The Care Bears
The Confidence Secret
ATTENTION: This chapter contains subjects that may be sensitive to some readers. Read at your own risk.
The sun had just dawning when Champ woke up as usual, wanting to take advantage of the morning hours for morning workouts, although he would have less time on that day, since he would have to help with the dismantling of the Caring Fair. This was annoying to do, but with the exception of Grumpy Bear, no one usually complained, since they knew it was necessary to clear the mess. Luckily everyone would have Q-Bot to help them that day.
The bear prepared to get off the bed when he stopped in time not to step on Hector. He had forgotten that the boy was there, sleeping in a sleeping bag, next to his bed. For a few moments Champ looked at the boy, who slept soundly, and smiled as he imagined what those days would be when he would tutor a child.
It was a good thing it was the athlete's custom not to make a noise when he got up, so that he slipped out of the other side of the bed, went to the bathroom where he fulfilled his morning needs, only to go to the closet to get his clothes. Today he wanted to cross the obstacle course of Care-a-Lot, one of the exercises he loved to do, although not everyone agreed with him, as was the case with the brothers Perfect and Polite.
Slowly Champ picked his gym pants, sweater and his inseparable red band on his head. After all, that was his mark. He had started wearing shortly after his twelfth birthday when he decided that he wanted to set his muscles and get stronger, just for the pleasure of exercising.
After dressing, the bear put on his running shoes, which he wore only for that, because most of the time he liked to be barefoot. He still remembered to turn off the alarm clock and intended to write a note for Hector when he ended up stumbling in his own bed, falling to the ground with great noise.
- Champ? - asked the boy, rising - Are you okay?
- Sorry, Hector, I did not want to wake you - the bear replied, standing up.
- But you're well?
- Yes, I'm perfectly fine. And you, Hector, how were your night?
- I think the best I've had in my entire life. I'm just worried about school and my friends...
- Well, as for school, Grams Bear will be able to continue with his studies, as she does this with Hugs and Tugs. As for your friends, I can look for them and warn them that the plan worked out. Maybe even bring them here for you to see.
- Can you? - asked the boy in a loud and happy voice.
- Calm down, it's too early yet - said Champ, showing that it was not yet six o'clock in the morning.
- And where are you going at this hour? - asked the boy, looking at the bear from top to bottom - You are dressed from head to toe...
- Up to the athletic track.
- Looks cool. Can I go along?
- Of course you can, sport fan - said the sportsman with a small smile - Just do not take too long. In the meantime I'll make you a snack.
Ten minutes later, Hector was already dressed and ready, plus he and the bear had already had a light snack to give them strength. After some warm-ups, the two fired up to run to the lane, which was on the other side of the village, near the gym. Along the way they did not even talk, but they were happy to be together. As they reached the athletic track, the sun began to rise in the sky, and the two were surprised to see that Confidence was already there.
Contrary to what they expected, the fennec was not practicing karate, but doing exercises on the asymmetric bars to give her arms more strength. Champ came to her friend's side and jumped on the bars as well.
- So does the little fox also like bodybuilding? - he asked mockingly.
- Little fox? - she said, not liking the nickname - Shall I show you who the little fox is?
- No, I already know your karate punches to know that I'm going to lose the fight.
That was when Hector jumped on the other side, clutching himself at the bar as well.
- Good morning Confidence - said the boy.
- Good morning, Hector - she said - Well, since Champ does not want to see who the little fox is here, I'll show him to you.
- What do you mean by that? - asked the boy curiously.
Signaling for the boy to accompany her, Confidence let go of the bars and went to the place where she had left the kimono on the floor. Inside an inside pocket, she took a picture and showed it to Hector. Champ, who had stayed in the bars, was also curious and went after the two.
- After all, what are you showing him? - asked the bear to her friend.
- One thing I keep very fondly - she said, showing the photograph to the sportsman - A picture of my adoptive family.
As he took the picture, Champ saw for the first time the face of those whom Confidence had referred to several times over the past few days. The fox approached and began to point with her fingers.
- This is Sage Heart Bear, our father. This is Life Heart Unicorn, and although she is the same age as me, we consider her our mother. This is Sweet Heart Pegasus, the legitimate daughter of Sage and Life, being our youngest sister. This one is Anger Heart Fox, and the other one next to him doing faces is Defiant Heart Badger, being that the two live fighting, but in the background they are friends. This one is Guidance Heart Raccoon, and next to her is Calm Heart Lynx. Next to Anger Heart is Crafty Heart Coyote. The white fox is Snowy Heart, and the other is Passion Heart Wolverine.
