The Care Bears
The Confidence Secret
Champ woke up with the morning sun beating on his face, and with Cheer still clinging to him as at the moment they fell asleep. For a moment the bear remained silent, smiling at the warmth of the girl next to her body, until finally he gave a light kiss on the head of the female bear, who slowly awoke and looked at the sportsman with a sweet look.
- Good morning, my dear big bear - she said softly.
- Good morning, my darling little bear - he agreed, kissing her snout - Did you sleep well? I hope you have not been too tired...
- I confess that after all those tickles and all the love that we did, I really got a little tired. But that was the best night of my life, and I wanted it to never end.
- You make me convinced that I'm the best lover of all - said the athletic bear with a malicious wink.
- For me, you really are the best lover of all - she snapped back, scratching her boyfriend's chin - To be best, all you have to do is tell me what your little secret is with that nosy little fox.
The bear frowned and sat down on the bed, giving a deep sigh.
- There you go again with that... - said Champ in an upset tone - What do I have to do to make you stop feeling jealous of my friendship with Confidence? She has not done anything wrong, and she does not want to harm us.
- If she did not do anything wrong, and she does not want to harm us, then there's no problem in telling me what her secret is. Because that would make me much calmer about the friendship of both of you, and also about Hector.
Champ sat in deep silence, his head low and pensive, showing some indecision about what to do. Cheer realized that was the time, and she quickly sat on the bed next to her boyfriend, hugging him.
- C'mon, Champ, I know you and Confidence have already talked about her secret - said the pink bear in the sweetest tone that existed - If that fennec has done nothing wrong, and does not even plan to harm us, there is no reason for you to hide me from the truth. Maybe I could even help her... And I would not be jealous of her anymore.
- If I tell you the truth, will you give me your word of Care Bear that you will not say anything to True Heart or Noble Heart until the time is right? - the sportsman questioned his girlfriend, staring at her - And which will not try to harm Confidence or Hector, and will really stop feeling jealous?
- Yes I swear! - the pink bear declared happily, raising her right hand, but crossing the fingers of her left hand behind her body - Noble and True will know nothing, and I will not disturb Hector anymore.
- All right, I trust you, sports fan - Champ smirked, quickly telling her that Confidence had an adoptive family in Canada, also made up of bears and cousins, and that they all had magical powers and had been assigned by the Great Wishing Star to help protect Care Bear Family - Confidence was then chosen to come before the other family members, to learn our customs and prepare for the arrival of new residents, but she was afraid that Care Bear Family would not accept the truth and would not allow the coming of her family.
- So that's the big secret of that fennec? - Cheer Bear asked with a surprised expression, for she would never have imagined it would be - But that does not make sense, she need not be afraid to tell us the truth just because her family is also made up of bears and cousins. Why did not she tell us about it before? And why would the Great Wishing Star designate other bears and cousins as Care Bear Family protectors, if Shimmers already has that mission?
- As for the last doubt, I can't answer. Maybe the Great Wishing Star wants Shimmers to have every possible help in fulfilling their mission, or just gathering as many bears and cousins together. Only she could answer. As for the reasons that led Confidence to lie, I think even you would do the same if you were as unwelcome as she was by True Heart and a few other Family members.
In citing "other members of the Family," Champ faced his girlfriend seriously, giving her to understand that she had been one of the culprits for that situation. But Cheer Bear was not bothering about it. Now she knew the secret and what was the greatest fear of the fennec, and that meant that the opponent was in her hands.
- I think you're right, we exaggerated a bit - said the female bear, trying to conceal her innermost thoughts - I promise I will not do anything against her, and I will not tell anyone the secret. You can trust me.
- Yes, I think I can - said the sportsman with a smile, giving his girlfriend a kiss before getting up and getting dressed - And you, are not you going to get dressed too? If we take too long, everyone will suspect that we spend the night together.
- Of course I'll dressed up, I just want to look at you a little bit more, and think about how good it would be to spend all day with you here...
- I'd love to, too, but you know we can't. At least until the end of the year, when I can ask for your hand in marriage.
Cheer Bear's eyes widened and she smiled in surprise, since she did not expect to hear that from her boyfriend. Meanwhile he quickly finished dressing, kissed her partner's lips, and slipped out of the room, heading for the kitchen, where Hector already had his breakfast with a big appetite and Bright Heart was washing some dishes.
