Dawn of the Clans
Path of Stars
CLEAR SKY’S CAMP
CLEAR SKY—light gray tom with blue eyes
STAR FLOWER—golden she-cat with green eyes
ACORN FUR—chestnut brown she-cat
THORN—mangy tom with splotchy brown fur
SPARROW FUR—tortoiseshell she-cat with amber eyes
QUICK WATER—gray-and-white she-cat
THUNDER—orange tom with white paws
LIGHTNING TAIL—black tom
OWL EYES—gray tom with amber eyes
CLOUD SPOTS—long-furred black tom with white ears, white chest, and two white paws
PINK EYES—old white tom with pink eyes
LEAF—black-and-white tom with amber eyes
MILKWEED—splotchy ginger-and-black she-cat
RIVER RIPPLE’S CAMP
RIVER RIPPLE—long-furred silver tom
DAPPLED PELT—delicate tortoiseshell she-cat with golden eyes
SHATTERED ICE—gray-and-white tom with green eyes
TALL SHADOW’S CAMP
TALL SHADOW —black, thick-furred she-cat with green eyes
PEBBLE HEART—dark gray tabby tom with white mark on his chest
SUN SHADOW —black tom with amber eyes
JAGGED PEAK—small gray tabby tom with blue eyes
HOLLY—she-cat with prickly, bushy black fur
MO USE EAR—big tabby tom with unusually small ears
MUD PAW S—pale brown tom with four black paws
STORM PELT—gray tom-kit with blue eyes
DEW NOSE—brown tabby she-kit with white tips on nose and tail
EAGLE FEATHER—brown tom-kit
WIND RUNNER’S CAMP
WIND RUNNER—wiry brown tabby she-cat with yellow eyes
GORSE FUR—thin, gray tabby tom
SLATE—thick-furred gray she-cat with one ear tip missing
GRAY WING—dark gray tom with golden eyes
SPOTTED FUR—golden-brown tom with amber eyes and a dappled coat
MINNOW —gray-and-white she-cat
REED—silver tabby tom
DUST MUZZLE—gray tabby tom-kit
MO TH FLIGHT—white she-kit with green eyes
SLASH—mangy, scarred brown tabby tom with white slash across front legs
His heart swelled with love as her fur brushed his. “This moment is perfect. I never want to leave,” he murmured.
She stiffened sharply, and he turned to meet her gaze, puzzled by her reaction. Didn’t she want to be here with him?
Her green eyes shone wistfully. “Your life has already changed,” she told him.
“Has it?” Gray Wing struggled to remember. With a jolt, he recalled Slate. His heart quickened.
He blinked, guilt weighing down his belly. How could he forget his beloved Slate?
Turtle Tail pressed her cheek against his as grief surged in his chest. For a moment, the gentle queen’s death seemed as fresh as when Thunder had first told him she’d been killed in Twolegplace by a monster.
“I still miss you,” he mewed hoarsely.
“I miss you too.” Turtle Tail drew away slowly. “But I’m glad you have Slate now. You shouldn’t be alone.”
“Are you sure you don’t mind?” Was Turtle Tail hurt that he’d fallen in love again?
“It comforts me to see you happy.” Turtle Tail’s tortoiseshell pelt rippled in the breeze. “I love you so much. You gave me such happiness when I was alive. And you raised my kits. I will always be grateful that they had you to take care of them.” Sadness flashed in her eyes. “Leaving them was even harder than leaving you.”
Gray Wing sensed her grief. It stabbed through his heart. Though he had never had his own kits, Pebble Heart, Sparrow Fur, and Owl Eyes had
Turtle Tail went on. “You have been like a father to so many.” Her eyes glowed. “To Thunder, as well as to my kits. To any cat who has needed comfort and guidance. No other cat is as well loved as you, Gray Wing. You will be remembered.” She paused, her eyes suddenly glistening. “Even after you—”
The screech of an owl cut into Gray Wing’s dream. Ears twitching, he jerked awake.
Beside him, Slate rolled onto her back, her paws limp with sleep. He nuzzled her cheek softly.
Turtle Tail’s scent was still in his mouth, and happiness moved like sunshine beneath his pelt. He was lucky to have been loved by two mates.
“Gray Wing?” Slate’s mew was sleepy. Her eyes opened, glinting in the darkness. She was staring at him. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” he promised. “I was dreaming.”
“About how lucky I am.” He nestled closer and purred as her musky scent mingled with his memory of Turtle Tail. “Let’s go back to sleep.”
Star Flower had been missing since moonhigh. It felt like a lifetime.
He lifted his muzzle warily and tasted the air. Pausing, he glanced over his shoulder. Was some cat watching him? His fur pricked along his spine as he remembered Slash’s warning.
Clear Sky growled.
Flower. He could do nothing but agree to Slash’s demands. The mangy tom’s threatening stare flashed in his thoughts. Fury rose in his chest. “Coward!” he hissed under his breath as he remembered how he’d woken to find Slash standing beside Star Flower. Two vicious toms had flanked them, snarling.
The tang of blood had soured the air. A wound had glistened on Star Flower’s cheek where Slash had raked his claws.
She’d looked so scared. Clear Sky shuddered, his heart twisting. And Quick Water had just watched without offering to help! She’d been his Tribemate and was his campmate now. And yet she’d hidden in the bracken and watched. If she’d joined him, they could have fought off the rogues.
Star Flower would be with him now instead of a hostage.
He’d challenged Quick Water after Slash and his rogues had dragged Star Flower away. The mountain cat had accused Star Flower of being one of them—of