#chapter 135: Running with the
When I came to, the first thing I saw was Enzo’s concerned face.
“Are you okay?” he asked, his eyes wrought with worry.
I groaned and looked around, noticing now that the rest of the hockey team was also bent over me and looking equally as worried. It took a few moments for my head to clear, but then I remembered that I had passed out during the Claiming ceremony.
“I’m fine…” I sat up, rubbing my throbbing head. “Did it work?”
Enzo paused, then looked around at his teammates, who all shrugged.
“I feel a little different,” one of them said. “Me, too,” another chimed in, looking at his hands with an expression of awe on his face.
Enzo helped me up. I looked around at everyone, then searched for Cora’s presence inside of me to ask her if she managed to do it — but she was asleep. It seemed that the ceremony drained her energy, too.
Suddenly, one of the teammates, Bryce, doubled over The rest of the team huddled around him in shock.
“Bryce, are you okay?” Enzo asked, furrowing his brow and going over to Bryce. I watched as Enzo put his hand on his teammate’s back with concern drawn across his face, and for a moment, I forgot that I was supposed to be angry with him for breaking my heart just a few days ago.
Bryce didn’t answer right away He groaned, holding his stomach, and muttered something indiscernible under his breath
“What did you say, buddy?” Matt asked
Bryce groaned again. “I said I think Something’s ”
Suddenly, and without warning, Bryce began to shift. The rest of the team scattered, yelling amongst themselves, but all of a sudden they, too, began to shift Enzo, Matt, and I stood nearby in awe Enzo stood in front of me protectively, which made my heart skip, but I wasn’t scared.
Once the team finished shifting they all stood around looking at each other as though they were processing what just happened. Then, they all turned to look inquisitively at Enzo and Matt
There was a long, palpable silence.
“Fuck yeah, baby!” Matt yelled, pumping his fist in the air. Enzo whipped around to face me and grinned. I felt my face go red as he grabbed me by both shoulders and shook me
“Nina!” he said, his face lit up like
never before. “You did it! You’re
My eyes were wide “I- I don’t–P
Before I could stammer out a response, Enzo turned back to face his team and said excitedly. “Come on! Let’s go for a run!” The team whooped and howled with excitement in response I staggered backwards out of the way as Enzo and Matt shifted, then watched in awe as they all took off into the woods as one unit. A pack
But then, Enzo stopped in his tracks He paused, thinking, then turned and ran back to me. My eyes widened even further as he trotted up to me and crouched down in front of me, his
silver fur glistening in the moonlight
“Get on,” his voice echoed in my head.
“Oh, that’s okay,” I protested, holding
up my hands and shaking my head.”
You guys can go without me.”
But Enzo didn’t budge
I felt a knot rise in my throat, but at the same time, a newfound excitement rose there, too. I felt a smile twitching at the corners of my lips as I approached Enzo, my heart racing. I reached out and took a deep breath, intertwining my fingers with his soft silver fur
Then, I climbed onto his back
He stood to his full height, and it was now that I realized just how big he was in his wolf form as I towered above the ground. He waited a few moments, allowing me to get my bearings. I held tightly onto his fur and leaned forward, the smile on my face widening
“Okay,” I said, my voice shaking with a mixture of fear and excitement. “I’m ready”
Enzo shot forward like a bullet. I leaned down further into his neck at first as he ran through the moonlit forest to catch up with his teammates, shielding my face from the wind and holding on for dear life. The longer we ran, however, I felt myself begin to relax. I slowly cracked my eyes open to see the forest
rushing past us as Enzo carried me through the trees, deftly weaving in and out. He ran smoothly, almost as though he was gliding, and soon I was able to sit up with a bit of confidence
The smile on my face grew even more I looked around at Enzo’s teammates as they all ran beside him; it reminded me so much of the day that we ran together during practice, only now, we moved as one single unit, and although I had no wolf form, I felt just as much a part of the pack as the rest
Suddenly, I saw a ravine up ahead. I felt my heart leap into my throat and I gripped Enzo’s fur again for dear life He wasn’t stopping, or even slowing down…
“Enzo,” I said, my voice shaking, but
he didn’t hear me
Did he see the ravine? If we didn’t stop.
we would surely fall–
But we didn’t
Enzo leaped over the ravine For what felt like an eternity, we flew through the air. I felt the wind rustling through my hair, and as we flew, I couldn’t contain the wild yell that bubbled up in my throat. Just a few moments ago I was terrified, but now I was taking my hands off of Enzo’s neck and holding my arms outstretched freely at my sides, my eyes closed and a smile spread across my face
I had never felt so free
Eventually, the wild run came to an end. We returned to the cabins, where Enzo let me slide down gently onto the ground before he and the rest of his teammates shifted back into their human forms. The entire team was exhilarated and panting from their run, chattering amongst themselves about the way their bodies felt.
“I really can’t thank you enough,” Enzo said, turning to face me
Much to my surprise, his face had reverted back to a look of somber contemplation. He averted his gaze, as did I as I felt my cheeks start to blush. While our wild run had temporarily made me feel free of the pain of our breakup, that feeling quickly returned now.
No problem, “Imuttered, sticking my hands in my pockets, “I should get home now, though.”
“I’ll walk you home”
My eyes widened at Enzo’s statement. I felt so confused by his behavior, just a few days ago, he had told me that we couldn’t see each other at all Now, he was offering to walk me home
“Um. That’s okay,” I replied, glancing over Enzo’s shoulder at his team as they talked and danced around the fire excitedly. “You should stay with your team’
Enzo opened his mouth to say something, but then closed it again and nodded soberly. I managed a weak smile before turning around and making my way back to the trail that would lead me back to campus.
As I walked that night, my heart was full of two things a renewed sense of vigor from our wild dash through the woods, and a deep and incurable pain caused by my love for Enzo.