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    astone2292
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Cernunnos - 11. Chapter 11

As the door to the hallway opened, a fresh wave of hospital stench rushed over Cyn’s nose. He did not care for the sour smell, but as Shea walked out of the door, he poked his head meekly out of the door frame. In an instant, a few of the passing nurse staff saw his movement and their simple glances felt like fangs ripping into him. Stepping back inside his safe room, Cyn began heaving in vast amounts of air. They’re staring at me! The wolves! They...they…

Large and warm hands were placed on his shoulders. Cyn knew who they belonged to as the pressure felt familiar. “Cyn? Remember? They’re not here to hurt you. Those nurses were just passing by.” Glancing up at the wolf’s gentle smile, the words went through the deer’s mind. “You have to understand that a lot of the people in this building have probably never seen a cernunnos in their human form. I know I haven’t, and neither has Jaime or Kara.”

They...they haven’t? “Is it that strange?”

“Yeah, but I wouldn’t use that word. It’s a rare occasion.” As Shea looked down at the smaller man, he pondered how he was going to get the deer out of the hospital without causing a panic attack. “Would holding my hand make you feel better? I’ll be right next to you the entire time.” He watched as Cyn nodded, and Shea reached out and let the shorter buck latch on. “Anytime you feel anxious or scared, just squeeze my hand. We’ll get you out of here as fast as possible, but I do want you to try to normalize being around other shifters, okay?”

Licking his lips in nervousness, Cyn nodded and took a deep breath. Okay...okay. I can...I can do this! Sheamus is going to be with me, and Jaime will too. The buck nodded and let the big lycan lead the way back through the open door. “Jaime, go secure the first floor. Take the stairwell.” Earning a nod from the shorter wolf as he took off, Shea encouraged the buck to follow along slowly.

“See, Cyn? The people around us are just curious. They’re not here to hurt you.” Looking around, Cyn noticed a few people nearby with smiles. He smelled the air and discovered they were lycan. They’re smiling. One of the nurses looked up from their phone with a widening smile and offered a wave towards the deer. Sheepishly, he gave one back and started to smile. Sheamus is right! The lycan are...just curious. 

“Did...did all these people help me?”

“Not all of them, but several did. See her? The lady with the frizzy hair?” Shea pointed at a small lady, just a few inches shorter than Cyn. “Her name is Nora, and she did a lot while you were here. She changed your bandages while you slept and helped Jaime and I with our intruder issue.” The lycan watched the smaller man gasp and felt his hand being squeezed. “It’s okay, Cyn. She’s really nice. Would you like to meet her?”

She helped me? Another wolf helped me? Taking another quick look around him, the deer counted seven different shifters in the immediate area. All...of them helped me? Did...did none of them want to hurt me? Glancing back at the tall man that held his hand, Cyn worked up the courage to nod his head. If she helped Sheamus and Jaime, then yes. I...I want to meet her. “Yes.”

“Alright. Let’s go introduce yourself.” Once again leading the way, Shea just barely walked in front of the cernunnos toward the lycan nurse. “Nora! Someone would like to meet you.” The mocha skinned lady turned her head up from her clipboard and grew a smile. She slowly walked up to the duo and did a quick lookover of the former patient. “Cyn, this is Nora.”

Nora held her clipboard close to her chest and placed her weight on one leg, extending out her hip. “Well, look who got his discharge papers! It’s good to meet you, Cyn. Every time I came to check on you, you were fast asleep.” 

Cyn brought his free hand up to his lips as his fingers began to quake. He squeezed his taken hand, signalling to Sheamus that he was scared. “It’s okay. Nora was one of the nurses who helped you. She may be a wolf, but she isn’t a predator to you.”

The nurse kept her hands and body still, but truly realized the depth of the buck’s mental state. My God...he’s really damaged! Those bastards did a number on him. The little guy has some serious PTSD, and that’s gonna take a while to heal. I just hope the commander is ready for that responsibility. From the little amount of psychology training, Nora slowly took a step back and descended to the floor, crossing her legs into a seated position. “I’m not here to hurt ya. Feel free to smell me over and you’ll see I’m tellin’ the truth.” Cyn did just that, but he stayed near Shea. He nodded and unconsciously let go of Shea’s hand. “Your name is Cyn, right? No last name?”

“Y...Yes. Just Cyn.”

