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    kbois
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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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The Light at the End of the Tunnel - 27. Reilly's Resolution

I can't believe this is the last posting for this series. I'm sad to see it end, but happy for all my guys.
Enjoy.

Don’t laugh. Don’t laugh. Do. NOT. Laugh!

Reilly laughed.

He couldn’t help it. The look on his mate’s face was priceless. After a grueling winter spent taking care of their pack and dealing with the aftermath of Huntington’s Demise, as they had christened the hard-fought victory, Sebastian declared it was time for a vacation. Reilly offered to handle making reservations, but the Alpha insisted on doing it himself.

Now, instead of driving a full-size SUV large enough to accommodate his six-and-a-half-foot bulk, Sebastian was nearly folded in half as he crammed himself behind the wheel of a Toyota Prius. That will teach him to pay attention to the drop-down menus when booking online.

“Why don’t you let me drive? Without the steering wheel in the way, you can push the seat back and recline it to have more room.”

Sebastian huffed, pressed his lips together, and took a deep breath. Silently, he unraveled his pretzel-like contorted legs and got out.

Reilly snickered, jogged around the rear of the car, and easily slid behind the wheel, earning himself a glare from his mate. “It’s only for a day. The rental car agent promised they would deliver an SUV to the house tomorrow. C’mon, it’s not the end of the world.”

“I wanted everything to be perfect. You’ve earned this vacation.”

“Oh, sweetheart! I don’t need perfect. I only need you.”

Sebastian grinned and shook his head. His shoulders relaxed. Reilly meant it. They could have stayed in Montana, and he would’ve been content as long as he had his mate beside him.

“You’re too good for me.”

Reilly turned his head and winked. “I know.” He stepped on the brake and pressed the start button. The little four-cylinder engine turned over with a soft purr.

The beach house Sebastian arranged was on a private, five thousand-acre peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil. The GPS led Reilly to a one-lane road guarded by a gate. Tall fencing stretched out on both sides. Nat Chusi, the owner of the mansion-on-the-sea, assured Sebastian that security cameras monitored every mile of the property’s perimeter.

Following the instructions, Reilly clicked a remote to reveal a number pad secured behind a panel. He pressed the ten-digit sequence and waited as the gate rolled open. As soon as they were through, the gate slid closed behind them.

Tall trees flanked both sides of the road. “Plenty of space for our wolves to run,” Reilly remarked.

“That’s what Nat said. It’s not the mountains, but it’ll do.”

Reilly reached out and rested his hand on Sebastian’s knee. “Thank you for doing this.”

“It was now or never. Once Sandi gives birth, Wayne won’t have much time to cover for me. I’m sure Hunter and Kellan are capable, but Wayne knows the pack better. I still can’t believe he and Sandi will finally be parents.”

After the dust settled last fall, Wayne and Sandi bit the bullet and tried for a baby. It was a joyous Christmas when they announced they were expecting. Sandi was due in two months. Early August would be a beautiful time to give birth.

Last month, Sebastian surprised the happy couple with a two-week-long babymoon. A luxury spa in the Arizona desert was perfect for ushering in Spring. Sandi reported that the end of the rainy season had transformed the normally barren land into a riot of colors, as desert flowers were in full bloom. The weather was mild, with warm days and cool nights. The full-body pregnancy massage helped her aches and pains tremendously.

As they drove, the lane gave way to a wide expanse of green lawn flanked by tall palm trees swaying in the breeze. A circular driveway led to a portico, and off to the side, a three-car garage was attached to the house. The home was a large one-story, Spanish hacienda-style dwelling. Reddish-orange barrel clay tiles adorned the roof, while sunny-yellow painted walls completed the look.

Reilly shut off the engine, and they exited the car. He held back the bubble of laughter threatening to pop as his mate unfolded himself and knocked his head as he stepped out. The tang of salty air assaulted them as they took in their surroundings.

