#Chapter 66: Candid
“That’s weird,” I said under my breath, peeling away the bandages the rest of the way while Jessica and Lori watched with confused expressions on their faces.
Where my knee had been completely torn up the night before, it was now perfectly fine… As though I had never been injured at all. I furrowed my brow and poked the area where I had been injured, but felt nothing out of the ordinary. Had the blood just made it appear worse than it really was? No… I remembered clearly that the skin was broken. I even had a gaping hole in the knee of my jeans to prove it.
Suddenly, my phone started buzzing and made all of us jump. I picked it up to see James’ number on my screen, momentarily making me forget about the strange occurrence with my knee.
“Hello?” I said, holding the phone up to my ear.
“Hey,” James said, sounding a bit excitable. “I have something to show you. Meet me on the quad in fifteen?”
“Uh, sure,” I replied.
I was still holding the bloody gauze in my hand when I hung up, and Lori and Jessica were still staring at me. This was definitely something I would have to talk to Enzo about later… Maybe he had simply healed my knee when I fell asleep. That was the only reasonable explanation, but it certainly wasn’t an explanation that I could give my roommates.
“I guess it just wasn’t as bad as it looked,” I said, tossing the bandage in the trash and walking back to my room as nonchalantly as I could while Jessica and Lori stared after me confusedly .
I met James at the quad fifteen minutes
later He seemed excited about something, too excited, apparently, to even greet me before reaching into his bag and pulling out a manila folder He handed it to me with a serious look on his face. “Check this out,” he said quietly, glancing over his shoulder as if someone would be listening in on our conversation. “It’s that Ronan guy’s file.”
I furrowed my brows and wordlessly opened the folder. It contained Ronan’s physical records — all showing incredibly superior strength and speed — as well as several newspaper clippings.
“Ronan’s father is a CEO of a company that’s in competition with Enzo’s father’s company,” James said, pointing at the newspaper clippings. ” Not to mention the insane physical records. It makes me wonder…”
“…Maybe Ronan was sent here specifically to beat Enzo,” I said out loud, while another possibility floated through my mind as I studied Ronan’s impressive physical skills. Was Ronan truly human, or was he hiding something? Enzo hadn’t mentioned anything seeming out of the ordinary about him, but maybe he just didn’t want to say anything…
James smirked and nodded. “But why is the question,” he whispered. “Is the Blizzard Tournament really so important that two CEOS would plant their insanely talented sons to compete against each other?”
Before either of us could say anything else, James and I were rudely interrupted.
“Whore!” a familiar female voice suddenly shouted from across the quad. James and I both looked up to see a gaggle of girls staring at us and giggling. One of them was coming toward me… and it was Lisa. Her face was beet red as she stormed toward me, Starbucks coffee cup in hand.
When had she come out of hiding? And why now, of all times?
Lisa stormed over to me, brushing past James to get up in my face. It was oddly similar to how she had acted the night she attacked me. Didn’t Enzo claim that she had been cured of the werewolf bite?
“Lisa, you need to calm down,” I started to say, holding my hands up in surrender — but I was promptly interrupted by a lukewarm cup of coffee being thrown directly into my face. I stood there with my mouth hanging open in surprise as the coffee seeped through my clothes, burned my eyes, and made my soaked bangs cling to my forehead. Even James was speechless.
“You’re pathetic,” she growled, throwing the coffee cup on the ground. “I know you saw Enzo walking me home that night and just couldn’t stand it, so you just had to weasel your way into his heart.”
Before I could wipe the coffee from my eyes and respond, Lisa turned on her heel with a hmph and stormed off with her gaggle of friends.
“Nina, are you oka–“James started to say, but I just wanted to run away and hide Without another word, I dropped Ronan’s file and ran back to my dorm with the intention of staying in there until the day I died.
I ran past shocked students in the lobby and sprinted up the stairs two at a time. When I finally made it back to my apartment, I burst inside and ran into my room, locking the door behind me while a confused Lori and Jessica stood in shock in the middle of the living room.
“Go away!” I shouted when they knocked on my door. I heard concerned muttering on the other side of the door, but I didn’t care, all I wanted was to curl up into my shell and never come out again.
By that night, to no one’s surprise, more photos had been taken of me that morning and were posted to the anonymous Twitter account.
Photographs were taken of me talking to James, as well as the moment when Lisa threw her coffee in my face. Had Lisa hired someone to photograph that very moment, just to humiliate me?
Clearly, this was all a part of Lisa’s plan to turn me into a social pariah in a desperate attempt to get Enzo back. As I scrolled through the comments, it seemed that her plan was working.
“She’s so heartless, stealing Enzo from Lisa. And she’s already hanging out with other guys less than 24 hours later!”
“She clearly faked that knee injury for attention, too.”
“Not to mention the fact that she went on a date with the opposing hockey
captain at the fair. ” “What a fucking capital S SLUT!”
My eyes filled with tears and my vision became blurry as I continued to scroll. I finally gave up, closing my phone and throwing it down on my bed as a sob escaped my throat. None of these things were true. Everything was
taken out of context and twisted to fit
I had to talk to Enzo. I needed his help. I opened my phone again to call him, but before I did, a text suddenly popped up on my screen.
It was from an unknown number
“Get away from Enzo Rivers,” it read, followed by all caps. “OR ELSE.”
As soon as I finished reading the text, another one came through… An image this time. An image of me taken through my window of this exact moment. I could see the glow of my laptop in my dark room and the shape of my body under the covers. I jumped up and ran to my window and looked out into the darkness, expecting to see Lisa- but there was no one as far as I could tell.
There was nothing out there as far as I could see, but it was so dark that I couldn’t be sure. Shuddering, I closed my blinds.
Just before I did, I could’ve sworn I saw the branches move… But there was no one there .