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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 - 31. Chapter 31 The Stuff of Fairy Tales

All in...

Morningstar: The Malaise

 

 

Chapter 31

 

 

It was Tilly who approached the enamored pair at their table, suggesting it was time to leave before they were all thrown out. Kellar and Tobyn shared a chuckle as they listened in to her asking, “Hey, are you guys listening to me?” When a contrite Warren stood at Adelin’s introduction of her sister, so did they.

“Let’s go while he’s on his feet. I was worried we’d need a cattle prod to get them to pay attention to anyone else.” Kellar started moving toward the door with his mate following.

“It’s beautiful to see, though, isn’t it? When I think about how we all prepared ourselves to say goodbye to Adelin, before you came into our lives, it’s just….” Tobyn turned his head away, but Kellar, as always, was tuned into him.

Waving to his foster-brother as he stood at the door, Kellar beckoned him to follow, and received an assenting nod. Taking Tobyn by the hand, he led him through the double set of doors and out into the sunlight. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah. Got a little emotional there." He wiped at his eyes. “You saved someone so precious to us, and you’ve found her mate. The stuff of fairy tales. There really is something special about you besides the obvious.” He was grinning now.

“Oh really? The obvious, eh? You’ll have to explain what that is exactly, later. And, we saved her, Tobyn. Your strength and mine combined. Here comes the happy couple now. Do you think we should start ordering their silverware and stuff?”

“Maybe, but behave yourself,” he warned, eyes dancing from Kellar to the door. “I haven’t officially met your infamous brother yet.”

Kellar smirked at him, and then at the trio converging on them. “Finally. I thought you guys were never coming out of there." Kellar laughed at Tilly, who was behind the blushing pair, rolling her eyes and shaking her head in amusement. "Let’s move away from the entrance so we’re not in the way.” They walked en masse over to one corner of the parking lot, next to the truck.

“Warren, this guy attached to me,” he said as held up their hands, “is Tobyn Berenger.”

“Your mate, I presume?” There was a twinkle in the eyes of a face that seemed a couple of years younger than it did a half hour ago. “He’s pretty.”

Kellar guffawed while his mate scowled. “I really don’t know you anymore, do I."

“And I’m not sure if I want to know you after that remark,” Tobyn muttered.

Warren held out his hand. “I’m sorry, Tobyn. I shouldn’t have said that. I’m feeling a little giddy, probably from too little sleep, and my sense of humor is a little weird to begin with.” He looked suitably apologetic, and Kellar felt Tobyn relax.

“So, you don’t think I’m pretty then?” Tobyn’s eyes showed some humor now.

“Oh, no… I meant that. Not as pretty as Adelin… or Tilly, but Kellar’s a lucky man.”

“Dude, you’re freaking me out.” Kellar stared at him like he had two heads. He was warming up to this guy more and more.

“What? I can tell when a guy’s good-looking. Besides, I figure it’s smart to butter up my bro-in-law. You haven’t told me yet whether I passed my interview and maybe he has some influence?” A note of nervousness entered his tone.

“Hey, I think I like this guy. Maybe I picked the wrong brother.”

Before Kellar could open his mouth to retort, Warren answered. “Trust me, dude. You picked the right one. I wouldn’t be much good to you at all, no matter how pretty you are.” His dry delivery had them all laughing.

“Oh my God,” Tilly said. “Is this a comedy show? I don’t know, Adelin… I think we might have too many men for the ride back.”

“No, we’ve got just the right amount,” she said with a wide grin as she kept her eyes on Warren. “So tell him, Kellar.”

Kellar looked at Adelin, Warren, and their clasped hands. “You gonna treat this woman right, and never touch another drug?”

“I swear to Go… no, I swear to the earth mother. Adelin told me everything. I know all that’s involved, and I’m in. Totally in. I didn’t know a person could feel this way. I will never let her down. I promise. Her pack will be my pack if you give me the chance to prove myself.”

Kellar turned to his mate. “What do you think?”

“For God’s sake, put the man out of his misery… that’s what I think.”

Kellar chuckled. “Like I have a choice with Adelin here. For what it’s worth though, you passed the brother interview. I’m going to put my faith in you, Warren. Welcome to Morningstar.”

