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Fantasyboy69

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  1. Fantasyboy69

    The Heart Shatters

    Well, as to the donkey shifter, Rhava could become a donkey should he choose, but there are no donkey Lycans. Still, it would be a funny wordplay.
  2. Fantasyboy69

    The Heart Shatters

    I won't lie. I was crying while writing this chapter. I'd been planning it since book 3 started, and putting it off as long as I could.
  3. Fantasyboy69

    The Heart Shatters

    I was happy to hear that no one was going to be harmed, which of course meant I had to go harm someone. You know, to balance out the cosmos and shit. I shook hands with everyone, telling them to be ready to go as soon as everything was settled. No one argued, not even Phuong. She looked like she wanted to kill me, but she knew the others needed to go home. With all that out of the way, I made a beeline right for Anthony. The Tribunal member was looking at him curiously. Perhaps wondering what was causing him to twitch. “Pardon me,” I said politely, and the Member stepped aside. I snatched Anthony up by his throat, my hand turning into a claw. “If you ever think about harming anyone I care about again, you piece of filth, they would write horror stories about what I will do to you.” I chucked him like a fastball, and he landed at the feet of the Tribunal members. He still twitched. “Your Camp, your laws,” was all I said to the Eldest. The Eldest's face was set stone, his eyes pits of displeased anger. Only about five percent was aimed at me. Aunt Minnie looked down at the twitching man with such disgust. Rhava's hands were clenched, and the crease between his eyebrows reminded me so much of Grandpa when he was about to pass judgment. It wouldn't be good to be Anthony right now. “We shall handle the discipline ourselves, Enforcer Davenport,” said the Eldest, his tone frosty. “The members of your delegation have been very helpful as well as respectful. Blood ties notwithstanding, all of you are welcome to Equis Camp and her lands. Please give our regards to Alpha Davenport and let him know we would like to open up talks for peace with Homestead.” I bowed low, showing my respect for him and the honor he was giving to my friends. “We thank you for your hospitality, and I will tell our Alpha of your desires for peace. Perhaps our combined efforts shall bring those responsible for the kidnappings to justice. If you require nothing more of us, I would like to get these people home.” The Eldest returned the bow and made a gesture of dismissal. “Rhava, could you and Marcus lead us to the border? I would like to make sure no one misconstrues our peaceful departure.” Rhava glanced at the Eldest who nodded. “Of course. We'll help you pack as well.” The group started back to where we had set up our camp with Marcus and Rhava flanking Phuong almost like an honor guard. The guys gave me a brief nod and followed without another word. I turned to Aunt Minnie with a smile. “I'm glad to have met you. Grandpa says he will come for a visit once things are settled in Homestead, and I know Dad will want to meet you.” She pulled me in for a hug. “You take care of those people, Dylan, and of your grandfather. They need someone willing to talk or kick ass as needed.” She gestured to the other Tribunal members, and they went the other direction, Anthony floating into the air and trailing them. I know my grin was a bit evil, but I wish I could just watch what they were going to do to him. Attack my family? I don't think so. With the extra hands, packing was easy. I pulled out my phone and dialed. “Hey beautiful,” I said when Heather picked up. “Hey. So...” She trailed off, not want to ask. “Have five transport vans ready at the airstrip. We're all coming home.” I heard her breath whoosh out of her lungs, and I know she was grinning. I could see her bouncing up and down as she tried to contain her glee. “They'll be there. How long until you get there?” I could hear her clicking away at the computer in the office, probably filling out the vehicle requisition. I was about to ask when Rhava looked over and said, “Three days. Two if we take the boats.” “Two days,” I replied. “I love you, but I need to call Dad.” “And I tolerate you, but you need to call Jon.” I could hear the grin in her tone and was not surprised when she just hung up. It was one thing I loved about her. Jokes and sarcasm included, she understood duty better than Quint even. And you're marrying her why? Quint asked in my head. He knew why. Cause you don't have a great set of boobs, and you do have outdoor plumbing. I heard all the guys snicker and give me the side-eye. I dialed Dad's cell. “Tell me you have good news or hang up this fucking phone right now.” Wow. Dad was not normally this rude. He was either banging Pat and they were hot and heavy, or the Council has reached a new level of stupid. “We're all coming home.” I heard something come from the other line that I never thought I would. “Dad, are you okay? You're...” Crying. “Relieved, Little Dude. Bring them home as fast as you can. Things are hitting the fan here. Dean and Kao also had some distressing news, but it can wait since it's no longer life-threatening.” I almost demanded to know right then, but I didn't want to piss Dad off. He seemed out of balance right now. The Council must really be bad. “I'll get them home, then I am coming to you. If for no other reason than you need your Enforcer.” I could hear him groaning, and it wasn't in the sexual way one would hear around the camp...anywhere my dads decided to boink. “I...yes. Come here when they're home.” “Sure, Dad. Anything you want me to pass on?” “Tell everyone how proud I am.” God, he sounded exhausted. “Get some rest if you can. That is not a request from your son, that's an order from your Enforcer who will protect you even from yourself.” I'd had to hold him back from killing someone before. Once I almost let him kill the rat bastard, namely Kai Saechao. Phuong's brother, not our Beta but the other shithead bro, was nearly killed, and I wanted to let Dad pull his head off. I had to remind him I was in charge of assassinations. It was enough to take the killing edge from Dad, but Kai was one micron away from being skinned alive, dipped in lemon juice, given a full-body massage with sandpaper, dipped in rubbing alcohol, and then hung out to dry by his balls by fish hooks. Those were Dad's thoughts, which he told me later that same day. I told him he should never hang a man by his balls...too easy to rip off. “Yessir,” he sighed, but I could hear the ghost of a smile in his tone. There was a rustling noise, and I knew Pat had grabbed the phone even before he spoke. “While he takes a nap, you can tell me everything.” So I did. * * * The night was spent on the banks of the river. The docks Equis Camp used were right there, but the ones in charge of the boats were not willing to take us tonight. First light would come soon enough. Everyone seemed in high spirits. Glad to be free of the endless sound of waterfalls, I would guess. They hadn't been treated too badly. No one was hurt or ill. Not even a muscle cramp. I sat by myself on the banks of the river, just watching the moon sparkle on the water while still keeping an eye on everything. Zeke had said this place should be safe tonight. Should be was not would be, so we posted three sentries. With them and some handy magic from Phuong, Rhava, and Marcus, we should be fine. There was something to smile at if only a little. Rhava was leaning against his bedroll with Marcus snuggled up on his right and Phuong on his left. Marcus was holding Phuong's hand. It was a wondrous sight, one I knew wasn't just a fleeting thing. The