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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 - 47. Chapter 47 Acceptance

Love is love....

Morningstar: The Malaise

 

 

Chapter 47

 

 

Kellar's mind swiveled from a kind of euphoria upon leaving the hall to self-doubt as they entered Arthur’s home. It was a crash landing of sorts, and he knew he was going to drive his mate crazy if he said anything. One speculative look from Tobyn was all it took to crumble. Kellar, groaning, joined his mate on the couch.

“I can’t believe what I just fucking did. I said I wasn’t going to encourage what Vega was thinking, or even acknowledge it, but that sure as hell went out the window. I should have taken Arthur there and left, because I ended up pretty much declaring I was Cahlar’s reincarnation. It isn’t true, and I should have damn well known better.”

“Hey, calm down.” Tobyn shifted, and tugged on Kellar so they were laying down on the generous-sized old couch. “First of all, stop beating yourself up, because what you did was amazing. Secondly, I’m not so certain anymore your perception of yourself is accurate, and don’t get in a frazzle for me saying it. Yes, you are Kellar, but the man who spoke to those people was one I hadn’t seen before.”

Kellar, in the midst of running a hand through his hair, stopped all movement. “Meaning?”

“Meaning, you were different. I know you’re freaking out, but I want you to really listen to me. You’ve always had this reluctant aura about you, even the first day we met, but this time the reluctance wasn’t anywhere to be seen. I hope that makes sense. I guess humble might be a better word… or maybe not, but the fact is you hate attention. I watched the mate I know so well become something more, right before my eyes, and that was a you who was confident and commanding. You were comfortable too, and don’t tell me I’m wrong. It was like you were born to… I don’t know… lead people… I saw an alpha standing there… I think all of us did.”

Kellar’s internal flagellation stalled while he drank up Tobyn’s words like water. Alpha?

“What you did was exactly what Vega needed to see… what they wanted to see. Doc, you did shine a bright light into the darkness. You were the prophecy.”

Pulling his gaze away from captivatingly intense hazel, Kellar stared upward, listening to the daytime sounds… birds calling, the scamper of squirrel feet running up the bark of a tree, the bleat of a lamb in the distance… his mind feebly fighting to ignore what he knew to be true. He didn’t understand why he was going back and forth on this; Tobyn was right. What he had done in the meeting hall had been completely out of character for him… for Kellar. Yet, it was him. It wasn’t an act to convince Vega pack. He’d felt ever word he’d spoken. He was on that hill, urging his people to sail off in a new direction… to save themselves. He was ‘Cahlar,’ at least in that moment. He’d known exactly what he was doing, so why did it seem like he’d crossed a line? Why did he feel so regretful? Would he be seen differently from now on?

Another shudder, like the one he’d felt right after he had walked out, traveled through his body again. Loving arms tightened around him while warm lips found his. A tongue explored his mouth, demanding his full attention and refocusing him towards what mattered. Tobyn. His eyes stayed closed when the kiss ended, but a smile crept across his face.

“See. You’re still you. My mate. Nothing’s changed, except for how Vega is looking at their situation right now.”

“You think? I mean about some of the pack changing their minds?”

“I don’t think… I know. I watched their faces. You had them in your pocket, mountain man.”

Mountain man. That’s who he was. Tobyn’s mountain man. “Okay. So what happens now?”

“We stay right where we are and wait, and no more fretting about what you did or who you are or who you aren’t. Delia will be bringing Arthur back soon. You could kiss me if you want, if you need any more convincing.”

“Oh, I want. I can always use a little more convincing.” Kissing helped, and he swallowed down the rest of his pesky unease.

 

It wasn’t Delia who came through the door. Nor was it Arthur. Clarence literally burst in, and both napping men were instantly awake and sitting up.

“Where’s Arthur?” Kellar asked. “Did something happen?”

“No worries. Arthur is fine and dandy. He’s still at the hall being fussed over by a very happy pack.”

“Very happy?”

“Yes, indeed. No more tension. No more concerns… just took a vote, and it’s unanimous. You convinced them, Kellar, with what you just did. We’re merging with Morningstar, and no one is on the fence. I didn’t even have to talk after you left. Logan said it was pretty plain what we needed to do, and called for a vote. Every hand went up, and I mean right up. I know my people, and they’re all in.”

Tobyn was in the process of standing up, but sat right back down again. “Wow. That is great news, Clarence. Mom will be over the moon.”

“I’ll be calling Elinor once we settle down in the hall. There’s a general discussion going on now regarding the best way to go about this.”

