Chapter 7

A cool wind blew through the forest as Rusty and Graywater trotted along. "Graywater! I'm still hungry!" Rusty complained.

Graywater rolled her eyes. "You just ate a whole rabbit! How can you still be hungry? Did I complain that I only got a miniscule, stringy old mouse while you got a fat juicy rabbit? Well, did I?"

Rusty lowered his head and laid his ears back. "Well... No, but-" He was in the midst of replying when he heard a far-off whimper. "What was that?" The coyote asked, his ears pricked.

The unusual duo dashed towards where they heard the noise, being careful to stay undetected as they did so. When they reached the source they saw awhile and black creature being pinned down by a huge black wolf.

"What's that wolf hunting, Graywater? I can't think of any black and white animals- oh wait, is that the Moonshade cub? And is that the weird wolf who wouldn't let us pass?"

The fox sighed, her voice hiding her frazzled nerves. "It seems to be the insolent cub, and her name was Moonshadow, not Moonshade. And yes, that is the wolf. Midnight, I think his name was. Stay here, Rusty; wait until I signal you." Graywater whispered. Rusty lay down behind a bush and watched as Graywater stalked toward Midnight. When she was just behind him she jumped up onto his back and growled in his ear. "What do you think you're doing?"

Moonshadow cracked her eyes open as the weight pinning her to the forest floor suddenly disappeared. A heartbeat later she attempted to scramble to her feet and flee, attempted being the operative word. Her legs gave out halfway through the maneuver, causing her to flop back to the ground in a sad imitation at a defensive crouch. A plethora of bruises and scrapes clamored for attention as she settled down, especially on her abused back, skull, and ribs. She was sure that if she managed to survive this she would be too stiff to move in the morning. For now, though, all she could manage to do was watch as events unfolded in front of her.

Midnight flinched at the fox's voice and spun around to face the perceived threat, stepping off of Moonshadow as he did so.

He shook his body hard in the same way he did to dry off after crossing a body of water, quite effectively removing the vexing vixen. "What do you want?" he growled, quite annoyed at being interrupted.

"I should be asking you that." The she-fox, Graywater if he remembered, was acting as if nothing was wrong, as if she jumped on complete stranger's backs daily. For all he knew, she did. Her reply was calm as she walked over to stand slightly in front of his not-quite-prey. He had been planning on terrifying her, then disappearing without seriously injuring the cub. Now his fun was ruined.

"None of your business," he replied, shooting her a contemptuous look.

The gray vixen cocked her head to the side. "It seems like a hunt to me."

Midnight growled and tensed his muscles. "Get out of here fox, or you're going to be the one being hunted."

Rusty was tired of waiting in the bushes, watching a group of ants carry sand out of their den. He wasn't really paying attention to what was happening in the clearing, but he distinctly heard the weird wolf growl at his friend and threaten her. Thinking his friend was in trouble, he leaped over the bushes, dashed towards her and the wolf, and leaped, landing on top of Midnight and pinning him to the ground just as the wolf beneath him had been pinning the Moonshade cub a few minute before.

"Rusty!" Graywater hissed at him.

"Hiya, Graywater! Did I do good?" Rusty panted, taking Graywater's hiss of annoyance as a welcome.

"I told you to wait by-" She didn't get to finish her sentence before Midnight interrupted.

"What is this supposed to be? An ambush?" His eyes narrowed. Graywater's eyes widened to the possibility of what could happen with Midnight thinking it was an ambush.

"Yes, it is." Graywater lied and flicked her tail, catching the confused look the idiotic coyote sent her. She sent him back a glare that she hoped would convey 'just go with it'.

"Oh, for the love of mice." Midnight muttered under his breath and kicked the legs out from under Rusty, rolling to his feet before he could be crushed in a well practiced move. The smaller canine yelped in surprise and indignation as he landed spread-eagled on the ground. "You can have the stupid cat for all I care." He growled, ears laid back in annoyance, and began to stalk off.

"H-hey! I'm not done with you!" Graywater hissed after the wolf. Midnight looked over his shoulder as he continued to walk.

"Does it remotely look like I care?" He snorted, turning his head back around and continuing on his way.

Graywater would later be surprised at the speed of Rusty's reaction as he rammed his head into Midnight from the side, knocking the breath and feet out from under the black furred canine, sending the wolf tumbling head over heels down a hill.