future Wind Master had found her mate. If he came with a plus one, then it seemed to be fine with her. I mean, I wasn't one to shake a finger at any poly relationship. I had my girl waiting for me at home, and I had the guys who completed my heart. Life is just so damned weird at times. The only part I could see wrong was the two thousand mile distance between them. Both had duties with their people. Neither could easily forsake them for romance, and I couldn't see Phuong leaving the flock, not even for her mates. Rhava was young, and Equis Camp would elect a new spiritual leader if necessary. I wouldn't put it past my cousin and Marcus to pack up and head to Oregon to meet with Wind Master Saechao Sinh, Phuong's father, and make a formal pledge for her hand. Hell, he might even say yes. I turned my attention back to the river. What the hell was I going to do about my love life? I mean, I was never going to give up Heather. She's been in my life since I was thirteen. How could I leave the first girl I kissed? Had a crush on? Fell in love with? Wanted to marry? How could I deny that I wanted the guys there with me? It wasn't just Quint in my mind anymore. I could sense Colton as easy as I could Quint, and Zeke had been there since he and Quint completed their mating. They were as much part of me as Heather, and I had no fucking clue what to do. What could I even say to her? Hey, honey, guess what? We're getting several king-size mattresses and putting them together so I can have my boys sleep with us. I'd be lucky to keep my balls. I knew Heather loved them, too, but enough to open up our future marriage? She was open-minded, but was she that liberal? If her reactions to me even smiling at another woman were any indication, she wouldn't give it a moment's thought before she said no. Yet I couldn't not ask. It wouldn't be right to keep quiet. It wouldn't be fair to all five of us. “You got a second, Dylan?” Zeke asked as he came up. It wasn't like him to use my name much anymore, and it wasn't like him to intrude on private time. I motioned to the grass beside me and he sat, crossing his legs. “Listen, Quint didn't want to say anything, but I know what's on your mind. All three of us do. You can tell me to stuff it, and I won't be mad since it's pretty much all on you, but I wanted to tell you that we're getting married. The three of us.” I looked over at him, smiling a little. “We were wondering if you would mind if we shared the day with you and Heather. I mean, we wouldn't be getting married to you, just with you, and it would mean a lot to us to share that day with you and the only woman we think about.” I looked deeper into his eyes. “You think about Heather?” “Duh. She's always on your mind. Like you get our emotions, we get yours, so we're saying we...um...” “You wonder what she looks like naked and want to see what it would be like with a woman, as long as it was her?” His face was a deep crimson, but he nodded. “Messes with your head, doesn't it?” He nodded again. I threw my arm across his huge shoulders, pulling him close. “Welcome to my world, Klondike.” He chuckled and nuzzled my neck a bit. Zeke was cuddles incarnate, and I knew even after our respective marriages he and I would probably still cuddle. Was I sexually attracted to him? Yes, but only because Colton and Quint were. Romance? More like Bromance. I wouldn't say no if he wanted to mess around, but I don't know if I could initiate it myself. I would never do it until after Heather and I got married, and she made it clear I was open season after, but I could feel what they wanted. They wanted us. They wanted me and Heather to be with them. Not just sexually. It was deeper, more than physical. I wanted it, too. “As far as I'm concerned, I would love for you guys to share the day with us. Hell, I want you guys to share a honeymoon with us. Maybe not the first night,” I said and he chuckled, “but it wouldn't feel right without you guys around. I can't say Heather would agree with the honeymoon part, but I know she would love to see you guys get married.” I knew that much. “So...you want us there for the second night of your honeymoon?” His tone was so laden with sexual innuendo. I took his hand and put it on my dick. I was hard as a fucking rock. “You tell me.” He growled low in his throat, and the scent of arousal went through the roof. He pulled his hand away so he wouldn't try to ravage me right there, but I think I made my desires plain. Plainer than ever before. “Zeke, if I have my way, the three of you would be moving in, and Heather and I would have you part of our relationship.” There, I said it. Openly, I had said I wanted them. There went my straight credit. “So I guess it would be a good time to say that's what I was trying to say?” Zeke was trying not to jizz in his shorts. He had just gotten farther than either of his mates, and it was my idea. “Yes.” “We want to be part of your relationship.” His voice came out as a growl as he said, “The thought of you using this monster dick on me has all three of us ready to go.” I glanced over at Colton and Quintin. They both nodded, and I could see the tents in their pants. My evil side took over as I pushed Zeke onto his back and lightly grasped his throat. His eyes got huge as I leaned over and put my face so close we would kiss if either puckered up. His entire body went limp as he submitted to me. I got even harder. I leaned forward, pressing my lips to his ear, and whispered, “Only if you fuck me first,” and then got up to relieve one of the sentries. There was no use in trying to adjust my dick. There was just no hiding it. “Evil bastard!” he cried, and I heard so many snickers from the group. None of it had been truly private as they could see and mostly hear us anyway. There were some grumbles, but they were very few and none from Homestead, Salt Lake, or Equis. I did look over to Quint and Colt just to make sure I hadn't crossed any lines. I don't think I had ever seen Quint so turned on, and was that a large wet mark in the front of Colton's jeans? You're an ass, Creep, came Quint's voice in my head, and I just nodded. Then I heard a roar of pain and smelled copious amounts of blood. A few silenced gunshots pew-pew'd to the northwest, and I forgot all about my aching boner. My troops responded quickly, those who could shift did. I never cared about the loss of my clothes when I was forced to shift. Neither did Quint and Jordan as I was joined by a lynx and a silvery gray wolf. We charged across the open space to see flashes of light and the beginnings of a wildfire. While it momentarily blinded us, I had seen enough of the hostiles' locations to do some damage. My brain had seen four gunmen, and I could feel at least four magic wielding asshats. Two shots whizzed past my head heading towards the lights. Two forms fell, their heads now missing at least half their original mass. Gene had grabbed a rifle it seemed since I knew neither Colton nor Zeke was that good. There was answering fire, and a few bolts of lightning coming at us. “Keep behind me,” I hissed, and Quint and Jordan fell in line. Golden bullets were damn near impossible, so I didn't really have to worry about those being fired at me. Spells would just fizzle, so I didn't worry about those. Anything else I would heal. Of course, they put that theory to the test as I took five rounds, three to the chest and two to my left thigh. All it did was piss me off, and I was upon the attackers. The main shooter went down as I put my claw through his chest and then used him as a semi-living meat shield to stop another fork of electricity. I could feel the energy crackle along my arm, but it didn't seem to do much except raise the hairs. I bet my mane looked like it came