Rejected Mate and Following Fate - Awakening Book

Chapter 11: Is this it?

I can’t turn and I’ve no idea why. I’m as weak and powerless as Juan said I was…. because of me,
Colton will perish tonight too. He’ll feel this pain, he’ll know I’m suffering and as soon as my heart
stops, his will too. I failed to keep my mate safe, by failing to save myself and I don’t deserve his love,
his bond.

I’m sorry, my love. You were right. I’m no warrior.

I doubt he’ll even hear me, as along with my ability to turn, my mind link is silent and has been since I
lost him upstairs. I close my eyes, trying hard to connect to him, to feel him inside my head one last
time, but there is only deathly silence in the recess of my brain as fingers encircle my throat and I wait
for the inevitable squeeze to end it all.

My blurry vision focuses in front of me, straining across the lawn in a last-ditch attempt to see the world
I’m leaving behind. As he begins to choke the air out of my body, slowly, enjoying the power, savoring
it, smug about the lack of my fight because I have nothing left. Truly sick.

My eyes settle on the chaos laid before me, and my heart implodes with what I see, the devastation too
much for me to really compute. Tears rolling down my face as sadness numbs out everything else. A
quiet peace filling my senses as shock and reality hit, to shield me from the horror of what I’m

There are bodies everywhere. The unwanteds, the guardians, side by side, no care as to whether one
was important or not. There’s blood, debris, and the lifeless souls of my reject pack, strewn wherever
the eye strays. Headless, maimed. Some torn to pieces, some just bleeding out from wounds across
their throats and already dead. Dark fluid taints it all, blood in the shadows, stains everything as far as I
can see. Chaos everywhere. It’s a massacre we never saw coming, and they hit the weakest in our
kingdom, the ones who had no defenses. Most of us were just children, or teenagers, and we never
stood a chance.

This is it for us. My story is finally over.

I close my eyes and accept fate, choking slowly, no longer panic strewn but accepting, as blood sours
out my sense of taste and I gag and fumble at the grass beneath my palms. Hot and sticky with my
own life essence. Struggling to breathe, heart giving in, unable to fight while my body is broken and
shattered. Paused and waiting for the final snap to end this agony and suffering.

The sudden wrenching of the hands around my neck makes me spasm in response, so in tune with the
final blow, but instead of a relief from this plane to the next, I’m set free. Dropped hastily so my face
collides with the damp stinking grass and the taste of my own blood is rammed backward as I inhale it
forcefully. My throat released, and the flash of air that wooshes by me turns my gaze to follow
impulsively. Weakly following the path of whatever just flew by me.

A black flash of snarling fur, a huge beast in utter rage, taking down the form of the man that held me
captive and I can tell it’s Colton as his scent follows on the wind. That instant inner completion only his
presence can bring me, and a tiny ounce of my heart is restored. I slump my head down on my cheek
to watch him, as I can’t do anything much else.

He’s ruthless, a true warrior, and one of the biggest of the pack as he towers at three times the size of
my assaulter on his hind legs. Within seconds, without any obvious effort, or fight, he tears the man
apart from limb to limb, no hesitation, as though merely pulling apart a piece of damp paper towel.
Scattering him across the back wall in a vile dark red spray of body parts, with an almost explosion like

Snarling, seething so his teeth glint in the moonlight devilishly and he turns viciously, before throwing
its head across the courtyard, with enough force that it clears the wall completely. It’s an act of rage
and fury, and he throws his own massive head back, letting the most terrifying, stomach churning howl,
erupt from deep within his body, alerting his kindreds that they should come.

The noise fills the air, echoes insanely, overtakes the silence and chaos as more of my brethren clear
the walls effortlessly, like water over rocks, scaling and flowing smoothly in from all directions to land in
the courtyard. Pouring from every avenue into the small space. Flooding all I can see with the forms of
wolves of all sizes and shades and packs from every corner of the mountain. Uniting for a common

I try to get up, relief overwhelming me that they’ve come to our aid, our saviors are here, but I can’t
move. My hands are bloody and ripped up, my body is weak, smashed internally, and I can’t feel my
legs anymore. So drained of my life force that I’m ebbing away into nothingness. Try as I might… I
can’t move.

Lorey? Baby…. Lorey … nooo. The black beast is over me now, turning me gently with massive clawed
paws, so I face those glowing ember eyes to fall into his safety and care. He calms from snarling teeth
to human form instantly. In a blink, from ferocious to handsome and familiar. Suddenly smaller, naked
before me, in the dark night sky and a look of utter despair washing over that furrowed brow and tear-
filled eyes.

‘I’m sorry.’ Is all I can splutter as I cough up blood and shudder with the effort, too consumed with
fatigue to do anything else. Colton stifles a sob, scrunching his face up, and cradles me close. Picking
me up as carefully as he can and pulling me against him gently, his own pain at me being like this
filtering back to me and weighing upon me tenfold. Sharing our agony, and I can feel his heart
shredding for me. The devastation tearing through him at what he sees.

