~One Year Later~
Frank stood in front of the mirror adjusting his tie as he breathed heavily. Fuck he was nervous. He told Gerard they didn't have to do this, it wasn't required but Gerard insisted. Wolves didn't have weddings, they had binding ceremonies which were essentially the same thing. The ceremonies weren't required and mates could still live a normal life without one, but it was an old tradition. It was a ceremony where the pack elders essentially recognize a mated couple formally and while Gerard wasn't super keen on the idea, Donna was.
Ray and Mikey had their ceremony last year and to say she went a little overboard was a massive understatement. Frank wanted to keep her happy, over the last year he had grown extremely close to Mr and Mrs Way. They filled the void of parents he never really had and they treated him just like a son. A son that was made of glass, but a son nonetheless.
While Ray and Mikey elected to have their binding ceremony in the spring, Gerard insisted they do theirs in the fall, as close to Frank's birthday and the following full moon. After Frank missed his chance to be turned during his last birthday, it gave him an entire year to learn extensively about the pack and his future job.
Frank furrowed his brows as he stared at his tie that he had retied about six times now, convinced it was still crooked.
"Knock knock" a soft voice said from outside the room. Mrs Way opened the door, her face beaming with excitement.
"How's it coming along, dear, almost ready?"
"I don't know" Frank groaned. "Is this crooked? It's crooked isn't it?" Mrs Way just smiled softly and stepped towards him, reaching out and fixing his tie. "Look at me, I'm shaking."
"Honey you'll be fine" she soothed. Frank didn't understand where this random bout of nerves came from. He was "marrying" the love of his life. But he was also horribly unlucky, he felt. They were having the ceremony outside in the field Frank risked his life in. It would take place at sunset because tomorrow was Frank's birthday and three days after that was the full moon.
"What if I trip and fall? Or it rains?" Mrs Way held Frank's hands tightly while he came down from his unnecessary hysteria.
"You love Gerard and he loves you. It's just you two, let everyone else blend in with the trees" she said softly. Frank visibly relaxed at her words. Another knock at the door made Frank jump slightly.
"Are you decent?" Mr Way joked loudly. Frank rolled his eyes and Mrs Way told him to get in here already.
"Are you ready?" He smiled widely. Frank tried to return the gesture but his was much weaker.
"I'm so nervous" he breathed out.
"Don't be. Once during one couples ceremony, the man was so nervous he accidentally shifted mid-ceremony and knocked over people and tables." Frank turned to Mr Way with wife shocked eyes.
"Damnit Donald!" Mrs Way lectured. "Don't startle the poor boy any more than he is."
"My point is even with all the hiccups and little mistakes, this will still be the best day of your life to look back on."
Mr Way patted him on the back before clearing his throat and pulling a small velvet box out of his pocket.
"If I didn't know any better I would say you're about to propose" Frank laughed nervously, trying to make light of the situation. Mr Way blushed before handing over the box.
"Here. Think of this as a gift from Ma and me." Frank opened the box to find a shiny gold chain. On the chain was a small round pendant with a wolf. "It's the Way Pack family crest. You are a Way pack member now."
Frank gently lifted the necklace from the box and put it around his neck, watching as the gold pendant shimmered in the light.
"Thank you" he whispered, his eyes full of tears.
"Okay now enough crying, lets do this" Mrs Way said, linking both of her arms through each man's.
The field was full of wolves just like it was that night, but this time they were all in human form and dressed to the nines. There was no anger or fear here today, only love and respect. White wooden chairs had been lined up on either side of an aisle way that had a long white cloth down it. There wasn't a single chair open, and many guests were forced to stand but no one complained.
Mr and Mrs Way left Frank at the end of the aisle as they made their way to the front, greeting and chatting with guests. Frank scanned the smiling faces but didn't see the one he was looking for. Where was Gerard?
"Thank you family for coming out and seeing my son's binding ceremony, it truly is a glorious day" Mr Way spoke loudly from the front part of the aisle. "Frank?" He called, signaling for Frank to walk towards him. Many of the guests congratulated him or patted his shoulders. Frank just smiled.
"Frank, you have shown yourself a true warrior of our pack, and an honorable mate for our future pack leader." Mr Way turned Frank around so he was facing back down the long aisle when he saw him. Gerard stood at the other end in a matching black suit and black tie. His hands were casually in his pockets as he watched the scene unfold, a shy smile on his face.
Frank blushed under Gerard's intense gaze, wanting so badly to feel his soft lips. Frank had kind of spaced out while oogling his boyfriend and before he knew it Gerard was striding up the aisle towards Frank. People wished him well as well but he ignored it, his eyes only fixed on Frank. Gerard took Frank's hands in his and they faced each other as Mr Way continued to speak.
"This stake is the stake my great great grandmother fought against when humans tried to attack her." He handed Gerard and Frank an aged stick of wood that had obviously had its ends snapped off. It was about twelve inches long, long enough for Frank and Gerard to each hold together. "And this rope was used to bound my great great grandfather before he was able to free himself." Mr Way took the long thick rope and wrapped it around the stake and over both men's hands, effectively binding their hands to the stake.
"Nothing could separate those true mates and nothing can separate you two either. From this moment on, you two are bound together, mind, body and soul." The crowd erupted in cheers and Gerard leaned down sneaking a quick kiss from Frank's smiling lips.
"When we leave this field today, Frank will now be known as Frank Iero-Way: a pack Luna". Another round of cheer. Frank and Gerard turned to face the crowd as Mr Way untied the rope around their hands. "Go forth and do naught but good in this world." With a wild glimmer in Gerard's eyes, the couple laced fingers and ran down the aisle and through the woods, laughing along the way.
As they ran, Frank thought through his life. He always felt unlucky losing so many people he loved but today he was on top of the world. After long discussions and a relentless company, Frank decided to finally sell his diner to Denny's restraunt for an insane amount of money. They had been hounding Frank for years to sell but now he had nothing anchoring him to that small jersey town. Lindsey even managed to snag the general manager job of the new Denny's that had its grand opening six months ago.
Anytime Frank thought about the diner he thought about Patrick who was one of the few people in Frank's old life that knew all about Gerard and his family. He learned about it after meeting Pete, Gerard's chef, who immediately imprinted on poor Trick. Patrick wanted some time before being changed himself but was fully supportive of Frank's decision. Who would have thought Frank's chef would fall in love with Gerard's?
When Frank's lungs felt like they were about to burst, both men stopped running, deciding to hold each other close as night fell. Frank threaded his arms around Gerard's neck, and Gerard wrapped his around Frank's waist.
"I love you" Gerard whispered as he pressed their foreheads together.
"I love you more" Frank replied back instantly. Their love was unlike any other. It was intense, passionate and deep, but it was there's for all eternity.