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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6. Chapter 6

Everything was on fast forward as the sheriff drove us to the hospital. He didn’t stop speaking but I wasn’t listening and I didn’t think my mom was either. I held her hand tightly and could only imagine what was going through her mind.

The fear that had been building for most of the day was ready to spill over and explode. I had to keep it all inside though – not when my mother was sat here very close to doing the same thing. She cried her eyes red and cheeks blotchy until no more tears would come out.

Why did the wolves attack my father? I thought. Where was he when it happened? Did he go into the forest alone? He’d done something, I concluded. Had he tried to shoot one?

No, I told myself. I’d have to ask my mom later. I shouldn’t jump to conclusions. I just had to make sure my father was fine first.

The car curbed roughly onto the sidewalk outside the hospital in the next town. Before the car could stop, I’d already opened the door. I made my way as fast as I could to the desk after running through the main entrance. The receptionist watched me approach with wide eyes. “I’m looking for James Kerr. Is he here?” I asked hurriedly. My thought went back to my mom and perhaps how I should wait for her, but I couldn’t care much for that right now. 

“He was just rushed into emergency surgery to stop some bleeding,” she said, “He should be fine. Just go down that corridor and take a left. You’ll find the intensive care unit there; he’ll be put there after surgery.” I sprung away down the corridor in the direction she’d indicated and followed the signs, quickly forgetting her instructions in my panic.

I found the beginning of the intensive care unit after a few minutes not knowing what to do next. I was supposed to wait here not knowing how he was doing? I couldn’t do that!

I messed my hands around together nervously, unable to sit still. Nothing bad would happen, I had to remind myself, he would be fine. My dad was a healthy man.

My mother soon found me and sat down in a chair to my right. We sat in silence with nothing to say to one another. She’d stopped crying so I stopped myself from bringing my dad up again in fear it might set her off in a new round of tears. The sheriff stood opposite us and was talking on his phone to his colleagues. He was explaining where he was and why he wouldn’t back in the station for a few hours. He must have convinced them because shortly after he was saying a brief goodbye and began to kneel sympathetically in front of my mother. “Don’t worry, he’ll be fine, James will be fine,” he said, looking up at my mom.

Just as I thought, the mention of my father made her cry again. Tears began to spill over her eyes immediately swelling her face up. Annoyed, I tried to ignore the two of them wanting nothing more than for the sheriff to now leave us alone.

At the opposite end of the corridor stood Bianca and her father as they arrived on scene. Of course they’d have something to do with this.

“Henry, is James alright?” Gary, Bianca’s father asked the sheriff, Henry.

The sheriff stood to his feet and approached Bianca’s dad, Gary. The sheriff began to whisper but he wasn’t very good at it. My mom and I could hear every word. “James didn’t do anything, we were standing in his backyard and out of nowhere this huge wolf leaps from the tree’s and takes James by the waist. Tries to drag him back into the trees but shot it right in the shoulder. The beast lets go of him and ran away,” the sheriff explained, looking proud that he’d shot the wolf. Of course he’d have something to do with this too.

Gary shook his head and repeated his questions, saying, “No, Henry, is James alright?”

Henry nodded. “He should be,” the sheriff said.

My mother reached for my hand just then and took them gently in her own. “How about you go stay with a friend for the night, or maybe a few nights, just until your dad is back home?” she asked. I agreed with her before collapsing my head into my hands. I felt a hand on my shoulder from the opposite side of my mother and knew it couldn’t be anyone but Bianca.

Bianca’s dad and the Sheriff started up again as the sheriff said, “We were going to go wolf huntin’.”

“Without me?” Bianca’s dad tried to make light of the situation but it made me feel like shouting at them both. 

Bianca crouched by my side, blocking the two from my sight. Somewhere deep inside I indirectly blamed Bianca for this, if she didn’t have such a fear of those wolves and her dad didn’t have such an obsession, my dad would never have gone wolf hunting and he wouldn’t be here in a hospital right now. I didn’t want to see her.                                      

“Hey, Bianca, is it alright if Riley stays at your place for a few nights? I think she needs a friend right now...” My mother asked through a steady stream of tears. I didn’t want to stay with Bianca though, not when I felt like this. I’d much prefer staying alone at home curled up in my room watching TV to drown out everything around me – alone.

My mom didn’t want me at home though for whatever stupid reason. I tried to tell her how I felt about it and said, “No mom, isn’t there a family member I can stay with?” My mom didn’t seem to understand for a second but then dropped the subject entirely. She wasn’t going to argue here, not in front of all these people.

Around the corner I heard a door slam and metal on metal as something moved down the corridor. I looked up at the right moment to see my bandaged dad covered in blood and still in his semi-torn clothing on a metal hospital bed being rolled down the corridor in our direction.

“Dad!” I said, getting up from my seat and rushing to his bed that never paused for a second.  The nurses and doctors paid us no attention and continued on their way.