- And who is it that you hold hands with? - Hector asked.
The fennec smiled to see who it was indicated to her, and her heart beat wildly for a moment of nostalgia.
- This is my boyfriend, Love Heart Bear - she said slowly.
Champ looked at the bear in the photo, which was lime green, with a sword dangling around his waist, and had a loving, quiet appearance that certainly justified his name. It was not possible to see its symbol by the photo, since the bear was dressed. But for some reason, the sportsman felt jealous of that guy, an uncontrollable and irritating jealousy. Maybe it was the tranquility that showed her face, perhaps the frank way he could see in her muscles and body. Or just the age, which gave him the right to live his adventures the way he wanted. It did not even occur to him that the motive of jealousy might have been Confidence.
For some time he remained silent, staring at the photograph, so much that it attracted the attention of the fennec.
- It's all right? - she asked his friend.
- Yes, it is - he said, returning the photo - I guess I'm just surprised to meet your family. Although we are all a family...
- I think it's so beautiful when you talk like that - Hector commented - This union of you, that love one has for the other. Too bad that not everyone understands this.
The bear tapped the boy's shoulder and smiled at him.
- You'll have it all here, Hector - he said - Let's exercise a bit to be prepared for everything we need to do today.
Champ and Hector walked away as Confidence stared at the family photo for a few more seconds before storing it. It was risky to keep her in her pocket, but she wanted to show it to her friends to feel her heart lighter. Besides, she wondered what was happening to her family at the time...
What neither she nor the sports bear nor the Brazilian boy realized was that they were being watched discreetly by True Heart and Cheer Bear, with the two female bears having their arms crossed and their eyes fixed on the trio. The matriarch had a faint smirk on her lips, while her young companion could barely conceal her jealousy of seeing Champ paying attention to Confidence and Hector.
- That little fox offered... - murmured the pink bear - If I catch her by myself, I swear I'll break her face.
- Do not worry, Cheer, soon those three will have a lesson - said the founding bear, trying to calm the young woman - And I'm sure that when Champ and Confidence find out that we keep our word and torture that kid mercilessly, they'll be afraid of what we can do and will not talk anymore.
- I really hope this happens. Have you prepared the hiding place where we will keep Hector imprisoned and tickled?
- Yes, I spent all night preparing the place. In a few hours he'll be laughing cheerfully as we tantalize his body, and no one, no Champ, no Confidence, no nosy human will stop us. They will regret having confronted me yesterday.
Only lacked an evil laugh at the end of her little speech so that True Heart had expressions and attitudes worthy of No Heart. This attracted the attention of Cheer Bear, who watched her for a few seconds, seeing the wicked smile, the frozen look, the brows furrowed malignantly, the triumphant pose that the matriarch had adopted with her hands on her waist and her legs half open. But the vain young woman was also numb with jealousy, and did not think much about it, she just wanted to teach her boyfriend and that nosy fox a lesson...
He was truly exultant as he saw the image of True Heart reflected on the surface of his magical cauldron. The bear matriarch looked like an authentic villain, cold in his actions and practically not caring about the feelings of others. And best of all is that little by little she could make other bears and cousins stay that way, too. That was surely the perfect plan to destabilize Care Bear Family at once.
- That's right, True Heart Bear, keep acting like that - said the black figure staring at his cauldron and throwing a few dry branches and a few smudgey drops - A little more and you'll allow us to act freely against your Family, which will be too shaken to react.
And he uttered a loud, guffawed laughter as thunder and lightning struck around him, drawn by the wickedness emanating from that cold heart.
- Hey! - shouted Anger Heart, feeling pain - It burns!
- If you had not fought in the middle of the street, you would not be all bruised now - Guidance said quietly - Life Heart, get another cotton swab for me, please.
- Germaine is right - agreed the unicorn, picking up some more cotton - Why did you accept the provocation of that guy and go and fight him? Especially realizing he was drunk...
- But I did not imagine he was going to have the help of three other colleagues to hold me and beat me - Anger said, still moaning - At least two of them left with broken teeth and purple eyes.
- Just like you - said Defiant Heart, walking through the door - Actually, I think you've gotten worse than they did. Four against one...
- I wanted to see if it were you! - said the fox.
- Whoa! You two are not going to fight now, are you? - Life Heart said with a serious tone - And if you're thinking of doing it, I'll punish you right now!
- No, let's not fight - said the badger, bowing his head - Why do not I want Alex to take more punches than he did today.
- What? - shouted Anger, threatening to get up.
