Sain's hand smarted. Badly. He frowned as he stared down at his bruised fingers. He didn't understand where he had gone wrong.
When he spotted Fiora walking toward him, he immediately cheered up and trotted over to her.
She stared at his hand. "What were you doing that you weren't supposed to be doing?" she asked.
He laughed nervously and shrugged. "Nothing, I swear, my lovely Ilian rose!"
"Roses don't grow in Ilia."
He pretended he hadn't heard her say that. "Why doesn't your pegasus like me?" He made his voice sound horribly sad. "I tried everything! I sweet-talked him, and I even tried feeding him!"
"You tried to feed Makar?" She looked amused. "He won't eat just anything, you know."
"I know! Your free-spirited sister told me so herself! So I did as she suggested and found a noble carrot!"
"Yes, it was very noble!" He paused. "At least I think it was noble. It looked noble. It was, uh…" He floundered for the words but couldn't quite decide on how he wanted to say it. "Manly?"
"You fed my pegasus a manly carrot?"
"And almost my fingers, too."
"Makar likes the taste of human flesh even more than that of noble carrots." She blinked at him seriously, and when he did not answer, she began to walk away.
He stood very still for a long moment, but then began to wonder. "Wait! Fiora, dear! Was…that a joke?"
She turned around, an amused smile playing at the corner of her lips. "Sain, next time you feed Makar a carrot, make sure you throw it on the ground. He never has paid attention to where the carrot ends and your hand begins."
…Makar is vicious.