"I'll take care of you…"

It wasn't like I wanted to fall in love with him. It wasn't like I wanted to end up like this, breaking my vow to lead a loveless love as a Medicine Cat and ending up with…with kits. His kits.But I had been caught up in the moment, much to my misfortune, in those strong, warrior-like words as if they had wrapped their claws around my weak heart and pinned it to the point where it couldn't fight back, muffled its voice so it couldn't scream for me stop.

I suppose it wasn't as if it hadn't warned me that this would happen. Chaos. The cringe in my heart now was like its way of saying, "I told you so." And it was right. I knew running off with him into the night was wrong, but never did I think so much bad would come of it. Never did I think it might steal a cherished sister's relationship, my mentor's life, a warrior's life, or make three cats feel like they had been living a lie their whole entire lives.

Never. Never did I think that as we ran off into the twilight with him by my side.

All I thought was of him, his face, his bright blue eyes, his feather-soft black fur with the aroma of fresh, lush wind and rabbits…

All I thought was how he said those three words that plucked at my heartstrings, "I love you."

Saying his name still hurts. Remembering his scent rips at my heart like fangs into fresh-kill. Thinking of his affectionate gaze and sincerity stings like a freshly-opened wound. Knowing the secret I've been holding back could destroy my Clan and my sister's reputation smothers me.

Knowing that it provoked someone to a clean-cut murder and betrayal kills me inside.

I hadn't meant to make a mess of all their lives with just one night. Just one heartsick moment.

Have I ruined everything? All to protect him? Protect them? Protect this Clan? Or was it…only to protect myself? Was this all the result of some selfish desire, or regret? Was it because I abandoned him that I wanted to forget about him, and therefore cast off everything related to him, including his kits? Was this because of guilt and fear?

I'm sure StarClan knew everything I had done…I wonder if I'll ever walk beside their starlit paws again.

I should have let Cinderpelt stop me. Then she wouldn't have died, and I wouldn't have run off, and they…never would have existed…

So hadn't something good come of this? My…son was a Medicine Cat, a great one at that. My other son was already one of ThunderClan's most powerful warriors. And my daughter – she looks so much like him aside from her eyes – upheld the Warrior Code in every way possible and kept everyone in the Clan in check and made sure that not everything fell into complete chaos…like it may very well be soon…

Jayfeather, Lionblaze, Hollyleaf.

They did so much for ThunderClan, so what was there to feel so sorry for? So heavy-hearted?

But then again, my mistake is the one thing that is about to break them all into pieces…

And Squirrelflight, my sister, and the love she shared with Brambleclaw might soon also be shred. And he had been uninformed the entire time, only thinking he had one son while he actually had three other kin…

Crowfeather.

The name is like cold water in my heart, freezing it from the inside out, unable to ever be thawed again. He didn't know anything at all.

He didn't know he had been distanced from an entire family, didn't know Ashfur had been murdered, didn't know that everything was about to fall apart like the last remnants of my heart.

Didn't know…that I still loved him. So much. Even when I knew Feathertail did, and even knowing he had Nightcloud to attend to and their son Breezepaw to attempt to father.

Even when I knew it was wrong I couldn't stop the sentiment that gushed through every part of my spirit when I saw his face in my mind again, so full of understanding and caring…

So full of everything I had ever wanted in this life.

None of them knew yet. None of them knew it all started with a simple crush that turned into an entire world of destruction and dismay, secrets between sisters and murder and distrust and faithlessness…

But soon, I figured, they would all know.

And that meant the fall of everything I had come to love…

…in more ways than one.

xxx