- Enough! Stop it, you two - Guidance said - Daniel, if you're not here to help, then please look for something else to do, or shut up. And you, Alex, be quiet so I can finish cleaning your wounds.
Both the fox and the badger were silent, in respect to raccoon and unicorn, and in a few minutes the raccoon finished his service.
- Ready - she said - Just do not fight on the street, let alone with Daniel, okay?
- You want me to promise not to fight? - asked the fox - Then ask him to stop stuffing me...
- I will not stop and you will not make me - said the badger maliciously, and they both started arguing again as they left the room. Life Heart watched them both and shakes her head.
- When will they learn to stop fighting? - asked the unicorn to the raccoon, who kept his things.
- Do you still think they will learn? - Guidance said with a smile.
Life Heart laughed in response, nodding her head amusingly, while the raccoon carefully cleaned and sterilized her medical instruments. Although she was not a trained nurse, Guidance had always had an interest in medicine and kept a first aid kit nearby, just for situations like that experienced by her boyfriend Anger Heart, or as when one of the neighbors had a heart attack principle and she helped until the paramedics arrived. But his true activity and passion were culinary and literature.
- You're right, they'll never stop arguing with each other - Life Heart commented amicably after a few seconds of silence - I think the day they do not fight then something will really be wrong between them. But what about you? It seemed like you wanted to tell me something, before Alex gets home all hurt and asking for help...
- Well... Yes, I wanted to say something - the young woman confessed, looking slightly concerned - It was a dream I had last night. I was in a place that seemed unreal so beautiful it was. I think I can say that it was the sky, because it was formed of clouds, rainbows and hearts. It was when I saw Cassandra in the distance and she was hurrying toward me with open arms, and I was also running toward her to hug her, when a black hole came up behind Cassandra, sucking her in her direction until she disappeared in the dark. Then a strong wind blew the whole dream world, and I felt myself falling into space until I woke up in a cold sweat.
- It certainly is not one of the best dreams to have in one night... Have you talked to Sage Heart about it? After all, he can interpret dreams and can help you discover the meaning of this dream.
- I'd rather not say anything to them. Dad already has to calm down Lloyd constantly, who at all times says he feels that Cassandra is in trouble. I do not want to leave either of the two more worried.
- You really are right. Lloyd and Koran have been very concerned about Cassandra, even because she is very confident and always gets into trouble.
- Otherwise she would not call herself Confidence Heart Fennec and would not have accepted that mission - Guidance Heart re-pondered, making the unicorn laugh - But I think she's doing well, and we're just missing her.
- I hope so, my daughter - Life Heart agreed with a small smile, before the two of them discussed other matters.
The task of cleaning and tidying Care-a-Lot after the Caring Fair was communal. They all helped in some way, being that they usually offered or were chosen by lot. After that, each group was assigned to clear an area of the fair site, and Champ, along with Confidence, Hector, Friend Bear, Secret Bear and Happy Birthday Bear took care of dismantling the tents and taking their materials to the depot in the Forest of Feelings. It might seem a bit tiresome and repetitive, but Hector's countless unsuccessful attempts to make Secret Bear speak aloud, as well as a hilarious scene between Fred and Grumpy Bear minutes before, made everyone work more relaxed and laughing.
- Basically, I've always liked cleaning the house - the boy confessed as he helped Friend carry some boards - I liked to clean my room, and to help our maid Patricia.
- So you're having fun helping us out here, too? - asked Friend Bear, smiling as he passed a board to Champ and Happy Birthday, who carried a cloud truck.
- What's the problem? - Hector asked - Do not you find that fun?
- There's no problem, sport fan - said Champ with a small smile - But I confess that this is an activity I am not very happy about.
- You do not like helping with the housekeeping? - Confidence asked, carrying two boxes of nails - I've always liked to pack my things, too.
- Oh, I'd rather be playing sports or doing bodybuilding - said the sportsman - It's certainly a lot more fun than carrying boards.
Secret approached Friend, whispering in bear's ear. Confidence, with her impeccable hearing, heard the words of the secret bear and laughed at it.
- Secret said you wanted to get away from work - said Friend Bear to Champ, which produced everyone's laughter.
- Of course I'm not running from the chores! But I will not hide that I find this task very boring. Or are you going to say you like it, Secret?
- That's true, why do not you respond to us out loud, Secret? - Hector asked provocatively, receiving a silent smile from the mysterious bear.
- You can try as much as you want, he will never say anything out loud - commented Happy Birthday with a giggle - As for me, I do not mind having to disassemble everything, I just wish the Annual Caring Fair could last a few more days... It's so cheerful when we have parties here.