Ever vigilant, Reilly and Sebastian scanned the area. When they detected no threats, Sebastian grabbed their bags from the trunk and led Reilly to the front door. Another code was needed to unlock it, and after punching in the numbers, the door swung open.

Reilly gasped at the sight that greeted them. Their bags thunked as Sebastian dropped them and gaped at the view. Floor-to-ceiling windows graced the far side of the open living room. Cobalt-blue water stretched out for as far as the eye could see. The room was tastefully decorated with a Spanish-slash-beach theme.

“The guys are gonna pee themselves when they see this view,” Reilly remarked.

Sebastian chuckled. “If they do, at least the floors are tiled, and clean-up will be easy.”

They had the house for two months. Reilly and Sebastian would have two glorious weeks alone before the others joined them. There were four master suites and a large guest room–plenty of space for everyone.

As they explored their home for the next several weeks, Reilly bounced excitedly when he discovered their suite had a private patio with a hot tub overlooking the vast expanse of ocean. The kitchen was a chef’s wet dream. Sleek, ultra-modern, top-of-the-line appliances complimented the black granite counters. Opening the cupboards felt like opening Christmas presents. There wasn’t a single item missing. If it wasn’t on the counter with the coffee maker, it could be found in one of the cabinets.

Sebastian’s jaw dropped when Reilly opened the double pantry doors. It was fully stocked with gourmet dry goods. Another door revealed a walk-in freezer full of premium meats. The fridge was chock-full, too. Nat didn’t miss a thing and promised once-a-week delivery of fresh produce and perishables.

“Sandi would shit a brick,” Sebastian declared, grinning from ear to ear. “If she weren’t so close to the end of her pregnancy, I’d fly her and Wayne down with the guys.”

Reilly giggled. “We’re definitely not going to starve.”

Sebastian’s grin turned feral. “I’m hungry now.”

There was no denying the emotions that swelled within him. Reilly stepped into his mate’s personal space and cupped his thickening cock. Rising on tiptoes, he hooked his other hand behind Sebastian’s neck and pulled him down for a kiss. It started slow, but when the Alpha thrust his tongue against Reilly’s lips, seeking entrance, the gloves were off.

Clothes flew in all directions, and the high-end kitchen counter held up like a champ as Sebastian bent Reilly over it and pounded his ass.

The granite slab felt cool against his chest when Reilly relaxed on it, with Sebastian’s weight gently pressing him down as the Alpha held him close, panting from the intensity of their orgasms. Their lovemaking was a far cry from their first joining when Sebastian’s mating bite yanked Reilly’s wolf from his self-imposed exile.

Reilly snickered. “One down. I wonder how many more to go?”

“Nat said there were twenty rooms, including all the bathrooms and laundry room. I suggest we christen the guest rooms first so they can properly air out before the others arrive.”

Laughing, Sebastian peeled himself off his mate and led him outside. Instead of a shower, they played in the gentle surf, frolicking like two kids, splashing and dunking each other.

After two blissful weeks, it came down to the wire, but they were thankful the walls couldn’t talk. This place would give the others an earful if that were the case. They had barely finished cleaning the laundry room when Sebastian’s phone chirped. The security system alerted them to the arrival of the others. Reilly gave the room a quick spritz of air freshener before closing the door.

“Yo! Sebasti–!” Hunter’s voice stopped abruptly. “Holy shit!”

“Pretty sweet view, huh?” Reilly remarked as he entered the living room.

Kellan’s eyes were saucers as he took in their surroundings. “I want one of these. Puh-leeze, can I have one?”

Sebastian stood in the kitchen leaning against the counter, wearing nothing but low-slung jeans. “Only if you take over the entire South American shifter territory.”

Reilly’s best friend threw his hands up in surrender. “Nope. I’ll buy a cheap ticket to Florida if I want to lie on a beach.”

It was mini-chaos as the other guys tromped in, dragging suitcases and carry-ons behind them. Everyone’s jaws dropped at the view.

