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 *

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11. Chapter 11

The entire Dimera family sat in different places in the kitchen when dinner rolled around. I just so happened to be sitting at the breakfast bar with Austin by my side and his parents sitting on chairs they’d grabbed from wherever they could around the house. Eating together wasn’t a regular thing.

I wished that was the case for my family because I hated nothing more than sitting awkwardly at a dinner table every Sunday night.

Rose said she wanted to make me feel more ‘at-home’ and more comfortable with the family and here we were. I suspected Austin had dropped a few hints to Rose that I was getting home-sick.

I’d told him I missed my mom, I missed being in my own home but admitted at the same time that I really didn’t want to leave. He sympathised and said he’d be there, but words helped very little. I hadn’t recovered from those feelings and still felt pained.

“What do you guys want for dessert? I have some chocolate cake in the cupboard and ice-cream in the freezer,” Rose asked us politely.

“Cake!” Austin demanded through a mouthful of food. He was still eating, stuffing his face like a squirrel. He always had such a big appetite.

Rose stood from her chair and was about to head for the cupboard when, from the opposite side of the house, there was a hard knock at the door. Rose paused in her step and turned to face the family. “Can someone get that for me?”

Austin’s dad got up from his seat and made his way in that direction appearing completely at ease without another word. Austin stopped eating and concentrated on listening in.

Rose grabbed some plates from the cupboard but seconds later from the other side of the house there were several masculine shouts. Rose jumped in surprise and let the plates fall to her feet with a loud smash. Austin and Rose both glanced at each other before Austin got up and sprinted to the door.

In a moment of blind panic I stood there completely struck with confusion and fear. What now? After a few seconds of standstill, I was woken from my daze as Rose ran past me and brushed my side. How was I supposed to react to this?

I warily followed after them into the living room just as something else smashed in front of us. For a family who appeared to get into a lot of fights, they sure hadn’t learnt their lesson about having breakables.

In front of me, the Dimera family stood around an unconscious Mr. Dimera. Looking up from him, I was met with a dozen live wolves with a broken window and glass shattered around them. It didn’t make sense. Black wolves with fur as dark as those I’d seen on several occasions and I knew they were the same ones. I asked myself why they were here, what they were doing… But with the fractional answers from previous days, I somehow deep down knew. I had known it all along.

Rose was in tears herself, but tried to keep strong. She stood by me and tucked an arm around my shoulder to hold me still beside her. “Be calm, it’s alright, everything will be fine,” she whispered to me. She couldn’t hide me this time.

I was too shocked to register much of a reaction.

My eyes never left the wolves, all as dark as night and several times larger than the one Austin had shown me at the lake. Much larger. Their mouths twitched around revealing large stained yellow teeth. No normal wolf could break through a window, I noted, as I spotted the curtains flowing behind them and the glass shattered around them on the carpeted floor. No normal wolf would dare.

Someone knocked, I thought. Wolves couldn’t knock at doors, so who had?

“I thought we told you to stay away,” Austin warned. I would have laughed, talking to wolves, what did he think he was doing? I knew, however, that he wasn’t crazy. He knew what he was doing.

I felt myself shiver which made Rose feel obligated to hold me tighter.

The wolf nearest Austin began to growl and its lip pulled back in a snarl to reveal its sharp teeth. That was its response.

“I’ll give you and your men fifteen minutes to get out of a seven mile radius of our territory or I’m sending the pack after you. They’ll make sure you won’t bother us again,” Austin threatened.

He referred to them as men, I noted. They weren’t men, though, I thought. The confusion overwhelmed me and pounded on my head like a hammer on a nail. The glass shards of peace broke in their frames and tore at my skin and made me bleed fear and regret.

One of the wolves took a step forward to which Austin responded with a step of his own. His father laid unconscious at his feet.

Austin glanced over his shoulder at both Rose and I, sharing a worried glance. “Turn back. Now!” He yelled at us with feral anger. He didn’t linger to watch us leave before he moved to deal with the intruders. Rose didn’t move a step though. We stayed exactly as before.

I wiped a stray tear of fear from my cheek as I peered through hazy vision. The wolf before Austin began to waver on his feet and collapsed to the ground. It began to convulse. A wave of nausea hit my head like a runaway train – not able to tear my eyes away - and I felt Rose whisper calming noises into my ear as she rubbed my back.

There before me when I reopened my eyes and all had fell quieter, was not a wolf where I’d last saw one. That was a man.

Not a wolf, a man.

I looked at the man in wonder as he stood to his feet with a sadistic grin on his face. This wasn’t real. This isn’t real.

“Rose, I have to leave, please let me go,” I whispered as I tried to settle my stomach. I held it lightly, but I knew standing there wasn’t a help.

