Chapter 34 - Brandon

I end up showering in my room.  As much as I wanted to help Zak and Charlie wash, there was no way I could explain why I smelled like them when I was freshly showered.  Not without admitting what we were up to and I think my father would kill me.  That is, if he didn’t die of a heart attack first.

 So, I raced to my rooms and quickly showered and dressed.  I made it to Zak’s office just as he and Charlie were walking in.  I couldn’t keep the smile off of my face as I thought about what had happened since I woke up in the forest with Zak waiting for me.  I kiss Charlie’s head before Zak opens the door and she gives me a radiant smile before walking in.  I pinch Zak’s ass as I walk by and hear him chuckle behind me.

 Can’t keep your hands off? Zak mindlinks me.

 With an ass that hot, who could? I respond.

 Charlie and Zak sit on one of the couches, holding hands.  I sit next to Charlie, throwing my arm across the back of the couch.  This way, it looks casual, but I can still touch her.  She smiles up at me and I see the love radiating from her eyes.

 Within the next few minutes, the former Alpha, Gamma, and Delta walk into the room, as well as my father.  Zak had already told us that Devin and Xander would be excused from today’s meeting and that he would catch them up later.  They would be busy for the next few days.  I made a mental note to ask Zak if I could be a part of their meeting so that I could apologize.  I didn’t want to intrude on their new mate time, but I also really needed to clear the air with them.

 “Thank you all for coming on such short notice,” Zak begins, sitting forward in his seat.  “I know that we are all a little worried about the upcoming Blue Crescent Pack’s visit, especially as it will be the day after our new Beta takes over.” At that, Zak looks at me with a confident smile.  “And we’ve got to talk to the pack about what happened last night.

 Can’t wait to see how fucking amazing you’re going to look in your suit. Charlie mindlinks me.  You might have to fuck me while wearing it.

 Control yourself, Red, or I might have to take you into the bathroom and punish you. I respond, a smile crossing my lips.

 Promise? she responds, her voice a seductive whisper in my head.

 And, just like that, I have to readjust my position on the couch so that no one notices my boner.

 “Not so much worried,” Former-Alpha Jared states, “but definitely cautious.  You know how much of a loose canon Mathias can be.

 “We’ve already gotten the guest rooms ready in the cottage,” Beta Carl says, “and we’ve already arranged security and meals for their stay.”  

The cottage is a two story house to the side of the packhouse.  It is furnished as comfortably and lavishly as the packhouse, but we found many years ago that it was better to have visiting leaders in a place that was close to us, but not exactly in the packhouse.  This house was built for those leaders and also served as a place for displaced pack members or new couples to live until arrangements for housing could be made.  It was where Devin’s parents would be staying when Devin took over his rooms with Xander.  Devin’s parents were in the process of building a new house.  They would have already moved into the cottage if it weren’t for the Blue Crescent Pack’s visit.  Though, I don’t think that Devin and Xander had any complaints about it at the moment.

“Good,” Zak nods.  “Have we gotten any more intel as to why Mathias wants this meeting?

“A little,” I say.  “We know that he wants to broker a compromise with the neighboring Eclipse Pack.  We finally found out why their alpha, Diego, is so reluctant to meet with Mathias.” I clear my throat, uncomfortable.  “Apparently Mathias was originally mated to Diego’s beta.  But Mathias rejected her when he found out that her brother was openly gay and dating a member of their pack.  Apparently Mathias is extremely homophobic.

Charlie growled beside me and Zak’s aura suddenly turned cold.

“That’s why I wanted to meet, son,” Former-Alpha Jared said.  “With Devin and Xander’s mating, this meeting could be a disaster.  And if the pack doesn’t handle it well...

“It was part of the reason that we were so...taken aback last night,” Former-Delta Alistar says.  “Besides the shock of having mated males, we knew the hardships that would come with that status.”  Charlie’s dad is trying to placate us, but it does little to calm the three of us.  

