#Chapter 83: Breaking Bread
“It’s been watching us,” Enzo said once we were a ways down the road, finally out of harm’s way of the shifter “I think it’s a Crescent. A spy, maybe.”
I shuddered and turned back around in my seat to face the front, my eyes wide as the image of the brown wolf was burned into my mind. The wolf had looked oddly familiar as it stood motionless in front of the pickup truck for what felt like an eternity, frozen in time. It was as if it was looking for us, watching us, waiting for the right moment, and I was grateful for Enzo’s quick thinking. I certainly recognized it as the wolf that had been staring at me from the woods the day before when I stood on the balcony at the lodge, but it was deeper than that. It felt more
familiar to me than just a single shifter sighting in the woods — as if I had known this world for months, years, even.
Aside from the image of the wolf’s yellow eyes and brown fur, something else was burned into my psyche, too… Not an image this time, but a smell.
“Did you smell that?” I said, scrunching up my nose at the distinct, strange odor. “Maybe it was just from hitting the brakes so hard. I don’t know 33
Enzo continued to drive down the road, but seemed to be keeping one eye on me at all times. When I looked over at him in the dim light of the surrounding sunset, concern was written across his face.
“What did it smell like?” he asked.
I shook my head and looked down at my lap as I fiddled with the hem of my red sweater. “I don’t know exactly. Nothing I’ve ever smelled.”
“It’s possible you were able to pick up the werewolf’s scent,” he replied. ” Maybe you really are one of us, after all.”
“I don’t know,” I replied, thinking back to the photograph that had gone mysteriously missing after my mom came to visit. It made me wonder,
again, if my mother knew something that she wasn’t letting on. Or, maybe it was just a coincidence that it
disappeared on the same day. Maybe I just misplaced it. I thought, then, back to the photograph of the old Hockey club that Tiffany showed me before, how my mother had been a part of that,
and how she had never even once mentioned to me that she had attended Mountainview University when she was my age.
Maybe my mother really was hiding a lot from me that I didn’t know about
I fell silent as we continued to drive down the winding country road. The town started to come into view. Biting my lip, I finally tore my gaze away from the white line on the side of the road and said what had been burning in my mind all day.
“About last night…”
Enzo shook his head. “It’s better not to talk about it. I know you’re a bit scared of the dark. We don’t have to say that it was anything more than that.”
I didn’t know what else to say, and by that point, we were already pulling into the grocery store parking lot. We
hopped out of the pickup truck and headed into the little country store to quickly buy the supplies I had on my list. Soon enough, the task at hand of preparing a huge feast and throwing a party at the lodge quickly outweighed both the tension between Enzo and myself as well as the shifter sighting,
and besides: if it really was just a Crescent spy, it couldn’t be that dangerous since the two factions had agreed to be peaceful… right? Or was it just wishful thinking?
Either way, I needed to distract myself, and preparing this feast would accomplish that.
As we walked together around the
small country store with a cart for our supplies, picking up bags of potatoes, meat for hamburgers, buns, snacks, and anything else we might need for the party, I began to feel almost like a real couple for the first time. If I really distanced myself from all of the drama and terror surrounding us, if I pretended that the Fullmoons and the
Crescents didn’t exist, and if I pretended that a werewolf hadn’t tried to drag me through a strange, spinning portal just a month earlier, I could
imagine that we were just a couple of
normal college students going grocery shopping for a party with our friends. I liked to think that Enzo craved that normalcy, too.
Enzo paid for the supplies before I could even get my wallet out, and soon we were on our way back to the lodge. The sun had gone down completely now, casting the forest that lined either side of the road into inky darkness, but as we pulled up to the lodge and saw the orange glow of the fireplaces and the candles inside, and heard the sound of music blasting on Matt’s portable speaker, suddenly I didn’t feel so afraid.
We made it back to the lodge just in time to start preparing dinner Matt helped Enzo and I to get the grill started, where we made a couple dozen burgers and lots of roasted potatoes for everyone The rest of the team found a few long folding tables in the lodge’s storage room and set them up with tablecloths and candles for the feast.
At eight o’clock on the dot, Jason and his team pulled up to the lodge with a couple of pickup trucks and came inside carrying twelve-packs of beer and bags of popcorn and chips. Soon enough, the table was laden with plates full of hot food, and both teams sat down and ate together in one big, smiling group.
“Thank you so much for this,” Jason said, raising his plastic red cup full of beer in a toast. “I know we’re supposed to be opponents, and opponents are supposed to hate each other, but you’ve been so kindhearted…” His eyes darted between Enzo and I. “Really, thank you. We won’t forget this. I won’t forget this.”
There was a bit of a silence at the end of Jason’s toast, as both teams were no doubt a bit baffled by Jason’s strange use of language Enzo and I, however, being the only others who knew about the Crescents and the Fullmoons,
couldn’t help but grin happily at the opposing captain’s speech and his subtle promise for friendship.
As we all began to eat and drink, the room filling with the sounds of talking and music and laughter, I looked over at Enzo with a smile on my face.
“Maybe making a Crescent friend wasn’t all that bad of a move,” Enzo’s voice echoed in my head, clearer than anyone else’s voice at the dinner party.
I only nodded subtly in response and happily bit into my burger.
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