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The Lone and the Loner - Complete (9 Parts)


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Talbot, anyone? Well, I missed him. Don't know about the rest of you!!! Anyway, I wanted to write this when I'm in a writing mood. Hope you like it.

The Lone and the Loner

Part One:

Mason North bared his teeth in a silent snarl. The kid had a lot of nerve, coming back here after what his parents had done. And yet, here he was, strolling up to Pack Headquarters as if he belonged, as if he’d be accepted.

Well. He had another thing coming.

“Talbot Frost.” Abel Miner, the pack Alpha, stood blocking the door, huge feet spread wide, arms laced over his barrel chest.

This was technically his house - mansion, whatever you wanted to call it - which meant Talbot was either really stupid, or had some kind of death wish.

The pack didn’t meet up much anymore, not like they used to; now, it was a monthly thing, the whole gang showing up at Abel’s house to discuss…whatever needed to be discussed - like lone wolves invading their territory. The meeting had just ended when the doorbell rang. When Mason had seen who it was at the door, his jaw had literally dropped.

It had been four years since he’d spoken to Talbot, and they hadn’t seen each other at all since high school, about two years ago. It was weird, really. Talbot hadn’t changed much: maple brown hair that looked like it had been cut by a blind man, small freckled nose, the biggest blue eyes Mason had ever seen - the kind that made the kid look like an adorably innocent puppy…a cruel deception if Mason had ever known one.

He was skinnier, though. Not sickly by any means, just…well, Talbot had been on the chubby side all through high school, so it was weird to see him looking so…fit.

“Never thought I’d see you again, kid,” Abel said, sounding vaguely amused. “What was it that I told you? I think it had something to do with…not coming back? Ever?”

Talbot didn’t flinch at the hint of ice lacing the Alpha’s voice, merely squared his shoulders, looking defiant. “I want a second chance. I shouldn’t have to pay for the crimes of my parents - not when I had nothing to do with the crime.”

“Oh, is that the case?” Abel quirked his brows, glancing over his shoulder to where the pack (all thirteen of them) was gathered, ready to attack. “What do you think? Should we let him off the hook?”

A chorus of growled “NO!”s - Mason’s included - rumbled through the house. This time Talbot did flinch, but only slightly. Mason flicked a glance at Ida, whose reaction had been more violent than even Mason’s own. Her eyes were narrowed to yellow slits, her hands crunched into angry fists.

Yeah. He guessed he’d want blood, too, in her place.

“I’m not asking to be let off the hook,” Talbot countered. “I…I just want a chance to prove myself.”

Mason felt his own eyes narrowing. He didn’t trust Talbot. Not at all. He had, once, and that had been a big mistake. He wouldn’t make it again.

Abel, though, had different ideas. Interest sparked in his coal black eyes. “Talbot, Talbot, Talbot,” he drawled. “I believe I may have a way for you to do just that.”

- - -

“You can’t trust him!” Ida burst out the moment Talbot left. “He’ll betray us. Every one of us. He’s evil.”

Abel waved a bored hand. “This task doesn’t require trust, Ida. There’s nothing to lose. Either he kills the Lone or he doesn’t.”

A scowl ripped across her face as she snarled, “We should kill him! He has no right to be alive after what he did.”

“She’s right,” Ida’s cousin, Brad, echoed, probably not because he actually cared. The guy just liked blood. Period.

Abel rolled his eyes. “Mason,” he said.

Mason stiffened. “Yeah?”

“I want you to follow him. Tell me what he does.”

Why me? But all he said was, “Done.”

- - -

You are an absolute idiot, Talbot chided himself for the fortieth time. As if he had a chance of killing some lone wolf? For God’s sake, he could barely stand without feeling dizzy, without swaying on his feet.

But that was the problem, wasn’t it? He needed the pack. Without it, he’d die. If he had to kill some psycho to get what he needed, he would.

Lones were always vicious, always cruel. They relied on no one but themselves, and were the only species of Were able to survive on their own. Which…wasn’t encouraging.

