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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 - 30. Chapter 30 Family Matters

Promises... and lights at the end of the tunnel....

Morningstar: The Malaise

 

 

Chapter 30

 

 

Kellar had been in this town for an hour, and his patience was wearing thin. The situation he found himself in had a surreal aspect to it. So much had changed since he’d met his mate, and now here he was sitting in a train station, waiting for the one person he’d always detested most in the world. Well, Warren had temporarily been usurped by old Reznick, but he was no longer among the living.

Tobyn and the girls were across the street in a seemingly popular diner in the small town of Cochrane, drinking coffee, and probably eating breakfast by now. He was too apprehensive to consider putting food in his stomach; so much was at stake. They’d arrived at seven in the morning, after a long but mostly peaceful four-and-a-half hour drive. Kellar had been surprised the girls could sleep, but they did, and for most of the way.

The train was already twenty minutes late due to an apparent track-switching malfunction, and he’d been informed it would be another ten minutes until its arrival. He considered walking across the busy road to update his companions, but decided against it. Adelin had been strung a little tight ever since the rising sun shone its rays across her face. She’d woke with a start in the back seat, and the chatter had soon followed. He was anxious enough as it was, and more of Adelin’s rapid-fire questions and comments would put him further on edge.

He understood and commiserated with the girl as she waited to lay eyes on her mate. This was the biggest thing that would ever happen to Adelin, and she was on her own knife-edge, but he’d let Tobyn and Tilly deal with her overabundance of energy. He had a lot of emotions and memories running through him, and they were not particularly pleasant ones. He kept picturing the Warren who was an abusive bully, and the thought of him becoming a part of his life again did not sit well at all.

Listening to the train arrive, he stayed rooted in his seat. Warren, if he was even on the Northland train, could come to him. Christ, these benches were uncomfortable. Under the now lighted ‘Arrivals’ sign, the large double doors slid open, and a sparse group filed in. First through were a woman and two tired-looking little girls, and right behind them came Warren Apsley. Kellar had to consciously close his mouth as he took in the man’s appearance. Upon saying something to the little family, and getting smiles in return, he lifted his head and began a search of the long building. His eyes swept past Kellar, and it was only when he stood up that those haunted eyes darted back to him. Standing stock still, Warren’s jaw did the same thing Kellar’s had.

It was then Kellar realized he had changed as much as this different version of his foster-brother had. He began to walk, and Warren moved forward in response. “Hello, Warren. Did you have a good trip?” After seeing his condition, it wasn’t as hard as Kellar expected, to sound friendly.

“Damn. Kellar? You look so different.” He held out his hand and Kellar shook it. “My trip was fine. I’m tired as hell, but it was good for me. So, how are you doing? I didn’t expect you to be so fucking huge.”

“And I didn’t expect you to be so scrawny.” Kellar followed with a smirk that was only slightly uneasy.

Warren grinned at him. “I guess I look pretty different too, eh? This is what drugs will do to you. They could put me on one of those ‘Just Say No’ posters.”

Kellar flickered, and took note of the man’s colors. It shouldn’t have surprised him how weak Warren’s aura was, but it did. This wasn’t a human thing. He was looking at colors almost as dim as Adelin’s had been before he treated her. Adelin. She was the point of all this. “Yeah, quite frankly you look like shit, man. You’re not looking very healthy; your liver has taken a beating, and what’s with your kneecap?”

Warren stared at Kellar, not saying a word.

“Warren?”

“Who told you about my kneecap?”

Kellar realized what he’d just wandered into already, but that’s what they were here for. “Nobody told me anything. I can see it. Look, there’s a lot we have to talk about, but long story short, it turns out I’m a healer.”

“A healer? Are you studying to be a doctor or something?”

“Or something. Is this all your luggage?”

“Yeah, I told you everything I had fit in one bag and I wasn’t kidding… and before I say anything else… I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity. I’m pretty sure if I fail this time, I’m fucked. I’ve seen it too many times with my so-called ‘friends,’ and how they all end up.” Red-rimmed, dark blue eyes were fixed on Kellar.

He didn’t remember Warren’s eyes being so large, or ever so vulnerable. The thinness of his face must be accentuating their size. A lump started to form in his throat as he took in the damage the man had done to himself. He was only about twenty-two, but he looked closer to thirty. “I’m glad you realize where you’ve been headed, Warren, but remember… you have to earn this chance, and it’s not just me you have to win over.”

“That’s fine with me. Who else do I have to convince? Is there like a committee I have to go before?”