Only five people in the pack know that I am gay, three of them being in this room.  The only woman I have ever had any feelings for is Charlie.  I can’t help but think that I will also be mated to a male.  That is going to throw the whole pack into a tailspin.  If they thought that the reaction to Devin and Xander being mates was bad, just wait until they see my father’s reaction.  And that will likely happen in two days time…

Devin’s father hurrumphs at the former-delta’s words, but remains silent.  It is obvious to all that he barely slept last night, if at all.  There are dark shadows under his eyes, stubble along his jaw, and his hair and clothes are mussed.  He is taking this quite hard.

My father picks up the doom and gloom.  “Mathias is an ass, but he is powerful.  His pack is one of the largest in the area and, as such, he holds a lot of sway with other packs.  I know that we have a lot of credibility with many alphas, having helped them over the years, thanks to Zak.  But that will only go so far if their alliances and livelihood are affected by Mathias out right shunning us.

“With that in mind, I think that it might be best to keep Xander or Devin or both away from the Blue Crescent Pack when they visit,” Former-Alpha Jared says.  “We can tell them that they had to go respond to something at Xander’s old pack or - “

“No,” Zak interrupts, his voice filled with resolution and finality.  “I will not hide my pack, especially not two people who are so vital to our success, one of them being one of my best friends.  I don’t care what Mathias thinks.  He is coming to us for aid.  We did not ask him to come, nor will we apologize for what we are when he does.  I don’t care what he thinks when he sees that Devin and Xander are mated.  He can get his head out of his ass long enough to complete the job he came for or he can leave.  I will not have Devin and Xander hidden as if they are shameful to our pack.  And I will let our pack know that tonight at dinner.

The room falls silent with the conviction in Zak’s voice.  Had others not been here, I would have kissed him.  I am so proud.  Charlie smiles at him, her arm linking into his, her head resting on his shoulder.  I pat his back, trying to make it look more platonic than I felt.

I opened a mindlink to him and Charlie. “I love you so much,” I say, sending a mental image of me giving him a goofy kiss on the cheek.

Charlie giggles in our minds as Zak sends back an image of him goosing me.

My father is the first to recover of the others in the room.  “Alpha, with all due respect, I don’t know if that’s the best approach for this particular pack.  Mathias has a reputation for screwing things up for those packs that he objects to.  It could get really dicey for us.

“Do you truly think that what Mathias thinks is more important than what the Goddess has decreed, Carl?  Do you truly think shaming and hiding our Delta and Gamma, making them feel like they are less than they truly are, is worth making Mathias comfortable?  Because I do not,” Zak’s face is impassive, his tone leaving no room for disagreement.

My father lowers his gaze, bearing his neck slightly in submission.  He is acknowledging not only Zak’s dominance, but also conceding the point.  

Former-Gamma Richard stares wonderingly at Zak.  “You really have no issue with them being together?

Zak turns a cold gaze towards the former gamma, causing the older man to flinch.  “No, Richard.  I do not.

Again, silence falls over the room.  Our fathers appear stunned.

The link between Zak, Charlie, and me is still active and I feel the love radiating from Charlie and me to Zak.  In my head, I know that this could cost us a lot.  Mathias has a lot of power in our part of the country.  This could really screw us over.  But knowing that Zak is willing to stand up to anyone in support of his pack, his friends, was powerful.  It was the first real test for Zak as an alpha and it showed that he would lead with integrity and compassion, as opposed to bowing down to the will of others and leading through fear.  It was amazing and fucking sexy as all hell.  I knew that Devin and Xander would have gone with whatever Zak had said, but this was more than I think even they had hoped.

Former-Alpha Jared clears his throat before speaking and we all turn to him.  I had expected to see many feelings cross his face: resignation, anger, incredulity.  But what I saw in his eyes was pride, fierce and unrelenting.  “Ok, son.  We will not hide our Gamma and Delta.  How would you like the visit to run?

For the next 30 minutes, we ironed out the details of the Blue Crescent Pack’s visit.  The meeting ran smoothly and, by the end, we were as prepared as we possibly could be.