from the 80's. Then I shook the corpse off and used it as a missile to knock one shaman off his feet. A huge rumble beneath my feet nearly knocked me over, but the quake wasn't aimed near us. Rhava had apparently joined the fight as I could hear the very rock rise up. It cracked, and I could smell damp earth and more blood. Rhava wasn't so nice to the forces attacking us; more had come from the southeast. A pincer attack, two forces with their target in the middle, and I hadn't heard or smelled a thing. Zeke hadn't sensed it, either. No one had, which meant there was some damn powerful magic going on, stronger than Phuong who had set up the basic perimeter. Water began sheeting down, our friendly neighborhood weather mage flexing her magic. That would take care of the wildfire. It also ruined any sense of smell and threw off night vision goggles and the low light vision we Lycans possessed. That didn't stop me from seeing Quint rip out the throat of a shaman as Jordan quite literally bit the head off another. Looks like the good Mormon boy knew when not to play nice. I felt Colton take a hit from a non-silver bullet, which sealed the fate of the shooter as Zeke went charging faster than I could ever go. It was damn hard keeping the rage Zeke was feeling from blocking out my side of the fight, and thankfully Quintin was able to funnel most of it into himself. No stranger to combat, Quintin knew a few things about battle frenzy and how to keep his mate's anger from taking over. That distraction cost us. I didn't see the man in the grass with the rifle until it was too late. I heard the two rapid shots and veered toward him, but I knew his bullets had found a target. I could smell the blood. I knew the scent well. He just looked up at me, his eyes resigned and calm as if he knew I was going to kill him, and he had made peace with the Higher Powers. It was like he knew it was a kamikaze mission, and there was no pleading as I raked my claws through the back of his neck and lower back, leaving him in three parts. My mind screamed at me to crouch down, and I did, Quintin and Jordan using my body as a springboard to leap at the last two shamans and dragged them to the ground. Their teeth flashed and claws slashed. They left nothing alive. Neither had I. As one we turned to the other side of the fire to see all was quiet. The rains were gentle now, dampening the flames and seeming a fitting ambiance for the mood. I did an all-over body flex and forced the bullets out as Quint and Jordan shifted back. They had some superficial wounds, and my bud had a gunshot wound that went through his hand, but they were alive. They propped me up as I shifted back, difficult with me towering over them. I could see bodies on the far side of the campfires, and did a quick count of the allies. I could see four injured, the rest hurting but standing. One body. We lost only one, and my heart was ripped apart. The sniper had put one round through his forehead and one through his heart. The wounds were splattered with a foul cocktail of monkshood and silver nitrate. There would be no healing this. Despite the wounds to my chest and thigh, I fell to my knees and began to scream. My hand reached out of their own accord to pull his head into my lap. I didn't care if the monkshood was burning the wounds on my legs as it oozed out of him. Gene was dead. My brain refused to acknowledge it. Gene couldn't die. He was too smart, too sneaky, too kind...too GENE to die. He'd never tell stories from when he was a young man. He'd never teach me all I needed to know to be the best Enforcer I could. He...he'd never be my children's godfather like Heather and I had wanted. The biggest reason I had come north was dead in my arms. As I looked down at his face, I could see the last thing in his eyes, that last fleeting thought. I'm finally done. He had led such a long and hard life. Such cruelty he had seen, such violence, so much hatred. He showed so much love, so much compassion, and such understanding. People like him didn't deserve to die by violence, but after his life... “Rest well, old wolf.” I felt a calm come over me. It was like Gene had placed his hand one final time on my shoulder and smiled his damned Sean Connery smile. “Gather the bodies. I want identification. I want it now. Colton, Phuong, that is your goal for tonight. Get me names.” “Yes, Enforcer,” they both said without even a moment's thought. They joined hands and began their search. I looked up to see Zeke and Colton, along with Jordan and the others, with tears in their own eyes. Each had a story to tell with the name Gene in it. Rhava and Marcus gently lifted the man I admired, the man I loved, and took him down to the river to bathe him. I was numb, so I didn't protest as Zeke eased me onto my back and began to clean my wounds while another tended the rest. Some went among the bodies and dragged them closer to the fire to see what could be found. Scents on their bodies, passports, anything that could get me what I wanted. “Sir,” said one of my fellow enforcers from Homestead. “I can give you ID's on four of the men.” My eyes flicked to him. “I don't care about their names. Who sent them?” I watched him swallow. “The four men work, rather worked, for Angus McLeod. They're East Coast Pack hunters.” One of the other men who served nodded his agreement. “We were both hunters with them.” I sat up, much to Zeke's dismay, and took his cell phone off his hip. The numbers swam before my eyes, one of the less annoying side effects of monkshood poisoning, but I dialed. “Zeke, why are you...” “Not Zeke. Put Dad on the phone,” I said. “He's in a Council session, Dyl.” Pat had answered. I loved my other dad, but he was often too nice. “I don't give a fucking shit if he's talking to God. Put him on the goddamned phone, now.” I heard him gasp, and I would apologize later. “Watch your language, Little Dude,” were Dad's words when he got on the line. “Alpha, with all due respect, shut the fuck up.” I was in no mood for a lecture. My language and calling him Alpha was a pretty sure way of letting him know. I could almost hear him get annoyed. “Alpha, I am calling to inform you that we were attacked by a large force just outside Homestead and Equis Camp territories. Among their numbers were no less than four members from the East Coast Pack, positively identified by two who served with them. Add in fifteen more gunmen and a dozen shamans.” My lower lip was trembling as I struggled to make my report. “Gene's dead, Dad.” I lost it again, and the phone slipped out of my hand. Zeke pulled me against his furry chest and held me while I bawled. Quint, my second-in-command, snagged the phone. “The Head Enforcer is currently busy, Alpha,” he said with a brisk tone. In my head, he was relaying what Dad was saying while also trying to calm me down. Not take away my pain or grief, just to help me get it under control for now. “Fucking shit. Quint, anyone else hurt?” So much anger was rolling over the phone. Dad was livid, and Quint was in the middle of my mental breakdown, Dad's rage, and his own feelings. “Not lastingly, sir. We'll all heal.” I could hear his memories of past combat trying to break through his walls, to pull him over into maddened grief. “What are your orders, Alpha?” “Get home. Get me prints and anything else needed to ID the attackers. I need hard evidence.” “Yessir. Anything else?” “No. I'll notify Gene's next of kin. Tell Dylan he doesn't need...” I heard it and growled. “Or not. Just get him calmed down. I know you boys were fond of Gene, but Dylan worshiped him.” I could tell Dad was just as upset, and it couldn't have come at a worse time, but he was right. Dad was my dad, and I loved him, but Gene was my hero.
  4. Fantasyboy69