- Ah! Good morning, passionate heart - said the raccoon in a tone of mischief.
- Passionate heart? - asked the sportsman, hearing this - What do you mean by that?
- You and Cheer Bear love each other and sleep together - Hector explained with a smile - At least Bright Heart told me this morning when I got out of bed looking for you and found him nowhere.
- Good heavens, Bright Heart! - exclaimed the bear, turning red with embarrassment and concern - Why do you keep saying these things to the boy? No one can even suspect it!
- So you should not have left Hector alone - the raccoon replied calmly - He was very worried about waking up and not seeing you in the bedroom, and I had to explain to him that you and Cheer are in love and need a moment alone.
- Just as I need a moment alone with you and it's not because I'm in love - the sportsman bear said dryly, folding his arms - Could you wait in the room for just a minute, Hector?
The boy noticed Champ's serious expression, and he quickly got up from the chair and withdrew from the kitchen, leaving the athlete and the inventor alone.
- Okay, now listen here, you gossipy raccoon... - began Champ angrily before being interrupted by his friend.
- No, you're the one to hear me, Champ - said the raccoon sternly - Did you really think Treat Heart and I had not noticed the passionate couple sleeping under closed doors? Plus, did you leave Hector alone in your bedroom, after all the trials he's been through these past few days, and really thought he would not ask any questions of where you were?
- But you did not have to tell Hector that Cheer and I are in love and sleeping together! He's only nine years old; he's too young to know certain matters! What if he tells this to Noble or True without meaning to?
- So you ask for Cheer's hand in marriage! Besides, I just told him that you and Cheer love each other and need to have some privacy to play as adults, and one day he'll understand better. What else did you want me to do?
- Nothing, you're right... - agreed the bear, with a defeat sigh - I'm sorry for that, buddy, but I did not want the others to know about it, especially the founders.
- And what could they do against you? - Bright Heart questioned maliciously - Now, Champ, remember that there are already several couples living together in the Kingdom of Caring without having a formal marriage ceremony. It would be an inconsistency of Noble and True to punish just you and Cheer, but not Wish Bear and Shimmers, Aqua and Lone, Tenderheart and Love-a-Lot...
- That's true; I think I'm worrying for nothing... Besides, I've already told Cheer that I'm going to ask for her hand in marriage as soon as we're both 18. Until then, I ask you not to tell anyone, buddy.
- Do not worry, sportsman, I'm not going to spoil the surprise of the couple who have the greatest support of Care Bear Family, Mr. and Mrs. Champ.
The athlete laughed embarrassedly at that remark, before calling Hector back into the kitchen and having breakfast together, matching what they would do that day and without further treatment of that love matter in front of the boy.
Confidence continued to tickle Redemption, but her anger was gradually replaced by a sense of amusement, though she did not want to show it to the medical bear so she would continue to be afraid of the situation. Deep down, the fighter had always had the desire to have fun torturing someone relentlessly, but she never before had this opportunity, and she did not want to waste it for nothing in the world.
Meanwhile, the doctor was exhausted, after hours and hours of uninterrupted tickling. She could not bear the contact of her belly with that of the fox, which made her feel even more vulnerable, and shook desperately in her restraints, moving her feet from side to side and begging for Confidence to stop tickling.
- You look like you're really having fun, are not you? - the fox asked as she scratched under the doctor's arms up and down, keeping the big fingers nudging the center of her armpits while she continued to use her hairy tail to rub the prisoner's toes - Yeah, I think you're liking it... And I like to see you laughing.
Saying this, she nuzzled noses with Redemption, who laughed and screamed non-stop as she swayed in her restraints as she tried to inhale air into her lungs with small sighs of laughter.
- Plehehehease stohohohop! - the bear begged, shaking her head to the sides and shrinking in shame at the fennec's taunts, especially when she rubbed her nose, which caused her to quickly curl up her toes pulling the hair of the fox's tail.
- Hey! Keep your toes wide open, or you will suffer the consequences! - Confidence complained with a scowl, before kneading Redemption's armpits hard, using her tail to tickle the heart cushions on the victim's heels.
