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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 - 15. Chapter 15 Nothing's Written In Stone

Prepared for what?

Morningstar: The Malaise

 

 

Chapter 15

 

 

When they pulled into Tobyn’s driveway, the kids were already there. Six of them sprawled or sat on the small patch of lush green grass that managed to thrive in spite of almost constant shade. A quick flicker proved quite interesting to Kellar, and gave credence to some of his speculations.

There was no burnt umber present in any of them, which further proved his theory it came after the first shift. Dane’s tonsils were a little worse than earlier, but the rest of the youngsters showed nothing to indicate illness. He would wish for more vigorous colors though, but since these were his first glimpses at a bunch of shifter kids, he couldn’t rule out their age played some part.

“Come on. Let’s introduce you to the little monsters.” It was easy to sense how Tobyn felt about these young ones. A mixed wave of pride and concern filled the truck, replacing the previous turmoil he’d read from the man. The same turmoil Kellar was struggling to navigate. It had been a quiet drive from the marina, but if his friend could let it go, so could he. No doubt about it. Tobyn would be a great dad.

The small group stood up, a couple of them shyly fidgeting as Kellar approached just ahead of Tobyn. Kids never made him nervous the way adults did. “Hey, guys and girls. I’m Kellar.”

There was a lot of mumbling before one of the guys commented on how big he was. He grinned and said he ate a lot of spinach as a child, and that effectively broke the ice as a couple of them groaned while others giggled.

Tobyn ran through the group for him, one by one. There were best friends Mace and Dane, the two oldest at almost fifteen. Next was Rafe, at twelve. Rina, a shy little girl, was eleven, and her friend Marilyn, despite being a head taller, was only ten. The youngest was a boy who couldn’t stop moving, and his name was Bertram. He was eight… ‘and a half,’ the energetic lad added, and Kellar took to him right away. Actually, he liked them all. They were a polite, and obviously tight-knit family of friends, and amusing now that they’d relaxed. No children for almost nine years? He couldn’t let himself think about that right now.

“Okay, so you all know I’m really big… and that I’m also a healer.” More giggles as they smiled and nodded. “Just so you have an idea of how I work, I'll tell you about my special power. I can’t fly,” he said with a grin, “but it’s possible for me to tell if there’s something going on in your bodies that shouldn’t be, by checking the colors of your auras. I know that might sound hard to believe, but when I shifted the first time, I could see colors in all living things. It’s sort of like a signature written with a huge box of crayons….” He waited as more groans were expelled amidst now familiar giggles, rolling his eyes in mock exasperation. “… and when there’s a crayon color that doesn’t belong, it stands out to me. Dane is the only one that has a gross cootie color.” More giggles, and Kellar was relieved shifter kids understood what cooties were. “There’s a shade of purple, kind of like a grape popsicle, and it tells me his tonsils are inflamed. When I use a plant with the same color in its signature to help me, I have the ability to get rid of it. Does that make sense?”

They all said yes, nodding to him and each other as if it was the most normal thing in the world. A couple of them teased Dane about his apparent addiction to the home-made grape ice-pops always available at the lodge.

“All right then. So, all of you can go except for Dane.” Seeing the best friend’s reaction, he smiled, and included him. “And Mace, it’ll only take about five minutes, if you want to come inside with us?” Kellar wasn’t surprised the best friends stuck together like glue. They were the same way at the soccer field earlier. It was a special thing to watch, and he couldn’t help but wish he’d met Tobyn when they were that age.

“You’re really good with them. And I’m glad you noticed Mace and Dane hate to be separated,” his friend whispered as he herded the boys inside.

“Thanks. I like kids... and I figured that out pretty quick.”

“They’ve been besties their whole lives.”

“I’ve never had a best friend, but I know what it looks like.”

“You have one now, doc… that won’t change. Count on it, okay?”

He flushed with pleasure. “Okay… thanks.”

“Don’t mention it. I’m the lucky one.” He changed the subject quickly. “I’m impressed with how you had the little buggers eating out of your hand. Box of crayons? Cooties? They loved that.” Tobyn chuckled as he turned his attention to the two boys who’d taken seats at the kitchen table, and were deep in whispered conversation. He kept them occupied while the simple tea was made.

