16~ Names and Mysteries

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Chapter 16

"Break!" one of the fairies around us announced as a message rippled down the group. We descended to an area where the trees were more spaced out.  Some of fairies laid down for a nap, and others started unpacking some food. Our guards left us as soon as our feet touched the grass, one of them mumbling something about food. Aiden ran up to us, his face and shirt stained with purple berries, as the parents called their kids back.

While Aric excused himself to go to the bathroom, the four of us sat down in the grass a bit farther off. Chase leaned against the gryphon, and Juno and Grey rested their heads on Autumn's and my lap.

"Why am I the only one without a mascot?" Aiden tried to throw some grass in Chase's hair.

"Mascot?" Autumn frowned.

Chase pushed him away. "Because any animal with half a brain will stay away from you."

"You had Mr. Potato," I reminded Aiden, pushing Grey's head away as she tried to nimble on my hair.

"I know, I miss him." He pouted.

"Mr. Potato was so fat." Chase laughed at the memory.

"Shut up! Your gryphon is fat."

"No, he's not."

"Hold on," Autumn said. "Why do you always say he? And by the way, peryton are fine, but if I ever catch you calling a human fat, I will knock your heads together so hard you will pass out."

Chase and Aiden gulped and took a moment to notice Autumn's first question.

"Yes, he," Chase said. "Why?"

Autumn sighed. "Oh, I don't know. Maybe because 'he' is a female."

"What?" Aiden and Chase chorused. I couldn't help bursting into a fit of laughter. The gryphon looked down at us curiously.

"Actually," Autumn observed, "Aiden's right. She is a little fat. Maybe she's pregnant. It would explain her aggressive behavior when she first found us, but reluctance to keep fighting after it ended in a draw."

Aiden started laughing too, while Chase gave him a dark look. He turned to his gryphon.

"You couldn't have told me that earlier?"

She headbutted him in the shoulder.

"Okay, sorry," he relented. "Is she really pregnant?"

Autumn shrugged. "You can't know now for sure, but it's possible."

Aiden sobered up. "Oh my goddess. Chase. If she has a baby, I want it."

"That's the worst idea I've ever heard!" He made a shocked face, and the gryphon threw a protective wing over his shoulder.

"Question time!" Aiden said. "Is it: 'Chase has a new pet', or 'the gryphon found herself her very own human'?"

"The second one, obviously," I answered. "Poor thing, she's going to have her hands full."

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