Chilly October wind pulled at him, sending a shiver through him as he walked back to his car. He’d head over to Alan’s, maybe…he didn’t feel like being alone.

And Mason…Mason…the hatred he’d seen burning in those golden eyes wasn’t exactly unexpected, but that didn’t mean it hurt any less.

His car, a black Ford Focus, was ice cold as he slid into the driver’s seat and cranked up the heat. Damn, he was cold. Freezing. His hands shook as he scrubbed them over his face, trying to shove the lightheadedness aside so he could drive.

He was seriously screwed.

- - -

Mason approached the Ford slowly, silently. He saw Talbot slumped behind the wheel, head in his hands. Ah. So it had been an act then, the tough-guy bravery. Kid was probably pissing his pants in terror.

Swallowing a smile, he stood staring in at the boy, waiting to see what he’d do. Had he brought something with him? Some kind of weapon? Or was he really as helpless as he appeared? Mason scoffed internally. Helpless his ass.

Talbot’s shoulders tensed, and Mason thought he’d been detected, but Talbot didn’t lift his head. His shoulders crumpled forward as a shudder split his frame.

With his intensified wolf’s hearing, Mason could make out the sound of a desperately squelched sneeze. “Hff’mGxshh!-huhh…”

Talbot’s head came up, his top lip lifting as his rounded nostrils quavered once, twice, a third time, and his left eyebrow scrunched up a bare centimeter. His hand, scrawled with layers of curling ink, curled beneath the widened nostrils as his lashes descended over his clouded, sea blue eyes.

“Hhh.” The eyes closed, mouth opening wider. “Heh-nhhKnchSShtt!” He dipped his head, swiping his knuckles lightly under his nose as he drew in a burbling sniff. He brought his hands to his face, rubbed aggressively, sighed.

Mason suddenly felt…strange. His heart was beating too fast, and he could feel sweat glazing the back of his neck. Frowning, he turned his back on Talbot and strode for his own car just as the rest of the pack flooded from the house.

- - -

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I'm confused. Will this be alove story? Cause I'm kinda randomly hoping for

Mason& Talbot. Or maybe that was intentional........ What did his parents freaking do?!?!?!! Come on! Me wants to know. Yes. And can I has talbot. Cause werewolves are sorta my thing. Actually- I call ribs on him!! Hes mine! No one else shall take him from me!! I will kidnapp him and lock him in a tower. And we will be together forever. Yes!!!!!!! Muahahahahah!!!!!!! Mine! He's all mne! I need to sleep. Cause I may have driven all night cause hey! It's senior year. And my dorm looks over the graveyard! And driving scares me so..... I haven't slept. Cause I'm really nerve racked. Damn! I'm like spilling my lifes story here! Anyway. Great installment. Post. Part. Thingy. Can't wait for more!!!!

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Hot damn, girl, you work fast! :D When I saw that you had a new story out, I made an odd squeal/asthmatic gasp sort of sound that I have never made before. And it ROCKED.

Okay, so, I read your adorafying Faerie Tale before I gained the courage to join the forum, and I LOVED it to bits. Ferryn just...kills me with his sweet and innocent demeanor. BUT! This is not about Ferryn! Oh, no, it is about Talbot, who is freaking AWESOME. I loved him in the Faerie Tale, and I didn't think we'd see more of him. I'm delighted that we do, obviously, along with badass Mason here!

By the way, this is the first piece of fiction in a loooong while that's about werewolves and doesn't remind me of Twilight! So that makes it even better, if that's even possible. :lol:

Talbot...ohoho. I can't wait to see what happens to our sickly hero and his future...companion? Lover? We'll just have to find out!

Oh, yeah, and your writing knocks my friggin socks off. :lol:

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OHHH DAMN YEAH!!! there SHE goes again!!! :D

i like the start :zap:

and sneezy werewolves are kind of sexy i think :):wub::heart::blushing:

please more as always! :wub:

and i´m SOOOO happy that you are back Scion, i REALLY missed YOU, NO joke!!! :inlove::D

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obsessed: :lol: Thank you!

