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    Headstall
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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.

Morningstar: The Malaise - 10. Chapter 10 Between a Rock and a Hard Place

On the outside, looking in....

Morningstar: The Malaise

 

 

Chapter 10

 

 

Kellar had a framed view through the windshield as Tobyn approached Tilly at the front of the truck. They embraced almost awkwardly before he gave her a chaste kiss. She was a slim, pretty girl, obviously curious or confused or both, at the sight of her boyfriend and a strange man hugging. Her attention diverted to the man in the front seat a few times while she appeared to be listening intently to whatever Tobyn was saying. Kellar had never experienced grown-up jealousy before, but recognized his unsettled reaction for what it was. It was not a pleasant feeling.

He’d had a strong inkling he was gay, especially after his only sexual experience with a woman. Although he’d performed fine as near as he could tell, the act hadn’t contained any lasting appeal; there had been no inclination on his part to revisit, despite the repeated invitations. Since he’d never held a strong attraction to any individual prior to yesterday, his suspected orientation wasn’t something he’d had to deal with head on. That wasn’t the case anymore. The man in front of him now, the man who was talking to his girlfriend as he held her hand, Kellar found beautiful in every way. His cock got hard or semi-hard all the time, but now there was a reason for it beside need, or a stiff breeze. Tobyn. Tobyn, who wanted a wife and lots of pups to add to Morningstar. Fuck.

He had to turn away. He would do all he could to help the troubled pack, but there was no way he could stick around and watch the man he might well love, be with someone else. A solitary life was what he was used to, and somewhere inside he was aware of his reality. It was innate to who or what he was. There existed only one person for him, quick as it may have happened, and if that man didn’t feel the same, Kellar didn’t or wouldn’t want anyone else. The question was, when push came to shove, just how open should he be with Tobyn? As attractive as avoidance might be, he wasn’t comfortable with the idea of slinking off with no real explanation.

A thump on the hood got his attention. He’d expected it at some point, but still his dread skyrocketed. At a hand motion from the blond man, he hopped out of the truck to meet the girlfriend.

“Kellar, this is Tilly. Tilly, this is my friend, Kellar.

Friend. Yup, that’s all he was. “Nice to meet you, Tilly,” he said with as much feeling as he could muster.

It spoke volumes to him when she skipped the preliminaries. “Do you really think you can help my sister?”

The earnest question, laced with hope, nailed him right between the eyes, and he felt genuine sympathy for the girl. If anything, he was the interloper here, and he had no right to hold anything against this young woman. Now that he was actively engaged, he could see how exhausted she was. Her colors were alarmingly weak. “I can’t make you any promises, but I’m going to try. How is she doing?”

“Thank you so much. I understand this may be a long shot, but it’s something at least. We’ve been short on hope for….” Shit… tears in those big blue eyes. “I….” Kellar watched her struggle before slowly regaining control. This girl was tougher than she looked. “She’s not doing well at all. There are bruises all over her. Big ones that appeared out of the blue. They’re faint, but visible. She… we are scared. I really hope you can do something, even if just to make her feel a little better. If she could just hold some food down.”

Kellar mentally cringed at the thought of what he’d gotten himself into? This did not sound good. “How long since she’s been able to eat?”

“It’s been two days. She can’t even keep fluids down. I was just going to see if we have fresh mint in the kitchens. I don’t know what else to try.”

“Mint’s a good choice. It might help, and it won’t hurt.” It was his attempt to make Tilly feel she was helping her sister, even though it sounded like a futile measure for someone so ill. Kellar watched Tobyn put his arm around her as she buried her face in his broad chest. This time, there was no jealousy at all; only compassion for this poor young woman teetering on the edge of despair.

The tears were flowing again, so he moved off a ways, giving them their moment. He could have heard the murmurings if he wanted to, but chose not to, instead focusing on the surrounding neighborhood.

Further down the road, two teenage boys were kicking a soccer ball back and forth. A tall woman walked by and nodded pleasantly before climbing the granite steps to the lodge. He absentmindedly catalogued their colors, noting a lack of vibrancy in all three. One of the boys had slightly inflamed tonsils. That, he could surely fix.

“Kellar?”

He reacted to Tobyn’s call, turning toward them. He hadn’t realized he’d kept moving further from the couple. “Yeah?” They were now standing a little apart from one another, and the crying had ceased.

