I woke up to someone moving. I opened my eyes. Silas McGregor was trying to let go of Megan without waking her up. When he did, he looked out the window. His shoulders dropped.
"What's it like out there?" I whispered, startling him.
"At least a foot," he whispered back and I struggled out of Thomas's arms to stand beside him.
"Oh my," I breathed.
He was right. The wind was still blowing heavily, too, and I shivered as it brought more cold through the windows.
"Where did you leave your key?" I asked just as the other two started to wake up.
"The shoemaker," he answered and looked outside again. "It will take forever to walk to in this."
"I have an idea," Megan said, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. "Hold on a second."
She went into her bedroom and, when the door was shut, Thomas beckoned Silas over so they could speak quietly.
"Did she agree?" he whispered.
"I didn't get the chance to ask her," he muttered.
Thomas frowned. "Why not? You had time."
He cleared his throat, a little pink in the face.
"With this snowfall, perhaps it's a good thing," he said. "We'd have to make a sled to get out the door."
Thomas chuckled. "That's true."
Megan came out in a warmer dress tucked into the boots Silas had made for her.
"What's on your mind?" I asked.
"Mr. McGregor, are any of your windows locked?" she asked.
"No," he said slowly. "Why?"
"Absolutely not," Thomas said just as I understood what she was planning to do.
"Aw, where's your sense of adventure, Thomas?" she asked, opening the door and squealing. "Oh goodness."
"Back with where my sense of making sure my sister doesn't get frostbite is."
"I'll be fine," she said and Silas's eyes widened.
"I'm with your brother on this one, Miss Buckley," he said. "I can do it."
She pouted. Before we could move, she jumped into the snow with a surprised, albeit happy, squeal. We all ran to the window facing his house as she trudged through the snow. I bit my lower lip anxiously as she stood on her tiptoes to open the window all the way. She gripped the bottom of the window and pulled with all her might.
"Oh wow," Silas muttered in admiration. "So not only can she hit like a man, she can climb like one, too."
Thomas frowned. "When did she hit you?"
He flushed. "She had a nightmare while you two were at the estate. I.... Well, I went to help her and she hit me while she was still asleep."
Thomas snorted. "Typical Megan."
She managed to get through the window and Silas went to the door.
"Wait right there!" Silas said. He turned to us. "Thank you for letting me stay while it snowed."
"Of course," I said.
He looked at Thomas and pulled on his sleeve.
"I'll make sure she warms up before coming back if she wants to. I'll... I'll ask her then."
Thomas nodded and Silas left, closing the door. I rounded on him and he smiled nervously.
"You have some explaining to do, Mr. Buckley," I said, pointing at a chair and he sat down obediently.
"Okay," he sighed. "Shortly after he got the job with the shoemaker, Silas came by the forge. He needed some more nails made. He recognized us from when we caught up with Megan in the forest and asked how we were related. I told him I was her brother. The next time we spoke was at Bryant's wedding. He had come up to me to see if Megan would agree to dance with him. He said he didn't want to embarrass himself.
"So, I told him yes. Apparently they didn't dance, though. He took her to a small clearing nearby. I think that's where they went yesterday. Anyway, the day before he came for dinner, he came down to the forge again. This time he was asking if he could have my permission to court her. That's why I told him everything. I wanted him to understand.
"Then Roderick Nelson and Ewan Kinsley happened," he sighed. "He was worried that she was going to choose one of them. To be honest, sweetheart, I didn't want her to be with either man. I guess I got a little lucky that they showed their true colors relatively quickly. But Silas got discouraged when he saw how many times she was walking with Mr. Kinsley. I was the one who suggested the boots."
I tilted my head. "So you've been playing matchmaker this whole time." He smiled a little. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"I was worried you'd tell Megan," he shrugged. "I know she talks to you a lot about men; especially since she started allowing a few men to speak to her." He sighed. "I was hoping he'd be able to take her on a walk and help her loosen up but with this dratted snow...."
"He seems like a kind man," I said. "How old is he?"
"Twenty-four," Thomas asked. "Apparently he's an orphan, too."
"Wow," I breathed. "I wonder if he's told Megan."
"Probably. Maybe that's why she had the nightmare when we were still at the estate."
"What do you plan on doing now that it's winter? I mean, he can't take her on any walks. They were lucky to get out of the house."
Thomas smiled. "It's up to him now," he said, looking out the window and watched as Silas walked her back. She was draped in something. "I've helped him as much as I can."
I smiled and kissed him. He kissed me back eagerly. We hadn't had much time alone since Bryant left. I had hoped maybe Megan would be a little longer but Thomas and I had gotten creative over the years so we wouldn't embarrass her. His hand went into my hair and I moaned a little, working on the ties of his shirt.
He picked a blanket off of the floor and kissed me again, pushing me gently towards our bedroom. The minute his hands touched my breasts I felt like my body was on fire and I undressed him as fast as I could. The front door opened.
"Thomas? Elly? Where are- Oh dear," she groaned and we heard her hurry into her bedroom.
I giggled quietly and Thomas kissed me, pulling the blanket over us. I shut my eyes in pleasure.