Chapter 9: The Beginning
It’s been thirteen days since Colton left me in the forest and I don’t think I have the will to keep trying
anymore. I’m tired of life and everything has become so mundane. Everything I thought I experienced
before that day is nothing in comparison to how I’ve been since. It’s like my family have died all over
again, and I am bereft and inconsolable. I’ve no more tears because I’ve cried so many. I’m nothing,
but a numb hollow shell and the sunlight has withdrawn from my world to leave me in eternal cold
I tried to stop the spiraling depression, I fought hard to beat this feeling of being sucked free of all life,
but the fates don’t play when you deny them. I’m not even living anymore. Such is my empty
continuous state of nothing.
I robotically move from my room to kitchen, from kitchen to chores, from chores to my room, day after
day. I’ve nothing to say, nothing to add to the conversations around me, and nothing to do or think
about beyond focus on this eternal emptiness that I drag around day after day. It’s like a sack of
boulders chain to my back, and I can’t free myself to outrun them.
I was never this girl. I survived the loss of so much more, yet I don’t know how to fight this. I’ve read
books in the library that blame the severance for my worsened state and mental decline. Cast free, set
afloat by a rejection of this level… it messes with you more than just the rejection of a normal union
ever could. Wolves can pick mates; it’s not always fated. And normally both parties get a choice, so
you have to be pretty sure to shackle your heart to someone, if you’re going to ask them to be mated
Scenting’s happen… that’s when the mate you are most likely to bond with can smell out your scent
among the many and identify you easily. It’s usually the way we figure out who we want before we see
them. Mates should and can smell one another, no matter the distance or the crowds. So, rejecting
someone who syncs with your scent can be crushing as it is. Rejecting someone who imprints at the
hands of the fates… there is no recorded outcome. No one has ever defied it, because quite simply…
no one fights the union.
Its all-encompassing ‘instalove’ and a need and hunger stronger than any bond in the land. Imprinting
is soul mate lore. Unbreakable, pure, and powerful and defies all logic, sense, or reason. It’s magical.
No one wants to deny that kind of obsessive connection and walk away to find another mate… until us.
I can confirm, rejecting from that kind of bond is like dying, only not actually letting the body fade out to
black when the soul leaves you. I’m a walking shell. Zombified and unable to do anything about it at all,
and death right now is starting to look a hell of a lot rosier than this. I’m in purgatory, only it looks
exactly like my life before, yet a whole lot suckier.
I don’t even know if this is how Colton feels, because sometimes, the rejector, they have very little in
way of backlash in the way the rejected does. They made the choice to end things and for some
reason, the fates let them away with crushing another soul. I guess that’s why choosing a mate is not
an impulse thing and marking someone you have been dating can sometimes be a choice of many
years. I mean look at Carmen and Colton. Two years and he still hadn’t marked her, even though he
told me he made the choice to mate up with her. Even he wasn’t ready to commit in case she turned
him down and everybody knows how much she loves him.
I’ve tried not to wonder over the past two weeks if they have rekindled their love affair, but I guess I
would know. We’re bonded, so I would feel it if he had sex with anyone else, whether I want to or not.
Hell, I’ll feel it if he even kisses anyone. Even with a verbal renouncement, from what I have read, it
should make no difference to my being able to know when he betrays the fates and chooses to
procreate with another. The only balance to that is, he’ll feel it if I do too. Whoever ordained this
bullshit, they need therapy, because someone up there has a twisted sense of what’s right.
I jump out of my skin when the door slams behind me and brings me back to reality with a bump.
Daydreaming again while folding my laundry and flinch when Vanka strolls in, smoking a cigarette, and
fills our room with the putrid choking smell of her bad habit. We’re supposed to have a house rule
against smoking, but it’s not like Vanka ever does anything she’s ever told.
“Do you mind?” I snap at her bitchily, wafting my hand in the air as the smoke curls towards me. Trying
to stop it invading my newly heightened senses and stifle a cough as I get hit in the back of my throat.
“No, not really.” She blows a fresh wave right at me as she strolls past, sashaying her hips and hits me
with a sneer as she goes. I bite on my lower lip and ignore her, before this turns nasty. She’s always
been quick to aggression and left me with some pretty bad bruises and scrapes over the years. I know
better than to start another fight with her.
I sigh heavily and go back to what I’m doing, folding clothes on my bed, wanting to have this done
before lights out in a few minutes. There aren’t many house rules for the likes of us, but our guardians
have a very strict lights out and locked doors rule as soon as the moon comes up. It goes back to the
wars and the fact the vampires can only come out when the sun goes down. The only time we have an
exception is the full moon, every cycle, for the ceremony on shadow rock. We don’t have packs to
protect us here, so we don’t get any leeway in our freedoms living in the orphanage.