“When do you want to check on Adelin?”

“Right away. Maybe, I could wash up first?” He closed the distance between him and them.

“What about your plants?” Why was Tobyn looking at him with concern? What was his face showing?

“If we just move them out of the truck they’ll be fine. I can unpack them later. Is your house cool?” He finished walking up to the couple, and tried to ignore the scrutiny he was under.

“Yeah, it stays comfortable in the summer because it’s in the middle of a stand of tall trees. Are you okay?”

“Of course. Why wouldn’t I be?” Again, he felt Tobyn’s curious evaluation.

“I don’t know, I just felt… are you sure you’re up to this now? Maybe you want to rest a while first?”

“Dude, I just slept for two hours. I’m fine. Does she live far from here, Tilly?”

Even she had a perplexed expression as she took in the short exchange. “Adelin lives with me, and we’re just a ten minute walk from Tobyn’s. I appreciate you trying to help, Kellar. Thank you. I’m going to check for mint, and I’ll meet you at my house.” She surprised him with a quick hug before hurrying off. He didn’t bother to tell her he had plenty of mint, understanding her need to do something, anything, for her sister.

“Okay, let’s get this show on the road.” Kellar winced as the words left his mouth. His feeble attempt at levity had sounded pretty lame. God, he had to sort himself out, and soon. So many people were counting on him, and all he could think of was this sandy-haired man.

“Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Why do you keep asking me that? I told you I’m fine. We’re wasting time, my friend.”

Another curious look. Oh, damn. Did the ‘friend’ sound bitter? Kellar was beginning to get the feeling Tobyn could pick up on his emotions, the same way he could sense the blond man’s. It really was like they were tuning in to one another. Was this a common thing between close friends?

 

Arriving at the house, they made short work of moving everything inside. The temperature was just right for maintaining the potency of most of the herbs. A lot of work went into the searching out, drying, and storing of these medicinal aids to his healing, and he didn’t want to lose any if it could be helped. A few went into the fridge for optimum protection, while Kellar separated some of the ones he thought could be useful in treating Adelin, leaving the rest to be tended to later. He was given a quick tour of the masculine-feeling, two-bedroom home. It was quite spacious compared to his own cabin, and the large logs were squared while his were rounded. It gave it a classier, but still homey feel.

“This house is ninety years old, and I’d always feel good when I visited. It was as if the place spoke to me, so when it became available, I staked my claim. The man who lived here before didn’t pretty it up like some of them.” Comfortable on the surface, underneath, it was a strained kind of small talk.

“The whole place has a nice vibe to it. It suits you, and I can see why you like it. All the cupboards are beautifully crafted, and it’s good the wood has been kept natural, and not painted. And I love the views of the pines and birches through all the windows; it feels like we’re in a treehouse.”

“Thanks, I’m glad you like it.” Tobyn went quiet momentarily, and Kellar took the time to look out the living room window. “Listen, I didn’t mean to pester you earlier. It’s just… I don’t know… I got this impression you were hurting, and it was a strong feeling. I just want you to know… I understand this might be hard for you, so if you want to talk about anything at all, or if you have questions. I can’t imagine what it was like to go through your first shift with no preparation, and being alone all this time, and then me dragging you here….”

“You need to stop worrying about me. I admit I’m feeling some pressure, but it’s all self-imposed. I’m pretty good at being by myself, and my life hasn’t been easy sometimes, but it hasn’t been so bad. I don’t know what else to tell you. I want to get this over with, and… and hopefully get Adelin feeling better, at least.”

“Get this over with? What does that mean, man? Are you planning to heal Adelin and then leave?”

Kellar wanted to take back those words, because they were spurred by a pain he wanted to keep to himself. There was definitely hurt too, in Tobyn’s question. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said it that way. I’m feeling all kinds of emotions right now so just ignore me, all right? I’m not sure what my plans are. Maybe I’m not cut out for this pack, though.”

“Jeez… where is this coming from? Twenty minutes ago you were considering my mom’s offer to join us? Did I do something wrong?”

