I couldn’t help but smile as I rushed around in my room getting ready for a night out with my best friends.
Donning a gorgeous deep red corset dress with a beautiful lace overlay, which hung longer at the back while showcasing my slender legs from the front. It showed off all my best assets, from my perky breasts to my tanned, toned figure. My hair hung over my shoulders in deep brown curls that had taken me over an hour to do. I wasn’t always the most girliest of girls, but sometimes a girl’s gotta glam up a little.
A car horn blasts outside as I grab my clutch bag and phone, heading downstairs in hopes that I didn’t get caught going out by my dad. I had told them to not blast the horn and to text me, apparently Levi forgot that little fact. Idiot.
Though I was nineteen and more mature than most other nineteen-year-olds, my dad was extremely protective of me.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
I stiffen, groaning as I’d been caught just before getting to the door, turning to my dad. I put on a sweet smile as he stood there with his arms folded, brow raised in question.
While my dad was protective and could probably kick someone’s arse as he was trained in martial arts, he didn’t look frightening to most. Standing at just over five foot three, with blonde, slightly greying hair and an angelic looking face with long lashes over bright blue eyes, he hardly looked threatening.
“I’m just going out for a bit with Levi, Ryker and Kaia,” I smile, looking through the window beside the front door, seeing Levi hanging out of the window, tapping along to something in the car.
“No,” dad says sternly.
“Seriously? Why not?” I sigh.
“It’s not safe out there! Stay home, heck, invite them in if you must,” he replies. Dad was always a little paranoid, claiming the big, wide world was a dangerous place. I had to agree a little, I was adopted by my parents when I was a baby because of a terrorist incident which killed off my biological parents, but that didn’t mean I had to live life confined to the house!
“Peter, let her go, she’ll be just fine with the others by her side,” my mum, Maria, walks in, kissing his cheek softly as she winks at me. She had always been the easier going parent between them, letting me live my life. My mum was the most kind and caring woman I’d ever known, with gorgeous curves and wavy mouse brown hair and ocean blue eyes, she was beautiful. I always teased she was way out of dad’s league.
“Dad, I’ll be fine, I have pepper spray in my clutch and Ryker has been teaching me a few things, he can fight like you, and I think I’m getting pretty good at it,” I smile.
Training with Ryker was always fun, though he was extremely tall at almost seven foot and had huge muscles, I could almost knock him on his arse. Although sometimes I thought he was holding back on me.
Levi and Ryker had always been like older brothers to me, though I knew they were both handsome men, I’d never seen them as anything else other than my best friends and brotherly. Plus, they had enough going on with their relationship with each other and my other best friend, Kaia, who was their girlfriend.
While polyamory wasn’t normal for most people, those three were perfect for each other and I could totally see the benefits of it.
“Ryker’s been teaching you to fight?” Dad asks with a frown of confusion.
“Yes, dad,” I nod.
Just then there’s a knock on the door, I turn to open it as Ryker stands in the doorway, his long, shaggy hair tied up and a worried frown on his face.
“Hey Ryker,” I smile.
“Hey, is everything ok? When you didn’t come out when Levi beeped, we started to wonder if something was wrong,” he says, his eyes darting past me.
“Artemis, are you going to introduce us?” Mum asks with a soft smile, walking over to me and placing a hand on my back gently.
“Sorry, I keep forgetting you haven’t actually met. Mum, dad, this is Ryker. Ryker, these are my parents Peter and Maria,” I reply, noticing my dad eyeing Ryker suspiciously.
“Nice to meet you,” mum shakes his hand, showing off her beautiful smile.
“Holy shit, look at you girl! You look hot! Are we having a mother’s meeting here? What’s the hold up? Hi! I’m Kaia!” Kaia bounces up beside Ryker, wrapping an arm around his waist, compared to him she was absolutely tiny, standing at five foot one. She was gorgeous, with bright green eyes that always captured your attention, a sleek and sexy figure, everything about her was alluring.
“I’m sorry, my husband was being silly, he’s very protective of our Artemis here, we’re sorry to hold up all your fun,” mum smiles at her.
“I don’t blame you, our Missy is a beautiful girl, but we promise she’ll be very safe with us. We stick together all the time and watch over each other, plus Levi and Ryker are very protective themselves. Missy is like a sister to them,” Kaia smiles.