Within the promised five minutes of healing, Kellar had finished, and pronounced Dane ‘fit as a fiddle.’ That got him matching snickers from both kids. “How does your throat feel, buddy?”

“Great. It’s been sore for a week, but today was the worst. Now, it doesn’t hurt a bit. I won’t have to go to the doctor and take pills. Thanks a lot, sir.” He smiled at Kellar, and then Mace. “Wait till I tell everyone how easy it was.”

Tobyn teased as the boys went out the door. “And your legend grows.”

“Yikes. Don’t really want to be a legend, and I sure as hell don’t want to be called sir.”

“Too late, man. You already are. And you should be… sir.”

“Knock it off, smartass.” He laughed when Tobyn bowed.

“Whatever you say, sir. So how did the others’ colors look to you?”

“No health issues, but there was a little paleness to their auras. Dane’s was better when he left, though. It was brighter, for sure.”

“See, I told you your healing does that.”

“I don’t know, Tobyn. It might be a temporary effect, but there even looked to be a tiny difference in Mace’s. Maybe a kid’s fluctuates? These are the first shifter kids I’ve met. So… there hasn’t been a child born for eight-and-a-half years?” He attempted to smile as he imitated Bertram, but that fact was freaking Kellar out. He’d known there were only six children in the entire pack, but he hadn’t known about the barren stretch. Now that the young ones had left, he allowed his shock to surface at the grave statistic.

“No. There were two pregnancies, but the babies were stillborn. It scares you too, doesn’t it?”

“I have to admit it’s pretty sobering. Wow. That’s sad. Did they look normal… no defects?”

“As far as I know. I didn’t ask anyone at the time, but I remember my mom saying the little girl was beautiful. We were all upset, and it’s still a touchy subject. The pack pins a lot of hope on any new pregnancy, and it’s been a long fucking time since....” Tobyn turned away, wiping at his eyes.

Kellar found himself folding, even if he wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do. He walked up behind the man anyway, putting a hand on each shoulder. “We’ll figure this out, Tobyn.”

He didn’t turn around, but he did utter, “We?”

“Yeah, we. Let’s take this one day at a time. I’m not part of the pack, but maybe that’s a good thing. I’m looking at all this from a different perspective, and the more information I can get the better.”

Tobyn did turn around this time. “Are you telling me you’re staying?”

He put his dislodged hands on Tobyn’s forearms, looking slightly down at him as he expelled a big breath of air.

“You’re not, are you?” It was a resigned statement more than a question.

“I… I don’t know. Wait, Tobyn. Look at me, please. I want to. I want to help you in any way I can. Do you even want me around knowing how I feel about you?”

Tobyn turned his eyes back to Kellar. “I’ve thought about that,” he said softly. “If you leave it’s gonna hurt, and if you stay it’s gonna hurt. Either way, it’ll be hard… not just for you… you know that, right?”

“I do. I’ve heard what you said about how your life has to go, but I also have a pretty good idea how you feel. I don’t know if that makes it harder or easier.” He tried a little smile, and got a hint of one back. “So let’s just take it day by day. I’m learning more all the time.”

“What does that mean? Are you saying you have some idea of what’s going on with the pack?” The hope in his eyes ripped at Kellar’s heart, but he couldn’t jump the gun.

“Nothing I have any certainty about. But, I’m always thinking, and I am a healer, so maybe that will come in handy. I’m beginning to see more clearly just how devastating the malaise has been for Morningstar. For now, trust you’re not alone in this. I’m not sure I’d ever be able to desert you when you need me, and if that means going with you in search of other packs… well, I’m not saying no just yet. Fair enough? That’s if you still want me around.”

Tobyn was quick to respond. “I think I’d rather be hurting with you, than without you. It’s fair enough for me if it’s fair enough for you?”

He nodded. “So, one day at a time, and nothing’s written in stone anymore?”

“Agreed. Thank you, Kellar. I don’t know why, but you give me strength. I pretended to myself this would be easy… getting answers and handling the pressure. I was wrong. I need help. I need your help, but only if you can handle it.”

“Tobyn?”

“Yeah?”

“Enough talk. I’m starving. Mountain man must eat.”

“Oh crap. Sorry. Do you want to head over to the lodge or...?” Tobyn pulled open the fridge and Kellar came up behind him to find Elinor had taken care of them again. There was lots of food packed in, including what smelled like a venison stroganoff.