    Tribunal Trouble

    I almost did leave it on the cliffhanger, because I am a shameless writer.
  5. Fantasyboy69

    Tribunal Trouble

    I would like to say the Tribunal was just a formality. I would like to say the Tribunal could see Gene and the others were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, especially the missionaries. I would like to say it all went smoothly. It didn't. I knew Minnie and Rhava were on our side. We only needed two others from the Tribunal to vote in our favor to keep them from receiving any form of punishment. Nothing is ever that easy. The missionaries were set free without even being questioned, which was the best part of all of this. The duo ran over to Zeke who gave them both hugs. He didn't know Crestin Miller, the other missionary, but he knew Jordan Hawkins well enough. When Zeke put himself between them and the Tribunal, he made an obvious statement that they would have to go through him to even think about laying a finger on the boys should something go wrong. The Tribunal was questioning each person separately if they felt it was necessary. One member from each pack was questioned, and they all invariably answered with the same reasoning from being in the territory: Missing pack members with all the trails leading into this section of Saskatchewan, Canada. All of the reports put the disappearances around the same time. Within weeks of each other, Homestead, the smaller packs of Rock Valley and Sioux City, Iowa, and the bear tribe from Worthington, Minnesota, had all lost members. These times matched up to the missing persons from Equis and her sister tribe Swan Camp out of Manitoba, Canada. It was all too neat to be coincidental. The Tribunal acknowledged that much. When Gene was called forward to speak, two of the Tribunal sneered at him. I knew there was some beef between him and them, but I hoped it wouldn't matter. “Please state your name and your affiliations.” The speaker was an older man. So old, in fact, that I couldn't put an age to him. He was far older than Aunt Minnie, and I think she was the next oldest and in her eighties. A passing thought was I hoped I looked as good as her when I turned eighty. “Eugene Ignatius Alexander Marvin Cassidy Johnson. I once belonged to the East Coast Pack but am now the Lunais Liaison for the Lycan Council to the United States.” His voice didn't give much away. “I am also affiliated with Homestead as Security Adviser, having helped trained half of their hunters and enforcers, four of which are seated just over yonder, if you need to have verification.” “Officer Johnson,” began the eldest, using Gene's Honorific as a member of the Council, “Could you state your purpose for being in the territory?” “It has all been documented with the Lycan Council, Eldest, but I shall paraphrase. I was consulted by several other packs for tracking down missing members. I took personal leave from the Council for these since, unfortunately, they didn't see a few missing people as reason enough to investigate.” Not the best of news, but if the Council sent out people for each missing person, they would have no forces for actual emergencies. “It wasn't until a few Mormon missionaries went missing that anyone seemed to take notice, and by then, Jonathan Davenport of Homestead had called me in to aid a few of his men in the search.” “Why would he call you in personally?” asked one of the Tribunal who had sneered at him. I didn't like his tone of voice at all, but Gene seemed unphased. “Jon and I have known each other for a decade. He knows my background and I'm pleased to say his son sees me as something of an uncle.” He gave me a grin, and I stuck my tongue out at him. Formal meeting or no, he was right. He was family to me. “I was to start my search at Homestead's northern border and see what I could find. I found a faint trail that lead me to within a few miles of Equis Camp. I'm sure I don't need to tell you what happened after.” That put a nasty twist on the man's face. Why didn't he like Gene? I wasn't the only one to notice, either. The Eldest, Minnie, and Rhava all noticed the man's lack of propriety when dealing with Gene. I mean, it was fucking obvious. I wondered why Gene was putting up with it at all. Such blatant animosity could be cause to have the man removed from the Tribunal proceedings. “What did you find before you were detained?” asked the Eldest, his glance at the rude speaker silencing him for the moment. “All of the disappearances can be linked to Lycans from the east. How far east, I cannot be sure, but they are Lycans, not Skifters. Multiple types as well, since I saw wolf, bear, and weasel tracks, as well as the swaying tracks left by a serpent.” Gene's findings made me blink. Lycan snakes? Holy shit balls! Why had no one told me about those yet? “Are you sure of your findings?” asked the hostile man. “If I may speak, Honored Eldest,” came Colton's voice before I could say anything. When given permission, Colton stood. “I'm Latrans Lunais, and I can confirm from my own search that Lycans are responsible. It would take me some time longer to get more information, but I can tell you that it was Lycans from the east, maybe even as far as Quebec.” Once he was done, he sat. He did glance at me to make sure it was kosher to have said anything, and I gave him the briefest of nods. The Eldest nodded a bit. “As no one can doubt the abilities of the Latrans, be they Lupus or Lunais, I will accept both findings as valid.” He was quiet for a moment. “What would your actions have been when finding we held some members of the American packs?” He asked Gene. “Asked why and reported back to Alpha Davenport and the Council of my findings. Since they were not harmed in any way save for being annoyed by the sound of falling water for all eternity, it is in my opinion, and would be my recommendation to the Council, that no actions be taken against Equis Camp.” “Were you not a Hunter once for the ECP?” asked the hostile man. Why didn't someone shut him up? “I was, some years ago,” Gene replied easily. “You were taught many things about questioning, correct?” Gene nodded, his face impassive. “Including how to lie convincingly.” “Why, yes. I'm a teenage girl named Petunia, and I just love One Direction.” His scent never shifted to say he wasn't a teen...where had he come up with that bullshit? “No change in scent. How can we trust any of his testimony?” “Because I haven't said anything about you, Anthony. Keep your own tone civil, and I won't be forced to tell the truth about you.” That came out with the most venom I had ever heard from Gene. The look in his eyes was also one I would never want to be the target of. I would probably kill myself to save me from whatever tortures Gene could come up with. “Do we need to take a moment?” asked Minerva, her own tone warning. Everyone flinched when she spoke. Grandpa could use that tone, too, if he wanted. It stopped everyone and made them think of every sin they may have committed. If it was genetic, I couldn't wait to be able to do it. “I don't believe it will be necessary,” said Gene with a final look at this Anthony guy. “You may sit with your friends and family, Officer Johnson, while we deliberate,” said the Eldest and the seven Tribunal members got up and walked some distance away, all sound and scent of them vanishing. That was some potent wind magic. “So...spill,” said Zeke to Gene as he sat down. “What's with Anthony McShithead?” The eternal gossip wanted all the dirt. Gene grinned and shook his head. “As I know I won't get any peace until I tell you something, I will say this. He was once a fellow Hunter from a small pack that was absorbed by the ECP while Travis's predecessor was Alpha. Their alpha had died rather mysteriously, but no other alpha could be found to take the position since the last four alphas all died from questionable circumstances. Anthony tried to keep the pack together and appeared to be trying to place himself in as Alpha, but certain questions were raised about his activities leading up to the deaths.” All of us were listening with avid attention. Not only was it some seriously juicy gossip, but it was Gene telling a story. “With too many people not supporting him, Alpha Lawrence was approached to take in the pack since the ECP shared a border. He accepted. Anthony was rather vocal about his opposition to this. I can confirm two facts. One is Anthony hired a few Lycans to try and 'persuade' the others to follow him. The second is his hired goons were the ones