The pale gold lioness hadn't been invited on the hunt, nor had she wanted to participate. But she'd ended up following the party anyway, if only to escape the grating chatter of the rest of the pride. Everyone was abuzz with gossip, real or imagined, and she'd found none of it useful. Unthinkingly, she'd follow the scent of her pride mates as they stalked the herd of zebra. She stayed back once she realized where her feet had carried her. Akiba had brought Tol along, an interesting decision given that there was really no love there. She clambered onto of a rock and watched the disaster hunt unfold. She rolled her eyes when Akiba selected the colt; a poor choice in Kono's opinion. The foal was clearly strong enough to outrun a male lion if he could just hold on long enough. Her yellow eyes gleamed with vicious anticipation, knowing full well this would not end in the hunting pair's favor. When the colt escaped and Akiba stalked off back towards Pride Rock, the golden lioness leapt off the rock with a cackle.
Trotting up to her cousin, Tol, she waited till Akiba was out of earshot, still laughing under her breath.
"Don't be too hard on yourself," Kono said to him in silken alto tones. "It was her own fault for not picking out the filly with the lame foot."
Everyone was Pride Rock was being so darn dodgy, and it annoyed her to no end. One day, it had seemed that they'd all been together as one big family. Sure, some family members got on better than others and deep down, she'd always been aware that she was on the outside of the cousinship that existed within the pride, but she'd still been part of the group, even if on the fringes. But something had shifted. Instead of them all lounging together, squabbling together, and just functioning together, everyone was off in groups, whispering in hushed tones. The edgy atmosphere agitated her, her own anxiety manifesting more outwardly then others. Her creamy ears laid flat to the sides of her head, and her long tail swished side to side, slicing through the air of its won accord.
She stood on a higher peak of Pride Rock, surveying the groups that had formed beneath her. She wanted to march down there and tell everyone what was what. It wasn't like her to separate herself from the pride. But then again, it wasn't like the pride to be so divided in spirit, if not in proximity. Xoe and Kii sat together. Since they weren't among the inner cousins of the pride, like herself, it seemed like the de facto group to join. Boring. Her eyes switched to see Suke and Akiba huddled together. Out of all the other lionesses, Akiba was certainly the one Raiia liked best and was the most fond of. But the expression on Suke's face spoke of the serious tone of their conversation, and for once, she thought it better not to interrupt. But hiding in the shadows not too far off were Kula and Shanii. They seemed the perfect targets for her to unleash her irritation.
She marched off the ridge, heading into the cool shadows of the mighty rock formation. The closer she got to the two lionesses, the quieter she walked, gently feeling the pulse of earth under the soles of her feet, padding silently towards them.
She approached just to catch the last words Kula spoke. Something about brothers wanting her to join. Not wanting to abandon her family.
"Whose brothers want who to join what?" she growled lowly, shouldering her way into the space between Kula and Shanii. She looked expectedly from side to side, despite her intrusion.