“Anything we can do?”

“For sure we want your input. We’re all essentially the same pack now, so your voices are needed too. Even Arthur is chiming in. The man’s been paying attention.”

Tobyn glanced curiously at Kellar before focusing on the alpha. “So you have no intentions of operating as a separate pack?”

“No way. I’m smart enough to know that would never work. I appreciated the option, but I never seriously considered it.”

“Good. I didn’t think it would work either. Doc, are you okay? You’re awfully quiet.”

Kellar cleared his throat. “I’m good. It’s fantastic news.” His gaze went from Tobyn to the alpha. “Are all those people going to see me as someone else now… someone I don’t want to be?”

Clarence smiled, and it was a sympathetic one. “The mantle of greatness is heavy,” he said wryly, but Kellar didn’t return the smile accompanying his words. “Sorry, I shouldn’t be flippant. I’ve gotten to know what you’re like, so I understand putting yourself out there like that had to have been difficult, but you sure as hell stepped up for all of us.” He hesitated, looking from one man to the other as if trying to formulate what he said next.

“The answer to your question is no. To be frank, ever since your wolf made its appearance our members formed an opinion, and all you did this afternoon was confirm it. You are certainly no ordinary shifter, and you didn’t surprise anyone today, including me. You were inspiring, but it was what they expected. I believe they all know at least some of them will be saying goodbye to these lands for good, and you provided the push they needed to accept such a big change.”

Kellar chose not to question why Clarence thought the move was final for some. It could be about mates who decide to make Morningstar their home of choice, but maybe the alpha saw a permanence to the merging of the two packs. After all, why couldn’t one big pack share both lands? It was a topic for another day, he supposed. So, Vega had already thought of him as Cahlar no matter what he did? Fair enough… he could handle that… it had been out of his hands anyway, with his unusual coat and the painting. With a start, he realized the conversation had stalled and he was being closely observed by both men.

“Ah, yeah… like I said in the hall… destiny is destiny, and if it helps, then so be it. It’s not a heavy mantle unless I let it be.” He smiled then, and heard Tobyn’s sigh of relief. “Let’s go, babe. Our fellow pack members need our input.”

Tobyn chuckled as he stood up. “Over sixty members now. That’s more like it. Mom is going to be doing a happy dance when she hears this.”

Kellar grinned at the image. “Yes, she will, but it’s Miss Sybil’s happy dance that I want to see more than anything.”

 

The atmosphere was both serious and jovial, with a lot of frowns and a lot of smiles. They’d been in the dining room for about ten minutes answering questions about how Morningstar was set up, what jobs and homes were available, and what the conveniences were. People were pleased to find out how similarly the two packs operated, from communal cooking and chores, right down to the monthly dividend payments. Eventually, much of the talk moved on to the actual transfer of livestock and equipment. Tobyn quickly offered up the big stock trailers from Morningstar, suggesting they were necessary and available for such a large endeavor.

Before too long they were waved over by a robust looking Logan who was engaged in a discussion with a few men about how they would transport the saw mills and planers. Kellar’s interest was piqued when Logan expressed doubt about moving them at all. “From what we know, there’s plenty of work to keep us all busy, so is it in everyone’s best interest to keep our lumber production going? It would take all the manpower of Vega and more to harvest and mill a new tract of land, so where’s the gain?”

“That’s a good point,” Dougal concurred. “That wouldn’t solve Morningstar’s manpower shortage, for sure not where heavier work is required.”

Tobyn nodded. “True, but it’s about what Vega pack wants to do. My mother assumes you’d want to continue what you’ve always done, and she would never stand in the way of that.”

Dougal, Percy, and Ian all laughed, and Logan smiled. Ian spoke first. “I don’t know about you guys, but I’m sick of logging. The idea of working at a marina, and being out on the water… that sounds pretty damn good to me.”

“I wouldn’t mind that either, or spending more time working with livestock,” Percy added. “I used to do it with my dad when I was a kid, before he passed away. And Dougal, haven’t you always wanted to work on vehicles and equipment full time? You’re the best mechanic we’ve got.”

Dougal nodded thoughtfully. “If I could choose, I guess, yeah. I like logging and milling all right, but I prefer to work on the equipment and vehicles more.”

“This is interesting… and unexpected,” Tobyn commented. “I can tell you Denver would be ecstatic to have another mechanic. All we have is him and an apprentice right now, and they can’t keep up.”

