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    astone2292
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Love in the Shadows - 29. Chapter 29: Holding Hands

The shifters ran, led by the Alpha couple. Dodging trees, the wind blowing through their furs, and letting their senses become hyper aware. Vincent let his heart and soul make the choices as he led his friends and family. He kept the pace relatively slow for Cyrus and Dirk's, as bears aren't known for running marathons. Yes! Yes! Run is good. Feel alive!

Hell yeah! This feels amazing! It's like if I snorted cocaine or something!

Funny human! Human drug do nothing to wolf.

Yeah, well, you get what I'm saying.

Yes! Feel great! As the wolf began going further and further into the woods, the trees began looking similar. But Vincent couldn't care. He enjoyed letting the trees become blurs as he passed them. Every so often, the wolf saw Mason give a head bob in a certain direction and let the Alpha take the lead. He know woods. I learn them now. Maybe come back and run.

Yeah, then we got to memorize Mace's woods too! Then the campgrounds'.

Lots of woods! Can't wait to run everywhere!

I gotcha, bud. But let's learn this area first.

Yes. Vincent noticed that Mason was slowing down, so he focused on preparing his legs for a brake if it would be needed. Mate, what do?

Mason's irises glowed amber orange. Food. Herd of deer ahead. The white wolf's pale blue eyes glowed at the mention of the prey. Vincent nodded his muzzle.

We share? Or we get own?

Listen, I know we're pretty hungry, but can I shut out how that...thing is gonna taste? That's going to be raw, and I don't see a stove or oven.

Human real funny! We eat. It taste good, promise you this.

Mhmm, I'm just gonna keep my eyes, nose, and mouth shut on this one. Laughing mentally at his human self, he focused on the prize as they began stalking their prey.

Lei placed himself up on Vincent's right flank and gave advice on how to take down the prey without damaging too much meat. Yes. Need advice. Haven't hunted.

You and me both. Not much hunting happened in Maryland. That, and I was a little too young to go with Dad. At the mention of the deceased parent, the wolf remembered an earlier promise.

Still need tell me about parents.

Yeah...but not during this happy moment.

Yes. But after. I want.

Will do, bud. Now go eat your deer. Just don't get antlers stuck in your teeth.

Ha! Funny joke. I like. I keep and tell others. Focusing back on his surroundings, Vincent caught sight of the herd. Gathering the group of hunters who wanted dinner or were hunting for others, Vincent led Mason, Lei, Dave, Dirk, Tierney, Morrine, and Tasha towards the herd. Caleb was urged by his mate to let her go hunting, as she hadn't stretched her legs in a while. The pack stalked the herd, gaining speed and closing the distance. Mason warned Vincent to watch his steps in order to avoid the leaves and twigs. Heeding the warning, Vincent kept his pace but placed his paws properly as to remain silent.

Mace. When do go? Looking at his mate for guidance, Vincent wanted to make sure his first prey didn’t escape.

We go anytime. We faster than deer. Getting close just feel good. You want go now?

Contemplating his two choices, the white wolf evaluated his team. The only one that could possibly come out empty handed would be himself, as he was completely inexperienced in hunting. But his wolf knew he would be successful. There would be no chance his prey would outrun him.

We go! Hunt!

Collectively, all the shifters agreed and followed the Alpha couple as they bolted towards the herd. The second Vincent lost his care for stepping on twigs and leaves, he could smell the fear from the deer. Yes! Yes! Fear me, you fools! Bounding away for their lives, the group of eight deer fled. Vincent and Mason sprinted side-by-side. From the corner of his eyes, the white wolf saw Tasha and Morrine branching off, as they picked their targets and moved in faster.

The moderate-sized eight point buck was faster than Vincent anticipated, but the wolf was still gaining speed. When the deer made a turn to the left and branched off from the group, Vincent’s eyes glowed in hunger. Mistake! He sprinted ahead and honed in on the prey. Seeing how Mason had taken a position behind him, he realized that this would be his kill. His first prey. Trekking off to the side, Vincent prepared to make his strike on the neck. But the deer kept making slight turns. Tricky. But you die! Vincent’s wolf got close enough to the deer, and lunged!

He swiped his claws at the body, letting the scent of blood fill the air. Pants and snorts from the deer as the prey knew it was injured, but kept its survival instincts strong. Vincent found that the deer’s speed had decreased significantly, so he went back on the attack. Next strike. Then done! Catching back up to the bleeding buck, Vincent lunged one more time and struck the neck, clamping down hard and twisted his head to cause further damage. He felt the heartbeat of his prey within his teeth as they soaked in the poor animal’s blood quicken, and then slowly fade.

