Clutching the black bundle to her chest, the woman went on. The snow was fierce, blowing into her eyes and nose, chilling her to the marrow. She was in a furious world of white, where there was no sound except for the screeching of wind in your ear and no smell except that of wet cotton freezing your body through.
So long as the child was safe.
She went on, more determined than ever. How long she was out there she didn't know, but she knew if she did not find shelter soon, she would die. If she died, then the child would not get to safety. What would the child's father do? Kill her most likely. But he would keep her child. He had no choice but to keep the child. It was his as much as it was hers. The fact that the child looked more immortal than the father himself did not make any difference to his father. Nor did the fact that HE had impregnated HER. A spear of pain shot up the woman's leg, and she cried out in shock, dropping to her knees.
Crawling on her hands and knees, she finally collapsed, curled into a ball around her baby. The child, though, remained sill and warm, though his blanket was soaked through. The woman lay, near paralyzed.
"Mortal girl."
She looked up into the eyes of a white wolf. Except she knew he was no wolf. She saw that he was three times larger than a wolf should be. It's eyes were blue, wide and blue. She bent her head even lower in his presence, as if to bow.
"What is your name, mortal?"
"Kassandragh." She whispered.
"Kassandragh. You are mortal, yet this child you seek to protect is not. Indeed, far from it."
"No, my lord, he is not." Kassandragh mumbled, in awe of being in the present of a god of the snow kingdom.
"Give him to me." Said the god. "Give him to me and I will raise him as my own, with magic. Only I could help him realize his true potential. Only I could give him the love he needs to possess."
"I have seen your children. They are hard and cold and merciless. As I will die soon enough, it does not daunt me to say I would rather he die than become one of them." She closed her eyes, trembling, waiting for the blow, but all she heard was soft laughter.
"My children love with their hearts, not their faces. They are not as cruel as you make them out to be. You have ideas that are almost....." he curled his lip, "biased."
"I will die. And you will take him anyways."
"No. I refuse to take him unless you give me the permission."
The woman looked into the eyes of her child. He gurgled up at her. Grinning. He reached up a pale arm and fingered her dark hair.
She looked up into the eyes of the god. "I will give him to you. But promise me this one thing. Promise me that he will never end up in the hands of evil. Promise me that he will become what he was meant to be."
"Mortal girl." Murmured the wolf god. "I cannot."
But the woman had gone glassy-eyed. She lay still.
The keen ears of the wolf caught her last words on the wind. "Please."
Out of respect, the god placed a soft kiss on the woman's cold skin.
"I will do my best." He whispered. He closed his teeth over a fragment of the blanket in which resided the child and carried it awayh into the whiteness.
A flurry of snow blew in an eerily perfect circle, and then they were gone.