Vanka’s eyes bear down on me and reluctantly, I look up, and penetrate her with a questioning stare.
She wants something, that’s obvious, but it won’t come as a polite request, it never does.
“I’m going out after the guardians go home…. if you snitch, I’ll mess you up.” The amber glow in her
eyes add weight to the promise and I eyeroll, no longer intimidated since my power to heal and fight
back improved greatly with my turning.
“Why would I snitch? I don’t care what you do.” I go back to staring at the endless pile of laundry,
mostly PJ’s, and try hard to ignore her. No energy for this at all.
“Good. I have a hot date with one of the boys from the Ryleigh pack. Nothing serious, totally slumming
it, and wants to try it on with a shameful reject. He’s a weird one with some serious kinks.” She laughs
dirtily, looking for a reaction, igniting an instant unease down deep in my stomach.
Most she-wolves save themselves for the one-day mate, but I guess girls like us don’t have any reason
to. Even when we get a chance, they reject us on the grounds of who we are.
“Use protection. An unwanted kid would end up right back here and you’d have no choice but to stay.” I
warn, more for my benefit than hers. I’ve been counting down the days when she leaves me in peace,
and I can fumigate her rank scent from this room. I’ve nothing else in life to look forward to anymore, so
I may as well have that. Room to myself, space to call my own.
“Whatevs…. Maybe you should try it and fuck up that pretty little Santo head a little, for throwing you in
the trash. It’s bound to sting.” She sneers and then laughs at her own devious plan, but I ignore it. As
much as he’s broken me, I still love him, and wouldn’t want to inflict that kind of pain. Hell, I wouldn’t
want to do it to myself, I’ve no desire to have sex with anyone that’s not him, as stupid as that sounds.
“Tell me… is it true you two were mid screw and ready to mark when daddy walked in and threw your
ass out?” It’s the snide catty tone that riles my temper and I throw her a pointed snarl, pinning her eyes
with mine as she hits a nerve. Erupting furiously, without restraint, as it comes out so fast, I can’t
“It’s got nothing to do with you, so shut the hell up.” The insane instant deep rumble and scathing tone I
elicit scares even me, and as her eyes widen in shock. She drops her cigarette right out of her gawping
mouth. I recoil, wondering what the hell that was. I didn’t sound like me at all and that hostility came
from nowhere. My blood riling and heating up in a split second and forcing out what I assume was my
wolf growl. I guess she really struck a bone.
“What the fu…. your eyes…. they’re red.” She stutters, visibly shaken and backs away from me a little
before realizing her lap is burning and starts madly grabbing for her dropped fire stick like a mental
person. Soon as she retrieves it, she backs up and slides by me, near the wall, before escaping out of
our bedroom door with a backward glance of wariness, a look of unadulterated fear, and takes off at
I’m left dumbfounded, at both my guttural aggressive response and this god damn red crap. I push off
from where I am, stepping to the mirror in three strides across the room and stare at my own reflection
before the rage in me calms back to numb. I have to see this. It’s a stirring memory of Colton’s words
and I blanche when I see the evidence for myself and gasp in horror.
Colton was right.
There before me, seeing for the first time how I look when my eyes flash with warning that I am on the
verge to turn, I’m faced with two glowing orbs of the darkest blood red, in place of where amber should
be. Almost satanic in their fire and gleam and make me look insane or demonic.
The shock and instant fear that cascades through my veins icily mutes them back to natural green
instantly, and I fall back, eliciting a yelp as I’m gripped with a sense that something is really wrong with
Red? What the hell?
They’re not red. They can’t be. No one has red, never in all the times, and notes, and books, and
packs, and clans, and history, of our kind. I’ve never heard of it and it dawns on me, the elders have
forgotten about Colton’s pointing it out that day. It was never mentioned again, or maybe they thought
he was mistaken, or maybe they were so preoccupied by the fact he almost marked me right under
their noses and that was far mor pressing an issue. I mean it’s ludicrous.
Our eyes are amber. They can’t be any other color. It’s not a thing… this is not a thing!!!
I start panicking, pulling myself back to the mirror in a bid to force myself to bring them back, but that
ingrained terror running through me stops it from happening. I don’t know what to do or what it means.