Kellar chuckled. “A committee, no. Something much more important than that.”

“Like what? Am I screwed already?”

Kellar smiled mysteriously. “You’ll see. Come on. We’ll go across the road to that restaurant.” He gestured with his head. “Did you eat on the train?”

“I… no, I didn’t.”

Kellar heard the underlying tone. The man had no money. “Well, let me buy you a big breakfast. You need some meat on those bones, man.”

“I do look pretty bad, huh?”

“Nothing some good clean living won’t cure.” He sent his foster-brother a loaded look.

“Yeah, clean living is all I want from here on out.”

Kellar heard the ring of truth in his words, but then again, this was Warren… and an addict.

 

Walking into the now half-empty place, Kellar was the one following. When Warren tried to turn left, he quickly gestured to the right. “Let’s sit down this way.” Too late; the man had already spied Adelin’s table.

“Why not down here. This looks like a nice spot.”

Kellar held back a groan. Adelin was staring straight at Warren, and vice versa, and that wasn’t supposed to happen yet. He’d dropped the ball going through the door. Dammit! “No, this way, Warren.”

“But….”

“Warren! We need privacy to talk. Come on… now, please.” For a second, it appeared the dazed-looking girl was going to stand, but Kellar breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Tobyn put a hand on her arm.

“Oh yeah, right. Sorry,” Warren said, walking with his head turned back until a waitress in the aisle warned ‘Hey,’ getting him to finally pay attention to where he was going.

Before Kellar could cut him off, Warren took the side of the booth looking up the way they’d come, which provided him a clear view of Adelin’s table… and the girl herself. He hadn’t expected their attraction to be that strong, that fast, but it was pretty obvious how instant it was. Sitting, he used his large frame to block Warren’s view. Miss Sybil had said it could be this way for some mates… why he thought a human mate would have a lesser impact, he didn’t know. At any rate, he’d been wrong. After a few attempts to crane his head around the big man, Warren gave up and settled down… somewhat. The same waitress stopped at the table and asked if they wanted menus. “Just bring us two of those breakfast specials that are on the window poster, if you wouldn’t mind?”

“With the pancakes?”

Kellar nodded. "Please."

“Sure, hun. Something to drink?” Her eyes were looking him over pretty good. Kellar was used to it.

“I’ll have a large orange juice, please. Warren?”

“Ah, the same, please.”

“Be right back, boys,” she said with a big smile for Kellar.

“Somebody likes you,” Warren said, stating the obvious.

“Whatever. I already have a mate.”

“Mate? You married?”

“Something like that.”

Warren looked like he wanted to ask more, but changed the subject. “Did you see that girl when we came in?”

“What girl? I saw two of them.” He’d seen this coming.

“The really pretty one with those eyes.”

“Those eyes?”

“Yeah. They’re incredible.” He tried to peer around Kellar, but he moved with him.

Shit. Their plan sucked. He should have taken him to a different place. “Dude! Do you remember what we’re here for? Come on. Forget about the girl, for crying out loud.”

“You’re right. Sorry, I was just….”

“I know. No worries, but we have a lot to cover. So what happened to your knee?”

Folding his hands together, he looked down before he looked up. “Baseball bat. I owed a guy money for some Tina. He broke it.”

“Tina?”

“Code for Crystal.”

“Crystal meth?”

Warren nodded. “Yeah. It’s a nasty drug, but I never injected it… only ever snorted it. That’s bad enough.”

Straight up honesty. It was a start. “I can do something to help with the scar tissue that’s irritating the bones in your knee.”

“You’re freaking me out here. Are you psychic or something? How do you know about my scar tissue?”

Kellar sighed, but had to wait until the waitress set down their juice before answering. “In order for this thing to work… this, you building a life with us, the pack, there’s a lot of stuff we have to cover. We have to do it maybe quicker than is fair to you, but if this isn’t going to fly, we need to know today. Do you understand that?”

“Yeah, I think so. You need to know if I’m good enough to fit in to this pack of yours… whether you can trust me… if not, you’re shipping me off. I’m just happy to have the chance. You said I’d be safe, so that’s all I need to know on my end.”

“No… it isn’t all you need to know, but… fair enough. I get that you’re committed, and that’s good. Let me start with the healing. Remember when I changed the first time… into the wolf you saw?” His voice had dropped to barely a whisper.

“Do I ever. I’ll never forget it, man.”