She shook her head and held me tighter. “No, honey, you have to see this. It’s for the best.” Her voice calmed me a little, especially when I realised I wasn’t alone. Or maybe I was – maybe she was one of them.

I tried to compose myself and took a step away from Rose. She didn’t let me get any further than a foot. In my head I came to many conclusions. Many thoughts about Austin and his father – they were one of them, weren’t they?

“This war just got a whole lot more interesting, Austin,” the man said. He didn’t care that since transforming from a wolf he was now entirely naked. I looked at Austin for his reply.

Austin shook his head in disagreement and answered in place of his still unconscious father. “This is still the same old war we’ve fought for years, nothing has changed. How sad of Bancroft to send anyone but their alpha. Tell Bancroft I’m not taking them serious until I see their alpha or his son.”

The man laughed. “Oh, that’s where you’re wrong, Austin. Now you’ve found a mate, your side just got a whole lot weaker – our alpha doesn’t need to deal with this.”

Austin looked back in a quick glance and skimmed over my face. Whatever he was looking for, he didn’t find as he turned away with a disappointed expression. Austin shouted like everyone had a right to know, “the girl is not my mate!”

“Then who is she, Austin? To you, anyway. My alpha and his son, Dante, are… curious.” He acted sickly calm. The wolves around him growled and snarled, snapping their jaws defensively.

I wanted to approach them both - if I had the courage maybe I would have - I would have shouted in both their faces and make them part ways. I’d try to make sense of the situation without wanting to tear my hair out.

“Riley isn’t my mate,” he repeated.

So it was me in question. I peered at Rose who nodded reassuringly.

“You can’t lie to us, Austin. We’ve come today to step up our game and it seems everything has went just the way we wanted...” the man looked down at the wolf to his left and gave him a nod. “You’re familiar with the wolf laws, right?”

The wolf moved around to Austin’s father who was slowly coming back into the real world. No one had made a move to help him yet. The wolf hovered over Austin’s father before biting down onto his shoulder. Austin’s half unconscious father yelled as much as he could, but it didn’t help him escape its jaws. His body began to convulse in the same way the other wolf had before it became human.

Before my eyes Austin’s father had become a brown furred wolf in a split second. It laid there, weak and bloodied.

If I was feeling like myself I might have run away and called the cops, I could have screamed bloody murder and hoped for the best but the fool I was I just stood and stared. I was going crazy. These people were crazy.

Austin didn’t flinch as the two animals began to snap at each other and I slowly tried to sink back away from the noise and fight.

“Consider your message delivered,” Austin yelled.

“We haven’t even gotten to the main part of the message yet, Austin! How about I do that right now?” He waited for a reply but there was none. “Seeing as the girl isn’t your mate, you wouldn’t mind letting her come with us for a while?” he asked, knowing fine well what he was doing.

The nude man turned to face me and took a few steps towards us, like a hunter stalking his prey. I studied to floor with the logic of if I couldn’t see him, he couldn’t see me. He didn’t get far before Austin hurled towards him and leapt in the air on two legs and landed on four, revealing a brown furred wolf, identical to Mr. Dimera.

Shooting pains hit my head like a ton of bricks at the sight. I felt so sick I feared I’d do just that all over their floor. I wanted to go home. My head felt like it might just pop or float off my body.

Rose rubbed my back and said, “I know this is a lot to take in, honey, but just know that you’re safe around us and always will be.”

My head was getting lighter though. Black spots danced in my vision blocking out certain parts of my sight.

I no longer saw anyone human apart from Rose. I was standing in a room filled with wolves that growled back and forth to one another. I no longer saw anything. 

My brain tried to come up with a reasonable explanation. I couldn’t come up with any. What human logic could explain this?

Somehow, humans could transform into wolves. 

What exactly was I suggesting?

Nobody has the ability to shift their form from a wolf to a human. I’d seen the movies; it’s all CGI and special effects. It certainly wasn’t real, in real-life.

But it was and it’s happening right in front of me.

Everything over the past few days came rushing back to me and I thought of all the talk about packs, alphas, and rogues. Now mates. I thought about the wolf attacks. I thought about my father in hospital.

They were larger than the wolf I’d seen by the lake with Austin; larger than any wolves I’d laid eyes on before, their size comparable to a full grown man. They were stronger. They were faster. Deadlier.

I saw the wolf that had replaced Austin. The wolf ran rampant and dived straight for another wolfs neck. I heard the sickening crunch of broken bone and I immediately assumed it’d killed the other.

Austin had killed the other wolf?

Inside my head I came to this crazy conclusion - one that I’d probably laugh at once everything returned to normal and make me question my sanity. I’d probably consider admitting myself to hospital after this. It was all my brain could conjure.

The Dimera’s were werewolves, that much I could bring myself to consider… And somehow I was playing a very big part in whatever conflict they’d got themselves into.

 

 

 

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