The rising sun's rays seeped threw the trees leaves to dapple the ground below with sunny, warm spots. Tiny whimpers could just be heard above the sounds of the forest as it began to wake.
A catahoula she-dog lay sprawled out under the protection of the massive oak roots. A mottled purple and green male quietly creeped into the den, a plump squirrel trapped securely in his powerful jaws. Despite the hint of blood that lie at the corner of his mouth, he smiled affectionately at his mate and their pups.
The dark male dropped the squirrel infront of the she-dog and wrapped himself around her, his large from easily making a bed of warmth that she needed as she ate. He looked down at his new family, glowing with pride.
"Storm's outside, she'll be in soon." He assured her just as Sasha was about to open her jowls to ask where her eldest daughter was to be found.
"There beautiful Sasha. Have you chosen names for them?" He murmured softly in between the licks he was giving her to the ears.
Sasha licked her chops and looked at the four, tiny bundles, her tired eyes glowing with love only a mother could have.
"No, Dear. I wanted you to name two of them as well." She said looking up at him with affectionate eyes.
"Well," He trailed his eyes along the bundles until they rested on a beautiful she-pup. She was white with black and red tips.
Sasha observed the color of the tips. The rich red popped the most to her. Almost like..
"That's perfect my dear," Sasha agreed. She nuzzled the a black male with purple tips, "Keko."
The male cocked his head in confusion. Keko was a name for one who would seek out love. How did Sasha know that their pup would do that. He ignored the urge to ask about. His beloved was tired and she needed rest.
They both had a silent agreement before moving onto the last two pups. One was a mottled light brown male with black tips and the other, a blue-gray-and-golden brown catahoula. The same breed as her mother.
Sage nuzzled the closest pup to them. "He should be Iraq. He looks just like your father."
Their eyes landed on the last pup, a catahoula, just like Sasha. Poor thing had rolled over, away from the others and was squirming helplessly over the soft, rich ground.
Sasha used her tail to gently sweep the pup towards her belly and the she-pup began to suckle.
Chapter 2 Edit
Nine weeks later...
She closed in on her target, making sure not to step on any twigs or leaves for it might give away her position.
She was so close now. She could almost feel her prey's fur under her. It's heart beat.
Then, with one massive leap Zearafina bounded out of the foliage and landed square on Storm's back, sending them both rolling in a ball of fur and playful yips.
Storm was older and much stronger than Zearafina but the blue-gray catahoula mix breed was larger for a kit and made up for her strength with size.
The two tumbled all around the warm, soft bank they called home. Their den, the oak tree with it's larger, slightly uprooted roots, sat at the very edge of the sandy clearings. The beautiful ocean bordered the rest of the mini beach. When the sun sunk below those waves, it was the most beautiful thing Zearafina had ever seen. Not that she'd seen much.
The rest of the forest lie atop the large cliff. Their mother told them never to go their until they where old enough. That it was dangerous. She told them stories of evil, ruthless dogs that lived their. Dogs that would tear tiny pups like them to smithereens. Their mother told great stories, rather it be stories about the ancient dogs that lived in the night sky or about the ones that walked in the Dark Fog, sentenced to live a lonely life for eternity...
Sasha said as long as you had a pure heart, you'd walk among the stars. Zearafina had vowed from the day she heard those stories that her entire family would walk the sky no matter what the cost.
Now, Storm and Zearafina wrestled playfully until the almost barreled straight into their little sister, Crimson, who had been looking at how the suns light reflected off of her curved, polished claws.
"Hey watch where you guys are going!" she snapped as she moved on top of one of the oaks roots, "Oh by the way, my meats on Zearafina," she added with a smirk.
"Your dead wrong," Keko barked as he leaped onto the same root Crimson was on to sit beside her. "Storm's alot more skilled than Zeara. Plus, she has storm-manipulation. Storm-freakin-manipulation. I bet you half my breakfast for a moon that she wins."
"Well-" Iraq began as he attempted to sit beside his siblings on the root but, sadly, his clumsiness got the best of him and he slip[ed off landing with a thub on the ground below. Their little brother settled for the warm sands below. "-Zearafina is a bit bigger than Storm. You never know! Plus, Storm can't use her powers while playing with us 'member?"
The trio always betted when Storm and Zearafina where play fighting. They'd over heard their parents talking about it was all about dominance and since the two where the oldest, they constantly play frighted to see who was stronger. Storm was definitely stronger than Zearafina as well as being the oldest off them all but the mix-bred female was also alot bigger thanks to getting some of her grandfathers genes.
They'd even tallied up the scores on the back of the oak tree. Zearafina had won about 18 times while Storm'd won 26.
And those were without her powers.
The three continued to argue about logic and strength while Storm and Zearafina tried their bests not to hurt one another as they tussled around the bank, getting sand all in their beautiful-now-pretty-ragged-coats.
At all this, their parents sat infront of the entrance to the den, watching their pups affectionately. Sage bent his head down to lap at the top of Sasha's head who leaned into it before turning her head and lapping at his muzzle.
They stared at each other, their eyes filled with love and affection for each other.
"I love you." Sage murmured softly without breaking eye contacted with Sasha.
"I love you more," she whispered back.
"Do you remember," he began as he scotted closer to Sasha, "that one time, when we were still in the pack, and we went out on the ridge that one night. We walked along the bank and you, with your clumsy self, managed to tumble right over your own paws and would have landed face first in the sand-"
"-If you hadn't caught me." Sasha finished. "And with you being clumsy as well, managed to topple over me and we landed," Sasha placed a paw on Sage's chest and in one swift movement pushed him to the ground and pinned him down, "in a position relatively similar to this."
Sage squinted his eyes, pretending to look thoughtful before he flipped Sasha over to where he was on top and leaned down to where their noses where only and inch apart. "I remember me being on top."
"Me too, from the stories you keep telling us." Crimson pipped from where she sat on the branch, looking down on them along with Keko and Iraq, who only sat a little bit away from their parents. Even Zearafina, who had Storm in a successful head lock, both were staring at them with amusement shining in their eyes.
Sage quickly scrambled off of Sasha who awkwardly stood up and gave her chest a few embarrassing licks.
After an awkward moment of silence they all burst into laughter, practically over.
Sometimes it was incredible how they could all still act like kids.