“Well, Cyn. Can I just say that it was a pleasure helping you?” She watched as the deer’s eyes grew in size, “I’ve never worked with a cernunnos, and the experience was invaluable. No one else got that here, so between me and Doctor Ronnet, we’re the hospital’s cernunnos experts now. I got you to thank for that, Cyn. You made me a better nurse.”

The buck couldn’t believe what he was hearing! A wolf was thanking him, and how he helped her! Is...is she crazy? How could I help a wolf like that be better? “I...I...want to say...thank you.”

Nora curled her head to the side and let her hair bob with the movement. “Hey, now. I’m the one thanking you. You just do me a favor and try to stay out of this place.” She smiled and winked at Cyn, “Make sure to keep Commander Farren close to you, alright?” 

Carefully watching the female shifter’s every move, Cyn began to smile and let the trust build for her. She seems very nice, like Sheamus. She also called Sheamus by a title. Does...she know him? “I...I will. Thank you for helping me.”

“Not a problem, sweetie. Just doing my job for both the hospital and the pack. You take care of yourself, and Shea? If he ends up back here, I’ll make sure you end up taking a bed as well.” Nora wagged her finger at the larger shifter, but gave an endearing smile to Cyn as she walked away, holding her clipboard in her arms. 

Shea brushed his messy hair with his hand. Great, someone else who’ll want my head if something happens to the little guy. Not that I would ever let that happen. He’s too sweet, and… Stopping his thoughts, the wolf knew where they were heading. Am...I really that attracted to him? I...I guess I am. It’ll take some time for him to come out of his shell, but I almost want to parade him around, and show everyone that he is mine. He looked down at the ever timid shifter and pulled Cyn under his arm, placing him snugly at his side. “No need to be scared. Let’s get going.”

Being pressed against the large lycan’s waist, Cyn found his body had fallen still as it noticed the warmth emitting from Shea. Although his hand was now free from Shea’s grip, he felt comforted just as much with the hand now on his right shoulder. Keeping with the wolf’s stride, Cyn noticed a few other shifters casting looks, gazes, and stares at him. I’m...that different? Or...are they looking at...the both of us? Craning his head in curiosity to Sheamus, he was instantly met with a caring stare from the big man. Glancing back at the onlookers, Cyn whispered, “Sheamus? Are...they looking at me, or are they looking at us?”

The question piqued Shea’s curiosity and took a quick sweeping look at the surrounding lycan. They are! They’re not just interested in Cyn, but me as well! That’s an interesting observation. “I think they’re looking at us, but that’s okay. I think they’re just jealous.”

“Jea...Jealous?”

“Yeah, because I nabbed a little cutie like you.” Watching the buck’s cheeks turn pink urged Shea to pull Cyn in closer. “Let them stare. We should get going.” As the two walked up to the silver doors, the wolf recalled Cyn’s nomadic nature, “Cyn? Have you ever ridden in an elevator?”

Ele-what? What did he just say? “I’m sorry, what did you call it?”

Shea couldn’t help but snicker, “An elevator. I’m sure you know what stairs are.” Cyn nodded, which reassured him that the deer wouldn’t need drastic life lessons, “An elevator is like a powered box that takes you to different floors of a building. Press that button for me, would ya?” Pointing at the down arrow, Shea watched as Cyn hesitantly stretched his finger out. When it landed, the button lit up and caused the deer to squeal in excitement! He likes things that light up? I think I can work with that. He’ll love the marina next to the lake. 

Cyn was enamored by the glowing button, but he grew tense as the loud whirring got closer and closer. What...is that noise? It sounds like it’s coming at me! He was distracted by Shea’s pull on the shoulder, and was reassured that it was normal. A subtle noise came from the top of the silver doors as they magically slid open, revealing a small box. What in the world is this? “Come on in, little man. This is the elevator. It’ll take us down to the first floor.”

“First floor?”

“Yeah. Did...did you not know we were on the second story? We’re about fifteen feet off the ground right now.” Being ushered into the box, Shea pressed a button with a star next to it and Cyn grinned as it also lit up. Just like the first one! I...I want to press all of them. Cyn was tempted to reach out, but the doors began to close. “Hold on to me, Cyn, and hold on to that bar behind you. We’re about to go down.”

