"Come out!", I said with a warning tone, when I also noticed something. Livia was right. Someone or something was in there.
Just a second after my words a curious Bear female draws near. Don't know how we missed the bear but but I must have as she quite surprises me when approaching us, smile on her lips. "Hello there, horsie!" she exclaimed, not a bit the deadly predator bears are sometimes thought to be. "Do you perhaps need some help? Ya look troubled." The bear lady smiled at us and then... pats me with her paw? What was this awfully joyful predator doing? And why? This bear was just so friendly it breaks all the beliefs! "I can help with anything! Wanna be friends?"
For the first moment I was confused, before I smiled happy and started to pat her too. She was just like Balu! "Hello there! I'm Elemiah and these are Robin, Swift, Livia and Piper!", I said happy and pointed at all of them. "Thats awesome, you're just as fluffy as Balu!", I grinned, rubbing my head on her. "We need to catch a raccoon, maybe you can help us with this?", I smiled, looking at her. She was smaller than Balu, but oh ye, that could totally fit!
Livia had been right all the time - there really had been someone. However it was totally unexpected what it was - with wide eyes I stared at the female bear, before I slowly tilted my head ... so we met not only one nice bear today, but two?! Was this some sort of ... Lover's Forest-Magic? Or did Kemi give everyone here some drugs or... or what the heck was going on here?!
Not that I did mind how friendly those bears were, but it kinda broke my believes that bears were super dangerous... "You're so cute!", Swift squeaked and looked at the bear with sparkling eyes. "Do you mind if I cuddle you?"
Without waiting for an answer she rubbed her cheek against the shoulder of the fluffy bear and let out a happy sigh. Amused I snorted - it was really adorable how Swift, who usually was the voice of reason and way more adult then I was, suddenly turned into a little girl ... what she actually was. It was easy to forget how young the albino filly actually was and if I was being honest with myself it also hurt a little. THIS was how a filly should act, not ... not like an adult that had seen and experienced too many bad things.
I shook my head to get those thoughts away from me, before I grinned. "Soooo... yeah, like Elli said, we really could need help with finding a raccoon! You didn't see one by any chance ... or did you?"
"Nice to meet you, I'm Duma.", the bear smiled, she seemed to be happy about beeing cuddled. When I told her that she was as fluffy as Balu she tilted her head. "Balu?", she asked confused. My chance. "Yeah, Balu. This good looking, attractive and strong male bear here in the lovers forest.", I grinned and wiggled with my eyebrows. Shortly I saw some interest in her eyes, before she smiled happy and pressed Swift against her. "Oh I love cuddles, Darling!", she smiled. I grinned a bit. "Sou.. about the raccoon..", I started. "Oh I would love to help you. These mean raccoons are stealing my food in my cave!", she said with a whiny tone. I tilted my head. "Well.. you're a beat.. why don't you just chase them away?", I asked. "Oh I would, but have you seen them?! They are just so cute, how coule I ever hurt them?", she whined and I grinned amused.
Snorting I shook my head when Elli talked about Balu - did she really try to ... ship Duma with him? Swift let out a happy squeak and closed her eyes with a content sigh, whilst Livia just stared at the female bear. Apparently she wasn't quite sure what to think of her ... Piper on the other hoof was busy with looking around for something - I kinda guessed that Duma just was no threat to her and honestly, that bear really didn't seem to be a threat to anyone, considering how she talked about the raccoons.
"Where's your cave?", I curiously asked. "Because then we'll go there immediatly and take care of your problem! Of course completly peaceful and without harming anyone!"
The small, round ears of Duma twitched when Robin told her that we could help her with the raccoon. "Oh you really would do that for me?", the bear asked and smiled. Happy she pressed Swift to her chest, before standing up. "My cave isn't far away, follow me!", she said happy. I grinned a bit. "You made a Lady very happy, Robin.", I grinned and playful poked his neck with my muzzle. Grinning I started to walk, brushing my body softly against his body and followed Duma. Maybe we could get the raccoon for Harry there and help the bear lady. Win-Win-Situation.
