And then I lost my battle with the wind, just remembering to turn my head so that when I fell onto Oran, it was with my cheek, my nose and mouth open and uncovered. It put me eye to eye with Lochlen. His reptilian eyes were dilated, his pupils blackening his gaze.
"It ends soon,” he promised.
His eyes stayed locked on mine, and I concentrated on that. Lochlen, my dragon. I’m not sure when I had started seeing him that way. It was a strange connection I’d felt since I’d first met him at the edge of the Ardus. Not a love at first sight romantic kind of feeling; he was a dragon after all. More of an I need you kind of feeling; a friendship that seemed to start without words.
I was so tired. The wind bore down on us so roughly I felt like I couldn’t breathe. And maybe I couldn’t. There was no room under the fabric for all of us to breathe, no oxygen left. The wind was stealing it all away.
“Just a little longer,” Lochlen yelled, his eyes on mine.
My face was pressed so deeply into Oran’s fur that I could almost smell the forest on him, the hair tickling my nose.
“Don’t let go!” Kye ordered from above me, his voice firm, commanding.
The flat, thick tent was lifting, and I knew the men were losing their battle with the wind.
“Don’t let go!” Kye yelled. “Remember why we came!”
I tried lifting my head, but between the wind, the fabric, and Kye, I couldn’t move at all.
“Can’t breathe!” Daegan panted. “Can’t ...”
“Can’t breathe,” I agreed, my voice a whisper.
No one heard me.