We hit the ground and rolled. Flaming debris from the house came down around us; Griffin shoved me flat on my back, covering us both with his heavy coat.
The echoes of the explosion reflected back across the river, then slowly dwindled away, like dying thunder. The leaping flames threw warm light onto the falling snow, turning it into a storm of sparks pouring down from the heavens.
Griffin started to push himself off of me, then stopped. His hands were braced to either side of my shoulders, his legs twined with mine. My heart pounded, my palms sweated, and I was suddenly, acutely aware of how close his face was to mine.
"You're a madman," he whispered. "An utter madman."
"Perhaps," I allowed. "But it worked."
The leaping light from the burning house painted his features in gold, highlighting his patrician nose and finding the threads of brown and blue in his green eyes. His pupils widened, the irises contracting to slivers. "Whatever am I to do with you?" he murmured.
The warmth of his breath feathered over my skin. My mouth was dry, my voice hoarse, and perhaps he was right and it was madness when I whispered, "Whatever you want."