“It’s snowing!” Frithwyn exclaimed, rushing into Gellelen’s room.
Gellelen pulled her blanket over her head again. “I’m sure it is going to melt again soon.”
“No, it’s not! Come and see!” She pulled Gellelen’s blanket away and opened the curtains.
Gellelen squinted her eyes shut against the sudden onslaught of light. “Are you trying to kill me?”
Frithwyn laughed. “No, I’m just trying to make you get up and look at the snow.”
Gellelen had to admit that the light was too bright for a normal winter morning in Ithilien. Reluctantly, she got out of bed and went over to the window.
Outside, large, fluffy snowflakes were falling from the sky. The entire ground was covered in a thick white blanket.
“It’s snowing!” Gellelen said.
Frithwyn leaned her chin on Gellelen’s shoulder. “I told you so,” She whispered.
“Hey, be nice, I only just woke up,” Gellelen protested.
“Love you too,” Frithwyn retorted. “Are you coming? We should make use of it before everyone else does or it really does melt.”
Gellelen quickly pulled on some warm clothes and then followed Frithwyn down into the cloak room.
“You should put on a hat, some mittens and a scarf,” Gellelen said.
Frithwyn stuck out her tongue. “Yes, mother.”
Still, she started digging in the drawer where mittens, scarves and hats were kept for the rare occasion that it did get cold in Ithilien. Finally, she had found a matching pair of green mittens, a green and grey scarf and a green hat. She handed Gellelen a pair of bright orange mittens, a pink scarf and a red hat that clashed horribly with them.
“Here, if I have to wear them, so do you.”
Gellelen rolled her eyes. “And I’m sure those were the prettiest ones you could find.”
Frithwyn laughed and fluttered her eyelashes at Gellelen. “Of course.”
Gellelen dutifully wrapped the scarf around her neck, put the hat on her head and pulled on the mittens. “There. Am I to your liking now?”
“You look perfect,” Frithwyn said, trying not to laugh and looking breath-taking. “Come on, we didn’t want to play dress up, we wanted to go into the snow.”
They were greeted by a gust of cold air when they opened the door.
“I don’t understand why there can’t be warm snow,” Frithwyn complained.
Gellelen laughed. “First you’re so enthusiastic about it that you get me out of bed and now you complain. Let’s move, then we’ll get warmer.”
“Race you to the orchard!” Frithwyn shouted and took off, the fresh snow crunching beneath her feet.
Gellelen shook her had and laughed before taking up the pursuit. They both knew who would win, but Frithwyn still couldn’t stop challenging her.
“I’ll beat you next time,” Frithwyn huffed as she joined Gellelen under the apple trees.
“I’m sure you will,” Gellelen said loftily.
“Hey, that’s mean!” Frithwyn protested and tossed a snowball at her.
It hit Gellelen square in the face. “Mmphh! You’ll regret that!”
Gellelen quickly formed a snowball herself and launched it towards Frithwyn. Frithwyn dodged behind the trunk of an apple tree and was spared.
“You’re not even trying!” Frithwyn shouted gleefully, throwing another snowball that hit its mark.
Gellelen ducked behind another apple tree. She quickly made a pile of snowballs so that she would be able to throw one after the other.
As soon as she peaked around the tree to see what Frithwyn was doing, another snowball hit her.
“You’re just too slo-ow!” Frithwyn rejoiced.
Gellelen launched her attack, throwing snowballs in a rapid succession.
There was a muffled “oof” from the direction of the other tree.
“Alright, you hit me,” Frithwyn admitted. “With one snowball. Out of, I don’t know, maybe thirty?”
Gellelen peeked out from behind her tree to throw another one, only to be hit yet again.
“Just admit that I win!” Frithwyn said.
“Never!” Gellelen shouted.
She risked another look and saw another snowball flying in her direction but much to high to hit her. Gellelen was about to rejoice when she was hit by a large load of snow from above that sent her to the ground. As she snorted and tried to get the snow off her, she realised that Frithwyn must have aimed for a load of snow on one of the branches above her.
When she finally saw more than just white, Frithwyn was standing above her.
“Are you alright?” Frithwyn asked, worry written clearly on her face.
Gellelen smiled up at her. “I’m fine, don’t worry.”
Frithwyn reached out her hands to help Gellelen up. Gellelen took them gratefully, briefly wishing that they weren’t separated by mittens. Frithwyn squeezed her hands and grinned.
“Do you admit that I win?”
Gellelen shook her head. “No, and you’re not playing by the rules.”
Frithwyn raised an eyebrow. “Oh, am I not?”
“Most definitely not.”
“Well, if you say so...” Frithwyn tugged Gellelen’s mittens off before she had the chance to react and ran deeper into the orchard with her bounty.
“Hey, that’s not fair!” Gellelen shouted. She ducked, formed a snowball and tossed it after Frithwyn. It missed and Gellelen rubbed her cold hands, deciding that it wasn’t worth it.
“You already say I’m not playing by the rules, so I might as well live up to that reputation,” Frithwyn shouted.
There were other ways to settle this, Gellelen decided and took off after Frithwyn.
As she gained on Frithwyn, Frithwyn heard her coming and veered off the main path through the orchard. She ducked behind one of the trees and flung snowballs at Gellelen as quickly as she could.
Her aim was as perfect as always, but Gellelen did not let that stop her. Squinting and trying to duck her head out of the way of the snowballs, she bore down on Frithwyn. Frithwyn tried to scrabble up, but one of her feet slipped and Gellelen caught her by the shoulders.
Gellelen took hold of her scarf and slowly reeled her in, drinking in the mirth in Frithwyn’s green eyes.
“That’s not fair,” Frithwyn protested, giggling.
“I think you, my lady, have lost all right to judge about fair or unfair,” Gellelen said softly and gently kissed Frithwyn’s lips.
She could feel Frithwyn’s hands winding themselves into her hair, the lurid orange mittens lying forgotten in the snow
“Urgh, you’re cold and wet,” Frithwyn complained against Gellelen’s cheek.
“And whose fault is that exactly?”
Gellelen did not give Frithwyn the chance to reply, kissing her instead. This kiss was longer and deeper. She caressed the back of Frithwyn’s head. Frithwyn’s fair hair was still dry, just wonderfully mussed up.
“Mmh,” Frithwyn protested when Gellelen pulled away slightly.
“Now who wins?” Gellelen whispered.
“You win,” Frithwyn breathed.
“I do,” Gellelen agreed before giving in to the temptation of Frithwyn’s soft lips again.