“At least no one peed on the floor,” Reilly whispered as he kissed Sebastian’s cheek. They’d have to behave now that the rest of their group was there.

Sebastian chuckled and gave Reilly’s ass a light smack. “Maybe they can be tamed.”

Elijah set his bag down and grinned. “That’s no fun!”

Good-natured jostling occurred when the three inbound couples claimed their suites. Two of them had ocean views, while the third overlooked the gardens. It finally boiled down to a match of rock-paper-scissors to determine who got the rooms with a view. Hunter and Kellan lost, but as a minor consolation, the garden room had a massive jacuzzi tub in its bathroom.

Sebastian fired up the grill, and they gathered around the big table on the patio overlooking the beach to enjoy dinner.

After swallowing a succulent bite of ribeye, Hunter set his utensils down and frowned. “I wish Ben and Zev were here.”

Sebastian wiped his lips. “I had a feeling when I invited them, they would pass. Those two love winter too much. They’d rather spend their vacation skiing and snowmobiling. They were thrilled when I offered to send them to a secluded cabin near Banff for Christmas. Reilly suggested it.”

“How did you find it?” Elijah inquired.

“When Kellan rescued me after my sperm donor and his spawn beat the shit out of me, we ended up in the Canadian Rockies. We crossed paths with a shifter who probably knew Rosalie and Silas when they were in diapers. Altus took us in and kept us safe that winter while I healed. A few months ago, we received word he passed away and left the cabin to me and Kells. It’s the perfect hideaway for two horny shifters who love winter sports.”

“Better than water sports,” Hunter quipped.

Ashton and Austin snickered, leading to Tyler giggling, which morphed into raucous laughter around the table.

“We’ll have to arrange a staycation so everyone can enjoy a little downtime together,” Sebastian announced. “For now, there’s plenty to do or plenty of loungers on the sand if we don’t feel like doing anything.”

Finding things to do presented no problem. The guys took advantage of the ATVs, racing each other through the trails on the property and the inland forest. Sebastian captained the fishing boat, taking some day trips to a spot a few miles offshore. They didn’t catch anything until their third trip out when Tyler, with Austin’s help, landed an eleven-foot Atlantic bluefin tuna weighing sixteen hundred pounds. Sebastian piloted the boat to Recife, paying local fishermen to filet the monster and flash-freeze it to be shipped home. If the thought of cheating the Alpha crossed their minds, the low growl they heard gave them second thoughts.

Most days, the guys lay on the beach, soaking up the sun. Elijah and Reilly forgot to reapply sunscreen once, and their mates weren’t happy with the resulting red skin. It didn’t happen again.

Rainy days presented no problems either. On the few occasions when inclement weather curtailed outdoor activity, the couples retreated to their suites for some private time. The days passed too quickly—before they knew it, it was their last week. Each couple savored the time remaining. Sebastian declared it would be an annual event. They might not be able to get away for so long every year, but they would make something work.

The night before they departed, the house was dead quiet as Reilly slipped outside and walked down to the soft sand. The sound of waves breaking was calming. The full moon shone over the water, giving it an ethereal glow. His wolf’s keen hearing picked up the haunting notes of a whale song from somewhere under the cobalt depths.

A familiar and comforting scent rose above the salty brine of the ocean. A dark form sat near the waterline, gazing at the infinite expanse. Reilly padded across the beach and sat in front of Kellan, between his knees, and leaned back against his friend.

Kellan draped his arms over Reilly’s shoulders and rested his chin on the top of his head. “It’s hard to believe we were running for our lives not that long ago.”

Reilly hummed. “Did you ever dream we would find our mates and a family at the same time?”

His friend chuckled. “Back then, the only thing I imagined was your asshole father and brothers catching up with us.”

“That’s more like a nightmare!”

