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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.

Love in the Shadows - 26. Chapter 26: Godly Guidance

“I am Bol. God of Order.”

Mason and Caleb were quiet. Speechless. As Caleb knelt on the hardwood floor, his suspicions were confirmed. I knew he was a God...but to know which one...Bol, the God of Order. There is a God standing before us.

“While I do appreciate the praise, young lion, I did not set out on this journey as a social endeavor.” Bol’s eyes darted to Caleb, then to Mason. “It is of the utmost importance I-”

Dave walked in with the phone in his hand and directed his attention to Mason. “Alpha, Doc is on the way to...help...Vincent...who is...okay?” All eyes were on the Beta, but Dave took note of Vincent’s white irises. “Umm...did I miss something?”

“Dave, text Doc and let him know everything is under control. And yes, you missed something.” Mason didn’t mean to be comical, but he couldn’t help but let out a chuckle. “Finish that text and come meet our new friend.”

Bol cocked his head at the Alpha. Humanity and its relative species have always intrigued me. A deity of the celestial world arrives, causing a calamity to a loved one, and they tend to find the light in all situations. Perhaps Aliz was correct in giving these people a reason to be hopeful. But to name me as a friend. This...is new. “I trust that you three are to be trusted with the safety of the body that I possess?”

The Beta wolf nearly dropped the phone as he thumbed his message. “I’m sorry, come again?”

Mason walked over to his friend and whispered in his ear. “So...no need to be alarmed, but he says that he is Bol. As of now, I trust his statement.”

Averting his eyes between his phone, Mason, and Vincent’s standing figure, Dave had no idea how to comprehend the missed development. Bol. As in Bol...the God? “That is correct, shapeshifter.” Dave shot his gaze up to Vincent. And he can hear my thoughts? “That is correct, as well.” Okay. This is officially crazy! “I can not apologize for my abilities, but I ask that you do your best to stray any unnecessary thoughts away from your minds. Now, can one of you answer my question? Are you three in charge of protecting this body?”

“Yes.” Mason turned and addressed the deity. “My name is Mason Wilson. I am the Alpha wolf shifter of the local pack. I am also the destined mate for Vincent Bolton, the body that you are currently...inhabiting. Please do accept my apology beforehand, but I do have some reserved concerns about this little meeting here. I know of a few mythical creatures capable of possessing a human body. I understand that I am asking...a God this question, but is there a way to verify that you are indeed...Bol, the God of Order.”

Bol squinted his eyes towards the Alpha shapeshifter and took a step forward to evaluate the large man. “Your question is of valid concern, showing me that you are also intelligent beyond your young age. May I ask that you hold out your hand. I only need to examine it.” Nodding, Mason held out his open palm to the God. The smaller figure bobbed and weaved his head around the hand to view it from all angles, and asked for it to be flipped as to see Mason’s knuckles. “I see…

“Your name is Mason Wilson. You were born on the human’s time date of the twenty-seventh day of June in the year 1993. Born by your mother, Elaine, and father, Leidolf, at the Owensville County Memorial Hospital, and delivered to this world by Doctor Jackson Hart. You work on a farming plantation, preferring to survey the fields of crops, compared to your detestment of the paperwork to maintain the business.” With the Alpha’s jaw hanging in the air, Bol moved his attention to the house they stood in. He knelt to the floor and placed his hand on a singular plank. “This wood...yes...came from a red oak tree...in an area you refer to as Virginia. The tree was approximately seventy-four years old when it was cut down by a lumberjack by the name of...Brandon Leibering. Oh...oh...poor human. He died in a fire started by a lightning strike to his dwelling, and passed on in his sleep."

Mason was in total disbelief. From both the fact that only a God would have such information, and the fact that the being that stood in his mate’s shoes was a God! “I’m sorry for doubting you, Lord Bol. I am sure, without a doubt, you are who you say you are. And please pardon my earlier outbursts. I’m not sure if you are aware of the harm you caused my mate as you inhabited his body.”

Standing back upright, Bol stared emotionless at the Alpha. “Your curiosity needed to be satiated, as well as your suspicion. It is of importance to know who you speak with, and their intentions. As I have spoken of before, you are wise, and asked a question of reasonable inquisition. In regards to this body, I am completely aware of the suffering I have caused. For that, I urge you to give Vincent my dearest apologies.

“But I must now ask for an answer to my earlier question: are you three to be trusted? To protect and guard the body of this human?”

