It was cold outside. Cold enough to chill Deira’s toes through the leather of her boots. She had her coat buttoned tight to her chin, but her cheeks were still numb, and her hair couldn’t keep the chill off her ears. Hands as deep as they could go in her pockets, she walked in short steps, because the ice was slick, and she didn’t want to drag that much air into her lungs. She had her chin tucked into a knit scarf, and her breath held gray in the air.
It was miserable. Like turning to metal in the winter air, picking up the cold, hardening, stiffening, as if she had forgotten she had blood to keep her warm.
But when she got to her door, kicked her boots on the stoop and knocked the wet off herself as best she could, when she opened the door and stepped inside to meet the steady coals in the fireplace, warmth had never been as dear, nor the dark outside seemed so calm.