The snow accumulated on the windows, each crack within the panes accentuated like the swift breaking of an ice-covered lake under an unfortunate traveler's feet. The cat was gone, his resilience amongst mice and rabbits unable to extend into the movements in the darkness. Graham's hand trembled, nearly spilling the last dram of his Aberlour, long-reserved for such a desolate and--until recently--seemingly lifeless evening. Squinting into the shadows with blue-veiled, bespectacled eyes, he enquired, "To whose acquaintance do I share this unknown pleasure?"
A woman's voice, soft but familiar, answered, "You don't know by now?"
The chill in the air paled against the frost tip-toeing up his back.