Finding each other.
Tembi and Theo snuggled up together, each holding the other’s paws. Theo loved Tembi so very much. The little lioness had attracted his attention some time ago, and it was only now he felt able to devote himself to her, now that the problem of whether cubs could grow up emotionally was resolved. Tembi also had been attracted to Theo for as long as she could remember, and now she had her paw in his,, his paw in hers, and all was right with the world. Tembi smiled at Theo, Theo patting her tiny forepaw with his large one.
“I know it sounds silly,” Tembi mewed, but it’s true when I say I love you from your ears to your paws Theo.” Theo smiled.
“I know everyone says it,” he replied, “but the same is true for me with you. I love every inch of your body, and your mind too.” Theo touched Tembi’s cheek with his paw, the little lioness laughing at his antics and snuggling up to him. Theo purred contentedly as Tembi’s fur touched his. Tembi examined the paw she held. Theo’s paws were possibly the largest on a lion, excluding Leo’ and Clarence’s that she’d ever seen. Her claws sheathed, Tembi stroked the pads of Theo’s paw with the toes of one paw, Theo enfolding her paw in his. Theo smiled as he felt Tembi’s paw stroking his. Tembi looked up into Theo’s eyes. She’d never seen such gentle eyes. Theo looked into her face, and Tembi felt warmth spreading from her nose to the toes of all four paws. She knew what this warmth was. Curling up in the space between Theo’s forepaws, Tembi took hold of his left forepaw in both of hers.
“My paws are all yours,” Theo purred. Tembi gently caressed the paw she held, Theo nuzzling her ear to let her know he was enjoying her attention. Tembi purred softly as she massaged and stroked his paw. Leo watched his brother and Tembi’s love play. Leo knew their play was serious, they were in love with each other, as much as he and snowy were.
Theo and Tembi snuggled up together and fell asleep. Snowy watched them, feeling happier than she had for a long time.
“Those two are wonderful together,” she said. Tarker spat on the carpet with disgust.
“I think their love play is just that, play! How on earth can Theo, a grown lion, fall in love with a cub!”
“Tell me this Tarker,” Hop along said, his exasperation plain for all to see, “since when have you, or any of us grown an inch larger?” Tarker thought for a minute.
“I’ve been the same size for as long as I can remember,” he replied, “but I still say Theo and Tembi’s relationship is wrong!”
“Ah hang on a minute,” Hop along said, his calm tone infuriating the otter cub, “have you ever felt anything for some of the female otters round here Tarker?” There was one fully grown female otter and a female cub in the house, both of whom were older than Tarker or his mother. Tarker hesitated:
“There’s the cub up in the study where the boss bangs on his tray. She’s lovely, her name’s Emily and she’s really something!”
“There you go,” Hop along said, “you are falling in love with a bitch otter, who to everyone’s eyes is a cub. Though you wouldn’t think of her as one, because inside she’s no cub. Looks can be deceiving.” Tarker looked down at his paws, deflated and ashamed.
“I don’t think Tarker would know how to love another animal,” Portia mewed, “he’s a disagreeable cub!”
“I certainly don’t like him,” a voice said. Portia spun round to see a tiny cub coming into the room.
“Emily?” She asked.
“that’s me,” the otter cub replied.
“You are so tiny!” Portia mewed, instantly wanting to protect Emily. Emily smiled as Portia took her in her paws and hugged her.
“I never thought I’d be hugged by a lioness,” Emily mewed.
“Well you have been now,” Portia purred. Emily worked her paws into Portia’s fur.
“Your fur is so warm!” Emily yinnied. Portia smiled:
“Yours is too Emily dear,” she said.
“I mustn’t call her anything like little cub,” Portia thought, “for even though to my eyes she looks like a cub, she’s not.” Emily snuggled up to Portia.
Meanwhile, Tommy Trip and Elsa had caught the love bug too. Stroking each other’s ears and paws, they found they’d forgotten what it was like and how enjoyable it was. Curling up together, they stroked and massaged each other’s paws and ears until both were relaxed and sleepy.
“We should do this more often,” Elsa purred. Tommy smiled and nuzzled her cheek.
“We should Elsa my sweetheart, we should,” he replied.
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