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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. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Cernunnos - 22. Chapter 22

Shea sat still in his chair. En...Enforcer? He swallowed down everything in his mouth with a single gulp. Enforcer? I’m...the Enforcer? Arric kept staring him down and was not letting up. Okay, so that’s not a joke. “Alpha Claude...you are serious?”

Leaning back in his chair, Arric never strayed his sight, “Deadly. In the past few days, you have performed remarkable tasks that I doubt many of my pack could pull off. Regardless, next to Walter, you are the one I trust the most right now. I need allies at my side, and you’ve proven yourself.”

Walter laid a hand on Shea’s shoulder, “You’ll be inducted at this impromptu meeting, so expect a few harsh looks from the other lower council members. Despite your promotion, your current duties will remain the same. Track down Eike and protect the cernunnos.”

The new Enforcer mumbled his growl, much to the surprise of the other two council members, “His name...is Cyn.”

Arric chuffed at the remark, “Yes, Beta Haynes. Do I need to remind you that Cyn saved our skins today?” He darted his eyes to Shea, “He is a valued guest to this pack, and he shall remain so until this issue is resolved." The Alpha caught the dismayed look on his new Enforcer's face, "Did you have another alternative, Farren?"

Shea crossed his arms and debated how to word his desire, "I was hoping for...something more permanent. Like you said, Cyn saved us, and he's coming along well with us lycan."

"You know the policies. He must petition for such rights," A wicked smile curled on the Alpha's face, "and you know the other option. I'm interested to see which will come first."

The Enforcer stared at his knees. I...I forgot about that clause! That will take some time, and I'm not even sure how I feel about it, let alone Cyn's feelings. "I'll take it under consideration. But...would you take him, sir?"

"Without a moment's thought! All shifters have a place in my pack. The only concern I have is how other pack members will react to him. While Eike's intention was more...vivid, others may hold the same beliefs."

Rage filled Shea's body. No one...will touch him! I won't allow it!

Interested by his council member's reaction, Walter took a leaning position against one of the bookcases, "Shea? If I may be bold?" Earning the gaze of the infuriated lycan, the Beta continued, "During this meeting, you're going to need to hold your emotions. As a higher council member, you will need to keep yourself in check. There might be remarks that will cause strife. Arric and I will let it be known that Cyn is not to be approached in any manner other than generosity. It is within my belief, especially after Eike's attack, that no one should hold position with such attitude towards other shifters."

"I'll second that!" Arric leaned up in his seat, "I'll make that a point in tonight's meeting. But there is one matter that must be discussed before we enjoy our dinner. It is without a doubt that the other council members will want to hear testimony of the attack. The Tracking Trio will give theirs, but I'm afraid that for some, it won't be enough."

Walter's head shot towards his leader, "Arric, surely you jest?"

"No," Holding a grim frown, Arric shook his head, "we may need Cyn to speak his testimony. The only problem that concerns me is the deer's behavior. It was troubling enough to see him at the hospital when he woke the first time. I'd rather not have a piddle stain on my floor but it may be unavoidable."

Shea had had enough. "It's too much!" He stood, alarming the other two, "There must be another way!"

"Sit...down." A low and gravely voice emitted from the Alpha's throat, forcing Shea to sit in trembling fear and Walter to bow his head, "I realize the position that Cyn will be in, but we have to prep him should the council demand it. We haven't received Ronnet's DNA test back yet. While Marric's death is a good sign for the case, we haven't infiltrated his phone or vehicle. Unless any of those things pop up in the next two hours, we'll need Cyn ready."

Understanding the facts and reasoning, Shea submitted to the cause, "I'll speak with him, but I won't let him leave my side."

Arric's grin returned, "Spoken like a true mate. Let’s rejoin the others, I’m starting to smell the food.” Walter and Shea nodded, following the Alpha out of the office. “Melinda, it smells wonderful in here!”

“Thank you, Mr. Claude.” The sheepish lady nodded politely and returned her attention to her tasks.

Kara, leaning against the back of the sofa in the living room, gave the commander a pair of squinted eyes, “Commander, you seem a little different.”

Leaning against opposite sides of the door frame to the hallway, Walter and Arric looked at each other with the Beta nodding towards the Alpha. Arric pushed himself forward, involving himself in the conversation, “I suppose I’ll let the cat out of the bag before the meeting. Kara, I think you’re using the wrong title for our friend.” Walter grinned at the suggested hint.

The red-haired tracker glared at Shea, but found herself wanting to look away. What the Hell? My...my instincts. It’s like I’m looking at Arr- She gasped loudly, followed by a wide open-mouthed smile, “Holy shit! Shea? My God, congratulations!”

Hearing his mate’s joyful enthusiasm, Jaime tried to discern what was going on, “Am I missing something?”

