Chapter 7 - Peppermint and Ice

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" No, no, no! You're doing it wrong! " I groan loudly, snatching the knife and rabbit from his hand and slit the skin with one quick move. " See? Like that, " I say, not turning my eyes away from the rabbit, doing the same slit around its body.

But even without looking at him, I know he is rolling his eyes. He brings his hand to his forehead and sweeps his raven black hair back. " Well if you showed me sooner, I would've done it right, " he muttered under his breath.

I scoff in disbelief, " I heard that! Besides, I've done it hundreds of time in front of you for the past month, so don't give me an excuse, " I say, putting down the skinned game next to me and taking yet another one.

Ethan attempts to take it and the knife from me but I smack his hand away. " I'll do it myself, " I grumble.

He sighs and takes my wrist, which was holding the knife " Your hands are blistering, Cathellyn. " I look down to my hand and notice the slightly torn skin on my palm. It's not much but I did feel it sore for the last minutes. Now that I know about it, suddenly the pain doubles. I bite my lower lip and try to distract myself by looking at the frozen river in front of me. The trees on the sides are bare as they shredded their leaves in the autumn but their presence is replaced with snow and icicles.

The white blanket covers the grass and only a few plants are sticking out. Funny though, I don't feel cold, perhaps it's because I'm close with Ethan and his presence seem to radiate warmth.

A small sigh comes out of me and the frozen air transforms it to a white puff of smoke. I only have known him for a month yet he seems to know me better than myself.

" I'll put some snow on it later, " I say with a lazy tone but he doesn't let my wrist go.

I bring my head to him and find him looking at me with a concerned look. If there is anything I learned from the past month is he will not give up easily but I know he means well, though sometimes I admire this, it can be very annoying.

Knowing he will not let me go, I unwillingly give him the knife and game and I am rewarded with a winning small from him.

He skins a part of it with one slit like I did before and does the same around the untouched part. " See? I'm a fast learner. " he smug. I roll my eyes and stand up, brushing the fallen snow from my knees.

He brings his eyes to me but his hands are still working. " Where are you going? "

" I want to pick some peppermint leaves, " I say, looking around the blanket of snow on the ground. I can see small drops of green on it but it is mostly grass and no peppermint stalks in sight.

He puts aside the skinned game and plunges his hand into my sack to find another one. " I already pick them all. I don't think there is anymore. " I remember the last month and every time we meet he would be sucking on peppermint leaves. No wonder they are mostly gone.

I squint my eyes to the other side of the river and can see more dots of green there. The river is frozen and the surface is now covered with ice. It looks sturdy enough.

" The ice is too thin, " he says as I step on the edge of the slippery surface. Ignoring him, I slowly take a step on it. I was half expecting for it to break but nothing comes and I decide it is sturdy enough.

The ice is slippery and I do my best to keep steady feet. I walk through it, my head down searching cracks that I might need to avoid. I reach the middle when I feel a snowball hitting me right behind my head.

A gasp comes out of me from the sudden coldness and I turn my head to Ethan. His face is looking down at the snow but I know he is choking a laugh. I scoff in disbelievement before kneeling and stuffing my hand with snow. I ball it up and throw right at him, hitting his face.

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