Now Kellar was really feeling like an ass. He should be able to mask his turmoil better than this because Tobyn had enough on his plate to deal with. “No, man. I consider you a great friend.” That damned word again. It was fine yesterday, but now he hated it. “I’m overwhelmed, is all. Just give me some time, and I’ll sort myself out. This is all getting way too dramatic,” he attempted to joke. “What about Adelin’s parents? Will they be there?” A change of subject was in order, before he blurted out any more words he might regret.

Tobyn was not easily manipulated, though, and he was seeing that clearly as the handsome man surveyed him with a thoughtful expression. “They both passed a couple of years ago. They were only in their fifties. I’m not sure about the reason the mother, Amelyn, died; she just slowly faded. She was never very strong after she gave birth to Adelin, but of course we couldn't take her to a doctor. We think their dad had a heart attack in his sleep. Neville complained of arm pain a few times in the weeks before he died.”

He stalled for a minute, opening his mouth to speak, and then closing it. Finally, he continued. “The girls lived with their aunt up until last year, and then moved into a house of their own. The aunt, Winifred, is quite elderly, so they and the rest of the pack keep an eye on her. We all watch out for each other.” He was still watching Kellar with a concerned countenance.

“Okay. Well, I’m ready if you are.” He went to the kitchen for his previously selected packet of herbs, with Tobyn following him, and they continued out the door. Kellar could almost taste the unsettled something between them.

“Do you want to walk or drive?”

“It’s up to you, but a walk might be a good idea. It’s starting to cool down for the evening. The temperature is perfect.”

“Maybe we can both clear our minds. It’s this way.” Tobyn was silent for a couple of minutes as they walked up a well-shaded road. He cleared his throat before speaking softly. “I’m not clueless, and you’re not the only one who has some emotions to sort through, you know.”

Kellar was startled by the statement, but kept his eyes in front of him. “Are we talking about something specific?” He had to wait for an answer.

“I’ve had this mission… this purpose to save my pack before I even had my first shift. There’s not a lot of us younger wolves left, so who else is it going to fall to, to get to the bottom of what’s happening to us?”

“I’m listening.”

“I know you are. No matter what else may be important to me, I have this strong compulsion to stay the course. Not to deviate, you know? I don’t want to let anyone down, but Morningstar… the fate of shifters period, has to take precedence. Do you understand what I’m saying? I want you to get all of what’s going on with me.”

“I understand, man. You’ve made a decision, and your life is not your own.”

“No, that’s not….” Tobyn exhaled a resigned sigh. “Yeah, I guess that’s exactly it.”

“It’s okay. I do get it. It’s noble. It really is.” He got the message loud and clear. There was no room in Tobyn’s life for a man as a partner. Any attraction for Kellar he might have, was going to be buried. He already knew it, but hearing it was something else again.

“We’re here.”

Kellar looked up at the white frame house, so unlike Tobyn’s more rugged refuge. “All right, my friend. Let’s see what we can do for your girlfriend’s sister.” Resigned to their now confirmed reality, he was halfway up the stairs when the door opened.

Many thanks to my Editor, Timothy M., and to all those who support this story.

Copyright © 2017 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
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Stupid boys. You don't have to marry the girl to get her pregnant. Spreading the oats around more than one pasture would be better for repopulation anyway, and there should be a depot for the excess. ;)

 

Regardless, some more good progression in the right direction. Now what will Kellar be able to do for Adelin?

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Great story progression with enough loose ends and more mystery about the malaise. I want to be believe his healing powers will be effective. I can't wait to see Kellar help people. You set out the dynamics of the 3 way spilt between potential mates. Kellar will try his best to save the girl and others and find out what the root problem is . He is intent on doing his duty and following his calling as Tobyn will also. I expect there will be high points and low points. Kellar will be really tested living in the same house as Tobyn. They both can read each other so Kellar will need to be careful. Kellar now plans to leave the pack when his healing work is finished. I am glad he will come clean with Tobyn. What will Tobyn do when Kellar speaks his mind? Will Tobyn's mother play a constructive role in their relationship? She seems very wise.

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Oh well, the boys aren't able to read one another as well as they think. Tobyn doesn't seem to be able to read the depth of feeling Kellar has, or not admit it if he does, and Kellar seems to not get beyond the Cause Tobyn feels obligated to solve.
Stupid boys indeed, as lux said. Further, it is crazy for Tobyn to limit himself to Tilly alone, as the Pack will die out if the available genes aren't sufficient to forestall inbreeding. I wonder if that could be part of the problem already?
The saddest thing for me is that Kellar, being used to isolation, will pass up his mate if he thinks it is best...a mistake for sure, but his world-view has already shown him that it is risky to rely on others.
Very sad, G-Man. I hope things will work out for them.
Hugs for this one, and sad tears, my dear friend.