“Yes, sir. As his mate, I will protect him with my life. These two are my personal council, and have made the pledge to do the same. Vincent is almost always with one of the three of us at all times.”

Bol nodded and approached Mason once again. “This is good news. I come here to bear a warning to Vincent, as well as you three. As a warning from a God, I do...pray...that you take this of the utmost importance…

“This human needs to be kept alive.”

Mason widened his eyes until his eyelids burned. Knowing his thoughts wouldn’t be kept to himself, the Alpha opened his mouth. “That was already the goal, sir. But I take it that with this coming from you, that Vincent isn’t just a normal mage.”

“No...he is not. He has aligned his fate in a way that is destined to collide with another. Someone who is to be expected to cause an unpleasant amount of suffering, should he remain unprovoked. You refer to him as Stefan Gregoro.”

A light growl left the wolf’s lips at the murderer’s name being mentioned in his house. “Rest assured, that man will not be breathing for long. Vincent spoke with him earlier.”

Crossing the body’s arms, Bol closed his eyes for a moment. “I am aware of yours and Vincent's wishes, but I'm going to restate my dictation. This human needs to remain alive. My brothers and sisters have kept watch over him for a couple of years now, as well as Stefan." Bol paced past the trio of shifters and turned abruptly.

"Should the destined battle between the two prove fatal...for Vincent...let us just say we should do our best to avoid that scenario."

Mason's heart sunk to his stomach. "Do...you mean...there's a chance Vincent could lose this fight?" Shivers ran throughout his body, from his mind to his toes.

The deity crossed his arms. "Every few years, my sister receives a Destiny that must be carried out. Sometimes, as such this case, we must intervene in the human world, in order to maintain the balance. This foretold Destiny's prophecy...appears to be unknown to us, including Aliz. Simply put…" Dropping his arms, Bol stared down Mason. "There is no foretold champion of this upcoming battle, but we can view the aftermath of the Fate after each human has won.

"Needless to say...I would not have intervened here if Stefan's victory would cause sunshine and fields of flowers."

Dave ran his hand across his head and spoke forward. "And if I remember my studies from college, Gods are incapable of directly interfering in human matters, correct?"

The God turned his head to Dave for the second time this evening. He walked up to the shifter and gently lifted the man's large hand. "David Triggs...thirty years of age...yes…" The wolf was enamoured by Bol as he read off his life's story. A furrowed brow crept on the face of the God and tilted his eyes upward. "I recommend you remove those tobacco twigs from your life. Remove them, and you won't be in the ground in twenty years." Bol stepped back as Dave nearly fell to his knees in astonishment. "Your knowledge is correct. We cannot inject ourselves in this matter in a forceful way. We may only push certain factors into place."

Looking between the three shifters, Bol became stern with his warning. "Failure is not an option. It is under my celestial jurisdiction to maintain order of life's natural balance. Is that clear, shapeshifters?"

All three members of the pack council stood tall with pride. "Yes, sir!" With a nod of agreement, Bol looked to Mason.

"Mason Wilson. You are to care for this man. With all your heart and soul. I have been absent in the matter of mythical creature bondings, as I have had no previous interest. Your undying loyalty to Vincent has changed my opinion towards them. I hope you find reassurance in that."

With a smile, Mason nodded and outstretched his arm. "Knowing that, Lord Bol...it fills my body with pride and joy. Thank you."

Bol gazed upon the hand within his reach. "You briefly mentioned it, but you gave me the title of friend. No one, of this plane of existence, or any other, has done such a thing." He grasped the hand firmly as Mason admired the warmth of the contact. "I saw through your soul as you said the word. You truly meant what you spoke. You are certainly a distinguished individual, shapeshifter. I recommend you hold to that...friend."

Mason's smile grew in size as he let the compliment course through his veins. "I know you're a God and all, but if you need anything, you know where to find me. Just try not to hurt my mate like that again."

A swift exhalation left Bol's nose. "And I will hold to that promise of yours, Mason. Both of them. As needed, I can possess Vincent's body, but it will no longer require him to go through such suffering."

"So...you can slip in all willy nilly?"

"That is correct, but I shall only do so when I deem it necessary. Consider it a partial connection to his mind. Should he ever need to speak with me, he only needs to pray and I can converse with him in his mind.”