"Of course we would!", I responded with a smile all over my face. My gaze quickly wandered to Elemiah and snorting I shook my head. "I kinda have the feeling that this has become my job", I joked, playfully winking at her. When her body softly brushed against mine I felt my cheeks getting warm and relaxed I walked right next to the beautiful mare.
Swift was walking extremly close to the fluffy bear and seemed to be very happy, whilst Piper and Livia followed us. "I don't trust her", I heard the grey haired mare murmur. "She just doesn't behave like a bear. Just like that Balu guy ... are all bears around here like this? Or is this a trap?"
"Gee, Liv, just accept that not all bears are angry or want to eat you!", Piper chuckled. "If that would be her intention all of us would be dead by now."
I grinned. "Should be an honor to have such a job.", I joked, only for looking back then. Harry decited to stay back for a while, looking at the bear mistrusting, but now he came near. I guess he now knows that Duma wasn't aggressive at all. "No worries, ladies. If the bear's gonna attack, I will be there for you.", he said with a smirk and blinked to the twins. I grinned, trying not to laugh. He probably would run away I guess.
Oh gods, I was pretty sure that Harry had no idea what horrible of a mistake he just made. At least regarding Livia, who stared at him as if she would like to murder him. "We can take care of ourselves!", she hissed, flattening her ears to the head. "We don't need your help!"
Piper let out a deep sigh and nudged her sister, before smiling at the stallion. "Sorry about that, she tends to get angry very easily when she's stressed", she appologied. "And as good-looking as you are, I'm not really interested, so I guess you can stop flirting." She playfully stuck her tounge out and slightly sceptical I looked at her.
Damn, did she just lie right into his face? Because there certainly was interest in her eyes - not sure if it was because of his personality or because he was kinda hot, but eh. Shrugging I turned away from them and let out a sigh. "How can she keep a straight face when lying?", I murmured almost inaudible to myself.
I looked back and grinned. "I don't know, maybe she's doing it more often.", I laughed. Harry huffed. "Oh I am sure you don't need help. I'm only offering my company.", he said smiling, then turning his head to Piper. He started to grin, showing hid sharp teeth. "Oh you said that, but the fact that you called me good-looking and 'playing' with me just said something else, sweetheart.", he grinned. Now I really laughed a bit. Ir was totally clear what his smirk told us right now. Challenge accepted.
"Probably", I sighed, only to turn my attention back at the three horses again. "I don't want your company either!", Livia huffed, walking faster and even catching up to Duma and Swift instead of Elemiah and me. Apparently we still were too close to that guy for her taste. "Aww, for a second you had a chance", Piper admitted. "But calling me sweetheart is kinda a turn-off."
Almost innocently she blinked at the stallion, whilst moving her head closer to his ears. "Besides", I heard her whisper. "You're mostly just sexy when you shut up."
Chuckling I shook my head and looked at Elli. "Now that was just mean", I murmured highly amused.
I laughed. "Just a bit.", I grinned. He deserved it. "Oh, I still have a chance.", Harry grinned. "And if not sweetheart, how would you like to be called?", he smirked to the mare next to him. "And don't worry, you will get used to my voice, 'cause I will tell you everything you wabt to hea-", he was interrupted by Dumas voice. "There we are.", the bear told us. I looked what was in front of her. A more or less big cave, completely black inside. "Duma. I have a question that is very important. It could be about life or death.", I started. The bear looked worried at me. "What is it dear?", she asked. I inhaled. "Are there other animals in there besides the raccoons? Like.. mice?"
"Oh no, I'm not telling you... you have to find out", Piper responded, playfully winking at the stallion, before turning her attention to Duma. Soooo... that was her cave? Interested I looked at it, not the slightest bit worried because of the darkness inside of it. My gaze wandered to Elemiah when she started to speak and even though I tried to prevent myself from it, I snorted. Swift immediatly kicked my shoulder and I squeaked, before I let out a deep sigh. "Lemme look, I'll tell you when it's safe!", I said, walking into the black cave. "Hello-o-o-oooooo", I called. "Is there anyone? Like... I mean mice. Because if there are mice, please hide and don't come out, I'm super scared of mice."
