#Chapter 124: Like Father, Like Son
Out of nowhere, Enzo kissed me.
He kissed me hard and fast, and it was over as quickly as it began. I continued to crouch in front of him, blinking dazedly as I processed what just happened.
His hands, which he’d cupped on either side of my cheeks, dropped down to his side. He stood suddenly, pacing away from me as though he needed to get distance between us, and when I stood as well, I noticed that his eyes were red again.
“That scent,” he said, pointing his finger at me and burying his nose in his jersey. “I don’t know how you’re doing that, but you have to stop. I can’t control myself when you do it, and it’s only gonna hurt both of us even more.”
“Enzo…” I took a step toward him as my eyes began to fill with tears. “Why won’t you just let me in? Is all of this really because of a scarf? I know how you really feel about me–”
Enzo shook his head and backed away even more.
“Get out,” he said.
I furrowed my brow, both confused and hurt by his sudden order. “Why?”
“Just get out,” he demanded again. ” I’m not allowed to get involved with you like this anymore, and clearly I can’t control myself around you… So please, just go. Be with Justin. Be with anyone except me.”
I took a step backwards, shaking my head. What did he mean about not being allowed to get involved with me anymore? Nothing was stopping him except for that stupid scarf. Time and time again, we had played this back and forth game. And now, I had experienced his scent, and he was clearly attracted to mine. Why, then,did we have to do this? Why couldn’t we just be together?
Before I could say anything, however, the rest of the team suddenly filed in. When they saw how Enzo and I were looking at each other, they all fell silent and stood by the door.
“Should we leave?” Matt asked.
I stared at Enzo for a long few moments, willing him to say something. Anything. But he didn’t. Without another look at him, I shook my head and turned on my heel. “No,” I muttered, keeping my head down so as to hide the tears in my eyes as I walked past the job tonight.” group. “It’s fine. Good
I stepped out of the locker room into the arena, which was mostly empty now aside from a few students still filing out, some cleaners, and the food vendors closing up their booths. I let out a shaky breath as the door closed behind me and headed for the exit.
But I didn’t make it far before I felt the strange feeling of being watched.
Stopping in my tracks, I narrowed my eyes and slowly looked over my shoulder. Standing in the shadows beside the locker room… Was Enzo’s father. He was leaning against the wall, dressed in his usual suit and tie, with his arms folded across his chest. As he looked at me, his cold eyes fixed unwaveringly on my face, I suddenly felt a pit of dread start to form in my stomach. We stared at each other for several long seconds.
“Stay away from my son. I know that your mother is a Crescent traitor… And I know where she and your brother live.”
His low, sinister voice rumbled inside my head, vibrating against my skull and giving me an immediate, pounding headache. I winced, touching my fingers against my throbbing temple.When I opened my eyes, he was already gone.
What did he mean by what he said? Was he threatening me to keep me away from Enzo? Did that have something to do with why Enzo was so adamant about staying away from me?
I wanted to figure it out, but at the same time, I couldn’t shake the feeling of unease in my stomach. I briskly walked out of the arena and slipped my phone out of my pocket as I headed back to my dorm, dialing my mom.
“Mom?” I said when she answered. “Hi, Nina,” she said, sounding a little
surprised. “Is everything okay?”
I let out a sigh of relief. Thankfully, nothing had happened to her yet.” Yeah,” I lied. “I’m fine. How are you and Tyler?”>
She paused before answering. “We’re fine. Actually… I was just about to call
The feeling of anxiety in my stomach returned. I picked up my pace as my building came into view and glanced over my shoulder, still feeling as though I was being watched. “What for?” I asked.
“Well, I’ve been thinking of visiting your aunt overseas. You have next week off of school, right? Would your like to come with us? We’ll be leaving in a couple of days.”
“Oh,” I replied, letting out a sigh of relief. It was unexpected, but the thought of spending some time away from this town was tempting. “How long are you going for?”
“Just a week,” she said.
I finally made it to my building and flung the door open before walking inside. Now that I was safely inside with the bright amber lights of the common room enveloping me, I suddenly didn’t feel so afraid. “Um… You know what? Sure,” I replied,
smiling, “I’ll go.”
Once again, my mother paused. I climbed the stairs to my suite. “That’s great, honey,” she finally said. “Make sure you pack enough for the week. I’ll buy you a train ticket to come down to meet us here.”
As I opened the door, a thought suddenly came to my mind while the image of Enzo’s father and the sinister things he’d said swirled around. He’d called her a Crescent traitor. I realized then that I had to see my mother and Tyler as soon as possible, not only to check on their safety, but to ask my mother some questions. “Hey, mom…”
“Can you buy a ticket for tonight? I can leave right now.”
Less than two hours later, I was climbing out of a cab and walking up to my mother’s front door with a suitcase in my hand. I hadn’t been to my childhood home in so long; it was a
small suburban home with yellow paint that looked like it was starting to peel a little. The front door was blue, and the shutters on all of the windows were the same shade of blue. Growing up, I hated how brightly the house was painted, but now it felt like a beacon of warmth and safety glowing in the night.
Before I even knocked on the door, my mom flung it open. She came out onto the walkway and hugged me tightly– a gesture of warmth that I wasn’t used to with her. I froze at first, then relaxed and hugged her back.
“Come in quietly,” she said, guiding me back to the house. “Tyler is asleep.”
When I stepped inside, the house was just the same as I remembered. A tiny living room with a little floral couch and an antique writing desk in the corner. An even tinier kitchen outfitted with all retro appliances. A small hallway with a narrow staircase that led upstairs to my brother’s room and my old room, while my mom’s room was situated at the end of the hallway downstairs.
“Are you hungry?” my mom asked.
I realized that I’d hardly eaten all day. In fact, ever since the tunnels, I still hadn’t quite gotten my appetite back, but being home made me hungry all of a sudden.
“Yes,” I replied, nodding and following her to the kitchen.
“PB&J?” she asked as she opened the
fridge. “Your favorite, right?”
I nodded, smiling, and hoisted myself up to sit on the counter while she made me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich — with peach marmalade instead of jelly. It was my favorite childhood
snack. Even though my mother was never particularly warm to me growing up ever since she divorced her first husband, she always made the best sandwiches.
“Hey, mom,” I said, watching as she spread the marmalade on a slice of white bread. “Can I ask you about something?”
“Do you remember the Peacekeepers?”
Suddenly, my mom froze right in the middle of making my sandwich. She stood like that for several long moments, opening her mouth to speak and closing it again so many times that she almost looked like a fish gasping for air.
But then, all of a sudden, she continued making my sandwich with a smile on her face and shook her head.
“I have no clue what you’re talking about, honey,” she said, handing me my sandwich.
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