#Chapter 77: The Half-Moon Tournament
The very next afternoon following
dropping Nina off at her dorm after the unceremonious dinner at my father’s house, my phone rang; it was my father Rolling my eyes, I picked it up.
“I just left,” I growled, still angry with him for everything he had said at dinner. “What do you want?”
“Hello to you, too,” he said in his usual
condescending manner. “You need to
“Why?” I asked. “You gonna marry me off already?”
“Just Come home, Enzo,” my father said. He sounded almost as though he was holding himself back; as though someone else was there
I let out a sigh, nodding instinctively even though I knew he couldn’t see me “Alright,” I said. “I’ll be there soon”
I was sitting on my couch and
processing everything when he called me, so I reluctantly stood once I hung up and got dressed. A little while later, I stood outside my father’s house, my frown deepening as I saw an unfamiliar sports car in the driveway. I shoved my hands in my pockets and walked through the front door.
“That must be him,” I heard my father’s voice say from the dining room as I entered. Furrowing my brow as I wondered who he was talking to and why they needed me here, I approached the dining room.
My eyes widened when I saw who was there
Sitting at the table, aside from my father, were three people the dean, a man I didn’t recognize, and Ronan.
My father stood and gestured for me to come in
“This is my son, Enzo,” he said, then
turned to me. “Enzo, you know Dean Cynthia and Ronan. This is Ronan’s father, Marcus. The Alpha of the Crescent pack.”
Marcus, who was a shockingly large and muscular middle-aged man — around my father’s age with tanned skin, jet black hair, and striking blue eyes, stood and held his hand out for me to shake.
“So, this is the young man who captured and tortured my son,” he said as I shook his hand. I felt my face get hot and I pulled away, glancing over at Ronan.
Marcus merely chuckled. “It’s alright,” he said with a hearty grin as Ronan continued to glare at me silently with an icy stare. “My son was acting out of line Scuffles happen.”
Ronan met my gaze, his eyes flashing momentarily as his voice echoed in my head.
“Don’t say anything,” he said. “He doesn’t know.”
“What, your own father doesn’t know that you’re working with some mystery lady to kidnap my friend?” I replied, still using our mindlink.
“Nope. And I’d like to keep it that way.”
“Sit down, Enzo,” my father said, breaking Ronan’s and my silent conversation. I hesitantly walked over to an open chair next to my father and sat down. “Now that we’re all here,” he continued, clasping his hands on the table, “we can make this official.”
“Make what official?” I asked,
narrowing my eyes.
“When Richard contacted me about my son, I half expected there to be another bloody war between our two factions,” Marcus said, leaning back in his chair and folding his arms across his chest. ” But we all know that it’s not the old ages anymore. We can’t just go killing each other with wild abandon, especially now that there are far more humans in the world than there used to be. Richard and I are businessmen, after all. It’s about time we settle our disputes in a civil manner”
My father nodded. “The town of
Mountainview has been a point of contention for over a hundred years. Since it’s right on the border between the werewolf realm and the human realm, having roots there would put one at a great advantage ” He paused, clearing his throat. “Our grandfathers fought tooth and nail to decide who could lay claim over the town, but we
believe so much bloodshed is
unnecessary… which is why I proposed a tournament. A hockey tournament.”
I raised my eyebrows and glanced over at Ronan again, who still sat silently across from me with his eyes fixed on mine “A hockey tournament to decide which faction gets to run the town?” I asked.
Marcus grinned again. “It’s much more fun to decide things this way, don’t you think?” he said. “Not only will it not raise any red flags for the human residents of Mountainview, it will also allow us to decide a victor without any unnecessary harm.”
I didn’t know what to say. A hockey tournament to decide the fate of the town? I stammered to come up with a response, but before I could, the dean – who had been silent up until now — suddenly spoke up.
“I do have the safety of my students to worry about,” she said. “As a hybrid and the granddaughter of the school’s founder, it’s my duty to watch over the school. A neutral zone, if you will. I don’t want any bloodshed on my campus.
My father nodded vigorously. I felt as though I was at some sort of insane business meeting between a bunch of CEOS, not werewolves whose factions
hated each other with a burning passion.
“This new tournament we’re calling it the Half Moon Tournament will start exactly two weeks from now Teams that are evenly split between the Crescents and the Fullmoons will
compete in the tournament Each team
will be primarily human, with a
werewolf captain, and at the end of the
tournament, the captains of all of the
remaining teams one team
comprised entirely from the Crescent
faction and the other from the
Fullmoon faction will play head-to-
head to decide which faction will be the
Alpha pack of Mountainview for the
“So,” Ronan said all of a sudden after being silent for so long, leaning his elbows on the table and fixing his eyes on me “What do you say to another rematch?”
I glanced over at my father, who had a fervent look on his face. The more I thought about it, the more it made
sense, hockey was such an important part of the town that it was only logical to decide such a thing with a hockey tournament, and while it was shocking for my father to make this proposition, it was better than an all-out bloody war
Without a word, I stuck my hand out to shake with Ronan.
Later, after Ronan, Marcus, and the dean left, I was alone with my father again.
“Do you really believe in this?” I said quietly, staring down at my hands on. the table
My father sighed. “It’s worth a shot. It’s better than war, Your mother” His voice faltered, and he fell silent for some time.
“Does this mean I don’t have to marry that other woman?” I asked finally after several long minutes of silence.
“It’s not that simple, Enzo,” my father said coldly, standing from the table. ” What’s done is done. The marriage has been arranged. She’s your fated mate ”
I felt my heart catch in my throat at his words, and involuntarily shook my head. “No,” I said, thinking of Nina, thinking of her soft brown eyes and her gentle smile and her kind heart. “She’s not. She can’t be–”
“Enough!” my father suddenly shouted, slamming his fists on the table We stared at each other, wide- eyed, for several moments before he spoke again, his voice shaking this time. “I’m going to be monitoring your performance from now on. We have to win this tournament.”
Before I had the chance to respond, my father straightened once more and walked from the room without another word.