I had to rework this. I changed from 3rd person to 1st as I found it easier to convey a faster pace and personalities that way. Please let me know how the changes sit with you if you read the previous version.
The Most Anticipated Day of your Life
People. I was surrounded by them. They swarmed around me and I found myself nauseas. The smells of the city were almost overwhelming. Edinburgh was much busier than Inverness. I quickened my pace. I needed to get away from the noise and smell and touching. People bumped into me and I had to bite back growls. Department of Relations. I almost ran to the door as hoped filled me. Clutching the cold metal handle I jerked the door open and took a deep breath. It smelled like leather, wood, and the very faint scent of… scotch? Definitely scotch. A woman with wide eyes and hair pulled back greeted me.
I paused. Why was she so happy?
"How may I help you today?" It was obvious she wasn't from here, if her accent was any indicator. She sounded American. She wore a large smile, something I wasn't expecting to see here. I was equally surprised to see I was the only one here.
"… I'm here to…." Nervousness began to set in. Get it together! I squared my shoulders, raising my head to look her in the eyes. "I'm here to register."
She looked at me, her eyes narrowing slightly but the smile still there. "For the military?"
I flushed. Was I at the wrong place? "Is this not where wolves register for their mates?" I felt myself sag as the though infilitrated my mind but I immediately tensed at the grating sound of her laugh.
"Oh, yeah. This is the place. What's your name sweetie?"
I bristled at her casual tone. "Cailean Lennox." Her lips pursed slightly before she pulled her face into a tight smile. She typed something and then handed me a form.
"Alright Mr. Lennox, fill out this form for me."
It seemed simple enough—similar to the form I filled out for my physician, complete with confidentiality clauses and a release form. I quickly put down my signature and pushed the paper back towards the woman. She typed something in and then pulled out a printed sheet of paper. It looked like a receipt.
"3rd Floor is where you will meet Em… Mrs. MacInroy. She will be your registration officer. Good luck Mr. Lennox." She gave an even bigger smile as she pointed me to the elevators. Pushing the button for 3, I listened to the soft sounds of the mechanics of the elevator. I was surprised when the doors opened to reveal a bustling room. Numerous people moved about and I could see wolves sitting in what appeared to be a waiting room. I walked towards the only counter I saw.
"I'm here for Mrs. MacInroy." The man behind the desk looked up at me. Human. I tried to stop from wrinkling my nose. I had expected to encounter wolves working here but it seemed most of the employees, if not all, were humans.
"Please take a seat in room A." He pointed to the room just off to the right behind him and took my receipt. "…Lennox…" He looked to me and then at his screen. He cleared his throat. "Someone will retrieve you from there."
Nodding, I walked over to the room. There were about 20 other wolves there-some male, some female. My eyes looked over the females, hoping briefly that maybe my mate was there. Nothing. My wolf stirred with disappointment. I let out a sigh as I took a seat beside a tall woman. "At least we only have to do this once," she said, turning her head slightly to look at me. She was wearing a white blouse with a high-waisted grey skirt. Her light brown hair was pulled into a bun and her face had light makeup. She was beautiful, I admitted to myself. But I guessed she had to be about 24 or so; much older than I expected anyone here to be.
Everyone I knew close to my town had registered the day they turned 16. Even my older brother had. Registering was an efficient way to find your mate. Prior to it, at least from what grandfather said, wolves would often leave home to go in search of their mates for one to two years. Many never found their mates, either because of missed opportunities or lack of resources. Grandfather often marveled at how much technology was used now. Every person, wolf or human, in the country had a DNA sample on file. Once you turned 16, if you were human, you could make the decision for that sample to become public. Brother said most humans opted in. This was supposed to be a joyous time, but I found myself filled with apprehension. What if I ended up like my brother? Although a mating registry was live here and in some parts of Europe, there were plenty of countries that didn't have one. If your mate wasn't in the system, you still had no clue where they were. My face flushed as my mind ran. What if my mate was American? They didn't have a registry and every time someone tried to start one, it was stopped.