Candy: Haha. Thanks for commenting.

Tassielli: Yeeees. It was intentional. And there will be love...it'll just take some time. WEREWOLVES. are. AWESOME. Bahaha, lock him in a tower. Good luck with that! SERNIOR YEAR! I'd be a senior now if I hadn't dropped out of college for a year. Buuut now I'm back so whatever. Senior year should be fun, so HAVE FUN, okay? And thank you!!!

Awesome Galaxy: Ahaha, thank you SO MUCH!!!! You are way too nice to me. Hehe, I have a soft spot for Ferryn as well...and Talbot. HAHAHA. Well, I read a LOT of werewolf stories, so...yeah. Thank you again! I love your comments so, so, so, SO SO SO much. You are awesome. And your writing is awesome. And did I mention how awesome you were?

Ciuty80: :hug: Yep, I'm back. And yaaaay, thank you so much! I'm happy to be back as well. And I missed you, too! :D:hug:

Part Two:

Alan wasn’t home. Talbot knocked and knocked and freaking knocked some more and nothing. Just his luck.

The dizziness had turned into the kind of deep, biting ache, invading his head, poking at the backs of his eyes, gnawing on his temples. Dejected, he returned to his car.

As he drove home, he kept glancing in the rearview mirror, heart curdling. Mason was following him, and he wasn’t going to kid himself into thinking that all Mason wanted was a friendly chat. No…he’d either been sent, or had decided to give Tal a beating for daring to show his face at Pack Headquarters.

It didn’t really mater which…only that Talbot was, as usual, screwed.

- - -

He was still screwed the next night, and not in a good way. “Wait - you want me to take her?” he asked again, just to be sure.

His neighbor, Kara, smiled at him and nodded. She was young, maybe twenty-two, with a sweet, heart-shaped face and oddly sad eyes.

It was Halloween, and he’d just been heading out of his apartment to go bug Alan and Ferryn (mostly Ferryn, since he knew practically everything, and how to kill a Lone was probably included in the ‘everything’) when Kara had called his name. Now he wished he’d just ignored her.

Cindy, Kara’s five-year-old daughter, poked her head out of her apartment and offered him a shy smile, which he did not return. She pouted.

“Yeah,” Kara told him, pulling her hair up into a tight ponytail. “I have to work until ten, and the sitter just called me to cancel. I have no one else to ask. Look, you don’t have to take her very far, just maybe down Hanks, and then Shaw. She always gets more candy than she can handle, anyway.”

He stared at her. Her azure eyes were pleading. He sighed. “Fine, I’ll do it. But I’m not wearing a costume.”

- - -

Mason gaped as Talbot exited his apartment building wearing some kind of…potato costume. At least he thought it was a potato. Really, it could have been anything. A pet rock, maybe? An egg?

He snorted. He had to hand it to the kid, he was good at making himself look like a goofball when in reality he was a conniving serpent. A snake costume would have been far more accurate, but apparently the little girl skipping along beside Talbot was blissfully unaware of his true nature.

Talbot and the girl got into his car and drove off, Mason hot on their heels. He felt distinctly weird, trailing a guy in a potato-rock-egg costume and a little girl dressed as a fairy princess, but he couldn’t exactly go against Abel’s orders.

Wouldn’t, even if he could.

Unlike Talbot, he knew the meaning of loyalty. Of honor.

He gulped down the rest of his vanilla milkshake and took off in pursuit.

- - -

“What exactly…am I wearing?” Talbot asked Cindy as they got out of the car. He’d driven them to the neighborhood Kara had suggested, and…the thing was massive. He just hoped the girl didn’t expect them to hit every house.

“A lump!” she exclaimed happily, giggling up at him.

A…lump? Was she kidding? “No, really,” he said, guiding her onto the sidewalk as a stream of costumed kids charged toward them. “What am I?”

She giggled again. “A lump! That’s what I said! Weren’t you listening?” She batted her lashes with mock innocence, curling a strand of strawberry blond hair around one chubby finger.

“Right,” he remarked. “A lump. Fantastic. I’ve always wanted to be…a lump.”

