Who Can You Trust
When Everything You Know
Silversplash and Ivyblossom were very close. Sisters to the end, they promised. When RushClan starts dying around them, they vow together to find out what is going on. But after a fatal falling out, making a void that can't be filled, each of them began to destroy themselves, in a quest to find the murderer. And when they find out that they have 7 days to catch the traitor? It gets very catty.
Shimmerbreeze stepped into the stream, and let the cold water lap over her paws. She looked at her belly, swollen with un-born kits. Will they be alright? She thought, nervous.
Their father had died heroically in battle, and she didn't know how to raise them alone. "They'll be fine." She muttered to herself.
The bracken behind her crackled, and she heard fur whipping through the branches. "Hello?" She mewed, a little nervous.
The shadow moved behind her, and she swerved around. "Who's there?" She mewed, scared now.
A dark shape stepped out, and growled at Shimmerbreeze. "Hello darling. You've been a bad girl."
Shimmerbreeze growled. "Don't touch me! I didn't do anything to you! I kept your secret!"
The cat shrugged. "I don't care anymore. You won't keep the secret forever. Besides, I think this is turning into a nice little mystery."
Shimmerbreeze spat, "You have done nothing but hurt cats. I don't know what your goal is, but this thing you're doing won't make it any better!"
"Your choice." mewed the figure. Then figure sliced their long claws down Shimmerbreeze's neck, leaving the cream she-cat dead in the water.
The figure cleaned the blood off their paws, then returned to camp.
"Shimmerbreeze is dead!"
The one cry rang through the camp, as cats raced around, spreading the news. Her body was found floating in the river, by a worried apprentice.
Her body now lay in the camp, being prepared for vigil. A young auburn she-cat lay next to her, crying. "Shimmerbreeze no. We were going to raise our kits together. You're my sister. We were going to do everything together"
The she-cat's mate put his tail on her shoulder. "It'll be okay Swallowsong. We can still raise the kits."
Swallowsong just cried harder. "She was all I had left of my family. How can it be okay? Oh Thornpelt, what are we going to do?"
Thornpelt settled next to her. "You're going to raise your kits as best you can. You're going to remember your sister, but not mourn her."
Swallowsong rested her tail on her paws. "I don't know if I can even manage that. But I'll try."
Thornpelt purred, and the couple sat together for the rest of the night.
They didn't notice the sinister figure staring at them from the shadows.
Silversplash stretched as she padded towards the deputy, Splashheart. The deputy was sending out the dawn patrol.
"Hey, Silversplash!" Ivyblossom purred as she bounded out of the warriors' den. She slid into place next to her sister, and they sat next to each other, pelts brushing.
"So Duskwhisper, you'll lead a hunting patrol. Silversplash, Ivyblossom, and Rushingfire will join you." Splashheart flicked her tail, obviously deciding the next patrol.
Silversplash hurried after Duskwhisper, who was striding ahead. "Hey, Duskwhisper." She purred, blushing a bit when he looked at her.
Ivyblossom pulled her away. "What are you doing? There's something wrong abuot Duskwhisper. He seems too shady."
"What are you talking about?" Silversplash snorted, her eyes angry. "He's a perfectly fine tom. I can love who I want, and you know that."
Her sister came after her. "But do you remember Shimmerbreeze's death? Someone in RushClan did it, and it could be anyone!"
"Are you accusing Duskwhisper of being the murderer?"
"No, but we have to be cautious. I don't like the looks of Duskwhisper. Be careful, sister." Ivyblossom stared worriedly at Silversplash.
Silversplash's blue eyes softened. "I will, but I believe that Duskwhisper is a great tom. He's real nice, and I really like him."
She padded past her sister, meeting with Duskwhisper. "So what do you think about Shimmerbreeze's death?"
The tom furrowed his brow. "Whoever killed her made a big mistake. She was a loyal she-cat, and whoever killed her obviously had a reason to have her dead. When I find that traitor, they'll be sorry."
Silversplash leaned closer to him. "I'm glad you care so much about your Clan, Duskwhisper. You know, I'm starting to really.. like you."
He hesitated a little, then smiled. "I think you're a fine she-cat, Silversplash. Maybe we can go out sometime?"
"Yeah," she mewed shyly. "Maybe tomorrow?"
He purred. "Maybe tonight."
Silversplash blushed, and just nodded. She dropped back a bit, feeling too embarrassed to keep talking with the tom. Ivyblossom pulled up to her, her eyes stormy. "I think he's faking his love for you. He doesn't look trustworthy. I should come with you tonight."
"You can't," Silversplash mewed, exasperated. "It's our date, and you can't be next to us listening in on our conversations. Dates are private."
"Hmph." Ivyblossom snorted. "Well it'll be so private that he could easily kill you!"
Silversplash's eyes flashed. "I thought you were a sister who understood me! Forget it, Ivyblossom, maybe when you get your senses back will we be able to talk in peace."
