Author: Unknown Soldier Shadow PM
"You think all of the evil is gone from this place? You're wrong. It's coiled so deeply within our dark hearts that we can't even feel it. You can't even tell it's there until you see the monster's face, and by then it's far too late." Sequel to SidestepRated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 28 - Words: 152,291 - Reviews: 310 - Favs: 49 - Follows: 48 - Updated: 03-02-13 - Published: 08-09-11 - id: 7271533
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
What the heck has happened to FFnet while I've been away? Everything is different! I DON'T LIKE IT!
I've been doing Camp NaNoWriMo, which is why I've been absent. On the plus side, I already won. On the downside, it took me three days longer to beat it than it took me for November's NaNo, so that's 50k in 17 days. Not bad, not bad. XD
So here I am, back and ready for some Float.
Silvertail of shoreclan - Like, she won't ever be able to go on patrol or go hunting or fishing or whatever. She'd have to stay inside all the time so no one would kill her. Majorly unhappy-making. XD
Sierra of the Stars - Ooh, I shall have to add in more timeline stuffs. I'm so bad at that, weather and season and stuff. I added more seasony stuff in this chapter to make up for it! :D
Minumus Prime - Looool! I guess Twist is a little badass. She needs to get into a fight so she can whip on some baddies, though. Perhaps I can arrange that. XD
reenakitty - I'm sorry, Shadowchan, but it had to be done. XD IT MUST BE DONE! Also, I will go back and change your name in whatever Float chapter it's in, but it might have to wait, 'cause this is my old computer and all my chaptery files are gone. It'll happen!
monkeyCsaw - Oh, no, I LOVE your ramblings and musings! I love to get the opinions of awesometastic writers. X3 I do love to write the purpley chapters. Oh so very much. XD
xxXCalming MelodyXxx - Hee~ You're feeling ALL the feels from that last chapter? XD I hope you feel lots of feels from this one, too. XD
Blazingnight - Kay! :D
justsmile77 - I find that Hazel lets in a bit of fresh angst to the story. Like, everyone already knows Declan and Twist from Sidestep and most of this, so it's a nice break to get to some different problems. Not to mention I just love busting loose and going all Young Adult Fiction on this mother. So many fancy words. I fancy myself a romantic anyway, so it's extra fun to bring that saccharine element to what I'm writing. In small doses, of course. XD
Tangleflame - I'm sorry! I've had a lot of computer trouble and writing trouble, but I'll be back to finish this! I promise! :D
Viper332 - Oh, no, I'm glad you think that! It's definitely intentional. XD I usually avoid more difficult character types - i.e. those types that people generally dislike - but I thought I'd take on the challenge this time and work outside my comfort zone. Hopefully by the end, her character will develop enough that you don't think she's a brat anymore! :D Twist has very conflicting feelings on love, which she tends to be very outspoken about. Declan is the exception to most of her most impassioned rants on the difficulties of love, which she realizes makes her a hypocrite. XD
Aaah, I love talking to you guys. Sorry I haven't been around - computer trouble! I'm back on LappyI because LappyII decided to break its own screen somehow. Not only did that get rid of my character list for this chapter - so some of them might be described differently - but it also deleted half of my original manuscript, so I had to start a new story mid-NaNo. ARGH. The difficulties of technology!
But enough of that. Let's get to it. X3
"It's official," Twist said, hunching her shoulders forward miserably, feeling the weight of her mistakes push her towards the ground. "I'm officially the worst cat in the world."
Vivian let out a comforting purr. Stretching one white paw out to cover Twist's, she said, "Don't be too hard on yourself. You did the best you could. Hazel is headstrong; you've always known that. She's lucky that we found her so quickly, otherwise things could have been worse." Her dark eyes gleamed. "Much worse."
