Chapter One: Storm Warning

It was cold, an everlasting darkness, and the unseen trees overhead swayed under a howling wind. I was running, from what I didn't know. Panting, I continued through the unknown, my eyes searching for anything to help me. Quite suddenly, a pleading, desperate voice called my name, except that I didn't have a name...

I woke up from that terrible nightmare, as my eyes wandered around. I realized that I was in a cave, the only light coming from small, thin cracks in the ceiling. I paced nervously. Where was I, and more importantly, who was I...?

Suddenly, a creaking noise came from the end of the narrow corridor at the end of the cave. The rocks shifted, and a cat entered, slowly, and looked down at my fearful eyes, as if he was better than me. "Wh-Who are you?" I stutter as his bright, amber glare hardens. "You don't need to know," he sneers quietly. He then grabs a sparrow at his paws and thrusts it towards me. I cautiously take a few gulps down. I devour the rest. The tom softly laughs, rather cruelly, at my hunger. "Had enough?" the unnamed cat says tauntingly. I give a slight nod. He then beckons a few cats forward, who I still can't make out in the dark shadows. The deposit two small bundles, squirming helplessly on the cold floor. Kits! I think urgently, wondering how they're surviving in this harsh environment. "Don't let them die." says the cat, much softer than before. His eyes grow kinder, the amber glow like a warm fire. He leaves a few mice behind, muttering "I'll come back," before exiting, once more tilting the stones with his friends at his side."Please," I call helplessly, as they begin to leave, unseen in the darkness. "Who am I?"

"Lynx" I hear the tom's voice call, after a small hesitation. I lay down where a few moss grows on a flat patch of rock, while the kits suckle. I begin to settle down, hoping the dream will leave, and instead offer peace from the information I have just learned.

Chapter Two: Winds Blow

Cats were chasing me, hard on my paws. I kept on running, faster and faster until I could move no further. I collapsed on the cold, damp grass, as the enemies skidded to a halt and began circling around me. I felt closed, terrified to see what would come next, not knowing if I'd live for another heartbeat...

I woke up, out of breath and nervous, while Swift began to stir. He was still young, and quiet, though he was beginning to grow. The other kit died soon after he was brought here, he was to small.

I'll miss you, my little Mouse.

But this was no place to regret. This was a place of darkness, uncertainty, and lost dreams. I had ventures a bit father into the cave, finding more cats kept prisoner here. Like Frost, a light gray she-cat, who had battled with me the other day. She had long claws, and hunger had nearly maddened her. Only a few scrawny mice ventured to these caves.

She almost never was given prey like me.

The mysterious tom had revisited me for the third time yesterday. He told me a few things, but I still felt like I knew nothing about this life. I had mentioned these terrifying dreams, and looked shocked. He said to never mention them again, not to anybody. I complied, as he has long, deadly fangs, and curved claws.

He could have me dead in a heartbeat. I don't know why I remained prisoner.

A cracking noise drew my attention, and then I saw the cat once again enter. His gray pelt was illuminated by the light that made their way through the cracks. "Hello," he began formally. "Is Swift okay?" he asked quickly.

"Fine," I reply, as Swift yawned and opened his tiny blue eyes. Looking around, he noticed the tom and crept back towards me. I wrapped my tail protectively around him.

Padding closer to me, he sat down. "Are you okay?" he asked, suddenly. This question surprised me, as he mostly seemed worried about the kit. I hesitated on my response. "I'm fine, I suppose," I admitted. "But just one thing, just one thing, I need to know." I said, looking at the amber gaze that seemed to glow in the dark den.

"What?" He asked, looking into my light gray eyes.

"Please, just tell me your name," I begged.

He quickly stood up, looking fearful. He looked around, as if searching for other cat. "Alright," he whispers hurriedly. "But you cannot tell anybody. Ever." I nod, and he lets out a quiet sigh.

"My name," he muttered. "is Storm."

Chapter Three: Rain Pours Down

Thunder roared furiously, and lightning bolts cackled evilly, dancing around the sky, giving flashes of blinding light. Once more, the cats were hard on my paws. But this time, I am just running from the storm, from pure fear, from all of my deepest secrets, of none I knew.

I woke up, shaking. I looked around for Swift, so I could draw him close, reminding me why I cling to life in this prison.

But the black kit wasn't in the nest.