That sounds pretty cool! I wouldn’t mind being able to speak with a God, especially to get some advice every now and then. “However, Mason.” The Alpha remembered that the God can listen to inner thoughts and grinned sheepishly. “My connection with Vincent is not to be used for trivial purposes. I came here to give the warning, to offer my support for Vincent and the ones who protect him. With you three here to support this human, I feel confident for his development to continue. I must take my leave, as I am needed elsewhere in multiple different planes. Vincent will require several hours of rest, but he should feel no aftermath from my possession.”

Taking a seat on the nearby couch, Bol stared at Mason. “Until next time...friends.” Bol closed his eyes. After a moment, Mason felt the power emanating from Vincent’s body dissipate and watched as his mate’s body fell limp and onto his side.

Well...that...was something! Today has been something of a dream… “Alpha.” His Enforcer’s voice caused Mason to turn to his friend. “About earlier...before Lord Bol introduced himself…”

“Caleb. Your interruption is beyond excused. Knowing now that it was Bol inside my mate, I’m glad you told me to take a chill pill.” Looking between his council members, Mason sighed and smiled at them. “I may end up irritated, but you two are to interrupt me anytime you feel that I’m about to do something stupid.”

Dave chuckled at his boss. “Yeah, we know. But what does a God showing up mean?”

“I’m not sure, Dave, but we should heed his words. We need to protect Vincent, and he needs to win his fight with Stefan. No question about it.”

The lion stepped forward and examined the passed out human. “Hate to cut the talking short, but I think this could wait until tomorrow. Your mate could use as much rest as possible.”

Mason lovingly stared at his sleeping mate. “I agree. We’ve had enough excitement for one day. Head on home, you two. We can discuss more tomorrow. Meet here around noon?” Dave agreed to the time since he and Vincent were off work, and Caleb stated he could be by earlier in the morning. “How about your family stops by for breakfast? I think it would be nice to get Vinnie’s mind off all the craziness going on.”

Caleb gleamed at the mention of food. “Sounds good to me! Dave, you coming?”

“Sorry, but that’s a no from me.” Dave pulled out his pack of cigarettes and shook his head. “I’m sleeping the fuck in! I haven’t had a chance to turn off my alarms in so long!” As the wolf put the tobacco filter in his mouth, he recalled the advice from the God of Order. Grumbling, he placed the cigarette back in the package. Mason and Caleb stared in awe of their friend. “What? You heard the God. I either stop smoking or I’m out in twenty, and I’d rather be around a little bit longer than that.”

The Alpha found his Beta’s new goal admirable. “I wish you the best of luck on that, Dave. But I’ll see you guys tomorrow. I’m going to get Vincent to bed.” With nods from his council, the wolf and lion departed, and Mason lifted his mate gingerly. My mate...you never cease to amaze me. You are a brilliant mage, an Alpha wolf in development, and now an ambassador for the God of Order. Hopefully one day, we will both be able to sit down and enjoy a calm, peaceful life. Carrying Vincent and laying him on the bed, Mason did his best to remove the excess clothes on his mate.

Once satisfied that his mate would be comfortable during his slumber, Mason stripped himself and crawled into bed. He propped his head up with his hand while digging his elbow into the mattress. Looking at Vincent, the wolf draped his arm over the smaller man’s chest and nodded off to sleep.

***

The two shifters outstretched themselves in their chairs with full bellies. I...can’t eat...another bite…

“Mr. Alvey? Kaplan? Are you alive over there?” Cyrus sat with his back leaned back, basking in the excellence of his meal. He kept a part of his vision on the wolf and couldn’t help but giggle at how bloated his accompaniment seemed. Maybe I shouldn’t have ordered us a second main course…

Kaplan barely possessed the willpower to lift his head, but he nodded to let the Alpha know he was still breathing. “Yes, Alpha...I’m good. Just...haven’t had a full meal like that in a while.”

Another velvety chuckle left the panda’s suave lips. “Well, that is great to know.” Cyrus learned much as they spoke over dinner. The Beta explained how Tierney had numerous Betas and a handful of Enforcers scattered strategically throughout the state, but primarily focused on the different metropolitan areas. That seems like an intelligent plan for conveying order and law for a pack. And for each Beta to be adept in topics needed to run a large organization...that is very smart. Each one acts as a specialized adviser. Kaplan, the Beta over laws and ordinances. The one over in Queens for housing development...oh dear...I have done forgotten their names!

The bear heard a phone vibration nearby, and deduced it was coming from Kaplan’s pocket. “You might want to get that, Mister Lawyer Man.” Kaplan blinked his eyes and lifted his head back to an even level. Fishing the device from his pocket, he looked at the screen and quickly swiped to answer.