Pfff, alright, that was a lie... but I didn't want the others to know that Elli was scared of mice. Somehow I just had the feeling that either one of the raccoons or that Harry-guy would kinda use that against her ... and I so didn't want that. "What the fuck?!", I heard someone call out. "Who are you and what are you doing in my new party cave?!"
The cave suddenly got super bright when someone lit up the torches. There were three raccoons, staring at me - one of them started to grin slowly though. "A horse", he purred. "How adorable. Just what we needed, right guys?"
Irritated I tilted my head. "Uhm...-" "So, say, horse... how fast can you run? We need someone to take all these flyers out into the world, because this is our new party cave", he explained, handing over paper with scribbles that were really hard to decipher. "... This actually is not your new party cave", I said. "It's the cave of-"
"Yeah, no, that bear ran away, so it's our cave now", he shrugged and put on sunglasses. "Deal with it."
I saw this hungry grin on Harrys face, showing him accepting the challange wven more. But he was quiete when Robin entered the cave. My ears twitched when he called out that he was afraid of mice. A small smile came through my lips and I slowly got near the cave, kind of interested.
When I heard what the raccoons said I snorted and entered the darkness. It took me some time before I could see a bit in the dark. "Ohh the question isn't how fast he can ran. It's about how fast you can. Because if we're done with you, you will have to run and then it will be our cave!", I snorted. How dare they to made Duma run away! "Besides, this sunglasses look super stupid."
Quietly I just stared at the raccoon for a moment - heck, this guy seriously was an ass. But a funny, actually kinda likeable ass, if I was being honest with myself.
Elli came into the cave and kiiinda insulted the raccoons, what caused the one with the sunglasses to slightly drag them down and look at her, his left eyebrow raised. "What?", he asked. "Those sunglasses are super fashionable and you're just jelly that you don't have something that cool", he responded, letting out a deep sigh, before putting them back correctly. "But two horses are even better! Would you please be so kind and hand out all the flyers? You'll get a reward! A ... cake or something. Maybe a carrot. Horses like carrots, yes?"
"Can I slap him with a fish?", I heard Livia ask and sighing I shook my head. "Okay, listen raccoon...-" "Meeko." "Uhm..." "My name is Meeko and these are Zorro and Ringo. Please don't call us raccoon, thank you very much!"
What was I even about to say? "Uhm...-" "Okay, listen", Swift tossed in, stepping forward. "You like to party, right? We actually know a guy who has a bar - that means there will be a lot of alcohol, but also a lot of parties. What do you think? Does that sound good? I mean... who would come into a cave somewhere in the Lover's Forest? The only parties you can celebrate here are orgies and I'm pretty sure you don't want to participate in horse-orgies."
Meeko scratched his chin and let out a deep hum, then he turned around. "Excuse us for a second!", he said and pushed his friends a tiny bit further away. "So guys, what do you think?", I heard him say. "I mean ... how could we refuse, right? Alcohol, parties... exactly what we are best at!"
Was he aware that we could hear them? Sighing I shook my head and just pretended to not hear a single thing, whilst actually listening closely.
I raised one eyebrow, being silent, before looking back at Livia. "No. If someone slaps him with a fish, this one will be me.", I said.
When Swift suddenly came in I pointed my ears. That.. was pretty smart of her. How was this foal so clever?!
When the raccoons turned away, we were able to just hear every. Single. Word. They obviosly learned to whisper while a fucking loud storm.
"Yeh yeh, Alcohol and Parties!", one of them added in kind of a ugly voice. I guess it was Zorro. "But imagine a horse orgie. Imagine how big their things are.", he added.
In this moment, I not even noticed at all, I had to look at robin. Or at robins dick. But I quickly looked away again.
