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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 - 19. Chapter 19 Running Scared

Overwhelmed...

Morningstar: The Malaise

 

 

Chapter 19

 

 

Kellar was emotionally floundering as he stood on the front steps of the lodge. How could things have gone so wrong? Tobyn had been horrified upon learning he had a male earth mate. With bitterness, Kellar reasoned the man would have been much happier if it had been Tilly. He could have had the life he always wanted. That had to be the bigger issue. It wasn’t only that he’d been blindsided again. He should have been pleased Kellar had a grasp on what he was certain constituted a cure for the malaise, shouldn’t he? Yet it hadn’t even seemed to register after Tilly had outed them as mates to the pack.

It was the perfect moment for her to come through the door behind him. He couldn’t help it. He was angry.

“Kellar, I’m so very sorry. I never should have….”

He cut her off. “No, Tilly, you shouldn’t have.” He stalked to his truck without a backward glance, but when he got there, so was she.

“Please listen. I thought you guys were keeping it secret because of me.”

He stopped halfway in. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“I thought Tobyn didn’t want me to know because he was protecting my feelings, and I understand now just how stupid I was to think such a thing. Kellar, I’m sorry. He told me yesterday that, while he felt close to you, there was nothing between you other than friendship, but he would accept my decision. He wouldn’t admit how he felt when it was so obvious to me. To Adelin too. I know him. I tried to convince him it was okay, but he didn’t want to talk about it. I thought he didn’t believe I meant it when I said it was the best thing for both of us. That’s why I told you I thought you guys were good together… so you’d know I was fine with it, and maybe get through to him I was being honest.”

So that’s what she’d said to him as he’d hurried past her. Kellar softened as he saw the genuine remorse. She’d made a mistake; God knows he’d made enough of them.

“I did something really bad in there, but I was only trying to let him know how happy I was for him… and for you, and that he didn’t need to worry about me or how I felt. I always knew chances of being able to conceive were slim… but Tobyn never takes himself off the hook for anything. I was trying to do that for him, and show him I didn’t feel left out. Am I making any sense to you?”

Kellar was reluctant, but he met her eyes and gave a slight nod. “Yes, about Tobyn, but it wasn’t the time or place… I wish you’d… it doesn’t matter. It’s done now.”

“I wish the same thing, Kellar. Being mates, after what you told us, meant you guys were making our pack stronger, making children possible again, and I was beyond excited to know we had two pairs of earth mates that I didn’t stop to think. Please tell me you understand?”

Kellar watched tears sliding in steady streams down her cheeks to go with convulsive sobs that sounded painful. He also noticed a stricken Adelin had come outside, and was looking damn near as emotional. “I do… I understand, Tilly. The fact is, Tobyn didn’t know yet, though, and it turns out it was something he didn’t want to hear.” The harshness had left his voice, and even he heard the sadness replacing it.

“I’m sorry I didn’t keep my big mouth shut, but give him time, Kellar… Tobyn is different… he… he gets stuck. God, what a mess I’ve made.”

She was beating herself up, and Kellar decided he didn’t want that, but he thought about what she’d just said. Tobyn did get stuck. The memory of that horrified expression of his was not to be banished. It had been seared into his brain.

“I still don’t get how he didn’t realize it? I thought mates knew immediately once they find each other? Don’t they?”

Sighing, he answered her even though he just wanted to leave. “I think they probably do most of the time, if they’re not fighting it. Elinor and Denver did. This isn’t what he wants though. He wants a family, and he’s made that clear. You must have seen the look on his face… he didn’t even believe it was possible two men could be mates, and he certainly didn’t want me as his. I have to go, Tilly. And don’t worry… I don’t blame you for anything. It’s my fault, not yours. I should have refused to go up there. I should have taken him aside. I should have done everything differently.” He got all the way into the truck this time. “Go take care of Adelin. I can see she’s still weak. Seriously. Go help her.” He managed what he hoped was a reassuring smile as he started his truck and backed away from the still-distraught girl. He couldn’t worry anymore about her right now, and he didn’t want to hear any fucking platitudes about ‘hanging in there’ or ‘give him time’ or ‘he’ll come to his senses.’

As he headed toward Tobyn’s house, he caught a glimpse of Elinor and Denver watching him from the lodge entrance, but there was only one person he wanted to talk to. He had to force himself to drive slowly. As soon as he entered, Kellar felt the emptiness of the place. He walked back outside, and sure enough, a pile of clothes was in the same spot as the previous night, thrown carelessly in much the same way. He scented the air, but already knew the man was farther away than the lookout. It took minutes to locate any scent at all, and it was very faint. He must have taken an easier trail to get so far away in such a short time. He got the message. Tobyn wanted to be nowhere near him.

