Riley's Secret (A Moon's Glow Novel # 1)

BOOK: Riley's Secret (A Moon's Glow Novel # 1)
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Riley’s Secret

A Moon’s Glow Novel #1

by

Christina Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by Christina Smith

 

Kindle edition

 

Copyright
©
2012 Christina Smith

 

Cover art © by Stephanie Mooney. All rights reserved

 

Edited by Christine LePorte

 

 

 

 

For my sweet
daughter, Megan, who asked me to name a character after her.

 

 

 

 

 

Look for these other exciting titles by
Christina Smith

 

Fated Dreams (Book one in the Affinity Series)

 

Delusions (Book two in the Affinity Series)

 

Riley’s Curse, A Moon’s Glow Prequel (only available as an eBook)

 

Riley’s Torment, A Moon’s Glow Novel #2

 

Finding Abigail- an adult suspense romance for ages 18 and up

 

Table
of Contents

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Chapter Twenty-seven

Chapter Twenty-eight

Chapter Twenty-nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-one

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter One

Prologue

 

 

Prologue

 

The
young man stood in the open meadow under the full moon’s glow. His clothes were
folded neatly on an oversized tree stump. He knew what would happen when the
moon shone freely, but tonight the reluctant monster welcomed the change.
Normally, he avoided the call of his wild side at all costs. However, every
excruciating pain, pull and tearing of his limbs was worth it, because it would
bring him closer to her.

When
the transformation was complete, all signs of the young man had disappeared and
only a majestic wolf remained. He tipped his head up to face the moon and let
out a chilling howl, which stopped suddenly as one thought entered the wolf’s
mind. It was his only one as he raced through the woodland, jumping over brush,
undergrowth and overturned logs. He revelled in the speed and strength he felt
in his limbs, allowing himself to enjoy the run. He scented a rabbit, a
squirrel and even a deer. He was not concerned with food at the moment; that
would come later. His need was overpowering, taking away all other thoughts.

His
paws thundered over the well-worn trail. This was not the first night he had
taken the journey. The trail was miles long, but with his obsessed mind, he
made it to his destination in no time. Finally, he broke through the trees and
emerged onto a manicured lawn. He wasn’t concerned about being discovered: his
mind was too far gone to be cautious.

The
gray stone mansion stood above him, towering on the crest of a hill. He raced
up to it, his paws digging into the abundant grass, taking his usual position
next to a cedar bush. The smell of the flowers from the garden whirled around
him, momentarily mixing with the only scent that mattered. Once he caught it,
he followed it to the glass patio door. Cream-
colored
curtains
were parted in the center and he peered through, knowing what he would see. His
heart raced with anticipation.

There
she was, lying in her bed, her pale blue duvet pulled up to her neck, her fiery
locks cascading over the soft, feathery pillow. The wolf yearned to touch the
silky strands, knowing they would feel so soft in his hands, but the man inside
knew it could never happen.

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

The Football Field

 

 

 

I remember the first time I realized I didn’t belong
in my family. The three of us were in the back of our limo, stopped at a stop
sign, when my father noticed a family of four standing at a bus stop. “What’s
wrong with those people? How can they subject their children to public
transportation?” he asked, his voice a mix of disgust and his usual arrogance.
“It’s dirty and crowded.”

My mother nodded in agreement, her head bobbing up and
down like the little bobble-head dogs you see on the dashboard of cars.

“Maybe they can’t afford a car, Dad, did you ever
think of that?” I answered, feeling shocked and embarrassed by my father’s
words.

“Maybe they should get a job, Megan. Did you ever
think of that?” It was the first time, but not the last, that his voice was
filled with irritation when he spoke to me.

I didn’t respond to his absurd words. I was stunned
silent—and I was ten.

I’m no longer shocked when either of my parents say or
do something cold and insensitive. It’s who they are and I’ve long since
accepted that.

When people tell me I look like my mother, I know they
mean it as a compliment, but that’s not how I take it. While she is beautiful,
with long, flowing platinum hair, pale blue eyes and smooth, flawless skin. The
saying
beauty is only skin deep
definitely applies to her. My hair is
more of a strawberry-blond, a lot darker than my mother’s and my eyes are
green. It might not be a big deal to anybody else, but to me, it’s a visible
difference between us, showing that I am nothing like her.

I have always felt like an imposter in my own life,
sticking out like a sore thumb amongst my friends and family. All anybody sees
when they look at me is an eighteen-year-old girl, wearing designer clothes and
driving a shiny red convertible. I’m a Banks,
rich,
spoiled, popular and given everything I want. But that is far from the truth.
How can I have what I want, when I don’t know what that is?

