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    astone2292
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Cernunnos - 38. Chapter 38

Cyn… Farren? I have a last name?

He looked at Shea and saw his mate carrying the biggest smile. Before he could utter a word, applause filled the air around him and his hand was squeezed.

"They accept you, Cyn." Shea's whisper was filled with pride, "You have a home with us."

As the support died down, Arric cleared his throat, grabbing everyone's attention, "With this union recognized, our pack grows stronger. I'm beyond prideful of this couple. One has served our pack for years, while the other eagerly looks for ways to do the same.

"Cyn, go with Kara and Jaime. You won't be away from your mate for much longer."

Shea leaned down and pecked him on the lips, "I'll be with you in a little bit, okay pup?"

The deer nodded. Released from the lycan's grip, he returned to the back with the Turbins. He saw Shea scale the stage and stand at Arric's side.

The alpha stepped forward, "Our council is working closely with the SFBI in regards to the rogues. If anyone has any information, please get in touch with one of us, or call their anonymous hot-line. Cooperation is a must, and anyone found collaborating with Muell or Thomas will be held accountable. That being said, I close this meeting. Food is served and the run will begin in an hour."

With their alpha's word, the pack slowly got up and mingled. Cyn stood still, unsure of the next step in his involvement. He looked at the stage and saw Shea heading his way.

"Cyn?" The familiar voice brought his attention to his left where Jim and Beverly stood. The two held each other close, with Jim's hand around his mate's waist, "I'm real sorry that all happened to you." The couple turned as Shea approached, "Enforcer… if there's anything you and your mate need, you call me or Bev."

"You got it, Mr. Harrelson. I'm sorry I couldn't say anything at the restaurant; it could’ve jeopardized the pack."

Beverly meager smiled, "We understand. I thought it was something bad when you said there wasn't a need for competition. Enforce—" She cleared her throat and readjusted her position, "That bastard made his choices, and hopefully, he'll sleep with them when he's hunted down."

Despite the drastic change in tone, Jim could only laugh, "Beverly! I can't remember the last time you said such a thing!"

She harrumphed, "It was when you accidentally bought that boat without my say-so!"

"That was seventeen years ago…"

"And I'll remember it for another seventeen, just to make sure you don't do it again." She averted her attention back to the new couple, "You boys make a lovely pair. Are you going on the run later this evening?"

Shea lowered to Cyn's neck, "What'cha think, pup? Want to grab some food and run? We'll have Kara and Jaime with us."

Run? With all these wolves? "Am I allowed to?"

"Why wouldn't you? You're a member of our pack now." The wolf's hands landed on Cyn's hips, "No one would dare think any less of you. Besides, I want to show off my mate."

Cyn's cheeks became heated. Nodding, he was squeezed by the bigger man. "Are you coming too?"

Jim and Beverly shared a look, "You'd have us? I think you four young ones might be too fast for us. I think we'll keep to the trail and just pace ourselves."

"That's perfectly fine, Jim." Shea offered his hand, which was met swiftly. "I'm sure Cyn might want to meet some of the non-lycan members."

The Harrelsons made their way to the food line. Shea and Cyn attempted to as well, but were stopped numerous times by various shifters. The deer was blown away by the warm and friendly gestures by the strange wolves. One after another, names and handshakes were exchanged. With each person met, Cyn’s smile grew. It’s like being in a new herd!

A short and slender couple caught the deer’s attention. They’re… rabbits! They immediately caught Cyn’s stare, mumbled to the other, and walked toward him, “Hi, welcome to the neighborhood! Cyn, right? I’m Sam, and this is my twin sister, Pamela. It’s so freakin’ cool to see a cernunnos join the pack!”

“You’re… leporidae, right?”

The lady bobbed her head, causing blonde locks to bounce, “Yep! C’mon, let’s go get some food. Melinda probably made a killer salad for us.”

Mention of the leafy food delighted Cyn and followed the rabbits toward the food line. As they waited, Pamela kept the conversation going, “So, have you been in town for long?”

Cyn shrugged his shoulders, “I’ve been here for a week.”

“That’s cool! We got a group chat if you want to meet some of our friends. It’s a lot of the formerly-prey shifters, but a couple wolves and bears that are chill are in it too.”

“Hey, Pam?” Shea’s tone was low, but friendly, “Cyn hasn’t been around humanity for almost a decade. You can add me until we get him a phone.”

“Oh, shit? That works, Enforcer Farren. Rel, Isabelle, and Bree snagged us a long table in the corner, if y’all want to sit with us.”

Cyn knew Sheamus was about to ask, so he nodded at his new friend, “That sounds nice.”

Sam grinned, “Alright! Here’s to new friendships.” He held out an open palm, completely vertical.

He recognized the old gesture from his childhood. I know this one! Making the same hand formation, he connected his and Sam’s with a slap. The group continued to talk as they grabbed plates of food. Cyn and the rabbits constructed salads fit for vegan kings while the Tracking Trio took advantage of the barbecued meats.