- I think Funshine and Playful think the same as you - said Friend with a giggle as he and Champ put the last board in the truck - Okay, that lot's already loaded. Come with me, Secret and Happy Birthday, for us to unload the cargo in the Forest of Feelings.
The three bears climbed into the cab of the truck and he soon headed out into the woods, leaving Champ, Confidence, and Hector alone, packing up some materials that were still scattered around. That's when the three realized True Heart was fast approaching.
- Champ! Confidence! I need your help - said the matriarch as she paused in front of the two athletes - Some evil shadows of No Heart are attacking a children's college, and they destroyed an art gymnastics competition by confounding the judges and disrupting the contestants. Can you go there and give a lesson in those shadows?
- You can count on us, True Heart - Champ said with a small smile - We will not let these bodyless creatures ruin anyone's sporting day.
- I agree with Champ - Confidence said with serious expression - We'll leave immediately. Where is the school?
- In Alice Springs, in central Australia - said True Heart, realizing the surprise of the two athletes - Yes, I know it's very far, but there's nothing to do. Maybe it's best that you bring groceries and sleeping bags, because you may not be able to get back today. Come with me to the Hall of Hearts, I will give you instructions on how to get there and who you should look for.
- All right, if there's no other way... - sighed Champ, before looking at Hector - We'll be back soon, sport fan. If you need anything, look for Grams Bear, okay?
- Yes Champ, do not worry - the boy replied with a small smile - Good luck to you and Confidence.
Quickly the two sportsmen followed True Heart Bear, leaving Hector there alone. The boy watched his friends walk away, before he himself began to walk slowly through what was left of the Annual Caring Fair, thinking about how Champ and Confidence were cool and how lucky he was to have friends like them, ready not only for defend it when necessary, but to confront evil anywhere in the world. When he grew up, he wanted to be as brave as the sportsman bear.
At that moment, he passed the few tents that were still fully assembled. There was no one around, as most of the bears and cousins were dismantling the toys on the other side of the Fair. Suddenly, without warning, Hector felt himself gripped tightly by hairy hands, which seized his arms and placed a very smelling cloth over his nose and mouth. The boy struggled to free himself and scream as he wondered what was happening, but quickly the chloroform took effect, his last memory was to see a rosy blur approaching before he fell asleep on the floor...
- Now hand me the wrench, please - Grumpy asked under the carousel engine, only his feet and his outstretched hand were visible.
Fred just looked at the bear and then at the toolbox, with different shapes and utilities he had never seen before.
- And which of those contraptions is the wrench? - said the human of irritated way - I can't even identify a hammer in the middle of this bunch of strange tools! Why do not you use conventional equipment?
- Just because you've never seen tools in this format, it does not mean they're not conventional - said the bear, crawling out of the place where it was, all dirty of grease - In addition, some of these utensils were invented by me and Bright Heart to make our service easier, so they are individual pieces that are not on the market.
- As if I had not realized they were "made in Care-a-Lot"... - murmured the human rolling his eyes - Could not you have produced a little more orthodox tools, at least?
- I did it! - exclaimed Bright Heart, jumping off one of the carousel horses with a small device in his hands.
- You did what? Create more orthodox tools?
- That's not it, he's been able to create a portable device that lets locate people who need the help of Care Bear Family - Q-Bot explained in his robotic voice but full of feelings - So the bears and cousins will not depend exclusively on the Caringmeter for locate your next missions.
- Wait, I thought you two were helping us to dismantle the carousel! - Grumpy grumbled, frowning - I mean, while I was working to dismantle the engine of the toy and put up with the grunts of this human, were you two having fun with a new invention?
- What did you mean by "enduring the grumblings of this human"? - Fred asked slowly, pointing to himself - You've complained all morning!
- Well, I think the two of them equalized - said the raccoon with a smile - Besides, Grumpy, while as you did not finish disassembling the engine, I Q-Bot could not begin to disassemble the main shaft. I just took the time to create something new and it will help us a lot in our missions.
- You always say that... Well, and how does your new invention work?
- It's very simple! This device, which I call Personal Locator, serves both to track bears and cousins from the Hall of Hearts and to locate our next targets. The information of the child or adult to whom we must help will appear on the screen as well as its geographic position, saving us time and allowing the entire mission to be monitored. Do you want a demonstration?
- Yes, that sounds interesting - Fred commented curiously - Frank is funding the rollout of the Global Positioning System, maybe he might even be interested in helping you improve your invention.
