Chapter 12: The Kiss…

The two owls retreat to Ezylryb's hollow. Autumn is sitting there with tears in her eyes as Ezylryb doesn't know what to do. He doesn't know if she would allow him to hug her, in this emotional state she doesn't have much control over her anger and crying. He then walks up and hugs her and she hugs him back. He lets go after a moment.

"Thanks for caring about me. No one would really give a damn actually." Autumn says with a sad smile

"Hey, I wanted to tell you that you did a good job at yelling at the bastard." Ezylryb smiles

"Thanks." Autumn replies

Autumn then gets up and walks over to the window. She likes looking out the window as there is a beautiful view of the city centre and the horizon from here. Ezylryb comes beside her and sits next to her.

"Beautiful isn't it?" She asks

"We live in a lovely place, Autumn. The Ga'Hoole tree is always beautiful." He replies

"This reminds me of when I was younger. Reminds me of my first boyfriend. Sure, we never had done anything, not even kissed, but I loved him. Sadly he died some time ago and I have never been able to find anyone like him ever again." Autumn sadly admits

"Well… sometimes I am reminded of someone who was dear to my heart." He sadly admits also

"Wasn't it your dead wife? I sorta learned about what happened." She asks

"She died a while ago and I haven't been able to find anyone like her since. I had sworn to never fight again… That is why I changed my name and declared myself a pacifist." He replies

"I guess that sometimes things happen and things will never be the same." She sadly smiles

"I guess…" Ezylryb replies

"My boyfriend did try protecting me from my brother… he had been bifurcated because my brother used his blade and sliced the crud out of him. He died keeping me safe." She sadly admits

They then turn to face each other and are caught in a loving stare. Autumn's eyes are twinkling from all the tears and also in the gentle candlelight. They have deep thoughts about this moment and both owls are thinking the same sort of thing.

"Mama said that I was going to find true love… she said that someday my prince will come… Are you my prince, Ezylryb?" Autumn thinks to herself

"Looking into those golden hazel eyes can see that you have loved and lost, but I will never leave you… I wish I could say what I want to tell you…" Ezylryb thinks

Their thoughts stop and both the owls feel like time has stop as they then edge in close. Ezylryb places his wing on her shoulder and she blushes as she feels shivers in her spine. She touches his face delicately with her wing as they come closer and closer. Their beaks are almost about to meet when they look each other in their eyes for the last time before closing them. Then as Autumn feels the breath of Ezylryb on her neck they both lean in for the kiss and their beaks meet for a beautiful and loving kiss that would last forever. Their tongues entwined and hearts beating fast as they savour the moment that will become a moment to remember forever…

if they didn't run out of breath.

They break a moment later and they stare into each other's eyes. The kiss was like a epiphany as they know the truth now.

"Wow…" Autumn sighs, in the magic of the moment

However Autumn thinks harder and realises Allomere was right as she backs away with guilt.

"What's wrong?" He asks

"I am nothing but a whore… he was right…" She breathes

"What?" He asks

"I am just a slut damn it!" She screams

Ezylryb clings to her and makes her look up. She is somewhat shocked from that sudden grasp of her shoulders. The petite spotted owl looks at him with a guilty look upon her face, knowing that words said by her "husband" are true. In reality…

"You are not what he says you are! You are much more than what he thinks and I know it." He tells her

"How…? I just kissed an owl that I am not married to and I am married to someone else and I just…" She replies

"You are a smart, beautiful and a woman full of battle prowess. I had seen what you did back in the Northern Coup. You showed that bastard what a princess can do with a pair of katana. I just…" he says before a silence

"Thank you…" She blushes "What is it that you want to say?"

"I love you, Autumn. I just wanted to tell you. You are just a beautiful owl and… Love at first sight again…" he finally admits

"I love you too, Ezylryb. I have been crushing for a bit, but I thought I was just foolish… I am just merely a petty owlet masquerading in a grown spotted owl body. Incapable of deciding her feelings…" She replies

"I thought myself stupid and a bit of an idiot to be infatuated at age 34, but when I see you… I just don't know how to describe it. You looked beautiful the night we met and I was your tour guide, the only other time I fell for another owl was my deceased mate… but I hearing your voice… It is like angels. matching your body of the Goddess Amara, though smaller and a spotted owl, and mind like the God Winston. Perfection to the last detail." He complements

"I never knew I was beautiful… No one ever has said beautiful things like that before to me… My brother only said that when he was trying to arrange me a marriage. I did have a boyfriend once… but he died. I have never had anyone love me for me since; most suitors just want me for my kingdom… and possibly Allomere too." Autumn blushes

"I love you for who you are, not for your kingdom, nor for the fact you have an inheritance of at least 140 billion shinies. You are perfection like I said. Beauty, smarts and kickass prowess." He smiles

"Wait… How will we keep this secret? I mean… I would fear to know what would happen if they found out about us. My brother would come here, probably call war or worse… kill me for being a quote-unquote "little bimbo-ish whore who should rot in hagsmire"…" She asks

"Secrecy, Autumn. Whenever he isn't around or when we are not near the others, we will be together. I will never let them hurt you, not ever." He explains

"Sounds perfect…" She replies "I love you, Ezylryb."

Autumn smiles as Ezylryb holds her close. He replies with a whisper "I love you too, Autumn…"