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Cold. It was so cold. The fire burnt fitfully as the wind gusted through the trees and the weak flames danced. He pulled the blanket tighter about his shoulders as he raised shaking hands, cupping the small flame, desperately inhaling, drawing the thick smoke into his lungs.

The music was loud, and though it was cold outside so many bodies made the room warm, in the corner the old men played, fiddle and pipes, drum and voice. And all about them feet spun in intricate steps, hands crossed over and over and skirts swirled as they danced, faster and faster. Her hair was flying, sweaty tendrils sticking to her face as she laughed up at him and still they danced. His hands fit perfectly around her waist as he spun her around, her laughter making him laugh too. Flashing eyes sparkling with fun, but beneath that a spark that made him want to breathe deep to pull her closer so that her body was pressed against his. A burning need flickered through him, he ached to release her hair from the pins that held it in regimented order, a desire to run his fingers through the dark tresses so that she tilted her head back. To see her lips part, to watch the laughter in her eyes turn to desire and to know the moment that her hands would reach for him, to tangle in his hair as she drew him to her.

They danced and he watched her face, her lips, the curve of her cheek and he reached to brush a curl from her eyes before he spun her around her skirts rustling….rustling, the leaves rustled fitfully as the wind blew in the gums, louder and louder and he rolled over one hand reaching for the pouch that held the sticky black resin.


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