Love is a fragile delight
At the inn, business had just finished for the night. Tygra and Panthro were putting the chairs up after Arcion had just gathered the dishes. Cheetara was back in the kitchen, washing the dishes with the help of Snarf. Liliotus stood at the bar, wiping the counter after a hard days' work. Occasionally, she looked to the door, waiting for Lion-O and the twins to step inside.
Panthro: “Okay. What in the blazes is taking those three? We've pretty closed up the inn.”
Liliotus: “I'm sure their...”
At that moment, there was a knock at the door.
Liliotus: “It's open.”
The door opened and in came, a hooded woman and a seriously injured Lion-O. Tygra and Panthro rushed to aid the injured king. Taking the heavy burden of the woman's shoulders. The two carried the lion up stairs to the room where he was staying. Cheetara came out of the kitchen to see what the commotion was about.
Cheetara: “What's..., what happened?”
Liliotus: “Lion-O. He's... been injured.”
Milena: “The little ones are outside, on the cart. Help me get them inside.”
Cheetara: “Who's this?”
Liliotus: “This is Milena. She's just settled here in town. She's an old friend of mine.”
Milena: “Come now. We must get them inside.”
Soon enough, the women rushed outside to the small wooden cart, and carried the injured children up to their quarters.
Later, Milena was at Lion-Os' bedside, grinding several ingredients for healing bands that would help Lion-Os' injuries. She used the same technique when she tended to the kittens' wounds before Lion-O. These bands would stop the bleeding from any wound that could be lethal. Cheetara gazed in wonderment as to how Milena knew all about alchemy.
Cheetara: “How do you know so much about alchemy?”
Milena: “I've studied over the years. Experimenting with numerous ingredients. The rest was just elementary.”
She placed the last bandage on Lion-Os' wounds. From there, the herbs can take their effect on the wounds and help heal them.
Liliotus: “There. Now, let him get some rest. Hope for the best.”
The three made their way to the door, leaving Lion-O to rest and recover from the attack. Milena and Liliotus made their way down stairs to finish cleaning up the kitchen. Cheetara, however, stayed upstairs, and entered Wiley-Kat and Kits' room. There she monitored their conditions, as if she was their own mother. Seeing them in a peaceful sleep after what had just accrued. This brought feelings of both concern and joy in her heart. She hoped that one day she would have children of her own, with her lover, Tygra. She was in deep thought when he knocked on the opened door. Cheetara, coming out of her thought, turned to acknowledge the sound.
Cheetara: “Oh, Tygra. Hi.”
Tygra: “Hey. How are they holding up?”
Cheetara: “They seem to be sleeping alright. They've just kept turning.”
Tygra: “Good to here, and Lion-O?”
Cheetara: “He's just fine. Milena has done a good job with those herbs.”
Tygra softly wrapped his arms around Cheetara. Pulling her closer to his chest. Laying her head near his heart, she could feel each and every pulse pass through his body. It was there when she began to recall her previous thoughts of mothering his children. To actually start a life with Tygra, to live with him and Lion-O in a newly established palace, once the war was over.
He looked down to his love.
Cheetara: “Where do you see us, years from now?”
There was a moment of silence. This was not a question Tygra had heard before. He had not prepared himself for any possible outcome of this eventuality of their relationship.
Tygra: “I..., I..., I’ve never given it any thought, up until now. Where do you see us?”
Cheetara: “Well, I actually see us with a place of our own, with a family of our own. Maybe a boy or girl, maybe both.”
Tygra loosened his grip on Cheetara, and pulled away from her. He made his way to the window, starring out in the distance. He displayed a face of discomfort.
Tygra: “Cheetara, I love you..., but even if we survive this war, I have no intentions on having any children. They tend to whine, complain, cry, and I'm not fit to be a parent.”
Cheetara: “I know. But, given time, you may want to have children. Like I do, and you never know until you try. And the beautiful side of that is that you'll have me to aid you, as I have you to help me.”
Tygra: “This doesn’t faze my feelings about this. I just don't see it happening. I just don't want a child of mine to end up like one of us.”
Cheetara' eyes widened to the comment he had just made. She now dared to ask him about his comment.
Cheetara: “What's that suppose mean? What are you coming on to?”
Tygra inhaled an uneasy breath, knowing that his answer was not going to be easy to explain to his lover. But, deep in his heart, he knew she had the right to know how he felt about this turn in their relationship.
Tygra: “I just don't our children to be left without either of us to see them grow up, get married, grand kids. I just don't feel that it's going to ever happen between you and me.”
After hearing those words coming from the horses' mouth, tears came over her eyes. The man she thought she knew had no intention to continue their relationship to as far as parenthood. In a last desperate move to ensure the survival of their relationship, Cheetara held out her hand as a gesture of the survival of their love.
Cheetara: “Please, for me, for us. I love you.”
Tygra turned to the heartbroken cheetah. Seeing her hand out, trying to sawed him of his beliefs, much like the temptresses of old. He removed himself from the window and stood before Cheetara. Tygra then grasped her gentle hand. But as he did so, the smirk upon his face slowly shifted to a most grief expression. He then took her hand and closed it into a fist and placed it back to her thigh, as though he is willing to let the one love of his life find her happiness with someone else.
Tygra: “I’d love to. But, I can't. I'm sorry.”
He then kisses on the cheek for the last time. He then walks away from her, to the rooms' door. Before he left, Cheetara grasped his hand, giving him the flower he gave her the day they first met. Tears came from his eye. He returned to make his way out the door, and made his way down stairs. Cheetara eyes developed more tears. Heart broken and grieved at the choice her ex made, she had to sit down, and placed her hands to cover her face. She wept in her hands for a few minutes, until two gentle hands placed themselves on each of her shoulders. When she removed her hands, she discovered that the injured Wiley-Kat, and Kit, standing there to comfort her after her loss. Cheetara brought the twins close to her. In return, they rapped their arms around her, holding on to her so she may weep in the comfort of good friends. She knew deep in her heavy heart that it was indeed over. This love was as all but fragile as it is with all forms of love.