The irony didn’t escape Kellar that being mates is what allowed the man to put these miles between them. Tobyn could now shift at will and hold it as long as he wanted. Resolved, he didn’t even consider following this time. He was hurt, and truth be told, he was pissed. Maybe part of that was agitation at the separation, but one thing for sure, he wasn’t equipped for this. He’d never been in any kind of entanglement before, never mind being the mate of someone who didn’t want him.

He made a decision, and maybe it wasn’t the right one, and it was gonna hurt like hell, but he needed to leave. Yeah, he’d fucked the whole thing up, but he’d done everything his friend had asked, and it hadn’t been enough. Tobyn wouldn’t be a victim of an unwanted fate, so neither would he. What he craved now was the peace of his own little section of forest. If the man wanted distance, he would get it.

It took a quick ten minutes to pack his medicinals and belongings and be on his way. He’d hesitated a moment to smell the pillow Tobyn had used, and, giving in to impulse, walked out to the truck with it clutched under his arm. A few tears formed as soon as he began driving, but he was determined not to let them fall.

It might have been the polite thing to do, stopping when Elinor tried to wave him down, but he couldn’t. Keeping shimmering eyes straight ahead, he left the Morningstar compound. He expected tongues were wagging all over the place because of the scene that had played out at the lodge, and he wanted to put it all behind him. There was nothing to be gained by facing anyone, and talking about a life there… not anymore. Being alone was what he was used to, and he could do it again.

The drive was painful. The ache escalated immediately and turned from emotional to physical with wrenching thoroughness, but Kellar looked at that as a blessing. It kept his mind more focused on the pain than on the man who was the cause. As much as he’d wished for it over the past few days, he was thankful now the joining had not begun. What he was experiencing as he drove was bad enough.

After an hour, it had dulled to something bearable. He no longer fought the urge to scream. He’d survive. Maybe he would always feel it to some degree, but he could go on with his life. So could Tobyn. He veered his thoughts away from his blond mate, because when he let him in, his mind entertained hopes of Tobyn coming after him. That was one thing he couldn’t afford to fall into. He had to keep in mind the man’s expression on learning the truth.

Arriving home with almost no daylight left, he was a mess. He was questioning everything he’d done, including leaving. Being at the cabin wasn’t bringing him the peace he sought. It was a reminder of how far away he was from Tobyn. All this angst about being mates and whether it was a good thing or not, and in the end it all boiled down to one thing. He was in love with the man. He didn’t give a fuck about the why of it, because it didn’t matter. He wanted his mate next to him because he was beautiful and caring, and funny and loyal, and whether Tobyn wanted to admit it or not, he looked at Kellar with love in his eyes. The anger that had kept cropping up, left him. It was replaced by concern. He hoped Tobyn was okay, but he knew there was no way in hell he could be.

At least he’d had days to play with the idea of his friend being his earth mate. Tobyn had been slapped in the face with it. Maybe he should have given him some time before bolting. Sighing, he took his precious herbs back into their original home, taking the time to sort them before collapsing on the Kellar-sized bed. He should be hungry but he wasn’t. Lying there, he soon became aware he’d left his front door open, and got up to close it. When he reached the kitchen, he looked out into the encroaching darkness and noticed he’d left his truck door open as well. Get a fucking grip, man. He went out and slammed it shut, took a piss, and went back to bed. Something was missing.

He trudged out to the truck again, this time grabbing the precious pillow holding Tobyn’s scent, and tried one more time to sleep away his misery. The pillow helped, but after three nights of having his mate at his side, it was, for the most part, a lost cause.

Opening irritated eyes to the dawn, Kellar listened. Nothing. There was no sound of Tobyn breathing. None of his unique pheromones were present outside. There was no indication of his truck coming down the highway. They’d both made it through the night without each other. He made no attempt to get up. What was the point? He needed food, but his stomach rebelled at the thought. Breathing in the fragrance of the stolen pillow for the thousandth time, he suddenly sat upright, still dressed in yesterday’s clothes. Looking around, he couldn’t see his phone. Damn, he’d left it in the truck. He wondered if Tobyn had called. The thought gave him hope. Maybe his mate had checked on him to make sure he was okay?

Mere seconds later, holding a phone showing no missed calls or messages, he deflated. Three bars. He would like to think there had been no reception at Morningstar, but there was always the camp’s landline. He’d been kidding himself. He wanted Tobyn to come after him in the worst way. He wanted him to see through all the crap that didn’t matter. Together they could do a lot of good for the pack. The emotional barrage was too much. Kellar felt like he was breaking apart again. It was impossible to handle the mass of emotions… they all merged together… so he did what had always worked in the past. Stripping, he shifted and ran.