“Holy shit… I mean crap. Adelin told me not to worry… that you would say that, but until I heard it, I thought maybe….”

Holy crap is right. Warren Apsley has actual tears? Wow! The man was looking embarrassed as he wiped away the sudden moisture, but he also looked extremely pleased. It hit home for Kellar the rollercoaster the man had been on as he watched Adelin move in against him, putting her head against his chest. He knew what that gesture felt like from your mate. We get it. We all get it, bro. You’re among friends here. Finding your mate is pretty powerful, so just go with it, okay?”

“Yeah, I intend to. I’ve never been so happy. I feel like I’ve found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, except it’s a pot of Adelin, which is so much better.” The glowing girl lifted her head to share a look, and giggled at his words.

“You’ve got yourself a funny one, Adelin,” Tobyn said.

“Yeah, funny and handsome and sweet. You can kiss me if you want?” She was still staring up at him.

“Adelin,” Kellar said sharply. “That can start the joining.”

“I know, and so does Warren. So, are you going to…?”

He cut her words off with the touch of his lips as they all watched. Tobyn shrugged at his mate, and Kellar returned the gesture. It was up to this new pair of mates how they handled things, but he was pleased Warren showed restraint in that the kiss was relatively chaste. Still, it was enough they seemed lost in another world when they drew apart. He knew what that felt like too, and felt himself warming inside at the knowing hand squeeze from his mate. Tobyn, as always, was tuned into him too.

 

Questions kept coming from the back seat. A constant barrage of them. Kellar learned something interesting. A human’s health was bolstered by his mate just like a shifter’s was. Warren’s colors had perked up considerably, and even his liver looked more robust. It made his healer mind curious. Would his senses improve as well… even if he chose not to change?

As he’d suspected, Warren wasn’t giddy from lack of sleep… he was that way because of Adelin’s presence. Kellar had never realized how funny his brother was. What he remembered most from the old Warren were scowls, smacks, and insults. This one was animated, but not annoying, and his comic timing kept them in stitches. His ability to poke fun at himself was eye-opening. Kellar figured it was a revelation for all of them, especially after the picture he’d painted of his foster-brother. Tobyn was driving, but also very engaged in the back and forth banter dotted with question periods.

Warren wanted to know everything about hunters, and after recounting the brush with death at the hands of Reznick and how Tobyn had rescued him, the truck was silent. Tilly and Adelin had never heard the entire story before, and they were quite shaken at the revealed harshness of such men.

It was the only time since they started their trip home there was silence. Warren finally broke it. “So he’s the only hunter you’ve ever encountered?”

Kellar looked at Tobyn before twisting partially around to tell Warren about the episode in the woods with the nephew. It was something he needed to know and be on the lookout for. The girls and the rest of the pack had already been warned. When he concluded the telling, the truck was again silent.

“Man!” Warren was the first to speak. “You guys were lucky twice. You might have been killed then too, Kellar. Do you know what this guy looks like?”

“No, just that his last name, if he uses his real one, should be Reznick. I still don’t know how he became aware I was there. If he looks at all like his uncle, though, he should be big and ugly, and he could have Slavic features, but who knows.”

“At least you have his last name, and that’s something. Maybe there’s a way to track him?” Warren appeared deep in thought before he directed a few sentences to Tobyn. “I owe you, bro. For saving Kellar, and making it safer for Adelin. I owe you both.”

“Dude, you’re full of surprises,” Kellar said.

“And you’re not?” Warren was instantly intense. “I have a life now because you decided to give me a chance. You could have chosen to ignore my pattern, and I wouldn’t have blamed you if you did. But you didn’t. You called me and made this possible.” He held up Adelin and his joined hands. “I’m indebted to you just as much as I am to your mate.”

“You don’t owe me anything. As long as you are a solid member of the pack, we’re good. The past is the past. Besides, I kind of like having this new you as a brother.”

“Same here, bro-in-law,” Tobyn added earnestly. “No debts here either. Just be a good mate to Adelin.”

“Heck, that’s going to be the easiest thing I’ve ever done.” He again raised the hand he had never let go of, and kissed it. Adelin returned the gesture, kissing Warren’s hand before she snuggled in against him and closed her eyes. “Kellar?”

