Jared the Paramedic III ~ Redemption

Chapter 24: From the Brink

Previously

The men standing in the circle all began to glow white.  Ryan was astounded, but not afraid.  Grandfather Tom and Grandfather Mathew brought their staffs down, hitting the rock under their feet three times, and then raised it back up again.  Lightning came from the sky, hit Mathew's staff, shot over to Tom's and then to the altar Liam was laying on.

Suddenly, they were all standing on the beach at the cabin near the dock.  Ryan was about to say something but Melanie began to explain before he could.

"Ryan, we have left our physical bodies and are now in the spiritual world.  The middle world has been made somewhere familiar for everyone where they feel safe and secure while this unfolds."

"What's going to happen?"

"They are going to confront Liam giving his life force away."

"Is that what he did when he grabbed Jared?"

"He basically gave all his life essence to Jared, or simply put, he sacrificed himself.  To die."

"What do we do?"

"We just watch it play out as if it were real life.  They have all been brought into the middle world to work through to a resolution.  If they do, Liam may live... if they don't, he will die.  They can't see or hear us so we are just spectators."

Ryan was very concerned, "You're telling me Liam's life is actually hanging on this coming to the middle world?"

"Yes," Melanie said with a tear rolling down her cheek.  "I accept the fact that Liam is already dead, but his body lives on for a period of time.  If he is to be saved, his spirit must be reunited with his physical body."

Now

Liam was sitting on a Muskoka chair at the end of the dock, alone and watching the sunset.  Jared knew something was bothering Liam, and it had been for a while, but he honestly had no clue as to what.  Liam was open and honest about everything between them, except whatever this was on his mind.  Jared was about to walk down to sit with his husband when he heard something fly by above him.  He looked up and spotted a very large, pure white snowy owl.  Jared immediately was struck by the beauty and grace of this bird as it leisurely flew towards the dock.  It circled around the oblivious man and landed on the right arm of the Muskoka chair.  The bird's wingspan as he gently came to a controlled stop was huge at 5 feet.  The wingspan was impressive, but the bird also would've weighed 7 pounds and stood 30 inches high.

The owl sat and looked at Liam without making a movement or sound.  Jared looked at the two on the dock and slowly turned to go back into the cabin. He knew this was now out of his hands, but if he was needed, Jared knew he would be summoned.

The owl scanned Liam from head to toe and then focused on his face.  After a few moments, the large bird opened and closed his bill quickly, causing a loud clacking sound.  Liam finally turned his head to look at the bird.

"Wâpiski-ohtawakêhow, I am sorry to have not seen you arrive.  What may I do for you?"

The owl stared at him for a moment before he spoke, "Mikisow, you may call me Owl,  Uncle, or Wâpiski-ohtawakêhow."

"I'll call you Uncle if you'll call me Liam."

"That is acceptable."

"Uncle, what may I do for you?"

The big owl looked into Liam's eyes deeply.  "You need to search your memories, and answer your own question."

Liam locked eyes with the bird.  "I don't need to search my memories Uncle.  I know what the problem is."

The owl stretched his wings out slightly and then folded them back in at a more comfortable position.  He looked up and at Liam.

Liam looked away from the owl and towards the setting sun. A tear ran down his cheek.  "I know what I did, and it was wrong."  The young man hesitated, but finally sniffled out, "I'm to blame for what happened."

The owl moved down the arm of the chair and repositioned himself so his talons could grasp the edge.  He looked down at his feet as they securely grabbed the wood, and then resumed staring at Liam.  He said nothing.

Liam's eyes were locked on the owl.  He looked into the huge eyes and tried in vain to outstare him, but gave up.  He closed his eyes tightly as the tears began once again.  In this thoughts, memories of the wise owl came to the surface.  Throughout history, the owl was seen as the messenger of death. If an owl roosted on your house or barn, someone was going to die.  In reality, this couldn't be further from the truth.  The owl is the animal which gives you the strength needed to open your eyes and see what you need to see.  The owl shows you the hidden truth, or to see something in an entirely new way.  This bird cannot be deceived by anyone; this powerful spirit guide forces a person to remain true to themselves.  There is no tolerance of illusions, secrets, or skeletons in the closet which can be kept from the owl.  This powerful animal will force the person to confront, accept, and change their ways to live the best the can live.  The owl, especially in Celtic days, were symbols of defending truth and honour of the earth.

Liam didn't open his eyes yet but reached out through his psychic link to the bird.

The owl linked with him and said, "Liam, look deep inside yourself and think about what happened."

"Uncle, I know the facts.  If I had reached into Beau's mind I could've prevented the events which led up to the death of Darren and Josh.  I failed them.  It is my responsibility.  I have blood on my hands…"

"Liam, who do you think sent me to speak with you?"

"Jared?"

"No."

"Grandfather?"

"Liam, Nimanitôm asked me to guide you back onto the path you should be walking, not the one you have chosen."

Liam closed his eyes again and dropped his chin to his chest.  "Wâpiski-ohtawakêhow, you honour me to try and help, but the facts are clear in my mind.  My lack of actions killed my brothers.  I am unworthy of my role as medicine man and keeper of the old knowledge."  He opened his eyes again to look at the owl.

