“She truly has chosen you,” Storm remarked.
“You think so?” Beth asked as Thail shuffled around.
“I can see so. I may not like the Sarmiine but I’m familiar with their wild relatives.” He looked up at the moon. “Which we may encounter today.”
Beth was about to question him when Thail reared up, neighing with warning. Beth had to grab onto her mane to stop from falling off. A rally of replying neighs came from the stable.
She tried to calm the creature beneath her, patting her neck.
Storm looked back at Thail, who was still skittering around anxiously.
“Wolves,” he murmured before saying at a louder volume, “Stay here.”
He whistled sharply and was gone suddenly. It took Beth a moment to realise that his creature had taken off. It had done so at such a speed that she hadn’t been able to see it.
As Storm gained more height in the sky, the closer he got to the clouds, the darker they got. They seemed to spark and crackle with electricity.
The creature he flew spread out its long wings, gliding down in circles to the ground. Storm’s own wings were tucked in tightly to his body. He wasn’t even sat on the creature properly anymore; he was supporting himself off its body like a jockey. He looked completely at ease in the air.
He landed on the other side of the wall and silence settled. After a short while, the gates opened and a pack of wolves came bounding in. Thail reared again.
“Oi!” Storm shouted. The wolves stopped immediately, walking back to him with their heads low and their tails between their legs. “Good. Come on, home now.”
Beth stared at him in surprise. He was commanding a large pack of vicious-looking wolves as though they were simply puppies.
Storm spoke to her now. “We’re good to go now.”
“But... Wolves,” she trailed. “You...”
“I’ll explain in time. You still want to see my home?”
She nodded without a word.
Storm turned his head as his creature walked over awkwardly. He reached out to touch its neck. It chattered and welcomed his touch. Storm took his place on its back once again.
Thail began to walk out of the gates automatically. She glanced around at the wolf pack cautiously. Beth had no doubt that she would kick one of them if they got too close.
Storm whistled gently and he rose up into the air slowly.
“Ready?” he grinned.
She smiled and nodded again. He rose a little more and began to lead the way. Beth glanced back as the large gates swung shut. Thail began to gallop after Storm as he gained speed.
Beth curled her fingers in the Sarmiine’s mane so she didn’t fall. Storm slowed down a little, falling back so he was level with her.
“Where are we going exactly?” she said loudly, the wind whipping most of the volume of her words away.
He grinned at her and gestured to the forest ahead of them. She raised a questioning eyebrow at him and he simply nodded.