Heart Legacy Teaser: Corax, the Raven:
A bird cawed raucously overhead and Draeg glanced up to see it circling. **You are too close to my horses, man, step away,** came clear and astringent to Draeg’s mind. He followed through too hard on a foot sweep and was forced into fancy footwork to keep from falling on his butt.
Yes, his kata had taken him near the horses’ pen. He’d moved it close to the stridebeasts so the animals could get used to each other. The horses knew about stridebeasts but the Yew stridebeasts thought the horses were funny-looking creatures.
Quickly finishing his drill, Draeg withdrew a couple of paces but kept moving in the cool air. As a man of supposedly little Flair, he hesitated to pull a weathershield around himself.
The raven sounded a last caw and settled on Smyrna’s croup, glittering black eyes fixed on Draeg.
**I have been with these horses many twinmoons. They are mine more than yours or the woman’s.** His beak clicked as if in scorn.
Draeg bowed to the bird, though he kept his eyes on this new player in the intimate little game going on.
“May I ask your name, GentleSir Bird?”
Another beak clack. **I am called Corax.**
“Greetyou, Corax. I am Draeg Hedgenettle.”
**You lie,** the bird stated.
With a swift look around the area, Draeg muttered. “You may call me Draeg Hedgenettle. My birth name is Draeg Betony-Blackthorn.”
**You have too many names,** the bird grumbled. He strutted up Smyrna’s back and she blew out a breath. Though her muscles flexed, she made no move to rid herself of the bird, not even when he flew to the top of her head between her ears. Draeg got the impression that the horse had missed the raven. Ragan, whose neck had been stretched over the pen toward the stridebeasts, turned and trotted toward Smyrna and Corax, whickering in welcome.
Corax lifted and circled over both horses, then touched down on Ragan’s back. Smyrna slapped her tail against her butt in irritation, especially when Corax tilted his head and focused on Draeg again. **I think I would like a FamMan who would provide regular and easy meals as you do for the horses. I have missed my suet and my oatmeal and apples and my raw clucker. I think you would do.**
Draeg’s adoptive father and several of his siblings had Fams, but he’d never felt the need for one.
But now . . . he was alone on this quest, with only occasional contact with anyone outside the Yew estate. And his decisions as to how to handle this particular situation, how much and when to interact with the Yews, Family and estate, were his own. His great responsibility. He could use a friend inside the walls.