"You know, I'm starting to think they send us on the coldest assignments they can find on purpose," Carter grumbled, rubbing her gloved hands together as they climbed out of the helicopter and into the biting wind. "Surely there are more princesses living in warm climates than just you."
Rosie rolled her eyes and slid an arm through Carter's, pulling her close to share body heat. It wasn't snowing, exactly, but there were ice crystals floating around in the wind, and every time one hit their skin it stung like a tiny burn. It was unpleasant, certainly, and Rosie found herself longing for the sun kissed shores of Costa Luna just as much as Carter. But she was a Queen now, and Queens didn't complain about little inconveniences like cold weather.
"The Pretender to the Throne in Paraguay has a daughter, I believe," Rosie said once they'd ducked inside out of the wind. "Perhaps her life will be endangered soon."
"A girl can dream," Carter answered, grinning over at Rosie.
Rosie smiled back and reached out to brush a stray snowflake out of Carter's hair. "Though I must say, the cold air suits your complexion very well. Your cheeks are rosy."
"I think that's my line." Carter grinned and caught Rosie's hand, fingers threading together. "Get it? Rosy?"
Rosie rolled her eyes for the second time since they'd landed, but she couldn't quite hide her smile. "Perhaps it is your brain that is frozen."
Carter let out a gasp of mock outrage and did her best not to smile back at Rosie. Luckily for her, they'd known each other long enough for Rosie to see through her act. She knew exactly how happy it made Carter when she told a joke, mainly because she hadn't been very good at it when they met. At the time she didn't have much reason to smile at all, but Carter had helped her with that, too.
"You love my brain," Carter said as Rosie's hands closed around the front of her coat, tugging her forward until they were sharing body heat again.
"I do," Rosie answered seriously, not even a hint of a smile as she leaned forward and pressed a careful kiss to each of Carter's rosy cheeks. When she pulled back Carter was smiling again, the soft, private one she saved only for Rosie. It was the smile that told her Carter would follow her anywhere, helping others in any way they could, because together they made an unbeatable team.
Rosie smiled back and pressed her lips to Carter's own this time, soft and chaste and full of promise. "Now let's go rescue a princess and get back home so I can start working on warming you up."
"Maybe all these frozen kingdoms aren't so bad after all," Carter said, grinning as she let Rosie pull her along to save the day.