#Chapter 113: The Scarf
“Just go, Nina,” I said. I felt my eyes begin to glow red, which I didn’t want her to see — but it was already too late. “I can’t be doing this with you anymore.”
The pained sound that came out of her mouth made me want to pull her in and hug her tightly, but I couldn’t. Keeping her close to me would only cause her even more pain. I was there to protect her, but nothing more.
“Go,” I said, opening the door and averting my gaze to the ground. Without a word, Nina spun around and ran out of my apartment. I shut the door behind her, then leaned against it and sank down to the floor, leaning my head back against the wood.
What Nina didn’t know was that, after my torture in the tunnels, I had a dream when we spent the night together in her dorm. It was a dream about my fated mate, and dreams like this were almost always prophetic.
During the dream, I found my fated mate. I couldn’t see her face, but I knew it was her from her scent. The scent was so sweet and tantalizing that I could hardly control myself. I reached out to touch her, and she reached out as well, locking our fingers together.
During that dream, I knew: being close to Nina would only hurt her, because no matter how much I cared for her, she wasn’t my fated mate. Even if we wound up denying fate and tried to be
together, I knew that I would only hurt her down the road. If we were together, I would only break her heart more by ending things with her or even being unfaithful without realizing it. Nothing could deny the power of the fated mate bond, and because Nina had no wolf, we couldn’t be each other’s chosen mates. It would only end in heartbreak.
What she also didn’t know was that before the tunnels, when I last saw my father on the morning after the fateful party… My father had threatened to do something to her. He didn’t say what he would do, exactly, but he said that I’d never see her again if I continued my relationship with her. And I couldn’t risk her getting hurt because I couldn’t control my impulses.
Between these two things, I had to keep my distance from Nina.
That didn’t mean, however, that I wouldn’t be there for her and protect her. Edward was still out there, and so were Ronan and Lisa. Justin was right here on this very campus, and there was no telling what sort of trickery he would use to get Nina in his grasp. This ‘Sister’ person seemed hell-bent on capturing Nina, and I was determined to keep that from happening.
As I sat there, my eyes closed as I tried to push away the ache in my chest, I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. I opened it, then let out a deep and exasperated sigh when I saw who was calling.
It was my father.
“What do you want?” I asked when I answered the phone.
“Your carelessness has gotten our secret spread all over that town,” he said. His voice was low and angry, and I could hear that he was speaking through his teeth.
I sighed and passed my hand over my face. “I’m handling it. I just need to figure out who leaked it.”
“And then what?” my father replied. ” Everyone already knows. My company’s stocks are starting to plummet.”
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “I can get them to take back their statement — admit that it’s fake. I’ll daze them.”
My father chuckled wryly. “You’ve
already done enough,” he snarled. “I’ll
clean up your mess, just like I always
- From now on, I want you to focus solely on winning that hockey tournament. And enough of letting that girl distract you from what you need to do. Don’t forget what I told you in the hockey arena: I have ways that will ensure that you never see her again.”
“That won’t be an issue anymore,” I growled through gritted teeth. As I spoke, it felt as though my throat was being constricted. It pained me more than words could explain to have to say goodbye to Nina.
“Well, just to be safe, I sent you something,” my father replied, his sinister tone suddenly lightening as though we had just been having a casual family phone call this entire time. “Did you open my package?”
I looked up from where I was sitting to see the pile of mail on my kitchen counter. I had put it there on my first day back from the tunnels, but I hadn’t looked at it at all. I was far too distracted to be opening mail.
“No,” I replied, standing. “I’ve… Been busy.”
“Open it now, then.”
I sighed and tucked my phone into the crook of my ear and my shoulder, then rifled through the mail to pull out a small box addressed to me from my father. I then grabbed a pair of kitchen scissors out of the drawer and cut through the packing tape, opening the box to reveal a simple red scarf.
“What is this?” I asked, pulling the scarf out. As I did, my senses filled with the same scent from my dream. It made my mouth water and my heart skip, and admittedly made blood rush to my nether region.