“Neither will I,” Kellar said, remembering the enormity of it. “Okay, so when that happened, I could see colors… a pattern in both of us, and later in anything that was living, like plants, and animals and insects… everything. Long story short, everyone has a signature pattern, and shifters… that’s what we call ourselves… have what are called earth mates… that means we share the same pattern, and we’re drawn to one another. Each of us has only one, and that’s who we’re meant to be with. Humans would call us soul mates, but this isn’t just a choice… it’s a physiological thing. Does this sound crazy to you yet?”

“You mean crazy like a man turning into an animal,” Warren responded with a smirk. “It sounds strange, Kellar, but not crazy. So that’s what you meant by having a mate?”

“Uh huh. I’m one of the lucky ones who found mine.”

“Is that a big deal? Finding them?”

“Yes, Warren. It’s a huge deal. See, the pack is sick. Shifters call it the malaise, and no one knew what was causing it… until recently.”

Warren leaned forward. “Sick? So, what was going on? What caused it?”

“Again, long story short. These people we call hunters were killing pack members with regularity, pretty much anytime someone left pack lands for a time, so shifters stopped socializing with other packs to try to protect themselves. They pulled inward out of fear, and as a result, finding mates became rare. It turned out to be a big mistake because mates are the key to the malaise.”

Their breakfast arrived, and conversation stalled. Once they were alone again, Warren was eager to hear more, but Kellar insisted he eat first. The guy was obviously famished, and his method of eating was one thing that hadn’t changed. Kellar did his best not to remark at the speed with which the food disappeared. When Warren pushed his plate away, not even ten minutes had passed, and Kellar, only halfway done, pushed his away too.

“Are you going to eat that toast?”

“No, man. I’m stuffed. I had something earlier, so have at it.”

Three toast halves disappeared in seconds. “That was great, dude. Thanks. So what about mates being the key? Hey, that girl is staring at me. She’s a stunner, for sure… don’t know why she’d be looking at a loser like me, but she is.”

Kellar moved to block his vision, smirking at the extended stretch and disappointed reaction when Warren realized he was getting nowhere. “So, back to what we were talking about. If you put the fact I can see a person’s colors, and that I can see what happens when mates are in close proximity, together, well… that’s how we know what caused the malaise. When joined mates are in a group of shifters, they produce this kind of mist… it’s like a colorful cloud of dust that is, in reality, energy produced by the mated pair. It’s not visible to anyone but me because no one else sees the colors like I do. Anyway, that energy feeds the pack, so when there were few or no pairs, there wasn’t any mist being produced to keep the pack healthy. Now that does sound crazy, even to me.”

“No, actually it doesn’t. It’s sort of like a car, where you need the right mixture of air and gas to make a mist that feeds the engine. So when mates are together they do what a carburetor does. I know it’s not the same, but the principles for creating energy are similar.”

“You lost me, man. I have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about, but if it helps you make sense of what I told you, then great.”

“It does. I equate lots of stuff with engines. What can I say; I’m a car geek,” he said with an exaggerated grin. “Joined mates?”

“Yeah. Think of it as consummation… that’s what joining is. Exchanging body fluids… whatever… I’ll explain all that later.”

“Oh… okay. I got it. So, without this earth mate energy what was happening to the… shifters?”

“For starters, you should know our kind used to live a long time… 150 years or more, and they used to be able to shift as often and for as long as they wanted. They never got human diseases, and if they got injured, they healed quickly in most cases… much, much quicker than a human could. Don’t get me wrong; we weren’t invincible. Anyway, the malaise took that all away.”

“Shit, that sounds bad?”

“It was and it still is because once we have our first shift, changes occur that are detectable in blood work, so we can’t go to doctors to get treatment. We can’t risk exposure. Worst is that the birth rate has been severely reduced, and that meant we’ve been facing extinction. But now we know what needs to be done. Our pack has two pairs, so things are starting to improve, but it’s not enough. We have to start searching for other packs and hopefully find more matches for our people.”

“Is there some way I can help?” Warren looked totally immersed in their plight, and this was not anything like the self-absorbed Warren he had known three years ago.

“You want to help?”

“Yeah, I do. Weird, huh?”

Kellar laughed. “It sure as hell is. Do I even know you?”

A rueful smile came over his foster-brother’s face. “I’m not that guy anymore, Kellar. He was an asshole who blamed everyone but himself for his weaknesses. I want to prove to you I’m not him, but I want to prove it to myself even more.”

“I think you’ll get your chance.”

“Really?”

Kellar studied the man, and he met his gaze straight on. “Yeah, you’re winning me over. I don’t hate you anymore. Are you still into cars?”

