In the Shadows of Dryden

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Chapter 27 - House welcoming

Right at four in the afternoon, a midnight blue Tesla pulled up in the front of the lake house. As Rick stepped out of the car, Clarisse was exiting the house. Her mother and grandmother following behind her.

Thia elbowed Clarisse lightly when they saw him walking toward them, getting Clarisse to look at her grandmother.

As usual, Richard was well dressed. He wore a dark grey suit with a white shirt, opened up just enough to show part of his hairy chest. His black leather dress-shoes matched the rest of his clothes and made him look classy as always.

Clarisse had opted to use light makeup and wore an elegant but sexy long black and red mermaid dress that highlighted her figure and showed some cleavage. Her long dark brown hair was freely curling down her shoulders, just like Richard loved. High heel sandals adorned her feet and a light grey spring coat completed her elegant look.

Richard flashed a white smile at the three ladies in front of him.

“Hello!” He said as he offered his hand to help Clarisse down the stairs. She gladly took it, turning a little to motion her grandmother and mother with a hand when she got down to his level.

“Rick, you already know my mom. This wonderful lady next to her is my amazing grandmother, Thia.” Thia beamed, happy with the way her granddaughter had introduced her. “This is my boyfriend, Richard.” She said, hugging him lovingly.

“Hello, Richard! Take good care of my daughter, I know where you work!” Diana winked at him.

“Hello, Rickie! Watch over my granddaughter well, I do know your parents!” Thia gave him a big smile but Richard couldn’t help but feel that it was more of a sarcastic warning from the old lady.

Feeling a bit of cold sweat, Richard involuntarily gulped at the same time that he gave them an awkward smile.

“Of course! She’s in good hands!” He said as he held the passenger door for Clarisse to get in.

“I sure hope so, boy! Don’t forget that I know your address!” The extra sentence didn’t sound like an actual threat to Clarisse but to Richard’s ears, they resounded as an imminent threat. Glancing back at Thia, she smiled lightly at him again. Richard nodded and went around the car to sit in the driver’s seat.

After they left the lake house, Richard drove them back to his place, glancing now and then at Clarisse. Her mouth felt dry, she was nervously holding her purse over her lap as she watched the buildings, trees, and people pass by.

“Why are you so nervous, sweetie?” He asked while rubbing his right hand over her leg.

“I don’t know. Might be because I’m finally gonna meet your parents. I wonder what they are going to think about me.” Her eyes were still fixed outside.

Richard chuckled, amused.

“Sweetie, they will love you. You’re perfect in every way. Don’t worry so much. Relax.”

Hearing him laugh so heartily made her suddenly look at him with a silly smile. He was so sexy. That animal-like way he moved, just like the walk of a tiger about to pounce on its prey. He was so confident and always moved so quietly. Hot thoughts of the two of them together, flooded her head making her slightly bite her lower lip.

Richard pulled into the garage, watching her.

“Honey, please, don’t do that.” Clarisse suddenly looked at him with a puzzled expression.

“Do what?”

His hands gently grabbed her chin, lifting it softly up so she would gaze into his eyes.

“Don’t bite your lips like that. It drives me crazy and I don’t believe it’s a good time right now.”

Clarisse’s cheeks immediately gained a dark shade of red, her eyes widened but before she could pull back to hide her embarrassment, Richard kissed her gently.

“My God, you’re beautiful! I swear, honey. You’re gonna be the death of me one day.”

“Don’t say that!” She slapped him lightly on his shoulder making Richard chuckle again.

After they both exited the car, he offered his arm for her to hold and they went toward the entrance.


Clarisse pulled behind him, panic striking all her senses. Her eyes scanned around the premise, searching for the creature of her nightmares.

“What’s wrong, Issa?” Richard watched her worriedly, taking her into his arms as she shook uncontrollably in fear.

“I… I’m scared of wolves. Like… dead scared. I used to have nightmares when I was a kid.” She managed to explain.

Richard frowned, turning them enough so he could open the door to the house.

“Ri, Rick… I, I didn’t know there were wo… wolves around here.” There was so much fear in her eyes.

“Issa, let’s go inside. You will feel much better than out here.” Clarisse nodded, clinging to him but he couldn’t make her move. It was like she had frozen in place.

