River & Her Royal Mate by Larissa Heinrich Chapter 3

River & Her Royal Mate by Larissa Heinrich Chapter 3

Chapter 3
All of the make overs, adventures, and prerequisite reading in the world couldn’t prepare River for the first day of college.
Grandma Lucy and Klara had insisted on a tour some weeks before, so she knew exactly where she was going. She came to the open house to meet her professors, even if she did s kip out on every other freshman welcoming event meant to break the ice.
But there were so. Many People.

The local university was a half hour away technically in the next town but the line between the two was fairly vague for the local residents. For the students moving from high school into their freshman year, the line was far more distinct and meaningful.
Additionally, the university pooled from two other smaller towns farther out, not to mention out of state kids who got accepted and moved to live
on campus.
So, there were a ton of students.
More people than she had ever had to hustle through in her life.
Even the concerts Klara took her to every summer didn’t have this. packed-in, feverish salmon-run that poured through every hallway of the sprawling campus.
River tried to act like she wasn’t looking around like a deer in the headlights. She checked her map and kept her head down as she walked.
A passage mostly cleared out heading out toward the science building.
Pausing for a breath and to grab a snack from the vending machine, she looked at herself in the reflection of the glass.
She looked good. Better than she ever had.
This summer really helped her find herself.
Between rigorous exercise, finally letting Aunt Klara and Grandma Lucy
teach her how to put on makeup, and finding a balance of comfy and fancy in her wardrobe, River felt…almost confident.
The challenges she had given herself and been given had forced her to make some changes..
Most importantly, they helped soothe the pain of the broken bond. The memory of the pain remained, but she had overcome it. The thought of seeing Clay no longer filled her with abject terror.
Not that she was exited to run into him just a few minutes later in the grassy courtyard outside her first class. Of all the rotten luck.
The blond, feathered hair and the once-dreamy brown eyes noted her before she could turn away. Followed by the thin, but muscular male bobbing his head at her as he approached.
“Yo, Landon. I was wondering if I’d see you around.”
“Had to happen eventually,” River snipped a little too tightly.
“Whoa, summer sure did you a lot of favors.”
She wondered if he meant her bold tone or her new look until he eyeballed her up and down appreciatively.
Gross.
River cleared her throat pointedly.
“Are you….in this class?” She finally forced out to fill the awkward silence.
“Yeah, we got Mason’s class together Monday and Wednesday.” He thumbed over his shoulder at the double classroom door.
“That’s what you meant when you said we’d be seeing a lot more of each other.” The realization clicked in her head. St upid girl. She pushed the embarrassment away.
“Yeah. I thought you had seen the class roster, too.” His half grin used to make her nervous in a good way. Now it just made her want to slap it off
his face.
Slap it off? Who was she turning into, exactly?
“So, no hard feelings, right? Just pack business, you know?” He tried to fall into step beside her as River shrugged past him into the classroom.
“Yeah, sure. I certainly didn’t lose any sleep over it,” she lied. River wouldn’t have bought her own fib if she hadn’t noticed the flash of hurt. that passed across Clay’s face. Score one for River.
The surge of satisfaction at his reaction that followed took her off guard.
Clay fell a step behind as she entered the big, lab-style room. Pairs of chairs matched to long desks ran in three rows down the length of the class to the massive white board and projector at the front.
River quickly swept off toward the side near the back and slipped into an open seat next to a hunched over student. His head buried in the folds of his hoodie-swathed arms across the desk.
The last thing she needed was to get stuck next to Clay. Or as lab partners. if the seating arrangement was permanent.
Unfortunately, the seat across the aisle was open and captain-c ocky tried to act nonchalant, making a show of looking around before he “noticed” the seat and took it.
River had made a point of arr iving early, but now she was regretting it.
“You know, my mom was pi ssed,” Clay started, clearly wanting her to engage with him and ask why.
“Why would she be pis sed about you picking your girlfriend?” River tried to keep her voice from sounding bitter or the least bit interested.
“Because of the rules, tradition. She said I really f ucked up passing you over. Maybe she was right about the mating bond. Can’t argue with how the way you look is makin’ me feel…” He rubbed his chin between his finger and thumb like he was choosing what flavor of ice cream he wanted.
River could feel his eyes crawling over her again. Something reared up deep inside her and almost had her slinging a textbook into his st upid face
Chapter &
before she could stop it.
The urge sent a thrill of shock along her spine. It also kind of make her feel sick.
Confrontation always did.
Instead, she took a long, hopefully bored-looking breath, before she turned to glance at him. “What mating bond, Claybourne?”
She may as well have punched him in the balls.
All he managed in response was a shoulder-bouncing huff.
The young would-be Alpha’s jaw worked a couple of times before he closed his mouth, his face flushing beet red as he breathed hard through
his nose.
