Chapter Nine

The night slowly came to its end as the sun began to rise high over the mountains and the trees, waking all creatures with the strong light coming from it.  Among those creatures was Sparrow, and the rest of the pack.  They knew that Leader would probably want to speak with them, considering that they had lost yet another important member of the pack.  

"The rules are all the same," he began, his cold eyes looking at every wolf in the clearing while standing at the top of the cliff.  "Everything that Dawn had told you while she was still living goes on.  Nothing has changed.  We have just lost her."
He finished with a short growl, and disappeared as he left the cliff.  Sparrow sighed and shook his head, and Sapphire followed him quietly into his den.

"You're thinking about way too much for your mind to handle," Sapphire told him seriously.  "Just face it, Sparrow.  It's not your fault that she's dead."

"But it is my fault," Sparrow fumed.  "If I hadn't left, she wouldn't have left either.  That's why she's dead in the first place.  You barely even know what happened that day, but I'm not explaining it again.  All I know is that she must have left when I did, and found me when the hunter was chasing me."

Sapphire made a disgusted face.  "That's horrible," she said softly, her amber eyes burning into his.  "I... I've never seen death before, besides Daisy, but I didn't understand what was happening."

"I know," Sparrow said, nodding.  "Now, I... I guess that I should tell someone about this, so I've chosen to tell you.  I had a dream maybe a day before Dawn's death where I saw Leader in the forest, and he had killed Dream." Sapphire frowned.  "What do you think that means?" Sparrow continued.

"It means," Sapphire said with a sigh of frustration, "that you have issues.  For the last time, Sparrow, Leader DIDN'T kill Dream."

''...And the only reason that you believe that is because you didn't see him kill her," Sparrow said, frowning.  "He probably dragged her out of the nursery in the middle of the night and killed her out in the woods.  The scavengers of the forest most likely consumed her before the next morning, but he wasn't sure of that, so he appeared tense when you all were looking for him."  He looked at her seriously.  "It all makes sense."

Sapphire rolled her eyes.  "Kind of," she admitted.  "But how could he have dragged her out of the den without Sunset noticing?  She would have surely found out."

"She wouldn't suspect HIM, though," Sparrow told her. 

"But he IS the leader of the pack.  I'm sure that she suspects him, considering what he said yesterday."

"About the pack's population?"

"Yes," Sapphire said.  "I'm starting to agree with you about this whole thing in some ways, but it doesn't make sense.  I... I just don't imagine him doing something like that."

"I do," Sparrow replied darkly.  "I don't understand why you still trust him after what he did to Daisy.  He just let her die.  He didn't try to find help or anything.  And what about what he did to me?"

"I know what he did to you," Sapphire said angrily, lowering her voice.  "You can stop telling me that over and over again."

"Well, I'm sick of you acting like you don't care when you obviously do," Sparrow growled at her.  

"And I'm sick of you acting like you're the best thing in the world just because you're still alive!" Sapphire snapped.  "You know what?  Just forget about it.  You can deal with your little Leader problem on your own."

She left the den in a huff, and Sparrow groaned and rolled his eyes.  "Finally," he muttered, and he rested his head on his paws.

~ ~ ~

He jumped awake, startled.  Apparently Sparrow had fallen asleep after he tried to rest for a while without realizing it.  He let out a sigh as he realized that the sun was beginning to set, and he hadn't even eaten all day.  He dragged himself out of his den and picked up a fat squirrel from the pile of kill, taking it back to his den to eat.  
But he didn't eat it.  He just put it down in front of him, and stared at it.  Rolling his eyes, he pushed the pitiful little thing away and rolled over onto his left side, facing away from the squirrel.  He didn't feel like eating now, anyway.  All he wanted was to go back in time and erase the past few days, back to the moment before he entered Dawn's den in the first place.  Otherwise, this thing wouldn't have happened.

You can't blame yourself for this entirely, a voice in his head told him.  It wasn't your fault that she left the den.  It was her choice.  

But if I hadn't left, she would have never found the hunter, Sparrow thought angrily.  So it IS my fault.

No, the voice told him.  She would have found it soon enough.  She would have died out there anyway.  She managed to escape from the pack on her own, without telling anyone, so she would have deserved to die.

"She would have deserved to die," Sparrow repeated out loud.  "No, she wouldn't have.  How about you keep quiet?"

I'm talking to myself, he thought, and he sighed.  There were too many problems in his life, and there was only one way to end it.  But was he strong enough to take it?

Note: Book's over, except for the epilogue again.  Sorry I uploaded the first two books in a day - they're already posted somewhere else so it was easy to.  Anyway, thanks for reading!  :D

The End

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