that turned Travis Andrews, thus setting up the line of succession for the ECP. The mysterious death of Alpha Lawrence one year later made Travis the alpha, and I was on the investigation team. While I could not prove Anthony had a direct hand in it, I can say his brand of seditious talk was on the lips of those who did.” I know my scent went cold. My glare swept over to the Tribunal group, and I could see Rhava was looking right at me, gesturing for me to keep calm. How did he know I was about to charge over there and rip Anthony's fucking head off his shoulders and shit down his neck? Then I looked over to Marcus who was sitting a few seats away. “What are they saying?” His mouth quirked a little, but he spoke. “I was wondering if you would ask me that. I can relay Rhava's thoughts if you like.” I nodded. He moved over next to me. * * * “Rhava, could you make us private?” asked the Eldest. “Of course.” The barrier to stop scent and sound went up. Marcus, can you still hear me? I can. Then remember everything said or not said, and let Cousin Dylan know if he asks. I shall, beloved. “It seems to me that all involved were innocent of harming this camp,” said one of the other Tribunal members. “Why the missionaries were even taken is beyond me.” “My brother wasn't taking any chances. They were treated far gentler than the rest.” Rhisi never takes any chances. Only if he thinks he will succeed does he act. True, my heart. Marcus replied. “Missing group members is reason enough to track them, but should they not have informed us they were coming?” asked another member. “All of them were taken outside our territory,” Minerva stated, “so no permissions were needed. True, they were very close, but still not within our lands. Questioned at the border would have been correct procedure, and I don't fault Rhisi for his behavior, but can we pass judgment on those who have done nothing wrong to us?” “At least one of them can be,” mumbled Anthony. Ah, here we go. Enter the idiot. Marcus just laughed at that. “Member Anthony is right. Officer Johnson is known to have been in special forces and even on some black op missions. It would not be out of the question should he have ulterior motives.” Member Trudeau's statement was plain. “Have you any dealings with Officer Johnson?” asked the Eldest. “Personally, no, but he was assigned to a border dispute some twenty years ago. His reports, if believed, had him getting into and out of a rogue gang's lands without being seen or detected with all the information on the real cause of the dispute.” His tone was even. “I don't say this in condemnation, only to say it is not out of the realm of possibility.” “Even with the brief statement of the Latrans?” asked Rhava. “That boy couldn't lie if he wanted to.” Anthony was about to comment when the Eldest spoke up. “You are correct, Member Rhava, about the coyote's lack of falsehood. I am willing to accept Officer Johnson's reasoning for being here since the members of the Homestead delegation didn't even flinch when he said he had been contacted by their alpha.” “They would vouch for him. He said it himself they were close.” Why is this sniveling mutt even on this Tribunal? Minerva asked of Rhava, which Marcus heard loud and clear. Teacher mine, Gene just told Dylan and crew why he doesn't trust Anthony. Rhava relayed that bit of news, and it made Minerva's eyes narrow. “They are very close. He was their teacher, as well as being a close family friend of Alan, Jonathan, and Dylan Davenport. I find it interesting that you don't trust him, Anthony, since it is widely known your actions led to the infection of no less than two humans, and the potential death of several alphas.” Minerva's gloves were off, especially when Anthony glared at her. “You even think of trying to cast that spell, mutt, and I will fry you.” Her voice held the tone of inescapable death. “Both of you will calm down,” said the Eldest firmly. “Minerva, those are very serious accusations.” “And true. Officer Johnson was the investigator who brought the facts to light. While the deaths of the alphas were not proven, evidence showed that Member Anthony had a hand in it. If nothing else, inciting and sedition could be proven. Which is why he was exiled from the ECP and even the lands of the Lycan Council.” Minerva had altered her tone to be civil and even, stating fact without emotion. Her gaze hadn't altered one bit. “Anthony, you are excused from this Tribunal hearing,” said the Eldest. His neutral expression belied the tension along his elderly body. When Anthony didn't move, the Eldest flicked one finger and Anthony went flying, landing some two hundred feet away. “Now, we will need to ask one other person to abstain from the vote.” “I will,” said Rhava. “To keep a simple majority, I'll abstain.” Why? Asked Marcus. Because Minerva and the Eldest are going to vote in favor. The only two undecideds are Member Trudeau and Member Featherdance. Marcus could see why Rhava stepped out. Trudeau was known to look at facts and show very little emotion. It was the main reason why he was on the Tribunal. “Thank you, Member Rhava, although it may decide the vote.” “With one so obviously against removed, one who is so obviously for must step out for balance and fairness.” Rhava was looking toward Anthony as he just lay there, still stunned from the spell. “Wise of you, young one,” said Featherdance from Swan Camp. “With the evidence given, shall we vote?” “A vote has been called,” said the Eldest. He held up a black leather pouch. Inside were seven stones that could be changed by magic to show the vote either way. White stones were for, gray for abstaining, and black for against. “Cast your vote.” Each voting member channeled a bit of magic into the bag. When they were done, the Eldest dumped the contents into his palm. * * * I saw Marcus flinch a bit, but he nodded, “Share with the class, Marcus,” I said, nudging him. He looked over to me. “I cannot see the verdict. Rhava has blocked it from me.” I growled a bit. What use was a spy when the spy withheld information? I glanced over at Anthony as he picked himself out of the dirt and jumped in front of Gene when his hand came up. The bolt of lightning just fizzled out in front of me, completely harmless. Score one for the curse scar...which brought its score up to one. Two other spells just vanished a few feet from me, and by then Phuong had joined the fray. Ever see anyone get struck by lightning? Well, in this case, it looked a lot like a cartoon. I could momentarily see Anthony's skeleton, his hair stood on end, and his body convulsed while sending off smoke. One bolt should not have done that, but I wasn't complaining. It did get the attention of the Tribunal, and Aunt Minnie's spell burned the clothes off his back. Something in me knew he would not be healing those burns. Ever. He stayed down this time. “Everyone okay?” asked Rhava as he rushed over. “Marcus? Phuong?” He checked them both over for injury and pulled them both into his long arms when he found them whole. “What did you hit him with?” Her innocent look was totally fake. “A spell I learned from a Norseman. A storm shaman. He called it 'Thor's Hammer,' and I think I see why. Also...brought up some groundwater under his feet. For added oomph, you understand.” She gave me a wink. Totally awesome. Rhava just gaped and pulled her into one steamy kiss. I thought she was going to hit him with Mjolnir, but she just wrapped her arms around his neck. I felt a hand fall on each of my shoulders. One was Gene, silently thanking me for stopping the spells. The other was Marcus, having to use me to keep him from falling over from the overflow. “Damn, her lips are soft,” he whispered, and I just laughed at him. “Were it anyone but you laughing at me, Dylan, I would have to hurt them.” But I understood. I had three perverted sex fiends in my head, he had one who at least shared his love for the same gender he liked. The Eldest motioned for one of the other Members to go check on Anthony, then he cleared his throat. “While I understand youthful passion, can we get on with the proceedings?” Rhava pulled away, and I could see three faces flushed red. “Thank you. Will all involved please stand for our decision.” Phuong hastily sat, looking cool and calm save for the flush in her cheeks. Rhava sheepishly took his place with the Tribunal. “The final decision of this Tribunal, with four votes for and three abstaining, is you have all been found innocent of crimes against our Camps.”
  6. Fantasyboy69

