River & Her Royal Mate by Larissa Heinrich Chapter 1

River & Her Royal Mate by Larissa Heinrich Chapter 1

Chapter 1
“River Landon!”
The march across the stage was eternal, mortifying, and utterly soul. shaking.
But she had managed with minimal trembling and only one minor stumble. It shouldn’t have been so hard. This was a good thing.
It meant the end of suffering. The start of something new.
Change is good, right?
But standing up in front of hundreds of people, none of whom had ever treated her as anything but an inconvenience at best, or a curse at worse, was about the most torturous thing River Landon could imagine.
-Even if it was to get her diploma and get the hell away from the horrors of
high school.
Absolute. Terror.
Cold sweat and a squirming stomach full of nothing didn’t do her any
favors either.
A blur of light and a murmur of sound assaulted her as she crossed the
stage.
On the far end of the stage, she caught her breath and looked down. The steps of the stage looked up dauntingly at her.
It’s over. Just. Don’t. Fall.
The diploma crinkled in her clenched fist.
Another blur and she found her seat.
More time travel and she stood in the hall, her Grandma Lucy and Aunt Klara approaching to hug her and offer warm congratulations. River wondered if they could see through the sickly smile she offered them in
response.
Chapter 1
Why was she like this?
At home and outdoors on her hikes she felt like the confident, headstrong woman from every amazing story she devoured by the stack every night.
She was even in great shape. She liked how she looked and how strong she
felt.
Until she had to face her peers.
Throw on a backpack, step into the locker-lined halls of hell-high and suddenly she was a quivering lump of Victoria Pullman’s everlasting strawberry chewing gum, spat carelessly onto the sidewalk.
It didn’t help that she was hopeless when it came to getting “dolled up” as her grandma called it. Fashion wasn’t her forte.
And Victoria Pullman and her gang always made a point of rubbing that
11.
But that was all behind her.
Everything would change soon, she could feel it.
Because River Landon was a werewolf about to come into her prime. That meant the mating bond would lock onto the fellow wolf she was meant for and she would finally shift for the first time.
The mating bond was the answer to her problems. Her inner wolf would finally emerge.
A growing sensation of rightness that came with her kind’s maturing had finally popped into existence this past spring. She was promised to a mate, and she just knew it would help.
The fact that it was Clay Baldwin, the pack Alpha’s son, was another source of anxiety, but this was fate. It would all work out, despite the young man’s
less than favorable nature.
Clay was….well, Clay.
Captain of the football team. Show-off, As shole.
But he was dam n good looking. The way his blond hair flipped down over his forehead, stopping just short of his mischievous, dark brown eyes. That pompous smirk that told everyone that he would get what he wanted, one way of another.
She was certain the mating bond would bring him around to treating her appropriately.
That’s how it worked. Probably.
More importantly, once she was mated, she could start college with the certainty of the bond and who she was. Her inner wolf would see to it.
If only she could be sure that her inner wolf would actually make an
appearance.
Not everyone in her school was part of the local pack. The majority of them were just human.
But a large contingent of the students were born from werewolf parents, and just about every one of them had begun to hear their ‘wolf sides’ around sophomore year. It was an inherent change that followed puberty and culminated in the first shift into wolf form that could happen any
time thereafter.
For everyone except River.
Because, you know, she was freaking cursed.
It wasn’t like every single person at school treated her like dirt. Some people were nice, and she had a few acquaintances who would come close to friends, but within the wolf community, she was definitely frowned upon. Ostracized.
Her Aunt Klara, and Grandma Lucy navigated it so well. Like they weren’t sneered at and ignored everywhere they went. River wished she could be that brave. Care that little.
But she was the child of a traitor, daughter of a broken mutt..
As if it was her fault who her parents had been and what her father had
done.
According to Grandma Lucy, the horrible fate that had befallen her dad wasn’t all that uncommon with true mates.
River’s mother, Audrie, struggled in her pregnancy and ultimately died. during childbirth. Which was uncommon in the wolf community.
Their bodies were strong. Most females had fairly easy pregnancies and deliveries due to the supernatural fortitude of were-kind.
So that meant Audrie must have been weak. Weakness was not viewed. favorably. Audric abandoned her family by dying.
And Roy couldn’t survive without his mate. Or he wouldn’t.
Suicide was pretty much the most shameful thing you could do as a wolf. Pride and pack loyalty should have kept him from the act, not to mention his responsibility to his new child.
Grandma Lucy viewed the loss of her son differently, and had taught River to look at things from another stand point. She saw the heartbreak for what it was because she understood it, having lost her own mate.
Between her and Klara Oswald, her mother’s best friend, River had grown up with very limited exposure to the mean treatment and disapproving looks thrown their way by the pack. Only once she entered high school did she start to see the first signs of dismissal and cruelty.
Most of the time, she was simply ignored or left out. But when she was singled out, the methods ranged from classics like toilet papering her locker or tripping her when her hands were full of books, to the slightly more creative sabotage of gluing her books shut, and even one instance of soaking her bra pads in ink so they bled through her shirt when she changed back into her regular clothes.
Those previous days of freedom from the pressures of the pack returned briefly for the first week of summer after graduation. River spent almost every day out in the hills, climbing, swimming, and exploring the wilderness near her hometown.