“See, that’s what I’m saying,” Logan said enthusiastically. “Maybe when the dust settles, we can do some small scale lumber production, but still hold off on going after any big contracts for a while. A larger pack requires more resources, with more mouths to feed and houses to heat, so I’m thinking we should concentrate on what already works at the new place first. From what we’ve heard, Morningstar, while doing well, is stretched too thin, and we already know what that feels like. I, for one, don’t want to go back to being under the gun all the time.”

Kellar was impressed. He was seeing strong leadership coming from Logan, yet it was subtle. There was definitely alpha potential in Tilly’s mate, and that boded well for the future.

“He’s good, isn’t he?”

“Yeah, he’s his father’s son without a doubt,” Tobyn agreed.

“Good points, Logan. That would be ideal, but what would your dad think about not carrying on with your traditional work?” Tobyn asked.

“His dad thinks that’s our best approach,” Clarence said as he joined the table. “Excuse me for butting in, but I heard the conversation. Logan brought this up to me earlier, and I think it’s a very smart way to proceed. We can’t expect to have it both ways, nor should we even want to. As long as we secure this place well, and keep all the equipment maintained, I see no reason to move anything unless we decide later on it’s in the best interest of our combined packs, or if we happen to have security issues here. If we need the revenue, then of course we can go back into operation at Morningstar. I doubt anyone will disagree with that.”

“My mom sure won’t,” Tobyn said. “So, the biggest move would be the livestock then?”

“And the already milled lumber. I would be reluctant to leave something so valuable here unattended. Besides, it’s something we can contribute to the pot. We could make a trip each week, whenever it’s convenient, over the rest of the summer. One flatbed can handle the job, and we have to make trips anyway to look after the gardens and harvest all the food we’ve planted. It wouldn’t be that big an undertaking, spread over time, and we’re used to moving a lot of lumber. What about storage at Morningstar until it’s sold?”

“Not a problem. We have a couple of empty buildings behind the highway store. We did sell consigned lumber at one time, so we could do it again now that there’d be enough workers.” Tobyn was grinning widely now.

“Sounds good, doesn’t it, babe?”

“It’s exciting. Everything is falling into place, and we won’t have to feel guilty when we travel again. There’ll be lots of help for each division.”

 

Clarence took his leave, a pleased expression on his face, and Kellar and Tobyn soon followed. They gravitated to Delia and Arthur’s table next, where Kellar did a quick check on his patient. Every time he saw that repaired pattern, he had to tamp down his emotion. “How are you doing, Arthur?”

“I feel good, Cahlar. I want to go see Sybil.”

“I know you do, and as soon as the time is right, we’ll take you to Morningstar.”

“Tomorrow?”

“Ah, I’m not sure if that’s possible. We’ll see, okay?”

“It’s hard. My wolf gets upset.”

“I know, but you have to keep control of him. Don’t you want to be completely healed when you see your mate again?” Kellar watched the war going on behind those eyes. He had real sympathy for what Miss Sybil’s mate was going through.

“Yes. I feel good,” he repeated, as if that was enough.

Kellar smiled. “Another day, and you’ll be even better. Meanwhile, all these people around you are happy because they see their elder doing well.”

“Me?”

“Yes, you,” Delia answered. “It means a lot that you can talk to us after all these years. You played a big part in our decision to move to Morningstar.”

“Sybil’s at Morningstar.”

“She is, and all your friends will be there too.” Delia patted the man’s hand.

“Yes.”

Kellar watched his eyes clear. Arthur seemed satisfied, at least for the moment.

“He comes across as childlike, doesn’t he?” Tobyn sent, and Kellar picked up a deeper question inside his head.

“He’s relearning a lot of skills. His thought and reasoning processes are functioning, though. That was one messed up brain, so he’s doing better than I hoped. I expect seeing Miss Sybil will make a big difference to how quickly and how far he progresses, because being with her will calm him down. It’s hard to make big improvements when his wolf is so agitated.”

“He’s not the only one who’s anxious for their reunion.”

“I’m with you. I don’t know if I could be as strong as Arthur if I knew you were miles away from me.”

“The idea of ever being separated from you again scares the hell out of me, doc.”

“Won’t happen, babe. Once was enough.”

Tobyn gave a slight head bob in agreement and Kellar refocused on his patient. “So, Arthur? Are you ready to go back to your house yet? You really should get some rest now.”

“No.”

Delia snickered. “Are you hungry?”

“Yes. Supper is soon.”

“Something smells good,” Tobyn said.

