© 2001- 2019 Linda Aarts
Published on stormrise.com on November 20, 2001
Part 1

The keen nose of Coldnose hadn’t any difficulties to pick up Goldstars trace. Obviously the female elder was so anxious at the idea of finding Mudspatter that it didn’t matter what she left behind. Hawkeye shook his head. Stupid. Silly woman.

But somewhere deep within him, he was scared. He was terrified. What if something had happened to her? He had promised Talon to watch over her. And he hadn’t. He had failed.

The face of Wildlight had already shown that. He should have stopped her. Then all this… mess… hadn’t took place. Everything would be fine.

Except for the fact that Goldstar would hate him because he had stopped her. He knew what Mudspatter meant for her. The wolf had filled the place that Talon left open when he died. Somewhere deep within him he regretted that. He had wanted to fill that place, somehow.

But he didn’t, and he had accepted that.

A loud squeak let him stir. Ripple flew above him, circled a couple of time before he landed on Hawkeye’s shoulder, where he tripped up and down. This surprised Hawkeye. Without knowing they had moved a long way already.

**Good idea. Ripple could follow me. I knew you would spot me when I left.**

The hostility in the sending hurt Hawkeye. With narrowed eyes he spotted the place where the sending came from, and he had soon found the blonde locks. The face belonging to those locks was raised to his; the leaf green eyes were spitting fire. Unwillingly, Hawkeye did a step backwards, surprised by her hostility.

**Why is it that you always keep an eye on me, scout?** Goldstar almost never used his name. Even when he was young, she had always called him scout.

Hawkeye did another step back. It wasn’t normal that Goldstar was this hostile. She normally was very friendly, a peacekeeper, like some others called her. This wasn’t her true self. What was wrong with her?

"Wildlight knows that you’re gone. He sent me after you." He didn’t dare to send, afraid that his feelings exposed themselves. And he didn’t want that to happen. Goldstar narrowed her eyes for a moment, searching his face for clues.

**Smell, scout,** Goldstar then sent, more quiet now. **You’ve come this far. Listen. Watch. Help me with this.**

Hawkeye unwillingly glanced in her eyes. Bright green lights were fixed on his face. **I want Mudspatter back. He is the one that helped me getting over Talon.**

Hawkeye gasped. **That also could have been someone else if you let anyone help you,** he replied without thinking. The mental voice was filled with bittersweet thoughts.

The female stirred, her eyes widened, and again narrowed, and she immediately turned her back to him. A short while she stood there, totally silent. And then, her short answer came in his mind, softly as a rose. He sensed sadness, but it was soft.


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