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Rated Explicit for: Violence and Sexual Content

Chapter One

"Euuuuriiiiiq." Casey said, bouncing in front of his nest happily. The young tom opened his eyes, tired, but then smiled when he saw his best friend, and his love. "Your dad wants to talk to you at moonhigh!" Euriq's eyes bulged, but then nodded. He was coming to the age where he would need a mate, the problem was that, no she-cats were interested in him. Euriq got up, shook off some moss, and smiled again at Casey.

"That's a bit of time away. Wanna go play out in the clearing?" He asked. She nodded happily, and they padded outside. Casey was a bit of an outsider in his family's area, but she was helpful and hunted well, so his father had let her stay. As soon as Euriq stepped foot outside, Casey pounced on him and they began to roll around in the dirt and sand.

"That was a good move, 'ey?" Casey giggled, before playfullying batting his ear. Euriq went to pounce on her as a counterattack, but she dodged and nipped the back of his neck. He gave a slight yowl and fell down in surrender, causing her to tumble over to his side. Euriq opened his mouth to speak, but found that his throat was dry, probably from all the sand.

"Want to go to the waterhole for a drink?" He rasped, coughing in between words. Casey laughed at his cracking voice.

"Sure, I'm a bit thirsty myself, but you better take the first drink." She said, giggling uncontrollably. Suddenly she began to yawn. "I was on moon-high patrol last night, I think I need a nap..." Casey sat down to begin her nap. Once she was sound asleep, Euriq smiled, and gently picked her up by the scruff and heaved her on top of his back. Standing up, he padded to the waterhole with her on his back, snoozing. She was relatively light, considering she was smaller then most she-cats at fourteen moons and he was larger then most toms at fifteen moons. He nuzzled her head slightly with his, and could feel her heavy, slow breathing as she slept. Nothing could wake her up once she began to sleep, except for light shining in her face.

"There we go," Euriq coughed as he padded into the waterhole, which was a large puddle in the hollow trunk of an old oak tree. Carefully, he slid Casey off of him and sat down next to the water. He lapped the cool fresh water out of the puddle, and he felt his throat cool as he did so. When he was finished, he grabbed Casey by the scruff and carefully put her on his back. As he slipped out of the waterhole, he happened to stare up the sun, and realized it was almost sundown. "Time flies, I guess."

I wonder what dad wants to talk to me about. Euriq thought as he walked back into camp. His dad had always scared him, and pretty much every other cat in the area. It was good, because no one ever bothered them. But Euriq had scars from times that he had hit him, and still had a faint memory of almost drowning, only to be saved by his mother, because his dad didn't do anything. Dad never calls me unless he wants to yell at me or talk about his plans, but I can't think of anything he'd want.

"Hello Euriq, how has your day gone?" His cousin, Castus, said, nodding. Euriq nodded back. But he knew this was strange. Castus was usually terrible to him, almost as terrible as Euriq's dad. This was unusually nice...

"It's been fine, mostly uneventful, but fine," Euriq replied, as he continued padding to the warrior's den. He went to Casey's nest, and slid her off his back and let her fall into her nest softly. "Sleep well, love." He whispered as he licked her cheek gently. Had she been awake, she would have not appreciated it, but when she was asleep, he always snuck those few little affections in. Looking at the sun again, he saw that it was almost set. Moonhigh would come soon, and then he would finally see what would happen.

Chapter Two

Setting his two mice down in the fresh-kill pile, Euriq began to head toward his father's den. Since he was technically the leader of this 'Clan', it was pretty much a leader's den. Before entering, he called once.

"Father?" Euriq asked, wondering if Casey had been lying about his dad wanting to see him.

"Hello son. Please come in. We have many....things to discuss," Euriq's dad, Fallo, said with unusual warmness. Euriq shifted his weight nervously, put on unease by the comfort in his father's voice.

"Like what?" He said with some plucked up courage. His curiosity had been ebbing at him all day.

"As you know son, you are coming to the age where you must select a mate, as you are the heir to the leader. Now, have you anyone in mind?" Fallo asked, raising his eyebrows. Euriq's mind immediately flashed to Casey.

"Casey.." He whispered, though he didn't mean it to be out loud. Fallo nodded. "But....she only likes me as a friend.." Euriq finished, sadness evident in his voice. When Euriq was looking down, Fallo gave a evil grin.

