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Ashfur's claws sunk into the ground as he gazed across the clearing at Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw. Squirrelflight licked Brambleclaw's cheek and curled her tail around his. The two cats looked so happy together, while Ashfur was in pain. How dare Squirrelflight reject him? She knew he had loved her, and she had broke his heart.

"I'm sorry Ashfur, but I don't love you." Squirrelflight had said.

Ashfur's eyes welled up with tears.

"I love Brambleclaw instead."

Ashfur felt his fur bristling.

"I just don't feel that way about you."

Ashfur felt as if everything in his life had fallen apart. He remembered the very painful words that came out of the ginger she-cat's mouth. Those words haunted him. He now realized that Squirrelflight didn't love him, not at all. She did say that she still wanted to be friends with him, but Ashfur didn't just want to be friends. He loved her with all his heart, but it turned out to be unrequited love.

Ashfur continued to watch the happy couple sharing tongues, tears rolling down his face. Squirrelflight didn't even seem to notice him. Then it hit Ashfur. She hated him. She only told him that she wanted to be friends to make him feel good. She wanted him to suffer. She wanted him to die. She wanted to see him bleed, and laugh as the blood drips onto the grass.

He stood there in the middle of the clearing, watching Brambleclaw stroll off into the warriors' den with the love of his life. Ashfur decided that it would be best to ignore Squirrelflight for the rest of the day. He thought it would be a nice afternoon to go hunting, trying to put ThunderClan on his mind. He wanted to find a nice juicy vole and give it to his apperentice Birchpaw. He sniffed the air, parting his jaws to taste the wind.

Then, Ashfur smelt something fresh. The scent came from the trees. Suddenly, the grey warrior saw something crawl down from a large oak. It was a squirrel. Straight away, Squirrelflight came into Ashfur's mind. The way she walked past him without even noticing him. The way she licked Brambleclaw. The way she loved making him upset and angry.

The grey warrior decided to ignore the squirrel and find some other prey, like the vole he wanted. But suddenly, he caught a wet, stinky scent. This was RiverClan scent. Ashfur's fur bristled. Did this mean RiverClan cats were hunting on ThunderClan territory? Ashfur had never trusted Leopardstar, the leader of RiverClan. She always seemed to have a relentless grudge on ThunderClan, but Ashfur didn't know why and he didn't care. All thoughts of his unrequited love went out of his mind. Panic blocked his throat. His brain was whirling. What was he going to do?

Suddenly the bushes shook. Ashfur's body arched, ready to pounce. Then out stepped, Hawkfrost. Ashfur's eyes widened. He had been right, it was a RiverClan warrior. But he hadn't expected it to be Hawkfrost, Brambleclaw's half brother. Hawkfrost held up his tail in a sign of peace. Ashfur's body lowered. Why hadn't Hawkfrost pounced out of his hiding place and clawed his eyes out?

Hawkfrost sniggered slighty, and sat down beside Ashfur. Ashfur was still confused. Hawkfrost wasn't showing any hostile behaviour towards him. Ashfur's head snapped around to stare Hawkfrost right in his icy blue eyes.

"What in StarClan's name are doing on my territory?" Ashfur hissed.

Hawkfrost chuckled before answering. "Oh Ashfur, I just need help, that's all." His tail suddenly touched Ashfur's pelt. The grey warrior yowled. "Don't you touch me you fox dung!"

Hawkfrost sighed. "Listen Ash..."

"Don't call me "Ash"!" Ashfur spat.

"I just need your help." Hawkfrost finshed.

Ashfur narrowed his eyes. "My help, with what?"

Hawkfrost smiled. "To kill Firestar!" The tabby let out an evil laugh.

Ashfur looked taken aback. Firestar was Squirrelflight's father, and the leader of ThunderClan. Ashfur couldn't betray his Clan, no matter how hurt he was.

"No Hawkfrost," meowed Ashfur. "I will not betray my Clan."

Hawkfrost's eyes suddenly grew hard and cold. It felt as if his eyes had struck Ashfur's heart. The wet tabby let out a yowl. "If you don't help me with leading Firestar to a fox trap and killing him, I will kill you, so how about it Ashfur?" Hawkfrost spat.

Ashfur didn't want to be murdered. But at the same time, he did wish he was dead. Squirrelflight had hurt him. Broke his heart for her own pleasure. All these dark thoughts rushed though his head until he felt it. The fury. The desire for revenge. The era of the new Ashfur.

Ashfur sighed. "Fine Hawkfrost, I'll help you..."

                                ****

Ashfur had lead Firestar to the fox trap. He had got caught in the trap. The plan was all going well until, Brambleclaw came along, killed Hawkfrost and freed Firestar. Ashfur's fury was still building up inside him. He knew that his one chance of revenge had gone. Squirrelflight was still happy with Brambleclaw. Birchpaw had become a warrior, now called Birchfall. Every cat in ThunderClan was happy and jolly, all except Ashfur. He still felt the same pain, the same hurt, and the same agony. A few moons ago, Squirrelflight had given birth to Brambleclaw's kits. Their names were Lionkit, Jaykit and Hollykit. Ashfur walked past the nursery from time to time, seeing Squirrelflight's kits playing outside.

Ashfur was not happy when the kits had reached six moons and were ready to become apprentices. Squirrelflight looked so overjoyed, not in the tiniest bit hurt. Ashfur remembered that ceremony clearly. How the love of his life never even looked at him. Inside, Ashfur thought, she was grinning nastily at him. Ashfur gained Lionkit, or Lionpaw as his apprentice.

Lionpaw was annoying, and bratty.

"For StarClan's sake Ashfur, you're not even trying!" Lionpaw spat.

Ashfur's mind tensed.

"Ashfur, the mouse-hearted warrior!"

Ashfur felt his heart racing.

"You're weak, they should call you Scaredfur!"

That's when Ashfur snapped. He attacked Lionpaw, claws unsheathed. Yowling at him at the top of his voice.

"SHUT up Lionpaw! You piece of fox-dung!" Ashfur screamed.

                             ****

Moons had passed by after that incident. Firestar had to split up that fight. He said he was disgusted to find a mentor and apprentice fighting in their own territory with their claws unsheathed.

Lionpaw became Lionblaze, a fine warrior of ThunderClan. So did the other two siblings, now called Hollyleaf and Jayfeather, whom had become a medicine cat.

Then came the fire...

Ashfur had had enough. Squirrelflight had caused him so much pain that he had to do something. He had trapped Lionblaze, Hollyleaf and Jayfeather in a roaring inferno, threating to kill them all.

"Ashfur, stop this madness!" Screamed Squirrelflight. "What in StarClan's name are you talking about?"

"You have no idea how much pain I'm in Squirrelflight, it's like being cut open every day, and bleeding onto the stones. I don't understand how all of you failed to see the blood!"

But Squirrelflight told Ashfur that Lionblaze, Hollyleaf and Jayfeather were not her kits. Ashfur let them out the fire, but vowed he would tell every cat at the next gathering.

Running off to a nearby stream, Ashfur looked at himself in the water. He then began to see a monster of black death, whirling behind him. He turned around and saw Hollyleaf. She pounced, and killed him.

Ashfur felt himself being thrown into blackness. But for some strange reason, he felt happy. Because now he was dead, there was no more fury, and no more Squirrelflight...

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