Chapter 9

Blaze looked up from washing himself to see three CloudClan warriors being escorted into the camp by Night, Thistle, Maggot, and Sting. Claw padded up to the intruders.

“We found these three waiting at the border,” Maggot explained. “They said they needed to speak to you.”

“What is it you have to say?” Claw growled.

The CloudClan warriors shrank back.

“We’ve been having trouble with dogs,” one meowed. “There are two of them that chase us off when we go out to catch prey. Sunbeam asks for your help to drive them off.”

Claw thought for a few moments, and then nodded. “We will help you.”

“Thank you,” the CloudClan warriors murmured, looking relieved.

“Flint, Blaze, Strike, Nettle, Lightning, and Thorn will go defeat these dogs,” Claw meowed.

Blaze stepped forward with Rain. The BloodClan cats joined the CloudClan cats as they ran into CloudClan territory. Blaze wrinkled his nose at the scent of dog.

“They’re just over there,” a CloudClan warrior meowed, pointing with his tail.

The CloudClan cats ran back to their camp. From the wistful look on Rain’s face, she wished she could do the same. The BloodClan warriors cautiously padded toward where the dog scent was the strongest. They peered over a ridge and saw the two dogs, lying in the sun.

“Attack!” Flint screeched, running down toward the dogs.

The other cats did the same. The dogs leaped to their paws and barked at the cats. Nettle swiped at one, and it snapped at her. She fluffed out her fur and jumped back. Flint and Strike distracted a dog, taking turns swiping at it. Blaze ran over and bit down on the dog’s leg. It yelped and tried to turn its head, but Flint swiped at its eye.

Finally, the two dogs turned tail and fled. The BloodClan warriors wearily padded back to the CloudClan camp.

“CloudClan thanks you,” Sunbeam meowed as the medicine cat went around to the BloodClan cats, applying poultices to their wounds.

Suddenly, a grey she-cat hissed in surprised. “Rain, is that you?”

Rain looked uncomfortable as the grey she-cat ran up to her.

“You’re all right,” the she-cat purred. “I’ve been so worried about you.”

“Sparrow, stop,” Rain meowed. “I’m Lightning now.”

Sparrow pulled away, looking hurt. “But we’re littermates.”

“Well I’m a BloodClan warrior now,” Rain meowed.

“We need to get back to our camp,” Flint meowed.

Sparrow watched as Rain followed her Clan mates out of the camp. Blaze pressed against her.

“It’s all right,” Blaze murmured. “You’ve got a new life now. She’s got to understand that.”

Rain turned away and refused to reply. Blaze was worried about her, but he didn’t know what he could do besides be there for her. This was something she would have to work out on her own.

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