Am I sick? Is there something wrong with me? I’ve no idea what to think and I pace insanely, flustered
and freaking out, heart close to popping an artery as it thunders insanely in my chest. My brain
spinning nauseatingly that maybe there is something really, really wrong with me. I didn’t think anything
of it when Colton said, it to be frank, I thought he was tripping and not seeing clearly. That somehow
with all the chaos, the drama, the heavy emotions swirling around, he saw red because of his own rage
and mood at the time.
I should go to the medic, right? I should call the Shaman, maybe he will know?
My breathing’s shallow as my lungs burn with the effort to get oxygen, wringing my hands and running
my fingers through my hair as I try to self-regulate the insane pounding of my heart. My blood pressure
hiking and I start to feel woozy, nauseous, skin bristling with searing temperature as I lose control. I
mean I feel like I’ve just found out I have cancer, or a deadly virus that’s incurable, or that Armageddon
is on its way and we have nowhere to run.
I need to calm down. If I don’t, I might turn, and in a blind haze go do something stupid. We’re not
supposed to turn if we feel like we can’t control it. That’s when bad things happen, wolves do terrible,
awful things, to the humans nearby. Frenzied, blood lusted murderous things and then have no
I have to breathe and slow it down. Except I can’t. I’m spiraling and I flop down on the ground
pathetically, crumpling as my legs give out from shaking crazily, clutching my head in a bid to force
myself to focus on my breathing. Face planking the floorboards in an effort to get a grip on reality.
What’s wrong, Lorey. What is it? Talk to me. I can feel your panic and your fear. What’s happening,
baby. What’s going on? His voice renders me momentarily stupefied and I snap up, spinning around on
my ass, looking for the intruder before sense tells me he is inside my head.
Colton? Why’re you in my head? I blanche and press my hands to the sides of my skull and slump
back down to put my face between my knees. To continue trying to regulate my breathing once more,
confused he linked after the two-week silence of rejection I’ve just endured, and still caught up in my
I told you. I can feel you freaking out. You’re afraid. What is it? Tell me. If you need me, my help, I need
to know where you are. What’s happening.
The sob that bursts from my throat as he says the words I have been longing to hear since I last saw
him, breaks me all over again. That care and need to protect me, because despite rejection, he still has
the urges of a mate. I blurt out my worry and break into over emotional terrified tears, fueled by
knowing I’m a freak with blood colored eyeballs.
My EYES are RED!! I think there is something seriously wrong with me. I snort, and wail into the
emptiness of my room, gripped with actual devastation. Really not all too focused on the fact that he’s
actually talking to me, because this is bigger, scarier, and overwhelming.
Jesus Christ, Lorey. I thought something was actually happening to you. Don’t do that to me! Stop
Crying! The sharp alpha tone of dominance winds me and I instinctively obey. I choke, and then cough
on a tear, that had been mid flow when he hit me with that crap. Instantly enraged as pain of my body
shutting off my emotional response, momentarily winds me, forced out of a real heartfelt need to cry by
a bossy asshole abusing his gift.
Don’t use that tone on me! Don’t tell me what to do! I snap back, bristled in fury, forgetting myself as
anger bursts forth, stunning me into immediate silence as I clasp a hand over my mouth, despite saying
He’s not my mate anymore, but a dominant in our lands and talking back like that could get me
seriously messed up if he saw fit. It’s disrespectful on so many levels. No one of my standing would
ever, should ever, snark back at an Alpha.
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that. I backtrack like a total coward and start to whimper as tears begin to
freshly fall all over again. A combination of my previous panic setting in and the sheer devastation of
talking to him like this once more now that my faux pas has shaken sense into me. It hurts more than I
It doesn’t matter. Calm down, I’m sorry, I just needed you to stop… listen to me, Lorey. I knew about
your eyes, remember. There’s nothing wrong with you. The Shaman, he’s been researching all this
time. Just try not to let anyone see in the meantime, until I know what it means. There’ve been others,
but none you will find in the history books. The Shaman doesn’t know why, but you have to keep it
under wraps and stop freaking out. Do you hear me? You almost gave me epic heart failure coming
through like that.
I wipe my face and try to pull myself together, exhaling heavily to steady myself and sitting upright
forcefully. A little soothed by what he said, enough to rationalize and stop acting like a complete idiot.
Bringing my attention to the fact that when he’s in my head, things feel less bad. My pain subsides
enough to function with even this kind of connection to him.
I didn’t mean to project on you. I swear. I wasn’t trying to reach you; I know how things are between us.
I sound like a pathetic whiny child, and it just drives home how non-Luna I am.
