#Chapter 99: Finding Nina
Several days passed after my father found me in the hockey rink, and I didn’t see or hear from Nina. I didn’t particularly want to, either. In my mind, she was probably with Ronan. I knew I wasn’t supposed to feel negatively about it and that we were just supposed to be friends all this time, but how could I not? Even with the promise of the bride of the arranged marriage being my fated mate, I couldn’t stop thinking about Nina. I couldn’t sleep without imagining her small body curled up in my arms. I couldn’t close my eyes without remembering how beautiful she looked that day when I told my team about werewolves, and yet I was so angry and hurt by her refusal to admit her true feelings for me that I didn’t want to see her at the same time.
Maybe learning about the arranged marriage pushed her away from me, but it didn’t make the pain of her choosing Ronan over me hurt any less.
And as the days ticked on, the
memories of her going on that date to the fair with Ronan, of her entertaining Justin’s pleas for her to get back
together with him, of the way that she saved Ronan’s life even when he had just been trying to kill me… It all made me realize that I never truly had a chance with her to begin with.
I was sitting on my couch one night, drowning my sorrows in a bad scary movie and a cheese pizza, when I was suddenly alerted by the loud and abrupt sounds of someone banging
relentlessly on my door Cursing under my breath, I paused my movie and stood, peering through the peephole to see none other than Luke standing on the other side. His face was pressed up against the peep hole, as though he was trying to see through the wrong end. then he pulled away and started knocking even harder
Had Nina sent him to try to talk to me?
“Open the door, Enzo,” Luke said, banging on the door again. “I can see the shadow of your feet under the door, and I heard you watching that awful movie I know you’re in there.”
Sighing, I unlocked the door and swung it open. Luke pushed past me and stormed in, whirling around to face me in my kitchen.
“You’re eating pizza at a time like this?” he said incredulously
I furrowed my brow. “What are you talking about?”
“You don’t know?” he asked. “Nina just fucking disappeared”
“Yeah, she probably holed herself up in her dorm, or went back to stay with her mom for all I know,” I replied. “She’s probably just trying to get away from all of the social media bullshit until it passes. Either that, or she ran off into the sunset with her new boyfriend, Ronan.”
Luke passed his hand over his face and groaned. “I can’t believe you’re being so nonchalant about this,” he said, then walked up to me and took me by both shoulders, shaking me back and forth as he spoke. “Nina. Is. Gone. I would know if she just went home or is hiding in her dorm. She’s gone, gone. Like, poof into thin air gone, and the last person I saw her with was Edward.”
My eyes widened. “Fuck,” I muttered.
“Yeah, fuck is right, you big idiot,” Luke said. “We have to find her now, before that psycho does something horrible to her and does the same thing to her that he did to Justin.”
Panic started to set in. Sure, I was angry with Nina for what she did, but… I loved her. I knew I loved her, and I had to protect her As I ran around my apartment, throwing on the first clothes I could find, all I could think about was how much of an idiot I had been for assuming that Nina hadn’t actually been in serious trouble all of this time. It was almost as if whatever Lisa said to me at the party that night actually got in my head. Had Edward taught her some ability that I didn’t know about, or was I really just that stupid?
“If we hurry, we can get Edward before he leaves his office,” Luke said as I got dressed. “I’m not sure what we’ll do after that–”
I tugged my shoes on, racking my brain as to what we could do once we cornered Edward. He was powerful, but most of his abilities relied on his mind and not his body Between Luke and 1, maybe we could tackle him and knock him out before he had a chance to shift or use any of his hypnotic abilities.
I paused, then, realized how foolish all of this was. I turned to face Luke and shook my head.
“We can’t stand a chance against
Edward,” I said. “He’s too smart. He’ll be on the lookout for us, and he’ll know we’re coming.”
Luke frowned. “What do you suggest,
Again, I thought back to the night of the party, when Lisa had somehow convinced me that Nina was with Ronan of her own volition. Surely she had learned that from Edward, especially since he was the one who likely gave both her and Justin the Mad Wolf serum.
“I think I know someone who can give
us the information we need,” I said.
I found Lisa at her usual haunt that night. She always liked to hang out near the cabins where she could drink and do drugs freely, and had been spending even more time since she became a werewolf. She was sitting at the fire with her gaggle of friends when I arrived, like some sort of queen bee in her little kingdom made of lies and manipulation. If only these girls knew just how evil she truly was.
“Oh, look who it is!” Lisa said as I approached. “Who’s your cute friend, Enzo?” She was referring to Luke. I didn’t answer
“Lisa, I need to talk to you,” I said, stopping to stand in front of her
Lisa narrowed her eyes and hesitated
for a moment. I had a plan set in place
in case she refused to talk to me alone,
but thankfully, she stood.
“Lead the way,” she said with a smirk.
I walked over to one of the cabins and opened the door, letting her in ahead of me before going in after her. I kept myself between her and the door. She nonchalantly walked over to the bed and sat down as she twirled a bit of her hair around her finger.
“I’m assuming you didn’t come here for old times’ sake,” she said.
I shook my head and folded my arms.
“What is it, then?” she asked.
I knew that I couldn’t just blatantly ask Lisa where Nina was — she would never tell me outright. Instead, I had to at least try to pretend to be on her side.
“You were right about Nina,” I lied, employing some of my own persuasion abilities to help my case. I wasn’t entirely sure if it would work on her but I had to try “In fact, I’ve decided that I’ve spent far too long working on the wrong side.”
“Oh?” Lisa leaned back on her palms. As she did so, her skirt pulled up slightly to expose her thighs, which I could tell she did on purpose.
“Yes,” I replied, ignoring her pathetic attempt at seduction. “I know you’ve been working with Edward. He’s a crescent, right?”
“Something like that,” she said.
I walked away from the door and approached Lisa. As I did, I borrowed some of Fio’s power to help me convince her even further. Her eyes seemed to soften, which indicated that she was starting to believe me.
“I want to work with you,” I said. “My father is trying to force me into an arranged marriage, but I don’t want that…” I employed more of Fio’s power now. “…I want you, Lisa. But I think that only Edward can help me. I need him to teach me some of his abilities so
that I can take down my father.”
Lisa was silent for several long moments. She slowly looked me up and down, processing. I felt my heart start to race a bit as I urged myself to stay calm and collected.
Finally, she stood and grinned.
“I can bring you to him,” she whispered, leaning toward me and nibbling on my ear seductively. “Do you want me to show you?”
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