Twist looked away, swallowing hard. As if I didn't already imagine that, she thought. During the race through the forest, the Sliders at her back and Streak in the lead, Twist had seen Hazel's broken, bloody body in a thousand different ways. Ripped to pieces by the Claws, her eyes weeping rivulets of blood, her bones crushed beneath the weight of a no-pelt machine, her tail drifting in the wake of the drowning river. Each imagine had only driven her paws faster, so fast she felt like she was flying over the short grass scented with dying leaves, each step bringing her closer and closer to the little brown tabby she-cat she loved so dearly.
Now back sunning outside the Warren, Twist had gathered up her friends for a bit of comfort. Like I wanted this, she thought even more miserably. If anything, she wanted to curl in her den with only Declan to see her soft side. But he had vanished again and no one had caught sight of him.
Her thoughts immediately went to Dahlia but that was stupid: the pale she-cat had been exiled from this land. She wouldn't come anywhere near it if she valued her pretty pelt the way it was.
So where was he?
Kite sighed in sympathy, her expression pitying. "We all have problems with kits, Twist. You've had such difficulties because you weren't even more than a kit yourself when you took Hazel on."
Willow leaned forward from where she'd been warming her growing belly; she'd just announced that she was expecting River's kits, a glow in her eyes at the words. Twist felt a bit of jealousy for their happiness: she and River had such an easy-going relationship, without the complications of torn loyalty or mistrust. It was pure and simple love. That was all they needed. Even after Willow's previous mate had died in the war with the Claws, she had managed to move on and find a new start.
If only I could rid myself of this nightmare the Claws have left. Twist's claws sank into the soft, sun-warmed sand. I will never be free from them as long as I'm alive.
Willow said, "Kits are a messy business altogether. In my opinion, you did well. My first litter didn't do nearly so well. I mean, look at them."
She nodded her head to where her oldest son, Flicker, was staring up into a tree, listening to Viktor explain the methodology of catching birds; the young tom's attention was clearly elsewhere, with his tilted ears and his half-open mouth. A butterfly floated past on sun-yellow wings and he turned to watch its progress, unheeding of Viktor's warning of falling pinecones. One hit Flicker square in the head, knocking him sideways.
Willow shook her head. "Where did I go wrong? I'm going to say it comes from his father's side."
Kite scowled. "No shaming the passed, Willow."
Willow shrugged. "He can come down and smite me for it, I suppose. I wouldn't put it past the grouchy old tom. Always was a difficult one." Her eyes focused on her son, weary affection there. "He'll learn. I'm sure. I hope."
Twist watched Flicker be scolded by Viktor. The tom's ears went back solemnly, his tail curled with shame. Well, at least he's apologetic about the whole thing.
Vivian turned back to Twist after laughing with the other two she-cats. "What did Lucky say about her?" she asked, her voice hushed again.
Twist looked away, the fur on her neck prickling uncomfortably. "She's under constant supervision now. He makes sure at least one cat is with her at all times." She pulled a face. "Usually that's Streak."
Kite sighed heavily, her blue eyes mournful. "It's so sad," she whispered. "Streak tells me how unhappy she is. She just wants to go out and be free, like any cat her age would. How do you think she feels when Gray or Spot or any of her agemates go out and she has to stay inside? I see her face and my heart breaks for her."
"Your heart breaks for every cat, Kite," Willow said sleepily, crossing her forepaws and resting her chin on top. She missed Kite's sour look as she glared at the gray she-cat.
"I'm sorry I'm so empathetic, Willow. I'll try to work on that."
"Perhaps you can take some lessons from Lightfoot," Vivian suggested, her tone coy. She nodded over her shoulder to where the black-and-white she-cat was pacing along the outside of the Warren, her tail flashing from side to side. "She certainly knows how to be ruthless."
Twist had to admit she was right. Out of all the cats of the Warren, Lightfoot was by far the most vicious. In some respects, that worked. In others, she was nothing but a hurtling boulder. She'd take out anything in her path, even without knowing it.
Lightfoot caught sight of them, her sour expression deepening. "Having a nice chat today?" she asked coolly, coming to stand over them. She blocked out the sun, causing the light to spill down between her ears, cutting sharp shadows down her angular face. "Doing a lot of work, I see."
