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 Sneak Peak at the Power of Three book 4 Eclipse (c)

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Thunder
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PostSubject: Sneak Peak at the Power of Three book 4 Eclipse (c)   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:18 pm

Chapter 3
Lionpaw twitched in his sleep. He was dreaming.
Standing on a craggy peak, he felt the mountain breeze tug at his fur. Above, a starless sky stretched black as a raven’s wing to the distant horizon. In front of him ridge upon ridge lay like ripples on a wind-ruffled lake. Though no moon shone, they glowed like moonstone. All this is mine! Exhilarated, Lionpaw bounded forward, his powerful hind paws sending stones cracking into the shadowy valleys below. He cleared the gorge in one easy jump, landing on the ridge beyond. His claws scraped the rock, holding his paws firm on the smooth rock. He leapt again, light as air, breath hardly stirring in his chest. His tail seemed to brush the pelt-soft sky and, with the blood rushing in his ears, he lifted his chin and yowled, his voice echoing like thunder around the empty mountains. I have the power of the stars in my paws!
“Lionpaw!” Ashfur’s call jolted Lionpaw awake. “Hunting patrol!”
Lionpaw blinked open his eyes. Sunshine pierced the branches of the den, yellow sunbeams spearing straight downward. The other nests were empty. It’s sunhigh already! Lionpaw clambered groggily to his paws. And then he remembered: They hadn’t reached camp until well past moonhigh. Surely Ashfur wouldn’t be cross with him for sleeping late today?
Arching his back in a trembling stretch, he yawned. His paws still ached from the long trek from the mountains and he licked gingerly at a forepaw to check whether the grazing had begun to heal. No taste of blood. The scabs were hard. The soft forest floor would be no problem.
“Lionpaw!” Ashfur called again, more sharply. Lionpaw stumbled out of the den. Surely he deserved some rest! Heavy-pawed he padded into the clearing, narrowing his eyes against the greenleaf sun. It flooded the camp and warmed his pelt. A light breeze stirred the trees encircling the top of the hollow. In the mountains, the only shelter from the wind had been in the damp and chilly cave behind the waterfall. How in the name of StarClan did the Tribe survive leaf-bare? Greenleaf had been cold enough!
“Awake at last!” Ashfur greeted him. “The prey’s probably grown old and died while we’ve been waiting for you.”
“Then it’ll be easier to catch,” Lionpaw grumbled.
“I know you’re tired,” Ashfur conceded. “But Icepaw is itching to get out into the forest and I promised Whitewing we’d go with them.”
Lionpaw noticed Icepaw for the first time. The young apprentice was bouncing around the clearing like a newleaf hare, leaping and twisting as she darted at invisible prey. Her prey might have been invisible, but Icepaw, with her sleek white pelt and bright blue eyes, certainly wasn’t. Perhaps that’s why Firestar had made Whitewing her mentor. The white she-cat knew what it was like to stand out like snow in greenleaf. She’d be able to teach Icepaw a few special stalking techniques. And she clearly needed to learn. As he watched Icepaw darting clumsily about, Lionpaw stifled a purr, remembering how excited he had been when he had started his training.
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PostSubject: Re: Sneak Peak at the Power of Three book 4 Eclipse (c)   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:18 pm

Whitewing padded across the clearing, one eye on her apprentice. “Can we go now?”
Lionpaw noticed her tail tip twitching. Icepaw was Whitewing’s first apprentice. Was she worried how to manage such a bundle of energy? Or did she think their
matching snow-colored pelts would scare away all the prey as soon as they set foot under the trees?
“Where do you want to start?” Ashfur asked.
Whitewing eyed Icepaw thoughtfully as the little white cat hurled herself awkwardly at a pile of leaves, sending them scattering in all directions. “Do you think Icepaw would do better by the Ancient Oak or the Old Thunderpath?”
Lionpaw’s belly rumbled. He gazed at the fresh-kill pile; a plump mouse was lying on top. But the Clan had to be fed before he could eat. It was the first rule apprentices had to learn, and the hardest. “There’s usually more prey around the Oak,” he suggested.
