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Morningstar: The Malaise - 13. Chapter 13 Revelations

Questions, and more questions....

Morningstar: The Malaise

 

 

Chapter 13

 

 

“There’s someone I think you should meet.”

“I’d like to meet everyone, Tobyn, but really, what’s the point? Maybe over time, I can get to know the entire pack, but one more person might mean one more set of questions about me staying, and I’d prefer not to go through that right now. If a shifter needs healing in the future, you can bring them to me or call me, and introduce us then. Sorry. I’m not trying to be difficult.”

Elinor, who’d left the table to speak to some new arrivals, called over and waved good-bye from the entrance to the offices. They returned the gesture just before she disappeared inside. “Okay, but why didn’t you want to tell my mother you’re planning on leaving? Don’t you think she should know at least?”

“Honestly, this is really hard because I like your mom a lot, and she’s made me feel so welcome. I know I should have, but… I didn’t want to disappoint her.”

Tobyn snorted. “You’re going to do it anyway. Everyone will be. Having a healer… hell, another pack member, is a big freaking deal, and with what you did for Adelin….”

Kellar dropped his chin and stared at the table as a new wave of guilt hit him.

“Hey, look, I’m sorry. I don’t want to make you feel bad. I didn’t mean that to sound the way it did.”

“Yeah, okay, I know. You’re just speaking the truth.” He lifted his head. “Anyway, you’re stuck with me another day.”

“Two.”

“What, no? Just one.”

“So, let me get this straight. I’m dropping you off at your place after we visit the mechanic guy… with my mom in the truck?”

“Crap. Didn’t think of that.”

Tobyn smirked. “That’s obvious. Kellar, you know I have to set out in search of other packs, and I can’t do that until after I bring Mom back home. So, how about we leave the next morning. I’ll drop you off and continue on my way. Does that work for you, or do you want to be inside a truck with Elinor Berenger, arguing about why you’re not joining the Morningstar pack even though you don’t have one of your own?”

Kellar knew when he’d been beat. “It looks like I don’t really have a choice, I guess. I know it’s cowardly, but I’ll tell her just before we leave for my cabin. It’ll be easier that way. Two days it is. Tobyn?”

“Yeah?”

“Do you have any clue where you’re going? I mean, do you have any leads on where to find other wolf packs?”

“I have a rough idea of where a couple of them used to be located… the basic vicinity, anyway, and pack names should be easy to spot. They’re usually something to do with the heavens… stars, planets, constellations… stuff like that, so if there’s a sign for a business that sounds promising, I’ll check it out. Hopefully, they’re still in the areas I know of. I’ve got no choice. One way or another, I have to get answers before it’s too late for all of us.” He halted as their breakfast dishes were cleared away by a beaming woman named Marjorie.

“Anything else, gentlemen?”

“No, we’re good, Marje, thanks.”

Kellar waited until they were alone again. “So, okay… let’s say you find them. You’re going to a strange pack you know nothing about all by yourself? Shouldn’t you take a Morningstar shifter or two with you?”

Tobyn snorted again. “In a perfect world, yeah. But, look around you. Do you see any extra people? We’re short of members to run all the different sections as it is. The Marina alone could use three or four more helpers, and the farm and livestock divisions are surviving with skeleton crews doing double duty. The only reason I’m going is to try and stop the malaise. Otherwise I’d be here doing my share. It’s tough on the whole pack, but everyone voted in favor of me doing this. And besides, I'll be careful.”

Kellar almost wished he hadn’t asked the question, and in that moment, he felt like a selfish piece-of-crap. This was his day for guilt, and it was fast becoming overwhelming. Maybe, over the next couple of days, he could reconcile himself to the reality of Tobyn being off-limits, and make the ache of being around him more bearable. The guy was being heroic, and Kellar was the opposite, wanting to run away and hide while he licked his wounds. “I’m sorry. You’ve got all this on your shoulders, and I’m only thinking of myself.”

“Jeez, Kellar… what the fuck are you talking about? Were you thinking about yourself last night when you went through hell to save Adelin?”

Man, he was intense. “It wasn't that big a deal,” he protested mildly.

“Bullshit. You didn’t even know me, yet you saved my life, and then dropped everything and left your home to come help me and my pack. Don’t ever say it was no big deal, and don’t say it’s who you are as a healer, like it was nothing.” He was practically vibrating as he admonished Kellar. “Both of us… we do what we have to, and that’s all we can do. I drew the line… not you… and you have every right to get on with your own life. You don't owe me or anyone else a thing. All right?”

“Uh huh. I guess we have this mutual admiration thing going on.”

“Yeah, I guess we do. So how about it?”

“How about what?”

“The person I want you to meet. Are you up for it?”

“That depends.” Kellar was glad the topic had changed. He needed to process the still-present guilt as well as the pain that showed up in Tobyn’s eyes at the end of his little speech. “Who is this person, and what’s the reason?”

“Her name is Sybil, Miss Sybil, and I want you to talk to her because she knows more about pack histories than anyone else in the compound. Plus, she’s damn awesome.”