Vincent had completed his kill. He took down his first prey. Pride flowed through the wolf’s veins as he reveled in his victory. He bent his head back and let a howl echo through the night! Human. How do feel?

I...I’m not gonna lie. That was pretty freakin’ awesome! Really do hate to admit this, but I got the taste of the deer...and I want more.

See? Good meat. Hunt fun and good.

Yeah, yeah. I guess I can get used to this. But I still want my produce and veggies in my food.

Fair. I can do. Mason’s silver wolf came to his side and nuzzled against his head. Mace! I did it! I hunt!

The silver Alpha looked between the carcass and his mate in intense pride. Good, my mate! Proud! First bite yours. Nodding towards the deer, Mason urged his mate to eat. Vincent took his first bite from the stomach and savored the taste.

Good! Good meat! Mate! Come eat. The silver wolf came to Vincent’s side and shared in their prize. They ate heartily as the power of their hunt wore down.

This is so wrong! But jeez, don’t stop, bud. It’s great!

Yes! Meat good. Messy, but good! The two wolves continued eating as Mason pointed out the better places to nitpick on the game. After several minutes, Vincent became full and strayed away from the deer, letting his mate get his fill. He laid down on the cool grass and let his body rest from the running. Tired.

Yeah, you went after that deer, bud. I could tell you were running as fast as you could. The white wolf was brought back to the world as Mason’s slightly bigger wolf laid next to him. Noticing that his pup hadn’t cleaned his muzzle yet, Mason snorted and licked a little of the blood off the white fur.

Clean mouth, pup. No napkin here. Vincent whimpered and stretched his tongue out to clean the area around his mouth. Some under chin. I get. The silver wolf’s tongue began lashing out at his mate’s face as he wiped the pink coloring in the white fur. Clean now.

Thank you, mate. Cocking his head to the side, Vincent noticed that Mason bad avoided getting any on himself. How you clean?

Flashing his golden irises, Mason let his lust flow throughout the area. Tongue...flexible. Vincent's frosty blue eyes shined as his own emotions mirrored his mate's. Let's go.

The white wolf watched Mason trek away deeper into the woods. Mate? Where go?

Deeper in woods. Away from others. The silver wolf looked at Vincent with his golden stare. You come? I want you. Driven by desire, Vincent cantered to be by Mason's side as they wandered to a secluded corner of the forest.

***

Sipping his tea, the mage stewed in his thoughts. Little Vinnie. My, he has changed. His skills has tripled since he found that little pack of dogs. Leaning back in the stiff but plush chair, he gazed into the crown molding of the vacant hotel room he had taken over.

But now...he has become quite formidable. Not only had he willingly been turned into a shapeshifter, but he has become an Alpha one. Well, I have been itching for a proper challenge. And who better than the runt who has followed my shadow for so long. I must admit, he carries an admirable amount of both patience and ambition. To come after me for over a decade...that is dedication.

I can only hope it won't be wasted. The mage reflected on the young boy, and how that night came to be. That little cockroach fed me lies. Said mythical power lies within that home. But there was nothing! I scoured that house of all it's deepest secrets. Plundered inside the darkness of their safes and closets. Then those poor people...they knew nothing of the magical world.

Then the boy. I knew from that moment he grabbed my coat. He...he would be peculiar! The faintest of magic trickled off his tears, and I knew he would follow me until the ends of the Earth.

Curiosity blasted Stefan's mind as he came to realize the destiny he was foretold. That...cockroach of a fortune teller...he wasn't referring to an item! Leaning forward, he set his cup down and folded his fingers together, interlocking them. The more he thought of his new theory, the more it made perfect sense. Several minutes pass in the blink of an eye, allowing the mage to sit in eerie silence. Until he muttered aloud.

"Is it him?"

***

The hour struck midnight and the pack trekked into the backyard of the former Alpha's. Those who hunted had their fill, and the who basked in the presence of their friends still glowed from a glorious evening. As the animals trickled in from the forest, they shifted and gathered their clothes, chilled by the evening's temperature.

Lei and Elaine were the first to arrive to the porch. Shifting back to their human form, they quickly threw their clothes on and turned on the small gas heater nearby. "That was a real treat, my Leidolf! Vincent's wolf was absolutely stunning!"

The Alpha nodded and took his mate's hand to bring her closer. "It was a great Turning Day! And what a night for a hunt! Reminds me that we should go out for runs more often. Your wolf is as beautiful as ever, Ellie." Pressing his lips against her, they felt the warmth between each other and their bond. "The Gods only know where those two ran off to."

"Oh, let them be! We were young once too, remember?"