    Calling and Finding Home

    Only one character is based off real life, the rest are just the general people I have as family and friends.
  7. Fantasyboy69

    Calling and Finding Home

    As lucie put it so well, Ginger is one of Jon's friends. She was shown in book one (A Full Moon) when Dylan got his Halloween costume from Universal Studios. She is now Dylan's boss as he went into concept art mentioned in book 3. (Home To Roost)
  8. Fantasyboy69

    Calling and Finding Home

    As lucie put it so well, Ginger is one of Jon's friends. She was shown in book one (A Full Moon) when Dylan got his Halloween costume from Universal Studios. She is now Dylan's boss as he went into concept art mentioned in book 3. (Home To Roost)
  9. Fantasyboy69

    Calling and Finding Home

    Before anything else, I had a few calls to make. First one seemed more important at the moment, although I don't know if Dad would agree. I dialed home. “Homestead, this is Heather.” “Hello, beautiful,” I said with a bit of a purr in my voice. I had missed her. Love the guys, but they were no substitute for her. “Hello yourself, handsome. Is it safe for you to call?” She knew I needed to stay as quiet as I could. My sarcastic self was thinking that she should have guessed it was safe or else I wouldn't have called. “Yeah. We found them.” I could hear her cheering and calling for Grandpa. I could even hear him storming into the room. She put us on speaker phone. “Well, that saves me having to ask you to get Grandpa.” “Where are you?” asked Grandpa Alan. His Aussie accent was so clear. I wondered if Aunt Minerva lost hers or if Grandpa had moved to Rooville very young. “In the middle of nowhere. Everyone is fine, except Wallace. We lost him.” I hated delivering the news, but it had to be passed on. “Zeke's calling Salt Lake.” “We'll pass on the news. When will you be back?” Heather wasn't cheering now. Her tone was flat. Any loss was a bad one. “After the solstice. With or without everyone.” I laid it all out, but I saved the good news for last. “Good thing is, we have two of the four votes needed from the Tribunal to clear them. Oh, by the way, Grandpa, Aunt Minnie says hi.” The small gasp was clear. Yay, I shocked him. “Minerva?” “Yup. She's awesome. So are my cousins.” Which meant I had to tell them about that. It was probably the best news as far as Grandpa went. Losing family meant the same to him as growing up without one meant to me. I could almost hear Heather shaking her head. “You're an ass, love. Alan, I'm marrying and mating an ass.” Such fondness in her voice though. “You wanted him. He's your problem now. You had a year to back out.” I love my sarcastic family. “After all that, I guess I can keep him. I mean, he bathes regularly, doesn't make too many messes, he's potty trained,” Heather recited the general grievance list of every woman in TV and movie tropes. “Tell Min...tell my big sis I miss her,” said Grandpa. His voice sounded a bit choked up, but I would expect no less. I knew it was mostly the lost time he was sad about. “Grandpa, Homestead would survive one day without an Alpha figure. I know Dad's annoying the Council the death, and you agreed to watch over the pack, but you should come up here and spend the solstice with us.” It was a long shot because I knew he would most likely decline. He took his place within the pack very seriously, and with Papa Travis now on the Council, there would no one to make the executive decisions. I knew that Homestead could govern itself for one day. “I wish I could, Dyl. Perhaps when all this has passed, I will make my way up there. Now that I know where she is, I can visit.” He sounded a little hesitant, but I knew he would see her. “I know she would like that. I need to call Dad. Let him know what's what.” I didn't want to, because he was dealing with the Council and I wasn't there in my capacity as Prime Enforcer. It could seem to the Council that Homestead could not afford to send out hunters and bring their hierarchy to the meeting. It could be seen as weakness. At least Dean and Kao should be there by now. “You do that. I'm proud of you, Dylan. It sounds like you have done what is necessary to ensure the safe return of all our people.” I could hear the pride, pardon the pun, in his voice. After saying my goodbyes, which were very different to Grandpa and Heather, I called Dad. It would not be pretty. It rang three times and Pat answered. The only reason Pat answered was Dad was arguing with someone on the Council, loudly, and with some very inventive phrases including things that were anatomically impossible. “Tell me you have good news.” He sounded tense, but with the shouting in the background, I didn't have to guess why. Normally Pat was the soul of courtesy. He usually sounded chipper or at least professionally courteous. “We found them. All but Wallace survived.” I went on to tell him what had happened and what would happen in the coming days. “Good. Jon, it's Dyl,” said my other dad. He said it quietly but all arguing stopped. “Talk to me, son,” said Dad, and I knew that everyone was straining to hear me. Again, I told him what was going on. I could almost hear his grin spread over his face, although he had grunted when I told him Wallace had died. “Dyl, you're awesome. I knew it was right to send my best to do what the Council could or would not. Keep us posted if anything comes up.” “Sure, Dad.” I wasn't upset when he hung up. He had more important things to deal with than tearful goodbyes. Like bragging about how awesome I am. I turned to everyone. “Dad is yelling at the Council for being morons and unable to do in months what we did in a week.” Rhisi looked shocked. “Alpha Davenport is...yelling at the Council?” I nodded with a smile on my face. “I've heard he is rather laid back...but it's the Council.” He sounded like a cheesy robot saying It does not compute. Colton grinned. “Jon's great. Pretty chill. Until you piss him off. Then he is one hundred percent asshole, the most stubborn shit you've ever met thanks to being raised by an Aussie, and an alpha to boot. Watching him bump heads with the Council would be funny. The bureaucrats wouldn't stand a chance. Except for Councilman Andrews, but he wouldn't fight with Jon.” This last he said as a bit of an afterthought. “Why is that?” Rhava asked, a lopsided grin on his face. I could tell he was already pretty comfortable around us freaks. “He's my other grandpa,” I said. “Dad is his son-in-law.” “So...had you been hurt or worse, Equis Camp would have pissed off Homestead, the Davenport Solaris, Salt Lake City Pack, Rogue Valley Flock, and the former alpha of the East Coast Pack.” I think the idea of just how connected I was finally hit home. Poor Rhisi looked like he just had a death sentence revoked. “Close. You would have pissed off my dads, my grandpas, probably would have annoyed SLCP, pissed off my Uncle Dean and his mate Kao, who is the brother of Phuong, and probably the Whitebears simply because the slightly smaller mountain over there adopted me as his brother.” I was grinning. “Oh, let's not forget Ginger.” “Do I even want to know?” asked Rhava. “No...she's the scariest.” I know my face turned a bit whiter at the mention of my honorary aunt. Trust me when I say I have seen enraged lions, a pack of wolves take down a rival pack, a cold-blooded execution via cranial bullet, and none of them scared me as much as Ginger. I missed one deadline because of a power outage, and I was in fear for my balls if not my life. Ever hear your life ending when you read a politely phrased email? It doesn't flash. It screams like it's being fucked by a