“Awesome? Why is she awesome?”

“If you spend some time with her, you’ll see for yourself,” he said in teasing challenge. “Seriously, man, I know you have a lot of questions, and maybe she can give you some answers… while you’re still here.”

Damn… he could have done without that last part. Kellar put on his game face. “Okay, I’m convinced. So no tour?”

“We’ll start with Miss Sybil and go from there.”

 

Her house was only a twenty minute walk from the lodge, in the opposite direction from Tobyn’s place. The wind had slowed to a gentle breeze, so the stroll through dappled sunshine was nice. As they approached, Kellar could see an open field bordering her gardens, surrounded by chain-link fencing. When he asked, his friend explained it was the school playground, and that classes were done for the summer. Kellar heard a shout at the same time he saw two kids kicking a soccer ball back and forth. “That looks like fun.”

Tobyn smiled as he watched the pair. “I love soccer. Those two are little whizzes at it. I used to let them run circles around me to make them feel good, but now, I don’t let them… they just do it.”

“I recognize them from yesterday. I noticed one had inflamed tonsils, when you were talking to Tilly at the truck.” He focused and flickered. “They’re not worse, but they should still get some attention.”

Tobyn showed more than a little concern. “Could it get bad?”

“Don’t worry. I’ll look after him. I have the right herb, and it will only take a few minutes. It quite likely would clear up on its own, but there’s no reason to wait and see.”

“Thanks. The young ones don’t always get better the way shifter kids used to. It’s a twenty mile trip to the doctor, but we’ve learned not to take chances.” There was no disguising the sadness in his remark.

“If you want, I can check all the kids today?”

“That would be great. There’s only six who haven’t shifted yet.”

“Six? That’s all there are in the entire pack?” His stomach soured at the unexpected revelation, and he felt terrible that he hadn’t known such a hugely important fact. He should have asked.

Tobyn nodded as he peered into Kellar’s face. “Now do you understand why I can’t just act on whatever I might feel? Why my choice is made for me? A lot of our members are older and that makes what you did for Adelin all the more important. She could have a big impact on the future of Morningstar. Child-bearing years are a lot shorter than they used to be. It sucks, but the truth is a lot of us, men and women, have proved infertile, and we don’t exactly have access to clinics to help us. It’s why I have to try… I have to, because maybe I’m one of the few who can still produce pups. It’s hard, because we’re trying to hold onto our traditional values, and that means….”

“Tobyn, stop. I get it. I always did, but I didn’t know the extent that… Christ!” Kellar exclaimed. “I should have figured it out. I’m sorry for all the pressure you’re under… I really am.” That kind of number hit him hard. Without children, the pack was most certainly doomed. The direness of the situation had just slapped him in the face, and he had even more to think about. “Do you want me to look at them now?”

“Oh no, it’s fine. Just relax, okay? You can do it later. This is your chance to talk to Miss Sybil and you should take it. She’s an interesting woman.” Despite the change of subject, a bleakness seeped from the man, and Kellar’s heart twisted.

“What’s the taller boy’s name?”

“Dane.”

“Okay, I’ll take care of him after I talk to this oh-so-mysterious woman.” He smiled, but it was a feeble attempt to lighten a sober mood.

 

Miss Sybil was ninety-four, but looked more like sixty-five to an instantly captivated Kellar. Much of her hair was still a soft brown color, and her skin looked well cared for. What truly surprised him, though, were her colors. Hers were a little more vibrant than any of the others he’d seen. That piqued his curiosity.

“What a handsome man you are. I’ve heard a lot about you, and what you did for our young Adelin. Kellar, am I correct?”

“Yes, ma’am. It’s nice to meet you.”

A vivacious, bright-eyed woman, she motioned for Kellar to lean a bit so she could give his cheek a kiss. “Goodness, you’re so tall. Tobyn, you know your way around. Could you pour the tea from the pot on the warmer for us? I’ll have mine in a cup and saucer, but you boys can use the large mugs. Kellar and I can begin to get acquainted in the parlor.”

“Yes, Miss Sybil,” Tobyn said.

“I’ve been looking forward to chatting with you since yesterday, so I was pleased when Tobyn called,” she said as Kellar followed her into the adjoining room.

He was directed with a gesture to the couch, and folded himself down into it while his hostess sat elegantly forward on an upholstered armchair. “It’s a great view you have here,” he commented as he looked through a few trees out onto the soccer field. He took note of the profusion of rosebushes along the fence line, ending at an open gate.

“Yes, it’s my favorite thing about this old place. I love watching the young ones during their recesses when school is in session. On the warmer days, I open the windows so I can hear them playing. Not many kids left though, but still, they are a precious part of my life.”

Tobyn, looking like he owned the place, carried a tray in and set it down, first serving the lady her tea, and then Kellar his. Soon they were all sitting and conversing with ease. Miss Sybil was definitely a charmer.

“Kellar is an unusual name. Do you know what it means?”

