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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 - 23. Chapter 23 Comes with the Territory

... new levels....

Morningstar: The Malaise

 

 

Chapter 23

 

 

Wow. The joining was like nothing he ever could have imagined. Tobyn hovered in that spot between sleep and wakefulness. He had never been aware of another person like he was now, and it felt exactly right. The man beside him was a part of him, and every sense he owned told him he’d never be the same. Would he lose himself? The old Tobyn?

Mulling it over in semi-consciousness, he realized he wasn’t worried. There was no way he’d lost anything. The earth mother had blessed him… blessed them both. He hadn’t been giving her much credit in the last few years, but he’d been wrong. The man beside him was living, breathing proof of that. Kellar needed him in a way no one else ever would, and it wasn’t about the joining. No, its role was to let him see his mate’s needs more clearly, and he did. Never again would the big man have loneliness as his companion. Tobyn would ensure it until his final breath.

His initial fears, ones that prevented him from seeing the truth, had been drowned in love. There was no reason for them. He’d been given the perfect partner in life; someone who was wise beyond his years. The man had already done amazing things for their pack. He’d figured out the malaise in only a few days, and had them pointed in the right direction after decades of aimless confusion and uncertainty.

Morningstar hadn’t been living… they hadn’t even been holding their own. Caution, fueled by a not so subtle paranoia, had held them back, and it had taken his mate to show them that indisputable truth. It wasn’t difficult to envision the pack’s eventual demise on the horizon… every member saw it. But they had obtained a new reason for optimism, and there was real hope for the first time in decades.

Kellar truly was aptly named. He’d proven to be their savior, and because of him they had confidence and a direction to head toward. More earth mates for the pack were their first priority. He didn’t expect it would be easy, but he now believed, without any of his previous doubts, the earth mother was watching over their kind.

Shifting slightly, he snuggled closer to his mountain man and got an immediate response. Protective arms tightened around him, causing him to smile at their gentleness. It sure didn’t hurt that his other half was the hottest man… the hottest person he’d ever seen. He breathed in what had become the most comforting scent in his world, reminiscent of a flowering clover field, and let himself slip back over onto the side of sleep.

 

Kellar stretched his long legs downward on the bed, careful not to jostle the blond head nestled under his armpit. It wasn’t possible for the man to be any closer than he was, with his left leg hooked over Kellar’s, and his arm laid across his lower abs. What a glorious feeling after the endless agony of the night spent alone. He liked sex… a lot. He’d discovered something new and wondrous with his mate, and he couldn’t wait to do it again… and again… and again, for the rest of their lives. The feel, the taste, the sensations… so different from his one previous experience.

The joining. He wondered. Was it complete? Miss Sybil had said it was different for everyone. Maybe they should consider the blood licking thing? All he knew for certain was he’d never been so connected to someone before. To be more accurate, he had felt a draw to Tobyn from the beginning, but it paled in comparison to what it had become. His hearing picked up their two heartbeats, and he smiled to himself at the fact they were in perfect sync.

He wanted to wrap his arms around the man, but he didn’t want to disturb his peaceful slumber. Judging by the slight lightening of the room, he determined it to be between five-thirty and six in the morning. It was early, but he felt super-charged with energy. A bonus from last night, most assuredly.

The instant his mate woke, Kellar sensed it, even though the man hadn’t moved a muscle. “You’re awake.”

“So are you,” Tobyn mumbled into Kellar’s skin. “Your thoughts were loud enough to wake the dead.”

Kellar’s heart flipped, and he sat partially up. “You can hear my thoughts?”

Tobyn started giggling. “You are so easy. Not yet, but maybe we need to have some more fluid exchanges.” He raised his head to grin at his mate. “Gotcha.”

Kellar laid his head back down and turned sideways, wrapping both arms around Tobyn. “Yeah, you did, but I like your suggestion. Which fluids are we talking about?” It was his turn to grin.

“Maybe just some spit for now. I think I need a shower… and food… lots and lots of food.”

“Sounds good to me.”

“The food or the spit?”

“Both. Spit first, and then food,” Kellar said as he helped Tobyn move up so they were face to face.

“Do you care that my breath probably reeks?”