After a few seconds he stood upright, grabbed his bag and shuffled off, attempting to look casual about it. He rolled his shoulders and only glanced back once.
River fought back a smile.
There were benefits to being ignored in high school and at pack.
community events. And short of the times when certain stuck-up bit ches singled her out for torture, River was virtually invisible outside of passing remarks about her family.
When no one knew or cared that you were standing nearby, or listening, they said all sorts of fun little facts about each other. For example, Clay detested his full name and did everything in his power to keep anyone from finding out about it.
He was also known for being able to get any girl he wanted.
Rumor had it, even while dating Victoria.
The icing on the cake was honestly being able to blow him off in return. Now that she was face-to-face with him, she barely even felt the wound he had inflicted on her three months ago.
Chapter 3
A little vindication and righteous anger helped soothe any residual hurt.
Still, she couldn’t believe how bold and outright bi tchy she had just been to him.
Was this the new River?
She would have to be careful just how sassy she would let herself get, at the risk of becoming just like Victoria Pullman.
At least she wasn’t in this class.
But, man, this semester was going to be something. No more Clay pestering her. A comfortable spot near the back with a quiet, likely stoner kid that she might not even have to talk to much…
A growling groan and movement to her left drew her attention as more. students rushed in to fill the seats. The professor shuffled in, flopping down a stack of papers and clicking on the remote for the projector.
The huddled hoodie-headed guy stretched all the way up with his arms. over his head, yawning.
River was met with an eye full of sun kissed skin and chiseled abs peeking out from under the upraised red hoodie and white tee beneath.
Oh, sweet wolf-mother.
She couldn’t stop her eyes from trailing up, dragged along for the ride as big, strong hands clasped around the bottom of the garment and drew the hoodie up and over. This movement showcased long, deliciously defined. arms laced with cable-like muscle beneath supple skin.
His chest pressed through the plain, soft white cotton, a perfect ridge cut right between two even more perfect slabs of-
Look away. Look away now.
Or keep looking forever.
No!
Chapter 3
Clawing at her self-control, River tore her gaze away just as his messy, honey-brown locks flipped down, only catching a glimpse of his smooth cheeks above a notably bold, but still intriguingly boyish jawline.
River forced her vision forward, fumbling with her notebook and dropping her entire case of pencils and pens out across the desk.
“Thanks, I forgot to bring one of my own.” The voice was like melted butter, infused with just a hint of laughter and knee-buckling baritone.
Like it held a secret he only wanted her to know about.
Time seemed to collapse. River tried to think of a response and was cognizant that these silent seconds felt like minutes,
Words. Laugh. Anything. Just say something!
“Pencil. Notes. Yeah. For writing,” River heard someone say in her voice.
Well. You had a good run, River.
Pun intended.
The angelic apparition next to her tapped the butt of the pencil on the table and nodded slowly, leaning over the desk to peer into her face. “I could not have put it any better myself. I’m Kai.”
The crumpled constraints of the horrible frozen moment unfurled all at once and time caught up, moving too fast. She couldn’t process what had just happened.
What. The. Hell did she just say to him?
Instinct took over at the same moment the professor raised his voice to call the class to order. River saw Kai’s offered hand and took it,
gave it a polite shake without looking him in the face and immediately fell into the issued instructions from the front of the class to open their textbooks to page seventy-five.
The rest of the hour-and-something class flashed by in a blur of cell division and biological jargon and River was up and rushing out the door before Professor Mason could say “see you next class-period.”
Chapter 3
Slam-bam, right into Victoria Pullman.
“Watch where you’re going, Creepy-Creek!”
The shrill voice combined with a version of Victoria’s oh-so-not-creative nomenclature for River sent chills of dread through her entire body.
Variations of anything even remotely associated with rivers had been an endless source of derision since the eighth grade. Or maybe since kindergarten.
“I thought I saw you slinking in at the back of class. Surprised you’d even show your face after this last summer. Nice hair.” Despite the derisive tone of the rest, Victoria’s final comment sounded more like a compliment.
Victoria was genuinely obsessed with fashion, to be fair.
Maybe she could smooth things out?
“Thanks. Good to see you too, Vitchy,” River grumbled sarcastically, before she knew what she was saying.
“Oh! The mo ngrel thinks she’s got teeth now because she figured out how to put on eye-liner?” Victoria pursued her as she tried to walk away.
So much for smoothing things out.
Other students were watching as they passed. It was becoming a scene.
“And don’t think I didn’t see you talking to my man in there! He’s not into strays, alright, s lut? Stay away from him.”
“Maybe you should tell him to stop trying to hump my leg and there won’t be an issue!” River swerved abruptly, feeling her cheeks flush, boiling hot, as she glared right into the shorter girl’s blue eyes.
“What the f uck did you just say?” Victoria hissed.
“I s aid that I can’t decide which one of you needs the leash and which one needs the G od-da mned muzzle!” River was shouting. Why wa s she
s houting?!