“Yeah?”

“I’ve felt like I haven’t had a family for years… but I don’t feel that way anymore. Thanks for saying what you did… you too, Tobyn.”

Kellar twisted again in his seat to face the man directly. “You’re welcome. You’re going to find you have a huge family back at Morningstar.”

“I hope they like me. Do you think they’ll like me?”

“I know they will. Just be yourself.”

Warren let out an ironic snort. “No one has ever said that to me before.”

The self-deprecating way he said it didn’t hide the pain of the words, triggering sympathy for this new and improved version of Warren. “Not everyone is as judgmental as Karen and Don… you won’t find that anywhere in your new family.”

“Thank… thank the earth mother for that.” He gave a ghost of a smile as he leaned his head against his mate’s.

“You know, shifters still believe in God… it’s just we believe in our earth mother too,” Adelin murmured.

“Good to know, my sweet.”

Kellar watched sleepy eyes begin to close, and turned around, but not before seeing the little smile on Tilly’s face. His brother had won her over with his open honesty. It was clear she liked him.

He didn’t have far to reach for his mate’s hand. They settled into watching the road and sharing little looks of satisfaction. The new pair were enjoying that sublime sleep of mates, and Tilly appeared to have joined them. All of Kellar’s concerns had been swept away, and once again, the pack had been strengthened. Even he was beginning to wonder at their good fortune. But they were far from done.

The gentle tightening on his hand brought him out of his reverie. “What are you thinking about?’ Tobyn kept his voice low.

“First, that even though it’ll take longer, we should pick up my truck on the way back… and that we’ve been unbelievably lucky… not just you and me, but Morningstar.”

“I’ll drive it back,” Tilly’s sleepy voice said from the back seat, causing them both to smile.

“And?” Tobyn asked knowingly.

“It’s a deal, Tilly. And we have to spread that luck around. Other packs need to know the same stuff we do. Who knows what kind of shape they’re in? Denver’s old pack sounds worse off than Morningstar.”

“There’s my healer mate. So, when do we leave?”

“Are you ready to do this? It could be dangerous.”

“Stop. Don’t you dare say I don’t need to come with you. You’ve already tried that; it didn’t fly then and it won’t fly now. I’m ready, and as long as we’re together, we’ll be fine. I’ll watch your back and you’ll watch mine.”

Kellar got that he was dead serious. “Hey, I wasn’t going to waste my breath,” he lied.

“Uh huh… right. So, tomorrow too soon?”

“As soon as we get Warren settled in. I don’t want to take off on him right away… he’s had enough of people bailing on him.”

“That’s true. You’re a good brother.”

“Yeah? Well, I want to try.”

“You don’t need to try… like a really smart guy once said… just be yourself,” Tobyn said with a smirk.

“That is smart advice,” he responded with a straight face. “Whoever said that was brilliant.”

“He is, actually… and he has great taste in mates.”

 

Kellar stood back feeling proud as Tobyn gave the group a quick tour of his cabin. Warren acted like he was in total awe of what his foster-brother had accomplished for himself, and it wasn’t long before pride became evident on his face as well. Warren’s eyes shone with it.

He almost hated to usher them out, but they still had a long drive before they were home. “Are you sure you want to drive, Tilly?”

“Yes… why? Are you worried about me crashing your precious Dodge?” Kellar wasn’t sure how to handle the challenge in her look.

“Trust me, doc. Tilly’s a great little driver.”

“Little?” Tilly’s look shot daggers at her friend.

“Sorry, Till. You know what I meant. You’re an amazing driver.”

“That’s better. And to answer your question, Kellar, I’m sure… I need a break from all that lovey dovey stuff going on.”

Adelin burst out in giggles. “Yeah, Tobyn and Kellar are a little much, aren’t they?”

“Hey,” they both responded in unison.

 

“Denver, I’d like you to meet my foster-brother, Warren Apsley. He’s the one I told you about.”

“Adelin’s human mate, then.” The man looked stern as he gave Warren the once over. “We weren’t expecting you back for a while yet. Have you seen Elinor?”

