Reaching down, Elsabet yanked the pendant loose from his hands.
Sebastian's torn shoulders and arms offered little resistance.
It was as the sun was cresting the ridge that she released her grip on him. Watching him fall.
For just a moment, she wished she could take it back. He was courageous. Admirable in his fearlessness.
Even in his shredded shirt with gold hair tousled, he'd been wildly handsome.
She watched his strange expression as he looked up at her, dropping limply in a deadfall toward the trees far below.
Totally calm...He was...peaceful.
Bafflement marked her face. Making him fight the smile pulling at his lips.
He gave her a chiding look. Angry at her choice.
Or perhaps disappointed. Elsabet started to turn in flight, reluctant to see his human body crushed in the trees.
Turning back from the body of water, she headed back toward LandingTown.
As she turned something scintillating caught her eye. She glanced down and watched flashes of vibrant gold erupting from where he'd been falling. Only seconds passed but it seemed an eternity as something rising within the pink and purple hues of the morning sun, stole her breath.
The rising sun shimmered like fire on the gold scales pouring over him in a layer of armor which clacked as it laid into place. Snapping together they interlaced over his shape as he lengthened and distorted.
His body tore apart. Until finally the giant creature blew out of the mist. Massive and graceful in flight. Giant wings longer than hers, and more proportioned, were beautiful rather than terrifying. Its long neck unfolded.
She looked down on a head covered in horns. Watching her attentively, it moved its wings twice and rose to where she hovered. Her wings stilling in shock, she nearly plummeted as she watched his shape shifting before her.
Her body quaked as the rival rose to her height in only a few sweeping beats of his wings. His sharp teeth gritted in rage.
And now the tables were turned.
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