“Okay, we’ll stay for supper but then you have to go back to bed. All right?”

“Yes. I will do as you say, Cahlar.”

 

Kellar and Tobyn were standing back out of the way while the tables were being set. There were still discussions going on here and there, but a few people had left to take care of responsibilities. Like Morningstar, meals were stretched over a few hours.

“Some of the members are quieter than others, but I don’t see anyone who seems upset with the decision to merge. I need to call Mom at some point.”

“Clarence has disappeared so maybe he’s calling her now. He told us he would be when things settled down, and it looks like they have.”

Kellar watched as an older couple named Ulrich and Millie walked hand in hand toward them. They were probably in their late fifties or early sixties, and they were giving off a nervous vibe, but there was also a determination in their steps.

“Thank you for what you did for our dear old friend,” Ulrich said as he held out his hand. Kellar, and then Tobyn, shook hands with the man as Millie looked on, her expression displaying her unease.

Her voice broke as she spoke. “Ulrich and I appreciate all you’ve done, we really do, and we see how much better our lives will be at Morningstar. It sounds wonderful.”

“It is a great place, but we understand how hard this is for some of you,” Tobyn said with genuine sympathy.

“Yes, it is hard, especially leaving the graves of our children.”

A lump rose in Kellar’s throat. These were the ones Delia had spoken of… the parents of three dead children.

“We’re so sorry….”

“Thank you,” Millie said, “but, we’ve made our peace with not visiting them as often. We plan to come back whenever we can. This move is best for all of us, and we accept it, but that is not why we waited to speak with just the two of you. We’d like to ask something of you.”

“What’s on your mind, Millie? Ask anything you want. If I don’t have the answer, Tobyn will. He knows Morningstar inside out.”

Millie exchanged a nervous look with her husband. “We’re sorry, but this isn’t about Morningstar. It’s about Ulrich and me.”

Kellar’s eyes flickered to the man and back again, noting the trepidation they both carried. “Why are you apologizing?”

Millie stammered. “We… we understand the importance of mates, but we don’t think we can do it.” The woman appeared to steel herself, standing straighter. “We love each other, and we always have.”

“That’s great… oh….” Kellar waited.

“Yes, it is, and, uh… we have a favor to ask and we know it’s selfish, and we don’t want to go against the earth mother, but….”

“You don’t want me to find your mates for you,” Kellar finished for the woman.

“No… I mean yes… that’s right. We don’t want to know if you see our patterns when you travel, and we don’t want you to tell anyone who matches, about us. We know it’s selfish, but I could never leave my Ulrich and he could never leave me.”

Ulrich vigorously nodded his agreement.

Kellar’s hand sought out his mate’s. “It’s not selfish, Millie. Love is love. You two are lucky to have found it with each other, and that’s something we understand.” He smiled as he felt his hand being squeezed. “Of course I will respect your wishes, and I don’t want you to feel guilty for how you both feel. We have enough matches now to make us all healthy, and now we added another pair with Arthur and his mate. Before long, having families will become possible for shifters again, and the way the earth mother has looked after us, and allows us to share energy, we don’t all need to find our mates for that to happen.”

“Do you think it’s fair to those who are intended to be our earth mates?” Millie was struggling with her guilt, and that question showed just how much.

Kellar was glad when Tobyn took over. “Kellar may never find those matches, so I wouldn’t concern yourself. Look how many couples have built happy lives and families in the old days while never laying eyes on their earth mates. Not to be morbid, but with the constant decline of our numbers, it’s quite possible your matches are no longer alive. I think you should count your blessings for what you’ve found with each other.”

“A very wise woman once told me we all have free will. There have been those who've walked away from mates in the past, because their love for someone else was so strong. It’s the joining that cements the bond and makes it unbreakable. Up until then, we have a choice.” Kellar’s gaze traveled to his mate, locking eyes with him for a few seconds while remembering the uncertainty of their own journey. “Okay?”

“Yes.” A weight appeared to lift from the woman, and her smile was endearing. “I do love my Ulrich, so much.”

“And I love my Millicent,” Ulrich enthused. “Thank you for understanding, Cahlar.”

There it was again, that pronunciation, but it didn’t faze Kellar in the least. “It’s a very easy thing to understand, Ulrich, and I see no reason for anyone else to know of our conversation. It will stay between us if you like.”

Millie sighed in relief. “We would like that very much, yes. We will help our pack… our new pack, in any way we can, but we couldn’t see our way past this. It would have been too much to bear. We’ve lost our children, but we still have each other.”

