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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 - 7. Chapter 7


Shea took a long and hard breath, leaning his head down and slouched forward in the chair. He clasped his hands together and rested his forehead on his outstretched thumbs. He figured it out. I’m surprised he recognized my scent from the woods since he was pretty out of it. The wolf straightened his posture and looked at the buck. “Yeah. That was me, Cyn.”

Hearing the words come out of the man’s mouth forced a shudder to rattle Cyn’s body. He could not believe that the wolf that saved him was sitting before him, let alone take care of him for the past several hours. He’s...he’s watching over me. One question ran through the cernunnos’ mind and wouldn’t vacate, “Why?” Cyn scrunched his eyelids as he struggled to comprehend. “Why did you help me?”

A short hum came from deep within the wolf’s throat as he let out a small exhalation of breath. “I told you. It’s against the law for your race to be hunted. You were in danger, and I saw it as my duty to stop the other wolf.” Shea gave the bed-ridden deer a smile and rested his hands in his lap. “I hope that doesn’t change anything between us, Cyn. I know it may have been scary seeing me as a wolf, but...I want you to know that you can trust me.”

Blinking at the seated shifter, Cyn tried to wrestle with his internal arguments. He’s a wolf...but he has been helping me as if I were his...friend. Friend? The dusty word seemed to have been plucked from an old bookshelf within his personal dictionary. I...can’t remember the last time I could call someone that. He...saved me from the wolf. He helped me here in the hospital. Can...can I even call him that? A friend? “Sh...Sheamus?”

The wolf twitched his head and focused on giving the deer a genuine smile. “Yes?”

“I...Thank you.” The two shifters held the thinnest smiles on each other’s faces. “You’ve helped me...and I want to say thank you. Is...there anything I can do to repay you?”

Shea nodded and pulled out his phone. “Yes, there is. Arric tasked me with finding the shifter responsible for your attack. We have a very good idea of who it is, but we need confirmation. I know you’ve been through a lot, and I’ll be right here for you. Could you walk me through the moments before and during the attack?” Noticing a fidget of his arms and closing his eyes shut, Shea knew he pushed a little too far with Cyn. “Hey, Cyn.” Without thinking about his actions, the wolf gently laid his hand on top of the deer’s.

Cyn’s eyes shot open from the tender contact, darting his eyes down to the hand covering his own. It’s...warm! Directing his gaze to Shea’s, the buck knew within himself that he was in no harm. He cares. I don’t think he meant to scare me like that. The dark scene from the forest haunted the small man’s thoughts and sent another shiver down his spine. “I...umm...can we...do that later? I don’t...think I can handle that right now.”

Quickly understanding the stress on the shifter, Shea nodded his head and gave another smile. “Of course. I didn’t mean to put you back there. We can take as long as it’s needed.” Seeing how his main mission had been sidelined, the wolf needed to find another avenue to travel. “Do you mind telling me about yourself? Where you grew up and what’s important to you?”

The buck grew a new smile and nodded. I think I can handle that. “Okay, but there’s not much to tell. I was raised in a small town in Texas called Arthur City, and I was kept there until my first shift. After that, my mother and I left to go to live our lives as deer. From the maps I got along the way, we traveled a lot between Texas and Wisconsin and stayed in that area. Other than that...yeah, I think that’s about it.”

Raising an eyebrow and tilting his head, Shea couldn’t believe the deer lived such a meager and nomadic life. “Oh, come on. There’s gotta be more. No favorite food? Favorite place you went to?”

Being questioned about his life, Cyn had to think of his responses. “Well. I really like acorns.”

Acorns? What? “I’m...I’m sorry, acorns? Like, the things that fall from trees?”

Nodding, the buck reminisced about their natural flavor. “Yeah! They may be a little harder to bite into, but they have a nice flavor, especially the ones that come from white oak trees. The red oak ones are nice, but they’re not as good. I also like pecans...and apples!”

“Apples and pecans are understandable. Your diet seems a little...limited.”

“That’s forest food. There isn’t a lot out there, but for what there is, it gets the job done.”

“So you haven’t had a lot of human food, have you?”

Cyn pondered for a moment and tried to remember some of the times his mother cooked when he was younger. “Mom always made apple pie and pastas. We also had a lot of vegetables too, like sweet potatoes and carrots.”

Right, he’s a deer and they’re vegetarians. I’ll need to make sure the nursing staff brings in meals that suit his needs. “Speaking of food, are you hungry? I don’t think you’ve eaten the entire time here.”

The wolf was right. Cyn was starving but neglected to say anything. I didn’t want someone different to come in. “I could eat.”

“Let me see if we can get some room service. I’ll ask to see if they have something you’d like.” Shea wheeled himself over to the door, partially enjoying himself as he rolled across the room. Cracking the door open, he saw that Jaime had taken over the shift. “Can you see if we could get some food? Cyn’s vegetarian, so plenty of...that.”

