Re-Edited on May 8, 2011.
It was when he grew older that winter left him in deep despair.
Christmas was a lovers holiday. And New Years' Eve was made for couples. Forget about Valentine's Day, if you were single. All of these special days made him long even more for that someone to fill his heart with love.
When Noah finally crossed paths with him, Luke opened his eyes and began to see the beauty in each of the four seasons. Winter wasn't something to dread but rather behold.
He loved the way Noah's breath painted the crisp air gray. Luke loved sharing his grandma's famous hot chocolate with him. Especially when some of it wound up on the corner of his mouth. He would wipe it off and Noah would then show his appreciation much later when everyone was asleep.
Shopping for Christmas presents and Noah trying to coax Luke to tell him where he'd hidden them. Hanging ornaments on the tree, stringing popcorn and attaching the mistletoe to the top of the doorway. Then accidentally on purpose winding up together underneath the greenery and having to kiss a lot.
Noah even made shoveling snow fun. Seeing how impeccably organized he was, starting at the top of the driveway, making perfect horizontal lines with every pass of the plastic shovel. Thoughtfully throwing a generous sprinkling of rock salt on the freshly plowed asphalt so Luke and his family wouldn't slip and fall. Spying a determined Noah in mid-shovel, the tip of his tongue caught between his teeth as the concentration set his lower jaw firmly in place.
The best part of winter was snuggling in front of the fire in Emma's parlor. Tired and sore after an afternoon of helping Holden chop wood, sipping a mug of steaming apple cider and cuddled underneath a decades-old afghan on his grandmother's too-small sofa while watching an old black and white movie. He would nuzzle closer to Noah, the heat of their bodies warming him all over.
Luke would wonder why he ever hated winter in the first place.