Someone poked their head in. "Anna Peters," they called. The woman beside me smiled as she stood. She must have noticed my nervousness… or at least smell it. I grimaced. I probably reeked of fear now. I had made, what I now considered to be a horrible decision, to wait until 18 to register. It had all made sense earlier; I would start Enforcer training at 16, find my mate once I turned 18 and held a position in the Enforcers, and start school. My brother had agreed it was a sound plan since fresh mates could be distracting during training-but now I wondered if his advice hadn't been slightly bitter. Laochailan, my older brother, had registered on his 16th birthday. Our parents had even come with him, filled with excitement to find out who would be the lucky girl for their amazingly perfect son. He came home distraught. His mate wasn't in any registered country. The most they could tell him was that his mate lived on the east coast of the united states. His officer even said that she was really giving him too much information—he was only supposed to know she was in the US. Laochailan Lennox was a beta in the making and the entire office soon learned that when he threw the most horrifying meltdown the country had ever seen. I had heard the woman quit that very day and had become a lobbyist against wolves. My brother had almost killed her-and not in the accidental, lost my temper and threw something way. He intentionally choked her until Enforcers in the area were able to subdue him. The Department of Relations actually closed down for about a week to repair all the damage he caused.
A man walked into the room, his eyes narrowed. He was a wolf, and from the badge hanging on his chest, an Enforcer. "Cailean Lennox."
What? I cringed. Why was an enforcer calling me? I stood, holding my head high. If I hadn't seen the other person pick up Anna, I would have talked myself into thinking this was routine. I had the horrible feeling they remembered my brother. I followed the man out. He led me past the throngs of people and into a windowless room. A woman sat in the room, a small smile on her face. I took a breath and noted that she was a wolf.
"Cailean?" She stood and extended her hand. "I'm Emily MacInroy, your registration officer. I must apologize for Daniel here." She pointed to the Enforcer. "There are a number of nervous humans when we heard your name." They definitely remember my brother. "So, are you ready?"
I couldn't trust my voice, so I resorted to nodding.
"We have two tentative matches for you. Do you understand what that means?"
"Honestly, no," I found myself saying. Two matches? Wolves were not polyamorous. There was no way to have 2 mates. If you did, one was obviously a false mate-someone similar to your true mate but not as fulfilling. She had also said tentative…I could feel the panic rising in my chest. I was going to end up like my brother, unable to find my mate.
"We have two women. Henrietta Wade and Betty Young. Although they were both born in England, their files list Texas as their current home with the same address. Henrietta's is listed as a fully public file, but Betty's is not."
"…Em…" I didn't understand what any of that meant for me.
"Betty is likely Henrietta's daughter. Now,,,, these matches are very tentative, Betty…. It looks like she is in her 40's."
"What?" 40's? She was in her 40's? Did God just hate the Lennox boys? "Mrs. MacInroy I think there is a mistake here…."
"I think so too."
"I think…wait… I don't… What?" I wished she was just get to the point instead of dragging it out like this.
"I am almost certain that your mate is probably Betty's daughter who would have been born in the US and consequently not in the registry."
I wasn't sure what to say. So my mate was overseas as well? In Texas?
"Would I … could I have the last address on file?" My mind started to reel. If I could have the last address I could start searching for her.
She smiled at that. Or maybe she smiled that I didn't flip out. "Course! I suggest you go to Texas for a month on holiday. Spend some time finding her. Once you do, come home, prepare for her, and return on a mating visa. Our offices here will help with the application once you are ready. The visa is good for 3 years, and you will be obligated to work for the pack in the area. Each pack is different in their requirements to sponsor mating visas but I have yet to hear someone finding them unreasonable." She scribbled information down on a card and handed it to me. "This is the last address we can give out and my information is on the front of the card. Don't hesitate to call or email me if you need anything while on your journey."
"I think… I think I would like to go to Texas for a month or so…." I had really expected her to be difficult, to not offer to really help. It wasn't like I didn't know they were supposed to help us in our journey, but the fact that they escorted me with an Enforcer left me a wee bit distrustful. I expected some sort of roadblock but for now it seemed like she was doing all she could to eliminate the obstacles.
"I could set that up. I would need to contact the Alpha of that area and make sure you can meet the sponsorship requirements. I should contact you again in 7 to 14 days."
I stared down at the card. At least I had some sort of information on her. But no name. No age. No firm address. Still more than my brother knew about his mate.
I had to rewrite this. The tone just felt so dragging and I realized it may be because I wrote in 3rd person. I think it feels a bit better in 1st person. Let me know what you think.