 

“Walk with me, mountain man. I have to get out of here.” They had just watched a now-relaxed Millie and Ulrich turn away and head to a table, still hand in hand.

“What about supper? They’re starting to put it out.”

“Forget about your stomach,” Tobyn ordered with a quaver in his voice. “I need some air.”

“Of course. Sorry.” Kellar followed his mate outside, surprised at how quickly he was moving. “Hold on, babe. What’s wrong?”

Tobyn continued his pace, and didn’t slow until they had reached the quiet street their temporary home was situated on. Kellar kept abreast, and waited until Tobyn was ready to speak “Nothing’s wrong.” Tobyn stopped under some spreading branches that gave respite from the afternoon sun. “Millie and Ulrich just drove home what we’re asking when we search out mates, and I needed a moment… one of my dumb shit moments.”

Kellar’s first response was to wrap his arms around his mate. “Don’t do that. There’s nothing dumb about caring as much as you do, but the key word in all this is asking. We’re only asking, not demanding. Every shifter we come across will have free will to make their choices, just like that sweet couple. And we won't ever question those decisions, right?”

Tobyn nodded, keeping his face pressed against Kellar’s shoulder.

“Some couples will be like Joanne and Dolan, who opt for the chance at having their earth mate, and some will be like Millie and Ulrich who choose differently.”

“They belong together,” Tobyn said, his voice muffled. “I didn’t want to get emotional in there and draw attention. There are times when it’s not going to be as easy as those two couples, though. People are going to get hurt. We’ll be throwing dynamite into relationships as we go along. Some couples aren’t going to be in agreement when they're faced with the certainty one of them has an earth mate.”

“I hear what you’re saying. I dread it too, but we knew there would be rough spots.”

“They’re a beautiful couple, aren’t they? That was a good reminder for me that love is love, and no love takes a back seat to what earth mates have.”

“It was the same for me, babe. I know in my heart I would have loved you no matter what.”

Tobyn pulled back and looked into Kellar’s eyes. “Oh, you’re good. Quite the sweet talker. I think that earns you some supper, and….” Tobyn’s words were cut off by a kiss Kellar needed as much as he knew his mate did.

“Don’t need supper,” Kellar murmured when their lips parted. “I’m full up on love.”

“You might want to rethink that, “Tobyn teased. “I have a feeling you’ll be needing lots of energy tonight.”

Kellar chuckled. “Are you okay now?”

“Perfect.”

“All right then. Let’s go eat. All of a sudden, I’m starving.”

 

  

Thank you, Robin/Tim. Your hard work and support are deeply appreciated, and thanks to the readers who keep my fires lit.

Copyright © 2017 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
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A number of very difficult questions remain as Morningstar and Vega merge and of others yet to come. Despite the wonders and miracles there remain the people involved.
A well composed and thoughtful chapter.

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This chapter brings up some very difficult questions and decisions that will be facing shifters as Tobyn and Kellar travel to different packs. I'm sure a great many couples not only love, but are in love with their chosen partner. I can't imagine facing the choice of leaving that partner for an earth mate they've never met. Who gets to decide if they do meet their earth mate. One mate might be in a loving relationship they don't want to give up and the other might want the chance to plead their case. So many incredibly difficult decisions I understand why Tobyn feels some guilt for "throwing dynamite" into some relationships.

 

Great chapter, Gary. I still love Arthur :)

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I'm glad you took a chapter to explore these implications of the mate-finding process. I think you touched it with good care and thought.

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Hmmm, that was overall good news, Gary. Of course after Kellar's speech from the previous chapter, there was little doubt Vega would get with the program. The real Logan that Vega knew and loved is returning in spades. I want to see him get with Tilly double quick. It seems like Kellar's mentioning their potential for greatness and what kind of a offspring they might bring into the world has also inspired Logan. He's going to be a good addition to the family.


I've gotta say, I'm with Arthur here, what's with the big delay in getting to Morningstar? I get that with everyone uprooting their lives and moving to new packlands there will be logistics and planning required, but surely some of them could make their way over. I mean they're not going to be making Arthur do a bunch of the heavy lifting are they? Or even Logan for that matter? They're just getting their strength back from their healing. Surely they could send an advance group, like for instance the people who have mates awaiting them in Morningstar. It seems like they quicker they meet and get on with their joining the better for everybody involved.

