Wheeee! I had time to type up a whole new chapter! ^_^
"Kia, wake up!"
Kia awoke to the sound of Kenai's voice, followed by a gentle nudge to her shoulder. She yawned and slowly sat up, rubbing her eyes with her paws. She yawned and stretched her arms, before opening her eyes. Kia smiled at Kenai, who was seated beside her with a half awake Koda in his lap. "Good morning." she said, yawning again.
Kenai returned her smile. "Morning...boy, you look tired."
Kia laughed softly. She had been awake for a long time last night, trying to figure out a way to ask Kenai what Koda had meant, when he said that he and Kenai weren't really brothers. She looked at Kenai, who seemed to be waiting for her to tell him why she was so worn out, and she shrugged. "Ohh..I was just up late last night...thinking.."
"About what?" Kenai asked.
"Something Koda said to me while we were watching the Great Spirits."
"Uh oh, what did my little brother tell you now?" Kenai snickered.
"That's just it....he said you two aren't really brothers...." Kia said frowning, obviously confused. "So...you're not really his brother?"
Kenai did a double take as she said this, and gulped nervously. He had not planned on telling her about his transformation from man to bear just yet. It might scare her away. After all, she had been terrified of the hunter that had attacked her earlier. "Wha?? Oh, haha, Koda's just kidding!" he stammered nervously, "Of course we're brothers! Ehehehehe.."
Kia frowned, trying to decide if she believed him or not. "Than why is he telling me otherwise?"
Kenai noticed her puzzled frown and laughed nervously. "Oh, don't worry. Koda's just kidding! He, um, likes to tell all our friends that I'm not really his brother....I think he just wants to see if he can fool you."
Kia shrugged. "Ummm....okay. I guess, if you say so.."
Kenai put a reassuring paw on her shoulder. "I'm sure."
It became so silent around them, that they could hear were the mammoths' footsteps, and Koda snoring. Birds flew over them, chirping happily. They saw a mother fox with her young foxcub laying over by some bushes.
All was peaceful, until they came to a grassy area with trees, and a twig snapped, attracting the mammoths's attention. Fearing that they were being followed by a hunter, the frightened mammoth herd broke into a run.
"Woah, hang tight, Kia!" Kenai said, gripping onto the mammoth for dear life.
Kia nodded, but they were moving so fast, she lost her balance and almost fell off the mammoth's back, but thankfully Kenai grabbed her bear mane in his jaws, and helped pull her back onto the mammoth safely.
"Thanks." Kia said smiling gratefully at Kenai.
The larger brown bear nodded. "Just make sure you hold on- tight!" he warned.
Kia nodded, and clutched onto Kenai. He blinked, surprised. That wasn't exactly what he had meant....but who cared? He held onto the mammoth with one paw, and gripped her protectively with the other paw, so that she wouldn't fall again, as the mammoth herd sped on..
Meanwhile, back at the clearing where the twig snapped, two moose brothers stepped out from behind the trees.
"Hey! Wait for us eh!" They called, but the mammoth herd did not stop running.
"Oh gee eh, why did they run off? We just wanted a little protection from that hunter... not to mention and you were going to let me drive this time!" One of the moose, known as Rutt complained.
"Well, maybe if someone hadn't stepped on a twig, they wouldn't have been scared, and ran away before we could catch up!" the other moose, Tuke said accusingly.
Rutt glared at his brother. "Well you were in the way, and I couldn't see where I was going! So it's your fault!" He paused. "Pinecone breath!"
"Crusty tail!" Tuke shot back.
Rutt inhaled a deep breath, and said nothing for a moment. "You went too far that time..." he muttered, walking away.
"Sorry! Hey! Where you goin'?" Tuke called after his brother, who was walking in the direction the mammoth herd had walked.
"I'm going to catch up with those bears, that way if we run into the hunter, I will be safe!" Rutt called back.
Tuke ran after him. "Well wait for me, eh!" He said as they headed in the direction the mammoths were going..
Eventually, the mammoth herd stopped running, as they came to a river, and placed their trunks in the water, to get a drink.
Kenai looked at Kia. "I guess this is as far as we are going to get on this herd. So let's grab Koda and go."
Kia nodded. "Ok." she said and turned to Koda, who was barely awake. "C'mon, Koda...we gotta get going."
Koda stiffled a yawn. "Aww...can't I have just a few more months?" he muttered in his sleep.
Kia laughed, and shook her head. "I'm afraid not." she replied, "Now c'mon!"
The cub sleepily opened one eye and stood up. Okay...let's go..." as he was saying this, however, the cub was sliding back off his paws.
Kia rolled her eyes and giggled. "Ok, I guess I'll carry you." she picked Koda up by his mane, and carefully stood up, trying to keep her balance on the mammoth's back.
Kenai, already off the mammoth and on the ground, looked up at her, waiting. She slipped and stumbled many times, but at long last, the white bear had made it off the mammoth, still carrying Koda in her mouth. She layed the cub down on the ground. "Alright then, time to go, Koda!"
