#Chapter 56: Portal
“What?” he said. “I’m not gonna leave you out here.”
I cocked my shotgun as the yellow eyes continued to stare at me from the darkness, accompanied by the sound
of a deep, horrifying growl.
“You have to run, James,” I said, raising the barrel of the gun to point it at the creature in the forest. “Get Enzo.”
James grabbed my arm. “C’mon,” he begged. “It’s not safe!”
“Go NOW!” I yelled, spinning around and pointing the gun at him, tears in my eyes. James threw his hands up in surrender and backed away, then turned on his heel and ran off toward the camp.
Chapter 56 Portol
I turned back toward the creature, which was now emerging from the woods; it was a werewolf.
Not a rogue like the one I saw that night when I was running from Luke, though. Instead of some mangy, mutt- looking creature that appeared half human, this one was a huge, brown wolf that towered several feet over me. Its paws were bigger than my head, and the teeth that it bared were at least five or six times as big as the one that K had shown me around his neck in the coffee shop.
Had he even truly shown me a werewolf tooth, or was it all a lie?
My hands shook as I pointed the gun at the werewolf.
“Stay back!” I yelled, backing away. It only continued to approach me, saliva dripping from its massive mouth.
Suddenly, the giant wolf pounced.
#Chester 58 Portol
Instinct took over. I shot the gun, the recoil slamming me hard in the shoulder and sending me to the ground in agony. The wolf yelped in pain; I just barely managed to roll out of the way before it fell on top of me, blood pooling on the ground beneath it.
It was dead.
Or, so I thought.
The wolf began to shift, massive legs and paws turning into human hands and arms and legs, its fur disappearing to reveal…
I gasped and scrambled to my feet, backing away. He groaned and rolled onto his back, clutching his chest. I watched in horror as the hole where the bullet had buried itself in his chest began to close.
“You’re such a fucking idiot, girl,” he growled as he healed, standing and walking toward me as if he hadn’t just Chapter be Portal
had a silver bullet shot straight into his chest. I kept the muzzle of the gun focused on him, but as he approached me, I went into too much shock to shoot again.
He walked up to me and grabbed the barrel of the gun, yanking it out of my hands with ease and throwing it to the ground several feet away as he cracked his neck.
“It’s gonna take more than one of those to kill me.”
He grabbed me by the hair and started dragging me into the woods. I tried to fight, but he was so much stronger than me even in his human form that I felt helpless. All I could do was scream and hope that Enzo would come for me.
K put his hand out flat in front of him like he was pushing on a wall and started whispering some strange incantation while I struggled against him.
Something started to happen that I couldn’t explain. It was small at first, but grew larger and larger; a big, swirling portal in front of us.
“Where are you trying to take me?” I cried, tears streaming down my cheeks.
K looked down at me with a maniacal look in his eyes. “Unfortunately, I was asked to bring you back in one piece,” he replied, hoisting me kicking and screaming up onto his shoulder like 1 was nothing but a sack of potatoes.
He put one foot in the portal.
This was it. I was going to be whisked away to another dimension for all I knew, and I had no idea what was going to happen to me. No one would be here in time, and there was nothing I could do about it.
Just like how instinct kicked in when I shot the gun, instinct kicked in again,
but in a slightly different way.
I wrenched my head around and bit K as hard as I could in the neck.
“Fuck!” he cried out, dropping me as blood gushed out of his neck. I spat out a wad of blood and flesh on the ground, scrambling to my feet and starting to run away.
The portal started to close.
“Get back here, you bitch!” K yelled, grabbing my ankle and sending me to the ground. I hit my head on my way down and my vision blurred, but I kicked and clawed with all my might and somehow kept him from dragging me away long enough for Enzo to make it.
“Get off of her, asshole!” Enzo’s voice called.
I looked up from my thrashing to see him running toward me. With the moon shining above him, he looked like a dark angel coming to my rescue. I reached my hand out toward him,
Chapter 56 Portol
sobbing as K continued to drag me toward the portal. I felt my foot go in… It was strange, and cold.
Enzo leaped forward and grabbed my
hand, pulling me toward him with all
his might and releasing me from K’s
strong grip just as the portal closed.
I fell on top of Enzo, heaving and sobbing into his shirt with the taste of blood in my mouth.
“I thought- I thought-” I stammered, but Enzo only held me and stroked my hair, rocking me back and forth.
“Shh,” he said. “It’s okay. I got you. He’s gone.”
I looked up at Enzo then. He wiped away my tears and the blood on my mouth.
“I bit him,” I whispered.
He nodded, rubbing my back. “I know. You did good.”
Enzo held me there for a while longer #Chapter 58 Portol
then eventually stood and carried me back to the camp in his strong arms. The feeling of his heartbeat against my body as he held me calmed me; I was a bit disappointed when he set me down by the fire pit when we arrived back at camp.
“Where is everyone?” I whispered, surprised to see that everyone seemed to still be in their tents. Hadn’t they heard the screaming and the gunshot?
“An old Lycan trick,” Enzo said softly. “In the morning, they’ll wake up and won’t remember a thing after we all went to bed.”
I nodded, relieved at least that I wouldn’t have to explain werewolves to my friends that night. I turned toward Enzo and looked up at him.” I’m sorry,” I whispered. “I thought it was you who killed that man… I should’ve trusted you more.”
“It’s alright,” he said softly. “Do you
trust me now at least?”
“Yes,” I replied, nodding. “But I have to ask: did you plan on hurting the man who drugged me?”
Enzo was silent for several moments before answering. “I don’t know what I was planning,” he said. “I had Luke take him out here and put him under a spell to make him sleep until I figured out whether I wanted to turn him in to the police or let my father deal with him. I did want to hurt him, but I chose not to.”
“What changed your mind?” I asked.
“You,” he replied, gently touching my cheek for a moment. “I have a lot to learn from you, Nina Harper.”
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