The silver she-cat stalked away, sniffing the air for any signs of prey. Silversplash fumed, knowing she shouldn't be so harsh on her sister, but annoyed with the fact that Ivyblossom kept accusing Duskwhisper of killing Shimmerbreeze.
Silversplash sighed as she spotted her sister far away, looking a bit down. Her blue eyes looked away, and she spotted Duskwhisper hunting nearby. Then there was a scream, and Duskwhisper flew over to the cat's side.
Ivyblossom was scrambling for the banks, trying to get a grip before she slid into the icy river. Duskwhisper dove for her, grasping her scruff and dragging her up the bank. "I got you, Ivyblossom." He grunted, dropping her safely on the bank.
"Thank you, Duskwhisper." Silversplash purred, settling next to her shivering sister. "Oh, Ivyblossom, are you alright?"
She nodded. "Yeah." She looked away, still remembering the earlier argument between them. "I still think he's the bad guy, even though he saved me. He's trying to draw the suspicion of himself, but I'm not so gullible."
Silversplash sighed. "You're still not convinced? I thought you knew better than this, Ivyblossom. Your search is futile. Duskwhisper is obviously loyal to RushClan, and he would never dream of betraying RushClan, ever!"
"That's what you think, but you don't know for sure."
Duskwhisper and Silversplash were sitting next to the stream, chatting. "So, Silversplash, how do you like being a warrior? I know you and your sister just became warriors."
"It's great!" Silversplash purred. "Being a warrior is amazing, and I get to share a den with you, Duskwhisper."
He smiled. "You are so kind, Silversplash. I'm just a humble warrior, doing my job. RushClan is my Clan, and I am loyal to it."
"You know, I'm glad I got to know you better, you're such a great tom." Silversplash's eyes were sincere, and Duskwhisper purred.
"Your praises are like music to my ears, I've never heard anyone praise me like you do." Duskwhisper gazed into her azure eyes. "You are an angel that descended from StarClan, Silversplash."
All of this meant happiness to Silversplash, but she didn't know what was going to happen next. She definitely didn't know that someone was watching her very carefully, a hidden expression, and carefully guarded.
Ivyblossom slunk through the forest, eyes alert. She was careful to keep to keep to thick bracken, in case her white fur gave her away. The tiny black speckles helped hide it, but not by much.
There! She spotted her sister, and Duskwhisper. Tails entwined, purring. They looked like your average happy couple. But that can't be right. She thought. Something's wrong with him.
She angled her ears, in an attempt to hear their conversation. "I just don't get it." Silversplash mews. "I love my sister and everything, but I think she's crazy!"
Duskwhisper purred in response. "You don't have to worry. I'll be here for you."
Silversplash nuzzled him, and Ivyblossom turned away in disgust. Maybe Silversplash is right. Maybe I'm just being over protective of her. I guess I just wanted to protect her. We're really all we've ever had.
Their mother, Swallowsong, had always been distant. Shimmerbreeze had been her sister, and it seemed that her death had been too hard on her. Their father, Thornpelt, had left Swallowsong shortly after they had been born. He was Lilycloud's mate now.
Duskwhisper did nothing suspicious. In fact, he behaved so normal, it was depressing. Defeated, Ivyblossom trudged back to camp, and fell asleep in her nest.
Only one thought remained on her mind as she slept.
What will she do to me if I try to protect her?
Ivyblossom woke up early the next morning. Silversplash was not in her usual spot next to her. Instead, she was curled up with Duskwhisper.
She lay down, trying to sort out her thoughts, when she noticed Fallensong slinking away. It was too early for Dawn patrol, and Fallensong hated being up early. Suspicious, Ivyblossom followed her.
The chocolate calico crept through the woods, almost unseen. She doubled back several times, and Ivyblossom had to hide in a bush to avoid being caught.
Finally, Fallensong stepped out of the woods, and down a hill, moving towards the ReedClan border. She stopped near the border, and a black tom stepped out to meet her.
Ivyblossom wrinkled her nose. What is she doing?
"It's been ages Fallensong. Have you finished yet?" Mewed the tom.
Fallensong shook her head. "I'm working on it! Lionfeather spotted me sneaking out once. I can't risk him finding out."
The tom hissed. "You promised me! You swore you had do this!"
Fallensong glared at him. "It's not easy doing this! I'm betraying the Clan that has raised me my entire life! I'll get it done tonight."
The black tom snarled. "You better." Then he stalked away.
Fallensong gulped, then started running back to camp.
Ivyblossom stood still, full of horror.
How can Fallensong be a traitor?
Ivyblossom sat near the river, attempting to comprehend what was going on. How could it be Fallensong? I trusted her! She sighed, and flicked her tail.
"You feeling okay?" mewed a voice.
Ivyblossom turned around, and relaxed the sight of her sister. "Just thinking. Hey, I'm sorry about yesterday. I just want to protect you. And honestly, I think Duskwhisper is way to old for you. He was a warrior when we were born!"
Silversplash nodded. "I get your concern. But he makes me happy. You get that?"