The huge white bird remained absolutely still for a moment before stretching his body high with his wings fully extended.  As he did this, the bird's eyes glowed white.  He sent a message out to the members of the family in the cabin, "I am Wâpiski-ohtawakêhow, the sacred white horned owl sent to advise and guide the sacred Soaring Eagle back onto his path. We need to discuss this, and by the authority of the Great Spirit, Manitou, Nimanitôm, the Creator, I call a Council of brothers... now."

Liam looked up at the owl, "We don't need to do that.  I know my guilt."

"Sacred Soaring Eagle, I have spoken and that is the law," replied the large bird.

Troy, Tyler and Jared were running down from the cabin as Jesse, Zane and Mark were coming from the boathouse.  Conner, Patrick, Nikita, Trevor and Adam came around the end of the cabin from the Quonset at a full run.

Jared was the first to arrive, and without hesitation pulled Liam out of the chair and into his arms.

"Liam, what is wrong?  Tell me please."  Jared immediately felt his husband's lethargic grasp in return.

The big owl spoke, "Most Sacred Eagle Eyed Bear, we need to have a council to discuss this.  Liam believes he should have acted differently with Beau and that his actions caused the death of your two brothers; Darren and Josh."

The entire group froze upon the announcement and stared at the bird.  Liam passed out in Jared's arms from the relief of it being spoken aloud.  Jared picked him up, maneuvered him over his shoulders and carried him up to the cabin. 


Liam was laying on the couch when he woke up. Jared was sitting on a chair next to the couch, holding his hand.

"Liam, you're awake."

The young man moved to hug Jared, "I'm so sorry," he cried.  "I caused their deaths.  I'm so sorry."

Jared pulled him in tight and began to rub circles on his back while his husband cried.  After some time, they followed the owl back down to the firepit.

Upon their arrival, they found Nimanitôm already sitting by a fire he had started in the pit.  When the young men arrived, he motioned them to sit on the logs.  When Jared and Liam arrived, he took the two of them into his arms.  After hugging them, he motioned for them to sit next to him.

The ancient man looked at Liam, "This has been hidden too long, little one.  You need help to resolve it so you may walk on the right path as I intended it.  I need the bear and the eagle together."

Liam started to speak but was cut off.  "My child, you've had your time when you could have spoken, but chose not to.  Now it's my turn and I am to be heard."  Liam settled down and looked at Nimanitôm.  The tone of his voice startled the men, they had never heard him speak this way before.  But, they also knew very clearly who was in charge.

"You have all heard of the ripple effect?  Many psychologists and educated people have written many, many words to explain the ripple effects after an event."

The ancient one reached for a garbage can lid near the fire.  He then reached for a bucket of water and poured it into the lid.

"The ripple effect is very simply described as dropping a rock into the water and the waves resulting touch all the way around.  Is that correct, Jesse?"

"Yes Running Squirrel, it is."

"Now, I want you to think of something.  If I was to put a few rocks in the water in no particular pattern and drop the rock in the centre again, would it change the effect at all?"  Nimanitôm placed some rocks irregularly into the lid and then dropped the rock in the centre again.

"Zane, what did you see?  Was it different?"

Zane stared at the lid for a moment, "The wave pattern is different."

Nimanitôm smiled, "Why was it different?"

"The waves came out from the centre, but they hit the rocks at different times.  The irregular shape of the rocks deflected the power of the wave in different angles."

"Nimanitôm," stated Tyler.  "The intensity of the initial waves were also different on the rocks depending on their size and placement or proximity to the initial splash point."

"Very good my children, very good indeed," the old man acknowledged with delight.

"Patrick my son, why do you think we are looking at a homemade ripple tank and talking about waves?  What does that have to do with what we are here to discuss?"

Patrick stared into the water and replayed what he had seen in his mind several times.  Then it hit him.  "Nimanitôm, every event we face as a family and a person is represented as the rock dropped in the pond.  Every event causes waves which reach out and touch us, in different ways."

"Very good Patrick.  Troy, what happens to the wave after it hits the shore or the edges of the lid?"

"The energy hasn't been neutralized so it bounces back towards the centre again."

"What does it hit on the way back?" asked the ancient one.

"The exposed rocks in its path again, but from a different angle," replied Troy after thinking for a moment.

"Very good Troy, thank you for your answer.  Jared my son, please summarize what we have discovered about the energy in a ripple effect."

"You drop a rock into a pond and the waves go out and touch everything in its way, and they may impact a second time from a different angle until the power has been neutralized."

"There was not just one single wave of energy," said Patrick as he stared at the tank.  "The dropped rock created one wave, and although that wave did touch the rocks in the circle it was at different strengths, timing and intensities depending upon the position relative to the splash."

Adam continued, "There were waves between the objects as well.  The energy was deflected and it hit the paired rocks quickly, but then it reached out as if it were the epicentre and sent waves towards the other objects.  Everything in the wave pond was touched by the initial splash, but everything was hit in different ways and multiple times as the energy path diverted."

"I am very impressed, my children.  You understand the physics side of this very clearly.  Now, let me show you the human side to the ripple theory."  The ancient one's eyes glowed as he waved his hand over the tank.  The rocks he had carefully placed and transformed into models of the family.  Models of Tyler and Troy, Jared and Liam, Darren and Josh, Jesse and Zane, Adam, Patrick, Conner, and Mark were all there. The men were confused for a moment, especially seeing Darren and Josh being included.