“I can smell it, and it doesn’t. It smells sweet.” He peered into eyes holding the same devotion they had at the start of their first lovemaking. Smiling, he placed a hand on the back of his mate’s head, gently stroking his short mess of hair. “Are we doing this, or what?”

Kellar loved the answer he received when Tobyn closed the distance. He might be the healer, but Tobyn’s lips had their own health benefits. The surge of energy accompanying the kiss convinced Kellar there was definitely more joining to be done. When Tobyn pulled back, they both sighed. Hazel eyes sparkled in the semi-darkness, and Kellar could see them clear as day. His already superb vision appeared to have sharpened.

“My eyesight is the best it’s ever been,” Tobyn said with a little awe present in his voice.

“I was just realizing the same thing. It must be one of the effects of the joining?”

“Has to be. I think it improved even more right after our kiss. It’s probably my imagination.”

“I don’t think so. I think our joining is a process, and now that it’s started, it grows in increments. I think the kiss stimulated it… sort of gave it a boost. I’m only speculating, but I know I felt something extra as soon as our lips touched.”

“Me too. It makes sense, doc,” Tobyn said with a thoughtful look. “You know, you’re very good at figuring out this stuff. Whatever is going on, I like it.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah, damn right I do. More spit?”

“Yes, please.”

 

Freshly showered and shaved, they sat in a shaft of early morning sunlight, enjoying a breakfast fit for a lumberjack, one Tobyn had insisted on making. Kellar helped, but mostly because he needed to be near his mate. Both men were laughing and teasing, and it had much to do with the fluid top-ups that had taken place in their shared shower… not quite simultaneous because of the confines, but close enough. Kellar was captivated by this animated Tobyn, feeling proud he was the reason the man’s face glowed.

“I was thinking.”

“Do you ever stop, doc?”

“About you? No.”

“Talk like that will….” Tobyn stopped and blushed a crimson shade that had Kellar chuckling.

“Aren’t you going to finish what you were saying?”

“No… never mind.” He managed a little laugh at himself. “What were you thinking about?”

“Reznick. He must have had a vehicle somewhere nearby.”

Tobyn stopped eating. “I forgot about him.”

“Sorry. I shouldn’t be bringing this up. Are you good?”

“Sure. Okay, maybe not completely, but I’ll get over it.”

His smile was a weak one, but Kellar understood why his mate still felt some remorse. It would be wrong if he didn’t, just a little, so Kellar left it alone. Tobyn had to work his own way through it.

“So, what about a vehicle?” Tobyn continued, as though Reznick was already forgotten.

“Are you sure you want to talk about this now? We don’t have to.”

“Yes. Kellar… I’m fine, so answer the question. A vehicle?”

“All right. Well, it occurred to me last night, but I had some other, more important stuff on my mind.” He couldn’t keep the smug grin off his face, and that got him a shy chuckle. He continued, after leaning across the table for a maple syrup-flavored kiss. “I have an idea where it could be, and I think we should check it out to see if I’m right.”

“What’s it matter… where it is?”

“It probably doesn’t, but I wouldn’t mind knowing how close it might be to my land, and whether the plates match the province on his driver’s license. It would tell us whether he was on the up and up for one thing. Bogus plates would likely mean he’s dodging the police, and that would be a good thing for us.” Kellar didn’t mention he also wanted to see if there were any clues in the vehicle about a nephew who might still be hunting shifters somewhere in Northern Ontario.

Tobyn looked a little dubious. “I guess I can see that. If you want to check it out, it’s fine with me. It would be nice to know that his car or whatever is far away from this place.”

“Good. It’s settled then. We’ll drive south for a few miles, after we’re finished eating.”

“And then we head to Morningstar?”

“Yeah, of course. Are you anxious to get back?”

“Yes, but mostly to let them know… let them see we’re okay. I probably should call my mom. Word spreads like wildfire in the pack, so I’m sure everyone is wondering, after the way you left… and then me leaving in the middle of the night. You gave them hope, but I went and screwed it all up.”

Kellar studied his mate before speaking. “It’s not your fault it played out in public, and you never screwed anything up. That never should have happened the way it did, but it doesn’t matter now, does it?”

