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16th november - early hours of the morning – day 16

A knock on my dorm door wakes me from a disturbed sleep.

I slip out of bed and pull a sweater on over my flannel pyjamas. I open the door a fraction.

Winter is stood there, leaning against the door frame. His expression is softer than before.

"Can I come in?" he asks.

His silver eyes watch me carefully. There are light smudges below them, and I can see he hasn't been sleeping either. I try to look into his expression, try to sense if the danger has passed.

"I won't hurt you," he says.

I take a deep breath and let the door swing open.

What are you?

Tentatively he steps inside and closes it behind him.

We stand in awkward silence a moment; me in my pyjamas, him in his jeans and soaking wet white t-shirt.

"Why would you go out like that?" I ask. "You must be freez..."

Freezing.

I stop before I finish the word – my mind flashing back to his room.

"I wanted to talk to you." His expression is serious, intense, "I'm sorry...if I scared you."

I don't know why, but tentatively I reach out to touch his arm.

It's almost as though I want to check that he's real; check that he's not frozen himself.

"I don't feel the..."

Suddenly he shivers violently.

His eyes widen. Vulnerability flashes across them. He takes a step back – his lean body shaking.

"God, you do feel the cold..." I say.

What was I thinking? That he would be an ice block or something?!

I hurry to my bed, grab a blanket and throw it over his shoulders.

No-one can walk outside dressed like that and not be affected. There must be an explanation for everything else I've seen.

Of course there's an explanation.

The water froze in the cafe because it was near the door. His room was icy because his heating broke.

He continues to watch me, astonishment across his face.

"I...I...I..m...c...c...cold."

I look at him.

"I....erm....Take off your jeans and your shirt," I say, feeling my face flush.

He looks at me – alarm and vulnerability in his expression.

"They're soaking. You need to get under the covers."

Hesitantly he peels off his soaking wet T-Shirt. I should look away but I don't. I feel my breathing quicken. Then he unbuttons his jeans and slowly pulls them down, leaving him stood in front of me in his black boxers.

The moonlight shines through my bedroom window, spotlighting him. I can't speak for a moment, my eyes tracing the muscles in his arms and the six pack in his stomach. He holds my gaze.

I think about touching him.

Then he shivers violently and I snap out of my trance.

"Get under the covers," I say.

He climbs into my single bed and pulls the duvet up over him. I take a deep breath then slip into the bed behind him.

"W....w...what are you d...doing?" he whispers.

"You need to keep warm." 

I take a tentative breath then put my arms around him, curling them over his back and resting them on his stomach.

He tenses as my skin makes contact with his but then I feel him relax into me. Slowly the shivers start to decrease.

"You're warm..." he whispers, "I don't usually feel the warm..."

We lie like this for a long time – neither of us speaking – neither of us sleeping.

At some point in the night he reaches for my hand, clasping his fingers over mine.

"I came here to tell you something," he whispers.

"What?"

"I brought it here," he says. "I brought the winter."

He gently places my hand over his heart. I feel it slowly beating in his chest.

"It's frozen."

He pauses.

"But I think it's finally thawing," I hear a faint smile in his voice. "I think I finally know how to fix it."

"

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