"Get back here!" Storm called after her kits from her den. "You're not supposed to be outside yet."
The kits stopped exploring and looked at their mother. "But-" one of them mewed.
"No buts. Come on, you're too little. Being two days old and going outside? You know better." Storm was surprised her kits even knew about outside yet. "Mama I'm..." the small white dappled tom yawned. "I'm tired, and I'm hungry."
"Well, come on, then," Storm picked him up by the scruff. "Lets go."
"What are we going to learn today?" Brendon watched his apprentice bounce around him like a joy-happy kit. "Getting ready to be a warrior," he mewed. "You'll be one the day after tomorrow."
Amy lit up and swirled around. "Really?" she asked, running around him in circles.
"Yeah," he answered, lightly stepping on her tail to stop her. He smiled. "And if you don't stop spinning, you're going to vomit up your breakfast."
"I do feel a little dizzy..." Amy seemed as if she was going to pass out. The small she-cat flopped to the floor and moaned.
Brendon saw how sick her face looked and meowed, "maybe we could go training later,"
"That...would be fine." Amy groaned. She got up and slowly walked over to the apprentice's den.
Brendon shook his head. Was she ready to be a warrior? He shook the disbelief from his mind and sat down. She's just an apprentice, he thought. why do I have feelings for her?
"Dawnpaw, wait!" Sleetpaw called. "We shouldn't be here, this is FireClan territory."
"I think I know it's FireClan territory," the dark ginger she-cat growled. "We're going to hunt here."
"But that's stealing! We're not like ThornClan. We're friends with FireClan! And-"
"And what? There's nothing more." Dawnpaw retorted at Sleetpaw's mew.
Sleetpaw unsheathed her claws and glared at her Clanmate. "And the Gathering is soon,"
She saw her friend stop, and look at her. "Oh, you're right... and we wont go if Sharpstar knows what we're doing."
Sleetpaw nodded and went on: "And their leader"-she pointed with her tail to the way of FireClan camp-"will tell everyone at the gathering."
Danwpaw hung her head and tucked her tail between her legs. 'Lets go," she mewed quietly.
Sleetpaw scented more cats and froze stiff. "FireClan cats- they're coming!" she dashed for the bushes, and Dawnpaw sat there, staring.
A FireClan patrol came out, and just to Sleetpaw's luck, their leader was in the front. "And what is this?" he asked, his dark brown fur bristling.
"We lost our way- we're sorry Blake, we didn't mean to come here." Sleetpaw hoped he would believe it, she hated lying to him.
Blake sighed. "Since we worked together," he gritted his teeth. "many moons ago; Ill let you pass. Go back to MidnightClan territory and never come back unless you're aloud."
Sleetpaw nodded and Dawnpaw was already headed for the other side of the border. Sleetpaw fallowed her friend, her light gray fur fluffing up in fear.
"Help! Echo, help!" a desperate mew woke up the silver she-cat. She raised her head and blinked sleep from her eyes. "What is it?" she asked.
She saw Benny rushing at her, him limping on his right hind leg. "What happened?" Echo asked, coming out of her den. She looked at Benny's face and could tell he was about to start wailing. beads of tears dripped from his eyes every few seconds, and he tried to sit down but couldn't.
Benny's mentor, also his father, Bryce, was standing close to him. "I think he dislodged it,"
Echo looked at it carefully and mewed, "yeah, he sure did." she sniffed it once more, and continued: "and this is pretty big for an apprentice. I'm not sure how I can put it back into place without causing pain."
Benny shivered and wailed. "Isn't there a way to get it back-" he broke off with a sharp wail of pain. "-without hurting me?"
Echo shook her head sadly. "I'm sorry, but the answer is no. I'll give you some poppyseeds to ease the pain, but that's all I can do."
Benny laid down on the floor inside her den and closed his eyes shut. "Just get it over with," he mewed threw gritted teeth. His voice shook and Echo could tell he was scared. "Now before I fix it, I need to know what did this to you."
Benny nodded and mewed," I was out hunting with my dad, and then we scented different kind of food. We came out of the woods and twolegs were everywhere! One tried to grab me, and I twisted wrong and...this happened."
"How did you get free?" Echo asked, setting a paw gently on his leg. "You didn't hurt the twoleg, did you?"
"Don't answer that." Echo stopped his answer. She went to the back of the den and came out again with a sack made of leaves. She prodded it with a paw and it opened, showing tiny seeds. "Eat these," she instructed, pushing them towards him. "It will ease the pain a little."
Benny nodded and licked them up. "They taste nasty," he growled, and stuck his tongue out.
"Just lay down," Echo mewed. She put both her paws on the leg, twisted it, and snapped it into place. It made a loud pop and Benny yowled in pain. "Don't worry," Echo meowed softly. "It's all over. Get up and see if you can walk."
Benny wobbled up and shook on his legs. "It still hurts a little, but I think I can make it to the apprentice's den." he hobbled out, and Echo laid down again, trying to sleep once more. But thoughts kept her awake. I need to tell someone...who can keep them when they arrive? I can't. she looked outside her den and saw her friend Butterscotch and her brother Billy returning with prey filled in their jaws. They dropped it at the fresh-kill pile and parted.
Echo got up and called her friend over. "Butterscotch! Butterscotch, come here."
Her friend looked at her and padded over. "What's up?"
"I need to talk to you." Echo replied, walking into her den. Butterscotch fallowed and sat down in front of her. "What do you need?" the black she-cat asked.
Echo looked back and fourth to make sure nobody else was listening. "Can you keep a secret?" she asked pleadingly.
"Sure." Butterscotch mewed, wrapping her tail around her paws.
"You can't tell anyone, not even your family; and especially not Blake." Echo assured her friend, looking her into the eye.
Butterscotch nodded and rolled her eyes with a smile. "Alright, what is it?"
"I..." Echo shut her eyes tight. "I'm going to have kits, and I need you to take them and be their mother."