Ignoring Lionpaw, Ashfur dipped his head to Whitewing. “It’s your decision.”
Lionpaw felt a prickle of annoyance. Why bother waking him up at all? They clearly weren’t interested in his opinion. And neither of them had asked about his journey to the mountains. He stared crossly around the camp. No cat seemed the slightest bit interested by his return. Mousefur was sunning herself outside the elders’ nest. Ferncloud and Sorreltail were sharing a pigeon beneath Highledge, their hunting clearly finished for the day. Leafpool was disappearing into the nursery, holding leaves between her jaws. Weren’t any of them curious about the mountains or his adventure?
“Hey, Lionpaw!” Icepaw called to him. “Am I doing this right?” She was creeping forward in a hunting crouch, her tail lashing.
“Yeah,” Lionpaw mewed absently. Doesn’t anyone care about me?
“You need to keep your tail still, Icepaw,” Ashfur advised.
Lionpaw looked at his mentor in surprise. I thought you weren’t interested in apprentices.
Ashfur met his gaze, eyes narrowed, then turned pointedly back to Icepaw. “If you stir up the leaves, the prey will know you’re coming.” Clearly he thought that Lionpaw should have pointed out Icepaw’s mistake.
Lionpaw’s fur bristled. Why did Ashfur expect him to mentor another cat’s apprentice? That was Whitewing’s duty. Then, with a flash of remorse, he remembered how grateful he’d been when Stormfur or Graystripe had gently pointed out his mistakes.
He padded over to the younger cat. “I’ll show you what he means.” He crouched beside her. “Keep your back down like this. The flatter you are, the less visible you’ll be.”
“Like this?” Icepaw squashed herself against the ground.
“Exactly.”
Icepaw blinked up at him, her eyes like pools of sky. “Thanks, Lionpaw. I’m quite nervous about hunting, actually.”
Lionpaw brushed the tip of his tail over her back. “You’ll be fine,” he promised. “Just copy our mentors, and don’t expect to make a catch on your first try. It took me ages to get it right,” he added. Icepaw nodded, looking very earnest, and Lionpaw gave her ear a lick. Was this how it felt being a mentor? He liked the idea of teaching a young cat everything he knew about hunting and fighting, and watching them grow from a tumbling kit to a strong, quick-pawed warrior.
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PostSubject: Re: Sneak Peak at the Power of Three book 4 Eclipse (c)   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:19 pm

But what if the prophecy took him on a path away from being a normal warrior, mentoring apprentices and carrying out regular Clan duties? Looking down at Icepaw’s
glowing eyes, Lionpaw felt as if he was being asked to give up an entire way of life – and one that suited him very well.
“Can we hunt here?” Icepaw asked again. She’d wanted to hunt in every small clearing they’d passed on their way to the Ancient Oak. Now the great tree towered above them, the ground beneath littered with leaves and acorn cups. At the edge of the glade, ferns clustered together in pools of light filtering through the branches.
Whitewing glanced at Ashfur. “Should we keep going to the lake?” she asked. “There might be prey near the shore.”
Ashfur gazed back at her, but didn’t reply.
Why isn’t he helping her? Lionpaw tried to catch his mentor’s eye.
Whitewing scanned the clearing “Here is fine,” she decided. “Perhaps that clump of ferns?”
Lionpaw noticed her tail twitching again. If Ashfur wasn’t going to help her, perhaps he could. “There’s a bramble–” His suggestion was silenced by Ashfur’s tail flicking across his mouth. The warrior nodded at Whitewing. “Trust your instinct.”
“Ferns.” Whitewing led her apprentice toward a leafy thicket.
Ashfur murmured into Lionpaw’s ear, “I know you’re trying to help, but Whitewing needs to build her confidence on her own.” They watched as Whitewing nudged Icepaw into a crouch and adjusted her stance with a touch of her muzzle. “She’s doing fine.”
