I scrunch my eyebrows together. "Okay, but at the same time, I don't know what to do about this whole mess."
Lee rubs circles around my back. "I do. We just have to keep going."
"Well, that's specific." I bite my lip. "But I suppose you have a point."
Lee smiled that troublemaker smile he has that makes my heart pound. "Trust me, Lena."
I can't help but smile at the small nickname he used to call me by.
I rest my head against his chest. "I don't want anyone else gettin hurt because of me. Especially you, Lee."
He burries his nose in my hair and takes a deep breath. "I'll be fine as long as you're with me."
I feel my heart clench and I blush. "Oh, Lee! You're so sappy sometimes."
He chuckels. "You know you love it."
I sigh. Unable to argue.
"Come on." Lee unwraps me from his arms. "We need to go."
"Right." I nod and swuare my shoulders. "LEt's go save my people."
Lee nods. "On a griffin's back travelers wait for the moment that they become heroes." He paused. "Richard Blake, from the 1st Dynasty, just before he sacrificed his life for his people."
I bite my lip again. "Good to know we're both going to die."
Lee laughs, and I am reminded of how easy it is to make him laugh. "We're not going to die," he assures me. "At least not before Fate does."
"Oh, that's real helpful," I mutter sarcastically but with good humor.
My stomach churns as we lift off into the air. I don't think I'll ever get used to that.
Lee and his griffin fly ahead of us, leading the way.
Clouds gather above us, and I hope desperately that we will not be flying in the rain. I grip the griffin's feathers tighter, and it lets out a squawk of protest. "Sorry," I murmur, and loosen my fingers.
Lee laughs in front of me. "I will never get sick of this!"
I groan. "I will never get used to this."
We fly for hours and everything seems to be going just great...but, of course, that is when all Hades' breaks lose.
A large shaddow covers me but I am not too concerned because of all of the clouds, but Lee spots it.
"Look out!" he shouts and him and his griffin roll to the left.
Luckily my griffin sees it too and rolls right just as the large manticor swoops down. Its large black bat wings make the air around us spin and we lose alttitude.
I scream and hold on as tight as I can as my griffin rights itself. But the manticore isn't finished with us yet...
It tears through the air, circling us.
"What now?" I ask Lee.
He turns to me, fear tracing his face. "We're going to have to crash."
I look at him in horror. "Crash? On purpose?!"
He nods gravely. "It's the only way to be free of the manticore. If we don't, it will circle us until it strikes."
I look down, observing the ground. We're 50 feet up I'd say.
"On the count of three, aim the reins downwards and don't stop." he says.
"One..." I look up. "Two..." I lock eyes with him. "Three..NOW!" he utters with a sense of urgency. I plunge downwards, cutting the air. My breakfast threatens to come up. Everything seems to be in slow motion. I look up at the sky. Then, the wind is knocked out of me. I can't breathe. My vision is blurry. Slowly, I pull my eyes open. I inhale air, my breath rattled. Slowly, I become aware of my left wrist. There's a searing pain going through it with every soft beat of my heart.
I don't really have time to figure out if it is broken or just sprained, becase the manticore is angry we have evaded it and is swooping in.
"Don't move," Lee whisper shouts over to me from his position on the ground. "It can't see us if we stay still."
I take a shaky breath the pain is near unbearable, and I don't think I'll be able to hold on much longer. I let out a small wimper.
Lee turns his head slightly to the left, looking into my eyes. I do the same. He has a bloody gash running down the right side of his face, and his ankle looks twisted. We exchange no words. We don't have to. Lee and I both know we are done for. Our quest is pretty much over.
After lying there in writhing pain, the manticore flies away.
"Hold it," Lee says, "Wait until it's out of sound." There is more waiting. Finally, he gives me the okay and I let out a moan.
Lee sits up with a small cry and looks at his broken ankel. He places a hand over it and whispers a word. There is a large painful crack noise and he screams in agony and bite at his other hand. He rocks back and forth for a moment, before he shuddered and looked slowly crawled over to me.
"What are you doing?"
"Give me your wrist. I can heal it."
I drew it in close. After seening how bad it hurt I didn't want to do it.
He sighed and grabbed my upper arm an pulled it to him. He placed a hand over it and whispered. My bone snalled back into place with such force I gasped.
He let my arm go and sat back. "Don't use it too much. Itll take a day or so for it to return back to full strength."
"One of your unfound powers?" I ask. He nods, wincing.
"The griffins are gone," he says. "They won't return to anyplace that has traces of manticore."
I stand up, a little dizzy, and help Lee up. "We need to find shelter," he says, "high up. There are creatures that come out at night that would kill us in seconds."
We settle on a nearby light-tree. At night, the glowing leaves will be especially useful to us. Using the ropes I packed in my bag and Lee's magic, we climb about 30 feet up.
We settle down for the night and wrap up in our blankets. The branches block most of the wind but it still could get chilly tonight.
"So," Lee asks, "How are you feeling."
"My wrist is better. Thanks."
"I really wasn't asking about that," Lee said catching my eye.
I am silent for a while before sighing and saying. "Im tired, Lee. I don't want to talk about it."
Lee nods. He knows I am lieing, but he doesn't push me.
I nearly scoff at him. Like that will happen.