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Fantasyboy69

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  1. Fantasyboy69

    Family and Friends

    With me in Sun Camp, Rhava gave Marcus a kiss in parting and walked off to leave me in the care of the other Solaris. I got the feeling this was a purely Solaris matter, and he knew better than to stick around. Probably didn't want to get chomped again. I didn't blame him. Canine bites were painful. “I will leave you in Marcus's hands, Dylan. Afterward, please come find me.” Aunt Minerva smiled again and strolled to one of the huts. The other two, the other lion and the eagle, inclined their heads and wandered off. I turned to Marcus with what I hope was a pleasant expression on my face. Too much, too fast, too magic, and my poor little brain couldn't keep up. I was in a bit of an overload. Thankfully Marcus seemed to realize that and led me over to a small fire pit and the seating around it. The chairs looked to be the most permanent item in Sun Camp. They were finely crafted and sturdy enough for even my size to not fear turning it into sawdust. “I bet you are a bit overwhelmed right now.” “You'd win that bet. Just...too much at the same time. The solstice, the guys, the attack if you want to call it that, meeting the camps' peoples, meeting my aunt, and all the damn magic making my skin itch. So yeah, a bit much.” His eyes twitched with some quickly suppressed emotion. Then he shook his head and the emotion leaked through. Marcus was amazed at something. “Not many males would be so honest about their feelings.” “Yeah, well, my dad pretty much got it into my head that honesty, even about your emotional state, was the best thing. Which means you'll get almost everything I feel and think. Not all of it, no one should be subjected to the shit in my head,” that got a bit of a smile, “but I'll let you know when I'm confused, upset, or happy.” “Not a strong trait in a Lycan, but perhaps it works in your pack.” “Pretty well, actually. It's been ten years or so since Homestead was founded, and Dad hasn't seen more than a few grumbles with his leadership, and most of those from some of the more traditional members who didn't like that he listened to opinions instead of ruling outright. I got a lot of my openness from the leaders of Homestead and how to temper my temper from my Grandpa, Minerva's brother.” Marcus grinned. “I believe that temper runs in your family. Fire Mother Minnie is called Fire Mother for a reason.” I could only imagine what it would look like to see her flip her shit. “I know you have many questions about several subjects, but the easiest to answer is the one which led you to Sun Camp. Here is where you will be during the solstice, among your solar cousins and family. You will find it easier than you fear to remain calm here.” “So we aren't too close to Equis Camp to be a danger? I mean, I've had one other solar event in my life. It did not end well.” Which was a huge understatement. I had torn up Dad pretty bad, and it took Grandpa and Papa Travis to take me down. Neither was trying to hurt me, or else it would have been easy for either to do it, but my lion was bigger than Grandpa's. Dad had been furious with me for a week. Not for hurting him, he understood flight or fight, but for not listening to him leading up to the event. I didn't want to go into hiding, even when Grandpa said it was for the best, and the open defiance was why he was so pissed. “You should not worry as much here. I do not doubt your grandfather kept your rampage to a minimum but such a small group of Solaris is not enough to create the feeling of Pack or Pride in your case. The more we have in the same area, the more we can keep each other calm.” Marcus leaned over and placed a hand on my shoulder. “You need not fear for your friends' safety.” I nodded my understanding. “Now, are there any other questions you have?” “How the hell do you deal with being attracted to Rhava?” At first, he was shocked, but he recovered quickly enough. “With honesty and love. I feel no attraction for any man, and very little to Rhava even. He is my other half, and to deny what is natural would only hurt. I am sure you recall your sexual awakening.” I rolled my eyes, but I did. I was a jack-off demon. So much that Dad wondered if I was too aware of the scents around me and too sensitive. He didn't know that those born Lycans have a ton more hormones than your average human. “Yeah...embarrassing time.” “Now imagine if you had Quintin in your head then. His own hormonal state flowing into yours, fueling your own desires, and then your state flowing back into him.” He snickered at my comprehension. “Precisely. So, because Rhava and I were too young to mate, and we could not hide it from each other, we handled our hormones together. It led to helping each other with our urges, and then to us becoming fully intimate. I could feel his arousal, and I felt his frustration and hurt when I did not agree with his plan for a circle jerk. He squashed the thought as quickly as it came, but I knew he would have gone along with it had I suggested it simply because I had asked and he loved me. How could he have denied me anything when he could feel the emotions that came from being denied? “So, we progressed. Neither of us is truly physically attracted to the other, but to deny anything is to cause pain to our soul. Would you, if Quintin insisted, deny him anything?” I wanted to say yes, but I shook my head. “No. It...would kill me to feel him hurting.” It did. I knew every time he woke up from a nightmare of his dead ex, the shitheel who abused him for so long. I knew when he was annoyed with Zeke. I knew when he was frustrated because Colton was teasing him, sexually or otherwise. I knew when he was horny as hell, wanting his mate and not getting him because Zeke was at work or on patrol. Hell, that last one I had thought of some pretty graphic stuff I would do to him, sent it to him, and it got him off. Bad part was Zeke had popped wood a hundred miles away because of the bond they shared. Don't regret it. “And do you know why he has not insisted on some carnal fun?” Marcus knew a lot about Quintin and me. Probably because he has the same issues with Rhava. “Because he loves me and wants my happiness. He knows I want to wait until Heather and I get married and mated.” “Precisely. He has his mate, so the urges for sexual contact are met. Probably frequently and with passion.” I nodded. Zeke and Quint were almost as bad as my Dad and Pat. “I have a question for you? Could you, knowing your sexuality, have sex with Quintin?” “Yeah, I could, and it would end up being an orgy,” I said with a smiling grumble. “Ah yes. His mate and Colton share a similar bond. You are a stronger man than I, Dylan, to keep all their thoughts out of your head.” There was a lot of admiration there. “Actually, I can't. I hear Quint all the time, Zeke on occasion, and thankfully I don't hear Colton at all. In times of stress I can pick up enough to feel their needs, but it's like a fly in the room. I have to concentrate on it, or I just ignore it. Quint says he feels Colton often enough, and Zeke feels him all the time.” Talking with Marcus about this was making it easier to put into words. Maybe if someone asks again, I can tell them more than a few words that make no sense. “Would you deny them anything?” “Maybe, if it meant a lot to me, like I won't be bringing them on my honeymoon to tag in once Heather is done.” Colton had actually asked if there was a chance for that. All three wanted my dick. “Good. You have not lost your sense of self in this bond. Rhava understands my fears and does not push me.” “The horse dick?” I asked with a grin. “The horse dick. Ouch.” I laughed at the look on his face. He'd obviously tried bottoming. I'm guessing he didn't like it much. “Phuong,” I said. His face sobered and his brow drew down a bit. “With our connection, I cannot deny that she is meant for Rhava. Even I feel that attraction, and I am normally into thicker women.” Phuong had some curves, but she wasn't thick at all. “Rhava and I have yet to find a mate who will take us both, and we cannot be without each other.” It was my turn to put my hand on his shoulder. “I can tell Phuong is interested in Rhava, but I have no clue if she would take you both. Or if she could. She is going to be the next Wind Master of her flock, and there are many traditionalists who don't like her taking over as it is. Not just Lycan traditions. You can guess some problems from being raised in a male-dominated society as a powerful woman.” Marcus nodded. “So, you would be with Phuong if she would take the two of you?” I don't know why it mattered to me, except it did. I wanted Phuong happy. She was my friend's sister and a friend in her own right. “I could. Her aura compliments Rhava's and her magic compliments mine.” I raised a brow. “I am not as strong as either, but I am water and fire.” “And, if I paid any attention, she has both in spades, she and Rhava share wind, and he has earth. So the three of you would make one hell of an elemental synergy.” Marcus looked impressed. “You may not like magic, my solar cousin, but you understand it. Yes, the three of us working together would be a very strong bond. One, I hope for our sake, she does not deny.” “That strong?” I asked, wondering if it would be a problem in the future. “The bond between Rhava and the Wind-Master-to-be is strong.” Marcus looked in the direction of the temporary camp we set up. “Even now he is fighting himself. He wants to go to her, but he does not want to get his heart hurt if she chooses duty over us.” He shook his head to try and clear the thoughts. “I worry for him...for us both.” I nodded, but there was very little I could do. “I could sic the boys on her and get an idea if she's thinking about Rhava.” Marcus's smirk was all the answer I needed, but he said, “It would not be honorable to ask this of you,” “You didn't, I offered. But, before it gets too late, I'd like to get some time with my new family. Maybe she can help shed some light on what the hell happened during the little squabble earlier.” I stood and we bid him farewell. I found Aunt Minerva kneeling in a small garden, her hand held over a rabbit. The rabbit was perfectly calm even when being confronted by two very large predators. I could see its leg was bent at an odd angle but mending even as she murmured under her breath. I waited, watching a side of magic that had my justified prejudice finding an exception. I couldn't hate all magic when there was healing going on right here. When the spell was complete, the rabbit was healed, nudged Aunt Minerva's hand, and was left with food and water to recover its strength. Minerva stood, dusted off her hands and skirts, and turned to me with a kind smile as we walked around the rabbit in silence. I marveled that it was still just sitting there eating and drinking like we wouldn't eat it given the desire. She led me to a doorway with a curtain acting as the door, held back the curtain, and followed me in. “You've a gentle soul, Dylan. My new friend would have bolted otherwise.” I sat at the table when she gestured. “I've been told that before. To balance my temper, I was given a gentle nature. I've helped birth two colts in the open plains. The dams seemed to welcome my help.” She gave me a glass of water, which I was grateful for since it was a bit hot today. “I say it's more of a balance to my general creepiness.” Minerva chuckled and joined me at the table. “Well, I can see why some would view it as creepy. Sad to say you may have been booted out of the family had you been raised in it. Your inborn knowledge would seem too close to magic for your great-grandfather. Your bond to that delightful soldier, his mate, and the tracker would be enough to get you kicked out.” Her tone was kind but firm, showing she still harbored ill will toward her father. “And since you actively cast spells, you were kicked out. Why is that?” Her eyes went a bit narrow, and as much as I didn't want to dredge up bad feelings, I had every right to ask about my family. “So much like your grandfather. Kindness and compassion, but the drive to know is stronger.” “He did help raise me since I was thirteen, as he helped raise my dad before me.” Only logical I would have some of his personality traits mixed in with my own. Her smile was a bit distant but kind. “I am sure Alan told you about magic in our kind. We're soldiers, not magicians.” I nodded. He'd told me as much a few times. “When the forces of Wepwawet swept us out of Egypt, they used magic to kill our priests, kill our magicians. It left a bad taste in the mouths of Solaris. Magic was banned in our kind, and those with magic were killed. When our ancestors found that killing was too cruel for