Hating Arlo #1 ✔️

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 18

Lily’s POV

The rest of the week flew by. Before I knew it, I was carting my suitcase back to my room. Fortunately for me, Trinity was still away when I returned. So, I had a few hours to myself, to think about things.

After sightseeing, the guys left. Amber met up with me at the train station, her eyes blank. And the rest is history Halloween happened and I did nothing. We both went our separate ways for the rest of the holiday. When it came to me leaving earlier, she gave me a very brief and awkward hug. Watching her go felt like I was watching a part of myself disappear with her.

I’m hoping that things between Arlo and I don’t go back to how they used to be. I’m really hoping I can at least be friends with him.

After unpacking my things, I head to the library, planning to catch up on some studies. There, I’m met with the gorgeous sight of Arlo hunched over the table, drawing. I approach him with a hammering heart and sweaty palms, eager to see him again.

He must sense my presence because he jolts upright, his back straightening and his shoulders tensing.

Biting my lip nervously, I walk around the table so that I’m stood in front of him. Arlo’s brown eyes lift up to mine and capture my eyes, my soul. All other thoughts dissolve, all there is me and him.

“Arlo,” I breath, softly.

His body reacts to the sound of my voice. That much, I’m certain.

He visibly shudders but not in disgust. No, in delight. Pleasure. Desire.

“Do you mind if I sit and study with you?” I ask him, tentatively.

Arlo glances down at his open sketchbook and back up at me. Before I can have a quick peek at it, he slams it shut, causing the librarian to shush him harshly.

“Sure,” his gravelly voice eventually answers my question, nearly causing me to squeal in delight. However, I manage to control myself. Plastering a thankful smile on my face, I dump my books onto the table and pull out the wooden seat.

For several minutes, I study in silence whilst Arlo continues to secretly draw something in his book. I’m beginning to think it has something to do with the art project.

Soon, my body begins to shift in discomfort from the silence. When I’m around Arlo, I catch remain still and silent—every part of my body is alive. But then, the strange thing is, he also relaxes me. I don’t understand it at all.

“How was your week off?” I blurt out before I can stop myself.

Arlo stops drawing and shuts his book. Sighing, he leans back in his chair and rubs the back of his neck. “It was good.”

I purse my lips together in annoyance at his simple answer. Can’t he see I was trying to make conversation? That I was trying to be friendly?

“Did you manage to finish the art project?” I ask him.

He only shakes his head.

Worry begins to flood through my system, replacing the annoyance. Did I frighten Arlo away with my crying? I know some guys can’t stand the sight of girls crying but that can’t be the only reason, right?

Embarrassed that I have been making a fool of myself in front of him, I get back to my work.

When I’ve done thirty minutes of studying, I close my notebook and pull my book out of the pile of books. From my peripheral vision, I notice Arlo’s eyes on me.

Pretending to have no idea he’s watching me; I open the book and begin reading. All the while, Arlo’s dark eyes remain on me.

“I thought you were studying,” His raspy voice interrupts my reading. Internally, I smirk at the fact I managed to get his attention.

Lowering the book so I can stare directly into his eyes, I nod my head. “I am. This is my break.”

Arlo cocks his head to the side, confused.

“They say it’s good to do half an hour of studying and then have a ten to twenty-minute break to relax your mind. I like to read books in my free time,” I explain, reciting most of what my previous schoolteacher told me last year.

“Right,” Is his simple response. “But why are you reading such a…complex book?” He asks, jutting his head to the book’s direction.

“Wuthering Heights is my favourite book. I love reading it. I feel motivated to study because, in the end, I get to read pieces of the book.” I answer him, passion clear in my tone. Whenever I talk about this book, I can’t help but feel so elated and alive. I could go on for years about the book, the characters and the plot.

Arlo hears my love for the book in my voice because he gives me a breath-taking smile.

“You really like that book,” He states, amused.

I smirk, placing the book down. “As I recall, so do you.”

Arlo’s lips quirk upwards at that. “Touché.”

Suddenly feeling as if my lips are dry, I run my tongue along them, slowly. Arlo watches me do this, his eyes dark and hungry. His fingers clutch the edge of the table, in a tight grip. I swear I even hear a snap.

“You need to st—”

Before Arlo can finish, Talia, Arden and Cabe stroll over to our table. As usual, Talia disrupts Arlo with her gleeful voice. This is a real habit of hers.