"Swift!" I called, panicking, fearing the worst. "Swift!" I raced down the narrow tunnel I had been before, noticing faint pawprints, just the size of the missing kit. I followed them, running after them, until I heard a terrified mewing, the scared squealing of a kit-

"NO!" I yowl, leaping towards Swift as he tried to balance his small front paws on a sharp, steep rock on the ceiling of the cave. I ran faster, but in my heart, knowing I was to far away to reach him in time. Then, a shadow leaps out from the darkness, a white tom, his pelt dirtied with a few bits of dirt and dust from some eroding rocks. He grabs swift by the scruff just as he nearly hits the ground. Laying Swift down, the terrified kit bounds over to me, shaking. I begin to lick his pelt to calm him, and scold him. "You silly kit! Why did you go off without me! Didn't I tell you not to?" "Y-Yes, Lynx," Swift squeaks, looking at the cave floor. "Thank you," I say to the white tom, who has so far remained silent. "Without you, this foolish kit would have been dead." He just kept his yellow gaze steady as he answers me. "I wouldn't let a kit die. Most of them in this cave don't make it as far as your's has."

"Oh," I reply simply, now grateful that at least one of the kits survived- for now. "Well, thanks again." I pick up Swift by his scruff, and begin to trek back to our part of the dark tunnels, when the tom calls out again, curious. "What's you're name?"

"Lynx," I reply quietly. The white tom then adds "My name's Wasp."

Chapter Four: Sun Breaks Through

The next morning, I woke Swift up early, when only the faintest rays of dawn light made there way through the cracked ceiling. He began to protest, whining, when I silenced him with the flick of my tail. "We're going to explore." I mutter quietly to the excited kit. "But be very quiet," I add, "Other cats may not like it if you bound into their nests, waking them up." I don't tell him my real fear, that other cats like Frost may try to rid of cats who take up precious prey.

I share the last mouse on our hidden pile with Swift- I need to catch more, because Storm hasn't visited us for three sunrises, and I don't want to depend on the cat who keeps me prisoner.

Motioning for Swift to follow, I stalk quietly through the rocky tunnels, occasionally coming to an opening with an empty nest or a cat, fast asleep. The tiny stream we follow drowns out any noise Swift makes when he stumbles over a rock. I must admit, he's growing bigger, I need to teach him to hunt, even though I don't excel myself in that area, and-

Fighting. I can hardly defend myself, let alone teach another cat. Yet, Swift must learn these vital lessons, better than I have. I don't know who taught me my amateur skills- No matter how hard I try, I can't recall anything, unless my nightmares are my past...

I'm only brought back to reality when a cat runs over, he teeth bared. "Who are you- haven't seen you in these caves before." Shoving Swift behind me, I face my enemy, a ginger she-cat. She's about to leap at me, and as I brace myself, I hear a familiar voice speak out. "Cobra?"

We both turn our heads at the direction of the voice. It's Wasp, with a plump shrew in his teeth. Setting the prey down, he bounds over towards me. "Lynx, what are you doing here? I thought you were headed downstream, towards the front of the cave." Looking at the confused ginger rouge, his pads over towards her, giving her a lick on her ear. "The kit is the one that fell from the rock last sunrise, the one I told you about," he then turns toward me. "Cobra's my mate. She was on guard while I hunted today." I nod, then pull Swift back towards me, softly stroking him with the tip of my tail.

Wasp flicked his tail, an obvious indication that we should follow. As Swift stumbled to keep pace, I tried to comfort him, telling him it wouldn't be much farther until he could rest, while in reality I had no clue where we were being led. But he then stopped, and we halted behind him. Wasp settled down on a thin, mossy nest, and Cobra curled up besides him. Settling down in front of our hosts, I pulled my foster kit towards me.

Wasp began to talk. "Lynx- You're a Secret, aren't you?"

Chapter Five: The Eye of the Storm

I stare at my friend, open jawed. "A-A what?" I manage to stutter, still in awe that he might know the reason I'm here. "A Secret." Wasp repeats. "You don't remember anything, do you?" I can't talk; I'm in shock that he knows this, when I hardly do. "You where brought here for a reason, you don't think they randomly imprison cats, no do you?" I don't even have time to shake my head when a voice from the shadows suddenly hisses. "No- I don't think so."

Storm was there.

He bounds over and rakes his claws over Wasp's pelt, and the two toms began to furiously battle.