“Yes, Alpha...yes, sir. Yes, he is here with me...alright, sir.” Kaplan took the phone from his face and handed it to Cyrus. “Alpha Scott wants you, sir.” A thin grin curled on Cyrus’ face as he palmed the phone.

“Alpha Scott! What a pleasure! Your Beta has incredible manners, especially during dinner. How may I help you?”

“Ha! Well, Kaplan is one of my better behaved Betas. If you two are almost finished, I would like for you to come by my home for a while. Some issues have risen, and having you both here would be beneficial.”

“Certainly. We just finished. Consider us on our way.”

“Thank you, Cyrus. I’ll have the minibar set up.”

Oooh! I could use some more of that scotch! That stuff is delightful! “I can not wait! Ta-ta!” Cyrus handed the phone back to Kaplan, who saw that the call was ended by Tierney. With a look of seated neglect, he pocketed his device and returned his attention to the bear. “Well, Mr. Alvey. It seems we are being summoned. Would you care to take ownership of our ride to the Alpha’s manor?”

“Of course, Alpha Vonder. I have my car parked in the garage near the courthouse.” With a sense of purpose, Cyrus laid out three one-hundred dollar bills on the table and gave their waitress a nod from across the room.

As the waitress began her approach, Cyrus was already standing and clothing himself with his large pea coat. The bear whispered as he stared her down. “My dear, whatever remains from the total is yours to keep. You were a brilliant waitress, and I do hope to see you again.” Blushing from the generous tip, the thin waitress whispered a thank you and bared her neck to the Beta as she began to clean the table.

Kaplan smirked and dipped his head closer to the waitress. “Thank you for the hospitality. May I have your name, miss?”

Standing straight once more, the waitress smiled at the Beta. “Caityln, Beta Alvey.”

The Beta smiled and let his voice change to a more calmer tone. “Well, Miss Caitlyn, I’d like to introduce you to Alpha Cyrus Vonder. He will be assuming power to our pack after Alpha Scott’s retirement.”

Caitlyn was startled at the news and immediately bared her neck to Cyrus. “I apologize, Alpha Vonder! If I knew, I-”

“My sweet!” Cyrus dashed in front of her with mind-boggling speed and latched on to her hand. She darted her eyes to meet his as he spoke so softly. “Caitlyn, was it? I am not one for traditional submission due to statused hierarchy. While I am moved that you feel so strong to make my experience memorable, it is not necessary...because you already accomplished the goal. This was a fantastic meal, and I will be coming back again very soon. So...do me a favor, as an order from the future Alpha of this pack...and go tell the kitchen staff who prepared our meal that they are the best in this city.” A gleam struck Caitlyn’s eyes as Cyrus gave his first unofficial order. “And you better make it believable, or I’ll have to go back there and do it myself.” With the widest smile, he lifted the waitress’ hand, kissed the knuckle, and began his trek to the exit. “Coming…Beta Alvey?”

“Coming, sir.” Kaplan followed Cyrus out onto the street and pointed out the direction of the parking garage. “I apologize, sir. I didn’t mean to create a scene just now.”

A loud giggle escaped the large panda. “My dear, Kaplan! That was most entertaining! Why would you apologize for something like that? We just made that girl’s week!” Receiving a confused look from the Beta caused another laugh to burst out of Cyrus. “She just served on a celebrity she didn’t know, and now I told her to go tell the kitchen staff, to whom, I’m assuming will have a pack member amongst them, that they just created one of the finest dishes we have ever had. Doesn’t that make you feel good? All warm and fuzzy inside?”

Searching within himself, Kaplan did feel positive about the Alpha’s speech to the waitress. Yeah, he really made her day! He was so kind...so sweet to her. A bolt of realization flashed through the wolf’s mind. Am...I...jealous?! Of her? He looked up to the panda and saw a genuine smile, earning the lightest of giggles. My Gods...what the Hell is wrong with me? I can’t! There is no way I should be within the realm of possibility of falling for an Alpha like Cyrus! That’s...just simply outrageous...completely preposterous!

“It seems you have something detrimental on your mind, Mr. Alvey?” The smooth and suave voice almost startled Kaplan as he looked at Cyrus once more. “You do know you can share anything with me, right? After all, should you decide to stay in New York, I would like to keep you on as a Beta.”

