Everywhere was white. Everywhere was nothing. Everywhere was silent.
I must be in the sky, the five-year-old child thought. I must be where the big people say Papa is. Papa, where are you? she called. Papa! Papa…
"Are you lost?" a young voice whispered, breaking the fragile silence that had surrounded her.
Lost? What is that?
"Something that cannot be found," the voice explained.
Then does that mean Papa is lost? No matter how much Nisha looks, she can never find Papa.
"Yes, your Papa is lost and you will never be able to find him. But that doesn't mean you need to be lost as well. Go back, girl, go back."
Where? How? Why? Nisha came to see…find Papa. Nisha doesn't want to be alone anymore.
"…and you refuse to leave until you gain your wish?"
Yes! Nisha won't leave until she sees Papa!
The little girl felt cold lips brush over her cheek. Shivering, she didn't dare move. The presence tied to the voice seemed to fade away, into the wind. The little girl shivered even more. The cold was quickly worsening. She tried to open her eyes but they were frozen shut from the wind. Crying out in fear and pain, she finally opened her eyes to find…
Her face slammed against the carpet floor. Gasping, her body continued it's slow slid down the side of her bed until the rest of her crashed to the floor. Rudely and painfully awakened, she lifted her head, reaching a hand to rub at the pain at the base of her neck. Pushing herself off of the ground, she sighed. The same dream again. She had been dreaming it for the past week, though she had no idea why. Today was her seventeenth birthday, though she honestly didn't see what was so good about it. Then again she had always been like that: rarely understanding the people around her.
Rising to her feet, she glanced over at the digital clock beside her bed. 6:30 am, it read. Yawning, she stretched and then pulled the over-sized T-shirt she wore as pajamas over her head. Throwing the shirt into her dirty clothes hamper, she moved into the bathroom that was connected to her bedroom for a quick shower. The hot water felt like bliss and helped to finish waking her up. Stepping out of the shower and wrapping a towel around her body, she paused after hearing a strange sound. The noise died away and after a few more seconds, she moved forward, walking from her bathroom to her bedroom.
As she walked through the bathroom doorway, she came to a complete halt, her eyes going wide in shock.
Standing in her bedroom was a man!
A very good-looking guy, if his backside was anything to go off of, but an intruder nonetheless. He wore tan slacks, a white T-shirt, and no shoes. His hair was a very light blonde, nearly white under her bedroom overhead light, cut short and close to his head. He was standing next to her dresser across the room, staring around him in a curious daze.
Her breath came out in a tiny, scared sound. His head lifted up from where he had been looking at one of the pictures on top of her dresser. He turned on his heel.
She had been right. He was the hottest-looking guy she had seen in her entire life. His eyes were a brilliant blue, like a sapphire. His face was the type that always ended up as movie-stars, drawing adoration and lust from any woman who saw it. It didn't help that as soon as he noticed her, his expression brightened. His eyes lit up in happiness and an excited grin grew on his face. "Nisha!"
Her eyes growing even wider, her mouth opened to scream. At the same time, one hand lifted up to tighten the towel around her. She twisted, turning slightly to the right and taking three steps forward, her other hand reaching out for the baseball bat she had leaning up against the wall.
Her fingers curled around the wooden handle, but before she could lift it up and arm herself, she was stopped.
Slim fingers covered hers and she could feel a presence leaning over her. The man's voice shifted from happy to a stern, firm tone. "Now, now, Nisha. That's no way to treat me after all this time. But man...it's been a long time since I last saw you," the man's tone changed again. Now he spoke casually, as if they were old friends.
Slowly, she turned her head, looking at him over her shoulder. Her eyebrows pulled down in a fierce frown when she saw him. He had been leaning over her, just a second before, his body following the same line as hers, but not touching. Now he had rocked back on his heels, hand still stretched out, holding the bat. His gaze took in her body. He wasn't even bothering to hide the fact that he was ogling her!