He breathed in loudly through his nose as he leaned partly over Tobyn. “I want whatever that is.”

 

“What time do you think we’ll leave in the morning?” They were sitting at the kitchen table, having made a good dent in the delicious meal.

“Knowing my mom, she’ll need an hour or so in the office. She likes to make sure every department is covered for the day, and Maynard and Ingram hate doing the day-to-day shit, so they leave it to her.” He chuckled. “They barely know where the office is, let alone the schedules and stock orders. Between you and me, Ingram would rather be taking people out on one of the boats, and fishing. Stay clear of him if you don’t like fish stories.”

“It’s pretty obvious your mom is the one in charge.”

“Yeah, she takes on most of the responsibility, but if there’s a big decision to be made, she doesn’t let the other two off the hook… no pun intended,” he said with a grin.

Kellar rolled his eyes. “I think it was intended, and I’ll give it a C minus. So, what time?”

“Come on,” he whined. “It was at least a C plus. And if Mom doesn’t call, we should just head over and have breakfast while we wait. Most of the workers will be eating between six and seven, so unless you want to meet a lot of the members at once, we should go after that.”

“Sounds good to me. I’d prefer meeting them in small groups.”

“I figured,” Tobyn said with a knowing look. “So what do you want to do next?”

“Check on Adelin, if you don’t mind? I want to make sure she’s not overdoing it. Just because she’s feeling better doesn’t mean she should be up and about. Her body suffered substantial damage from the cancer.”

“Oh, so that’s what I heard in your voice this morning.”

“What did you hear?”

“Exactly what you just said. A doctor’s concern, when Hutch said she’d been into the lodge. Let me clean up these dishes and we can go check on your patient. I’ll call her and tell her we’re coming.”

Kellar jumped up. “I’ll wash and you can dry.”

“Deal. I hate washing.”

“And I hate drying. See, we’re perfect for one another.” He wanted to bite his traitorous tongue off. “Sorry… I was just….”

“Joking? I know, man. I do have a sense of humor, you know.”

“Right.” He busied himself with filling the sink, trying to get his blush to dissipate. At least Tobyn didn’t appear to be affected by his stupid remark.

 

Tilly was sitting on her front step as if waiting for them, her dark blond hair pulled back in a ponytail, and blue eyes pensive. Kellar wondered at her serious expression. The girl looked miles away, but seemed to snap out of it when Tobyn called out from the road. Standing, she greeted Kellar with a hug and a kiss on the cheek, profusely expressing her thanks, and apologizing for being asleep when he'd left the previous evening. “Adelin is resting, but she’s looking forward to seeing you. She has been wanting to thank you all day. Go on in… Tobyn and I can sit out here and talk.”

Kellar gave Tobyn a quick glance before entering the girls’ home. He found Adelin on the couch in the front room with her feet up, looking rosy-cheeked, but tired. Flickering, he was relieved to see no offending color anywhere. Even though he’d been sure of her cure, it was still nice to have it verified. It was an inescapable fact, though, this young girl would need time to regain her vitality, and until then, she was susceptible to a number of illnesses.

Standing, she wrapped painfully thin arms around him, and held on with surprising strength. “Thank you for giving me my life back, Kellar. I was so scared these would be my last few days.” She was talking into his stomach because he towered over her, and seemed to have no intention of letting go.

Truly touched, he stroked her hair, taken note of the dryness of it. That would soon change as she built up her health and strength. “Are you ever going to let me go?” he asked with amusement.

“Oh, sorry.” She released him, and wiped away the tears on her face.

“No need to be sorry. I enjoyed the hug, but I want you staying off your feet as much as possible for the next week.”

“But, I feel so good. Is everything okay with my cancer?” Her expression had quickly turned to one of alarm.

It touched him further to see some doubt over her turnaround. “What cancer? You don’t have cancer.” He grinned at her as he saw the relief flood her face. “But you did, and it took its toll, so you need rest. Lots and lots of rest. I don’t want you catching any colds or flus. Okay?”

“Okay, doc,” she said.