“Jay! Come on, you can’t be this blind! Shea’s a Delta now!” Seeing her man widen his eyes, she solidified her reasoning, “Alpha said I used the wrong title, and now when I look at Shea, I feel the need to turn away. He’s a Delta!”

Shaking his head in confusion, Shea looked between Kara and Arric, “Alpha, what is she talking about? You just gave me the promotion. How am I any different than before?”

Clapping his hand on the Enforcer’s shoulder, Arric let a sultry laugh echo in the room, “Your wolf has accepted the ascension of power. You may not have noticed much a change, but your posture is more stoic, your tone is more commanding, and overall, your wolf is demanding respect through your actions. Even now, aside from Melinda, everyone here recognizes your promotion to Enforcer.”

“Woah, woah! Enforcer?” Kara stood and gave her tracking commander another look over. I...my wolf! She wants me to bear my neck to him right now! She bent her head to the side, showing Shea her neck. “Shea, that’s awesome! Talk about a promotion, all the way up to the Alpha’s bodyguard! Way to go, big man! Cyn, whatcha think about your boyfriend getting a promotion?”

All eyes fell to the deer, but Cyn was already shaking. Shea, owning a concerned look, spoke softly, “Cyn? What’s going on?” He took a step forward, only to have the buck take a hesitant step backward. He’s...he’s scared. He’s scared...of me?

Jaime was behind Cyn and whispered as the deer darted his gaze at the smaller lycan, “Cyn, it’s okay. That’s still Sheamus. Just...just tell us what you’re thinking.”

Cyn’s breathing quickened and his mind fought his instincts. It’s...no, that’s Sheamus! But he feels like...he feels like the silver wolf. “I...I know it’s Sheamus, but…” He closed his eyes and swallowed. The slender man shivered as he couldn’t find the confidence to speak.

Walter’s mind was working in overdrive to figure out the problem. Cyn was just fine before our little meeting. How did Farren change other than becoming the Enfor- Before he could finish his thought, the Beta’s mind clicked, solving the problem. He stepped forward until he gained Cyn’s attention and knelt down with a light grunt, “Cyn, I want you to look at me.” Satisfied when the deer focused on him, the elder lycan spoke, “I get why you are scared of Sheamus, and it is understandable. Your instincts are feeling his authoritative power, and just as you did with Arric’s, you must overcome it.”

Hearing the words come from the gentleman, Cyn understood and tried to calm himself. As he breathed, he kept looking back at Shea, only to find himself struggling to take a step forward. “Cyn,” Landing his eyes back on Walter, the Beta slowly rose, “I’m going to come towards you, and we are going to walk towards Sheamus together, alright? I’ll be with you the entire time.”

“Beta Haynes, what is-” Just as Arric spoke, Walter threw up a halting palm, signaling for the Alpha to back down. Suppressing his growl, Arric tried to discern what was the meaning of his subordinate’s behavior. He must be onto something. As much as I want to yell at him for interrupting me, Walt wouldn’t have done that if it wasn’t imperative.

Walter made it to Cyn’s side with no issues. Before he took a step, he whispered to the deer, “I get it, you feel that Shea’s new status is very similar to the wolf that attacked you.” As soon as he spoke the words, he watched the younger shifter’s eyes clamp shut. From the corner of his eyes, he saw everyone else’s faces droop as they understood the situation. “But that wolf isn’t here, and Sheamus is certainly not that wolf. His status may feel the same, but that...is not Eike.”

Cyn slowly opened his eyes and stared at Shea’s feet. Over the course of a long and tense minute, he raised his vision to see the familiar torso shape. It...it still feels like Sheamus. In a sudden decision, Cyn looked up to his boyfriend, earning a genuine smile from the lycan. It’s...it’s really him? “Sh-Sheamus?”

Hearing the innocent voice brought joy to Shea’s heart and he let go of his held breath, “It’s me, Cyn. Always has been.” As much as the Enforcer wanted to, he stopped himself from advancing. This is killing me! I just want to hug him and tell him that I’m still the same person.

With a hand on his back, Cyn took a step forward with Walter, “Easy does it, Cyn. We’re going at your pace. Just remember, it’s Shea. He just feels a little different, but he’s still the same man you know.”

Right...he’s just...a little different. Gaining confidence, Cyn took a few more steps, halving the distance between them. He felt the pressure of Shea’s new status intensifying with every step, and took the appropriate time to calm his breathing. I...I need to stop being so scared! That is Sheamus!

Shea’s eyes widened as the buck practically lunged at him, wrapping the slender arms around his waist. He did it! Placing his left hand on Cyn’s back and his right on the back of the brown-haired man, he held his boyfriend tight. He’s mine. The thought rang out in his mind. He’s...he’s mine! I’m declaring that right here and now! This man, this cernunnos, this little hottie...he’s all mine! Drooping his eyelids, he stared at the messy head of hair until Cyn’s brown eyes looked up, “Hey, little man.” Shea whispered so softly under his breath, “It’s just me. I’m...I’m sorry. I didn’t know I felt different.”

