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She never understood the fascination some people had with them. They were big, smelly carrion eaters with scary beaks and feet. And yet, people thought they were the most perfect birds in the world.

At least if Franklin had gotten his way, the national bird would be a tasty meal. Right after she had the though, a weird sense of remorse kicked in. Damn Nate and his inopportune altruistic streak that was rubbing off on her.

The sudden high-pitched cry startled her out of her thoughts. She was resting on top of a cliff she'd scaled on a dare from Eliot, waiting for him and Hardison to join her the old-fashioned way: by hiking to the top. Glancing back at the trail, she didn't hear anything, so knew it wasn't them.

Movement in the corner of her eye had Parker turning her head faster than she'd expected. The bird cried again before launching into a high speed dive at the river down below. Parker knew she wouldn't be able to look away from that sight, not even if her life depended on it. Her breath caught in her throat at the thrill of that freefall flight, swearing she could feel the wind rushing past her. It was better than any jump she'd ever made in her entire life. The instant those sinister talons pierced the water and resurfaced clutching a wildly flailing fish, Parker wanted nothing more than to become an eagle.

Maybe eagles weren't so bad, after all…