God, he was tired. And dizzy. And nauseous. And his head hurt. Bad. And this freaking costume was the most uncomfortable contraption ever invented. He was completely immersed in a rounded…lump. He had two eye-holes and a nose-hole, which was pretty much useless, since he couldn’t breathe through his nose anyway. “Come on, then. Let’s get this over--hhih!

No. No. No. NO.

Talbot froze, fingers poised around his nose. “HmkXSHh!’uh…Great.” He pinched the bridge of his nose, sniffling in long, congested pulls.

Cindy snickered, waving her little silver wand thingy in the air. “You sneezed!”

“I noticed,” he sighed, blinking the moisture from his eyes.

“Your face looked really funny,” she went on, bow lips curving, mischief twinkling in her eyes. “I could see your tongue. It was blue.”

Talbot shut his eyes. “Thank you. Now, can we go?”

Nodding excitedly, Cindy grabbed his hand and began dragging him along. This was going to be a seriously long, painful, exhausting night.

What else was new?

- - -

Mason watched from behind a bush as Talbot slumped down on the stairs leading up to a white house with a bright red door streaked with fake spider-webs. It was hard for him, what with the colossal costume, but he managed it.

Abruptly, he stood, reached behind him to unzip the potato-rock-egg, and yanked the thing off him with a frustrated growl. He tossed it aside with a shudder of relief, then sagged back down onto the steps.

The little girl was ringing the doorbell, oblivious as she bounced up and down like a buoy. Mason got the feeling Talbot would be feeling her wrath soon enough.

Bracing his hands on his knees, Talbot leaned forward. His face tightened, lines forming at the corners of his eyes, and then loosened all at once as his jaw lowered with a shiver of breath. He wrinkled his nose up slightly on one side, his chest slowly expanding in a contained gasp. Then his head jerked toward his lap, hands clenching tighter on his knees. “HMb’pTShhXCH!-uhh.” He pressed a wrist under his nose, nostrils flaring as he gurgled in a thick, weary snuffle.

The animation left his expression as he drooped against the metal railing, closing his eyes. Cindy grabbed several handfuls of candy before hopping down to Talbot. When she caught sight of his discarded costume, her mouth fell open.

“You took it off! You weren’t supposed to take it off! You promised!” Her mouth contorted as tears glistened on her golden lashes. “Didn’t you like it?” Her voice was very small, hurt.

Mason wasn’t buying it. Neither, it seemed, was Talbot.

“You didn’t want me to like it,” he scoffed, waving a dismissive hand. “You wanted to torture me and we both know it, so quit the act, little girl.”

She scowled severely, clutching her plastic pumpkin protectively to her chest. “I’ll tell mommy. She’ll be mad at you.”

Talbot rolled his eyes. “Like I chhhh - like I…care.” He held up a finger, signaling her to wait, while his chest kicked out in a series of stuttering pants. His lids drooped, flickered, and then vanished as he bowed his head into his elbow. “UhN’tsshUMphh!-mm.” He ran his tongue over his dry lips, rubbing his nose, then his eyes.

Several kids dressed in various ugly costumes skipped past them up the stairs and began pounding on the door.

Cindy, ignoring them, watched Talbot closely, pressing a finger to her mouth. “Are you sick?”

He shrugged a shoulder. “Yep. You ready to go?”

She narrowed her eyes, but nodded.

“Good.” Talbot rose, slowly, clutching the railing for support as the color evaporated from his face.

Mason’s heart flipped. What was Tal playing at? He couldn’t possibly be THAT sick. Could he? It had to be some kind of act. But why?

“What’s wrong?” Cindy was at his side in a blink, fisting a little hand in the hem of his shirt as he hunched over, gripping his midsection. “Does your tummy hurt?”

A smile forced itself onto Talbot’s lips, pained and unconvincing. “Eh, I’m okay. It was just…I’m okay. Let’s go.”

- - -

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I just started reading this now. It's really good!

Only...I'm confused: who is Talbot? Have you written about him before? I couldn't find anything on the forum...a little help?

