“Good morning, Bren!” said a familiar voice from behind him.
“Hey Jack, how’s everything?” Bren greeted back. He just finished his early morning tea at the poolside bar and was now walking back to the packhouse.
“You know, same old. How are you doing with the part-time bartender gig? Do you like it? I can still move you to the kitchen since I’m the head chef after all. I’ll take you in, no problem.”
“Nah, thank you. I’m really happy where I am. Besides, I can work on my special mixes while I’m there at the pool’s bar and the Gamma really needs me to assist him right now.”
“OK, suit yourself. Just saying, in case you change your mind later.”
“I don’t think I will, but thanks anyway,” Bren said with a chuckle, as he walked away and then entered the main entrance of the packhouse.
He went directly to where the mail cubbies were. It’s part of Brenner’s morning ritual to check his friend’s - who’s now his boss - snail mail before going up to the executive office of the pack house.
The part-time bartender smiled as he viewed a large Manila envelope with the name Ma’Heron Denar, inside the cubby, knowing that it was something his new employer would be so pleased to see. As he pulled it out, a smaller package, the size of a legal-sized envelope got dragged out as well.
“Oh, what is this? Weird. Why would this envelope be here?” he asked himself in a low voice. “It’s addressed to the Alpha, but it’s in the Gamma’s mail slot?”
About five minutes later, the tall, slim but athletic man entered the Alpha’s office with the packages in hand. The larger one contained plane tickets, passports, and reservation details, which he gave Ma’Heron - aka M - who was in the middle of an animated discussion with his Alpha, Vincent Riegel, and the pack’s Beta, Aaron Keizer.
The three men inside the room, each of them muscular, wide-shouldered, tall, and good-looking in their own ways, all looked at Bren as he rattled off his report to his immediate superior, “Gamma, finally got everything in order for you and your wife’s special wedding anniversary.”
Ma’Heron’s small smile, one of the very few proofs outside of his marriage that he is still capable of feeling, was evident upon hearing the word “wife”. This was not lost to V and Aaron, who were hiding mischievous smiles of their own at the sight of their Gamma M’s reaction to his upcoming wedding celebration.
Well, technically it’s not really a wedding that they’re celebrating…
“Dude, you marked each other, not married each other,” joked Aaron, who was now sporting a thin beard matching V’s thicker but clean-cut facial hair in an effort to look more mature. “You never even proposed to her, right?”
M’s stare was steely and his smile had now disappeared. “If you must know, I am planning to ‘marry’ her following the usual human custom despite the fact that it’s no longer required for us after we’ve marked our mates. Seriously, Aaron, just because you’re my brother-in-law now…”
“OK, knock it off you two. When we start talking about our mates, this usually happens,” interrupted V as he started checking the mail that Bren had also brought along with him.
“Nope, he just has issues with me because his sister is my mate now,” Aaron said with a small laugh. “I think he still can’t accept the fact that Di ended up with me.”
“Please, that’s all in the past, bro. No reason for us to go back to it. What’s done is done. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to call my wife.”
Ma’Heron took out his mobile phone inside his coat’s breast pocket and walked a few steps away from his companions. He made the call. The phone rang beyond the typical three to five rings that his wife usually waited for before answering… The Gamma’s forehead knitted, and a slight scowl formed on his face.
Hmmm… odd… that’s five rings… she should have picked up by now.
Finally, he heard the familiar click of someone answering the phone, “Oh Alexia, I called to let you know about…”
“Hello there, Ma’He. Sorry, but your wife can’t answer the phone right now. Please let your Alpha know I have a letter that we’ve expedited for him. For Alexia’s sake, I hope he responds.”
It was a male voice that answered. It chilled him to the bone while it opened up memories he never wished to remember.
The phone call ended just as his past began to haunt him…
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