“Ri… that howl... sounded so close.” He could smell the fear in her, feel it through the mate bond and see it plastered in her hazel eyes.

“Sweetie, I will carry you inside. Is that alright with you?” He asked, ready to pick her up the moment she nodded. True to his words, he swiped her off the ground as soon as she gave him a confirmation, heading inside the house. With one foot, he slammed the door shut, then proceeded to take her to the nearest sofa to place her down in it. He made sure to hold her against him for a bit until she could calm down.

“There, honey. There is nothing else for you to be scared about.” His hand gently caressed her long hair, doing his best to comfort her.

While they were hugging, Richard took the chance to mind-link his beta and make sure no wolf would come near the house tonight. He had been surprised with her reaction earlier and considering what she told him, he thought it was a good idea to take things slow with her. He would need to poke into her fears later so to find the best way to get rid of them. After all, she was his mate, a future luna and she definitely couldn’t be afraid of wolves. Either way, he pushed those thoughts to the back of his mind, it was not the time for it.

“I will go fetch you some water. I will be right back.” She nodded, feeling calmer just by having him hold her.

Curiosity started to show on her face as she scanned the big room she was in. Everything was impeccably clean and shining. She wondered how many people had to work there just to maintain the place like that. As she walked up from the couch and moved through the living room, an imposing wolf bust, over the fireplace, called her attention. It was a grey wolf with beautiful big blue eyes that seemed to pierce into her very soul. As she approached the statue and was about to touch it, a sense that she was being watched crept up her spine.


She froze in place, closing her eyes. All the fear from the howling she heard outside returning tenfold.

‘Oh please, please be just a normal dog. Please be a dog!’ She thought with herself.


Her breath became heavy as she slowly turned towards the sound. Right in the entrance of the living room, it was there she saw it. Her body was petrified as if she was reliving her childhood nightmares but now it was all too real. There stood not one but two wolves, teeth bare, growling as they glared at her.

“Oh, my God!” That was all she could say and yet, it came out as a whisper. Her hands promptly covered her mouth.

One of the wolves was totally white with shining blue eyes and the other was just like the grey wolf statue, though his eyes were hazel and not blue.


“Richard…” She tried to call for him but the lump in her throat muffled her voice.

The wolves started to flank her, working coordinately, building the momentum of the pounce. Waiting patiently to attack her. She felt her legs go soft like jelly, she almost couldn’t stand anymore. Was this the day she would die? Die from the very things that made her nightmares as a child? She didn’t know, all she knew was that she didn’t want to die and so, she managed a step back. Grabbing with one hand at the wolf statue for support, she felt around with her other hand for something to defend herself.

“Hey, sorry. Here is your…” Richard stopped in his tracks as soon as he came into the living room, looking at the two wolves between him and the woman he imprinted on. His eyes darkened as he dropped the cup of water he was holding to jump in front of the wolves to protect his mate. The cup crashed onto the floor, making a crashing sound and spilling water everywhere.

Clarisse watched as she saw Richard jump in between her and the wolves like it was kid’s play. Her wide eyes going back and forth from him and the wolves, watching the scene unfold in front of her.

“What the hell do you two think you’re doing?” He growled loudly, angry that the two wolves would even think of attacking her.

Promptly, the two wolves stopped growling, regarding him as nothing had happened and like they hadn’t done anything wrong, to begin with. Then, she noticed something odd. The grey wolf walked behind a home bar cabinet. That’s when she heard the sound of bones popping and cracking as she stared in total shock between the wolf that was now behind the bar, and the white wolf in front of her, turning into humans. Richard had walked to her and was holding her into a hug, trying to cover her vision. She pulled his hand away so she could turn and see what was actually happening. If it wasn’t already bad enough for her to take in the transformation, she also had to take in their human form. Her cheeks seemed to turn ablaze as she came across two totally naked people.

They were just like Greek Gods, perfectly sculpted. The woman had long silvery hair and blue eyes that could pierce one’s soul. The guy looked like an older version of Richard, although with a salt and pepper goatee and mustache and the same hairstyle as Richard.