Keep up the good work!

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@EliGirl He was a minor character in the one about Alan (the writer) and the fairy whose name I've forgotten, from this spring.

Talbot is a favorite of mine.

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Gahhhhh! What!?!?!? Sad that Gahhhhh pops up in my autocorrect box. Grrr! I hate that little girl! She's such a b*tch!!!!! I want I wrangle her. Does wrangle work there? What does wrangle even mean? And go Talbot fir standing up to her!!!!!! And I can too lock him in a tower!!! He's weak right now, I can take him!! And beside even if he wasn't my super awesome faery powers would take care of that hot werewolfy goodness!!! Maybe I'd let Mason visit him once a week! I'd be the best kidnapper EVA!!! So I just watched the lying games and I'm so hooked! Damn abc family for their great shows!!!! Any way- you are amazing as always, darling. She said in a posh British accent. LOL. I really need to sleep. Great job. Senior year! More wok.... Yeah....:):(:lol: Oh well!

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So happy to see a new story from you! Everything you write is gold! This story being no exception. I love Talbot already. And I'm strangely amused by this little girl being able to torture him like this. A lump costume--LOL. It seems like she might be a little sympathetic though--how couldn't you be? Talbot seems so cute! And when he's all angsty and sniffly? D'awww.

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:lol: tal as a lump *still laughing* :naughty:

and his sneezes are so YUMMY :laugh:

i´m open for more sneezy!talbot and i can´t wait to read about alan and ferryn again,

love them also sooo DAMN much!!! :blushing:

please more!!! :):blushing:

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Oh My God!*squeals like a little girl*You're back, you're back, you're back! YAY! I missed you sooooooo much! Don't you ever leave again! Oh! Lovin' the Talbot stuff! I totally had a thing for him in the fairy story and now you brought him back! Yay again! GREAT STORY! UPDATE SOON!

BYE! ;)

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EliGirl: Thank you! Yeah, Talbot appeared in my story called "Faerie Tale."

queenie: Haha, yeah, you and sicky/weak boys!

obsessed: OhYAY! ;)

Going_Nuts: Hehe, thank you! I'm glad to be back.

Tassielli: Bahaha, your hatred for Cindy is greatly amusing to me! Hm, I guess you could wrangle her - I mean, if you put a rope around her neck and pulled...that would not be very comfortable for her LMAO. Haha, true, you could take him right now. Well, you better get to it then! Before his werewolf strength comes back. But I wouldn't invite Mason, cuz he could probably kick your butt...or if he didn't, he'd have to kill you for emarrassing him by beating him. GOOD LUCK. :wacko::boom:

RSB: Oh, thank you so much. I really enjoy your writing/stories as well. :) Hehe, I know, right? Talbot clearly needes huggles.

Ciuty80: YAY!!! I'm so happy you like!!! Means so much to me. And yep, I'll have to give Alan/Ferryn some role in this soon. :D

Akahana: Oh, thank you loads!

Bubbles!: I MISSED YOU TOO!!!!!! Thank you! I can't promise I'll never leave, but I can promise I'll ALWAYS be back! :D

Part Three:

. . .


. . .

“Hey, Tally-Tubby. Whatcha doin’?”

Talbot flinched, drawing his knees up to his chest so he’d have somewhere to hide his face. He knew that voice. Knew that mean, mocking tone.

It happened every time there was a pack meeting. Hal North, the pack Alpha, was nice enough, but that hardly made a difference when the rest of the pack hated his guts. While the adults were off talking politics, the kids were left in the finished basement to do pretty much whatever they wanted, which always included making Tal feel like the smallest, most microscope life-form on the planet.

The sofa he was sitting on dipped as Brad Sumner sat down beside him. Brad was three years older than Talbot, and already looked about eighteen, though he was really only fourteen. Smith and Chase, his minions (aka younger brothers), would be watching, evil grins splattered across their identical faces, ready to laugh at Tal’s expense.

“Maybe you were adopted,” Brad said conversationally. “I mean, that would explain a lot.”