The ferns quivered. The pale green stems trembled from the roots rather than the tips; it couldn’t be the wind stirring them. Icepaw crouched down and began to waggle
her hind quarters, kneading the ground with her paws. Gently, Whitewing laid her tail over the apprentice’s back until Icepaw grew still. Leaning forward she whispered into Icepaw’s ear, then sat back. It was up to Icepaw now.
Lionpaw watched as Icepaw darted forward and flung herself into the ferns.
A squeal from behind the fronds was quickly silenced and Icepaw bounced out, a small vole dangling from her teeth. Her eyes shone with happiness.
Ashfur padded forward. “Well done!”
Whitewing fluffed out her chest proudly. “That was great, Icepaw!”
“Nice kill.” Ashfur was padding to join them.
So much excitement over a tiny vole! It was probably too young to run away even if it wanted to. Lionpaw’s thoughts flicked back to the battle in the mountains. He was glad Icepaw had made her first kill so quickly, but what would they have said if they’d seen him fighting the mountain cats? Catching a bite of prey didn’t compare to defeating a whole Clan single-pawed.
“Thrush!”
Hearing Ashfur’s whispered alert, Lionpaw glanced over his shoulder, following his mentor’s gaze. A fat thrush was pecking among the leaves beyond the wide trunk of the oak. Silent as snake, Lionpaw slithered around until he was behind it. Crouching onto his belly, he began to steal toward the thrush, tail lifted slightly so it didn’t stir the leaves. The thrush was searching for insects, unaware of the danger. Lionpaw felt a glimmer of satisfaction. Such a dumb bird deserved to be fresh-kill. He paused, judged the distance, then jumped. His massive leap cleared the tree roots and carried him three fox-tails across the forest floor. The thrush spread its wings in panic, struggling to take flight, but it was
too late. Lionpaw landed with deadly precision, flattening the bird with its wings outstretched, and killed it with a sharp nip to the spine.
“That was fantastic!” Icepaw was staring at him from the other side of the tree, her eyes wide with awe.
Whitewing’s ears were pressed back in surprise.
Lionpaw felt something tickling his nose. One of the thrush’s soft feathers had stuck to his muzzle. He swiped it away, feeling self-conscious.
“Impressive.” Ashfur nodded.
“That was a huge leap!” Whitewing meowed. “You could have easily missed.”
No I couldn’t. Lionpaw bit back the thought. Considering the surprise still lingering in his Clanmates eyes, he decided it might be better to let them think it had been a lucky strike. Perhaps Jaypaw was right: They might not be too happy to know the truth behind his powerful kill.
As they headed back to camp, Lionpaw’s nostrils filled with the mouth-watering aroma of the thrush. It bounced against his chest, its wings dredging leaves. Icepaw padded beside him, her small catch tripping her as she tried to match his pace.
“I wish my legs weren’t so short,” she complained, her words muffled by vole fur.
“They’ll grow,” Lionpaw promised.
Whitewing and Ashfur walked ahead, each carrying a catch of their own. This late in greenleaf, all prey was welcome. The Clan needed to gorge itself if it was to make it through leaf-bare. At least that’s what the older cats kept saying. Lionpaw couldn’t
remember leaf-bare other than something beyond the nursery walls – a menace that worried the older cats and made the branches of the den rattle.
“That was such a great catch,” Icepaw mewed.
Lionpaw grunted his thanks. He didn’t want to swallow a feather and spend the rest of the day coughing.
“Why did you jump so soon?” Icepaw persisted. “Did you think it might hear you if you’d gone closer?”
“I just thought I’d try,” Lionpaw was sure he could have padded right up to the thrush if he’d wanted. But why waste time tip-toeing about?
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PostSubject: Re: Sneak Peak at the Power of Three book 4 Eclipse (c)   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:20 pm

“You’re such a great hunter,” Icepaw went on out of the corner of her mouth. “I thought Hollypaw was good, but you’re amazing. Where did you learn to jump like that? Do you do extra practice to get so strong? Do you think I ought to be doing more training?”
