A Summer To Never Forget

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28. Riley

Groaning I open my eyes, not remembering when I closed them. Rolling over I realise I am no longer in my animal form and dressed in Pack sweats. Gasping I jolted up, I look around to the now nearly empty room. “Thank GOD!” Archie sobs as he falls to his knees and crushed me close to his chest. “Please don’t scare me like that again! You promised to never scare me like this again!” I blink in confusion “What happened? Where is that police officer? Where is Vincent? Where is Keelan? Where --” Archie cuts me off by pressing his lips firmly to mine. [I was so scared that I lost you.] He whimpered into the kiss, making me wrap my arms tightly around him.

“What is that last thing you remember?” Archie pants a little as he breaks the kiss. I frown as I recall the last events before I draw up a blank. “I remember Keelan in his animal form ready to attack that male officer,” I frown a little deeper “but that’s all I remember.” Archie snuggles further into my chest with a deep sigh, rubbing his face along my collarbone. I look up to see Sterling walk into the room, he looks surprised to see me awake. “Ah! Riley, good you’re awake! Did Archie tell you?” I look down at Archie before looking back at him, frowning once again “Did Archie tell me what?” Sterling frowned “What happened when you were out cold.” I clear my throat “I was out cold? For how long?”

“From what Archie told me quite a while. Do you want to tell him or should I?” Archie made a negative sound and Sterling sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Okay so from what I saw and understand is that after you jumped on that mon—Keelan,” He mumbled after Archie’s low growl “you were smashed against the ground with bones snapping, resulting in a few broken bones and a slight concussion.” He taped against the side of his head “After that apparently Keelan spoke through the Pack link to Archie questioning him about the Pack. Not long after that me and the King arrived and Keelan did something odd, he laid down before rolling over showing his stomach, submitting to the King.” “Which send Vincent into a fit of rage.” Archie said, a cue for Sterling to shut up and let him finish the story.

“We don’t know why he was so angry with Keelan submitting to the King, but when he tried to attack the King Keelan roared, shaking the entire building on its foundation before lunging at Vincent.” I could feel Archie was very upset about the whole thing. So I rubbed soothing circles on his back. “I didn’t see much of the fight that went on between Keelan and Vincent, I was more concerned about you. Besides the King and dad were here, so I figured things would be fine. At some point in the fight Keelan got the upper hand and snapped Vincent’s neck. Keelan fought Vincent because Dillan wanted to but wasn’t in any state to be fighting. Dillan had lost a lot of blood because of the fight with Keelan and the bullets fired from the surrounding officers. He is in treatment right now, Fred is with him. The police backed off when the King made himself known and rushed their wounded to the nearest hospital, from what I have heard is that the female officer and the one you protected will be fine.”

I let out a long sigh of relief slumping back on the ground, glad both will be fine. “So what happened with Keelan? I hardly think that the King would let him run around lose.” Archie looked away, feeling uncomfortable. “What? What is it?” He seemed to debate with himself for a while before standing up and extending his hand to me. “The King would like to tell you the rest himself.” I didn’t say anything as I grasped his hand, letting him pull me up on my feet. I swayed a little when I was upright, I was leaning heavily on Archie by the time we reached the staircase. Grabbing the existing parts of the banister for extra support we carefully made our way downstairs and out of the building.

Lifting my hand to shield my eyes from the glare of the setting sun I take in the scenery; some cops milling around, Sterling talking to Archon’s sisters who squeal as soon as they see him, and further away from everybody; Keelan and his mother and younger sister plus the King. Archie gives my hip a reassuring squeeze, a quick kiss before he walks off to his family. As I prepare myself to walk up to the King a deep voice stops me dead in my tracks. “Riley” Turning very slowly I face the man calling out to me; my dad. I narrow my eyes slightly “Father” He looks uncomfortable under my glare as he scratches his cheek lightly, something new for me. He never really reacted that way to me before. “Let’s take a walk together.” I look back to the King, deciding whether or not to go on this walk together. “Let me walk you to the King.” He rushes as he notice the direction I am looking.

We walk in silence for a few minutes before dad decides to break the awkward silence. “So Archon tells me you saved a human police officer.” I roll my eyes at his blunt words, leave it to dad to just jump in. “I did, I don’t find it necessary for an innocent human to die in Pack matters.” I am very surprised that he didn’t ask about Fred being involved in this whole thing. Dad just hums a little in answer “You’re right Vincent is a Pack matter, not a human one.” He is deliberately taking slow steps, stalling my meeting with the King. Not that it worries me; the King seems to be having a very busy conversation with Keelan and his family. It just annoys me that my dad chooses now to come and talk to me, then again my dad is known for his bad timing in matters revolving around feelings and such.

