Cernunnos - 52. Chapter 52
Life became monotonous over the next few weeks. I almost wish for a little excitement! Shea laced his shoes snugly and prepared for another morning run with Cyn and Arric. Walking down the stairs he went over the repetitive sequence he’d come to know. Wake up, get ready for the run, grab breakfast, meet with Arric, lunchtime, snuggle my pup, dinner, movie, maybe some sex, and sleep.
Dismay snuck into his thoughts. Still nothing on Eike. Even Wendel’s team hasn’t found a trace of the bastard! Is he hiding, or did he flee already? It’s been a few months so it’s possible he’s out of the country. He shook his head as he reached the landing. No, I wouldn’t chance it. He’s still in the states at least. Give it another few months and he’ll truly disappear.
At least the SFBI’s expanded their search. Any missing persons report or mauling of an FP shifter will automatically be flagged. He sighed and whispered, “Still doesn’t make it better.”
As expected, Cyn was waiting in the kitchen. Shea withheld his growl at the sight of the deer’s perky rear in his newly purchased running shorts. Can’t thank Alpha enough for the suggestion. If he’s going to run in the marathon, he should look sexy doing it. Once Arric was ready, they set out for the trail.
Over time, Cyn had gotten faster, and was able to keep up with Arric’s sprinting sessions. The deer’s strides and breathing had been nearly mastered. Even Shea had a rough time keeping up with them. Sprinting’s never been my thing. I can keep up with Cyn on an endurance run, but if this shit continues, I’ll have to call it!
Fortunately, Cyn and Arric kept the remainder of the run to a jog on the way back to the manor. When the couple went up to their room, Shea grabbed his phone off the bed and saw a missed phone call. He palmed his face, overwhelmed with guilt. Oh, she’s going to kill me!
“Sheamus? Everything okay?” Cyn asked as he was stripping.
“Yes and no. I need to make a phone call real quick, little man. Go ahead and shower; I’ll be there shortly.”
He started calling as Cyn left the room. Biting his lip, he anxiously waited for the dial tone to end.
“Hi, sweetie! How’s everything in Sheb?”
Hearing his mother’s chipper tone offset any dread he initially created. “Some good, some bad, some really good, and some really bad.”
“Oh, dear! My little commander’s been busy, I take it?”
“About that, Mom,” Shea chuckled. “It’s a long story, but I’m not commander anymore. I’m—”
“Oh, no! What happened?”
Her shrill voice cut Shea off. Should’ve seen that coming. “No, Mom! I’m not a commander because Arric named me Pack Enforcer.”
“P-Pack Enforcer! Oh, my baby’s an enforcer! I’m so happy for you, Sheamus!”
The wolf scratched his head. Alright, here comes the hard part. “Mom, I was wondering if you could come to town soon for lunch or dinner. There’s a situation going on and I can’t leave Arric’s side.”
“What a delightful idea! We all could have a double-date of sorts, not that Alpha Claude swings your way. Your father and I can be there tonight!”
If only she knew. “I meant to call and tell you guys, but with everything going on, there hasn’t been much time.”
“Are things that serious down there?”
Shea sighed and sat on the bed’s edge. “Yep. Without going into much detail, the former enforcer committed crimes, and that led me to finding my ma—”
“Your mate!” Her joyous screech nearly clipped the phone’s speaker, forcing Shea to pull the device away momentarily. “Sheamus Farren! You couldn’t bother to tell us you found your mate? What’s his name, coat, and eye color?”
Against his fearful notions, Shea roared with laughter. “Mom!” He noticed the water had shut off in the room next door. Oh, fuck. I’m not sure he’s ready to meet someone like her. “That’ll take some time to explain, so it’ll be a surprise for later. I’ll make a reservation for six at Lino’s.”
“Six? Who’s all coming to this, Sheamus?”
“You, Dad, Arric, me, and both our mates.”
Another high-pitched squeal rang over the line, “Alpha Claude’s mated too! Oh, I bet she’s a fierce lady! Not everyone can handle a brooding man like him.”
The delta snickered. “Well, Kieran isn’t a fierce lady, but he’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met.”
