With a yawn and a stretch, arranging her fluffy ears with a flick of the head, Lady sat up from under a nearby tree. She had slept outside, in the wide open spaces before of course. With Tramp... Her face fell slightly as she thought of her mate. Where was he?
She hadn't seen him for so long, they had somehow become separated once entering this place and had so far no luck in finding one another. What if something had happened, what if they'd all left without her? No. No they wouldn't do that. Her brow still slightly furrowed, Lady trotted over to the calm, glistening lake up ahead.
She was about to lean down and take a sip when she stopped abruptly, inclining her head to the side as she stared down at her reflection. But she wasn't interested in what she could see, she was interested in what she could smell. A familiar scent had just reached her nose, a lovely, comforting scent that made her heart swoop up. She knew that scent, could it be...
Tramp strolled along, his usually cheerful snout in a small frown, his twinkling eyes dark and determined, thoughtful and sad. He missed Lady. Sometimes he wondered how a house pet like her could put him under such a spell. He knew how though. It was a simple one worded answer. Love.
He had lost her. It was his job to take care of her and protect her and somehow he had let her slip out of his grip. The wonderful happy feeling he had felt when he had come to this place had entranced him. But it was no excuse. What if something had happened to her? She was spunky when she needed to be, but she was small, and she was a Lady. Sometimes she might as well be helpless. What if she was taken? What if she called out for him but he was nowhere to help her? What if he had let her down?
'Woaaah Tramp, slow yourself down before you grow wrinkles' he told himself. He stopped to sit by the lake and stared down at his reflection. He shook his head and splashed a paw through the water.
He raised his head abruptly and looked around. What was that smell? Was it? No. It couldn't be! Could it?!
And there she was, her coat still silky and shiny, her ears fluffy, and her eyes lit up like sparkling diamonds, just like they always did.
Lady simply stared at him for a few moments, it was Tramp! Her eyes perked up and a smile immeditately spread across her fluffy face.
"Tramp!" She cried, bounding over to him in happiness. Her fluffly brown ears trailing behind her as she ran, it was really him, and he was doing the same, running towards her and for that moment, he was all she wanted.
Lady snuggled in to his short but soft grey fur, in to his lovely shoulder. It was so comforting, so nice to embrace him again. All the sorrow, all the sadness melted away as she saw him. At last she was complete again. She drew away from his slightly to look in to his deep, dark eyes. They were always so memorizing to her. "It's you," she said at last. "I missed you."
She knew Tramp, she knew he needed his freedom to run and explore, his sense of adventure was too great and Lady was so happy she had even forgotten to be mad at him.
Tramp met her gaze, his dark eyes lighting up and twinkling merrily, like he had just heard a joke that caught his humor. He smiled and stared down into her blue sparkling eyes lovingly, lost in her gaze. He could have stood like that forever, if Lady hadn't spoken.
"It's you, I missed you."
Tramp nudged her gently with his head, before saying, "I missed you too, Pidge, don't you even think I didn't."
He sighed, his guilt coming to the surface once more. "Lady, I didn't mean to lose you like that, I didn't even know....I was..." He sighed. "I'm sorry."
He repeated, managing to meet her eyes and show her he truly was very sorry. He was probably over reacting a little with his guilt, but he had had Lady get mad at him before, and it had been the worst feeling ever, it had stuck in his gut, like a bad ache. He just didn't want her to be angry at him again. He never tried to hurt her, he always tried to do the right thing, somehow he was often in the wrong.
Lady gave a shy smile and stared down at the floor. She would never really got used to the sweet things he would say, no matter how many times he said that. He had such a charm about him. Back when she had found out about his other... Companions Lady had sworn to herself that she would not get caught up again. He was known for being a lovable pup and she was not going to fall in to the trap. Fortunately, her heart had had other ideas.
She watched as Tramp let out a sad sigh and she cocked her head to the side, leaning in towards him slightly. As he spoke however, Lady retreated slightly realising what he was speaking about and a slight frown appeared on her fluffy features. She could not pretend that she wasn't slightly annoyed at him but his voice was so low, so sincere that she could feel the anger dripping away the more he apologised.
As Tramp finished his eyes met hers and she studied them closely, looking deep within as though trying to see his soul. "Tramp," Lady started, her voice quite stern. "It's OK," and a slight smile crossed her face, nudging his nozzle gently as he had just done to her.
Tramp watched her back up from him faintly, a frown deepening on his Lady's face. That ache already started to ping in his chest and he looked down woefully when she said his name so sternly. "It's Okay."
A look of relief was perfectly visible on his face as she nudged him with her muzzle. His heart jumped for joy and he smiled, rubbing his nose against hers. Tramp couldn't stand for anybody to be angry at him, especially not Lady. He let out a long content breath, closing his eyes and breathing in the fresh air, before opening them to gaze at his beloved.
"I almost can't believe it, Pidge, that you're here with me again. And look at all these wide open spaces. This time its actually ours for the taking."
Lady returned the rub, standing up and taking another step towards him so that she moved down his neck and in to his chest. His look of relief when she had forgiven him made her feel a little guilty, knowing his character and his need to be liked. He only ever tried his best after all.
