“Oh, son, I’ve missed you!” his father replied. Thunderfrost rushed forward to greet his son. They drew close just outside the trees, exchanging breath, hugging with their wings, and nuzzling. Stepping back from the embrace, Thunderfrost looked around. His eyes fell on the still sleeping forms of Sunshadow and Lakefrost.
“Who are these?” he asked abruptly, gesturing toward them.
Slightly offended by his abruptness, Thunderblaze stalled before answering. Then he replied, “They are my son, Sunshadow, and my mate, Lakefrost.” He saw the quick flash of pride in Thunderfrost’s eyes at being a grandsire, then some slight confusion.
“Where’s Flamesong?” the bay asked, teasing his son slightly. It was well known that when Thunderblaze was young, he was hooves-over-wings for the cheerful strawberry roan.
Taking no offense and grinning, Thunderblaze responded, “She was with Redstorm already, and I found Lakefrost to be just as wonderful, possibly more. I was also remembering you, because combining our names makes Thunderfrost or Lakeblaze.”
Thunderfrost nodded in understanding. But Thunderblaze was now bursting with questions for his sire.
“How did you survive the Jungle Herd raid?” he asked, beginning the onslaught. “Stormsky, the one steed who made it back, said everyone else had died. How did you survive and find your way back here?”
A far-away look blossomed in Thunderfrost’s eyes as he started his story.