Ivyblossom sighed. "I do. I just always felt like I have to protect you. With Swallowsong so distant, we need all the family we have."
Silversplash settled down. "We do. Sure you're okay? You look lost."
Ivyblossom shut her eyes. "I'm just not sure I know who I can trust. Cats have died in weird ways since Shimmerbreeze, and there were tons before her. Who's next? It could be you."
Silversplash shook her head. "I'll be fine. You're just paranoid. Everything's going to be okay."
Ivyblossom pictured the camp, covered in blood. Cats were dead all around her. Even Silversplash lay still. The only cat standing besides herself, was Duskwhisper.
She shook her head. That can't be right. All he wants is to love my sister. How can I deny him that?
The two sat by the river for a while, watching the ripples in the water.
Suddenly, Rowanpaw burst into the area, fur on his back rising.
"What's going on?" mewed Silversplash, clearly alarmed.
Rowanpaw gulped. "It's Lionfeather. He's dead."
Silversplash padded alongside Duskwhisper, feeling his long, brown fur brush against her. "Shall we hunt?" He whispered, smiling down at her.
She nodded, feeling joy run through her that there was no one to tell them that they were wrong, no one to tell her that Duskwhisper was a traitor. Ivyblossom was back in camp, resting from a small thorn infection on her paw.
Then Silversplash remembered the terrible news last night. Rowanpaw had dashed into camp, declaring that Lionfeather was dead. Fallensong, his mate, paled and insisted on seeing him.
They had all filed out to see his body, and there was blood all around him, and Fallensong fell beside him. "Oh..." She had sobbed. "Oh... you'll never understand.. not now, not like this."
Silversplash didn't know why she said that, but there must have been a reason for her to say such a thing. Ivyblossom had been nearby, limping, but determined to come. Her green eyes were narrowed, and she was muttering under her breath. "That traitor, now she's killed Lionfeather, her own mate!"
The silver she-cat stared in horror at her sister. "What do you mean?"
Ivyblossom's expression was grim. "I overheard her talking to some tom yesterday, and she was crying and talking about betraying her Clan."
Duskwhisper nudged her. "You okay? You look a bit thoughful."
"Yeah, I'm just thinking about Lionfeather's death. Who would want to kill him?" Silversplash pondered about what Ivyblossom had said.
Duskwhisper's eyes narrowed, "He was a loyal warrior too. Whoever's doing it is trying to weaken the Clan. They must be found as soon as possible."
Silversplash nodded. "I hope they don't cause any harm to RushClan anymore. I especially hope that they don't hurt relationships like ours."
His eyes seemed to darken, then it became it's normal, bright colour. "I hope they don't either. It would hurt to see you die, Silversplash." But his words held an ominous meaning in them. I shivered slightly, trying not to think about what Duskwhisper just said.
"Let's hunt." She mewed, trying to lighten the mood.
He nodded, and we sniffed the air for prey. Silversplash spotted a rabbit perking it's ears nearby, and she slid toward it. Then with a burst of speed, she dashed towards the rabbit. It didn't realize she was there until it was too late. Silversplash leaped, landing on the rabbit, killing it easily with a quick nip.
Duskwhisper sat up with a mouse in his jaws, and he purred. "Nice run."
"Thank you." Silversplash mewed, blushing.
When the pair came back, Ivyblossom was scowling. She limped over to Silversplash, practically dragging her away.
"Okay, just because I suspect Fallensong of being the traitor now, I'll let Duskwhisper off the hook. But if I'm sure Fallensong's not the killer, then he's my first suspect. You must be careful, Silversplash."
The silver she-cat rolled her eyes. "I don't know why you're always so cautious, but I know Duskwhisper's not the traitor."
Ivyblossom sighed. "Believe what you will. Just promise me you'll be careful."
"There's no need to be careful around your own love! He's not going to slaughter me." Silversplash growled, glaring at her sister.
"Who knows what might happen?" Her sister mewed grimly.
Silversplash padded alone in the dark night, and she knew she should head back to camp now. Ivyblossom had argued against her the entire day, and Silversplash was tired of facing her sister.
"Who's there?" She gasped, jumping back.
"Sivlersplash, do you want to know who the murderer is?"
Silversplash nodded. "Of course I do. I want RushClan to be safe."
"You have seven days to find out who I am, then I destroy RushClan."
Ivyblossom lay in the medicine den, muttering angrily. She had been there for what seemed like moons, resting her paw.
Just as she thought she would die of boredom, Stormwing walked up to the white she-cat. "Alright, you can go. Just don't step on anymore thorns today!"
Ivyblossom lept to her paws, and practically flew out of the medicine den, crashing directly into her sister. "Sorry!" she screeched, and quickly got up.
Silversplash groaned, and pulled herself to her paws. "Ivyblossom, we have trouble. Last night, I was near the stream, and I heard a weird voice. They-they said that we have 7 days to find the murderer. Or RushClan will be destroyed."