It was a run not dissimilar to his first one as a newly-released wolf. He was virtually mindless as he let his animal pick where they went. Aromas drifting past barely registered. Even the smell of an elk, rare for these parts after having been re-introduced following years of extinction in the province, didn’t pique his interest. Another time he might have chased it down for his elderly friends, but he had no interest in dressing out a big bull at the moment.

The faster he ran, the more rage separated from his emotions and built up, taking over his whole being. He was so fucking angry… at his life, the world, earth mates… and Tobyn. His friend had let him down, and while he got some of it, he couldn’t fathom it all. Couldn’t he see what true mates meant to Morningstar now? What the two of them, as a joined couple, would mean to a pack starved for the magical energy they could provide? Dammit. He knew what Tobyn felt for him… didn’t he see there was no need to bury it away now? He had the answers he’d yearned all these years for. The man had been going to risk his own life to find them, for God's sake, and now there was no need. Fuck, Tobyn! Does that mean nothing to you?

Kellar ran up and over the big slab of rock they’d lain on. Why did his damn wolf bring him here of all places? He leapt off and sped down one of his favorite trails, trying desperately to outrace his pain, absent-mindedly wondering why his own smell hadn’t chased that elk away. He’d covered miles and miles, and it was nearer now, just up ahead… except… it wasn’t. What was there, clamped steel jaws around his hind foot, and his body exploded with ripping, shredding agony. His high-speed momentum pulled the leg a few inches through a trap chained to an immovable tree, tearing flesh and scraping bone. He shifted immediately… but nothing happened. What the fuck?

He couldn’t shift? Kellar panicked, trying to escape those jagged metal teeth, succeeding in ensuring they bit deeper still as he yanked on the vicious contraption. Without hands, he was powerless. The elk scent surrounded him, and through the haze of pain, he came to understand it was used to mask the smell of acrid iron.

He mentally kicked himself at his folly. The odor should have aroused his suspicions and induced caution because there had never been elk in this area. There were probably only fifteen hundred in the entire province, and they were scattered much farther north and west.

Despite the pain, his mind was beginning to function again. He was trapped, and panic would not get him out of such a dangerous situation. He had to figure out the reason why he couldn’t shift, and correct it. Trying to ignore the excruciating torture, Kellar searched through the trees. He thought he sensed a presence, but all he could detect with his nose was more of the elk stench. Looking down at his torn up limb, his attention was drawn to the shininess of the unrelenting jaws.

The slightest rustle, not much different than that made by a mouse brushing a leaf, alerted him to company.

“My, my. What do we have here? It appears my timing is excellent.”

Kellar spun at the raspy, accented voice, increasing the torment of the trap. He stared into the sinister face of a truly ugly man leaning on a long staff with metal inlays. A weapon?

“Ah, the two-sided one. In all my travels as I search out you monsters, you’re the only one I’ve seen with such a coat. You’re even more of a freak than the rest of your kind, and you’ll definitely provide me the biggest of my trophies.” He spat on the ground separating them as he laid down his staff and moved his hand to the rifle slung over his shoulder.

Kellar snarled at the sheer hatred behind the words. Did this man know he was more than a wolf? It sure sounded like it.

“Are you wondering why you can’t morph, changeling?” The laugh that followed made every hair bristle on Kellar. “You are powerless now, hellhound. You will die as you are, and when you do, I will skin your hide from your body before I burn your cursed filth to ashes.”

Christ. There was no doubt this was some fanatical hunter of shifters, and Kellar was at his mercy. How did this happen? He wasn’t one to give up, but he experienced debilitating hopelessness while watching a man sneer at him whose colors were all wrong. He wasn’t sane, and Kellar saw that right away. The rest of him, though, was surprisingly vigorous. He appeared to be in his seventies if you went by the hideously scarred face, but his aura indicated someone years younger. He was a formidable human.

“Have you figured it out, yet?” He spat again. “The teeth are coated in silver; works every time on you abominations. Why are you not howling yet, like most of your fellow devil spawn? A tough one, are you? I like the tough ones. They give me the most joy when I send them back to hell. I came here expecting to have caught the silver one. No matter. He’s a cagey bastard who'll soon meet his end. You’ll do, though. You were on my radar anyway, along with that golden friend of yours. His pelt too will be added to my prizes, and there’ll be another set of notches for my walking stick.” His laugh was downright maniacal as he watched Kellar struggle at the mention of his mate.

“Even if you could get free, your fate has been decided. No beast gets the upper hand on me. And when I finally get that sneaky old gray, I will pass my brother’s tally marks, god rest his mortal soul. He slayed three hundred and twenty-five of you before your kind tore him apart, but I have made you creatures pay mightily for his death. His son, too, avenges his father’s ungodly end.” His sadistic grin was more feral than human. He touched his face. “One tried to finish me off once too, but it failed. They will always fail. He burned just as you will.” The crazed look in his eyes magnified the malevolence of the man.