"Well, we can fix that nice and quick. I know how I can make her your mate in no time," Fallo said smoothly and cooly. Euriq's ears perked up. Have Casey be his mate? Was that possible?

"H-How?" Euriq shouted, springing up in sheer excitement. Fallo motioned his paw for Euriq to sit back down. He tilted his ears back in embarrassment and sat back down.

"Patience. It will take some time, but trust me. You'll be content with the results. After all, you are my son," Fallo said, ending the last word with a evil grin while looking at the ground. "She hasn't been assigned to any patrols for the night, so go back to the den and sleep in her nest with her. Just curl your body around hers tightly,"

Euriq nodded in excitement. "Thank you father!" He said as he padded out of the den towards the Warriors den. Slipping in quietly, he saw Casey sleeping soundly in her nest. Carefully stepping over other nests, he made it to hers. Laying down behind her, he curled his body so hers was nested between his hind paws and head. He laid his head on top of hers and dozed off, his heart leaping with the idea of being Casey's mate.

Chapter Three

"Euriq?" Euriq opened his eyes faintly. "Euriq!" He looked down and saw Casey struggling. "Euriq, I can't move!" He unraveled himself from around Casey's body and stood up. Casey stretched and then shot him an upset glance. "Euriq, I've told you. I don't want to be your mate, we're just friends."

"Sorry.." Euriq muttered, looking down at his paws. Was this how he was supposed to get Casey to love him? She shook some of his fur off of her. "Want to go hunt?"

"I've been asked to go on a dawn patrol, so no," She said, slightly coldly before walking out. Euriq could tell she was angry with him. Hesitating, he padded out and toward his father's den.

"Father? May I talk with you once more?" Euriq asked, crouching in front of the den and bowing his head in respect. A sniff from inside signaled yes. Euriq walked in, and saw Fallo laying on his nest, as his mate and Euriq's mother, Parmes, groomed him.

"What is it son? Did last night go well?" Fallo quizzed, letting his tail rest on his mate's shoulder. Euriq shrugged.

"Well, I ended up sleeping next to her, but when she awoke, she got mad at me and stormed off to the sun-high," He said, looking down at his paws again in sadness. Fallo thought, and then gave a small smile, before motioning with his tail for his mate to sit down beside him. As Parmes did this, Fallo put his head above hers.

"Now, you are the heir to this magnificent territory. Royalty in a sense. And you're just going to let her treat you like this?" Fallo asked, playing with his mates tail. Parmes closed her eyes and gave a sad sigh.

"N-No...but she's my friend. I can't just force her to be my mate, that'd be wrong.." Eurq murmured, drifting off into his own thoughts. Fallo narrowed his eyes. This would have to take more convincing.

"I see that Euriq, but you love her more then anything. Don't you want her to see that? Don't you want her to love you back?" His words were as sweet as honey, and filled Euriq's ears. "Now son, just keep doing what you did last night, and you'll have her soon. Just follow my advice." Euriq ear's perked up. Would he finally have the she-cat of his dreams? This made his heart soar.

"Can I go catch up with her dawn patrol?" Euriq asked his father, his heart feeling lighter and lighter by the second. Fallo nodded, and leaned down to grab Parmes scruff as Euriq bounded out.

"Fallo...please. Don't let Euriq follow in your footsteps.." Parmes whimpered softly. Fallo sunk his teeth deeper into her scruff, and she let out a small cry.

"It'll be fine, sweets. It's just tradition."

Chapter Four

Euriq could feel the scents of Casey getting stronger and stronger as he followed the dawn patrol's paw-steps. He couldn't way to see the beautiful she-cat he longed for. Soon, he saw his friend, Speizza, a tortoiseshell with green eyes.

"Speizza!" Euriq called. "You're on the dawn patrol, right?" Speizza nodded, then Euriq furrowed.

"Where's Casey?" Euriq asked, sniffing the ground to search for a scent. Speizza pointed with his tail to the left.

"She went off with Copps to the river. They said they were going to make scent marks over there," Speizza explained, his ears perking to listen for them. Euriq nodded, and then ran toward the river. He was so clos-

"Copps...." He heard Casey sigh. This made him halt in his tracks, he poked his nose through the brush that led to the river and stared. Copps and Casey were cuddled in a similar fashion he had been with Casey last night, except Casey looked more comfy in Copps' warmth.

