I built the house on the mountain for just that reason. The cold sweeps across the flank of land I picked up at auction for a song, chilling anything standing on it, making warm blood run cold.
Not that yours needed help. You suffered in even the slightest chill. Layers of clothing, thrown on to combat the cold, would hide you away, yet in some perverse diminishing return the more physically cold you were the less physically remote you became. Your fingers, daggers of ice in cold weather, would seek me out, your hands shoving under my fleece, under my t-shirt, until shivering palms were nestled on the curvature of my paunch.
You loved the view from there, helped design the house, plan the garden. We made space for children should they come along, an annex for family to stay. The room we had to build all the excuse we needed.
That first night, huddled together before the ostentatious fire place you insisted we build, I feigned forgetfulness, begged forgiveness for failing to bring the matches. There would be no fire tonight. I gathered blankets and duvets from the moving boxes and we retired to the sofa.
We huddled and your fingers found my belly, seeking only warmth, but allowing me the contact I craved.
‘I’ll warm you up,’ I said.