Kellar found he was getting used to, and kind of liked this new moniker, and laughed at the pretty girl’s smirk. “Good. A short walk every day is fine, and after a few days you can stretch it to two. All right then, I’ve seen all I need to.” He walked over to the window and noticed Tobyn and Tilly had walked out to the road, and were talking intently. Tobyn glanced up and met his eyes, looking confused about something. He could sense this was not a good conversation. “I, ah….”

“Kellar, can you stay here for a bit longer? Tilly’s been waiting to talk to Tobyn, so if you wouldn’t mind giving them some time?”

“Oh, sure. No problem.” He couldn’t help wondering what was going on as he took a seat.

“You like him, don’t you?”

“I don’t know what you mean?” Yeah, that wasn’t defensive at all. “Tobyn? Yeah, he’s become a good friend.”

“You know Tilly and he grew up together?”

“I never thought about it, but of course… it makes sense.”

Adelin giggled. “I was the tag-a-long little sister.”

Kellar’s thoughts went to his own childhood. He was never welcomed as anyone’s little brother. “I’m sure you were adorable.”

“I was.” She giggled again. “You should know… I want to tell you something, but….”

Why did she look so nervous all of a sudden?

Leaning slightly forward, she spoke again. “Tilly knows Tobyn better than she knows anyone, outside of me, I guess… and better than anyone else knows him.”

“I’m sure she does. Adelin? What are we talking about?”

“I’m sorry. I’m not doing this well.” She gave him a sheepish look. “You saved my life, and I feel like I owe you this. I just want you to be prepared.”

“Prepared for what?”

“Tobyn. Tilly is pretty sure she knows how he feels about you, and she’s convinced you’re aware of it too. I’m not saying she’s right, and you don’t have to say anything, but he was never good at hiding stuff from her. We’ve talked, and it’s none of my business, but I understand how my sister is feeling. I just think you should have a heads-up that he might be upset later. I don’t want to say anymore, but maybe this will help you understand what’s going on if he gets weird. He hates change… he always has. Just know Tilly holds nothing against you, and she thinks you’re a great guy.

“Hey," Adelin said nervously. "I hope you don’t mind me talking to you about this? I didn’t want to overstep, but my sister has been on edge all day. She only wants them both to be happy… to resolve this… and Tobyn can be a little stubborn sometimes.”

Holy crap! What is Tilly doing? Kellar found himself unable to answer the girl, and returned to the window, his need to lay eyes on the man too great to resist. He was surprised to see them in a hug this time.

Adelin joined him, and he barely heard her sigh of relief. “Oh, good. It looks like it went well. They really are the best of friends.”

Kellar was still a bit befuddled at what Adelin had said. What the hell was happening? Had Tilly given him an ultimatum? Had Tobyn denied any feelings for him? Tilly was now walking toward the house while Tobyn stayed on the road, his hands stuffed in his pockets. “It looks like we’re going now,” he said to Adelin. Another quick embrace and he was out the door, trying not to hurry. He received a hug goodbye from Tilly, and some words he didn’t hear, before approaching his friend. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine… just fine.” He started walking, and Kellar fell into step beside him.

“Tobyn?”

“Can we talk later, please?”

“Yeah, sure.” It was a quiet but tense walk home, and Kellar’s still-full stomach kept threatening to empty.

A big thanks 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

 

A nice, relaxed chapter... until the end. As always, something to look forward to. Tilly truly is a smart girl. I hope she and Adelin continue to have some role to play as the story moves forward. And Mace and Dane! Cheers!

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It's best for everyone that Tilly is so sensible, although, that may take time for Tobyn to accept. The pack seems to have quite a few interesting characters that I'm looking forward to getting to know. This was a pleasant chapter overall.

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Mace and Dane the new Earth Mates! Yay! But REALLY, nice chapter man. With respect, just wish they didn't feel like snippets given the potential scope of this story. <3

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I had a feeling Tilly knew...I hope she wasn't too hard on Tobyn...I have a feeling she would rather him be happy than force him to be with her (at least I'm hoping for that)

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Once again, you leave us wanting more, G-Man. :)
I won't jump to the conclusion that the two teens are mates--best friends act similarly, but it would be interesting if others still thought it was possible.
Has Tillie actually told Tobyn to follow his heart? Will he listen, or cling to his 'duty' to the Pack? Kellar didn't hear her parting words, so he has no clue to what was said or resolved...so he's going to agonize since Tobyn is in an uncommunicative mode.
The other kids pale auras may be a symptom of what he suspects, rather than a product of their ages...it would be nice to know for sure.
Wonderful and leaving us panting for more, my dear friend.