“No, not at all. I guess I wasn’t too good at processing, but I have seen the light. It didn’t take me long either. As soon as I finished running, I saw the whole picture. Being earth mates is the best thing that’s ever happened, and this time I’m not talking about the pack… I’m talking about me.”

“And me.”

“Yeah, you for sure. You really lucked out.” Tobyn’s snicker was contagious, and they ended up sharing a greasy, now bacon-flavored kiss.

 

Tobyn pulled his truck over to the spot Kellar pointed out. They were on a wide part of the shoulder, about five miles south of the cabin.

“Half-a-mile down is an old campsite. The buildings are long gone but the culvert is still there and the old driveway goes in a ways. It would be the perfect spot to hide his transportation.”

“Is my truck safe here?”

“Yeah, because you’ll be staying in it.”

“What? I’m not going with you?”

“Nope. No sense. I can check it out myself, and if a cop drives by, you can just get out and look like you’re taking a piss. We don’t need the attention an empty vehicle would bring, okay? At the very least, they’d jot down the license plate number.”

“Oh yeah, I see your point. Just be careful. Thinking about Reznick gives me the creeps.”

“I will. He can’t hurt us anymore.”

“I know, but be careful anyway. I’m worried someone will see you.”

“So, they see a big wolf. It won’t mean anything.”

“It will if they have a gun. Hunters, and I don’t mean shifter killers, are everywhere. And farmers don’t think anything of shooting a wolf. A lot of them go looking in their spare time.”

“Are you always going to be a worry wart?” Kellar teased. “Dumb question, I guess.”

“Yes, it is. I’m always going to worry when you’re out of my sight. Comes with the territory,” he admitted, and Kellar melted a little bit.

“It’s a lot different, isn’t it?” He watched Tobyn eye him speculatively, and saw the comprehension dawn.

“From a couple of days ago? Yeah. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. Just make sure you watch your ass out there, buster.”

“Yup… got me a bossy one,” he said with a smirk.

 

Kellar stripped in the ditch, a little ways down from where his mate waited. Shifting, he trotted through the dry, man-made gully, confident he was hidden in the tall mixture of new and old grass. The strong odor of elk blanketing the area told him his hunch was right. Reznick must have applied that damn musk to the traps close to here. He likely wanted the acrid smell of metal covered before he started out.

He climbed the slope of the ditch with caution. Because of a rise in the road, Tobyn and his truck were now out of sight. An abundance of overgrown brush provided cover as he slunk through it toward the clearing he remembered from past, far-ranging runs. The closer he got, the more potent was the odor of bottled attractant used by hunters everywhere. Peering through foliage at ground level, he first saw the tracks, and then the big, old, three-quarter-ton crew-cab truck that had made them. Kellar didn’t know much about vehicles, but he recognized this as a late 1980's/early 1990’s modified Chevy. It was similar to one his foster-brother had parked in their driveway and worked on for months, until Don had ordered it gone.

Kellar felt some satisfaction at finding it, but only a little, because even with the hunter dead, he was in a potentially dangerous situation. He tested the air carefully and used his ever-improving eyesight to study the surrounding forest, making sure he, or the vehicle, were not being observed. It was a brute of a truck with huge deep-tread tires and a raised frame high enough to navigate most rough terrain. The paint job was one of camouflage, with gray, green and tan patches, even over the cap covering the long box. This mechanical beast had a purpose, and Kellar had no trouble picturing what it had been.

First of all, it was probably a home base for the serial killer Tobyn had dispatched. With a wickedly built-up front grill, complete with monstrous brush guards and a winch, it projected a sinister look. How many shifter bodies had been moved by that winch? This was the kind of vehicle that could easily ram another one off the road. It, like its now-dead owner, was a killing machine.

Gaining confidence after a few minutes of cautious patience, he shifted to human form and made his way at a running crouch to the driver’s side, which happened to be nearest his cover. The truck was pointed out the way it had entered, poised for a quick getaway. Careful not to touch, he peered through the window. Kellar could see nothing that would provide him with more information, but there was a sleeping bag in the back seat, along with an ancient-looking, head-sweat-stained pillow. Knowing it was likely futile, he grabbed a handful of leaves and wrapped them around the door handle to see if it was unlocked. No such luck. Trying the other three just in case, got the same result. Checking the front plates, he saw he’d been correct in his other assumption. There were Ontario plates on top of another set. He wondered if any too-inquisitive policemen or women had been victims of these monsters over the years.

