Shira was lying on the ground gazing at the sea. It was the only home she knew, whatever, if there was anything, that came before it was blurred by time. Now she was here, unshackled from her past and with friends, and Diego. Diego. He had a soft heart but was scared to show it, and Shira was in love with him. Her heart ached for real companionship but she could never bring it up. It was embarrassing, Shira knew Diego loved her too but they kept it themselves even though it was common knowledge by now.

She still had doubts; her life had changed so much lately. How could she live confined on a single island, not being spurred through the ocean with the wind on her back? Her heart clenched, she saw Diego approaching. She watched him lie down next her, careful not to touch her. She smiled, those doubts left, but were still hiding in the back of her mind.

"So..uh, how are you adjusting to life here?" he asked, shyly gazing at her.

"It's hard, I feel constricted on this island, not roaming the seas."

"Well, that boat was smaller than this island, wouldn't that be a prison?"

That startled Shira; she never thought it that way. That boat was smaller than this island and more crowded. She was practically a slave. It now seemed like a disheartening song with a deceptively happy tune.



"I..uh was thinking that, uhm…"

Shira smirked, raising an eyebrow. "Yes?" She loved playing on his shyness.

Diego panicked at the interest in her voice. "Urh..uh, well, I was..uh, wanting, no I mean hoping that, uh…"

Shira tackled him and pinned him. "No need to talk, I know EXACTLY what your planning." She purred.

Diego was lost in her eyes and grasping for words.

Shira lightly closed his closed his jaw and purred "No talking, k' softie?" as she slowly brought her face closer to Diegos.

Diego started purring and closed his eyes, but Shira used this to her advantage and flung some dirt in his face and bolted off laughing. "You have to work for your rewards, softie!" Diego was coughing completely flabbergasted by the sultry tigress. He couldn't let her do this! He had to show he was tough and in control! Diego growled and sprinted after her, excited in the chase.

They ran all over the island having the most fun they ever had, Shira was leading with Diego in close pursuit. Shira tried everything to lose him but he wouldn't give up. He wouldn't give up the beauty in front of him. Not to anything.

Shira looked behind her. She stopped and smiled, he couldn't keep up! And he was a male! He must be really out of shape! Shira had a brilliant idea; she decided to wait in the bushes to ambush him! Shira giggled and silently waited for him.

Time passed and she began to feel weary for keeping her muscles tense. Where is he? What's taking so long? Is he okay? Shira began to worry when Diego shot out of the bushes behind her and tackled her. They wrestled and tried to pin one another. Eventually Diego won, pinning her to the ground.

"Caught. You. Kitty." He said in-between gasps for breath.

He found confidence during their games, something she didn't count on. "Now where's my reward?" he said.

Shira didn't want this to happen, not yet. "Well uh…"

He interrupted. "Shira. I love you."

Shira stared into his shining emerald eyes, completely shocked.

He grinned. "So shocked?"

It wasn't the fact he was in love with her. It was that he confessed.

His grin faltered. "Shira?"

Tears started to swell in her eyes. She couldn't do it! She was a frightened coward. After all this she couldn't say it, but the shy one could! Shira shoved him off and vanished into the forest, tears streaming down her face.

"Shira?" Diego whispered, heartbroken.

Shira ran through the forest. Her heart crying out. She knew his hear was probably broken now. She refused his love just because she couldn't offer hers. She felt selfish. She collapsed, emotionally stressed and cried. She thought of everything they had been through. Every moment they spent together. She fell into a fitful sleep, surprised at how tired she was.

When she awoke the sun was falling. She looked at the beauty of the light dancing on the water and came to a realization. Every second she was with Diego was beautiful. A kind of beauty that none other could match. The world or she never felt as alive as when she was with him. She needed him, no they needed each other.

Shira ran to find Diego; she had to repair the damage.

He was standing on a cliff, watching the sun go down. He didn't notice her.

A doubt attacked her. How can I love when I'm afraid to fall?
But watching him stand alone made all of her doubt suddenly go away somehow.

She took one step closer.

Time seemed to stand still. Nothing but she and Diego mattered right now.

She must be brave; she will not let anything take away what's standing in front of her.

Every breath, every hour has come to this.

She took one step closer.

One more step closer.

Diego looked at her and smiled. "Don't be afraid."

Shira laughed. "Sweet talking doesn't sound natural coming from you."

Her laugh faltered, a tear dropped down her cheek. "Diego I'm sorry, I was a coward but I love you too."

Diego licked her cheek. "Apology accepted. We need each other.

Shira smiled. "So what were you planning earlier?"


Shira purred and kissed him, intertwining with him as the sun dipped into the sea.

They were together, forever.