A sour scent caught his attention. As he gently poured a small amount of the dressing onto his food, Kara and Jaime snickered. The twins noticed and joined in, “You guys haven’t shown him how a phone works, but you gave him ranch?”

Kara closed the distance between her and Pam, “Priorities. The phone’s somewhere between jalapeno poppers and watching Titanic.”

Cyn placed the ladle back in its proper place and cocked his head, “Are you talking about the black box Sheamus has? I think it's pretty tricky to use.”

“It's okay,” Jaime set down a pair of tongs, making a small clattering sound, “there are simpler phone models that are easier to operate. It’s important to have one so you can call someone if you get into trouble, or if Shea’s away and you want to talk to him.”

That’s right! Sheamus said it can be used as a telephone. It looks complicated, but I think I need one. “Okay. What else do I need?”

“Lots of things!” The group watched Walter and Arric pass by with their loaded plates. The beta joyfully laughed and landed a hand on Cyn’s shoulder, “For most of them, Arric and I have to deal with. We’ll need to get you an identity for the humans’ sake. Shea, we’ll show you how to do all that just in case.”

Identity? “I’m confused. I already know who I am.”

Arric snorted, “We know, but the humans don’t. They’re obsessed with declaring who they are. You’ll need papers to buy certain things and go outside the country. It’s a pain, but they made the rules that govern the world. I’m sure Kieran will be teaching you these things when you start your education.”

Cyn nodded and let the leaders go by. Sam and Pam directed the group towards a table. On his approach, Cyn noticed the variety of shifters seated.

“Hey, guys! Mind if Cyn and the gang sit with us?” The twins set their food down as several of the heads nodded out of sync.

A bulky man with short, brown hair leaned forward with an endearing smile, “Of course! Enforcer Farren, you don’t want to sit with Alpha Claude and Beta Haynes?”

Shea pulled out a chair for Cyn before seating himself, “Tonight is all about my mate. Plus, I haven’t had the chance to get acquainted with some of you yet.”

“May we introduce ourselves to your mate?” When Shea agreed, the man dipped his head to Cyn, “I’m Orson. If you’ve been around Shea and the Turbins, you might have met my brother, Pierce.”

Hearing the lower council member’s name, Cyn smiled, “I’ve met him! He looked a little scary, but he said nice words to me.”

“Really? He’s usually a fuddy-duddy, but I’m glad you got along.”

One of the foxes stifled a laugh, “It’s a shame Pierce is a stick in the mud. He’s so handsome!”

Orson rolled his eyes and jutted his thumb at her, “That’s Isabelle. She’s been after my brother for a couple years for some reason.”

Isabelle’s thin lips tightened as she smiled, “He’s big, burly, and the man of my dreams. You’re a close second, but we’re in separate markets.”

The Turbins looked at each other before Jaime raised a question, “You’re gay, Orson? I didn’t know that.”

“Yep, and I’ve had my eye on a certain little wolf.” Everyone at the table, other than Cyn, leaned with interest. The bear caught the sudden attention and cackled, “You think I’m telling you chatty Cathies anything? I don’t want to scare him off.”

The conversation carried on, and Cyn laughed with his new friends. He really liked talking with Orson and Pam, but he enjoyed everyone’s company. They’re all so nice. Isabelle and Bree seem a little weird, but they’re still pretty kind. I think Sheamus had a good time too!

Just as Cyn thought of him, Shea turned and landed a kiss, sending a shiver throughout the deer’s body, “Run’s about to start. Do you want to be with everyone here? I’ll have to go with Arric and Walter to lead, but I’ll be able to break off later and be with you.”

The deer was bummed, but Orson stood tall from his seat. Seeing the bear’s immense stature surprised Cyn. He’s taller than his brother!

“I know Kara and Jaime wouldn’t leave your side, but Cyn, I’d be honored to run by your side. Hell, I’m sure all of us would!” Orson’s words were mimicked in some sort of fashion by the table’s inhabitants.

After a moment of hesitation, Cyn grasped Shea’s hand, “I’ll go with them, at least until you get back.”

Shea left another kiss on his lips, then stared at Orson, “Kara and Jaime will protect him, but do you swear to guard my mate in my absence?”

“With my dying breath, Enforcer.” The two clasped hands, solidifying Orson’s promise. Shea parted from the group, and Cyn naturally drifted towards the Turbins. “Y’all ready? My legs could use a good stretch.”

As everyone agreed, Cyn noticed Arric and his council had gathered at the stage, “My pack! The time for the evening run is upon us. Let your animal instincts guide you through the forest, and allow your spirits to run free.” Arric, Walter, and Shea stripped down and started their shift. Together, the pack followed their leaders and set their clothes in chairs.

In droves, bodies contorted with coordinating sounds of snapping. The noise unsettled Cyn, causing him to wait. A nudge from Kara’s brown and white head almost startled him. “Right.” With his clothes in a pile, he closed his eyes and shifted silently. Looking around him, countless wolves starred with open maws. Two tan cottontail rabbits bounded under his legs and three red foxes sat on their hinds. Cyn’s instincts told him to turn around, and when he did, a large black bear stood on its four paws. Looking between them all and the Turbins, the cernunnos’ heart soared. This is my herd now.