“Hey, guys!” She greets, excited. “I didn’t know you were here.”

I force a smile on my face, hiding my irritation for her. I love Talia, she’s a great friend but she has the worst timing ever. “Hi, guys. It’s good to see you.”

The boys smile politely. Arden and Talia sit in the empty seats between Arlo and me whilst Cabe steals a seat from a nearby table and places it beside Arlo and Arden.

They all begin to blabber on about god knows what whilst I try to concentrate on my book. Arlo’s eyes never stray from me. I just know, he’s looking at me in interest. It’s as if he’s just seen me in a whole new light. Or that he’s realizing something. The others notice it too, even oblivious Talia.

Arden is the one who calls Arlo out on his strange behaviour, thankfully not mentioning my involvement in it.

“Arlo, man, are you all right? You look a bit dazed.” Arden asks his younger brother, curiously with a dash of worry.

Arlo snaps his head towards Arden, breaking out of his weird trance. Talia sends me a concerned look, her eyes dancing with questions.

“I need to go,” Arlo suddenly says, leaping to his feet.

I stand up too, catching everyone’s attention. My cheeks heat up and I start to question why I just copied Arlo. What am I going to do?

As if Arlo knows the answers to my questions—which he might, to be fair—his eyes soften for a moment. But then they flash like he’s just realized something and hardens. Coldness, a feeling I’m all too familiar with when it comes to Arlo, takes its place. I’m a little shocked by it since I haven’t seen that emotion in his eyes for a while now.

Slowly, in humiliation, I sit back down and allow Arlo to storm out of the room.

His mood swings are really confusing.

Everyone seems just as confused as me by this. We all exchange lost looks, wanting to know what just happened. Talia is the only one who doesn’t seem unsure anymore. In fact, she’s grinning ear to ear by this.

I throw her a look, my eyes demanding her to tell me everything later.

She shrugs her shoulders, that smile still playing on her lips.

Later that night, we are all hanging in Arden’s room. When I first stepped into this room, I was amazed by how big it is. He has his own living room and large, mahogany desk. His parents must pay a fortune for this. Two large, king-sized beds were either side of the room, neatly made.

Despite the fact Arlo and Arden share this room, Arlo is nowhere in sight.

“So, it’s the full moon tonight!” Talia says to us, unusually happy. The guys nod their heads whilst I sit there, utterly confused.

“Why is that so special?” I ask them. “You guys aren’t going to turn into werewolves, are you?”

My question is supposed to be a joke but none of them interprets it that way. They all stiffen and stare at me with wide, panicked eyes.

Talia and Arden remain frozen. They stare into each other’s eyes as if they are communicating whilst Cabe looks like he’s about to have a panic attack.

Nervously, I laugh, attempting to ease their unusual worry. “Guys, it was a joke. I know that’s not going to happen.”

Arden is the first person to recover. He cracks a small smile whilst running a hand through his brown hair.

The other two follow soon after and begin to laugh. However, it sounds so high pitched and artificial, I nearly wince.

This is very peculiar.

“What was that about anyway? Did something happen on Halloween?” I question them, intrigued. I know they all went out to a family event on Halloween, but they haven’t told me anything about it. Perhaps someone made a joke similar to mine and they were reminded of it? Even though it makes zero to no sense at all, it’s the best answer I can come up with on the spot.

Arden, the most reasonable person, answers my question. “Yeah…something like that.”

“You guys got me worried for a second. It was like someone hit the pause button on the remote. You were all frozen.” I joke, lightly, wanting to change the tense and awkward atmosphere around us.

Talia laughs, for real this time. “That’s great. You should have got a picture of us!”

Arden and Cabe chuckle. Arden relaxes his posture and wraps a possessive yet innocent arm around Talia.

“I wish I had thought of that!” I exclaim.

A smile flexes onto my face as I relax in Arden’s extremely comfortable sofa. I take the time to send me gratitude to whoever is looking out for me above. They gave me a second chance at true friends—these incredible people have been so kind to me. Sure, they are hiding something from me that could change everything but that doesn’t mean I won’t forget how welcoming they have been to me.

If it wasn’t for them, I would still be moping about my ex-friends. As the days go on, I think about them less and less. It’s like a part of me is healing from their betrayal. These new friends are filling the void—mending me. The best part is, they don’t even know it.