Keep me...as a Beta.\? A wave of relief crashed into one of tragedy. At least I can be by his side when he needs advice. I mean...how can someone like me even attempt to...to court with a man like him. “It is alright, sir. I just had some inner thoughts that I had to contend with. Everything is fine.”

A deep-toned hum vibrated through the air as Cyrus smelt the anxiety pouring from the smaller man. “I will warn you once, young Beta.” The Alpha paused his movement and stared down the wolf with his emerald irises. “I...do not like...being lied to.” Putting away his shifted eyes, Cyrus gave his calm voice another chance to shine. “Now, please...whatever is going on in that little head of yours, I want to hear it. Here...sit with me.” Waving his hand to a nearby bench halfway up the block, the two walked to it and sat. “You are an advisor to an Alpha, and I may not be that Alpha, but I respect your title and the words inside your mind and soul. I would like to hear them.”

Kaplan swallowed and prepared his mind to speak. “Well...um...sir…”

“Calm your nerves, Kaplan. You see how open I am? I do not stress about my words, for my words are true. This was accepted a long time ago in my life. Nothing is more true in this world than the words from the heart. And I wish to hear yours.” Cyrus placed his hand on the knee of his company. “Do I need to say please?”

A laugh came from the wolf’s lips and mentally accepted the Alpha’s advice as a sound life lesson. “Thank you, Cyrus...and pardon me for not speaking my mind. The...topic that I was thinking about is very...sensitive. If I were in my old pack, I would have been-”

“Beaten? Struck? ...Exiled?” Cyrus’ eyes were beginning to turn emerald again, but he kept them on simmer. “You...are not in that pack any longer. You...have no need to worry about such barbaric traditions. Whether it be Alpha Scott’s or mine, your status as a member of our pack is never to be feared.” Shaking his head, Cyrus rid himself of his green irises. “Now...what is on your mind? And whatever it may be, I will do my best to handle it.”

On the edge of breaking down, Kaplan sniffed and wiped his eyes on his coat sleeve. “Thank you again. I believe I have made up my mind on whether or not to move to Kentucky. And I think I will stay here. For a couple of reasons. I don’t doubt your abilities as an Alpha, but I think you could use me here.”

Mhmm...yes. I could definitely use you, my little Beta. The thought was so sudden, Cyrus had to do a mental double-take. Oh, my! What a nasty little thought. It was welcome, but I...well, I wouldn’t mind a little unprofessional behavior. But let’s keep that thought to ourselves for a moment. “I find this very reassuring, Kaplan. I would be honored to have you as my Beta.” That statement created a large smile on the Beta wolf, and that made Cyrus’ panda gleeful. “And the other-”

Cyrus’ phone began to ring loudly, interrupting his question. Oh, Terik! You love to play with awkward timing, don’t you? After cursing one of the Gods, he looked to see who was calling. Ah...Alpha Meyer. “Pardon me, Kaplan. I must take this call. It’s an Alpha from one of my past projects in Germany.” Kaplan was astounded as Cyrus answered the phone and began speaking the German language fluently.

I forget how important of a person he is! He’s traveled the world, fixing the problems across packs, and becoming a figure head in the science of dynamics and structure. The wolf listened as the panda spoke a language that sounded like pure gibberish to his ears. After a couple minutes of drawn-out sentences and a few chuckles, Cyrus was preparing to end the call. “Bis bald, Alpha Meyer.” Pushing the phone into his jacket pocket, he returned his attention to Kaplan. “Apologies. It seems like Alpha Meyer’s pack in Munich has been flourishing after my departure not too long ago. He felt the need to call and thank me for my services.”

“That was generous of him! I hate to pry, sir, but how many languages do you speak?”

A pursed smile ran across Cyrus’ face at the question. “Just three, so far. English, German, and Spanish. I believe I am done learning new languages, as it takes up a lot of time and energy to perfect.”

Enamoured by the Alpha’s knowledge, Kaplan smiled as they continued walking. The two brought up different situations and scenarios where their patience and skills were put to the test. Before they realized how much time had passed, they arrived at Kaplan’s black Prius and he began driving towards Tierney’s estate.

Tierney’s home was a rather large three bedroom two bathroom apartment in the Chelsea area of Manhattan, not too far from Kaplan and Cyrus's current location. A short drive later, the wolf found a parking spot nearby. “What a lovely area! Plenty of shops and food within walking distance! I might have to give Tierney a piece of my mind for not letting me know of this lovely little part of the city.”