Warren’s pleasure at his words showed clearly. “Ah… yeah. That’s been my only job when I wasn’t in rehab. I worked as a mechanic’s helper at my buddy’s garage. You know him. Remember Buzz?”

“That ass. He was into drugs too.”

“Yeah… a huge pothead, but he has a good business going. He wouldn’t hire me anymore, though. He had no room for me because he had three fulltime licensed mechanics plus himself, and the truth is I let him down too many times. That was a real blow, but then you called, and here I am.”

“So, working in a garage sounds good to you?”

“Fucking right it does. I’d rather work on cars than do anything else. Are you saying you have a job in a garage for me?”

“I could have, but there’s something else. You know what I said about earth mates being drawn to one another?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, it can be pretty powerful, or it can sort of sneak up on you like it did with Tobyn and me.”

“Tobyn? That’s a weird name.”

“I wouldn’t tell him that.”

Warren opened his mouth but nothing came out.

“Did you want to say something?” Kellar asked with an amused expression.

“Your mate’s a man? Wow. Didn’t see that coming. Okay… so cool. When do I meet him?”

Kellar chuckled… loudly. “I really don’t know you, do I?”

“What? I’m a man of the world. I never bought into that crap our parents spouted… besides, what am I going to say to a brother who grew as big as you did after I was such a dick to you.”

Kellar’s chuckle turned to a full on belly laugh, and Warren joined him, his laugh surprisingly deep and strong.

Kellar felt the presence before he saw her. Warren had stopped mid-laugh, and his body started to rise of its own accord. Adelin was standing beside their table, eyes glued to the scrawny man with her adoration showing.

“Ah, Warren. There’s no time like the present, I guess. I would like you to meet Adelin. Your earth mate.”

“Adelin. Such a pretty name. Nice to meet you. My… what?” He tore his eyes from the slim girl and stared at Kellar.

“Adelin is your earth mate, Warren. You two have the same color signature.”

“But… I’m not a wo… a shifter. How can…?”

Adelin spoke. “The earth mother decides, and sometimes she picks humans as our mates. You know, we’re exactly the same until our first change… there’s no difference at all.” She stopping, appearing suddenly horrified at her intrusion. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come over here and interrupted.” She looked so uncertain in the moment, but Kellar decided to leave it to the two of them. He’d done his part.

“No, no. I’m glad you did. Please, sit. I’m sorry, I just….” Warren seemed to run out of air. The waitress chose that moment to interrupt with an, “Excuse me, hun, but you can’t be standing in the aisle.”

“Oh, sorry.” Adelin, so obviously entranced by Warren, sat down, guided by a hand from the equally captivated man, and Kellar chose that moment to make an exit.

“Don’t worry, Adelin. Your timing was good. You two have a good talk. I’m going to visit with Tobyn and Tilly.” He wasn’t sure either one heard a word he said.

 

Receiving a friendly, somewhat suggestive smile from the waitress as he walked towards the other end of the restaurant, Kellar stopped her. “Could you please give me the bill for that table,” he asked, gesturing towards Warren and Adelin, “but, bring them some coffee first?”

“Sure thing, sugar.”

“Tea,” Tilly called to Kellar. “Adelin drinks tea.”

Kellar corrected his order. “I guess tea, then, for them both.”

“I’ll take care of it and be right over with your bill. So are you staying somewhere in town, big fella?”

“No, we live about five hours from here. We just came to pick up my brother from the train.”

“Oh, well that’s a shame.” Her blatant flirting had Kellar smiling.

“Don’t let my boyfriend hear you say that.” He winked at her and gave her a cheeky grin.

She responded quickly. “Like I said… a damn shame. Oh well… story of my life. I’ll be right back, darling.”

 

“She’s awfully pushy,” Tobyn remarked as Kellar slid into the booth beside him.

Tilly rolled her eyes at her friend. “She’s a waitress. She flirts to get better tips.”

“Even you’re not that naïve, Till,” he said, sticking out his tongue. “Sorry, we couldn’t keep Adelin here, doc, but it was a constant battle. Was it a bad time? She heard you guys laughing, and jumped up before we could do anything.”

Kellar rubbed his face before he spoke. “They’ve got it bad, don’t they? Warren was a goner from the second he saw Adelin. At least we had some self-control,” he said wryly. “It took you forever to come around.” He ignored the grumble from Tobyn, keeping his eyes on Tilly. “And no, it wasn’t a bad time. I’ll say one thing. I’m getting tired of explaining about my healing. Let Adelin educate him some more because my brain is fried.” Grabbing Tobyn’s hand, he brought it to his lips for a second, kissing the palm. “So, you were getting jealous of the waitress, eh?”

