#Chapter 132: Morning After
I woke up the next morning to the feeling of a pounding in my head from all of the alcohol, but more
importantly, I woke to the sound of birds singing outside and the feeling of thick, warm arms wrapped around me. A smile spread across my lips as I rolled over and nuzzled into the muscular chest that lay beside me. I laid there for a while, listening to the sound of Enzo’s steady breathing as the memories of what happened the night before slowly flooded back into my mind.
The memories were still hazy from the alcohol, but I remembered dancing at the bar with Enzo. I remembered him kissing me as we danced, and then I remembered the feeling of his hand in mine as we snuck out of the bar
together and walked back to my dorm. He tried to say goodnight to me at the
door, but I pulled him inside and brought him up to my room, where we fell into a night of passion together for the first real time since the night that we first met and hooked up — only now, after all of the tension and the conflict, it felt even better to be with him.
Just then, Enzo shifted next to me and opened his eyes. I smiled up at him and planted a kiss on his cheek.
“Good morning,” I said softly.
He stared at me for a moment, seemingly processing the events of the previous night just as I did, but his reaction was much different from mine.
He suddenly removed his arms from around me and abruptly got up out of the bed.
I sat up, my eyes wide.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“We shouldn’t have done that,” he muttered as he searched for his pants and then pulled them on. “That was a really bad idea.”
My heart started to ache. I knew it was a bad idea, and so did he, but… I had thought that he was willing to make that mistake so we could be together. I climbed out of bed then and ran over to him as he pulled his shirt on over his head.
“I thought you were okay with it,” I said, my eyes frantically searching his face. “I thought you wanted to sleep with because you cared about me.” me,
“I do care about you, Nina,” he replied. As he stared down at me, there was a look of pain in his brown eyes that traveled far deeper than the surface. “That’s why it was such a mistake. By sleeping with you, I’m only putting you in danger.”
I frowned and shook my head. “Forget about all of that,” I pleaded. “Can’t we just enjoy one night together? Can’t we just have one night of not thinking about the consequences, and just be together?”
Enzo went silent. I felt as though my entire world came crashing down on me at that moment, and I didn’t even care as I felt tears begin to stream down my cheeks.
“Please, Enzo, I begged. “Just talk to me. I’ve been hearing my wolf and feeling her presence; I know she’ll emerge soon. I can feel it. We could be mates, and then nothing else would matter.”
Enzo’s eyes widened as he stared down at the ground. I watched, silently pleading him to say something, anything, but he didn’t say a word for the longest time. It felt like an eternity as I stood there, just wishing that everything could be different.
Finally, after several long moments of tense silence, Enzo lifted his gaze from the ground to look at me. “I made a
deal with my father,” he said, his voice
barely above a whisper. “I promised 1
would go through with the arranged marriage and that I wouldn’t get involved with you, and in exchange, he promised that he wouldn’t hurt you or your family, and that your mom and your brother could come home.”
I felt a sob start to come, but it caught in my throat.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I choked out.
Enzo merely stared back down at the floor and shook his head. “I care about you more than anything, Nina,” he said. “I do want to be with you. But… This person he wants me to marry is extremely powerful and important, and I don’t have a choice. If I say no, and if I try to be with you, not only would I run the risk of hurting you in the future when I inevitably start to search for my fated mate, but I will also run the risk of you, your family,
and my family getting hurt.”
Now, I was the one who fell silent. of course he was right. Being together would only put our loved ones, and ourselves, at risk. But, at the same time, I couldn’t take no for an answer. I could feel my wolf’s presence inside of me, and she was willing me to try harder.
“Who is she?” I asked.
Enzo didn’t answer.
“I can’t tell you, Nina,” he said solemnly. “Just trust me when I say that I’m only doing this for your own good.” He paused for a moment, his eyes slowly raising back to me. The look of pain in them was even deeper now, and all I wanted to do was pull him in and hug him tightly and never let him go. “I think it’s best if we keep our distance from now on,” he said quietly. “I don’t think either of us can control ourselves around each other. If we get too close again, it’ll only make it worse. Goodbye, Nina,”
“No. Enzo” 1 called after him as he brushed past me. I tried to grab his arm, but he wrenched away from me and slipped out through the door without another word.
When I heard the door close, I fell to the ground in a heap and began to sob uncontrollably. Why did it feel as
though the universe wanted us to be apart so badly? When we first met, I’d spent so much time running from his advances and relentlessly puzzled over the reasons behind why it seemed that the universe wanted nothing more than for us to be together, but now it was entirely different. Every step of the way, all we encountered were obstacles to our relationship.
First, it was Lisa who tried to push us apart. Then, it was my inability to trust Enzo. After that, it was Ronan, and Enzo’s father, and now it was fate itself that seemed to be keeping us apart.
Was all of this just punishment for how much I’d pushed him away in the beginning? Would I always live to regret pushing him away?
Or, maybe it wasn’t punishment at all. Maybe I was just doomed to spend my life alone, loveless, just as I thought since high school.
But at the same time, there was a tiny shred of me that wanted to continue to fight for Enzo’s love. That shred was getting smaller by the day, but it was still there — and our night of passion made it just a tiny bit bigger.
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