Kaplan laughed at Cyrus’ empty threat as he led them up the staircase and was buzzed into the complex. Once they climbed the dirt brown carpeted staircase, Tierney opened the door to his apartment and welcomed the shifters in. Beyond impressed, Cyrus took in the details of the apartment. My, my! He fell in love with the deep brown and polished wooden floorboards, tan and blood-red walls, and luxurious furniture that littered the living room. Multiple full bookcases filled the walls leading to the spotless and rarely used kitchen.

“Alpha Scott. You requested our presence?” Cyrus removed his coat and gestured as to find a place to lay it.

“Cyrus, feel free to make yourself at home. And you too, Kap. I shouldn’t have to remind you every time you’re over here.” The guests took their coats and laid them on the back of the couch as Tierney opened his liquor cabinet to retrieve some refreshments. “And yes, I wished to have your opinion on a small detail in regards to the move to Kentucky.” Kaplan tried his best to keep his nerves intact as the Bluegrass state was brought up.

Is...Kaplan nervous about the move? Or has something happened? “Kap? Something wrong?” Tierney shared a look of concern with his most trusted Beta as he smelt the wolf’s emotions rock throughout his body.

Kaplan’s nerves couldn’t be contained, but he recollected on Cyrus’ words at dinner. “Actually...Alpha Scott...I’m...I have something to tell you. A couple somethings, actually.”

“Hopefully nothing serious, Kap. Are you alright?”

The Beta took a seat on the leather couch as he compiled his thoughts and debated how to bring them forward. Seeing his friend take a seat, he quickly followed suit after pouring several glasses of scotch for the three of the men. “Whatever you have on your mind, you can tell us. We’re your friends here.”

Nodding, Kaplan gave a weak smile to the coffee table. “Well, I’ve already discussed it all with Alpha Vonder. He said I should follow my heart...and to trust the words in my soul.”

“As you should, my Beta. Let us hear it.” Tierney’s heart was racing as he could only guess what Kaplan had to say. Is it his health? Family? His old pack coming back at him?

Kaplan looked Tierney in the eyes with tears beginning to form. “I’m gay.”

The Alphas looked at the wolf in silence. Cyrus kept his eyes darting between the wolves, awaiting what words would appear next. The Alpha wolf kept his glass in his hand for the longest time, but quickly took a sip and let a chuckle permeate through his home. “Is that all you got? Kap, I’ve known for quite some time, bud! I mean, it’s good to finally hear you say it yourself. I’m proud of you, Kaplan!”

The gates were pulled by the words of the man he considered his father. Tears flowed down the Beta’s cheeks as he was accepted by Tierney for who he was. “Y-You knew?”

“Of course I knew, Kap! I mean, I saw those sly looks you kept giving Dirk when he wasn’t paying attention. There is nothing to be ashamed of! You are away from the clutches of that pile of trash Alpha, and you are the Beta of one of the strongest Alphas in the world. No one would dare question you, least of all, your sexual preferences.”

“Hear, hear!” Cyrus felt the need to speak forward. “Like I said, your Alpha would understand. And look! He does.”

Overbeared by the level of support, Kaplan bawled. Once again, Cyrus lent his handkerchief to dry the man’s tears. “Thank you. Both of you.”

Tierney moved upward and crossed to sit next to his Beta. “Any time. You can come to me for anything, Kap. I’ll drop everything, every time.”

Appreciative of his Alpha, Kaplan chuffed and dabbed his eyes. “Thank you, Alpha Scott. But...but to answer your question...no.”

Cocking his head, Tierney became confused. “No? What question?”

“You asked if that was all I had...the answer is no.” Tierney’s heart sank back down as he prepared for another issue to be raised. “I’ve been thinking about this for several days…”

“Well if you have been thinking for that long, it has to be important.” The Alpha clapped his hand onto Kaplan’s knee. “Whatever causes you to think, I know it deserves my attention. Let me have it.”

Taking a deep swallow of every drop of saliva in his mouth, Kaplan tried to muster up the courage to speak. I...I can’t! I can’t do that to Alpha Scott! He’s given me the world!

“Young Beta.” Kaplan’s eyes blinked as he felt a hand touch his shoulder. Glancing upward, he found Cyrus’ warm and soft touch to be reassuring. “It is okay. Take the time you need. Alpha Scott isn’t going anywhere until you are comfortable with what you have to say.”