“I hear you’ve been teaching Artemis to fight,” dad says to Ryker.
“Yeah, she’s a little warrior in the making,” Ryker winks at me, making me blush.
“Dad, please, can I just go?” I beg.
“Fine, but if anything happens to my little girl, you’ll pay for it,” he says, pointing to Ryker.
“Nothing will happen to her while we’re around, I swear it,” Ryker says with a hand on his chest, above his heart.
“Have fun sweetheart and I want all three of you over at some point, it’s been far too long without us meeting properly,” mum says, kissing my cheek.
“We’ll sort something out with Missy, I promise,” Kaia grins, taking my hand and pulling me out the door.
“Love you guys!” I shout back to my parents with a giggle.
“Did you need breaking out?” Levi smirks at me as I jump into the front seat next to him, poking my tongue out childishly at Ryker who pouts at me, shaking his head before sitting in the back with Kaia.
“Dad was being his usual protective self,” I rolled my eyes, “it’s your fault he caught me, you were supposed to text so I could creep out.”
“Maria wants to meet us all properly at some point, she invited us over for dinner,” Ryker says to Levi.
“I’m sure we can sort something out,” Levi nods to Ryker who’s started whispering with Kaia in the back.
I only make out a few words of what they are saying. “Did you sense… think she knows? I can’t sense if she’s…” What the hell were they talking about?
“What are you guys whispering about?” I raise a brow, turning back to them.
“Nothing you need to know babe,” Kaia winks at me, wiggling her eyebrows suggestively. That was a complete lie, I’d always been great at telling if people were lying to me. They were holding back about something, and it made me uneasy.
I sigh, looking through the front window again, fiddling with my necklace, the only thing I had left from my parents. It was thick and quite weighty with pretty black and red beads, the main stone at the front had all sorts of weird etchings on it. Dad had told me that my parents had been into Norse mythology and it was my bio dad’s favourite necklace. The weight of it always calmed me.
“What’s up?” Levi asks. I look at Levi, if you didn’t know better you could say we were related, while he was more muscular than me, he sported the same-coloured hair, eyes, skin and even had a similar smile.
“Do you ever feel like something’s going on and people are keeping secrets from you?” I reply, resting my head against the window.
“Why do you feel like that?” He frowns.
“Everyone is whispering shit around me… Fuck, I’m probably just being paranoid, I swear my dad is rubbing off on me,” I groan.
“Perhaps there are reasons people are whispering, perhaps they might be trying to protect you from something,” Ryker says.
“Protect me from what?” I snort, shaking my head.
“There’s a lot of bad people out there, Missy,” Kaia says.
“Oh god, you guys are starting to sound like my dad,” I laugh.
“I’m sure if you needed to know something important that people are whispering about, they’d tell you,” Levi says, pulling into the club’s car park.
I sigh, nodding, “yeah, I know.”
“Come on babe, let’s go have some fun,” Kaia places a hand on my shoulder with a soft smile.
We all get out of the car, Kaia and I hooking our arms as the guys walk behind us. We had to wait a little longer in the queue than normal as dad had held us back for so long, but luckily it wasn’t a cold night.
The bass of the music pumps through the floor, strobe lights flickering across the dancefloor as we all get our drinks.
Kaia and I down a few shots before she drags me onto the dancefloor. I could feel eyes on us as we danced so close together like we always did, Kaia was a beautiful woman and she always had people trying it on with her.
I feel hands rest against my waist, but Levi and Ryker are dancing either side of Kaia, all three of them glancing at each other lustfully, even though Kaia has her hands on my side, the newcomer shifts her hands so he can take their place on my hips.
“So fucking sexy, smell so good,” a voice growls in my ear, lips pressing against my neck, a shiver runs up my spine as I feel their teeth nip at my neck and not a good one at that. I wince and Ryker looks at me as if he heard it over the loud music.
He walks over to me, pushing the guy behind me back with a fierce look in his eyes, “get the fuck away from her,” he growls.
“Now, now, little wolf, play nicely,” the man says behind me, and I frown, what the fuck was this guy on? Little wolf?
Levi takes my hand, pulling me towards them, pinning me between Kaia and him protectively.
