Spottedheart, Nettlewhisker and Ivyclaw were on the hunting patrol, just setting off. Ivyclaw ventures out of sight.
"Where's Ivyclaw gone?" asks a concerned Spottedheart.
"Just finding food. Come on." replied a relaxed Nettlewhisker.
Spottedheart saw something moving in the bushes so headed over, to discover it was a... badger! She looked back but Nettlewhisker wasn't there. The badger backed Spottedheart to the side of the river but she held it off from there.
"Help!" she screeched hoping to attract someone's attention.
Her back paws kept slipping and she knew it was only a few seconds before she fell into the rippling water. She scratched the badger's face, pushing it back from her a bit. She tried to rush past but the badger was too fast and pushed her back to the riverside, ready to kill her.
Right then, Nettlewhisker dug his claws into the badger's back, sending it back in pain and chasing it away. But he didn't come back unhurt.
When Spottedheart saw him appear from the bushes she gasped. He had several severe scars and he was limping.
He had saved her from death.
Later at the camp, Nettlewhisker was talking to Breezecloud and Mistyflower when Spottedheart wandered up to them.
"Nettlewhisker can I talk to you a moment please?" asked Spotedheart, her heart beating.
"Sure." replied Nettlewhisker who led Spottedheart to a quiet part of the camp.
"I wanted to talk to you about yesterday." announced Spottedheart, not wanting anyone to hear.
"What about it?" queried Nettlewhisker, what was she going to say?
"You saved my life... why?" asked Spottedheart. She couldn't stop staring at a scar over his one eye.
"I said I'd protect and defend the clan at the cost of my life when I became a warrior. You're part of the clan by the way." replied Nettlewhisker, not sure where this was going.
"That's it?" Spottedheart was slightly disappointed.
"Why? Is there something I should know?" Nettlewhisker was getting slightly annoyed.
"Nettlewhisker... I just wanted to thank you... and, well..." Spottedheart was thinking if she should.
"And what?" Nettlewhisker was getting irritated.
"Well you saved my life, so I was... Nettlewhisker will you be my mate forever?"
"Oh." Nettlewhisker was taken aback. He looked into Spottedheart's eyes. They were a beautiful shade of green. But was this the right thing to do? There was a long pause.
"Spottedheart." Nettlewhisker finally broke the tension. Spottedheart stiffened. "Yes I'll be your mate. Forever."
Spottedheart felt herself sigh in relief as Nettlewhisker touched his nose to her's.