A Forever Home book 3
Copyright Caitlin Ricci 2017
Whether he was only going to be in town for a day or if he decided to stay in one place for a year, Kyle knew he had to stop by the local werewolf alpha’s home to introduce himself. It was a formality, but one they took seriously in the big cities. He was hours outside of any major city, which might have meant that he didn’t need to bother with the custom, but he felt like it was probably safer just to go with it. Years of living in big packs had taught him how much werewolves liked their traditions.
He rolled down the window in the taxi he was riding in when they were still a few miles from town so that he could stick his nose out into the breeze and hopefully catch a whiff of the alpha. The trail of other werewolves in the area was so faint that Kyle thought most people probably just passed right on through the town without even realizing there was a werewolf in there at all. Kyle took that as a good sign. Maybe, since there weren't that many werewolves there, he could blend in easier. Maybe he could completely disappear altogether.
The town was small, having only a mainstreet, an apartment building that was a square made out of bricks where no one had balconies, and a few houses off to the side. There was an animal shelter, which seemed strange to him since it was such a small town, but he brushed that off. He hadn't been outside of the city much. Maybe small towns had animal shelters. It could have easily been a thing that he'd never heard of.
"You can drop me off anywhere along Main," Kyle said to the taxi driver.
"You sure?" the man asked.
Kyle nodded. "It's cool. I'm good anywhere."
The driver pulled over and Kyle handed him a few twenties. After a month of running, his cash level was getting low. Maybe the alpha could help him find a job to help fix that problem too. He was careful as he gave the man the cash. Even though he always wore his gloves, he was afraid somehow they'd fail one day.
"Thanks," the driver said.
Kyle opened his door and slid out of the car. Mainstreet was probably a pretty busy place for the people who lived in town, but for him it seemed almost dead, and for once he wasn't looking over his shoulder and waiting for someone to come out and grab him, or some random stranger to bump into him. He breathed deeply and closed his eyes as he tried to find the alpha. He had to be somewhere, but the trail was incredibly faint.
He fixed his backpack over his shoulder and headed down the street. The trail grew stronger, but the direction was weird and he was worried that maybe his senses were getting confused when his nose brought him to the front of a small brick building with a sign that read A Forever Home out front. It was an animal shelter. Kyle didn't think he was in the right place but he went in anyway. The scent of the werewolf was even stronger in the shelter, and Kyle was sure that he wasn't just confusing the scent with that of the dogs anymore.
"Hey, can I help you?" There was a guy at the counter who smiled at him.
He had on glasses and although he smelled like animals, he definitely wasn't a werewolf.
"I'm not sure," Kyle answered honestly. He wasn't even sure if he was in the right place or not yet.
"Are you looking to adopt a dog or cat?"
Kyle shook his head. "I'm looking for a werewolf."
The guy's eyes got big, but he didn't look afraid. "I know two of them. Why do you want them?"
"I have to announce myself." Kyle wasn't used to saying this to a human, which the man definitely was.
The guy looked confused, but Kyle didn't know how to help him. He didn't even know if he was allowed to be telling a human so much about them anyway. Werewolves were out to the general public, but that didn't mean that they were anywhere close to walking hand in hand down the street with the humans as if they knew everything.
"Huh. I didn't know that. Do you want to talk to Jeremy or Marius?"
Neither of those names meant anything to Kyle. "Which of them is the alpha?"
"Neither, as far as I know. At least they've never mentioned that to me before. I'm Seth, by the way. I'm dating Jeremy."
Kyle frowned at him. "You're his mate? He mated to a human?" That didn't make any sense at all. His previous alpha would have never allowed that to happen. If Jeremy was the alpha, did that make Seth his alpha as well? Was that even possible?
"No, no, at least I hope not. I don't really think of us like that anyway. He's my boyfriend. Why would you have to announce yourself to an alpha?" As Kyle watched, Seth seemed to figure it out for himself, and he let out a little gasp. "You're a werewolf!"
Kyle wasn't used to people looking happy about that when they figured that out about him. "I am." He bobbed on the balls of his feet anxiously. "I need to talk to the alpha, whatever his name is."
Seth pulled out his phone and quickly starting typing. "I'm sending them both a text. I knew that there were other werewolves. Of course there were. There had to be. But we've never met any of them."
"We?" Kyle asked him once Seth had looked up from his phone.
"Jack and I. He's dating Marius. They live together in the house behind this shelter. Marius is the one that really runs this shelter."
Kyle just stared at him. Werewolves and humans openly living together. It wasn't allowed and it wasn't even particularly possible. "Does everyone else in town know that they're werewolves?"
Seth frowned. "Sort of. Marius is out. Jeremy is... working on it. I'm trying to convince him that it would be safe to come out, since his brother has and nothing really bad came out of that."
Kyle hated the idea of this human insisting that any of his kind come out into the world. While this town may very well have been different and accepting, that wasn't the case for the rest of the world. Kyle bared his teeth, and Seth had the good sense to take a step back from him.
The smell of an alpha werewolf hit him and Kyle instantly settled down. He lowered his gaze to the floor and moved away from Seth as well as two men came out of the dog area and started walking toward them.
"Sir," Kyle greeted the closest of them. He hoped that he was talking to the alpha, but he couldn't tell their scents apart when they were so close together.
When the men didn't say anything to him, Kyle took a chance and glanced up at them. They were staring at him, both of them looking confused, which was not something Kyle had been expecting. What he was used to was an alpha holding him by the scruff of his neck and pushing him to the floor to further show his submission, not this stunned silence. "Um..."
"What's this?" the one with the blond hair asked.
Seth cleared his throat. "Jeremy, Marius, this is Kyle. He's a werewolf."
"Hey. I'm Marius." This man had shorter blond hair and he offered Kyle his hand, which he instantly retreated from. "If you're worried about if I can do something like some of us can, I can, but I'm able to control it, and even if I wasn't, it's not a bad thing."
That was nice for him and all, but that didn't make Kyle want to jump into his arms anytime soon either. "I can't, and mine isn't."
Marius's expression turned sympathetic. "I see. My brother, Jeremy, also didn't get a great gift."
The idea of anything they could do being a gift made Kyle snort. There was nothing good or wanted about what he could do. Most days he hated himself for it. Marius dropped his hand. "Are you here to adopt a pet then?"