At around half ten, Arlo comes tumbling into the room, his hair dishevelled and his eyes red from tiredness. As soon as he enters, his eyes land on me. I send him a small smile, shifting my body on the sofa.

“Hi Arlo,” Talia squeaks, in her sweet and alluring voice.

Arlo’s eyes switch from me to her and soften. A smile now graces his lips, as he stares at her fondly. Internally I want to yell. I want to know what’s going on and why things keep changing between us. One minute we are being civil and then the next minute, Arlo is either ignoring me or hating me. It’s driving me nuts.

“I’m tired and I’d like to go to bed,” Arlo comments, insinuating he wants us to leave. The others all nod their heads, their eyes flashing a different colour for a split second. I’m the only one who makes a move to leave.

I frown and send Talia a questionable look. She presses her lips together and mouths a ‘see you later’. She looks guilty and apologetic about it but doesn't make a move to stand against Arlo. To support me.

Hurt waves over me, hitting me harshly. A few minutes ago, I was over the moon with my choice of friends but now, I’m beginning to have my doubts. I feel like I’m being singled out and dismissed as a dog. I have never felt so embarrassed in my life.

Lowering my head, I wordlessly exit the room, realizing Arlo didn’t want me in there. He probably doesn’t want to go to bed, he must want to hang out with them. Now that I think of it, when their eyes changed colour, they were probably recognizing what Arlo was trying to say. Perhaps it has something to do with their secret.

The secret they continue to keep from me. The secret that is now making me be left out of the group, I think, bitterly.

Marching down the halls, I try to think of ways to stay positive. When I reach none, I stop outside an empty corridor that is used by the staff and kick the wall, hard. Immediately, pain erupts in my toes causing me to gasp and grunt in pain.

Using the wall for support, I lift my foot up and begin massaging it through the thin material of my shoes.

The anger I just felt quickly disappears, leaving me sad and lonely once again. A sob escapes my lips and echoes down the nearly dark corridor. My bum hits the floor hard, but I pay no heed to it. My emotions take over every part of my body. I let them all out, again, hoping I can feel somewhat at peace.

However, after crying away all my tears, I still feel the heaviness in my stomach. I still feel the thirst for knowledge—for the truth. Nothing will help me until I know what they are hiding.

I must know their secret and why Arlo is insistent on keeping me at arm’s length.

Arlo’s POV

The Moon Goddess must really hate me or something.

That’s the only way I can see it.

Lily is slowly weaselling her way into my goddamn heart. Our mate bond keeps stronger day after day even though it’s supposed to be doing the opposite—weakening.

My feelings for her have turned and I don’t know what to do about it. My wolf is pleased we are getting along and continues to push me closer to her. However, I’m not so sure what to think.

Last week, when we met up with her and she broke down crying, I didn’t know what to do. My heart ached, seeing her so vulnerable and broken. It hurt so much, and I wished I could do something about it. When I hugged her, everything felt right. It felt perfect.

But then I saw Talia, the girl I still love, and I didn’t know what to do. Those feelings I had for Talia weren’t there anymore. And I didn’t know what to do.

I’ve always loved Talia. It’s what I’ve known. And now, all of a sudden, I don’t.

So, I pulled away from Lily, not wanting to give her the wrong impression. Sure, I might have romantic feelings for her but that doesn’t mean we are going to be together.

And then, in the library today, when we talked like we were lifelong friends, or maybe even lovers, everything perfect and wrong at the same time. I just had to getaway.

When I returned to my room later, I instantly knew Lily was there. Her beautiful and alluring scent called to me, dragged me over to her. I fought it though. I demanded she left, subtly. She was hurt. Of course, she was. But what she didn’t know was that it hurt me more than it hurt her.

After she left, all the guys threw me questioning glances.

“That was plain mean, Arlo,” Talia states, standing up and squaring her shoulders as if she is about to fight me. “I thought you and Lily were getting closer—I thought you were friends with her now.”

The way she threw the word ‘friends’ as if it is a dirty word did not go unnoticed by me. She’s staring at me like she knows something and that makes me anxious. Could she possibly…no, it can’t be. Nobody knows.

“It’s nothing,” I reply, shrugging my shoulders nonchalantly. Talia narrows her eyes at me, her nostrils flaring. She’s angry and wants to stand up for her friend—the girl I’m falling for.