"I am going to drop the rock so you can see the human side of the ripple effect this time."  He reached out with his hand and dropped a rock which transformed into a model of Beau. It hit the water, and the waves moved outwards and around as was discussed previously with the group.

Liam started to rise as he spoke loudly, "That's Beau!"  He then fell to his knees while covering his face with his hands and crying.  His actions stunned the rest of the men.

Nimanitôm stood and quickly grasped Liam's hands, pulling him to his feet.  The ancient one towered over Liam as he took him into his arms.

"My son, you are destroying yourself over something which never happened."

"I killed them.  I killed Darren and Josh," blurted Liam.

The men moved to his side, all of them asking, "What the hell are you talking about?"

Finally, Liam cried out, "I had Beau in the class I was teaching and he was high on cocaine.  I sent a message to the Dean and got him kicked out of class and then he got kicked out of school.  I should've healed him, and our brothers would still be alive today."

The group of men were stunned by Liam's statements.

Jared looked at his husband, "Is this what has been bothering you all this time?"

Liam nodded vigorously as tears poured out his eyes, "Yes.  I have all this knowledge and power to heal people and I failed to do it for Beau.  If I had healed him, Darren and Josh would be alive."

"Liam, my husband, I had no clue you were thinking this..."

Nimanitôm calmly, "Would everyone please be seated again."  After a moment, he continued.  "I have shown you the ripple tank to explain the problem we must solve today."  He pointed at the doll representing Beau.  "This one caused the event by walking down his path of life.  No one else caused the crisis, he made choices which led to his actions.  He had two spirits in his body and was fighting with the feminine spirit to keep it from exerting itself.  A two-spirit person is not evil, they have two genders within them.  The person has the behaviours, thoughts and mannerisms of both spirits depending upon the circumstances or situation.  In many cases, the two-spirit is someone who has the best of both worlds combined into one physical body and is in the best position to be a healer, spirit walker, seer, or medicine man."

The ancient one continued after a brief pause.  "In this case, the turmoil, disharmony, and hatred Beau had for the feminine spirit allowed him to be accessed by a very powerful shadow.  This shadow was sent to bring or create fear, hatred, anger in this world and it immediately sensed Beau's weaknesses to play with.  The shadow altered brain chemicals and created Schizophrenia within Beau to fight the spirit for dominance.  The shadow who Beau invited into him was a strong energy parasite and full of evil influence.  That was its mission, and even if Beau died during this time, the shadow had his spirit so they lost nothing.  In fact, they prefer the physical form to be killed so they can move on and always keep new and fresh people creating evil."

After a moment, the ancient one continued to speak, "Its influence and evil are still creating waves.  Let me finish explaining the ripples and their effect."

Jared moved next to Liam and used his arm to pull him close.  Liam didn't resist and leaned against his husband.

"I am going to drop the rock again so you can see the human side of the ripple effect this time."  He reached out with his hand and dropped the model of Beau into the water again.  It hit the water, and the waves moved outwards and around all the other figures.

Nimanitôm spoke precisely, "The waves from Beau's problems and path in life radiated out and around him and touched everyone near to him.  His waves bounced off Darren and Josh which caused an impact upon them, and we know what happened.  If we were to drop Darren and Josh into the water, we would see their impact waves reach out and touch all of you.  Every wave from the event which impacts a person is very different in the way it affects them, or it is received.  Even as couples, that wave first hits you as individuals.  The little waves which bounced off you then are sent out to everyone else.  The waves have an impact upon you as an individual, and as a couple, and as a family, as a professional, as a husband or boyfriend.  The wave pool would get very confused at this point, but each person is impacted in unique ways.  That influence causes them to act, think or believe differently, which then causes another event to take place and the cycle begins again."

The ancient one looked at Patrick, and said, "Carry on with the explanation, my child."

Patrick looked around nervously, "What Nimanitôm is saying is that the event which Beau caused impacted all of us.  But, it doesn't stop there.  To start with, the loss of Darren and Josh influenced us and changed the dynamics of the family in a way that can never be changed back.  The family pulled together and got through it, but we didn't see the entire picture."

Nimanitôm smiled, "You are doing very well Patrick.  Please, continue."

The young man smiled, "We were influenced by Beau, by the loss, and then finally influenced each other in the way it was handled.  Each person was influenced differently by the events, based upon their job, educations, experience, training, role, etc.  What we failed to do was to understand the total impact upon the individuals within the family, and at the different times these impacts made themselves known.  Not all of it happened that day alone."

The ancient one looked at Liam, "Liam, do we have the ability to change the path someone travels on if it is their choice?"

Liam looked at Nimanitôm, and finally answered, "No sir."

"Liam, say it to me like you mean it."

"No, Nimanitôm, we cannot change it."

This time the ancient one yelled it at Liam, "Say it to me like you mean it."

Liam replied louder, "No, Nimanitôm, we cannot change it."

 "LOUDER, AND WITH BELIEF."

"No, we cannot change it!" Liam said loudly.

"You speak like an old mouse nearly dead."

"We Cannot Change It!" Liam yelled.

"That sounds like Lame Turkey with Small Gizzards, not the Sacred Soaring Eagle who has my respect."

Liam's arteries and veins on his neck stood out, his face turning beat red as he yelled: "WE CANNOT CHANGE IT!"

The ancient one stood rapidly and raised his arms skyward, "Everyone, stand and yell together: We cannot change anyone that does not want to change."