an accident of birth, they simply kicked us out to go our own way. My father was known for being strict even for our kind, and I'm surprised I was allowed to live. A priest and a girl, two strikes in his eyes.” “Sorry to interrupt, but great-grandfather sounds like a fucking douche.” I know my face showed I wasn't and wouldn't feel remorse for my opinion. Her face was calm, but her eyes twinkled. “Funny since your grandfather called him roughly that when he left home, or so his wife said when she met me when your mother was born. I believe the phrase 'worthless git wanker' was what he used, but don't quote me on that.” I laughed way too hard. That would be the phrase since I have heard him use it in traffic, word for word. I would never repeat it since my dad told me, many years ago, to never repeat anything you hear in traffic. “Do I have magic?” I asked, again being oh so tactful. “No, but you have a triple dose of the passive traits associated with the priesthood. Sensing Lycans, sensing the flows of spells, a mind link to another, the ability to shift rapidly, and a near impenetrable defense against dangerous spells. Passed down to you since it passed by your grandfather and your mother. Had I gotten to you before your first shift, you would have active magic coming out of your nose and would not have the same hatred of it. I can remove the scar if you would like, and probably with less pain than most since we are kin.” Her offer was tempting. Very since she was a blood relative. “The scar I don't mind. The damn itching and pain are the annoying parts.” “All or nothing with a scar like that. The offer will stand, Dylan. You need not decide now.” I took her hand and gave it a squeeze. I think it shocked her that I would reach out and touch a magician. I could almost feel her energy trying to find the blood connection. I know I could feel Quint almost barge into my mind to see if I was okay. I'm fine. Talking with Aunt Minerva. Just checking. He gave me a mental pat on the shoulder and receded from my active thoughts. “Did your soldier just check on you?” asked my aunt. “He's always making sure I'm fine when he knows there is magic around.” I struggled with my own mind to relax around her, to let her in. Magic was evil. Aunt Minerva was a healer. Magic was evil, Aunt Minerva was family. Magic was evil...Minerva was not evil. It took some doing, but I focused inward and relaxed. In rushed her magic, filling me like a pleasant warmth and the love of a mother. Our eyes widened in unison. I had no idea how I did it, I just did. She didn't think I could do it or would if I could. When the energy found the blood link, it pulled back and looked at it. That link was held captive by the scar and the ceremony that nearly cost me my heart and soul. When the energy touched it, I flinched and the barriers I usually kept so tight started to slam back up. Started but didn't because I suddenly had three guardians in my mind, and these guardians were packing some heavy “steel” as they set up to defend me. You okay, Dyl? Asked Colton, the faintest link. I'm fine. Just getting to know Aunt Minnie. You guys can stand down. They didn't though. They stayed where they were, in my mind, ready to attack whatever tried to hurt me. I could feel the three of them were holding hands, a mile away, and I knew they would be able to kick out anything that tried to hurt me. Aunt Minerva touched that spot again, and I didn't flinch this time. The boys were watching her and making sure she behaved. The feeling of a hug came, and she was leaving, taking a bit of the pain of the scar with her. Our eyes opened and we grinned. “Quite the watchdogs you have there.” “I love them.” I couldn't feel Colton anymore, and Zeke was just a murmur. Quint sent a hug and I felt a mental pinch on my butt as he chortled in my mind. “Perverted bastards that they are. What...what happened?” “You let me in, trusted me not to hurt you. Your core is twisted up inside that scar, but I could unravel it. It would take me a few years by myself or far less with help, especially if your mates guard you.” Something to think about. “So, if you, Phuong, Marcus, and Rhava went at it, with the boys keeping watch...what would happen?” She pinched her bottom lip a bit, something I had seen Grandpa do often when lost in thought. “It would take only a few hours. The scar would be gone, the twisting would be gone, and you would have no pain.” That was some good news, and I knew the guys and Phuong would do it without question or hesitation. Rhava and Marcus probably would, too. “The drawback is you might have some erratic active magic awaken.” Not good. At all. Like I would take another scar over that. “We could then seal off your magic, but you would lose the rest of your creepiness as well.” “I decline, as of right now. My lady love would have a say since she would have to deal with it, and my dad, too, as my Alpha. I... don't like the idea of being able to use magic, especially if it's not conscious. I mean I do it anyway, but passive is not throwing fireballs at people when I get annoyed with them or I had too many habaneros.” It actually scared me to know I had the blood in me. Would my kids get it? “A wise choice, Dylan. Thank you for the trust you placed in me.” “You're family. To an orphan, that means a lot.” It was something I could never repay. Dad, Pat, Papa Travis, Gene, Heather, Uncle Dean, Ginger...I had a huge family and none of them were related by blood. Grandpa and Grandma, and now Aunt Minnie. “Did you ever have kids?” Her grin was wonderful. “I did. You've met two of my grandkids.” I raised a brow. “Rhava and Rhisi. Their father was born of my womb, but not mine.” “Surrogate,” I said with a sure smile. “For two of the kindest souls. My egg, their seed. I miss them terribly.” Her eyes showed it, too. They were dead, that much was obvious, and by the pain, it was recently and not naturally. “The attacks?” I asked, but I knew before she nodded. “Looks like I have yet another reason to stick around. Someone has killed my cousin's folks.” I felt my temper kick in, and I did nothing to hide it. To anyone else, it may have looked like I was calm, but to any Lycan, and more so those who knew me best, my scent was so far beyond angry it was cold. “Council or no, Pack boundaries be damned, I will find them and gut them myself.” “You won't be alone,” came words from beyond the curtain. Aunt Minnie and I stood and went outside to see my friends looking resolved. Phuong, Rhava, and Marcus stood beside them. They must have come running when I let Minnie in. I turned to Rhava. “Well, little cousin, tell me everything you know. If your brother knows more, I'll go ask him too.” “Gods save us, the temper runs in the blood,” he said with a bit of a smirk. “Little, I may be, Dylan, but I am a few years older.” “And? I'm bigger, stronger, and your magic doesn't work on me very well. I'll give you a wedgie if you think you can win.” Temper or no, I used humor and sarcasm as a my normal mode of communication. Usually calmed me down. His grin, and the light in his eyes, brought my temper back from the point of explosion. “Very true. Good thing I don't wear underwear.” He pulled me into a hug, which I returned. I had cousins. One of them ordered me arrested or worse, but no family is perfect. “Cousin?” asked Phuong and Colton together. “Everyone, this is Minerva Davenport, my great aunt. Grandpa Alan's older sister. Surrogate mother to Rhava and Rhisi's dad.” Colton groaned and thumped his head. “There goes that fantasy.” I think he got thumped upside his head by everyone present, including Minnie. He didn't even act upset. “Ah well. Still got plenty more where that came from.” The wink he shot at Phuong was comical, and she just started laughing. Rhava and Rhisi knew very little about the attackers, and what they did know was circumstantial at best. The attacks all came from the east, which was a lot of land to search. No telling which group did it, only that they had the skills to cover their tracks enough to thwart conventional and magical tracking. Maybe not a coyote. “Colton?” I looked over at him and he closed his eyes. After a moment, he sighed and shook his head. “I get nothing more than east, which is known. Not even how far. I did see a pair of yellow-green eyes, but those are as common among Lycans as finding a blonde in Minnesota. Creeped me out more than you ever could,” he said to me, as serious as I had ever seen him. “Lycan though, right? Not a Skifter or human?” Phuong asked, her brow pulled down in a frown. That look showed just how much of a raptor bird she was. I had seen eagles and hawks with that brow line. “Lycan, no doubt.” That was more info than we had now and narrowed the field a bit. “Lunar or Solar?” asked Rhava. “I... couldn't tell. If I had more info, or if I did nothing for the next few days, I might be able to get you more of an answer, but I'm lost right now.” Zeke pulled him close to cuddle away the negative tone. He was too damn hard on himself. Quintin kissed his forehead. “Completely off topic, but are the three of you in a relationship?” asked Marcus. Colton flicked his eyes to Zeke. Zeke looked at Quintin. It was a common enough question for people who didn't know them well enough. A lot of pack members who didn't live around our hometown would see them and ask the same, but the three never had a concrete answer. There was a lot of love between them, and even I was curious how they would answer. Rather, how Quintin would answer since the decision had been his since pretty much day one. “Yes,” was his simple, definite answer. Judging by Zeke's and Colton's beaming smiles, they had been waiting for it. Their scents went so far into joyous orbit, Houston knew there was a problem. Congrats, you guys, was my simple sending, and I knew they could all hear me. I focused on just Quint and the others sort of blinked out of my mind. Why now? I asked. I knew the decision had been made very recently, maybe even on the spot. Because I love them. Just had to get my brain wrapped around being in a poly with Zeke and that durned hornball coyote. His comment had both serious and joking overtones. Maybe Phuong will see it can work out. Lord Above knows I ain't the sharing kind when it comes to Zeke, but you two are special. You got Heather, so we know you're not available, but I don't know why I haven't agreed before. In other words, he'd make it a four-way if he could. Hell, they'd probably take Heather too if it meant they could have me with them. Quint's oh-so-tiny nod told me as much. “I hate when you soul bonded talk in your heads,” said Aunt Minerva with false irritation. “You just get quiet and think at each other.” Except I knew that little talk took less than a second. She knew the signs so well thanks to Marcus and Cousin Rhava. “Don't be jealous, Aunt Minnie. It's far more trouble than it's worth,” I snarked, and all the men nodded. “So,” I began with a bit of an evil grin, “are you going to tell Rhisi I'm related by blood, or can I?” Rhava just grinned. “Be my guest, Little Cousin,” he said with his own grin of mischief. “Anyone got a cell phone to record this? Should be great.” It was. When all of us except Aunt Minnie got back to Equis Camp, Rhisi was waiting for us. He looked ready to bolt. “You said you had news, Rhava?” came his question. I wondered if little patience also ran in the blood. “Thanks to the tracking abilities of Colton, we know the attackers were Lycan, not Skifter or human,” said Rhava. Rhisi turned to Colton. “Thank you for your help. This helps quite a bit.” He then gave me a nod, acknowledging me as leader of the delegation. “Anything for family,” I replied, barely able to keep the smile from my face. He raised his brows in question. “You do remember my surname, right?” “You are the adopted son of Alpha Jonathan Davenport of Homestead.” Someone had done a bit of homework. “And the biological grandson of Alan Davenport, the brother of Minerva...” “You have got to be fucking kidding me!” he yelled as his jaw dropped. The entire camp stopped and stared. Outbursts were probably common enough from him because they only looked to see how angry he was and if they needed to get out of the area should magic start flying. “It's not fucking possible!” “Sorry, Cousin Rhisi, but it is. My great aunt is your biological grandmother.” I know the grin on my face was so annoying even I would slap me for it. He looked at Rhava who shrugged. Rhisi's mouth opened and closed several times, his eyes so wide he looked like a landed fish. He sighed, ran his hand through his hair, shook his head, and said, “This will make for one hell of a family story.” “You mean the time you tried to have your cousin maimed?” asked Rhava innocently. “I hate you, little brother,” Rhisi grumped without heat.
  2. Fantasyboy69