cactus while being dragged away to be eaten by rabid wolverines while nibbled on by fire ants. She's human. “So what's next?” asked Zeke. Most of us shared glances, and then all eyes looked at Rhisi. Since he was the head of security here, he would have a say in it. “You can stay and set up here or move into the camp proper. As both guests of our spiritual leader and related by blood, to deny you the camp would be a very large breach in custom.” I got the feeling that customs were important to the people of Equis Camp. “Kinda sticks in your craw, doesn't it?” I asked. Probably not the kindest move on my part, but he deserved a good bit of ribbing for trying to have us arrested. “A bit, but I can still throw you into the cave if you lip off too much.” His face said he was serious, but he couldn't keep the humor out of his eyes. Nice to know Rhisi wasn't a dick, just worried and willing to shoot first and question the bodies. That runs in the family. “Here will be fine,” said Phuong, and none of us even thought of speaking against her. Rhava nodded. “Relax, if you can, until the Tribunal meets. It would be an honor to have you join us for a meal tonight. Quite a few of us are vegetarian, but I know we have some wild turkey.” “Any fish?” asked Zeke, and Quintin and Colton smacked the back of his head. “Whaaaat? Honest question. You guys know what happens if I eat turkey.” Colton couldn't help himself, and he said it before I did. “He snores...from both ends...very loudly.” Only Phuong looked scandalized, but I think it was mostly feigned. “Anything else embarrassing you want to tell about me?” Zeke grumbled. Does he not think before he speaks? How could he not see he was giving us an opening? “When you orgasm your eyes roll back and your face turns super red,” I said with the straightest face I could. I was waiting to see if anyone was going to ask how I knew, but in this crowd, it was probably damned obvious I would know. “Bears do shit in the woods,” said Quint. “You're a total bottom whore,” said Colton, who was even more of a bottom. “You look at Quintin and Colton like a hungry man does a buffet. No idea where to start, but you know you wanna eat it all. 'I'll start with the Colton, then have the Quintin, over easy, and maybe some Dylan for dessert.'” Rhava's comment brought a blush creeping up Zeke's face. He wasn't angry at all. He was trying not to laugh. It's pretty bad when people you barely knew had embarrassing things to say about you. Especially when they are so spot on. “Fighting gives you a boner,” said Phuong from completely out of left field. Yup, there was the full blush which had us all laughing at him. We all looked at Rhisi as if it was his turn to embarrass Zeke. He just stood there with his arms folded, a vacant look in his eyes. “Nothing?” asked Zeke after too long a silence. Rhisi shook his head to clear the cobwebs. “Sorry, I was wondering if you would look better as a rug or a comforter. You have such a nice pelt. What did you ask?” No sound. Nothing. Then Zeke shook his head. “I know I'm hairy, but I don't have a pelt.” Rhisi's answering grin was perfect. “Yup, being an ass runs in the family,” he grumbled with his own smile lurking. The meal was sublime...yeah, I said sublime. At least I stopped myself from saying totally tubular, which was actually very hard. Dad and Uncle Dean and their damned surfer lingo. There was more than enough to go around even when you added four hungry boys and a bottomless pit of hottie named Phuong. There had been fish, courtesy of Aunt Minnie dropping a discrete word to two hunters. I was proud of my packmates. They didn't eat the Camp out of house and home. I knew they could eat thrice what they did and still eye a four-tier cake for first dessert. Hobbits, the lot of them. They also pitched in on clean up, citing familial ties. No one, even those who felt it rude to have guests work, said anything after that. I think it was mostly because the guys were stripped to the waist and most of the workers were women. Zeke and his massive muscles, Colton and his slightly husky build, Quintin with his broad shoulders and lean physique. Eye candy all around. Of course, the women understood why their shirts came off. When buckets of water get tossed around, it's easier to retaliate when you're not encumbered by a clinging wet shirt. Zeke tried to soak Phuong, but the water just stopped in mid-splash, reversed course, and drenched the man. “I should have seen that coming,” he said evenly, tapping his chin. Shrugging his shoulders, he went back to scrubbing the pans. One Skifter, a younger girl, tugged on my shirt as she looked up at me with solemn eyes. “Yes, little lady?” “Why are the boys doing women's work?” Her tone was just as solemn as he face. “Well, Zeke's mama runs a boarding house. Do you know what that is?” She shook her head. “She opens her house to anyone in need of shelter, and all she asks is a bit of help around the property. Zeke does dishes as well as chops wood. He was taught to help out where there is a need. Colton has a lot of younger siblings, so he had to help his mama take care of them. That meant doing dishes when there were any to be done. Quintin was in the military.” That was all the reason needed for him. “Oh. Why aren't you helping?” Ah, the Eternal Question...I fucking hate the sound of “WHYYYYY?” “I'm clumsy and break too many dishes when I try to wash them. Aunt Minnie would skin me alive if I broke something.” I could see Minerva's mouth quirk up in a small grin. “Oh. Then you are free to help me.” Which is how I found myself building a temporary tree house with four benches that can seat twelve. Apparently, none of the elders of the Camp would help her. I guess she was supposed to learn, but one thing I learned was never to give a kid tools and leave them alone. Rather, Dad found that out when I left a few parts out of his car engine when I was learning auto-shop. That fix came out of my allowance for six months. The next day passed quickly, and I spent all of it at Sun Camp as I tried to form a familiar bond with the other Solaris. I could feel it easily with Aunt Minerva, and I had come to know Marcus enough to trust him. The other two were aloof. The other lion was polite but retained his distance. Not a good way to build the bond I would need to keep calm during the solstice. The eagle...gave me a nod. That was it. I had gotten friendlier welcomes from rival packs. We ate every meal together. I guess in hopes of building that bond. Nope, not feelin' it. It was making me itchy with all the silence from half of the Camp's members. Conversation flowed freely between myself and Marcus. Having a shared annoyance, we hit it off fairly well. Aunt Minnie seemed to ignore the other two but aware that I was agitated. I finally just blurted out, “Don't you two ever talk?” Their expressions were a bit annoyed but hurt at the same time. “Dylan...both of them have been trying to speak with you.” I looked at Marcus like he was crazy. I can be pretty oblivious at times, but this wasn't one of them. “You were told that spells just bounce off you. All four of us have been trying to let you know mentally to relax. Our spells just keep vanishing.” “You do know how silly it sounds to try and tell me to relax with magic that bounces off? Staying quiet which I know you can tell is making me edgy and making me tense? You do realize this, right?” I know I sounded sarcastic, but come on. They had to realize it. Henri, the other lion, shook his head. “How can you be so nervous around your own kind?” That French accent was thick, so I could see why he might not speak much. English was