#Chapter 63: Mad Wolf
The second I saw the rogue, I knew exactly who it was.
How had Justin turned into a rogue? I had just seen him at the hockey game and he seemed fine… But then my mind wandered back to his reaction when we didn’t win the shootout. Was that the beginning of his transformation?
Before I could stop him, he locked eyes with Nina and quickly ran away. He must’ve subconsciously recognized her in his rogue state, which would mean that he might not necessarily hurt her.
The woman, who was leaning on Nina’s shoulder, was holding her shredded leg as she bled all over the forest floor. I had to act quickly, or she would die of blood loss. “Run home as fast as you can,” I said to Nina sternly over the woman’s sobs as I walked forward and scooped her up in my arms. “Get home and stay inside until I tell you it’s safe.”
“But I–” Nina started to protest, but I wouldn’t hear any of it. She needed to get home safely; besides, Edward was still seemingly impervious to her
resistance to his hypnotherapy, and I didn’t need him getting suspicious of her if I suddenly showed up to his office with her knowing everything. If he
tried to hypnotize her again and failed, it would certainly alert him, the dean, and likely my father and there was no telling what might happen to Nina if they knew she couldn’t be brainwashed out of her knowledge of werewolves.
“Just listen to me, Nina,” I pleaded. Please. Just this once, I need you to trust me.”
The woman’s screams grew in intensity Before Nina could protest any further, I teleported directly into Edward’s office.
“What on earth?!” Edward yelled in surprise, jumping up from the armchair by his fireplace as I wordlessly set the agonized woman down on the couch. Edward raced over to us, his brow furrowed.
“What happened to her?” he asked.
“There’s another shifter on campus,” I replied, watching as Edward placed his hand on the woman’s forehead. Within moments, her eyes fell shut and her body went limp so Edward could start healing her wounds. I cringed as I heard her bloody leg squelch under the pressure of his hands.
Edward looked up from his work, the woman’s flesh slowly healing beneath his touch. “Do you know who it was?” he asked.
“No idea,” I lied. At this point, there-
was no curing Justin’s curse and as much as he irked me, I didn’t want anything horrible to happen to him. If I could get him somewhere safe where he couldn’t hurt anybody, and teach him how to control his wolf before someone like Edward or the dean took matters into their own hands, I could potentially save his life.
Edward was silent for a while as he continued to work his magic on the woman. When I turned around after several minutes of staring out the window, I saw that her leg had been completely healed, and Edward was now pressing his thumb into her forehead as she slept, whispering incantations to himself with glowing eyes as he wiped her entire memory of the night.
“Okay,” he said finally, stepping away and wiping the blood from his hands. ” She’ll be fine. She’s lucky you found her before her leg got ripped clean off.”
“Thank you, Edward,” I said.
Edward nodded and clapped me on the back. “Not to worry. Justin will be taken care of.”
I took a step back, narrowing my eyes.” I never told you the rogue’s name, Edward,” I muttered warily.
Edward’s eyes widened for a split second, as though he had been caught, before reverting back to their usual calm and collected demeanor “Oh, you must’ve mentioned it,” he said. “Yes, now that I think of it, you did mention his name.”
Before I could protest, Edward ushered me out of his office as he repeated words of assurance about the situation. As I stood there in the dark hallway after he slammed and locked the door behind me, I couldn’t help but feel as though there was something sinister behind his words. I knew for a fact that I hadn’t told him that the rogue was Justin
What was Edward hiding? Did he know
something about all of the shifters on
All I knew at that moment, as I slowly walked away from Edward’s office in the dark hallway with my fists clenched at my sides, was that I had to get to Justin before he did. As soon as I was out of the line of sight of his office, 1 took off at a full sprint and burst out of the building, running across the quad and toward the forest where Nina and I had found Justin.