For as long as I can remember I’ve felt something
missing from my life and sometimes believed it was a connection to another
person. The closest I’ve come to that feeling was with our cook and gardener.
Did that even count? Would they even be in my life if they weren’t paid to be?

Of course I had friends, although I wasn’t sure if
they’d still be here if I had a different last name. Would I be a cheerleader
hanging out with the captain and hunky football players if my father wasn’t
senior partner in his law firm? Would my friends want to visit me if we didn’t
have a pool, hot tub and tennis courts? Sometimes my life felt so foreign, I
expected to wake one morning to my true family. Go downstairs, have a real
conversation with my parents, eating cereal and arguing with my siblings. My
father would actually look up at me from behind his newspaper and smile as I
stole a piece of his slightly burnt toast that my mother had made for him.
Instead of the cook, who really was a substitute for my biological mother—who
wouldn’t be caught dead out of bed before noon.

“Megan, are you coming?” my best friend, Mandy, asked
as she leaned into my bedroom doorway, disrupting my thoughts.

I was staring at myself in the mirror, brushing my
hair, letting my mind wander and I forgot she was waiting for me. “Yes.” I stood
up to grab my purse off of my bed. I turned once more to the mirror and,
satisfied that none of the lettuce from dinner was stuck in my teeth, I ran out
of my room to catch up with her.

As I bounded down the long hallway, Mandy, who was
ahead of me, slipped out the door and into the night. I didn’t quite make it
before I heard a clicking sound coming from behind me. I glanced over to see my
mother heading toward me in her shiny, silver, spiked heels, wearing a
skin-tight red designer dress.

God knows why she had to look as though she were a
fashion model just sitting around her own house. But there was no point in
trying to figure out why she did anything. I gave up a long time ago.

“Where are you going, Megan?” Her voice was like nails
on a chalkboard, shrill and annoying. I wanted to say “like you care.” They had
been abandoning me for their charity events, spa trips and eighty-hour work
weeks, since I was a child. But even after all these years of neglect, I still
hoped one day we could be a close family like we were when I was little.

I stopped in my tracks, whirling around to confront
her. The overwhelming smell of her perfume struck me as much as her beauty.
Too
bad her attitude didn’t match her appearance.
I watched as her soft blue
eyes narrowed and glared at me, waiting for me to answer the question. She leaned
her hand on the door frame, her perfectly manicured nails tapping the trim
impatiently. The sound reminded me of a drum beat.

“I’m spending the night at Mandy’s.” Without waiting
for a response, I turned and rushed out the door.

I heard her yell something about not giving me
permission, but I left anyway. Since when was she so concerned about me?

“So, where to?” I asked Mandy, who was waiting
patiently, playing with the car stereo. She glanced up and smiled after I
climbed into the driver’s seat of my convertible. Since there was a chill in
the air at night, the top was up. It was April and soon enough we’d be able to
drive with it down.

“The football field. Brandon, Chris, Shane and the rest
of the team are meeting us there, but we have to pick up Jenny, her car is in
the shop. Her father won’t let her use his because she got two speeding tickets
last time he lent it to her.”

I laughed. Jenny didn’t care about other people’s
belongings. To her it was her father’s duty to give her whatever she wanted,
simply because she was his child. She was a little shallow, self-centered…and
annoying. I asked myself often why she was my friend.

I pulled into Jenny’s driveway, which was just down
the road from my house and honked the horn.

“Don’t you want to go in?” Mandy asked me. Her hand
was resting on the door handle, about to open it.

“No, if we go in she’ll take forever. Do you want to
wait or hang out with the guys?” I leaned over the stereo, flicking through the
songs on the car’s mp3 player.

“That’s true. She isn’t one to rush when people are
waiting.”

I rolled my eyes at that. She was the kind of person
who would take her time
because
we were waiting.

Twenty minutes later, Jenny strolled out of
her house. Like mine, hers was a mansion, but that was where the similarities
ended. My family’s home was old and understated. Beautiful gardens and
landscaping wrapped around the classic architecture of the gray stone building.
And Jenny’s house screamed: “Look at me, I’m rich.” The outside was a
salmon-colored stucco. The gardens were beautifully done as well but were
overshadowed by dozens of tacky sculptures. The worst was the cherub holding a
bow and arrow. It stood in the center of their fake pond, peeing.
Classy, I
know
.

BOOK: Riley's Secret (A Moon's Glow Novel # 1)
12.46Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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