Wolves of Mateo

After a prank gone wrong, Riley is left abandoned in the forest with snapping wolves approaching her from across Lake Mateo. She wakes up in the Dimera house but soon comes to learn their act of hospitality wasn't just out of kindness, but out of something much deeper and terrifying - to a mere human anyway. Werewolves live among us and Riley finds herself between two of the most powerful werewolves in Wyoming. While her heart is being torn in two, her head is telling her to do the right thing - but it's always easier said than done. Fighting in a whole new world, she must overcome the danger and settle in where she now truly belongs. Werewolf hunters, Mate claims, Alpha rivalry, and Pack wars... Welcome to Mateo, home of the Wolves. *EDITED VERSION NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON, PUBLISHED BY MOVELLAS http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GFUK45O *
The Wolves of Mateo - Episode 121:00 min.
The Wolves of Mateo - Episode 216:00 min.
The Wolves of Mateo - Episode 319:00 min.
The Wolves of Mateo - Episode 418:00 min.
The Wolves of Mateo - Episode 516:00 min.
The Wolves of Mateo - Episode 619:00 min.

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10. Chapter 10

I was woken up by loud noise in the very early morning. Not the usual noise of the forest, but... something was there. It was different this time. Definitely.

I slipped from my bed and slid into the slippers Rose had finally picked up from my house a few days ago. A lot of time had passed I realised since something strange had happened. I stretched out and yawned loudly as I wander around my room.

I trudged to the window and opened the curtain a little to peer out. I didn’t see anybody, but I wasn’t expecting to see much. It was too dark.

Ugh, I thought to myself, I hadn’t left the house in several days so I was obviously hearing things now.

I shook my head to shoo the groggy ‘I-just-woke-up’ feeling thinking it now impossible to get back to sleep. I focused my attention back outside and the backyard light flickered on as someone came within its sensor range. The entirety of the backyard illuminated giving me a perfect view.

I took in a deep breath as I realised who it was and what was happening; Austin and his friends trying to carry away the man I hadn’t seen since that day in their living room. The man they’d viciously tried to beat up. He was still here!

Austin yelled at the other guys and all sorts of curse words were flying at the man they were trying to escort away. Why in the middle of the night? I found myself thinking.

Why didn’t they phone the police? I asked myself. Thoughts like that ran havoc in my brain as I tried to figure this strange family out.

I mentally slapped myself as Austin grabbed a hold of the man’s hair and growled in his face. Why would they phone the police if they didn’t even want to tell me? I’m sure Austin and his father would be the ones behind bars, not the guy on the floor.

I had to seriously consider here – who was the real bad guy?

Austin’s father laid a hand on Austin’s shoulder to calm him down. Austin twisted back to look at his father and his face considerably relaxed. What were they doing with him?

One of the others that I didn’t recognise dropped the man causing everyone else to lose their grip. The man fell to the ground and was quick to start scrambling to get away. Austin seemed to lose his cool again and took two giant steps forward before he kicked the man in the ribs. I could only imagine the pain and audible cracks.

I winced aloud and took a small step from the curtain to save myself the mental pain. This wasn’t the Austin I knew… This wasn’t him at all.

We’d spoken a lot over the past few days; I got to know him a lot better. He had a passion for the outdoors and loved to swim in the lake – mainly because no one was ever around. His grandfather from his dad’s side was called Austin and before he died Austin would visit him on his cattle farm up in the northern part of Wyoming for the weekend. Austin liked to play ice-hockey as a kid but grew out of it as he got older, and he didn’t have a terrible amount of friends but the ones he had were close.

I’d learnt a lot about him but it seemed I didn’t learn enough, I thought, as I laid eyes on Austin again. His face was growing red and he breathed irrationally. His chest heaved up and down faster as his frustration grew resembling someone I didn’t know.

Austin suddenly stopped attacking the already beat up man and stood back. He shook his head a single time and ran his hand over his face and into his hair. He backed away still facing the group and fled into the trees.

