Blissfully Undone(3)

By: Red Phoenix

Her own teeth chattering woke her back up a short time later. She had never felt so cold in her life. Jenny wrapped the blankets tighter around herself, but it didn’t help. She stared at the wooden slats above her. How did the pioneers do it? This was fucking nuts. She curled her toes under her and put her hands in her armpits. She tried to fall asleep, but woke up to her own moaning. It was just too damn cold!

She cried out when she saw movement in the doorway. “It’s just me,” Dan said. “I heard you whimpering.”

Jenny’s teeth chattered when she answered. “I’m so cold.”

“Me, too. If you are not opposed, I think we should share our heat.” She nodded vigorously, desperately needing his warmth. “My room feels a little warmer than yours,” he offered.

Jenny pulled the blankets off the bed and followed him to the other bedroom. They piled all the covers onto his bed and she slipped under them. Jenny tried not to think how weird it was to be spooning Dan. He wrapped his arms around her and pressed up close. When she shifted to get more comfortable, she heard him catch his breath. Spooning Dan was definitely weird, but she was grateful for his body heat. Eventually his warmth radiated through her and her teeth stopped chattering.

“Better?” he asked.

“Much,” Jenny said drowsily, falling asleep soon after. The blizzard continued to swirl around the little cabin, but she survived the night in relative comfort.

Dan was the first to stir the next morning. “I don’t want to do this.”

“Do what?” she asked groggily.

“Get out of this warm bed.”

Jenny laughed. “I don’t blame you.”

“Yeah, but unless I get the firewood, we’ll have to stay here all day.”

“I’ll cheer you on from the bed.”

“That’s big of you,” he grumbled good-naturedly just before making the mad dash. Jenny heard him zip up his coat and stomp his boots several times. Then she heard the creak of the door and a loud, “Oh shit!”

“What? What’s wrong?”

“This is bad.”

Curiosity made her brave the cold. Jenny gasped when she saw the doorway completely blocked by snow, from top to bottom. “What the heck?”

“Yeah, we’re, like, literally snowed in.”

“What are we going to do?” she asked, trying to keep calm as she shivered in the frigid air. The thought of being snowed in completely freaked her out. With no electricity and no way to leave, she wasn’t sure how they would survive the cold.

He confirmed her fears when he said, “I have to get that firewood, Jenny. We’re not going to survive without it.” Dan grabbed a pot and scooped out a pan full of snow. She followed him as he walked to the bathroom and tossed it in the tub. Jenny quickly put on her coat, shoes, and gloves and grabbed another pot. The two began the arduous task of digging out. The positive in helping Dan was that Jenny got exceedingly warm working so hard.

Once they broke through the top layer of the snow, they were hit with blowing winds. The blizzard was still raging on. It took hours before they were able to dig their way to the woodpile. When Jenny hit the first log, she grabbed onto Dan, jumping up and down enthusiastically. “I found it! We’re saved!”

He hugged her and laughed with relief. “I never thought we would see that damn wood.” After digging out the woodpile, she helped him carry the logs into the cabin. The wood completely lined one wall. Lucky for them, there was a healthy supply. “I bet this will last at least a week,” Dan assured her.

By the time they finished stacking the last of it, both were starving. Jenny got out the donuts, precooked bacon and chocolate milk, grateful that they had chosen food that didn’t need preparation. After he got a fire going, she took a cast-iron pot and filled it with snow. “Coffee soon,” she announced, putting it on the edge of the fire.

“Great. By the way, thanks for all the help.”

“Of course.”

“Kelly would have sat on the sidelines and told me I was taking too long.”

Jenny chuckled. “Yeah, she probably would have. Nice thing about working together is that we get to drink hot coffee sooner.”

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