- Sohohohorry! Plehehehease stohohohop, I'm sohohohorry! - the doctor screamed almost crying out of fear of the fennec, opening her toes even against her will.
- Oh, but this is so fun, why should I stop? Look, you're laughing so merrily... - the fennec commented wickedly, scratching lightly under the bear's chin before turning the attention to her armpits as she ran her tail gently between her toes - Besides, you did not pity Hector, is not it? So why should I pity you? Coochie coo.
- Nohohoho, stohohohop, sohohohorry, plehehehease! I'll dohohoho ahahahanythihihihing, juhuhust stohohohop, plehehehease! - Redemption kept begging desperately, shaking more and more from side to side - I dohohoho ahahahanythihihihing! Stop! Stohohohop!
Confidence loved every second along with the medical bear, seeing how sensitive she was to tickling. As a result, the fighter sank her claws into her victim's armpits even more, scrubbing her tail more quickly at her feet, searching for the pads on her toes.
- You do not have to worry, my little friend - the fox said at one point, her eyes shining with wild joy as she nuzzled noses with Redemption - I will not torture you for 36 hours like you did with Hector, or for months like you said you did with True Heart, even though that was my right. It will last just long enough for you to take your lesson.
Hearing that did not reassure the doctor. She continued to laugh and beg higher and higher as she felt the claws claw deeper under her arms, as well as continuously opening and closing her toes to prevent the tail from tickling them.
- Plehehehease, Cohohohonfidehehehence! I'll dohohoho ahahahanythihihihing, but stohohohop! - she pleaded again, feeling tears stream down her cheeks.
- Nu-uh! Now you're apologizing and begging for pity. Why did not you think about it before, when Hector certainly made the same desperate request? - the fennec murmured, shaking her head with a malicious grin, continuing to tickle her prisoner in the armpits and feet without showing any kind of compassion - Coochie coo, I want you to continue begging, my little friend.
- Nohohoho, stohohohop, I can nohohohot tahahahake anymohohohore, plehehehease! - Redemption laughed hysterically, feeling her armpits and feet more sensitive than ever, moving from side to side as she began to sweat from head to toe, and wet her diaper for the fourth time since it all began.
Confidence also did not know how many hours had passed; just that she had a lot of fun. Only when she began to yawn did she realize that perhaps the night was already ending and a new day began.
- So you want me to stop, do not you? - she asked to the bear, nuzzling noses with her one more time - Alright, I'll stop, because I'm not as bad as you. But listen to what I'm going to tell you.
Redemption nodded, at same moment as the fox began to scratch more heavily under her arms and more quickly rub her tail at the bear's feet, to keep her awake as she spoke.
- Very well, if you touch one hair of Hector again, I swear you will regret it a lot - the fighter began with a menacing grin and angry eyes - I will make tickle you unbrokenly for months and months, and I will use all my powers to put it into a swirl of feathers that will tickle your whole body at the same time. And if you try to get away from it, I'll tie it so tightly on a stretcher that you will not be able to move a single finger while I tickle your feet and armpits until I get tired. You got it?
Confidence did not have as many elemental powers to do all that, but she wanted to impress Redemption as much as possible. And seeing that the bear did not want to respond, she tickled even more quickly and rubbed her belly into hers, taking on an even harder expression, repeating abruptly:
- You got it?!?
- Yehehehes! - the bear screamed as she laughed non-stop, and at that point her face was red and gasping for breath.
- Okay, my little friend - Confidence concluded in a calmer tone, opening a new smile on her lips as she nuzzled back into medical noses, before finally stopping her tickling - You really are a nice, sensitive bear.
Saying this, she crouched down and gave a light kiss in the feet of Redemption, which flushed with shame as she breathed deeply in relief. The fennec soon released the bear's feet and then her arms, helping her to her feet, since the doctor was all shrunk after so many hours being tickled.
- Do you want some help climbing the stairs? - the fighter asked gently, seeing that the medical bear had difficulty walking.
- Yes I want - she said weakly, and she quickly wrapped her arm around Confidence's neck and together they climbed the stairs slowly, with every step Redemption giggling as the long hair of the fox accidentally rubbed at her extremely sensitive armpit.