"Fine", Livia growled and started to pout a little. "You can slap me with a fish if you want", I offered. "Both of you." The mare raised an eyebrow. "Really? Like... really really?" "Yes, really really. Don't make me regret this decision please."
"... mhhh, I'll think about it", she said, smirking a little, before slowly looking around in the cave. Swift let out a quiet sigh and looked at me. "You should already start regreting it, there's no way one of them will say no", she chuckled. "Eh, I'm a adult man, I can take it", I shrugged with a grin.
My ears twitched when one of the other raccoons spoke. "Dear gods, Zorro!", Ringo rolled his eyes. "They can't stick your thing into you, so don't be so amazed about how big they are ... besides, size doesn't matter." "Ugh, can we maybe concentrate on what really matters here?!", Meeko tossed in with his strangely deep voice. "The location here... it really is awful, that white horse is right there. The cave is dark - a bar is not. Horses who are drunk are more willing to start doing weird things, so that's a plus for the bar too. Besides, we are most likely the first bartender-raccoons ever, which could maybe also cause other raccoons to visit the bar and be amazed by how good-looking we are. And yes, Zorro, gay ones will be there too. If they aren't gay, you just need to find raccoons who would be interested in doing it with another guy, there are probably enough of them. If not you still can bang Ringo. So what do you say guys... Do we accept their offer or decline?"
Swift suddenly chuckled and looked at Elemiah, though I had no idea why. Confused I stared at them, then I shrugged and slowly turned my gaze towards the three raccoon-guys.
I grinned widely. I will so slap him sometimes with a fish, just because he allowed it. Swift was right, he will regret it.
This Zorro looked at Ringo. "Ohh true, size really doesn't matter sometimes.", he grinned. "But Meeko's right, lets take that bar.", he nodded then, after hearing the stuff about the gay raccoons.
My ears turned to Swift. Oh. Of course she saw it. But Robin doesn't seemed to, so I was save.
"See, I told ya!", Ringo said grinning. "And yup, I agree - the bar sounds amazing!" "Well, it's decided then!", Meeko said and looked at each of the raccoons for a moment - strangely including himself - then he trotted over to us together with them. "Soooo, my dear horsies", Meeko said smiling. "We're going to accept your offer! We have everything we need with us, so please, lead us to the bar!"
Huh, that was almost a bit too easy... almost. "Alright, uh... Harry-", I stopped immediatly when I couldn't see the stallion anywhere with us ... and Piper was missing too. "Wait... where is Harry?" "And where's my sister?", Livia asked with a mistrusting undertone in her voice. "I swear, if that asshole is doing something to her..." "Eh, she would beat him up", I tried to reassure her. "But seriously though... has anyone seen them?"
I still raised one brow and looked at the raccoons, before I noticed that Harry and Piper went missing. I looked around confused. "Robin is right, she is much stronger than him. But.. you don't think he would try.. to rape her or something?", I murmured and trotted out of the cave, only seeing Duma. "The Raccoons?",she asked hopefully. "They will leave. But.. have you seen Harry and Piper?", I asked the big bear lady. She chuckled. "Yes, they left together and they looked like they would eat each other right now.", the bear grinned.
"I don't think he would", I responded. "I mean ... I dunno how rapists are, but he didn't seem to be one." Shrugging I followed Elli outside of the cave to Duma. My mouth opened wide when the bear lady said that they would look like they are eathing each other, whilst Livia let out a deep growl. "Oh I'm going to hurt hi-" "Awww noooo", Piper called out. "Don't hurt him, he's actually not bad at kissing!"
She only stopped to say that, then she wiggled her eyebrows at Harry. "Maybe we could... extend this a little somewhen else?", she suggested almost purring and Livia choked. "Ewwww, that's... ugh, why?", she huffed and Swift gently touched her shoulder. "I-", she started, only to get interrupted by the raccoons, who followed us out of the cave. "Sooo... are we going to walk or can we ride you?", Ringo asked. "I'd love to smack some horse butt!"