Down? What does he mean do- The box slightly buckled and Cyn immediately latched on to the large shifter with all of his might. What in the actual- He felt the sensation of slowly falling, and became mesmerized by the feeling that took over his body. It’s like I’m...being let down gently. This is just way too strange! Humanity is just the weirdest. The sensation did not last long, but Cyn didn’t dare let go of the wolf. Shea was the only thing that was a solid constant for the deer while in the metal contraption. 

Shea winced as the deer wrapped its arms around his midsection. I...didn’t expect him to be this strong! Damn, he could probably keep up with me in the gym if he wanted to. “Easy, Cyn. It’s almost over. This is how an elevator works. It makes a few funny noises, but it lets you go up and down a lot faster and easier than staircases do.”

Noticing how the wolf was short of breath, Cyn realized he was squeezing too hard. He quickly let go and stepped back as the elevator stopped moving. “I’m...I’m sorry, Sheamus! I didn’t mean to-” The doors opened and Shea swiftly latched himself to the deer. “What...what was that for?”

“I want you next to me. Jaime hasn’t gotten back with securing the floor, but I’m not anticipating anything crazy.” Cyn heard the serious undertone of Shea’s voice and abided by the wolf’s wishes. The two slowly walked out of the box, causing Cyn’s heart to beat faster and faster. Is someone here? All I can smell are lycans, and they all smell similar. They must all be a part of the same pack as Sheamus. The cernunnos wanted to run, but knew it would be a fatal mistake. They...they might all come running for me. My leg isn’t completely healed just yet, so I’m not at my fastest. I...I need Sheamus. 

Smelling the fear pouring off of the deer, Shea did his best to reassure the scared being by pulling him in closer. Now’s really not the time, Cyn. Where the Hell is Jaime?

“Commander?” The lycan turned to Jaime and scowled. “Floor is secure. I thought you would come down the staircase.”

Understanding the confusion, Shea cooled his jets, “My bad. I should have let you know. Cyn just experienced his first elevator ride.” He watched Jaime push the long blonde hair out of his face in pure shock. 

“Really? How did you like it, Cyn?”

Still nervous around the smaller wolf, Cyn kept his arm around Shea’s waistline and held his voice at a lower volume, “It...it was okay. It made noises, but I liked the lights.” 

Shea stifled a laugh, “You mean the buttons?”

“Yeah. I really wanted to press them all in there.”

Jaime smiled at the sheer innocence of the slightly taller shifter and turned away, “We’re heading to the Alpha’s, right?” 

Shea gave an approving grunt and let his teammate lead the way while he held the cernunnos close. He stepped away for a moment to remove his jacket, “It’s a little cold out there. Here, take my jacket. It’ll keep you warm.” Placing the fur-lined cargo coat on the small man, Shea could tell that the deer was beyond elated about the new layer of clothing. It just swallowed him, but I will say that he looks adorable wearing my jacket. 

The three men made their way outside and Cyn was buffeted by the cold winds. Wow! It got colder! Or...is it just me since I’m in my human form? That might be the cause. I’m missing my fur coat. “Cyn!” The buck shot his attention back towards the taller lycan, who was standing on the right side of a red vehicle. “Have you been inside of a car before?”

Cyn nodded, much to the surprise of the two shifters, “Yeah. I rode in one of those big yellow things when I was in school in Texas growing up.”

Oh, so he’s not completely out of touch with humanity. That’s good! “You mean a school bus? Those are much larger than normal cars. Ready to go?” With another nod, Cyn scurried across the parking lot. He looked at the red vehicle and cautiously sat down in the passenger seat. Shea did his best to close the door correctly without causing much noise and made his way to the driver’s side. Sitting down, he started the car and followed Jaime’s sedan out of the hospital lot.

The deer kept his eyes glued to the window as he watched the blurry cityscape rush by! I almost forgot! This was my favorite part of living with the humans! These vehicles go so fast, it makes the world fly by. Stuck in a trance, Cyn barely noticed he was beginning to sweat. When...did it get so warm in here? He shouldered off the jacket and felt a cooling relief. “Sorry about that, little man. I turned on the heater since I gave you my jacket.” Cyn looked at the wolf, then back at the jacket. Did he need this?

“You can have it back, if you’re cold.”