A deep and sultry growl rumbled through Lei's throat. "We're still young too, my mate." He kept his voice low as he let the passion drip from his aura. "After everyone leaves, I think I'll remind you how young we are…"

Elaine accepted the wave of lust her man sent towards her bond and fell into his strong arms. "Oh, Lei…"

Coming from the treeline, the couple could smell the others were approaching. They saw Tierney's wolf and Morrine's tiger canter towards the wooden deck, playfully swatting their paws at one another and rubbed their sides. Lei chuckled at the two's interactions. "Looks like we won't be the only young ones at it tonight."

Elaine's mouth dropped and she tapped the Alpha on the shoulder in disbelief. Just as she was about say a remark about Lei's statement, Tierney and Morrine shifted. The couple gathered their clothes and made a beeline for the house. Whizzing past Lei, the Owensville Alpha couldn't but laugh heartily as he got a glimpse of Tierney's bright red eyes as he tugged on Morrine's hand.

Lei called out as the back door closed. "There's a spare set of sheets in the closet, Ty!"

His mate, still in her wolf's clutches dug her face in his chest in secretive amusement. "Do you enjoy embarrassing everyone around you?"

"Of course, my dear! There's a comedy to it. Besides, you know how long-distance relationships are. We were in that boat once before."

Sighing, the frost mage reminisced their times apart from on another during his tours. "I suppose you're right about that. The heart misses the other over distance. Those two are meant for each other, aren't they?"

"I believe so, my sweet. Just as we were meant to be. Aliz may not have destined us like our son and his mate, but she sure pushed us together." The Wilson's shared a smoldering kiss and made their way to the master bedroom with a burning passion in their hearts.

Caleb and Tasha mosied their way out of the woods shortly after, followed by Kaplan and Cyrus, who strode next to another. The Gage family found their clothes piles, turned, and robed themselves. The Enforcer and his mate stayed close to one another as they prepared to leave. "Didn't Lei and Elaine get out first?"

The lion listened and found that stairs were being climbed. All three of the bedrooms are on the second story, so they're probably the ones inside...oh...and I guess Ty and Morr made their way as well, from the sounds of it. "Yep, they're inside, my mate."

Tasha bobbed her head as she listened. "Mhmm! Damn, they're all about to start getting busy!"

"Not so loud, darling." He placed himself behind his leopardess and caressed the woman he fell in love with.

Kaplan was exhausted. Debilitated. Bushwacked. He hadn’t been a part of a hard run like that in months. My...My Gods! These country wolves...they...they just keep running! The cream-furred wolf couldn’t help but collapse on the cool grass in an effort to regain his breath. Do...do I need to start working out? Oh, Gods...I don’t have time for that!

Still in his panda form, Cyrus let out a series of breathed grunts, simulating his patented giggle as he sat next to the wolf. Kaplan funny. He wolf, but no run long time. Like me.

That’s a city boy for you! Spends his time in the concrete jungle with no woods to roam. Of course he has a smaller amount of stamina.

Shame. I want stamina!

My, my! My bear! What is with you as of late? It normally takes you months to be parched for action like this.

Confused as well. Beta wolf is...interesting. Still want distance. But...I want...I want to be with wolf.

Well...I’ll be! Tell me, my panda. What exactly do you want with Kaplan?

Now, don’t be shy with me. You know that we share a brain, correct?

...I want hand. Hold hand. Cyrus’ human mind could tell his panda was trembling in conflicted thought. He not true mate...but I want him be.

Are...are you saying...that you already know you want Kaplan to be our mate? My friend...where is this decision coming from? You normally take months just to decide if someone is worth being trustworthy.

Yes...but wolf different. He broken. Like us. He fix himself. Like us.

An astute observation! Yes, he has had a troubled past, and...I admit, it attracted me to him. But, my friend, are you certain that you wish to pursue courtship to a further level?

...Yes…

Then it shall be so. Cyrus got off his bum and ventured to Kaplan’s pile of clothes that lay near a thin tree. He grabbed them gently with his mouth to carry them to the wolf. Seeing the gesture, Kaplan quickly snorted and began his shift. As he stood on both of his human legs, he began to get his pants on. But Cyrus couldn’t help but take a peek at the man his panda had become infatuated with. Hmm...decent equipment, both front and back.

I like. But not yet. Too soon.

I agree, my bear. Are you ready to hold his hand?

Yes. I want. Chuckling at his bear’s sudden demands, Cyrus ventured to grab his own clothes that were thrown about all over the porch. Not show! Not show back yet!

I agree with that also. No need to have him run away just yet. The panda paced over to a thick tree with his pants in his mouth. Once certain that the back of his body was shielded from wandering eyes, the black and white fur receded back in his body. The large man quickly clothed himself, ensuring that his scars were covered. He stepped out to greet the Beta. “Mr. Alvey? Still winded?”

