#Chapter 164: Night Shift
After we ate, it seemed that the Crescents weren’t too hot on our trail, so we decided to rest. Some of the team was already fast asleep on the couch or the floor, but the others eventually joined them. Enzo and I, however, volunteered to take the first shift keeping watch in case the Crescents showed up.
While everyone got comfortable and settled down to get some rest, Enzo and I set up a couple of kitchen stools by the window and kept watch.
The two of us sat in silence for a long time while we watched out the window for the Crescents. I noticed that he wouldn’t stop holding my hand, which filled me with a sense of security- but he also barely looked at me and wouldn’t tear his eyes away from the window for even one second, and his grip on my hand was firm.
Finally, after watching him like this for a while, I decided that there had to be something more to his anxiety than just the Crescents. The Enzo I knew would of course be alert for the Crescents and the rogues, but not like this. Something else was clearly going on, and I was determined to find out
what it was. “Enzo,” I said finally, breaking the silence but still keeping my voice low so as not to wake anyone else.
“Hm?” he asked, still staring intently out the window. He was hardly even blinking, and it made me even more worried to see his eyes slowly turning red from the strain.
“Um… How did you wind up getting away from Selena?” I asked.
Enzo didn’t answer for a long time. I began to think that he wasn’t going to answer; just as I opened my mouth to ask him again and prod him to tell me what happened, he finally answered. When he did, his voice was low and almost sounded choked.
“My dad helped me,” he finally said. ” He opened a portal for me.”
My eyes widened. “Your dad?” I asked incredulously. “What changed? I thought he wanted you there.”
Enzo shrugged and shook his head. He was still staring out the window, but did throw a glance in my direction.” When he saw Selena, he realized that you’re twins,” he said. “You’re the lost princess. I guess that means that the Alpha King might be happy to have you back, and maybe…”
My eyes widened even further. I could feel my heart leap out of my chest, racing a mile a minute. Did this mean that Enzo wouldn’t have to go through with the arranged marriage if I was the Alpha King’s lost daughter? Did Selena and I have the same mate because we were twins?
Before I could ask, however, Enzo
spoke again. “But right before I went
through the portal, Selena found us,”
he said, his voice barely above a
whisper. “I don’t think that she has the capacity to kill someone, but… I’ll admit that, even after everything, I’m worried for my dad.”
“He is your father,” I said gently, squeezing Enzo’s hand. “We’ll make sure he’s okay. I promise.”
Finally, Enzo tore his eyes away from the window and leveled his gaze with mine. He looked tired, as though he hadn’t slept in days; neither had I, now that I thought about it. All of us probably looked like death. The only things that kept me awake and moving all of this time were hope and adrenaline.
“It’s not only that,” he said suddenly, the momentary light fading from his eyes. “If Selena does something, like what she did to you, and my dad can’t tell the Alpha King about you… Then he’ll just think that I broke our
engagement and ran off. He’ll withdraw support. I worry what will happen to the town if that happens.”
My heart sank. Enzo was right: the town needed the Alpha King’s help against the crescents. II the tuumoons were taking this long to prepare to attack, I could only imagine what would happen if we didn’t have any extra support.
But then, suddenly, Matt spoke up from behind. I thought he had been asleep, but I realized now that he was wide awake. And, as I turned around, I realized that the rest of the team was awake as well.
“We don’t need any damn help,” Matt said, shaking his head. “We’ve got all the help we need right here. I think that we can save the town, and the campus, ourselves.”
Enzo and I fell into a shocked silence.
We shot each other a disbelieving glance. Before Enzo or I could respond, however, Jessica suddenly rushed forward and threw her arms around me tightly. “I want to become a werewolf so I can help,” she said, pulling away just enough so she could look into my eyes with an earnestness that made my heart fill with joy. “1 want to be useful.”
I didn’t know what to say; I was speechless. When I glanced over Jessica’s shoulder at Lori, Lori only nodded in agreement, as though they had already discussed this.
“A-Are you sure?” I asked. “Things will never be the same.”
“Things are already never gonna be the same,” Lori scoffed from behind Jessica. “At least let us be helpful somehow.”
“You can use your power on them,” Matt said. “There’s strength in numbers-”
“But I can’t,” I interrupted, shaking my head and blinking away the tears that began to form in my eyes. Something happened. I don’t know what exactly, but I don’t have my powers right now.”
A silence fell over the room when I finished speaking. When I glanced over at Enzo, he had a worried look drawn across his face, and I was certain that we were thinking the same thing: would my wolf ever return? Had something happened to my wolf when Selena had me trapped at that strange cabin? My wolf did appear very faintly, or so I thought, when I was sleeping after James shot me; that was why my leg was healed a little more than a normal human. But beyond that, I hadn’t felt her presence at all. It was almost as though keeping me alive after I got shot sapped the rest of my wolf’s energy, and after that, she disappeared entirely.
Suddenly, the sound of a low, mocking chuckle broke the silence. We all snapped our heads in the direction of the corner to see James staring down at his lap, laughing.
Enzo stood up abruptly and clenched his hands into fists.
“Something funny, asshole?” he snarled. I put my hand on Enzo’s arm to soothe him, but he didn’t even seem to notice.
James chuckled even louder, finally lifting his head to look at Enzo. When he did, I realized now that the James I once knew was gone; whatever
happened in between the initial werewolf leak on campus and now had changed him. Maybe the pressure of his father mixed with the horrors enacted upon the town by the Crescents finally pushed him off the deep end.
“I guess silver bullets really do work,” he said, his reddened, hollow eyes shifting over to me. “That sure nipped it in the bud, huh?”
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