Talbot ignored him, didn’t even glance up as embarrassment brewed in his veins. It would only get worse.

“’Cause y’know, it just isn’t normal. Werewolves are meant to be fit, strong, not…” He made a faux sympathetic cluck. “I just don’t think you’re one of us. Do you?”

He. Would. Not. Cry.

“Hey, don’t ignore me,” Brad snapped. “I’m trying to help you here. The least you could do is look at me.”

Tal felt Brad grab a chunk of his hair and yank his head up with brutal force. Tears leapt to his eyes, but he battled them back with all he had. Crying would only prove Brad’s point. He wasn’t like the rest of them. He knew that. He was fat and ugly and cowardly and -

“Just what the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Talbot and Brad both froze at the new voice. Tal had never heard it before, which was weird, because he knew every single member of the pack like the back of his hand.

And the body the voice belonged to was definitely no one he’d ever seen before. He was tall, even taller than Brad, with a head of close-cropped black hair and eyes the color of warm honey - angry eyes. The anger, Tal was relieved to discover, was not directed at him, but at Brad.

“Wh--who are you?” Brad stammered, almond eyes going wide as he released his grip on Tal’s hair and stood, throwing back his shoulders in a failed attempt to look taller.

“You didn’t answer my question,” the newcomer said in a cold, deadly tone, clenching his square jaw in obvious annoyance.

“Just who do you think you are?” Smith piped up, coming to his brother’s defense.

“Yeah,” Chase said, sticking his chin up toward the ceiling. “What gives you the right to march in here and tell us what to do? Are you even part of this pack?”

The boy’s lethal expression dimmed and he began to look simply annoyed. “I didn’t tell you what to do. I asked you a question. And do you really think I’d be alive right now if I weren’t part of the pack?”

Before either of them could answer, he strode dismissively past them and took a seat next to Tal, offering a friendly smile that did wonders on his face. His teeth were kind of crooked, but in an endearing way that made him seem less intimidating.

“Hey,” he said. “I’m Mason. Hal’s my uncle.”

Oh. So he was…the Alpha’s nephew? Then how come he’d never seen him before? And why in the world was he sitting here talking to Talbot of all people. Tal felt more self-conscious than ever, very aware of Mason’s obvious confidence, not to mention height.

He felt like nothing more than an intruder. A lump. Yeah, that was it. He felt like a measly, useless lump just getting in the way.

“Um. Hi,” he managed, voice cracking horribly. He winced, looking down at his knees. “I’m…Talbot.” He chanced a glance at Mason to see that the boy’s expression had softened even more - great: pity. Just what he’d always wanted. “But you don’t have to pretend to like me. I’m pathetic, but I’m not that pathetic.”

Mason raised his brows. “What, you think I’d rather hang with them?” He shot a disdainful glance at Brad and his minions. “Not likely.”

Despite himself, Tal felt his mouth tweaking up. “You’re taller than Brad. So the only option is for you to be his enemy.”

A grin split Mason’s face and Tal felt pride swell in his chest. This boy liked him. Thought he was funny. Thought he was worth talking to.

He’d never been so happy in his life.

- - -


. . .

He was so not okay. He was miles and miles from okay and wasn’t sure he’d ever be okay again; he hated sneezing in front of Cindy, because she could never just let it go - she always had to make some insulting comment. And she could blame his freaking blue tongue on the lollipop she’d forced on him at the beginning of the night.

Plus, It didn’t help that Mason had decided to become his stalker. He felt those golden eyes trained on him everywhere he went, and it was freaking him out.

What did the guy want? He’d already had more than enough chances to pull out a can of whoop-ass on Tal, but hadn’t taken any of them. Maybe he knew Tal knew. Maybe he was doing this on purpose, letting him stew, trying to make him as edgy as possible before finally moving in for the kill.

The kill.

He squished his eyes shut, not wanting to remember. God, the blood. He hadn’t known people could bleed so much. He hadn’t known a lot of things. He’d been stupid, blind, trusting, and it was going to cost him his life.