“Hah! Yeah! It’s been so long since I ran like that! As good as it feels, I think I’d rather just lay and watch everyone else have fun.”

Cyrus’ panda patted his mind as he promoted his agreement with the wolf. “My bear shares your thoughts, young Beta. My panda doesn’t make too many appearances as his dietary habits tend to show up.”

Kaplan rubbed his head, understanding the Alpha’s conundrum. “Right, kinda hard to find bamboo growing in Kentucky.”

“Yes. I usually import a large shipment or so every two weeks to make sure my panda is content.”

The Beta nodded, but began to be curious. I thought pandas were omnivorous? They primarily eat bamboo, but they’ve been known to eat meat if the mood takes them. “I apologize, Cyrus, but aren’t panda bears omnivorous?”

A delighted grin shined on Cyrus’ face. “Very good, Mr. Alvey. Yes, my bear likes meat on occasion. I almost even joined in on the hunt. Some venison would have been a nice treat. But his desire to sit and enjoy these magical woods trumped any other feeling. Tierney was right...these woods hold a calming notion. I can see now why he wishes to retire here.”

Kaplan furrowed his brow. “You...you like it here too?”

Watching the wolf devolve into an easily tracked thought process, Cyrus giggled and stepped forward to get closer to the shorter man. "Yes indeed. But I can see where your thoughts are guiding you, young Beta. I'm still in my prime, and I have no intention of giving up on my dreams." He leaned down to place his face in front of Kaplan's. "And I need you to help me accomplish them."

Wide-eyed and in a state of shock, Kaplan let his thoughts fly. He...needs me? What? He needs me to what? Fix New York? Jeez, I don't know if-

"Kaplan." His attention was placed back to the Alpha in front of him. "Don't overthink. You make a nasty face when you do. It takes away your cute face." The wolf watched a smug grin wash on the panda's face as his hand was grabbed ever so lightly.

He...grabbed my hand! He's holding my hand! "Alpha! Wha...what are you doing?"

Cyrus let his emerald eyes flicker in pleasure. "I'm holding your hand, Kaplan. My panda wanted it...so I wanted it. Believe me, this is a new development to the both of us. I know I said this would take a while, but...this is going a little faster than I anticipated."

Kaplan relished in the warmth of the larger hand on his. It's so warm! And his hands are smooth as silk!

Like! I like this panda!

Hey, friend. Not very often we get to talk.

I know. But know me. I quiet.

Yeah. But you know I am too. So...you like Cyrus, too?

Yes. He strong. Like Alpha, but not mean like Alpha.

I know what you mean. Between Mace, Cyrus, and Tierney...Alpha Ren is nothing. "I think I can handle this, Cyrus."

The emerald eyes burned slightly brighter as he heard the acceptance from his partner. "Excellent! Because my panda is telling me to never let go. I'm almost afraid that I'm going to upset him if I do release your hand."

The two laughed as they found themselves in a delightful predicament. Confronted with the first adult to hold his hand in a romantic manner, Kaplan smiled and firmly interlocked the fingers together. "Well, I'll just have to keep holding on, sir."

A few snorts and barks caught the attention of the newfound power couple as Mason and Vincent playfully ran out from the treeline. The two wolves were so caught up in tackling each other and gently nibbling on paws and ears, they didn't notice the attention. When the laughter from the four other shifters finally latched onto their ears, they paused and darted their eyes.

Caleb and Tasha came up from behind Cyrus in a pure state of laughter. "Alright, boys! I know it's Vincent's Turning Day, but we don't want one of you to lose an ear." The Enforcer held onto his mate in a fit of snorts as Tasha gazed at the guilty stares of the two Alpha wolves.

Kaplan tried to keep his chuckles to himself, but when Cyrus let out the loudest fit of giggles, all hope was lost. The panda stood in secondhand pride for the wolven couple. "You two are marvelously...muddy!" The dirt and tiny twigs sticking out of the messed up furs caused another round of uncontrolled laughter. "But that matters not! You two seem to have had a fantastic time. Vincent, how was your first hunt?"

Vincent was washed with the massive amount of energy his wolf had held onto the entire day. He dipped his head back and let out the loudest howl his lungs could muster. Proud! Fun! It could not be better!

"A picture perfect ending for a beautiful night! I take it you two are going to remain out here a little while longer?" Both wolves nodded their head with Mason giving a snort of breath. "I believe I may stay as well. I would prefer to turn in, but…" Cyrus pointed his head towards the upper story rooms. "...I don't believe I would get any sleep at this time."

Mason snickered by releasing short bursts of snorts. Yes. Smell from here. Lots of things go on in house.