The doctor yelled in frustration when the small congregation around my father’s moving bed got in the way. “Someone move them!” He yelled to one of the nurses who rushed ahead and tried to clear room for the bed. The adults around me didn’t give in and instead in the movement I was pushed back into a wall.

“Come on guys, make room. We need to get Mr. Kerr to his room as soon as possible,” a nurse said.

Another nurse was trying to wipe off the blood from my dad. “He’s losing a lot of blood,” She said to the doctor. Alarm bells set off in my head. The sight of my dad in such a condition reminded me that this was real, this really had happened… He really was in danger. The doctor cursed in response and began to wheel the bed faster towards a room. I couldn’t help but finally begin to cry.

Quickly they disappeared behind the door. As my family backed off, I stood forward. I had to see him. I approached the door without thinking. “No, sorry, you can’t see your father just yet,” the nurse grumbled in an unsympathetic monotone like it was a script she didn’t want to read.

My mother put a hand on my shoulder and pulled me back into her arms. “Here, take my seat. I have to go make a few phone calls and set up where we’re all staying for the night. I don’t think you’re father’s coming home for a while...” She said, trying her hardest to make things easier.

My mom wandered down the corridor as she fished her phone from her pocket.

Bianca reached her hand out but I flinched away. “Why won’t you just stay with me for the next few nights? I’d take your mind off things...” she said, trying to help.

I couldn’t hold it in anymore. Even if I shouldn’t be blaming Bianca and her dad, it spilled out anyway. I looked desperately for someone to point my finger at and Bianca just so happened to be there. “Because if you and your dad weren’t so obsessed with those god damn wolves, my father wouldn’t be in there dying!” I yelled. I couldn’t feel apologetic because I believed every single word.

Bianca’s face fell as she stepped away and let go of my arm. “I’m sorry, Riley... It’s not my fault,” she said. Maybe if she left it at that, I would have said sorry for my outburst right at that moment. Of course, however, she didn’t leave it at that. “Those wolves need to be dealt with for good!” She exclaimed.

“Maybe if they are just left alone, maybe if the humans lived their lives and the wolves lived theirs they might not bother us!” I said, despite the things I’d said myself about the wolves in the past. No one had left the wolves alone, and no one had thought that was perhaps the problem?

Internally, though, I knew it was also my father’s fault for joining the hunt. How stupid of him.

Bianca got up from her seat and took a step back like I’d offended her. Of course I had but at that moment I couldn’t care less.

The sheriff and her father fell silent in the face of our argument and watched us both waiting to intervene. “I don’t believe you, Riley, we’re the good guys here, and those ... animals are the enemy! We’re trying to help you, not get you all killed!” She explained herself.

“Bianca, what’s up?” Her father asked as he stood and put an arm around her shoulder.

Bianca shrugged it off as she took steps at a time towards the door, all the while glaring at me like I’d spat on her. “Nothing. Nothing important,” she said, not wanting to explain to her dad.

She vanished through the door without another word. Her father didn’t look happy but kept his thoughts to himself and turned the sheriff in the other direction and began to communicate in harsh whispers. It very quickly got very awkward.

Just then, my mother returned through the same door Bianca had vanished through and said as she approached, “Where’s your friend?”

I shrugged in response.

My mom put her phone in her pocket and decided then to tell me the plan, “Aunty Judy is coming here for a while,” she said. So that’s who I’m staying with, I thought. Aunty Judy wasn’t in my life often but she lived close by. She was always there when we needed her though, which turned out to not be all that often.

Another nurse exited the room my dad was in and grabbed our attention by coughing gently. “We’ve got the bleeding under control for now, you can go see him for a few minutes but he’ll be unresponsive for a while,” the nurse said.

In an instant I was sitting in the guest chair in his room. I didn’t dare move him in any way but I touched his hand and tried to let him know I was there. My mother came up behind me and put a hand on my shoulder. “He’ll be fine,” she gently said.

I already knew he’d be fine, though. His wounds weren’t fatal but they were enough to scare us. My dad was healthy; he had no reason not to pull through.

A short while passed before I realised my mother probably wanted time alone with him to figure things out so I got up and forced my sleeping legs into action. I passed her a weak smile and she gave me one back in appreciation before taking my place by my dad’s side.

I glanced back over my shoulder as I opened the door hoping they’d both be alright. I felt considerably better after seeing him, and I now hoped my mom would be the same. I turned back around as the door shut behind me. The first person I spotted was Aunt Judy, but beside her was Rose Dimera, probably the last person I expected to see.

“What are you doing here?” I suddenly asked forgetting about my aunt all together.

Aunt Judy pulled me into her arms before Mrs. Dimera could reply and said, “It’s been too long, Riles!” I hated my nickname too, I thought. “I’m here to support your mother,” she told me, “I hope your father is alright.”

I couldn’t waste a second on telling her the news about my father when all that selfishly registered was how she was here to support my mom. She wasn’t here to take me home? “I’m not coming to stay with you?” I asked, suddenly feeling ill.

Mrs. Dimera cut in and said, “No, Riley, you’re coming to stay with me...” Rose paused to gauge my non-existent reaction. I could only stand there and stare.