She’d caught him by surprise. “No, ma’am. I’m not sure it means anything. I looked it up once, but I couldn’t find it.”

“Well, in the old highlands, where many of us originate, it means savior… actually little savior, as opposed to The Savior, which I’m assuming you are not.” Her sharp gray eyes were twinkling.

“No, I’m not Him, ma’am.” Kellar looked at Tobyn and smiled. “I did save your behind, though.”

That got him a chuckle. “Actually, you saved my head, not my rear.” They laughingly told of how they met, trading the story back and forth. Miss Sybil seemed totally engaged as she listened. She showed her fascination when Kellar talked about his ability to see colors in all living things, and how that translated to his healing.

“You have such an amazing gift, and the right name for being a healer,” she said when the story wound down.

“Yeah, I guess savior sort of fits, doesn’t it?”

“No, my dear. Savior isn’t the name for healer. It means something totally different… it suggests you are destined for great things for your people, according to some of our more obscure legends. It’s Haylan that means healer.

“What? Are you sure?”

“Oh yes, I’m quite sure. There is a healer bloodline that goes back for many centuries, and their surname is the one you carry. Its exact translation is ‘one who heals,’ and it was considered a sacred name.”

“Wow.” Kellar’s mind whirled. Did this mean his unknown father was one too? Did he really come from a family of them? It would explain so much. “Do you know of any other Haylans, ma’am?”

“I’m sorry, no. I haven’t heard of another in my lifetime. I only know the name from the stories.”

“Are you a Keeper?”

“Oh, heavens no. I’m a seer. Although I haven’t had a real vision in more than a decade. Keepers have perfect memories, and that doesn’t describe me.” She let free the sweetest little laugh.

When Kellar turned to Tobyn, he saw he was being watched intently, and he wondered what showed on his face. The revelation of what his names meant was twisting him in knots because it was a possible clue to his origin, and he had to move. He stood up, uncertain what he needed to do.

“Tobyn, dear. Maybe you should go kick the soccer ball with those boys who were hanging around. They’ve seen you come in here, so I’m sure they’re still out there waiting on you. This young man and I can continue to chat for a bit.”

“Sure, Miss Sybil. I’ll be outside if you need me.” It was clear his friend was being dismissed, but Kellar wasn’t sure of this intriguing woman’s reasoning.

“Maybe I should go with you?” He looked from one to the other. The idea of Tobyn leaving did not sit well with him at all.

“Nonsense, dear. I expect you have questions for me. Do you not?”

“Yes, ma’am, I just….”

“You’re a man who needs to walk when he thinks. Go ahead and pace. Tobyn, we’ll be fine. Kellar is just digesting what he learned about his lineage. Off you go.”

When Tobyn obediently went out the door, Kellar moved to the window. He watched the blond man saunter through the gate and over to the left edge of the field where the boys were now sitting. Miss Sybil, still in her chair behind him, was silent, other than the sound of her sips from the dainty teacup. He stayed where he was, observing the interaction outside.

“He’s a good man.”

“Pardon?”

“Tobyn. You like him.”

“Yes, ma’am. He’s the first real friend I’ve had. He really cares about the pack.” He continued to watch as Tobyn talked to the boys. He was feeling quite agitated, and he wasn’t sure why.

“He cares about you too.”

Kellar turned and faced her. “We’ve become good friends.”

“Would you mind filling me in on some of your history, dear? I admit to being a nosy old woman.” Her smile was not to be resisted. “I understand you have no pack?”

“No, ma’am. I mean, I’ve never had a pack… I don’t mind telling you my history.” He informed her of what he knew about his parents’ accident while he paced, as well as about his different stays in foster care. She only really reacted to his revealing he’d been alone for the last three years, shaking her head in a sympathetic gesture. When he finished, he sat down again, fidgeting the whole time.

“In the safe environment of a pack, your shift would probably have occurred earlier, once the physical changes began. Your wolf would not have felt safe in the situation you were in. Your brother threatening you in such a way brought that part of you forward; it would have been a defensive reaction, and that is indeed a shame. It’s remarkable you handled your first transformation alone like you did. You really are an impressive young man who possesses a very strong magic. That, I’m positive of. Would you like more tea?”

“No, thank you. I’m fine. I think I’ve had enough caffeine for the day. It’s making me a little jumpy.”

“Um hmm. So, what do you want to know? Ask me anything you’re curious about.”

“Well, first of all, I don’t consider what I do to be ‘magic.’ It’s just using my color sight to heal, so I don’t understand why you would use that word?”

Miss Sybil looked at him like he was a child to be humored. “My dear boy, of course it’s magic. We shifters are a magical race, just like the faerie folk, and the spell casters and numerous other secret peoples. We change from humans to wolves with ease, and you can heal with a touch… yes, the colors help you, but it is your magic that performs miracles, and I used to be able to see glimpses into the future and the past. Do you really think what we can do is not magic?”

“I… I never thought of it that way.” Faerie folk and spell casters? He certainly had a lot to learn.