Kellar couldn’t help himself. Despite the futility, he struggled again to pull his leg from the grip of silver teeth, but it only resulted in a fracture. This insane man was an expert killer, and he was going after Tobyn next. He must have spied on them during their first run. How did he find them, and how did he get so close? Binoculars? It had to be… and the wind that day had been steady from the east, so he must have been to the west. Ah, the hilltop? It doesn’t matter now. Focus, Kellar.

A single hunter had been responsible for the deaths of well over three hundred shifters? One human had done so much damage? And this one would soon surpass that number? How was that even possible? It drilled home there was no hope for a lone shifter trapped in wolf form, and Kellar figured he had mere minutes to live. As he took in the rifle the man held, he sent a prayer to the earth mother in the hope Tobyn would escape his clutches… not go running blindly like he had.

It filled him with sadness to realize the beautiful blond man would never know what happened to him. This experienced murderer had no intention of leaving any evidence. He would become one of the many who’d gone missing over the years. What Tobyn feared most about having a mate would come true. Shifters die all the time. He was never more thankful than in these last moments that their joining hadn’t taken place, for Tobyn’s sake. He wished he‘d waited and had at least one more talk with his earth mate. Now it was too late. They would never run together again.

“Should I put you out of your misery, or let you suffer a little longer? I like to see you were-scum at my mercy. Which would you prefer, tough one?”

Kellar’s reply was another snarl as he lunged for the man who’d leant closer, as if teasing him.

The human laughed at the reaction he’d provoked. “As much fun as this is, alas, there is much still to do after I remove your stain from this earth. It takes time for a wolf to burn.” He laughed again as he removed his gun from his shoulder and raised the barrel. The click of the safety followed. “Say good….”

The gleeful words were cut off by a flying golden blur tearing the speaker’s throat out in one swift motion. Chunks of flesh were spit from Tobyn’s mouth as he landed on all fours, appearing ferociously ready to spring again if need be. Blood spurted for a couple of feet from what was now a dying man who’d fallen to his knees. He was balanced on them, open-mouthed.

A stunned Kellar stared into evil eyes showing shock before they soon became vacant. Tobyn shifted and wiped his mouth of the gore. Moving quickly, he pulled the rifle from the gripping hands of the hunter and laid it on the ground, well away from the dead man, as if he feared he might come back to life.

Rushing to Kellar’s side, he grabbed the big wolf in a hug, burying his face in fur. When he pulled away, Kellar saw tears, and immeasurable concern.

“Are you ready for this? It’s going to hurt like a son-of-a-bitch.”

Kellar bobbed his nose up and down.

Tobyn pulled the spring-loaded pin that allowed the embedded jaws to be pried apart; once freed, Kellar shifted instantly. He ignored the pain washing over him and instead lost himself in the arms of his mate.

“Oh, God. I was so scared I would never see you again. Thank you, Tobyn. Thank you for coming for me.” He could feel the man trembling in his embrace, and he supposed he was doing the same. A minute ago his death was a given, but here he was, injured, yet alive.

Tobyn pulled back, wiping away more tears, a sickly smile appearing before quickly vanishing. “Are you okay? We need to get away from here. He looked at the still-kneeling corpse and shuddered. “Jesus, I killed somebody.” His body convulsed, and he looked away.

Kellar flickered, taking note of Tobyn’s stressed condition, and worried he would go into shock. He worked at keeping him talking and not going inward. “You did a great service to all shifters and you saved my life. Did you hear what that evil prick admitted to?” Kellar had tried, but ended up failing at keeping the shakiness out of his own voice.

“Yes. Three-hundred and twenty-five of us, and he laughed about it.” Tobyn’s voice gained in strength. “I heard every word. I’m sorry it took so long, but I had to move slower than I’ve ever moved in my life. One little noise and he might have shot you. Oh, God….” Again Tobyn shuddered, and he buried his face back in Kellar’s chest.

“Yes, he would have, and then you. He was a dangerous piece of shit. But he didn’t get either one of us because your timing was perfect.” Kellar had kept his voice calm that time.

“Did you know I was near?”

“No, I had no idea. I thought I was a goner. All I could smell was the reek of elk scent he used on the trap and himself, and now it’s on me. I thought you were still at Morningstar.”

Tobyn lifted and shook his head, releasing his grip on Kellar. “I couldn’t stand it there. I started driving in the middle of the night. I needed to see you. Are you okay, really? Can you walk?” The blond man seemed to have regrouped. His trembling had ceased, convincing Kellar he would be okay, and that allowed him to relax.

“Yeah, if I shift back, I should be able to make it on three legs.” He flickered and frowned. “Fucking hell! So that’s what the son-of-a-bitch meant when he said no matter what, my fate was decided. Tobyn. The trap was poisoned.”