Tobyn scowled, and Tilly giggled. “I wasn’t jealous.”

“Uh huh.”

“Oh, shut up, the both of you. I just thought she was too damn in-your-face, that’s all.”

“Meow.”

“Tilly.”

“Yes, Tobyn?” She smiled sweetly, and his scowl changed to a sheepish grin.

“Okay. Maybe I was… a little. Can we talk about Warren now?”

“I love you. You know that, right?” Kellar squeezed the hand still in his.

“Of course I do. Ditto. Now, what’s your opinion of your foster-brother?”

Conversation stopped with the appearance of the waitress. She was only marginally less flirtatious as she dropped off both bills. Kellar grinned at a blank-faced Tobyn before he finally answered his question.

“He’s not the same guy. I didn’t see any of the old Warren, and there’s no evading questions, or playing games. What I saw and heard felt real… he wants to leave the messed-up shit behind. It was a little hard for me at first because of our history, but I trust him. He’s not going to do any damage to the pack. And after seeing his expression when he looked at Adelin, I don’t believe he could ever hurt her. He gives her the same lovesick look you give me.” He snickered as Tobyn put him in a mock chokehold.

“Smartass. And you give me the same one.”

“Yes, I do.”

Tilly spoke up, interrupting their fun. “Could you guys behave? Do you think we should join them?”

“They probably wouldn’t even see us sit down,” Kellar said. “I think we should let them have a little more time to get to know each other. Is anything wrong, Tilly?”

“No, nothing. It’s good to hear you trust him, because I know my sister, and she has totally claimed him. I don’t think there’s any way she could be pried from her mate now. I never expected it to happen so fast, but you should have seen her, Kellar. Your brother was like a magnet.” Tilly looked from him to Tobyn. “I hope I get to experience that one day… but maybe play a little harder to get.” Her weak attempt at levity was heartbreaking, and Tobyn’s hand squeeze told Kellar he felt the same.

“We’re going to go out on a search soon, Tilly. Kellar will be checking the pattern of everyone we see, and if we find your match, we’ll drag him straight to you, I promise.”

“I know. I have hope. Three pairs already, and you guys haven’t even ventured out yet. It’s incredible.” Her eyes actually watered.

Tobyn glanced at Kellar before turning back to Tilly. “I’m going to tell you something, but it’s a secret, okay?”

Wiping at her eyes, Tilly agreed.

“There’s four pairs.”

“Really?” She sounded and looked stunned. “Who are the other pair?’

This time Kellar answered. “Dane and Mace.”

“Oh, my. Those two? You know, it’s a shock, but at the same time it doesn’t really surprise me. Do you think they have any idea?”

“That’s a tough one. I’d say no. I don’t think there’s any real pull until after they shift. But it does make me wonder at how close they appear to be. Right now, though, I believe since the boys have no burnt umber, they just feel friendship, and maybe some attraction. It will probably be a shock to them too.”

“Well, I think it’s wonderful… more proof the earth mother is taking care of us… and I think it’s very fortunate they have an example in you two.”

Tobyn turned his attention to his mate. “I never thought of that. Having us around should make them more comfortable when those feelings start to happen.”

Kellar nodded his head. “We’ll be there if they need us. I know how much those guys—all of the kids—mean to you.”

Tilly drew his attention again. “So four pairs? Do you think that will be enough to cure us of the malaise?”

Kellar weighed his words carefully. He didn’t enjoy being the pessimist. “It’s a great start, but honestly, a lot of damage has been done over time. I think we will certainly see improvements when Mace and Dane are joined, but as I said that day in the lodge, we’ll need more earth mates to bring the pack back to full health, and even then it will take some time. There’s no quick fix that I can see, but cumulative energy could change everything. I’m only speculating, but we’re talking about a lot of depleted shifters, and while colors have improved here and there, and it’s noticeable, there hasn’t been a big change yet.”

“So conceiving children will still be a problem?”

“I think for a few years, yes. Not for earth mates themselves, though. Mates should attain optimum health at a steady rate after they join.”

Tobyn chuckled beside him.

“What’s so funny?”

“You. You sound so much like a doctor, doc. ‘Cumulative energy’ and ‘optimum health at a steady rate’ sounds very doctory to me.”

