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Broken Spirit
By Lady Lea

                                  CHAPTER 1 
 It was near dawn. Lea was in her room packing.  It was once again time for her to leave the lair for her five days of isolation. It is not that she wanted to; it is because she had too, for her own safety. A soft knock on her door interrupted her packing. 
“ Are you ready to go “ cheetara asked quietly as she walked into the room. “ Is he still here” Lea asked trying to keep her voice under control. “ Do not worry, they have him in another part of the lair, and your mother is looking after Leo, it is safe to leave” Cheetara replied as she picked up Lea’s bag. “ I know how you feel Lea, this can be very frightening “ cheetara said as they walked down the hallway and headed towards the hanger. 
“ Yes, but are the cheetah males as violent and forceful “ Lea asked. ‘ No”, but everything will be fine once this has passed”.
 “ But what happens if I am found this time, ” Lea stopped and looked around the dimly lit room. Her senses where running wild. Every noise made her jump.’ But I can feel him watching me” Lea whispered.
“ No, Lea you must not stop, we have to leave “ Cheetara replied as she helped her into the thundertank being careful not to touch her.  

It took several hours to reach their destination. Lea remained quiet the whole trip. Cheetara has already set up a small campsite inside a cave where only she and Panthro knew about. Normally an herb could be taken to prevent this from happening but Lea had a server reaction to the herb, so the only answer was for her to hide for the five days until she came out of heat. 
This was the norm twice a year, lea would go into hiding, she had every right to be scared, a female when in heat can cause her mate to become very violent in an attempt to mate with her, often resulting in injuries, or death un less she was willing to accept him. Moreover, Lea was not willing; she was not ready to conceive a child at this time. 
As long as Lion-o could not catch her scent, everyone was safe. That is why she always left. Lion-o knew why she left but without the change in hormones to trigger the outburst everything would go on as normal. 
However, there was always something in the back of his mind trying to make him hunt her. That is why a different hiding place was chosen each time. If left on his own he would hunt her down.

Cheetara helped lea unpack she could see the young lioness starting to shiver. “ Are you alright?” Cheetara asked as she threw another log on the fire.
 “ Yes’ Lea replied her voice barely above a whisper. Her eyes where bright and full of fear as she looked at cheetara, a low growl formed deep in her throat.
 Cheetara knew it was time to leave. “ I will be back in a few days to check on you “ cheetara said before she left. 
Once she arrived back at the lair, she knew she had to go strait to her room to take a shower to wash any of Lea’s scent off her. However, before she could reach her room lion-o walked down the hallway. She stopped and put up her hand for him to stop and not to come any closer.
 “ Is she alright” Lion-o asked. “ Yes, she is just fine why don’t you go to bed it is getting late” Cheetara replied. Lion-o nodded, turned, and headed down the hall. He knew he would not sleep, he hardly ever slept when Lea was gone, he always kept himself busy doing something.

Lea lay curled up into a ball by the warm fire trying to sleep. Two days had passed. No matter now many pieces of wood she placed on the fire she would shiver, her body was creating a fire of it’s own as her hormones raged within her, there was only two things that would quench the fire, time or her mate.
 Lion-o was trying very hard to stay awake but after two days with out sleep he gave in, finally went to bed, and tried go to sleep but all he did was toss and turn. He turned over on his side and closed his eyes willing himself to go to sleep then he noticed something. A scent, it was coming from Lea’s pillow. Snarf had forgotten to change to sheets on the bed after lea left. He deeply inhaled the scent, which triggered a chemical reaction in his brain, which he had no control over. He sat straight up ‘’LEA” he roared.
 Tygra and Snarf walking up the stairs and heard Lion-o, he turned to snarf. “ Did you do everything you where suppose to do snarf” Tygra asked as he ran to Lion-o’s room. “ Think I did,” snarf replied as he followed Tygra, “wait oh, no I forgot to change the sheets after she left, I got so busy with Leo I forgot “. “ Damn it “ Tygra cursed as they ran into the room.
 Lion-o charged out the door. “ Lion-o you can go, you have to stay here” Tygra replied in a soothing voice. He knew that he had to be careful. “ LEA” he roared his eyes flashed with anger when he saw Tygra.