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Oh dear the tension is brewing. :lol:

 

First and foremost, I would say that Tobyn's declaration of his mission was in no way a surprise, and this will continue to be a challenge he will face, his duty as he sees it versus what he desires most for his life. There will come a point where he will reach a crossroads in the story, right now it's not too late to choose a different path, but eventually he'll reach a point of no return. We'll just have to cheer for him to make the choice that will actually make him happy.

 

While there is some pussyfooting for sure, at the same time, I think Kellar's true feelings are going to continue to seep out. He's not being all that subtle. Or perhaps it's just because we know what's going on inside his head?

 

I do have to say, Tobyn's reaction to Kellar's "just get this over with" statement is somewhat surprising. Putting it all in perspective, Kellar just barely met Tobyn, and honestly doesn't hold any obligation to Morningstar. That reaction to Kellar's potential departure says a lot more about Tobyn than it anything else. Hopefully that guy will get some self awareness soon.

 

Of course seeing Kellar in this chapter, I can't see him just walking away. Not so much because of Tobyn, but because he'll want to help. This malaise is infecting the entire pack, as seen in the diminished colors of the two boys. Kellar will want to see if there's any way for him to help. Now Tobyn just needs to realize that if he does indeed want Kellar to stay, he'll need a reason. A reason Tobyn could easily provide... ;)

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Oh this made me so sad. I had a feeling that Tobyn's sense of duty was going to prevent him from exploring his feelings for Kellar. Kellar is also far too noble and good to consider trying to poach someone he thinks belongs to another, no matter how much he may want him. My hope is that after spending time together, helping the pack, that their bond will be strong enough for Tobyn to not be able to let Kellar go when the time comes. It's going to be painful for both men though, as they get to know and like each other more and more with the belief that they can never be anything more than friends.
I do like Tilly so far though. She is obviously concerned about her sister and wants her to get better. It's hard to root against someone you actually like, but I will find a way ;)

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I'm with Lux too. Pups can be ensured in other ways. No need to get married just for that sake. Then I think they should consider they've only known each other for a few days. Sure, they're really young, but they should play it a little cooler and see what happens. Why decide everything right away? They still have no idea if Kellar can help.

 

I'm glad Tilly isn't some bitchy monster of a girlfriend. Having her be a nice and decent person makes things more interesting.

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Some men are idiots. I will give some leeway to Kellar because he hasn't been around people too much and I guess to be fair I need to give some leeway to Tobyn because he is fixated on saving his pack but what happens after he has saved them? Then what? Just bloody well tell each other how you feel!!!!
Sigh... some men are idiots, just plain idiots... if the two of them are earth mates as we all suspect - STOP FIGHTING IT
Fiction or reality, it's always easier to fix other people's lives :)

 

A nice chapter young Gary, a speedy read so get working on the next one. Cheep, cheep

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Oh man another fantastic chapter!!! Kellar and Tobyn know they have great chemistry but can't get it together. Looking forward to more!!!