“No, we haven’t made it that far. Warren here, wanted to meet you, and he didn’t want to wait. He insisted we stop when I pointed out the garage. Tobyn and Adelin are sitting out in his truck, and Tilly’s out there in mine.” Kellar shrugged at Denver.

“Eager, are you, boy?”

“Yes, sir. I, ah… I wanted to make sure you had a job for me. Kellar said you’d need to talk to me first before anything was settled. It’s best for me to keep busy, and I love fixing cars more than anything.”

Denver cracked the slightest of smiles. “Anything?”

Kellar smiled at his brother’s blush.

“I meant anything that isn’t Adelin, sir, but I really do love working on cars.”

“I hear that… was lucky enough to find my mate too. Okay, boy. You have yourself a job to go with helping the pack get stronger… I take it you know what you’re doing when working on a vehicle?” He winked at Kellar.

Denver’s reminder that Warren already had something special to contribute, pleased and impressed Kellar. His brother needed the boost, and Denver was proving to be a fitting mate to a leader of Morningstar.

“Yes, sir. I know most every engine ever made… for cars and trucks anyway. I don’t know too much about the small ones, though… or boat motors, but I’m a quick learner.”

“I’ll make you a deal. You don’t call me sir and I won’t call you boy. When can you start?”

Warren looked around the four bay shop. “Now, if you want.”

Denver laughed… loudly, and Kellar chuckled. “You really are an eager one.”

“I want to prove myself, sir. Sorry… Denver. I want to earn my keep and make Adelin proud.”

Kellar, standing off to the side, reached for his brother’s shoulder. “You need to relax. You’ll prove yourself, and Adelin is already completely in your corner. I guarantee you she is staring at the door this very minute, waiting for you to come out. Why don’t you start the day after tomorrow, after we get you settled? You still have to pick a house, and meet some people.”

“I think that’s the best idea,” Denver said, backing up Kellar’s suggestion.

“Okay, but would it be okay if I came by for a few hours tomorrow? I’d really like to stay busy.”

“That’s fine, but I won’t expect you. See how it goes tomorrow. I will expect you bright and early the day after, though. We have a lot of work lined up. We start at eight and work to five… sometimes later if it’s necessary.”

“Sounds good to me, sir... ah... Denver.”

 

“Bro, are you worried about relapsing? Is that why you want to keep yourself occupied?” They’d just gone through the door to see Kellar had been right about Adelin.

“No, honestly, I’m not. I’m just really nervous that I’ll screw up and people won’t like me. That’s usually what happens… and look at me, man. I look like a damn druggie. If I stay busy, I won’t freak out so much.”

“I get that, but you don’t have to worry about that here. If you do your share, stay clean, as in drug-free, and you’re nice to people, they’ll like you. You’re Adelin’s mate, which means you’re family, so that means instant acceptance. That’s how it works… trust me.”

“Yeah? I do trust you… I do. Kellar?”

“Yeah?” they were almost at the truck.

“I don’t want to get all sentimental and shit, but I really like having you call me ‘bro.’ It feels good.”

“You know, I’ve been thinking. How about we drop the ‘foster,’ and just say we’re brothers? It’s a lot easier that way.” He looked sideways at Warren, who had stopped dead in his tracks.

“You serious?”

“Yup. I am. So? You agree?”

“Hell yeah, I agree. You’re right, bro… it’s a lot easier.” They shared a smile that quickly turned into a laugh.

Kellar looked through the window to see his mate giving him one of those approving looks that made his heart speed up. This time it was him that blushed.

Just before they opened the door, Warren, with his hand on the back door handle, exclaimed, “I get to pick a house?!”

“Yes you do. Every pack member does. If I was you though, I’d let Adelin do the choosing.” He winked at his brother and smiled at Adelin as he opened his door and slid in beside his mate.

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

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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Wow...Warren really seems to be on the up and up. I'm happy that he and Kellar are making amends and Warren has a good mate in Adelin. Things are going so well right now, I'm kinda expecting something bad soon. I know the pack will get thru whatever is thrown at them, though.

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Fairy tales, indeed. But we're still a long way from ever after, aren't we? Kellar and Tobyn away from Morningstar just sounds dangerous. But what else are they to do? Great work reintroducing us to a new Warren, and him to the pack...thanks, Gary!