Soon, the two were back in the bear's office, and they realized that the day had already dawned. For a few seconds both were silent, before the fighter approached smiling at her rival and scratched her chin one last time.
- Remember your promise, my little friend - Confidence said with a wink, her fingers moving as if to tickle Redemption again, before finally leaving, leaving the bear alone.
- You'll regret it, you insolent little fox... - Redemption murmured in a vindictive expression, though she was too exhausted to think of a plan to avenge Confidence. What she wanted most now was to go to the bathroom, take off that urine-soaked diaper and take a relaxing shower, after all those hours being tickled. Then she would think about getting revenge on the fighter.
Frank read closely the documents that Noble Heart had given him regarding the disappearance of Joyful Heart and Looter. They were several reports about the couple's psychological and loving profile, their performance on the last missions before the birth of the twins, as well as photos and information from the mission, as well as all information regarding the searches made by Care Bear Family after the disappearance of their friends. There was nothing against the pair of missing bears, no warning, and no slip. In fact, they should be the most applied among all, since during one of the group meetings were praised as excellent students.
Everything had been well classified and filed by the horse, so much so that the human was surprised by that organization, as it greatly aided the bears and cousins to reopen old cases and study the failures and successes committed. The case in question concerned the caring mission number 1145, which occurred on 26 July 1978, and Wish Bear and Friend Bear were on call and identified the problem, at the same time as Looter and Joyful volunteered to perform the task. It was the couple's first mission after six months away, dedicating themselves exclusively to their newborn children, and consisted in persuading a boy whose name was ignored, not to run away from home after his father had punished him for not doing his homework.
Since it was a simple mission, the couple were not supervised through the star-o-cope, and it was only when night came and they had not returned that Care Bear Family began looking for them, divided into four groups that searched the entire region where Joyful and Looter performed the last mission, but no clue was found after a week, and the searches were canceled. Since then, the couple's disappearance had become a mystery, and a few later notes showed that from time to time Noble Heart had done some fruitless research to find out what had happened to the two friends.
In short, these were the information Frank had read in the report, with Flower's help at his side to clarify some doubt about the events of the day. When the businessman finally finished his reading, the old female bear gave a sad sigh with her eyes full of tears.
- I'm sorry if I made you remember such sad things - he said politely and amiably - All I want is to be able to help you, just like the others...
- I know that, Frank, you do not have to apologize - the bear replied with a small smile - Moreover, if you have been able to meet us even in the face of all difficulties, then I hope you will also discover what has happened to my daughter and my son-in-law.
- You can be sure that I will put all the available resources of B & H in solving this mystery. I just hope it does not take another 50 years.
They both laughed amiably at that last comment when they heard a quick ringing of the bell. Grams Bear quickly went to answer the door, and Goodluck Bear stood outside with an anxious expression.
- HH-Hello Grams Bear - the bear said sheepishly - I did not want to bother you, but I'd like to talk to Mr. Frank a little, if he can get me...
- Do not be shy, my friend, come and tell me what you want - the old man said with a smile, waving from the sofa.
The lucky bear came in, greeting the human and sitting in the armchair in front of him, still a little embarrassed. For a few seconds he remained silent, playing nervously with his fingers, seeming not to have the courage to begin the conversation.
- And then? Did not you say you wanted to talk to me? - Frank asked with a giggle - I am entirely at your disposal, tell me!
- Well... Is that... - Goodluck hesitated, his cheeks flushed - Hugs, Tugs, and the other human are around?
- No, the kids went to play outside, and Frank's secretary came to know the Forest of Feelings - Grams Bear explained kindly - Maybe you two would rather be alone to talk...
- No, I do not mind your being present, Grams - the bear replied quickly - It's a matter for you as well. I came to talk about San Martin.
- What exactly do you want to know? - Frank questioned, his inquiring eyes appearing beneath thick white eyebrows as snow.
- Kriskun told me the true story of how the island was attacked by Dark Heart, with the help of a traitor of the species, allied with the Nazis. He also told me... That you two were friends, Mr. Frank.
- Yes, we were great friends - the old man confirmed with a slight smile - I still hope I can see Kriskun again, since he must be the only human friend I had and who is still alive.
- And you... You met my parents? What were they like?