“Yeah. What he said.” Tierney’s cockeyed grin showed as he gave a wink to Cyrus, thanking him for the assistance. “I’m staying right here until you want to tell me what it is. I’ll even delay my move to Kentuc-”

“I’m staying here!” Every muscle in Kaplan’s body trembled as he almost shouted his statement. Both Alphas were in shock at the statement, even if Cyrus already knew the statement’s validity. “I’m...I’m staying in New York. I’m sorry, Alpha Scott, but I just don’t see...I can’t do as much good in Kentucky than what I’m doing here. You must think I’m some sort of scared little b-”

A tight embrace latched onto his smaller frame before he could squeak out the rest of his sentence. Kaplan quickly recognized Tierney’s scent on him and felt the body pressing into him, convulsing once every few seconds. Widening his eyes as he smelt the emotion rushing off the Alpha, Kaplan realized what was happening. He’s...crying. He’s going to miss me! He’s accepted it!

“Kaplan Alvey. I have never been so proud of you, in this moment. I can not imagine how hard this decision has been on you.” He grasped Kaplan’s shoulders and moved him to stare into his tear-filled eyes. “And I have been a fool! You are in your prime, and I was ready to drag you out of it.”

The Beta bit his lip in an effort to stop himself from crying even harder. “You weren’t drag-”

“Let me finish, my Beta.” The smaller wolf quickly grew quiet as Tierney wiped his eyes. “You have grown so much in these past several years in my personal council. But I couldn’t have imagined that you would grow so much as to discern where your proper place was in the world. And I can not agree more with your decision. This...is your home. New York is your home...not Kentucky. I have no idea how many people, shifters or humans, you have helped through your law practice, but I believe the numbers would be astronomical. The lives you’ve touched, and the ones you will continue to touch...will outweigh my personal desire to have you at my side.”

Tierney let go of his Beta and swiftly downed his entire glass of burning liquid, breathing outward to relieve his throat of the tingling sensation. “I want you to understand that there will never be a good-bye between us, Kap. There will be countless visits between us, whether I come back to New York, or you to Kentucky. But...I give my approval for you to stay here.”

Kaplan’s lips quivered as he launched himself into the Alpha’s arms once more. “Alpha Scott! I’m so sorry!”

Gripping the medium length black hair on the back of the wolf’s head, Tierney dug Kaplan’s head into his shoulder. “There is no need for apologies. You are following your destiny! You wouldn’t want to disappoint Aliz, now would ya? Now...dry your tears...and join me in a toast.” The Alpha began to rise, but Cyrus already made it to the kitchen and held the scotch bottle. Pouring more liquor into Tierney’s glass, the panda set the bottle onto the coffee table, certain that bottle would be gone within the hour.

“To Kaplan!” Tierney lifted his glass high, awaiting for the other shifters to join him. “The best Beta I have ever had in my presence! And the best damned lawyer in all of New York City! Hell...the world! May Bol represent him in his finest hour!” The two Alphas gulped the whole glass down as Kaplan sipped.

Filling their glasses once more, Kaplan felt the need to stand to toast his Alpha. “Alpha Scott...no...after all this time, I think I can finally call you...Tierney.” Smiling so hard, a single tear fell down the New York Alpha’s cheek. “You are the greatest Alpha this pack has seen in its history. Personally...you’ve been like a father to me, and I give you this vow. I may not be the most manly of men, or the toughest, or the strongest…

“...but I will be the best damned Beta this world has ever seen!”

Copyright © 2020 astone2292; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

On 12/18/2020 at 4:46 PM, Buz said:

OMGoodness. Those three made me cry. It wasn't even a sad scene. They all get what they want and need now. Well, soonish...

As for Lord Bol, what does this all mean for Vin? They cannot guarantee that Vin will win so what are they going to do about that? Just imagine when Vin finds out. He will be knocked for a six. I hope this does not mean that either Mace, Caleb or Dave will end up sacrificing themselves in the Final Battle, just to ensure the win for Vin, etc? Bol did keep mentioning them three being the protectors of Vin? Mace is his Mate, Caleb has a Mate and Cub, Dave needs a chance to get his bliss as well. It would be so hard to choose...

Vin also needs help with his Shadow Training. Are we getting a new character to do this? I just remembered the other Shadow Mage on the rooftop that time when they went to meet Stefan.

So many questions but getting all the answers means getting to the end of the story, which I defo don't want.

@Buz took the words right out of my mouth before I could type anything. Great chapter!

