16 days have passed since Star and Morningleaf were brought to Riversun's herd. Those 16 days were miserable for both of them. Morningleaf was being tortuered by Brackentail's love for her. He never left her side, and he would always stare at her feathers. Before they even arrived to the herd, Morningleaf vowed to never speak to Brackentail. No matter what the stallion did, her answer was pinning her ears and flying away. But Brackentail always followed. He knew that Morningleaf was angry and that she wanted Star, but Brackentail made a plan. He and the mare he loved would become mates the next evening. Although there were never ceremonies when two pegasi became mates, Brackentail decided that his and Morningleaf's relationship was special. First Brackentail would announce that he and Morningleaf were mates, then there would be a feast. Apples, nuts, bird's eggs, anything they ever wanted. And last the new mates would go on their own personal flight. Brackentail hasnt told Morningleaf yet, but he decided to keep it a secret. He would tell her to follow him, and if she refused, he would tell her that he would tell Riversun to kill Star. Then she would follow. Brackentail would lead her to the herd, then announce that they were then mates. The stallion was pleased with the plan. It would work.
Star's legs were sore and stiff. His coat was dirty. He was skinny, only got to eat twice a day. Had to drink with permission. Morningleaf was with Brackentail. They were captured. Star sighed. He could go on and on. Nothing was right. Morningleaf was with Brackentail. Star was beaten daily. His coat covered in dried blood. Feathers torn. Morningleaf was with Brackentail. Out of all the bad things, the worst was that Star's mare was with a different, now evil stallion. How could Brackentail go from a mean colt, a betrayer, to a kind protective yearling, then back to a cruel stallion that was a betrayer?Brackentail the Betrayer. The name fit him. Star now knew that he could never trust him again. The stallion seemed to not be able to make up his mind. Would he be good or evil? Star didnt know. But he did know that he had to somehow defeat Brackentail, and Riversun.
Morningleaf groaned. She missed Star. She wanted Star. Where was he? Was he even alive? Questions kept filling Morningleaf's head. She was tempted to sneak away and go to Star. But she knew that would mean that Star would be killed. Morningleaf sighed. And Brackentail. She didnt know what to do with him. She could be his mate. They could have foals. She could betray Star. No, Morningleaf shook her head. That wasnt going to happen. Not at all.
The next day Brackentail told Riversun his plan. He would be Morningleaf's mate that night. Brackentail was excited, but Riversun seemed mad. "Why do you like just Morningleaf? There are other mares out there... even some yearling fillys." Brackentail just ignored her and informed her more about his plan. She just kept nodding. When he finished she snorted. "All right then. Make her become your mate. But I've been watching you two. She doesnt seem to like you." Brackentail pinned his ears and snorted. "I'll make her love me." With that he flew off, looking at the sky. Only a few more hours..