"Man...You sure, uh, grew up, didn't you? Damn...last time I actually saw you were nothing more than a tiny brat. You look good though. I'm glad to see you didn't let yourself go over the years. Like...hell, I wasn't expecting that kind of ass. You don't mind if I check it out, do you?" He lifted his gaze from her back-end to her face, a wicked grin on his lips. His free hand moved, reaching out to grab her.
She let out an angry shout, jerking the bat and moving to elbow him in the gut at the same time. Instead of what she hoped, she found empty air. Startled, still pulled back from the inertia of her movement, she started to fall. His hand reached out, from in front of her now, catching hold of her arm to stop her fall. At the same time, he somehow took the baseball bat from her hand and threw it across the room, onto the bed.
"C'mon, Nisha. It was just a little joke...Well, sort of. Seriously though, you are looking good. I can't wait to strip off that little towel of yours."
She couldn't take anymore. Glaring, she shouted all her confusion at this asshole. "Who the hell do you think you are? What the hell are you doing in my bedroom, my house? How the hell do you know my name? I don't know you; I've never seen you before. Now, I'm calling the police and getting your ass arrested!" She jerked her arm out of his grasp. She was a little surprised to see that he wasn't fighting her. Despite herself, she glanced up into his face.
His bright blue eyes were watery with tears as he stared down at her with the most heart-broken expression she had ever seen. In fact, it was so bad it almost seemed comical. If she wasn't so confused, scared, and angry, she'd be bursting out with laughter at his expression. "B-b-but...Nisha...how could you have forgotten about me? After all the time we spent together? I mean...yes, it's been twelve years, three months, ten days, two hours and five minutes since then, but..." His voice matched his expression perfectly, sounding just as heart-broken.
Nisha's eyes widened in alarm at his words. "You're a stalker!" she realized. "Now I'm definitely calling the police!"
He let out a soft cry of pain. "N-Nisha...how can you be so cruel?" he sobbed.
She glanced at him again, startled to see he was actually crying, if only a little. He peered back at her through his hands that had been covering his face. "W-who are you?" she asked again, her voice softer.
He slowly lowered his hands, sniffling a little. "I'm your betrothed," he stated simply. "My name is Jack Frost."
She blinked, staring at him for several minutes. Finally she spoke. "Um...come again?"
His face slowly broke into a grin. "What part are you confused about? The Jack Frost part? Or the part where we're promised to be wed?"
She blinked again, taking in a deep breath. "All of it!" she yelled, letting out the breath. "Who the hell is actually named Jack Frost? And since when are we...engaged? I was never asked, never told anything about this. You really are just a mentally unstable stalker, like I thought. That's enough. I'm contacting the authorities."
His voice grew a little cold, the exaggerated sorrow lifting. "No authorities are going to be called. If nothing else, we won't be staying for long. We have places to go, things to do, people to see. So get ready. You need to get dressed."
Nisha stared at him, shaking her head. "I'm not going anywhere with you."
His expression lost all friendliness at her words. His eyes gleamed dangerously. "What, pray tell, did you just say, Nisha?"
She shivered at the threat she saw in his eyes, but she wouldn't back down. She didn't know this guy. There was no way she could believe a word of what he said. "I'm not leaving. This is my home and you are a stranger."
Her breath came out in a soft pant of fear as his grin turned into something...menacing. "Oh, you sweet, sweet little girl. That's not how this works at all, child." The warmth in his eyes slowly began to bleed away, the bright blue color fading. "Now, I've been quite civil to you this morning. But if you keep acting like this, I can't promise much good will happen to you."
She wrapped her arms around herself, shivering harder. The warmth in the room seemed to have vanished as well. His eyes were now a very pale blue, nearly white. His skin tone, which had been a healthy, rosy color before was now as pale as death. His lips were a faint blue-purple. His hair had lengthened out slightly, falling to his shoulders. Now, instead of being a very light blonde, it was completely white. His fingers, when he lifted one to point at her, ended with two inch long nails. "You will do as I say, Nisha. I will accept no arguments. It's been twelve years already and I have grown tired of waiting."