Ivyblossom gulped, then narrowed her emerald green eyes. "It has to be Fallensong. I know what I heard, and I don't like it."
Silversplash winced. "Don't accuse her right away. Ivyblossom, I know you have good instincts, but maybe we should just lay low? Keep an eye on her for sure, but don't let it get out of paw."
Ivyblossom sighed. "Alright. I'm going to go follow her now. Stay safe, alright?"
Silversplash nodded, and padded off. Ivyblossom watched as she sat down next to Duskwhisper. He purred, and soon the two were nuzzling each other.
"There'll be kits by new-leaf." Murmured one of the elders. Ivyblossom shook out her fur. This can't be happening.
Fallensong was still asleep, so Ivyblossom stepped into the Elder's Den. Swallowsong lay asleep in the end of the den, and Ivyblossom crept towards her. The she-cat had retired the instant her kits were made apprentices, by Pinestar's order. Her mental state was far too unstable for her to remain a warrior.
"Swallowsong?" She choked out, nervous. "You there?"
The brown she-cat fluttered open her eyes. "Ivyblossom? Oh you look so grown-up now!" She sat up. "How have you been? Did you have a good vigil?"
Ivyblossom titlted her head in confusion. "My vigil was 4 moons ago."
Swallowsong shook her head. "Don't be absurd! Pinestar just made you and Silversplash warriors!"
Ivyblossom shook her head. "No, we've been warriors for 4 moons."
Swallowsong laughed. "Maybe you need a patrol to clear your head. If you ask Ravenwing, I'm sure he'll let you go!"
Ivyblossom locked eyes with her mother. "Mom, Ravenwing is dead. Splashheart is our deputy."
Swallowsong looked at her paws. "That-that can't be right."
Ivyblossom winced. The gaps between memories were getting longer. "What season do you think it is?" she mewed, nervous.
The brown she-cat replied, "Easy. Late Green-Leaf."
"It's Leaf-Fall. Swallowsong, you need to see a medicine cat."
At this, her mother crouched. "No! Don't make me go! I won't let you!" She slid out her claws, and hissed violently at her daughter. "You can't control me!" She started to twitch, and jerked around.
"Stormwing!" Screeched Ivyblossom. Then the startled she-cat bolted out of the den.
The white she-cat turned around, and stiffened when she saw Duskwhisper. The brown tom stepped down the rocks, and settled next to Ivyblossom. For a while, they stared at the stream, then Duskwhisper spoke again.
"Can I talk to you? It's important."
Ivyblossom sighed. "What do you need?"
Duskwhisper hesitated, then mewed, "I want to ask Silversplash to be my mate. And I know that she's young, but she makes me happy. I wanted to ask if it's alright with you."
Ivyblossom swallowed nervously. If she said yes, she could be exposing Silversplash to a huge risk. If she said no, Silversplash would hate her forever.
The options warped through her head, and finally she croaked at an expectant Duskwhisper, "Sure. I'm sorry if I've been rude to you. I just... worry about her."
Duskwhisper nodded. "It's fine. I'd feel the same way, you know? I'm going to go tell her. Thank you!" He stood up, and raced off.
Ivyblossom shut her eyes, and prayed to StarClan she'd made the right choice.
Ivyblossom watched as Fallensong trekked through the woods. The calico's fawn brown eyes were nervous, and Ivyblossom wondered why.
If she's a murderer, why would she be so nervous?
The white she-cat clawed the ground, and kept an eye out. Fallensong halted near the border and looked around.
The black tom stepped out again, and Fallensong mewed with relief. "Oh Snipe! It's just you. I can come with you. Lionfeather is dead."
Snipe looked bewildered. "I only told you to leave him! I never said you had to murder him!"
Fallensong shook her head. "I didn't kill him. He was found dead. But it doesn't matter. We can finally be together!"
Snipe licked her cheek. "How are the kits doing?"
Fallensong purred. "They'll be here any day now. I'm so happy that we have this time now. At first i was leary of leaving RushClan, but I'll always follow you."
Ivyblossom narrowed her eyes, and was disgusted. Then she realized something. But if Fallensong didn't kill them, who did?
She turned away, defeated, when she stepped on a twig. It snapped, and Fallensong whipped around. "Someone's here. I'll meet you back here tonight, and we can go."
Snipe darted back into the forest, and Ivyblossom crouched behind the bush, in case the calico spotted her. She stayed still for a few moments, and started to rise up. Then she froze when she heard a loud scream.
She ran out from the hiding spot, and started heading towards the scream. She nearly flew past Fallensong's broken body. Walking back up to it, she looked at the calico. Once beautiful, her fur was coated in sticky blood. Her body lay still, and Ivyblossom just looked at it in horror.
Then she noticed a scrap of fur attached to the bramble bush behind her. It was a medium brown, and it smelled familiar. Then the scent hit her.
"Did it really take you that long?" mewed a deep voice.
Ivyblossom whipped around, and the tom padded out. "Oh you silly she-cat. You thought Fallensong was the murderer? No, you were right the first time. Your poor sister though..."
