#Chapter 75: Runaway
Enzo’s father admitted to hiring the girl named Veronica to stalk me. He said it as though I was in the way, as though my very presence was making the situation worse.
Maybe he was right.
Maybe my presence in Enzo’s life was nothing but a burden, a hindrance.
These thoughts swirled around in my head as I walked out of the house and headed toward the ocean, silent tears streaming down my cheeks. I knew that I loved Enzo, but… was I in the way of something greater? Was this looming war between the werewolf factions so important that my presence in his life would only make it. worse?
I stopped at the edge of the cliff and leaned on the fence, letting my tears drip onto the ground as I gazed down at the ocean below. The wind was blowing fiercely and making the waves crash even harder against the rocks.
“Don’t listen to him,” Enzo’s voice suddenly said from behind me. I didn’t look up as he came to stand by my side. His warm hand touched my back, giving me some comfort, but also making me feel even worse; what if I
would no longer be able to feel his touch?
“Am I in the way?” I whispered, my voice barely audible above the sound of the wind and the ocean.
Enzo tensed up and grabbed me by both shoulders, turning me so that I was facing him. His eyes glowed red as he stared into mine.
“Of course not,” he said, tucking a stray strand of hair behind my ear. My dad’s just an asshole. He’s only looking out for himself.”
“But… The Crescents…” I began. Enzo stopped me and pulled me closer into a hug.
“None of that matters,” he whispered. “It’s just stupid politics. We can run, you know. We can run right now and never look back. I’ll take you anywhere you want to go. Just say the word.”
I sniffed and pulled away, looking up at Enzo with my brows knit together.” You mean just… Run away together?”
He nodded. “Yes. Just you and me. We can leave this whole world behind. We can make a new identity for ourselves.”
I paused for several moments. The idea of running away together, starting a new life somewhere else and leaving all of this mess behind, was tempting. Images of Enzo and I running off to some foreign land and living like
nomads, exploring the world with only
each other, floated through my mind.
It was a beautiful image, but it wasn’t realistic.”No.”
Enzo furrowed his brow. “Why not?” he whispered. “This place has done nothing for us.”
I shook my head. “You’re wrong,” I replied. “This place is our home. We have roots here, friends, family. I promised to myself that I would complete medical school.”
“You can transfer to a new school, then,” Enzo said, his voice sounding a little desperate now. “Somewhere far away.”
“But I can’t!” I said, pushing him away and taking a step back. “I promised my brother that I would take care of him, and I plan to follow through on that promise.”
Enzo shot me a puzzled look. “Your brother? You never told me you had a brother,” he said.
I sighed. “I do have a brother. Taylor. He’s… sick. And our adoptive mother never cared to get him the right medical attention, so I made a vow that I would do everything I could to take care of him myself. So, no. I can’t leave. I won’t leave my brother behind. Everyone else has left us; we only have each other.”
Enzo was silent for several moments before finally speaking again. “I’m sorry,” he said softly. “I had no idea. I was so outraged by my dad’s behavior that I didn’t bother to ask what you wanted.”
I fell silent again and turned back toward the ocean, leaning on the fence once more. After a few moments, Enzo leaned on the fence next to me. Our hands brushed, and I intertwined my fingers with his.
“Nina, I have to tell you something,” he said after a bit of a silence.
I looked up at him expectantly.
“I think you’re a werewolf.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “That’s ridiculous,” I said with a scoff. “Don’t tease me like that.”
Enzo shook his head. “I mean it. Your speed when running, your intelligence, the way your knee suddenly healed on its own, the telepathy, your ability to not only keep Ronan alive when he should’ve died but to also get him to tell the truth when no other methods worked… At the very least, you’re a hybrid.”
I stood up fully once more, taking another step back and shaking my head vigorously. “No,” I said. “I can’t be,”
“Your parents adopted you, right?” Enzo asked, standing as well and turning to face me. “How did that come to be?”
I swallowed hard. “They… They said that I was left on their doorstep one night. That’s it.”
Enzo splayed out his hands as if to say “There you go”. His face was nothing but completely serious. I thought, then, about all of the strange
occurrences lately… The healing, the speed and stamina despite not having exercised much in years, the animalistic feeling when I was with Enzo…
“If I’m a werewolf, then why can’t I shift?” I asked.
“Some people don’t get their wolves until they’re older,” he replied. “Or, if you’re a hybrid, you might not get one at all… But your abilities lead me to believe otherwise.”
I paused for several long moments, processing what Enzo had just said as 1. chewed the inside of my cheek nervously. Before I said anything else, he stepped forward and wrapped his arms around me once more. I relaxed into him, feeling the warmth of his body against the chill of the ocean air, and shut my eyes.
“So, if I’m a werewolf,” I said into his chest, “does that mean that I’m your mate?”
Enzo tensed and looked down at me. I looked up and met his red-eyed gaze. Neither of us said anything else — we didn’t need to. It was as if our bodies just knew. I felt as though we were each a piece of a puzzle that fit together perfectly.
Now that Enzo’s father had Ronan in his custody and the mystery of the stalker had been solved, Enzo took me home that night on the back of his motorcycle. He didn’t say much about. what was said between him and his father after I walked out at dinner, but repeatedly reassured me that everything would be okay. If I truly was a werewolf and Enzo was my mate, nothing could drive us apart… Right?
As we pulled up to the campus and Enzo dropped me off at my dorm, it was already nearly midnight.
“I’ll talk to you tomorrow,” he said quietly as I got off of his motorcycle. I blushed as he took my hand and kissed it, his warmth emanating through my palm and into my body. My expression turned puzzled, however, when he slipped something into my palm.
It was a photograph of someone holding a baby wrapped in a blanket with a strange pattern on it.
Somehow, as I looked at it, I knew that the baby was me…
And something deep inside of me recognized that pattern.