“Speaking of family, Hunter and I are thinking about fostering. When Caleb and Asa told us about the boys they were adopting and how not having enough foster parents for shifters contributed to Alberts getting his hooks into them, we knew we had to do something. I’m not sure if we’re ready to adopt, but this will let us do a trial run to see if we’ll make decent parents.”

“Kells, you’ll make fantastic parents. The young kids all love you. Lila thinks Hunter hangs the moon just for her. I’d only worry about passing on your sense of humor.”

Kellan punched Reilly’s arm. “Hey! That’s not fair!”

“It’s not fair to condemn a poor kid to bathroom humor twenty-four-seven.”

They laughed, each picturing the mayhem any future kids of Kellan’s would create.

When they finally stopped snickering, Reilly said, “Sebastian and I are discussing adoption. Taking care of Vann only made the pull of having our own family stronger.”

Kellan kissed the side of his head. “You will be the best dad ever.”

“Thanks. I want to create a safe and happy home for our family.”

“You know what they say–home is where the heart is.”

Reilly stood and offered his hand to Kellan. “Then let’s go.”

They walked hand-in-hand across the sand, and Reilly hugged Kellan before going their separate ways to their suites.

As he quietly slid into bed, he admired how the soft moonlight highlighted Sebastian’s beautiful features. If home was where the heart is, there’s no place he’d rather be.

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE

 

Oh, hell. Where to start?

It’s best to start with Kage. He made the ultimate sacrifice for the betterment of the story. I really have no idea how a character who started out as a secondary, maybe even tertiary, character turned into someone so pivotal. He was supposed to be the penultimate asshole. Instead, he made us love him.

This Hybrid Journey series was a leap of terror for me. The original concept was just Reilly’s story. The first chapters were typed out when the ink was barely dry on A Tattoo for Lex, so almost five years ago. I got roughly ten chapters done, and then the guys refused to say anything else. I couldn’t force it, so I moved on. Then, about two years ago, my thoughts kept wandering back, and I reread what had been written about twenty or thirty times. Slowly, the story started to unfold.

It rolled along pretty well, occasionally stalling while I tested the waters with a few other short projects. Toward the end of writing Spirit Wolves, the idea for a series really gelled. The idea was cemented when Elijah started hollering at me. Little did I know he would consume the next four months of my life. I knocked out forty chapters in those short months. Un-freaking-believable. I still have no idea what possessed me.

Caleb. Ah, yes. Our beloved, messed up, fucked-in-the-head, Caleb. Love him or hate him, he was a great character overall. I had to figure out how to take a well-respected Alpha, drag him through Hell (hi, Lucifer!), and then find his way to redemption. I hope I nailed it.

Now for my support team. @Danilo Syrtis, my loveable geek who never hesitates to give me his honest opinion. He’s been with me since the first story I posted, not hesitating to point out spelling errors. For the most part, I’ve eliminated those by the time he gets to see the chapters. Even the ones I send at midnight his time. Thank you, mon ami.

Next, we have @astone2292. Thank you for giving the final spit shine to the chapters. The second pair of eyes is much appreciated, and your suggestions are (usually) spot on. I don’t reject all that much. LOL.

Finally, my Boo, @Mrsgnomie. Even though we sling shit at each other, these stories wouldn’t have been the same without her. I begrudgingly admit she’s useful.

Will I tackle another multi-story series? Maybe. If the right idea comes along, the characters will let me know. For now, I am going to sit back, mull over a few things I’ve started, and see what happens. I have several ideas and have started at least three new stories, so something ought to jump out at me. (I can always hijack Max)

Thank you to all my readers and everyone holding membership badges for the Korner Krew. I absolutely look forward to your comments(most of them) for every chapter.

Until next time, or Gnomie posts, whichever comes first.

 

Kbois ❤️

P.S. Don’t forget to recommend and/or review. Follow my author profile so you’ll get notifications when I post new stuff.

Time to mark this journey 'complete'.
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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