#Chapter 144: One Against Many
“Go, Nina,” I said. “I promise I’ll meet you at the cabins.”
Nina shot me a pained, exasperated look. I knew that she didn’t want me to stay and she wanted me to go with her. I wanted to go with her, too. But, I had to stay because I knew that if I didn’t do something and stop the rogues, then they would only keep chasing us and eventually corner us. There were only a few and I knew I could take them.
I swallowed the fear in my stomach and gave Nina one last shove up the ladder. She was reluctant at first, but she gave in when she realized the true urgency of the situation and that she would only put everyone in more danger if she kept hesitating. Once she was safely out of the tunnels, I slammed the hatch shut, turned around, and faced the group of rogues that were coming for me. I pushed the sounds of her sobbing and pleading out of my mind and shifted, feeling my wolf’s power surge through me, and lowered my stance to prepare to attack.
The first Rogue ran at me. it leaped at me, snarling and spitting, and as it flew through the air I came up beneath it and brought my paw up to slash under its belly. It fell behind me, whimpering.
I knew that these were our classmates. It pained me to hurt them, but what could I do? If I could at least injure them and force them to shift back, then they wouldn’t be able to hurt anyone else. With Tiffany’s medical skills and Nina’s healing abilities, I knew that no one would die today. One rogue had already been killed in the hockey arena by my own doing, and I was determined not to let that happen.
Another rogue leaped at me. I dodged, sliding out of the way as best as I could in the narrow tunnel, just barely managing to get out from under it before it slammed into me. As it landed behind me, I bolted forward and burst through one of the doors into a nearby room to give myself some more space.
The rogue scrambled to follow me. I watched as it skittered in through the open doorway, drooling all over the floor and growling at me with its sickly yellow eyes focused on me.
“Go on,” I thought. “Attack me.”
And it did. It lunged at me again, but I was prepared, and I leaped over it. As I did, I swung myself around and clamped my jaws around the scruff of its neck. When I bit down, hard, blood splattering everywhere, I heard it whimper and felt it become weak underneath me, almost as though it was cowering.
Then, it began to shift. It slowly turned back into a human, and as it did, 1 released my grip and stepped away.
My eyes widened as the girl who was revealed was someone who I knew very well.
She was unconscious. Her neck wound wasn’t terrible, and with her own natural healing powers caused from becoming a rogue, she would heal in time but that didn’t make me feel any less guilty for what I did.
But I didn’t have time to stay. I heard more rogues coming down the hall, and I’d have to deal with them.
As I fought, all I thought about was Nina. I didn’t care about anything else; not the Crescents, not the Fullmoons, not my mate or my father. I only thought about Nina, picturing her soft face with tears streaming down her cheeks as I pushed her up through the hatch. I thought about how her lips felt on mine earlier when she had to run to find Tiffany, and how I had waited anxiously by the door the entire time, prepared to go out there and look for her if she didn’t return soon. I thought about how brave she’d been through all of this. Even during the darkest of
times, her kind spirit never faltered. She was like an angel in my eyes, and 1 knew that I had to keep my promise to return to her, just as she had kept her promise to return to me when she ran to find Tiffany.
I loved her, and when all of this was over, I was going to back out of the
arranged marriage no matter what my father said. I would run away with Nina if I had to, because I only wanted to be with her. It no longer mattered whether I met my fated mate or not; if Nina’s wolf truly was going to emerge soon, then we could mark each other, and it wouldn’t make a difference anymore
That love kept me going 1 fought tooth and nail against the onslaught of rogues, slowly working my way through each and every one until I eventually found myself standing amongst piles of unconscious students as they shifted back into their human forms for the time being
Finally, the last roge was apprehended. I shifted back, panting, and leaned against the wall of the tunnel as sweat dripped down my forehead and the back of my neck. Everything was quiet now, with each bite, I had released a little bit of my dazing ability, allowing me to put each and every one of the students in a temporary sleep. It weakened me greatly, but at least now I would have time to find Tiffany again and come back to administer the antidote.
When I finally caught my breath, I slowly stepped over the unconscious bodies of my classmates. I recognized many of them – Justin was amongst them as well, just as Nina had implied earlier and averted my eyes from those I did know, especially Lori. When I reached the ladder and found the first rogue that I’d injured, I realized that it was Jessica
At least we knew where they were now. I was certain that Nina would be overjoyed to find her friends, although I still didn’t know where Luke had gotten off to, and I was also certain that she would no doubt be asking about that little weasel, James. I hadn’t seen him since we found his letter from his father that day; maybe he was too busy now having a field day killing werewolves, since the campus was crawling with them. Or maybe, just maybe, he also wound up getting turned into a rogue in some sort of twisted, Kafkaesque way.
I gently moved Jessica out of the way, setting her down next to Lori, then climbed up the ladder and pushed the hatch open.
But as I did, the smell of something all too familiar came to my senses.
I frowned, pulling myself out the rest of the way and looked around. Nina, Tiffany, and the students were nowhere to be found. Perhaps they made it to the cabins, after all. I sighed, standing and dusting myself off, before heading toward the cabins to meet them and get the antidote from Tiffany to cure the sleeping students below….
Until I realized where the smell of blood was coming from: the fresh blood trail that was leading in the opposite direction.
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