Moving to the camper back, Kellar looked through the louvered side-windows. A single foam mattress which could be easily rolled up, a knapsack, a couple of hardcover books, and what was probably a wooden trap box, did tell him something. Two men, at least occasionally, shared this base as they went about their grisly business. At the same time this realization hit him, his ever-sharper hearing picked up a sound not of the forest. It was the split-second jangle of a chain against metal, and it was a good distance away as yet. His mind immediately went to the vicious trap he’d endured and his entire body froze as all his senses heightened to new levels.

As if by magic, the scent of elk parted, enough that he caught another one. Human. His ears honed in on the sound of a body brushing leaves and a twig kicked loose by a booted foot. It appeared the person’s destination was Kellar’s vicinity. Another few noises in his direction verified this, and he surmised who it had to be. Reznick’s nephew. Another exterminator of his kind. Forcing himself to swallow the human growl that threatened to burst forth, Kellar knew he had to be smarter than this adversary. The man had to die, and he had no idea what awaited him. It was the perfect opportunity.

Shifting back to wolf, he retreated to the brush he’d come out of, all his senses tuned to the hunter. The thought of ripping this man’s throat out had a very strong appeal, and his wolf was eager. There was a part of him repelled by the thought, but he buried it. He would not interfere with his wolf’s instincts to tear this threat to his kind apart.

As he listened, the occasional scuff of footwear indicated his prey was moving closer. Kellar’s excitement rose. As if someone had snapped their fingers, all noise from the man stopped. It was as if he had suddenly disappeared. Kellar could do nothing but listen, careful not to pant or move a muscle.

Minutes passed. There. The sound of the metal trap being carefully placed on the ground, accompanied by the whisper of fabric being rubbed, and a little clink. Kellar pictured the older hunter from the day before sliding his rifle strap off his shoulder, and knew what the rub and clink had been. Reznick Junior had his gun in hand. The faintest sound of the safety being released was the proof he needed the man was ready for anything.

Was he just being cautious or had he somehow become aware Kellar was lying in wait? How could he know? It wasn’t possible, was it? Humans couldn’t scent him, and he’d made zero noise to give himself away. But… no, this wasn’t him just being careful. If it was only that, he wouldn’t have set the trap down as far back as he did. Despite how quiet the man had become, Kellar could still pick out his advancement. His light and carefully placed footfalls were evidence he was stalking something.

Kellar had now become the prey. He had minutes to decide what to do. Could he surprise the man… catch him off guard? His wolf thought so, but what if he failed? Reznick’s advancement was slow but steady… he appeared intent on closing the distance. Somehow, the bastard knew he was there. Every instinct screamed this was the case, and every hair on his body stirred.

He had no choice. If the hunter did pick him off, it would leave the man he loved a sitting duck, and Kellar could feel his wolf inwardly whine at the thought. If he didn’t return, or Tobyn heard a gunshot, he’d come running, and if the hunter knew one shifter was there, he would likely know his mate was too. As much as he hated to miss a potential chance, he turned tail and ran. This Reznick had to be stopped, but it would have to be another day. Even his wolf agreed… Tobyn’s safety came first.

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

Copyright © 2017 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
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Does this mean...? Surely not... There is only one way Reznick could know...

 

Oh you have got my brain spinning now, quick I need the next chapter

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Gary- All I have to say is about half way through the paragraph starts "Freshly showered and shaved, they sat in a shaft..." and I read on not in and got way too excited.

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I loved Tobyn's half asleep thoughts. You can see that, although this is scary, he's all in with his mate. It's wonderful to finally have him in that place where they can just love each other. Their increasing bond is a great touch. Lots of reason to continue kissing, and other types of fluid swapping. :P

 

I have to wonder... can Tobyn and Kellar sense each other's emotions? I know T was joking about hearing thoughts, but strong emotions wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility right now, and K would be feeling some pretty strong emotions with the hunter so close. My concern also
Is that this guy will track them even if K does get away this time. Morningstar is depleted enough and can't afford more loss.