 

Especially Arthur, the poor guy has been through hell for over 70 years. Give the guy a break and get him to his Sybill. I appreciate Kellar wanting to make sure he's recovering, but they need to stop wringing their hands and get on with it.


Tobyn's reaction to the situation they face was quite interesting. This is quite a dilemma people might face, but it may be a bit of preemptive worrying. If there is a sentient intelligent "earth mother" pulling the strings of destiny, she seems to be doing a very good job with her plan. Thus far things have worked out as needed, hardships and all. All the mate pairs haven't been tied down by prior commitments and other relationship baggage. It's been people ready and needing these pairings. So it's either that you're preparing us for a change in the relatively easy process they've dealt with so far, or people are worrying for nothing. But when it comes to species survival, adjustments and sacrifices might have to be made.


Good stuff as always Gary. :)

Edited by spikey582
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Great chapter, pacing and writing are both first rate. Can't wait for Sybil and Arthur to be reunited. I wonder how many couples that are truly in love will want to remain together??

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Great chapter! I liked the couple, who asked to not find their mates the best. It shows an other perspective. Looking forward for the next chapter. :)

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Such an amazing birthday present--I was lucky that it fell on the same day you normally post. :D
Ulrich and Millie were likely typical of most shifters that are already couples--whatever the circumstances on earth mates, it's hard to give up someone you've been with and come to love. I never doubted that Kellar and Tobyn would agree to their suggestion, but it saddens me that they won't be visiting the graves of their children. I can barely imagine such tragedies, especially when we don't know at what ages they died--if that even matters. My middle sister had three boys, but the middle one died at the age of three days, while the oldest took his own life when he was twenty years old.
I'm nearly as eager as Arthur's wolf to see him reunited with Miss Sybil!

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Nice Gary. I had wondered about life mates and having to give up you current partner ... sounds kinda painful to me. I understand why the life mate thing is important.. but I'm glad the ones who don't want to know aren't being forced into anything. Glad too the two packs will merge.. makes more sense to me. Everyone is still valued, which is really all that matters. Good stuff, Gary.
xo

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Huzzah for the move! And even more, for the love that seems to be motivating so many of the characters you give us. This is a great chapter, fulfilling the hope Keller and Tobyn brought many times over. I really liked the impatient Arthur...he knows more than most what his spirit craves. Of course there are some deep practicalities to be overcome, but perhaps these ca be left to Elinor and Clarence. Can't wait to see the mated packs...many thanks for this and for all the wonderful chapters to come.

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Can we just send Arthur ahead on the Morningstar Express. His anxiety is killing me. Lol.

This chapter was a reminder that the lives of some couples could be at stake. Had me thinking. At least there is choice so no one feels they have to make that decision.

Loved Logan too, in this chapter. His realistic thinking will no doubt help make the merging of the packs smoother and more functional.

Great chapter Gary.

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On 03/07/2017 11:08 AM, dughlas said:

A number of very difficult questions remain as Morningstar and Vega merge and of others yet to come. Despite the wonders and miracles there remain the people involved.

A well composed and thoughtful chapter.

Thanks, buddy! Yeah, there is a long road to go yet, and questions remain. It won't be easy for some, and Ulrich and Millie gave us a glimpse of that. Appreciate your support, and your own thoughtfulness... cheers... Gary....

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On 03/07/2017 12:03 PM, LitLover said:

This chapter brings up some very difficult questions and decisions that will be facing shifters as Tobyn and Kellar travel to different packs. I'm sure a great many couples not only love, but are in love with their chosen partner. I can't imagine facing the choice of leaving that partner for an earth mate they've never met. Who gets to decide if they do meet their earth mate. One mate might be in a loving relationship they don't want to give up and the other might want the chance to plead their case. So many incredibly difficult decisions I understand why Tobyn feels some guilt for "throwing dynamite" into some relationships.

 

Great chapter, Gary. I still love Arthur :)

I think we saw a good example of what may come up in the future. They all have to have faith in the earth mother, and do what feels right to them. Love is love is the chapter note for a reason. I think the right people are taking on this mission... Tobyn's dumb shit moment proves that for me. Thanks for your support, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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On 03/07/2017 12:42 PM, Lux Apollo said:

I'm glad you took a chapter to explore these implications of the mate-finding process. I think you touched it with good care and thought.

Thanks, lux. I thought it was necessary. Millie and Ulrich have been waiting a good while to make their appearance :) . I'm pleased you thought it was handled well... cheers... Gary....

