#Chapter 172: The New Peacekeepers
That night, I hardly slept. Even though the campus had been saved, there was still so much left to worry about – primarily my father. If the Alpha King withdrew his aid, then that only meant one thing: he thought that I ran away entirely, and he didn’t know about Nina. If he didn’t know about Nina,
then that meant that Selena stopped my father from telling him in one way or another. I couldn’t be certain what, exactly, she did until I went back. And I would have to go back because, despite everything, I still loved my father. I couldn’t just leave him there if Selena did something horrible to him.
I just didn’t know how I would break that news to Nina. I knew that it would crush her for me to tell her that I would have to leave, and there was a possibility that I would come back
And no matter how much she cried or begged, I couldn’t let her come with me. It was too dangerous.
So, as she slept peacefully beside me that night, I laid wide awake until my body eventually gave up and drifted off to sleep because I didn’t know how I could break Nina’s heart like that.
The next morning, Nina, our new pack that Nina had dubbed the ‘New Peacekeepers’, and I all made our way over to the conference room for the meeting.
When we entered, Lewis, a few of the other Fullmoons, and dean Cynthia were already sitting at the table.
“Well, if it isn’t the New
Peacekeepers,” Lewis said, almost
condescendingly. I knew that he would be pissed at me for deciding to leave my dad’s pack, but I didn’t care. To me, my friends were more my pack than the Fullmoons ever were. My dad might be upset at first, but I knew that he would understand deep down.
“Come on in,” Cynthia said, standing and gesturing to the open seats around the table. “There might not be enough seats for everyone. Sorry about that.”
Nina, Matt, Lori and Jessica, and I all sat at the table while the rest of the hockey team stood nearby.
“Alright…” Cynthia sat back down in her chair and stared down at her hands for a few moments, processing, before she looked back up and addressed all of us. “Our priority, first and foremost, is this campus,” she said. “After that, the town. Now, Lewis and some of the other Fullmoons did a sweep yesterday and did find quite a few residents holed up in their homes. They’ve been informed that they need to stay in their houses until further notice, but supplies are on the way. We do need some volunteers to help clear debris from both the campus and the town, however. Any takers?”
Matt and the entire hockey team raised their hands instantly, almost in unison, as did Lori and Jessica. Meanwhile, much to my surprise, none of the Fullmoons volunteered at all. I cast Lewis a bit of a disbelieving glance, but he only stared daggers back at me.
“Great,” Cynthia continued. “We’ll start a cleanup crew as soon as this meeting is over. You guys can use the maintenance vehicles that belong to the school, and some residents offered their trucks to be used for hauling debris. Now… As far as the school goes, I’d like to get things back to normal as soon as possible. Classes will resume in a week; I know this seems too soon, but the most important thing is for the
students to feel a sense of normalcy amongst all of this chaos. Something to keep them occupied and motivated. Outside of class, we’ll be holding nightly rallies and counseling circles to anyone who needs them. The Fullmoons have offered to keep patrolling the entire perimeter of the town until Richard returns, so safety shouldn’t be a concern, but…”
“We have some extra vials of the antidote,” Nina chimed in. Her face went red as everyone turned to look at her. “…Just in case.”
Cynthia nodded. “Perfect. Do you have any idea if Tiffany left instructions on how to make more, or…?”
Nina shook her head. “I don’t know. I’m sure she did somewhere. I can look,”
I could tell that talking about Tiffanymade Nina upset. It made all of us upset -even Lewis and the other Fullmoons. I reached out underneath the table and took her hand in mine, squeezing it gently to offer a little bit of comfort.
Cynthia cleared her throat. “Nina, you knew Tiffany well, and you’re one of our best medical students on campus. You and James. I’d like you two to take on the task of trying to figure out how Tiffany made that antidote so we can make more if we need to.”
At the mention of James, my throat formed a knot. Nina’s hand tensed in mine, and the rest of my pack became somber.
“What?” Cynthia asked, her eyes searching our faces. “What is it?”
“It’s… James,” Jessica interjected.” He’s…”
Cynthia’s eyes widened. “Is he dead, too?”
Jessica shook her head. “No. But he sort of went off the deep end. He shot Nina and then he-” At this point, her voice choked up. Lori spoke up for her.
“He tried to kill Jessica yesterday,” Lori said. “He stole my car and ran off after that.”
“What?” Cynthia asked incredulously.” Why? He was such a sweet boy.”
“Not anymore,” Nina suddenly
The room fell silent. Cynthia stared down at her hands for a long few moments before finally taking a deep breath and nodding. “Okay then,” she said. “Well, Nina… If you think you can take care of the antidote yourself, we’d be grateful. But if it’s too much for you, that’s okay, too.”
Nina didn’t speak for a long time. She
stared down at her lap, seemingly
pondering. I gave her hand another gentle squeeze of encouragement, and
she finally looked up and managed a
weak smile. “I’ll try my best,” she said
“Great. Okay… I think that’s all we need to discuss as of right now,” Cynthia said, standing. I furrowed my brow, as did Nina; that was an incredibly short meeting for something that involved such a huge project. Even Lewis stood and began to walk toward the door.
“Is that it?” Nina suddenly asked. ” What about the surrounding towns? The Crescents spread out – last I heard, all of the towns within a fifty mile radius-“.
Cynthia only shook her head. “I’m afraid we can’t worry about that,” she said. “We need to focus on our school and our town first.”
“Those other towns can fend for themselves,” Lewis, who had been quiet this entire time, suddenly said. As he spoke, he stared at both Nina and I rather sternly, a far cry from the Beta who I had always known. It was almost as though the power of not having my father around was getting to his head. ” If you folks dealt with it on your own, then they can, too.”
Nina’s and my jaws both dropped, as did the rest of the team’s.
“You can’t be serious!” 1 said, standing and not caring that I was raising my voice. “Those other people don’t know what hit them! They probably have no clue what’s going on, no defenses-”
“Mountainview is our only concern.” Lewis was cold, indifferent. It made me sick.
“That’s horrible,” I insisted. “As the son of the Fullmoon Alpha, I order you
Lewis let out a wry, condescending chuckle. “You gave up any right to give orders when you decided to branch off and start your own little pack. While your father is gone, I’m in charge. Go ahead and do what you want, but the Fullmoons won’t back you up.”
I was too stunned to speak. And before any of us could even gather our thoughts enough to respond, Lewis turned on his heel and left with the other Fullmoons.