Tygra backed up he knew how dangerous this could be; to lion-o, he was another male trying to steal his mate. He had caught Lea’s scent and he knew Lion-o was driven by primal instinct to find her and mate with her. No matter who or what got in his way, he would fight or kill just to get to her.
“ Where is she “ Lion-o roared. “ I don’t know where she is “ Tygra answered which was true he didn’t know. “ You lie. You know where she is, you want her for yourself” Lion-o growled. “ No to both statements“ Tygra answered. “ I will not, be denied” lion-o growled as he pushed Tygra aside. 
Tygra ran to the intercom. “Everyone be warned Lion-o is on the hunt”.
They could try and stop him but it would prove useless that would just aggravate the situation more, maybe they could slow him down long enough for Cheetara to warn Lea. Panthro met Lion-o in the hanger. “ I can’t let you go Lion-o “ Panthro replied. Lion-o turned and looked at the panther and growled. 
“ I don’t want you to hurt her, “ Panthro said as he stepped in front of him. “ I must find her,” Lion-o said in a low voice. ”She does not want to be found that’s why she left”. Panthro said.
 “ You lie she is somewhere waiting for me, I must go to her” Lion-o replied as he stepped closer to the thundertank and stopped, he roared as he caught Lea’s scent. 
It was stronger here, which just inflamed him further and he ran out the door. Panthro knew there was nothing he could do; he knew it was a two-hour trip by thundertank to where Lea was, so it would take him all night on foot to find her.

Lion-o knew he could not find her by scent alone it would take to long. He raised to sword to his face. “ Sword of omens give me sight beyond sight show me Lea”. A grin crept across his face. “ There you are my love” He replied as the sword showed him lea’s sleeping form. The replaced the sword and took off running, he knew where she was and knew a short cut that would save him a few hours.
 Lea was fast asleep but a sound woke her, she jumped to her feet ready to fight. Cheetara entered the cave, “ It is okay it’s just me” Cheetara replied quietly as she looked at Lea, she noticed Lea’s face was flushed and her body tense, she was combating the fire within her. Lea put down her weapon.
 “ Lion-o has caught your scent. Lea eyes widened with fear. “ He will not find you” Cheetara replied.
 Lea seemed to relax a little. “ Do you want me to stay with you”? Cheetara asked keeping her distance. Lea shook her head. “ If it is meant to be, then he will find me this time,” She said in a quiet voice barely above a whisper, “ go now, while you can”.  Cheetara nodded she did not want to be here if Lion-o did find Lea and headed back to the lair. 

“ Did you warn her “ Tygra asked as cheetara came through the door. “ Yes, I don’t think he will find her, the place I picked out this time is unknown to him” Cheetara replied as she caught her breath. “ She didn’t want me to stay with her, she said if it was meant to be, then he would find her”. “Tygra she is not in any condition to fight him, she will have to give in or he will most likely kill her”. 
“ I don’t think he would kill her” Tygra replied,  “Lets hope that he has enough of his own willpower left not too.” Cheetara replied as they headed up stairs.
Mumm-ra stood before his viewing pool and watched Lion-o ‘s encounter with Tygra and Panthro, “the cub has lost his mind.” Mumm-ra though to himself as the pool turned black. “ Now is the perfect time to strike, “ Mumm-ra replied as he turned to the group of mutants. “ With Lion-o gone the other remaining thundercats are helpless, you know what to do, now go”.
 It was 4:30 am when an explosion rocked the lair. Cheetara ran to her bedroom window to see if she could see something. The night sky was blazing as a large fire was threatening to in golf the whole backside of the building. Tygra came bursting through her door. “Cheetara we have to leave” he replied as he ran over to her grabbing her arm and dragging her out the door. ”But tygra “ she replied “what about the others”. “I was told to get you out,” the tiger said as they ran through the hallways of the lair to the outside.
 Once they reached safety Cheetara looked behind her, the sky was a blaze with fire coming from the lair. She stopped running and looked behind her another explosion came from the building, the two ducked from the intense force that followed. Fire and smoke bellowed hundreds of feet in the air.
” We have to go back and find them”, Cheetara said as she picked herself up off the ground.
 As they made their way back the air grew thick with smoke as they cleared the woods they where met by the sight of their home fully in golf in flames.
 Cheetara turned to Tygra and asked. “What happened?” but before Tygra could answer another fireball hit the lair. 
 Tygra spotted a figure laying face down on the ground a few yards away from them. Tygra ran over and knew right away, who it was.” Panthro are you alright,” Tygra asked as the panther got to his feet. Yes,” he replied in between coughs, “ that last explosion threw me, did everyone make it out?” Panthro asked.
” So far you are the only one we found” cheetara answered. “ We have to go back for Maya and the kids,” Panthro said 
Then they heard a sound overhead. Three sky cutters where headed straight for them. . “Cheetara, Tygra replied, Go get help”.
 “ Damn it” Panthro cursed as he looked back at the lair. “ I knew I should have waited until morning”.
 “ What do you mean?” Tygra asked looking back at Panthro. ”There was a problem with one of the sensors, and I had to take a few systems off line to repair it.” Panthro replied. “What a time for something like this to happen, with Lion-o gone we are the only ones left”.