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Unsurprising, Vinnie has the attention of the gods; it's not necessarily good when you gain their gaze, but they seem intent on preserving his existence. On another note, Bol was nonplussed and rather taken by being seen as a friend. I guess the warning over not contacting him over trivial matters means the numbers for the Powerball are not an option.

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Wow! This chapter really had my emotions going.  First, Bol's message was definitely important as a warning of the consequences of a possible failure to overcome Stefan.  Stefan must be even more evil and powerful than I thought if he can get the gods so stirred up.  Considering how Vincent felt about the gods before, I wonder what he is going to feel now.  I would love to be a fly on the wall for his first prayer/conversation with Boll.  

Cyrus is going to make a great Alpha.  He handled the situation with Kaplan so well.  Kaplan felt so comfortable and safe with him and told him his deepest secret.  I suspect that Cyrus was pleased on many counts after their conversation.  There definitely feelings of attraction between Cyrus and Kaplan and will develop quickly once they both own up and tell it like it is with each other.  Ty was the perfect father figure for Kaplan as he supported Kaplan and expressed his joy for Kaplan's decision.  A really feel good chapter!

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6 hours ago, raven1 said:

Wow! This chapter really had my emotions going.  First, Bol's message was definitely important as a warning of the consequences of a possible failure to overcome Stefan.  Stefan must be even more evil and powerful than I thought if he can get the gods so stirred up.  Considering how Vincent felt about the gods before, I wonder what he is going to feel now.  I would love to be a fly on the wall for his first prayer/conversation with Boll.  

Cyrus is going to make a great Alpha.  He handled the situation with Kaplan so well.  Kaplan felt so comfortable and safe with him and told him his deepest secret.  I suspect that Cyrus was pleased on many counts after their conversation.  There definitely feelings of attraction between Cyrus and Kaplan and will develop quickly once they both own up and tell it like it is with each other.  Ty was the perfect father figure for Kaplan as he supported Kaplan and expressed his joy for Kaplan's decision.  A really feel good chapter!

While Stefan is evil and powerful, I wouldn't label him a threat to the celestial community. Sure, they decided to intervene in a very passive manner, but it all depends on what happens in the destiny. What does Stefan do if he beats Vincent? One must wonder...

I really fell in love with the NY crew. They became such an integral part of the series. 

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Better and better.  So perhaps this is how the divinity affinity manifests itself.  The gods can slip in and out of a properly symbiotic host.  Was Stefan's interest in this because he wanted to try to force something like this for himself, or does he also have the affinity to be a receptor?  Hmmm. Could we see a battle between the gods taking place between 2 unconscious receptors?  Maybe I'm going too far down this path.  Very anxious to see how this plays out.

And then there's Kaplan. Poor guy.  He just has no idea how much love is already focused on him.  So strong as an attorney, but so afraid of his own worth as a person.  This is the damage that comes from his first Alpha.  I think we will see huge changes in him as he accepts more from those around him, especially Cyrus.  This is going to be great!

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On 3/24/2022 at 8:42 AM, Quixo said:

Better and better.  So perhaps this is how the divinity affinity manifests itself.  The gods can slip in and out of a properly symbiotic host.  Was Stefan's interest in this because he wanted to try to force something like this for himself, or does he also have the affinity to be a receptor?  Hmmm. Could we see a battle between the gods taking place between 2 unconscious receptors?  Maybe I'm going too far down this path.  Very anxious to see how this plays out.

And then there's Kaplan. Poor guy.  He just has no idea how much love is already focused on him.  So strong as an attorney, but so afraid of his own worth as a person.  This is the damage that comes from his first Alpha.  I think we will see huge changes in him as he accepts more from those around him, especially Cyrus.  This is going to be great!

Don't know how I missed this comment! An interesting take on the divine affinity. Do either Vin of Stefan possess a trace of it? Who knows?

Kaplan is damaged, and it's going to take a big teddy bear to fix it! 

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16 hours ago, astone2292 said:

Don't know how I missed this comment! An interesting take on the divine affinity. Do either Vin of Stefan possess a trace of it? Who knows?

Kaplan is damaged, and it's going to take a big teddy bear to fix it! 

It's interesting looking back on these comments from the perspective of where I am now in the story.  That's the beauty of your writing.  It send your readers' minds spinning.

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4 hours ago, Quixo said:

It's interesting looking back on these comments from the perspective of where I am now in the story.  That's the beauty of your writing.  It send your readers' minds spinning.

It's hilarious for me. I have to reread the chapter so I don't drop spoilers!

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