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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.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

The Light at the End of the Tunnel - 18. Chapter 18

Their time in Germany is drawing to a close. Let's see if their decision to do some reconnaissance pans out.

Asa held the sides of Duncan’s head and gently asked the boy, “Are you ready?”

Duncan nodded confidently.

Last night was enlightening. Asa discovered Duncan wasn’t afraid of the process itself but of what would happen afterward. It took some gentle prodding, but eventually, Asa found Duncan liked Pieter and the rest of the staff, but he considered them caretakers. What he really wanted was a family. He missed having parents. It broke Asa’s heart.

He touched his forehead to Duncan’s and grasped the boy’s forearms. Immediately, the familiar buzzing of energy and the warmth of light surrounded them. Instinctually, he set right the wrongs done to the boy. Jagged and misshapen bones reformed to their correct positions. Duncan’s vocal cords mended themselves. When he was done, Asa soothed the young wolf, assuring him he could come out now.

Physically, Duncan looked amazing. His mental status was something Asa wavered on. As he searched the boy’s mind, he sensed anguish and anxiety from the memories associated with his parents’ murder. He wasn’t sure how much he should intervene. In the end, he removed the worst of the PTSD. Never again would the sound of wind chimes cause the boy to panic. Going forward, Duncan could process his memories in a manner that wouldn’t cause undue stress.

Asa did one final sweep, making sure everything was taken care of. Satisfied, he broke the connection. He swayed side-to-side, lightheaded from the exertion. Every healing was different, and he never knew how he would feel when it was over. Caleb’s, by far, had been the worst.

“Asa?” Caleb’s voice cut through his brain fog. “That’s it, baby. Come back to me.”

Gradually, the world came into focus again. He was sitting, leaning against Caleb’s chest. His mate’s arms were wrapped around him protectively in case he blacked out, a semi-regular occurrence when healing hybrids.

“How’s Duncan?” he asked, looking around to spot the boy.

“He’s okay. Pieter and Dante are taking care of him. They’re making him drink some water. You should do the same. Here.”

Caleb unscrewed the cap from a water bottle and handed it to him. The cool liquid felt so good going down his parched throat, and he drank the entire thing. When he finished, he took a moment to study the brothers across the room.

Dante and Duncan were a year apart in age, but even after accounting for the changes their healings had brought, there was still a considerable size difference between them. Despite that, there was no denying the familial connection. Dante was fifteen, and Duncan had recently turned fourteen. The brothers had the same light brown hair and turquoise blue eyes.

At five-foot-eleven, Dante had at least six inches over Duncan. Duncan’s build had filled out somewhat, but he still held onto the lean, lankiness of a young teenager. In comparison, Dante could fit right in as a defensive lineman on any high school football team. Asa figured he still had some more growing to do in the future. Their facial features were similar, leaving no doubt they were related. They were beautiful boys who would grow up to be handsome men. Asa was sure of it.

Dante was hugging his brother, stroking his hair. Tears ran down both their cheeks. It was a heartwarming sight to watch. Moments like these were exactly why Asa didn’t hesitate to offer his healing ability. He couldn’t have lived in good conscience if he didn’t.

Duncan pulled away from his brother and looked over at Asa. He bit his bottom lip, and his face broke into the brightest smile. He ran across the room and launched himself into Asa’s arms. Luckily, he had just enough time to brace himself.

After Duncan squeezed him tight, Asa held the boy at arm's length and looked him over from head to foot. “How do you feel?”

“G-good,” Duncan whispered. After so many months of disuse, he’d forgotten how to speak correctly.

“Louder, Duncan,” Asa prompted. “You need to use your voice to get it working properly again.”

“Gooood,” Duncan croaked, drawing out the word as his newly healed vocal cords vibrated unsteadily.

Asa smiled. “That’s better.”

Pieter interrupted them so the doctor could look Duncan over. It wasn’t long before he returned with a clean bill of health. Relief flooded Asa. He didn’t know why it was so important to him that the boy and his brother were back to being normal shifters.

Prior to being turned, Dante and Marcel had experienced their first shifts, but Duncan had been on the cusp. From what Asa learned from Sebastian, pups who hadn’t shifted were carefully watched. The moment they showed signs of shifting was when the researchers swooped in and injected them with whatever current version of the drug they were working on to halt their progress halfway.