Ivyblossom snarled. "Don't you dare touch a hair on her head! Or I'll rip you to shreds!"
Duskwhisper purred, and walked towards her. "I wouldn't bother with anyway as silly as her. She's far too foolish. I never loved her. The only cat I love is you."
Ivyblossom hissed. "I don't believe that for a second. Why would you actually do this?"
Duskwhisper grinned. "Oh you fool. Power. And the more cats that die, the easier it gets. It's funny how stupid you've been. I will kill them all. Except you. Because I want you."
His breath washed into her ear. "I will kill them all. And you will have to watch them die. RushClan will be gone. Your sister will never believe this. And if you tell her, I'll kill her. Are we clear?"
Ivyblossom gulped. "Yes Duskwhisper."
Silversplash watched Duskwhisper enter with a rabbit in his mouth, and she wanted to bound over to him. But Ivyblossom was standing next to her, and the brown tom gave her a stare. Her sister gulped, and looked away, but she didn't speak.
"What's wrong, Ivyblossom?"
"Nothing, I'm just annoyed that I was foolish enough to believe that Fallensong was the traitor. She was only betraying her Clan by loving a rogue. She wasn't the killer." Ivyblossom's green eyes were saddened with grief and confusion and... something else.
Silversplash stared at her sister for a moment longer, then nodded and padded to Duskwhisper's side. "What's wrong, honey?" He purred softly.
"It's my sister, Ivyblossom. She's acting a bit weird..." Silversplash sighed. "I want to help her, but I don't know what's bothering her, and she has always been a strong-willed cat."
Duskwhisper leaned in close and nuzzled her. "She'll be fine. For now, shall we go for a walk?"
Silversplash smiled. "Alright."
They padded out, side by side, their pelts touching. "I love walking beside you because you're like a morning sun. You always shine bright, and you never fail to make me smile."
"You're the moon that keeps me balanced, Duskwhisper. You're a strong cat, and you always keep me going on my feet." Silversplash leaned on him, feeling his warmth sink into her pelt.
He purred. "I love being with you, Silversplash. When I'm not with you, my heart turned cold, and I don't feel like myself. You hold me together, my lovely."
Silversplash just closed her eyes, imagining that they were together, and she was kitting. "We'll have beautiful kits together."
"Yes, yes we will."
Ivyblossom drew near Silversplash, and she opened her mouth. Then she snapped it shut when she saw Duskwhisper from behind.
"Hello, Ivyblossom." He mewed coolly. "Hello Silversplash." He purred when he saw the silver she-cat. Ivyblossom gave him a quick glare, but she quickly looked away as her cheeks began to flame.
Silversplash waved her tail in greeting, and returned to her mouse. When she looked up, the two were gone. They were muttering to each other a distance away, and Silversplash flicked her tail in annoyance. Ivyblossom must have been telling Duskwhisper to back off.
When Ivyblossom slunk back next to her, Silversplash whispered angrily, "Stop trying to tell Duskwhisper to shove off! He and I are going to become mates, and that's that."
"I didn't tell him to shove off." She mewed, her eyes narrowed. "He even asked me if it was okay to become mates with you, and I said yes!"
Silversplash snorted. "Whatever, I'm going to be spending as much time with him as I am now. There's nothing you can do to stop me!"
Ivyblossom rolled her eyes. "Oh, please. I didn't even speak a word about you and him! He-"
Silversplash sighed, her eyes showing her disappointment in her sister's hesitation. "Ivyblossom, we know each other better than this. What has reduced us to fighting sisters?"
The next day, Silversplash approached her sister, cautious. "I'm sorry about yesterday. I overreacted because I saw you arguing with Duskwhisper."
"It's fine," the white she-cat muttered. "I shouldn't have snapped back at you. The conversation was a picky one, and he was curious and angry about me going to near the borders."
"Oh." Silversplash mewed, her gullible mind believing it with no doubt.
Ivyblossom gave her sister a sad look. "I just wish there were somethings that we could share to one another."
Believing that her sister meant something else, Silversplash nodded. "Yeah..."
Cold air blew over Ivyblossom's pelt as she walked through the woods. Her hunting mission had been successful, despite the scared thoughts in her head. All she knew was that Duskwhisper was a traitor, her sister loved him, and that RushClan was going to be destroyed.
What am I going to do?
She couldn't tell her sister. Duskwhisper would kill Silversplash if a notion was given to her. And Pinestar would never believe that a loyal warrior like Duskwhisper could ever do a thing wrong.
She found herself overlooking the water again, and sighed, wondering what she should do.
Behind her, a voice mewed, "Hello darling. Don't fall."
Ivyblossom spun around, and snarled. Duskwhisper's malicous face was waiting for her. She pinned her ears. "What do you want now, you piece of fox-dung?"
The brown tom stepped forward and licked his lips seductivly. "Oh honey. I wouldn't talk like that. I'll still love you if you do but-"
Ivyblossom cut him off with a swat. "I know you don't love me. Just like you don't love my sister! All you care about if youself, and domination of the forest!"