Kellar blew out a long breath, and Tilly smacked Tobyn’s arm. “Stop making fun of him.”

“See what I have to endure? Are you sure you want us to bring you your earth mate when we find him?”

Tilly looked exceedingly happy, and Kellar understood it was because he said ‘when.’

“Yes, I’m sure. I want what you and that pain in the ass sitting beside you have.”

Many thanks to my editor, Timothy M., and to all those who support my writing  smile.png  .

Copyright © 2017 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
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Fantaaaaastic! Great that Warren had already begun a turn in his life - he seems to have gotten at least part of his head squared away. Perhaps he and Adelin will hit it off right away...seems like it. You wrote that restaurant scene with such grace and humor. I loved it. The math nerd in me hope that the effect of finding more mates is geometric, if not exponential...
Should be fun! Can't wait for more...

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What Parker said! This was a wonderful chapter. I had this moment with a small pit of fear on my gut that Warren will betray them to Reznik Jr, but I think my fear is alayed for now. Looking forward to some glimpses of Adel in and Warren's relationship developing... and Warren's redemption.

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Who are you and what did you do with Gary? :funny: That was a really perfect chapter. :yes: It flowed, introduced a new important character, summed his backstory up, showed the beginnings of a life changing mating and mapped out the future! Now, that's a skilled wordsmith. :worship::heart:

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It was great to see the interaction between Warren and Kellar. I totally understand K's caution. It's hard to trust an addict. It seems like Warren is sincere, and I really doubt Warren will deliberately hurt Adelin... but drug addiction can have its claws in pretty deep. To be honest, my concern is actually that Warren will think he's not good enough for that sweet girl, and push her away "for her own good".
It was so sweet to see the instant attraction between Adelin and Warren. They were immediately drawn to each other. I have a feeling Tobyn and Kellar felt that same attraction, but in their case, they didn't know about Earth Mates and tried to find other explanations or excuses for their attraction. I have to wonder if things would have moved along at a quicker pace if Tobyn believed in mates from the beginning?
Jealous Tobyn is pretty cute :wub: Its nice to see him feeling a little possessive of his man :*)

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Some great interactions here. Tilly is such a character. Warren seems a different man even without his earthmate at his side. Adelin is trying to drag Warren into a private corner. :*) There is no holding her back :) It will be interesting to see how the two new earth mates bond and grow.
I was half expecting poor little Tobyn to growl with jealousy at the waitress. :o:P

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Drat, everybody else has said what came into my head while reading this amazingly fateful chapter.
I really hope T and K can find other Packs and find mates for Tillie and anyone else who needs them. The only question I have is this: if they are successful in their search, what happens to the other Pack? A pair can't live in two places, so is the searched Pack destined to become even sicker when they lose a member to Morningstar?
It might be ideal if other Packs could move to Morningstar's territory, but doesn't that heighten the risks of detection by Hunters such as the younger Resnick?
Really great interplay here, my dearest friend!
xoxoxoxo

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On 11/08/2016 08:55 AM, Parker Owens said:

Fantaaaaastic! Great that Warren had already begun a turn in his life - he seems to have gotten at least part of his head squared away. Perhaps he and Adelin will hit it off right away...seems like it. You wrote that restaurant scene with such grace and humor. I loved it. The math nerd in me hope that the effect of finding more mates is geometric, if not exponential...

Should be fun! Can't wait for more...

Thank you, Parker. I'm glad you liked that scene. You've got to hit rock bottom sometimes before you can go up. Warren knows what he doesn't want, but it's hard for an addict. He'll get all the support he needs if he is truly genuine. Thanks for your support, buddy... cheers... Gary...

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On 11/08/2016 09:05 AM, Lux Apollo said:

What Parker said! This was a wonderful chapter. I had this moment with a small pit of fear on my gut that Warren will betray them to Reznik Jr, but I think my fear is alayed for now. Looking forward to some glimpses of Adel in and Warren's relationship developing... and Warren's redemption.

Hey, lux! I appreciate your words :) . Warren proved to be a bit of a revelation. I had so much fun with their instant attraction to one another. We'll get more of Warren in the next chapter. Thanks for the review, buddy... cheers... Gary....

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On 11/08/2016 09:28 AM, JayT said:

AWWWWWWW....I loved it...keep up the great work buddy...

Jay

Awwwww... thank you, my friend. I'll try :) . Cheers... Gary....