"Casey, just over that river is no cat's territory. We can run off by ourselves, with no one to tell us what to do. No Euriq hitting on you, no Fallo to work us to death. Just you and me..." Copps murmered, letting Casey rest her head against his lithe, but powerful shoulder. Like Casey, he was quick, but not as strong as Casey was. Yet he easily was faster and had more stamina then any other cat in the Clan. Euriq, on the other hand, was bulky and massive, with the speed of a slug. He had great strength though, but that didn't mean someone like Copps made him self-conscious.

"Copps, Euriq is my best friend. I know he loves with me and all, but I don't want to ruin my friendship with him. I hold it to dear to my heart. I love you Copps, and I know you love me too, but it would hurt Euriq so much..." Copps nodded as Casey explained this, and intertwined his tail with hers.

"We'll figure out something.." Copps whispered. Euriq unsheathed his claws into the ground. The nerve this tom had! Anger firing up in his bones, he sprang out of the bush. Copps whipped around and narrowed his eyes. "Euriq! You're not on the dawn patrol!"

"That doesn't matter.." Euriq said, hate in his voice. "What the heck Copps? Everyone, including you, know that I like Casey! How long as this been going on?!" Euriq yowled, his anger growing with every passing second. Casey and Copps remained silent. "ANSWER YOUR FUTURE LEADER!" Euriq yelled.

He leaped at Copps, claws unsheathed. Copps quickly shoved Casey out of Euriq's path, throwing her to the side, before dodging himself. Euriq landed on his paws, making the ground shake for a second. Turning his head towards Copps and Casey, he snarled and made another leap. Casey scrambled to her paws and ran off. Copps stayed, unsheathing his own claws. "What's wrong with you?"

"What's wrong with me? WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?" Euriq yelled, before making a quick leap, and landing on top of Copp's comparatively small body. "You're stealing her from me!" Copps cried out in pain as Euriq focused his weight onto Copps' chest, and he felt Copps' ribs begin to break and crack. "You can cross this river and leave forever, or die. Either way, I'll have Casey!" Copps' weakly opened his eyes, and then slashed Euriq across the face.

"This is really how you're going to let me go? Just by crushing me? Pathetic!" Copps spat, going for another slash. Euriq reared back his paw and clawed Copps' left cheek. Copps' growled, and then tried to block another with his paw, before getting cut again. Euriq then grabbed him by the tail with his teeth, and heaved him toward the cliff which led to the river.

"Stop!" Euriq spun around and saw Casey running towards them. "Euriq, please. Spare him, I'll be your mate, I'll do anything! Just please, don't let this carry on any longer..." Casey crouched in front of Euriq's massive front, a sign of respect and submission. Copps looked up weakly, and felt tears begin to well up in his eyes. Euriq leered over Casey, before placing his head on hers, nearly breaking her neck.

"You're mine..." He whispered. It sent chills up Casey's spine. In fear she struggled out from under him and dashed over to where Copps lay. Copps weakly looked up at her and licked her cheek, blooding dripping into the sand underneath him.

"I'm sorry Copps...I couldn't watch it any longer.." Casey whispered. Copps nodded, his face bleeding profusely.

"I understand...goodbye my love. We will be together....one day," He breathed, licking her on the cheek once more. He then heaved himself over the cliff, and fell to the river below. Casey jumped forward, staring over the ledge.

"No!" She screamed, watching him fall into the raging waters below. "Copps!" She yowled, before lowering her head and beginning to weep. Euriq snuck up behind her and tapped her back with his tail. She turned her head, before getting up and running back to camp, crying. Coldly, Euriq looked over the ridge of the cliff. His dad was right. He was the heir, and the future leader. And the leaders get what they want, no matter the cost. Copps meant nothing to Euriq, only what Euriq wanted mattered. Giving one last look over the ravine, he turned around and began his way back to camp.

