Chapter 208: Plan B
I wasn’t entirely sure what happened that night after Matt, Lori, and Jessica came to my rescue. I was too drunk and shaken up from the ordeal, leaving my head feeling foggy and out of whack. All I remembered was going home and getting into bed, and thankfully, 1 didn’t wake up in the forest again that night.
However, I did wake up
unceremoniously to the sound of someone tapping on my window.
As I cracked my tired eyes open, the first thing that came to my attention was a splitting headache from the alcohol. After that, I realized what – or rather, who window. was tapping on my
I groaned when I saw him and slowly sat up. I was, of course, happy to see that my friend had returned from his mission to test out the antidote, but I was so hungover that every movement made me feel like I was going to vomit.
In fact, by the time I opened the window and let him in, I could already feel the vomit bubbling up in my throat and just barely made it to the bathroom in time before it spilled out.
When I was finished, I groaned once more and flushed the toilet. I stayed seated where I was on the floor in case I would throw up again, which was bound to happen, and leaned my head back against the wall behind me. A thin coating of sweat had formed on my face, causing my bangs to stick to my forehead uncomfortably.
“Geez,” Luke said, approaching me cautiously with a disgusted look on his face. “You look like shit. What happened?”
“Gee, thanks,” I muttered, shutting my eyes; even the dim glow of my bathroom night light was too bright for my eyes and made my headache even worse. “Drank too much last night.”
I heard Luke sigh, then felt his hand pat my head a few times. When I cracked my eyes open again, I could see him staring down at me with that same grossed-out look on his face. His arm was out straight in front of him as he tried to comfort me by patting my head, as though he didn’t want to get any closer. I didn’t like the sight or smell of vomit, either, so I understood his caution. Being an undead skeleton also meant that he hadn’t experienced normal bodily functions in over a hundred years.
“So… How did it go?” I asked, referencing the test on the antidote.
Luke grinned. “It worked perfectly,” he said. “I was able to cure several people, actually. There were some safe houses with other survivors that were set up in the town I went to, so the people I cured went there for now.”
I couldn’t help but smile through my pain. “Good,” I replied. “I guess I can make more now. How many survivors were there?”
“Quite a few, actually,” Luke replied. ” Granted, it was only one town that I visited and there are five others; there are also rogues roaming the countryside. On my way back, I saw a couple of packs of them roaming awfully close to Mountainview. It’s only a matter of time before they work their way back in here and bite more people.”
I nodded, swallowing hard despite the soreness in my throat. “The hockey team is patrolling the outskirts for now,” I said. “But we’ll need to make more of the antidote fast before it gets out of hand again.” I glanced at the digital clock on my bedside table and saw that it was only four o’clock in the morning, and with another groan, I pushed myself to my feet and shuffled past Luke to my closet.
“What are you doing?” he asked as I began to rifle through my closet for a pair of jeans and a sweater. “You’re not going now, are you?”
“I have to,” I replied. “I need to get this antidote ready. If I work fast, I can have a huge batch of it done by the end of the day.”
Luke frowned and came over to me. He
grabbed my wrist just as I was reaching
for my hat and stopped me.
“You need to rest,” he said. “You can’t mix anything if you’re sick like this. One day won’t make a difference.”
I shook my head. “You don’t get it. I need to do this. It’s the one thing I can’t fail at.”
Just then, Luke cocked his head and furrowed his brow. “What do you mean?” he muttered.
A tear came to my eyes, and I quickly blinked it away. I pulled my wrist away and sat on the edge of my bed, staring down at my feet as I tried to think about how to broach the subject of what happened with Enzo at the party.
“I fucked up last night,” I whispered, a sob heaving in my chest and causing me to lose my breath for a moment. “I couldn’t make Enzo remember me. I tried, but… I failed. Selena must have strengthened her spell on him.”
“So try again,” Luke insisted.
Now, I couldn’t stop myself from crying. Through my tears, I shot Luke an agitated look, but he only stared back at me unwaveringly with his arms folded across his chest.
“Selena is probably going to take him away now that I tried.” I paused, feeling another sob catch in my throat, and balled my hands up into fists as I dug my fingernails into my palms. “It’s too late. He probably already told her everything and she’s gonna open a portal and take him away.”
Luke scoffed incredulously. “Seriously,
Nina?” he said, sounding annoyed. ” You’re giving up that easily? What happened to the stubborn girl I know?”
“What?” I whispered, wiping my nose with the back of my hand.
“You’re giving up too easily,” Luke replied sternly. “You only tried once, and sure, you failed. But you can try again.”
“But what if she leaves with him before I get the chance?” I asked.
Luke shook his head and sighed. “ That’s what friends are for, dummy,” he replied. “While I was gone, I ran into a witch. She was kind of cute, actually…. But that’s beside the point. What I’m trying to say is that I told her about you and Selena, and she said she’d help us.”
“Help us how?” I whispered.
“Well, not only did she teach me a little hex that I can put on Selena to keep her from opening portals, but you mentioned that your wolf has been missing, right?”
I nodded, thinking back to what
happened in the alley the night before. In fact, even now I could still feel a bit of my wolf’s presence. Did Luke and the witch manage to find my wolf somehow?
“She mentioned that it might be a curse that’s making your wolf go dormant. Now, I’m not sure if it worked, but she did some kind of ritual, and she said it should help a little bit. At least for now. Eventually, you’ll have to find the witch that put the curse on you to begin with if you want to break it, but it should help a little. Have you noticed anything different?”
“Last night, I felt my wolf’s presence,” I replied. “I was able to take some of her strength when I needed it. My eyes glowed. And… I could pick up Enzo’s scent, even from far away.”
Luke grinned again and splayed out his hands in a manner as if to say “See?”
“So… The witch was able to alleviate some of the curse?” I murmured.
Luke nodded. “Yup. Sounds like it. For now, at least; like I said, you can’t lift the original curse without finding the witch who laid the curse, and you probably won’t be able to restore your wolf fully until that point, but what matters is that you were able to get enough power from your wolf to pick up Enzo’s scent. Which means…”
My eyes widened. “Which means that Enzo can pick up my scent,” I replied, standing.
Luke only smiled. I couldn’t help but smile too, and found myself throwing my arms around him and hugging him tightly. Maybe, if I could use my scent to bring Enzo close to me, it could break this stronger spell that Selena put on him; not only that, but if Luke really could put a hex on Selena to keep her from opening a portal, then that would buy me more time.
Now, for the millionth time in my life, I was so happy to have such amazing friends. It was crazy to me to think that I had made friends with a talking skeleton, but it filled me with joy nonetheless.
I only needed to wait now for Enzo to pick up my scent and come to me. Then, I was certain he would be able to remember me.
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