Duskwhisper looked almost hurt. "I know you don't think of me like that. I promise if you help me, you'll be greatly rewarded."
Ivyblossom tensed, and bolted before he could say anything more. She could feel the wind whipping through her fur, and she knew there was no place to hide. Her white fur would just give her away, especially in the open moor.
There has to be a place.
Ivyblossom could hear thumping, but she wasn't sure if it was the paws of her pursuiter, or the thumping of her heart.
StarClan please, help me.
As a desperate measure, she leaped into a nearby bush. It was just in the nick of time, as Duskwhisper burst into the clearing. "Where are you my sweet?" He purred. "I will find you, and you will be punished for hiding from me."
Ivyblossom swallowed, and then sneezed. Duskwhisper grinned and turned around. "There's no place to hide. I smell your fear-scent."
Ivyblossom sneezed again, and Duskwhisper's amber eyes settled on the very bush she was hiding in. "Told you. If you come out now, I promise not to hurt you."
Ivyblossom narrowed her emerald green eyes and leaped out, landing right on top of the brown tom. She snarled and stuck her claws into his underbelly.
He looked up innocently. "Dear me, why are we fighting? Must we?"
Ivyblossom growled. "Don't try that on me you traitor! I will destroy you."
Duskwhisper purred. "No you won't." He then flipped over, and slashed across her face. His eyes were full of fire, hatred and something Ivyblossom couldn't quite place. The blood began to drip into her eyes, and she fell to the ground, writhing in pain.
Duskwhisper leaned down and whispered into her ear. "And if you tell anyone about this, your sister will die. You cut yourself on a sharp thorn. Is that clear?"
Before Ivyblossom could respond, the brown tom scampered off.
Finally reaching the camp, Ivyblossom collapsed, screaming in agony. The blood kept dripping out, and the blood covering her white fur.
She was rushed into Stormwing's den before anything more could happen. But in between drops of blood, she could see Silversplash looking on in shock, her mouth open, and her eyes full of fear.
Duskwhisper had his usual threat in his eyes, and Ivyblossom's gaze lingered back to her sister.
Her belly looked odd, even through the normal light. Then it hit her. Silversplash's belly was swollen. With kits.
Great StarClan what am I supposed to do? Thought Ivyblossom, struggling to stay awake.
It was in that moment that Duskwhisper noticed too. He met Ivyblossom's weak, fearful gaze with a strong, blood-lust filled one. Even though he was silent, and all Ivyblossom could hear was the ringing in her ears, his thoughts echoed in her head.
If you say anything, she dies with the kits. Would you wish that upon your sister?
He turned away, taking Silversplash with him.
Ivyblossom cried out in pain, not just for her loss of blood, but for her sister too.
Silversplash, I'm so sorry.
I let him be your mate.
I trusted him.
This is all my fault.
We're running out of time.
We have three days before he destroys RushClan
And I don't think we're going to make it.
Silversplash sat down near the nursery, her kits kicking at her belly. She felt slightly happy, knowing that she had a strong tom like Duskwhisper as her mate.
Ivyblossom looked anguished, and she kept glancing over at Silversplash. Finally, when Duskwhisper was sent out on a hunting patrol, Ivyblossom looked ready to dash over. But then... "Ivyblossom!" She whipped around, "Go hunting with Duskwhisper." She slumped and padded out.
The silver she-cat licked her belly, seeing that it was already plump. Stormwing had said that the kits would be coming in about a moon.
Relaxed and with nothing to do, Silversplash dozed off. When she woke up, the clearing was nearly empty, and Ivyblossom was at her side, staring at her agitatedly. "Silversplash!"
Suddenly Duskwhisper strolled in, his eyes searching theirs. He stiffened, and Ivyblossom rushed out and away. Duskwhisper turned to Silversplash. "What did she say to you?" He frowned.
"Nothing." Silversplash mewed, looking confused. "She just called my name and then you walked in." Duskwhisper seemed to relax.
"Why?" Silversplash asked. "Why do you ask?"
Duskwhisper shook out his fur. "I'm just worried for you, Silversplash. I don't want Ivyblossom telling you anything that might make you agitated. That'll be bad for the kits."
Silversplash nuzzled him gently. "You care too much." Her heart warmed at the fact that Duskwhisper cared for her.
Silversplash padded outside. She was so thirsty. She headed towards the river, needing to get a drink before she returned to camp.
The crisp air refreshened her, and Silversplash purred as the birds chirped overhead. She reached the stream in no time, and bent down carefully to get a drink.
Suddenly there was a soft hissing noise behind her. Silversplash whirled around, spotting another cat glaring at her. "Back off!" Silversplash spat. "You're on Clan territory."
"I go where I want," the rogue snapped, "And you're in my way."