"Sir?" Speizza asked as Euriq padded past him without a word. "Sir?!" Euriq continued on his way, not speaking a word. He was going to have Casey now. And there was nothing anyone could do about it. Soon, he arrived back at camp. Patrols were getting put together, but he wanted no part in it. His mind was set on the Warriors den in front of him. Stopping in front of him, he heard Casey crying from inside. He pushed away the lichen and saw Casey facing the wall, crying profusely.

"Why didn't you tell me about Copps?!" Euriq yelled, hitting her with a sheathed paw. She yowled and began to cry harder.

"I-I-I....w-we weren't g-g-gonna tell anyone about i-i-it u-until w-w-we were o-older," Casey said between sobs. Euriq narrowed his eyes. "I'm sorry...please....don't hit me..." Euriq raised his paw and then brought it down with as much force as he could. "No.." Casey mewed weakly. Her eyes rolled back into the back of her head and the she-cat fell back.

Chapter Five

"Euriq...," Casey whispered, in a daze. Her body felt so light, and she couldn't move. She could feel Euriq's huge body curled up around her again, with his long tail neatly intertwined with hers before coming to rest on her hind paws. His front paws held her head in place so he could rest his head on hers like a pillow. After what had happened, she was scared to move in fear of angering him. If she could have anything in the world right now, she wanted to be with Copps, but he was gone now....she shed another tear out of sadness and grief. Slightly moving her head, she felt that her neck was very stiff. As she shifted her eyes as much as she could, she could see the sun peeking out between the lichen. Euriq would be awakening soon, and she braced herself for whatever he would want. As she lay there for a bit, she felt Euriq's body begin to shift against her back.

"How did you sleep, love?" He whispered, licking her cheek gently. Casey felt chills run down her spine from the touch. She was used to Copps' dainty ones, not Euriq's careless licks. Euriq curled his body around her tighter, and licked her again. She couldn't have shivered if she wanted to, since he was so tightly packed around her. "Not well, I see, still getting over Copps. That will be over quickly though.." Shuffling a bit, Euriq stood up, and let Casey get some air. Her pelt was warm from spending the night against Euriq's pelt. She shook herself a bit, ruffling her fur up so she could cool down. Turning her head, she saw Euriq watching her blankly, but his tail was twitching in anticipation.

"Euriq...what are we going to do today?" Casey asked, shifting nervously, scared she might set him off. Euriq looked up the den roof thoughtfully, then looked back down at grinned.

"We're going to the river. We'll find Copps' body." Euriq said, gesturing with his tail for her to come near him. Casey felt her legs begin to weaken, but she stayed strong and padded over to him. Her stomach felt sick as Euriq led her out of the den, his tail on her shoulder. Instinctively, she shook off his tail. He whipped around, anger flaring in his eyes.

"I'm not a kit, or blind, I don't need you leading me everywhere," Casey said firmly, glaring into his eyes. "And I don't want to find Copps' body. I'm going hunting." She flicked her tail, and then turned around towards the forest. As she neared the trees, she felt a huge force on her back. Euriq was forcing her down to the ground.

"I said, we're going to find Copps' body," Euriq stated again, emphasizing this by pushing more weight onto her. Casey tried to spit back at him, but the air could not get out of her lungs. "One day I'll be leader, and that means you have to listen to me even now!" His body almost covered hers completely, and she began to feel lightheaded. Right as she thought she was going to pass out, he got up, giving her some air. "I'm glad we can see on the same level."

"...Please...please don't do that again." Casey gasped in between large gulps for air. Euriq put his tail on her shoulder.

"No promises, sweetie."

Chapter Six

Casey stared over the ledge where her lover had taken his life. Euriq was snuggled up to her, his warmth flowing around her. "Down there is Copps. Would you like to go down first, or shall I?" She turned her head away from him and the river below. "I'll go first, then." Euriq got up, smoothed out his fur, and placed his tail back on her shoulder. This time, she didn't shake it off, scared of the consequences. He briskly padded down the ledge path, leading Casey down as well.

"Euriq...please, I don't need you to lead me around, I'm fine," Casey said gently, breaking the silence. Euriq spun around, anger flaring again in his eyes. She crouched, pleading with her eyes for him not to hit her. He raised his paw, but then lowered it.