“And of course you wouldn’t, because you’ve not had the benefit of your people. You’ve had to survive among humans with their perceptions. Just remember, those don’t always apply to us. The earth mother has seen fit to mold us differently.” Her eyes never left him as he slowly came to the realization he had been conditioned to reject the idea of magic, yet he was living proof. “But these are things for another day. Let’s get back to the things you want to know now.

He rose again and went back to the big window. Tobyn had moved to the picnic table at the corner of the house, and the boys were nowhere to be seen. Sighing, he walked back to the couch and sat down. “What can you tell me about earth mates, Miss Sybil? Tobyn believes they’re a thing of the past. Do you think that’s true?” The idea of soul mates was magic in itself, wasn’t it?

“I’m not surprised he believes such a thing. He’s not alone, and shifters don’t even bother to venture out anymore. It does seem to be falling by the wayside… but do I think they don’t exist anymore? No. The great mother would not take that from us. I believe circumstances have led us down the wrong path. We’ve grown inward as a pack, and out of fear, we are cutting off our own blood supply.”

“What do you mean about the fear?” He leaned forward, hanging on every word and nuance of this experienced elder.

“We used to travel… packs always met regularly and mixed. Wolves would find their mates, often at great distances away. It was good for our blood. We haven’t had fresh blood in the pack in such a long time, and I know that isn’t healthy. For damn near a century now, we’ve kept to ourselves. Hunters decimated us and we’ve never recovered. It is fear that made packs close ranks and stop mixing.

“There was no trust in the safety of the gatherings because that was when we were picked off the most often. They made us feel vulnerable. Some shifters would disappear with no trace, and some were found shot or worse… piles of ashes and bones… a mate knows when their other half is gone,” she said with pain resonating in her voice.

“We haven’t even communicated with others since Fendral was our alpha. He put rules in place to try to keep us safe. He lost his whole family, most likely at the hands of hunters, and I believe he thought he was doing the right thing. I think, though, he was misguided by his personal pain.”

“So these hunters still exist… they still hunt us?”

“I can’t answer that question, dear. I know the packs destroyed a nest of them before I was born, but instead of giving us confidence, it made us paranoid. I’m sure some are out there… pack members do still disappear from time to time, but not enough to have caused us to give up. God bless Tobyn for wanting to search out other packs, and a cure for the malaise. I think the sickness is some sort of disease, and it might be in our blood, but that’s just a frustrated old woman’s guess.”

Kellar leaned back on the couch, trying to piece his fleeting thoughts together. He absorbed what she said, but he wasn’t sure she was right. It presented more like a deficiency than a disease, like something was missing. Could it be as simple as diet, or environment? She did have a point about a blood ailment developing over time, and it’s possible the dullness of the colors was its only giveaway. He was inexperienced with shifter healing, so there was much he didn’t know. While he might have ideas and inklings, he couldn’t discount anything. “What happens if a shifter finds their mate?”

“Oh, that’s an easy one. If you find your mate, you’ll know it, but it may take some time. It’s different for each couple, and some take weeks or longer before they clue in to their connection.”

“So, it can be confusing?”

“It can be… but usually they figure it out sooner rather than later. It’s love, dear, and there are no hard and fast rules.”

“Oh… okay.”

Miss Sybil gave him another one of her sweet smiles. “Once it starts though, there’s no stopping it. First will be an attraction you’ve never felt before, and it will be strong. Mates are drawn to each other on every level, and while some may take longer to get there, they always do. You’ll feel on top of the world, and your wolf’s excitement will be impossible to ignore.” She seemed to go somewhere else for a brief moment. “All your senses will be sharper. And you’ll hate being separated, even by short distances. It’s like there’s a string tying you together, but it’s not a bad thing, because through that tie, you can sense what the other is feeling. It’s beautiful.” The look in her eyes was wistful, and Kellar saw a shimmer of tears.

“You’re speaking from experience, aren’t you?”

“I am, yes. Not many are left who know this, but I met my earth mate when I was seventeen. We had two days together at the first conclave organized in more than a decade. He was supposed to join our pack two weeks after I went back, but he disappeared when he went out for a run in his woods. He wasn’t the only one to disappear after that mixing… there hasn’t been one for us since.

“The separation was terrible, but when I learned he was gone, it tore me apart. I could feel the trauma he experienced when it happened, and we hadn’t even performed the mating yet. To this day, he’s still the only one for me. He should have come with me when I left, but he wanted to help his pack bring in the harvest first. They were terribly shorthanded. If I had insisted, he would have come. He would have done anything for me.”

“That’s awful. I’m so sorry, ma’am.”

“Thank you, dear. This is just between us. Even back then it was becoming a rare and special thing to find your mate. At least we had two days. Why would you be asking about earth mates?”

Was that a knowing smirk on her intelligent face? “I’m curious, about so many things. What did you mean about completing the mating?”

“There’s a simple answer to that too. From the time you meet your mate, your connection is strong. But it’s only a taste of what’s to come after you consummate your union. We call it the joining, and it enhances your senses to an even higher level.”