Koda opened his eyes and looked up at Kia. "Aww, Kia. I'm still so tired from our talk last night....can I please ride on your back for awhile?"
Kia nodded, with a giggle. "Alright, climb on." she said, crouching down so the sleepy bear cub could get on her back. Koda made himself comfortable on her back, then she and Kenai started off again. Kia looked up at him, then smiled at Kenai.
"He's so cute when he's sleeping.." she said softly, so the bear cub wouldn't wake up.
Kenai snickered. "Yep, that's because he's not talking when he sleeps!"
He and Kia laughed, for they both knew this was true. When they had stopped laughing, Kia turned to Kenai, a serious look on her face.
"I know...But at least you have him... He may talk a lot, but at least you're not alone in the world..." she frowned, as she realized now Kenai would probably ask what she meant, and she would have to talk about her past. She was right.
Kenai stopped walking for a moment and stared at her. "What do you mean?"
Kia smiled sadly at him. "What I mean, is that you two have each other....while I have nobody....my mother's gone...and my father walked out on us when I was young...I've had no friends since...I was too afraid to get close to someone else, only to lose them to one of those "monsters's sticks"..."
Kenai looked at her, sympathy in his eyes. This poor bear was all alone? She had no family....no friends- except for him and Koda.
"What happened to your mother?" he asked, though he realized this was a touchy question, as he saw the hurt in Kia's eyes as she stopped walking completely and turned away.
"My mother was killed when I was a cub." she said shakily, taking a seat on the ground.
Kenai put a sympathetic paw on her shoulder. "What happened?"
Kia sighed unhappily. "Hunters happened Kenai....it all started on an ordinary day...my mother and I were just roaming the forest, as happy as a mother and daughter could be. Then, she smelled something strange....it was coming right at us....Mother told me to hide in the bushes, and promised that we would see each other again, no matter what.....boy was I wrong to believe her..."
Kenai's ears flattened back against his skull. "What do you mean?"
"Well, I had barely gotten into the bushes to hide when a hunter attacked my mother. She fought so good, and I remember silently cheering her on. It seemed like she would win, once she got that monster backed up against a cliff. But then...." Kia stopped a moment.
"Then?" Kenai pressed gently.
"...Then he took out one of those "sticks", and rammed it into my mother's chest. I knew then it was all over......" Kia finished, her voice cracking with emotion. "Kenai I witnessed my mother's death!" The white and brown bear started to sob uncontrollably.
Koda, being disturbed from his nap, climbed down off of Kia's back and lay down under a tree to sleep.
Kenai looked over at Koda for a second, and then he put a comforting paw around her. "There, there...it'll be ok..." he said, trying to calm her down.
'Poor Kia...' he thought sadly, 'She's been through so much...she's terrified of hunters..I hate to think about how she'd react if I told her about my transformation...'
Kia turned to Kenai, and atempted to stop sobbing. "'O-okay...enough about me...I-I'm slowing you down....let's keep moving.."
She started to get up, but Kenai pulled her back down on the ground, by him. "You're not slowing me down, Kia. I asked you to tell me...I didn't realize how much it would upset you, so let me try to help you feel better at least." He pulled her into a big bear hug. "I'm really sorry about your mother..."
Kia hugged him back. "It's not your fault, Kenai..my mother told me that she and I were being hunted for our fur....I still am....remmember that hunter that chased me yesterday? He's the same one who killed my mother."
Kenai looked at her, a shocked expression on his face. "I'm so sorry, Kia..I wish there was some way I could help you...Hey! You could stay with Koda a-"
Kia, sensing what he was about to say, broke the hug and turned away uncomfortably. "That's okay, Kenai. I don't need a family...I'm used to being on my own...Besides, I already said I was leaving, once we've arrived at the Salmon Run...I wouldn't want to go back on my promise.." she walked over to Koda and picked him up, flinging him onto her back. "C'mon, let's go."
Kenai got up and looked at her, sadness in her eyes. "But Kia...Koda and I wouldn't mind, and you need someone to keep you safe..."
Kia started walking quickly, obviously ignoring Kenai. "Let's just keep moving." she said, ending the conversation.
Kenai sighed sadly, as he started to trot alongside Kia. Why wouldn't she let him help her? He wished she wasn't so stubborn...Well, maybe somehow he could change her mind, during their journey.
Now that he knew more about her though, Kenai vowed silently to himself that he would try not to ask questions about what might seem like touchy subjects. Obviously Kia had had a rough life...growing up without a mother and all....
He caught her looking at him quizzically, and flashed her a small smile. He was relieved when she returned it, because it meant she was not angry with him.
As he and Kia walked on, Kenai began trying to come up with any way he could change Kia's mind about leavingg once they reached the Salmon Run..
There. That's all for now. I hope everyone liked this chapter!