Sorry for being late yet again. I'm facing life changing events and I need to catch up on my studies. I will asure you guys that this fic will be completed. Please enjoy this remarkable piece of literature of mine. Don't forget to review!

The Night to Remember

The night that all the animals were waiting for had finally arrived. Tomo Tomo, self proclaim hottest hippo in the savannah had thrown a party. The sun buried itself beyond the mountains giving the moon its rightful place in the night sky. All the animals gussied themselves for the party. Rumor has it that this will be the party of the century.

The girl hippos glittered themselves with shells and flowers while the boys polished their teeth or tooth. The giraffes decorated their necks with leaves and braches. The zebras and gazelles glazed their hooves for the party.

They got the flowers from the Flowering Grounds and the polish from the dew. The animals were innovative when it came to personal appearances.

Even the carnivores surrendered themselves to personal grooming. The cheetahs cleaned their furs, got rid of fake spots and squeezed some fruit juice into their mouths to dispel the rotting meat breaths.

"Corin, what do you think I should where?" asked the beautiful cheetah to her friend, "The blue flower or the pink one?"

Corin was busy herself. But she would always have time for her friend, "The blue one."

"The pink one it is then," Ariana did the opposite of her friend's choice.

"Hey, I said the blue one?!" exclaimed the frustrated gazelle.

The female cheetah giggled, "I know. I pick the other cuz everyone knows you have worst taste in colors"

"What!? How could you…"

"Just kidding," Ariana gave a nudge on the head.

Corin too was preparing herself for the party. She polished her horns and stuck a daisy on it. She even wore some leafy bracelets.

"You're going with Shazu right?"

"Yeah, I hope I dazzled him tonight," said Corin.

"You will dazzle him girl. Just try not to embarrass your self," said Ariana, hoping that Corin won't humiliate herself at the party.

The lions too were getting prepare for the big party. The male didn't put much effort in their grooming. All they need to do was to keep their mane, the utmost important piece of their exterior neat and well-groomed. The females however, were busy with their own exterior. For them, their whole body needs to look sexy yet pleasant.

Zuba arrived at Florrie's cave looking rather ravishing with his mane almost neat. His tail and whiskers were slightly straightened and his fur was groomed. With confidence in his mind, he let out a, "Hello! I'm here to pick up Florrie."

"What is it? We're busy here!" Lars came out from the darkness of the cave. He saw Zuba standing in front of him, smiling nervously.

"So you're the cat that hurt my daughter the other day," said Lars, glaring at Zuba like a hawk.

Zuba's smile didn't move an inch. "Oh, you've known… hehehe," he laughed nervously.

"What father won't know about his daughter's problem?" Lars asked a rhetorical question.

"Um-um uhhh..." Sweat started poring out of Zuba. What to do? What to say? went his mind. Minutes passed as Zuba and Lars battle in a mind game outside the cave.

In the cave, Florrie was rushing here and there, trying to make herself look perfect. She dabbed some powder on her cheeks, hiding the healing scar; fearing the complexion defection would ruined her appearance and Zuba's view towards her. She also had tough time trying to put a Morning Glory on her head in various positions. It was a complete tragedy. "Mom, how do I look?"

"You look beautiful dear," replied Mona, glancing at her beautiful daughter.

"Does my fur look ruffled? How's my face? Should I go with or without the flower?" asked Florrie, highly worrying about her appearance.

Mona let out a giggle which led Florrie to confusion. "What's so funny?" Florrie asked, "Does the scar look visible?!"

"No, not that. It's just, for the first time you're worrying on your looks," Mona smiled at her daughter, "At first, you didn't even like Zuba and now, look at you."

Florrie could understand what her mother was trying to say. She had indeed fallen for Zuba. She didn't how but it happened and that's enough for an explanation. "Mom, I want to thank you…"

"Thank you for introducing Zuba into my life."

"Your welcome honey. I know you'll be happy with him," Mona hugged her daughter. Sharing her love and care with her child.

"So what's your plan with dad tonight?" the daughter asked. Mona and her husband weren't planning to go to the party as they were not that young to enjoy loud music and wild dancing.

Mona beamed, "It's a secret. But I think your dad will gonna be surprised."

Florrie giggled to the thought. The thought then became slightly gross and she shooked her head to cleanse her mind. "Ewww!" she stuck her tongue out.

"We better see how Zuba and your father are doing. Knowing your father, he's probably torturing that poor boy."

Florrie giggled at the statement and walked with her mom to the cave entrance.

Zuba was sitting on the couch, letting the harsh and offensive words sank into his right ear and let it out of his left ear. He was tired of getting lectured at. He held a yawn to not be disrespectful to the old feline.

"Lars, stop yellin' at the boy!" Mona appeared as well as Florrie. Lars silenced him self.

Florrie stared at her fiancée, almost rot from boredom, "Zuba, are you okay?"

"Yeah I'm fine… Here," He placed a butterfly on her head, the same butterfly they chased yesterday.

"Oh my god! How did you get it?" asked the thrilled Florrie.

"Lets just say: It wasn't easy," he said and raised his arm, signing that he wanted to walk her to the party.

