Chapter 4: The Fallout
Everything happens so fast that my heads spins and I can barely catch my breath. Our imprinting
sends the ceremony into quick disperse and I’m dragged away by Santo’s pack and ushered into an
awaiting car, my clothes thrown in my face and ordered to go to the pack house and be quiet.
Everything is in uproar as though I committed the crime of the century and it rippled through everyone
present. Juan exploded magnificently at the possibility that our future Alpha just got betrothed to one of
the lowliest of the packs, and I’m not exactly happy about it either.
I’ve kept my head down for ten years, stayed out of sight, in the shadows and away from drama the
way others like me have not. Became almost invisible and made no real friends, all with my eye on one
goal of escaping this place without any noise. Only to be put on show on the most important night of my
life, in front of the entire mountain and have everything come crashing down on top of me.
This can’t be happening! I can barely breathe as the panic sets in that this is not god damn reversable,
and not a small thing that can get brushed aside and me sent on my merry way. Imprinting is for life,
there is only one way out, and that’s death!
That is NOT an option for me. We can choose to walk away and ignore it, but the bond won’t break and
the urge to bind us together will only grow stronger if we fight it. That’s how this works, everyone knows
that. If I leave, I’ll crave for him for the rest of my life, until it pushes me to insanity or even death from a
broken soul. If I stay, then I’ll never be able to fight the need to be with him and Juan made that
excruciatingly clear that it will never happen.
Bustled from car to dark alley and only given seconds to pull my clothes on under my blanket before I
am forcibly pushed in a side door and almost fall flat on my face into a bright corridor. The men charged
with bringing me here are being less than hospitable with their shoving me around and manhandling
me cruelly. I feel like I’m covered in bruises and I still have residue blood over my body and face. I ‘ooft’
at the impact of meeting hard floor, body already tired and weak from what I endured tonight.
I’m still reeling from the drugs and the first transformation of my life, on edge, hackles rising, and
having to deal with this new trauma of semi kidnapping. I feel like I’m trapped in some sort of daymare
and just want to wake up before I have an all-out freak out.
We are met by a tall familiar attractive blonde in the hall as she stalks towards me and without missing
a beat, she slaps me hard across the face and sends my flying off my feet and skidding into the wall.
Burning pain engulfing my cheek and eye socket as I groan it out, and spreads across my head and
down my neck, rendering me senseless for a second. Slightly dazed with the force of that bitch’s
assault as I try to pick myself back up but fail when a foot stomps on my spine to force me back down.
“How dare you!! How god damn dare you, you whore! He’s mine… we have dated for two years, and
you think you can sweep in and take him!! You are a god damn nothing, and you have no rights to him!”
she’s livid. Puce with rage and comes bearing down on me, climbing on top of me while winding her
fingers around my throat like a crazed psycho. In my panic I lash back to defend myself, but she’s
bigger and stronger and the glow of amber in her eyes tell me she’s on the verge of turning. She’s
another of the pack who turned young and has her gifts well under control while I haven’t begin to
explore mine yet. “I’ll kill you before I see you take him from me” her grasp tightens and I try to claw at
her face, struggling for breath, panicking, momentary blacking out before she is hauled from on top of
me by two strong arms and lifted high up into the air.
“Enough! She didn’t do this anymore than I did!” Colton’s voice cuts through her hysterical squealing
and he drops her on her feet away from me. Standing between her and me as he turns to her and tries
to reason and shut her up. His whole body taut and alert, as though he’s ready to take her on, and I’m
not sure it won’t go that way. Females when angry tend to turn and attack, even people they love. It’s
how disputes are resolved most of the time among wolves. Physical fights are the norm, even between
mates. “Go home Carmen, let us deal with this. The elders and the Shaman are coming with my father.
Just go and let us figure this out.” He sounds pissed, that deep commanding tone, so like his father’s,
only with a boyish edge.
“Why can’t they just kill her and be done with it? She’s nothing to the pack” she wails at him,
desperately, the noise prickling at my ears so I wince in reaction with an ‘ahhh’ and grasp to cover
them, and I wonder if this is a new thing with my senses. Hearing things more painfully.
“Are you dense? …. Killing her will kill me. Hurting her, hurts me! Even a slap! We imprinted; we are
one. Her soul, my soul… did you never pay attention in class?” He sounds as mad as her now and he
throws a look back down at me, cowering on the floor, dazed and in shock, about the turn of events.
Not mentally ready for any of this.