“I see.” He tried not to picture too much, but he couldn’t keep images of Tobyn from his mind.

“No, not yet you don’t.” She showed a hint of a smile. “The joining usually requires a few days before it is complete. Some of us feel the need to taste the other’s blood during that time. Our canine teeth may lengthen. Don’t look so horrified, young man. It’s just a scrape and a lick. We’re not vampires.” It was entrancing to see this elderly lady giggle.

“Oh, okay. So not everyone feels that urge?”

“I think most do, but the act of consummation… exchanging body fluids… is enough for some to forge their complete connection. Arthur and I never got the chance to complete our joining, other than a few stolen kisses, so I can only go by what I was taught many years ago. I was fortunate enough to be around Fendral and Esther after they found each other, and it was wonderful. Everyone wanted to bask in the glow of what they had. It was such a special thing. Are you sure you don’t want more tea?”

God bless her. Almost eighty years had gone by, and still she loved her mate. Poor Sybil, and poor Fendral, for losing something so precious. “Miss Sybil? What about humans? Are they ever mates for shifters?”

“You’re asking something that can be quite controversial, I’m afraid.”

“Sorry, I didn’t….”

“No, no, dear, don’t be. You have every right to know what a pack should have taught you. The fact is, all through the histories there have been matings, true matings, with humans. There are those few who think it wrong, but the keeper I knew best said it always proved to be good for the pack. We are a variation of human after all, and indistinguishable until our first shift. I haven’t known any, but I don’t see the stigma of it.”

“Do they change to shifters after their joining?”

“Not necessarily. It’s a choice they have to make, and that situation, if they want it, does require the exchange of blood over an extended length of time.”

“How long is extended?” Kellar got up and walked to the window again. Tobyn hadn’t moved from his spot at the picnic table, and he looked deep in thought with his fingers entwined in a tight grip.

“I’m not sure… I’m only going by second-hand information, but I’ve heard it can range from as little as ten days to double that. The stories say if a day is missed, though, the change won’t take. That’s all I know, other than they most always do want to change once they join with their mates. Any children they produce are always shifters.”

“Does it ever happen that earth mates will reject one another… don’t end up together because of choice?”

He turned and watched her survey him for what seemed like minutes, but was really only seconds. “The earth mother gives us this gift, but she does not take away free will. It doesn’t happen often, but I have heard of those who fell in love with someone other than their true mate, and chose to stay with them. It’s hard for the one rejected, but as long as the joining hasn’t taken place, they can deal with it. As I said, it’s rare, but love is a very powerful thing on its own. The mother doesn’t dictate what we do as individuals… that’s up to us. I must say, I’ve never heard of it happening after the joining, though.”

Kellar had suspected it was the case, and he felt sadness at learning he was right. “Ma’am, thank you for all the information. It’s a lot to take in, especially that I carry the healer name.”

“Don’t forget savior. It has meaning too. I’m a seer who doesn’t see much anymore, but I’m getting a nudge I haven’t felt in a long time. You, young man, are important to our pack. I’m fluttering the way I used to, before I would get visions. That’s what I call it, anyway,” she explained. “Sometimes they’re of the past, and sometimes they’re of the future, and I often don’t know which. I think there is more to you than just your ability to heal, but I’m an old woman. I might be hoping more than actually sensing,” she admitted with a self-deprecating smile.

“I’m just a healer, Miss Sybil. I’m content with that.”

“And you should be. You’re much calmer now than you were.” There was a hint of amusement in her expression. “Is Tobyn still sitting at the outside table?”

“Yes, ma’am. How did you know he was there?”

“Because you finally settled down. I knew exactly when he returned to the house. You know, don’t you, dear?”

“I’m sorry. I don’t understand what you mean.”

“Yes, you do. If it’s plain to me, it has to be to you.”

Kellar went to object, but looking into those bright, kind eyes, he folded. “I suspect, but I'm not certain. It doesn’t matter anyway. Tobyn cares more about Morningstar, and he should.”

“Yes, the pack is important to him, but I don’t believe for a second he cares more for it.”

“Maybe… maybe I’m just in plain old love?”

“Well, that could be, but it’s not what your heart is telling you, is it?”

“I’m not sure a heart always makes the best sense of things, especially one that’s never felt this way before.” He looked away from those challenging eyes. “It takes two,” he muttered.

“So what are you going to do?”

“I’m going to take it one day at a time, and I’m going to try to find answers, but I will never stand in Tobyn’s way. Miss Sybil, I’m curious… how does the pack feel about… unconventional pairings?”

“Who cares what anyone else might think, dear boy? Does it matter to you?”

“No, ma’am. Not at all.”

A big thank you to my editor, Timothy M., and to all those who read and support this story.

Copyright © 2017 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
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:D

 

Hmm... I'm envisioning some plot threads I didn't see before, now. Keller asks some very interesting questions and a lot perhaps not what he 'should' be asking God but definitely what he feels he needs to ask.