 

Waiting on the edge of my seat for next Monday :o

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Hummmm..... :unsure2: This Reznick is a mystery. What could he be? Are you about to throw us a curve ball? "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night". :yes:

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Way to leave a cliffhanger:)
Really enjoying the story. As usual with your stories there's a nice mix of sentiment and action. Not to mention beautifully written.
Thanks!
Z

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I loved the 'morning after' scenes, just so much joy and love radiating off the page.

 

However. A huge chill just descended. The RN (Reznick Nephew) is a serious threat not just to Kellar and Tobyn, but to all the Morningstar community, and others like it. Once the RN notes the departure of the shifter from his territory, he is certain to try and follow, tracking them implacably. The real question is how to take the offensive without putting anyone else in danger.

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On 09/20/2016 10:12 AM, Bucket1 said:

Does this mean...? Surely not... There is only one way Reznick could know...

 

Oh you have got my brain spinning now, quick I need the next chapter

Hey, B! I'm glad I've got you thinking, but don't hurt yourself hehe. Thanks for the support, buddy... next Monday... more surprises... cheers... Gary....

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On 09/20/2016 10:17 AM, JayT said:

Gary- All I have to say is about half way through the paragraph starts "Freshly showered and shaved, they sat in a shaft..." and I read on not in and got way too excited.

LOL... make sure you have your coffee before reading, my friend. Thanks for the support... cheers... Gary...

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On 09/20/2016 11:14 AM, LitLover said:

I loved Tobyn's half asleep thoughts. You can see that, although this is scary, he's all in with his mate. It's wonderful to finally have him in that place where they can just love each other. Their increasing bond is a great touch. Lots of reason to continue kissing, and other types of fluid swapping. :P

 

I have to wonder... can Tobyn and Kellar sense each other's emotions? I know T was joking about hearing thoughts, but strong emotions wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility right now, and K would be feeling some pretty strong emotions with the hunter so close. My concern also

Is that this guy will track them even if K does get away this time. Morningstar is depleted enough and can't afford more loss.

 

Waiting on the edge of my seat for next Monday :o

Hey, Lit! I think on some level, they've read each others feelings from the beginning... they do sense things from the other. Will that escalate? We'll see. As of now, we have no idea what this shifter killer can or will do. You're right. Morningstar can't afford another hit... can they? More surprises next Monday, my friend. Thanks for the support... cheers... Gary....

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Oh man, Gary, you're driving me crazy! This seemed short, but maybe it was just the tension?
I was afraid the Hunter might not be alone, but now it seems he has some special way to sense lycans...not good news for the Pack. This maniac has to go, but it looks like it won't be soon.
Anxious for more, my dear friend...shivers up my spine here.

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I so much liked watching them waken to one another's presence as the day was dawning ... you and I are such romantics.

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On 09/20/2016 11:41 AM, LadyDe said:

Hummmm..... :unsure2: This Reznick is a mystery. What could he be? Are you about to throw us a curve ball? "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night". :yes:

A curveball? Hmmmm. Maybe. Bumpy night indeed... the best kind, my friend :) . Thanks for the review, LadyDe... see you next week :hug: cheers... Gary....

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On 09/20/2016 11:48 AM, Zenith said:

Way to leave a cliffhanger:)

Really enjoying the story. As usual with your stories there's a nice mix of sentiment and action. Not to mention beautifully written.

Thanks!

Z

Hey, Z! Glad you're enjoying the story. This one means a lot to me. Thank you for the very kind words and the welcomed support. Sorry about the cliffhanger... hehe... you believe me, right? Thanks for the wonderful review... hope I see you next Monday... cheers... Gary....

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Ok, so I'm going to sound repetitive, but you just deserve so much praise for this story. Gary, you've got talent buddy, plain and simple. Also you're improving your craft with every story you write. As good as your early chapters of COTT were, the level of quality in what you write has just gone up with each story. I again say, this has probably been the best effort yet.