Clenching her jaw, Talia turns to her boyfriend and mate, giving him a pointed look.

Arden sighs and rubs tired hand down his face. He’s been stressing a lot since the rogue attacks. We still don’t know who it is. Fortunately, nothing else has happened. We’re just hoping they were random attacks that have come to an end.

“You know I can’t argue against her,” Arden claims. When it comes to his mate, he is putty. Arden will do anything for Talia. “And to be honest, I agree with her. Lily is our friend and you keep pushing her away. It’s wrong and it’s not who we are.”

As usual, Arden is being the good guy.

“Trust me, leave it alone,” I tell him, firmly.

Arden blinks and reels back in shock, not expecting my answer.

“Okay, what has got you in a p*ssy mood?” He asks me, raising an eyebrow.

“Nothing, I’m just tired,” I reply, forcing myself to sound convincing.

Nobody believed me. They all saw straight past me lie. But surprisingly, none of them questioned me further, knowing I wasn’t going to say anything.

“Anyway,” Arden claps his hands, changing the subject. “We should probably start heading to the packhouse, we don’t want to be late for the shift.”

“Right, yes,” Talia backs away and clears her throat. She throws me one last lingering look and heads out of the room, with the other two following her. I remain stood still for a moment, wondering if she really does know the truth.

Can she see my feelings for Lily?

I felt panic seep into my body. If people know, it means I will be looked down on. Wolves value mates more than anything else. Rejecting your mate is the ultimate sin.

Where are you? The sound of my brother’s voice through our personal mind link knocks me out of my thoughts. You need to hurry up, man. We don’t want you shifting in the school.

Swallowing the panic and guilt, I reply to him. On my way.

The rest of the pack were already there, waiting for me when I arrived.

My dad, a tall, bulky man with a powerful aura sent me a look of disapproval at my tardiness.

I rush over to Arden, Talia and Cabe and stand next to them as my dad greets the pack.

“Welcome!” He booms, capturing the attention of every pack member here. “It is time for our monthly shift. As usual, I want a good running. No drama.”

I am reminded of what happened a few months ago when two teens strayed away from the pack and headed to the local village. They ended up frightening a poor woman who was now locked up in a psychiatric hospital.

My father does not want a repeat of that.

“And remember,” He adds, his tone cautious and heavy. We want everyone to be careful tonight. We don’t know what is lurking in the woods.”

Most of the pack are completely unaware of the rogue attacks. Apparently, it’s safer that way. My father and brother don’t want people panicking.

Murmurs of acknowledgement chorused throughout the clearing. And then, members began to shift into their wolves. I followed soon, wanting to escape into my wolf. My bones began to crack as I morphed into my large, brown wolf. It wasn’t as painful anymore, years of shifting made it feel easier.

Once we are all in wolf form, my dad lifts his wolf face up to the moon and howls loudly. We all copy him and then sprint through the woods, letting ourselves be free for the night.

I find myself splitting off from the pack. My wolf takes over—allowing me to sit in the corner of my mind and relax.

We soon end up back at our school. We stop running and slow down to a trot.

I don’t realize where we are until her sweet scent hits my nose, driving me wild.

Her bedroom window is open, but the blinds are down, refusing to let me see inside her room. Her room is on the second floor so in theory, I could use the drainpipe to climb up into her room. But that would be creepy and wrong.

Plus, how would I explain myself if I was caught?

So, for an hour or so, I sit myself down on the wet grass by her window and listen to the sound of her calming heartbeat. Whilst I feel like a creep doing this, I also feel relaxed and put at ease. Being near her eases my mind.

Guilt gnaws in my stomach as I am reminded about what I did today. I nearly wince when I picture the hurt in her beautiful sapphire eyes.

I will fix this. I will make sure she doesn't hate me. And I will set it straight for her...

Lily Cartwright will hear it from me that I can't be with her the way she wants to be. And then things will improve.

So there are parts of this chapter I need to work on. I plan on editing this book as soon as I finish it so I will go back and fix it. What did you guys think?

I just want to thank every single person who is liking, commenting or reviewing my book. It means the world to me. I also want to thank the silent readers for reading! You guys are the best.

My next update will either be Monday or Tuesday. Until then, have a good weekend!

Instagram: lydiarose_61

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.