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On the understanding that I mean this in the nicest way possible...I hope Tilly dumped his &%$! YAY! And Mace and Dane being earth mates...YAY! Really good chapter. Can't wait till next week!

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So, what did she say to him? So many possibilities! If she set him free, can he face up to that...not so sure anything will be simple.

 

Nice Gary,

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My guess is Tilly broke up with him, since I can't see her wanting to be the runner-up in her future life with someone. Not even with her best friend. If she can read Tobyn like that, she'll know what the score is.

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So umm... that was not my favorite ending to a chapter. What the heck did Tilly say???

 

It's hard to intuit based on what Adelin said to Kellar. If she really notices how strongly Tobyn feels about Kellar, I doubt she'd be happy getting married to the guy. She's a nice girl, and they both could do better for themselves then an arranged marriage simply for the good of replenishing the pack. Tobyn has found his earthmate (despite how me might deny it) who's to say there isn't an earthmate for Tilly somewhere as well.

 

I also stand by my statement that Tobyn's plan to replenish by the pack is doomed for failure anyway. Not the search for knowledge, but the marrying Tilly and making little shifter cubs part. They haven't had a baby in the pack in 8 years. To just marry Tilly and hope for the bestie the going to make the malaise go away.

 

Also, as for Mace and Dane, I think we need to see more to determine if they're earthmates or not.

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And that just got a whole lot more interesting. I hope Tilly didn't say she needed him to remember what was as stake and he needs to put the pack ahead of what he felt for Kellar. I pray she told Tobyn that it wasn't written in stone that they had to be mates/married/ or whatever, and that he should give Kellar a chance. The rest would figure itself out. Either way Tobyn would still have to readjust his thinking to get his head umm, straight....
It it amazes me that they can talk so openly about what they feel and how they're not going to do anything about it, while they suffer together.. Naive boys.. They get an A for effort though..

 

It was nice to get a glimpse of yet another side to Kellar as he interacted with the kids.. Mace and Dane were too cute themselves. Reminds me of another pair of your boys (teens) whom I miss...

 

Nicely done Gary..

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On 07/26/2016 09:16 AM, Lux Apollo said:

:D

 

A nice, relaxed chapter... until the end. As always, something to look forward to. Tilly truly is a smart girl. I hope she and Adelin continue to have some role to play as the story moves forward. And Mace and Dane! Cheers!

Hey, lux. Adelin and Tilly definitely have roles to play in the story... so now worries there. Mace and Dane are those best of friends that make Kellar realize what he's missed in his own life. I'm glad you like them... thanks so much for the encouraging words... cheers, buddy... Gary...

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On 07/26/2016 09:44 AM, C. When said:

It's best for everyone that Tilly is so sensible, although, that may take time for Tobyn to accept. The pack seems to have quite a few interesting characters that I'm looking forward to getting to know. This was a pleasant chapter overall.

Is Tilly sensible? we'll have to see. It would appear she's a smart girl, but what will that mean for Tobyn, and consequently, Kellar. I'm so glad to hear you're liking the characters so far. There are possibly a few coming up you won't like :) . Great to hear from you C. Thanks for the great review... cheers.... Gary...

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On 07/26/2016 10:29 AM, JustinJPCF said:

Mace and Dane the new Earth Mates! Yay! But REALLY, nice chapter man. With respect, just wish they didn't feel like snippets given the potential scope of this story. <3

Thanks, Justin. I wouldn't assume anything other than friendship for Dane and Mace. Shifters don't recognize mates until after they've had their first shiift, and these are just two best friends who haven't gone through their change. I'm glad you liked the chapter, and I get what you are saying. Everything I've written before this has had chapters that were always quite long and expansive. With this story I'm trying a different approach... saying more with fewer words. There was so much information to impart, I didn't want to burden the readers with too much at one time... I'm hoping it's working. I'm still learning as I go, and there is the occasional, more expansive chapter. Thanks for the support and the great review... cheers... Gary...