All the men stood and yelled.  Nimanitôm had them yelling and repeating the phrase many more times before they stopped.

"Do you believe it?" he asked the group.

The group responded with: "Yes, Nimanitôm."

"Jesse, what was the lesson you and Liam learned on your vision quest?"

"I cannot save everything, and if I continue to try, I will crash and burn."

Nimanitôm stood directly in front of Liam and grabbed him by both shoulders.  "Do you remember that?"

"Yes Nimanitôm, I remember it."

"Was the lesson wrong?"

"No Nimanitôm, it was not wrong.  I was."

Nimanitôm eyes flashed pure white, which spread to his entire body.  The ancient one yelled words in the ancient dialect directly into Liam's face as the white light enveloped Liam's body.  Dark smoke quickly tried to escape out of Liam's left ear. Nimanitôm quickly caught it in an orb as Liam crumpled to the ground.  Jared caught and pulled his husband backwards to lean him against the bench.

The ancient one's white luminesce faded rapidly, and the orb with the black shadow sat on the palm of his upturned hand.

"This was one of the shadows which motivated Beau, but it is more than that," said Nimanitôm as he looked into the blackness.

"My child, you were attacked by this, and we call him Witiko.  This one is an ally of the windigo but not fully developed. He was using your energy to grow and learn so he could serve the great blackness of the windigo better.  He is powerful, but in a face to face confrontation, he would have lost with any of you.  But this way, he could hide and destroy you as a family.  I suspect the windigo is nearby watching."

Nimanitôm looked at Liam, "Never forget every person has two wolves constantly fighting inside of them, trying to win.  One wolf is evil.  It is anger, fear, envy, jealousy, sadness, arrogance, self-pity, lies, superiority and ego.  The other wolf is good.  It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, benevolence, empathy, truth and trust.  "

"The fight between the two wolves is vicious my children.  Always remember the wolf which will win is the one who you feed. That is what the shadows do to you my children; they feed the one wolf at the cost of the other.  Even people as strong as you are growing, my children."

With that, the ancient one threw the orb containing the shadow into the fire.  The orb exploded in a spectacular gold fire with tendrils as they skyward.  A scream of agony as the shadow was consumed was heard, sending shivers down the spine of every man at the fire.

Jared looked into Liam's eyes, and after a long moment said simply, "I love you."

Liam melted into his arms crying tears of relief, "You still love me?"

Jared had tears in his eyes now as he replied tenderly, "Until the end of time."  He leaned down and gently kissed his husband.  The entire family rushed towards Liam and Jared, adding their hugs as well.

When the group began to break up, they saw Nimanitôm standing and watching them.  He had Wâpiski-ohtawakêhow sitting on his shoulder.

The men moved in front of him.

"Conner, step forward please."  The young man did and immediately fell to one knee.  Nimanitôm placed his hand on Conner's head and said, "Conner, from this day forward, you shall be known as Swift Fox, or when at special functions your full name shall be Swift Fox Full of Bravery."

Conner looked up with tears in his eyes.  "I thank you Nimanitôm.  I will say the name with honour."

"You shall also have it said to you with respect, or they answer to me."  The look on Nimanitôm's face left it very clear to everyone he meant what he had said.  "I was very impressed with your thinking and actions the day you saved the baby's life.  Very impressed my son."

Conner still had tears in his eyes as he said, "Thank you Nimanitôm.  I have learned very much since joining this family."

"Stand up little one, and give this old man a hug.  Everyone, hug time."  The family moved in for a group hug.  When they stood back, the ancient one looked at them.

Jared looked at Liam, "I love you."

Liam looked into Jared's eyes, "I don't why you do, but I truly love you."

"A hug costs nothing, but give so much.  Thank you, my children," he said as he bowed to them.  The family went to one knee with their heads down.

"Stand up please my children, it is time for us to return to the first world, and resolve the issue which had erupted in this one."

The men were all back standing in the circle.  Grandfather Tom's and Grandfather Mathew's staffs were still drawing lightning from the sky. It continued to hit Mathew's staff, shoot over to Tom's, to the altar Liam was laying on and over the head of every person in the circle.  The difference was Nimanitôm himself was standing in the middle of the circle.  His white leather clothing had extensive beads on it, pieces of furs, animal teeth and claws and was topped off by a huge bison head dressing.  The fur from the head dressing formed into a cape nearly touching the ground.  As he lifted both of his hands, the fur was lifted as well giving everyone the appearance of a bird spreading his wings. The lightening shifted from the group and focused upon Nimanitôm in the centre.  The Creator began to glow white with his eyes becoming the brightest.  He raised his head and yelled a command "Cease".  The lightening immediately stopped, but his glow remained.

Nimanitôm brought both hands down, looked towards the rocks near Melanie and Ryan.  He raised his hand, palm up towards something he saw there.  When he closed his hand quickly, the hiding shrew was pulled into the circle, landing on the ground near the ancient one.

"You dare attack my children again, Windigo.  Was the previous punishment not enough for you?"

The little shrew transformed into a large wolf which snarled at Nimanitôm.

The ancient one laughed, brought a hand up with the palm facing the beast, hit it with a white orb.  The wolf cried and cowered before the Creator.

"Transform.  Let my children see the evil you are, flesh eater.  NOW."