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On 3/6/2017 at 10:00 PM, spikey582 said:

Hmmm, that was overall good news, Gary. Of course after Kellar's speech from the previous chapter, there was little doubt Vega would get with the program. The real Logan that Vega knew and loved is returning in spades. I want to see him get with Tilly double quick. It seems like Kellar's mentioning their potential for greatness and what kind of a offspring they might bring into the world has also inspired Logan. He's going to be a good addition to the family.

I've gotta say, I'm with Arthur here, what's with the big delay in getting to Morningstar? I get that with everyone uprooting their lives and moving to new parklands there will be logistics and planning required, but surely some of them could make their way over. I mean they're not going to be making Arthur do a bunch of the heavy lifting are they? Or even Logan for that matter? They're just getting their strength back from their healing. Surely they could send an advance group, like for instance the people who have mates awaiting them in Morningstar. It seems like they quicker they meet and get on with their joining the better for everybody involved. Especially Arthur, the poor guy has been through hell for over 70 years. Give the guy a break and get him to his Sybill. I appreciate Kellar wanting to make sure he's recovering, but they need to stop wringing their hands and get on with it.

Tobyn's reaction to the situation they face was quite interesting. This is quite a dilemma people might face, but it may be a bit of preemptive worrying. If there is a sentient intelligent "earth mother" pulling the strings of destiny, she seems to be doing a very good job with her plan. Thus far things have worked out as needed, hardships and all. All the mate pairs haven't been tied down by prior commitments and other relationship baggage. It's been people ready and needing these pairings. So it's either that you're preparing us for a change in the relatively easy process they've dealt with so far, or people are worrying for nothing. But when it comes to species survival, adjustments and sacrifices might have to be made.

Good stuff as always Gary. :)

First of all, thanks for reviewing, spikey. You hit on a very important point for me. Faith in the earth mother. If things do get tough for those who lay ahead, they have to work it out for themselves. So far, even though this is only the first pack, she hasn't given anyone more than they can handle. As for the move of Vega itself, they have only just made their decision. I wouldn't expect there will be a long delay in getting Arthur or other matches to Morningstar, but I think Tobyn and Kellar will be diplomatic, and pick the time they think right. There are only 22 members to handle the move, and I trust they will go about it with diligence and haste... I want Arthur and Sybil together too :) . Thanks for so thoughtful and thorough a review... cheers... Gary....

Edited by Headstall
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On 03/07/2017 02:32 PM, centexhairysub said:

Great chapter, pacing and writing are both first rate. Can't wait for Sybil and Arthur to be reunited. I wonder how many couples that are truly in love will want to remain together??

Hey, centex. I expect the couples that have happiness with their life and their partner will opt to keep the status quo. That said, from what we've seen so far, packs are not truly happy places without children. Thank you for the kind words about my writing... it makes my day... I'll try not to keep you waiting too long for Arthur and Sybil's reunion... cheers... Gary....

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On 03/07/2017 02:33 PM, JeffreyL said:

Another good chapter! Thanks Gary for this terrific story! Jeff

Thank you, Jeff! I love that you are enjoying this one... cheers, buddy... Gary....

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On 03/07/2017 05:02 PM, Lyssa said:

Great chapter! I liked the couple, who asked to not find their mates the best. It shows an other perspective. Looking forward for the next chapter. :)

Thanks, Lyssa. I thought it was important to show that side of the coin, so to speak... appreciate your support... cheers... Gary....

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On 03/07/2017 05:28 PM, JayT said:

Great job, Gary.....But you know I'm impatient and want more now. :)

Thanks, Jay... I know, I know :) . Cheers, buddy... Gary....

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On 03/07/2017 08:06 PM, ColumbusGuy said:

Such an amazing birthday present--I was lucky that it fell on the same day you normally post. :D

Ulrich and Millie were likely typical of most shifters that are already couples--whatever the circumstances on earth mates, it's hard to give up someone you've been with and come to love. I never doubted that Kellar and Tobyn would agree to their suggestion, but it saddens me that they won't be visiting the graves of their children. I can barely imagine such tragedies, especially when we don't know at what ages they died--if that even matters. My middle sister had three boys, but the middle one died at the age of three days, while the oldest took his own life when he was twenty years old.

I'm nearly as eager as Arthur's wolf to see him reunited with Miss Sybil!

Thanks, CG... glad you liked it! Millie and Ulrich and their story with regards to three dead children, are why what Kellar and Tobyn are doing is so important. At the same time, their love for each other is as strong as any other. There's no easy answer, but they are right to do what their heart tells them. Thanks for the great review, buddy... cheers... Gary....

