Emine (pt 17)

“You have to dress warmly for flying,” Sanni told her.

Emine almost couldn’t hear her. She couldn’t believe this was happening. She wanted it, of course she had wanted it, but she didn’t believe that the dragons had agreed. She wasn’t Bonded. This wasn’t for a reason. It was just because she wanted to. And apparently it was okay.

Sanni helped her decide which coat to wear. “There is more you’ll be putting on, so it can’t be too thick.”

Emine nodded, following Sanni out from their rooms to the Alcoves. They met up with Tove, Ghelli’s Bonded.

“I had this made when my girl was about your age,” they told Emine, handing over the jacket. “It should fit you. She grew up way too fast and didn’t get to wear it much. It’s for longer flights, after all.”

After putting on the jacket, she got to put on Tove’s daughter’s gloves. Those fit perfectly, unlike the jacket which fit well enough. Emine could tell she was trembling. Tove put one of their hands on her head.

“You’ll be fine. If it’s too much, say so. No matter the gravity of the situation. Say so and come down if you need.”

Finally, between Tove and Sanni, Emine could speak. “Who’s taking me up?”

“It took them quite a while to decide,” Sanni admitted. “Apparently there was some fighting over you.”

Emine stared up at her. Sanni smiled down. “We’re going to Norro’s nest. Come.”

Norro? Emine couldn’t believe it. But with Tove smiling after the two, Emine followed Sanni there.

Looking down

The minhocão was a giant, black, serpentine creature with massive jaws. Pushing up from the earth below, it snapped in the air with its sightless head.

Toiréasa tapped her fingers against her belt. She stood, looking down at the forest with little concern for the humongous problem facing them. “What do you ken? They actually drove it out.”

While Toiréasa appeared lax, she still looked much more prepared for a fight than Saoirse, who sat perched on a boulder with knees up to her ears as she stared down at the carpet of forest below. “Remember the first minhocão? That was a trial, I reckon. Not like this one.”

Toiréasa rolled her eyes. “Like I could forget. That muppet wouldn’t have been dragged out so easy.”

She wanted to get moving, Saoirse could tell. Toiréasa had always been impulsive like that. That was why Saoirse was in charge.

Toiréasa led a giant man-eating hound, but Saoirse was in charge. Step one, completed.