#Chapter 108: Dreaming in Red
After Enzo picked me up off the floor, 1 felt my vision begin to flicker before everything went black.
I opened my eyes a few moments later
to find myself back in the forest
clearing. Cora was no longer sitting
across from me, but as I dug my fingers
into the blanket of soft red fur
surrounding me, I realized now that she was laying underneath me. I sat up, looking around. My body felt light and nimble, and I could see out of both eyes now. All of the pain that had overtaken me before from Edward’s beatings was gone. My stomach, which had just been full of searing pain from Edward’s claws digging into me just moments earlier, was now fully healed without so much as a scar
“Am I dead?” I asked as I looked around.
Cora lifted her head and shook it back and forth. “No. You’ll be fine. You’re just here for now until they fix you up
“Enzo, and that other woman,” Cora replied. “The nurse.”
“Mhm. She’s patching you up as we speak.”
I smiled, imagining that Tiffany was deftly fixing up my wounds. If I was going to trust anyone to take care of my injuries, it would be her. I was glad that they didn’t take me to a hospital, where the doctors would have only made my trauma worse by locking me up in another room with fluorescent lights. I stood, then, and started to walk around the forest clearing.
“Do you live here all of the time?” I asked.
Once again, Cora shook her big red head back and forth. “This isn’t real. I just live inside your head, and it seems like you’ve subconsciously taken a liking to this particular place.”
I thought back to the night that I found Justin in the forest clearing –the night that I discovered that he had been turned into a rogue but this clearing didn’t look anything like that. It took several moments of racking my brain as I tried to remember where I had seen this place before to finally discover where I was.
“Oh!” I finally said out loud. “It’s the clearing that we all went camping in.'” ”
Even though that was the very place where K had tried to drag me through the portal, I supposed that I did make some happy memories with my friends in this very spot. As I remembered my time here, the tents that we slept in slowly popped up around me like a pop- up book, followed by the campfire It quickly turned from a scene of a bright and sunny day to a cool and quiet night, with only the fire to illuminate the camp. With the firelight flickering, Cora’s fur looked almost like it blended in with the flames as she laid beside it.
I thought even harder then, remembering the time I spent with my friends here Just like the tents, they, too, popped up around me like a pop- up book. There was Lori and Jessica, and Matt and James, and… Enzo. They were all sitting around the fire, frozen in time like a picture. The only spot that was empty was mine, so I sat there and shut my eyes, remembering how we had played spin the bottle.
“Hey!” Jessica said, coming to life and jumping up. She picked up an empty beer bottle and shook its contents out, then held it up for everyone to see. ” Who wants to play Spin the Bottle?”
Everyone was silent for a moment
“C’mon, guys!” she said. “It’s just a game.”
“I’m down,” Matt chimed in. Lori shrugged, while James and Enzo stayed silent.
“James?” Jessica said, shaking the bottle gently. “What do you say?”
“Oh, alright,” James said, throwing his hands up in surrender “I guess it could be fun.”
“Well, looks like we have a majority vote here,” Jessica said, setting the bottle down in the middle of the circle, right next to the fire pit. “Sorry, Nina and Enzo. You guys don’t have to play if you don’t want to.”
“I’ll play ”
Enzo’s voice was firm and sure, just like it always was. When I looked over at him, he was staring right at me from across the fire pit. My heart started racing, even though this was a memory I had already lived it
“Yay!” Jessica said, clapping her hands. “Nina, you’re playing, right?”
“Sure,” I said quietly, my eyes still
locked on Enzo.
Jessica grinned. “I’ll go first.” She spun the bottle.
The bottle spun around several times, then finally landed on Matt, who looked devilishly pleased as Jessica leaned over to him and gave him a peck on the lips.
“Lori, you go next,” Jessica said.
Lori sighed and spun the bottle. It spun for several long moments, she had spun it hard and fast, and it went around quite a few times before finally landing on Jessica.
“Oooh!” Matt said, grinning.
“I-Uh- I didn’t You don’t have to,
Jessica,” Lori said nervously. Her face
was a bright shade of red.
Jessica smiled as she absentmindedly twirled a strand of blonde hair around her finger “I don’t mind.”
I watched as Jessica and Lori kissed for the first time, a smile spreading across my lips to see them finally realizing their feelings for each other. I wondered if they were worried about me right now, though, and my smile faded.
Now, everyone looked at me expectantly, I reached out and spun the bottle, but I knew it would land on Enzo. When it did, my friends bantered once again.
“Ooh, you could cut the tension with at knife, it’s so thick.”
“Shut up!” Smack.
Enzo stood and walked around the fire, stopping in front of me I looked up at him, my heart racing a mile a minute, but this time, I was more excited for the feeling of his lips than I was afraid of it. He crouched in front of me and placed his hand under my chin. His glowing red eyes were locked on me, unwavering, loyal.
He kissed me, swift and hard, and his lips lingered on mine for several long moments before we slowly pulled away.
Without another word, Enzo stood and walked back to his spot on the other side of the fire.
The scene paused again, and everyone became frozen in time. I felt Cora sidle up to me, and as I closed my eyes, tasting Enzo’s kiss on my lips, I knew that she was saying goodbye. I was waking up, now. I reached out and tangled my fingers in her fur, letting out a deep sigh.
“It’s probably gonna hurt a lot when I wake up, huh?” I asked, my eyes still closed.
“Probably It’s okay, though.”
“When will I see you again?”
Cora didn’t answer. I opened my eyes to see her one last time, but when I opened them, I was no longer sitting by the campfire. I was laying in the dark infirmary. It was quiet — was I alone? It must have been nighttime.
I slowly turned my head, feeling that the pain that was there before was still there, but it wasn’t so bad now. My eye was less swollen, so I could see better than before, and the pounding
headache was gone entirely. The only real pain was the one in my abdomen, where Edward had cut me with his claws.
I realized then that I wasn’t alone.
There was a warmth in my hand, and the sound of soft breathing next to me I looked up and smiled to see Enzo sitting beside me with the same unwavering, loyal look in his glowing red eyes as he did on the night that we played Spin the Bottle.
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