Her paws began to ache; the pads were scraped and bruised from running, leaving tints of blood wherever she ran. But she would not stop, no, not until the precious cargo she carried was safe from their pursuers. Dangling unconsciously in her mouth, was a brownish gold cub, like the lioness herself he was covered in wounds though minor compared to hers for she had taken the blunt of most of the attacks.

Casting a quick look over her shoulder, sapphire eyes searched through the dense darkness for any sign of their pursuers but there was none however she knew better then to stop even though her body was telling her too. She could feel herself losing more and more strength with each passing second, with every stride she took to get her precious cargo to safest place possible.

Her knowledge of the land told her they were nearing the borders, it was too late to go back now if they did they would surely be killed off before they could even reach the Pride for help.

Then she heard a sound that made her blood run cold, their laughter…her laughter. Tears stung her eyes, squeezing out past her eyelids which she clenched tight to try and keep them at bay but they soon found their way out and down her cheeks dripping down her muzzle to the cub dangling in her clenched teeth.

Her ears perked when she heard it, the sound of paws scraping along the ground, they were drawing nearer and in all directions. The young lioness stopped in her tracks putting her cub down on his paws at her own and looked which way and that her heart beating wildly in her chest while she stared through the darkness to try and catch sight of their pursuers.

"Mommy?" the cub at her paws whimpered.

"Shh, it'll alright my little one!" the lioness bent her head and rubbed it against her sons then she heard them again. Their laughter growing louder, but she still could not see them; the lioness positioned herself above her cub her teeth bared as she finally spotted their figures approaching in the distance from all sides.

"There is nowhere to run!"

Her head snapped up and toward the right where she found a pair of glowing amber eyes glaring at her from the darkness. "Stay away!" she roared.

"But we only want to play!" the voice laughed followed by many others. Below her the cub quivered in fear and pressed himself closer to his mother's legs to try and hide himself from view. "Come play with us Queenie!" the figures in the dark drew in closer, their eyes gleaming in the darkness while their laughter rung in her ears as they surrounded the Queen. "Time to die!"

The lioness's eyes widened trying to move she found she couldn't, her paws seemed to be stuck to the ground and would not budge no matter how hard she tried to make them. All around her the shadowy figures closed in, their laughter turning to menacing growls. "Mommy…" tearful whimpers sounded beneath her.

Lowering her frantic gaze to the cub that coward beneath her paws, it was then she knew if her life was lost she would try and keep her son alive. She had to make sure he lived and got away. Reaching down she grabbed his neck between her teeth and with all her might tossed him through the air up over the shadowy figures that leapt at her pinning her to the ground their teeth tearing into her flesh.

The lioness struggled to fight them off her but more just jumped into the fray, their claws joining their teeth as they tore her apart as she roared in pain. "Now it's the little prince's turn!"

The Queen's eyes widened and she struggling harder against those she fought when several a pairs of paws held her down her eyes watching the amber eyed figure approach her cub. "No…no…please no!" she cried out. Why didn't her cub run? Why was this happening? "No! Please! Don't hurt him!" she screamed as the figure only laughed until its laughter was not the only thing she heard.

"Mommy, help!" the cub cried as the figure pounced and darkness swallowed her precious cub up till she could see no more of him. 'NO!"