Vincent cocked his head in confusion, but was alleviated when Mason bobbed his nose, pointing at the upper story. The lustful pheromones were faint, as well as the noise. Oh! Oh!! Friends...getting...busy?

Ha! You said it, bud!

Hey! They not only one. Vincent's human mind would have gave anything to facepalm himself.

We...are to never mention what we did.

Why? We with mate. Natural.

Yeah...natural for you. We just had...wolf sex.

Heh! It good though!

Oh hush… As if he could read minds, Mason swiped his tongue across Vincent's muzzle. Oh great, now he's thinking about it. "Now, you two…" The wolves brought their heads back to face Cyrus. "...why yes...I believe you two will make a formidable duo. Mr. Bolton. Have you turned into your hybrid yet?"

Shaking his head, Vincent began to wonder how one would do such a thing. But Mason gave a low woof to his mate. Later. Get late, must sleep.

Understand, mate. You shift and sleep. I run more.

Mason nodded but woofed once more. Not far. Want you to stay near. The silver fur began to sink back into Mason's skin as his bones cracked and reformed. Once standing, he felt a cold breeze fly between his thighs and quickly sprinted back to his clothes. Putting them on didn't help as they grew cold on the ground, but his body would warm faster with them on. "And I mean that, pup. No need to run off where humans could see you."

"Don't worry, Mace!" A shout came from the trees as Dirk's bear and Dave's human body walked over. As Dave picked up his clothes, the bear took a seat next to the white wolf. "Dirk and I got nowhere else to be, and we're pretty wired. We'll stay up with Vin and watch over him. Are we heading back to your place?"

Mason nodded. And boy, do I have a treat for Vinnie. "Alright, Vinnie. You ready to head home?"

With a nod and snort, Vincent agreed. "Cool! Because...you're not gonna fit in the cab." Mason watched as his mate turned his head to the side. "So...you get to ride in the truck bed."

Vincent's wolf was still confused, but his human mind got excited enough for the both of them. Why happy? What special about truck ride?

Bud. Listen here. Have you not seen how happy a dog is when it rides in the back of a truck?

No.

Well, get ready for the ride of your life! The wolf followed his mate to the big black truck with all six shifters in tow. Caleb and Tasha waved, saying their goodbyes as they entered their vehicle to go home. Cyrus and Kaplan made themselves comfortable on the porch furniture as their friends prepared to take off. But Vincent took one last look at the panda, and trotted up the stairs to meet with his new friend.

As Cyrus was sitting in the rocking chair, Vincent moved up to the large dark-skinned man and licked Cyrus' hand. "Well, toodle-oo to you, Mr. Bolton! I hope today will be planted in your memories for the rest of your days. Seeing how I'll be in town for a few more days, perhaps you could come by and show me your magic?"

With a woof, Vincent let his tongue fall out of his muzzle. Yes, Cyrus. Will do. Good meet you.

"And so good to meet you as well. Now, run along. Your mate is waiting." Cyrus let out a giggle and gave Vincent a good chin rub before the wolf took off towards Mason. What an amazing wolf! So bountiful in energy and positivity. Must be a practical reflection of his human self.

Nice wolf. Want to see more of.

We will try our best, my panda. With us taking over New York, and the Mated Alpha finding his place in this pack, we will both be busy. But a vacation every now and again wouldn't hurt.

Good. I hungry.

Hmm...I have a proper idea! "Oh, Alpha Wilson!"

Mason turned his head just as he lowered the tailgate to his truck. "Might I ask of a favor? And this effects you as well, Mr. Wescott." Cyrus rose from his chair and wandered down the stairs lightly as if he were made of glass. "Would it be harmful to request to stay at your home for the evening? I believe Alpha Scott has an immaculate amount of stamina, and I'm unaware of when Miss Schultz will be going home."

"Of course! But how does this affect Dirk?"

"Well, Mr. Wescott and I spoke a few evenings ago. He won't be staying in New York under my leadership. But Mr. Alvey is. If he were to be okay with it, I'd like Kaplan to come as well, but Tierney must have a Delta-ranked member here for protection."

Dirk nodded. "Yeah, makes sense, Alpha. I'd be happy to switch with Kap, as long as he can help Dave watch over Vincent."

"I'm certain that won't be a problem, right, Mr. Alvey?" Cyrus gave a suave stare to his future Beta, surely melting his bones.

Kaplan smiled and nodded. "Sure, just need some coffee. If that's okay, Mason?"

Mason shared a nod with Kaplan and got back to his mate. "Alright, Vin. Hop up and stay near the rear windshield." Backing up for a high jump, Vincent ran and leaped up, planting his paws on the rubber pad that laid in the bed. His mate closed the tailgate and let the shifters get to the vehicles.