- They were as lucky as you - Grams Bear chuckled - Their names were Prosperous Bear and Star Lucky Bear, and they always won in every draw. Usually they donated the prizes to the poorest or to the second placed, since they participated only for fun and wanting to help others.
- They were nice bears, and you were lucky to have them as parents - Frank added amiably to the lucky young man - Besides Noble, True, Kriskun, Grams, Champ, Confidence, you and I, does anyone else know the true story of what happened in San Martin?
- My fiancée Polite and my future brother-in-law Perfect - said Goodluck calmly - You must have realized that this is not a popular subject here, because True has hidden the truth from us... And Grams too...
The old female bear lowered her head sheepishly.
- I'm sorry about that, Goodluck - she said, her cheeks flushed - Noble and I always wanted to tell you the truth, but True was always afraid which...
- Let us stop loving her and try to avenge the death of our biological parents - interrupted the young bear calmly - Noble has told me that, he knows I know.
- You should all know what really happened that day - the old businessman replied thoughtfully - It's your right, and True Heart has omitted it, but it will not stop me from telling the truth.
Flower and Goodluck looked at Frank with worried expressions, but the old woman suddenly burst out laughing and shook her head.
- I just hope you do not commit a madness, Frank - she said politely - You're too old for these things. By the way, why are not you sincere and tell me what was the real reason of Heavenly stayed on the island?
Frank looked surprised at her friend before opening a slight smile and hold hands old female bear.
- He stayed for you to live - was his cryptic answer, since he did not want to tell everything he'd seen and heard that day - Is there anything else you want to know, Goodluck?
- Well... I wanted to hear more about my parents - he said with a shy smile - Besides being lucky and happy to help people, what else were they?
And for the next few hours Grams Bear and Frank told Goodluck a little of their lives in San Martin, especially their relationship with the lucky bear's parents, who for the first time in his life felt a connection to his ancestors, and even to that old man so friendly.
Hector put the ball on the ground and walked away a few steps, with concentrated expression and looking towards the goal that was championed by Champ. The sports bear also watched closely the boy's movements, and waited for the moment when the little Brazilian would kick the ball. The boy had taken off his shoes to play better, and it was a strange sensation for him to walk barefoot through the clouds. Already the bear was very well accustomed to that sensation, but what bothered to him was the fact of having not been able to hold many balls since he and the young man began to play.
Taking momentum, Hector gave a short run and heavily kicked the ball, and Champ jumped to the right side and managed to grab the object in his hands.
- I got!!! - the athlete shouted happily, falling in the clouds with the ball in his hands - What do you think, sports fan? It's the third one I can handle!
- But I've already taken twenty kicks, so I would have scored 17 goals - the boy said with a mischievous grin as his friend returned the ball - Let's see if you improve your defense, Champ.
- You'll see, I'll be the best goalkeeper in the world - said the sporting bear as he watched Hector giving some "hugs" with the ball - That way you make it seem easy... I really like to play baseball, and the only football I know how to play is American football, not soccer with the feet.
- American football is not real football. You do not even wear a ground ball, but something that looks like an orange! Now go back to your position, because there are still eighty kicks from the one hundred you promised.
Champ was surprised by the energy demonstrated by Hector that morning. It did not even look like the boy had been tortured to exhaustion with tickles for two whole days. But the bear knew that it was easier for the children to regain their strength after a good night's sleep, and that was exactly what had happened to the little Brazilian, who had been insisting at breakfast that both of them go play.
Hector braced himself for another shot as Champ put himself into position. Taking a deep breath, the boy ran and kicked again the ball, which bounced on the floor, passed out of the goal post and well away from the bear's hands, and went to fall at the feet of Shimmeringstar Bear, who was parking his car cloud after coming back from a caring mission on Earth.
- Hey! Sports fan, can you throw the ball back to us? - the athlete bear asked excitedly.
- You only kick her in our direction, please - the boy added with a smirk.
Shimmers looked at Champ and Hector before he shot the ball hard, but as he had never played football with his feet, he totally missed the crosshairs and made the object stop on the other side of the field.
- I think my aim is not very good - the swordsman said with a shy giggle - I'm sorry about that.
- Champ is a lousy player, but you've managed to be worse - said the boy in a malicious tone, running to catch the ball.