Lea had managed to fall back to sleep but apart of her was still alert, listening for danger. Everything was quiet. The cave was semi-dark the fire had all but gone out only a few ambers remained. Then what she feared the most happened, a loud roar sounded followed by slow quiet footsteps.
 “ LEA” a voice roared. Lea froze, She did not move in hopes he would not find her and move on. Lion-o knew she was here he could smell her, which drove him further in his efforts to find her, he let out a deep growl and waited for her to answer.
 She her mind told her to flee, but her body hearing the growl wanted to go to him. She jumped to her feet ready to strike. 
He stood in the entrance; the only light in the cavern was the moonlight, which just giving him enough light that he could make out her form with his night vision. The sword growled a warning, he did not pay any it any notice, and it growled again trying to warn him of danger.  He grew irritated and threw in on the ground and went inside the, he was on the hunt. He roared and she responded but not the way he wanted her too, She took an aggressive stance, she was not willing to accept him.

He walked up to her in slow measured steps.” Lea “ he whispered his voice low and deep.
His body screamed at him to take her. 
She back away from him, she seen the look in his eyes, he was on the hunt and she was his prey. “NO” Lea growled, She had to run, she bolted but before she could get passed him, he made a lunge for her and caught her foot, which sent her falling to the hard ground knocking the breath out of her.
 She kicked out her foot and caught him on the chin. He let go, she once again was on her feet trying to run. He caught her by the hair, pulled her to him, his hand on the back of her neck he pinned her to the cave wall. “ Please don’t do this,” she cried as His claws dug into her arm, with the front of her body pinned she could not move.
 “ MINE” he snarled .His teeth sunk into the nape of her neck as he ripped at her clothing. She cried out in pain as his claws ripped at her flesh. He turned her around so she was facing him.
 He grabbed her hands with one of his and pinned them over her head. She tried to break free but he stronger; he nuzzled her neck drinking in her scent. This intoxicated him further;” Lion-o no” she protested.
 He sunk his teeth into her shoulder not hard enough to draw blood, but enough to keep her from struggling. She stopped trying to break free, deep inside of her mind she cried out, the bite mixed with his scent caused her hormones to rage. Instinct took over and she let out a roar, she had no choice, mate or die.

Lion-o had no control over what he was doing he was lost in his own hunger, somewhere deep in his mind a voice told him “do not hurt her, she is yours now”.
He looked into her eyes and saw they where full of fear. He let go of her hands long enough to throw her on the ground. He met resistance as he ripped away what remained of her clothing. 
She cried out as his claws dug into her arms drawing blood. He kissed her hard, bruising her lips, his hands roaming over her body, it was cool inside the cave but her body was hot to the touch. She could not move he was on top of her she was trapped.
He parted her legs with his knee and took her roughly. She cried out in pain but this did not stop him it just inflamed him further. 
She clawed at him, leaving deep scratches on his arms and chest. He grabbed her hair pulling her head back exposing her throat. It was a warning, She knew if she moved he could kill her. The pain became too excruciating and she slipped into unconsciousness.

