"Why is it just laying there like that?" Retah questioned looking at the huge beast that was sleeping in the middle of the desert. They all cocked their heads staring at the creature curiously.
"Noil's are known to be strange. You don't think this one is the one that pushed you off the cliff?" Yven asked wondering.
"I don't know. That one was so quick and I didn't get a chance to see it." Retah answered when the Noil shifted a little. The wind blew again across the desert floor gently.
"I think we should be going. If that thing wants to sleep out here let it! I don't want to waste anymore time. We have to find that human. The next time we catch up to him I vow I will not let him trick us anymore!" Suolaej attested boldly as he suddenly took off at full speed again heading toward the mountains in the distance. Yven and Retah looked at each other and then back at the resting Noil.
"Strange thing." Retah said and then took off wanting to catch up to her other mate. Yven looked at the beast and then took off also at full speed.
Taylor took a deep sigh of relief bowing his head. He felt Saber slowly lift his body off him. Taylor was soaked with sweat. He rolled over onto his back and sat up still trembling a little. He ran his hand through his dirty, greasy hair nervously.
"That was close!" Taylor moaned looking up into Saber's eyes and smiled. "I wish though you would have given me some warning before you jumped me like that."
"Taylor? You okay?" Taylor heard Zac's voice ask.
"Yeah... I'm fine." Taylor answered still smiling at his panting friend.
"The Faction is way ahead of you now. They may back track if they can't find you." Nadroj warned as Taylor stood up slowly and looked toward the mountains. He brushed off his pants and swallowed hard feeling how dry his throat was.
"Which way should I go then?" Taylor asked crinkling his eyebrows together.
"Turn right instead of going straight ahead my Taylor." Nadroj answered watching Taylor nod his head.
Taylor started to walk and lifted his backpack slinging it over his shoulder. Saber followed behind walking next to him again. Several minutes later Taylor stopped and sat down feeling worn out.
"Tay? Why did you stop?" Walker asked as Taylor reached inside his back pack and brought out a bottle of water. He twisted off the cap and took a long drink. He wiped his brow and gazed up at Saber smiling.
"Just tired Dad. I'm okay."
Saber suddenly ran ahead and then circled back. He intently watched Saber and laughed watching the creature having fun. He wished he could run like Saber and have his powerful energy. Saber walked up slowly to him and lovingly rubbing his face against Taylor's, pushing him back slighty, while he started to hum softly.
"What are you so happy about?" Taylor smiled and petted Saber between his ears.
Then suddenly an idea struck him as he cast his eyes up and down, looking at the powerful beast, who was blinking his eyes slowly at him feeling content.
"Dad? Nodrow? I have an idea." Taylor announced standing up and looked at Saber who blinked contently.
"What my young one?" Nadroj asked cocking his head curiously.
"I... was wondering if I could ride on Saber's back." Taylor mumbled sliding the back pack off his shoulder onto the ground.
"Ride a Noil?! Taylor I don't think..."
"Nodrow why not?" Taylor said and looked around seeing a large boulder to the right of him. He walked toward it and climbed up on top. Saber wondered what he was up too and followed.
"Be careful Tay." Ike warned, watching his brother wave to the creature trying to get Saber to stand next to the boulder. Saber stood next to the large rock and flattened his ears back looking up at the young man curiously. Taylor slowly and carefully put his arms around Saber's neck and lifted a leg. He then straddled the Noil.
Saber was unaccustomed to weight on his back and he took a nervous step forward. Taylor petted Saber lovingly on the back of his head trying to calm him. The Noil broke into a gallop and ran forward.
"Oh MAN! I'm riding SABER!" Taylor yelled happily when Saber suddenly bucked and threw him off. Taylor hit the ground with a thud, with dirt flying in the air while the Noil scampered backwards fearfully not understanding what he was trying to accomplish by riding him.
Ike and Zac broke into laughter watching Taylor roll over as he rubbed his side.
"Guys? It's not funny!" Taylor shouted, hearing his brothers laugh at him in his mind.
"Good try Tay! But I think Saber doesn't like it." Ike chuckled.
"Well... I just have to try it again then." Taylor smiled feeling determined, while Saber pawed the ground feeling nervous. He couldn't understand what the creature was trying to do. Taylor led him to the huge boulder again, while he climbed up on it, coming near the edge once again.
"I just want to ride you Saber. Please let me." Taylor whispered in a soothing voice. He carefully slid himself onto the Noil's back once again. Saber nervously jumped and took several small steps feeling the weight of the young man on his back.
"It's okay." Taylor crooned softly hoping he wouldn't buck him off again. Saber walked in a circle several times and started to hum. The Noil suddenly took off and ran at full speed with Taylor trying to hold on, hoping he wouldn't lose his balance. The sensation thrilled him as the wind whipped through his hair. Saber turned and ran back to the spot they had just left. Taylor felt joy surge through him, knowing that Saber was liking the idea of him riding on his back.
"Wow... that was awesome!" Taylor yelled as he slid off of the Noil, with a smile covering his face. He walked to the front of him and hugged the Noil tightly around the neck. Saber rubbed his face against Taylor again, knowing he pleased the young man.
"Tay? Now you can ride him! You can rest while he carries you." Zac excitedly said watching his brother taking in deep breaths of air.
"I wish I would have thought of it sooner." Taylor answered stratching Saber behind his left ear.
"Well get your stuff and start riding toward the mountains. Nodrow wants you to at least reach the base of the mountains today." Walker said feeling proud of his son.
Taylor picked up his back pack and then mounted the Noil again feeling a inexpressible joy riding on top of Saber's back. At first he rode, just sitting passively on top of Saber letting him go in the direction he wanted and then noticed he wasn't going toward the mountains. Taylor began to notice the muscles in the Noil's body and that Saber was sensing his tension and relaxation. They had already developed a bond and the ability to sense each other's needs and feelings. Saber felt a desire to please Taylor. He started to sense in which direction Taylor wanted to go by the way he would lean and how the muscles in his legs communicated the change. The Noil started to react to the tension and go in the direction indicated by the young man on top of him. They started to learn from one another in the process and a deepening relationship formed between them. Taylor wasn't even really aware of it. He was taking control and using signals which were very subtle. He noticed now all he had to do was think of where he wanted to go and Saber would respond, going in the direction and speed he wanted him too.
The heat was rising as the day wore on. Several times he took a drink of water, relieving his thrist. He looked up at the sky and the bright burning sun. Sweat started to pour down his body again. He couldn't wait to get out of this dry hot desert. He gazed ahead seeing that the mountains were finally getting closer. Saber seemed accustomed to the land and his surroundings. The desert heat didn't faze him as he walked forward at a even pace.
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