Shea slightly shook his head, “Nah, I’m good for now. You can hold on to it until we get inside Arric’s home. We’ll be there in about ten minutes or so.” The deer nodded and went back to looking through every window possible, creating unbeknownst humor to the lycan. He’s acting like a newborn pup who has never been in a moving car before! If I didn’t think he was adorable then, he really is now. 

Conversation was very thin on the ride to Arric’s. Cyn asked a few questions about the pack and Shea answered them with plenty of detail. The pack covered the entirety of Sheboygan County and the Kettle Moraine, even the parts of the forest that were outside of the county lines. Shea explained that since the nearby packs were the Green Bay Pack and the Milwaukee County Pack, they had their own issues commanding the larger cities. Because of this, Arric was practically given claim over the state forest. 

“So...any of the lycan packs can go to the forest?”

Once more, Shea shook his head. “No. The pack Alphas have an agreement in place. Green Bay has visitation rights on Mondays and Tuesdays belong to Milwaukee. I can tell you more about the specifics after we get settled in.” The car in front of theirs pulled into a secluded paved road hidden within a patch of trees. “We’re here.” Shea had a smile on his face as he let his right hand go from the steering wheel and laid it on Cyn’s hand.

As the trees cleared away, Cyn let out a loud gasp. It’s...it’s...huge! As he was darting his eyes all over the gigantic building, Shea chuckled, “Welcome to Alpha Claude’s manor.”

Copyright © 2021 astone2292; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

1 hour ago, CincyKris said:

I think you've done a great job channeling Cyn. I would imagine that anyone with a severe phobia or social anxiety would be able to identify with Cyn's fear.  If I were dropped into the ocean with a snorkel (I'm not a fantastic swimmer) into a school of sharks (after being attacked and almost killed by sharks) and then told "they won't hurt you", it would take me a hell of a long time to get comfortable.

Thank you! I would look at those sharks and turn around!!! Nope! Nopenopenope!

10 minutes ago, Patch1 said:

You are nailing it for sure!!!!  Cyn's innocence and his elation over the simplest things is perfection.  He is like a kid in a giant toy store!  Sheamus is amazing with him...and so sweet/tender.  Such a protector!!   Loving them growing/learning together!!!!🐺:heart:🦌

In response to your response about the italics and inner thoughts, perfect!!!  I love reading what they are thinking and the different text makes it so much easier!!  It's like everything you do is new and fresh!!!  🏆

Glad to see that the italics are useful! 

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22 minutes ago, drpaladin said:

Nora is partially correct about PTSD, but it's also survivor's guilt and a lifetime of instincts and preconceptions. These will need an enormous amount of patience and care to overcome.

Cyn has attended a normal school. He must have had a last name at one time by necessity, but he either doesn't remember or considers it immaterial.

 

You are correct on the mental damages, and it will take a good portion of this book for Cyn to overcome. But with Shea's assistance, as well as some others', our little fawn has a good support system.

Cyn did go to a normal school, and he did. I have it in my cast list, but I don't think we will find it used very much. Immaterial is a great word to describe his last name. Considering the nomadic nature for raising fawn, the goal was to get in, and get out for the race's sake. Humanity was only needed for basic educational purposes. After leaving the education system, the race wouldn't have need for such, in their culture's description, preposterous descriptions of their being. I believe it will make an appearance or two during Cyn and Shea's conversations.  ;)

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Will we find out the fate of the other cernunnos anytime soon?

I can see Cyn becoming an important part of Lycans outreach to his race in the future.

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2 minutes ago, astone2292 said:

:whistle: I'll never tell...

I'm not sure Cyn is the proper one to have such a responsibility, but I'm sure he'd be blushing at the thought. I'm sure someone will pop up for the job...

Au contraire, it would be a great confidence builder for the shy little guy and who better to show the two races can coexist in peace?

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Cyn was so cute about the lights on the elevator buttons. I am so sorry, but if I was in the elevator (lift) and he pressed all of the buttons, I would have not been happy. Luckily though, it was on its way down and their was only the one floor so it would have been the poor people going up that would have been inconvenienced.

I knew it would be, but it must be so overwhelming considering how innocent Cyn is to the world at large. I don't know what he would have done if Shea wasn't with him.

Now he gets to deal with Shifter Central. I see a lot of trembling and heavy breathing in his immediate future.

 

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I hope there’s more Nora without Cyn being hospitalized.

The wide-eyed wonderment is captivating.

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