"Oh, and Mason?" The sultry voice of the future New York Alpha caught Mason's attention once more. "Is there a pizza place nearby that delivers? My treat if anyone else is hungry. I'm getting peckish, and my panda has been craving a pie with all of the veggies."

The Alpha wolf gave a chuckle. "Yeah, Galaxy Pizza is open and delivers. Feel free to order as much as you like. It'll get eaten, I'm sure of it." Giving his fellow Alpha his home address, he made his way into the truck.

Satisfied of the business choice, Cyrus took to his smartphone to place an order as Kaplan hopped in the driver seat of the rental car. Vincent stood on all fours, waiting in anticipation. What do happen? Why stay near side of truck?

Ya don't want to blow away, now do you? And you're gonna want your tongue out for this. The wolf watched as the cars made their way out of the driveway, and the truck did the same. He struggled for a moment to get his balance in order, but found it as Mason hit the road. Strong chilled winds blew violently as the truck picked up speed, and the wolf quickly understood his human's excitement.

Yes! Yes! Feel like flying! The wolf pawed his way over to the side of the truck bed and held his head out to the side, tongue flapping in the wind. Wind good! This great!

Now go to the other side!

Why?

Does it matter?

Okay then. Although the truck was driving smoothly, Vincent had issues traversing to the driver side of the truck. But once he was over there, he felt as if his wildest dreams had come true. Yes! Other side face feel wind! Feel good! I want other side again! The wolf kept pacing back and forth between the sides to ride as much of this new experience as possible. It like running, but not running!

I know!

How you know this be fun?

Because I see other people’s pets doing it all the time in town. And I knew you’d have a blast with it.

Yes! I want more! With his fur buffeted by the wind, the wolf let out a howl, emptying the air out of his body. In the vehicle behind the black truck, Cyrus couldn’t help but let out an uncontrollable giggle as he watched the white wolf find a new way to play in nature. “Oh, this is just a delight! Don’t you think so, Mr. Alvey?”

Kaplan could barely keep himself together as he drove the car. “Can’t say I’ve done that, but my wolf wants to now. Vincent looks like he’s having a blast!”

“Oh, look at him now! He’s going back and forth! What I would give to be youthful like that again.”

Keeping his eyes on the road and doing his best to try to ignore the hyperactive furball in front, Kaplan was confused by the panda’s statement. “Cyrus? What do you mean? I thought you weren’t that far off from my age?”

Cyrus let out another hearty giggle. “Oh, Kaplan. We are fairly close in age! If I may assume, you are...thirty, thirty-two?” With a nod from the driver, the panda grinned. “I’m just a few years older at the ripe age of thirty-four. But from my panda’s perspective, a youthful bear is much more playful and active. Now, he likes to lay and sit, enjoying the breezes and nature.”

Understanding the difference in aged mindsets for his bear, Kaplan kept a thin smile. “That sounds very nice. There are times where I wouldn’t mind just sitting.”

“Kaplan. Would...would you like to sit with me sometime? It doesn’t have to be soon, but I think that could be very pleasant.”

His thin smile grew two-fold in size. “I would love that, Cyrus.” The panda mirrored the wolf’s smile and hesitantly placed his hand on Kaplan’s knee. It was met by the gentle touch of the Beta’s fingers.

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Awesome chapter, extreme fun and certainly a lot of sex was had , I think that Stefan has finally realised that he has met his match , time will tell, Vincent and his wolf will make a formidable opponent. Happy new year, I hope that everyone has a peaceful, relaxing and profitable year ahead

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This was an awesome way to end out the Year.

Vin was surrounded by loved ones, had fun on a run, had a feast then nearly everyone got some. Perfect.

NB: Dave and Dirk need mates please. Unless?!?!

My fav bit is the Family that Vincent has surrounded himself with. So good and so diverse.

CyrusPB seems surprisingly invested. Just imagine if he and Kap were an actual Mated Pair.

Loved the visual of VinW in the back of the truck going from side to side.

Cock-a-doodle-do! This is me crowing. Sorry. Couldn't help it. I know what I mean :)

Lastly, I hope you all had a very enjoyable Christmas and that the coming New Year Celebration is even better. May next year be full of good health, happiness, love, laughter and peace.

As for @astone2292, I am not a word smith like you. But I want you to know I appreciate very much your passion, your talent and the characters/world that you've created. I am doubly appreciative of being allowed to share these same things with you.

In regards to the upcoming Birthday Celebration, I am assuming you are both of a similar age? Then you'll be fine. It's his 28th, not his 82nd. Just make sure the next day is recovery day and that you've prepared/stocked up on all of the appropriate items required to "bring you back to life" :)

 

 

Edited by Buz
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Oh, jeez, that's a lot of comments!

