The beautiful red-brown she-wolf stood and stretched. Her dark eyes gleamed in the rising sun's light and she glanced behind her at the sleeping Pack.
Her gaze lingered on the other red and light brown she-wolf, her tail wrapped over her nose.
She turned and started to put her nose to the other she-wolf's as a sign of farewell, but a rustling of leaves made her jerk away.
A black she-wolf was stepping delicately out of the bushes. When the black wolf's gaze rested on the first wolf, her blue-green eyes widened. "Scarlet Claw? Where are you going?"
Scarlet Claw took a step closer. "Raven Feather." A lump formed in her throat as she spoke and she turned away. "I have to leave."
"Leave?" Raven Feather widened her eyes. "Where?"
"I don't know." Scarlet Claw sighed softly. "All I know is Eve Light and I belong together, but a Pack wolf cannot mate with a rogue wolf."
"Eve Light can join our Pack..." Raven Feather trailed off as Scarlet Claw shook her head slowly. "She could never adapt to that life. And I could never put her through that torture.
" She nodded to the other sleeping form she had been about to say farewell to.
As Raven Feather's eyes darkened with sadness, Scarlet Claw turned away. "I cannot stay here if Eve Light and I can't be together."
Raven Feather's entire face was filled with sorrow, but she stepped forward and touched noses with Scarlet Claw, a small growl of sadness in her throat. "Promise you'll visit occasionally.
" she whispered.
"I will. And I'll bring Eve Light too." Scarlet Claw promised, giving Raven Feather a lick on the head, before disappearing into the thick undergrowth.
Raven Feather wasn't sure, but she thought that she saw a dark brown pelt pressed against Scarlet Claw's as the two walked away.
As the sky turned shades of orange and purple, yet another she-wolf stepped forward, her blue eyes shining with sorrow. "You made the right choice." she murmured softly into her Alpha's ear.
"Perhaps, but I'm worried about Rain Storm when she wakes up." Raven Feather glanced over at Rain Storm, who was still asleep. "She'll be most devastated. She loved Scarlet Claw." she paused.
"Golden Leaf, it's decisions like these that break my heart."
"But Scarlet Claw is finally happy." Tears glistened in Golden Leaf's eyes. "That's what matters." She sniffed and her tail wagged slowly.
"Prey is coming out and this is probably the best time to hunt. Shall I wake the Pack and send them out on a hunting patrol?"
"Not yet." Raven Feather leaned her head on her beta's shoulder. "Let's wait and let them sleep. It's going to be rough news to hear when they wake up."
Golden Leaf leaned back into the affectionate hug and the two stayed like that for a moment, watching the sun rise over the forest.