“What? Poison? Jesus. You can do your healing thing though, right?”

Kellar was perplexed. The poison slowly creeping through his flesh around his broken leg was of a hue he couldn’t identify. His heart sank as he accepted he couldn’t cure himself without knowing what plant would counteract the poison. “I… I can’t, Tobyn. I can’t identify the color.” His eyes went from his leg to his mate.

“So then, what do we do?”

“Nothing. If I don’t know what the right herb is, I can’t stop it from spreading. I… I don’t understand.”

“So we’ll amputate if we have to. There’s no way in hell you’re dying on me.”

Kellar mustered up a small smile which soon faded. “It’s in my blood as well as the flesh. Once enough of it settles in my heart, the poison will stop it. Amputation won’t work. By the time we got a saw, the damage would be insurmountable. I think it’s already too late for that anyway.”

“We can’t give up. Try again!”

“Tobyn….”

“Try again, dammit! Do your flicker thing again, and try to figure it out. Maybe there’s a color close enough to work. Kellar, please. For me? Find the one closest, and we’ll try it.”

The man was breaking his heart. He flickered again, and concentrated for Tobyn’s sake, but, as inconceivable as it was, there was no such shade in his memory bank. He stared at the puzzling hue for a while, trying to see inside it. To his surprise, it suddenly unfolded like a flower, revealing two separate colors mixed together to make the one. Who knew he could do such a thing? He recognized both instantly, and had the corresponding medicinals in his kitchen.

“I got it. The bastard mixed two poisons together… probably because we used to be harder to kill when we could heal ourselves.”

Tobyn slumped in relief, using the backs of his hands to wipe away tears. “Thank you, Earth Mother. Shift and let’s go.”

“I can’t. If I do that, the poison will move way faster because of my wolf’s quicker metabolism, and it will have a shorter distance to travel to overwhelm my heart. You’ll have to go get the two plants I need to counteract this, and a third one for the fracture. I’ll have a better chance if I stay still.”

Tobyn swallowed. “Okay, tell me what you need.” Kellar did, and he shifted and was gone. In seconds, he was back. “What about the tea?”

“I don’t need it, I can chew and mix them with my saliva.”

The golden-haired man looked skeptical, and frightened.

“Don’t worry, Tobyn. It will work. It’s what I did for that kitten, and I saved him. I dripped spit into his mouth and it did the trick… trust me. Tea is easiest, but it’s not the only way.” Kellar watched him shift and leave again, and he wondered if he would still be alive when his mate returned. Putting his hands over the grotesque wound, he worked at trying to slow the poison’s advance to give himself more time. As scared as he was, he couldn’t help smiling. Tobyn had come after him… he couldn’t even last the night without him. He would hold on to that while he waited.

A big thank you to my editor, Timothy M. and to all those who read and show support for this story. Thank you! Any discussion can take place in the COTT thread of the promising author forum.

www.gayauthors.org/forums/topic/39932-cards-on-the-table-by-headstall/

Copyright © 2017 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
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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.

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Ugh, you really put us through the wringer with this one. I hope Kellar gets through this with no lasting damage, and even more so thathan they can find something, anything at all that will help them deal with the hunters. We know of at least one more active one in the crazy fucker's nephew. Great stuff! :)

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Gary.....that was cruel.....but thank the gods everything worked out in the end....

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The first half was tough going. I agree with the other two reviewers.

 

So another hunter out there, yikes. Tobyn killed a... person, let's leave it that. He might have some problems there and after the immediate issues are resolved, TtD needs to say a few things to Kellar.

 

And I repeat my early thoughts about COTT. You really know how to write emotional heart wrenching stories.

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First things first... HE CAME FOR KELLAR!! *happy dance*

 

Now for the rest of my review. This was a really hard chapter to read. I just wanted to hug Kellar. He was in so much pain, and I can understand why he felt the need to leave. As far as he was concerned Tobyn had made his feelings clear. Who would want to stay where they believe they're not wanted? Then, after all of that internal pain, he gets trapped by that horrible man. I can't imagine how he felt... not only had us mate rejected him, but he thought he was going to die.

 

In the end T came back, and saved his mate... now if only he can get his head out of his ass and accept the mate that loves him and not just want him for a good night's sleep. :pissed:

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How many pointy parts on a pitchfork Gary? What? No no I'm just curious is all. Nice chapter, bit short, but you're forgiven.

 

tim

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Damnit Gary, you ended it right there? :pissed:

 

Ok so this chapter was rough. I actually was glad to see Kellar leave after what Tobyn pulled. I had to agree, all this 'give him time' crap is unacceptable. When Elinor was trying to wave Kellar down I was thinking she needed to go wave down her thickheaded son. Kellar needs to set a precedent and not always be the long suffering patient one every time Tobyn does this. So good for him.