“Here” he turns, a softness changing his handsome face slightly, making him more appealing, less cold,
and he extends a hand to help me up. It’s the first time I ever saw any real humanity in this guy, and it
renders me mute as I let him pull me to my feet. That heat and transference of sparks at the slight
touch makes me jump, and that familiar urge to need more of him, want his touch, makes me pull my
hand away quickly. Internally bristling and inhaling fast to cool the sudden heat that rides up my neck
and face. Blushing, I look away to break contact.
He frowns at the sensation too and backs off as soon as he lets me go, obviously uneasy at how much
chemistry is stirring up from something so simple. It’s not a secret him and Carmen have been a steady
thing for a long time, so I guess he feels like this is somehow cheating on her. She watches like a
hawk; I can feel her hatred burning through my soul and wishing harm on me. The sting on my face
tells me she probably left a handprint and I try not to glare her way and enrage another outburst.
“I swear to god, Cole….” Her voice breaks and tears spring from her eyes, instantly dampening her
cheeks. “If you leave me for this little, reject…” For a second, the pure heartbreak in her tone gets at
me, cutting me in the chest, and I’m a little sorry for her. Not really knowing what love feels like, or what
this would do to my heart if it was me. I guess a slap isn’t comparable to a devastated soul and the
thought of losing someone you thought was your mate.
That stupid part of me that cares, whether I should or not, and I find myself staring at the floor guiltily as
though somehow accepting I’ve done something wrong here. I feel ashamed.
“Be quiet. Go home and I’ll talk to you later. Right now, we are nothing until this gets rectified. I can’t
have two mates. You know the laws.” It’s the edge in his tone that signals him executing his dominance
and she recoils quickly, knowing when not to question or argue, even if her face gives away the pain in
what he said. Alpha’s have a tone, reserved for times when pack animals won’t obey. It somehow
renders us mute and makes us do what is asked of us and this is one of those times. Even I tremble at
the effect it has on everyone present and have to stop myself from slinking back into the shadows. Not
every male has the gift, only those who were born to lead.
“Alora? That’s your name, right?” Colton turns to me, surprising me with the change, those chocolate
eyes melting me when we connect and I have to look away again, too pulled towards him for my own
liking and nod shyly. No control over his effect on me and I don’t like this one bit. Freedom was calling
to me, and now this, annoying unfightable desire to be wrapped around the one guy I never wanted to
“Or Lorey… I get called both.” It’s a feeble quiet mumble and I inwardly curse myself out for sounding
as weak as his pack always labelled me. It’s no wonder they cast my bloodline to the reject pile. I’m no
match for an alpha.
Relax, I’m not going to hurt you.
It’s his voice in my head and I flicker up, startled that he spoke to me inside my mind and not verbally.
We’re not supposed to be able to do that when both in human form, and especially not when we’re not
from the same pack.
How can you……?
I start to ask, replying in the same way without thinking and then inhale sharply as I realize, I just did
the same thing. I’ve no idea if that breaks rules considering who he is.
We imprinted. We have a link; we can hear each other even from miles away. No distance is too far. No
one else can tap into this. It’s like our own personal telephone line with dampeners.
He isn’t looking at me, but watching Carmen walk down the hall, crying into her own hands and
creating a pitiful picture. I can sense his pain from watching her go and it pains me too. Feeling what he
feels, another downside to now being connected to this guy. I don’t want to feel heartbreak or pain or
any of this crap.
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for any of this.
The honesty and ache in my response brings his eyes to mine and we do that weird thing, where we
lock eyes, get a tremor of something we can’t deny, and both look away again. Neither want this, that
much is clear.
You didn’t do this. Fate did. Now we just have to figure out how to undo it. If that’s even possible.
The hesitation in his tone catches me off guard and despite myself I look at him properly. His side
profile of chiseled square jawline. Sallow skin and dark hair to match those dark eyes and brows.
Colton is tall, muscular, and fit, which is only enhanced by being among the biggest wolves in the pack
even at his age. His family originated from Colombia and you can see his heritage clearly, in the best
kind of way, despite his mother being Caucasian. Me, I’m just a good old country white. Bland hair,
plain girl, and nothing special or beautiful that I know of. Carmen is a goddess compared to me.
The atmosphere turns cold as a troop of men come marching in from the same door we did, and I’m
pushed out of the way ungraciously by one of them. I get knocked sideways, unable to stop myself, and
for sure know I am spiraling down as I lose my footing. Still on unsure legs after tonight’s ceremony and
unable to stop myself.