His mother audibly gasped. She was silent for a moment, but then whispered, “Sheamus, you could have been with an alpha.”
At that moment, Cyn entered stark naked with a damp head of hair. Shea licked his lips and uttered, “Not in a million years. I love my mate more than anything in this world. Can you and Dad be in town at six?”
“We’ll be there!”
“Love you, Mom. Tell the same to Dad.”
“Love you too, Sheamus!” Before the call ended, Shea heard her yell away from the phone, “Harold, get your suit! No, your good one!”
Cyn pulled at the tie around his neck. “I don’t like this thing, Sheamus.”
The wolf snorted as he drove Arric’s Sierra. “It’s just for a couple of hours. I still can’t believe this is happening!”
He gave up on the tight fabric and marveled in Shea’s nervousness. It must be a big deal for lycans to show off their mates. I’ve never seen him like this. “Are you okay?”
Kieran snickered in the backseat, “Your mate’s about to introduce you to his parents. It’s a pretty big deal, Cyn.”
Fidgeting in the new clothes, the deer understood. I’ve seen clothes like this in my old school textbooks. They must be for important occasions. He appreciated the thin button down and comfortable slacks, but the tie and shiny shoes were confining. My other ones are better. I don’t think I can run in these. Looking to his mate, he smiled. He looks nice in them though.
Arriving at the restaurant, Cyn instantly liked the cream-colored building. He smelled the food wafting through the air. Italian restaurant. Melinda told me about this kind of food. Pasta, breads, and salads mostly. Taken by the hand, he was led towards the entrance.
A piercing yell for his mate caused Cyn to pivot towards the origin. He saw a couple separating with the woman rushing their way. As they got closer, Cyn recognized they were lycan with a similar black pepper scent as Shea’s. That must be his mo—
Before she could reach Shea, she halted and gawked at Cyn. “Is… is this him? Oh, come here!”
Panic flowed through his veins, but before he could do anything about it, he was enveloped by the woman’s arms. Her strength surprised the deer, nearly causing him to bleat. Dressed in a slim, burgundy dress, the woman appeared to be a few inches taller than Cyn. When she let go, she brushed her curly, auburn hair out of her face. “Oh, my! A… you’re a cernunnos!” She backed away quickly and folded her hands. “I didn’t mean to scare you or anything. I… just wow!”
“Take it easy, Lynda!” The taller man behind her closed the distance and held her waist. “You done spooked the man. Give him a chance to breathe and learn who we are before you tackle ‘im.”
Fingers interlocked with Cyn’s as Shea stood by his side. “Are you okay, pup? Mom can be a little… well, Mom.”
He took a deep breath and nodded. “I-I’m fine. Just was caught off guard a little.”
After pecking his head, Shea looped an arm around Cyn’s waist, mimicking his parents. “Mom, Dad? I’d like you to meet my mate, Cyn. Cyn? These are my parents, Harold and Lynda.”
Staring at the man across from Shea, Cyn saw the familial resemblance. He’s almost as tall as Sheamus, but he doesn’t have a beard. “It’s nice to meet you,” he whispered.
Harold smirked. “No need to be shy around us, son. Not everyday we get to meet a cern, let alone welcome one into our family! How about we grab our table so we can get to know one another?” The man took a step before landing his eyes on Arric and Kieran. “A-Alpha Claude, I presume?” Harold swiftly bent his neck, followed by Lynda.
Arric waved a hand out. “Yes, and no need, Mister and Missus Farren. It’s a pleasure to meet my enforcer’s family. This is Kieran, my beta and mate.”
The three quickly exchanged introductions, along with an excited greeting from Lynda. Together, the six entered the establishment and were escorted to their table. Cyn sat between Shea and Kieran, putting him directly across from the middle-aged couple. As the menu was given to him, Cyn found himself in some trouble. I don’t know what half of these things are! Kieran was quick on the save and navigated him through the foreign options.
“So, Cyn is it? That’s a peculiar name,” Harold said. “Mind telling us a little about yourself and how you ended up falling for our little fleabag?”