    Sun Camp

    Older woman, turns into a cat, casts spells...
  3. Fantasyboy69

    Sun Camp

    I am a huge fan of fantasy/sci-fi/sci-fan stories. I didn't consult any one source as much as I took many popular ideas, threw them into the blender, hit liquify, and poured it out. In regards to the magic aspects, again it is my spin on it, but that is based a bit more on the reading of older religious beliefs. while I do not claim to know even a fraction of the beliefs, many peoples from across the world, Celtic Druids and Native shamanism to name two, believe in the connection between man and nature, even so far as some believe Man can assume aspects of animals, maybe even their shapes. The Skin Shifters (Skifters in this book) are a nod to those beliefs. For other magic, well, most of it is just too many hours of D&D.
  4. Fantasyboy69

    Sun Camp

    If you haven't read the other books of this series, I can totally see where this is confusing. Straight guys having sex? Jon, straight, is now mated to Patrick. A straight guy and a pansexual/bisexual guy. Dean, straight, mated to Kao. A straight man and a gay man. Both are humans who were turned and "imprinted" or became mated to each other. Rhava and Marcus are not bonded through the body, but they are, quite literally, soul mates. Their souls are intertwined, connected, and if one feels emotion, the other does. If one feels, the other feels. This includes the physical. It can get very descriptive, but it boils down to they have no filters, no boundaries, no reservations. They share everything. If you need a more thorough clarification, message me and I will explain further. And no, neither Rhava nor Marcus dies.
  5. Fantasyboy69

    Sun Camp

    A lot of eyes followed us as we were led to the north side of Equis Camp. Everyone seemed to understand – now, at least – we were invited to stay until the Tribunal. I could feel every one of them was curious but cautious. I could totally understand their caution. Not only did they lose some people to strangers, strangers had kicked their guards' asses. “You are welcome to join us for meals, join your family for their meals, or make your own,” Rhava was saying even while Rhisi was stomping over in a huff. His sneer was epic, but he had nothing on Heather when she was upset with me. Rhisi was gesticulating before he even stopped his stomping. “You invited them as guests!” I couldn't tell if he was stating or questioning. Either way, he was upset. “I did,” said Rhava calmly as he held up his hand to still Rhisi's tirade. “If you have any questions, come find me, and I will answer what I can.” His smile was genuine, but I could tell Rhava could shift his emotions faster than a wind could shift its direction. He turned slowly to his brother, his smile falling away. “Yes, I invited them. They came in peace, have showed they are not here to cause trouble, and you violated the peace of Equis Camp after I invited them as my personal guests.” His voice was smooth even as it spiked on a few words. “If I hear my guests are troubled by you or under your orders, you shall see why I outrank you, dear brother.” And there was rub. The younger brother was higher rank. Probably stronger magically as well. Ego driven men like Rhisi would...act like he was now. Like a man with an inferiority complex. “Had you bothered to send out notice more than ten seconds before my men were carrying out my orders to detain your guests, I could have pulled them back.” Rhisi's voice was tight, controlled. Before he had been a bit crazed, but now he seemed just...pouty. Was he throwing a tantrum? “You're right, the message did come just before they arrived but with enough time for them to pull back as I sent the message to the entire camp. So, while they chose to continue with your orders, and shall be brought to task, give me time to assess a threat before you issue the order.” Rhava's tone was firm but understanding. “I know you're worried for our people; I am too. Let me help you determine the threat.” Rhisi's stance changed. “You are young, Rhava, and I often forget you're not just my little brother anymore. Next time, if such a thing happens, just let me know of your assistance.” Huh. So, he was your typical older brother, not the power hungry asshole I thought. Or maybe both. “Of course. Now, I have given them permission to visit our other guests, provided they tell one of us they will visit and they must accept a guard should you appoint one.” Rhava was back to calm, and I could see Rhisi was almost there himself. It was a testament to their brotherly bond – fight and make up. “Wise and kind of you,” the enforcer said and turned to me. Why me? “As you seem to be the spokesman for your group, you will inform me directly if you or any of yours wish to visit our...other guests. I ask that you understand our situation and act accordingly.” “So keep our heads down, our noses clean, and remember we're on your land and only because we haven't proven to be a hostile force.” My normal blunt ways were in full swing. Phuong winced a bit as my next words came out. “We've already proved a threat.” Ever just love getting under someone's skin for no other reason than you can? Yeah, so do I. Rhisi's jaw clenched once and he shook his head. “Lions. Even when they're calm, they are always trying to prove who is king of the pride.” His face split into a grin. “You and I shall get on each others nerves. You're too much like him,” he said and thumbed at his brother. “I get on everyone's nerves. You're not special.” It only made him laugh, but there was an edge to it. Yup, we were going to butt heads, but we knew that and I knew I could overlook things unless he was being an obvious asshole. Rhisi walked away shaking his head. “You handled him very well,” said Rhava, a bit impressed. “Compared to my bride-to-be, his glare needs work. He's ego-driven and a bit narcissistic...so a lot like my dad when he's feeling pissy.” I shrugged and set about to make camp. “Bride...I would have sworn you were mated to these three,” Rhava said, a bit confused. “Yeah, you're not the only one. We're very close, two pairs with synergy and a bridge with the actual mates means our auras mesh tightly. The fact that we are best buds helps a lot.” I may not like magic, like at all, but I understood it and its applications to me and my boys. Ancient bonds that crop up in our species, Solaris Lions and Lunar Lynxes, meaning me and Quint, and the coyotes and bears, meaning Colton and Zeke. Add a dash of Quint and Zeke's mating bond and you got us: four guys who have very few boundaries and no shame in front of each other. “My sweetheart says she'll be marrying them as well.” I grinned to myself. “I might have to hire guards for our honeymoon to keep these three pervs away.” “Heather already hired us to be your guards,” said Zeke with his big grin. “Still trying to convince her to let us film it. For the wedding video, you understand,” the big bear said to Rhava, who laughed when I blushed. “You really are one of the horniest guys I have ever met, Zeke.” “Always will be, Lady Bird, when these hotties are around me.” He grabbed Quint and pulled him off his feet. “Especially this one.” Colton stuck out his lower lip. “Feel left out. Can't a coyote get some love?” Then he squeaked when Zeke pulled him into his other arm and nuzzled his neck. “Quick, while he has no more arms. Save yourself, Rhava!” I joked and shook out our tent to set it up. Thankfully he just laughed along with us. “Wind Sister, I leave you to keep these three on task. I need to make sure Dylan and Marcus get their chance to talk.” “Of course.” Phuong's evil grin made the guys stop dead in their tracks. “Guess who's in charge, boys?” All three blanched a bit. Rhava and I headed a bit northwest, away from the camp. The area was gently rolling and a bit more arid than I thought it would be so close to the falls and the waters around it. When we crested a small ridge, I was struck by a wall of wind. Nothing magical, just Mother Nature gusting across the flatlands. “With just us here, Dylan, please tell me how close our camp is to war with your people.” Rhava was worried, and I knew that some of his free spirit was an