Sunday, May 29, 2016
This is a TLR aside, inspired by Dizzy's drabble "Winter Morning". Thanks, Dizzy!
Jeff and Mutt walked along the beach, silent and just enjoying the quiet of the winter's day. As they walked past the deck where the canoes and boats were normally moored Mutt stopped, head cocked to the side, brows furrowed in concentration. He unlinked his arm from Jeff's and made his way through the gently falling snow toward the deck where he knelt down and finally laid down, disregarding the cold of the light layer of snow. He folded his arms and then laid his head down, closing his eyes, the frown disappearing to be replaced with a smile of delight.
"What on earth are you doing?" Jeff asked his husband in surprise. "Get up before your pants get soaked and you catch a chill."
"Shhhhh." Mutt said quietly. "Listen."
"Shhhh, please Jeff. Just listen." Mutt whispered, closing his eyes and resting his cheek against the backs of his gloved hands.
Jeff crouched down and did as Mutt asked, listening intently when he finally heard it. Water moving sluggishly beneath the thin layer of ice, which crackled and popped faintly. He was amazed that Mutt had even heard it in the first place. He got down on both knees and placed his hands on the edge of the deck. From this vantage point he could see air bubbles in the ice, and the water beneath. He could see the tiny, hairline fractures in the ice. He looked at Mutt and smiled as tiny snowflakes landed on his husband's hood and hair and on his eyelashes.
"How long have we lived here," Mutt whispered, "And I've never noticed this before." he said, his tone very quiet as though afraid he might frighten the sounds away. "It's beautiful, don't you think?"
Not nearly as beautiful as you, right now. Jeff thought as he smiled down at his husband. He gently wiped stray snow flakes off of Mutt's rosy cheek and closed his eyes, enjoying the dialogue between the water and the ice. He had no idea how long they stayed like that but an involuntary shiver brought him back to the present.
He opened his eyes and saw Mutt, shivering slightly even though his eyes remained closed and the smile was still on his face. He mentally berated himself for allowing himself to be so caught up in the moment that the cold had gone completely unnoticed until now. He patted Mutt's backside and nearly laughed when his husband jumped slightly, eyes opening wide in surprise, snowflakes caught on his lashes and glittering like gems even in the half light of the day.
"Come on, hon. We have to get home and into warm clothes." he reminded Mutt gently.
Mutt, with Jeff's help, got up reluctantly and a little stiffly, and dusted the snow off of his now somewhat wet jeans. They arrived home in record time and Jeff helped Mutt get out of his winter gear and wet clothes and into warm sleep pants and a henley under a sweater. He put two pairs of socks on Mutt's feet and settled him down on the couch, wrapped in a blanket before taking care of himself.
When he walked back into the living room he was dismayed to find the couch unoccupied and the blanket thrown to the side. He sniffed appreciatively at the scent of burning wood in the fireplace.
"In the kitchen." Mutt replied cheerily. "I thought some cocoa would be nice. It's nearly done."
Jeff went into the kitchen and watched while Mutt melted sweet chocolate into warm milk and vanilla in a pan on the stove. Mutt never had liked the packaged stuff and Jeff had to admit that that cocoa made from scratch did taste a lot better. He went to a cabinet and took out a bag of marshmallows. His own guilty pleasure; and placed three of them in each of the bowl sized mugs that Mutt had bought years ago.
They brought the cocoa into the living room and sat on the couch, sharing the blanket while they sipped the warm, sweet beverage. When they were finished, Jeff put the mugs on the coffee table and pulled Mutt toward him until his head was on his chest. He wrapped his arms around Mutt and nuzzled the top of his husband's head.
They listened to the fire crackling and watched the fanciful pictures the flames made, warm and content, until unaware that it was even happening, they both fell into a relaxed sleep.