if the host is in your bedroom, yelling right at you.
Eyes still closed and wanting to sleep in longer since you didn’t get much last night, you halfheartedly reach up your hand, feeling for the snooze button on the clock.
Your hand meets something soft and fuzzy.
You slowly open your eyes. Since when is your clock fuzzy?
Jack Frost is there crouching at your bedside, a huge smile across his face. He’s wearing a Santa hat, on top of which you currently have your hand re
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 47Everlasting Snow: Chapter 473 years ago in Romance More Like This
It completely melts your heart.
The thing that brought the two of you together. That one song, that single, insignificant line that you had sung so long ago that had led you to seeing him. The first domino that had fallen in a long line of wonderful events.
You’re smiling at the fact that he’s finally doing this trademark action to you, but it’s tearing you apart at the same time.
To know that this is the first and last time, that he won’t ever nip at your nose again.
At least, not on purpose. Or not knowing who you are, if he does decide to mess specifically with you.
You don’t want him to see you cry, but you can’t help it. This is just too much. You feel your bottom lip begin to quiver, tears blurring your vision.
He stops, the wide, mischievous smile that you’ve grown to love spreading across his face. It only stays for a few brief moments though, vanishing the moment he sees the tears welling up in your eyes.
In a flurry of wind, he flips
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 56Everlasting Snow: Chapter 563 years ago in Romance More Like This
Warning: This chapter contains MINOR spoilers regarding the Rise of the Guardians movie!
You have no idea what to do.
Another Nightmare manifests from the dark, joining its companion at the window.
You can’t let the Nightmares make it back to Pitch and tell him of the Guardians’ compromised statuses.
But you can’t call out to Jack or Sandy, not wanting to alert them, either.
Plus, calling out would confuse the living daylights out of Jack, doing who-knows-what-kind of damage to him.
So you just stand there, completely immobile, staring at the Nightmares’ dark forms hovering by the window. They begin to clop their hooves on the air.
They’re getting ready to leave.
Come on, turn around, you think, hoping that somehow the Guardian or winter spirit will hear your projected thoughts.
It seems to work.
Jack takes notice of the being closest to him and whirls around. The Nightmares nei
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 61Everlasting Snow: Chapter 613 years ago in Romance More Like This
Warning: This chapter contains minor spoilers regarding the Rise of the Guardians movie!
Dark, colors deeply muted, replaced by shadowy memories of their former vibrancy.
The silence bears into the depths of your soul.
The steam from your (your favorite hot drink) licks the underside of your chin, warming just that spot, the heat of the drink permeating through the ceramic mug and transferring into your cupped hands.
The rest of you is at the mercy of the bitingly cold air.
But this isn’t your typical weather, your Jack Frost kind of cold. This is a coldness brought on by the emptiness of the world, the kind that slinks in after the total extinguishing of all wonder, hope, and joy.
The snow has almost completely melted away, patches of whiteness piled up along fences here and there. Reminders that winter is coming to a close.
And of the absence of a certain spirit.
This is the environment that you are si
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 46Everlasting Snow: Chapter 463 years ago in Romance More Like This
The Guardians all lift their heads, curiously staring at you.
“Please, just give me…one more day with him,” you plea, looking at each of them in turn.
After a quick consultation with the others, North returns to you. “We shall have to see how he is doing first.”
You nod and stand as he does.
Jangle bids you farewell as he rejoins the other elves.
You follow North through the building, trekking down long curving hallways, up a decorated stairwell or two—at which a white yeti with green eyes and a fire truck in its hands has to stand aside to let the group pass—and even through a couple of other rooms that just lead to more paths. It’s like the place is just asking to be explored, an adventure in itself. As if it was designed so even North wouldn’t know what was behind every door, always maintaining a sense of wonder and mystery. Despite that illusion, though, North didn’t get you guys lost, seemin