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* {{COMMENT FOR CC SWAP}}
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.


28. Chapter 28

“What are we going to do, Dante?” His mother clutched preciously onto him like a lifeline.

Dante kept strong, not wasting a moment. “We’ll be fine,” he said.

His mother choked on her tears. Dante’s sister sat in the corner of the room with her legs tucked up and her head buried. “Your father shouldn’t have left us!” she shouted heartbreakingly.

George was dead and Dante had to pick up the pieces, and over the past few days he’d been doing just that. Today was the day of his father’s cremation, and as an Alpha he was now tasked with the job of cremating his own father.

Standing quietly in the corner, I hoped that this wasn’t too hard on Dante. I hoped everything would settle down and people would retreat back into their own lives and out of ours. There was a lot more to deal with than just the death of the old alpha…

Dante’s father didn’t just die of a freak heart-attack... there had to be more.

As days passed, Dante had grown as a leader but suffered through this mess in his own quiet way. At night he’d come talk to me, he’d tell me he was sorry for being away for most of the day. I told him I understood what he was going through and that I knew it’d all be fine soon.

But what worried me most now was the very thought of the end of this month. Hilary, her mom Kelly, all the other hunters… They were there and waiting to strike. I knew they had more to do with the troubles in Mateo than they were taking credit for. They were here and ready.

Dante was being careful about it though, him and the mere ten capable wolves that stood with him.

Even in between the grief the Bancroft family were experiencing, I still found time to think of my own mom. I remembered the state I left her in a few days ago and tried not to feel guilty. To try and put that guilt to bed, I left her a note on our doorstep just a day ago so she at least knew I was well.

As the midday sun risen above the house, streaks of light painted Dante’s yard. Dante stepped outside as if sensing he was in my thoughts and inhaled the cool air, the sun basking on his pale skin. “How are you keeping?” I asked.

He kicked a loose stone off the ground and we watched it skip across the small piece of open land and into the tree line where it finally fell silent. “I’m heading off with a few men. Giving dad his send-off,” Dante said.

I peered up at him from the side and saw his deathly complexion with bags under his eyes. “It’s okay to cry, you know?”

“I can’t, not in front of family,” he said quietly.

“But you’re not in front of family,” I reminded him, hoping he’d just let it all out and not care about who saw.   

His face dropped to the ground and he fell against the backdoor tiredly. Dante’s shoulders slumped and I could hear my own heart shattering into a million shards for him. I reached out and placed a hand on his shoulder.

“If I can prove those hunters hurt him... Poisoned him,” Dante went off again, like he had several times before. There was no way to prove it unless we identified the so-called poison in his body, and we had no doctor or research to back this up. The Dimera’s weren’t keen on sharing their resources either.

I shook my head and placed my other hand on his shoulder. “But we can’t, it could have been Dimera for all we know.”

Dante looked up through his blonde hair and I could see his red eyes as if he was holding in the tears. “They wouldn’t have – not the alpha, at least.”

I agreed and pulled Dante closer to hold him tightly. It began to sound like he was crying. “What if it was just a heart attack?” I asked, but I even had to convince myself; his father was strong, old but strong.

“We both know fine well that’s not the case...” He replied into my shoulder.

My hands clutched his body like if I let go he’d crumble. “Would a burial make it any easier? Instead of a cremation?” I gently asked.

Dante pulled me closer for a brief second before saying, “We used to bury the dead, but we can’t now…” Referring to his grandfather, I thought, stolen from his final resting place in a form of revenge from the Dimera’s. So maybe it wasn’t the best of ideas, but Dimera weren’t like that anymore... Or at least I hoped they weren’t. “And besides,” he then said, “it wouldn’t make the smallest of difference.”

He pulled away and stared intently. His eyes were puffy, his face was red. If I knew Dante well enough despite our short relationship, I knew he didn’t want anyone to know he was even capable of tears.

“Just looking at you seems to make even the most impossible of things possible...” Dante told me, offering an unsure attempt at a smile.

Pulling me closer by the waist for a final hug, his expression transformed. He put the sadness inside and hid it away. “I have to go now, but promise me this...” he began to say. His face looked desperate, but there was a fight for hope.