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So we see they both feel this earth mate/soul mate thing, so does Sybil-she isn't blind. Just what are they gonna do about it though? With Mr. I Have To and Mr. I Wont Stand In His Way, falling every which way but together. Let's see if time in the truck (sounds like a jail sentence) with mom turns up anything or if visiting this guy they're visiting makes any difference. All I know is someone needs to get this thing together before it is too late.
Good chapter, Gary. (Ok, it's great, but I use that word a lot and thought,.. you know I'd use good, just for a change)
tim xo

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Great job!!! I kinda want to tell Tobyn to get his out of a**, but it's in his character to do what he is supposed to do...but I really cannot imagine him rejecting Kellar if he does finally figure out what both Sybil and Kellar already know...

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Tobyn is sneaky... Getting Kellar to Sybil and show him how much there is to learn about his history and shifters. It's a seduction taking place, just not the one the guys actually want. Tobyn really will do everything for his pack. Not in a bad way, just very goal oriented.

 

And I still root for surrogacy! ;)

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Its like sitting on the edge of your chair just waiting and waiting and waiting...for them to get a clue! Come on already! I want them to hurry up and admit they are mates and in love. Big sigh...Love Miss Sybil! It is so sad how depleted the Pack is and the story behind Packs in general and what has happened to them all. So sad...
Thanks again. So can't wait for next week!

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Just some casual questions about earth mates, not asking for any reason, OMG I can't stand to be away from Tobyn, not really asking for any reason at all. :rolleyes:

 

Seer or not, Sybil is not stupid, their love is as plain as the nose on their faces :P

 

I like the longerererer chapters and the next one (the road trip) will be a hoot, trapped in a car with Mum, all that time to ask questions...

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Yeah this just opened up a whole bunch more possibilities within the story. There's potential dangers with these hunters probably out there somewhere. There's other "magical races" that may be involved in future interactions. And, regular humans can become earth mates and also chose to become shifters after the bonding. That seems to be a rather important point as there may be just as much potential there for bringing new blood into the pack as going out to find other packs.

 

So Kellar essentially learns that he and Tobyn are earth mates. Also leaning even more about how earth mating works, we learn there is even more to the bond growing between them. Also Tobyn's reaction to Kellar saying he's leaving makes a lot more sense now. Basically now that they're bonded, it'll be almost impossible for them to just walk away from each other. It also seems like simple duty to the pack won't quite be enough to allow Tobyn to pick Tilly over Kellar. If they ever actually consumate that sounds like a done deal.

 

Of course this brings up the question that if the whole issue of repopulating the pack is more complicated than simple surrogacy would allow, how could there be a homosexual earth mating? Simply because two men wouldn't be able to biologically reproduce, but if they're earth mates then they're basically destined to be together. Unless there's some kind of like mystical or metaphysical way to reproduce. Like if Kellar and Tobyn went the adoption route and in some bonding ritual were able to pass shifter traits onto their adopted kids.

 

Anyway, I always tell you I'm loving this story more and more each chapter, and this is no exception. There's so many new avenues this story can take. Great job as always Gary.

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Oh this is wonderful ... a bit more info, a few more questions. Whether he stays or goes Kellar needs more time with Miss Sybil.

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On 07/12/2016 10:39 AM, Lux Apollo said:

:D

 

Hmm... I'm envisioning some plot threads I didn't see before, now. Keller asks some very interesting questions and a lot perhaps not what he 'should' be asking God but definitely what he feels he needs to ask.

Hey, lux. We are starting to get the bigger picture now, and yet, there is more to come. Kellar has asked some very important questions, but his education is only just beginning :) . There are some very tiny threads in this one... thanks for sticking with me, and for the review, buddy... cheers... Gary....

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On 07/12/2016 10:46 AM, Mikiesboy said:

So we see they both feel this earth mate/soul mate thing, so does Sybil-she isn't blind. Just what are they gonna do about it though? With Mr. I Have To and Mr. I Wont Stand In His Way, falling every which way but together. Let's see if time in the truck (sounds like a jail sentence) with mom turns up anything or if visiting this guy they're visiting makes any difference. All I know is someone needs to get this thing together before it is too late.

Good chapter, Gary. (Ok, it's great, but I use that word a lot and thought,.. you know I'd use good, just for a change)

tim xo

You can use 'great' as much as you want... I like it much better than 'good' hehe. I love how you describe these two and the situation :) . It's exactly right... next chapter we might get to hear some of what Tobyn is thinking... we are building toward the road trip. Thanks for the 'great' review, timmy... cheers... Gary...

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On 07/12/2016 11:07 AM, JayT said:

Great job!!! I kinda want to tell Tobyn to get his out of a**, but it's in his character to do what he is supposed to do...but I really cannot imagine him rejecting Kellar if he does finally figure out what both Sybil and Kellar already know...

