#Chapter 183: Stood Up
“Don’t worry,” Luke said from across the table as he squeezed my hand gently. “We’ll find Enzo. I promise.”
Luke’s kind words were a comfort, but even so, I had no way of getting to Enzo. “I don’t know anyone who can open a portal,” I said, “and before you offer, I’m not gonna let you lose your disguise again just so you can do it for me. I know how happy it makes you to not have to hide yourself and to be able to show expressions, so I won’t let you do it.”
Luke frowned and shook his head. “I could care less about looking like a human,” he insisted. “Finding Enzo is more important. If everything you said about that Selena girl is true, then Enzo could be in serious danger. How many days has it been now?
“Two,” I replied.
“Enzo would have come back by now if it was a simple matter of getting his dad and coming back. His dad’s an Alpha; he can open portals on his own. They would have been here by now.”
My friend’s words, although well- meaning, hit me like a ton of bricks and instantly made me feel as though I would cry again at any moment. “You really think so?” I whimpered. “You think Enzo is in trouble?”
Luke shook his head again. “I can’t be entirely sure. But we can find out. I promise; we’ll be in and out in no time, we’ll find Enzo and his dad, and we’ll come back.”
I sighed, thinking about this possibility. It was’ risky, but if my dreams about Enzo were true… If Selena really was controlling him and somehow making him forget about me Then I needed to find him. Maybe, if I walked right up to the Alpha King and showed him to his face that I was his lost daughter, then I could stop anything truly horrible from happening to Enzo. I just wished that I still had my wolf here to help guide me. I couldn’t even follow Enzo’s scent.
“Alright,” I finally said with a sigh. ”
Let’s do it.”
“Good.” Luke stood with a confident smile on his face. “First thing in the morning, at sunrise. Meet me out in the woods behind the hockey arena. Wear something dark with a hood, and shoes you can run in if you need to. Oh, and bring some supplies, just in case we need to travel a bit.”
I nodded. This was very sudden, and it was a lot to take in, but if it would help me bring Enzo home safely, then I would do whatever it would take.
“Can I bring Lori and Jessica?” I asked then..
Luke paused, biting his lip, then shook his head once more. “I think it’s best if we keep it to a minimum,” he said quietly. “I’m sorry.”
I sighed as I watched Luke leave; he seemed so full of vigor, as though he was almost too confident that this would work despite the fact that so many things could go wrong. But maybe, I thought to myself as I finished cleaning up the kitchen, it wouldn’t hurt to have such a positive outlook of my own.
That night, I explained everything to Lori and Jessica when I got home; we did promise, after all, that we would no longer lie or hide anything from each other, and I wanted them to know what was happening in case things didn’t turn out as planned.
“You’re doing what?” Lori asked, her voice practically a growl. “Are you insane?”
I sighed, staring down at the floor. My bag was already packed and sat by the door, waiting for me so I could just get dressed and leave first thing in the morning.
“Nina, it’s only been two days,” Jessica said, a bit more gently than Lori. “He’ll be okay. I think you’re jumping the gun a bit here.”
I shook my head and finally met my friends’ gazes. “No,” I insisted.” Something is wrong. I… I can sense it, somehow. I keep having these dreams that feel like omens. I have to look for him.”
“At least let us come with you. then.” Lori said with a frown as she folded her arms across her chest.
“I can’t let you guys go,” I replied. ” Luke and I need to be fast, and we need to get in and out without being seen. We can’t have too many people with us, and besides… If something happens, I need you two here so you can tell the Fullmoons what’s going on.”
There was a silence. I knew that my friends were royally pissed at me, but what could I do? Besides, I did have Luke with me. He fought off Edward on his own, and he could open portals. Plus, he knew his way around the werewolf realm well. I would be safe with him.
Finally, my friends seemed to understand.
“Alright,” Jessica said, sounding rather
reluctant. “But you have to swear that
you’ll come back. If you don’t, I’ll kill you.”
“And then I’ll kill you again,” Lori added, although there was a bit of a playful smirk on her face when I looked up to meet her gaze.
I nodded and hugged my friends tightly. “Thank you guys,” I said, blinking away the tears in my eyes. “I love you both.” a
Early the next morning, I made my way to the woods behind the hockey arena, just as Luke said. Lori and Jessica came along to see me off and keep me company while I waited.
But, as it turned out, we wound up waiting for a lot longer than we expected. Before I knew it, it was already an hour past the time that Luke was supposed to meet me. To top it all off, I had no way of contacting him or knowing where he went. Had he gotten- caught up with something? Did Myra or one of the other Fullmoons catch him and make him stop before he could open the portal for me?
“Um… Are you sure he’s coming?” Jessica asked, glancing at the time on her phone. “It’s been a while.”
I shifted my backpack on my shoulder and stood my ground. “He’ll come. He said he would.”
“Yeah, but…” Lori pushed herself off of the tree she was leaning on and came over to me. “Maybe he had a change of heart. Or maybe he decided to go by himself so you wouldn’t be in danger.”
Hot tears began to prick at the backs of my eyes. I pursed my lips and shook my head. “No,” I insisted. “He’ll come.”
Eventually, after another hour and a half of waiting, Lori and Jessica got tired of standing around for nothing and said their goodbyes before leaving onto the shred of hope that Luke would come and open the portal so we could find Enzo.
But he never came.
It was almost dark by the time I finally let go of that small shred of hope. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I slowly made my way back toward my dorm, cursing Luke in my mind for getting me all excited for nothing. Surely there had to be a reason for this. If not… Why would he stand me up like that?
As I walked across the quad, feeling the tears dry on my cheeks and the hope leave my body, I suddenly heard someone calling my name.
“Luke?” I whispered, jerking my head up excitedly.
But it wasn’t Luke. It was Justin.
“Hey, Nina!” Justin called, jogging up
- “I’m glad I found you. I wanted to me. to ask- Hey, is everything okay? You look like you’ve been crying.”
I blinked quickly and nodded, staring at the ground. “Yeah,” I lied. “I’m fine. What’s-”
But before I could finish speaking, Justin’s arms suddenly wrapped around me. I stiffened for a moment, feeling myself tense up beneath his touch.
And yet, for a brief moment, I couldn’t help but relax into his arms as he comforted me there on the quad.