act. “Since they are alive, and treated well enough, I would say not very close. My dad trusts me to negotiate enough to keep us out of a war, and Phuong would tell me if I'm being unreasonable.” He seemed to relax a bit. “Honestly, if it were just you I was dealing with, we could be done and on our way by now. I could even give you the aid of those here from Homestead to help track down your people. It's not just us though.” “Too true. I wish it were. I...I'm scared for my people. If the worst happens at the Tribunal, would it lead to war? I would not want to trust our magic against the forces of even one of the large packs from the south.” I raised a brow. “We're not deaf or blind to your pack, Dylan. I've heard the name Davenport spoken with both respect and reverence. Assuming you're related to Alan Davenport.” I wonder if Grandpa knew he was famous for more than singing? “I'm his grandson, biological. My dad was adopted by Grandpa, and I was adopted by Dad.” “Then you are the son of Alpha Jonathan Davenport.” I nodded. “I worry. My people are not allied with any one pack or flock or group. We are autonomous and like it so, but we also try not to anger the Council or their packs. To do so...” “Would be suicide,” I finished. “I speak now as the delegate from Homestead and the allied packs in this cause: if the Tribunal finds our family guilty, and as long as there is enough evidence to convince me of their guilt, no harm will come to your people. If I feel they are being wrongfully found guilty or railroaded, it will not end well for your people. Not a threat. A statement of fact.” I hated being so damn black and white about this, but I wanted to let Rhava know that I wasn't going to simply go after him and Equis Camp because they held my friends and family. “The scariest part is you,” the shaman said with a slightly paler face. “Why?” “I watched four spells cast by my brother's men just...fizzle out around you. You didn't even know it either. Some of it is your Solaris blood, giving you some resistance to magicks, but I have never seen the like.” Rhava placed a hand on my shoulder. “You could wipe many of us out before we could raise any defense. Your friends would follow you without question. The four of you could wipe out all of us here and walk home.” Again, I hate magic. “But you're not scared I would do it, just potential...right?” I know I sounded a bit scared myself, but one thing I wanted this man to know was I'm not one to hide my thoughts or emotions. His smile was reassuring. “I don't fear you, Dylan, just the potential you have. Your heart is kind, your soul bright, and your mind keen enough to stop your temper if needed.” I nodded, feeling a bit better. I'm glad I didn't come off as an asshole or someone to be feared. Maybe the fear was I had a cause and would fight for it. That type of person was dangerous, almost as dangerous as someone who had nothing to lose. “So, I hope that helps you, because I have a few more questions and there are no idiots around save you and me.” I gave him my biggest grin ever. “So...Marcus, huh?” Rhava's face turned all sorts of red. “He's...well...he's Marcus. I don't know how to sum him up in so few words. He is my other half.” Now, this was familiar. I had a bitch of a time trying to tell people why me, a straight guy, would strongly consider sleeping with my friend. I couldn't, because no words could ever describe my connection to Quint, and thus to Zeke and Colton. It defied simple words. “Soulmate is the closest I can come, and even it falls short.” “I get it. It's that way with me and Quint. He is always in my head, in my heart, knows me better than anyone, and I him. It's just...” When I faltered, he nodded. “Too much for words. Which is odd, since I'm not interested in any other guy.” “Lucky you. Those idiots are all connected, and so I'm connected with them. They all happen to be gay, so overflow thoughts get into my brain...” Rhava just laughed at me. “I don't envy you. Marcus is...heteroflexible. No other man for him. Just me.” His smile became slightly risque. “So...you top or bottom?” I was actually ready for that question. “Still a virgin. Until my wedding night that is. Then I have to put on a chastity belt because those three will be after my man parts like it's open season.” My return grin was just as evil. “Top or bottom?” Rhava went a bit pink, but he answered. “Bottom. He's too scared to bottom for me.” “Horse dick?” When he raised his fist, I roared a laugh and bumped it. “I honestly hope everything turns out for the best. I can see us being pretty good friends.” “Same here. I...is Phuong available?” Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match... Quint sang in my head. I slammed my walls up...not that it did any good. Fucker was still there. Always. “She's single. Just met her today and you're thinking of asking her out?” “I...we are.” That got a brow raise. “Marcus and I come as a pair. She's not his type, but neither of us can deny her scent and her magic.” “That might be a problem for her, but I don't know her dating type. I know her brother, and I have met her father. You have your work cut out for you. Both of you.” And that was all I was going to say on the matter. It was not my place to encourage or discourage him. Them. Whatever. “He's willing to be with someone he ain't attracted to?” “He's not attracted to me, physically.” That was a damn good point. Marcus's place was inside a dry gully and sheltered from the winds, and as soon as I smelled the place, I got the scent of a few other Solaris. Two lions and an eagle, though how I knew the eagle was a bit curious even to me. The four of them were waiting with hands folded in front of them and smiles on their faces. Marcus stepped forward and placed a kiss on Rhava's lips. Not a Hollywood face suck. One of affection. He then turned to me and I stooped to exchange a “European” style kiss. Cheek pecks were traditional Solaris greeting. Inviting closeness and learning personal scents at the same time. “Welcome to the Sun Camp, our Solar cousin. Your family name is known to us.” “The greeting is like the sun's kiss. Warm and welcome.” Formalities done, I grinned. “I'm sorry you know my family name. I'm not my Grandpa.” One of the other lions smiled. She was like Aunt Bea from Andy Griffith. White hair, a little plump, kind face. Unlike Aunt Bea, this woman was very tall. “I know your grandfather. You're more like him than you know.” It was there. That small sub-scent I knew so well. “You're Minerva Davenport. My great aunt.” With her nod, I stood stunned. “Huh.” I looked to Rhava, who looked a bit shocked himself. She held out her arms, and I stepped in for a big hug from my Grandpa's eldest sister. I had heard stories, most of them rather sad. She and her parents hadn't got along once it was found she had active magic. Magic in a Solaris was as taboo as an interracial baby in the 50's and 60's. No “good family” would allow it. Grandpa had been a toddler when she was kicked out of the house and family. He grew up without her in his life, having one other sister between them, and didn't meet her again until the birth of my mother. They were strangers to each other, but they were still family. I was told she was alive and well, but it would be very unlikely I would ever meet her since she never left her lands. And here I was, getting a hug from her. “You look so much like your mother. Except your build. That is all your grandfather.” I noticed she didn't call him by his name or even called him “brother.” It was a bit sad, but I understood. “This...may be a good thing,” Rhava said with a dawning grin. “Minerva is on the Tribunal. It may have cause for conflict of interest, but unless I am mistaken, you have two votes needed to clear your friends and family.” “You are not mistaken, child,” Aunt Minerva said to Rhava fondly. Don't ask me how I knew, I'm creepy even to myself, but I knew she was his teacher in magic. Theirs was a kinship that had nothing to do with blood. “I have spoken to the guests myself. None came here to cause harm, only to seek answers to those missing.” When she pulled back, her smile looked like just like Grandpa's...just like mine.
  6. Fantasyboy69