The low growl and quick reflexes of Colton as he jolts in beside me and catches me to rights, sends my
head spinning. His arms lassoing me and stopping my body colliding with the concrete wall, instead
hitting his chest as I grasp on impulsively. His eyes glow amber over my head, as he death glares his
displeasure at the men, unconcealed as that flash of warning oozes from him. That fierce mate
protection coming out instinctively and I honestly don’t know how to react.
Becoming someone’s mate is as much about instincts, as anything else. It changes you and makes you
feel, do things, you didn’t before. Even if he hated me before this, that need to protect me and look
after me will become his mission in life and vice versa. It’s completely crazy and I can’t believe it’s
happening to me.
His father, however, almost takes his head off with the rage filled bellow he aims his way. I realize a
little too little, that’s who shoved me out of the way so forcefully right then.
“Did you just growl at me?” He snarls our way and Colton curls his fingers around my waist and arm
firmly. Juan lowers his brows severely, and glares at his son furiously, moving into his head link to
continue his chastisement; the way Colton stiffens around me tells me so.
Locked eye to eye, an intense standoff as the air thickens and his energy bristles. Captured in a tight
embrace I know I shouldn’t try and break free from, although my body is responding quite happily to the
contact. Feeling his anger radiating from him and the anxious uptight bubbling inside of me, as I start to
sense what he’s feeling. I was never good with aggression and rage. And now the overwhelming
amount he can spit out, as my mood takes on his, has me recoiling. Colton has a sea of dominant fury
inside of him and his hostility knows no bounds. I try to blot out the projections I’m getting and close my
eyes to focus on my breathing instead. Combatting growing heat and pulsing need from his touch, and
fear and faintness from all the negative emotions flying between these two terrifying men. I feel like a
piece of raw meat hung between two ferocious beasts. It’s like I don’t have full control of my mind or
feelings anymore and try as I might, Colton now lives in my body as much as I do.
They argue inwardly, silent on the surface, but all in the corridor remain still and patient as they are
meant to when their alpha demands. Juan is one of the most intimidating of the pack leaders and I
guess it’s why he moved so easily to prime position.
Colton’s father spins on his heel finally, signaling they are done and marches off into a nearby doorway,
clicking his fingers and gesturing us to follow. It’s all so hostile and unnerving that I flinch, heart
erupting into hammering thuds.
“If people could just keep their hands to themselves and off my mate, that would be great! Thanks.”
Colton mumbles it under his breath, not meaning for me to hear and I throw him an awkward glance.
My heart flipping over and my stomach churning uneasily at his words.
He called me his mate.
I can hear you, and for the time being… it’s what you are. We imprinted. We don’t exactly have a
Colton throws me a look that translates to ‘relax and follow me’ and I mutely do so, cheeks burning
from stupidly letting him read my thoughts. Embarrassed that I’m stupid enough to not remember that
thirty seconds after figuring it out. He fully lets me go and my body cools a little, somehow suddenly
cold from the loss of him, and a weird emptiness fills me instead.
I follow behind him quickly, into a large room that looks like a study with extra couches. The men all file
in and sit down in random places and Colton ushers me to a nearby chair, padded and semi shadowed
in the corner, out of direct line of any of the men. He stands close by and waits as his father circles a
bookcase and comes to perch in the chair at the desk, looking out at all of us in his position of leader.
“I need solutions. This….” He points at Colton and me. “Happens over my dead body. My son is
destined to be alpha one day and I will be damned if his lineage is diluted by a mongrel with bad
breeding. She is not going to be our Luna. Fix this. Find a way! I don’t care what the history books say,
there has to be a way to break the bond and sever the connection, so he is free to mate up with a
chosen female.” The stern tone of a man who doesn’t want to hear excuses and yet a tiny ounce of
hope fills my chest. That there might still be a chance I can get out of this, and here, and follow my plan
to get the hell away from Radstone once and for all. It’s even weirder that at the same time though, a
desolate pain uppercuts me in the heart, at the thought of leaving him. Winding me, blind sighting me
for a second.
“You cannot fight fate. There are consequences if you ignore destiny. Imprinting does not happen to us
all and when it does… you do not question it.” The Shaman is quick to verbalize but Juan slamming his
hand on his desk, sending a loud thud through all of us brings silence once more. I stare at my feet and
will the ground to open up and take me. Crushing pressure on my chest as anxiety envelops me.
