"Four warriors will hold the power, and light and darkness shall battle..." The white tabby stared at his former leader with burning amber eyes.
"Tallstar! Wait, please! Tallstar what do you mean?" He called out. Only thin air and mild whispers answered him. He sighed and closed his eyes.
A heartbeat later a sharp poke in the side awoke him. "Huh?" He asked groggily. Cherryfeather roller her eyes. "Get up, you lump of fur! Onestar just called a meeting!" She roared.
He got up, stretched and flicked her over her ear. She purred at him.
He and his best friend padded over to join the clan, and Onestar meowed, "Today a young cat will become a deserving apprentice. Hazelkit, please come and stand beside me.
" The tiny she-cat bounced up to the high rock. "Hazelkit.
Do you promise to uphold the warrior code and protect your clan at all times, even at the cost of your life?
" The she-cat nodded excitedly and mewed, "I do!" A few cats chuckled and Onestar continued. "Then from this day on until you earn your warrior name, you will be known as Hazelpaw.
" The apprentice leaned forward and licked her leaders shoulder as he rested his muzzle on her head. "Hazelpaw, your mentor will be Breezetail.
Breezetail, you were trained by Sunflight, and you both are credits to your clan. The white tabby glanced at Cherryfeather, who smiled and nodded.
He bounded up to touch noses with his new apprentice. He was both overjoyed and shocked. "Hazelpaw! Hazelpaw!" The clan chanted.
Onestar leaped down and Breezetail led his apprentice to Cherryfeather. "Congratulations, Hazelpaw. And you, Breezetail." She mewed. Of course, Hazelpaw was spewing out questions.
"Can we do battle training? When will I learn to hunt? Are we going on a patrol?" Breezetail sighed and shook his head. "First I will show you the clan territory.
Cherryfeather? You wanna come with us?" The pretty silver she-cat nodded and they started to pad out of the camp. Cherryfeather twined her tail with his, and he purred quietly.
He had started feeling happy whenever he was around her. 'Am I in love?' He asked for the hundredth time.
Would the clan except him and her together? The answer to both of those questions was no. He sighed again and started to pad toward the ShadowClan border. Hazelpaw wrinkled her nose.
"Ew! What is that? It smells yucky." She cried. He smiled and purred, "That, Hazelpaw is ShadowClan. This is the border. See that tree stump right over there?" She nodded.
He looked at Cherryfeather. "That's the place where we mark our territories. You place a scent marker like this. She trod over to the stump and placed a marker. "There. You try it." She meowed.
"Okay." Hazelpaw nodded. She leaped over to the stump and copied Cherryfeather. "Good" Breezetail said. They did the same thing at the ThunderClan border.
They met a patrol and Breezetail dipped his head politely to Squirrelflight, Bramblestar's mate. She returned the nod and both patrols went there separate ways.
FOUR MOONS LATER
Breezetail leaped forward, and Hazelpaw rolled over onto her back, battering his belly with her hind legs. He veered backward and she sprang up, pinning him down.
A heartbeat later, she jumped off of him and purred, "I win!" A glint of amusement in her eyes. She purred and swept her tail over his ear affectionately.
The apprentice had grown to have a small crush on him, and it would break his heart if she found out he loved Cherryfeather. But some cat would have to tell her the truth. 'Poor Hazelpaw...
' he thought. He took a deep breath and said, "Look, Hazelpaw. I'm sorry but-" her eyes clouded with confusion and he looked away. "I-I know you like me...
" she looked down, obviously embarrassed. "I'm so sorry but-" again he broke off and Hazelpaw looked back up at him pain in her eyes. He squeezed his eyes shut. "Please, Hazelpaw.
Don't make this harder for me. I think you're great, it's just, you're so young, and naive. Someday you'll find a great cat to be your mate, and who knows, I might be jealous.
But you're only an apprentice. When you are a warrior, I'll consider it. I'm sorry... Please don't be to hurt, I can't bear to see you upset..." Hazelpaw bowed her head and said, "I understand.
I know I'm to young for you. And anyways, you have Cherryfeather." A fat tear slid down her face and he stroked her with his tail. "Cherryfeather is my best friend. Nothing more.
And it looks to like Snowpaw has his eye out for you" he explained. She looked up at him, green eyes blazing with disgust. "Snowpaw? No thank you." He winced. "I'm sorry," he murmured.
"I was only trying to help..." She licked his ear lovingly. "I know. I'm the one who should be sorry." She meowed.
"So, when I'm a warrior in two moons, will you think about it?" He looked at her mischievously. "Of course."