    Equis Camp

    He wasn't trying to hide the fact that they were here, which was good for all of us, but I had a very strong feeling the Equis Camp was not holding them because of malice. Don't ask me how I knew, but I knew Rhava was not a man who liked to detain or control others. I could feel it in him. So, in keeping with myself, I just waited until we were out of earshot of the camp and began to question him. “I apologize in advance for anything I say that may cause offense. I am a blunt-spoken man and have little patience for intrigue.” That got a few snorts from the guys and a grin from Phuong. “To the point. Please, I would prefer you to be yourself.” Rhava's eyes flicked sideways at my friends when they chuckled ominously. “Ignore them. They're idiots. Why are our friends and family being detained?” “I like idiots. They keep things interesting,” said Rhava with a grin. It melted away to show a deep sorrow in his eyes. No guile, no shades of meaning. What he showed was one hundred percent honesty. “Several of our numbers have been taken. Lupus, Lunais, Solaris, and Skifter...” “What's a Skifter?” I asked, interrupting him. “Skin Shifter, a shaman shapeshifter.” I nodded my head once. “I can assume any equine form I wish. To answer your next question, there are no true herbivorous Lycans, Dylan...actually, I correct myself. Lycan Pandas, the only fully herbivorous Lycan.” I could hear Colton chuckle a bit at the thought of cuddling a panda. “My family line descends from peoples indigenous to the Americas and Celtic immigrants. Native shamans and Irish druids, their blood and magic mixing to make Skin Shifters, Skifters for short.” That would account for the powerful aura I felt. “What was with the greeting between you and Phuong?” He smiled shyly but answered anyway. “A sort of informal formality. By saying she sends a greeting from the wind, I know she is a shaman with a strong gift for air magicks, although I do feel almost equally strong fire and water. A storm shaman,” he said with a bow of his head to her. “My response told her I am an earth shaman with an affinity for wind magic, hence the plains. It also is a way to tell about personality. “By claiming only wind, the Wind Sister here claims she wishes to be gentle and peaceful in our dealings. Had she said something like mist, she would be secretive and concealing, or storm, she would be here for war and we should expect a shifting method to her violence. The plains I claim tell her I tend to be a free spirit. Running free but gentle, yet grounded and a bit dangerous to cross.” All of nodded except Phuong, who understood already. “So it's a magical pissing contest,” said Zeke, and I shot him a look that told him to stuff it. He only grinned. Rhava only laughed. “Very true, Zeke. It is much like a pissing contest.” He leaned toward Zeke and whispered loudly, “It is a contest few have won with me.” I felt Quintin's brief flare of temper, but it faded, and he shot back. “You might think you would win, but my bear would give you a run for your money. Dylan would win without question.” That made all us guys laugh, sharing a dumb guy joke. Phuong leaned over to Colton with a shake of her head. “They're talking about their dicks, right?” Her tone, the universal woman tone that all men are retarded children who need minding, left little to misconstrue. Colton nodded. Phuong just grinned. “I would beat all of you,” she said to a round of laughter. “That I don't doubt,” I said and gave her a gentle shove. “Back to why they are being held.” Rhava nodded as he led us to the falls. “With the disappearances of our people and unknown Lycans in our territory, my brother stepped in. He is head of security, the same as you, Dylan.” Put that way, I probably would have done the same, although I would have notified the packs that their members were being held and why. “It is a sad time for our people, but I hope you will see that yours have not been treated too harshly.” Rhava's face fell a bit. “My brother is a stern man with little patience or sympathy. I will not condone torture, but he was not gentle in their capture. Except for the missionaries. Even he would not harm those peaceful boys.” Good to hear, somewhat. I completely understood subduing them quickly, but just how much force was used? I found out as Rhava led us behind the falls to a cave. It was spacious enough for the dozen captive to move about freely, but I knew magic was involved. I could almost see the shield that kept them from escaping. I could see four beds, a few simple tables, and chairs, but not much else. As holding cells went, it was not inhumane. “Zeke! Oh thank Heavenly Father,” one of the boys exclaimed. That had to be Jordan, the brother of the Salt Lake Pack's beta. “Hey, Jordi, you okay?” Zeke moved forward but stopped just short of hitting the shield. I could see where it cut into and across the stone. “Fine. A bit scared, but fine. I knew someone would come, but I didn't think it would be the Alpha's nephew.” That little tidbit made Rhava blink. He hadn't expected that either. “I knew you boys would get here eventually,” came a tired voice from the back. I watched as Gene stood and ambled forward. He looked no worse for wear, any injuries would have healed by now. “How are ya, old wolf?” I asked casually. “How are things?” I was a bit angry, I didn't hide it at all, but I didn't let it rule my mind like I may have in other circumstances. Yay for fucking maturity. “Can't complain. Wouldn't do any good if I did.” Gene, who looked like Sean Connery, only in very good shape, was not a complainer. “Everyone okay?” I could count, and I saw someone missing. “Wallace put up too much of a fight.” Gene's voice was soft, showing his remorse. Wallace was one of my fellow enforcers. It was going to be hard to tell his mate and pups he was dead. “Master Shifter Rhava gave his soul a fine send-off.” Gene bowed to Rhava with obvious respect. I knew I would like Rhava. If Gene respected him, he was everything we had seen and more. “How can we get them out?” I asked Rhava. “We need to get them home before people worry too much more.” “That is, unfortunately, not entirely up to me. I am the spiritual adviser. My brother has asked that a Tribunal decide their fate, I am but one vote, and it will not meet until after the solstice.” Everything I could sense about him was unhappy but determined. He didn't like to hold them, but it wasn't his call. “Then we will wait,” I said with finality. It would put us where we needed to be if there was a chance at springing them. “If this okay with you.” Frankly, I didn't care if it was. Rhava looked at each of us and nodded. “The Equis Camp welcomes the representatives of the Salt Lake Pack, Homestead Pack, and Rogue Valley Flock. You shall be my guests until the Tribunal has given their verdict.” “Which makes it difficult for your brother to say no,” said Phuong simply. Her eyes were scanning the holding spell, probably in an effort to see if she could break it. I was about to ask about the solstice when Zeke's head whipped toward the falls. The waters parted briefly, and a dozen men came rushing through the breach. I could feel them holding on to the magic, which meant Phuong could, too. Even as I was dropping my pack to go full furry mode, she was channeling her own magic. Three watery arms with grasping hands snatched three from their feet, slammed them to the ceiling, and froze them there with only their nose clear to allow them to breathe. In those few seconds, I was already ripping out of my clothes and all but my team stared as I roared. I mean, I'm huge. “Stand down,” Rhava called out, but the fighting had already begun. Zeke and Colton went into action, power and speed working in concert, all fluid grace and no effort. As powerful as magic was, these casters were not fast enough to compensate. Zeke picked up two and slammed them together, their heads crashing together with a sickening thud, and tossed them out through the cascading water as he ended in a crouch. Colton used his crouch to vault over Zeke and tackle another one, hooking his arm and leg and using him as a missile to bring down another one, both toppling to the cavern floor. Quint went to back Phuong, using a trick that sapped his energy quickly. His hand had turned to paws and claws, a feat not even Pat could do, although Dad could. This way he had weapons they couldn't disarm...unless they literally dis-armed him. One of the other shamans tried to get in close, but he got grabbed and knocked out in about a half a second. Another got a good slash across his arm, and another was tossed to me. The ones I faced were slowly backing away, scared shitless of the massive bipedal lion, and when I snagged the one Quint tossed me out of the air without looking, they were even more frightened. They tried to scramble away as I used the guy as a club, smashing him into them in a sweeping arc and following it up with a heavy blow from my paw. Not to say I got away unscathed. A few fists of air hit me, but nothing that was hard enough to stop my momentum, especially since the use of magic made me more livid. It was the worst thing they could have done, using magic against me. That was when everything suddenly froze in place. I could see the others just stuck in whatever attack they had been doing. Even the guy I had knocked off his feet was frozen in midair. “That is enough!” Rhava's voice boomed in the cavern. “How DARE you break the peace of this camp! I don't care what orders you received from my brother, you have attacked my personal guests and you will answer to me.” Oh, good, he wasn't pissed at us. The very earth at our feet was rumbling in his anger. Only at our feet, which made it that much worse. It wasn't wild anger, but tightly controlled and directed with a force of will I found amazing. He turned to look at me. “Enforcer Davenport, I shall release you and your people so you may collect yourselves. Please return to your human forms,” he said, including Quint, “and be at peace.” I guessed he felt some sort of assent from us because we were all freed from his magical grasp. Funny thing I noted was that Phuong didn't change her stance. Had she even been held, or did she just stop out of courtesy? As I changed back into my skin, scratching at the scar on my chest, Phuong made some sort of gesture. “I apologize for casting on your lands without leave. Please forgive me.” The ones she had frozen to the ceiling were thawed and set down by the same watery limbs that put them up there. When I was back in my skin, Colton handed me a pair of shorts, knowing I didn't care if I was bare-chested. I did see Phuong's and Rhava's eyes widen a bit when they saw me naked. Silly as it was, it was a nice bit of boost to my relatively small ego. I motioned for the others to stand down and relax, but I could tell they were ready to rumble again at any moment. Those still remaining in the cavern were slowly freed, and they left with red faces and deep bows. None of them said a thing about how we had handed them their asses. They didn't have to. They hoped to catch us by surprise, but they were the ones surprised. “Sometimes I hate my place in this world,” Rhava mumbled to himself. I understood completely. “Who did that to you, Dylan?” he asked as he pointed to my scar. He seemed to know exactly what it was for. “Who did the deed or who ordered it done?” “Both.” “Those who tried to take my heart are dead, and I never learned their names. The one who ordered it is the alpha of the ECP.” He could tell by my voice that I was in no mood to really talk about it. If that startled or upset Rhava in any way, he didn't show it. “Do you think he would try it again?” “If he thought he would get away with it, yup. Angus is the biggest shit I have ever met that is still living.” That got a slightly raised brow. “As bad as he is, I could tell you a few stories. Speaking of bad, how is our being here going to work?” He grimaced. “I'll deal with Rhisi. The others will not come after you again so long as you prove no threat to us, although I will say that for such a small and young group, you are very adept.” There was a lot of admiration and a bit of longing in that. I grinned. “The old wolf you have in the cage helped with that.” Had to give credit where credit was due. If it wasn't for Gene, and in a very odd way Quint's dead ex-boyfriend, we wouldn't be such a tight group. “I wondered if you were going to remember we're here,” said Gene with a joking tone. Rhava nodded to himself. “You are welcome to come and go here as you please, provided you inform us of your visit. If Rhisi asks you to bring a guard, please don't make a fuss. He's going to be pissed off at me enough as it is.” Judging by his eyes, the two brothers were often at odds with each other. It looked to be an old grievance. “For now, let me lead you to a place you may refresh yourselves and set up what camp you will. We do not have much room at Equis Camp. It's more a school than a town.” Good to know, I thought as we made our way out of the cavern. Even with all the stress, I smiled a bit when Zeke pulled Quint onto his back to carry him. That tired? I asked Quint mentally. Yeah. I can feel you're tired too. He was right. Shifting to and from so quickly was a lot for my body. Grandpa said it was a side effect of the attempted sacrifice. The Tribunal will let them go. I hoped so. If not, well we'd cross that bridge when we came to it. “Rhava, where should I go during the solstice?” The shaman's face was both wary and happy. “We've a few other Solaris here. Not only lions, either.” Now it was my turn to raise a brow. Grandpa had told me there were other species, but never really went into them. “You should speak with them. While I am the spiritual adviser, I am not the leader and I do not claim leadership over anyone.” “I will. I mean, a few days, and I won't be such a nice guy.” He nodded. “Thrice I have come upon the turning of a Solaris child.” He showed a scar on his shoulder, four perfect puncture marks. “Once was enough to know to keep as far away as my eyesight will allow.” I looked at it closely. “Solar canine?” I asked. It looked like a bite from a Lupus, a big one. Big enough to rival Papa Travis. “Solaris never cease to amaze me. Were it a true canine, it would be a yellow Labrador.” His grin said that the Lycan in question was probably close enough to hear. “I have told you a thousand times, I'm sorry, Ra,” came a very contrite voice from the path ahead. “Must you show everyone?” He didn't sound all that unhappy, and there was no mistaking that this new guy, like a blonde Adonis, absolutely adored Rhava. “Yes, I must. This is my best friend and soul mate, Marcus. The only man who will ever share my heart and my bed.” Aaaand there went Phuong's chances. Looks like my nose was way off. Even if Rhava were bi, she did not seem to be the poly type, and Marcus didn't seem to even glance her way, or any of our ways, come to think of it. Yeah, he looked at us, but there was no scent spike of arousal, just curiosity. After introductions, which were almost too formal between Phuong and Marcus, the new arrival turned to me. “Once you're set up in your camp, come find me. I will tell you what needs be done, my Solar cousin.” I nodded, and Marcus wandered off with a smile only for Rhava.
  7. Fantasyboy69