Monkian made a few passes around the lair. “ Slithe, there is no signs of the thundercats “ Monkian replied as he made another pass. “Now is our chance “.   “ Slithe to vultureman you can stop the catapult we are going to take a look inside” Slithe replied as he and the others landed in the courtyard.
 Slithe stood before the large doors and with one mighty swing of his axe, he was able to break the door and enter. “ Monkian you and jackelman check up stairs while I check down here and if you find anyone kill them” slithe said with a sneer. 
The two mutants went from room to room. They entered the library and destroyed everything that was standing. Smashing the furniture and burning the books. They crept down the hallway to the bedrooms.
 They entered the twin’s room and smash the beds, ripped bed linens and clothing. “There is no one here “ Monkian replied as they entered another bedroom. “ Well let us make sure if they do come back, they have nothing left “ Jacklman said as he used his weapon to destroy what ever got in his way.  Suddenly a whimpering sound caught jackelman ear. He motion to monkian to stop. They had found their first victim.

When Lea awoke it was almost dawn, she was lying by the fire wrapped in a blanket. 
“ Had it been all a dream?” She thought to her self. However, as she tried to move, her body told her it was not, her whole body ached. She was bloody and covered in scratches, bite-marks and bruises.
 “ Lea” Lion-o whispered as he entered the cave. Lea backed away from him in fear. He went over to her, knelt beside her, and offered her a drink of water.
 She took the cup with a shaky hand and drank. He reached out to touch her but she pulled away. “ Don’t touch me,” she whispered.
 “ Lea” he said in a low voice,  “ I want you to leave” she replied looking at the fire. “ Lea, I won’t leave you,” he protested. “LEAVE” She growled. Lion-o hung his head and walked out.

Tygra and cheetara arrived in the thundertank. They saw Lion-o standing out side the cave entrance. “ Oh, god “ Cheetara gasped. “ How are we going to tell her Tygra”. He stopped the tank and the pair jumped out.
 As they walked up to him, they could see he was full of scratches and had a large bruise on his chin. . Tygra looked at Lion-o unsure what to say. “ Lion-o, we have some bad news” Tygra replied trying to find the right word to say. “ A few hours ago the Lair was attacked”. “ Is everyone okay” Lion-o asked.
 “ We sustained heavy damage, but nothing that can’t be fixed” Tygra said he knew he had to tell him. Cheetara held his hand and nodded to him to continue. “ The mutants got inside and started destroying the place”. Tygra said as he squeezed Cheetara’s hand.
 “ You never answered my question Tygra, was anyone hurt “ lion-o said.” We lost Maya” Tygra whispered.” What” Lion-o gasped?
 “Jackelman and monkian found her, she was protecting Leo, they where going to kill them both, kit and Kat tried to help her but they where no match for them, they killed Maya and was going after Leo when Panthro came into the room, I am so sorry, there was nothing I could do to save her”. Tygra replied quietly.
“ Go attend to Lea “ lion-o replied quietly.  Tygra nodded and went inside. He found Lea curled in a ball by the fire, as he got closer he noticed her whole body was shaking, she was alive.  “ Lea “ he said softly. 
She raised her head and looked at him, her eyes grew wide and she started the scream. “ No, stay away from me”.  Cheetara ran to lea’s side. “It is okay lea, Tygra isn’t going to hurt you, “ Cheetara said softly as she held lea.
 Lea clung to Cheetara like a terrified cub and cried. “ It’s time to go home” cheetara replied as she helped lea to her feet and wrapped the blanket around her tightly. 

