Shimmer watched Hawk as he churned the sand with strong swipes of his paws. It was dawn at the Alphas burrow and Hawk and Shimmer were the first ones up. Shimmer was sunning herself with her dark-skinned stomach facing the sun while Hawk was tidying the burrow entrance. Shimmer couldn’t help but admire him. He had always been the brave one, even when he was a pup. Shimmer’s three litter brothers were rowdy and fun, but even though they had been raised together Hawk was different. He was thoughtful and courageous. The type of meer who would lend a helping paw to those in need. He had proven that last moon when he dove into the pond to rescue a Delta female. The kind act had almost killed him, but luckily Queen knew a meer healer who had been able to cure him of the infection. If Hawk was brave enough to risk his life for others why couldn’t she work up the courage to tell him how she felt?
“Hawk.” She called and trotted up to him. He stopped digging and looked at her with his big orange eyes. “I want to tell you something.”
“Yes, Shimmer?” He implored. “What is it?” He smiled, showing all his teeth.
Her heart thundered in her chest. She took a deep breath. “Hawk I-”
“Wait.” He stepped closer to her, his gaze intense. She could see the breeze rippling through his tawny pelt. “I think I know what you’re going to say. And I feel the same.”
“Y-you do?” Shimmer asked, bewildered. Could it be true? How had she never noticed?
“Of course I do!” Hawk barked a laugh. “I’ve just been waiting for the right moment to tell you…..”
Shimmer waited, holding her breath. She couldn’t believe that this was really happening! Hawk leaned close enough that she could feel his breath stirring her fur. He opened his mouth and whispered. “Shimmer, wake up.”
Shimmer stepped back, startled. “What?”
“Shimmer.” His voice sounded odd, not like his own. “Shimmer, my sweet bird, wake up.”
With a jolt Shimmer blinked open her eyes to the darkness of the burrow. The air around her stirred with movement as the rest of the family woke. “Shimmer.” It was her mother, Poppy.
Shimmer groaned and closed her eyes again. Of course, it had only been a dream. Poppy nosed her again and Shimmer forced herself to sit up. “I’m awake.” She said. “I’m awake.”