"Duma, You're sure abou-", I broke up when we saw Piper and Harry, her almost purring and him with the widest grin ever. "Oh, any time.", he grinned. I opened my mouth, but the first time ever I was out of words.
But my words came back when the raccoon started to talk. "Smack your own butt..", I murmured sighting, looking at Robin. "You won't let them ride, will you?"
"Oh, I will let you ride!", Harry said. "So you will stay at my bar? Awesome!" He sounded super happy and I was not sure if it was because of the raccoons or because of Piper.
"Geez, what a moody horse", Ringo rolled his eyes. "Not gonna ride you for sure. Ugh, so boring..." Meeko sighed and shook his head. "Now, Ringo, don't be rude!", he said, raising his left eyebrow at the raccoon, before turning to Elli with a smile. "I'd like to appologize for his behaviour, he just doesn't know how to talk to horses", he explained, then he looked at Harry. "Great! And yes, we are staying at your bar!"
Meeko climbed up onto the back of the stallion and looked down at the other two. "Are you coming or what?" "Yeah, yeah", Ringo huffed and followed him. Both raccoons made themselves comfortable already, whilst still waiting for Zorro.
Slowly I tilted my head and looked at them, a bit uncertain if this would go well. "Soooo... time to go to your bar, huh? Oh, no, wait! I should check up on the others first, I can't just leave them behind with your mom, Elli!", I squeaked and Swift chuckled. "They'll be fine", she snorted. "But yeah, we should at least tell them where we're going ... I mean, they probably know it already thanks to the flyers, but... you know, better safe then sorry?" I nodded and gave the others a excusing smile. "Sooo... does anyone have anything against stopping by Kemi's tent first?"
"Oh, no, certainly not", Piper purred, wiggling her eyebrows at Harry once more. "That gives us time to grab some stuff."
... Did I want to know what stuff she was talking about...? "Yeah, like food", Livia grumbled. "Only food. And something to drink. Nothing else."
"Awesome!", Harry smiled happy. "Good Job, Pipsqueak.", the Pirate Stallion gave me a grin, showing me his sharp teeth and waited for the raccoons to sit on his back. When Zorro finally climbed up on him he grinned. "Alright then lets go to my ba- oh.", he stopped when the others decited that they would go back first. "Yeah we better tell them that we're not dead.", I grinned. "Yeh, killed by mice.", Zorro laughed from Harrys back. I laid my ears back, even if the raccoon didn't knew that is was me and not Robin who was afraid of mice this was embarassing.
"Alright then lets go, maybe we can be at the bar before the night comes!", I smiled. "Oh, may I follow you? I would like to help you somehow, to thank you!", Duma asked smiling. "Oh, eh, sure!", I grinned.
When Piper talked about grabbing some stuff i grinned. But I laughed when Livia grumbled. "Livia eh.. you know.. even if they only ment food, if my grandma sees them, they will get much more.", I said grinning.
'Yeh, killed by mice.' When Zorro made that comment, I flattened the ears to my head and gave the raccoon a death stare. "Mice can be a very dangerous threat!", I hissed. "Maybe they can't bite your throat open or anything like that, but they carry a lot of diseases that can easily kill you, so shut the fuck up!"
Meeko and Ringo stared at me for a few seconds, then the first raccoon scratched his chin. "I mean, you do have a point there", he said and shrugged. "But don't you think mice are more scared of you?"
"What about rabies, mh?!", I responded and he nodded. "Right... but not every mou-" "Oh please, just shut up", I huffed and the raccoon grinned a little, but was staying quiet.
Somehow I felt good - I felt like I had protected Elli from those nasty raccoons... plus I also was calm enough inside to think straight, whilst someone who really was scared would probably become really mad and stuff. Maybe.
'Alright then lets go, maybe we can be at the bar before the night comes!'
Slowly I raised my left eyebrow and turned my head towards Elemiah. "I'm sorry, but... the bar is somewhere around Aemenne, right?", I quickly looked at Harry, then back at Elli. "It will probably take us several days to reach Aemenne, especially since we have to cross Beorg to go there... okay, we also could try to hire a ship, but even that will take a few days and I don't know where in Aemenne the ship would stop."