Florrie took his arm and paced together with Zuba out of the cave, ignoring her parents argument.

As they were five feet away from her home Mona shouted something that made Florrie blushed, "Have a good time! Be back as late as possible!"

"What the- Be back at precisely before midnight!" Yelled Lars, opposing his wife. "You here me!? Midnight"

Florrie just raised her hand and wave her parents goodbye backwards. As she dropped her hand, Lars was intantly dragged into the hollow cave.

Florrie snuggled closer to Zuba as they walked the way to the party.

They talked about little stuff on their journey like favorite colors, favorite number, hobbies, and other stuff that made them ticked. As they got closer to the party, the beating of drums and strumming of guitars could be heard.

Pebbles and stones tremble to the cadence and trees and bushes glimmer with fireflies. It could be seen that the party already had started.

"Hey, what took you so long?" Ty punched Zuba shoulder.

Zuba rubbed his sore spot, "Sorry, had problems with the in-laws."

"You aren't married yet but you talked like a newlywed, lighten up!"

"Sure, I can do that!" he followed his friend to the snack table.

Florrie meet up with Ariana and Corin who was busy gossiping beside the punch.

"Oh my gosh! Where did you get that headpiece?" Ariana exclaimed in admiration to the butterfly on the lioness head.

"Zuba got me this," she blushed proudly, "It's the same one that we caught yesterday…"

Corin giggled with joy, seeing her once lonely friend blush about her mate, "You seemed in a good mood… Wanna join the conversation?"

Florrie joined in and they started chatting about their mates. Ariana complained about Ty's fear of commitments while Corin jabbered about Shazu's sensitivity. Florrie just listen to the chatters, not wanting to complain or brag about Zuba.

However, in heart, she wanted to tell them that he's the sweetest, lovable, not-bad type of lion she ever laid eyes on. They may start roughly at the beginning but every passing minute the gap between them had gotten closer.

Tomo Tomo, the main attraction of festival had surrounded himself with female hippos. He flirted with each one of them and with each arousing mash their hearts melted like ice cream melted in hot summer's day. For a host, he was definitely bad at greeting other guesses except female ones.

"Enough of this chitter-chatter let's DANCE!" Florrie led her girls to the dance area and waved at Zuba who was currently alone at the snack table. Seeing her fiancée in slight depression, she boogied her way to him. "Why aren't you dancing?"

Zuba ignored Florrie's question and glance at his friend Ty who was having the time of his life with Ariana. He shifted his sight to Corin who also boogeing with Shazu. He chuckled in his throat seeing Shazu almost lost his hooves trying to keep up to the rhythm. Ehem! An annoyed sound came out.

"Oh, sorry," he met Florrie's eyes, "I just don't feel like dancin'"

Florrie arched a brow to the response, "C'mon! It's no fun dancin' alone." She widened her eyes attempting to lure him in her trap.

Unfortunately, Zuba didn't buy it, "Not gonna work this time."

She softened her eyes and took his paw, "What's the matter?"

Zuba didn't want to talk about it but the soft strokes of her fingers on his paw made him had no other option. He rapidly whisper…

"Uh, could you speak a little louder. The music is louder than you or you need me to slow down the tune?" she threatened him. Great, all he needs is everyone to know his little problem. He thought sarcastically.

Florrie leaned her ear near to Zuba as he slowly spoke in rapid speed, "IsaidIcan'tdance…"

"You can't dance!?" she saw Zuba's blush under his tanned fur, "Is that what's bugging you?"

Zuba nodded, still blushing. He didn't want anyone to know especially his fiancée that he can't dance. At that time, he thought Florrie would laugh but it was otherwise. She snaffled him by the arm and dragged him to the dance area. She than winked at him, "Do as I do, okay…"

Zuba was totally confused to the situation. Now, there are animals around him, blocking his way from getting out. Great no escape hatch available, he thought. Having no other options he reluctantly shifted his feet from left to right, hoping that it would look as if he was dancing.

"There you go!" Florrie cheered, dancing friskily. The beat than got stronger and faster, the sounds of the pounding drums pierce their ears and sending vibes of fury. Zuba got confused with the beat and began to bump the other dancers. After several embarrassing attempts to recover his rhythm, Florrie to his arm and saved him from any more humiliations. "Here, try to move in a small radius," she advised.

Zuba kept a slow beat and tried the best he can to avoid the other animals. It was his luck that nobody noticed him. "Hmm.. this dancing is not that hard," Zuba smirked, his ego rising from toe to head. "Hey, your getting good at this!" Florrie cheered Zuba as she saw him keeping up the pace. Not a moment longer, Zuba had synchronized his steps with Florrie. The beating of the drums stayed in a frequent beat, giving the other dancers a chance to catch up.

"Wow, I didn't know you could learn that fast," astonished Florrie.

"Neither did I," Zuba consented. Trying not to break a sweat, his feet kept grooving to music.

"See, dancin' is easy."

"Yeah, well I don't think I would this again tomorrow," Zuba noted, his feet exhausted. And the day after that and after that and so on.

