#Chapter 125: Pebbles at the Window
I cocked my head. My mother smiled up at me and pushed the plate containing my sandwich into my hands.
“Eat up, honey,” she said. “Are you alright? You look like you’ve lost a lot of weight.”
“U-Um… I’ve just been stressed.” I picked my sandwich up off my plate and took a bite, chewing for a moment, before speaking again. “Are you sure you don’t know about the
Peacekeepers? The school doctor that I’ve been working with–”
“You know what?” my mother interrupted, stretching and feigning an obviously fake yawn. “It’s late, and we’ve got to be up early tomorrow to catch our flight.”
Now, I frowned and watched as she
turned somewhat robotically and started to walk out of the kitchen. “But you said that we would be leaving in a couple of days…”
My mother froze again. “Did I?” she asked, her back still turned to me. “I guess I just misspoke. No, our tickets are set for first thing in the morning.”
“Oh…” I paused, looking down at the
sandwich on my plate. “Okay.”
“Good night, honey.”
“Good night, mom.”
I sat alone in the kitchen and silently finished my sandwich, puzzling over why my mother acted like she didn’t know about the Peacekeepers. In fact, her entire demeanor was a bit strange, almost scripted. It was unsettling, to say the least
When I was finished, I hopped down from the counter and rinsed off my plate before grabbing my suitcase out of the living room and quietly heading upstairs to my old room .Just like the rest of the house, my childhood bedroom was exactly the
same as it had always been. I hadn’t
slept here in years, always opting to stay at a motel on the rare occasion that I came to visit, but as I sat down on my bed and heard the springs creak beneath my weight, I suddenly felt overcome by a sense of nostalgia that overshadowed my mother’s strange behavior. Sighing, I fell backwards and splayed my arms out on the bed, running my hands along the quilt as I looked up at the old glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling that I’d put there when I was seven. I turned my head, looking over at my old desk that still had my high school textbooks piled up on it, then turned the other way to study the layers of faded science fair posters on the wall.
Suddenly, as I laid there, I heard something patter against my window. I didn’t get up right away; instead, I chalked it up to the wind or the branch
of the tree that sat right outside my room.
But then, I heard it again. And again.
Finally, I frowned and sat up. I turned around to look at my window, only to see something small and round hit it again, as though someone was throwing something from below.
“What on earth…” I whispered to myself. I stood and tiptoed over to my window, peeking out from behind the curtains. My jaw dropped as I saw Enzo standing on the lawn staring up at me What was he doing here? And how did he know where my mom and my brother lived?
I flung the window open and leaned out
“What are you doing and how did you find me?” I half whispered, half shouted out the window.
“Can I come up?” was all he asked. He pointed to the tree, then made a sighed and gestured for him to come,
climbing motion with his hands. I
stepping away from the window and waiting with folded arms as he quietly and nimbly climbed up the tree I watched as his hand, then his leg, followed by the rest of his body, came through my window. Once he was through, we stood there in silence for a few moments; mine was a disbelieving sort of silence, while his was more expectant.
“Well?” I asked. I was a bit put off by his sudden appearance, especially after how he’d spoken to me in the locker room and even more so after what his father had said to me.
“I’m sorry for how I acted,” he said quietly. “I’ve been a confusing asshole.”
“I’ll say,” I muttered, staring at the floor As I looked down, I heard Enzo approach and suddenly felt his warm arms wrap around me. My eyes widened, but as I inhaled his musky scent, I couldn’t stop myself from relaxing against him.
When we finally pulled away, there were tears in my eyes. “You can’t stay,” I whispered, taking a step back and wiping the tears away with my hand.” Your father. I don’t know what he’s planning on doing to my mom and my brother, but he was very clear with his threat”
Enzo’s eyes widened. “You spoke to my father?”
I nodded. “I saw him after the hockey game. He said that if I get involved with you, he knows where my mom and my brother live. I don’t know what that means, but I can’t risk letting my family potentially get hurt.”
There was another long silence. Enzo let out a deep, rattled sigh. When I looked up, he was staring intensely at the floor
“Is that why you’ve been pushing me
away I asked. “Because of him?”
“It was a big part of the reason,” he whispered.
More tears came to my eyes. “Why didn’t you tell me? If I had known, I–” My voice faltered. I didn’t know what I would have done if I had known about his father’s threats. Would it have even made a difference, or would I have been so blinded by Enzo’s scent that I would have risked the safety of my mom and my brother?
“I thought I was protecting you by not telling you,” he said.
I scoffed. “Protecting me?” I choked out through the tears. “All this time, I thought that you just discarded me like I was worthless because of that stupid scarf. After everything we’ve been through, I thought that you only pushed me away because of your mate.’
“I do have a mate, Nina,” he said. “But you have a scent, too. And it makes me lose control around you.”
“So you’re saying we could be mates,” I whispered, “if it wasn’t for your father”
Enzo paused for a long time. The tension between us fell thick and heavy on the room, and it told me everything that I needed to know: Enzo wasn’t certain enough about me to claim me as his mate. Because of a scarf, even if his father wasn’t making these threats, he still wouldn’t know if he really wanted me.
More tears streamed down my cheeks. I began to shake my head. “You have to go–”
Suddenly, my door flung open. Enzo
jerked his head up with wide eyes. I spun around to see my mother storming up to me with fury written across her face and, even more shockingly, a baseball bat in her hand.
“Mom, it’s okay,” I said, trying to block her from Enzo. “He’s a friend.”
She wasn’t listening. She gritted her teeth and pushed past me, putting
herself between me and Enzo, and
protectively blocked me with her body
as she pointed the baseball bat at Enzo.
“I know who you are and why you’re here,” she growled. “Get away from my daughter before I kill you.”