She was hanging there, her body pulled into a ball, as she had tried to protect herself, knowing what was waiting for her. Blood stained her white fur in places, the ropes having cut into her skin. Her shoulder was at a awkward angle, as though out of shape. She was desperately in need of help, pain shot through his heart as he realized that there was nothing he could do till she was free. Even in battle he had never seen her so beat up, looking vulnerable and helpless in the net. Verone couldn't move, his eyes drawn to her face, unable to make himself move as he willed her eyes to open with every ounce of his being.
Seeing his brother made no move to act, Talis tried to take control. "Verone help me we have to get her down…" Talis pointed out trying to stand up. Pain shot through him and he cried out like a wounded cat. There was a clicking in his side… broken ribs. He could hardly move more or less try and get Kyera free.
"V…" The soft female voice cut off the frantic begging of Talis for his brother's assistance. Verone looked up at her, watching her soft eyes slowly open. The tears in them told him more than her words every would.
"I'm here Ky, try to cut yourself loose. I"m here. I'll catch you." He assured her raising his arms, his claws barely touching the net. A soft sad smile formed on Kyera's tigress face.
"Verone… I...I'm wounded. I can't make it back." SHe tried to reason but he shook his head reaching taller, his finger tips barely reaching the net. He grasped it best he could, silencing the blasted bell. He would never enjoy the sound of percussion again.
"I can carry you. Please just free yourself. I can't.. Please." Verone tried to coax his lover. Kyera's tail slipped down between the holes in the net. The soft warm strand curling against the side of his cheek. The softness of her fur pressed to his tear stained cheek.
"You can't carry me and Talis. You have to go. Now before the hunter's return. You heard the bell. They won't be long." Kyera reminded him looking down at him sadly. A tear trailing through the fur of her cheek. His hand rose to caress her tail against his cheek. The sadness and pain the girl's eyes seemed to weigh on his heart, spreading the tiny crack even wider.
"I can't leave you here." Verone whispered shaking his head, gripping that softail as though it was his last connection to the world. In a way it was, she had always been his world. Ever since that little tigress trained beside him. His perfect kitten. What he would give for now to be a dream and to wake with her waiting for lessons with her brothers. Alas denial would get him nowhere.
"Verone, take care of the garden. Don't let my brother's be forgotten. I'll come home… Go now." She replied her voice less gentle now as she turned that assurance to a order. She didn't have a choice. The pain was ebbing her vision and she had to know they were safe before she succumbed to the dreamless sleep that awaited her.
"Kyera…" He began to protest but she shook her head. Gently, his hand stroked over her tail, trying to bring her comfort.
"V, I love you." Kyera whispered her words so softly he wasn't sure he had heard them. So long he had waited for those words… but it wasn't meant to be. There was nothing left to do. The words were I love you but the meaning was goodbye.
"No regrets my love." He whispered laying one last kiss to her soft fur and breathing in her sent one last time before letting her go. There was nothing more they could do, not without sacrificing both their lives. It didn't matter how willing he was to take that risk, he knew she wasn't. Verone found the strength to move away. His arms raised his brother to his back despite his pained cries and he ran. He couldn't look back. If he did, Verone knew he could never leave his princess hanging in that tree.
"No Regrets." She agreed as her world slowly grew dark.
I didn't expect this part to be so hard to post.
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