But the worst of it…was that he cared more about losing Mason than he did his parents, and Mason wasn’t even dead.

By the time he got back to his apartment building, he was so tired he felt like his eyes were about to fall out of his head. Kara had given him a key to her apartment so he could put Cindy to bed and serve as temporary babysitter until she got home.

When Cindy was all tucked into bed (he’d had to hide the candy so she’d stop stuffing it down her throat), he collapsed onto the beige couch and flung an arm over his eyes. He must have fallen asleep, because the next thing he knew Kara was looming over him, one hand shaking his shoulder.

“Mmuh?” he mumbled, muffling a cough against his shoulder.

Kara smiled tiredly. “I’m back. Did everything go okay?”

He blinked, mashed a hand across his face. “Oh. Uh. Yeah, it was f--fiiine. Heh! Mm.” He sat up quickly, elbow coming up to block the sneeze he couldn’t fight back. “HyuH’nGTtushh!-ahh.”

“Bless you.” She sounded surprised, a crease of concern darkening her brow. “Are you okay? You’re…well…” A flush crept up her neck. “You’re a little sweaty.”

Tal pressed his knuckles to the ache under his right eyebrow, and - damn - she was right. He was soaking wet, which obviously had to be attractive. “I’m okay,” he croaked.

Her brows shot up at the sound of his dead, cracked voice. “Talbot.” She worried her lower lip. “You should have told me you weren’t feeling well. I wouldn’t have asked you to go out if I’d known.”

Sure, he thought bitterly. “It’s fine.” He made the mistake of trying to prevent his nose from leaking by letting loose with a bubbling sniff. Right away, he felt the need to sneeze jump up on him and he hurriedly turned away from a startled Kara, using the bottom of his shirt to dampen the discharge. “HmphTsshUSH!-ehh. It’s not like I had anything better to do,” he said like nothing had happened. Like kill someone to save myself.

She shook her head of golden curls. “You could go back to school, you know. I mean, it’s not like I can talk.” She shot a look at the closed door to Cindy’s bedroom. “But I have an excuse. What’s yours?”

“I’ve gotta go,” he said, insulted. He was tired of everyone looking down their noses at him, even if he did deserve it.

“Wait.” She caught his arm, pulling him around to face her. Her eyes were oddly bright, her cheeks lightly flushed. “I - wanted to ask you something before you go.”

“I’m not babysitting again,” he rushed to say.

“No, that’s not - ”

“Hold on.” He raised a hand as he dueled with his nose, waiting to see if he could conquer the tickle or at least put it off until he was alone. No such luck. His breath hitched against his will. “Hhh…uhh…” He twisted away from her, once again lifting the bottom of his shirt to cover his face as the sneeze squeaked free. “Hxgt’YnkTtssuh!-huh!” He tipped his head back, blinking rapidly, then arced back down for another moist: “etSSItschhIUH!-hhh.”

“Bless you,” she said as he rubbed his shirt over his nose.

“Hh. ‘Scuse me,” he sighed, exhausted. “So, uh, what were you saying?”

She bit her lip nervously. “Oh…it was. Never mind. It’s not important. You should rest. I’ll, um, tell you later.”

He was too drained to argue, not that he wanted to anyway. His warm bed was waiting for him not fifteen feet away.

“Later,” he told her.

“Yeah,” she returned, smiling a little sadly - why was she sad? - “Later.”

Later. Later. Later.

He’d ask her later.

- - -

Mason didn’t know why he was doing this. It made no sense and had no purpose and, hell, what was he thinking? He had his orders: Follow Talbot.

And yet here he was, wandering around downtown Hopkinton of all places. He’d been tracking the Lone for half the night, and was getting pretty fed up. This was supposed to be Tal’s job, and Mason had no doubt the kid could carry it off - so why was he here?

Easy answer: Talbot wasn’t.

It was pure torture following the kid around all day and night, having to relive the horrifying memories of That Night over and over.

But he couldn’t go home without his parents realizing he was going against Abel’s orders, so he had to do something - other than suck down an endless waterfall of vanilla milkshakes and whatever sugary substance he could get his hands on.