9 hours ago, centexhairysub said:

A delightful chapter, so many new sounds, smells, taste, and feelings; Vincent gets them for the 1st time but the others get to relive them through him.  Can't wait to see what happens next.  And I do think that Stefan is right, the power in the house was clearly Vincent...

Love this revelation. Imagine being reborn into a new body and being forced to discover your set of senses again. Always brilliant, sir!

 

8 hours ago, Patch1 said:

Such a fun chapter!!!!  I am not much of a hunter but the hunt brought back some great memories of when my cousins and I would run through the woods behind my parents house, building forts out of old lumber, climbing trees.... The memories of my childhood dog doing exactly what Vincent's wolf was doing brought tears to my eyes... Such great times!!!!  Love the interaction and bonds being formed by the "global" collection of shifters!  Everyone getting along and relying on each other, needing each other!  It's importance is not lost during our own trying times...we all need each other.  Just as Vincent's gifts are growing, so are yours my friend...  Every chapter in some way surpasses the previous ones.  An amazing gift!!!  You are definitely the gift that keeps on giving.  Every chapter is like a new present waiting to be unwrapped!  And I am thoroughly enjoying the unwrapping of this gift!!!  

Oh to be 28 again....LOL  Wishing your hubby the happiest of birthdays!  Wishing the both of you a Happy New Years...full of love, fun, health, and peace....oh and lots of money...Hahahaha  But seriously, I wish you guys the best!!!!!  :heart:

Not gonna lie, I struggle-bused on the hunting scene. I have never gone hunting. What? Aaron, the country gay Boy Scout boy has never gone hunting?! It's true. As much as I want to shine a spotlight on Vincentz and how this is really his wolf's birthday, I cant help but showcase other characters! 

Husband says, "AYYYYY, what's up Patchy Patch!" (He opened the gin he gave me for Christmas...)

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5 hours ago, Philippe said:

Yup, another wonder chapter of wonderful adventures of an Alpha pup; a nice heart racing steak, ripped from nature’s table, and so tasty you just have to dive in and wear the sauces of life’s freshness. But those new found rewards only invite the increased cravings of the bonding; hmmm, such fun to be worthy of human embarrassment, yet bannered by nature’s tossed, rolled, and twig ladened journal. 😝 

😧 Stefan seems to have recognized the affects the moon’s pull too, as enlightenment seems to have finally dawned: 

Curiosity blasted Stefan's mind as he came to realize the destiny he was foretold. That...cockroach of a fortune teller...he wasn't referring to an item! Leaning forward, he set his cup down and folded his fingers together, interlocking them. The more he thought of his new theory, the more it made perfect sense. Several minutes pass in the blink of an eye, allowing the mage to sit in eerie silence. Until he muttered aloud. 

"Is it him?" 😧 

As to how Stefan interprets this as a gift or threat remains to be seen, as now his formidable challenger... IS his desired item.

Even as our young Wolf pup has just emerged, Vinsy’s combined identities vouch for strong love, alliances, and support, from all who embrace him as the Alpha Mate Mage; who could possibly stifle a smile while observing a very happy, wind blown, tongue wagging, young wolf howling and bouncing in glee from the bed of truck in motion! Hahaha 🤣 

That first paragraph was spun so beautifully!!! I just read that one paragraph, like...5 times. 

I think Stefan realized that it's not just Vincent's new wolf that's the problem... just leaving a cup of tea there... ;D

It's Vincent's Turning Day! Let him do what he wants! Someone go buy the biggest dog bone they can find! He's so friggen adorable!!!

5 hours ago, mikedup said:

Awesome chapter, extreme fun and certainly a lot of sex was had , I think that Stefan has finally realised that he has met his match , time will tell, Vincent and his wolf will make a formidable opponent. Happy new year, I hope that everyone has a peaceful, relaxing and profitable year ahead

Ha! It was a good day to celebrate! I can't get over Tierney just blowing past Lei, pretty much saying, "Bud, gonna really borrow the guest bedroom..."

 

4 hours ago, Buz said:

This was an awesome way to end out the Year.

Vin was surrounded by loved ones, had fun on a run, had a feast then nearly everyone got some. Perfect.

NB: Dave and Dirk need mates please. Unless?!?!

My fav bit is the Family that Vincent has surrounded himself with. So good and so diverse.

CyrusPB seems surprisingly invested. Just imagine if he and Kap were an actual Mated Pair.

Loved the visual of VinW in the back of the truck going from side to side.

Cock-a-doodle-do! This is me crowing. Sorry. Couldn't help it. I know what I mean :)

Lastly, I hope you all had a very enjoyable Christmas and that the coming New Year Celebration is even better. May next year be full of good health, happiness, love, laughter and peace.

