Cold winters, they said in the southern lands—before Heresh had ascended as Winter King. Now, it was cold winter. Everywhere.
He didn’t stay there. He tried to stop breathing out the cold long enough to feel for Arot’s pulse and heartbeat, reassuring under his too cold hands, then he took his friend back to the Summer Court and left him at the back kitchen door where he knew the servants would find him quickly.
He couldn’t stay.
Heresh was winter and wherever he walked, winter would be coldest. He couldn’t stay and let it break Arot’s inborn summer power.
So he wrenched his gaze from the dim but reassuring glow, like sunlight under Arot’s skin, and stared out at the snow falling on late summer woods, then began to walk.