She shivered in the cold, staring at this strange man. If she could even really call him a man. It was so cold in the room that her breath came out as a solid white vapor. It was beginning to become hard to feel the tips of her fingers. Her focus was growing hazy as well, but it looked as if frost was forming on her walls, the floor, even the ceiling. Her gaze lowered slightly and she saw that the frost was slowly creeping out from where his bare feet touched the floor. Despite the cold, he looked perfectly at home, not showing the least amount of discomfort.
"Nisha…Do as I say or you may not be alive in the next ten minutes." His voice was impatient but as cold as the rest of the room.
Slowly, feeling her bones ache from the sheer cold, she nodded. It was only a slight inclination of her head, but it seemed enough for him. "Good...I believe I went a little overboard...Do you need help dressing, Nisha? Your limbs must still be cold. I'm sure it's got to be difficult to move your muscles like that." His voice slowly changed back into that easy, friendly way it had been before. The color of his skin, hair, eyes, and lips returned as well.
Her teeth chattering in a delayed reaction to the cold, she shook her head.
He watched her for two seconds. "Well...alright then. I wasn't just offering for a chance to see you naked. Oh," he chuckled, "don't worry though. That's definitely still a thing. No, I know how human bodies react to my cold. If you need help just ask." He moved until he was leaning against the wall directly across from her, against her closet door. She stared at him a little longer, blinking, not sure what she was suppose to do, think, or say to what had just happened. Eventually, he sighed tiredly, his foot tapping against the floor. His bright blue eyes sparked with the smallest amount of impatience as he tossed her a weird little grin. "Either start getting dressed and packed or I will force you to leave with nothing but what you have on. Which is, exactly, one towel."
She glared at him, feeling warmth slowly beginning to creep into her limbs once more. "I haven't agreed to anything like leaving my house. But...I will get dressed," she muttered. Stiffly, she moved across the room to her dresser. He remained where he was, five feet away. He didn't move, didn't reach out, didn't speak. His eyes watched her, his expression unreadable. She pulled out a dark blue t-shirt, jeans, panties, bra, and socks. Turning, bundling the clothes up into her arms, she headed back into the bathroom. She was thankful that her brush and deodorant were sitting on a shelf in her bathroom, next to the sink.
Jack, if that really was his name, showed no reaction to anything she did the entire time
Inside the bathroom, after closing and locking the door, she sat down on the toilet seat heavily. Her knees were shaking, as were her hands. She sucked in a deep breath, feeling faint. The bundle of clothes fell to the floor as she cupped her head in her hands. Her mind was spinning out of control.
Who the hell is that guy? What the hell is he? I didn't imagine that. I can still feel some of the cold. What's happening right now? Betrothed? Jack Frost? What?
A soft knock on the door made her jump on the toilet seat, barely holding back a squeak of fright. "Nisha, are you dressed yet?"
"Uh, n-no," she called out. Shooting to her feet, she quickly got ready. Five minutes later her long brown hair was brushed back over her shoulders and she was dressed. Hesitantly, she opened the bathroom door, peering out as she did. She prayed that the man would be gone. But, unsurprisingly, she found him where he had been when she entered the bathroom.
He had his arms crossed over his chest, looking bored. When he saw her, his eyes flashed and a little smile played at his lips. "You looked really good in nothing but a towel. But I have to admit...clothes do suit you pretty well too." His tone was back to that playful, friendly tone.
She glared, hands going to her hips. "Get the hell out of my house!"
One eyebrow slowly lifted. "Excuse me, Nisha? Your house? What do you really think is going on here?"