Thanks, jt! Yeah, Tobyn is not co-operating... damn him :) . Kellar has a strong suspicion, but he doesn't know for certain... the healer in him might need some sort of proof, but the rest of him is almost afraid of finding it true, and not making a difference. He received some good answers from Miss Sybil, but also some he didn't want to hear. I would like to Tell Tobyn to get his head out too, but he's a character who does things his way... some might say stubborn and worse, but I would say dedicated at his own expense, but that's because I love the guy... thanks for the great review, jt... cheers... Gary...

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On 07/12/2016 01:32 PM, LitLover said:

Curiouser and curiouser. It seems Sybil senses that Kellar and Tobyn are earth mates. Having found her own many years ago I'm sure she recognizes the signs. It sounds like walking away from each other might not be as simple as both men trying to do the right thing. With K being a healer (and possibly a savior?) is the pull T feeling even stronger? I can't imagine the mate of a wolf healer and possible salvation for the pack, wouldn't feel a strong pull to their mate. I get why Tobyn is making the choices he is, but this seems to be bigger than his pack and his personal choices. I have an image of T and K and a road trip, but I won't elaborate yet. I want to see if my 'vision' comes true ;)

 

I am curious about humans though. Why would Kellar ask? Is that a plot thread or a red herring? I think I agree with Sybil... Not having fresh blood in the pack will eventually weaken the bloodlines. I also feel like I should mention that it's all well and good for Tobyn to want to do the 'right' thing, but is he thinking about Tilly? How does he think she's going to feel when she realizes that the guy she's with is in love with someone wake else and she's the sacrifice he feels he has to make? Too bad they don't have actual wolf doctors because surrogacy would solve this mess.

 

Great chapter, Gary. As always there are more questions, but that's keeping us coming back for more.

OH OH! You're having visions now? Cool... maybe you're a shifter 'seer' hehe. Miss Sybil is a very perceptive woman, and I just love writing her. She is held in such high regard by Tobyn, I wonder.... Nothing about what is happening between these two guys is easy. It remains to be seen whether the timing of it is good or bad. All I can say is that they've both been hit hard... and Tobyn is for sure feeling a pull... he just doesn't realize a few things. As far as humans, maybe he just wants the broad picture... and would I put in a red herring? . As far as Tilly... well, there's more to come, so... Thanks for the wonderful, inquisitive review, my friend... cheers... Gary...

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On 07/12/2016 05:39 PM, Puppilull said:

Tobyn is sneaky... Getting Kellar to Sybil and show him how much there is to learn about his history and shifters. It's a seduction taking place, just not the one the guys actually want. Tobyn really will do everything for his pack. Not in a bad way, just very goal oriented.

 

And I still root for surrogacy! ;)

Very perceptive, Puppi. Tobyn is doing things that he maybe doesn't know the why of... he sure wanted Kellar to meet Miss Sybil, though. Is he sneaky, or oblivious to his own actions? Hold that thought on the surrogacy... lots more to come. Thanks for the great review, my friend... cheers... Gary...

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This story just gets more intriguing.

 

One curious thing I picked up on in the dialog with Sybil, she said bonded mates become more powerful. Could it be that Tobyn actually needs to form the bond with Keller to cure the Malaise for the shifters, that maybe by himself he just wont be powerful enough!
It took the pair of them to cure the Leukemia, surely it stands to reason that a disease that threatens the very existence of shifters will take some very powerful magic to cure!

 

Looking forward to seeing how my own seering abilities pan out, or if I should keep playing with my balls. Crystal ones that is!! :P

 

Thanks for a wonderful story so far. :great:

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Loved this chapter.. Great development Gary, and some of my questions got answered, but of course it brings a whole new set. I don't mind letting them muddle in my brain and wait to see where you're going..
Can we take Sybil on the road trip. That would solve a whole lot.. She gives Kellar a hell of a lot to think about. Without probably meaning to, she will influence his decision to stay or go. Maybe, hopefully. I get why Tobyn has dug his heels in and why the pack survival is everything. Knowing that bit of their state shows us how dire their situation is. But...nothing is impossible and I know they can come up with a solution..
Tobyn isn't even trying to deny he feels something for Kellar, Sybil pretty much hinted that the two of them would be great together.. Hellooo, healing energy... How much longer will they be able to go on ignoring the pull between them. It's only going to get stronger and if they are earth mates, (if..ha!) they won't be happy without each other..

 

I am so excited to see this unfold more.. Great job G..

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On 07/12/2016 07:27 PM, Buz said:

Its like sitting on the edge of your chair just waiting and waiting and waiting...for them to get a clue! Come on already! I want them to hurry up and admit they are mates and in love. Big sigh...Love Miss Sybil! It is so sad how depleted the Pack is and the story behind Packs in general and what has happened to them all. So sad...

Thanks again. So can't wait for next week!

LOL... thanks, Buz. It seems like forever but it's only been a few days for these guys. I'm so gald you love Miss Sybil. I love her too! And yes, the plight and story of the pack is sad, but there's still more to come before we are enlightened. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and your wonderful review... cheers... Gary...

