#Chapter 74: The Crescents and the Fullmoons
After I watched Nina somehow make Ronan spill the truth faster than I had managed in two hours, there was no doubt in my mind that she was a werewolf. If she was a hybrid, she was a powerful one — but a huge part of me believed that she wasn’t a hybrid,
but rather a full-blown werewolf. If she was, though, where was her
wolf? Why hadn’t it shown itself yet?
Before I had much time to think about it, I heard a familiar voice upstairs: my father. Shit, I thought to myself as I locked Ronan in the basement room
once more and started to head upstairs. There was no doubt that my father had just unceremoniously met Nina, judging from the sounds of their voices mixing together.
When I emerged from the basement,
Nina was standing in the living room. She glanced over at me with wide eyes before my father stepped into view.
“Ah, Enzo,” my father said, folding his arms. “Good to see you. I had thought for a moment that your girlfriend came here alone.”
“I can explain,” I began, to which my father interrupted me with a raise of his hand and a shake of his head.
“No need,” he said. “I’ve been watching you — and I must say, you’ve done well with bringing Ronan here. He’ll be dealt with accordingly.” There was a long, uncomfortable pause before he turned to address Nina, and it was now that I finally noticed the dark circles under his eyes.
“Join me for dinner tonight,” he said. ” Both of you.”
That night, much to my dismay, Nina and I got dressed and headed. downstairs for dinner with my father. He had prepared steak and mushrooms, which was surprising considering the fact that he hadn’t. cooked a single thing since my mother died. He had always been the cook of the household when I was growing up, but almost as soon as my mother died, I didn’t see him for a single meal ever again. It was strange to come downstairs and see him setting the table.
“Take a seat,” he said over his shoulder. “Dinner will be ready in a moment.”
Nina glanced at me before sheepishly pulling out a chair and sitting down. I sat next to her, feeling protective of her in case my father decided to start berating her or belittling her, and squeezed her hand gently.
My father finished preparing dinner and set the plates down in front of us,
then poured red wine into each of our glasses before sitting down. I watched hesitantly as he raised his glass for a silent toast before he began to cut his steak.
“Do you know the story of the Crescents and the Fullmoons?” he asked as he cut into his steak.
That old wives’ tale?” I asked.
My father scoffed and took a sip of his wine.
“It’s not just an old wives tale,” he said, crossing his legs and leaning back in his chair with a serious expression on his face. “It’s history. A hundred years ago, the Crescents and the Fullmoons the two factions of werewolves fought for the place of — Alpha King. It was a bloody and brutal battle, but the Fullmoons eventually came out on top. The new Alpha King of the Fullmoons beheaded the Crescent chief, and the war ended.”
“Why are you telling us this?” I interrupted, beginning to feel a little irritated at my father’s beating around the bush.
My father looked up at me with an annoyed glare. “She’s aware of our…. heritage, correct?” he said.
Nina, before I could say anything, finally spoke. “Yes,” she said quietly. ” I know that you’re werewolves.”
“Good,” my father said with a slight smile. “It’s important that you’re aware, if you’re going to be involved with my son… Because the war that may wage soon will wage in your very home.’
I felt my eyes widen. “What do you ‘mean?” I asked quietly. “You’re not saying…”
“All of the attacks on campus are omens of the Crescents’ return.’
I scoffed. “You’re just saying that to scare her.”
My father shook his head and began cutting into his steak again. “I’m afraid you’ve already foiled my attempt to scare this human girl away from you,” he said, gesturing with his fork while he chewed. “Veronica was a good assistant, you know.”
Anger began to bubble up inside of me as I abruptly pushed my chair back and stood.
“So that was you!” I said, slamming my hands on the table. “Why did you send her to stalk Nina like that?”
My father was silent for several long minutes, as though my outburst meant nothing to him. I felt Nina practically shaking behind me before she
eventually stood and quietly walked out of the dining room. I cursed under my breath as I heard the front door open and close.
Finally, my father took a sip of his drink before speaking. “You shouldn’t be obsessing over that human girl, Enzo. She’s not one of us, and you know our kind doesn’t mix with humans.”
I resisted the urge to clench my fist, feeling my anger rising. “She’s not human,” I said. “And besides, mom would have supported me no matter who I got involved with,” I growled.
My father’s expression turned sour and he slammed his fork and knife down on his plate, glaring up at me with glowing silver eyes. “Don’t you dare speak about your mother,” he snarled.
There was another long pause. I watched as his eyes faded back to their usual gray-blue color and the tension slipped away from his shoulders.
“I’m sorry,” I muttered, straightening and stepping away from the table. “I just miss her.”
“I miss her, too,” he said. “But you must understand that your mother would have wanted you to do what’s best for our family.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, feeling my heart jump up into my throat as I began to fear the worst.
“I’ve arranged a marriage for you, Enzo. The daughter of a Crescent chief. And regardless of your feelings for Nina, you have to end things with her.”
I felt my blood run cold as my father spoke. “But, dad, Nina has to be my mate,” I said, my voice shaking.
“This union will end the upcoming war before it ever begins,” my father interrupted. “I know you’re angry with ‘me, but not everything is always about mates. Think about the future of your pack.”
I could feel my anger boiling over at this point. “I won’t be a pawn in your game, Dad. I won’t let you dictate my life and who I love, war or no war.”
My father simply shrugged, his body. language so nonchalant it made me sick. “I’m afraid you don’t have at choice in the matter, son,” he said quietly, taking another sip of his wine. “The deal has been made. End things with the human girl before I have to end them for you.”
Before I could answer, my father pushed his chair back and stood. 1 watched, my body trembling with anger, as he calmly began to clear the dishes away from the table. Neither Nina nor I had even touched our food or wine.
There were so many things I wanted to say, but nothing seemed to be able to come out. I felt betrayed by my own father… Nina was my fated mate — I had known it since we met in the bar at the beginning of the semester, and it was only solidified now in knowing that she was at least part werewolf-
and he didn’t even care. To him, my life was nothing but a playing card. Had my mother’s death stripped him of any empathy he had?
Without another word, I turned on my heel and stormed out the door to find