Duncan had been one of those unfortunate pups who never got to experience a true first shift. Asa felt the confusion of his wolf earlier and had done his best to reassure the beast it wouldn’t be long before he could come out. By the way Duncan was fidgeting, he suspected the boy’s wolf was getting impatient.

He knew Dante and Marcel were waiting for Duncan before they shifted. It was a beautiful summer day. Duncan’s healing hadn’t taken more than a few hours, and it was early afternoon. There was plenty of time for a jaunt in the surrounding woods.

“Who’s up for a run?” he asked.

Duncan sat up straight and gasped. Dante jumped up from the couch and went to the door, shouting for Marcel. Footsteps pounded along the stone corridor as the dark-haired boy answered the summons.

“You’re not joking?” Duncan asked, his eyes wide with excitement.

“No, son. I’m not joking,” Asa replied, unaware of the term of endearment he called the boy. “Your brother and Marcel have been waiting for you. Caleb and I will escort you through the woods. You stay close to us and listen.”

“Asa is right,” Caleb added, “This will be a short run for now. We’ll go for a longer one later when it’s dark. We have to meet with the other families for their planning sessions, so let’s hop to it.”

The boys followed him and Caleb out to a side courtyard Pieter told them about. There was a table to set their clothes on after they stripped down. He and Caleb shifted quickly, setting an example for the younger shifters. It took a few minutes of cracks and loud pops, but three juvenile wolves soon joined the two adult white wolves. One wolf was nearly all black. He had a grayish-brown patch on his chest and threaded through his tail. The other two had similar coloring, varying from light brown shades to medium gray.

Caleb’s wolf took the lead while Asa brought up the rear, keeping an eye on the pups in case they accidentally strayed due to excitement. His wolf scented the new wolves, imprinting them to memory. His drive to protect them was strong.

The big white wolf in the lead set a steady pace, loping through the surrounding forest in a lazy loop around the castle. He climbed high above the valley, up to where the temperature dropped, and the wind picked up, ruffling their fur as they ran. Not much further up, there was snow, present even in the height of the summer months.

The pups nipped at each other as they ran. They played with a joyful exuberance only experienced by the young. Caleb’s wolf stopped to rest on the side of the mountain on a long, flat slab of rock. Dante’s wolf jumped on him, encouraging Marcel and Duncan to join in and try to knock the big Alpha from his perch. It was a wolf version of ‘King of the Mountain’. The boys were destined to lose. Even three against one, they didn’t stand a chance against Caleb. He stood his ground, tail wagging, and his jaw dropped in a wolfy grin as the smaller wolves tried to knock him over, to no avail.

They gave up one by one, panting, each of them rolling onto their back to expose his belly, signaling defeat. Caleb chuffed and licked each pup’s head affectionately before laying down to rest. Asa padded over and curled into his mate’s side.

After a brief rest, they made their way back down the mountain, the boys occasionally stopping to mark trees and bushes along the way. Asa and Caleb did the same. Only an hour and a half had passed when they returned and donned their clothes. He and Caleb had plenty of time to freshen up before meeting the new families.

“That was fun today, wasn’t it?” he remarked, nuzzling Caleb’s neck as they lay in bed that night.

“Yeah. Those boys are something else.”

Asa detected something wistful in Caleb’s voice. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong.”

“Well, something’s not right then.”

Caleb chuckled and kissed the side of his head. “You know me too well.”

Asa harrumphed. “Spill.”

“Playing with the boys today just got me thinking about Vann. I miss him.”

Asa rested his head on Caleb’s shoulder and played with the hair on his chest. This was one of those times it was better to listen.

“When we’re done here, I want to return to Montana and come clean to Vann. I’ll let him decide whether he wants to build a relationship with me. With us. I know I can never go back and change what I did, but going forward, I can change who I will be, and I want to be a father. I want to be a father to more than just Vann.”

Asa blinked and lifted his head, twisting to look at Caleb.

“Spending time with Dante and Duncan has made me realize there are kids out there who need love. We have love to give, Asa. We have it in spades. I know it seems like a crazy idea, but how would you feel about adopting the boys?”

“All three of them?”

“No, I was thinking Dante and Duncan. I’m pretty sure Marcel and Corbin have created their own bond. It wouldn’t surprise me if Corbin doesn’t say something tomorrow about bringing all the kids home with us.”

