Frostbite

Three months later…

Nisha slowly rose from the bed. It was the 22nd of September now, exactly one week before her and Jack's one year anniversary of marriage. Glancing at the alarm clock on his side of the bed, she saw it was 2:18 a.m. Jack was sound asleep, breathing gently as his chest rose and fell. She smiled before letting out a tiny breath of annoyance. She couldn't fall asleep. Her mind kept turning restlessly, unable to stop and let her sleep. Now she was starving.

Finding a housecoat to pull on, she quietly left the bedroom. She made her way to the kitchens unerringly, even in the very dim light of the palace. Over the past year that she had called this place her home she had memorized the entire layout. In the kitchens, she found a bag of chips and attacked, plus a chocolate bar. Not caring that she was eating junk food, she let the yummy stuff fill her belly. Ten minutes later, she was feeling a lot better. Yawning, she made her way back to her bedroom.

Pausing mid-step, she changed her mind. She was up anyway; she should go ahead and check on the twins. Nodding at the thought, she changed course slightly and started off to the nursery. The nursery was set up almost like a miniature daycare. There was a little sink, a small cabinet shelf to hold things like diapers, extra bottles, and wipes. It even had a few snacks inside it and styrofoam cup for the adults to use if they got hungry or thirsty. Nisha took full advantage of them. At times, she would sit beside the twin's large crib they shared and just watch them sleep for a few hours.

She was still amazed every time she looked at them. Her heart and soul would sing with joy and love as she watched her babies…

Her life was complete. She had a husband she loved dearly and who loved her just as much. She had a son and daughter that she loved so much, she thought she might burst. Her happiness was so great that it spilled over; into everything she did, into her everyday life.

Reaching the nursery, she was surprised to find Jacob roaming through the hallways. They both paused, staring at one another, startled. Shaking her head a little, she smiled at him. "Hey, Jacob," she greeted him. "I couldn't sleep, so I'm just stopping by to check on the twins."

His dark blue eyes were hooded. "I couldn't sleep either," he confessed in a quiet voice. "I've been wondering the halls aimlessly, hoping that walking will eventually make me feel tired."

Nisha opened the nursery door, lowering her voice in deference to the sleeping infants. "Well, would you like to join me?" she offered, stepping into the nursery.

Jacob silently followed after her, his hands clenched into fists at his side as he fought back everything he was feeling.

Nisha crept to the crib, staring down at the twins. Both of them were sleeping soundly. She smiled, moving to sit in one of the chairs a few feet away.

Jacob pulled out two cups and moved to the sink, filling them with water. He closed his eyes for several seconds, before feeling his emotions overwhelm everything else.

Nisha, not paying him any real mind, closed her eyes and basked in the happiness she was feeling in that moment. A throat being cleared made her open her eyes and blinked up at her brother-in-law. He stood two feet in front of her, holding out one of the white cups to her, the second in his left hand. "Thanks," she said sincerely. She felt her thirst spike and downed the water in only three long swallows.

He nodded. "I figured you might be thirsty and I was myself." He sipped at his own drink.

Her attention was pulled back to the crib, where she could see Aiden and Sera sleeping. "They're beautiful…" she whispered to herself, feeling tears pool into her eyes.

Jacob nodded slowly, his eyes downcast. "Yes…"

Aiden had blonde hair just like his father, short though it was, with his turquoise-colored eyes. Sera looked like the splitting image of her mother, with grey eyes and a small covering of brown hair.

Shaking her head a little, she felt her mind finally begin to settle down. It began to slow and she could feel weariness come over her. Yawning, she slumped back into the chair. "I…I think I'm finally starting to get tired," she murmured. Using all her strength, she slowly stood. But when she moved to take a step forward, to leave the nursery and return to her bedroom, she felt the floor coming up to meet her.

Dropping his cup, Jacob reached out to catch her. "Whoa, you okay?" he asked worriedly.

She nodded, though her mind was beginning to slow. "Y-yeah…just really tired." Her voice sounded thick and heavy to her ears. She relaxed into his arms, feeling all her energy leave her. "I…"

Something's very wrong, she realized. This isn't right…I shouldn't be this tired…

His voice took on a strange tone. It was gentle, tender, filled with love. It made Nisha's mind bulk. "Nisha…you aren't looking so well right now…" She, distantly, felt his hands shift their hold around her. First, they carefully removed the two necklaces she wore. She felt a cold shaft of fear as the familiar weight of the soul-stone left her neck. She desperately wanted to talk, to move, but her body felt like lead.

Hot panic shot down her spine as Jacob very gently pulled her wedding band from her left ring finger. She heard the quiet ping as the metal hit the floor. His voice filled her ears, the last thing she heard before darkness completely took over her mind.

"Nisha…I think you just need to go back to sleep."


A/N: So, that's the end!

You see what I did there? Get enough 'chills' and you'll eventually suffer from 'frostbite' (I'm sorry, I think it's witty, but it's probably just a horrible joke)...

First, I'd like to thank EVERY ONE of my readers (even the many, many, many of you who don't leave reviews!).

Second, I want to send my thanks, love, and great appreciation to Hypa, NickNack13, Katarina, and the other guests, who actually have left me reviews. You guys always put a smile on my face and really inspired me to keep writing, to keep going with this weird story idea I had. Thank you, so very much!

Third, I know some of you are going to be freaking the FREAK out over how this has ended.

To this I have only two things to say...

Don't crazy good cliffhanger's just drive you insane? *proceeds to laugh in evil glee*

I'll see you in Bloodfire!