I take some pity on him as I see him struggle with the words, the right words refuse to come out. Yet I say nothing, he needs to say them for his and my sake, just to get it off his chest. “I know I haven’t been the best father in the world to you or your brother.” I stumble a little at the sincerity in his words, he grabs a hold of me, a hold he wouldn’t release during the whole time he spoke. “And I know I have done things, made bad decisions concerning how you and your brother were raised. I do apologise for that I do.” I snort at that, not really believing him. “The way I raised you and your brother was the way my father raised me, it’s the only way I know.”

Dad stops grabbing me by the shoulders, looking me right in the eye “I am not looking for any of your forgiveness, I know I don’t deserve it, not yet anyway. But I would like you to give me some time, I am trying to change, but changing takes time. That’s all I ask of you son, give me time to change my ways for the better.” I slowly nod my head smiling slightly, I am glad my dad finally found the courage to admit to me that he had made mistakes. Willing to change because of those mistakes, that is a lot more than I can say for other Cat Clan members.

“Riley” The low voice of the King reaches me as I watch my dad walk back to mom who looks in my direction worriedly. I smile a little and wave before turning and walking up to the King and Keelan. I wince slightly as I bow formally, my broken ribs making themselves known. “Your Highness, you wished to speak to me?” Before he can answer Keelan cuts in “I am so sorry Riley, really I am.” Flabbergasted at his reaction and the fact that the King doesn’t reprimand him for it, I look confused back to the King. He smiles slightly at for the first time in what I think is forever. “Wha-what is going on Your Highness?” To my utter surprise Keelan walked up to the King and hugged him, HUGGED HIM! My mouth dropped to the floor, the mere fact that the King allowed Keelan to touch him was unbelievable. The King never let anyone touch him, no matter what, no matter how dire the situation.

The King chuckled at my shocked expression, “As you might have guessed, Keelan is mine.” He looked tenderly at Keelan as he gently petted his head. “Ah, right. Of course.” I didn’t know what else to say as my mind went a mile a minute, working through why the Cat Clan wanted Keelan so badly, why Vincent was interested in Keelan. “You are taking this incredibly well.” The King remarked, I just shrugged. “I know everything about impossible mates.” Chuckling the King gently extracted himself from Keelan’s death grip “True. But that’s not the reason I wanted to talk to you.” He turned to fully face me. “You intervened to save an none Pack member and by doing so you attacked what is mine.” I swallowed thickly, struggling not to cave under the pressure of the King’s heavy stare and threating tone. “I know Your Highness. But those were innocent lives, they had nothing to do with Keelan, Victor or the Pack.”

“I know. And that’s why I appoint you and Archon as managers of the human delegation party.” I started apologising before he finished that sentence. “I am truly sorry Your Highness. Archie had nothing – Wait what?” The King smiles a genuine smile. “We need more people like you and Archie. Wanting to work together with humans to avoid situations like this one instead of working against them. You will report to me next week with Archon about your new posts understand?”

I was still standing in the same spot when I spoke with the King. “Weird huh?” Blinking I came back to the here and now. “Yeah... I mean that was something I didn’t expect. I mean I didn’t know I would be fired.” I felt Archie tense against me, “What do you mean you’re going to be fired?!” I smile at his outraged face “It’s okay Archie, I got another job, a better one.” Archie looked confused “But you said...” I chuckle shaking my head as I let Archie lead me to a Pack vehicle. “I mean The King appointed the two of us as managers of the new human delegation party. We need to report to the King next week for our duties.”

Groaning slightly I gently let myself fall on the back leather seat of the car, dropping my head gently on the headrest. “We need to stop by the Pack doctor before going home, you need to have some tests done concerning your concussion.” Archie finally slips into the car, cuddles up to my side, making me sleepy with his warmth.

Strained and utterly tired Archie and I leave the Pack doctor’s office an half an hour later. I sink down on the couch and threw an arm over my eyes. “So I take it you don’t want to eat just yet?” Archie called from the kitchen. I winched at the sounds of pots and pans clinking together. “No, food is fine. Just nothing too heavy for the moment.” I heard Archie hum in agreement as I heard the fridge open and close. “I will make you some chicken soup okay?” I closed my eyes tiredly “Yeah that’s fine.” I heard Archie rummage in a pantry looking for bowls and the opening and closing of drawers as he searched for a spoon. Not long after Archie enter the living room carrying a tray with two steaming bowls. He made a salute with his spoon “Here’s to working together!” I returned the gesture “To working together.”

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