“I’m sure Whitewing will give you all the training you need.”
“I just hope she trains me as well as Ashfur trained you.”
Lionpaw watched his mentor disappear behind a bramble spilling over the track ahead. Ashfur had been a good trainer. He had never wished for any other. But Ashfur had not been his only mentor. Tigerstar had trained him, too. And he had been born with powers Icepaw could never dream of, even if she trained day and night every moon of her life.
As the path dipped down toward the hollow and home, Lionpaw felt a pang of loneliness. It was almost as though he belonged to a Clan of his own, distanced by the
prophecy from the familiar faces waiting in camp to see what they’d brought back from their hunt.
Icepaw darted ahead of him and followed Whitewing and Ashfur through the barrier of thorns which sealed the camp from the forest. Lionpaw padded after, emerging into the clearing in time to see Icepaw drop her vole onto the fresh-kill pile and turn toward her denmates.
Cinderpaw, Honeypaw and Poppypaw were sunning themselves outside the apprentices’ den. Icepaw trotted toward them.
“Your first catch?” Honeypaw called.
Icepaw lifted her chin. “I got it first try!”
Lionpaw felt a pang of envy. He would never again feel so carefree, never again be thrilled by such a small success.
“Is Foxpaw back yet?” Icepaw asked, clearly eager to show off her catch to her brother.
“Squirrelflight took him on border patrol,” Cinderpaw informed her. “They should be back soon.”
As Lionpaw padded to the fresh-kill pile and dropped his catch, a pelt brushed his. He turned to see his sister.
“Nice catch.” Hollypaw’s mew was flat as though she had something else on her mind. She was staring at the apprentices outside their den. Cinderpaw and Poppypaw were rolling a ball of moss to each other while Honeypaw leapt to try and catch it.
“Aren’t you going to join in?” Lionpaw mewed.
Hollypaw blinked. “I don’t feel like it.”
That wasn’t like Hollypaw. Especially if Cinderpaw was playing. “Something wrong?” Lionpaw asked.
“I’m just not in the mood.”
Lionpaw searched her green gaze. Was Hollypaw feeling isolated, too? “It feels odd, doesn’t it?” he ventured.
Hollypaw looked at him. “What?”
“Being different.”
“We’re not different on the outside.”
“You know what I mean.” Lionpaw felt a surge of impatience. He needed to talk to someone. All day he’d been clutching their secret like prey struggling to escape. Hollypaw didn’t have to make it so hard. “Knowing something as huge as we do and not being able to tell anyone.”
The fur on Hollypaw’s shoulders bristled with alarm. “You’re not thinking of telling, are you?”
“No, I–”
Hollypaw cut him off. “No cat must know! Not when we don’t know exactly what the prophecy means.” She lowered her voice, her gaze darting around the clearing. “We need to figure out what we’re meant to do with our powers.”
Lionpaw flexed his claws. “I wasn’t planning on telling!” he snapped. Why did she have to be so bossy? He wasn’t a mousebrain! And why did she have to try to figure everything out all the time? The prophecy was simple: They were going to be more powerful than any cat. They just had to be ready to use their powers when they were needed. He turned and padded to the half-rock.
With the sun sliding toward the tree tops, the Clan was beginning to take food from the fresh-kill pile. Cinderpaw snatched up Lionpaw’s thrush and carried it to the nursery where Millie, Daisy and her kits would be growing hungry.
Poppypaw picked up a mouse and placed it outside the elders’ den. “Fresh-kill!” she called.
Longtail emerged from the tangle of honeysuckle, nose twitching, and stood at the entrance while Mousefur followed him stiffly out. The old she-cat grew more frail with each passing moon. Longtail waited until she had settled down next to the mouse, then sat beside her.
“You don’t have to watch over me like I’m a helpless kit!” Mousefur snapped at him.
Longtail’s whiskers twitched with amusement. “It’s a shame your tongue’s not as worn out as the rest of you,” he purred.
