Dreamflight looked around. The den had been stripped of her father’s belongings while she had been out stargazing with Chicory and Beetle. Every trace of him, save his scent, had been moved out. He’d had help—traces of Cloudfern’s scent lingered. Even though they had talked about it—well, her father had talked, she had silently fumed—she felt her anger boil up, and she bit her lip as she heard footsteps behind her.
A hand was reaching toward her shoulder. “Don’t touch me, Father.”
“Dreamflight,” Greenweave began. She heard the hesitation in his voice and waited, knowing it was uncomfortable for him. He tried again, “I told you before. Your mother could be in wrapstuff for a very long time.”
“And you can’t wait for her?” she asked, wishing that weren’t the truth. When they had talked about it a moon ago, she had remained silent. When he’d told her the night before that he would be moving the next day, she’d kept the anger in. She was holding herself together, barely, not wanting to lash out at him.
She knew that her father had made the choice at the time of their Recognition to become lifemates with her mother. She also knew that her father would have asked Cloudfern to join them in a three-way mating, but that her mother would not share him. Honey’s illness and subsequent wrapping had created an opportunity her father and Cloudfern would not have had otherwise.
She stated the obvious, “You’ve moved out.”
Greenweave's chest tightened. He hadn’t meant to hurt her. “You knew this was coming. We talked about it. Last night—you didn’t say anything.”
She broke, turning to face him with a snarl. “Leave then. First mother, now you—and you don’t even wait a full turn of the seasons—you didn’t even wait a moon cycle—before going back to him. What did Mother mean to you? What do I mean to you?” Her eyes were flashing fire, and tears were brimming over. In this, she was like her mother—anger and tears went hand in hand.
Greenweave wanted his daughter to understand, but he knew that the wound was too fresh. Honey was in wrapstuff and would be for who knew how long. His daughter had been most affected by it, and time had not yet softened the loss.
Honey had only been in wrapstuff a handful of days when he had chosen solace in Cloudfern’s arms. Since then they had spent much time together. Moons later, he made the choice to move out of the den he had shared with Honey and into Cloudfern’s. Dreamflight’s response was not unexpected. Her silence on the issue when they had talked should have been enough to prepare him for this moment.
**Dreamflight,** he started to send, sharing feelings of love for her and his hope that she would know she was not alone.
“Don’t say another word,” she interrupted. “You’ve made it clear where your heart is. You’ve already left. So go, then.” She turned from him so he wouldn’t see the tears that spilled over. Her right hand moved to grasp the feather of her necklace and she gripped it so hard that her knuckles went white. She felt her world was tearing apart, again, but she didn’t want to show her father the depth of what she felt. ‘He doesn’t understand. I’ve lost mother already. Now he’s going, too. Did she mean nothing to him? Do I?’
After a few moments, she heard him sigh, then sensed him leave. Both parents were now gone from the den they had all shared as a family. She was alone. She sighed and moved to her own bedfurs to curl up on them. The tears boiled over and she cried herself to sleep.