 

Just to get more specific, the way you write romance is top notch. As others have mentioned, Keller and Tobyn together just warms my heart every time, I'm such a sucker for romance. But you've done something new with this story. You've added an element of danger and suspense not present in your other stories, and again you integrate it into the story masterfully. This is especially good considering that this is your first attempt at this genre.

 

As usual you've left me with a ton of questions, such as what is the deal with Reznik Jr? How did he know Keller was there? On the edge of my seat and eager for more (maybe slightly longer) chapters. :D

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On 09/21/2016 12:08 AM, Parker Owens said:

I loved the 'morning after' scenes, just so much joy and love radiating off the page.

 

However. A huge chill just descended. The RN (Reznick Nephew) is a serious threat not just to Kellar and Tobyn, but to all the Morningstar community, and others like it. Once the RN notes the departure of the shifter from his territory, he is certain to try and follow, tracking them implacably. The real question is how to take the offensive without putting anyone else in danger.

Thank you, Parker. The morning after... sigh... when it's good, it's amazing. I'm so glad you liked those scenes... I wanted to share a little bit of Tobyn's POV. His thoughts were crying to be heard.

Yeah, Reznick's nephew changes things. What will he do... who the hell is he? Stay tuned for next week... might not be what you expect :) . Thanks for the awesome review, and the support, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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On 09/21/2016 02:51 AM, ColumbusGuy said:

Oh man, Gary, you're driving me crazy! This seemed short, but maybe it was just the tension?

I was afraid the Hunter might not be alone, but now it seems he has some special way to sense lycans...not good news for the Pack. This maniac has to go, but it looks like it won't be soon.

Anxious for more, my dear friend...shivers up my spine here.

LOL. Sorry, buddy. Right now it's about priorities for Kellar. Once he knew he was being stalked, it wasn't worht the risk to his mate. Thankfully, the effects of the joining helped him immensely. Feels like someone really is watching over them, doesn't it? Thanks for the great review, ny dear friend... more is coming... cheers... Gary....

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On 09/21/2016 05:36 AM, dughlas said:

I so much liked watching them waken to one another's presence as the day was dawning ... you and I are such romantics.

Yes, we are, and unapologetic. Love makes the world go round :) . I'm glad you liked those scenes Dugh. Tobyn wanted to share his POV... thanks for the support, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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On 09/21/2016 12:46 PM, Mikiesboy said:

Nice Gary! Interesting, waiting and seeing!

Thanks, tim. So much more to come. Thanks for the review, buddy... cheers... Gary....

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On 09/21/2016 10:47 PM, spikey582 said:

Ok, so I'm going to sound repetitive, but you just deserve so much praise for this story. Gary, you've got talent buddy, plain and simple. Also you're improving your craft with every story you write. As good as your early chapters of COTT were, the level of quality in what you write has just gone up with each story. I again say, this has probably been the best effort yet.

 

Just to get more specific, the way you write romance is top notch. As others have mentioned, Keller and Tobyn together just warms my heart every time, I'm such a sucker for romance. But you've done something new with this story. You've added an element of danger and suspense not present in your other stories, and again you integrate it into the story masterfully. This is especially good considering that this is your first attempt at this genre.

 

As usual you've left me with a ton of questions, such as what is the deal with Reznik Jr? How did he know Keller was there? On the edge of my seat and eager for more (maybe slightly longer) chapters. :D

Thanks, spikey! I can't tell you exactly how much this means to me. Writing can be a lonely pastime, and it takes a lot of effort. Reviews like this help me get through the tough periods when my eyes and brain and fingers want to quit. I love every review I get, no matter what is said, but when someone comments on the quality I've worked hard to attain, it means just that much more. Thank you for appreciating my efforts and dedication to the craft itself.

As if that wasn't enough, your comments about romance and this new genre, puts me over the moon. Thanks for the big boost to my confidence... this is admittedly some of the toughest writing I have done, but also some of the most rewarding. As I said, 'great chapter' would be enough to put a smile on my face, but this is a review I'll come back to again and again. Thanks, buddy... you rock! Cheers... Gary....

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Awesome Gary! Because I'm so late I'm gonna keep it short.. Plus I barely have to wait to get answers I think... like Resnik. What? Thats the biggest question, how does he know.. I want to speculate, but you've given no real clues so I'll just wait and see..
Loved that opening scene too.. I'm going to enjoy seeing the bond intensify between our guys..