- Do not talk about Shimmers, he's an excellent sportsman and a good friend - said the athlete bear with a wink - It turns out that we both prefer baseball, is not it sports fan?
The swordsman laughed at that remark, nodding amiably at his head as he grabbed his lightsaber and tied it around his waist. That was when he saw Noble Heart approaching Champ and Hector with a broad smile on their lips, and both of which stopped their joke.
- Oh, do not stop your game because of me - the horse said amiably - I do not want to disturb your fun, it’s fun to watch them play...
- You never disturb, Noble Heart - said the athlete bear, making a positive signal -Do you need any help from me?
- No, I just wanted to know how Hector is feeling after these two days here in Care-a-Lot. After all we did not talk after the Annual Caring Fair...
- I've never felt so happy in my life - the boy replied - You're very nice, thank you for helping me.
- It's good to know that you're happy. But you also know that one hour you have to go home, right?
The boy lowered his head sadly, agreeing with Noble Heart. After all, the Earth was his home, next to his father Calvin. Champ had already said that to him, so that little boy was digesting the idea, but he was still very scared.
- Now, do not be afraid, we will not force you back while Calvin does not regret what he did - Noble said cheerfully, putting his hand on Hector's shoulder - In a few days, Champ, Confidence and I will go and find his father to talk to him, and I trust we will get him to understand that he acted the wrong way and that there is no reason for him to hate us.
- I honestly think it's hard for us to change that adult's way of thinking - the bear confessed with a small sigh - But I also know that we need to try to resolve this, otherwise it would mean that I did not complete my last mission.
- Well, I trust you will take this mission to a good conclusion, and will not disappoint us - said the horse with a broad smile - You're like a son to me, Champ, and I'm sure you'll never do anything to embarrass us about your caring missions, or your personal life.
- TT-Thank you, Noble, I do not know what to say... - Champ stammered with a surprised look, feeling his cheeks flush a little at all that responsibility - II-I did not expect you to consider me so much...
- After Shimmers, Tenderheart and Braveheart, you're the bear that True Heart and I consider the most. And it is not just because we are related. But now I will not bother your game anymore. Have fun!
And the horse withdrew with a farewell nod, leaving the bear behind with a worried and even ashamed expression. And the athlete had reasons to feel that way after all he had hidden from the founders the story of Confidence, in addition to having slept with Cheer before the two turned 18, which was a serious fault. What would Noble and True do if they discovered these things?
Such thoughts bothered Champ profoundly, so much so that even Hector realized his sudden change of mood.
- Are you all right, Champ? - the boy asked in a worried tone. - You look white as a sheet of paper.
- No, I'm not feeling very well - said the sportsman, swallowing hard - I think I need to be a bit alone, sport fan. After we continue to play.
And without waiting for an answer, Champ turned and walked off, lost in thought and headed toward the river, leaving Hector behind, the boy looking worried and curious, trying to understand what had happened to his friend athlete.
It was not just him who did not understand Champ's attitude. Shimmers remained all the time leaning on cloud car, on the edge of the makeshift football field, watching the scene, and tried to understand why the sportsman was so upset after the conversation with Noble Heart. After thinking for a few moments, he dismantled his cloud car and started to walk quickly in the same direction that the athlete had taken, hoping to catch up with him and talk a bit.
Confidence was in the Care-a-Lot gym for her morning karate session. On that day she would train on her own, since Champ would devote part of the time to paying attention to Hector. This allowed the fennec to think a little about what was going on between the athletic bear and her, especially after that kiss they had both exchanged two nights earlier.
She could barely conceal that she had liked that kiss, and she could tell that the sportsman had the same feeling. But the shame and the fact that they were already compromised prevented them from talking more about it. Besides, she still did not know if it was passion or just the effect of being away from Love Heart, or even the result of all the pressure she felt on the part of Care Bear Family and also in wanting to discover her past. Fortunately, in the face of so many doubts, she found a refuge in the fight to amuse herself and distract herself a little.
Thinking like that, she was in a sequence of blows when she heard the gym door slowly open, and looking in that direction, the fox could not hide her surprise at seeing Cheer Bear standing in front of her, her arms crossed and a sarcastic smile on lips.
- Cheer?!? - the fennec asked with a surprised look - What are you doing here? If you came to look for Champ, he...