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:blink::huh: wow, I thought my readers were cool about accepting the unusual scenario of Patrick and Peter declaring their love after less than three days. But here people are grumbling because two teens, of which one had never even considered being gay/bi, are not immediately falling into each other's arms as destined earth mates two days after meeting.
I thought both Kellar and Tobyn are remarkable open about how they feel, both internally and externally. Kellar has already accepted as a fact that he loves Tobyn and will never want anyone else, and that he cannot leave without admitting it. Tobyn is openly saying he can feel Kellar's mental anguish and that he has issues which needs to be dealt with. “I’m not clueless, and you’re not the only one who has some emotions to sort through, you know.” How much more obvious can he be?
Plus it's not as if him and Tilly are getting married tomorrow, they're not even living together or having sex. For all we know, Tilly may fall head over heels in love with her sister's savior, because her reaction to Tobyn seems more like a sister or friend than a lover. There is plenty of time for them to break up, but right now Adelin must have first priority.
OK, enough about that, but y'all need to have faith in Gary. He's on chapter twenty-something and this story is like a fine single malt. It needs to mature slowly in order for us to get the full flavor and enjoy the taste. Now onto my 'normal' review topic: the title. ;)
Both men are definitely caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place. For both of them the rock is their mutual attraction and the love we can see develop. This huge rock has come tumbling into their lives, smashing preconceived notions and opening up a new path in the hard tangle of duty and obligations. Tobyn's hard place is his sense of duty to his pack, his determination to save them. As Kellar says it: You’ve made a decision, and your life is not your own. Kellar's hard place is his need to heal, he has already explained he's driven to help sick and injured creatures. Even if he wanted to run away from the heartbreak of the situation with Tobyn, he can't. :no:
As for being on the outside, looking in.... this points to Kellar, but in fact it was Tilly who was outside the car looking in before this chapter began. Kellar may be outside the pack and outside Tobyn's relationship with Tilly, but I don't think that will last. The draw between the two men is too strong, and I believe it will soon become obvious to the other shifters. After all, they have noses and eyes too. Once Adelin is better, Tobyn will find a way explain to Tilly. But it would be cruel to break up with a girl, who's already at breaking point from fear for her sister's life.
It was a wonderful chapter, showing us Kellar's compassion and understanding and anguish in love, as well as Tobyn being almost more focused on the hurt he percieves from Kellar than helping Adelin and Tilly. Soon there will be no denying their bond openly.

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On 06/21/2016 09:55 AM, Lux Apollo said:

Stupid boys. You don't have to marry the girl to get her pregnant. Spreading the oats around more than one pasture would be better for repopulation anyway, and there should be a depot for the excess. ;)

 

Regardless, some more good progression in the right direction. Now what will Kellar be able to do for Adelin?

Are you volunteering to be the depot? :) . You're right, lux... you don't have to marry the girl, but the packs in this world are traditional. The family unit is important, so yeah, women shifters expect to have mates, even if they're not earth mates. Boys are stupid, but Tobyn especially, has some figuring out to do. Kellar already knows what he wants... but he would never stand in Tobyn's way. It should be interesting to see what Kellar can do for Adelin... at least I hope it is... thanks for reading and reviewing.., I appreciate the support... cheers... Gary..

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On 06/21/2016 11:38 AM, scrubber6620 said:

Great story progression with enough loose ends and more mystery about the malaise. I want to be believe his healing powers will be effective. I can't wait to see Kellar help people. You set out the dynamics of the 3 way spilt between potential mates. Kellar will try his best to save the girl and others and find out what the root problem is . He is intent on doing his duty and following his calling as Tobyn will also. I expect there will be high points and low points. Kellar will be really tested living in the same house as Tobyn. They both can read each other so Kellar will need to be careful. Kellar now plans to leave the pack when his healing work is finished. I am glad he will come clean with Tobyn. What will Tobyn do when Kellar speaks his mind? Will Tobyn's mother play a constructive role in their relationship? She seems very wise.

You're right scrubber. There will be some ups and downs. Kellar is facing big test after big test. he's been hit hard, and quickly, and I think a part of him is floundering, but his strength is based on resilience. On the surface, these two are quite different, but really I don't think they are. The both focus, and do what they think needs to be done... at least, that's what I'm seeing so far. But life has its curve balls to throw. I'm glad you're invested in the story. It means a lot to me because this one is tricky at times. I think you'll find the next chapter quite interesting... thanks for the great review... cheers... Gary...

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On 06/21/2016 01:06 PM, Mikiesboy said:

Lux is right, stupid boys. All this brave, noble silence bugs me. No wonder people are never happy. Say what you feel and all this pussy footing around is just a waste of time.

Personally my life is too short for that ...

 

Nice chapter Gary! Still too short tho, just sayin

Well, at least I can tell you the next chapter is much longer :) . You're right. Life is too short. I didn't have all of what I truly wanted for a long time, but I never consider the first part of my life not to be authentic. I gained too much, but that is neither here nor there. These guys just met yesterday, and already they are opening up to each other. We can say these boys as stupid, and in some ways they are, but I don't think they are pussy footing so much as trying to deal with something totally unexpected... they know how each other feels, but there are, in Tobyn's mind especially, legitimate things in the way. The malaise is a devastating scourge... and Tobyn has taken it on his shoulders... the boy needs to learn to share the load, or he will stand a good chance of breaking, in my opinion. Meanwhile, Kellar is trying to figure out how he should handle this rush of feeling... Thanks for your constant support, buddy, and I really hope you like the next chapter... cheers... Gary...

