Everlasting Snow: Chapter 44
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 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 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 52Everlasting Snow: Chapter 522 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 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
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 45Everlasting Snow: Chapter 453 years ago in Romance More Like This
A bit of tumbling and flashes of colors later, you’re standing in the grand fireplace room at the North Pole.
Well, kind of standing. You’re wobbling around a bit as you regain your balance, trying hard not to drop Jack.
You manage to successfully recover, now feeling pretty darn proud that you managed not to fall after emerging from the swirling magic portal.
You scan the room for North.
You don’t see him, but you hear his heavy booted footsteps to your right, getting louder the closer he gets.
The elves must have gone to get him once they saw the slightest sign of the portal opening up.
A few yetis and elves come and go, carrying on work as usual in the shop.
At first, North greets you with a wide, jolly smile. But then he sees the look of worry on your face, proceeded by Jack’s limp form on your back.
Just the sight of him makes you want to break down. To run into his big, comforting arms and cry your eyes out, telling him everything that’s been going o
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 51Everlasting Snow: Chapter 512 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 41Everlasting Snow: Chapter 413 years ago in Romance More Like This
“Orlaithe’s the real name,” he booms, holding out a large hand for you to shake, which you do as you tell him your own name.
“But you probably already knew that,” you say as you take back your hand. His wink in response confirms your suspicion.
“Orlaithe,” you think. Much less mainstream than “Liam” or something. In the back of your head, you recall the elves and their merry titles.
“Most of ‘em just call me Orl. Sounds like Earl but with an Irish flare. Better tan callin’ me Leppie or Leper,” he remarks, snorting in laughter at his own crude joke.
“So what’s going on with dear ol’ Jack?” he asks, returning to the snow globe.
Your feelings of happiness and wonder disappear, remembering your grave situation. “He’s really sick. Or something like that. I don’t know if I can say he’s ‘sick,’ but something is very wrong with him.” You
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 42Everlasting Snow: Chapter 423 years ago in Romance More Like This
You kind of wish someone had a stopwatch.
You just broke a world record for sprinting the distance to your house in the snow, the chilly night air biting at your face.
At least, that’s how it felt.
You burst in through the door, praying that he’s still there, still hanging on.
Much to your relief, Jack Frost is exactly as you left him.
You take a seat on the couch by his torso and pat his cheek in hopes that this attempt to wake him up will be successful. Which it isn’t. He doesn’t show even the slightest reaction, in fact.
“C’mon, Jack,” you say as you take out the blue vial that the Leprechaun gave you. You wave it in front of his closed eyes. “You need to take your medicine. It’ll help you. Please?”
You sigh and cup the vial in both of your hands, shoulders slumped. You finally have something that can help him, but you’re not sure on how you’re going to get this stuff into his system so it can work
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 54Everlasting Snow: Chapter 542 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 48Everlasting Snow: Chapter 483 years ago in Romance More Like This
Oh, how you’ve missed flying.
Feeling completely weightless as the wind envelops you, pushing you up and forward. Your hair whipping back, dancing in the wind. Your hand clasped in Jack’s, the odd yet wonderful cold backed by that deep, inner warmth spreading down your arm and through you as your cheeks and nose turn pink from the blasts of air as you travel at an incredible speed. The scenery blurred as it you race over it, treetops and roofs of houses uniting into flashes of uniform color, what few people there are looking like nothing but brief, tiny blips in radar.
You close your eyes for a bit, thoroughly enjoying the sensations.
The two of you make a quick pit stop back at your house so you can pick up your skates. Then you’re off again.
Before too long, you feel yourself descending as you arrive at the final destination.
It’s as if you never left it. It’s the same way as the last time you visited about a month ago. For that matter, it’s just a
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 61Everlasting Snow: Chapter 612 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 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 50Everlasting Snow: Chapter 502 years ago in Romance More Like This
They say that, if you are anticipating—if you are wanting—to go somewhere, then the trip seems much longer than it really is.
And the opposite applies for the alternate case.
That, when you are dreading your arrival, when you don’t want to be going somewhere, the trip to that somewhere gives off the impression of being far shorter than is reality.
