Chapter Four

As the night went on and sunrise approached, Sparrow just sat still with his head resting on his paws and his eyes closed.  He didn't sleep - he was too worried.  With it being autumn, that met that winter would be approaching within a while, and Sparrow would surely never survive the winter alone.  Most animals hibernated, and the others were hard to see and often hidden amongst the pure white snow.  It would also be very difficult to survive if because of the cold weather - harsh winds and a freezing temperature would not be easy to live through.
     
Finally opening his eyes as sunrise was only a little while away, Sparrow got up and decided to take one last look around his pack's territory, giving him something to do.  He first looked around his den.  He didn't like what he saw - after Leader realized that he was from an enemy pack, Dawn also told him that he would be moved into another den far away from any of the weaker wolves so he wouldn't attack them.  His den was small and not very cozy, covered in rocks and a bit of dirt.  It was also very dark, and he was unable to see very well at the moment.  Leaving his den, Sparrow looked up at the moon.  He sighed as he saw it, a full moon.  Walking over to the edge of the hill by the pack's territory, Sparrow howled, a long and sad howl, up at the moon.  As soon as he finished, he decided to look around the area, leaving his pack.  
     
There was a small stream not far from the end of the territory, which could give Sparrow a good source of water.  A few trees crowded the area, which could give him shade.  There was a good enough space for a den, so Sparrow decided that this was where he would stay... as a lone wolf.  
    
He regretted doing this, but as soon as he left the clearing he ran straight back to his territory.  The night was silent, and there was nothing moving besides the leaves on trees as a small breeze moved throughout the forest.  Reaching his den as he ran, he immediately went inside it, saddened by his last night here.  For the rest of the night, Sparrow finally dozed off as the gentle breeze slowly died away and the moon fell behind two clouds, blackening the entire forest.  

~ ~ ~ 

"It's time."
     
Yawning as Dawn led him out of his cave early the next morning, Sparrow looked at the ground as she led him to the edge of the hill he had visited last night.  At the top of the hill was Leader, staring down at him with a vicious glint in his eyes, his fur swaying in the early morning breeze.
     
"It's too early for this," Sparrow grumbled to Dawn, but she did not answer.  When Leader's attention focused on other wolves in the awaiting crowd who were all eager for Sparrow's departure, Dawn quickly muttered, "I am not allowed to speak to you," in her "son's" ear.  Rolling his eyes in annoyance, Sparrow looked up at Leader, who met his gaze with hatred.
     
"Come up here, Sparrow," Leader said darkly.  His eyes were cold as he looked at him.  Walking up to Leader, Sparrow tried to appear confident, but it was hard, considering that all wolves in the pack were staring at him blankly.
     
"Sparrow, you do realize why you are being banished, correct?" Leader said in a harsh tone.  Not even giving Sparrow time to answer, he continued.  "You would have surely destroyed us all and taken over the pack if I had not realized your dark secret.  And now, everyone knows and has been awaiting this moment since last night.  Now, it is time."
     
"I'm not going to hurt -" Sparrow began.
    
"Silence!" Leader snapped at him.  "You were not told to speak!"  Rolling his eyes, Sparrow was fuming inside.  How could his "father" do this to him?  Just because his real family was vicious doesn't mean that he was also.
     
"Well, Sparrow, I have nothing more to say to you," Leader said more cheerfully than he had spoken to him before, although his voice still had a growl to it.  "Dawn was foolish to find you.  You should have died instead."
     
Suddenly, Sapphire jumped up from behind Sparrow, standing firmly in front of him.  "Don't you understand how young Sparrow was when Dawn found him?" she asked her father furiously.  "Like Sparrow was trying to say, he isn't going to harm anyone!  He is not like his true pack.  He was taught the ways of us, which I originally thought were good.  But they must not be that good if you are banishing him for being related to -"
     
Sapphire was cut off as Leader jumped at her and stood over her, biting her snout.  "And how do you think you can stop me?" he snarled to her quietly.  Sapphire's eyes narrowed, but she stood and Leader got off of her as her tail fell between her legs, showing an apology and fear for her father.
     
