Love can destroy
Love can scar
Love is hard to reach
Oh so far
I huffed out a sigh as I threw the last moss ball out. The three apprentices were tired, grumpy, and annoyed with cleaning out the dens for everyone.
"Are we done?" Tigerpaw asked, flopping onto the ground, tufts of moss sticking out from her pelt.
Creampaw let out a dramatic sigh and started to groom her tail half-heartedly, "Even if we're not done, I'm not going to keep cleaning." She muttered.
Fogpaw agreed with her.
I kicked the wad of moss away from us and nodded breathlessly, "That's the last den, we're done." All three apprentices cheered, though they looked exhausted, so I dismissed them to the apprentice den where they could sleep the day off.
"Tigerpaw!" Thornstrike called out, and the dark brown she-cat snapped around, obviously annoyed with her mentor.
"What?" She asked, her eyelips drooping.
"We're going on a hunting patrol, come on!" He barked, and his amber eyes flitted to me, and I flinched, "Moonflight, you can take the other two apprentices to do battle training." He snapped, stalking away. Rainsong, who emerged behind me let out a gusty sigh.
All three apprentices wailed.
"I don't want to go on the hunting patrol!"
"Haven't we done enough?"
Three voices called out simultaneously. Thornstrike stopped and whirled around and stalked back, stopping in front of me. "Is this what you teach them while cleaning out dens? To complain because they're 'tired'?" I stepped back, shocked.
"No!" I exclaimed, "But they deserve their rest. They just cleaned all the dens in camp, and collected enough moss to make all the nests. You're over working them, Thornstrike."
He narrowed his eyes, hidden anger for me stirring, "Watch your tongue, Moonflight, don't forget who's second in charge here."
You don't let me forget. I reflected.
Tigerpaw nudged her way forward, "You don't get to boss around like that!" she hissed, "We're all tired, and you're just acting as though we didn't just clean all the dens!"
Creampaw and Fogpaw nodded, though they looked too terrified to speak out against Thornstrike. The deputy glared at his apprentice and growled stiffly, "Get moving."
I felt Rainsong's tail rest on my shoulder, and she whispered, "I don't know what happened to your brother, but you best watch your back."
I nodded gratefully to the gray she-cat and flicked my tail at Creampaw and Fogpaw, "Come on, we'll do some battle moves and then you can go to your nest."
Tigerpaw stomped after Thornstrike, her own amber eyes flashing. Creampaw stared after her sister, and sighed, "I don't get what's gotten into Thornstrike. He's been so harsh today." My apprentice muttered, and Fogpaw grunted his agreement.
I silenced them both with a look, but I agreed with them. Thornstrike was venting his anger at me, but he should not have been so harsh on the apprentices, just to keep me on my paws.
"Let's go," I sighed.
I led them to the training clearing, a simple one that we used before sending apprentices to the training camp. "Alright, you two, show me a good attacking crouch."
Creampaw immediately dropped into the hunter's crouch, while Fogpaw took awhile to adjust his stance so it looked as though he was leaning forward. I shifted his paws so he would be in a more comfortable position and mewed, "The hunter's crouch is a good stance to use when attacking, but you should lean forward as Fogpaw is, but spread out your paws so you can balance yourself and leap out easily."
My own apprentice adjusted her paws, and I rewarded them with a quick "good job" and asked them to scuffle.
They leaped at one another, and I watched as they tumbled, assessing the moves they could improve and what they should have done instead.
When we finally stumbled back into camp, Tigerpaw was sitting outside of the apprentice den, grooming. She looked up, scowling.
Creampaw sat next to her, and Fogpaw flanked her on the other side. I praised them on their good work today and told them to get their rest.
Rainsong joined me again, and she leaned over and mewed, "Thornstrike's hunting patrol met a RushClan patrol and Frostclaw was there and apparently he's the new deputy of RushClan, and Emberstar is the new leader of RushClan."
"Did anything happen?" I asked, my stomach clenching.
Rainsong shook her head, "Nothing that I heard of, but the RushClan cats said they will know when we attack, and that our best choice is to just surrender before cats start to die."
"The spy." I croaked out.
The gray she-cat nodded, "The spy," she agreed, "Thornstrike talked with Snowstar about a plan to dig out the spy."
My gaze slid to Snowstar's den, and I was afraid of what Thornstrike would say to the leader. He could easily just tell Snowstar about what I had done.
"I'm going out for a walk," I mewed, starting towards the entrance. Rainsong watched me go, and I felt my pelt prick with unease and wondered if the gray she-cat suspected that I was the spy. StarClan, I hope not. I did not need enemies in StormClan.
I strolled through the forest, not sure where I was really going.
"Did you decide that you'd rather give me information anyways?"
I looked up, and my heart skipped a beat when I stared into the eyes of Frostclaw. "No, I'm just patrolling my territory, I have a right to do that."
He smirked, "Yes because you can patrol your territory while staring at the ground."
I glared at him, but I could barely muster enough anger to yell at him, "I suggest we stay apart," I mewed coldly, "Things are getting difficult between the two Clans."
"I know," Frostclaw mewed easily, "But I was the one who told you to stay away did I not? You shouldn't be here anyways."
He leaned in close and whispered, "And I'm here to make your life worse."
Before he pulled away, I heard someone shout. "Hey! You two stop right there!" Frostclaw then pulled away and disappeared into his territory, leaving me stunned.
Moments later, I felt Thornstrike's claws pressing into my throat and suddenly I was staring up at the sky. "Traitor," Thornstrike snarled, "What were you telling Frostclaw this time?"