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Any Strain of Pride

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Valor had truths to tell Mighty, this grown lion she was secretly keeping company with. When he dipped his head, nose touching her cheek and mane tickling her shoulder, she knew this was time.

"Fearless—my little brother—he's doing his best to lead," Valor said. Then with a slight laugh, "to make us a pride, really. He's hardly old enough."

But Fearless was utterly determined, and Valor loved him. She was coming to care for Mighty as well, and differently, but did not want to live a rogue's life with him, nor have him challenge for her brother's pride.