The wolf began to transform again, except this time it was into a hideous monster.  It stood 8' tall, bent over with a hunch back, shoulders drooping to its bony hands.  The visible skin was the colour of gray, leathery, emaciated, and desiccated.  It was as if the skin had been dried to the body causing the highlighting of every tendon and bone to be seen by the naked eye.  Its eyes were drawn back into the sockets, a solid black which swallowed any light never allowing it out again.  The hair was long, straggly with clumps missing in places and hung over the gaunt face. The yellow and rotting teeth gave off the scent of death as the beast breathed.  Its fingers were four times as long as normal, the bony hand appeared to have claws on each hand, not nails.  Its feet were long, and talons had replaced the nails on each bony toe.

"Once again we meet Shaman, but this time I am stronger," the monster said.

"I will call you flesh eater as your tribal name has been banned from ever being spoken for all of eternity."

The monster laughed as it tried to maneuver itself towards Liam.  "This one is mine, by your laws he is mine."

"Stay where you are."

"The boy is mine, let me consume him."

"No. He is my child therefore protected from you."

"He is my return to human form, exchanging places with him he will become the Loupgaru or windigo as you prefer to call him."

Nimanitôm pulled a knife from his belt and raised it towards the sky.  "It is my judgment flesh eater that your existence is to end.  I shall release you, but not in the manner in which you wanted.  The ancient one stepped forward quickly to thrust the knife into the chest where a heart would normally be located.  The beast screamed in agony, it's head being thrown backwards in pain.  The knife was white, and the colour was slowly invading the  Loupgaru's chest area.  As the chest turned to white, the screaming intensified from the beast.  It fell to its knees.  The white colour quickly spread throughout the monster's entire body.  The ancient one raised the knife again, and before plunging it into the top of the beasts head said: "The flesh eater and his shadows are no more." The knife pierced the head to the hilt.  A final scream from the windigo before it turned to ash which fell to the ground.

Nimanitôm turned to the altar where Liam was laying.  He placed the knife flat onto Liam's chest with the handle up, point towards the feet.  The men in the circle could now see the actual knife which was carved from an antler in the shape of a person's neck and head for the handle, with the hilt being the shoulders.

The ancient one called, "Jared, come to my side."  The young man immediately responded to the order.  Nimanitôm took Jared's hand and placed it over Liam's heart.  He turned to the rest of the circle, "My children, stand here with your hand on his heart."  It took a moment, but they all complied.  "The two eldest messengers, using one hand, touch his head."  Tom and Mathew moved as directed.

Nimanitôm stood back, from under his cloak he retrieved a leather pouch.  Undoing the drawstring, he poured the contents onto his hand.  The bag contained one bright gold coloured orb.  He firmly grasped the orb in his right hand, moved to stand next to Liam and called loudly, "To give oneself for the one you love is the ultimate sacrifice.  But, when one has more still to do in my plans, it cannot be allowed."  The ancient one reached out with his hand containing the orb, and quickly turned it over then slamming it onto the pile of hands over Liam's heart.  The gold colour quickly shot down through the hands and into Liam.  Liam's eyes opened immediately.  Jared pushed his way to grasp his husband firmly in a hug.  Both had tears rolling down their cheeks as they cried in joy.

Ryan had been holding Melanie tightly, protecting her from what was happening.  Quietly he said, "I don't understand what happened, but I see Liam is moving around.  Melanie, is this good vs evil here?"

"Yes Ryan, in many ways it is.  This collection of people here are the ones trying to make things better for as many as they can."

Neither of them saw Grandfather Tom approach them.  He embraced both of the visitors and said the obvious, "Ryan, your girlfriend and her family are all part of a very special group of people.  You probably have many questions on your mind."

"I do Grandfather," replied Ryan.  "I still don't know if this was real or just a dream.  Maybe a flashback?"

Tom smiled, "I hope not Ryan, for what you saw was one of the most wonderful things you could ever experience in a lifetime.  You saw pure love and devotion, along with the defeat of evil."

"Who is the man that suddenly appeared?" asked Ryan.

Another voice caught them off guard, "Maybe I could answer that."  Nimanitôm extended his hand to Ryan, "I'm called Chad Running Squirrel."  Melanie knelt and lowered her head.  Ryan saw this and started to do the same.  "Please, both of you, that's not necessary.  Melanie, I'd rather have a hug."

Without hesitation, Melanie embraced Nimanitôm warmly.  After they separated, she stood back and said, "Nimanitôm, may I introduce my boyfriend, Ryan."

The ancient one took Ryan's hand into both of his, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Ryan.  You look so full of life, purpose and love now as opposed to when I saw you last time."

Melanie put her hand on Ryan's shoulder, "It would be too much for me to explain today,"

Nimanitôm smiled, "Melanie, allow me." He looked at Ryan and said, "I'm going to touch the side of your head.  Please, close your eyes and relax." Ryan looked to Mel, and she nodded.  The ancient one reached out with his hand, placing it along Ryan's ear.  He entered Ryan's mind and began to give him the memories of Jared's tribe.  After which he began answering questions as fast as Ryan could think of them.  After a couple of moments, he removed his hand.  Ryan's eyes opened wide.

"I don't know what to say, or how to speak to you," Ryan stumbled through.

"Just as you are now Ryan.  That's the best way," replied Nimanitôm.

