Call of the Forest

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Chapter 3

Waking up with a hangover was the least of my worries as the events of the previous night came rushing back.
I had kissed Riven.
My friends father.
My boss.
After a date with one of his employees.
What was wrong with me?
Groaning, I got to my feet and quietly made my way to the bathroom, taking a quick shower, I changed into a simple black dress before heading into the kitchen.
Of course Beth and Riven sat at the table while Lowe got her books ready for school.
"Morning."
Beth smiled brightly at me, "Good morning!"
Riven glanced up from his paper, "How did you sleep? You seemed to have enjoyed your night."
My cheeks reddened as I took a seat opposite him.
"So, what do you think of Jesse?"
I turned to Beth, "He's really nice, I enjoyed spending time with him."
"See, I told you! Did you get a goodnight kiss?" she wiggled her brows at me.
Riven looked right at me when he spoke, "That she did."
My eyes widened but thankfully, Lowe came out with her backpack on.
I all but jumped to my feet, "Right, let's get you to school."
Riven cleared his throat, "Harley, please be here at ten, I'd like to speak with you."
Beth glanced between us, and I was sure that my nervousness was showing.
"Sure."

After dropping Lowe at school I pulled my phone from my bag and called Jesse.
"Harley! So glad you called."
"Hey, J, I need to do some shopping and thought who better to show me the best shops."
He chuckled, "Only if you have lunch with me."
"Early lunch? I need to meet Ri-Mr. Alarick at ten."
"Deal, I'll meet you in five at the coffee shop."
I hung up and drove over to the cafe.
Jesse seemed nice enough, and he was gorgeous.
So why were my hormones doing somersaults over Riven?
I shook my head, I needed to give myself a distraction and hopefully Jesse would be enough for me to stop this insane infatuation I had for Riven.
Getting out of the car, I took a seat at one of the outside tables, I wondered if I should avoid Riven, I could put my behavior down to alcohol and move right along.
I couldn't exactly tell him that I had been checking him out, or that I had wild urges while around him.
He would think I was ridiculous.
"What has you so deep in thought?"
I forced a smile as Jesse sat opposite me, "Oh, nothing, I was just thinking we should do breakfast instead of lunch."
"Sounds great. You can do some of your shopping at my moms boutique."
"Your mom has a boutique here?" I asked as I scanned the menu.
"Yes, she also owns Janies Superstore."
My eyes snapped up, "Jane is your mom?"
He nodded, a proud smile on his face, "Yeah, actually while we are on the topic, she's head over heels over Riven."
My stomach dropped, how stupid, of course he had a beautiful matured woman his own age after him.
"That's nice," I waved over a waitress, "Has she told him how she feels?"
He chuckled, "I'll explain better one day."
We ordered and I waited until the waitress left before speaking.
"Why does it seem like I'm missing something about the people here?"
"You should ask Riven about that."
I raised a brow, "Does this have something to do with Bet being a Beta?"
Jesse visibly paled, "Excuse me? How do you know that?"
I shrugged, "I overheard her saying it."
"Oh man, you should definitely speak to Riven."
"Why don't you tell me?"
"Because I don't think you're ready for that just yet."
I rolled my eyes, "What, you need to wait for the third date for that?"
He beamed at me, "There will be a third?"
I cursed myself as my mind went back to last night when Rivens tongue was entwined with mine, "Oh, of course!"
Jesse smiled, "Well, if Riven hasn't told you by the time I ask you to officially be my girl, I'll tell you everything."
"Okay, deal."
××

