“I was more concerned about you; I’m not in the least bothered by the chill.”
“Well, then what do you suggest we do?” Cora had to clear her throat part way through the sentence, again.
“Would you like to continue to freeze or go inside to the warmth of your house?” Alex suggested with meagre curiosity. He’d never been inside a house – at least where he was welcome.
“I like the sound of that.” Cora smiled warmly up at Alex, and gingerly touched his cheek with the pads of her fingers.
“Nothing would make me happier.” Alex confirmed, and shifted around so he could stand up. Cora clambered out of his arms like a small child. She wavered a bit on her feet, was a little light-headed and unsteady, but she regained her balance and started her trek towards the house. Alex was right behind her every step of the way, his hand outstretched towards the small of her back.
“This is nice,” Cora said after a few minutes of walking in silence. The sun was nearly finished its gradual ascent in the streaky pink sky, and the farmhouse was in plain view now, sparkling with fresh dew along with everything else.
“What is? What’s nice?” The estranged boy turned to Cora with a drip of hostility in his questions. He didn’t mean it to sound that way, but after the tragedy suffered; it was surprising that this girl found anything pleasant. Although Alex desperately hoped she wouldn’t notice, Cora did hear the sudden change in tone, but she brushed it off as merely a lack of sleep and exhaustion.
“I think it’s nice how I can be comfortable enough with you to not feel like I have to fill the silence with meaningless chatter.”
In no time at all, Cora was suddenly wrapped up in Alex, his arms and legs tangled around her, his tall body towering over her. Cowering underneath his weight, she collapsed onto the damp ground in a fit of giggles. It didn’t hurt to talk as much anymore, or laugh in her case.
Alex gave her a gentle squeeze. “Your chatter is never meaningless.”
Cora let out a boisterous laugh. “Oh – what a line!”