"Several days? And you're sure that you want to leave the others behind then?", Livia huffed. "What else am I supposed to do? Jackdaw doesn't show it, but he still has problems with his leg and I know that Avis and Kite want to just stay somewhere for a few days and relax. I can't... I can't do this to them... plus it's safer when we travel in our current group, everyone in here knows how to defend themselves, I guess, so we shouldn't face too many problems, if we face any at all. When we are in Beorg we could stay in Baldr's cave for a night, replenish our supplies and then continue our way through the mountains the next morning. But first we need to make the long way until there."
Sighing I shook my head, but let out a surprised squeak when Swift nudged my shoulder. "Jackdaw would be super proud of you for saying all of that! Seems like you're getting better at the planning-thing", she said with a smile... and she kinda was right. I really was getting better and with a stupidly proud grin I nodded.
"Duma, are you sure you want to come with us in that case?", I suddenly turned to the bear. "We'll really be gone for a while..." ... and I didn't want the bear to regret her decision.
'Livia eh.. you know.. even if they only ment food, if my grandma sees them, they will get much more!'
"Uuuggghhh", Livia groaned. "Is everyone in your family like this? Or is it just your grandma? Is she a special case or something?"
"Well, Tóra is like this too, kinda... not sure about the rest", I tossed in with a chuckle.
When Robin was arguing about the mice theme, I couldnt help but had to grin a little. The raccoons didn't knew what he was doing, but I was. He was protecting me and indirectly telling me that my fear wasn't stupid, no matter what others may say. A warm feeling got through my body and I leaned softly against him, silently thanking him for this.
I giggled when Robin told me that it would take days to get to the bar. "Hushh, I did never said which night.", I grinned, being too optimistic again.
My ears twitched when Robin talked about travelling over Beorg and I smiled. In my opinion Beorg was wonderful, my Dad showed me everything there and the sunsets - heck these sunsets - I never saw something different that could reach this beauty.
"It's alright to leave the others, it's save around here. Way more save then in Beorg. They will be alright.", I aded and nodded to show them that I thought Robins way was good like this.
Duma needed a little more time to overthink everything. The bear looked back at her cave, but then she nodded. "Traveling will be fine, it has been years since I left this area the last time.", she smiled.
I grinned when Livia asked about my family. "You know.. almost everyone is like this. It's just in our genes.", I grinned, intentionally not talking different about myself.
A soft smile appeared on my face, when Elemiah was slightly leaning against me, only to turn into a wide grin. "I see, I see!", I laughed. "But what if we arrive at day instead and not at night?"
I stuck my tounge out at her, before I looked at the others, who nodded slightly. "Okay", Livia sighed. "That seems... reasonable. Plus you two are probably right, it's more or less dangerous in Beorg, whilst it's really peaceful here. Though don't blame me or something if your people suddenly have some mental health problems because Kemi showed them too many things. Not that she would, but I somehow think that she might."
"Pfff, they'll survive it", I chuckled. "Besides, Arwen, Zengat and Chaska are also still there and probably would stop her." At least I hoped so.
My gaze flipped to Duma and smiling I nodded. "That's great! Hopefully you'll enjoy this little journey!"
"You really are a weird bunch of horses", Livia raised her left eyebrow and looked at Elemiah. "Aww, come on, you'd love to be related to them, just say it", Piper joked and squeaked when her sister punched her. "We're there!", Swift suddenly called out and irritated I blinked at her - where...- oh right, we had been on our way to Kemi's home.
"Aww, no, are we leaving already?", Jackdaw pouted and slowly I tilted my head. "What drugs did Kemi give you?" "None! It's just... nice here." He looked at Tóra's friends and family and amused I rolled my eyes. "Well, then you're probably happy to hear that you're going to stay here for a while. We guys have some business in Aemenne, but we'll be back as soon as possible, so ... make yourself comfortable?"