Many thanks to Meushi for beta reading and editing for me. Please enjoy the story and don't be afraid to leave me a comment or critique. I love hearing from the people who read my stuff. A second thank you to Sanguinaura Bloodstone for providing a secondary beta read for me. <3
Under any other circumstances Jack Frost would have been admiring his handy work. The beautiful, icy wonderland that currently surrounded him was one of his best works, even if it had been born of the aftermath of his fight with her.
The Sandman, who by curious twist of fate, was no man at all.
Looking down at the blindfold in his hand he wondered about it’s owner. What had driven her to do such things and try to put of all Gaia to sleep forever?
There were stories once, that the Sandman would lull people to sleep with golden sand and give those who earned them sweet dreams.
But in more recent times that story had changed into a horrible monster that stole people’s eyes, but for what purpose? Why had she changed? Had she gone mad?
No, he finally thought, despite the fact she was literally gouging people’s eyes out for her own uses, he had a feeling it was something far worse than madness that drove her. There was a hint of desperation that hung about her, he could nearly taste it.
A strangled cry made him look up to where an angry and defeated Sandman was struggling to her feet, her motions erratic and awkward. “Give it back!” she snapped, “You got what you wanted now give me back my blindfold!” She clawed at her eyes furiously, trying to dislodge the ice he’d thrown in her face.
Jack backpedaled, expecting her to lunge at him again, but she didn't. She hung back grasping onto the small tree next to her, shivering where she stood. If that was from fear or rage he couldn't quite tell.
Perhaps it was only from the cold.
Even now, her uncovered eyes were hard to read, their disjointed coloring made all the more disturbing by the fact he knew she’d taken them from someone else. “Why should I give it back? So you can go on another rampage?”
“I need it!” She staggered towards him but her steps seemed hesitant. She refused to meet his gaze, her eyes seemed to look at everything but him, as if she just could not bring herself to focus on him, as if she could not focus…
It couldn't be that could it? That was too simple and yet, “Are you…” forgetting himself for a moment Jack stepped forward and with that she lashed out at him. Her hand caught the end of his scarf and she yanked, but he slipped free of it before she could wrench him closer.
“Give it back now!” In her rage and haste she stumbled in a snow drift and missed him, falling down in the process. She sat in the snow, clearly frantic to have her blindfold but unsure how to go about getting it. Everything about her demeanor screamed one thing.
“You’re losing your eyesight, aren’t you?” He came back to her slowly in case she tried to grab him again. “Is your blindfold enchanted to help you?”
“I don’t need your pity!” Gold lips pulled into a sneer.
Guess that meant yes, Jack grinned a little at her absolute unwillingness to swallow her pride. “No, just my eyes apparently” he chuckled.
There was silence between them then and the Sandman shifted uncomfortably, anxious he assumed. He gazed down at her blindfold in his hand for a moment, “You’ve been taking people’s eyes trying to replace your own?”
She refused to answer him and gave a haughty “humph”.
“Not working out well, I take it, since you have to keep taking more.” He pressed gently, hoping for more information. He didn’t want to make her feel more trapped than she already felt, she’d only lash out at him again.
She gave in, “Mortal eyes deteriorate quickly, they don’t last long after I take them.” A pause, “Apparently I need another spirit's eyes.”
Moving quietly Jack dropped down to crouch a small distance from her, he made nary a sound; his feet didn’t even leave imprints in the snow. “Why didn’t you just ask?”
Sandman snorted, “Like I can just walk up to another spirit and ask them for their eyes? Like one of them would willingly hand over…”
“You can have one of mine.” He interrupted her.
He’d clearly surprised her.
It took her several moments to find her voice, “You…you’d just give me your eye just like that? Without asking for anything?” Leaning forward unbelieving, her long pale hair pooled in the snow around her knees and her breath made soft clouds in the cold air.
Jack smiled in a mischievous manner and rested his chin in one hand, “Well I didn’t say that.”
Her astonished expression quickly gave way to a scowl. “I should have guessed. Well what do you want then?” Squinting at him she tried to make out his expression, he was close enough that even with her failing vision she could make out just a hint of his bright blue eyes and the curve of his lips.
The sly fox grin he had on his face made her want to punch him, but she refrained. At most she might get an eye from this and at the very least she still needed her blindfold back.
“I’ll let you have one of my eyes and your blindfold back on two conditions.” He held up two fingers to add emphasis to his point, that stupid grin still ever present. She really wanted to smack that smirk off his face, what was so damn funny?
“One, you stop taking people’s eyes.” Here he paused for a moment.
The Sandman’s hands dug into the snow, impatient for him to get to the point, “Alright and what else?”
With a quick silver grin he suddenly advanced with such speed she did not have time to counter him or move back as he leant forward and stole a quick kiss.
Pale lips pressed to gold for a brief instant. Later she would reflect upon how surprised she had been by how warm he was, after all he was a spirit of winter, but in this present moment she gathered her wits about her, snarled and slapped him away..
“That’ll do plenty for now.” Jack remarked as he quickly leapt back from her with a laugh.
“Why you…” she tried to rise to her feet and suddenly found she did not have the strength to go after him. She fell to her knees into the snow again, a hazy sensation settling over her; she felt sluggish. “What…what did you…?” she fought to stay up but her senses were becoming numb, her body cold.
The voice he answered her with was quiet and low with a hint of amusement. “You’re not the only one who can put people to sleep you know.”
Of course, how could she be so foolish? He was, after all, of Old Man Winter’s kin and winter’s chill could lull people into a far deeper sleep than her dream sand. “You…” she attempted to speak again but she could not finish as her body gave into the pull of sleep and she dropped into the snow.
The last thing she was aware of before the cold settled into her bones was his voice and a warm hand by her cheek. “Well then, I guess you fulfilled your end…”
She awoke to something soft and cool on her face. Sitting up she realized she was on a bench in Durem, the pale light of a street lamp flickered above her. A light snow fell, the small flakes melting on her skin, and Jack Frost was nowhere to be seen.
‘That sorry b*****d, when I get a hold of him…’ her train of thought died when she suddenly realized her blind fold was back in its rightful place. Her hands flew up to it instantly. Yes it was her blindfold.
She sighed in relief.
Shifting, she suddenly became aware of the weight in her lap. Looking down she picked up something that had been tossed over her.
She frowned, he may have given back her blindfold but she would not forgive him for leading her on that way. Giving her one of his eyes? What a joke. The next time she saw him his eyes weren’t the only thing she was going to take.
Kicking away the offending garment she stood up and walked out into the empty street. It was early morning but the moon was still out and not another soul was foolish enough to be wondering around in the snow.
Fuming, she turned a corner into the shopping district. She was careless to let her guard down around him, even if he was a lesser spirit. Though she’d never heard any rumors of him being able to do that, it’s not like he was well known for any offensive abilities. In fact he was far more well known for his trickster personality and his ability to create icy wonderlands that the mortals of Gaia just loved to frolic in.
And that pissed her off more than the fact he’d gotten the upper hand, she should have known he was playing some trick on her.
In anger she turned and faced one of the shop fronts, large, empty black windows gazed back at her, frosted in delicate patterns. Looking at the glass she was forced to look at her own reflection, and the swath of red and gold fabric that covered her eyes.
What was the use of it? No matter how many of the mortals’ eyes she stole she’d never get her sight back in full, she had to have a spirit’s eyes. Her blindfold would never be taken off; it would become a part of her, for the rest of her existence.
She snatched the cloth away in disgust and stared at her face in the glass.
And there looking back at her was one perfect, vivid blue eye.