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Gary...you had to go and make me like Warren now huh??? Great Job....can't wait till next week.
Jay

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Dang, not the first reviewer again, but I'm closer, and have a reason this time beyond laziness. Didn't get home until after 8pm. Most of that was at the hospital, but the last hour and half was spent at my favorite pizza place with Mike. You get hungry not having eaten since before midnight.
This was a great chapter, and I liked how earnest Warren is about being useful for the Pack, and worthy of Adelin.
I had to laugh at Warren being told he better let his mate pick their new house!
*I heard only one error, when Denver and Warren meet, you refer to Kellar as Kendall--got those boys on the brain, G?* I hate airing your dirty laundry this way, but I'm taking the easy way rather than send a pm or email...lack of sleep and the pain from my surgery is doing me in right now. Follow up appointment tomorrow at 3pm, so I don't know anything right now except that the doctor told Mike the op went well. Don't know anything they did except replacing the fluid, but there was other stuff. G-Man, call me tomorrow evening when I'll have more info. Your message made me smile my face off, and I was sad because I missed talking to you.
xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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It is a fairytale for Warren. Not only is he gaining a home, a job, a great girl, and an extended family, but he has a brother. It sounds like he hasn't had anyone care about or have faith in him for a long time and now he has an entire pack. He must feel like it's a dream.

 

It's a fairy tale for Kellar too. Not only does he have his mate, but he a pack, and has an actual caring brother. Both men have been alone in different ways for a long time.

 

I can only hope that warren continues to live up to the trust being put in him. I have faith he will continue to be a good mate and brother, but there will be trials. Giving up drugs isn't easy, but at least he has people in his corner now.

 

Another wonderful chapter, Gary :). Now to see what elinor has to say :o

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On 11/15/2016 02:18 PM, ColumbusGuy said:

Dang, not the first reviewer again, but I'm closer, and have a reason this time beyond laziness. Didn't get home until after 8pm. Most of that was at the hospital, but the last hour and half was spent at my favorite pizza place with Mike. You get hungry not having eaten since before midnight.

This was a great chapter, and I liked how earnest Warren is about being useful for the Pack, and worthy of Adelin.

I had to laugh at Warren being told he better let his mate pick their new house!

*I heard only one error, when Denver and Warren meet, you refer to Kellar as Kendall--got those boys on the brain, G?* I hate airing your dirty laundry this way, but I'm taking the easy way rather than send a pm or email...lack of sleep and the pain from my surgery is doing me in right now. Follow up appointment tomorrow at 3pm, so I don't know anything right now except that the doctor told Mike the op went well. Don't know anything they did except replacing the fluid, but there was other stuff. G-Man, call me tomorrow evening when I'll have more info. Your message made me smile my face off, and I was sad because I missed talking to you.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Hey, buddy. Great to hear from you. I was sorry not to reach you too. I'll call tomorrow evening to catch up. Hope you get good news from the Doctor tomorrow. I posted this in your forum so people could see you're okay :) . Thanks for the heads up on 'Kendall'... appreciate it. Glad you liked the chapter. Love you, buddy xoxoxoxoxoxo

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On 11/15/2016 09:53 AM, Gene63 said:

Wow...Warren really seems to be on the up and up. I'm happy that he and Kellar are making amends and Warren has a good mate in Adelin. Things are going so well right now, I'm kinda expecting something bad soon. I know the pack will get thru whatever is thrown at them, though.

Hey, Gene. Warren does seem like the real deal. And yeah, things are quiet now, but who knows what just around the corner? Thanks for taking the time to review, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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On 11/15/2016 10:03 AM, Parker Owens said:

Fairy tales, indeed. But we're still a long way from ever after, aren't we? Kellar and Tobyn away from Morningstar just sounds dangerous. But what else are they to do? Great work reintroducing us to a new Warren, and him to the pack...thanks, Gary!

Thanks, Parker. Yeah, we're a long ways off yet, but the boys are happy, and so is the new couple... a few bumps coming up... maybe. Glad you liked seeing this new Warren... we'll see if he disappoints... thanks for your support, buddy... cheers... Gary....