The rogue lunged for Silversplash, and fear coursed through her. Instinctively, Silversplash guarded her belly, shoving the rogue into the river. There was a huge splash, and the rogue ermerged, soaked to the bone. She spat in anger and rose from the stream. "You'll pay for that!" She shrieked, lunging once more. Silversplash staggered back, trying to save her kits.
Then a flash of white saved her. Ivyblossom fought off the rogue, hissing and snarling at it. In no time, the rogue was long gone.
Ivyblossom whirled around. "Silversplash, I-"
Duskwhisper called out to them. "Silversplash! Are you alright?" Ivyblossom paled and cursed softly. She whirled around and dashed off. Duskwhisper's eyes followed her, but he didn't seem worried.
"Are you alright?" He whispered softly.
Silversplash nodded, still shaken. "Let's go."
But she couldn't shake the feeling the Ivyblossom was concerned about something. Something big.
Ivyblossom reached camp, fear flickering in her green eyes. I need to get her alone. But the brown tom followed her everywhere. Most would think of it as concern for the queen, but Ivyblossom knew better.
She must know the truth. Before it's too late.
Forcing her fur to lie flat, she padded over to the fresh-kill pile when Splashheart approached her. "Mind joining the border patrol? We've scented rouges near the RoanClan border, and the seem to overlap ours."
Supressing a sigh, Ivyblossom padded over towards Rushingfire, Rowanpaw and Thornpelt. Her eyes narrowed at the sight of her father. The tom's gaze passed over her without a second glance. He cares more about Lilycloud and her soon-to-be-born kits than Silversplash and I!
She tensed her shoulders, and the patrol headed out. Near the border, Ivyblossom caught a scent. It was of the same tom that had attacked her sister, but less recent. The scent of Duskwhisper was also in the air. Is he gathering an army of rogues? Is this how he'll destroy RushClan?
They paused when the scent went two ways. Rushingfire turned to the group. "We should split up. I'll go with Thornpelt along the border. Ivyblossom and Rowanpaw, head the other way. But don't cross into ReedClan territory."
Ivyblossom nodded, and she and the ginger tom began tracking the scent.
Rowanpaw kept close to Ivyblossom, alert, but fur bristling. Suddenly he froze. "I've got something. Follow me!"
Ivyblossom followed the ginger tom, until they reached a thornbush, "The scent is gone." He mewed.
Rowanpaw peered around, his fur sticking up, "I can't find it. Do you think they doubled-back?"
The white she-cat sniffed, and her head turned towards the Thunderpath, "They went that way."
Rowanpaw darted forwards, stepping onto the black asphault, "Ivyblossom! They came this way!"
Suddenly, the ground began to rumble, and a monster rolled into view in the distance. Ivyblossom started running towards the apprentice, yelling, "Get away from there!"
Just as Rowanpaw turned around, the monster hit him, crushing him. The monster sped by, paying no mind, and Ivyblossom ran up to the ginger tom.
Rowanpaw's green eyes flickered as he whispered, "Ivyblossom."
Ivyblossom pulled him off the Thunderpath, mewing, "You're going to be fine, Rowanpaw. We'll just get you back to camp, and Stormwing will-"
"No." He croaked, "Dying."
"You'll be fine!" Ivyblossom yowled, "Just hang in there!"
"Ivyblossom," He whispered, "I've always..."
"Always what?" The she-cat yelled, "Always what?"
Rowanpaw croaked, his voice fading, "Always... loved... you..."
Rowanpaw's green eyes began to fade, as he whispered, "Always loved you Ivyblossom. Always loved you. Ivyblossom..."
Then his eyes glossed over, and he fell limp, and cold. Rowanpaw was dead.
Silversplash's eyes were glossed over with tears, as they waited in vigil. Ivyblossom stood close to her, but felt that they were miles apart inside.
Duskwhisper was on Silversplash's other side, whispering words of encouragement to her. Ivyblossom contained her growls, knowing all his words were lies.
What will it take, to get her to believe me?
The war brewing inside of her was getting stronger, and she could feel herself slipping away.
SIlversplash, why can't you see through his deception, just as easily as I can?
When morning came, Silversplash was already in the nursery. Ivyblossom entered, and to her relief, Duskwhisper wasn't there.
"Can we go for a walk?" Ivyblossom mewed, "Like, right now?"
Silversplash nodded, though slightly confused looking.
The two sisters walked for a fair bit, until they reached a clearing, far from the camp.
"Okay, what gives?" Silversplash mewed, "You've been acting really weird lately, and this has just thrown you over the edge!"
Ivyblossom mewed, "Look, before I say this, you have to promise to listen to me, and not interupt, no matter what I say."
Silversplash looked slightly disgruntled, but nodded.
Ivyblossom sighed, and continued, "There is a traitor in RushClan. It's not Fallensong, because she's dead. I foudn her dead, because I met the traitor. He told me of his plans, and that he was using you to get to me."
"What?" Silversplash blurted.
Ivyblossom nodded, "He's playing with your emotions, just to keep you in the dark. He's lied to me about love, and I know he has plans to kill the entire Clan. I think he's put together a rouge army, like that rouge who attacked you the other day."