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On 06/21/2016 10:30 PM, ColumbusGuy said:

Oh well, the boys aren't able to read one another as well as they think. Tobyn doesn't seem to be able to read the depth of feeling Kellar has, or not admit it if he does, and Kellar seems to not get beyond the Cause Tobyn feels obligated to solve.

Stupid boys indeed, as lux said. Further, it is crazy for Tobyn to limit himself to Tilly alone, as the Pack will die out if the available genes aren't sufficient to forestall inbreeding. I wonder if that could be part of the problem already?

The saddest thing for me is that Kellar, being used to isolation, will pass up his mate if he thinks it is best...a mistake for sure, but his world-view has already shown him that it is risky to rely on others.

Very sad, G-Man. I hope things will work out for them.

Hugs for this one, and sad tears, my dear friend.

I actually think they can read each other pretty well, but they haven't learned to trust it completely. Meeting yesterday, this is all new to them. And Tobyn's cause is no little thing. As I said in an earlier review, the pack has traditional outlooks on family. We'll see if that needs to change. And yeah, Kellar has become used to a life of isolation, and he's not skilled at interaction, yet he has been pretty open about how he feels. Tobyn, in his own way, on the walk to Adelin's, admitted his feelings as well. I don't think Kellar is passing up anything... but Tobyn has to be on board... he can't force Tobyn away from his path. I'm sorry this one made you so sad, CG. Where you see sadness, I see hope, or at least a possibility. I think the focus now has to be on the malaise, and both men understand that. I hate that you have sad tears, my friend... thank you for the great review... cheers... Gary...

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On 06/21/2016 10:33 PM, spikey582 said:

Oh dear the tension is brewing. :lol:

 

First and foremost, I would say that Tobyn's declaration of his mission was in no way a surprise, and this will continue to be a challenge he will face, his duty as he sees it versus what he desires most for his life. There will come a point where he will reach a crossroads in the story, right now it's not too late to choose a different path, but eventually he'll reach a point of no return. We'll just have to cheer for him to make the choice that will actually make him happy.

 

While there is some pussyfooting for sure, at the same time, I think Kellar's true feelings are going to continue to seep out. He's not being all that subtle. Or perhaps it's just because we know what's going on inside his head?

 

I do have to say, Tobyn's reaction to Kellar's "just get this over with" statement is somewhat surprising. Putting it all in perspective, Kellar just barely met Tobyn, and honestly doesn't hold any obligation to Morningstar. That reaction to Kellar's potential departure says a lot more about Tobyn than it anything else. Hopefully that guy will get some self awareness soon.

 

Of course seeing Kellar in this chapter, I can't see him just walking away. Not so much because of Tobyn, but because he'll want to help. This malaise is infecting the entire pack, as seen in the diminished colors of the two boys. Kellar will want to see if there's any way for him to help. Now Tobyn just needs to realize that if he does indeed want Kellar to stay, he'll need a reason. A reason Tobyn could easily provide... ;)

LOL... no, Kellar has not been subtle... not since his "I find you attractive' admittance. And when he tries to pretend something isn't bothering him, Tobyn catches on to it every time. So much for trying to close up. :) . I'm glad you caught Tobyn's reaction to Kellar's "get this over with" statement. His "Did I do something wrong?" tells me he knew what was bothering Kellar... or at least that he had a good idea. Yeah, it was very telling. Your last statement is very perceptive. Kellar, as we know him so far, should be torn as to what to do. He is a healer, first and foremost. Love this review... thanks for the support, spikey... cheers... Gary...

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On 06/21/2016 10:42 PM, LitLover said:

Oh this made me so sad. I had a feeling that Tobyn's sense of duty was going to prevent him from exploring his feelings for Kellar. Kellar is also far too noble and good to consider trying to poach someone he thinks belongs to another, no matter how much he may want him. My hope is that after spending time together, helping the pack, that their bond will be strong enough for Tobyn to not be able to let Kellar go when the time comes. It's going to be painful for both men though, as they get to know and like each other more and more with the belief that they can never be anything more than friends.