She was a woman in control
Next fall and college would offer a chance to be someone different, or better, just be more herself. Show everyone who she really was. Meet new friends.
All she had to do was get through the rest of the summer, which would officially start in her mind after Clay Baldwin’s Mate Announcement ceremony. Where he would tell everyone about the foretold bond between them. They would have almost two months to get to know each other and hopefully get used to being in wolf form before heading back into the strictures of education.
The Saturday of his event crept up on her all too quickly.
“Quit fidgeting in there and come out so we can see!” Klara’s strident voice always overpowered her gentle, humorous nature. River was used to -seeing the dryness through the sharp and often loud words.
River groaned and tugged at the material around her waist.
“River Alexis, it won’t do to be late! Get your butt out here now!” Grandma Lucy never raised her voice, but somehow still managed an unreasonable amount of authority.
“I look like a f ucking dandelion!” River blurted, stomping into the upstairs landing from her room. Her dress was awful. Why she had thought that this flowery monstrosity was perfect on her three months ago completely eluded her.
“River!” Grandma Lucy scowled.
“Yeah! You need to watch you da mned language, young lady,” Klara smirked. “You look wonderful. Just like your mom…
Klara’s eyes glistened with a hint of tears. Grandma’s frown turned into a
soft smile.
“Oh, Rivvy… you look beautiful!” They both said over each other.
River rolled her eyes, failing to hide her begrudging grin at the two
women who raised her. “Can we please s kip the mushy nonsense and get going?”
“But River, what about your hair, makeup?” Klara got genuinely serious. She was always bugging River to let her give her a makeover.
“My hair’s fine the way it is. I’ve never been good at putting on make-up.” River shrugged, grabbing her purse and tromping down the stairs. “Besides, if I let you start, I won’t be ready to go ’til next Thursday!”
The car ride from the west side of town to the pack’s compound and the town hall took less than ten minutes. The old auditorium behind the main building of operations was lit up like Christmas and surrounded by a mass chatting groups with familiar pack members.
Many of them paused their conversations as the three females strode up the walk from the parking lot.
“Yeah, get a good look, you vultures. This here’s your future Luna.” Klara
said a little too loudly.
“Aunt Klara!” River hissed through her gritted teeth. “Don’t start fires. please.”
“They need to get their s hit straight, Rapid.” Klara snapped, using her favorite nickname for River. “You’re the fated mate of the Alpha’s son, their future Luna. They should show you proper respect, regardless of
your parents.”
River sighed for the billionth time at the speech. She was about to make a snide remark when she felt a strange pull.
The sensation started low, behind her belly button.
“I…um, I’ll meet you inside, OK? Gotta pee,” she excused herself and ducked away.
The feeling was getting stronger, insistent. A flutter of nerves and anticipation accompanied the tug.
Finally! This must be the bond!
River tried to suppress a grin as she weaved through the crowd toward the side of the auditorium.
About half way down, Clay leaned casually against the building, a cigarette between his full, pursed lips. River hesitated. He hadn’t noticed her yet.
Come on, Riv! Stop being a chicken s hit!
Mustering her courage, she shoved off the wall and tried her best to look. cool and collected as she walked down the length of grass sidelining the
walk.
“The f uck you doin, Landon?” Clay drawled.
“Just getting away from the crowd…Baldwin,” she flicked her best smirk at him. He smiled in return.
Da mn, he was cute.
“Nice try, but…call me Clay. Baldwin’s my dad.”
“Oh, sorry.” River played it off.
Clay shrugged.
With her hands clasped behind her back she slowly approached the broad shouldered male and leaned against the wall beside him.
“You want one?” He offered the box to her.
“Uhm…yeah, sure.”
Awkwardly, she tried to put the cigarette to her mouth and fumbled the small stick. Clay caught it with a chuckle. He flipped it into his mouth, lighting it with his own.
“You gotta relax. Especially if we’re going to be seeing more of each other,” he said smoothly as he passed her the lit cigarette.
She nodded, puffing once and coughing. Her eyes watered. Her choked attempt at “thanks” came out as a gag.
Clay didn’t do a very good job of hiding his disdain.
“I’ll see you inside, alright?” He flicked his filter onto the lawn, trotted down to the side door, and disappeared.
River sighed, making a disgusted face as she put out her cigarette. Her mouth tasted like s hit.
She grabbed his discarded butt and threw both into the dumpster. She prayed her Grandma wouldn’t smell it on her.
The rest of the pack was seated when she slid into the double doors and quickly located her family. Thankfully her seat was along the aisle. That would make it easier to get up when Clay announced her as his mate.
River slunk into her seat as the handsome young man took the stage to thunderous applause. Clay’s dad held up his son’s hands proudly and. egged the crowd on.
Soon, the ruckus died down and Clay stepped up to the mic.
“Sup pack?” He said, smirking. A murmur of laughter and whistle rose up in response. “So I’ve given a lot of thought to who will stand by my side when I take over as Alpha someday. Think I’ve made the right choice.”
More applause.
River felt her chest swell with anticipation.
She didn’t know him that well, but that’s just how these things went. The bond had been read and confirmed by Clay’s mother, the current Luna.
River started to stand.
“I know it’s breaking tradition,” he started slowly, raising his voice, “But I choose the love of my life: Victoria Pullman. Say hello to your new and future Luna!”
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River & Her Royal Mate by Larissa Heinrich

River & Her Royal Mate by Larissa Heinrich

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Status: Ongoing Type: Author: Artist: Released: January 11, 2024 Native Language: English

How To Read Novel River & Her Royal Mate by Larissa Heinrich

River Landon is ostracized by her classmates for being an orphan. When she turns 21, she realises that she is fated to the Alpha's son! But when he rejects her and claims his girlfriend instead, River is heartbroken. Little does she know that life has more in store for her than Just being the Luna of a Pack... Enter Kai, a mysterious stranger who's new to town..

River & Her Royal Mate by Larissa Heinrich

River Landon is ostracized by her classmates for being an orphan. When she turns 21, she realises that she is fated to the Alpha's son! But when he rejects her and claims his girlfriend instead, River is heartbroken. Little does she know that life has more in store for her than Just being the Luna of a Pack... Enter Kai, a mysterious stranger who's new to town..

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