"Oh, hello, Lightfoot." Vivian immediately regained her nervousness, something Twist had thought she'd grown out of. "How are you?"
Lightfoot didn't even answer her. Turning to Twist, she said sharply, "Saw your brat today. She's looking peppy as ever. I told her good morning and she looked at me like I'd stolen her breakfast right from beneath her nose."
Twist felt a sharp burst of anger. "She's had a very hard couple of days, Lightfoot. I'm sure she's sorry for being so snappish to you."
Lightfoot looked amused. Falling onto her haunches and stretching her forepaws in front of her, she sighed blissfully. Settling onto her belly, she said, "Yes, I heard all about it. We all did. Our little youngling fell in love with one of the Claws. How unbearably romantic."
The atmosphere of the group changed at once. Most cats felt uneasy around Lightfoot generally but now it was something different. Kite stood and motioned vigorously with her tail for the others to join her.
"We'll let you have a bit of alone time," she said sweetly, anxiety in her swift movements. She turned to Lightfoot. "Have a good day."
Lightfoot twitched an ear in response.
As soon as the rest were out of earshot, Twist snapped, "Why are you even here? I don't recall asking your opinion on anything."
Lightfoot didn't look abashed. Her sharp green eyes fixed on Twist cuttingly, she said, "No, but I figured you could use it. I seem to be the only she-cat in this place not positively oozing with sympathy for our little runaway. Maybe it's because I'm not a bleeding-heart romantic like the rest of you, but I think it's because I'm the only one who can see past all that pity rubbish to the heart of the matter."
"Which would be what?" Twist said disparagingly, glaring venomously at her. "Are you going to tell me I should have let things run its course? I should have allowed Hazel to keep running loose as she pleased? Or should I have let her go and live with those Claws in the cliffs—where, if you'll recall, the heart of the enemy came from—and watch from afar as she fell deeper and deeper in with them, until they broke her heart before they killed her? Is that what you were going to say, Lightfoot? Because I can't even begin to describe how much I'd love to hear your opinion!"
By the end, Twist was breathing heavily, standing with her shoulders tense. Her claws were sharp and unsheathed, curling into the ground like blackthorns, rooting her in place. Her mouth was open as she panted, cool air quickly drying out her tongue and throat.
Lightfoot hadn't moved. She didn't even twitch a whisker. "Feel better now?" she asked, her voice neutral.
Twist just stared at her. "No," she growled, but she was lying. The words leaving her mouth left such a rush of emptiness behind that it was relieving. Finally, she'd said all of it, the part she could never tell her she-cat friends in honesty. These words could only be said in Twist's fallback: anger.
Lightfoot seemed to realize that. She stretched backwards, her chin raising, her eyes glittering brightly like cut glass. "So now that that's out of the way, I need a favor."
"What makes you think I'll help you?" Twist hissed. "You've done nothing but play with me over and over again. You don't tell me what you want before you do anything. That's how you got Declan nearly killed by Blackjack and his goons. So please forgive me if I seem less than inclined to help you do anything."
"Well," Lightfoot said, an edge of anger curling up the end of her voice. "Firstly, I generally avoid asking you for favors, considering that, you know, it's you." Before Twist could think about what that meant, Lightfoot had swept on: "As for Declan, I asked him to help me and he did. He seems to do that quite often. Too often, if you ask me. He should learn to be more careful and thoughtful, like us."
Twist snorted. Thoughtful? Lightfoot? I'd have a better chance of seeing mice sprout wings and do flips than see an ounce of thoughtfulness from this she-cat.
"Declan will help anyone with a sob-story and a good bit of acting skills," Lightfoot said, her tone containing no heat. She didn't sound disgusted like her words would imply. "I asked him to help me and he agreed. If you have a problem with that, I'd ask you'd take it up with him."
"So what do you want with me, then?" Twist demanded. "I'm tired of hearing you go in circles."
