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The first thing Tamsin noticed was a blurry, fuzzy white thing floating on top. Like a giant glimmering jellyfish, it slightly changed its shape when moving. She had a hard time trying to figure out what it was. But she eventually realized that it was the sky. She was looking at it from under water.
Am I dead? She thought.
She felt the snow falling on her face. She felt cold. She knew she had always hated cold weather, and she knew exactly why. But she just never had felt this cold.
It was also the time that she realized she was not in the water anymore. She was leaning on a pine tree. Or at least she thought she was. She could smell the pine tree, and the snow. She felt this urge to move, to run, to leave, but she just couldn't. She saw herself sitting in the snowfield. It was snowing heavily. She could see the snow flakes fell on her chest, and then they melt.
It was deadly quiet. She could see nothing but snow. Then she noticed something. She saw the bleeding wound on her left abdomen. The blood flew out on the snow. It was the only color in the white world. It looked so vivid and bright, like a blooming poinsettia flower.
She then realized that she was looking at herself from the above, as if she was a bird. She saw herself sitting there, bleeding, eyes closed.
She heard a rustle sound in the tree. She knew it was some kind of bird. She raised her head. This time suddenly she was not look at herself from above anymore.
On the branch of the pine tree, she saw a snowy owl. She knew it was female because of the spotted pattern on her chest. She was sitting in the tree, looking at her, with her golden eyes. Then she opened her wings and flew away.
Tamsin tried to grasp something, but the owl just flew away, without turning her head looking at her again.
It was all cold, white and silence again. Just her, sitting by a pine tree, bleeding.
Then she felt something. Something warm, falling on her face.
A summer storm shower?
She raised her head, there was only snow coming from the sky. She touched her face, whatever it was, it felt warm.
Stay with me. Stay with me.
She heard the wind whispering to her. For a moment she thought she saw someone by her side. She reached out but no one was there.
Weariness had finally consumed her. She closed her eyes, and fell into the unknown darkness. Strangely, it was not that cold anymore.
She had no idea where she was, or how long it had been. She couldn't see anything, or feel anything. Then she started to hear a light cracking sound. She knew what it was, but she just couldn't recall.
Finally it had come to her that it was the sound of the burning wood.
Tamsin opened her eyes. At first she noticed the fire, the orange red flames, the sparks from the pine tree wood sap, and the cracking sound she heard. She blinked several times, just to get used to the bright light of the fire, and to make sure it was real. She could smell the pine tree wood in the fire and felt the heat wave on her face. She also saw something roasting on the fire, it was some sort of small animal. The grease was sizzling. It smelt delicious.
Then she felt warmth. Not from the fire, not that hot. But from someone.
She turned her head. She saw Bo beside her. Seeing that Tamsin had waken up, Bo wanted to smile, but instead she choked in her own tears. She was embarrassed by it, so she turned away from Tamsin.
" Hey gorgeous." Tamsin said. At first she couldn't recognize her own voice. It was hoarse. She reached her hand out, trying to wipe the tears off the brunette's face.
Bo smiled, and held her to her chest tight, like she was afraid that Tamsin would disappear if she didn't.
Tamsin tried to adjust her body a little, then she realized that they were both buried under a pile of blankets and clothes, and they were in a cabin. She also realized that both her and Bo were completely naked.
" If this is hell, I think I love it." She put her arms around Bo's waist.
" We are not in hell, not yet." Bo tucked the blankets under the blonde, " But you've lost a lot of blood, you had been unconscious on and off for a day now. I was worried."
By the look on her face, Tamsin knew that it was pretty far from just ''worried''. She could tell how relieved she was when she woke up.
" Where are we?"
" Some hunter's cabin, I guess." Bo said, " I don't know for sure. But it was hell of a luck for this cabin to be here. I thought you might die."
" Valkyries don't die that easily." Tamsin put her hand on Bo's face, " You are so warm, succubus."
" That was because you were freezing cold. " Bo put her hand on her chest to warm them.
" What happened? I remember we jumped off the cliff."
" I thought we could land on the opposite side of the cliff using the arrow-rope swing. But apparent it was not strong enough to hold us. It fell off and we fell into the river. We were lucky, if we fell on the rocks we'd be dead right now." Bo said, " Then the river washed us down for a mile or two, before I managed to climb up and carry you up. You were unconscious and you were freezing cold. I was so scared that you would die."
" Relax, I'm not dead." Tamsin smiled. She curled Bo's hair lock around her index finger, as if she was reassuring her.
" Anyway, I didn't know what to do, I thought I'd find a cave and light a fire. But it would take too long. I laid you on the ground, then I saw a bird in the snow. She looked at me for a while, then she took off. I didn't know why, but I watched her flew off. Then she landed on the roof of this cabin. I carried you here. It was just pure luck. There were flint next to the fireplace, and dry wood stored under the roof. There were blankets and hides in the cabinet, although old and dusty. There's even an old first aid kit so I took care of your wounds. "
" You stripped me and yourself so you can warm me up under the blankets?"
" I can't throw you on the fire to thaw."
" Well too bad I didn't get to see you strip." Tamsin winked at her. Bo laughed.
" How do you feel?"
" Sore, exhausted, cold, but I'll survive." Tamsin said.
" We got to find a way to contact Dyson, Lauren or Kenzi." Bo said, " We need to figure out what is on the notebook."
" Yeah." Tamsin said.
" But right now, you need to eat something, and rest." Bo said. She got out from the blanket pile and got dressed. She pulled out the dagger from her boot and shared the roastrf animal with Tamsin. It was plain, but better than starving.
" You said you saw a bird before you found this cabin?" Tamsin asked.
" Yeah, an owl."
" A snowy owl?"
" How do you know?" Bo was surprised.
" I think I saw one in my dream. Besides, me and snowy owls always had this connection."
" Should I be jealous?" Bo teased her.
Tamsin smiled. She wanted to say something smart, but then she decided to tell Bo the truth. " Valkyrie families all have their guardian animals. There were legends about the very old valkyries had got power from them. But it was all a myth now. More like a symbol."
" So snowy owl was your guardian animal?"
" Yes. But it wasn't just that, when I was 15, I went on this survival training thing of becoming a valkyrie. They shipped me to somewhere near the north pole, and I had to survive there by myself for a month. But when I finished it and went back to the rally point, there was this heavy storm, they couldn't come to pick me up. So I stayed there longer, then one day..."
Tamsin stopped because Bo had put her finger on her lips and pulled out the dagger again.
Both of them heard some noises came from outside. But after a few minutes they realized it was just some animal passing through the woods.
They both relieved.
" How's your hunger holding up?"
" I don't feel it growing as fast as couple days ago, I think the injection probably wears off by now." Bo said, " Besides, I did feed from the ugly asura."
" Ah, that I recall." Tamsin said. Although by the look on Bo's face, she knew she was still hungry. She knew Bo would never feed off her right now, so she didn't offer.
Tamsin wanted to say something, but she started to shiver again. Bo quickly took off her clothes so she could lie beside her to warm her up.
She held her from behind, with her hands on her waist. The blonde felt the emitting heat from her back. She felt safe, and tired. She closed her eyes again. But this time, there was no snow, nor coldness in her dream anymore.
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