Chapter 2

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Picture: Jaypool

Jaypool growled, pressing her ears against her head and fluffing up her tail. Her crystal-clear blue eyes were focused on her opponent. She pounced, stretching out her forepaw. The opposite cat tried to duck, but she was too slow. Jaypool's paw cuffed her roughly across her ears. She landed a little clumsily on her feet, and her rival swerved out of her reach, and hissed. Jaypool was about to pounce again, when a familiar voice interrupted her.

"Having fun?"

She swung around. Her father's dark green eyes glittered. She dipped her head and purred. Hawkstripe, her sister, stepped next to her and purred.

"We were just practicing some battle moves," she twitched her ear.

Firestorm nodded. "Shadowpelt is arranging border patrols. I can't come, but can you?"

"Yes," Jaypool turned to her sister, who nodded.

The two litter mates pelted across the clearing to catch up with the deputy's patrol. Hawkstripe grinned and raced to the front, like always.

"Jaypool!" Jaypool held back from following her sister. She turned. Nighteagle cocked his head shyly at her. "Hey," he meowed.

"Hi!" Jaypool replied, slowing down. She noticed his friend, Hailfeather, trailing close behind him. What that a look of envy on brown-speckled face? Jaypool stifled a purr.

"Have... you heard what Oakstar said?" Nighteagle asked cautiously.

"No- what?"

"A prophecy. Dapplefur says it's super important! And Oakstar mentioned that a cat in this clan is involved!"

"Really?" Curiosity filled her. She wondered who it was! How exciting!

"Yeah. Pretty cool, huh?" Nighteagle smiled, his dark blue eyes shining. Then he lowered his head, acting like the shy cat he was again. Jaypool purred. She could see he was desperately looking for something to chat about. I don't want to embarrass him! Jaypool thought.

"Well, see you later! It was nice talking to you!" She called over her shoulder, already heading to catch up with Hawkstripe.

"Y-You too!" Nighteagle stammered.

Hawkstripe purred, amused, as Jaypool appeared next to her.

"Flirting, are we?" She taunted.

Jaypool shook her head, turning away. "No!"

"Don't be a mousebrain." Hawkstripe grinned sweetly, her bright green eyes twinkling. "He likes you. A lot!"

Jaypool felt the skin under her silver fur grow hot. She kept quiet. Hawkstripe giggled, and turned away.

"Paw prints!" Hailfeather's yowl tore through Jaypool's thoughts. Her head snapped up, and she caught sight of a track of paw prints. She pushed forward and bent down to sniff them. They were stale; obliviously made quiet a while ago. She couldn't recognise the scent of any cat, but it did smell like StormClan. She lifted her head and frowned, puzzled. Shadowpelt, the deputy paced a few steps forward.

"What do we do?" Fawnstep broke the silence.

"Follow them, of course!" Hawkstripe pushed in, eyes shimmering with excitement. Shadowpelt flicked his tail, already making his way through the dense ferns. Fawnstep nodded and crept after him.

Fawnstep was a very close friend of Jaypool. They had done everything together as kits. They had sort of drifted away as apprentices ever since Jaypaw had met Nightpaw. They had also become close, but he was very shy. Hawkstripe was right, he did seen to have a crush on her. When the three of them had been made warriors, Jaypool and Fawnstep grew closer again. Now they were best friends.

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