Now she was confused even more. No, she told herself firmly. He's purposefully trying to confuse me, to make me second-guess myself. "Yes, this is my house. So get the hell out! Where's my phone?" she asked herself very softly, under her breath. This little stand-off had gone on long enough. She glanced at her bedside alarm clock. She was a little shocked to see that it was already 7:30 a.m. Had it really already been an hour since she woke up? It felt more like a decade. She grimaced. School would have to wait for another time. Everything going on was too crazy for her to have the will to really care right now.
His grin grew. "Well, what you don't know won't kill you, I suppose. That's beside the point though. Now, Nisha, as I said earlier I've grown tired of waiting. Do you really need me to freeze this place again for you to understand that your best bet is to come with me?"
She gulped, suddenly very scared of the cold. She grimaced again. Before this little...event, she had always liked winter. She loved the snow, was okay with the cold most of the time. But...whatever trick this guy could do made what she thought as cold seem like a tropical paradise. "W-where are you trying to take me?"
He flashed an even bigger grin. "I think you mean to say where am I going to take you," he corrected her amicably. He shifted slightly, still leaning against the closet door. "I am taking you back home. To my home and your home as well, to be exact. Your grandmother is already there, by the way."
Nisha froze, eyes widening in fear. "Y-you...how do you know my grandmother? What...what did you do to Nana?" she demanded, anger quickly replacing her fear. Her hands balled into fists. Stomping over to him, she raised one, into his face. "I swear to God..." her voice cut off with the force of her anger, worry, and fear. She cleared her throat, forcing her voice past the lump in her throat. "If you hurt Nana in any way, I will cut off your balls, you sick bastard!"
He stared down at her for several seconds before reaching out a hand and brushing a stray strand of hair behind her ear. He leaned forward, pushing aside the fist she had raised. His face was now only an inch away from hers. His blue eyes sparkled with a mischievous light. His voice was just as playful as his eyes. A slow, warm smile lifted his lips, which were dangerously close to her own. "Nisha...when you're angry, its really quite cute. Also very sexy. Exactly how, pray tell, do you plan to cut off my balls? I'm quite curious. Wouldn't that mean you would have to get very close and intimate with me? See me undressed? Ah, perhaps that little threat is really just a secret code to tell me that you are just as impatient as I for our wedding night."
Her eyes bulged, her face flaming. She jerked back, nearly running to the other side of the room. "N-n-no!" she yelled, horrified by his blunt words.
He leaned his head back and laughed, so hard that he had to hold onto his sides. "Oh, Nisha...don't worry. No harm has befallen your grandmother. Why would it? She is the only relative of my dear wife-to-be, which makes her my grandmother as well. I would never think to harm a hair on...Nana's head." He sounded a little uncertain at the name Nisha used for her grandmother, but his voice was firm even so.
Nisha pressed a hand to one of her burning cheeks. "W-we are not engaged!" she reminded him. "That's just some sick fantasy you came up with in your head to justify kidnapping Nana and I."
His smile faltered slightly, an edge of sorrow in his voice again. She couldn't figure this guy out. He changed so suddenly, so easily, in his moods. "Nisha...your words make my heart bleed. How can you say all of this? Especially since you were the one who asked me to marry you." He raised a hand over his heart, the other wiping at a tear that had fallen to his cheek. "How can you treat me so coldly? Yes, its been more than a decade since we saw each other...But I've never forgotten. I've been waiting. Finally though, I've grown tired of waiting. So, here we are." Slowly, as he spoke, his tone shifted again to a serious intensity that seemed strange, though she couldn't figure out how.
She took in a deep breath, trying to calm down. "According to you, we knew each other as kids. At some point, as a very young child, I asked you to marry me. You agreed. Then we never saw each other again. In fact, I've completely forgotten about you. But still...a childhood promise is enough reason for you to kidnap my grandmother and myself. Do I have everything correct now?"