This wasn’t you. We’re bonded. When you’re afraid to that extent, hurt, anything like that. I’ll still feel it,
no matter what we do. Just try and be rational. Hold it together.
I guess it works both ways, not that big tough Colton Santo probably ever gets freaked out or scared. I
doubt I’ll ever feel any extremes from him on my end, he’s way too mature and battle seasoned for any
kind of hysterics.
What if I’m sick? I pout petulantly, not really all that settled with his explanations and still mulling.
Shaking now the shock is settling in and sniffing my mess away.
You’re not sick. I would know. He almost chastises me, as a paternal tone takes over and I try not to
picture his face as his voice surrounds me. It already hurts enough to hear him; I don’t need a visual
reminder on top of that.
Then what if I’m cursed and this is how you know. Red’s the color of danger. Maybe I’m a walking hex! I
point out, a real ounce of possibility in that. I mean, it’s me after all.
According to our kind, all of you in that home are cursed… are their eyes red too? I swear that was a
hint of sarcasm, a warming in his tone to suggest humor, but I let it slide.
Okay, then, what if I’m not really a werewolf and I’m something else? The silence that stretches out
between us makes me shudder and the panic once again soars. OH my god, that’s it isn’t it?!?! I
squeak, unleashing a god-awful noise in the process and jerk upright, eyes widening as that fear hits
me low in the belly once more and I lurch to my feet to pace erratically.
NO! No…no, okay. I was considering it, but that’s dumb. There are no others like us, so it’s not that.
Besides, I saw you turn! You’re a wolf, a pretty one at that. Colton soothes, if somewhat bossily, yet it
seems to work, and I exhale heavily and stop walking around in manic circles. I blush at the wolf
remark, even if I know he’s probably trying to be nice to pull my head out of hysteria.
Hmmm. How do you know there aren’t other wolfy type beings? I push, voice strained, fear still
lingering now my brains on this path to self-analysis. Heart rate climbing higher and my feet itch to start
We imprinted; pretty sure two different species can’t do that. Fate wouldn’t allow that. It’s insane. You’re
the same as me, Lorey, trust me. We’ll figure this out. I hate that despite everything, his deep soothing
tone, and sexy voice has a commanding ability to make me feel that he can make everything okay.
That he’s in control and there to catch me.
It’s not your job to figure this out. There is no we. I remind him sullenly, that familiar pang I’ve been
carrying for weeks comes back to nestle in my chest and my fear subsides, overpowered by my
longtime companion and shadow. Heartbreak.
Lorey…… It’s a soft, regretful whisper of my name, that tears my heart strings. He doesn’t get to finish
whatever it is he’s going to say, when a deafening, painful, scream; so insanely loud, high pitched,
blood curling in its reverberation, tremors through the house and vibrates everything around me. My
head, my body, my brain, and the surrounding forests, shake and stutter in such a way that my whole-
body spasms aggressively. It turns my blood to ice instantly, frozen still in fear, and catapults me out of
my own head like a vicious eject button that sends me crashing to the floor heavily.
It’s the loudest, most painful noise I’ve ever felt in my life and the overwhelming nausea and agony it
inflicts on me in that moment sends me reeling across the floorboards, scrambling nails on slippery
surface, to fight the penetrative pain of my brain near exploding. In a crumpled heap, gasping in terror.
It feels like something physically swept through the walls, like an invisible wall of power and chaos and
rendered me completely useless.
What the fuck? What the hell was that? Lorey? Lorey… answer me? Colton’s panic-stricken tone
dances through my mind but I’m still reeling from the internal vibrations consuming my every nerve
ending, from that god-awful noise which seems to be pulsing around me as my senses fade in and out.
My body twitching and I don’t feel right at all.
It’s done something to me. I’m weak and unable to move, barely able to breath as though all my organs
are struggling to fight the pulse or function. Pulling myself slowly to lay flat on my belly, I try to haul
myself to the door. Head pulsating with the aftereffects of whatever that was, brain bruised and
throbbing, and though it’s no longer blasting, I can feel something in the air around me. Like an invisible
thick smog holding me down, swiping my ability to get up, as though it’s sucking all the oxygen and
Colton…. something’s wrong…. I can’t get up. I gasp for air, head swimming with stars and darkness
invading my vision, trying so hard to pull myself up. I’m wracked in pain and have no strength to fight it.
I’m powerless, and as the effects of whatever that was have rendered me completely useless, I lose
the ability to link to Colton too. Feeling him drop out of my head on my end, as though my gift ceases to
be before blankness fully smacks me in the face and I pass out.