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On 11/08/2016 01:21 PM, LadyDe said:

Who are you and what did you do with Gary? :funny: That was a really perfect chapter. :yes: It flowed, introduced a new important character, summed his backstory up, showed the beginnings of a life changing mating and mapped out the future! Now, that's a skilled wordsmith. :worship::heart:

It's still me, LadyDe. Promise :) . Again, you made my day! You make me blush with your kind words, but don't ever stop... thanks for your support, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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On 11/08/2016 03:08 PM, Mikiesboy said:

Yup, is good. You didn't give us hope then cruelly yank it away! Liked it lots Gary!

No, I didn't, tim. See how nice I am :) ? Glad you liked it lots, buddy... cheers... Gary....

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On 11/09/2016 02:57 AM, Bucket1 said:

Some great interactions here. Tilly is such a character. Warren seems a different man even without his earthmate at his side. Adelin is trying to drag Warren into a private corner. :*) There is no holding her back :) It will be interesting to see how the two new earth mates bond and grow.

I was half expecting poor little Tobyn to growl with jealousy at the waitress. :o:P

Hey, B! Yeah, Tilly has a great sense of humor. I think she feels a little left out right now, though. :( . Tobyn's jealousy was fun for me. Glad you liked it... cheers, buddy... Gary....

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On 11/09/2016 05:30 AM, ColumbusGuy said:

Drat, everybody else has said what came into my head while reading this amazingly fateful chapter.

I really hope T and K can find other Packs and find mates for Tillie and anyone else who needs them. The only question I have is this: if they are successful in their search, what happens to the other Pack? A pair can't live in two places, so is the searched Pack destined to become even sicker when they lose a member to Morningstar?

It might be ideal if other Packs could move to Morningstar's territory, but doesn't that heighten the risks of detection by Hunters such as the younger Resnick?

Really great interplay here, my dearest friend!

xoxoxoxo

Thanks for the support and the kind words, my friend. As for your question, you'll just have to wait and see :) . I enjoyed writing this interplay, so I'm pleased you commented on it... much love and respect, CG xoxo ... cheers... Gary....

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Nice Gary..

 

That went better than I expected. Warren is taking everything in stride, which means that he really wants that chance for a do over and he's hoping it sticks this time. It seems by his language to not quite trust himself to live up to what anyone is expecting. or he needs someone to believe he could do it or is worth it.
The instant attraction to Adelin was pretty cool and interesting.. I can't imagine that it wasn't harder to keep Tobyn seated at that table and not staking his claim.
Tilly's are understandable, but no doubt her turn is coming...

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On 11/10/2016 11:49 AM, Defiance19 said:

Nice Gary..

 

That went better than I expected. Warren is taking everything in stride, which means that he really wants that chance for a do over and he's hoping it sticks this time. It seems by his language to not quite trust himself to live up to what anyone is expecting. or he needs someone to believe he could do it or is worth it.

The instant attraction to Adelin was pretty cool and interesting.. I can't imagine that it wasn't harder to keep Tobyn seated at that table and not staking his claim.

Tilly's are understandable, but no doubt her turn is coming...

Thanks, Def. I think Warren is quite down on himself, even ashamed od how he reacted to Kellar's first change. He admits he blamed his weakness on that... and he knows it WAS a weakness, so Kellar is his lifeline. While I was writing this, I felt like he was a a bit like a child who's anxious to please. He literally has no one left to count on, so the pack is a godsend. Or should I say, an earth mother send :) . LOL to Tobyn at the table. He's come a long ways hasn't he? As far as Adelin and Warren, in my mind I saw them as perfect complements... Adelin has just been handed her life back, and now so has Warren... Till's happpy for her sister, and for Tobyn, but yeah, it's understandable she's feeling a little left out. Thanks for your support, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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Man, I'm slow to review this week. But... this chapter especially deserved comments. It was so good. I can honestly say that I'm loving this story more and more with each chapter. This chapter in particular had me smiling and laughing throughout.

 

I feel bad for Warren, I know part of the reason he's had such a rough ride is due to his own poor choices, but I still want to see him succeed. I think Adelin will go a long way toward helping with that. That potential earth mate bond is certainly palpable, as Adelin was instantly drawn to him in spite of his downtrodden condition. It was cool to see that. Also, Warren already has a place to fit in with the pack, and I have a feeling he'll do well.

 

Tobyn was so funny and adorable this chapter. I loved seeing him all territorial with Kellar.
He has come such a long way in such a short time. Interesting thought here, with Kellar seeing Warren's colors so messed up, can he aid Warren with his addiction at all. I suppose with the
drugs out of his system there's little Kellar could actually do. I'm guessing the bonding will help with that.