“It’s a gift,” my father replied. I could practically hear his smile through the phone. “From your fated mate. A little motivation to help you win that tournament. Smells like her, no?”
I nodded, entranced by the smell of the soft scarf in my hands, before I remembered that my father couldn’t see me through the phone. “Uh– Yes,” I replied. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome. I want you to keep that scarf with you, especially when you’re thinking of getting distracted by that human girl again. Do you understand me? I don’t want you to think about her anymore. If you do a good job of that, I’ll let you meet your fated mate a little earlier before the wedding.”
“When would that be?” I asked.
My father paused. “If you win the tournament, you can meet her on the day of the last match.”
The next day, I woke up early to go to hockey practice. People were already beginning to rally outside the arena; they were calling me a monster and shouted at me as I walked past, but I kept my head down and gripped my mate’s scarf tightly in my hand. I had to focus on winning this tournament – – I had to meet her.
When I entered the arena, everyone was already there- including Nina. I supposed that I had expected it, since she was still the team doctor, but it still made me uncomfortable. I stared at the floor as I walked past her, ignoring her painful expression, and began to drill my teammates harder than ever before.
Maybe being so hard on them was a mistake, but I had to do it if we were going to win against werewolves. We still had a long way to go until the final match, so that meant that we would have a lot of competition to make our way through before the final match.
Unfortunately, due to my harsh drilling, Matt fell on the ice and smashed up his hand pretty badly.
“Bring him here,” Nina called from across the ice. I watched as a couple of the other players helped him up as he groaned in pain, clutching his hand, then helped him to skate over to the exit.
“That’s enough for today,” I said. “You guys can all go.”
Nina led Matt to the locker rooms while the rest of the team took off their skates and filed out of the arena, but I stayed behind to keep practicing my own drills. I took my time skating back and forth across the ice, lining myself up with the goal from various angles and flicking the puck in… But the
mobility I lost in my shoulders from
Edward’s beatings made it difficult. Fio
was still weak from the poison Edward
gave me, and although our mate’s
scent made him a bit stronger, it still wasn’t enough. Finally, I gave up and headed toward the locker room to get changed.
When I entered, I realized quickly that Nina and Matt were still there. They had their heads leaning close to one another as she wrapped up his hand with a bandage. He said something, and she laughed.
For some reason, in that instant an inexplicable amount of jealousy took over me. For the first time in days, I felt Fio’s full presence as I rushed toward Nina and Matt Without thinking, I grabbed Matt by the shoulder and yanked him to his feet.
“H-Hey!” Matt exclaimed.
“Enzo, what are you doing?” Nina shouted, jumping up and putting herself between us. “I was still bandaging his hand.”
“I-I’m fine, I think,” Matt said, stumbling away from me. “I’ll go to the infirmary.”
“Matt, wait–” Nina called, but Matt was already gone. She turned toward me then, her eyes narrowed, but it only fueled my burning desire for her. I pushed her up against the locker, pressing our bodies close as a low, hot growl rumbled in my throat.
“You’re mine,” I said. “Not his.”
I leaned down to kiss her, but before I could, she pushed me away with tears in her eyes. “You’re scaring me,” she whimpered.
As she said those words, I came to my senses. I looked down at where I was standing, feeling my face get hot as I realized what I had just done.
“I-I’m sorry,” I stuttered, taking a few steps backwards while Nina stood with her back pressed up against the lockers, her eyes wide and tears streaming down her cheeks. “I don’t know what came over me… I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
I had to get away from her. Before Nina could say anything and before I could lose control again, I turned on my heel and stormed out. I took a deep breath once I was out of the locker room and pulled my mate’s scarf out of my pocket, burying my face in it and inhaling deeply. As my mate’s scent filled my senses, I quickly forgot all about the jealousy I had for Nina…
And I forgot that she also had a faint scent of her own in the locker room.
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