Once they reached the lair Lion-o could see the damage that was done, the outer walls where cracked and scorched, the large cat’s head was severely damaged and the main doors where smashed. Once they went inside, most of the lower level had been ransacked. He saw tables over turned, pictures had been torn down and ripped apart; the whole place was a mess. 
Cheetara and Tygra took Lea straight to the infirmary. “ Lea” she said, “ You are going to have to let Tygra and I examine you and clean your wounds” Lea nodded.
 Cheetara had to bite down on her lip to keep from gasping as they removed the blanket. Lea’s body was covered in several deep scratches that needed to be stitched.
 Once they clean the blood and dirt off her body they could make out the forming of bruises all over her, she had two deep bite marks, one on her shoulder and back of her neck that would leave a scar. 
Once they got her patched up and clean, Tygra gave her something to help her sleep. “ My god tygra, how are we going to tell her after what she just went through” Cheetara replied as they left the infirmary.” She will need a few days rest before she is told.” Tygra replied as they went o see lion-o.

Lion-o just sat on his bed how was he going to tell his wife that her mother had been murdered. The first thing he did when they got back was to check on his son. He did go to see Panthro but the panther would not answer his door. A knock on is door brought him back to the present. Lion-o took a deep breath before he answered.
 “ We came to see if you where all right” Tygra said as they entered the room. “Yes, I am “ lion-o whispered. “ What about lea, is she okay and what about Panthro how is he doing”. 
“ Lea is resting, and Panthro, he hasn’t come out of his room all day” tygra replied as he clean Lion-o’ scratches.
 “ I didn’t mean to hurt her” Lion-o said softly and turned to Tygra. “ I have never hurt her before”.  Tygra motion to cheetara to leave so he could talk to Lion-o alone Cheetara nodded and left. “ This time was different Lion-o, you had no control over what happened, this was the first time she refused you wasn’t it” Tygra asked.
Lion-o nodded. Tygra his hand on Lion-o shoulder. “ But I forced my self on her, I could hear her cries of pain, but I was powerless to stop myself. It was as if I was a different person, you never seen the look in her eyes when she saw me this morning, she was scared to death of me, she may never forgive me for this, I know now why she hides from me.” Lion-o replied as he looked at his friend.
 “Your primal instinct had taken over. She refused you because it was her rite to do so, Now my advice to you my friend is to get some rest, you are going to need it” the tiger replied as he left the room. 
However, Lion-o did not sleep, every time he closed his eyes he could see the sheer terror in Lea’s eyes and hear her screams of pain. He did not realize how badly he had hurt her until it was over and the madness was gone. He remembered looking down at her seeing the damage, he had done.
 He did not know when she passed out, but he was grateful she did for her own sake, at least she was somewhat spared his assaults. If Lea never allowed him to touch her again for as long as she lived, he would not blame her. He had to go see her, to see with his own eyes if she was all right.
When Lion-o reached the infirmary, he saw Lea sleeping peacefully. He walked slowly over to her bedside and looked down at her. He sat in the chair that was sitting beside the bed.
 “ What have I done to you?” He whispered. She looked as if a wild animal had attacked her. She was covered in bandages and what skin was exposed was bruised. 
Then he saw a patch of bright red mane sticking out from under the blanket by her chest. He slowly pulled back the covers; Leo who was now a little over a year old had been brought to her and was now curled up in her arms sound asleep. Lion-o touched his son’s cheek. Leo slowly opened his eyes and looked up at him. Lion-o put his finger to his lips motioning to him not to make a sound.
Leo held out his arms wanting his father to hold him. Lion-o picked him up slowly as to not wake lea and held him. Leo went back to sleep on his father’s chest.
 Lion-o sat there half the night, holding his son, thankful that he was still alive; it would be hard enough to tell Lea about her mother, if they had lost their son too.
 If it were not for the code of Thundera, he would have gotten rid of those damn mutants along time ago. When it came to losing one of there own, he wondered if it was worth up holding the code if the first place.  How easy it would be to destroy them all.
 Lion-o wiped that image out of his mind. That was why the code was put in place, he did not want to sink to their level and become a cold-blooded murder. He looked down at his son and hugged the child closer to him.
 Tygra had come to check on Lea and saw Lion-o sitting in the chair at Lea’s bedside.
Tygra put a hand on the lion’s shoulder, “ I gave her a strong sedative, and she will likely sleep for a few more hours” he whispered. “ Go and put Leo to bed, there is nothing you can do for her now”. Lion-o nodded and carried his son to bed.

Chapter 2

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