 

That being said, everything after that was awful. From Kellar's emotional turmoil to the insane hunter guy, it all just sucked. So glad Tobyn and to his senses and was there to save Tobyn. They really do belong together to face whatever threats are headed their way. Plus, just one night apart and one of them was almost murdered. They need each other.

 

That of course assumes Kellar ends up being ok...

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Okay G-Man, you've wrenched my emotions so much with this one, that it's difficult to think of what to write. I felt Kellar's pain at Tobyn's reaction, and yet was glad when he left Morningstar...it's not ideal, but there's no point in staying in a relationship when only one of the members wants it to work. In time, it might have become a reality, but not until Tobyn faced up to it.
Now you bring the two guys together, and toss in a poison? Tension abounds, but we know that one of the heroes can't die--it's just not done. :)
I can't figure out how the Hunter can find the lycans--unless it has something to do with a mental ability, or the peculiar staff this maniac carried? The guys need to take it back to Morningstar, or another place to examine it more closely; perhaps Kellar's abilities can tell something about it?
You better have the next one up soon, or we'll find our own Hunter to track you down. :)
xoxoxo my dear friend!

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Loving the story but hating (sort of) cliffhangers and the short chapters. I know it's a lot of work to write such a good story, I appreciate your work, Gary. But leaving us on a cliffhanger with the poison running in Kellar's body.... that is not nice! :whistle:
Now seriously, I really like the world you are creating in this story, thank you for the amazing work, can't wait for the nest chapter to be posted (could you hurry just a bit up? Please?) :thankyou:
Best regards,
J.A.

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Well, when I said something had to happen I wasn't thinking that at all.

 

I don't blame Kellar for leaving this time. He feels rejected and Tobyn's making it easy. That they would be miserable apart was a given. Honestly, (fingers crossed behind my back) I wasn't at all worried about Tobyn finding Kellar in time. That first half was seriously painful to read, and painful for Kellar! Now the kid has poison in his veins. He just can't catch a break.

 

The hunters! WTH! That was interesting. There's lots of whys and hows and I can't wait for answers though I haven't much choice..

 

Tobyn is in take care of Kellar mode. I am hoping once the adrenaline dues down he will be more willing to face the 'we are earth mates' issue at hand. Something tells me before that happens, Kellar might again have to get him through the 'I killed someone' situation. This is Tobyn after all, and he will likely not deal with this well even if it was the only option.

 

Aside from almost making me forget to breathe, this was a great chapter Gary!

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On 08/23/2016 08:55 AM, Lux Apollo said:

Ugh, you really put us through the wringer with this one. I hope Kellar gets through this with no lasting damage, and even more so thathan they can find something, anything at all that will help them deal with the hunters. We know of at least one more active one in the crazy fucker's nephew. Great stuff! :)

Hey, lux... sorry, but following these boys definitely has some ups and downs. Reality hits with a slam in this chapter. Hunters are very real, and very present, and in the scheme of things, monumentally dangerous. I think we have learned why packs isolated themselves in fear for all these decades. Not at all smart, but kind of understandable... and the ride has just begun, Thanks for thinking it great stuff... I needed to hear that :) . Thank you for the great review, buddy... cheers... Gary....

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On 08/23/2016 10:41 AM, JayT said:

Gary.....that was cruel.....but thank the gods everything worked out in the end....

Hey, jt... yeah, it was, but necessary for us to see the brutality of hunters and their disdain for shifters. Did everything work out in the end? Yeah, Kellar didn't get shot, but... :( ... next week... same time, same bat... er, wolf... channel. Thanks for your support, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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On 08/23/2016 11:10 AM, Bucket1 said:

The first half was tough going. I agree with the other two reviewers.

 

So another hunter out there, yikes. Tobyn killed a... person, let's leave it that. He might have some problems there and after the immediate issues are resolved, TtD needs to say a few things to Kellar.

 

And I repeat my early thoughts about COTT. You really know how to write emotional heart wrenching stories.

Thanks, B. I appreciate the very kind words. Yeah... another one for sure... but Tobyn did take care of one hunter. How that might affect him, we'll have to wait and see. And yeah, communication needs to take place at some point. That first part was tough on me too... very tough... thanks for the great review and your support, buddy... cheers... Gary....

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On 08/23/2016 12:46 PM, LitLover said:

First things first... HE CAME FOR KELLAR!! *happy dance*

 

Now for the rest of my review. This was a really hard chapter to read. I just wanted to hug Kellar. He was in so much pain, and I can understand why he felt the need to leave. As far as he was concerned Tobyn had made his feelings clear. Who would want to stay where they believe they're not wanted? Then, after all of that internal pain, he gets trapped by that horrible man. I can't imagine how he felt... not only had us mate rejected him, but he thought he was going to die.