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On 07/26/2016 10:30 AM, JayT said:

I had a feeling Tilly knew...I hope she wasn't too hard on Tobyn...I have a feeling she would rather him be happy than force him to be with her (at least I'm hoping for that)

The thing is, jt, Tilly really does know Tobyn, but this is complicated. Has she given him a choice? We'll find out next Monday where her head is at, and what that means to Tobyn. I hope you like where this is going. Thanks, buddy, for the support... it means a lot... cheers... Gary...

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On 07/26/2016 10:55 AM, ColumbusGuy said:

Once again, you leave us wanting more, G-Man. :)

I won't jump to the conclusion that the two teens are mates--best friends act similarly, but it would be interesting if others still thought it was possible.

Has Tillie actually told Tobyn to follow his heart? Will he listen, or cling to his 'duty' to the Pack? Kellar didn't hear her parting words, so he has no clue to what was said or resolved...so he's going to agonize since Tobyn is in an uncommunicative mode.

The other kids pale auras may be a symptom of what he suspects, rather than a product of their ages...it would be nice to know for sure.

Wonderful and leaving us panting for more, my dear friend.

Hello, my friend! I'm glad you're still wanting more. You're right not to jump to any conclusions. Kids have no idea who their mates will be. Not till after their first shift. You're right on the money about Kellar agonizing. He just knows it was a serious conversation, and he was a subject in it. Tough spot for him to be in. What might it cost him? Lol to the 'panting'... so much more to come... it's kind of tricky to unfold... thanks for the constant support and the awesome review, CG... cheers... Gary... xo

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On 07/26/2016 12:02 PM, Buz said:

On the understanding that I mean this in the nicest way possible...I hope Tilly dumped his &%$! YAY! And Mace and Dane being earth mates...YAY! Really good chapter. Can't wait till next week!

LOL. Thanks, Buz. We'll see what transpired next week. As I said to others, earth mates don't recognize each other till after their first shift, so... don't jump to any conclusions, buddy. I'm so glad you liked the chapter... Kellar is in a tough spot right now... let's see if it gets worse :) . Cheers... Gary...

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On 07/26/2016 12:44 PM, Mikiesboy said:

So, what did she say to him? So many possibilities! If she set him free, can he face up to that...not so sure anything will be simple.

 

Nice Gary,

Yeah, nothing is simple. There is too much stress, strain and unknowns in this situation. You're right about the possibilities. Tobyn is a different kind of man, for sure. Thanks, my friend, for the great review... cheers... Gary...

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On 07/26/2016 07:36 PM, Bucket1 said:

What did she say?????

 

I need the next chapter, right now :)

LOL. I'd tell you, B, but then I'd have to kill you :) . Next chapter coming right up... Monday. That's soon enough, right? Thanks, buddy, for all your support... I hope you're not disappointed... cheers... Gary...

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On 07/26/2016 10:03 PM, Puppilull said:

My guess is Tilly broke up with him, since I can't see her wanting to be the runner-up in her future life with someone. Not even with her best friend. If she can read Tobyn like that, she'll know what the score is.

Hey, Puppilull. Good to hear from you. Hmmm. What you say makes complete sense. :) . We'll find out Monday whether you're right. Meanwhile, Kellar is in one hell of a spot... what happened, and what role did he play... that has to be driving the man crazy... thanks for the review, my friend. and the support... cheers... Gary

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On 07/27/2016 01:15 AM, spikey582 said:

So umm... that was not my favorite ending to a chapter. What the heck did Tilly say???

 

It's hard to intuit based on what Adelin said to Kellar. If she really notices how strongly Tobyn feels about Kellar, I doubt she'd be happy getting married to the guy. She's a nice girl, and they both could do better for themselves then an arranged marriage simply for the good of replenishing the pack. Tobyn has found his earthmate (despite how me might deny it) who's to say there isn't an earthmate for Tilly somewhere as well.

 

I also stand by my statement that Tobyn's plan to replenish by the pack is doomed for failure anyway. Not the search for knowledge, but the marrying Tilly and making little shifter cubs part. They haven't had a baby in the pack in 8 years. To just marry Tilly and hope for the bestie the going to make the malaise go away.

 

Also, as for Mace and Dane, I think we need to see more to determine if they're earthmates or not.