I do like Tilly so far though. She is obviously concerned about her sister and wants her to get better. It's hard to root against someone you actually like, but I will find a way ;)

Imagine how Kellar felt after meeting Tilly. He liked her right away. He has this crush on a guy, and it's a strong one, but the reality of the malaise "nails him right between the eyes." He is too nice a guy not to take a step back... and that may not be what we want, it makes sense from what we know of the big man. He's going to try his best to look at the big picture, but he also doesn't want to watch the guy 'he might well love" be with someone else. It's a hell of a dilemma for a young, inexperienced man with the tender heart Kellar has. It appears I made a lot of readers sad... sorry, but I promise you in my mind every action is well thought out, and I hope/think, believable. Thanks for the review, my friend... cheers... Gary

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On 06/21/2016 11:31 PM, Puppilull said:

I'm with Lux too. Pups can be ensured in other ways. No need to get married just for that sake. Then I think they should consider they've only known each other for a few days. Sure, they're really young, but they should play it a little cooler and see what happens. Why decide everything right away? They still have no idea if Kellar can help.

 

I'm glad Tilly isn't some bitchy monster of a girlfriend. Having her be a nice and decent person makes things more interesting.

Hey, Puppi. Tilly is a sweetheart, and I agree that makes it more interesting. Other than he elderly aunt, Adelin is her only family, and the girl is terrified of losing her. Kellar, too, is terrified of how she, Tobyn and the whole pack will react if he can't help her. It won't stop him from trying, though. As far as pups, they are only part of how Tobyn sees his life unfolding. This is a very typical family community, with mommies and daddies and kiddies. Women expect and are entitled to have a husband/mate, so they aren't at the point yet where they feel the need to change that outlook. There is more to that whole picture I can't comment on yet. The issue is That Tobyn has a life plan, and yesterday, he met someone who has thrown him for a loop. A man doesn't fit this ingrained picture he has of what his life will look like. You're so right that it's early days, and there are some other priorities that need to be dealt with. Thanks for your support, my friend... cheers... Gary...

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Good chapter, G. Kellar is going for the strong, stoic persona, huh? Kinda soon to be making the "great sacrifice for love" proclamations but that's how you want this to go. :rolleyes: I'm going to agree with everything Timothy M said in his 'short story soon to be a novel' :funny: review. Let's give it time, folks. If they are 'earth mates', you'll guide us there and we'll enjoy the journey....as usual. I wanna ask questions, but I know you'll answer them in your own sweet time. :2thumbs:

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On 06/22/2016 12:57 AM, Bucket1 said:

Some men are idiots. I will give some leeway to Kellar because he hasn't been around people too much and I guess to be fair I need to give some leeway to Tobyn because he is fixated on saving his pack but what happens after he has saved them? Then what? Just bloody well tell each other how you feel!!!!

Sigh... some men are idiots, just plain idiots... if the two of them are earth mates as we all suspect - STOP FIGHTING IT

Fiction or reality, it's always easier to fix other people's lives :)

 

A nice chapter young Gary, a speedy read so get working on the next one. Cheep, cheep

LOL... The best part of this review was 'young Gary'... love that hehe :) . And I have been saying for years that men are idiots. I'm pleased you're giving them leeway though, B, because this is a tough situation all round. For just meeting yesterday, I think there is some progress. Whatever is happening to these two young men, they feel it, but they don't really know what to do about it. Still, I think they have told each other how they feel, in that foot scuffing, beating around the bush kind of way we do when we're young and unsure. I don't expect Tobyn is ready to divert from his course though... does that make him an idiot? I'm not sure... maybe. The next one is sitting waiting, my friend, and it's a lot longer than this one... hope you like it

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On 06/22/2016 01:30 AM, Jade1988 said:

Oh man another fantastic chapter!!! Kellar and Tobyn know they have great chemistry but can't get it together. Looking forward to more!!!

Thank you, Jade! I appreciate the kind words. I'm glad you like their chemistry, and I think we all can see it. We'll see what paths they take as the story unfolds. Thanks so much for the enthusiastic review... cheers... Gary...

