Sandavara opened her eyes. The first thing she noticed was that she was sore. A breeze ruffling her hair that smelled of meat signaled Brisingr's awakening as well. Sandava twisted, and felt double the trembling as both her and Brisingr stretched. Sandava loved stretching. She loved the feel of using muscles that hadn't been used in six hours, loved the feel of warmth rushing into her no matter what the actual temperature was, and loved the lithe and controlled feeling afterwards.

Brisingr nuzzled Sanda's neck.

Good morning, Sundavar, came a sleepy thought from the shifting mass of silver.

Good morning, Brisingr, Sunda replied groggily.

San stood up, and twisted her upper body back and forth, still feeling her usual morning stiffness.

I slept like a rock, San complained, you?

I'm not honoring such a demeaning question with an answer.

But as the silver blob rose and slithered into a shape, San could feel that Brisingr had slept as bad as she had. San turned so that he couldn't see her smile, and busied herself with taking off the banking on the fire. The embers were still glowing, and San returned them to real flame with a word.



"Not you."

Alright then.

The fire came to life.

The other two are still sleeping.

Yeah, Bri, they are. So?

Nothing. Just pointing it out.

Brisingr stretched again, his spine arching upwards like a cat's until he looked like he had been folded in half. His huge wings inside unfurled with a FWP!, and the almost-white membranes lit up with lights and shadows that outlined the leaves above them as they caught the early rays of sun. Brisingr's huge jaws opened in an impossibly wide yawn, baring horribly beautiful teeth. Brisingr's tail began to move slowly and rhythmically as both he and San felt the pleasure of his first morning stretch. Brisingr relaxed, and turned to walk over to San. His stretch had relaxed both of them and gotten of both of their stiff joints. Bri knocked San's shoulder playfully, and she shoved herself backwards into his face. Bri laughed, the sound strikingly similar to an avalanche. He nipped her playfully in the ribs, knowing that she was extremely ticklish there. San turned and shoved him away, clutching at the offended spot as her breathing was jeopardized by giggles. Bri moved his head extremely close to San's, and walked behind her and in front of her until his serpentine body completely enclosed her. His eyes never left hers. His mind pressed onto hers. With mock exasperation, San threw her hands in the air as if asking, "why am I worthy," and jumped behind Brisingr's shoulders. He snarled jubilantly, and the air rang with each beat as his wings brought them airborne.

When they leveled out, San looked below them. Everything was spread out. The islands, the morning mist, even the village where their objective was. San loved to ride Bri bareback, without the leather between them. She loved the feel of his scales, the feel of his constantly rippling muscles, and just the feel of him.

Bri rose, and San gripped into the spike in front of her. They rose above cloud level, and San took in a breath. It was always a whole different world up here. Here, it wasn't the gray hours of the morning. Here it was the sun. The clouds were on fire with reds, golds, oranges, and all around her were the rolling flame-mountains of sunrise.

San leaned down and brushed Bri's neck.

"Brisingr abr pomnuria draumr," she whispered out loud.

Sundavar abr pomnuria hugin, Bri responded.

San looked to the north, to her left, and gasped. It was their objectives, both of them, flying from behind a cloud. As she watched, the boy turned his head and caught her eyes. She watched him for seven seconds.

"Aptr, aptr!" she yelled, "ganga, ganga!"

Brisingr executed a tight and controlled flip til he was upside-down, then dove into a vertical double helix corkscrew. They lost altitude quickly.

"Wait!" she heard from behind.

The boy was following. This was not good. San turned around and faced him, gripping Bri with all of her legs' strength.

"Rakr!" she called.

Instantly, her and Bri were engulfed by mist. Bri turned sharply to the right, slowed, and entered the water silently. His and San's heads were still above the water, and their enhanced hearing picked up the sound of the boy and his dragon swooping blindly through the mist, searching, and eventually leave. When they were gone, Bri swam to the shore and walked out. San dried herself with a quick spell and slid off of Bri. They sat on the beach, staring at each other in shock.

This could ruin everything, Bri finally said.