He just didn’t know what he’d do when he actually found the Lone.

Or if he’d survive the encounter.

- - -

Mason was in trouble.

Tal didn’t know how he knew this, but he felt it with a bone-deep certainty. Something was wrong. He was…hurt. Scared.

Without thought, Talbot arrowed out of bed, grabbed his keys, and tore outside to his car without bothering to change out of his pajamas.

Once in his car, he regretted the decision not to snatch up his coat. It was freezing, so freezing he could barely focus on the road. But he had to. Mason. Mason needed him.

The general ache in his head spiraled down into his nose, transforming into a taunting itch he couldn’t deny. Without time to think of himself, he simply let the sneezes come, barely taking notice of the way they caused pain to scrape up his throat.

“Heg’MxtSChhush!-huhh. Hhh…xGzsISHchNX!” He bent his head down to swipe his nose across his knuckles where they clenched tightly on the wheel.

“I’m--hhh--cobidg, Basod. Hadg od.”

- - -

I may have gotten slightly carried away. Hope you don't mind. :)

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And I would just like to say *dies* *comes back to life* YOU'RE AWESOME! *dies again* :D

BYE! :bleh:

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Awww....little Talbot was absolutely adorable! The poor boy really needs a hug. *hugs tight*.

I am really enjoying this. Keep up the awesomeness that is this story!

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How could I not notice that I missed an update!? :bleh: I'm sorry for that! But this is coming along spectacularly! I'm so freaking curious as to what happened on...*ominous voice* That Night. And I LOVE Cindy. She seems like a bit of a mean little girl, but she's just SO cute! Her little "You sneezed!" comment made me say "D'awwwww."

I didn't really like Mason before, because he was such a douche to Talbot, but I think I'm warming up to him, especially after the whole flashback. And Talbot totally needs someone to take care of him, poor baby...

Question: Why did Cindy and Kara have a lump costume in their house? :D I found that so delightful...And maybe I'm over analyzing this, but was the costume and his feelings about being a lump in the flashback related? Because if they were, the way you strung that together was great. :)

Fantastic updates, as usual, Scion! :wub:

AND. @ your comment response, thanks so much! As I mention often, you're totally awesome as well!

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Noooooooo! You can't end it there! Why do you always end on cliffhangers? Are you trying to make me insane?

By the way, I just read Faerie Tale, and it was great.

You must update soon or I will actually go crazy.

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Wow.... So this is the place where I step in and grab Talbot for myself!! Yes! I will sneak up behind him, give him some chloroform, and drag him off to my tower in the mountains. It's perfect. I'll just have to kill all the witnesses. Muahahahahah! How simplistic. After I manage to find chloroform, and you know find Talbot. Mason's in trouble right now so he can't help anyway! Hahahaha! Perfect! And Talbot should have stood up to that witch's mother. Been all "Yes, you would have asked anyway you self centered b*tch! And stay the he'll out of my personal life!" Cause I really don't like that little girl, or her mom. I'm sitting here in class angrily typing away- and all my classmates are like WTH? Cause I must look really weird. And you know, I'm making no effort to hide my phone from my professor, but she has t noticed yet. Anyway, I wonder if Talbot or Mason bites me, will I turn into a werewolf? Cause that would be awesome! Yes! So thanks for the update. Greatl annoyingly amazing job as always. Which annoys me. Cause you are so FREAKIN' amazing! Grrr!

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AMAZING update

i just have to love tal :hug:

he is such a GOOD guy and on top of that he is SICK :blushing:

cool :P:o spelled out sneezes :laugh::hug:

this is sooo WONDERFUL!!! :cryhappy:

please update soon!!! :wub:

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Ohhh my god how are you so amazing. This is wonderful. Your characters are, as always, suuuuper hot and the writing is, as always, perfect and awesome. Also, the idea of a guy having a cold around Halloween is probably the sexiest thing to me. Also, the fact that he took a little girl trick-or-treating. While sick. And sneezing. Oh god. I love you.

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