The snow crunched under Teigan’s boots as he walked along the path between the pack house and the home of the man he had been sent to fetch. His breath froze in the crisp night air and lifting his head back, he gazed at the myriad of stars. The beauty of the area made up for the inconvenience of having to drive more than two hours for groceries, and it made living in the boonies worthwhile. He paused as he saw thickening clouds in the distance. The sight brought a faint worry about the incoming storm, but he thought it would be a while yet before it hit.
The soft sound of snow falling from branches on the trees brought him out of his trance and he continued on the path, happy that he was here and doing his duty for the pack. Soon he would be at Sid Martin’s house, the man he was supposed to bring back for the mating.
Sid was a member of the Salazar pack that had taken over Teigan’s pack nearly three years ago. Not that Teigan minded. Hell, no one did. Teigan’s alpha had run their pack down, leaving them destitute and half-crazed with loneliness. Honestly, the man had been crazy. He forbade groups from getting together, wouldn’t allow matings to take place, and often went on tirades about things like homosexuality. It had been very bad, and Teigan had lived in fear that his sexuality would be found out. He counted himself as very lucky that the man never did figure it out.
When the Salazar pack wanted to move into the area, they approached the Pike alpha and quickly realized that something had to be done. A formal challenge and a very short fight later, the Salazar pack had taken over, to the relief of Teigan and the others. Sid, a tall dark-haired man with a goatee, was the Salazar pack’s liaison.
Teigan had worried at first that he would be asked to leave. After his experience with the old alpha and the fact that not many packs welcomed members who were gay, he thought he would have to go. Samuel, the new alpha, didn’t seem to care. Instead he placed Teigan with the new pack shaman/matchmaker. Working as Edna’s assistant, Teigan ran errands for the most part, but on occasion he performed a more important service.
On occasions like tonight, he got to bring mates together. He would escort one to the pack house, to Edna, and then fetch their mate. Edna would tell him who to bring, and Teigan loved doing this. It thrilled him to see their faces light up with the joy of knowing their fondest wish was coming true. Sometimes he admitted, however, that he wished it was him getting his mate. Samuel had told him that he had never seen a gay mated pair in all of his travels and that Teigan should simply accept it. He tried to resign himself to it but at this time of the year, hope seemed to bubble up in spite of the reality.
Every Peraphay, the holiday of matings, he found himself wishing again that some miracle would happen and he would get a mate. He kicked at the snow in disgust. He had even asked the spirits to help him with his wish, even though he was too old to believe in them anymore.
He saw a glimmer of lights through the tree branches as he walked the slim path. A sudden churning of his stomach stopped him again. For the first time since he had performed this duty, Teigan was nervous. The worst part was the reason, something he could never have told Edna because it would have been too embarrassing.
The initial sight he had of Sid had nearly knocked him to his knees with lust. While he had seen him a handful of times around the pack house, Teigan’s breath caught each time he saw the man. Desire at first, and then, as he got to know more about the man, deeper feelings emerged. The sad part was that he doubted Sid even knew he existed. He shivered, and not from the cold.
The lights and the snow on the trees sparkled as he blinked back a couple tears of self pity. Snowflakes started to come down again, and a light layer covered his hair. Looking up, Teigan saw that the clouds had moved in while he stood mourning something that never was. He shook the snow off and wiped his eyes. There would be none of that here. He would bring the man to his chosen one and smile happily for them. It was his duty and his honor to do this for the pack. He watched as a small gray cat darted across the path, dodging the snowflakes, and he laughed. It was time to fetch a wolf for a mating.