Chapter One

The sun was rising and the animals of Pride Rock were barely waking. He dug his claws into the hard soil beneath him, slinking closer to the zebra. It was completely oblivious. He sunk closer to the ground, flexing his paws. His eyes were dead-locked on the prey. Slowly letting out air, he lunged at the zebra catching it off guard. The zebra ran, but the lion was too close. He caught onto the zebra's back, taking it down. He slowly stepped over his prey, snapping the neck. He smiled, satisfied with his kill and slowly dragged the carcass to his pack.

"Kiara, your father is looking for you." The hornbill flew over the lioness's shoulder. Kiara rolled his eyes at him, annoyed by his very presence.

"Okay, okay Zazu. I'll get to him. Have you by any chance see Kovu?" she tilted her head to the side, a bit worried about her missing love. Zazu shook his head. Kiara frowned at his reply and looked down with a sigh. He had been out for quite some time now. Knowing him he probably got himself into some sort of trouble. She shrugged off the though. "I might as well go see what my dad wants." She said half to herself. Zazu nodded and didn't say a word, sensing Kiara's distress.

Kiara padded slowly out of the den, spotting her father on the plains below. She hurried into a half trot and met him halfway down Pride Rock. She smiled at him and he smiled back. She rubbed his cheek and purred. "Hey Daddy."

"Kiara," he nodded. "I need you and Kovu to look after the Pride Lands for a few. I have to leave for a little bit."

"Why?" Kiara asked. She was curious, but was definitely ready to take on the task given to her. She felt proud. She could finally feel what it was like to be in control for a little while. She fidgeted with excitement.

"I need to deal with a couple of 'visitors' outside." His voice was concerned, yet fearless. It sent chills up Kiara's back. She twitched her tail.

"Be careful." she nuzzled her father. She then looked up and laughed. "You should be telling me this." Kiara flashed her brilliant smile. Her dad smiled back.

"I will. Be safe and don't make any rash decisions." He eyed her seriously.

"I won't Daddy." She nodded with reassurance. They nuzzled one last time and he set off. Kiara watched with her ears back as he walked away. A dragging noise distracted her and she looked up seeing Kovu. She smiled with joy at the sight of him, and looked shock at the kill.

"I was going to go get us food babe. You didn't have to." She laid her ears back with appreciation. Kovu looked up and her and smirked. He stepped closer, resting his chin on the top of her head.

"I was up first. Plus I need to stay in shape." He took his chin off her head and looked at her. He winked and flashed a smile, then nudged the kill towards her. "You get the first meal," he said. Kiara went in hungrily, filling Kovu's eyes up with satisfaction. He loved pleasing Kiara. Kiara soon finished and looked up, licking the blood off her lips.

"That's attractive." Kovu laughed. He perked his ears up at the sound of grass rustling. His eyes narrowed and he tensed. Kiara copied, looking around for any sign of trouble.

Kovu sneered at Kiara to be still. She did as she was commanded. The rustling came closer and a familiar smell filled their noses.