Quickly the raccoon turned on the device, which began to emit a few lights, while technical information began to appear on the display. Grumpy, Q-Bot, and Fred were staring intently at Bright Heart, and they realized that a look of surprise came over his face.
- What happened? - asked the bear maliciously - Did your invention not work this time either?
- Well, I... Maybe there's a mistake... - the inventor murmured, scratching his head - It's indicating that someone needs help right here in the Kingdom of Caring.
- This is very strange, there can be no mistakes - said the robot, opening the lid of his head and taking out a mechanical arm with a laptop computer - I have reviewed all your calculations and they are absolutely correct, the invention can't have failed.
- So I think your invention is working very well and is indicating that you need to help us finish disassembling the carousel, instead of being distracted by nonsense - Grumpy said, handing out a screwdriver and a pliers for the raccoon - Now try to start disassembling the center column, so I can bring the crane and remove the toy cover. Or we'll stay here all day and we will not finish the task.
- In a way he's right, but it's worth your try - Fred agreed with a giggle as he walked away.
Bright Heart stared sadly at his new invention, feeling once again devalued by his friends. It was when Q-Bot came over and passed his long mechanical arm behind the raccoon, hugging him.
- Do not feel that way, Bright Heart, I'm sure your invention is working perfectly - said the robot in friendly tone - Let's finish our service here and then I will help you to revise the printed circuits of the Personal Locator.
- Okay, Q-Bot, thank you for wanting to help me - the inventor said with a grin, before turning off his invention and starting to disassemble the carousel with the robot's help, still wondering if his Locator had failed or really anyone needed of aid in full Kingdom of Caring.
Sky-Heart and Shimmers were about to dismantle the shooting tent, and the guardian bear listened interestedly to his friend's account of the events of last night's meeting, since he had not been there because he had taken Longbow Wolf home.
- And then True Heart insisted that Hector should be tickled by Redemptionheart as a form of initiation to live with the Care Bear Family, and Cheer Bear agreed with her only to provoke Champ and Confidence - said the swordsman as he removed the bolts the structure of the tent - In the end, Noble Heart stood up and declared the meeting over, and Hector would not have to go through any form of initiation or testing to live here with us.
- This is a horrible thing, a father torturing his son for such a banal motive - the wizard bear pondered with a sad look - I wonder what psychological impact such a situation might have on a child as Hector. But the strangest thing to me, if you’ll let me tell you, was to True Heart and Cheer Bear's attitudes.
- I agree with you, they have not acted the right way. It's okay that Cheer is dying of Confidence and Champ jealousy, and takes every opportunity to provoke the fennec, but True Heart... I do not even know what to think, she really was willing to torture Hector just to show his power of all of us, not caring about the boy's feelings. I've never seen her act like this in a Family Reunion... No matter how great the problems she's been going through, True Heart simply can't blame the innocent and encourage others to follow her opinion.
- Of course she acted a bit impulsively, but... - Sky-Heart smiled a little smile at that point - I'm sure that under other circumstances you'd be the first to volunteer to tickle Hector.
- Oh... Well... Not exactly - Shimmers blushed at that statement, which was true - No one required me to undergo a tickling initiation to join Care Bear Family, and I would not do that with the boy.
- I'll pretend to believe you. But what about this Frank Heartom? What kind of power does he have to make True Heart change his mind and accept Hector in the Family, even if she insisted on the history of torturous tickles?
- I honestly do not know. Noble, True and he were friends in his youth, and it seems Mr. Frank knows something she does not want the other bears and cousins to know. At least that was what it seemed to me yesterday.
- Who would have thought that some of the Care Bear Family members could still keep some kind of private secret - Sky-Heart joked in a good mood - And I thought the bears and cousins could not hide their secrets from each other, since they are so talkative...
- Sometimes even too talkative - Shimmers agreed with a giggle before he faced his friend - What about you, why did you take so long to get in last night? Did something hot happen between you and Longbow?
The blue bear's cheeks flushed with embarrassment as he frowned at that question.
- We just kept talking, and nothing more - he replied dryly, folding his arms - I was trying to persuade her to come live at once in the Kingdom of Caring with us.
- And you were lucky?
- I guess so. She asked me to come back to her in four days' time, so she could give me a definitive answer. But I could tell from the tone of her voice that she was inclined to accept this proposal.
- That Cool! Then we'll have another couple in Care-a-Lot soon.
- Hey! Let's go slow; she and I still have not talked about it openly... And talking about talking, where is the boy Hector? I would like to get to know him better, since yesterday I did not even have time to introduce myself to him.
- The last time I saw him he was walking next to the stalls on the other side of the Fair - said Shimmers thoughtfully - Where is he now?
