she slept in his lap as the fire burned with a quiet roar across the room. he brushed his forefinger across her cheek, pulling and tucking a rogue strand of hair behind her delicate ear. he leaned back then, resting his left arm across the back of the couch and watching the snowfall illuminated by a halogen streetlight south of their second storey window. the cackle of the fire warmed him as it reminded of the biting cold outside. her breathing was soft, warm as it exhaled onto the inside of his thigh. her breast rose and fell with a calm consistency, playing odd symphony with the distant, windswept flakes. he had wrapped her in a heavy wool blanket and could feel the heat conducted across his lap, she hadn’t slept long, hopefully she would, he thought, his own comfort was less of a concern. what mattered was the closeness, even if it meant sleeping upright. as the fire dwindled he felt his breathing begin to mirror hers, although his eyes remained transfixed across and through the window, his mind wandered someplace further, thinking off and on about nothing as he ran the backside of his fingers gently up and down her shoulder. they stayed like this for a long time, up until he finally fell asleep, as he did, she began smiling, a gentle smile. one where the corner of her small mouth turned almost imperceptibly, beneath still closed eyelids, she had never slept, just gave the impression. she felt his touch which warmed and calmed her, he was the blanket, and there in his lap, there was nowhere she would have rather been.