Mathew approached them. "Granddaughter, it is good to see you here," as he embraced her.  "Ryan, nice to see you again as well," Mathew said as he gave him a hug as well. "I see you have met Nimanitôm."

The ancient one smiled, "You mean me? I'm just Chad."

Mathew's face went blank, then he shook his head as he smiled.  "Whatever you say, Ancient One."

"Hey, you two aren't much younger."

Tom laughed, "Yes, the three of us have been together a long time as a trinity."

Jared and Liam were still embracing near the altar. Although they had kissed many times, they still hadn't really spoken.

Finally, Jared held Liam at arm's length, with tears running down his face. "I should be mad at you for being so stupid."

Liam was also still crying, "I love you."

"I can't believe you thought I would continue without you.  You giving your life force for me."

"Jared, that was all I could think about.  You had to continue, you are more important than me."

Jared pulled him in for another embrace, "I'll never let you go anywhere without me.  We are together."

The voice behind them said, "In the near future, I will call for you and your brothers.  We need to have a talk."

They both knew the voice of Nimanitôm.  Both Jared and Liam knelt before the Creator with their heads bowed low.

Both Jared and Liam said, "We beg your forgiveness."

The ancient one stood in front of the altar, "Please, stand Jared and Liam."  He looked to the rest of the people and said: "Please, come in."  They moved towards him.

"My children, Liam thought he was responsible for Darren and Josh's death by not healing Beau.  We all know we can't heal those who resist it.  We also know that humans have the right to free will and self-determination.  Sometimes this free will causes great sorrow, pain and suffering for my children.  That is why we try and guide people to make the best choices and decisions, but we can't force them to change their minds.  In Beau's case, the healing would not have worked for many reasons.  But, we have made this perfectly clear to everyone now, have we not?"

The young men standing before the ancient one replied: "Yes Nimanitôm."

The ancient one continued. "It is written in the Hindu faith 'do not speak - unless it improves on silence.' You are my messengers, and when you are troubled, you must speak because your holding your tongue makes the silence dangerous.  You have the ability to link together for common thought and sharing of ideas.  Most importantly, Jared's tribe now has most of the ancient world's memories buried in your minds.  You must begin to use it, and share it between yourselves.  Share the knowledge of the past to make a difference in the future."

The young men standing before the ancient one replied: "Yes Nimanitôm."

"Finally, everyone form a circle while holding hands." It took a moment, but they did.

"We are here to celebrate love.  Our love for Darren and Josh, our love for Liam, our love for Jared, and our love for each other.  You cannot force or threaten some to love another person, and you all do it so freely with each other.  You must remember while giving your love away, you must love yourself as well.  A wise man once said 'You can explore the universe looking for somebody who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and you will not find that person anywhere.'  My children, I gave love to mankind as one of the greatest gifts they could've received.  You are the example of unconditional love which I intended.  Continue your work my children, and ask for help when you need it."

Nimanitôm walked to the centre of the circle and signalled to both grandfathers to join him. The ancient one being the tallest in the middle, Mathew not quite as a tall to the left, and Tom not as tall as Mathew to the right of Nimanitôm.  "I am very proud of all of you my children.  You all need to feast at the cabin tonight, and share your fellowship." With that, the three men faded to nothing. 



The food at the cabin had been consumed around the table on the deck.  No one questioned where it came from, but it was there when they returned.  Even chocolate cheesecake was available.

Melanie was sitting at the table, holding Ryan's hand.  Tyler smirked, "So, clearing the table is women's work, right?"

Mel looked over at him, "Do you have your sidearm with you?"

"No."

"I do," and she stood, pointing her fingers at him.  Tyler dove for the floor as the rest laughed at him.

Mel sat back down.  "I'll make you guys a deal.  I'm going to light a fire in the fire pit while you do the cleanup."

"That doesn't sound fair," said Troy.

"If you don't do it, I will get naked and chase you around until I pin each one of you down and shown you how a vagina looks."

She had never seen the group react so fast, even knocking over two chairs to get working.  Melanie turned to Ryan, "You just have to know how to speak to a crowd."

"Ah Mel, would you chase me around to do that," asked Ryan.

"Absolutely Ry, but later.  If they don't get the tea ready, we can get naked and make love in the living room while they're cleaning."

Adam yelled over, "What type of tea do you wish."

Mel waved her hand like royalty, "Surprise me."

"I'll make the tea!" Liam volunteered.

"Not that much of a surprise," Mel replied quickly.  "I want to be able to drink it."



Jared and Liam were standing at the end of the dock, side by side, each with an arm around the other's waist.  They had been standing there for a few moments, staring at the beautiful view in the distance.

Liam began to have tears roll down his cheeks.  Finally, he said, "I'm sorry Jared.  For everything."

Jared turned his husband towards him.  He used his fingers to gently wipe the tears off Liam's face.  "Liam, I love you with my heart, my mind, and my spirit.  There is nothing to forgive you for, but I do.  Unconditionally."

"I don't deserve you."

"I am the fortunate one to have you.  You gave me your life energy for me to live nearly at the cost of your own life. I am the fortunate one; you chose me to be your husband."

Liam gently kissed Jared, which turned into a long, lingering, sizzling kiss.  "Jared, I love you more than my life."

"We are the bear and the eagle together.  It must be that way, Liam."