- Hehehe! Wake up... Wake up... - Hector heard a distant female voice calling to him in a provocative tone as he felt a fur finger lightly scratching his chin.
The boy slowly woke up, feeling his head heavy and sleepy. He could not quite remember what had happened, only that he was walking between the stalls after the departure of Champ and Confidence. With a groan he tried to rub his hands over his head to get rid of that uncomfortable sensation of sleep, but then he realized that he could not move his arms or legs. Opening his eyes with an exclamation of surprise, he realized that he was lying in a comfortable recliner, shirtless and without shoes, his wrists were fastened above his head through metal rings, while his ankles were stuck in a set of metal restraints, the inside of which was velvety not to hurt his skin, which kept his legs slightly ajar. He looked around and saw that it was somewhere like a basement, with no windows and only a yellow light just above it.
Hector began to breathe quickly, in fear, when he heard a wicked giggle just behind him, and seconds later, Redemptionheart Bear appeared before his eyes wide with fear.
- How are you, little Brazilian? - asked the female bear mischievously - Feeling comfortable?
- What's happening, Redemption? Why did you arrest me like this?!? - the boy asked in a terrified tone, feeling his heart beat fast - I do not like this joke. Please let me go!
- Nu-uh! - she replied, shaking her head negatively, enjoying the frightened look on the boy's face and lightly scratching his chin and neck - I cheated on you and captured you because you have to go through your initiation tickles.
Hector's eyes widened as his lips trembled. Sensing the bear's hairy fingers around his neck, he shook his head heavily, trying to stop the doctor from tickling him.
- NN-No! Please, I do not want this! - he cried terrified - You can't do this to me, you heard Noble Heart say at the meeting that the Family would not demand anything in exchange for keeping me here! You agreed to it yourself!
- I lied, Hector. Or do you think I would not take the chance to make torturous tickles on a little boy as cute as you?
And as she said this, she smiled broadly as she scratched his chin again and rubbed the boy's neck, barely restraining her excitement at seeing how frightened he was.
- Hehehe, no! I do nohohohot wahahahant it! Hahaha! I'll tell Champ eheheheverything what yohohohou're doing tohohoho me! Hehehe! - Hector still tried to protest, shaking his head back and forth, but unable to contain his laughter.
- You will not tell anyone, boy - said a malicious voice.
At the same time, Redemption stopped teasing the boy and walked toward his feet. And a few seconds later, True Heart entered the room looking coldly at Hector, so much so that his eyebrows even contracted as she stared at him, and with a wide evil grin on her lips. Upon seeing the beige bear, the young Brazilian was paralyzed.
- TT-True Heart?!? - he exclaimed, swallowing hard at the same time as he felt extremely worried to see Redemption standing next to his bare feet - WW-Why are you doing this to me? You do not like me?!?
- Yes, it is me, and you will feel a little tickle now - said the beige bear, her eyes twitching excitedly from side to side happilly - Look, Hector, it's not about liking you or not. We kidnapped him and brought him to this secret place where his friends Champ and Confidence will never find him. Besides, I sent them on the longest possible mission so they could not get in the way or try to rescue him from this tortured tickling session.
- Besides, little boy, you're going to pay for trying to keep Champ out of me - Cheer Bear added, also entering the room and displaying a large, stiff red quill for the boy - I already have to endure that troublemaker fennec, but I will not let a kid come and permanently disrupt our courtship.
And saying this, the vain bear approached Hector's belly, wiggling his fingers and stirring the feather as if ready to start tickling the boy. True Heart did the same thing, pausing before the prisoner's upraised arms and slowly moving his hairy fingers close to his armpits. Redemption, meanwhile, was still standing at the boy's feet, laughing at the frightened expression he had at that moment.
- No! No! This can't be true! - he shouted desperately as he saw the three bears ready to tickle his sensitive, defenseless body.
- Of course it's true - said True Heart with her brows furrowed and looking intently into his face, taking a wicked smile on her lips and slowly starting rubbing the boy's helpless armpits - Coochie coo!
At the same instant, Redemption ran his furry fingers gently through the soles of Hector's feet, so he could feel all the hairs on her hands touching his skin and his heels. Meanwhile Cheer Bear began to draw circles and more circles with the feather in the boy's belly, and she slowly slowed the size of the circles until tickling the boy's defenseless belly button, which instantly chuckled with all those tickles.
- No! Nohohoho!!! - he shouted desperately - Stohohohop, I dohohoho nohohot wahahahant this!