Jaime grimaced at the thought of leafy greens and nodded. “Anything for you, Commander?”

“I’ll take anything at this point, but make sure there’s some meat on my plate.”

“Sure thing. You got point?” Shea nodded and his friend paced off to the cafeteria. While he’s away, I’ll have to listen for any extra movement or suspicious smells. The wolf closed the door and rolled himself back over to the deer, causing Cyn to stifle a chuckle.

“There’s a laugh. First I’ve heard all day.” Hearing the subtle laugh brought joy to Shea. He likes silly antics, huh? I think I can work with that. “Jaime is heading to get us some food.”

Cyn’s smile faded as he heard the unfamiliar name. “Is...this person nice...like you?”

“Who, Jaime? Yeah! He’s a good guy. Sometimes he is a little timid like you, but he’s really funny. Him and his mate, Kara, like to perform stand-up comedy across town. You would like them.”


“A wolf? Yes. Both him and Kara are, but they’re good people. I trust them with my life.”

Widening his eyes, Cyn could tell Shea was telling the truth. I mean, he is a wolf, too. I trust Shea...so I guess...I can trust them too. “Okay. Did...he call you...commander?”

Rubbing the back of his head, the wolf’s cheeks became slightly rosy. “Yeah, about that. I know I said they were teammates earlier, but...I’m kinda their boss.”

He’s...a commander? Of wolves? Is he like a Beta or something? “You’re...in charge of them?”

“Yeah. I’m doing my best not to scare you, but I’m the pack’s Tracking Commander. I just lead the pack members assigned to the tracking teams to search and sniff.”

Cyn’s brows indented as he understood the wolf’s role. Okay, so he’s important, but not too important. “So...why are you the one watching over me?”

The question caused Shea to smile. Going to be a little cheeky here. “Ouch...I’ve only been here for a day and you want to replace me?” The wolf kept the biggest smile on his face to make sure the buck knew he was joking.

An unkempt giggle burst from the cernunnos as his cheeks grew very pink in color. “I didn’t...I didn’t mean it like that! I meant to ask why a tracking commander was the one watching over me.”

Shea let a positive rumble out from his chest. “I knew what you meant, Cyn. Arric wanted me to watch you since…” Thinking about the earlier conversation between him and his Alpha, he couldn’t recollect why he was told to guard Cyn. “...actually...he didn’t say.” The wolf let his eyelids drift halfway shut naturally as he looked at the buck. “Not that I’m complaining. I’m having a good time talking with you.”

The corner of Cyn’s mouth curled upward and nodded. “Me...me, too. I...I’ve never talked to a wolf before. You’re...really nice, Sheamus.”

Being complimented by the shy shifter, Shea felt a small flutter in his chest. Am...I actually interested in the cern? Those little beady brown eyes and his small frame are adorable, but...could this actually work? “Thanks, Cyn. You’re a nice guy, too. I just wish we met under better circumstances.”

Shea darted his head to the door as he heard incoming footsteps outside of the normal pacing of the staff. They’re heavier steps...boots...and they’re coming this way. “Hang on a moment, ‘kay, little man?” Cyn nodded and felt Shea’s hand leave his, causing a shock of realization. He...was still holding my hand? That entire time? It...felt so natural! Watching the wolf lean against the door frame and cracking the door open, Cyn saw the large man sniff lightly, then let his guard down. “It’s just Jaime. He’s bringing our food. I know it would mean another wolf being in here, but would you like to meet him?”

Hesitation riddled the cernunnos. Sheamus did say he trusted this wolf with his life. “Umm...I think...yeah.”

Shea nodded and opened the door. “Jaime. Come on in.” He kept his words calm and collected while Jaime carried a large tray with a plate and a large bowl. The shorter wolf tilted his head away from the deer as he was invited inside the room. “Cyn said that it is okay, and I think it would be good for him to know that not all wolves are bad.”

Jaime nodded and slowed his pace in an attempt to make himself seem more peaceful. Stepping into the room, he briefly glanced at the small human. He’s not as tiny as I remember seeing on the operating table. “Commander? Could you bring the table closer, or take the tray? I don’t wish to scare him.”

Cyn watched as Shea stepped closer to and grabbed the wheeled table that held his water cup closer to the new wolf. He’s...a little shorter than me. This guy...is a wolf? He smells like one, but he seems pretty tame. Once the food tray left the smaller wolf’s hands, Jaime took his time to seat himself on the floor, just as the wolves had done before. Keeping his voice soft, Jaime spoke, “Hi. I’m Jaime, one of Shea’s good friends. It’s nice to meet you, Cyn.”