After a while, the vibration of the air soothed, the ground pounding cadence faded as the tune of a wooden flute entered. It filled the air with so much calmness that all the raving animals stopped and gazed upon their partners. A second later, the strum of guitars and harps was heard. It was clear to say that it was time for a delight waltz, a gradual ballet, a slow dance in other words.

Ariana wrapped her arms around Ty's neck while he wrapped his arm around waist and slowly swished their bodies left to right. They were followed by Corin and Shazu and then the other animals stepped in. All eyes locked to their partners and gradually basking their body in the magnificent tunes that filled their hearts with joy and passion.

For Zuba and Florrie, they just stood their waiting for one of them to make a move. Their eyes pierced each other with confusions and expectations. Zuba slowly mouthed, "Can you slow dance?"

Florrie mouthed a "no" as a reply, and shook her head.

It was a silent conversation that only those both could comprehend,

"So what should we do?"

"I don't know!?"

Suddenly, a near by dancing hippo accidentally shoved Zuba on the back causing him to draw closer to Florrie, and rammed her. Florrie closed her eyes, bracing herself for the impact of the ground but she was stunned to discern that nothing happened. She felt as if she was floating in mid air with her back being pressed by a gentle force.

As she opened her eyes, she saw that Zuba was an inch in front of her. The thing that caught her intention was the emitting blaze in his eyes. A blaze of pure passion and touching emotions. The glimmer in his eyes reflected on hers, giving her the decoded message that he yearns to tell her.

In Zuba's case, his arms were getting tired from holding Florrie from falling. His muscles rippled and contracted to support her weight. He could just lift her up straight, but no. Something in this situation had made his whole limbs idle. He was feeling content when his paw gently bears her back. His whole body went through a system shut down with only his eyes and heart could only operate. With his heart pounding his rib cage violently and his eyes were glowing furiously, he could not do anything until…

"Umm… Zuba…" Florrie spoke nervously. Waiting for a reply, Florrie's body started quivering from the frigid twilight winds. "Huh, oh!" Zuba gained consciousness. He pulled Florrie to an up right position, "Sorry.. You were.."

"Falling… yes, I know…" she continued.

They stood silence as there was nothing more to say or quote in that matter. The air intensity grew warmer and less vibrant. Surrounded by waltzing animals, they felt uncomfortable being the only ones to not do anything but stood there.

Zuba cleared his throat and took a step forward, lending and open paw to Florrie, "Can I have this dance." There was a pinch of nervousness and diffidence in the lion's voice.

Florrie was relieved that he finally asked her. She was getting tired of waiting and wanted to get her groove drive back on. The lioness nodded and took his paw.

Zuba shift his arms onto her waist and slowly swayed it side to side. Florrie basked the warm feeling on her hips and swathe her arms on his neck. Gradually following his rhythm, she continued to fix her eyes on his. The vigorous flame was still alive; it's fiery warmth radiated to her fur.

Finally she had come to a realization. Zuba is her prince charming. Her dream had not been put away. In contrast, it was coming true. She did not need to search the whole world for it; it was already in front of her. And there she was, dancing with him; having no regrets or doubts of doing so.

The gentle melody that had been playing for so long had gotten more intense. Zuba's heart began to beat faster and stronger. His eyes were locked on Florrie, who was now sinking her head on his furry tanned chest, burdening it down. A burden on his chest he was willing to take.

"Zuba…" Florrie said through his torso.

"Yeah…" Zuba replied contently as he felt her breathing through his fur.

Florrie lifted her head, eyes sparkling like there were diamonds, "I… I love you…"

There it was. The sentence that had been through her mind a long time. The words that had been strangling her throat since the day at the Flowering Grounds. At last she was bestowed the courage to let Zuba know her true feelings towards him.

Zuba on the other hand was stunned. He was disappointed that she was the first to express her feelings, as a male lion it was supposed to be his role to take the first leap of faith. But at the same time, he was eased to know that this relationship wasn't one sided. He took a deep breath and let out, "I love you too."

Not a minute to waste, their lips came in contact with each other. It was their first kiss. It was not a friendly peck nor it was a lustful make out; it was just the kind of kiss that would bind their hearts together.

"Awh, look at that," Ariana cooed at the cute scenery. "Way to go you guys!" she cheered, encouraging them with the public shown of affection.

"Hey, c'mon don't embarrass them in front of the crowd," Ty commented, feeling a little unease.

"Why not? Jealous?" she conclude.

"Yup…" he smirked shamelessly.

"So come here tiger!" Ariana pulled down Ty for a deep and passionate lip lock. Both panthera couples stayed in their embraces for as long as the music kept going. Fireflies began to appear and tenderly float in the air. The music soften as the fireflies began to twirl and flutter above the lovers. The twilight breeze swooshed around them, bringing the flowers on the ground to join the waltz. As the animals continued to take pleasure in party, the beautiful night's sky had vividly revealed a cluster of shining stars, brilliantly casted their sharp rays upon those who would bask in the dark.

This night was the most cherished night ever, thought Florrie with a hint gratefulness.

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