Mousefur swiped at him with her tail, catching him behind the ear. “Do you want some of this?” She nosed the mouse toward him.
“You can have this if you want!” Icepaw was trotting from the fresh-kill pile with her little vole swinging from her jaws. She dropped it at Longtail’s paws. “I caught it myself!”
“Your first catch?” Mousefur’s eyes glowed.
Longtail bent to sniff the small creature. “It smells delicious.”
The brambles at the entrance to the medicine cat den twitched as Jaypaw slid out, a ball of moss held gingerly between his teeth. He padded over to Mousefur and Longtail
and placed the moss on the ground. Turning his blind blue eyes on Icepaw he mewed, “I’ve heard you’ve been busy today. You should get something to eat.”
“I am pretty hungry,” Icepaw admitted.
“Thanks for the vole!” Longtail called after the apprentice as she padded back to the fresh-kill pile.
Icepaw mewed happily over her shoulder, “Any time!”
“Do you mind if I check for ticks while you eat?” Jaypaw asked Mousefur.
“If you must,” Mousefur grumbled. “Though I don’t know why you had to wait until I was eating to bring that foul stuff over.” She nodded toward the moss. Lionpaw guessed that it was soaked in mouse bile.
“I thought you might be sleeping earlier and I didn’t want to wake you.” Patiently, Jaypaw began to nuzzle through Mousefur’s pelt. He paused to tear some moss from the ball and pressed it into the fur near the base of her tail.
Lionpaw watched his brother. He seemed completely different from the resentful young cat who had never wanted to be a medicine cat’s apprentice. And yet he’s more powerful than any of his Clanmates. Lionpaw climbed onto the half-rock and lay down, pressing his belly against the sun-warmed stone. Perhaps knowing he’s so powerful makes boring tasks easier to bear. He wondered how many moons it had been since Jaypaw had crept into Firestar’s dream and overhead the stranger predicting the birth of three kits with the power of the stars in their paws. Would the frustration gnawing in his own belly ease with time? Once he’d got used to the prophecy as Jaypaw had done?
He glanced up at Highledge as Firestar picked his way down the tumble of rocks, Sandstorm following. The ThunderClan leader had never given any clue that he knew of
the prophecy. He had only ever treated Lionpaw, Hollypaw and Jaypaw as if they were three ordinary apprentices. Lionpaw watched as Firestar picked a mouse from the pile and passed it to Sandstorm before taking a sparrow for himself. What did he really feel? Lionpaw suddenly wished he had Jaypaw’s powers to see into Firestar’s mind and know what he really felt about the three of them. Was he proud to have them as his kin? Pleased that his Clan would be safe forever, guarded by such powerful cats? Or was he anxious, as Jaypaw feared, about having cats more powerful than himself in the Clan?
The thorn barrier shivered as Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw padded through, followed by Foxpaw and Berrynose.
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PostSubject: Re: Sneak Peak at the Power of Three book 4 Eclipse (c)   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:21 pm

“The borders are quiet,” Brambleclaw called to his leader. “But the sunset patrol should check the WindClan border closely. By the smell of it, they’ve been hunting in the woods on their side.”
Firestar was settling down beneath Highledge, Sandstorm at his side. “It looks like they’ve developed a taste for squirrel,” he remarked.
Cinderpaw, sharing a pigeon with Honeypaw, looked up eagerly. “Can I go out on sunset patrol?” Now that her injured leg was recovered enough to return to apprentice duties she seemed keen to take on any task, as though making up for lost time.
“Yes.” Brambleclaw nodded. “I was going to ask Graystripe to lead it.”
“Did someone mention Graystripe?” Millie padded from the nursery, blinking sleep from her eyes.
Graystripe was repairing a tear in the nursery wall where winds had unravelled the carefully threaded brambles. “Are you okay?” He looked closely at Millie. She was fat with her kits, which were expected any day now.