The trio on the stage hopped down with Arric leading. He threw back his head and howled. After Walter and Shea joined, the pack’s sound of pride echoed throughout the night’s sky.

Copyright © 2021 astone2292; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

Just now, Estiveo said:

This was a happy chapter.🙂

Thanks for commenting, Estiveo! I wanted a nice, happy chapter after Cyn's induction into Arric's pack, and I'm glad you think I achieved that!

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Nice to Cyn believes he's found a herd and can feel relaxed knowing they are all looking out for him. Loved the following!

Beverly meager smiled, "We understand. I thought it was something bad when you said there wasn't a need for competition. Enforce—" She cleared her throat and readjusted her position, "That bastard made his choices, and hopefully, he'll sleep with them when he's hunted down."

Despite the drastic change in tone, Jim could only laugh, "Beverly! I can't remember the last time you said such a thing!"

She harrumphed, "It was when you accidentally bought that boat without my say-so!"

"That was seventeen years ago…"

"And I'll remember it for another seventeen, just to make sure you don't do it again."

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6 minutes ago, drsawzall said:

Nice to Cyn believes he's found a herd and can feel relaxed knowing they are all looking out for him. Loved the following!

Beverly meager smiled, "We understand. I thought it was something bad when you said there wasn't a need for competition. Enforce—" She cleared her throat and readjusted her position, "That bastard made his choices, and hopefully, he'll sleep with them when he's hunted down."

Despite the drastic change in tone, Jim could only laugh, "Beverly! I can't remember the last time you said such a thing!"

She harrumphed, "It was when you accidentally bought that boat without my say-so!"

"That was seventeen years ago…"

"And I'll remember it for another seventeen, just to make sure you don't do it again."

I love Jim and Bev! They're such a blast, and its easy to see who wears the pants in the relationship.

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It's nice to see Cyn acclimating with his new herd/pack so quickly. A good part of the ease was in having some other herbivores around.

Nice chapter, but terribly short.

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16 minutes ago, drpaladin said:

It's nice to see Cyn acclimating with his new herd/pack so quickly. A good part of the ease was in having some other herbivores around.

Nice chapter, but terribly short.

Let's see if our favorite buck can handle running with all the wolves.

Short? I'll make sure to write a lengthy one soon... Thanks for your comments, Doc!

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You know I am an emotional wreck right now and this just made my heart smile...... :D Yes a few tears because Cyn belongs to a herd again.  Only this time the "herd" is actually shifters and can make sure Cyn feels welcome.  That is a good feeling, the feeling of family/friends!  So much feeling and emotion captured in this "feel good" chapter.  You know you are a good author when you "sense" that one of your many fans needs a pick me up!!!  👑:joe::worship: You, my friend, are the best!!!!  🦌:heart:🐺

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I love that Cyn has a family group again, and one more supportive than his original one.  He even has other former prey species to bond with.  I'm surprised there were only two bunnies --- cause, well you know.  

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The pack's inclusivity is wonderful. Cyn is an easy guy to like but it was heartwarming how readily the rest of the pack accepted him, herbivore and carnivore alike. A testament to caliber of people Arric surrounds himself with.

Speaking of Arric . . . is that the glint of competition I detect on the horizon? Is the little wolf Orson has his eye on the same dope our favorite alpha is courting? That's a mud wrestling match I wouldn't mind seeing! Haha.

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5 hours ago, Patch1 said:

You know I am an emotional wreck right now and this just made my heart smile...... :D Yes a few tears because Cyn belongs to a herd again.  Only this time the "herd" is actually shifters and can make sure Cyn feels welcome.  That is a good feeling, the feeling of family/friends!  So much feeling and emotion captured in this "feel good" chapter.  You know you are a good author when you "sense" that one of your many fans needs a pick me up!!!  👑:joe::worship: You, my friend, are the best!!!!  🦌:heart:🐺

I always appreciate your comments, Patch! I'm so happy you enjoyed this chapter.

4 hours ago, CincyKris said:

I love that Cyn has a family group again, and one more supportive than his original one.  He even has other former prey species to bond with.  I'm surprised there were only two bunnies --- cause, well you know.  

Lots of different species to connect with this "herd." From what Kieran said last chapter...

Quote

“One hundred and forty-seven wolves, twenty-nine bears, thirteen coyotes, ten foxes, six rabbits, and two bobcats.”

There's more than just a pair of twins. They might have been running around elsewhere. Thanks for commenting, Cincy!

3 hours ago, Danners said:

The pack's inclusivity is wonderful. Cyn is an easy guy to like but it was heartwarming how readily the rest of the pack accepted him, herbivore and carnivore alike. A testament to caliber of people Arric surrounds himself with.

Speaking of Arric . . . is that the glint of competition I detect on the horizon? Is the little wolf Orson has his eye on the same dope our favorite alpha is courting? That's a mud wrestling match I wouldn't mind seeing! Haha.

Ha! Is Orson looking at Kieran? Who knows which little wolf Orson's looking at... 

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