#Chapter 49: Running with the Wolf — Part II
I caught up with the team in the middle of the athletic field. They were stretching for their run. I tried not to look at Enzo as he stretched, because watching his muscular form only made me want him more. Regardless of what Tiffany said about her college love, I still felt hesitant about Enzo with everything that had happened since I met him. Besides, I had to focus on school and work. Now was not the time to be worrying about boys!
The team looked up when I joined them on the athletic field as they stretched. Feeling a bit nervous, I started to stretch, too; most of them seemed P excited that a girl was joining them on their run today — including Justin — but apparently my presence bothered one player. His name was Bryan. “You’re running with us?” he asked,
standing up from his stretch.
“I suppose so,” I replied with a
Bryan frowned and folded his arms
across his chest.
“You’re not gonna slow us down, are
you? Everyone knows girls can’t run as
fast as guys.”
Before I had the chance to respond,
Justin stepped in at the same time and
“Hey, don’t say that about her!” Justin said, balling his fists up at his sides.
Meanwhile, Enzo simply stormed up to Bryan and glared down at him. Bryan wasn’t a small guy in the slightest, but Enzo still towered over him and made. him look dwarfed.
“How dare you be so rude to our team doctor,” he said, his low voice
practically a growl. “Just for that, you can drop and give me fifty push-ups. Right now,”
“Fifty?” Bryan whined.
“We can make it a hundred if you keep
up the attitude,” Enzo replied.
Bryan grumbled and got down on the ground to do his pushups.
“If anyone else has a problem with Nina joining us on our run today, speak now,” Enzo said. No one made a peep. ” Alright,” he continued, “let’s go. Bryan, catch up when you’re done. Maybe you can use this time to think about why you have such a bias against women.”
Bryan continued to do his pushups, grumbling to himself, as the team started running. I bit my lip and followed behind.
We made our way toward the line of trees that sat at the end of the field. There was a small trail that broke
through the trees, which made its way through the forest. There were a lot of these trails all around campus for students to hike on — and while I was a bit nervous that there could be another shifter out in the woods, Enzo didn’t seem terribly worried about it. His strong demeanor gave me a bit of confidence.
I jogged along at the back of the group, matching their pace, and kept to myself as the guys talked and joked with each other. While I jogged behind them, I couldn’t help but observe Enzo’s form; he ran with an impressive amount of stamina, leading the group, just like how he ran that day on the treadmill. Back then, I had been confused and astonished at his superhuman capabilities, but now I knew that it was the werewolf in him that gave him so much strength and stamina. Regardless, it was still impressive to watch him run… And I couldn’t stop myself from being attracted to him.
We made our way through the forest, running over small hills and jumping over fallen trees. Somehow, although I hadn’t run like this since high school PE class, I eventually found myself running at the front of the group with Enzo and Justin while the rest of the team started to tire out and lag behind.
“And you said you would hold us back,” Enzo said, slowing down just a little bit to match my pace so he could run beside me. “You run like a natural. Did you run on the cross country team in high school or something?”
I shook my head. “Nope,” I replied. ” I’ve never really been sporty at all. My parents made me play on the junior tennis team for one semester in middle school, but I hated sports so much that they gave up and let me drop out of the team.”
“I’ve always thought you were naturally pretty athletic,” Justin suddenly chimed in, running faster to
keep up on my other side. I looked over at him and saw him shoot a competitive glance at Enzo, who merely clenched his jaw and kept his focus on the trail.
“Uh… Thanks,” I replied, feeling a bit uncomfortable now as I was sandwiched between two guys who I had a history with.
“Hey,” one of the other teammates,
Matt, called from behind us. “We
should race. Nina against… hmm…”
“I’ll do it!” Justin blurted out, stopping. Enzo stopped as well. There was a slight frown on his face, but I could also see a hint of amusement behind his eyes.
“Up to you, Nina,” Enzo said with a shrug.
“Oh, I don’t-” I replied, but was suddenly cut off by Justin.
“C’mon, it’ll be fun!” Justin said. “Sort of like old times. Just you and me having fun together.”
I had a feeling that Justin was trying to get some sort of angle here, but as the rest of the team started chanting for us to race, I felt obligated to give it a shot.
“Alright,” I conceded, throwing my
hands up in surrender. “Just one race.”
Justin grinned and drew a line in the dirt with his foot, standing behind it poised to run. “From here to that tree,” he said, pointing at a tree several yards away.
I hesitantly nodded and got into my place while Matt came over and started
“On your marks… Get set… Go!”
It all happened so fast that it was a blur. Justin got ahead of me first, and honestly I didn’t care to win, but all of a sudden it was as if something clicked. I picked up speed, gaining more and more as I ran. The team’s cheers behind me faded into the wind as my legs pumped…
I ran to the tree within a few seconds and touched it, turning around with a grin and expecting Justin to be right behind me.
He was still only halfway there!
“Holy shit!” Matt yelled over the
team’s cheers. “Nina is really fucking
I didn’t even feel out of breath. Justin gave up and stopped, throwing his hands up in the air in defeat, even seeming a little annoyed at my surprising victory.
How did I do that? I had never been
athletic, and hadn’t run at all in years.
Was it just a stroke of luck?
The team charged at me suddenly, taking me by surprise and lifting me up on their shoulders as they chanted ” Nina! Nina! Nina!”
I couldn’t help but grin and laugh at the
stupidity of the situation.
As they jumped around with me on their shoulders, making me laugh, I looked over to see Enzo still standing in his place with his muscular arms folded across his chest…
He was staring at me with glowing red eyes.