“What about Vann?”

“I know there’s room in our hearts for everyone.”

That is why Asa loved Caleb so much. His mate was genuinely remarkable. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for him.

“I love you,” Asa declared, ghosting a kiss across the sensitive skin of Caleb’s collarbone. The movement sent a shiver rippling across the man’s skin.

It set off a chain reaction. Caleb flipped them over instantly, pinning Asa’s hands over his head. If Asa thought this would be a soft and sweet love-making session, he was dead wrong.

Caleb told him to grab the headboard and not take his hands off if he knew what was good for him. In a lust-drunk haze, Asa did as he was told. His cock went from limp bacon to super crispy in two seconds flat.

He allowed himself to grunt when Caleb straddled him and rubbed their dicks together in his tight grip. His breathing quickened when his mate thrust three fingers of his free hand into his mouth and demanded, “Suck.”

“See what you do to me? You get me so fucking horny, so fucking fast. I can’t stand it. I can barely take the time to stretch myself.”

Asa swallowed hard as Caleb yanked his fingers away and immediately shoved them up his ass, hissing at what had to be an incredible sting and burn. It made his cock leak.

“Goddamn. Too bad I’m too wound up. Otherwise, I’d make you lick me until it doesn’t hurt anymore. Oh, the things I know that tongue of yours can do!”

Asa nearly reached out to touch Caleb but stopped himself just in time. His mate caught the slight movement and chuckled.

“Uh-uh-uh. Tsk-tsk. You almost messed up, didn’t you? Bad boy!” Caleb raised one hand to circle his throat, tightening enough to be uncomfortable but not enough to cut off air. His other hand was still buried in his ass.

“Good thing I don’t have to punish you. You might like that, though, huh? You want to be punished, Asa? What would you like? A fiery red ass? Maybe edging you to the end of your sanity? Huh? Can I do that, Asa? Can I bring you to the brink of orgasm over and over again until you beg me to let you cum?”

Asa whimpered. His dick felt like it couldn’t get any harder. It was a relief when Caleb raised his hips and sank his big body down, impaling himself on Asa’s cock. It felt even better as he bottomed out, their bodies as close as they could be.

Caleb tightened his ass muscles, squeezing himself around Asa in sweet torture.

“Move, goddammit!” Asa growled.

“Ooh, the kitten’s got claws,” Caleb teased.

“I’ll show you some fucking claws and teeth if you don’t fucking move!”

Be careful what you wish for. Isn’t that how the saying went? Caleb gave him exactly what he asked for. Movement. Slow, excruciatingly tortuous motion. Like the easy lope he set during their afternoon run, it was a pace he could keep up forever. It kept Asa hard and leaking for an eternity, talking dirty nearly the entire time.

He was a babbling mess before Caleb finally took pity on him and put him out of his misery. Asa nearly wept with relief when, at last, the pace picked up.

“Touch me. I want you to stroke my cock.”

Asa’s arm felt numb from being above his head for so long. He shook it out as the pins and needles tapered off. He needed to flex his fingers a few times before finally grasping his mate’s dick firmly, giving it an experimental tug or two before settling into a rhythmic pace. Above him, Caleb added his spit to the equation, easing the glide along the way.

He loved Caleb’s cock. It was perfect. Long and just thick enough for him without being too much, it made his mouth water. Thinking about giving him a blowjob was enough to draw his balls up tight.

“I’m gonna cum!” he cried.

“Do it. Shoot yourself in my ass. Fill me up, sweetheart. Give it to me.”

Asa was helpless to disobey his mate’s command. His body tightened, and he felt himself empty out deep into Caleb. His hips thrust up as Caleb pushed down. His orgasm sparked Caleb’s, and the man marked him from his chin to where they were joined, ropes of white cum trailing ribbons down his torso.

Caleb rested on Asa, finally worn out from his lovemaking efforts. Their skin was covered in a light sheen of sweat, and the musky scent of sex hung thick in the air. Biology won, and Asa’s dick softened and slipped out of Caleb, releasing a river of cum down his thighs. It was enough to get them up and moving.

They showered and changed the bedding before settling down again. When Asa snuggled into Caleb this time, he sensed nothing but contentment.