I could feel tears prick at my eyes. What was the big secret they couldn’t tell me, I thought. Did they expect me to keep quiet about this forever? They were beating up and holding seemingly innocent people against their will! I peered through the window and saw the man being hoisted up by two others. He didn’t look dangerous.

What was up with the Dimera’s? They were normal one second, we sat and had dinner together, we talked together, and they acted like any other family. Then there was Austin and his father’s irregular night-life. Before I went to bed each night I’d see Austin sprinting for the forest cover. Now this. What were they doing? Was Rose aware of what was happening? Of course she was! Rose had eyes. She also saw them beat the man up in her very own living room. She was in on it all as well, it appeared.

If everyone else knew, why didn’t I? Why did they take me in when they knew there was so much to hide!

I thought Austin and I were friends, but seemingly not. He didn’t trust me enough. I’d stayed with the family for nearly two weeks, so how much longer did they expect me to sit and watch without caring? They weren’t going out of their way to hide any secrets either.

Tears began to drip like a waterfall. I was unsure if it was a frustrated tear or an upset one. Frustrated I was getting nowhere with the Dimera’s or upset the family didn’t trust me – or more so, Austin.

I shut the curtain over completely; I didn’t want to see any more.

I moved back a few paces until my back hit the wall. My head fell back and my hand cupped my forehead. What was I involved with now?

I audibly growled to myself. I clutched my other forearm and dug my nails into my flesh. Why was nothing ever simple now?

Rose refused to let me go to school because she thought I was stressed and Austin was allowed off with me. I was cooped inside and I saw every single thing they did. Did they expect me to turn a blind eye at everything?

I had asked a lot of questions already, some might argue enough. None of them had been properly answered, none had given me any clue. Something was happening that they didn’t want me to know about.

Who was that man? Nothing you should worry about.

Aren’t an alpha, pack, and rogue related to wolves? Sort of.

Why were you beating him up? He’s a bad person.

Why are you keeping secrets? The less you know the better.

I’d gathered a lot from over-thinking in those past few days. The man, the Dimera’s, and the wolves were all linked, that much had become obvious.

I felt a warm substance drip down my skin and realised I was bleeding from my grip. I let go of my arm and grimaced. I threw both arms to my side. My head rolled back and touched the wooden wall behind me.

A sob escaped my lips as another tear rolled down my face and crossed over my lips.

I was too far into all these questions to just forget and let it all go.

I couldn’t just go home and ignore the Dimera’s - now that would be impossible. My mother had said I could come home any day I liked now, that was only yesterday, but I didn’t think I could now even if I wanted to. If I went home I’d be pulled down by the reminder that my dad was in a coma, the wolves might come back and watch my window, and I’d constantly think about Austin and his family wondering what were they doing right at that very second. Would the Dimera’s even let me leave?

“Ugh!” I picked up a pillow that laid by my feet and launched it to the other side of the room and just so happened to hit the window. I began to sob louder and louder as my body fell hopelessly to the floor in a crumpled heap. Why can’t anybody tell me anything straight?

The blood flow stopped from my arm but the red liquid was fast to soak into my night wear. I didn’t bother about it and continued to cry quietly to myself.

Nothing was easy now.

***

That morning I sat at the breakfast bar, tensed and uneasy. I hadn’t laid eyes on Austin or his father all morning, which led me to assume they had yet to return home.

I’d finished eating my breakfast a while ago but I was slowly sipping on my fruit shake as I sat suspiciously, waiting for the sliding door to the kitchen to open like it did every morning – one of the two men of the house would come sauntering through. They’d tell me they’d been out on a morning jog, but I’d know they’d been out all night.

Austin hadn’t returned home last night, I knew that. The black bags under my eyes would confirm I sat the entire night scared out of my mind in the corner of the room listening about. As a matter of fact, neither had Austin’s father.

I scowled as everything from last night bombarded my brain once again. I wondered what they had done with the other man. Dumped his body after killing him? Left him in the middle of nowhere? Left him for the wolves the kill?

