#Chapter 148: A Fresh Trail
Luke frowned and shook his head. “No … I thought she was with you.”
I felt my heart sink. Had something horrible happened to Nina, or had she gotten away somehow? If Tiffany was dead… What if Nina was dead, too?
“I have to find her,” I said as I tried to keep my head clear despite my pounding heart. “Sh-She could be hurt
Suddenly, Lisa chuckled. “She’s not hurt,” she snarled. I felt my hands curl up into fists as I slowly turned to face Lisa, who was still being held by Matt and Bryce, and I stormed up to her and grabbed her around the neck.
“Where is she?” I growled. “What did
you do with her?”
“It’s not necessarily what I did with her,” she said, grinning slyly. “I was just a little helper. Edward, on the other hand…”
My eyes widened. “Edward took her?”
Lisa nodded slowly. “You’re too late, though. He’s in the werewolf realm. She’s probably with The Sister now, anyway.” She looked so pleased with herself it made me want to throttle her, but I didn’t. I controlled myself and released my grip around her neck, stepping back and passing a hand over my face. I would have to find a way to open a portal, but… I didn’t know how. I’d never done it before.
“Luke,” I said suddenly, spinning to face him. “Can you open a portal?”
He stood, pursing his lips. “I can. It’ll sap a lot of my energy, and it’ll probably turn me back into a skeleton, but… I’ll do anything for Nina.”
I watched gratefully as Luke began to open the portal. Meanwhile, I called over my shoulder to the others. “Make sure these two don’t go anywhere,” 1 said. “I promise I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
“Take all the time you need,” Matt said, holding the wriggling Lisa like she was nothing in his arms. “Just bring our Nina back safely.”
I nodded, managing a weak smile. Luke finished opening the portal, and we stepped through.
When we came out the other side, we were still standing in the abandoned barn, but only without the others here. Luke came with me, closing the portal behind us. When I looked over at him, I saw that he had returned to his old skeletal self-which was a shock after getting used to seeing him with flesh recently.
“I’m really sorry,” I said. “I’ll find you
Luke shook his head. “Don’t worry
about it. Finding Nina is more
Thankfully, as we walked out of the barn and began to head back to the area where I’d last seen Nina, I was able to pick up her faint scent. It was much stronger now, which was strange, but it didn’t matter; all that mattered was that I would find her soon, and would hopefully find her before it was too late. I needed to find this ‘Sister’ too and be done with whoever she was for good.
The longer we followed the trail, however, the more I began to realize that there was something slightly different about this scent. I couldn’t quite place my finger on it, but I decided to keep going anyway. Soon enough I was bound to find some sort of clue as to Nina’s location. We came to the spot where the tunnels normally would have been, then followed the faint scent from there until finally, we came out to a road.
Shh. Wait.” Luke suddenly stopped in his tracks and put his bony finger to where his lips would normally be, then fell silent. I stopped as well, straining. my ears…
And then an all too familiar scent overwhelmed my senses. It wasn’t Nina, but rather… It was Edward. He stepped out of the bushes, silent as a wraith, with an evil grin on his face.
“Long time no see, Mr. Rivers,” he said from a distance. I felt my heart pulsate angrily. My vision blurred for a moment as I pictured myself charging at him and killing him for everything horrible he’d done, but I restrained myself because he was the only link I had right now to where Nina was.
“Where is she?” I asked brusquely.
Edward raised an eyebrow. “Who?”
“Don’t play stupid with me, asshole,” I growled. “Where’s Nina?”
“Ah! Her!” Edward replied. His nonchalance made me want to choke him. “She’s gone now. The Sister has her. But you’ll never find her, and I certainly won’t let you try.” As he spoke, he began to shift. I took a step back, curling my hands into fists as I watched his human form fade away, replaced with the big, black wolf form from my nightmares. As he shifted, my mind flickered back to how he’d almost killed Nina in the tunnels, but I shook my head to get those images out as he raised his hackles and growled menacingly.
“Go,” Luke murmured, stepping in front of me. “I’ll handle him. Just go and find Nina.”
“You can’t take him on your own,” I said. “He’ll rip you to shreds.”
Luke only shook his head. “I said, go. Now!”
Before I could protest, Edward leaped into the air for me. But Luke was quick and he whispered some sort of
incantation that pushed Edward back and slammed him to the ground with an invisible force. I wanted to stay and fight, but I knew that he was right; I had to find Nina before it was too late. As Edward stood and attempted to
charge at Luke again, only to be blasted backwards once more from the force of another spell, I raced away as fast as I could in the direction of Nina’s scent.
The last thing I heard as I ran away was a lone howl escaping Edward’s throat.
I wasn’t sure how long I ran for. I ran as fast as my legs would carry me, following the scent all the while, until I was certain that I had put enough
distance between myself and Edward. I prayed that Luke came out victorious, but neither he nor Edward caught up to me. Finally, I slowed down to catch my breath and leaned against a tree, feeling my chest heave from the exertion as my lungs struggled to take in air.
As I leaned with my eyes shut, the forest was quiet… Too quiet, in my opinion, but I didn’t have time to wonder at it and took one last deep breath before picking up my pace again. The scent was getting stronger now I was sure of it. Soon, I was certain that I would find Nina and take her home safely, but I couldn’t deny the horrific images of what might have happened to her that lingered at the back of my mind.
As I began to walk again, however, 1 was alerted by the first sound I’d heard in a while. It wasn’t the sound of wind, or any forest animal.
It was the sound of a portal opening behind me.
I spun around, my eyes wide as I prepared to fight Edward – but it wasn’t him. It was my father.
“Dad?” I said.
He only offered a grim look in response that made my stomach drop.
“Come with me, Enzo.”
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