It was almost 10 by the time Jesse walked me back to the car.
"Harley, I would really like to kiss you goodbye."
Leaning up, I brought my lips to his.
As hot as he was, this was nothing like the kiss I had shared with Riven; no extreme need or rush.
I pulled back and smiled before getting in the car and going home.
I was determined to get over this silly crush I had on Riven.
The moment I neared the house, I was reminded that this would be easier said than done.
He stood on the dock, black pants and no shirt, the tattoo on his chiseled chest in full view along with his mouth watering abs.
Next to him in the water stood a beautiful yacht.
He waved me over and I mentally scolded myself for staring at him.
"Hey, you wanted to see me?"
He smiled, "Get on."
I eyed the yacht before climbing on, Riven close behind.
"You don't mind accompanying me, do you?"
"Of course not." The words left my mouth faster than I would have liked.
Once the yacht was moving he came over to me, so close that if I leant any further back I would topple over board.
"You have his scent again." he growled.
That growl sent a shiver up my body, "I, um, what did you want to see me about? If it's about my behavior last night-" I trailed off as his hand toyed with a strand of my hair.
"You were drunk last night."
I nodded, "Yes." I hated how breathless I sounded, but having him this close to me was driving me insane.
It took an immense amount of self control not to throw myself on him.
He slowly lowered his face to mine, his lips almost touching mine, "I want you to kiss me again. Now."
I shivered at his voice, my body betraying me at the touch of him.
Our lips met and I groaned out in pleasure as he growled into me, his hands snaking around my back, pulling my body against his.
It was a wild, passionate kiss that left us both panting as we broke apart.
"Oh God, what am I doing?!" I began to pace the yacht.
"Harley, you must feel it to."
I stopped to stare at him, "Of course I fucking feel it! But that doesn't make it okay! Beth, oh God, Beth would be so disappointed. And Jesse."
"Calm down," he came over and placed both hands on my shoulders, "Harley, if you're confused, this doesn't have to go any further."
"Riven, you're my friends father, you're my boss. Plus this isnt normal, I've been here for a couple of days!"
"You only need a second to find your mate."
I frowned up at him, "My what?"
He sighed, "I promise you I will explain everything soon," he walked away, going to sit on one of the soft built in lounging beds, "For now, just come sit with me."
Sighing, I went over to join him on his lounger, sitting between his legs with my back propped against his chest, I hated how right this felt.
He planted a gentle kiss on my collar bone, "Soon, everything will make sense."
I hoped he was right, because I had never been more confused in my entire life, and I hated it so much.

×××

Sitting at the dinner table with Beth and her father was extremely uncomfortable, I was on edge the entire time worried that she would figure out that there was something going on between Riven and I.
Thankfully, Lowe kept me busy and occupied.
"Mom, can Harley drop me off with Amy tonight instead?"
Beth had agreed to allowing Lowe a sleepover at her friends house.
Beth nodded, "Sure, if she doesn't mind."
"Of course not!" I was just happy for any excuse to be out of the house, and I genuinely enjoyed spending time with Lowe.
When Lowe left the table Beth turned to me.
"She really like you."
"She's a lovely kid, Beth. You've done a great job as a mom."
She looked away suddenly, "Dad and I do our best, but I still feel like she's missing a lot without her dad."
Riven's hand smacked down on the table, "She's better off without that weak coward."
I frowned, "Um, where is he?"
Beth waved a hand, "A rather long story."
I was just about to ask them what a Beta was when my phone beeped.
It was Jesse asking if I could see him tonight.
"I'm going to meet with Jesse after I drop Lowe off with Amy, unless you guys need me for something."
Riven's eyes darkened, "Actually I-"
Beth cut him off, "No! Go and enjoy yourself."
We finished eating and Lowe came rushing out to leave, we had just stepped onto the porch when I realised that I had left the car keys on the table.
Rushing back in I was met with Beth and Riven arguing in the kitchen.
"Dad! You need to stop this nonsense, its embarrassing!"
"Bethany, you know that we have no control over who our mate it, if we did you wouldn't still be pining over that Omega from the Crescents Pack."
"That's not fair, dad. You know that Janie is your mate. You can't seriously believe that a human is your mate, you're a fucking Alpha!"
Riven slammed his fist down against the table, "Jane has been chasing after me since your mother left, and you know damn well I feel nothing for her. So what if she's human? Humans are fine for Jesse but not for the Alpha?!"
"Dad! Just use your head for once. You cannot be with a human, you would end up turning her, Jesse wouldn't. That's not fair to her, and you know it."
My head was spinning, where they talking about me? What were they? Turn me? Turn me into what?
A felt someone like my ribs and turned to see Lowe holding the car keys, a look of triumph on her face.
Sighing I walked back out with her.
It was only once I had started the car that Lowe spoke.
"They're werewolves. I am too, but they think I don't know."
"They're what now?" I asked, forcing myself to concentrate on driving.
"Yeah, werewolves, shifters. A mate is your life long partner. Beta means second in charge. Gamma is third in charge and Omega is the servants, the nobodies. My dad is an Omega from another Pack, a rival pack actually. He left us because of me, if mom hadn't had me they could have continued to see each other in private. But I was living proof that someone from the Alpha bloodline had a baby with a nobody."
"Werewolves. Fuck. Shit! Sorry, I shouldn't use that language in front of you. And I'm pretty sure that you were not the reason your dad left."
She shrugged and turned to stare out the window, "That's what those meetings are about. The pack. Everyone on the island is a wolf. Oh, and Mom and Papo were arguing about you, you're totally his mate, but mom doesn't want to accept that."
"Don't say that, I'm not even sure what's going on here."
Lowe chuckled, "You owe me a hundred bucks when you figure out that I'm right."
She smiled smugly as she hopped out of the car and ran into her friends house.
"Fucking werewolves. Fuck." I would definitely grill Jesse about this tonight.

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