- No, I did not come for Champ - replied the pink bear in a malicious tone - I came to talk to you a little.
- With me? You've been avoiding me ever since I got to the Kingdom of Caring!... What do you want, anyway?
- I want to settle my differences with you - the girl said in a very sugary voice - Really, after everything that's been going on between us, I've been avoiding you for a long time. But I'm willing to leave it all in the past, and move on from now on as if nothing had happened.
Despite the sweet voice, there was a malicious gleam in Cheer's gaze that made Confidence put on alert.
- So you do not want to quarrel with me anymore? - Confidence asked suspiciously.
- Ah! We can be friends, can't we? - Cheer questioned, walking around the fighter - After all, it is not fair that I should fight with you over secrets that are none of my business, other than the fact that it is foolish to try to face someone who possesses magical powers that you can use against me.
Confidence trembled at the sound of it, her eyes widening to the vain young woman who could barely contain her malicious laughter.
- HH-How you... - the fennec stammered in a daze, feeling a lump in her throat.
- Oh, it was not difficult, Champ told me everything, believing that I would help you - Cheer Bear said with a laugh - He told me about your magical powers, about your foster family in Canada made up of bears and cousins, and even your mission. How silly he is, thinking I would not take advantage of this information against you!
The fox trembled with fear and felt her hands sweat cold as Cheer laughed with pleasure as she realized how frightened her enemy was. It was as pleasurable a sensation as torturing Hector.
- What are you going to do now? - Confidence asked in a low voice after a few seconds - Are you going to tell Noble Heart and True Heart that I lied?
- Well, that's what I should do, like a cautious Care Bear who does the right job. After all, you are a liar and a troublemaker, and you deserve a great punishment for your actions. But I will not do that.
- No? - repeated the fennec, not understanding the intentions of the female bear.
- No. I'd rather see you suffer in other ways, starting with the fact that you is in my hands, and I can do whatever I want with you.
- And what do you mean by that?
- You'll do as I say, and your secret will always be well guarded with me - said Cheer Bear with a wide evil grin, scratching the fox's chin - To begin with, I want to hear you beg on your knees and head down so I do not tell anyone anything.
- I... I do not... - Confidence tried to protest, but she felt totally subdued and slowly knelt down, her head down and tears forming in her eyes - Please, Cheer, I beg you not to tell anyone. I do what you want, but do not reveal my secret to Noble Heart and True Heart.
- Oh, now I'm beginning to like you - the female bear said with a mocking laugh, seeing her opponent reduced to fear and dread - Now I want you to say "I, Confidence Heart, always so full of me, so confident and so agile, I am nothing but a troublemaker liar".
- II-I, Confidence Heart, always so full of me... - tears of rage streamed down the fennec's face as she said it - So confident and so agile, I'm nothing but... A troublemaker liar.
- Great! Now say "and so, I will never again disrupt the relationship of my best friend Cheer Bear and her boyfriend Champ".
- And so... I'll never again disrupt the relationship of my best friend Cheer Bear and her boyfriend Champ
- All right, my friend, that's a promise - Cheer said with a wicked grin, forcing Confidence to lift her head and look into her eyes - And as long as you keep it, your secret will be fine with me, understand?
The fighter just signaled yes, before covering her face with her hands and starting to cry, since it would be very difficult for her to stay away from her only great friend in the Kingdom of Caring. Meanwhile, the female bear continued to laugh at the situation and watched the defeated opponent for a few more seconds before heading for the door.
- I think we're going to start to get along now - the pink bear teased, before leaving the gym leaving Confidence alone, feeling her heart shattered in the face of what had just happened. Her secret was now at the mercy of Cheer, and the condition that nothing be spoken was just as painful as possible. Kneeling on the gym floor, the fox cried a lot.
- What should I do? - she asked herself aloud, in the midst of the cry, but no one around to give her a comforting answer.
True Heart sat up animatedly on the bed and opened the drawer of her nightstand, taking out her crystal necklace, the same as Noble had given her as a boyfriend. It had been a long time since she had seen that object shining so brightly, with the brightness of love reflecting the facets of the crystal. And indeed she felt her self-love, and her love for Noble, totally reborn after their conversation the night before. Never before had their love been so strong, especially since she understood that even though her foster children had grown up, they still loved her and would never fail to recognize what she had done for them. Besides, now she and her husband would have full time for both of them.