I followed the trail of Justin’s rancid rogue scent through the woods, but the longer I did, the more I began to realize that Nina’s scent was mixed in and was headed in the same direction. Had he come back for her before she made it out? I cursed to myself as my heart quickened and I picked up my speed, feeling like an absolute moron for leaving her here… And for what? The benefit of a s a strange woman who I didn’t even know? I should’ve stayed with Nina and gotten her home.
Justin’s and Nina’s scents grew stronger, indicating that they were close Soon enough, I came across a clearing in the woods where their scents were the strongest. My heart was in my throat as I scanned the clearing for Nina’s bloody body, but when I finally spotted her…
She was kneeling on the forest floor with a perfectly human Justin.
It was still a full moon; how had Justin shifted back into his human form? Rogues always stayed in their wolf forms during the full moon, and were completely incapable of shifting back into humans on their own.
Nina’s head jerked up as I approached, her body tense as she squinted her eyes in my direction. When she finally saw me, I watched as her shoulders relaxed.
“You didn’t listen to me,” I said to her telepathically. I was relieved that she was okay, but also a bit frustrated at her constant stubbornness. Couldn’t she just stay out of danger one time?
More than that, however, I was furious
with Justin for endangering Nina. Without thinking, I stormed over to him and grabbed him by his shirt collar, pinning him to the ground. He thrashed beneath me, but even with the rogue curse in his blood he was nothing compared to my strength. I raised my fist to punch him.
Just then, Nina’s hand grabbed my arm her grip was surprisingly firm and her voice rang clearly in my mind…. Which was strange, considering that she wasn’t capable of telepathy on her own.
“He doesn’t remember,” she said.
I slowly turned my head to meet her gaze as she continued to grip my arm. Her eyes were pleading and serious. I looked back down at Justin, who looked up at me with a mixture of confusion and terror on his face, before I finally loosened my grip on him –still pinning him down just in case he tried anything and lowered my fist.
“Tell me everything,” I said quietly. I employed my dazing ability on him, watching as his pupils began to swirl. He had no choice now but to tell the truth.
“I was walking home one night after training. I was angry that I hadn’t performed better… I wanted to perform better for you, Nina. I wanted to make you notice me again. And I must have been talking to myself, because
someone in a hoodie came out of the
shadows and tried to offer me this little vial of something called ‘Mad Wolf Serum’. I told him that I don’t take steroids, that I’m not that kind of guy, but he told me it wasn’t steroids… I still refused and went home, and honestly I almost completely forgot about it, until the game we almost lost the other night. When I went into the locker room, the vial was sitting in my locker, like he put it there… And I was so angry, I just wasn’t thinking right, so I…”
“You drank it,” Nina whispered.
Justin nodded, looking ashamed.
Nina took in a sharp, shocked breath. I fully released my grip on Justin, undazing him, and stood. He sat up and continued to look around confusedly for a moment before standing as well.
“You’re done,” I said, folding my arms.
Justin looked at me with a puzzled expression on his face. “What do you mean?” he asked.
“I mean you’re done with hockey I won’t have idiots who will take anything that some random stranger gives them to play better. You should’ve known that I don’t allow drug use on the team. And you should’ve talked to me.”
This time, both Justin and Nina looked at me with surprised expressions on their faces.
“You can’t be serious,” Justin said, his voice quivering.
I simply shrugged and turned toward Nina to address her. “I’m taking you home,” I said sternly. I was still angry with her for putting herself in danger, and judging from the expression on her face, she could tell how angry I was. Without a word, she turned on her heel and started heading back toward the campus. I followed suit, leaving Justin standing alone in the middle of the clearing.
“Are you even gonna tell me why I’m out here?” he called after me.
Taking a deep breath, I turned around one last time to face Justin. I couldn’t tell him that he was a werewolf — not yet. I needed to think about how best to approach it, and for now, he seemed safe from shifting involuntarily thanks to whatever Nina did to him.
“The drugs you took made you black out and run off into the woods. Honestly, you’re lucky Nina is a nice enough person to go after you, because I would’ve left you out here all night. Now go home, Justin.”
Without another word, I turned away and followed Nina.