After holding his husband tightly, Jared stepped back from Liam.  Jared was holding each of Liam’s hand tightly and he stared deeply into his husband’s eys and began to sing:

Savage Garden

I'll be your dream, I'll be your wish, I'll be your fantasy
I'll be your hope, I'll be your love, Be everything that you need
I'll love you more with every breath, Truly, madly, deeply do
I will be strong, I will be faithful, 'Cause I'm counting on

A new beginning
A reason for living
A deeper meaning, yeah

I wanna stand with you on a mountain
I wanna bathe with you in the sea
I wanna lay like this forever
Until the sky falls down on me

And when the stars are shining brightly in the velvet sky,
I'll make a wish, send it to heaven then make you want to cry
The tears of joy for all the pleasure and the certainty
That we're surrounded by the comfort and protection of

The highest powers
In lonely hours
The tears devour you

I wanna stand with you on a mountain
I wanna bathe with you in the sea
I wanna lay like this forever
Until the sky falls down on me

Oh, can you see it, baby?
You don't have to close your eyes
'Cause it's standing right before you
All that you need will surely come

I'll be your dream, I'll be your wish, I'll be your fantasy
I'll be your hope, I'll be your love, Be everything that you need
I'll love you more with every breath, Truly, madly, deeply do
(I love you)

I wanna stand with you on a mountain
I wanna bathe with you in the sea
I wanna lay like this forever
Until the sky falls down on me

I wanna stand with you on a mountain
I wanna bathe with you in the sea
I want to live this forever
Until the sky falls down on me

 

End of Chapter Twenty-Four

 

Comments Appreciated at Snowblind

 

Short stories I have written:

The Break In

The Wilderness Canoe Guide

The Extraction

The Veterans

 

     The Brothers     

     Recurring Characters       


JaredJared ("<\/span><\/p>\r\n<h4>Jared<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 29<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'3\", 230 lbs of solid muscle, trimmed dark black hair and deep chocolate brown eyes<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic (Partner: Liam) \/ Shift Supervisor \/ Paramedic Field Trainer<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Husband: Liam<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Mathew Bear (grandfather), Melanie Bear (cousin)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Bear, Eagle (secondary)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nicknames: Masqua, Standing Bear<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Most Sacred Eagle-Eyed Bear, Sacred Medicine Man of the People, Shaman of the Forests, President and CEO Bear Investment Group (secret)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and LiamLiam ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Liam<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 22<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'0\", blue eyes, curly blond hair, nicely toned and tanned<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic (Partner: Jared)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Husband: Jared<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Eagle<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nicknames: Mikisow, Soaring Eagle<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Most Sacred Soaring Eagle, Shaman of the Lost Tribe (Celtic)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

TylerTyler ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Tyler<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 25<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'11\", brown eyes, dark brown hair, slim<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Officer<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Troy<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and TroyTroy ("<\/span><\/p>\r\n<h4>Troy<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 25<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'11\", brown eyes, blonde hair, solid but not overly muscular.<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Tyler<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

JoshJosh ("<\/p>\r\n<h4><span style=\"color: #00ffff;\">Josh<\/span><\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 25 (Deceased)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\", blue eyes, light brown hair, solid. He and Darrin could pass for cousins or even brothers<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Darren (Deceased)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nickname: Ditch Pig<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Died: Jared II, Chapter 33<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and DarrenDarren ("<\/p>\r\n<h4><span style=\"color: #00ffff;\">Darren<\/span><\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 26 (Deceased)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'0\", green eyes, light brown hair, solid. He and Josh could pass for cousins or even brothers.<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Fire Fighter<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Josh (Deceased)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Cameron (brother, deceased)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nickname: Hose Puller<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 5<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Died: Jared II, Chapter 33<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

JesseJesse ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Jesse<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 32 (looks 22)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'10\" 160 lbs, blonde hair, clear blue eyes, light olive skin (darkens considerably when tanned). Has an eidetic memory.<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Lawyer, McCoy &amp; Associates (owner, President, CEO), McAdam Construction (owner, President, CEO)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Husband: Marc (deceased)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Zane<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Cougar, Elk (secondary)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance:&#160;Jared II, Chapter 1 &lt;- Jared, Chapter 16 (phone)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and ZaneZane ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Zane<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 26<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\" 140 lbs, brown hair, brown eyes<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Director of the LGTBQ2 Centre<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Jesse<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Cougar, Eagle (secondary), Elk (secondary)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 11<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

MarkMark ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Mark<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 18<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'11\", 150 lbs, slightly built, dirty blonde straight hair, grey eyes<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Student: University<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Conner<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Sgt. Frank Myers (father)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Fox<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 15<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and ConnerConner ("<\/span><\/p>\r\n<h4>Conner<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 18<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'10\", 150 lbs, slightly built, brown curly hair, hazel eyes<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Student: Paramedic Program<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Mark<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships:&#160;Frank (surrogate father)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Coyote<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nickname:&#160;Swift Fox, (full: Swift Fox Full of Bravery)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 11<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

AdamAdam ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Adam<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 19<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\", 145 lbs, black hair, chocolate brown eyes, olive skin<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Student: Police Academy<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Patrick<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Tom (grandfather), Frank (surrogate father)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Moose (primary), Otter (secondary), Salamander (transitional)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Shaman of the Plains (future, still in training)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 17<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and PatrickPatrick ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Patrick<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 17<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'0\", dark shaggy hair, large soft brown eyes, contagious smile, and a light mustache<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Student: High School<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Adam<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Lynx, Porcupine (secondary)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nickname: Tadika (fast runner)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Shaman of the Aryan Tribe (future, still in training)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 11<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