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On 07/12/2016 09:08 PM, Bucket1 said:

Just some casual questions about earth mates, not asking for any reason, OMG I can't stand to be away from Tobyn, not really asking for any reason at all. :rolleyes:

 

Seer or not, Sybil is not stupid, their love is as plain as the nose on their faces :P

 

I like the longerererer chapters and the next one (the road trip) will be a hoot, trapped in a car with Mum, all that time to ask questions...

You are so funny, B. Every time I read this I laugh! Not very subtle, was he. Of course, Sybil is one sharp cookie. I like how she refutes Kellar's perception of what Tobyn cares about most. The pack may be the man's priority, but he's having a hell of a time with it. Glad you liked the longerer chapters, but they wont all be the same length. Next chapter may not be what you are expecting. Thanks for the great review, buddy... cheers... Gary...

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Well shoot....I'm late to the party again and all the good questions and thoughts have been asked by the usual suspects!! :( And some answered. So, I'll say "GREAT" chapter. :2thumbs: Very informative. Now...ROAD TRIP!!! (are we there yet? :lmao: )

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On 07/12/2016 11:21 PM, spikey582 said:

Yeah this just opened up a whole bunch more possibilities within the story. There's potential dangers with these hunters probably out there somewhere. There's other "magical races" that may be involved in future interactions. And, regular humans can become earth mates and also chose to become shifters after the bonding. That seems to be a rather important point as there may be just as much potential there for bringing new blood into the pack as going out to find other packs.

 

So Kellar essentially learns that he and Tobyn are earth mates. Also leaning even more about how earth mating works, we learn there is even more to the bond growing between them. Also Tobyn's reaction to Kellar saying he's leaving makes a lot more sense now. Basically now that they're bonded, it'll be almost impossible for them to just walk away from each other. It also seems like simple duty to the pack won't quite be enough to allow Tobyn to pick Tilly over Kellar. If they ever actually consumate that sounds like a done deal.

 

Of course this brings up the question that if the whole issue of repopulating the pack is more complicated than simple surrogacy would allow, how could there be a homosexual earth mating? Simply because two men wouldn't be able to biologically reproduce, but if they're earth mates then they're basically destined to be together. Unless there's some kind of like mystical or metaphysical way to reproduce. Like if Kellar and Tobyn went the adoption route and in some bonding ritual were able to pass shifter traits onto their adopted kids.

 

Anyway, I always tell you I'm loving this story more and more each chapter, and this is no exception. There's so many new avenues this story can take. Great job as always Gary.

Thank you, spikey. Yeah, the story has a lot of different threads, paths that are opening up. Kellar is starting to get more information, and that's a good thing for the healer. You raise some very interesting points I wish I could comment on, but... :) . One thing I will comment on is that they are not 'joined', so they have some choice in matters of the heart. I'm sorry I can't say too much more, but thank you for all the thought you've put into the story. It means a lot to me. We'll find out a little more in the next chapter, and maybe get some further insight into Tobyn... Wonderful review, buddy... cheers... Gary...

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On 07/13/2016 12:52 AM, dughlas said:

Oh this is wonderful ... a bit more info, a few more questions. Whether he stays or goes Kellar needs more time with Miss Sybil.

Thank you, dugh. I'm pleased you think so. We'll see more of Miss Sybil... she's one of those characters that I love to write. Next chapter will round some stuff out a bit, I think... I so appreciate the supportive review, my friend... cheers... Gary...

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On 07/13/2016 05:37 AM, Kitt said:

Thanks, Sis! This was a challenging chapter to piece together so I'm so appreciative of your heart :) . As always, much thanks... cheers... Gary...

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Miss Sibyl is a wonderful woman, and Kellar has learned a lot about his heritage, and about the concept of finding his mate...but it's breaking my heart that he's unable to revel in that as he ought by Tobyn's determination to sacrifice himself for his Pack. That's a worthy thought, but one man won't be able to save it because the inbreeding is so acute. The only hope is to bring in outsiders, and not just find a cure for the Malaise.
I just want to shake Tobyn and tell him to wise up.
An awesome and yet sad chapter, my dear friend.

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On 07/13/2016 05:54 AM, DragonFire said:

This story just gets more intriguing.

 

One curious thing I picked up on in the dialog with Sybil, she said bonded mates become more powerful. Could it be that Tobyn actually needs to form the bond with Keller to cure the Malaise for the shifters, that maybe by himself he just wont be powerful enough!

It took the pair of them to cure the Leukemia, surely it stands to reason that a disease that threatens the very existence of shifters will take some very powerful magic to cure!

 

Looking forward to seeing how my own seering abilities pan out, or if I should keep playing with my balls. Crystal ones that is!! :P

 

Thanks for a wonderful story so far. :great:

Hey, DragonFire. I'm glad you're enjoying the story. You raise some interesting questions, but unfortunately, I can't say much. At least you have something to play with while you're waiting :) . What I can tell you is there is much more yet to unfold so I hope you stay tuned. I'm still laughing about your balls... hehe... thanks for the great review... cheers... Gary....

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