#Chapter 161: At the Last Moment
Somehow, I managed to sneak into the rogues’ den, creep past dozens of sleeping rogues, and pinpoint which rogues were my friends. And, thanks to Tiffany’s brilliance in creating the antidote, I was able to cure Lori and Jessica.
But now I had to get my friends to safety, and the rogues would be waking up at any minute.
We had to move quickly, but quietly. As a trio, Lori, Jessica and I all stood as slowly and quietly as possible. I grabbed Tiffany’s medical bag off of the floor with one hand, then took Jessica’s hand with the other. Jessica, in turn, held Lori’s hand with her other one. Together, we walked in a single- file line toward the exit. 2
Since I came through here before, I was at least a little more familiar with the layout. I knew where the larger piles of rogues were sleeping, as well as which route to take that had the least amount of rogues.
Quietly, Lori, Jessica and I stepped over the sleeping rogues with the utmost caution. We never let go of each other’s hands; I refused to run the risk of losing my friends again if anything went awry. I already felt guilty enough for leaving them on the night of the last hockey game, just minutes before the attack began. I couldn’t let anything happen to them ever again.
When we got out of here, I had to admit that I didn’t know what we would do. Night was falling, and we were stuck in the forest. The entire place would be completely crawling with rogues and Crescents, and we were just three defenseless girls. Lori and Jessica were
still in a bit of a stupor from losing days of their memories due to being rogues for that entire time. Not only that, but my leg was bleeding more than ever now and each step was agony. A throbbing numbness was slowly working its way up my leg, making it hard to move, but I had to keep going. I couldn’t let my friends down again, and I had to get out of here safely so I could find a way to go back for Enzo in order to save the town together.
Soon, the end of the tunnel came into view. I could sense that the rogues were slowly starting to stir in their sleep, so I picked up the pace as I pulled my scared friends along behind me. As the ladder came closer and closer, I felt my heart leaping into my throat with a combination of joy and fear.
Finally, we were only a few feet away from the ladder. I would climb up and open the hatch, then help my friends through; hopefully, from there, we would have just enough time to find a place to hide for the night before the rogues and the Crescents came out.
It seemed, however, that the universe wouldn’t let it be so simple.
When we were just within reaching distance of the ladder, I heard a quiet gasp behind me and turned around slowly. My eyes widened as I saw Jessica frozen in fear with her foot wedged beneath a rogue’s massive paw. The rogue was waking up, its muddy yellow eyes focusing and its fangs baring as it came to the realization that there was a human in its den.
That was the only word I could manage. Lori, Jessica and I bolted for the ladder. I sent Lori up first, who opened the hatch and scrambled out. Jessica came up behind her, sobbing uncontrollably with fear as Lori’s hands reached down for her. By now, the rogues were all waking up, alerted to the sound of our running and the first rogue’s angry growls.
Jessica scrambled up the ladder just as the rogue climbed to its feet.
“Come on!” she yelled.
“Take this!” I grunted as I threw the medical bag up to them. Jessica caught it, handing it to Lori, then reached out for me as I began to climb the ladder. My leg, however, was almost entirely numb now and I could hardly move it enough to get up the rungs.
Jessica, seeing this, gritted her teeth and grabbed me by one hand just as I heard a keening howl from behind me in the tunnel. The rogues were alerting each other to our presence, and all I could picture was my leg being snapped in half between their jaws as I dangled there. “Lori! Help!” Jessica said. Lori ran over and grabbed my other hand, then together they hauled me up and out of the hatch just as the rogues made a lunge for my legs. Their teeth caught on my jeans, ripping them, but narrowly missed my flesh.
But we weren’t free.
The rogues’ howl alerted not only more rogues in the surrounding area to our presence, but also nearby Crescents. As I painfully scrambled to my feet with Lori and Jessica and we began to run, I could hear the distinct howls of not rogues, but Crescents coming from behind us.
My leg made me slow. I winced with every step as hot tears squeezed out of my eyes.
“Go without me,” I said, sobbing as I realized that I was only holding my friends back.
Lori and Jessica shot each other the
briefest of glances before shaking their heads in unison. They both grabbed me from either side, Lori still holding the medical bag in her free hand, and
looped my arms around their shoulders to help me run. I felt incredibly grateful for their help, but also felt an enormous amount of guilt as I looked over my shoulder and saw a rogue careening straight for us through the
woods. If it wasn’t for me, my friends
could get away.
I watched in horror as the rogue came closer, spittle flying out of its mouth and its yellow eyes focused on us. We ran as fast as we could, but it wasn’t fast enough; the rogue was right on our heels, so close I could smell it and feel its hot, stinking breath on my back.
Lori, Jessica and I picked up our pace as we ran, none of us saying a word. All I could do was focus on the ground ahead of us, urging my injured leg to push me faster, praying that someone, anyone, would come to our rescue.
As we ran, I kept picturing Enzo’s face in my mind. All I could see was how pained his expression was as Selena pushed me through the portal. Now, more than ever, I needed him here. I needed him to save us, and in a last ditch attempt, I called out in my mind as loud as I could.
I doubted it worked, what with my wolf missing. But all I could do was pray that it did, or at least let that hope that it worked and that Enzo was coming to save us push me to run faster, to get my friends out of danger.
And then, suddenly, as though my call was answered…
Two werewolves leaped out of the woods, knocking the rogue to its side and surrounding us protectively.
A black wolf and a silver wolf.