As the mellow words were nearly whispered in the room, the buck became more trusting of the new shifter. “H...hi. It’s...nice to meet you. You’re...Jaime, right?” He watched the seated wolf nod and lifted his arm towards the food.

“I had the cafeteria staff arrange a large salad for you. I know cernunnos are primarily vegetarians, but if you’d like something else, I can go get it for you.” Shea lifted the bowl and plastic utensils over for Cyn to hold. The deer was mildly pleased with the food presented to him. Wow! There’s a lot of everything! Carrot shreddings, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, croutons...what are those? He picked out a small and black circular object with a hole in it.

“Sorry, I’m not too accustomed to human food. What is this?”

Shea tried to hold in his laugh, but it was of no avail. “That’s an olive. They’re one of the few fruits I’ll actually eat.”

After smelling the small food, Cyn put it in his mouth and savored the mild and sweet taste. “Those are good, but...they don’t taste like fruit.”

“That’s because they’re usually stored in brine and salt.” Jaime smiled, assuming his commander didn’t have much knowledge about stone fruits. “Picked from the bush, olives tend to be very bitter.”

As much as Cyn wanted to hear more about the new delicacy, he felt the need to begin eating. My hunger just hit me! I’m starving! Grabbing his fork, he pierced through some of the lettuce, catching some of the carrot and onion strands as well, and took a bite. Having fresh food brought a light to the cernunnos’ mood as he quietly ate. After a few short nibbles, he noticed the other two shifters staring at him, in addition to the other plate on the table. It smells of meat, so it is probably Shea’s. “Sheamus? Aren’t you going to eat?”

Shea snapped from his trance and nodded. He scooped up the plate and found that his teammate got him a large burger. Picking up the sandwich, Shea took a bite and noticed that Jaime was smirking. “Got somethin’ on your mind?”

The smaller wolf couldn’t resist poking some fun at his boss. “Sure thing...Sheamus.”

Shea rolled his eyes and swallowed his food. “You aren’t funny.”

Cyn looked between the two shifters. Did I cause something between them? “Are...you guys okay? I didn’t start anything did I?”

The wolves caught the look of regret on the cernunnos’ face and Shea felt the need to laugh to make the smaller man feel better. “No, Cyn. Jaime’s just making fun of the fact you’re calling me by my full first name. A lot of my friends and coworkers just call me Shea.”

A rush of relief swept over Cyn as he nodded. “I understand. Do...you prefer to be called that?”

“I’ll take either, but I like it when you call me Sheamus.” Cyn shared a smile with the larger wolf. Still sitting on the floor, Jaime tried to hold in a laugh behind his smirk and was given a swift and playful smack on the back of the head by his commander. The deer giggled at the camaraderie between the two men in the room. He became more comfortable around Jaime and trusted Shea more as he was told that he could call him by his given name. These guys are...okay. I just can’t believe that lycan are able to be nice like these two.

Cyn returned to his salad as Shea took hold of his burger once more. Jaime slowly got up and headed for the door. “I’ll check in on you guys in a couple of hours. Cyn, it was good to finally meet you. If...Sheamus...is ever away, feel free to call for me or my mate. One of us will be outside this door.” The buck nodded and innately gave the smaller wolf a wave as Jaime stepped through the door, but returned a few moments later. “Hey, Shea. Nurse wants to know if you need help reattaching the IV, or is Cyn good?”

Shea quickly swallowed his food and asked the deer, “How about it? Are you still in any pain, Cyn?”

Evaluating himself, Cyn moved his leg slightly and was reminded of the healing wound. It hurts when I move it. “I...don’t know. It doesn’t bother me until I move it.” Nodding, Jaime turned to the nurse in the hallway and relayed the information. He nodded once again and returned his attention to Cyn. “She says he can keep the IV out for a while and see how he does. Just make sure he drinks plenty of water.” Shea smiled and nodded as his subordinate left once more.

“You hear that, little man? Lots of water.” Earning a smile from Cyn, Shea took another bite of his burger. “So...meeting another wolf wasn’t so bad, right?”

Nibbling on some of his own food, he moved the back of his wrist up to his mouth, covering up his moving jaw. Once he swallowed, Cyn nodded. “Yeah, it wasn’t. I was a little scared, but Jaime is nice. You said his mate was nice too, right?”

“Kara? Yeah, she likes to poke fun at me, but she means well.” A twinkle soared through the lycan’s mind. I think he should be able to take a joke now. “When she saw you when you were sleeping earlier, she said you were adorable.”

Widening his eyes and blushing once again, the deer almost coughed up some of his salad. “She...what?”

Shea howled in laughter and set his food onto the side table. “Don’t read too much into it, Cyn. She’s mated and solely has eyes for Jaime.”

More relief washed over the cernunnos and Cyn reached out for his water cup. Taking a sip, the buck coughed and cleared his throat. “As...as long as she was joking.”