    Heading In

    I lay there awake that night, wondering what would happen tomorrow. Zeke had said this area was secure for the night, which means he felt we should be moving on very early. It was good advice anyway, but what made him say it like that? What made Colton's Pathfinding actually work for the first time? More and more questions all led to the same damn answer. I hate magic. Love Phuong. She's awesome. When Zeke had flipped the coin, it landed on its side three times in a row, which pretty much said neither of us was topping or bottom and Quintin could forget the popcorn. We all knew how it happened, but her faux innocent act was too perfect. She also told me when I was cooking what she had done. "Thanks. I doubt Heather would be happy to hear I handed my card to Zeke." Tonight was pan-fried fish, one thing all of us loved. She tilted her head in question. "But not Quint?" I know I blushed. "He's...different. Even Heather sees it. A huge part of me knows it would never happen, but a small part kicks that part in the balls and tells it to live a little. As mostly a joke, Quint tells me once I have consummated my marriage, Dylan Season will officially open." I loved the way her eye rolls are so perfect. She had them down to an art. "Don't you worry about Zeke and Heather should you get bagged and tagged?" I shook my head more at her joke than anything. "Honestly...no. Zeke has told me to go for it." I looked over to where the two guys were cuddling with Colton laying his head on Zeke's thigh. "Heather...understands. It's the strangest thing. She'd fuck me up if I ever looked twice at a woman. She would rip off my balls, shove them down my throat, cut off my head, shove it up my ass, and then stop being nice." Phuong's grin was wide. "You know from experience." "Almost. I saw a gal on the beach wearing a totally bodacious bikini." I smacked myself in the head to get the surfer lingo out. "I pointed her out, which Heather did not like one bit. After she chewed my ass out, I told her I'd been looking because I thought Heather would look a lot better and wanted to go find out where she bought the bikini so I could buy it for her. Heather, after turning red and gaping like a fish, apologized. I told her bluntly she would know if I was checking someone out." Phuong tilted her head again. "I give off serious amounts of pheromones when I am more than passingly attracted to someone. I mean, you're hot and awesome, but Heather didn't even have to worry because she could tell you were pretty much family zoned from the get go. "Which leads me to her and Quint. She knows there are times when I get sensations and emotions that wash over from him. Especially during sex. I could be in the middle of a briefing with the Alphas and boom. Pheromone spike thanks to Zeke and Quint going at it by the lake a few miles away. So, she knows when I'm interested, and she knows I literally can't help but be curious about it with Quint." I don't know why I could talk about this with Phuong. It was all kinds of embarrassing to even talk about with Heather. "With the overflow from Quintin, I figured you would be more interested in Zeke." I shrugged. It was a very logical statement. "I'm glad I'm not. Those two would have me held down and do things porn stars balk at." She raised her brow as if letting me know she didn't buy my half-truth. "Yes, okay, I do have some interest in Zeke, but nothing sexual. I just wanna be cuddled by the teddy bear sometimes." My face turned pink. "So quasi-romantic feelings," she said with a small smile. "Meh," I grunted as I made an uncertain gesture with my hand. "More like just comfort. I feel very comfortable around the guys. More than anyone in my life, including Heather. Were I a smaller man, I would probably fall asleep on Zeke much like Quint does on occasion." "You trust him and feel safe," Phuong said. "Exactly. There are just times I want to be held, and Zeke would be the guy I would go to." I was super glad the guys were ignoring our quiet conversation in favor of some cuddle time. I didn't need their snark. "Ever done any snuggling with them?" I was beginning to wonder why she seemed so curious about this. "I have. All watching a movie. I've had Quint cuddled up under my arm with Colton under Zeke's. Had my head resting on Zeke's thigh while he played with my hair. Colton and I have fallen asleep in the same bed during a stay at the cabins, and we woke up with me as big spoon. I mean it's a total bromance situation." In spite of myself, I smiled. "The best friends I've ever had. We'd do anything for each other." I know she heard how sure I was of that statement. "So why all the questions?" "You needed to talk about it, and I have never had the chance to talk about this with anyone. The Flock is very strict about TMI." I knew she was making the understatement of the world. "When I take over as Wind Master, I want anyone feeling they can come to me with anything, including LGBTQ concerns or questions. Watching Little Bird grow up makes me wish I had the position then so he could have been more open. What he has with Dean makes me so happy." I sat up straighter and gave her a bow of my head. "The Rogue Valley Flock will be in honorable, capable, and loving hands when you become Wind Master." She returned the bow with a bright smile. "Thanks, Dylan. So, by what you aren't saying, Heather has given you permission with all three guys." Damn women and their psychic bullshit. "Yes," I grumbled. "I..." I stopped when I saw Zeke sit up quickly and dump some sand on the small fire we had going. Dinner was done enough that I didn't even grumble. He had his reasons. We all nodded when Zeke put his finger to his lips for silence. It was a few moments until I saw what made him tighten up his protections. A pair of canoes were silently floating by, but the screen of brush and foliage kept us from being seen and the wind was in our faces, so they couldn't smell us. "You're sure you felt something earlier?" asked one of the men to the one in the front of the lead canoe. "Yes. The winds came through the village and on their backs was a foreign magic and a powerful Pathfinder." The face of the man was young, but his voice sounded old. Perfectly straight black hair, tall, broad shoulders and chest, he looked like someone used to getting his way. Yup, they were searching for us. I looked at Phuong and she shook her head, holding up three fingers. So they had three shamans in the group. She also had a chagrinned look on her face. Probably feeling guilty for them sensing her magic. "Could they be with the old one? He did say some might come to free him and the missionaries." The questioner was a younger man. His voice was softer, younger sounding, but carried a power even I couldn't deny. This was one powerful shaman. His straight blonde hair looked like a horse's mane. Shaved on the sides but long on the top and back. He pulled the look off. "If they are, they will die alongside the others." Then they were out of earshot. We all sat in the sand, sharing looks. No one said a thing while I passed around the food, our minds on the small talk we just heard. No doubt in my mind they had Gene and the others. They had admitted to having the missionaries. When we finished eating, I simply said, "We leave in six hours. No watches, we're safe here. Everyone get some sleep." I had very little sleep, but I didn't need it so much. I was really feeling the coming eclipse and had been up all night thinking. I had the makings of a plan, but I needed to get some input from the guys and gal. We had barely left the cover of our camp and crossed the river to new cover when the search party from the previous night came right through our camp. We had erased all our traces with a little skunk scent and some stealth help from Quint. They searched around for a few moments and moved on. When Zeke and Phuong gave me a nod, I spoke quietly. "Okay. Here's an idea for getting in. Their territory is close enough to ours that treaty negotiations would be reason enough for us to come. The only problem would be getting out again. Phuong, can you take the younger one in a magic battle?" She looked uncertain. "He's very strong, so I might have a good chance of it. If any of the others jump in or pool their strength with him, no chance." No bullshitting, no bravado. One thing I liked about her. "Colton, can you find us a path out with help from Phuong?" "I think so. If I can get a minute to concentrate, I should be able to get us out." I gave him a look. "No, don't count on it. We're dealing with stuff I can't know and can't get through." "I...have an idea," said Phuong hesitantly. We all looked at her. "It may not work, and it may even hurt us, but I feel strongly it could work. We would just need a wolf with us." "Does it matter Lupus or Lunais?" I asked. She shook her head. "So we need to get with Gene. What's this idea?" "You asked if I could help. Well...we all can. Colton's Pathfinding following my wind using Quintin's stealth and Zeke's protection." "How do I fit in?" I had to ask. I knew this would involve magic shit again, and I was not too keen to have it put on me. "You would be covering our asses with Gene, allowing the missionaries to get out and home." She said it bluntly enough, but I had to ask one more thing. "So...no magic being cast on me? Because I know what you're talking about. A binding ceremony with one person receiving the traits of the others." She nodded, which made it better and worse. "You're right, but it would be Colton with the combined traits. No magic on you." I know I looked as relieved as I felt. "Not too keen on magic?" For an answer, I pulled down the neckline of my shirt and showed her the scar nestled in the hair in the center of my chest. "Ritual sacrifice gone wrong, thankfully. I'm no big fan." "Do you still get pains in the area?" she asked, brushing her finger over the scar. I know I shouldn't like her doing it, but it felt nice. It didn't do anything for me sexually, but I could almost feel a maternal presence from the touch. Phuong had a mommy mode. "Sometimes." Any time I shifted to furball mode it stung like crazy and itched like hell when I lost my fur. "It will continue to give you problems until the athame they used is destroyed or you have a shaman use magic." Again, no hemming or hawing. Just straight out with it. I almost pity anyone who she has to get catty with. It would be a massacre. "But I understand your reasons. If you should want it, let me know." And she dropped the subject. "Are you okay with me...with us performing a binding ceremony, Colton?" "It won't mess with us permanently, right?" he asked, a bit hesitant. "I've done it one other time with success, but it has a chance to cause damage if all involved are not willing and without reservation. As close as you boys are, I see no problem." She was right. "Which leaves you, Phuong," said Quint, "but that's why you're getting to know us all, isn't it? The more you know, the closer the bond." Her small smile was all the answer we needed. "I knew you were quick, Quint. I knew this might be a necessity, so I've been prepping us since day one. I do want to get to know you guys, but this mission's success is paramount." I grumbled, and they all rolled their eyes. We all knew I would do it, but I didn't have to be happy about it. I wouldn't be part of the binding directly, but with me and Quint sharing the synergy, it may get me, too. I knew it without Phuong having to say it. "How long does it take to do the ceremony?" "Two hours." Even she seemed annoyed that this would take so long. "But this is a last chance scenario. I doubt we'll need it if we can appeal to the younger one. He has a strong aura of compassion about him. The elder," she said with a grimace, "will be killed if he so much as glares at us wrong." Yikes, PMS moment. "Okay then. Keep your eyes open on the way inside. Landmarks, exits, hidden areas, sentry posts, and their jail. We need to get the boys and Gene out." All nodded to my words. "Questions? Comments? Anyone have to pee?" I looked at Zeke for the last one, a barely suppressed smirk on my face. He gave a huge sigh. "One time and you're branded for life." Then he went to take a piss and cover that with more skunk scent. No sense in seeming to mark territory. When he came back, he swatted my ass. "No Phuong the next coin toss," he said, and I shook my head. "You can kiss my ass, but I've seen your man tackle." I recalled a musical parody Zeke made me watch on YouTube. "Never gonna bottom, never gonna bottom." Three drag queens...and I'm badly singing a line from their song. All they did was laugh and grin. * * * Walking into the enemy village out in the open was nerve-fraying. I mean I could feel the amount of magic in the air, and Phuong was rubbing her arms in agitation. The houses were plaster and thatch and looked more to be a seasonal area rather than permanent. A communal firepit sat in the middle, and beyond it were the six waterfalls. Oh, and about forty people, all of which felt like magic. The blonde shaman stepped forward with a kind smile. He was taller than I expected, only a few inches shorter than me. Broad through the shoulders and chest, I was getting the impression that I was meeting my first herbivorous shifter. "Welcome to the Equis Camp. I am Rhava, Master Shifter for our camp." He made a gesture of an open palm to his chest and brought it out as if in greeting. "Thank you for the welcome, Master Shifter Rhava. I am Dylan Davenport, Prime Enforcer for the Homestead Pack. With me our my fellow pack mates Quintin Marshall and his mate Zeke Whitebear, Colton Matthews, and the Wind-Master-to-be of the Rogue Valley Flock, Phuong Saechao." Each nodded their head in turn. Phuong made the same gesture as Rhava. "A greeting from the winds, Rhava." Her eyes never left his, and boy, did her scent go wonky. Instant lady boner action. "The plains answers your greetings with joy, wind sister." For his part, he blushed which made his healthy tan go all shades of red from hairline to belt. If we lived through this, I think Phuong found her future mate. A cleared throat broke the spell of attraction, and Rhava gestured to the other shaman, the one with the raven hair. "This is my older brother, Rhisi, Master Hunter for the Equis Camp." "Are you with the old one and the missionaries?" His voice, posture, tone, and lack of ceremony all led to one conclusion: He didn't like us here. Good. "Rhisi, these people have come many miles. Let us show them we can be gracious hosts before you interrogate them." Rhava's face was neutral, but his eyes showed how annoyed he was with the elder brother. "Besides, the answer is yes. Obviously so. Yet they have come openly and without menace." How he knew, I could only guess magic, but I was coming to like Rhava. He had already chosen hospitality over hostility. I don't doubt he'd be dangerous if provoked, but he came with open hands instead of fists. "You are correct. We were sent as representatives of several packs to find what happened to a group of missionaries and several members of those packs. Phuong, while not part of our pack, is joined to us. Her brother is our Beta, our Second. One of the missionaries is from a pack related to Zeke. The 'old one,' as you call him, is a surrogate uncle to me. We have come to find our lost family." I knew that honesty would serve us well, but I also got a feeling that this reasoning would get us farther with Rhava than a rescue mission. "Also, with our territories so close, I would like to get a feel for truce and trade alliance." The small grin and slight sly look in Rhava's eyes told me he knew I was playing up certain angles. Not a man to ever underestimate. "Then we are of one mind. Come. I will tell you why your family has been detained." Rhava swept his arm toward the falls. "Then they are here?" I knew I sounded hopeful. I didn't want to, but I couldn't help it. "Yes. I will lead you to them." I knew I would like Rhava. By the way Phuong was staring at his butt, she did too.
  8. For the past few weeks, I have devoted most of my free time to a charity event. The event, where I was part of the entertainment, was to raise funds for the HIV food bank in my area. It has been such a wonderful time, stressful though it was. Now...back to writing.