Rose turned around from the oven and sighed. She said quickly, “Ok, tell me what’s wrong?”

I warily eyed her before saying, “Nothing, Ma’am.”

“Oh dear, since when have you started calling people ‘ma’am’? Something must be seriously wrong,” Rose said, moving around the breakfast bar and sitting herself in a seat beside me.

I stumbled over her kindness for a second and replied, “I-I I’m just confused is all...”

She grabbed my hand and smiled reassuringly. “About what?”

“Everything.”

She smiled at me gently as she got back up. Rose then said, “I’m always here to talk. I hope you know that.” Rose went back to the cooker and got on with her tasks, leaving the door open for a conversation about it but I wasn’t willing.

I was almost asleep where I sat until I heard the door slide open half an hour later. I was suddenly awake and alert – because that noise usually meant one thing – they were home. My attention fixated on Austin entering the house. He was covered in sweat, his hair looked like it might have dirt in it, and he once again wasn’t wearing shoes.

“Austin!” His mother scolded. “You’ve ruined your clothes!” She gave him a disapproving look and tutted at him.

Austin laughed and walked towards the living room. “I’ll use my own money for some new clothes this time, alright?” He said without a glance my way as he made his way through the house. He disappeared moments later.

So I was right, he hadn’t returned home. When did he ever find time to sleep?

“That boy, going to be the death of me,” Rose mumbled half-heartedly.

Your entire family will be the death of me, though, I thought.

***

I was sitting in my room when Austin next found me. I was freshly showered with a clean set of clothes thanks to Rose.

There was a knock at the door and before I could tell them to leave, the door was already forced open. Austin had this big smile on his face that immediately slipped away when he saw me. I was sitting there doing nothing and had done only that for the past 36 minutes – I would know, I’d counted the time. I supposed I really was going crazy cooped up.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” He pushed his head to the side and raised a questioning eyebrow that made me want to laugh but I couldn’t bring myself to even smile.  

“You need to explain,” I said sounding pathetic.

Austin’s face became a blank canvas as he replied, “Haven’t we already discussed this?”

“You brushed off every single one of my questions, Austin. You’re all hiding the answers for a reason beyond me, and even you yourself said I was involved, right?” My tone was laced in anger and frustration, at not just Austin but at the wolves, Bianca and her father, Hilary, and Mr. Dimera and his wife. Everything.

Austin approached and taken a seat on the end of my bed. “I don’t think you’ll like the truth, Riley,” he said.

I brushed a hand through my damp hair, my short sleeves rolling up enough to reveal the scratches from last night. “I’m going to find out sooner or later,” I told him.

Austin snatched my hand to pull my arm closer to his face. “Riley! What the hell happened to your arm?” His face transformed into worry, but I couldn’t help but feel like he was trying to dodge the question.

I tugged my arm back. “I didn’t realise I was doing it. Just frustration, is all,” I explained.

“You couldn’t have just punched a wall or something like a normal person?” He looked extremely bothered that I was hurt in any way, shape or form and tried to hold my hand to comfort me. It wasn’t working.

I grew irritated and said, “No, and stop distracting from the point!”

Austin used his other hand to stroke my tensed one and looked nowhere but my arm. “I’ll tell you – in fact, I’ll show you. Soon. How does the next few days sound?”

I relaxed at the thought of everything adding up eventually. It sounded great… assuming I liked what I was going to hear. “Fine.” I closed my eyes tight to fend off tears. It didn’t work and they spilled between my lids despite how tight I’d shut them.

Austin said nothing as he came around to my side of the bed and sat himself beside me. He wrapped an arm around my shoulders and pulled me to his side. He muttered several apologies and whispered comforting words.

“It’s not your fault,” I said, trying not to make him feel bad despite my conflicting emotions about Austin. He was someone I knew I was slightly scared of. Someone I knew I cared for also after all he’s done to help me.

Austin stopped speaking and began to stroke my hair. He told me everything would be fine as long as I done as he asked. As long as he was with me, he could guarantee I’d be alright. I almost felt myself believe him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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