I swallowed slowly, taking in every inch of Dante, every hair, every pore. If I didn’t see Dante after today for whatever reason, did I want to remember him like this? Or if he was not to see me after today, should I let him remember me like this? “What is it?” I finally asked.

His eyes jittered about, up and down my face, scanning for something – a clue, a hint. Whatever it was, he didn’t seem to find it. A long pause drifted between us as if time itself had been put on pause.

A gust blew past us trying to tear us apart. The leaves up high began to rattle. As his eyes settled on my own, I felt my mind turn to mush. “Promise me you’ll stay safe,” he said.

Could I promise something like that? I couldn’t find word to say and Dante prompted me again, “Promise me.”

I looked down to my shoes and felt his warm breath caress my face. “I can’t,” I said quietly.

His hands tightened on my shoulder in determination and the other grasped my chin to pull my face to his. His lips quickly pressed against my own but were away in seconds. So brief I might have said it didn’t happen at all. “Then promise me you’ll let me protect you,” he said.

I couldn’t let him do that either; I couldn’t let him risk his life for me when now he was the only person there for his mom and sister. I wasn’t okay with adding to his to-do list. “You’ll get hurt,” I replied.

The worry in his voice pained me so much as he said, “I don’t care, Riley. I couldn’t protect my father, look how well that went. If I turn my back, if I leave you here right now, how do you expect me to be at peace knowing the same people are coming for you?”

“The hunters aren’t coming for me, Dante,” I said and shook my head to back up my answer like he’d believe me more if I did.

He studied me for a minute before he gave in and sighed, saying, “I can’t step away from you knowing something could happen. So promise me, promise me you’ll try your best to stay safe, and promise me you’ll let me protect you at any moment from here out.”

“Stop,” I mumbled into his shoulder. “I’m not important right now.”

He closed his eyes and leaned forward, touching his forehead with my own. “Just do this one thing for me. Give me one less thing to worry about.”

I felt the tears build up in my eyes at the thought of causing anyone more trouble. Promising this may stop Dante from worrying about my safety but I knew this would fill most of his time. He had far more important duties to take care of.

“Ok,” I said while looking up to meet his gaze, “I promise.” But I didn’t. I didn’t promise.

He nodded slowly, seeing truth in words I didn’t mean. “Thank you,” Dante replied. His lips touched my forehead briefly in a moment of peace but I felt guiltier than ever.

Soon he was gone, cold air taking his place. My eyes reopened to see Dante jogging away, disappearing between the thick trees.


Dante returned with the same mood he left with; Worrisome and nervous.

His mother, however, was eerily happy. Upon seeing her son, she grinned and gave him a hug. She asked if they could watch movies tonight, specifically his father’s favourite movie.

Inside she must have been heartbroken. Dante’s sister – Amanda – however, still hadn’t recovered. A moody teenager was still a moody teenager, however, and she wasn’t taking comfort from anyone never mind me.

Dante had immediately offered to go out and buy some snacks for the movie. I hadn’t declined the invite to go with him either. It didn’t take long at all to get into Mateo from there.

Sitting in his car outside the small twenty-four hour convenience store in town, he shut off the engine and his arm fell to his leg from the wheel with a slap. “The cremation went fine, just so you know,” he quietly said.

“Are you ok?” I asked, having completely forgotten about it. Suddenly I felt really selfish.

He looked down into his lap. The darkness outside and the dull orange light from the car casted a glow over his face that highlighted how tired he looked and must have felt. He turned his head to look at me and asked, “Riley, do I smell like smoke?”

I wasn’t sure what he wanted to hear so I went with the truth. Sniffing silently, the distinct but subtle smell was there. I hadn’t noticed it before because I hadn’t been looking for it. The thought that it was caused by a burning body triggered every disgusted reaction in me but I tried to resist for Dante.

 “You do,” I finally said.

He slowly shut his eyes as he reclined in his seat. “Is it bad I never want to wash these clothes again?” He asked.

I curiously watched him before asking, “Why?”

“Dad never kept many possessions – those he did weren’t strictly his. Now he, himself, is gone, all I have is the smell of the smoke that sent him to the other world.”

“Dante-,” I interrupted him.

“I know it sounds strange,” he said, “but it almost feels like the last piece of my dad left with me.”