 

In the end T came back, and saved his mate... now if only he can get his head out of his ass and accept the mate that loves him and not just want him for a good night's sleep. :pissed:

Hey, Lit. Yes. He came for Kellar. I lived Kellar's pain as I wrote it. His need to run outweighed everything else, and it was a very difficult and heart-wrenching thing to do. I wonder how Tobyn felt knowing his actions had driven the big man away? Now we know what those who have disappeared in the past have faced... next chapter soon... thanks for the review, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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On 08/23/2016 01:00 PM, Mikiesboy said:

How many pointy parts on a pitchfork Gary? What? No no I'm just curious is all. Nice chapter, bit short, but you're forgiven.

 

tim

Thanks for forgiving me, tim, and I think there are five points on most forks :) . So, 4700+ words are too short? Interesting. Thanks for the review, buddy... cheers... Gary....

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On 08/23/2016 02:01 PM, spikey582 said:

Damnit Gary, you ended it right there? :pissed:

 

Ok so this chapter was rough. I actually was glad to see Kellar leave after what Tobyn pulled. I had to agree, all this 'give him time' crap is unacceptable. When Elinor was trying to wave Kellar down I was thinking she needed to go wave down her thickheaded son. Kellar needs to set a precedent and not always be the long suffering patient one every time Tobyn does this. So good for him.

 

That being said, everything after that was awful. From Kellar's emotional turmoil to the insane hunter guy, it all just sucked. So glad Tobyn and to his senses and was there to save Tobyn. They really do belong together to face whatever threats are headed their way. Plus, just one night apart and one of them was almost murdered. They need each other.

 

That of course assumes Kellar ends up being ok...

Yup, I did. And yeah, it was time for Kellar to take care of himself. He's been all about Tobyn since he first saw him. I understand the chapter was rough on you... it was on me too. But I was proud of my boy.

I was also proud of Tobyn for driving through the night, and in the end being Kellar's savior, at least for the time being. Thanks, buddy, for your continual support... and the great review... cheers... Gary....

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On 08/23/2016 05:28 PM, ColumbusGuy said:

Okay G-Man, you've wrenched my emotions so much with this one, that it's difficult to think of what to write. I felt Kellar's pain at Tobyn's reaction, and yet was glad when he left Morningstar...it's not ideal, but there's no point in staying in a relationship when only one of the members wants it to work. In time, it might have become a reality, but not until Tobyn faced up to it.

Now you bring the two guys together, and toss in a poison? Tension abounds, but we know that one of the heroes can't die--it's just not done. :)

I can't figure out how the Hunter can find the lycans--unless it has something to do with a mental ability, or the peculiar staff this maniac carried? The guys need to take it back to Morningstar, or another place to examine it more closely; perhaps Kellar's abilities can tell something about it?

You better have the next one up soon, or we'll find our own Hunter to track you down. :)

xoxoxo my dear friend!

Hey, buddy. Yeah, I think it was a watershed moment for both, but Kellar especially. If Tobyn wants forgiveness he has to earn it... and I believe he's on his way. How hard must it have been for Tobyn to patiently stalk the hunter when Kellar was in danger. There is much yet to learn about the hunters. I can tell you that walking stick has a notch for every shifter the maniac killed and the reinforced end could crush a wolf's skull. Next chapter, next Monday. Thanks for all your support, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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On 08/23/2016 06:23 PM, JACC said:

Loving the story but hating (sort of) cliffhangers and the short chapters. I know it's a lot of work to write such a good story, I appreciate your work, Gary. But leaving us on a cliffhanger with the poison running in Kellar's body.... that is not nice! :whistle:

Now seriously, I really like the world you are creating in this story, thank you for the amazing work, can't wait for the nest chapter to be posted (could you hurry just a bit up? Please?) :thankyou:

Best regards,

J.A.

Hey, J.A.! It's great to hear from you. I'm glad you like this world I'm creating. I've put a lot of thought into this one :) . Another one who thinks the chapters are too short, eh? I'll see what I can do, buddy. Thanks for the awesome review, and your support... and sorry about the cliffie hehe... cheers... Gary....

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On 08/24/2016 12:26 AM, Defiance19 said:

Well, when I said something had to happen I wasn't thinking that at all.

 

I don't blame Kellar for leaving this time. He feels rejected and Tobyn's making it easy. That they would be miserable apart was a given. Honestly, (fingers crossed behind my back) I wasn't at all worried about Tobyn finding Kellar in time. That first half was seriously painful to read, and painful for Kellar! Now the kid has poison in his veins. He just can't catch a break.

 

The hunters! WTH! That was interesting. There's lots of whys and hows and I can't wait for answers though I haven't much choice..

