Belief had landed her here, on cold, hard ground, shivering outside under a stolen blanket. Not belief in gods or spirits. Belief in her.
She watched the woman stand and walk toward her and suddenly her body felt warmer, suddenly the hunger and shivering seemed worthwhile. She moved like a sleek and sinuous cat, even hungry and exhausted. She knew the other woman was just as beaten down as her, but no one could guess that by looking at her.
The woman sat on the ground across from her and rolled herself up in a blanket. “What?” she said.
She smiled and shook her head. “It’s nothing.”
Muttering, the other woman settled on the ground.
She waited, then scooted close, pressing her back to the other woman’s. The gesture went unacknowledged, but nor did either woman move away, sharing that small patch of warmth where their backs touched.