Lightfoot rolled her eyes. She got to her feet, taking away the bit of intimidation Twist had standing: Lightfoot towered over her, the top of her black shoulder in line with Twist's ear-tips. "I'd like you to take me to an ally," she said. "A…mutual ally."
"Mutual?" Twist took an uneasy step back, away from Lightfoot's suddenly intense and unblinking gaze.
"Yes," she replied. "I've never met said ally before but I've heard wonders from you and your…Declan." Her eyes fell to coy slants. "Shall you introduce me to your mother, Twist?"
"This is creeping me out on a number of levels," Twist said as she and Lightfoot crouched outside Spirit's house, waiting for the no-pelt to let her out.
They'd been waiting here for a little less than half the afternoon, hidden within this screen of dark brambles and piled dead leaves; they were fragrant still with their mother scent of apples, leaving Twist's nerves soothed.
Lightfoot hadn't asked for much more than a visit. "You'll introduce me as a friend," she said.
Obviously I can't introduce you as a sociopath. Twist had said suspiciously, "What do you want with my mother?"
"Oh, the usual," Lightfoot said, sounding off-hand. "I'd like to meet all my friends' parents."
"I'm not your friend," she said. "And you're not mine."
"Oh, come now." Lightfoot lay in the shade of the brambles, the tip of her white-and-black tail flicking idly. "Don't be so cold to me, Twist. I've helped you before, remember?"
Twist remembered. "Only when it suited you."
"And it suits me now. So hush. You'll draw attention."
Twist had barely been able to contain her shriek of aggravation.
Now it was later. The afternoon was still high and warm, the cool wind from the mountains more easily felt here. It chilled deep within Twist's dark pelt, sending flashes of memory skipping across the surface of her mind.
Dark water. An island surrounded by rushes. The gleam of multicolored eyes. The scent of rotting flesh on a still-living body.
Twist closed her eyes. The Claws still reigned here, even if they were all gone.
The door opened with a squeaking sound. Twist barely had time to calm herself—fleeing was not an option here—before a flurry of cats flew out of the doorway and out into the yard.
Immediately, one of them called out, "Twist! Twist, I can smell you! Oh, Mother, Twist is here!"
A whirl of colorful tortoiseshell fur later and Twist had been discovered. Her half-sister Anole's green eyes were as bright and shining as their mother's.
"Twist!" Anole cried gleefully, tackling her to the ground. She rubbed her cheek against Twist's pinned shoulder, jabbering a thousand words per second. "I'd been wondering when I would get to see you again, especially considering how sad you were the last time you were here. And did you and Declan ever make up, because he certainly seemed depressed when I saw him last, which was the same time I saw you last, if you can believe it. I caught my first prey a few moon cycles ago and you weren't even here to see it but—"
"Let her breathe, Anole." Spirit made her appearance, her pelt matching Anole's, with just a bit more white around her face and back. She pushed her younger daughter back and helped Twist to her paws. "My dear heart," she purred, touching noses with Twist and licking between her eyes. "What brings this marvelous surprise?"
Twist exchanged a look with Lightfoot. How are we going to explain this? Especially considering I have no clue why we're here.
But Lightfoot wasn't paying attention to Twist's attempted mental conversation.
She strode forward silkily and, in a tone Twist had never heard come out of her mouth, said very cheerfully, "Good afternoon, Spirit! I'm Twist's friend Lightfoot. She's told me so much about you. I can't believe I finally get to meet the brave, strong, and intelligent mother of my dear friend." She turned and shot an affectionate glance at Twist, ruffling her ears with one paw.
Twist felt her mouth drop open.
Spirit, a mountain cat through and through, could not resist the idea of praise. She looked instantly flattered, her ears falling to a contented sideways set. "Well," she said, sounding very pleased. "I'm afraid Twist has told me nothing about you." She shot Twist a hard look then as Lightfoot turned to follow Teddy to a sunny spot, as if trying to demand an explanation.