“Harold! Not in front of the Alpha!” Lynda sternly smacked her mate with her clutch, prompting a chuckle from Arric and Kieran.
Cyn rubbed his fingers together under the tablecloth. “Greta told me my name is Greek, spelled C-Y-N. And I met Sheamus in the Kettle Moraine when he saved me.”
The parents exchanged a glance before Lynda spoke softly, “Is this the trouble you mentioned earlier, son? What does he mean by saved?”
Shea cleared his throat before leaning closer. “Yes, Mom. Cyn was attacked. The Turbins and I stopped it before it was too late.”
“Bless those two!” Lynda whispered sharply. “Now I understand why you didn’t call. I’m guessing that’s where your promotion came in, right?”
“Correct, ma’am,” said Arric. “My former enforcer’s the culprit, along with two others. One’s been killed while the other’s been sentenced in Green Bay. The investigation’s out of our hands at the moment since the SFBI took over.”
“Hell’s bells, the feds?” Harold cursed under his breath, “No wonder there’s been extra patrols out home. I’m just happy to see y’all taking care of yourselves."
The waiter came to take the group’s order. Cyn chose the portobello mushroom dish with the cheese he couldn’t pronounce. Gor… gorgon-something.
Once the waiter left, Lynda picked up the conversation with a delightful tone, “So Cyn, you were telling us about yourself? Are you from Sheboygan?”
He shook his head. “I was born in Texas. When I shifted for the first time, my mother and I went out to live as deer.”
“Live as deer?” Harold questioned, “I heard rumors that cernunnos rarely deal with humanity. I take it you’re learning a lot about today’s world?”
As Cyn nodded, Kieran spoke up, “Between us and Melinda, we’re getting him up to speed. I’ve been teaching him history to get him refreshed from his former education. We’re studying the US government system at the moment.”
The conversation carried on until the food arrived. Cyn took note of everyone’s chosen dishes before taking a bite of his. The cheese was creamy yet earthy, and the garlic was perfectly subtle. Combined with the juiciness of the mushroom, the deer was beyond pleased with his order. He caught Shea tossing glimpses at one of the smaller pieces. “Do you want to try it?”
“Just a bite, if you don’t mind.” Cyn took the knife and cut one in half and transferred it to the wolf’s plate.
Lynda leaned forward. “Since when do you eat mushrooms, Sheamus?”
The enforcer shrugged and pierced the offering with his fork. “A lot’s changed since I started dating Cyn. I don’t even hunt anymore!”
“I tried for years to get you to eat vegetables! Your mate being a vegetarian must be a blessing in disguise.” She faced Cyn. “I have a veggie quiche you have to try! Harold only eats it because it’s covered in cheese.”
Cyn offered a weak smile. “I don’t know what that is, but it sounds good!”
“I haven’t had quiche in a long time,” said Arric. “Maybe you and Melinda can make one soon.”
Lynda gasped, clearly excited, “He cooks? I finally have a son who can cook!”
The whole table erupted in laughter, but Cyn remained quiet. Son? Mating with Sheamus gave me another set of parents?
As the dinner continued, the deer warmed up to Shea’s parents. Lynda is full of energy and always seems to be talking. Harold’s pretty humble, I guess. He doesn’t talk as much as her, but he’s very nice!
With their bills paid, they ventured out towards their vehicles. Cyn smiled as Shea received hugs from the parents, but they approached him afterward. Harold stooped and embraced the deer. “I know we’ll get to know each other better over time, but welcome to our family, Cyn.”
The man was soon batted away by a thudding hand-purse. “Scoot over, Harold!” As Lynda barged her way in front of him, she hugged him tighter than her mate did. “Forget getting to know you; you’re already my son to me! If you ever need anything, you know who to call. You’ll always be welcome in Port Washington.”
Being told sayings and statements from the two sent a whirlwind of emotions through the cernunnos. They’re… they’re so friendly! I barely know them and they’re welcoming me with open arms. Lynda acts so differently than Mother.
When he was let go, Shea appeared at his side. Needing comfort from his inner thoughts, he latched onto the wolf. Is this what a family is? Then… what do I call my parents?
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