The whole castle was almost in complete darkness. Candles and fires flickered in only a few rooms, leaving the stone corridors as cold as the night outside.
Lorna wished it was a clear night. Clouds obscured the moon and stars. She imagined the forest outside with the moon shining down on it, silver light captured in the snow and stars looking down through the black tree branches. Mira was now too large to walk in the castle, but the Aqua was safe in the underground cave. Lorna had been reassured the pool would be sufficiently warm for her. The outside air couldn’t touch it.
The doorway loomed to her left, black and huge like the mouth of a cave. “If there’s nothing else,” she said, “I’ll be…”
“I don’t want you to go.”
He never took his eyes from the fire. The flames danced, sending light across his face.
“Stay here with me.”
Slowly, carefully, Lorna stepped over to the chair next to his and sat down. She stayed beside him for the rest of the night, neither of them speaking. They watched the fire until the shadows retreated at dawn’s light.