As she sat down again, resting her head against his chest, she could feel his long deep sigh as he breathed in the fresh air. Tramp always did appreciate the little things in life: the birds in the trees, the fresh smells, just being alive and free was enough for him. Perhaps it was one of the reasons why her heart had chosen to love him.
After a few moments Lady felt his head leave her, and she looked back up at him, a loving gaze still deep within her eyes. Yet as Tramp spoke, she turned her gaze to survey their surroundings instead as up until now, she hadn't really paid close attention to them. It was indeed wide and open, extremely peaceful and calm. Lady couldn't think of a lovelier spot.
Yet a little bell rang in her head at these words; Tramp had offered her this wonderful adventure once before and though she was extremely tempted, she would have to use the same words she had used then.
"It sounds wonderful," she began but there was an air in her voice that suggested this was not the end of her sentence, and she knew without a doubt that Tramp would know it too.
Tramp looked down to see Lady's thoughtful face and he smiled back at her before lifting his face to the breeze. He couldn't contain how happy he was to have his lady back. He had missed her dearly. Sure, "friendly" competitions and teaching others the ways of the streets was a fine life, but it had been lonely without Lady by his side. She was worth more to him than the whole world. She cared about him in a way nobody else had ever had. When he was with Lady, for once in his life, he was satisfied.
"It sounds wonderful,"
Tramp's heart sank at the tone in her voice, it was a familiar tone. One he had heard in her voice the first time he offered this to her. What was this that he couldn't supply for her, no matter how hard he tried?
"Lady, is this about your humans again?" He asked, not angrily, just gently, with a hint of sadness. He just didn't see what she saw in them. After they let that lady put a muzzle on her like she was some horrid animal and locked her in the dog house. He just didn't understand it. He didn't see how the freedom and love he tried to give her just wasn't enough. He wanted to please her. He just wanted to make her happy. That was all.
Lady looked away briefly as she almost saw the spark drain out of Tramp in disappointment. She could even hear the sadness in his lovely voice. It made her insides squirm. Oh how she hated to disappoint or hurt him but she had to stand by what she felt was right. Since a pup had she been trained to care and protect, to treat others with kindness. Despite this incredible earning for adventure, despite her high-class status, despite everything she loved Jim Dear, Darling and the baby. She knew in her heart that she wouldn't be able to live with herself if anything happened to the little one.
"Tramp.." Lady began taking a tentative paw and placing it on his own, "You know. Jim Dear and Darling asked me to protect the baby, I have to do it. I'm.. I'm so sorry." She watched him for a while, moving slightly closer so she could look him fully in the face.
She had said it as gently as she could, knowing it had to be explained. Their lives were so different, so far apart. Perhaps she wasn't as adventurous or as street-wise as Tramp but there was always a burning curiosity inside her that yearned to see the wide open spaces.
"Tramp..You know. Jim Dear and Darling asked me to protect the baby, I have to do it. I'm.. I'm so sorry."
Tramp nodded, he understood, she didn't need to explain it any farther. Lady only wanted to do what she felt was right. He understood that. He didn't understand why she had to depend on humans, or why they needed to depend on her. Lady had been so hurt when the baby was born, she thought her humans wouldn't want her. Well, maybe they didn't. Maybe she would be better off without them.
Tramp knew these thoughts were just selfish. It hurt him though, that Lady belonged somewhere warm, a loving home. Tramp belonged somewhere, on the streets. On the lonely streets. He couldn't allow himself to leave the life he had always known. He realized he was asking Lady to do just that though.
"I understand Lady, I really do..." He told her, trying to be strong in his words, though his heart still ached.
Tramp did not respond at first and Lady looked sorrowfully in to his face. As he gave a sad little nod, she could almost hear his thoughts through his silence. She knew Tramp would never force her to do something she didn't want to do, but he couldn't hide the pain etched across his face.
He just didn't understand humans very well. Well, he'd spent most of his life running away from them as they try to snatch him to the pound, so it was little wonder why his view was so negative. But Jim Dear and Darling weren't like that. Yes, they were stern with her sometimes but they always showered her with love and comfort. If only Tramp could see it.
"Oh Tramp," she said, unable to take it anymore and cuddling up to him. "Thank you for being so understanding." She gave a great sigh, her heart unusually heavy. Star-crossed lovers they were indeed. "I don't even know where they are," Lady added in a small voice after a moment. What if something had happened?
Tramp managed a sad smile, resting his snout on her soft silky ear. She gave such a heavy smile, Tramp knew she was feeling just as down as he. He didn't want her to feel that way anymore than he wanted himself to. He had finally found her again and now he had ruined it by making Lady sad. By putting a damper on everything. He pushed his heavy heart away, trying to be strong for her.
"It's nothing at all Pidge...I'd do anything for ya in a heart beat m' lady..." His voice broke a little, but he smiled reassuringly. He would have to keep this promise and do the unexpected, step out of his comfort zone and go in to the unknown eventually. "I don't even know where they are,"
He could hear the smallness in her voice, that uncertainty. She sounded so forlorn, she probably missed them, Tramp tried to understand why.
"I'm sure they're fine, I can just feel it. They're probably wondering where you are, just like you're hankering after them. I'll help you find them Lady. I promise."