  9. Fantasyboy69

    Chapter 4

    Dragons, in this setting, can change their plumbing for breeding purposes. They do lay eggs, and yes, Jacob could have them too. Kiven is the more nurturing and chose to carry them. I am writing a second one which will star their son, but it's not going to be posted until finished
  10. Fantasyboy69

    The Bard and the Prince

    This is one story that I come back to when I have no other projects. It is not even halfway done, so read at your own discretion.
  11. Fantasyboy69

    Chapter 23

    I have a few ideas for a sequel, but nothing concrete at the moment. Ryle gets to keep the jet, and he would be the lead pilot...and the supply master.
  12. Fantasyboy69

    Chapter 23

    I have a few ideas for a sequel, but nothing concrete at the moment. Ryle gets to keep the jet, and he would be the lead pilot...and the supply master.
  13. Fantasyboy69

    Mending the Hurt

    Big glaring mistake on my part. I make tons of them, and since I don't think I had an editor for this one, it got past me.
  14. Fantasyboy69

    Some Bad News

    It was a thirty-mile hike from the airstrip to the edge of Homestead territory. Being up here made me smile and look over at my squad. They could feel it, too. No one around for miles, clean air, clear skies. Perfect weather. I turned to Colton and nodded. He closed his eyes and looked within himself. It was always a bit cool to watch him Pathfind. His eyes would twitch behind his lids, jerky motions would make his head move as if dodging mentally around boulders and under fallen trees, nose twitches which meant he had found the 'scent' even if the trail was not smellable. "Damn, he moves fast. I know he's alive, but I can't see where he is, only where he was." Colt opened his eyes and looked confused. "That's a good thing...right?" Phuong asked. "Meh," said Colt. "I usually see the target and only a vague path. This time it's the opposite. I see his path clearly, but not where it ended." I knew it frustrated him. He'd been working really hard to get this tracking shit down, often with Gene and Papa Travis. Now it was doing something he didn't expect, and I could see he was frustrated. "No matter how much I strain, the trail ends at a river with a small fall in it. About five days northeast." "That's good," said Zeke with a smile. "We can follow that and see what we see. Much easier than your usual 'I think it's this way' stunt." Zeke's grin made Colton sock his shoulder, but I could tell he felt a bit better. "Quit picking on him, Cub. That's my job. Yours is to sexually frustrate him," said Quint with a straight face. "Oh yeah," Zeke said and took off his pack and shirt, only to put the pack back on. Everyone's eyes but mine were glued to his mountainous, hairy pecs and slightly soft furry tummy. "There, mission accomplished. Madam, do you mind?" Zeke asked in mock affront, covering his chest as if Phuong's gaze made him embarrassed. "Yup, I'm looking for a mate outside the Flock. None of the boys there look like that," she said, her own flush coloring her cheeks. "Colton, stop staring at his muscles and lead on. Do I really have to be the mature one here? If so, we're screwed." Us guys laughed and Colton started off at a good pace. "Phuong, you're probably more knowledgeable about what may make a trail disappear like that," I said. She looked at me with a perfectly neutral face. I knew it meant trouble. "There are many things that could do it, and there is only one that I fear. If it is that one, then there is little chance to see them alive again." She let a brief smile show. "Since Colton says he's alive, there is a strong chance that it's not the one I fear." "You're being cryptic, Lady Bird," said Zeke with a frown, giving her a nickname like he did with just about everyone. "Cryptic is not good." "Would you like it spelled out?" We all nodded. "Simple terms: magic. Shamanism is the one I fear. I am one shaman, and it would take either a very strong one or several shamans to mask a trail from a coyote. Either way, we'd be fucked. I'm not capable of taking on more than three moderately strong." "I kinda wish I kept my mouth shut," said Zeke, his shoulders slumping forward. "We have a long journey ahead of us," I said, and we strode onward. Why is it that most of my problems seem to stem from magic? I mean, Lycans were started via magic, the attempted sacrifice was a magic rite, and now shamans may be in the mix. Just...fuck magic. I know there is good magic, but I am sick of it popping up when things go wrong. The day's trek was long, but the countryside was beautiful. It was all new to us, so every sight and sound were intriguing, and I could tell Colton wanted to go off exploring. Honestly, I would love to do it myself, but my skin itched. I knew something was going on that I couldn't see, but I didn't know what. "Out with it, Creep," said Quintin. Damn bond. "You explain it. I can't," I grumbled. "Something has our creepy leader on edge. I'd almost say it's something Solaris related, but I'll be durned if I don't feel something too. Maybe it's just overflow." Quint just looked at me with that semi-worried expression he had when he was mentally thinking I was going up in creep factor. He knew my history as well as Dad and Pat, most of it picked out of my head even when he didn't want it. "It could be. The Summer Solstice is in nine days, and there will be a partial eclipse." I turned to Phuong, hoping she was mistaken. "Seriously?" She nodded. "Fuck. Just...fucking fuckety fuck fuck." I can be so eloquent when I'm upset. "If we don't find them by then, they will be dead, and I worry you will be, too." "Share," said Phuong. "It's a powerful time for solar Lycans like a blood moon is for lunar. I'll shift, all the way, once the sun starts to eclipse, and I won't have any human thought left. Full lion, no Dylan." I could see them go wide-eyed, and my nose told me they were suddenly scared. "It is if I remember my history lessons with Grandpa and Papa Travis, a time of magic to peak. The longest day being shrouded by night. Am I right, Phuong?" She nodded. "So...yeah. We need to find them, and then you guys need to get the hell away from me. Let's move." All of us hiked our packs up and started to jog with our guide leading the way. "Phuong, can you add more to our knowledge of the event?" "A lot more, but I can't share too much. Before you ask, it's mystic mumbo-jumbo and oaths." We nodded. We understood enough. "When Horus finally entered the great war, giving form to his own followers, he gave them also the gift of magic and bade them to go forth into the world." So the Falcon God stuck his beak in. Good to know, I thought. "There were many problems with the other Lycans, us being physically weaker, but we had various abilities given to us, weather being the most common magic. Our strongest is the ability to give our powers to another, much as my father will do to me when he steps down as Wind Master." Her brother had told us enough of what would happen that we didn't react to this. "When the Children of Horus joined a people, they would teach them of magic in an effort to protect them from Wepwawet's wolves. Only a very few could learn such foreign magic, but some did and passed it down to their children. Over time, the ability broadened, and now, some shamans have the ability to take the powers of others at rare times. Planetary alignments, eclipses, equinox and solstice, and All Hallows Eve are some of the most notable." "So, Gene and the others could have been taken for this purpose?" Zeke asked. Honestly, I love Zeke as a brother, and one reason was his total commitment to knowing everything he can. Most people think he's a busybody gossip. "Could, but the people taken would not be a benefit in such numbers. Take one or two, and you can extract their strengths." She was skating around something, but none of us pressed her since it probably would violate her oaths. "Take a lunar Lycan and get rapid healing, a solar one for immunity to silver, a coyote for his tracking ability," stated Zeke, "or a lynx for their stealth." Phuong nodded curtly. "So why, if this is the reason for their capture, assuming it is capture, would you take a Lunais, three Lupus, and four other lunar Lycans?" "For this ceremonial reason, there is no call to take them. They could have just wandered into a shaman's territory," said Phuong. I shook my head. "Maybe the boys on their mission stumbled, but Gene would have sent word about a territory and ask for permission to enter. Gene wouldn't just walk into another territory without taking precautions." "Then your guess is as good as mine," she said with a shrug. "Once we get to the site, I'll be able to feel any magic strong enough to cover the trail." "Until then, Colton, you need to let us know the moment anything changes." When we stopped that night, we set about for our assigned duties. I was cooking while Quint and Colton set up the camp. We could hear Zeke and Phuong chatting away like old friends while they set up some sort of perimeter. I can honestly say she fit right in with our group. While she had the power and wisdom to lead, she also never tried to usurp a person's place. She knew Colton was the best tracker, knew Quintin would be the best when it came to stealth, knew to listen to Zeke's natural instinct for protection, and she never once tried to take command from me. Even though I would give it up when magic came into play, and she knew that too. We worked well together because we acknowledged each other's strengths and stepped up to help with their weaknesses. Plus she was a sassy bitch, which gave Zeke someone to natter on with about all things gossip. Even Quint would wuff at him when he went too long without a breath. Zeke never took it hard or was even upset when we essentially told him to shut up. Phuong never did. She just accepted it with grace and dignity, even when she mimed shooting herself in the head when his back was turned. It would get grins from us, and I know Zeke knew she was doing it, but...she