Hector could withstand individual tickling in his armpits, belly or feet, but not all three at the same time and as calmly and methodically as those three bears were doing. Redemption tickled from the heels to Hector's toes, pulling them back and beginning to tickle each other using her fingers, which she placed between the boy's toes and pulled them producing a great effect of tickling. Cheer, in turn, kept turning the feather in the boy's belly, hour away and time approaching your navel, until finally she concentrated the tickles only in the belly button and with quick movements. True Heart also used her fingers to scratch the boy's armpits, and she kept her big fingers focused on a single point as she moved up and down her other fingers to scratch the full length of his armpits.
- You're in our hands now, Hector - he heard the matriarch provoke with wild joy - No one will help you, and we will not stop this torture.
Hector screamed with laughter. He was extremely sensitive, especially in the soles and toes, in addition to the navel. But having his armpits tickled at that very moment certainly did not help him relax, especially after hearing the cruel words of True Heart, which made him moan with fear when he realized he was in trouble and could not count on Champ's help and Confidence.
- Stohohohop it! - he screamed, trying to curl his toes and shrinking his belly to try to avoid tickling - Plehehehease, I dohohoho nohohohot wahahahant tohohoho!
- What you do not want? - True Heart taunted with a sly grin as he skillfully scrubbed her hands up and down Hector's armpits, looking at the boy - Tell me, little Brazilian, what do not you want?
- I dohohoho nohohohot wahahahant to be tihihihicklehehehed! I cahahahan nohohohot stahahahand it!
- Ah, now I understand why you hid behind Champ, trembling with fear, when I proposed that you pass through this pleasant initiation, and I furrowed my eyebrows maliciously toward you.
Saying this True scratched the boy's armpits harder, especially his armpit dimples, watching his reactions. Redemption, in turn, began to nudge Hector's toes exclusively from one side to the other and laughing at his reactions, especially when he tried to curl his toes. As for Cheer, she kept tickling the kid's navel, slowly turning the feather around.
- I bet the feather really tickles, does not it, brat? - she asked with a wicked smile on her lips - Coochie coochie coo.
Hector curled his belly in response, trying to keep Cheer from reaching him with the feather, while curling his toes trying to make it difficult for Redemption to tickle his toes. Shaking his head from side to side, he tried to use his chin to cover his armpits and prevent True Heart from proceeding with tickling. But none of it worked.
- Stohohohop, True Heheheheart! I beheheheg yohohohou! - he shouted as he laughed, trying to inhale air into his lungs - I dohohoho nohohohot wahahahant to be tohohohortured! I dohohoho whahahahat yohohohou wahahahant! Hahaha!
The matriarch just shook her head and opened her mischievous smile even more, giving the boy a little wink while rubbing his underarms more quickly, up and down. In the meantime, the medical bear continued to tickling Hector's toes, being that every time the boy wrapped his toes, she tickled the tips of toes violently so that he unrolled them and allowed her to continue tickling on the front of them.
Also Cheer Bear was amused by the boy's suffering, especially when he was shrinking his belly trying to avoid tickling her navel, but she was quick and could always keep the feather in permanent contact with the skin. And she knew that Hector could not defend himself any other way, since his hands were fastened over his head, which was a great advantage to her, since every time the pink bear had tried to play tickle with Champ when the two were children, he always managed to defend himself by not being tied up and helpless.
Even so, the boy was still struggling, shuffling his feet in every possible direction, shrinking his belly, or somehow trying to break those metal rings that bound his wrists, but none of this worked in the face of the tickling done by the three carebears. His biggest fear at that moment was how long he would stay there, being tickled with no right to defense, and without the help of Champ, Confidence or any other bear or cousin.
- You mean you'll do what I want, do not you? - True Heart asked with a wink - You're already doing everything I want.
And saying that, she joked happily by wiggling her eyes and eyebrows as she lightly pinched the boy's armpits causing great tickling sensations at the nerve ends of his underarms. The matriarch bear smiled openly, realizing that she was in complete control of the situation and that she was acting in the right way to provoke Hector.
Redemption could barely contain her joy, so much so that her heart was racing as she viciously imagined what she would do to Hector when she could tickle the boy's armpits and how he would react. After all, he was extremely sensitive and he was dying to laugh with his tickles, especially as she pulled his right big toe back with one hand and used his other hand to tickle the front of his toes so he would feel the maximum of tickling possible.