“I think we should talk to Corbin,” Asa stated. “We need to find out what his plans are. If he’s not going to foster or adopt Marcel, then we need to consider adopting him as well. At the very least, bringing him back to the States. I’m sure someone in Giles’ pack is willing to take the boy in. We already know the three don’t want to be separated.”

“We’re making a lot of assumptions. Right now, we need to get a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow, you need to start healing the other hybrids. We can schedule a meeting with Pieter and Corbin to discuss the boys’ situation and figure out what’s best. We need to include the boys in the decision-making process, too. We can’t jump to conclusions and automatically assume they want to join family life with us. They need to be told about Vann and my responsibility to him.”

“You’re right. I just feel like we’re heading in the right direction with this. I feel it in my heart.”

“Me too.”

Caleb kissed Asa sweetly, and they drifted off.

The next couple of weeks kept everyone busy. If Asa wasn’t healing hybrids, he and Caleb were meeting with families or reviewing files. He was a patient man, but it was going a little slower than expected.

European packs were small and closely related. When there was a major event like a mating, it often affected more than one pack. Since many of the hybrids belonged to Eastern European packs, the scheduling conflicts were almost constant. Communication was further hampered by the isolation of a few of them.

Two weeks in, there was yet another unnecessary delay, and Asa felt himself losing control.

“For fuck’s sake!” He shouted, slamming his hands on the sturdy oak table, rattling the place settings. “Don’t they fucking realize I’m not here to play fucking games!”

“I know you want to be finished,” Pieter said. “I really do. I am trying my best to get these last four boys here by the end of the week.”

“Try fucking harder!” Asa yelled.

“Hey!” Caleb exclaimed. “Shh. Come here, love.”

Caleb stepped over and enveloped Asa in his personal space. Anger still dictated his emotional state, but he could feel the beginning of rationality forming. His mate’s pheromones helped to calm him better than any aromatherapy.

When Caleb thought it was safe to let go, he turned to Pieter. “I won’t let my mate risk his mental health. You need to stress to these families that we will only be here a few more days. We’ve already been gone a week longer than we planned. Asa has a business to get back to, and I have a private matter I need to take care of. Plus, we have to finalize all the other arrangements.”

After discussing their idea of fostering or adopting the boys with Corbin and Pieter, Asa and Caleb found out that Corbin was entertaining the idea, too, but didn’t know how to approach them. Together, they spoke to Pieter, and he was thrilled that the boys would have the chance to be part of a big family.

It took another week of spending as much time with the boys as possible, getting to know them to cement their decision as the right one. With every day that passed, Asa and Caleb became more attached to Dante and Duncan. Corbin and Marcel were two peas in a pod. It seemed like there might be something between Corbin and Willa, but when Asa asked, Corbin told him they were friends, but it wouldn’t ever go beyond that. It was too bad. She was a sweet girl.

In any case, they sat the three boys down one evening after dinner and told them they needed to discuss a few things. Pieter handed them a sheet of paper and a pen and asked them to write down their goals for the following year. He and Caleb wrote down ‘Adopt Dante and Duncan’. Corbin wrote down, ‘Adopt Marcel.’

When Pieter asked everyone to turn over their papers, the boys’ faces lit up incredulously when they saw what was written. When they turned over their papers, all of them said, ‘Find a family.’

That evening turned into a celebration. Once the staff knew what was happening, someone busted out the music. Food and drink appeared out of nowhere, and they partied well into the night. Asa was glad hangovers weren’t a major concern for shifters when he saw Corbin the following day. He truly felt sorry for his friend.

Now, they were down to the final stretch, and because the last four boys were dragging their asses, or at least their families were. It didn’t matter to Asa. He was tired of feeling stonewalled. It ended now.

Calmly, he turned to Pieter and said, “Tell these families if they are not here by ten o’clock the day after tomorrow, they forfeit their appointment and will have to make future arrangements at their own costs and my convenience. I can’t guarantee any openings on my schedule for the foreseeable future. It may be six months or more before I have availability. Is that clearly understood?”

Pieter nodded. “That is entirely reasonable.”

“I’m sorry for yelling,” Asa said. “Being so close to completing the healings and not having the last ones scheduled has made me cranky.”

Pieter reached across the table and patted Asa’s hand. “I understand. I’ll go call them now.”