obviously not his first language. “Oh it's not you personally, or even Solaris. I just really hate magic.” That shocked them. “Why?” asked the eagle quietly, finally speaking. “It is a personal...” began Aunt Minnie, but I took off my shirt and showed them my scar. “This is why. I don't know you two at all. I know Minerva wouldn't hurt me, and Marcus wouldn't hurt a fly.” Again, I don't really know how I knew this. “You wield magic, and I don't trust magic. Forgive me for being blunt, but I have damn good reasons to hate spells.” Marcus placed a hand on my bare shoulder and gave it a squeeze. “Take a moment, Dylan. Find your peace,” he advised. His voice was soothing, and it work on me almost as well as if Quint had just put his hand on my shoulder. I did. I closed my eyes. I knew I was nervous and my flight or fight response was ready to jump either way. In my head I could see Heather in one of my shirts and nothing else, cooking breakfast. She looked over her shoulder and smiled so sweetly. This was my peace. Then, of course, Quintin and the boys just barged in and hopped into bed with me for cuddles. Heather shook her head and added more batter and bacon, a fond look in her eyes. As annoying as my friends are, it didn't disturb my peace. It was part of it. This, Heather and the guys, this was my peace. I couldn't deny it, and I could feel Quintin's happiness from our camp. I love you, too, Creep. I didn't push away the unease. It just floated away like a balloon into a puffball cloudy sky. When I opened my eyes, all four were looking at me with the gentlest smiles. “You're in my head now, aren't you?” I didn't need to ask, I could feel it. Rather, I could feel Minerva. She was the only one truly in my head, the other three were in hers. “I won't apologize for what you see in there. I live in it and get scared.” And, just to prove the point, Quintin and the boys were having mental sex right now and all of Sun Camp could see it. I couldn't block them out either, but I had warned them they wouldn't like what was in my head. Minerva was just laughing. Henri was shaking his head and trying to look disgusted and amused at the same time. The eagle, whose name was never said, had a look that spoke of so little amusement. Marcus was blushing so hard. “No wonder you are crazy. Having that in my head would send me off my rocker.” “Feel lucky your soulmate is straight. I get gay porn in my head.” And a boner in my pants which I had to hide behind my lunch platter. They all knew it, but that didn't mean I liked it. Much. Thankfully, Minerva left my head. “Remind me to speak to those boys about appropriate behavior.” “Oh, I will. If you want, I can give you their mothers' phone numbers.” That evil thought had me smiling the rest of the day. * * * I was itchy. I hated this part of solar events. I didn't have much of a choice whether I shifted during them, and that made it a bit worse. The Sun Camp residents were all outside, and had I not been raised by Lycans, I might have been shocked by everyone being nude. Myself included. The only comment I received was from Marcus. “I feel so sorry for your future wife,” he said with a wince. I looked down and shrugged. “And you wonder why I question when the guys want to have me top.” That made Marcus snort. All of us were aware of when the event was close because our bodies told us. Judging by their faces, the others were just as uncomfortable as me. A tingling that radiated from the spine, gripped the scar on my chest, and the rest is flashes. Fragments of memory I couldn't say were mine. A large lioness grooming me, a dog wiggling his hind end as he wanted to play, and bringing down a deer. My human side was so buried I couldn't even remember my name. I didn't have a name. I was Lion. He was Dog. She was Lioness. I do remember one thing, or rather three. Lynx, Bear, and Coyote had come to lay with me and share my kill. My Pride had come to share in my hunt, and I gave to them freely as I would have my mate. Bear and Coyote had remained on two legs and made the fire to burn their portions, but Lynx had joined me in the fur and licked my muzzle free of blood. As I did for him. Brother, beloved, friend...lover. No human words could describe who Lynx was to me, and Bear and Coyote were part of us. My mate would have her paws full when we returned. * * * The first thing I remembered was feeling Quintin nuzzle deeper into my side. We were both nude, both bipedal, and it felt nice to have him there. I looked over to see Zeke cuddling Colton, lightly tracing his fingers across his chest, naked. I felt something stirring within me. Some strange new feeling. It wasn't a sexual feeling. It was something I had missed before I met Dad. This was family. Once I married and mated Heather, my family would be complete. I smiled softly when Colton and Zeke joined us in our snuggle. Colton curled up with Quintin between us and gave him a relaxed and sleepy kiss. Zeke spooned up behind me, draping his big arm over all three of us. I turned slightly to look into his warm eyes. I wasn't surprised when he kissed me, not even when there was a little tongue action. Hell, I wasn't even surprised when I kissed him back. There was no use in denying I loved these men as much as I loved Heather. My only thought was to wonder if she would be okay having a reverse harem. I heard a quiet click and looked to see Zeke had snapped a picture of us...and saw him send it to Heather with the caption “wish you were here.” Almost instantly came her reply. Keep your dick out of my fiance until I get a chance to break him in. I wish I was there, too. “I love her,” said Zeke with a grin. “Where would you be?” he texted. Without missing a beat, her reply had us laughing hard enough to wake Quint. I have three holes, two hands, and a nice set of tits, use your imagination. Perhaps she would be okay with the harem. The wind shifted, and all of us looked over to see Aunt Minnie there, dressed in what looked like official robes of office. “Sorry to break up this wonderful scene,” and there was no sarcasm or joking in her voice or scent, “but the Tribunal meets in one hour.” “Thanks, Aunt Minnie. Held in Equis Camp, right?” She nodded in response. “Okay. Let's get up, guys.” Colton chuckled. “Too late.”
  10. Thanks for all the good wishes. My family was lucky. Our house was spared by the fire. Hopefully, things will get back to normal.

    1. Timothy M.

      Timothy M.

      I hope this means the fire is under control. I've been reading about those huge forest fires which are still expanding. :( 

    2. Fantasyboy69

      Fantasyboy69

      Last I heard, it was just under 60%

  11. Everyone, please keep California, USA in your thoughts. My family and friends have been evacuated because of a massive wildfire. I Don't know when the next time I will be able to post a chapter. Any happy thoughts you can spare would be wonderful.

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Page Scrawler

      Page Scrawler

      I'll keep you and your family in my thoughts. :hug: And safe travels to the brave men and women who protect everyone from these blazes.

    3. Puppilull

      Puppilull

      Scary these fires raging around the world. I hope all turns out OK for you and your loved ones, and that the fires are under control shortly.

    4. Timothy M.

      Timothy M.

      :hug: from Denmark (and your editor)

  12. 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.
  13. Fantasyboy69

    Sun Camp

    Older woman, turns into a cat, casts spells...
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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