just fit in so well. The sister none of us had. With dinner out of the way, Quint and I stayed up while the others bunked down for their rest. The small fire we had going wasn't necessary for heat or light, but we let it burn down naturally after it was used for cooking. He and I sat on opposite sides of the fire with our eyes scanning for anything, our noses working to pick up any scent. You seem lost in thought, Creep, thought Quint, bringing my eyes to him briefly. Wanna talk? He knew I wouldn't talk if I didn't want to, and I knew if I felt strongly enough he would not try to pick it out of my head. I sighed softly. Grandpa has given me warnings about Solaris who are forced to shift. It ain't pretty, it ain't calm, and it ain't peaceful. You know what it's like for lunar Lycans, and I seen it's bad for some, but they keep something of their minds. I looked away. We don't. We go full beast mode. Savage. You know what Zeke is like when he's got his temper up in his fur. Quint did too. He'd seen his friendly, lovable, jolly bear go apeshit on his ex Amos. A pissed off polar bear was nothing to turn your back on. Now imagine that without any direction. Just pure rage and thirst for the kill. I could see him mentally shudder. A half-ton polar bear was a lot of fury to contain. Make it a three-quarter ton African Lion. Zeke was big, but I would be bigger. Grandpa said he was close to eighteen hundred pounds when forced to shift, and I was only slightly smaller in muscle but an inch taller. So what are you worried 'bout? Quint asked in my head. Hurting anyone. You know me, Quint. Better than anyone. You know my temper, you know my mind, my heart. Hell, you know my body better than I do. It sounds much creepier than reality, but Quint had come over one evening to work out a minor neck tension before I even realized it was there. Just showed up, turned my shoulders and neck to mush, popped my neck, and left without saying a word or explaining. My fiancée has gotten used to him just popping up, giving me a hug or a cup of coffee, before I even ask or realize I need it. I don't want anyone near me when I lose my shit. I'll be there. I was about to tell him no when he raised his brow. You won't hurt me. You can't. No matter how gone you are, I'll be safe. Quint has been the big brother I always wanted. He's smart, kind, laid back, but he'll tell me when I'm being an ass, has kicked my ass for being overly rude to someone who deserved slightly less sass than I gave them, and held me when I needed a shoulder to cry on when my nightmares get too bad. He has been right every time when it concerns me. Like I said, he knows me better than I do. But how can you know? Because it would be like chopping off your tail. You were just thinking about the time I put you on the ground for being a dick. I felt every pain I gave you. I didn't hurt my knee when I took you down. I hurt yours and I had a limp. I stared in mild shock. We can't hurt each other without feeling it. I couldn't help but chuckle. Serves you right, taking out my knee. Assface. Dick. Jerk. Bitch. Bottom whore. Enchantée, he shot back at me with his dorky Southern grin. It was a normal exchange for us, at least mentally. I couldn't help but grin. But I thought of something else. So, if you experience everything I have... Yup, I know what it felt like last Tuesday in the shower. Next time use a bit more soap, you almost rubbed it raw. He slapped his hand over his mouth to stifle the laugh when he saw my horror. Quint's face was so red from trying not to wake everyone by laughing. Don't worry, I'm kidding. I shot him an evil glare and shook my big fist at him. You used plenty of soap. "I hate you," I said aloud. He just grinned. I'm worried, I continued mentally. Not just about me. All of this is just too much. The boys from Salt Lake Pack going missing, a few members from the smaller packs near us, Gene and the guys. Why's it all happening? Quint leaned over and patted my shoulder, his calm eyes drawing out some of my stresses. When we find them, we'll have our answers. Until then, just focus on the mission. We have men to save. The rest can wait. I nodded. To think I would find my literal soulmate. I mean, I had to lead a pretty lonely life first, but once I met Dad, it has been entirely uphill. Which is fucked up because Ritual Sacrifice was uphill from where my life had been before I got adopted by Dad. Now I got brothers, a fiancée, a steady job, family, friends...I have happiness. Except for magic. That don't make me happy. We forced ourselves to move as quickly as we could without hurting ourselves. The pace Colton set was just over a forced march, and I was glad that Phuong could keep up easily. Zeke was the one who was the slowest, but bears ain't known for speed and endurance, and I wasn't much better off. Neither of us complained, but we shot Phuong some grateful looks when she said she needed a rest. How she knew we were low on energy is still a mystery. Colton and Quintin knew, but as long as we didn't say anything, they would not stop or even slow. The five-day hike took three because of our pace. It was understood that we needed to hurry, but it was my mind that I worried more about. I could feel the solstice coming. Six days. It was constantly nagging the back of my mind, slowly taking it over. When I got too stuck on stupid, Quint would nudge my brain, and I would give him a nod. When we were only a few miles from the place, Phuong stopped us. She looked around, shaking her head. "I have never felt this much power in one place." Her voice was awed and slightly afraid. "At least a dozen shaman covered their traces from this point on. I can follow the magic, but I have the biggest case of the willies." "Is there active magic going on right now?" I asked, which got a shake of her head. "How far does the trail go?" She closed her eyes, and I felt something rush past me. It was like a brisk wind swept to my left. "At least five miles," came her reply from outside her body. Outside her fucking body! The damn wind spoke for her. I watched her body twitch once and her eyes opened. "Another day's hike." Her eyes cut toward Colton. "Find the horse totem with the tails for ornament." Colton, at first, looked at her oddly, but I watched his eyes roll back and his head whipped around to the northeast. He gasped and staggered as his eyes resumed being normal. "Oh fuck that was intense!" His breath caught in his throat as he looked at Phuong. "Three hours away beside a small lake and shrouded by a bluff with six waterfalls. I see the path and the totem clearly. What did you do?" "I...had the wind show you the totem. There was no time to prepare your mind." Phuong looked very apologetic, but it had to be done. "No, I'm not mad. Thank you!" Colton grabbed her up in a big hug. "I see how to use my tracking better now. It's like I had a silky curtain in my way all the time, but the wind just blew it away." He was overjoyed. We all grinned at the biggest smile I had ever seen on him. It was a big doofy grin. "Set down the lady, Colton, and let's get going." Zeke stopped me. "No. Sorry to insist, Prime Enforcer, but we need to stay by the water tonight. It's the safest place." I was more shocked by him calling me by my rank than him stopping me. Quintin's head tilted a bit in confusion, but he nodded. I shook my head to clear the shock and nodded. "As you advise, Zeke. Let's camp for the night." It was only midday, but we set up a camp on a small sandbar next to the water, right where Zeke said. Once it was done, Zeke came over to me looking embarrassed. "Dylan, I..." I clapped him on the shoulder. "Zeke, you're a defender. You say this place is the best, I trust your call. We are a team, each with a specialty. I defer to Quint in tactics, Colton for the tracking, and you when you say it's either safe or not. It's in your blood. Solaris were not given any trait like this. We're guards. We protect our leaders. Outside of that, even Grandpa says we're nothing special." His big Zeke smile came out from behind the cloud of his darker emotions. "Thanks, Dyl. I still worry I may overstep my bounds. You're the higher rank, and I'm still new to the pack." "You do your defender thing. If it's just us out here, let me know your thoughts on our safety. If Dad was here, he might have to ignore it, but I won't." I squeezed his shoulder, and he pulled me into a huge hug. Other than Grandpa, Zeke was the only one in the pack who could lift me that easily. "Alright, you big teddy bear put me down." He did...after shaking me like a ragdoll and plopping me in the sand. We turned when we heard three identical sighs and saw three goofy grins looking at us. I knew that look. It said 'Isn't this lovely?' and all three batted their lashes. "Male bonding," Phuong said with a simpering grin. "Male bondage," said Colton, his grin turning into a sexual leer. "I'll get the popcorn and the cuffs," said Quint, tossing me a quarter. "Loser bottoms," he said as the three jokers turned away. Zeke, ever the quick one, grinned broadly. "I don't see how I lose in this. Top or bottom." I sighed dramatically. "I hate you all."
  15. I found your stories on Lit ages ago and I loved them but you vanished from there, like so many authors have and through something like nine days of sporadic googling I've found you again! I'm so happy to be able to read these stories again! I'm a re-reader... I've read the ones you had posted elsewhere something like 15+ times each and was really upset that they vanished. I'm so very glad you are still writing and I can't wait for the weekend when I've got time enough to sit down and binge read all of it again :D

    1. Fantasyboy69

      Fantasyboy69

      Thanks for following me here. I left Lit after someone stole my works, and since I was here already, I stayed with this one because it is more secure, and generally a better place. You'll find a few stories here I didn't post on Lit because they're not erotica. Enjoy, and thanks for sticking with me.

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