Twist, still flummoxed by this turn of events, simply stared idiotically at her mother, unable to articulate a response. She settled down beside Lightfoot, feeling powerfully confused, but Lightfoot was giving no hints.
Instead, she was chatting happily with Teddy, like they were old friends. "Oh yes," she said, in response to a question Twist hadn't caught. "The cold season always brings its troubles but we're fattening up while we can. The prey runs very well down towards the brook and along where the no-pelts live. Oh, I'm sorry: housefolk," she corrected herself, reaching out a paw to place over one of Teddy's massive ones in an affectionate gesture Twist didn't even know Lightfoot was capable of accomplishing.
Teddy seemed used to this kind of thing, however, because he simply laughed. "Yes, we've been having a bit of a bad season, too. The rain drowns out the yard this time of the year so we've been inside for most days. We can't go visit our friends further down until it stops. A wet pelt means nothing but sickness, you know. We have to stay inside to make sure we don't catch cold."
"You have friends in the area?" Lightfoot asked, tipping her head to the side curiously.
"Not in this area, no. It's a bit further down, on the other side of the no-pelts roads. A hard place, though. We get interrogated whenever we go there."
"Oh?" Lightfoot shifted from side to side, as if she were lying on something uncomfortable, even though the ground was even and silky grass.
"It's very odd. An odd bunch of cats down that way. Very set in laws." He shook himself. "But the rain is the main problem."
"It's terrible. You're lucky you came today," Spirit said, interrupting herself in mid-lick from where she was grooming Anole's neck fur. "Has the rain been bad for you?"
Twist shook her head, her mind still reeling from the bizarreness of this. But she wasn't going to let whatever Lightfoot was up to ruin a perfectly good visit with her mother. "A few of our nests were ruined but other than that, we're surviving."
Anole, her eyes half-closed against her mother's ministrations, said, "I don't know why you don't find yourself a good bunch of housefolk and settle down. It's a much better option than living out in the wild." She shivered at the thought of that.
Twist let out a soft hum. "Yes, coming from someone who's never been out in the wild."
Anole sniffed. "I'm not meant to be a wildcat. I might pretend every so often with my brothers but I'm not about to go out there and get all raggedy and starving." She gave Twist a very pointed look.
Spirit boxed her daughter in the ears. "You hush," she scolded. "Wildcats are stronger and smarter than pretty little housecats like you."
"I'm plenty strong," Anole protested, squirming away from her mother.
I notice you didn't protest the "smarter" part, Twist thought. As fond as she was of her half-sister, Twist had to admit that Anole seemed much more action and much less forethought than any cat she knew. That kind of mentality simply didn't work, as Anole had said, "out in the wild."
Seeming to realize she would get no sympathy, Anole tossed her head, her tail high in the air. "I'm going to visit Sparrow," she announced, like she meant it as a punishment. "I might be back later, if I feel like it."
"You will be back unless you want a set of bent whiskers," Spirit snapped back. She sighed as Anole went on her way, her tail waving. "Honestly, that she-cat. She gives me much more trouble than you ever did, Twist."
"Sparrow lives away from here now?" Twist felt a bit of surprise at that. She understood that housecats didn't always keep their families together—no no-pelt seemed to want a houseful of cats—but she hadn't realized he'd be gone so soon.
Teddy nodded. "He lives a few houses down. Stride and Ruger live together on the other side of the village. We still see them from time to time but they have their own lives now. It's always nice when they come to visit, though." He looked fond as he talked about his sons. "Anole still stays with us, which is good. I think I'd miss her too much if she were gone for too long."
"I'd miss her like a thorn in my side," Spirit muttered, but she didn't mean it.
Lightfoot purred—the sound was still so foreign to Twist. "It must be hard to be separated from your kits, Spirit."
"It is," Spirit agreed wearily. "It's easier with my new litter because I know they're being taken care of. It's harder for you, Twist dear. I worry about you."