As soon as Pieter left, Asa collapsed on the chair. “I hated doing that, but we can’t stay here forever waiting on these families. I’m sick of the entitlement of these parents. These kids want to be healed. That’s why I’m torn.”

Caleb stroked his arms soothingly. “I know you are, but you did the right thing. We’re all anxious to get home. Don’t forget. We’ve got that quick side trip before we return, too.”

Asa hadn’t forgotten. They were still planning on taking advantage of being away from the scrutiny of the pack to do some reconnaissance in Russia. It should only take a few hours. No one will even miss them.

Pieter returned to tell them, “The families decided to reschedule. Their boys are not in any distress, either physically or mentally. They will contact you in a few months and arrange a time to go to Texas.”

Asa nodded. That was it. They were done. He was done, at least for now. He healed as many hybrids as possible. It was hard to believe this part of the journey was complete. The road had been long and hard. They weren’t quite at the end. Sebastian had teams out there, still looking for pups who were missing. Asa was hopeful they would be found. They all were.

“Thank you, Pieter,” Caleb said, shaking the man’s hand. “We’ll go talk to the boys and let them know. Let’s plan on leaving the day after tomorrow if the plane is available. I need to inform Sebastian and Gile that we’ll have extra company on the way home.”

Asa and Caleb decided to return to Texas first to get Dante and Duncan settled. Then, they would drive to Montana so Caleb could sit down with Vann and finally tell him the truth. The boys would be okay with Giles, Jorge, and Mikey looking after them. Corbin and Marcel would be at the ranch, too, until Corbin’s house was rebuilt.

The rest of the day was a flurry of activity as everyone got ready to leave. Sebastian’s plane wouldn’t be in Frankfurt until tomorrow afternoon, so they decided to leave early the following morning. Dante, Duncan, and Marcel didn’t have much to pack, not even clothes. Most of what they had worn didn’t fit after they were cured, and their bodies changed. Pieter had the staff outfit them with basics like jeans, t-shirts, and underwear. Caleb promised a shopping spree when they reached Texas.

Timing was everything. In order to fit a side trip to Russia in, Asa and Caleb needed to leave at dawn. There was a ten-hour time zone difference between where they were and where Huntington was. It didn’t leave much wiggle room, but if they were careful, they could get in, look around quickly, and get back before anyone knew they were gone.

Slipping out into the cool mountain air as the sun crested over the horizon, Asa looked at his mate. “Ready?”

Caleb smiled. Together, they melted seamlessly into the light, streaking into the eastern sky. Below them, vast swaths of desert and forested landscape whipped past in a blink. At the furthest edge of a vast country, where there was nothing but the sound of the wind for miles and miles, two beams of energy circled over an encampment nestled in the foothills of a mountain range.

Several rivers streamed down and emptied into the sea. Desolation didn’t even begin to describe the terrain. In his energized state, Asa sensed movement below. He flitted closer to check it out. Noise disrupted his energy current like static, making the air around him pop and crackle.

Something felt wrong.

He tried to scream, to tell Caleb to run, but couldn’t. A loud, high-pitched buzz wrenched the air surrounding him. It felt as if an invisible force was pulling him. He imagined this was what it was like to be sucked into a giant vacuum.

No sooner did the thought cross his mind than he reverted to his human form. He was in a pitch-dark room. The darkness was like nothing he had ever encountered before. Wherever he was, it was in the complete absence of light. The only reference he had to spatial awareness was the feeling of the floor against his feet. Gingerly, he reached out, tentatively feeling until his hands touched a wall. Running his fingers along the smooth surface, he determined the room was about twelve feet by twelve feet. A small panel was in the middle of one of the walls, but it didn’t move when he tried to pry it open.

There was no way to tell how much time passed. It could have been an hour, or it could have been a day. He was worried about Caleb. Did he get caught, too? Asa didn’t know. The only thing he knew for sure was that he fucked up. Big time.

A deep, sinister voice chuckled overhead. The sound filled the small space.

“Welcome, light shifter. I do hope you’ll enjoy your stay. Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Kasar Huntington.”

Asa’s pulse upticked as his heart raced.

Almighty fucking shit balls. He was screwed.

Well that's not good. Where the hell is Caleb???
Copyright © 2023 kbois; All Rights Reserved.
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Thanks to everyone who stuck it out throughout this series. Don't forget to recommend and leave a review! 
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.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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