'Okay stand.'

Bracing both legs, she slowly let go of the pommel and pushed her head into the wind then straightened up. Sabyn kept a firm grip on her hips while Loi caught her balance then spread both feet a little wider and seized the front strap from the saddle.

What a rush!

The wind roared past her ears so she couldn't hear anything and she had to squint to see—but the view—rolling hills stretched out below them with distant rivers glinting in the sun and dark stretches of forest. So much green and blue. Loi started to laugh. The sensation of the wind and only her feet touching the saddle made it feel like she herself flew. Suddenly she understood why Sabyn had such a passion for this. It was magical.

From this view point she could see the other griffons and watched them, spell bound. Even in flight they had the grace of large cats and flew with such ease. Loi caught sight of Sian gaping at her and couldn't resist waving. She giggled while Sian watched with an expression of pure envy. Showing off wasn't nice, but she and Sian always competed against each other. A little competition is healthy, Loi thought as she gave another wave.

TOMIAR COCKED HER head to look back at Laura. 'She's having so much fun. And the first of the bunch to do it,' she thought smugly.

'Yes, though I bet Sian will be next,' he sent an image of Sian watching Loi to Tomiar.

'It's good for them to learn. They'll need to be confident with flying for some of the things coming.'

Sabyn paused, waiting to see if the griffon said any more. Tomiar often showed a gift for seeing events that had yet to pass. It wasn't unusual for griffons or dragons for that matter, and Elena had thought it might have something to do with their ability to leap. When Tomiar didn't elaborate he let it go. She would tell him if she knew for sure, but when she only caught glimpses she didn't usually bother.

'GREDEL, LOOK.' PHROMA thought excitedly.

Gredel looked across and spotted Loi standing on Tomiar, a huge grin on her face. 'You wait, she'll be free-falling in no time.'

Audrey spotted Loi and turned to bark at her, but the wind whipped the sound away so Loi and the others didn't even notice. The dog grumbled and slouched back against Gredel who smiled down at the put-out creature. He ruffled her fur and talked nonsense to her until her tail started to wag.

'I can't wait to tell Citaan about the baby talk,' Phroma teased.

'I'm just practicing,' Gredel thought, refusing to rise to the bait. 'And you never know, Citaan might have a surprise for us when we get home.'

The suggestion thrilled Phroma. Citaan had lost a baby nearly a year ago and she often spoke to Phroma about her longing for another. Phroma knew the lovely blue haired woman didn't mention it to Gredel because she didn't want to upset him. He'd taken the miscarriage rather hard. If the griffon calculated correctly, then the fourth month mark would be soon.

It's sure to be a healthy babe this time round, Phroma thought assertively, reassuring herself. Though it isn't surprising Citaan hasn't said a word yet, better to wait until the babe grew some more. Phroma felt a glow of warmth at the thought of a child for her friends. It made her think of her own pup, safe in the castle nursery.

'You must be missing little Ageip,' thought Gredel. He loved the little pup. Ageip looked the spitting image of his mother, right down to the black wings with violet undertones.

'I am,' Phroma sighed. 'But it's nice to be out. We haven't been for such a big trip in a long time.'

LOI DECIDED SHE'D had enough of standing and with Sabyn gripping her hips again she lowered herself to the saddle.

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