"You see, I can't trust you yet. Not after I found you out with Copps. Maybe if you were to build up that trust, or start loving me like a real mate, we could change that." Euriq turned back around, gesturing for her to come back under his tail. Hesitantly, she continued along with him. The fierce river crashed loudly, and was the only sound audible. Please don't let Copps body be down there. I couldn't handle that. She thought as they neared the river. Euriq stopped at the river base, looking around carefully.

"D-Do you see anything?" Casey asked, stuttering out of fear of setting Euriq off. Luckily, he looked at her and smiled.

"Sorry sweetie, but I can't see anything. And his pelt isn't exactly hard to miss. His body must have been carried down the river," Euriq theorized, before setting himself down next to the river. "We'll never make it back up the ledge before sundown, so let's catch some fish and spend the night here. Sit next to me." Shivering, Casey stepped forward and sat down, her pelt barely against his. Euriq narrowed his eyes, and moved himself to the point where Casey could no longer ignore his presence.

"Give me some space, please Euriq. I'm not comfortable this close to you." She began to move around, but Euriq placed his head above hers and jerked it back so her head fell against his broad shoulder.

"Than you're going to have to learn to be comfortable. This is what real mates do." Euriq said, smirking down at her. He gently licked her cheek, and then began to fish.

Chapter Seven

"Ready to eat?" Euriq asked, placing a salmon on top of his small pile of fish. Casey slowly nodded, her mouth watering. The walk down the ledge had tired her out, and she had not had a meal in a while. "I'll pick for myself first." He began to pick fish out of the pile, taking only the plumpest, tastiest-looking fish. Soon, the only two fish left was a small minnow and a scrawny salmon, while Euriq proudly looked over his own pile of fish.

"Euriq, this isn't enough for me. I'd starve if I just ate this." Casey said, comparing the two piles of fish. Euriq slyly smiled, and stepped forward, rubbing his pelt against hers.

"My love, I just want to keep you from getting any bigger. You're perfect the way you are," He licked her ear, and then settled down next to her to eat. "But, maybe if you chose to accept me as a mate, we could make a deal." Casey looked down at her paws, and sighed. Her stomach grumbled, and she felt herself growing more tired. Her head still ached from when Euriq had hit her.

Is it worth the fight? She thought as she weakly reached forward to begin eating her first fish. It had almost no taste, and was mostly bone, as the second fish was. Meanwhile, Euriq feasted upon his hearty meal. Casey stared at Euriq as he indulged in the delicious and meaty fish as her stomach continued to growl. "Euriq?"

"Hm?" Euriq lifted his head from the long cod he was eating, slurping up some meat from his muzzle. Hesitating, she leaned against his side, still staring into his eyes. Looking at him sadly, she glanced at his meal, and then back at him, hoping he'd get the hint. Thinking for a second, Euriq grinned, and picked up the second-largest fish, another salmon. "Here you go, beautiful."

"Thank you, Euriq." She said quietly as she leaned forward and began to devour the large fish. Euriq continued his feast, finishing it before Casey could finish her first fish. He patiently waited for her to finish.

"See that cave over there? Let's sleep in there for the night. It'll be comfy, I promise!" Without listening for an answer, he picked up Casey by the scruff and carried her to the cave. She let out a small yelp, but did not have the energy to protest. As he placed her down in the cave, she slowly began to get her energy back.

"Euriq, should we make a nest?" She asked, looking outside the cave for anything useful. Thankfully, she spotted a bed of moss, and pointed her tail towards it. Euriq spotted it as well, and fetched it, not taking his eyes off his new mate. Shifting uncomfortably, she struggled to form a fake smile back. As Euriq began to dig the moss off, she maintained eye contact with him, so he would not suspect anything.

"Sweetie, is this enough?" He asked as he padded back into the cave, and began to place moss on the ground. Casey nodded, and brushed her pelt against his. Laying down on the bed, Casey looked at him, expecting him to sit next to her. Instead, he began to get on top of her, grabbing her scruff. Horror raced through her mind, and she fought to keep herself from struggling. "Are you ready?" She shook her head furiously, expecting him to continue on with his plan. But instead, he got off and curled his body around her.

"Y-You stopped?" Casey exclaimed in surprise. Euriq placed his head on top of hers.

"Of course, my little flower. I would never do that to you without your consent," He purred, licking the top of her head. "Sleep well, I love you." She relaxed in his warmth, and drifted off into sleep.

Chapter 7

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