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On 06/22/2016 01:52 AM, Timothy M. said:

:blink::huh: wow, I thought my readers were cool about accepting the unusual scenario of Patrick and Peter declaring their love after less than three days. But here people are grumbling because two teens, of which one had never even considered being gay/bi, are not immediately falling into each other's arms as destined earth mates two days after meeting.

I thought both Kellar and Tobyn are remarkable open about how they feel, both internally and externally. Kellar has already accepted as a fact that he loves Tobyn and will never want anyone else, and that he cannot leave without admitting it. Tobyn is openly saying he can feel Kellar's mental anguish and that he has issues which needs to be dealt with. “I’m not clueless, and you’re not the only one who has some emotions to sort through, you know.” How much more obvious can he be?

Plus it's not as if him and Tilly are getting married tomorrow, they're not even living together or having sex. For all we know, Tilly may fall head over heels in love with her sister's savior, because her reaction to Tobyn seems more like a sister or friend than a lover. There is plenty of time for them to break up, but right now Adelin must have first priority.

OK, enough about that, but y'all need to have faith in Gary. He's on chapter twenty-something and this story is like a fine single malt. It needs to mature slowly in order for us to get the full flavor and enjoy the taste. Now onto my 'normal' review topic: the title. ;)

Both men are definitely caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place. For both of them the rock is their mutual attraction and the love we can see develop. This huge rock has come tumbling into their lives, smashing preconceived notions and opening up a new path in the hard tangle of duty and obligations. Tobyn's hard place is his sense of duty to his pack, his determination to save them. As Kellar says it: You’ve made a decision, and your life is not your own. Kellar's hard place is his need to heal, he has already explained he's driven to help sick and injured creatures. Even if he wanted to run away from the heartbreak of the situation with Tobyn, he can't. :no:

As for being on the outside, looking in.... this points to Kellar, but in fact it was Tilly who was outside the car looking in before this chapter began. Kellar may be outside the pack and outside Tobyn's relationship with Tilly, but I don't think that will last. The draw between the two men is too strong, and I believe it will soon become obvious to the other shifters. After all, they have noses and eyes too. Once Adelin is better, Tobyn will find a way explain to Tilly. But it would be cruel to break up with a girl, who's already at breaking point from fear for her sister's life.

It was a wonderful chapter, showing us Kellar's compassion and understanding and anguish in love, as well as Tobyn being almost more focused on the hurt he percieves from Kellar than helping Adelin and Tilly. Soon there will be no denying their bond openly.

Thanks, Tim, for such a wonderful and supportive review. I loke that you did it in 'book' form :) . Kudos to LadyDe! Any reaction from readers is a good reaction, but I'm glad you see what is happening the way you do. It's the way I see it too. There is a reality here that two young men have to deal with. Will it be easy? Probably not, but who knows. There are priorities here, and something huge hanging overhead. I get that there is an element of sadness to the situation, as it stands, but this story is a living, evolving entity, at least in my mind, so it will not be at all static. I tried to show how they almost can't control or hide things from one another, and that too, has to be a little disconcerting for them. I see that you get all this. Each man is overwhelmed by the newness of so many things... Tobyn's dedication, and Kellar's 'innocence' for want of a better word, puts them both between the 'rock and a hard place'... and you explain that beautifully. I keep saying it, but there is so much more to come, and I'm trying hard to do what happens justice. Meanwhile, I appreciate the thoughts of everyone who comments because I love hearing what they think, and this was an outstanding review, Tim. I don't even know what to say to give it its due. Much appreciated... the support and the kind words... cheers... Gary...

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On 06/22/2016 03:53 AM, LadyDe said:

Good chapter, G. Kellar is going for the strong, stoic persona, huh? Kinda soon to be making the "great sacrifice for love" proclamations but that's how you want this to go. :rolleyes: I'm going to agree with everything Timothy M said in his 'short story soon to be a novel' :funny: review. Let's give it time, folks. If they are 'earth mates', you'll guide us there and we'll enjoy the journey....as usual. I wanna ask questions, but I know you'll answer them in your own sweet time. :2thumbs:

Thank you LadyDe. Yeah, Tim outdid himself this tim lol. I'm pleased you agree with him, and I'm glad you have faith in me. And yes, I will answer all the questions before I'm done... hopefully. I was originally thinking this might be a series, but now I'm pretty sure it will just be one book. Thanks, my friend, for your support and the review... cheers... Gary....

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