Chapter 26 - Charlie

Can’t we just tell them? I plead with Zak via the mindlink.  It would make all of this so much easier.

 Babe, you know we can’t, he responds.  For one thing, the Goddess said not to.  For another, I won’t risk losing Brandon.  We just got him back in our lives and got him into our bed.  I refuse to jeopardize that.

 He cuts the link and I make an irritated noise in the back of my throat.  Damit.  I know he’s right, but this shit is a pain in the ass.

 Most of the others have left, but Zak’s office still contains the current pack leadership, the former leadership, Xander’s mom, and Brandon.

 “Why can’t you just tell us what the Goddess said?” Former-Gamma Richard says for the fifteenth time.

 “Look, Dad.  I know that it isn’t the answer you want, but I have no other answer to give,” Devin says, his voice tired and his hands cover his eyes.  “The Goddess said that certain things that she wants to come to pass - things that need to come to pass - will not happen if we talk about them too early.  I’m not sure how else to say it.  We can’t tell you.

 Xander places his arm around Devin’s shoulder and pulls him into his chest.  Devin’s frustration and irritation seem to melt under his mate’s touch.  I am so proud of him.  He is managing to keep his cool under a lot of intense scrutiny.  Maybe this is his Goddess given gift coming to light?  An exceedingly cool head under pressure.  That will be helpful as a Gamma.  And in the wars that Lady Selene foresaw.

 “I get that,” my father says, his voice just as tired as Devin’s.  “Hell, I don’t care who your mate is, as long as they treat you right and take their position in the pack seriously.  But did the marking have to be done so publicly?

 “Dad, didn’t you tell me that you almost stripped Mom naked in front of the entire pack trying to mark her when you realized she was your mate?” I ask.

 “That’s besides the point,” my dad says, his cheeks coloring slightly at the memory.  

 “But it isn’t, Alistar,” Zak says, dropping the titles.  “None of us can hold back from claiming what the Goddess gave us.  The fact that Devin held out all day until he and Xander received their titles as the Goddess directed is nothing short of a miracle.  In all that Devin did today, he followed the Goddess’s will.

            The room is silent as we all absorb what has transpired today.

            Glancing at the clock, Former-Alpha Jared stands up. “Well, what’s done is done. If you say that Selene told you this and the Oracle backs you up, there is nothing we can do. It would have become public regardless, so I guess it doesn’t matter in the end. It’s late. We should all go to bed.

           Our parents leave the room, bidding us good night. The rest of us stand to follow, Brandon the first one to the door.  To our surprise, he closes the door behind his father and locks it.

           Turning to face us, I see the rage that has spread across his features warring with heavy sadness in his eyes.  “When the FUCK were you guys going to tell me?

           “Brandon -“ Devin says, his face filled with shock.  I’m pretty sure that the rest of our expressions match his.  None of us expected this reaction.

            “Don’t even try to placate me, Devin!  We’re all supposed to be best friends! We’ve been through everything together! We’ve even fucked-“ Brandon cuts off at a snarl from Xander.

            “Yeah, I’ve fucked your boy toy!” Brandon screams in Xander’s face.  “What?  He didn’t tell you about it?  Join the fucking club man.  He obviously doesn’t tell the people he fucks that kind of information.  Or maybe he just fucked so many people, I didn’t even matter.”  He says the last glaring into Devin’s face, obviously hoping to hurt him.  Looks like the rage won out.

            Immediately, Xander lunges towards Brandon, his fangs and claws extended.  Devin pulls Xander back by the shoulders as Zak pushes Brandon out of Xander’s reach. I stand between the two of them in case things go further south than they already have.

          “I’ll fucking kill you!  How dare you say that about my mate!” Xander screams, his beast claiming his eyes and beginning to shift under his skin.  He is actively fighting against Devin to get to Brandon.

           “Don’t worry about it, Xander. All I am is a fuck boy to him,” Xander thunders. He pushes away from Zak, glaring into his eyes. “To all of them. I’m only any good to them in bed.

            Zak’s face is stricken, his hands stopping in mid-air as they reach for Brandon.   Devin turns, his face a mixture of shock, sadness, and pure anger.  Xander stops struggling against Devin, his face contorted in a monstrous mix of human and wolf.  At least he has stopped trying to get to kill Brandon. 

            “Brandon,” I breathe out, reaching for him.  “You know that isn’t true.  We love you.

             He steps back, putting his hands in the air.  I stop moving toward him, the rejection searing my soul. “If you loved me, you would trust me.  You would have fucking told me.

            “We couldn’t. You heard what we told the elders. The Goddess forbade it,” Devin says, his voice tight with emotion.

           “I am you brother. We have lived our entire lives together.” Brandon’s voice is strained and tears fill his eyes as anger and grief war on his face.

 I can’t see Zak’s face, but I hear the tears in his voice.  “Brandon, please,” he pleads, slowly moving towards Brandon.  “My love, the Mother said we couldn’t tell.

 It looks like Brandon is calming, as if he will allow Zak to comfort him.  His face smooths, the tears that are standing in his eyes spill onto his cheeks.  Brandon leans towards Zak and I breathe a sigh of relief...prematurely.

 Brandon suddenly seems to remember his anger and backs away towards the door.  “You would have told me if you trusted me.  If you cared enough about my feelings.  If you cared about me.

 He turns towards the door, opening it.  Devin, Zak, and I all step toward the door, calling out to Brandon.

 Brandon turns back to us, glaring through the tears in his eyes.  His voice is low as he says, “Don’t follow me.”  He slams the door behind him and we hear his footsteps running down the hall.

Next chapter