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So, new levels, eh? New levels of intimacy and content and trust between mates, as well as improved senses and a higher level of protectiveness. But also new levels of danger and speculation about the hunter(s). The first part comes with the territory of being mates and the second with the realization that somehow the hunter nephew knew Kellar was there. Did they have surveillance or something which Kellar somehow trigged as wolf or man? Was it the shift from human to wolf which gave him away? We don't know but it raises the threat to a new level, not only in the situation but for the future and the pack as well.
I can see from Spikey's review that I'm not the only one who thinks your writing has reached a new level of awesomeness. Not just due to the very few edits left for me to do, but also in the way you give us new knowledge and hints without having to resort to tricks or tropes. You show rather than tell, and believe me I know how difficult that is. But we feel the closeness of the two men and hold our breath as Kellar faces the tough decision of flee or fight. I suppose one could say that playing with the emotions of your readers comes with the territory of being a writer, but few people here stakes out that kind of territory at the sublime level you do. AC Benus comes to mind as one, and thinking of Bound & Bound I know you'll agree I can hardly giver higher praise.

Edited by Timothy M.
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On 09/26/2016 08:45 AM, Defiance19 said:

Awesome Gary! Because I'm so late I'm gonna keep it short.. Plus I barely have to wait to get answers I think... like Resnik. What? Thats the biggest question, how does he know.. I want to speculate, but you've given no real clues so I'll just wait and see..

Loved that opening scene too.. I'm going to enjoy seeing the bond intensify between our guys..

Thanks, Def! Yeah, Reznick appears to be more than meets the eye. I'd tell you, but then I'd have to silence you :) , and I don't think I'm a match for an international spy :) . I'm pleased you liked the opening scene. The guys know what they have... and the joining isn't over yet ;) . Thanks for your constant support, my friend... cheers... Gary...

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On 09/28/2016 01:48 AM, Timothy M. said:

So, new levels, eh? New levels of intimacy and content and trust between mates, as well as improved senses and a higher level of protectiveness. But also new levels of danger and speculation about the hunter(s). The first part comes with the territory of being mates and the second with the realization that somehow the hunter nephew knew Kellar was there. Did they have surveillance or something which Kellar somehow trigged as wolf or man? Was it the shift from human to wolf which gave him away? We don't know but it raises the threat to a new level, not only in the situation but for the future and the pack as well.

I can see from Spikey's review that I'm not the only one who thinks your writing has reached a new level of awesomeness. Not just due to the very few edits left for me to do, but also in the way you give us new knowledge and hints without having to resort to tricks or tropes. You show rather than tell, and believe I know how difficult that is. But we feel the closeness of the two men and hold our breath as Kellar faces the tough decision of flee or fight. I suppose one could say that playing with the emotions of your readers comes with the territory of being a writer, but few people here stakes out that kind of territory at the sublime level you do. AC Benus comes to mind as one, and thinking of Bound & Bound I know you'll agree I can hadly giver higher praise.

You always get it! Worry, too, comes with the territory, but that's a part of love... always has been and always will be. What you say about my writing blows me away, especially because you know it, and my journey best of anyone. I think you know how much time I put into refining each chapter, so thank you for expressing such thoughts... 'sublime'... such a wonderful word to use... I am humbled, and appreciative... and I know I still have lots of room for improvement... but thank you for the incredible boost, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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Ah. The tension builds. Considering that the bulk of humanity is unaware of shifters, why does anyone know about them at all? Legends abound in human cultures. They can come from mistakes, misinterpretation of sightings (or from actual sightings, which are no easier to prove), and even incautious revelations by the 'legends' themselves. But legends are everywhere.
What has turned this one into a war?
What generates a breed of human dedicated to the hunting and eradication of shifters? Considering the ability of shifters to hide among the human populace, what senses might these hunters have that normal humans do not possess? How can Reznick, Jr. know that Kellar is there, waiting? And from afar? And it did look like he knew.
With this chapter you have hinted at something that will certainly affect the way the rest of the tale plays out. Seems we are dealing with two interrelated legends here, instead of just one.
More!

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