 NikitaNikita ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Nikita<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 19<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'9\" slim, blonde hair, crystal blue eyes, muscular<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Works at the Chinese Resturant<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Shaman of the Siberian Tribe (future, still in training)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 14<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and TrevorTrevor ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Trevor<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 23<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\" 130 lbs, long blonde hair, very fine facial features with delicate hands<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Works at the LGBTQ Centre<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 4<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")


MathewMathew ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Mathew Bear (Grandfather)<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 98?<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Jared and Melanie (grandchildren), Liam, Tyler, Troy, Darren (Deceased), Josh Deceased), Jesse, Zane, Conner, Mark, Adam, Patrick (adopted grandchildren)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Most Sacred Medicine Man of the People, &#160;Shaman of the People, &#160;Most Elder of the People, &#160;Most Respected Elder in the Tribal Council of the Entire Western Region, &#160;Primary Messenger of the Sacred White Buffalo<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nickname: Running Elk<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 12 &lt;- Jared, Chapter 8 (astral) &lt;-&#160;Jared, Chapter 2 (mentioned)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

TomTom ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Grandfather Tom<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 75<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Owner and Operator of Tom's Marina<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Adam (grandson)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 17<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

 Melanie  Melanie ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Melanie Bear<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'6\", with olive skin and jet black braided hair to her waist<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Executive Assistant to the CEO\/President, Bear Investment Group (3rd in command)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Mathew Bear (grandfather), Jared Bear (cousin)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolverine<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nickname: Dragon Lady<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 10 &lt;- Jared, Chapter 2 (mentioned)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and Ryan  Ryan   ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Ryan<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 38<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Medic in the Marines<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Jebidiah (son)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 29<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

JebJeb ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Jeb<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 18<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Student<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Ryan (father)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 30 &lt;- Chapter 29 (mentioned)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

JettJett ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Jett<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 18<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'10\" 185 lbs solid, brown eyes, dark brown hair, bleached blonde on the ends<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit;\">Student: High School<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 16<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

ShadowShadow ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Shadow<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Wolf<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 200 lbs, 42\" high at the shoulders, fur of gray and silver-white with some black tips, ice-blue eyes<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared III, Chapter 10<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

 Cliff  Cliff ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Cliff Springer<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Chief of Corporate Operations<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 24<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and Carter  Carter   ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Carter Gordon<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Office, Computer Specialist<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared III, Chapter 19<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")


JohnJohn ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>John<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: CFO and Acting CEO, Bear Investment Group (2nd in command after Jared)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 10<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

RobRob ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Rob<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Ambulance Base Manager<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 4<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

DawnDawn ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Dawn<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Ambulance Base HR Manager<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nickname: Tiger Lady<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II Prologue<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

 Jack  Jack ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Jack<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: COO of McCoy &amp; Associates<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Molly (wife), Jesse (surrogate son)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 5 &lt;- Jared II, Chapter 3 (phone)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and Molly  Molly   ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Molly<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Jack (husband), Jesse (surrogate son)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 5<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

JulieJulie ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Julie<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Office Manager for the local McCoy &amp; Associates office<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Used to babysit Jesse and Marc when they were young<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 3<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

LyleLyle ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Lyle<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: mid-30's<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 9<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

 Kat  Kat ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Kat<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Nurse<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Shawn (husband)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 15<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and Shawn  Shawn   ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Shawn<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Doctor<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Kat (wife)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Dr. Smith<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 11<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")


FrankFrank ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Sgt. Frank Myers<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Sergeant<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Mark (son) and a daughter, then Conner (surrogate son), Adam (surrogate son)<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<li>\r\n<p><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/p>\r\n<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

AmandaAmanda ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Amanda<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: A pleasant woman, shorter, plump, eyes full of life, and&#160;grandmotherly. &#160;Also a sensitive.<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Hospital Social Worker<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Marci (niece)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 13<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

MarciMarci ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Marci<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Amanda (aunt)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 14<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") 

 John  John ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>John<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 39<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description:&#160;5'11\", 175 lbs, Norwegian descent, with blonde hair, blue eyes and the build of Viking<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Chief Superintendent<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Gus (Husband)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 15<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and Gus  Gus   ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Gus<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 39<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'10\" 180 lbs, Greek ancestry, built like a linebacker with broad shoulders<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Owner of a dozen Grestaurantsrants in six cities<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: John (Husband)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 23 &lt;- Jared II, Chapter 13 (mentioned)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

 Alex  Alex ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Alex<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 18<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6' 160 lbs, Brown Hair, Brown Eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: College Student<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Kyle (Boyfriend)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 23<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and Kyle  Kyle   ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Kyle<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 18<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'1\" 165 lbs, Brown Hair, Blue Eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: College Student<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Alex (Boyfriend)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 23<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

 Eric  Eric ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Eric<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 25<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'11\" 220 lbs solid build, brown hair, hazel eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Officer<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships:<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 13<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and Chad  Chad   ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Chad<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 26<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: &#160;6'1\" 180 lbs, dark brown hair, dark brown eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Officer<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships:<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 13<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

MartyMarty ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Marty<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Officer<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared III, Chapter 11<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")