Chapter 5 - Charlie

Lucille hands me my cup of doctored coffee and I immediately swallow nearly half of it, not caring how hot it is.  I need the alcohol right now.

Zak thanks Lucille, but doesn’t touch his coffee.  Instead, he stares at her intensely.  “What do you mean by the three of us being parents?”  Zak’s voice is steady and firm.  If I hadn’t known him my whole life and been mated to him, I wouldn’t have noticed the slight tick in his jaw or the way that his left leg began to jump slightly under the table.  These are all signs of anxiety for Zak and I understand why.

“What do you know of Selene and her mates?” Lucille asks.

“Mates?  I only know of one mate.  Pan,” Zak says, looking at me curiously.

“Same here,” I confirm, my brow furrowed.  “As the god of the wild and the goddess of the moon, Pan and Selene’s children became werewolves.  Wild creatures who were controlled by the moon.

“Ahhh.  Is that what they are teaching the young pups now?  That Selene only had one mate?  I knew that they didn’t want mate trios any longer, but I didn’t know that they would attempt to change even Selene’s story,” Lucille chuckles.  “Alpha, Luna, do you truly believe that if there was no humanity in their coupling that we would be human at all?

I cock my head to the side, trying to understand.

“Wait.  What?” Zak says.

“If we were only children of Pan and Selene, we would always be wild creatures.  Nymphs, satyrs, centaurs.  But we aren’t.  Of course, we could remain in our wolf form all the time if we wish, but we always have the ability to shift into human form.  No, young ones, Selene had two mates.  One, the god Pan.  The other, a human man named Endymion.  We get our wolves from Pan, our pull to the moon from Selene, and our human selves from Endymion,” Lucille says.  She calmly blows on her drink while Zak and I have to re-evaluate the basis of our entire existence and religion.

It’s almost as if the world tilts on its axis. The Moon Goddess, the one who gives us life, mates, powers, everything...what we know about her and about our mating is wrong. How is that possible? How has no one ever contradicted this? This was literally taught to all pups from their earliest days in school.  And it’s a lie...

“Why…” Zak licks his lips and starts again.  “Why weren’t we told this?”  Like me, Zak immediately believes the Oracle.  She would not lie.  She is the mouthpiece of the Goddess.  She cannot lie about Selene.

“Ahhh,” Lucille breathes out, taking a sip of her coffee.  “Because not every wolf has two mates, as Selene did.  As you two do.  In fact, most don’t.  It is uncommon, but not rare.  Most packs should have at least four or five mate trios.

My mouth drops open.  I’m not sure what astonishes me more: the fact that Lucille just said that Zak and I have a third mate out there or the number of mate trios she said should be in each pack.

Zak holds his hands up, his eyes closed.  “Wait, wait, wait.  Hold on.  There is a lot to unpack there.

“Alpha, you are looking a little pale.  Drink up,” Lucille says, a smirk crossing her face.

“Ok, first,” I say, while Zak takes a long drink of his coffee, “you are saying that we are having these dreams about Brandon because he is our mate?”  My voice is incredulous, but I can’t help it.  This is unheard of!

“Exactly so,” Lucille says.  She watches us as we process this piece of information.

“But...but then why is he avoiding us?  Isn’t he having the dreams as well?  Doesn’t he feel the pull to us, like we feel to him?” I demand.

With that, Lucille’s amused smirk falls off of her face and she looks at us with sympathy.  “If I were to guess, he is feeling guilty and confused.”  She stares at the table, collecting her thoughts.  “Let me explain.  Several generations ago, mate trios were not only celebrated, but revered.  Those packs that were run by an alpha with two mates prospered.  Pups were abundant, riches flowed, and their people thrived.  But, those alphas with only one mate weren’t as blessed.

“You see, Selene highly favors those she gifts with two mates.  They remind her of her own mate trio, before Pan was lost to industrialization and Western “progress” and Endymion fell into his eternal slumber.  These trios don’t necessarily get more power or better spiritual gifts.  But, what they touch will always prosper.

“Many single-mated Alphas were jealous and war was waged.  Long and bloody, the war eradicated all mate trios that were found.  The packs of the mate trios were absorbed into other packs and that part of our history was erased.  The new Alphas didn’t want it to be wide-spread knowledge that mate trios could exist.  Seeing the destruction that had come to her beloved trios, Selene made the trios dormant for three generations, making sure that the desire to kill the trios was gone.  About three generations ago, she allowed trios to be born into packs again, but they were not as numerous as they once were.  And most trios were not acknowledged because it is thought to be unsavory.  That is why homosexuality is looked down upon in the upper ranks of the pack.  It is too easy to develop a trio when the need for a pup comes into play.

“The only ones that know about the mate trios are the Oracles of the packs.  We were sworn to secrecy, until our Alpha and Luna came to ask questions.  This was to preserve the lives of those who may have been blessed with a mate trio.  To my knowledge, you are the first Alpha and Luna to ask for this information.

By this point, both Zak and I have finished our coffees and Lucille stands to refill our cups.

“No coffee this time,” Zak says.  “We’ll just stick with the Irish part.

Lucille nods and comes back with the bottle of whiskey.  I immediately drink the shot that she pours into my cup and signal for another.  Zak does the same.

“Lucille, if this is something that should happen as often as you say in a pack, why aren’t there any mate trios in our pack?” I ask, my voice husky from the sting of the whiskey.

“Excellent question, Luna,” Lucille smiles at me as if I am her most prized pupil.  “Most mate trios have little standing in a pack.  They may be warriors, omegas, or just regular wolves, living their day-to-day lives.  They find their first mate and they stay with them.  They may feel the pull for their third, but it is something that can be ignored.  They may invite them in for a wild night or two.  I have even seen third mates become godparents for the original mates’ children.  But, even when they are mated, if themark is never made, then it will eventually fade.  The unmarked mate will eventually find a second-chance mate or mate someone of their choice.

Zak’s face holds a mix of relief and trepidation.  “So, if we wait long enough, the pull will go away?

“No, Zak,” Lucille says, shaking her head solemnly.  “That would be true if you were regular wolves.  But you are not.  Zak, your blood is nearly pure Alpha for generations.  Charlie, your family has been Deltas for this pack since it’s founding.  And Brandon’s family also has a long history of Beta blood.  You are too powerful.  This bond, unless rejected by all parties, will never die.  It will not be ignored.  The Moon Goddess wants the three of you together, for whatever reason.  She will not allow this to be denied.

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