Tears started welling in Cyn’s eyes. To him, he felt his world come back as he heard Sheamus’ low and gritty voice. Swallowing once more, Cyn squeaked, “It’s okay. You...you felt like...like him.”

Although he heard Walter earlier, the sentence still struck Shea in the heart. My status makes me feel like that bastard...to my Cyn! Thoughts of shredding his new title came across his mind, but he knew giving up the power would be costly to his wolven spirit. I guess I just need to live with that, but I refuse to let Cyn live in that fear. “I will never be like that...that monster.” Lifting Cyn’s chin with a single finger, Shea leaned down, “I will never hurt you. Never.” The lycan’s eyes were latched onto the buck’s as the two met for a passionate and burning kiss. Their lips moved as they felt the need to reaffirm their feelings for one another.

Holding his hand onto the side of Cyn’s face, the wolf broke away and searched within the shining irises of the cernunnos. His heart pounded as he wanted to place his lips back onto Cyn’s, but felt that there were words that should be spoken. Finding the words, Shea softly said them with every ounce of desire, “I love you, Cyn.”

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. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Story Discussion Topic

I've debated for the longest time to start up a forum on my first-ever adventure in writing, and after posting the 22nd chapter, and after the intense praise from the comments and hitting 30k views, I felt the need to create this. My story, Love in the Shadows, is a para-normal gay romance that follows an Alpha wolf shapeshifter, Mason Wilson, who quickly finds his destined mate, Vincent Bolton. Vincent, a mage capable of clairvoyancy and controlling ice and shadows, works at a grocery stor
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And you've done it again...I hadn't thought about a "power" shift in Sheamus and how it would affect Cyn...  I love how Cyn felt it and overcame the "need" to run.  Then the ending....the fierce kiss and the "I love you, Cyn"!!!!  Damn....just damn!!!!  Sooooooo good!!!  🦌:heart:🐺  You are so the 👑:joe:

season 1 king GIF by The White Princess

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24 minutes ago, astone2292 said:

Ronnet is the doctor that was treating Cyn

Ah! He got on the list because Hauser came looking for Cyn at the hospital. But if he called, why wouldn't he have given the room number?

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1 hour ago, drpaladin said:

Ah! He got on the list because Hauser came looking for Cyn at the hospital. But if he called, why wouldn't he have given the room number?

Just as a small clarification, Ronnet isn't on Arric's list of baddies. The doctor is waiting on the DNA test to come back that was mentioned in Chapter 3. However, I think Ronnet got put on the comment section's "suspicious" list at one point. 

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14 hours ago, astone2292 said:

From reading the comments, I'm glad to see the change in status was a fresh concept! You'll get more in a few days...

Thanks, Hugsly! I've been looking at publishing options, and I think I'm going to take a big break when I finish both this story and RitS to pursue publishing. Being a need at heart, I'll want it in paperback, so they will probably be available in both. :)

Though the scene was small, I feel that this was a great speed bump in the relationship! For the main character to think that their love interest feels like their attacker...ooof.

Nope, Cyn is still a deer:  can be spooked by anything that seems dangerous. Despite the person being Shea, Cyn still has some PTSD issues, and the Enforcer promotion triggered it. Holding the same position and status as Eike must be causing mental strain to Shea as well.

Ronnet is the doctor that was treating Cyn. 

Oooh, this comment gave me the willies, all the way to my toes! Just gonna leave it at that!

Dughlas is thinking with big brains! Our little deer is growing up... *sniff* 

I'm comparing this chapter to a inopportune bathroom break during a movie. You left and when you come back,, you missed something big plot-wise in just a few minutes. The clues are going to be revisited, as they will remain a priority. I say so, because they're in my plot notes :)

Cyn's going to be stressed no matter what happens. I'm surprised he doesn't have blood pressure problems by now. 

There he is! I saved the best for last.

I thought about it after I posted and I couldn't help but feel I recreated that fresh concept moment from LitS when the Alphas would talk to their animal consciousness. Seeing 3+ comments noting it, I think I can safely take the credit :)

Glad you loved it, Patch! 

You can definitely take the credit!!!  You have done so much that is fresh, new, imaginative, creative, and on and on...  Just can't get enough...and can't wait to see what your mind comes up with next!!!!!   Always on the edge of my seat with each new chapter!!!


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Much deserved promotion. I think it's funny that as Shea gets promoted, Cyn is more terrified, while Shea's feelings grow more intense. The irony. I love it. It makes sense. Still funny!

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The whole delta energy scared the deer was really fascinating, totally unexpected and highly understandable. Well done!

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