“Keep your doggy pants on,” I called ahead to Oneiros. “I’m not as quick as when we met.” The great grey wolf whined.

I leaned against a tree to catch my breath, my heart racing. Oneiros bounded back to me and caught my gaze with his, his blue eyes tearing up. His voice whispered in my mind, “You need not be my familiar forever. I release you.” Then he leaped down the trail and turned back to watch me.

I felt freedom surge within me. “Well, I may age seven times faster than you, Wolf-God. But I can still keep up with you yet.”

Oneiros smiled toothily, and I followed his wagging tail.

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