I shook my head at the thought and swiped the hair from his eyes. “You have your memories,” I said with an aim to comfort him.

“Memories fade,” he muttered, but so would the smell on his shirt I thought. Ever the pessimist.

I sighed, unsure how to respond, unsure what to do. Like the coward and horrible person I was, I exited the car and gently closed the door thinking it was best to leave him alone.

I peered around the few parking spots outside the store. Nobody else was around, the houses across the other side of the road were all in darkness and the sign on the store front illuminated the night. The moon was visible in the sky, but only just.

The darkness beyond that seemed endless.

The car door slammed behind me and Dante appeared by my side. “What are you doing?” he snapped.

I narrowed my eyes, confused, and shrugged my shoulders.

“From now on, if we’re out of my territory, you never leave my side,” Dante instructed.

I wouldn’t argue with him tonight.

We made our way into the store and I suddenly remembered the run-in with Bianca in another store in another part of town. I hated to admit it, but I missed being with her and acting without a care in the world. I missed being allowed to hug her and going to the movies together, being able to play the part of normal teenager.

I strolled up a small aisle with Dante, throwing aside those thoughts. He lifted up a bottle of juice and told me quietly that he was going to get snacks from the other side. He walked ahead and I lingered behind.

The cold emitting from the open chillers made me shiver. The dull lit store made me squint. One foot in front of the other, as slow as I could possibly walk, I made my way up the row hoping to prolong our outing.

The bell above the door rung, making me jump. I relaxed, realising it would only have been another customer. I had to relax and realise not everything was my enemy.

I walked that little bit faster up the aisle and turned down another only to see the till down the bottom and Dante having his items scanned by a woman. I sighed in relief and started my way towards them.

Someone suddenly touched my shoulder and before I could really shout, a hand was clamped around my mouth. The figure pulled me out of Dante’s sight.

Shoved into a wall, the person who grabbed me became visible.

It would be hard to forget her striking features, especially after seeing her look so intimidating the day in the cafe. Kelly smirked. “Hey there, honey,” she chirped. She observed me for a second before continuing, saying, “Could you give this to Dante for me?” she waved an envelope in front of my face.

She can’t do anything to me here, not in a public place I told myself

My eyes shot around the store and spotted a camera in the far corner, focused on us. No, she wouldn’t dare try anything.

“Now I’m going to take my hand from your mouth and you’re not going to make a sound, got it?” She suddenly said, raising a perfectly plucked eyebrow. She removed her hand before I could respond knowing I wouldn’t dare try anything.

“This letter details a place and a time,” she said, “so you better give it to Dante. If he doesn’t show up, we’ll come looking for you, and trust me when I say I don’t like having a change of plan.”

Her nails dug intentionally into my arm as my lip curled in disgust. “You’re disgusting,” I sneered.

Kelly ignored the insult completely and kept her grip, likely to be drawing blood. “So you think you can do that for me? Hand over the letter as soon as you’re out of here?” She asked.

I struggled under her grip, but she pushed back harder. “You know, I’m surprised at myself. I can hold back a werewolf. Even though you’re just a mere turned wolf, a werewolf none of the less. I suppose the poison really has taken effect. Your boyfriend can’t even smell me,” she smugly said. At that moment a panic rolled over me. I was poisoned too?

She backed off and laughed under her breath. I examined her, she looked like a prim and proper suburb cookie-cutter mother who liked to wear heels and dress in pink. She didn’t look like Gary or any of his hunter cronies. “See you later, Riley,” Kelly said, waving with her fingers that adorned sharp talon-like fake nails.

Then she was gone before my eyes, silently sprinting down the aisle towards the door. I scanned the area for Dante, noting he was gone from the tills. Frozen in fear, my eyes darted everywhere to make sure she was really gone. Dante appeared in my line of vision again, walking towards me. “Riley?” He asked, concern written over his face when he saw my expression.

I looked down at my shoulder and saw droplets of blood soak into my thin white shirt. “What happened?” he asked as he dropped his groceries.

With a shaking hand, I held out the letter.

I wasn’t standing for long, though. My heart beat was racing like a sports car in a rally. I fell to the ground and my sight fell with it as Dante frantically called out my name.




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