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Chapter Two

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Carl had been searching for what had felt like hours. The air was bitter cold and even with a full snow suit on, he was already freezing. He pulled out the phone to check the time. He'd only been out there for fifteen minutes, and there was no missed call from Remy or Kei to say that Blake had made it back. He had to keep looking. The snow was coming down hard and the wind was whistling around him in an icy bustle. He knew he had to find Blake soon.

He hopped back on Remy's snowmobile and kept moving, looking for any sign of his former enemy turned roommate. He knew that foot prints were almost out of the question at the rate that the snow was falling. Carl's mind began to wander again. He thought back to earlier that day when he had Blake pinned against the wall. His mind was painting a vivid picture of the petite boy nearly cowering beneath him. His skin was fair and his bright blue eyes had been gleaming with something that Carl couldn't quite place his finger on. But most of all, he was warm and his silken blonde hair was tussled into gentle waves that smelled of vanilla and spice.

Carl must had been deeper in his own head than he realized, because the next thing he knew he was being slung from the snowmobile and was sent tumbling to the ground with a hard thud. The snow compacted beneath him and did very little to cushion his fall. He brushed the snow off of his face and lifted up his goggles. "Fauuuuck, Remy is going to kill me." He looked up and saw that the front of the sledge was crumpled against the tree and smoke was rolling off of the now exposed engine.

"Stupid Gripling, stupid snowstorm, stupid art school." Carl was about to throw himself back against the snow when he heard a faint sound in the distance. "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeelp." He froze in place and kept listening. "Someone please heeeelp." The voice sounded again. It was coming from the south of where he was. He quickly jumped up and then grasped at his ribs as sharp pains jolted through him. "Suck it up, Foutley." He told himself. "You've come too far to give up now."

He started walking in the direction the cries were coming from. "Blake?" Carl called out. "Is that you?" His pace quickened, and so did the beating of his heart. It was nearly racing within his chest and he still didn't know why. Could it be that he was actually worried about Blake? "Hello? Carl?" The voice was getting closer. "Blake! Yes, it's me, I'm coming, where are you?"

The snow had turned vicious. It was spiraling down so thick that Carl could barely see directly in front of him. "Foutley, I'm down here." He rushed over to where the voice was coming from. He made it to the edge of a ravine, it was a steep drop-off about 20-25 feet down. He held onto a tree and looked over, and there was Blake, huddled up beneath the thick, needley branches of a massive pine tree.

"What the hell are you doing down their Gripling?" Carl asked as he started shuffling through his backpack. "Oh, I don't know, Foutley, I thought it was a lovely place to stop for afternoon tea. What does it look like I'm doing? The snow was so blinding that I couldn't see where I was going and I slipped and fell down here and there was no way to get back up."

Carl took out a long length of rope and tied one end in a loop and wrapped it around the upper trunk of the pine tree. "Careful, Blakey-Boy, you're not in much of a position to be making snarky comments." Blake would have blushed if his cheeks weren't already blistered with frost bite. "Sorry... Carl." Carl tossed the looped end up the rope down to Blake. "Loop this around your waist, I'm going to pull and you're going to have to try and walk up the bank. And before you get a chance to comment, you have to try because it's freezing out here and we don't have any other options.

Blake did as he was told and nodded his head. He took a few steps and then Carl tugged at the rope that was around the tree and made the length shorter so there was more tension on the rope. He wasn't sure where Carl had learned this skill, but he was honestly impressed. He was moving slowly, a few steps at a time, but finally he made it to the top and Carl quickly pulled him up with so much force that Blake toppled over onto him.

The boys laid there for a moment, panting and just staring at one another before Carl finally spoke up. "Umm Blake, glad to see you too, but you can get off of me now." Blake stammered and quickly rolled off of Carl and rose to his feet. "Right. Well... Thanks, Carl. I um... You really saved me." That was the first time Carl had ever heard Blake be so genuine. "Not yet I didn't, we still have to get back to the dorms and to our room without getting caught."

The two boys started back towards the school, they were about a quarter of a mile away, but in the midst of a snow storm, it felt like they were going five miles straight up hill. Once they finally reached the school grounds, Carll pulled his gloves off and took out the phone to call Remy. Kei met them at the back door and let them inside, where they both collapsed in the stairwell. "I never thought I'd be so happy to see a school or stairs." Blake said. Carl and Kei both laughed. "Alright guys, I'm going to run back up and tell Remy you made it, they called the rooms, you guys are good. Stop by our room after you get warmed up. And with that, Kei left the stairwell and headed for the elevator.

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~Amelia XoXo