"No!" I shriek, but one of Storm's follower's knocks my to the ground from behind, and I need to catch my breath before I realize that Swift is mewing, terrified. I grab him frantically, and bound away from the battle scene. I feel horrible about leaving Wasp and Cobra alone, but i only have one thought on my mind right now. Save Swift... Save Swift!I give an enormous leap and scramble up into a slit in the rock. It's just big enough for the kit to hide in out of view. "Stay!" I order him. "Don't leave," Swift pleads, but I don't have a choice but to return to the fight.

I I leap up from behind a boulder, landing on the back of a tortoiseshell she-cat. We claw each other, until I feel my scruff being lift pulled away. "Get off!" I shriek, kicking whoever is taking me from the fight. Then I see huge, gray paws on the floor- Storm. "You stupid she-cat!" He yowls to me. "Why are you fighting- WHERE IS SWIFT?!" His amber eyes glint murderously at me. "Cave- at the roof- downstream," I stutter, as I see blood welling from spot where Storm had roughly grabbed me. Too much had flowed out, and I lose consciousness.

Chapter Six: Thunder Strikes

The cats return, still hunting me down in the haunted forest, seemingly better and stronger than before, more determined to bring me down. But they have a weakness- but I can't tell what it is, I can't place my paw on it-

I wake up in a nest surrounded by bracken and a few feathers. I wonder why there isn't any moss?. But of course, I had other worries on my mind- Where am I? What happened? Where's Swift?-

Am I dead?

No, I can't, Can't I feel my pelt on the nest- and don't dead cats fade away to nothing, just a lost memory. And I can't leave yet! Swift needs me, for whatever happened to his real mother, can't happen to me. He needs love. What did Storm do to him? Is he hurting him- No! I make myself believe. He loved Swift. And then it hits me- He took away the one thing in this life I knew I loved, my little Swift. Now my heart is clawed to a thousand pieces, and I truly feel like Storm killed me in cold blood. I hate him. I wish him dead.

Suddenly, I hear meows from outside the den. I feign sleep as I hear two cats walk in. I can make out words, and identify one of the cats as Storm. I stop myself from hissing, knowing that would give away my location. I listen to their conversation as I lay hidden in the shadows.

"Listen, Storm, you can't just let a prisoner get away with that! You know the punishment for her-" snarls a she-cat

"Listen, May!" snaps Storm, fury erupting from his voice. "I am in charge of her group! I have as much authority as you!"

"Yes, but for how much longer?" growls May, a hint of satisfaction in her voice. "I doubt Air will be pleased with the outcome of your battle. Helping prisoners, please!"

I hear claw scraping against the stone floor, and Storm growls low. "So, when did Air put you in charge? He makes the decisions around here. Now leave!" I hear clawing on a cat, and May yowling. Then pawsteps gradually fade away.

Storm mutters something, and then comes near my nest in the corner of the den. "I know you're awake." He meows calmly. I open one eyes slowly, and hazily see the gray pelt of Storm. He seems to look over my wounds, and nods. "You'll live." I turn my head gingerly towards Storm, my muscles aching at the effort. "Listen" Storm whispers, an urgent tone in his breath. "They'll be after you, after what happened. Only one way can save you from being Dueled." His voice became gentler, with a foreign emotion tied in with it.

"Will you be my mate?"

Chapter Seven: Tornado Winds

I'm following something- but what? Why don't I know? Why don't I stop? I try to make sense of this, but my legs keep running, I can't stop. The night is pitch black, moonless, only faint outlines of stars guiding my paws. But I can tell dawn is approaching, because the smallest light forms over the land. A cat is in front of me, with his unforgettable pelt. It's Storm. I don't know why I'm following him, I don't want to follow him, but something keeps pushing me to go, a force I don't know, I've never felt. What is it, what is it....

My jaw hangs open at Storm's offer. How can I love a cat who kept me prisoner, whose done all that he's done. How can he love me?

"Please," he mews quietly. "It's the only way. The only way it'll work out."

"What?" I whisper. "A way for what?"

"They'll hurt me, you, Swift- everybody down there unless this happens! The Deputies' mates are spared immediately- spared of any previous rule breaking. It's a privilege that we must take advantage of!" His eyes flash in fear- a higher power must command Storm.

So it's not true. He can't love anybody like that. He's just protecting himself. Plus, I'm lost on what he's saying. Deputies? Rule breaking? What place is this place?

"Do it," he pleads. "Or Swift will be killed. Immediately."

It hits me. No other way to save my little joy, Swift. "Fine, I will." my barely audible mew voices my decision. Storm looks delighted, relieved.

Oh, shaving cream! Forgot to mention this is mine!LeopardkitSunClan Forever!

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