Series: Forbes Mates #5
Author: Grace R. Duncan
Miguel Garcia and Luis Rodriguez have been best friends all their lives. For the last year, they’ve been hiding the fact that they’re also destined mates. When Luis’s family finds out, they kick him out. Miguel’s family would keep them… except their alpha has been known to be downright violent against gay wolves.
With the help of Miguel’s mother, they set out to find a pack that will accept them. They run into more that a few obstacles before they end up in Denver, at the national wolf headquarters, meeting the alpha prime. They’re stunned to find, not only offers to join more than one pack, but that their struggle can shine light on a bigger problem–and make things better for LGBT wolves across the country.
When they pulled into the Phoenix station, Miguel found himself annoyed that there didn’t seem to be anything nearby. He’d spent so much time in a city—a real, big city, with a McDonald’s and an In-N-Out on every corner—that to step outside and see nothing besides the bus station but an airport and desert was disheartening.
He shoved the thought off and found the text from his mamá with the Tonto alpha’s phone number. In a few moments, he had directions to a McDonald’s a little distance away by city bus and where to pick it up. They stored their bags in a locker and headed out.
But barely two hours later, he and Luis were once more waiting for a bus, this time with an even less friendly suggestion to move on. He couldn’t say the alpha was <em>hostile</em> necessarily, but the curled lip he got when he saw Miguel and Luis holding hands had said enough. The meeting had been very short, very tense, and ended with the alpha telling them there was a 2:45 a.m. bus from Phoenix going east and they “had better be on it.”
Miguel was already tired of that reaction. While the pack in Palm Springs hadn’t been nearly as mean, he knew quite well it was because they were same-sex mates. Three packs, so far—their original and two others—hadn’t wanted them.
“Maybe we shouldn’t tell them, Miguel.”
Miguel sighed and kissed the top of Luis’s head. “I was just thinking something like that. If we didn’t, if we maybe… made something up about why we left, perhaps we could at least stay for a while.”
Luis nodded. “We’ve only been gone, what… two days?”
Miguel had to think. “Just over twenty-four hours, actually.”
“Damn. It feels a lot longer.” Luis shook his head.
“It doesn’t help that we haven’t really slept. With any luck, Gila will want us. Or at least, let us stay for a bit. Maybe we can get jobs to earn some money.”
“That would be good. How much do we have left?”
Miguel pulled out the cash they still had and carefully counted it, while trying not to be obvious that was what he was doing. The bus station was fairly empty, but he didn’t want to start anything, especially because the best way he had to defend himself and Luis involved claws and fangs. “After the tickets to Deming, just over a hundred dollars. The tickets from Deming to Silver City are another thirty for the two of us. We could see about selling Mamá’s ring in Silver City, if we need to.”
“Let’s… let’s not do that until we are out of money.”
Hugging Luis close, Miguel nodded. “Yeah, I don’t want to either, if we can help it.”
They fell silent, occasionally glancing at the television in the corner, while keeping an eye on the Border Patrol officer sitting in another corner. They both had US driver’s licenses, but that didn’t mean much if he wanted to cause problems for them. He reminded himself to speak English. Then, trying not to worry, Miguel did his best to simply enjoy holding Luis. Luis’s breathing evened out, and Miguel did what he could to resettle his mate in the horribly uncomfortable metal nightmares they called bench seats.