River’s stomach sank in immediate regret.
Victoria’s posture changed and her hand came out of nowhere, right at ut of nowhere, right at
River’s face.
She flinched as she braced for impact. But the slap didn’t land.
At least not on her face.
The hallway was dead silent in the wake of the sharp smack.

River followed Victoria’s shocked – but still rage-filled gaze to the victim. of her strike, who somehow appeared out of nowhere just between them. He was wearing a bright red hoodie and was rubbing his cheek. thoughtfully.
Victoria and River both slowly looked up into the unreasonably stunning face, right to the equally bright-red hand print marring its smooth, statuesque perfection.
“Wow. You hit people pretty often? Cause you really pack a punch,” Kai said, clear disdain dripping off his quiet, chuckling comment.
SEND GIFT

River rubbed her hands over her face, frying not to replay the events of the previous day again. The light turned green and she gave Grandma’s sedan a little gas, propelling her back toward the refuge of home.
What a first day.
Tuesday felt completely uneventful by comparison.
She could barely remember any of the things that had happened in any of her classes, other than a certain lingering memory of rippling muscle and Ian abs. The distraction had rolled over her into second day of class, as well.
Which he had been conspicuously absent from.
Not that she had been waiting to run into him around every corner, or anything.
Stop drooling. Watch the road.
Kai.
She didn’t even know his last name.
Her imagination filled it in as Kai Redhood, heroic, shining knight for hire. The start of a dozen fantasies tried to take flight.
She had definitely read way too many novels over the summer.
Still, he stepped in to take the hit for her.
And had Victoria pis sing her pants, no less, stumbling over herself to get out of there. No surprise, she hadn’t even apologized, just giving River a look that promised it wasn’t over.
As if it were River’s fault she was an unbearable witch.
That satisfaction reared its ugly head again. Grandma would give her that look, warning her against that sort of indulgent behavior. Klara would just wink, knowingly.
– 121 TH An 11
Chapter 3
River’s stomach sank in immediate regret.
Victoria’s posture changed and her hand came out of nowhere, right at River’s face.
She flinched as she braced for impact. But the slap didn’t land.
At least not on her face.
The hallway was dead silent in the wake of the sharp smack.
River followed Victoria’s shocked but still rage-filled gaze to the victim of her strike, who somehow appeared out of nowhere just between them. He was wearing a bright red hoodie and was rubbing his cheek thoughtfully.
Victoria and River both slowly looked up into the unreasonably stunning face, right to the equally bright-red hand print marring its smooth, statuesque perfection.
“Wow. You hit people pretty often? Cause you really pack a punch,” Kai said, clear disdain dripping off his quiet, chuckling comment.
SEND GIFT
COMMENT}
15:13 Thu, Jah

River & Her Royal Mate by Larissa Heinrich

River & Her Royal Mate by Larissa Heinrich

Score 9.3
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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