#Chapter 223: The Alpha King’s Lineage
My friends and I jumped through the portal just before it closed. We came out on the other side in the dark forest, although we weren’t in the same location like the other times when I went through portals.
As we slowly sat up and got our bearings, Luke was the first to stand quickly and look around.
“I think I have a pretty good idea of where we are,” he said, pacing around. It was dark, so I flipped on the flashlight on my phone and stood. We didn’t seem to be in any particular location of note; it was nothing but forest all around. I was a bit amazed that Luke was able to tell where we were, because to me it looked like nothing but pine trees.
“Do you know which direction we need to go in?” I asked, to which Luke nodded and pointed ahead of us. “Let’s go, then. We don’t have time to lose.”
Lori, Jessica and Matt all nodded and followed. Luke walked at the front of the group alongside me as he guided us through the dark woods. I had no idea where we were going, but Luke seemed pretty sure of himself and I assumed that we would eventually find the Alpha King’s mansion.
I wasn’t sure exactly what I would do if we found Enzo and Selena. Admittedly,
I hadn’t thought much about it ahead of time. I was so preoccupied with preparing for our excursion and subsequently opening a portal that I didn’t spend the time to make a plan, and now it was very possible that we could stumble upon Enzo and Selena at any moment.
However, our way through the woods was slow. The darkness fell on us like a heavy blanket, and the canopy of trees was so thick that the light from the full moon only broke through at random intervals. Even our flashlights were only useful for a few feet in front of us, and none of us wanted to waste our batteries so early on in the journey. Not only that, but Luke kept making it extremely clear that having too many flashlights could give away our location to people who we might have wanted to be hiding from, and our clumsy progress was making a lot of noise in the quiet woods.
Finally, Luke stopped at the top of a small hill to let everyone catch their breath mostly Lori and Jessica – and looked around with an almost confused expression on his face.
I felt my heart sink as I watched his face.
“You don’t know where we’re going anymore, do you?” I asked.
Luke paused for a moment, looking embarrassed, before he finally shook his head. “It’s just so dark. I think I got us turned around at some point because everything looks the same in this goddamn forest.”
I gritted my teeth. But I couldn’t be mad at Luke; it was dark here, darker than the forest back in Mountainview. It almost felt as though there was some sort of dark magic over these woods, like someone knew we were here and they wanted us to get lost. Or, maybe that was just what the werewolf realm was like at night. I didn’t know for sure.
Either way, now that we were here, 1 somehow felt more at peace than before. It was almost as if stepping through that portal changed the course of everything that was happening… Or maybe, I hoped silently, Enzo somehow escaped. If I was his mate, wouldn’t his safety bring me some peace even if I wasn’t beside him?
“Alright,” I said finally. “I guess we should stop before we just get more lost. Can we build a fire, at least?”
Luke looked around, squinting into the woods and pricking his ears to listen before he nodded. “Yeah. I think it’ll be okay. I don’t sense anyone around.”
Lori and Jessica let out a small sigh of relief and dropped their bags down on the ground. To be fair, it was late and we had all hardly been getting any sleep as of late. We needed the rest, and we needed to eat.
Matt and I built a fire while the others kept watch, and soon enough we had a small fire going between all of us. We sat on the ground around the fire in a circle, eating granola bars and drinking bottled water.
“Hey, it’s kind of like that time we all went camping,” Matt said. ” Remember?”
Lori grinned. “Yeah, it is.” Her voice was dreamy and full of nostalgia. “That was a fun time. I mean, aside from the fact that Nina almost got kidnapped.”
I couldn’t help but blush a bit with embarrassment. During that trip, Enzo had dazed everyone and made them go back to sleep so they wouldn’t remember, but the truth of what really happened did eventually come out when I told my friends everything after I escaped from Edward’s lair. Lori and Jessica were a bit annoyed that I didn’t tell them sooner, especially when it happened right under their nose, but what was I supposed to do?
Either way, Matt was right. This was sort of like our camping trip, minus the music and the tasty food roasted over the fire and the lukewarm beer and…. Minus Enzo. James, too. I couldn’t deny the fact that I did miss James; at least, I missed the way that he was before he went insane. Although, despite everything that he did, I hoped that he was safe right now.
And I hoped that Enzo was safe, too.
But I had a good feeling. And at least now, while we rested and waited for dawn to come so we could see enough to keep moving, I could make a plan for if no, when we found Enzo.
Hopefully, when we found him, we would be able to open another portal and get him back into the human realm, even if we had to drag him through because Selena’s spell was too strong. We planned for Luke to put a hex on Selena to keep her from opening a portal of her own, and then we would get Enzo to a safe place where Selena wouldn’t find him.
I hated to say it, but we would have to take him to the tunnels. It was the only place on campus that we were all fairly certain Selena didn’t know about, and they were easy to protect. Once we got Enzo down there, we could try to break Selena’s spell. And after that… We would have to come back for Richard.
I wasn’t sure exactly what we would do once it came time to find the Alpha King. If Selena was truly as powerful as she seemed, and she had years to sink her teeth into his mind, there was no knowing exactly how strong the spell was on him. I could only hope that presenting myself to him as his missing daughter would break the spell. He was my father, after all, and even though I had never met him, I had faith that he would recognize his own daughter.
But of course, there was still the issue of Selena discovering our plan and stopping us before we could accomplish any of those things.
And my friends didn’t know this, but I already had a plan set in place just in case that happened.
I would have to kill Selena. And there was a good chance that I would die along with her, because when we were going through the portal, I had a strange premonition…
That premonition showed me something. It showed me the truth behind why the Crescents weren’t able to kill me as a baby. And it wasn’t a protection charm, or anything like that. It was something deeper.
It was the power of the twin bond.
If one of us died, then so must the other.
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