"Sparrow," Leader said, "leave at once."
     
Sparrow frowned and pushed through the crowd of wolves who stared at him in hate as he planned to go to the exact same place he had found last night.  Hearing wolves snarl and bark at him as he was leaving, he was sure that there was a smirk on Leader's face, as he had finally got what he wanted.  
     
"Well, Leader?" Sparrow muttered aloud.  "I hope that you're happy.  You've got what you wanted by now."
     
"But you haven't."
     
Hearing the feminine voice, Sparrow turned and sighed as he saw Sapphire.  "I have to admit, that was brave of you, talking back to Leader like that, but how did you escape?" Sparrow asked her.
     
Sapphire smirked.  "Oh, that was so challenging," she said sarcastically.  "Leader was so busy telling all the wolves about how much of a genius he was that he payed no attention to me."
     
"And Dawn?"
     
"Ran right back into her den as she saw you leaving.  She didn't seem to want to speak to anyone at the moment.  She seemed furious."
     
Sparrow growled.  "That's what she gets.  I can't believe that after all we've been through, she didn't even try to defend me from Leader."
     
Sapphire smiled a bit.  "She's afraid of Leader, Sparrow," she said softly.  "Do you even know what Leader is truly capable of?"
     
"I'm not sure that I want to know," Sparrow muttered.
     
"Let's just say that Dawn... Dawn really isn't in love with him.  He kind of forced her to be with him, because she was, well, the most beautiful she-wolf that he could find."  Pausing, Sapphire forced another smile.  "She's not happy," she said quietly, her smile fading a bit.
     
"She never did seem happy when she was talking about him, or whatever," Sparrow said as he and Sapphire finally reached the new place Sparrow was planning on staying at.  "I have a feeling that she's figured out that you're gone now, though.  She didn't seem that distracted when I left."
     
"Well, I can't be that important to her at the moment now," Sapphire said simply.  "And I don't care anyway.  There's no place that I would rather be right now."
     
Sparrow tried to hide a small smile.  "Why?  I'd rather be home."
     
Sapphire sighed.  "Well, you wouldn't be there.  I guess I started to accept you more after I figured out that you weren't my brother."
     
Sparrow couldn't help but smile at her now, and she smiled back at him.  Sitting down on the ground, Sparrow sighed and looked up into the sky.  The sun was almost all the way up into the sky now, and the sky was still pink and orange, yet was beginning to turn bluer.  There were nearly no clouds in the sky, and a small breeze rustled through the trees.  Leaves fell peacefully as the breeze hit a particularly large oak tree.  Most of them were yellow, red, and orange, yet a few still had green leaves.  The breeze rustled Sparrow and Sapphire's fur, and the two shivered a bit.  Today would definitely be chilly, yet still a bit sunny.
     
As the sun was finally in the middle of the sky where it belonged, Sparrow began to fall asleep.  It was so peaceful and quiet that he couldn't resist closing his eyes, and soon he was asleep.  Sapphire began to doze off too, and soon the two were both sleeping under the tree.
     
When Sparrow awoke later that evening, Sapphire was already awake, pacing around the tree.  "Hello," she said weakly.  "I've been trying to decide if I should stay with you or go back to my own pack.  But I know that the pack has found out by now that I'm gone, so they are probably looking for me.  What should I tell them when they -"
     
"Oh, relax," Sparrow said calmly, standing up and stretching.  "Just tell them that you just needed some alone time and decided to go walk off somewhere."
     
"I hate to admit it," Sapphire teased, "but that is an excellent idea."
     
"I know," Sparrow said.  "When are you leaving?"
     
"I'll be gone by morning," Sapphire said, turning and beginning to pace around the tree again.  "There's nothing for you to worry about - I'll visit you at some point."
     
"Some day?" Sparrow smiled.
     
Sapphire winked.  "Some day." 

The End

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