Anther rises before the dawn does, as he has done for the past three years. There are no birds to sing in chorus this high up into the mountains; no trees to perch and nest and warm with brightly coloured feathers; only the cragged shape of sharp rocks and the near endless fall of winter snow.
But there is the familiar light of the sun touching lilac velvet to the east and the dawn brings with it the realisation that this is his last chance at flight.
Last night, when everyone had gathered around the fire before settling into bed, they had asked Líala, once more, that now Anther was awake and having recovered from his wounds, would she be willing to break his curse.
And she was, although a little nervous at the thought that she wasn’t sure if she would be able to, sending private glances to Anther as if in silent question. But Líala was willing to try and that was enough for the others to relax into their relief.
Anther wasn’t sure what he felt when he settled down for the night, face pressed against Thæon’s scent.
But the night was restless and he couldn’t remember his dreams; and finally he got bored of laying on the cold stones until the others would wake and morning could begin.