“Missy, you’re bleeding,” Kaia says, moving my hair away from my neck.
At her words I hear a growl come from Ryker’s chest as his fist slams into the man’s face.
“Shit, we have to go,” Levi hisses.
My eyes catch the sight of the man as Ryker sends him flying onto the ground, his teeth are sharp and pointy, almost like… Like a vampire. I couldn’t be seeing that right, vampires did NOT exist.
I gasp, seeing his eyes flash red, taking a step back and almost falling over Kaia.
“It’s ok,” Kaia tries to calm me, holding my hand before turning to Levi, “Levi, we have to go now. Ryker! Let’s go!”
With a final kick Ryker turns, stomping over to us as they all surround me, walking out of the club, seeing the bouncers heading our way, probably to kick us out as we’d gotten quite the attention from the crowd. Levi talks to them quickly before they nod and let us go.
I look at Ryker, almost feeling the anger roll off of him, “Ryker… How… Why are your eyes like that?” I gulp as we’re standing beside the car. His eyes had changed colour! What the fuck?!
“Shit…” Ryker looks at Levi in a panic.
“She was bound to find out at some point,” Kaia says nervously.
“Find out what? What the hell just happened in there? Fuck, I am tired of secrets!” I kick at a stone on the ground. For as long as I’d known them, they’d always felt a little… different to me.
“We’ll explain, but we need to get out of here,” Levi says.
“Ryker, calm down baby, it’s ok,” Kaia tries to calm Ryker, his chest heaving with anger as he paces.
“He bit her!” Ryker growls.
“Not properly, he only nicked her, she won’t turn from that,” Kaia replies. Turn?!
Levi opens the car doors, steering me to my seat as I try to put together what the fuck was going on, but short of my life becoming some sort of fantasy novel, I couldn’t explain it.
Levi’s hands are clenched around the steering wheel, his knuckles going white with the tension he’s holding in.
“Guys… What’s going on?” I murmur.
“It’s… A long story let’s just get back to our house and we’ll explain,” Kaia says softly.
Levi drives us away from the car silently, my fingers run through my hair before clamping around my necklace once again.
“Artemis, you know I would never hurt you, right?” Ryker says as I look back.
“I know,” I nod slowly, wondering why he would ask me that.
Levi pulled up to their house. I loved their house, it was huge, surrounded by trees and a tall fence all around it. I knew Ryker had money, but the house showed it.
They all lead me into the house, Kaia takes my hand and pulls me onto the sofa beside her as Levi pours us all a drink.
“I’m not sure where to fucking start,” Kaia bites her lip nervously.
“Start with how the fuck his eyes changed colour,” I point to Ryker.
“Because I’m a werewolf,” Ryker states.
I stare at him in disbelief before bursting into laughter.
“A werewolf… Right… And I’m the fucking tooth fairy,” I laugh.
“Show her,” Levi nods at Ryker.
Ryker stands up as he pushes the coffee table in the middle of the room out of the way before looking at me.
“Just remember I will never hurt you Artemis,” he says.
He closes his eyes with a deep sigh, Kaia grips my hand harder as I watch his body contort, changing shape before becoming a huge, black wolf.
“What the fuck?!” I scream in shock, pulling my hands from Kaia’s and leaping over the back of the sofa, standing against the wall as my chest heaves in panic, my eyes unable to look away from the huge wolf standing where Ryker had just been.
It whines, getting on the floor and crawling slowly towards me.
“This isn’t real, I’ve drunk too much and passed out, this isn’t possible,” I mutter to myself, hands shaking.
“It’s real Missy, there’s more, a lot more but we will never hurt you,” Kaia says softly.
“Don’t come any closer,” I say as the wolf is almost right at my feet, he stiffens, whining as he lays still on the floor, looking at Kaia and Levi sadly.
“Ryker won’t hurt you Artemis, it’s still him, he just changes shape,” Levi says calmly.
“He just changes shape, oh wow, you say that like it’s the most normal thing in the world,” I say sarcastically.
“For us, it is,” he replies.
“Well for me, it’s not,” I mutter, running a hand over my face.
“The world might be a little different to what you think it is, Art, things are about to change,” Levi says, putting a hand on my arm gently.