“Are you alright?” My aunt asked, pinching my shoulder reminding me that this was in fact real.

“I’m staying with you!?” I asked without thought for my volume, “Why can’t I come stay with you, Judy?”

She passed me an apologetic smile and said, “Riles, I’m here for your mother - she needs me right now. I’m sure Mrs. Dimera will take care of you, I promise.”

Yeah, her and her scary 17 year old son Austin.

I turned furiously on my heel and marched back into my father’s room like a rotten spoilt child throwing a strop only to see my mom and the sheriff talking quietly to one another in the corner. When did he come in? I thought, suddenly angry that he was still around. “Mom, please tell me this is a joke and I’m going to be staying with aunty?” I asked without a thought for their conversation.

I was being beyond selfish but I couldn’t care less. Maybe staying with Bianca after all would have been a better option. I didn’t know the Dimera’s and the Dimera’s were certainly the weird ones for agreeing to let me stay. Why had my mom asked them anyway?

My mother tilted her head to the side sympathetically and said, “I know you’d rather stay with family but you refuse to stay with Bianca and the Dimera’s said if I ever needed anything I should just contact them. They are the only people who can take you in for more than a few nights, Riley.”

“That’s bullshit!” I found myself screaming

Her face contorted in anger, and suddenly I regretted my words.  She kept the rage inside more for face than anything else and said, “I don’t have time right now to deal with you, Riley. Just get on with it, for your father’s sake.” That was all I needed to hear, I thought. Guilting me into doing as she said, for my father’s sake.

I stormed from the room and made my way out the hospital through the unfamiliar corridors towards the main entrance. I heard footsteps behind me struggling to keep up as we wound through hallways. “Stop following me, stop trying to make me feel better! I just want to be left alone,” I said to whoever tried to chase after me.

“Honey, you’re staying with me, remember. I can’t let you run off,” Mrs. Dimera said. I hadn’t realised it was her and suddenly felt very guilty.

I stopped once I was outside and waited for her to catch up. “I’m sorry,” was all I said.

“I see you’re upset, Riley. I understand, trust me. There’s no need to be sorry,” Rose said while trying to make me feel better. After a moment she moved ahead and unlocked her silver car close to the entrance. I trailed behind her, assuming we were both going home. No, I had to remind myself, I wasn’t going home – I was going to their home.

I opened the car door and sat beside her. She turned ever so slightly and smiled comfortingly. “Everything will be alright, everything will sort itself out,” she said, but that’s all I’d been hearing for the past few hours and everything had just went downhill. They were all lying through their teeth.

***

I’d sat in their kitchen for the last few hours after Rose reassured me everyone was out for the night and wouldn’t be returning for a while. I could cry all I wanted and not have to care about who saw me but her. I thanked her for putting up with me and sat down at the small counter.

She laid out in front of me a slice of chocolate cake and took a seat beside me, sliding the plate closer. “You’ll be home in no time. If you can’t go home tomorrow we’ll both go to your house and pick up all the things you might need so you feel more comfortable and at home for the longer stay,” she said. I knew already I wasn’t going home tomorrow. My mom didn’t want me around for both our sakes and to conserve our emotions, but she wouldn’t have went to these lengths just for a few nights stay.

I wouldn’t be going home tomorrow, that much was obvious. They’d want to keep dad in for at least a week or so with the injuries he had going on. At one point or another I was going to have to face the Dimera family now, and that meant Austin and his dad. There was something weird going on with them, I thought to myself. All of them.

My mom was certainly mad for sending me here.

I looked over at Mrs. Dimera who seemed a little on edge. She didn’t bother eating her slice of cake but played with her hands instead as she thought silently. I wanted to ask what was wrong but I’d only be fed more lies. I was better acting like I just didn’t see anything at all.

The door to the backyard was a floor to ceiling type sliding door. I heard the panels of glass slide signalling someone’s arrival despite what Mrs. Dimera had told me about no one coming home for a while. I turned to face the intruder.

Of course it’d be Austin, I thought, wearing nothing but long baggy shorts and a dirty t-shirt that looked like it’d been dragged up and down grass. Again, no shoes. “Why are you here?” Austin asked as his eyes landed on both me and his mom.

I didn’t reply and instead turned back to the cake which had multiple fork stab wounds in it. Suddenly it seemed a lot more interesting than anything else around me.

“Mom?” He asked when he realised I wasn’t going to say anything. 

“Riley is going to be staying with us for a while, there are some family complications. We’ll talk later,” Rose said to avoid talking about it in front of me, as if reminding me would make me upset and cry. It was too late for that, though. Without either of them noticing, my eyes began to water.

It was a moment or two later before Austin left without being asked through the other door. Thank goodness, I thought.

I sighed audibly and brought the fork to my lips to take a bite. The sweet chocolaty taste distracted me for molecules of a second, for a small moment making me feel better. I’m going to need a lot more cake for the next few days to get through this, I thought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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