He has a rider he loves and a battle to fight. What avtappi could ask for anything more?
Look, Dynami, whispered a quiet voice in his ear.
Dynami snorted, opened his eyes and shook his mane. Nobody was near him. Look at what? Dynami cast his gaze across the paddock. His fellow pack members were scattered about, some standing alone as he was, some clustered in small groups of three or four avtappi. A couple of novices were walking through the paddock with a basket of ox hearts. Dynami’s ears pricked forward. He loved hearts. He ambled over, careful to avoid a posture of aggression.
“Look at the big black one, Vestrin,” said the female novice. “I’d love a steed like him.”
The male novice held a heart out to Dynami. “Here, boy.”
As Dynami lipped the treat from the young man’s hand, the same voice that had awoken him whispered, This one is for you.
The heart dangled from his teeth, forgotten. A rider? For me? He hadn’t dared to dream that he would find a real rider. He was supposed to go to the army, which meant only the lightest of bonds between him and the man riding him, just enough to enable them to work together and no more. But now that he was awake, he knew the voice of his God. He stepped forward and shoved his nose into Vestrin’s chest.
The novice laughed and placed hands on him, stroking his neck under his heavy, long mane. “Hey there, take it easy. You’re welcome, of course, no need to knock me over in thanks. And you really should eat that heart instead of wear it.”