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On 11/15/2016 11:05 AM, dughlas said:

Love and redemption ... you've done it again you old romantic.

Excellent chapter.

You have me pegged, dugh :) . Thanks, buddy... glad you liked it... cheers... Gary....

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On 11/15/2016 11:07 AM, JayT said:

Gary...you had to go and make me like Warren now huh??? Great Job....can't wait till next week.

Jay

Hey Jay. What can I say... people change :) . Thanks for the support, buddy... cheers... Gary....

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On 11/15/2016 02:08 PM, Kitt said:

Thanks, Sis! Much appreciated... I get two :) hehe. I appreciate your support, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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On 11/15/2016 02:43 PM, LitLover said:

It is a fairytale for Warren. Not only is he gaining a home, a job, a great girl, and an extended family, but he has a brother. It sounds like he hasn't had anyone care about or have faith in him for a long time and now he has an entire pack. He must feel like it's a dream.

 

It's a fairy tale for Kellar too. Not only does he have his mate, but he a pack, and has an actual caring brother. Both men have been alone in different ways for a long time.

 

I can only hope that warren continues to live up to the trust being put in him. I have faith he will continue to be a good mate and brother, but there will be trials. Giving up drugs isn't easy, but at least he has people in his corner now.

 

Another wonderful chapter, Gary :). Now to see what elinor has to say :o

Nothing wrong with a little fairy tale once in a while, eh? :) . Kellar and Tobyn seemed to be leading a charmed life right now... thank the earth mother. Thanks for the support, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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On 11/16/2016 05:35 AM, Mikiesboy said:

Nice Gary. ..Loved it. Perfect home from the hospital reading.

Thanks, tim. Glad you liked it... and glad you're home... rest easy, my friend... cheers... Gary.... xoxo

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I want so badly for Warren to do well. So much trust is being placed in him. For his part, he is eager to do well and succeed. He knows his triggers so the cars will keep him busy, unless he goes Reznik hunting too.. Now he has the responsibility of a job, a mate and a home. If he can keep it all together, he will do great. Looking forward to the new and improved Warren.

 

All of of this is soo good. I can't possibly last, so what's coming Gary..

 

Great, chapter..

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Warren just got a mate, a job, a brother, a home and a family - all in one day. He must be feeling a little giddy and not just because of Adelin. Let's see what the next few chapters bring :)

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On 11/17/2016 09:42 AM, Defiance19 said:

I want so badly for Warren to do well. So much trust is being placed in him. For his part, he is eager to do well and succeed. He knows his triggers so the cars will keep him busy, unless he goes Reznik hunting too.. Now he has the responsibility of a job, a mate and a home. If he can keep it all together, he will do great. Looking forward to the new and improved Warren.

 

All of of this is soo good. I can't possibly last, so what's coming Gary..

 

Great, chapter..

Thanks, Def. Warren got to me too. He's a far cry from the bully who was kneeling in the driveway after having pissed himself out of fear of Kellar. It's nice to finally reach this part of the story, quite frankly. He's been given a new chance at life... let's see what he does with it :) . So... you're worried? Good. Hehe. Thanks for liking this, and for supporting my endeavors... cheers, my dear friend... Gary....

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On 11/18/2016 12:56 AM, Bucket1 said:

Warren just got a mate, a job, a brother, a home and a family - all in one day. He must be feeling a little giddy and not just because of Adelin. Let's see what the next few chapters bring :)

Yeah, he's kind of won the lottery, hasn't he? I think you'll fing the next few chapters interesting, B. Quite so :) . Thanks for the support, buddy... cheers... Gary....

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On 11/21/2016 01:34 PM, LadyDe said:

:worship::read::thankyou::hug::heart::D

Awww... thank you, LadyDe. :hug: . I'm so glad you liked it. Next chapter is tomorrow. It's a double one and I'm thinking/hoping you like it too. Cheers, my friend... Gary....

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I've read the chapter and the reviews and your responses ... AND I'm worried ... A lot of us (your readers) think the on going, happily ever after, fairy tale atmosphere won't last long and something bad is going to happen ... (incessant nail biting sounds)

 

:,(
:no:

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