"But who is it?" Silversplash mewed. Then it hit her, "No... You can't... That's impossible..."
"Yes. Duskwhisper is RushClan's traitor."
"No... It can't be true," Silversplash whispered, "It can't be Duskwhisper, he's the sweetest tom I've ever known in my whole entire life! I won't accept this."
Ivyblossom sighed, "It's true, Silverspalsh, please believe me."
The silver she-cat blinked back tears as she gasped out, "I don't want to." She cried out brokenly, "I don't want to believe that it's him. Not Duskwhisper..."
"I know you reached the same conclusion, plus, I'm your sister! You have to believe me." Ivyblossom pleaded. Her wide green eyes caught Silversplash's attention, but the silver she-cat ducked her head, squeezing her eyes shut. Memories of Duskwhisper being so sweet and attentive to her came back and Silversplash became to cry.
Ivyblossom wrapped her tail around Silversplash and whispered, "It's okay, we'll figure this out, we'll solve the problem and get rid of him once and for all."
"I..." Silversplash sobbed out, "I can't take this anymore, I don't even know what to do!"
"Just act like nothing happened," Ivyblossom mewed soothingly, "It's the best way to ensure that he doesn't know. Now come on, let's do some hunting and get back to camp. Wipe those tears away and let's hurry." Ivyblossom took control of the situation.
When they returned from their hunting trip, Duskwhisper gave Ivyblossom a quick glare, but hurried over to Silversplash's side. The silver she-cat had spotted the glare, but she put on a flimsy smile when Duskwhisper reached her side, "Are you okay?" The tom mewed softly.
Duskwhisper licked her cheek, and Silversplash supressed a shudder, "I got worried when you and Ivyblossom were out of camp for so long. There's a lot of dangerous things outside, you ought to be careful." Silversplash merely nodded.
You mean you just don't want Ivyblossom to tell me what's going on.
"Did Ivyblossom upset you?" Duskwhisper asked suddenly, his yellow eyes following Silversplash's sister as he laid his tail on Silversplash's flank, "She never means good stuff anyways."
Silversplash shook her head, "No, she didn't hurt me... Something else is bothering me..."
Duskwhisper's eyes then flitted to her, and Silversplash fought to keep her eyes locked with his. Despite the layer of love that she saw, she looked past it and saw the malice in his gaze. "What did she tell you?"
"Nothing," Silversplash purred, trying to look as innocent as she could, "She was just comforting me about the situation, which was why we took the walk. She's a really nice sister, mind you."
The brown tom slowly nodded and nuzzled Silversplash again. "You can tell me about it if you want."
"Maybe another day."
The more the two talked, the more Silversplash felt sick. On the outside, Duskwhisper was perfect. So many she-cats fawned over him, but it was Silversplash's luck that he came and flirted with her. But was it luck, or bad destiny that brought them together?
"I have to go on patrol." Duskwhisper sighed, "See you later, honey."
The words sent a shiver down Silversplash's spine as she thought about what her sister had told her today. She waved goodbye to Duskwhisper and hurried to Ivyblossom's side, "Everything he's doing seems so wrong now, I can't even be with him without seeing the malice in his eyes, the malevolent character underneath his perfect tom layer.
Ivyblossom sighed, "But it's better that you know now, he would have used you beyond repair."
That night, Silversplash woke up from Ivyblossom's prodding and saw what she was pointing at. "Is that Duskwhisper?" The silver warrior scrambled up slowly.
"Yes, he's heading out now."
Ivyblossom began to slink towards the dirt-place tunnel after Duskwhisper, but Silversplash stopped her, "If what you said is true about him, we ought to warn Pinestar about this first."
"We're not even certain about what he's doing!" Ivyblossom pointed out, "Okay sure, he threatened me when I found out that he was the murderer, but the bodies are buried now, and we don't know what he's really planning yet!"
Silversplash sighed, "Okay, let's go."
The two sisters hurried outside, following Duskwhisper's footsteps as he pattered away silently through the forest. "There's other cats here!" Silversplash whispered as they drew closer.
Peeking out from inside the bush they were hiding in, Silversplash saw Duskwhisper gather up a group of rogues. "We will attack tonight, right now, so prepare your troops!"
Ivyblossom let out a strangled gasp, and whispered, "We need to go and warn Pinestar!"
"Duskshimmer!" Silversplash shrieked as she leaped out, "Don't do it!" She pleaded, "Please don't do it." She sobbed.
The brown tom's eyes flashed and he slashed Silversplash across the flank, "Stay away." He snarled, his eyes blazing. His eyes flitted to Ivyblossom, "You told her didn't you!"
Ivyblossom dragged Silversplash back, and Duskwhisper growled, "Just go back to camp you useless she-cats. Die with your Clanmates."
The two sisters stumbled back to camp, but when they entered, the rogues had already attacked, and cats were screaming.
"We're too late..."
Ivyblossom stood in silence, unable to comprehend