 

Great job with this chapter buddy!

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On 11/11/2016 01:34 AM, spikey582 said:

Man, I'm slow to review this week. But... this chapter especially deserved comments. It was so good. I can honestly say that I'm loving this story more and more with each chapter. This chapter in particular had me smiling and laughing throughout.

 

I feel bad for Warren, I know part of the reason he's had such a rough ride is due to his own poor choices, but I still want to see him succeed. I think Adelin will go a long way toward helping with that. That potential earth mate bond is certainly palpable, as Adelin was instantly drawn to him in spite of his downtrodden condition. It was cool to see that. Also, Warren already has a place to fit in with the pack, and I have a feeling he'll do well.

 

Tobyn was so funny and adorable this chapter. I loved seeing him all territorial with Kellar.

He has come such a long way in such a short time. Interesting thought here, with Kellar seeing Warren's colors so messed up, can he aid Warren with his addiction at all. I suppose with the

drugs out of his system there's little Kellar could actually do. I'm guessing the bonding will help with that.

 

Great job with this chapter buddy!

Thanks, spikey. Glad you liked this chapter. Warren did a good job of showing he's changed. We'll hear more from him in the next chapter, but I think he has a good chance of building a life with the pack. He's not feeling all that confident... he knows his track record... we'll see. I loved writing this new part of Tobyn so I'm glad it tickled you. He definitely has come a long way. I don't think Kellar can help Warren's addiction as a healer, but he can help it as a brother. And yes, I would say Adelin holds some real power with Warren judging by what we saw in this one :) . Thanks for reviewing, spikey... means a lot to me... cheers... Gary...

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On 11/13/2016 12:10 PM, JustinJPCF said:

=.= dont kill tilly

LOLOL... Hey, Justin! that was so funny... I'll try not to, buddy... check in next week to see... :) . OMG... still laughing... cheers, my friend... Gary...

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Family Matters - so true. Warren's family, namely his parents, were not helpful in giving him any self-worth or strength or kindness, but now his foster-brother gives him hope for a new extended family, the pack, and Warren rushes eagerly towards the light at the end of the tunnel. He has already promised Kellar to do his best with the chance he's been given, and he is making every effort to live up to his promises. The reward presents herself in the shape of Adelin, who can no longer wait to talk to the earth mate whe she was promised.
Tilly is handling the situation well, but I'm not surprised she likes Tobyn's promise to drag her earth mate back the moment they find him. For a moment she was hoping the fourth pair would be enough for the pack to escape the malaise, but Kellar knows it will take more before the pack sees the light at the end of the tunnel. She had a very good point about Kellar and Tobyn being good role models for the boys before and after they shift.
Finally, I want to say that the scene at the train station was the perfect image of Kellar's own journey towards accepting Warren. He waited anxiously, expecting to see Warren the bully with a drug addiction on top. Instead, a totally different person emerged, someone who had changed even more than Kellar and it was very telling that Kellar's instinctive reaction was to show more kindness and concern than he had even thought to feel towards his foster-brother.

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On 11/08/2016 02:19 PM, LitLover said:

It was great to see the interaction between Warren and Kellar. I totally understand K's caution. It's hard to trust an addict. It seems like Warren is sincere, and I really doubt Warren will deliberately hurt Adelin... but drug addiction can have its claws in pretty deep. To be honest, my concern is actually that Warren will think he's not good enough for that sweet girl, and push her away "for her own good".

It was so sweet to see the instant attraction between Adelin and Warren. They were immediately drawn to each other. I have a feeling Tobyn and Kellar felt that same attraction, but in their case, they didn't know about Earth Mates and tried to find other explanations or excuses for their attraction. I have to wonder if things would have moved along at a quicker pace if Tobyn believed in mates from the beginning?

Jealous Tobyn is pretty cute :wub: Its nice to see him feeling a little possessive of his man :*)

Ooops... missed this one... Thanks to Tim for bringing that to my attention. Yeah, his caution WAS warranted, considering Warren's history, but Warren did a good job of dispelling his former image of his foster-bro. I think you're perceptive in that Warren will be intent on proving himself... but I don't think he could ever push Adelin away now. I agree to a point they T and K felt the initial attraction, but I believe it was a slower process... but maybe you're right... if Tobyn didn't have himself convinced mates were a thing of the past, and paid attention to their histories, it might have been different. And Yeah, he's come a long way, hasn't he? I liked writing jealous Tobyn :) . Thanks for the awesome support, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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