Before Twist could say anything, Lightfoot let out a sound of sympathy. "Yes, it would be better if she came to be a housecat, wouldn't it? Confirmed safety at all times. It would be remarkably lovely for a cat to be so safe and so protected all the time, wouldn't it, Twist?" She turned her suddenly sharp gaze on Twist, tilting her head to the side.
Twist stared back uncomprehendingly. What are you trying to imply? She was perfectly happy with the Sliders, and though she liked visiting her mother, she could never be a housecat. It was too much of the same for her. She liked the listless wildness of being a Slider.
Spirit seemed to pick up on the strange vibe, too, because she very rapidly changed the subject. "How's Declan, dear? And Hazel? Tell me how she's doing."
"Declan's fine," Twist said, relieved to not be lying for the first time in a long while. "He's very taken with patrolling our territory now, ever since—well, ever since we had a bit of a complicated problem going on." She didn't want to worry her mother with Blackjack and his ilk. He lived on the opposite side of the valley, anyway: he was no threat to her. "Hazel, on the other paw… She's a challenge."
Spirit's eyes gleamed like reflective water. "She's like you," she said fondly. "I want to meet her so badly. When will you bring her to me?"
Twist dodged the question quickly. "Her training is still progressing. Perhaps after that."
Spirit looked unhappy about that but she didn't push the matter. The gang's mentality still weighed heavily with her: pressing someone for answers would get you nothing but lies, even for her own daughter. "I understand."
Lightfoot seemed less inclined to talk after that. She lay back and allowed the conversation to flow around her, keeping her eyes half-open. She wouldn't sleep while on unfamiliar territory, no matter how comforting it appeared—just like Twist. Twist could see her mind working, just behind her pale eyes, but she couldn't figure out what exactly was happening within Lightfoot's strange, disjointed brain.
Eventually, it started to look like rain again. The clouds had encroached over the sun, hovering above the land blackly, like a shadow.
Twist stood as the air turned charged with electricity. "We should go," she said. "This storm is not looking very friendly."
Spirit stood immediately. "You can stay here if you'd like. Weather the storm. Then you can go home." She pressed her nose to Twist's. "I don't want you out in this storm."
"Oh, Mother," Twist said, allowing affection into her voice. She pushed her cheek against Spirit's. "Remember, I'm a wildcat. I can handle the storm."
Spirit laughed a bit, the sound very soft. "I forget sometimes how strong you are. How strong I used to be."
"You're still strong," Twist said. She licked her mother's cheek and stepped back. "I'll be back soon."
"Alright." Spirit's eyes brightened. "Bring Declan next time. I do love to look at handsome toms." Teddy cleared his throat very loudly, his tail swishing, and Spirit added, "More handsome toms, considering I already have the handsomest tom at home."
They touched noses and Twist felt a peculiar mix of fondness and disgust: just because she was happy for her mother didn't mean she wanted to see Spirit cooing over a tom in her presence.
They said their goodbye—Lightfoot's as cheerful as her hello—and they went off. They had only just managed to get into the trees when the rain started, sprinkling down in fine drops. It caught and shone in the weak storm light like silver.
Lightfoot was uncharacteristically silent for most of the time, though she had lost that cheerful maniacal gleam. An act, she thought. A clever one. Despite not being entirely normal, Lightfoot certainly knew how to pretend to be normal.
Twist warred with keeping silent—who knew what Lightfoot had been up to—but curiosity finally won.
"Why did you want to meet my mother?" she asked, watching Lightfoot out of the corners of her eyes. She blinked away rainwater that was falling from between her ears, licking it to temper her dry throat.
Lightfoot didn't look abashed for an instant. "I wanted to give you a few ideas on how to deal with Hazel."
"How to deal…with Hazel?" Twist felt confused.
Lightfoot rolled her eyes. "Maybe you haven't noticed, but I can't imagine how you wouldn't, but Hazel is a whisker-length away from breaking from the Warren and never coming back. She wants freedom but she can't have it. Because of her mother. And because of her eyes." She turned to Twist, passion suddenly alighting in her eyes, making them blaze like sunlight. "Don't you see, Twist? You can bring Hazel here. She can live in this—village." The word was obviously unfamiliar to her but she pushed through anyway. "With your mother. With some housefolk who will care for her."