What? Not your favorite ending? I thought you liked cliffies :) . I agree that it's hard to reach conclusions yrt, based on what Adelin said. We don't know what's in Tilly's mind, or what Tobyn had to say. The onlt thing we can surmise is that something has to change. What will that be? With regards to Tobyn's plan, it's really the only one he can try at this point, because he doesn't know the reason behind the malaise. In his mind, something is better than nothing. We can see the probable futility... he won't allow himself too, because that would be like admitting hope is almost gone... so freaking tough for a man like Tobyn who has watched the pack slowly wither, but refuses to accept it. Maybe Kellar will come up with something? We'll see... fantastic review, buddy... cheers... Gary...

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On 07/27/2016 03:47 AM, Defiance19 said:

And that just got a whole lot more interesting. I hope Tilly didn't say she needed him to remember what was as stake and he needs to put the pack ahead of what he felt for Kellar. I pray she told Tobyn that it wasn't written in stone that they had to be mates/married/ or whatever, and that he should give Kellar a chance. The rest would figure itself out. Either way Tobyn would still have to readjust his thinking to get his head umm, straight....

It it amazes me that they can talk so openly about what they feel and how they're not going to do anything about it, while they suffer together.. Naive boys.. They get an A for effort though..

 

It was nice to get a glimpse of yet another side to Kellar as he interacted with the kids.. Mace and Dane were too cute themselves. Reminds me of another pair of your boys (teens) whom I miss...

 

Nicely done Gary..

Hey, Def! Thank you. I didn't think you'd read the previous chapter, but I guess you did. You know about the collars, right? That was important history for the story. Anyway, we really don't know at this point, where Tilly's head is at. We know she and Tobyn have had these life plans, and saw them as something they could do for the pack. So what priority does she put on that? We'll find out soon, but she's in a tricky situation too. At this point, it would seem all three of them are. LOL to Tobyn getting his head 'straight.' You are so right that Tobyn has shown a reluctance to deviate... so will he try to protect the status quo at any cost? It's a possibility. As adelin said... he can be stubborn sometimes, and I think Kellar would agree with that statement. What you say about them talking openly is perceptive... I see it as a trait not just of them, but of shifters, who really only have each other to rely on. There is a core honesty they are showing, that however stupid it can seem, I can't help but find admirable. Of course, I'm biased :) . Yeah, I too like how Kellar is with kids. He totally relaxes in their company. Adults have let him down his whole life, and I believe that has had a lasting effect. I wondered if anyone would see a similarity between Mace and Dane, best friends, and Nodie, who I miss too. Thanks so much for this, Def... sorry for rambling... I'm really loving these guys... cheers, my friend... Gary...

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It sounds like Tilly and Adelin are both very bright and observant women. I'm not sure what Tilly's saying to Tobyn, but I suspect she's standing up for herself in some way. Either she's telling him to choose and and commit, or she's telling him they need to stay as friends, but not in a relationship. That said, I can't imagine her, from what I've seen of her so far, making Tobyn choose between her and Kellar, but I can see her reminding him what's at stake with the pack... If that means "great your head on straight and go on your mission like you need you and shelve your feelings for the healer," we'll have to wait to find out (because you're cruel and won't post daily :P)

 

I suspected K might make the choice not to leave just yet. Besides his feelings for T, he's also a healer and he knows he's needed. I still think T has an easier time with everything. he's not the one faced with the prospect of a future watching his love with another.

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Two steps ahead, one step back. Tilly and Tobyn hugged at the and have reached an understanding and we will find out what the agreement is next chapter. Nice way of keeping us on edge.... They already seem to be able to stay together after discussing the tension this chapter. If it is workable for both and makes Tobyn able to move ahead freely, then Tobyn and Doc Kellar can travel together and find other shifters and maybe answers. We can learn much more when the two plus Tobyn's mother travel to visit the mechanic. I can sense bread crumbs for the malaise with possibly something in the food that could weaken a child or adult and make then open to catching an illness ( like Tobyn's ulcer or the tonsillitis ) or something especially a child and pregnant mother might ingest in great qualtities --milk. Doc Kellar has yet to meet lots of pack shifters so he hasn't read their colors. He also hasn't looked around carefully for a source of the malaise in the food preparation area or fields or water, etc. One further thought from the collar chapter--Any possibility Kellar's parents were killed by hunters or the lords and he was placed in a religious home to be watched but escaped and was lost before the people realized he had shifted ?

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