The Jasiri & Sare Story
It became routine that Sare would walk with Jasiri each evening at twilight. It was a strange new experience for the boy to have an actual friend, and he found, after a time, that he liked it.
As they sat together one evening under a starry sky, Jasiri turned to the young lion and tipped her head, asking rather abruptly, "Why do you spend so much time alone? Ever since you were a little cub, and Uncle Badali brought you here..."
"I was not alone," said Sare, glancing down at his paws. "I always have my Sister."
"But what about the rest of your pride? Don't you ever get lonely, knowing just one fur?"
Sare seemed to consider this for a moment. His mouth opened, and his first instinct was to deny such a suggestion, and his muscles tensed up defensively. But then a wuff of air left his body in a deep sigh, and he nodded his thinly maned head. "Yes. That is why I am here," he admitted.
Smiling to herself, Jasiri sat still for a moment, and then she edged closer to Sare. Slowly, she lowered her head to his shoulder, and breathed a warm puff of air across his ear.
The boy shivered, and turned to face the princess with wide eyes. A playful grin split Jasiri's muzzle, and she experimentally nuzzled Sare's neck, as her tail moved to snake around his hips. The lion sat, frozen and petrified, unsure how to respond. It was against his nature to stutter or stammer, so he remained silent, watching the lioness with his breath caught in his chest.
"I'm glad you're here..." Jasiri murmured in a low, soft voice. Her tongue slipped out and grazed against Sare's cheek, and the boy visibly trembled. Pulling away, Jasiri regarded him curiously. "What's wrong?"
"You are behaving strangely," he told her, and got to his feet. "I am returning to Pride Rock."
Frowning, Jasiri wondered what she had done wrong, and her ears drooped as she watched after him.
And from the grasses, downwind, a pair of brown eyes watched each movement of the young couple.
The next evening, Sare was nowhere to be found, and Jasiri paced worriedly across the Promontory. When he failed to appear, she went looking for him, and found him at the Shelf of Shadows. "Sare...?" she whispered cautiously into the darkness. "Are you going to walk with me tonight?"
For a few moments, no answer came, and then Sare rose and stepped forward. "Yes." Blinking, for that wasn't the answer she had expected, Jasiri merely nodded and led him down onto the plains.
This time, she kept a good distance from him, fearing that her presence might upset him again. But as they padded along, Sare began to inch closer, filling his nostrils with her scent. "Jasiri."
She paused, and glanced at him, one paw lifted as though she were about to keep walking. "May I touch you?" he finished. Eyes opening wider, Jasiri gave a hesitant nod, and sat down, watching him. Sare padded closer, slowly lifting a paw.. he brushed it against her cheek, and she purred at him.
Encouraged, he continued to pet her gently, down her neck and across her shoulders, stroking her back. She leaned into the caressing, eyes sliding closed contentedly.
For the first time in his life, Sare began to feel a growing attachment to someone other than his Sister. Jasiri's affection made his blood course in mysterious ways, both frightening and exciting. Their evening walks grew longer and longer, and they were sometimes absent from Pride Rock for hours on end. In point of fact, Sare had never spent so much time away from home in his entire life, ever since his father brought him there as a cub.
The two grew closer, both physically and emotionally. Jasiri, with her outgoing and unreserved affection, began to break down the stony walls that Sare had long ago erected around his psyche. She got him to romp through the grasses with her, and they pounced one another playfully, rolling around and stroking one another with soft paws and tongues. Sare had never "played" before. She even taught him how to purr.
One night, Jasiri declared that she loved Sare. He sat in silence, unsure how to respond... but when they padded back to Pride Rock, it was with their tails draped companionably about each other's hips.
And the brown eyes watched.
See Chapter 1 | Chapter 3