"And be a pet?" Twist was disgusted. Annoyance flicked along her skin like a cloud of gnats. "What kind of life is that for a Slider?"
"You don't get it." Lightfoot's words were abrupt. "Hazel's not a Slider. She won't ever be a Slider. She's a prisoner. You and Declan and Lucky are forcing her to stay in a place she's rapidly starting to hate. Do you know what kind of torture that is? Do you know how much she's going to hate you because of it?"
Twist flinched at her words. She couldn't help it.
Lightfoot pressed on, cruelly twisting in her words. "This is an option. Actually, it's not an option: it's the solution. The solution for your problem and for hers."
"Hazel is not a problem," Twist hissed. "Audrey entrusted her to me. You expect me to ignore that debt?"
"Audrey entrusted a newborn kit to you," Lightfoot said dismissively. "She didn't take into consideration that that kit would become like Hazel. That she would find something out in the world she wanted to hold onto. Before that thing was ripped from her claws."
Twist bared her fangs. "That tom is nothing but—"
"I wasn't talking about him, you simpleton," Lightfoot snapped, showing that uncharacteristic heat again. "I'm talking about freedom. She had it and now she'll never have it again."
"What do you even care?" Twist demanded, hiding her anger behind frustration. She was right, every single word. Every fear Twist had had about Hazel, laid bare and bleeding, like an exposed nerve. She seethed with anger, her pelt standing with it. "Why are you so concerned about Hazel? You don't like her. You don't like anyone! Not anyone since Beck and probably not even him."
Lightfoot's nostrils flared. The edges of her lips curled up, exposing just the hint of her teeth. "Don't mistake me for a fool, Twist," she said softly, dangerously. "My concern is not for Hazel. She's strong. She'll survive whatever you put her through. But she'll be broken because of it. If you care for her, you'll consider anything. Love makes you do stupid, stupid things. You know that. I know that. And while I may not understand love except as a weakness, I have been shown many times over that it is a marvelous instigator—for good and for bad. So please forgive me if my attempts to save the life of a young she-cat are insulting to you. I'll try to work on that."
She stormed off, the rain slicking her fur back to a dark shadow across her shoulders. As her form disappeared into the rain and the water forced itself deeper into Twist's fur until it lay against her skin, Twist felt each of those words sting deep in her.
Why would she do this for Hazel? Twist just couldn't comprehend it. Does she see some sort of resemblance between herself and Hazel? The thought was unnerving.
Maybe Lightfoot had struck onto something. Hazel could not be happy here. Not with everything stripped from her. Perhaps further away, back in Spirit's village, she could be happy. Or at least more happy than she was now.
I would go with her. There wasn't a doubt in her mind. If Hazel was to go somewhere, Twist would be with her—that was a no-brainer. Audrey had given Twist her trust: that wasn't something Twist took lightly.
Declan could come, too. That was less certain. He was awfully attached to the Warren and their cats, but perhaps he could be persuaded to come, too. It wouldn't take much: especially considering that Hazel would be going.
Twist sighed, feeling the rain chill her skin. Then she took off running again, resignation in every step, as she headed to the Warren to speak with Lucky.
Alrighty, that's that. XD Hope you guys like it~ Remember, I do love to hear your feedback, so don't be shy. I just request polite concrit: criticism that is cutting has no nutritional value for writers, and I really don't get why people think it does.
Like, that'd be like someone baking bread for the first time and going, "Hey, I know you love bread, so here's some bread I just made. Don't worry about it; it's free! You can eat as much as you want and if you want some more, I'll make some more for you!" and someone else going, "First of all, this bread sucks. Never bake again. Second of all, because you did so horribly on baking this bread for the first time, you are a terrible human being. Please die in a fire."
That takes the "con" right out of "concrit." Fo realz.
Anyway, enough with my monologuing.