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It shows compassion in the way Tobyn worried about the impact of "potential" earth mates would have on already established couples. However we have established that predestined fate doesn't exclude free choice. Granted the couples affected would have a difficult and even sometimes painful decision to make, but nothing had been set in stone (or no one should be forced into a decision against his / her will).

 

As Arthur would no doubt be thinking, come on Vega pack, hurry up and move already !

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I know this seemed like a quiet chapter after all the drama, but I think our boys can celebrate some huge steps forward. :yes:
The acceptance by Vega pack of joining with Morningstar was expected, but it was great to see how matters fell into place. I recalled Tobyn and Kellar's worry about the natural forests of Morningstar being milled, and Logan has endeared himself to me, and probably every shifter in Morningstar, with his proposal of accepting positions in the operations their new home have running. Great to see everyone accept the idea so eagerly.
I also think Vega will not feel they are dismantling their home, if the saw mill equipment stay, and they need to visit from time to time, in order to keep an eye on things. Most often in the beginning, where they have to harvest annual crops, but I bet they also have prennials like apples, nuts, blueberry patches and edible mushrooms, which would warrant excursions back to Vega lands.
The earth mates will want to visit together so the Morningstar halves can see where their mates came from, and the older couple can join them and visit the graves of their lost kids. I can't help hoping they'll have another child or two once the malaise is dealt with. If shifters live for 150 years, they should be fertile around sixty. And those two deserve a reward for accepting the deal.
Of course no one, not even the earth mother, can fault them for not wanting to be separated. Love is love and as important as earth mates. As Kellar said, he would have loved Tobyn no matter what, indeed he fell in love before he knew there was such a thing as earth mates. Tobyn needed the pull of an earth mate to give up his cherished plan and accept love and the destiny the earth mother wants.
I think the earth mother gives destined mates when there is a higher purpose, like Kellar needing to draw on Tobyn's strength for healing, or a human like Warren being essential for pack safety. Or seers and keepers needing special protection and care. In the old days, perhaps not all alphas were pleased about loosing a pack member, but if they were earth mates they would have to accept or risk the wrath of the earth mother.

 

The other huge step was Kellar accepting his role as Savior and Cahlar's heir. Tobyn made that happen, with his love, his clever words and lots of kisses. In return Kellar helped him deal with his emotional moment after the talk with Ulrich and Millie. Just like the boys had to accept the need to find an kill hunters, they have to accept the task of finding other packs and perhaps earth mates. There may be danger of hurt and confusion, but they must trust in the love of the earth mother for her shifters, like they accept and use the gifts she gives them.
Perhaps the only shifter not doing acceptance completely is Arthur, lol. He wants to go to Sybil tomorrow, to find his love again after all these years. Who can blame him, and he probably speaks for Delia and Logan too, and the other three with earth mate patterns. They want to meet their matched mates and find love and acceptance - but I guess the whole of Vega pack will experience a warm welcome. :hug:

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On 03/07/2017 11:07 PM, Mikiesboy said:

Nice Gary. I had wondered about life mates and having to give up you current partner ... sounds kinda painful to me. I understand why the life mate thing is important.. but I'm glad the ones who don't want to know aren't being forced into anything. Glad too the two packs will merge.. makes more sense to me. Everyone is still valued, which is really all that matters. Good stuff, Gary.

xo

Thanks, tim. Yes, everyone is valued and love is love. Decisions will have to be made, and they'll be difficult for some, but it seems the earth mother knows what she's doing. No t everyone has to be with their earth mates to reap the benefits of that magical energy... cheers, buddy... Gary xo

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On 03/08/2017 12:53 AM, Parker Owens said:

Huzzah for the move! And even more, for the love that seems to be motivating so many of the characters you give us. This is a great chapter, fulfilling the hope Keller and Tobyn brought many times over. I really liked the impatient Arthur...he knows more than most what his spirit craves. Of course there are some deep practicalities to be overcome, but perhaps these ca be left to Elinor and Clarence. Can't wait to see the mated packs...many thanks for this and for all the wonderful chapters to come.

I think the leadership of the packs are up for the job of rebuilding. As for Tobyn and Kellar, I'd say this part of their mission was quite the success. Vega reached the right decision, and now shifters have a solid and healthy base. Arthur is quite the character, isn't he? I enjoy the hell out of him. Thanks, buddy... cheers... Gary....

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