The lycan drooped his eyes and eyeballed the smaller shifter from head to toe. “Well, she was...but I’m not.”

“What?” Cyn cocked his head to the side as he swallowed a mouthful of leafy greens. “What did you say, Sheamus?”

Shea gave a genuine smile towards the man lying in the bed. “I think you’re very handsome, 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. 

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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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Chapter Comments

6 hours ago, Patch1 said:

🏆 Again you are nailing it!!!  I am thoroughly loving the budding romance 🌹 between Sheamus and Cyn.  Even if Sheamus is doing his job, you can feel that he genuinely loves being with Cyn.  Cyn realizing Shea saved him and now hearing the confession that he thinks Cyn is handsome...too cute.  Cyn is going to freak out!!!  You just keep pulling us in don't you?  Not that I will ever complain!!!  I am loving it!!! 🦌🐺

Ha! Nailed it! 

Glad you're loving it, Patch!

2 hours ago, drsawzall said:

Ah...love....a budding interspecies gay romance. Should be very interesting and entertaining!!!!

Glad your interested!

1 hour ago, CincyKris said:

Beautiful chapter.  Cyn is reminiscent of an abused or neglected child or teen.  It's going to take awhile for him to get the self confidence it will take for him to be ready for a relationship.  It's a joy to see him grow into the person he should be.

Cyn's grown very warm to Shea...but how is he going to handle this new compliment?

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1 hour ago, Danners said:

Thank you for more insight into the lives of deer shifters. Assuming Cyn’s life so far is a cookie cutter example, they must live very solitary lives and spend most of their time wandering in beast form. Whether traveling with a herd or just his mother, our boy hasn’t experienced real — i.e., what we consider human — friendship due to eschewing most civilization and the predators therein.

It’s fascinating.

I love how you’ve captured Cyn’s innocence, which is almost childlike at times. By putting his trust in Shea, he’s opened himself to the commander’s unit-cum-friends, and it’s a joy to see Cyn appreciating their bond. I get the sense he didn’t know he was starved for friendship until now and he can’t quite fathom someone being interested in him as an individual, let alone those people being lycans. (Never mind Shea’s confession at the chapter’s end and the heart fluttering it’ll cause!)

The easy camaraderie between Jaime and Shea will definitely make it easier for Cyn to accept his place among them.

I found myself smiling stupidly throughout the chapter. When Cyn meets Kara, you’re gonna break my face. 

I love the concept of the deer shapeshifter and their nomadic lifestyle! It is super cookie cutter! Cyn has had some traveling companions along the way, but I'm hesitant to say if he has actually had a friend before. 

These wolves are such a culture shock to him, and once we they bring him into their society, our little deer is going to need some time to acclimate to the new civilized world around him. 

Forget Kara, because this comment broke my face! I woke my husband from my laughter! I can not wait for Cyn to meet Kara!!!

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I just wanted to say again I am really enjoying this story! I am a sucker for the big guy/little guy dynamic in a romance. You are doing an amazing job writing the dialogue and dynamic between Cyn and Shea. Thanks. 

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5 minutes ago, JeffreyL said:

I just wanted to say again I am really enjoying this story! I am a sucker for the big guy/little guy dynamic in a romance. You are doing an amazing job writing the dialogue and dynamic between Cyn and Shea. Thanks. 

Thanks, Jeffrey! I'm working on Chapter 8 as we speak, and will probably have it posted in several hours. It's going to be an eye-opener, that's for sure. *sigh* Poor Cyn.

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Cyn is slowly beginning to trust lycans, at least some lycans. Now there is the prospect of romance with one too.

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Yaaasss! I love new love. Especially between two beings I really like.

It is likely to be one hella ride but considering the two beings concerned, well worth it. They both seem like lovely Weres.

Wonder if Cyn will eventually become a Pack Member, will eventually join the Pack's Tracking Team or if there is another Team that his speed would benefit, etc.

Oooo...he could be the Liaison between other Cern and the EC. They need to ensure that word gets out to other Cern, etc about the law. Of course, they also need to ensure that predatory Were's follow said law as well. Maybe they can use Eike as an example. Especially considering his Position, etc.


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1 hour ago, Mrsgnomie said:

This was so adorably written. 🥰🥰 I love Cyn. 

Just wait, he gets more adorkable. 

GIF by State Champs

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Cyn only mentioned his mother. Dad a dead-beat buck? I can only begin to imagine what Cyn doesn’t know about the (human) world.

You go Sheamus! Smooth talking lycan…

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1 hour ago, Dan South said:

Cyn only mentioned his mother. Dad a dead-beat buck? I can only begin to imagine what Cyn doesn’t know about the (human) world.

You go Sheamus! Smooth talking lycan…

Dead-beat buck!!! I'm done. That's hilarious. 

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