“Fine.” Millie picked up two mice from the fresh-kill pile. “I’d just rather share a meal outside with you.” She carried the meal to where Firestar and Sandstorm lay. Graystripe tucked in a final tendril with his paws and hurried to join her.
A thrush thudded onto the ground beside the halfrock, surprising Lionpaw. Hollypaw stood over it, staring at him.
“I thought you might want to share,” she mewed. Was this her way of apologizing? Lionpaw doubted it. He suspected that his sister didn’t realize how bossy she could be. But he was grateful anyway. However alone he felt, knowing about the prophecy, he had to remember that Hollypaw and Jaypaw shared it, too. As long as he had his littermates, he would never truly be alone.
“Thanks,” he purred, settling down to eat.
Birchfall and Whitewing were sharing prey with Brackenfur, while Thornclaw and Spiderleg stretched out nearby, their meal already finished. This was the first time since the journey to the mountains that the Clan had eaten together and Lionpaw began to feel more at ease. Nothing had really changed, he told himself hopefully.
“So how were the Tribe?” Firestar asked Brambleclaw.
The ThunderClan deputy swallowed a mouthful of fresh-kill and licked his lips. “They’ve a hard leaf-bare ahead of them,” he meowed. “But I think they’re going to be okay.” Lionpaw narrowed his eyes. Was his father as confident as he sounded?
“Do you think they’ll be able to defend the borders you made?” Thornclaw asked.
Squirrelflight shrugged. “We trained them as well as we could.”
“Which will be very well, if I know you,” Graystripe chipped in.
“They stand more of a chance now than they did when we first got there,” Brambleclaw meowed. “It was hard for them to get used to the idea of marking such distinct borders around a portion of where they hunted before, but I hope they understand how important it is for them to fight for what they have.”
“And we certainly taught the invaders that they can’t help themselves to anything they want,” Squirrelflight added.
“Were many cats injured in the battle?” Sandstorm asked.
“Nothing serious,” Brambleclaw informed her. “But it was a hard fight.”
Which you would never have won without me. Lionpaw waited for his father to tell the Clan how well he had done.
“All the apprentices fought like true warriors.” Brambleclaw glanced at Lionpaw. “They were a credit to our Clan.”
Lionpaw’s pads pricked with frustration. “Isn’t he going to mention how I fought?” he hissed under his breath.
“Shh!” Hollypaw warned him. “It’s best if they don’t know. We mustn’t draw attention to ourselves.”
Lionpaw bit angrily into the thrush. What’s the point of being so powerful if no cat ever knows? He found himself half-wishing for another battle this moon, so he could show his Clanmates just what sort of warrior he was going to be. The other Clans had better watch out then, he thought darkly.
Paws weary, muscles still aching from the journey, Lionpaw crept into his nest. Just one long sleep and he’d feel more like his old self. He spiralled down into the clean dry moss and closed his eyes.
“You’re not going straight to sleep, are you?” Poppypaw called across the den.
“Don’t you want to hear what Sandstorm said to me while we were training?” Honeypaw prompted.
“I’m tired,” Lionpaw murmured. He wasn’t in the mood to share Clan gossip with his denmates.
“Please yourself,” Poppypaw mewed.
Suddenly, two small paws landed on his back, digging into his ribs.
“Sorry!” Foxpaw backed away as Lionpaw’s head shot up.
Lionpaw glared at the young apprentice. “Watch out!”
“I was just showing Icepaw how I was going to catch a fox and earn my warrior name,” Foxpaw mewed. “I want to be called Foxcatcher!”
“Well, you’ve proved you can catch a sleeping cat!” Honeypaw teased.
Icepaw jumped to her brother’s defence. “He’ll catch a real fox one day!”
“Yeah, right.” Poppypaw tossed a wad of moss at the white apprentice.
Foxpaw leaped and caught the moss before it reached his sister, batting back toward Poppypaw. “I will catch one, you just wait!”
“You couldn’t catch greencough!” Poppypaw taunted him.
“Yes, I could!” Foxpaw argued.
The other apprentices purred with amusement.