The female bear felt so euphoric and contented that she had resorted to using her necklace again, and she slowly placed the object in her neck and went to the mirror to look at it as she felt her heart warm and beat faster. After all, that was the only gift Noble had given her during her relationship start days and that she still kept, since the rest had been lost in San Martin. Finally, after looking in the mirror for a few moments, she took a large package that was hidden under the bed and went to the kitchen, where her husband prepared dinner.
Noble Heart was taking a pie out of the oven when he saw his wife appear on the threshold of the door, as beautiful and graceful as she had ever seen before. True Heart leaned against the doorway, a small mischievous smile on her lips and a soft, languid look that drew his companion's attention.
- You look beautiful - he said, smiling as he set the pie on the table - As much as the day I met you.
- You're still the same stallion of those days - she answered, approaching sensuously, her hands behind her back, hiding the package - And dinner, will it take long?
- Well, that depends.
- Depends on what?
- How long will our kiss last - the horse replied, grabbing his wife and giving her a huge kiss.
How happy they were. All the fights, all the sufferings, all this seemed forgotten in their hearts. It only mattered that they loved each other. With that long, warm embrace, aside from sweet kisses, Noble and True picked up something they had not done in a long time. Hearts were throbbing, hands sliding behind each other, and True Heart was slowly preparing to surrender to her husband.
- I noticed you're wearing the necklace - the horse said, pulling his face a little to look at his wife - I thought you did not even have it more...
- I would never throw it away, it was the most handsome gift you gave me - True Heart said with a smile - Besides, I've never had the opportunity to reciprocate him, and I thought today would be the ideal time.
It was at this moment that he realized that the wife had a package in her hands.
- What is it? - he asked with a curious smile - Are you also preparing some surprise for us tonight?
- Perhaps - she said enigmatically, handing her gift to Noble - Open it and tell me what you think.
- You did not have to bother giving me a present... - he began, ripping the paper from the package before he was mute in surprise and astonishment as he looked at the object in his hands and then at his wife - True... II-I... I do not know how to thank you...
And finishing unpacking the present, Noble saw a beautiful watercolor portrait of him and his wife hand in hand. True smiled and kissed her husband's cheek, which was still without words of joy.
- I had begun to draw this picture for many years, but it was never over... Until last night - she confessed with a cheerful expression - I hope you have enjoyed it and be a symbol of this new phase of our love...
Noble smiled happily at his wife, before putting the present on the table and, going to a closet, take out another package, which he delivered silently to the female bear. At the same time she was surprised by the present, especially when she unpacking it and saw that it was the same picture that, a few days before, had been the cause of one of the couple's endless discussions and which she had thrown away after the fight.
- Noble! You kept it... - she said in a choked voice.
- When I came back that night, and I saw you tossed it in the trash, I wiped it and wrapped it up in the hope of returning it on the day our love reborn - the horse confessed lovingly - Luckily I did not have to wait so long for that to happen ... And there's still room on the wall to hang our frames side by side.
True hugged Noble and gave him a passionate kiss on the lips.
- Thank you, my dear, I do not know how to thank you - she said with tears in her eyes - That was the most beautiful gift you could have given me.
- Well, I can give you another if you want... - the husband said with a wink, before crouched down and kissed his wife's belly.
- Noble! I think we're already too old for this. Also, how would we explain to others?
- We do not have to explain anything, they know we love each other and that would be the natural consequence now that they've grown up - said the horse lively - Why can’t we try to have our own children? You always said in San Martin that I wanted to be a mother, and I'm sure that desire has not changed. Or will you try to deny that I'm right?
- No, you're right, I still have that desire - True Heart replied sweetly - Although we took care of all those cubs, I always wanted to get pregnant... And after our gym last night, I think that desire just increased.
- Well... Maybe we can repeat the dose after dinner, what do you think?
True smiled sheepishly at Noble, who had her cheeks flushed, too, since they had rarely spoken of it so openly. But both of them soon kissed leaving any other kind of thinking behind, it only mattered that they both loved each other and that nothing seemed to separate them again.