I’m standing on the top of Mount Freya, the cold wind whipping my hair around. Fenrir has his arms draped over me, warming me with his body, while my hands are resting firmly on the shoulders of Viljo.
Our little baby.
Within a short fifteen months, our little man has grown from a small, defenseless little baby into a boy that has already taken his first steps.
And if Fenrir has anything to say about it, he’ll learn to fly as well.
The months have just flown by, it’s astounding. I remember the first time he rolled over, the first time he tried to stand up, the first time he took a step… and now we’re standing on the edge of a snow-covered mountain, ready to jump over the ledge.
I clutch Viljo’s tiny little hands, holding him tightly.
My baby turns around and looks up at me. He’s the most beautiful boy I’ve ever seen – a perfect match of Fenrir and I. He has his powerful Falurian features, but my blue eyes and blonde hair. He’s completely unique, and my heart melts every time I look at him.
“Do we have to?”
“It is our way,” Fenrir says. “The boy must learn!”
“He just started walking! Can’t we just… wait a tiny bit longer?”
Fenrir walks around me, resting his big hands on my cheeks, a smile on his face.
“Because, my elska, our boy must learn to control his powers. He must learn that he has a power inside of him, the force of a dragon, and he must face this power as soon as possible. All Falurians do this. I have, when I was just a young dragonette. It is a rite of passage. I know you don’t want to do this, but it’s something that must be done. Trust me.”
I shake my head, pulling my baby closer. I’ve heard of empty nest syndrome, but… I think I’m the first human mother who literally has to throw her child out of the nest!
“I know you’re right,” I sigh. “I know, I know. I trust you. But he’s so small…”
Fenrir smirks. “It’s only a short flight, my gullna. Nothing more. I’ll be alongside him the entire time. Nothing will happen – This I promise.”
I take a deep breath, the cold mountain air calming my nerves. I can do this. Letting go is just another pair of raising children. Only this time it’s rather… literal.
Fenrir smiles, baring his sharp fangs. “Excellent! On my signal!”
Within seconds my mate shifts into his dragon form, his body transforming before my very eyes. His skin changes into fire-red scales, and his eyes are transformed into yellow, cat-like slits.
A sight like this might have terrified me in the past, but now, it feels me with warmth. He’s my guardian and protector, my friend and lover, my mate for all eternity. Our union, our child has blessed me with powers like him, so my lifespan will be as long as that of a dragon.
I can’t imagine a better life than one spent by Fenrir’s side.
He cranes his neck and breathes a fiery lance ten feet high. This is the signal.
I shuffle forwards, Viljo’s feet resting on mine, inching our way dangerously close to the edge. I must be absolutely bonkers to be considering this…
Viljo, however, doesn’t share my concern. He has his arms raised, and I can hear him hollering, enjoying the echo his yelling causes.
Fenrir dives off the mountain and circled underneath us, ready to catch our son. Healer Jansen explained to me that this ritual is sometimes performed for weeks on end, until the child learns to fly. The fastest learners can do it in a month, and some take a year before they’ve got their inner-dragons tamed.
“Are you ready, baby?”
Viljo doesn’t wait for my answer. He jumps forward into thin air, screaming with joy. My heart leaps into my throat as I watch my little baby in free fall.
My own inner-dragon stirs. I know Fenrir is the most protective male in the universe. I know he will never, ever let even a single hair on our son’s head be hurt. I know that in his fire-red form, his reflexes are beyond this world.
Still, a mother has own maternal instincts, and that does goes doubly so for a mother-dragon. I shift into my other form, my body changing into that of a golden dragon. I swoop down, chasing my boy.
My vision is perfect in this form. I can see that Viljo has a big smile on that beautiful face of his, as the wind whips his blonde hair around. He’s got his arms and legs stretched out, no doubt enjoying the feeling of the wind. Our little man maneuvers from side to side, like it is second nature to him.
I fly right down below him, ready to catch him on my back if need be. Fenrir is grinning at me, shaking his head. Then, his eyes suddenly open wide. I whirl around, pointing my belly up, my adrenaline pumping through my veins like a freight train. What’s going on?
Gliding through the thin air above me, like he was born to do it, is a beautiful blue-and-yellow dragon. Our baby boy. His mouth is open wide, a grin on his face as he discovers this new side of him.
“Impossible,” Fenrir growls. “Impossible!”
The innocent sight before me tugs at my heart strings. Watching Viljo fly fills me with pride, yet there’s also something bittersweet to it. They grow up so, so fast.
Our baby’s scales are a beautiful mixture of blue and yellow patterns, the color of his eyes and hair, which he inherited from me. His fierce, nimble dragon-side, well, he inherited that from Fenrir, of course.
Fenrir and I fly in formation underneath our baby boy, showing him how to fly, and ready to catch him at the first sign of trouble. My mate stretches out his paw for me, and I interlock my golden claw with his red one.
We land minutes after, having glided down on a relaxed pace the entire time. Fenrir shifts back into this human form, absolutely beaming with pride. He opens his arms wide, ready for our son.
Viljo dives down, picking up speed, and my hands get clammy from just watching him.
“He’s going too fast,” I say, having shifted back, and standing on my own two legs once more.
“I got him.”
“I got him!”
Viljo dives into his father’s arms and the two tumble down the hill. I run after them as fast as my legs can take me.
“Are you okay?!”
Fenrir is laughing, holding our boy in his strong, broad arms. Viljo is back in his regular shape as well, looking at me with his blue eyes opened wide. I’ve never seen a wider smile on his gorgeous face.
“Don’t scare me like that,” I say. “You could have gotten hurt!”
“Ah, he doesn’t know his own strength and speed,” Fenrir says as he tussles our boy’s hair. “He’ll learn soon enough, won’t you, Viljo? Shifting on your first drop – that’s a first. We’ve got a special boy, my elska.”
“I know,” I say as I watch the two most important men in my life wrestle in the grass, my heart so full with love it’s about to burst. “I know.”