 

Tobyn is in take care of Kellar mode. I am hoping once the adrenaline dues down he will be more willing to face the 'we are earth mates' issue at hand. Something tells me before that happens, Kellar might again have to get him through the 'I killed someone' situation. This is Tobyn after all, and he will likely not deal with this well even if it was the only option.

 

Aside from almost making me forget to breathe, this was a great chapter Gary!

Hey, Def. Yeah, it's been tough sledding for Kellar. I'm proud he took the initiative and didn't accept Tobyn's actions or give him time to come around. There's a point where you become an enabler... yet, I understand Tobyn completely. For sure, I think killing the hunter will affect Tobyn, but he did it to save Kellar, so we'll have to see where he lands. He's not done yet... Kellar still needs saving and the responsibility lies with Tobyn... thanks for another wonderful review, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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On 08/24/2016 05:08 AM, dughlas said:

Slowly ease away from the cliff ...

I'm trying to, buddy... there seems to be something blocking me... What the hell IS that? Guess we'll have to wait and see :) . Thanks for sticking with me, my friend... it appears I may have frightened some away... cheers... Gary....

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Gary, maybe its just me but I don't think i get as clear a sense of the passage of time within your story. It came to me as a possible reason for me perceiving that this chapter was short. I dont know. It was just definitely surprising how short it felt given how many words I see you using.

 

BY NO MEANS do I intend to imply that this was a bad chapter. I Loved it, you and all the rainbows and sunshine that comes out of my ass when I think about these people and this story on a whole lol ^^ Just putting what I felt out there :)

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On 08/25/2016 08:20 AM, JustinJPCF said:

Gary, maybe its just me but I don't think i get as clear a sense of the passage of time within your story. It came to me as a possible reason for me perceiving that this chapter was short. I dont know. It was just definitely surprising how short it felt given how many words I see you using.

 

BY NO MEANS do I intend to imply that this was a bad chapter. I Loved it, you and all the rainbows and sunshine that comes out of my ass when I think about these people and this story on a whole lol ^^ Just putting what I felt out there :)

Hey, Justin! Rainbows and sunshine, eh? He he. Thanks for reviewing and letting me know what you thought, buddy. I reread the chapter and gave it some thought... I think I get what you're talking about. A lot of stuff was covered pretty quickly and there was a lot of introspection for the drive and the run, and then the brakes went on with the hunter... that all happened fast... and then Tobyn was gone again... and we are all left waiting... there was no where to stop and think for the reader, so maybe that's why?? Anyway, I'm glad I make that stuff come out your butt :) and thanks for the great review, and for making me think... cheers... Gary...

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This is becoming the type of story that I can best enjoy and be satisfied with binge reading chapters when it's done or much, much farther along. There are so many possibilities and pitfalls and so much to be worked out. It can be frustrating and tedious. But you will find the thread through the maze eventually. It's your story. I want to support you. I would prefer for you to write in the way that works for you and enables your creativity to flow. I can see you to continue to write chapters with your careful, slow pacing development of plot, character and conflict resolution. Unless I get too curious, I suspect I will come back later after you have progressed at or towards the the end and you have decided what makes sense. Good Luck.

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Whew!! :unsure2: I feel like I just rode on a roller coaster non stop 12 times. :yes: So much happened so quickly and was so darn intense, I"m wrung out. So, the hunters are the reason so many wolves are missing? That's vile!! Bad Gary :angry: And then you poisoned 'my baby'??? Did we really need this much drama at once? Kidding. Bring it! :2thumbs: Tobyn saved the day and then ran away.(that rhymes, hee hee) But seriously? Or did he go to make tea? :lmao:

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On 08/26/2016 11:44 AM, scrubber6620 said:

This is becoming the type of story that I can best enjoy and be satisfied with binge reading chapters when it's done or much, much farther along. There are so many possibilities and pitfalls and so much to be worked out. It can be frustrating and tedious. But you will find the thread through the maze eventually. It's your story. I want to support you. I would prefer for you to write in the way that works for you and enables your creativity to flow. I can see you to continue to write chapters with your careful, slow pacing development of plot, character and conflict resolution. Unless I get too curious, I suspect I will come back later after you have progressed at or towards the the end and you have decided what makes sense. Good Luck.

Hey, scrubber. So sorry you are finding the chapters frustrating and tedious. I will miss your support, but you have to do what's best for your enjoyment... I understand and truly appreciate the support you've given me so far. I hope you come back to it at some point. Just so you know, I'm writing chapter 34 now, and I have always had the thread for the story... I know all that's going to happen right to the very last paragraph. I'm not, and have never been, writing this one by the seat of my pants as I go, and I decided what made sense long before I started posting this :) . Again, I thank you for your input and your reviews. I really hope you like where it all ends up. Cheers, my friend, and thanks for the good wishes... cheers... Gary....

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