Clarisse’s mouth fell open in disbelief and surprise. Her cheeks were flaring and even if a part of her wanted to cover her eyes, she just couldn’t get herself to do so.

The beautiful woman walked in a predatory manner as if she was on a constant prowl. Her lips curved up in a smile as she struck a pose near the couch. The man standing behind the bar cabinet reached for something behind it, pulling a white bathrobe which he threw to the woman. She caught it and laggardly dressed in it before sitting over the couch’s arm, crossing her long legs. In the corner of her eyes, she saw the man move from behind the bar cabinet and her eyes immediately looked that way.

‘Oh, my God, thank you so so so much!’ She thought when she noticed the man wearing a brown bathrobe as he came to sit on the couch beside the woman.

“So, Rickie? Are you going to introduce us to the girl?” Asked the woman.

Clarisse’s eyes widened, looking in between the three of them. It made sense to her now. Richard was the spitting image of the man wearing the brown bathrobe, she had just discovered that those two sitting on the couch could turn into wolves. There was one more realization sinking into her mind. Something that terrified her to the bone.

Slowly, she pushed herself away from Richard, holding her own hands together nervously as she stumbled on a lamp, almost losing her balance. Richard watched her distancing herself from him and an immediate pain crippled in his heart. Her back touched the fireplace as she finally gathered the courage to look up at him. He saw the fear in her beautiful eyes, she seemed on the verge of a panic attack.

“Sweetie…” His eyes were also afraid, though for a totally different reason as hers.

“Don’t… don’t call me that! You’re… they’re…” She cut him off.

“They’re my parents. Thiago and Seret Carter.” He answered, stepping forward.

“Please, I beg you, don’t come any closer.” Her hands moved frantically in front of her, trying to get him to stay away.

Richard stopped, his shoulders sunk and his eyes looked deep inside hers with immense sadness. He didn’t even hear when his father walked toward him to place a hand over his shoulder.

“It might be for the better, son. You can’t expect humans to fully accept what we are.” Tiago’s eyes glanced at Clarisse. She could feel his apology just with that one gesture before he took his wife’s hand and they both exited the room.

Richard let his head fall in complete defeat. His heart was breaking into a thousand pieces and he didn’t know what to do to fix this situation.

“Can I… at least take you back home?” He raised his eyes carefully to look at her, scared to see her broken.

“No… I… I will go home by myself.” Clarisse bolted off past him and out of the house, leaving her purse and coat behind.


Richard called out to her but she wouldn’t hear it. Fear had taken over her. She had to flee, run away from there, get as far away as she could, even if she didn’t know her way back home.

Seret came back inside the room, striding over to her son and unbuttoning his shirt and pants.

“Mom, what the hell are you doing?” Richard pulled away confused.

“Am I to believe that you will accept defeat that easily?”

“What’s the point? She just rejected me.” Richard was still staring at the open door, downcasted but still confused with his mom.

“I didn’t hear her rejection.” His mother stepped forward and ripped off his shirt and started undoing his pants.

“Mom, stop please!” He pulled away from her, buttoning his pants back up. “What do you expect me to do? Go after her in wolf form? Didn’t you notice how scared she was to see you and dad? In which, thank you very much for ruining it for me! If that was your plan, you definitely succeeded!”

“Oh, come on! I didn’t ruin anything. How were we supposed to know you would bring a human home to meet us? Besides, if that girl is your mate, you need to go after her and bite her. It’s the only way she will come to accept you.” Seret grabbed his face and turned so he would face her. Her eyes shone brightly as her alpha wolf came to the surface. “Go, Rickie!”

He blinked, regaining some composure and taking off after Clarisse. Thiago peeked inside the room, walking toward his wife when he didn’t see Richard there.

“Did he finally grow balls and followed after her?”

Seret stood by the door, watching her son run into the forest.

“He needed a little push, but he got it in the end. What I’m afraid of is if he will be capable of biting her. He must!” Thiago hugged his wife, staring at the spot where their son disappeared into the woods.

“I agree that he needs to bite her but I don’t believe he needs to rush it. It would be best if she accepted him first.”

Seret turned her head to look at her husband before going back to stare at the forest.

“Guess we will find out soon.”


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