The Flirting Before the Storm

We were walking for a little while before Kink finally woke. I didn’t realize it until she said, “Now, if you only treated me like this when we’re alone.”

“You’re awake,” I said, glancing back at her face.

“Are you sure? Because being in your arms, feels like a dream, Franky.”

I rolled my eyes and lowered her to the ground.

She pressed herself up close against me. “You don’t have to put me down so quickly. You can hold me longer if you want to.”

“You’re too heavy,” I said, stepping back away from her.

She pouted at me. “Well, that’s not a nice thing to say.”

I kind of felt bad for saying what I had, but I was no mode for her shenanigans. “Yeah, well, maybe next time you see me don’t have giant eagle wings, ok?”

“And ‘next time we meet’ what would you like me to be wearing?” She stepped closer to me. “Something skimpy and tight?”

But before I could say anything, Lu growled at us. “Would you two stop flirting?”

“I’m not flirting,” I told him. Had he not spoken I would have shut her down immediately.

“Well, whatever you’re doing, stop it. We have somewhere to be.”

“I can walk and flirt,” Kink said. “I can do most things and flirt. There’s not…”

“We get it, Kink,” I interrupted her. “You’re great at flirting.“

“Aw,” she said, rubbing my arm. “I didn’t know you liked it so much, Franky. Maybe…”

“Walk!” Lu shouted. “Start moving already!”

Kink closed her mouth and stared daggers at Lu as we walked on. We weren’t walking long before G’fon asked, “Anyone want to help me with this one?”

“Let me guess,” Kink grumbled. “They’re heavy.” She spared a glare for me. I guess she hadn’t forgotten what I said. I was surprised to see that it had effected her so much. She always seemed to let that sort of thing roll off of her.

“Well, yes. They are,” G’fon replied.

“Oh, are they? I thought you were supposed to be strong.”

G’fon didn’t react well to that slight. “Don’t give me that. It’s not as if anyone else here is doing any real work. Just me.”

“We’ve all done work, G’fon,” I told him, hoping I could bring this conversation to a close. “I was just carrying Kink…”

“And now you’ve put her down. I should be able to put Tam down, too. It’s only fair.”

“Oh, just give me them!” Kink snapped, taking Tam from G’fon’s arms. “You’re such a whiner.”

“I’m not…”

She stabbed a finger at his chest. “Whiner.”

“I’m not whining, I’m just…”

Kink snorted and spun around, holding Tam in her arms. She walked away and the rest of us were left with no choice but to follow behind her. “You got them?” I asked, catching up to her.

“You worried about me, Franky?” she asked with a sly smile.

“Do you two ever stop?” Lu groaned.

“I’m not flirting with her!” I snapped at him. I was getting tired of getting lumped in with her. Nothing I had said had been even the slightest bit flirtatious. “I was just making sure she was ok. She’s just woken up and Tam…”

“Quiet!”

“I’m trying to explain…”

“I said, ‘Quiet!’.”

“What?” G’fon asked, finally catching up to the rest of us.

Lu looked at him, then at the rest of us. “Don’t you hear that?”

“Hear what?”

“That!”

By then I had heard it, too. It was the sound of horses galloping. Many big, loud horses galloping toward us. I looked ahead and saw nothing coming. I looked behind us and saw nothing. I looked to the left and the right. I looked all around and I saw nothing. “Where are they coming from?”

“Up there.” Lu pointed toward the sky.

I looked upward toward the horizon and there I could see over a dozen dark gray horses racing toward us down from the sky. But they weren’t just normal horses, clearly. I noticed they seemed a bit strange and not just because they were trotting on air. Despite not galloping on the ground, their steps were loud. It wasn’t until a bolt of light passed between them that I realized what that sound reminded me of. It was thunder. They were clouds. Those horses were clouds. There was lightning passing between them. And their hoof beats were thunder. They were stormhorses!

“Does anyone have an umbrella?” G’fon asked.

“An umbrella will not keep us from getting trampled on,” Lu replied, irritably.

“Then what will?”

“Running!”

“Always with the running,” G’fon complained. “I thought you were supposed to be a topflight magician.”

Lu was reaching the end of his rope. “And you want me to what? Kill them? They have done us no harm.”

“No, but I think they’re going to give it a try.”

Kink nudged them both with her wings because her hands were filled with Tam. “Just run, you idiots! Standing around’s going to get us all killed!”

to be continued…

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