“Did you not hear me when I said, THIS is NOT happening! She is NOT going to be my sons’ mate. I
will kill her before I let that happen.”
Silence befalls the room as his biting tone echoes in the air, although I swear, I hear the most subtle of
growls come from Colton’s way, so close beside me and make sure I don’t look at him. Instead I stare
at my hands in my lap and pray for this to be over. Shaking internally and genuinely fearful for my life.
Never have I actually wanted to be left to go back to the orphanage to spend time in my room with
Vanka, but now it’s so calling to me.
I don’t want anything as much as I want that right now, well except maybe this weird primal urge for the
guy at my left to calm down a bit and stop plaguing me. I can feel him, overly so. Way too in tune and
aware of him, even if he is three feet away. My body and mind are doing some weird things in relation
to him and as terrified as I should be right now, I don’t feel it when he moves closer and somehow
calms me without even looking my way. One backwards step of maybe a foot and he soothes my
nerves back into warm gooey submission, that inner heat spreading as he gets close enough that his
scent sparks some internal fire in me.
“Then your son will die too, and we lose our future leader. You cannot break the bond without severe
consequences. The choice has been made. Fate has chosen for him and you must obey.” The Shaman
comes back, undeterred by Juan’s anger and stands as though to press the point. He’s low toned and
confident in his wisdom and does not seem intimidated in any way. “He can choose to sever the bond if
he wishes, but history has shown us that mates who do… both die! The only other option is denial to
consummate. They choose to walk away, no mark is made, no union at all, and deny the bond
completely. It will never die, and they will live lives craving what the other can give them, no matter who
they end up with. IS that what you want for your son?”
All eyes turn on Juan, so much tension in this room as the elders internally talk so that I cannot hear
them. Colton paces and I can tell he too is privy to what is being said. They are his pack after all, and
two are his blood. Father and Uncle. He doesn’t seem happy and the waves of his anger are all lapping
over me and affecting my own sanity. Dampening the heat, replacing it with his rage.
I can’t take it anymore, as minutes tick by and my nerves fray to the point I feel like I may scream,
some internal burst of nervous crazy wooshes out.
“I’ll leave. I don’t want this either.” I blurt it out, into the deathly silence as hysteria gets the best of me
and literally every single face turns to me in shocked response like they suddenly remembered I was
here in this corner.
I know I just spoke out of turn and disrespected everyone in this room, but I’m sat here wearing my own
dried blood, shredded emotions and exhaustion pushing through. My heads a mess, and in the space
of thirty minutes I discovered that being a virgin doesn’t mean you cannot get crazy urges to strip
naked and jump someone’s bones, even if that someone you previously avoided like the plague. I’ve
pictured him naked at least twice without even meaning to since he gave me every intimate one of his
memories and some of those are him showering.
Both Colton in my head and his dad verbally, in unison and I panic that I just spat this out loud.
“It was the plan, my intentions. I mean after my … the um, tonight. My turning. I was leaving. Going
away and it doesn’t have to change.” I sound insane. Babbling like a fool with verbal diarrhea and
aware of the way all eyes are eating up my weak presentation of my crap contribution. I should have
just run when I had the chance and screwed the running ceremony.
“That won’t break the bond. We’ll still be connected, still linked. It will just make us miserable. Don’t you
see? What happened tonight, it changed everything, for both of us.” Colton sounds deflated and I get
the visual of him and Carmen together kissing, right from his head to mine and have to shake it away
as insane jealously claws at my insides from out of nowhere, proving his point. Irrational, illogical but
there it is, and he didn’t even mean to project his sad thoughts about her my way.
“Then what? Because all I am hearing is hopeless submission or death!” My anger snaps, and out of
somewhere deep inside, my bravado peaks and pushes me to my feet, voice strong and frustration
seeping through. An inner surge of tingling electricity as my emotions peek and Colton looks at me in a
very odd way. Suddenly stopping and staring insanely into my eyes while furrowing his brow
dramatically, screwing up that cute face.
“They’re not amber” he comes out with the most random reply and I blanche at him like he has two
heads and no idea what he’s talking about.
“What?” I stammer as he paces towards me.
“Your eyes… when your inner wolf peeks. They’re not amber. They’re red. No one has red…. we all
have amber.” He stalks towards me, grabbing my hand and spins me to him so he can inspect me
closely. “Show me” He urges, and I gawp at him in bewilderment. Confused at the side-tracking of this
conversation and feeling like I just fell through a reality hole.