As for @astone2292, I am not a word smith like you. But I want you to know I appreciate very much your passion, your talent and the characters/world that you've created. I am doubly appreciative of being allowed to share these same things with you.

In regards to the upcoming Birthday Celebration, I am assuming you are both of a similar age? Then you'll be fine. It's his 28th, not his 82nd. Just make sure the next day is recovery day and that you've prepared/stocked up on all of the appropriate items required to "bring you back to life" :)

Fun on a run? Is that the PG-13 version of a soap on a rope? Dave and Dirk need mates, huh? Well what if I need content for future books, bud?

Cyrus' bear is so...tame, but needy. I imagined a more playful and less harmful version of Caesar when it came to wanting things:  he wants it, so he shall have it. 

Cock-a...doodle...do...have we fallen off the deep end, Buz? So many comments, and he's begun to lose his mind...

To all y'all commenting, Hapoy New Years to you too! The hubb's pretty deep in the bottle of gin, but he's beyond happy for the birthday wishes! He's 28, and I'm 27, and he won't let it go that he's my elder. 

Gonna a post Dear, Grocery Shoppers here in a bit, so keep an eye on that!

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6 minutes ago, astone2292 said:...

To all y'all commenting, Hapoy New Years to you too! The hubb's pretty deep in the bottle of gin, but he's beyond happy for the birthday wishes! He's 28, and I'm 27, and he won't let it go that he's my elder. 

Gonna a post Dear, Grocery Shoppers here in a bit, so keep an eye on that!

Oh yes, Birthday Wishes to my favorite couple, Gin and Tonic....ahem, sorry the happy young couple!

Sadly, as Mr Cyrus Giggles Panda would says, my bear knows an age where your 27 and the hubby’s 28, means I still have you covered! Argh 😣 So vicariously I’ll give your hubby a break and claim he tossed one back for me; after all he’s young and resilient, as I’m sure his younger hubby would attest! 😂 Love to ya guys, Happy New 2021!

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2 hours ago, astone2292 said:

Cock-a...doodle...do...have we fallen off the deep end, Buz? So many comments, and he's begun to lose his mind...

Just to defend my sanity (:)), I have mentioned twice previously that I think that what Stefan was initially searching for in Vin's Parents home was not a thing, but a person - Vin. That Stefan maybe did not realise that. Just crowing cause it looks like I might be right.

Just quickly, I love G&Ts. Bombay Sapphire is my fav Gin. The first time I ever drank G&T it was premixed and came in a flagon. Yes, I was quite young so drinks of this quality (or rather lack of) were quite common. I remember tipping into a pot plant near me it was so gross.

See you in 30!

 

 

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An amazing chapter as always. 
It’s bittersweet to have finally caught up with the story after bingeing it LOL. 
 

I’m really happy that Vinnie and his wolf get along so well. I dunno how you do it but I like the Wolf dialogue bits. It’s cute but somehow also adds its own depth to the character in the story. Good job! 

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12 minutes ago, gabz2000 said:

An amazing chapter as always. 
It’s bittersweet to have finally caught up with the story after bingeing it LOL. 
 

I’m really happy that Vinnie and his wolf get along so well. I dunno how you do it but I like the Wolf dialogue bits. It’s cute but somehow also adds its own depth to the character in the story. Good job! 

Thank you so much! I love when I watch readers binge the heck out of this story. I felt there was a need to individualize the human and animal in the shifter relationship. And it turned out so great!!! I've been away from the phone since it's the husband's birthday and whatnot, but I'm about to head back to the hotel and hammer away on Chapter 30!!!

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23 hours ago, gabz2000 said:

An amazing chapter as always. 
It’s bittersweet to have finally caught up with the story after bingeing it LOL. 
 

I’m really happy that Vinnie and his wolf get along so well. I dunno how you do it but I like the Wolf dialogue bits. It’s cute but somehow also adds its own depth to the character in the story. Good job! 

It’s cool to see you liking my other favorite author on this site. I check daily for both of your story updates after binging. :)

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I love the part where Vincent was going back and forth in the bed of the truck while the wind was blowing on his muzzle! My dog loves that too! She loves going for rides!

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Cyrus and Kaplan have much in common, which is why the panda side is willing to speed things a bit.

I loved Vinnie's wolf's simple joy at the breeze as the truck moves along. It brought up a long ago memory of my mother bringing home my childhood dog to his new home and his head sticking out the window. It filled me with joy and excitement back then, tinged with loss and sadness now; still a fond memory of a faithful companion.

After so many years, Stefan is just now realizing the fortuneteller's promise of mythical magical power was within Vincent himself.

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