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PostSubject: Re: Sneak Peak at the Power of Three book 4 Eclipse (c)   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:21 pm

“I mean I could catch anything I want.” Foxpaw backtracked quickly. “If only Squirrelflight would stop fussing over me all the time.”
“She might stop fussing if you stopped wandering off,” Honeypaw pointed out. “We had to wait for ages while she went to look for you today. The squirrel I’d been tracking was in ShadowClan territory by the time she brought you back!”
“I was exploring!” Foxpaw protested.
“Well, come and explore this.” Cinderpaw had squeezed into the den. Lionpaw could smell honey but he stayed where he was while the other apprentices scrambled from their nests to see what Cinderpaw had brought.
“Where’d you find it?” Icepaw gasped.
“Cloudtail found a hive in a hollow trunk while we were patrolling near the abandoned Twolegplace,” Cinderpaw explained. “He managed to get his paw in and grab a chunk of the honeycomb.”
“Did he get stung?” Foxpaw mewed.
“Only once.”
“I haven’t had honey for moons.” Poppypaw sighed.
“Cloudtail gave most of it to Leafpool for her stores, but he said I could have this bit,” Cinderpaw mewed.
“Can I have a lick?” Icepaw begged.
“Go on then, but not too much,” Cinderpaw offered. “It’s for everyone to share.”
Icepaw closed her eyes as she swallowed, then blinked them open, surprised. “It doesn’t taste of anything!”
Poppypaw purred. “Every cat knows that, mouse-brain.” She licked at the honeycomb and sighed. “I like the way it soothes my throat and feels all warm in my belly. It reminds me of milk.”
Lionpaw buried his nose under his paws, trying to block out the purrs of contentment as his denmates tucked into the precious honeycomb. How easily pleased they were. One day all the honey in the forest would be his. He wasn’t like them – pleased by any small treat. The pang of isolation returned, stronger than ever.
A warm body brushed against him. Hollypaw had crept into the den and was settling down beside him.
“Not joining in with the honey feast?” Lionpaw whispered.
“Let them enjoy it,” she whispered back.
Suddenly feeling less alone, Lionpaw closed his eyes and slipped into sleep.
Dreaming, Lionpaw felt the forest floor cold beneath his paws, prickly with pine needles. A thin mist cloaked the ground and swirled around the lines of straight, bare trunks which stretched away into darkness.
“It’s about time you came back to us.” Tigerstar’s low growl echoed from the shadows. Lionpaw saw the outline of massive shoulders as the warrior padded out from the trees.
Hawkfrost followed at his heels. “You need all the training we can give you.”
Lionpaw bristled. “But didn’t you see me fight in the mountains?” How much more training did he need?
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PostSubject: Re: Sneak Peak at the Power of Three book 4 Eclipse (c)   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:22 pm

He was already a better fighter than any of his Clanmates. He had proved it!
“We’re not concerned with past battles,” Tigerstar meowed briskly. “Only the battles to come.”
Lionpaw narrowed his eyes. That sounded like an excuse. They couldn’t see me in the mountains! Even Tigerstar’s powers had their limits.
“Let’s see if you can use your brains as well as your strength.” Tigerstar padded behind Lionpaw and nudged him toward Hawkfrost. “Try attacking Hawkfrost from his weaker side.”
“But don’t you want to hear about the mountain cats?”
Tigerstar lashed his tail. “They’re no concern of mine.”
He’s not interested! Lionpaw stared at his ghostly mentor. Didn’t he think Lionpaw could have learned something from going on the long journey and battling against different cats? Did Tigerstar really believe he knew everything about fighting? Well, he certainly didn’t know everything about Lionpaw. Maybe it was about time he did.
“What are you waiting for?” Tigerstar snapped. “Attack Hawkfrost!”
Anger surged in Lionpaw’s belly. He leapt for Hawkfrost and, unsheathing his claws, raked the striped warrior’s flank so fiercely he felt the skin burst and blood spatter his paw.