This latter case applies a little too perfectly to you.
One moment you’re lifting off of your porch from dropping off your ice skates, the next you’re at the North Pole, the red double-doors looming in front of you.
You feel something squeeze your hand.
You look down at it to see Jack’s pale fingers entwined in yours, holding onto you tightly.
You follow the hand to the connected arm, trailing up until your gaze meets Jack’s.
He’s smiling softly at you, his eyes sad yet reassuring. He jerks his head toward the door as he begins to smirk, indicating that it’s time the two of y
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 40Everlasting Snow: Chapter 403 years ago in Romance More Like This
It’s exactly as you remember it.
The soft light caresses your cheeks, a homely warmth engulfing your body, bearing an instant calming effect on you.
You take a quick survey of the place, shutting the door behind you.
Just like last time, the mysterious shopkeeper is nowhere to be seen.
But that means more freedom to really take a look around.
So you begin to do just that.
There are the rows of practical joke props, the racks of clothing (now featuring some more springtime fashions), the clear-door refrigerator stocked with drinks together and a wide variety of foods, the selection of odd knickknacks sitting on countertops and hanging from hooks.
You take interest in a small selection of trinkets and jewelry sitting patiently beside the clothing section.
None of them look manufactured. Not even in the least. Each looks carefully created, hours upon hours, thought upon thought put into each one. A lot of them bear ancient Celtic designs or themes. Lines crisscross over one another,
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 56Everlasting Snow: Chapter 562 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 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 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 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 49Everlasting Snow: Chapter 492 years ago in Romance More Like This
The last beams of daylight illuminate the world in a final flash of orange before reluctantly disappearing, receding and descending behind the horizon along with the tired sun.
But even though the star is no longer visible to you, traces of light remain, turning the sky at the earth’s edge a vibrant red with arms that reach out into the night’s royal purple, giving the world a last work of daytime beauty so the sun is fondly remembered through the night. Smaller stars begin to show their white faces, taunting the crimson light as it attempts to touch them. Just as its fingers begin to brush the small white light of the closest star, though, it too is pulled down with the sun, and night tucks it away until morning.
The stars shine brighter as the sky turns darker, rejoicing at their triumph.
And then, the most anticipated moment of the night. The stars quiet down out of respect, turning their attention to the main event.
Slowly, shyly, the moon peeks up, showing the world a
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 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 55Everlasting Snow: Chapter 552 years ago in Romance More Like This
Warning: This chapter contains minor spoilers regarding the Rise of the Guardians movie!
Tooth glances over her shoulder at Jamie’s bedroom window.
“I should get going,” she says nervously as she backs up a little.
“Hmm? Oh, oh yeah! Just…one last thing,” you say. “Is it possible for his mind to have forgotten me, yet the memories still existing somewhere deep in his mind? Buried away, in a sense?”
She shakes her head. “I completely removed all memories of you. There are none hidden away in the depths of his mind, so there’s no chance of memories all of a sudden resurfacing without some extreme prompting.”
You sigh. This information is bittersweet.
“But,” she continues, “there is a chance that the heart can remember what the mind can’t. Kind of like how he will retain the growth and lessons he learned while wi
Everlasting Snow: Chapter 53Everlasting Snow: Chapter 532 years ago in Romance More Like This
Warning: This chapter contains minor spoilers regarding the Rise of the Guardians movie!
Something in a window has caught your attention.
You stand in front of the shop and mindlessly gaze at the display items, holding a small plastic bag with a new book resting inside, patiently waiting to be read.
Two days have passed since you parted with Jack.
You haven’t seen even a glimpse of him since.
The snow is beginning to melt, verdant patches of grass peeping out here and there in the yards of houses, the sidewalk and roads practically clear of the winter blanket. Spring is awakening.
A single snowflake falls just in front of you. A few seconds after, another follows it. And then a group of them float down, the snowflakes continuously tumbling down after one another in a gentle snowfall.
“Oof!” you hear someone exclaim, making you look up and over in the direction of the voice.
Soon, a small symphony of