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    Yeoldebard
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Egaran Stars - 70. Galen- Promises

The Egaro held the Faro tightly, not caring who saw, who might be offended. A week was gone in the blink of an eye, the two were standing in the port, next to a shuttle that would take Reinard to Aegean Station, to catch a liner to Sothis. Minutes were slipping through their fingers, neither willing to break away, to leave, but Galen knew he had to be the one to push the Faro away. Reinard needed to leave, needed help that the tiger couldn’t give him.

“I love you, my little fox,” he whispered, cradling his Faro close.

Hours spent together, touching each other, loving each other, all seemed too short now. He only knew now how much the Faro meant to him, now that Reinard was leaving. They didn’t know how long he would be gone.

Rain poured down around them, another storm flooding the world of tigers, the perfect weather for their mood. Dark, despairing, not even the hope of seeing each other in the future made them feel any better. Even if it took ten, twenty years, to heal Reinard, they could still return to each other, still have decades together. But none of that made parting any easier.

Reinard’s hands clasped around his neck, the fox’s nose buried in his fur as the tiger stroked him gently, both of them trying desperately to stave off that last touch, the moment when they would have to part.

A moment that was coming far too fast.

“Why am I doing this? Why aren’t we going together?” the Faro whimpered.

“Because you need someone who can provide a space to retreat to. Because I can be more use to you working here to support us both,” Galen said, the reasons they had fought over seeming so flimsy in the moment of truth. “Because you are afraid to be around me…”

“I’m afraid of myself…” Reinard admitted with a soft whimper. “Please… talk me out of this Galen. I don’t want to leave you.”

“I can’t,” the Egaro breathed. “You need to go; even Noreen said so.”

He hated admitting it, hated that it had to be said. Reinard didn’t belong on a planet of tigers, and anyone could have seen that.

“You know the promise, right? Every year, I will fly out to you. I will spend six months every year flying to see you, to be with you. If you need your time, you will have it, but we will have our time too,” he reminded the fox. “Lay low, let the Cervidae help you, and we will be together again.”

Slowly, he withdrew his hands, the missing support forcing Reinard to slide down him until the Faro was standing on his own two feet. Reinard looked up at him, tears staining his dusty fur as he searched for a way to stay, a way to undo the planning of the last week.

“No you don’t,” Galen said firmly, nudging the fox away gently. “You’re getting on that shuttle. You cannot stay here.”

The Faro’s body drooped as he turned away, staring at the open shuttle door. Egaro climbed the ramp in small groups, the ship big enough for three, maybe even four hundred tigers. Galen could see a white furred tiger standing near the shuttle, scanning the crowd as though searching for a missing friend. She would follow Reinard onto the shuttle, and then onto the liner, keeping an eye on him, keeping him safe. It made Galen feel a little better, though he knew it was no real protection, not for a clan that had been hunted to extinction. Too little, too late, but the Egaro was determined to take his comfort where he could.

Arms wrapped around his waist again, Reinard staring up at him again. Hot breath washed over his crotch, the Faro stooping to desperate measures, offering to take the tiger silently, to give him a ride that would see them missing the shuttle, but Galen dislodged him again, kneeling to face the fox at his own level.

“I want you to get on that ship,” he said hoarsely. “I don’t want to see you again until you can show me you are better. When you leave, I will go back to fucking tigers, to breeding whoever I want. But I will always keep myself clean for you, and when we do meet again, you will have me in whatever way you desire. And you will show me our cubs, and they will be strong tigers, carriers of your clan’s line, and safe from the threat of your people. But that can’t happen until you leave.”

It broke his heart, having to drive a wedge between them, watching Reinard’s own heart shatter as he pushed the Faro away, forced that distance between them. He would apologise later, promise anything he could to take the pain away, but right now it was the only thing he could think of to get the Faro on that shuttle.

And it worked. Reinard withdrew slowly, their bodies parting, and then their fingers, as the fox turned away. Galen bit back a whimpering cry as he watched the Faro walk up the ramp, fighting the urge to chase him, to draw this out any longer. The white Egaro made her way up the ramp a few moments later, slipping in with a group of chattering tigers as she followed the Faro silently. A nod toward Galen carried the promise of protection; she would see Reinard safely to Uisge and beyond.

The shuttle door closed a minute later, Galen retreating with a few other tigers as thunderous engines came to life. His eyes scanned several windows anxiously, finding a dusty face plastered against one of them. The tiger’s heart lurched at the last sight of his love before the ship rose into the air, slowly climbing into the storming sky until it vanished into the clouds.

Reinard was gone. And yet Galen continued to stare, not ready to pick up the shattered remnants of his heart just yet.

But finally, he trudged back inside, back to his own people, and the promise of a bed filled with tigers. For once, that promise held no joy.

Copyright © 2020 Yeoldebard; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

I...

I got nothing. Speechless. 

Fantastic writing and storytelling, but damn it, I wanted a freaking happy ending! All I'm left with is a knot in my throat and complete disappointment in Galen. 

There better be a turnaround incoming or I'm getting the pitchforks. (jk, but for realsies...)

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4 minutes ago, astone2292 said:

I...

I got nothing. Speechless. 

Fantastic writing and storytelling, but damn it, I wanted a freaking happy ending! All I'm left with is a knot in my throat and complete disappointment in Galen. 

There better be a turnaround incoming or I'm getting the pitchforks. (jk, but for realsies...)

My lips are sealed good sir.

But I am ecstatic that you are enjoying this story ❤️

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This has been a hell of an emotional rollercoaster! I love this story, love the characters, the weave of the plot - fingers crossed with everyone else now waiting for the next chapter!

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I'm a little heartbroken by this ending (assuming it is the end) but wonderful writing nonetheless. I hope we'll see them become reunited someday.

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31 minutes ago, Salander said:

I'm a little heartbroken by this ending (assuming it is the end) but wonderful writing nonetheless. I hope we'll see them become reunited someday.

There are another four chapters after this, but this can be the end if you wish it to be.

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Wow, that was hard to read. Reinard needs to be somewhere that he can feel safe and hopefully heal some more, and have his pups. Looking forward to the reunion if these two, and hopefully not too much drama getting to the destination.

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