Cheer Bear was also very pleased with the suffering she was causing the boy. She had no remorse for helping capture him and tying him up in this helpless position. In fact, she felt a happiness she had never had before, mainly because she was relieving the frustration of several weeks, seeing Champ spending his time with... Fennec... Confidence! After all, she would certainly have the full attention of her boyfriend if it were not for that fox's fault. Now the pink bear was discounting these feelings in Hector, and she was amused to see him in that defenseless position and move his belly trying to get away from the feather. She was really enjoying seeing that young prisoner laugh and scream as she ruthlessly rubbed the feather all over his belly and especially his navel, tickling and forcing him to scream and laugh without cease.
- Stohohohop! I cahahahan nohohohot stahahahand beheheheing tihihihickled! - the boy screamed desperately - My feehehehet! My behehehelly! Ehehehenough!
Quickly he lifted his head and looked toward the medical bear, who tickled his big toe, and then to the vainglorious bear, who also had great fun in torturing him. But the worst of it all was seeing the mischievous expression of True Heart, who had a wicked smile and glow on her face.
- Plehehehease, True Heheheheart! I dohohoho nohohohot wahahahant to be tihihihickled! - Hector begged in the laughter, hoping it would do some pity on the three bears.
- But if you do not accept your initiation with tickling, you will have to go back to your father - said True Heart with a broad smile, looking coldly at the boy as she continued to scratch up and down his armpits.
- Oh, do not do this to us Hector, accept your initiation and stay here in Care-a-Lot - said Cheer Bear with a sad expression and voice that sounded genuinely genuine - You are so adorable, so cute, when you're laughing at the tickles...
- Please, Hector, agree to stay with us - Redemption said, looking very unhappy as well - We like you, and we want you to stay here.
- Oh, look, Hector, it's not just Champ and Confidence who will be sad and disappointed if you have to go home, we will, too - continued the matriarch bear, stopping her tickles and rubbing her snout gently on Hector's nose - And unlike your father, we will never hit you with belts or anything else that hurts you. We'll just tickle you, make you laugh and have fun like any happy child.
Saying so, she scratched the boy's chin and tickled her neck before giving him a kiss on her cheek and nuzzling noses with the boy to show that she really liked having him there as her prisoner. Maybe she was acting vulgar and cruel, but she wanted to keep on provoking Hector as much as she could.
- So what will be your decision? - she asked finally, smiling - Would you rather go home or feel some torturous tickles to stay with us?
Hector tilted his head back in his chair, continuing to laugh loudly as he thought. The only thing he did not want was to have to go home, where surely his father would be waiting for him to torture him even more and mercilessly. At least here, along with Care Bear Family, he would be protected even if it meant a few hours of incessant tickling. Besides, if those three carebears had had the courage to kidnap him and tickle him against the will of most of the bears and cousins, including Noble Heart, Champ and Confidence, they would also have the guts to take him back to home and deliver it to Calvin without any warning or remorse.
- Ihihihit's ok! Ihihihit's ok! - he simply replied, indulging in the hands of True, Redemption and Cheer - I wahahahant tohohoho be tihihihickled!
The medical bear and the pink bear laughed and applauded cheerfully, while the matriarch gave another kiss on Hector's forehead for his decision.
- Good boy, you made the right decision - said True Heart gently, looking maliciously at him - You can be sure we will not let your father hurt you again. From now on you'll be a cute little son to me, and I'll take good care of you. But first... We'll still torture you.
And her brows twitched with anxiety as she once again rubbed her hairy fingers into the boy's armpits, while Redemption and Cheer Bear tickled his feet and his belly, respectively, forcing Hector to laugh even louder. If on one hand he was relieved that he would never need to see his father again, since True Heart's promise seemed true, on the other hand he also knew that he had to endure all those tickles almost with no right to complain. It would be so much easier and relaxing for him if it were Champ and Confidence who were tickling him since they were his friends. But were not the two sportsmen, and he could not truly relax as the trio of bears tickled his body.
- Stohohohop! - he asked again, realizing that all that compassion that True Heart had shown was just a pretense, like Redemption and Cheer, and that it only served to condemn him to tickle for as long as they wanted - Nohohoho, yohohohou sahahahaid yohohohou wehehehere nohohohot gohohohoing to huhuhuhurt mehehehe!
- And we're not going to hurt you - said the matriarch bear, glancing quickly at Redemption and Cheer and giving a wink - You'll just laugh like never before in your life. Coochie coo.
Tears began to drip from Hector's eyes as he gave a slight cough, suffocated with laughter. He liked to play tickle with his friends, but surely he had never been tickled for so long and so intensely without right of defense as at that moment. However, he would rather go through that thing than be given back to his father to be tortured, and surely that torturing tickles session would not last forever... Or would it last?