Jared had to sit up a little to be able to drink, and seeing how difficult he was finding it, I slipped a cushion behind him to prop him up. Once he'd drained the glass - painfully slowly - I took it from him and set it down on a nearby table. He was still shivering, through the robe and blankets, so I used my precious reserves of months-old newspapers to light a fire in the grate. It was cheaper than turning the heating up, which hadn't worked in the past few weeks anyway.

When I returned to his side, Jared was smiling to show his appreciation of the heat that thawed his frozen body. I smiled back, encouragingly. He blinked his vibrantly coloured eyes, the pupils of which reflected the dancing flames in the fireplace. I pulled over a chair - I thought it would be better to stay in his sight, rather than sit across the room - and positioned myself so that he could see me without having to move his head. It wouldn't exactly exert him, but in his current condition it could take some effort. I could see how weak he was, and wondered how long he'd been travelling for. All I knew was that his name was Jared - the rest was a mystery. Where had he come from? Where did he intend to go? What was his purpose in half-killing himself by journeying in such harsh conditions?

I was about to voice these questions, and many others, but I saw that his eyes had drifted closed and his chest was rising and falling rhythmically in his sleep. Though disappointed I wouldn't get my questions answered yet, I couldn't wake him up. He needed to rest a while. I sighed and stood up, deciding to bring my own bedding downstairs and camp out on the floor just in case he woke up and needed anything. It was warmer down here anyway, with the fire. I watched the patterns in the flames, feeling their warm glow touch my face, until I drifted off to sleep, knowing the time for questions would be in the morning.

The End

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