He sighed heavily, scratching the side of his head. "You seem really insistent that I'm a stalker and a kidnapper..." He let out a long breath, throwing his arms out in a gesture of annoyance. "Fine. If it will help convince you to get moving and come with, I'll let it slide...for now." He glared at her, looking hurt and offended. "Yes, Nisha, I'm your creepy little stalker. No, wait. Not little, not at all. Think of me as handsome and charming. Your very own personal handsome and charming stalker. Yes, I like that better." He grinned, his humor and good mood coming back a little. "Let's try this again."
He slowly lowered to the ground, onto one knee. His arm and hand reached out in an over-exaggerated pose, like the really bad, cheesy romance movies. He tipped his head back slightly, changing his tone and voice to match his position. "I, Jack Frost, have been in love with you for the past twelve years. I have secretly been watching you as well. But, finally, the day has come where I have gathered my courage up to confess my feelings."
He paused suddenly, his face changing to laughter. "Oh, I know! This is just like those yandere girls and the whole 'Notice me, Senpai!' stuff you see in those anime shows you like." She blinked at him, startled that he knew she liked anime. Then she shook her head. He was a stalker, so she shouldn't be surprised at all.
His expression resumed its painfully comical way from before. "My cold heart belongs only to you, Nisha. You have thawed it out until it is as warm as a summer breeze." He turned his head this way and that, motioning all around him. "Just imagine the sparkles, roses, songbirds...you know, all that stuff. Got it in your head? Good." He grinned fleetingly, before resuming. His tone slowly shifted from the exaggerated happy-go-lucky to that serious intensity that unnerved her. His eyes were no longer smiling, though his lips were. His gaze was the same as his tone, his bright eyes studying her face.
"You asked me to remain with you always, to love you forever, to hold you close and never leave you alone. I shall do as you asked, hjarta mítt. I've come to collect you, make you mine, bind us together, and take you back to the home that has been waiting for you since you spoke those words. I'll ask, nicely, one last time. Nisha Caldwell, will you marry me and become my wife?"
She stared down at him. Slowly, she shook her head. "I'll go with you, to see my grandmother. I have to make sure she's safe. But I won't do something like marry you simply because you 'love' me. That's not true love. It's just obsession. It would hurt you more, in the end, if I continue to add fuel to the fire of your fantasies." She spoke softly, seriously. So far the guy seemed…mostly harmless. She got the feeling that she was going to have to sleep with one eye open and a weapon in her hands. Even with that though, he just seemed really confused and unhealthily focused on her. If she could find some way to help him, she didn't mind. As long as it didn't endanger Nana or herself. But would she marry him or have sex with him? Hell no.
He took all of her in. His breath came out in a long sigh. His lips twisted into a sad, slightly bitter smile. "Well then. Not what I was hoping for but it will have to do." Slowly he rose to his feet, watching her. "How many times in a day are you going to break my heart, Nisha? If you keep it up like this, I won't have any pieces left to put back together again."
She let out her own little sigh. "Please stop that. So…we've come to the agreement that I'll go with you, but only to make sure my grandmother is unharmed…correct?"
He stared down at her for two minutes. Finally, just as she was becoming restless again, he nodded. "…Fine. I'll let it remain like this for now. But don't hold any doubts, it will not remain this way forever, Nisha. You will be my wife. You will live with me. You and your grandmother. Nothing will stop this from happening. Until then, I will play the part of stalker and kidnapper, if you really wish."
She shook her head at him. "You aren't playing at it…uh, J-Jack," she stuttered over his name, not quite sure about it. "You are a stalker and kidnapper."
He grinned widely, his mood shifting suddenly once more. "Oh, please be careful what you say, dear one. If you aren't careful, I may let that go to my head…What do you think an actual stalker and kidnapper would do in this situation, hmm? Well, I'm quite certain he would allow himself certain…liberties. Are you saying you wish me to do the same?"
She shook her head again, so hard that it almost gave her a headache. "Hell no!" she hissed.
He chuckled. "I thought not. Watch your name calling then. Now then," he gestured to her bedroom in general. "Don't you have some packing to do?"