Yowling in fury, Hawkfrost jumped away from him, hackles raised.
Lionpaw swung around to face Tigerstar. “Will you listen to me now? I’ve got something important to tell you. There’s a prophecy! About me! That’s why I can fight the way I can.”
Tigerstar’s eyes flashed. “What do you mean, a prophecy?”
“An old cat told Firestar in a dream: There will be three, kin of your kin, who will hold the power of the stars in their paws.” Lionpaw recited the words just as Jaypaw had told him. “Don’t you see? It must be about us, because Squirrelflight is Firestar’s kin.”
Tigerstar snorted in disgust. “Firestar!”
“But it’s true!” Lionpaw insisted. “If you’d seen me fight in the mountains you’d know. I defeated every cat who faced me. I felt like I could’ve fought forever and still defeated them all!”
“Only because I’ve trained you,” Tigerstar growled.
“It’s more than that!” Lionpaw argued. “I’ve got the power of the stars in my paws!”
“And Firestar told you this, did he?” Tigerstar sneered.
“No.” Lionpaw dug his claws into the cold earth. “Jaypaw walked in one of Firestar dreams. He overheard it.”
Tigerstar’s eyes suddenly glittered with amusement. “I see,” he mocked. “A cat has a dream and that means you’re the most powerful creature who ever lived.”
Why wasn’t Tigerstar taking this seriously? Wasn’t he proud to have kin who might eventually rule the forest? Isn’t that what he wanted? Lionpaw felt a growl rising in his throat. Perhaps Tigerstar only wanted that for himself. “Don’t laugh at me.”
Hawkfrost’s whiskers twitched. “Look at the little warrior! Pretending he’s Firestar. All big and brave.”
“How do explain the battle in the mountains, then?” Lionpaw demanded. “I wasn’t even hurt!”
“You beat a bunch of half-starved, untrained rogues,” Hawkfrost taunted him. “Wow. That’s a real sign of a great warrior!”
Lionpaw blinked. The ground suddenly felt colder under his paws. What if they were right? The mountain cats hadn’t exactly been a Clan of highly skilled warriors. The Tribe could have beaten them with any of the Clan cats’ help; they didn’t need the most powerful cat ever to win the battle. What if the prophecy was just a dream?
“Not so sure now, are you?” Tigerstar flicked his tail. “I know it must be nice to believe you’re the greatest warrior that ever lived, but would Firestar really have sent three such important cats to the mountains where they might brave been killed?”
Lionpaw’s belly fluttered with doubt. Firestar had never said anything about the prophecy. If he really believed they were special he wouldn’t have risked their lives. He would have kept them safe in camp, where they could take care of their Clan.
Tigerstar leaned forward, his breath stirring Lionpaw’s whiskers. “There’s only one path to power,” he breathed. “Training. Practice your battle skills, practice hard, and one day you may well be the most powerful cat in the forest.” He drew back, his voice hardening. “Now, repeat the battle move! But this time, keep your claws sheathed. Unless I say otherwise!”
Excerpted from Warriors: Power of Three #4: Eclipse, Copyright © 2008 by Working Partners Limited. All Rights Reserved. HarperCollins Publishers.
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PostSubject: Re: Sneak Peak at the Power of Three book 4 Eclipse (c)   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:42 pm

yiii
i just realized I posted this in the wrong place...x.x
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PostSubject: Re: Sneak Peak at the Power of Three book 4 Eclipse (c)   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:45 pm

Thats o.k. xD
I can move it to the PoT sub :3
I didnt realize it either.
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PostSubject: Re: Sneak Peak at the Power of Three book 4 Eclipse (c)   Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:39 pm

heehee.
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PostSubject: Re: Sneak Peak at the Power of Three book 4 Eclipse (c)   Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:35 pm

(Woah so many letters! *head spinning*)

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PostSubject: Re: Sneak Peak at the Power of Three book 4 Eclipse (c)   Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:09 pm

Yeah kinda makes you dizzy, huh?
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