‘You have to turn, please. It’s the only way you can survive these wounds. Turn for me. Don’t give up.
Don’t leave me, baby.’ The desperation in his voice ravages my heart, but I’m too weak, and I’ve lost
too much blood. I’m so cold, so numb that even his touch can’t warm me as it should and I cry softly,
with desperation because I know, as soon as I slip away, his own heart will cease to beat. I can’t let him
die at my hands; I have to save myself to save him. He doesn’t deserve this, he never did anything
wrong, he came for me. He came to save me.

I have to try just one more time, to give everything I have into healing myself, but it’s futile. I don’t even
know how to turn, let alone if I can. It’s like there is a disconnect and my abilities fail me. I muster any
willpower I can but it’s like that veil of power is still weighing down, oppressing me and I can’t fight it.

‘I can’t. I don’t know how.’ Tears roll down my sodden face as I let out a useless breathy whisper. So
ashamed of my own inability to ever be a match for his strength and power. Colton stares at me, his
face suddenly straightening as he sobers instantly, he looks to his own hand, curled around my
shoulder, an instant twinge of his cheek muscle and then a frown that I can’t read.

Colton doesn’t wait, something registering on his face and he furrows his brow with determination,
pushing the softness aside. He picks me up, even though I cry out in renewed agony of this new torture
and holds me tight. Pain slicing through my wounds as I cry out at what he’s doing, writhing, and
shuddering with the sheer pain it inflicts upon me. I push my hands to his chest to beg him to let go,
because it’s too much and my body can’t take more. Glass stuck in my wounds, penetrating deeper
with the pressure of his embrace and I howl out in despair because he’s only hurting me more.

“I’m sorry, baby. I have to.” Pulling us to standing, he starts running for the nearest entrance to the
courtyard. His focus intent as he scans the wall and moves us as fast as he can to the nearest gate. It’s
a human run, not hyper speed and he hauls ass to get me outside the perimeter of the enclosed
garden and building. I don’t understand and all I can do is cling on and stiffen and sob at the
movements that bring me no end of agony.

His mind syncs with mine as soon as we are free from the confines of the courtyard, I feel it. Shocked
with the sudden presence of him inside my head even though he doesn’t say anything at all. A change
to the weight on my chest and the dull fog of my brain as he skids down to his knees, scraping across
the tarmac, taking me down with him as soon as he feels the bond return so effortlessly.

“Try now. Trust me, you have to try. Focus on me, think of yourself as you were the night of your
turning. The pain, the elation of your new form, will it, baby, will it! Turn!” He begs, commands and

alpha tones me all at the same time. Desperation in his plea and I’m powerless to disobey him.

Something about taking me away from the house makes me feel differently, like a suppression is lifted
from my soul and my head clears just enough. That internal foggy pain that held me weak moves
aside, like lifting a foot from my chest and with a little effort, my body starts to tingle.

“That’s it…your eyes…keep going. You can do this…it’s not hard. Fight for me.” He catches my hand
and holds it in his loosely, waiting, watching, silently pushing me on with a look of fear in his eye that
maybe it’s too late. It causes chaos in my heart, to see him so afraid.

I focus all my effort on pushing, some deep inner need in me to unite with my wolf again, and as soon
as I open my mouth to utter the words ‘I think it’s working’, I arch in his arms and convulse as my body
transforms me into the one thing that can save me. Right on the stroke of my human heart giving out
and sucker punches me back into the land of the living in the most painful kind of way.

I gasp as I inhale loudly, coughing out, splaying my limbs and shuddering viciously as he catches me in
his arms and then immediately lets me go to twist and turn onto my belly. I wretch, gag, at the same
time, before vomiting a crap ton of blood and mucus right over the top of Colton’s naked thighs as I’ve
no control over aim. My wolf body ejects all that internal damage, as though somehow healing is just
the process of getting rid of the messy bits I no longer need, and I’m covered in my own mess. Matting
my leg fur and clinging disgustingly around me.

I scramble away from him so as not to make this worse, finding myself on all fours, suddenly
rejuvenated as pain diminishes and I wheeze, inhaling my lungs fully. The transformation heals me as
fast as it possibly. From head to foot. Cuts close up, bones crack and reform, my lungs expand fully,
enabling me to breathe once more and within minutes, I stand up as though I didn’t just go through hell
and near death in the bloody mess I left back there. Shaken, sore all over as it fades away properly, but
completely healed.

I slump down on the ground and almost immediately revert to human form, as I don’t have the energy
or the skill to sustain my true form yet. That took so much out of my wolf to literally save my life and I’m
spent. Exhaling with a strangled cry of relief and emotion as everything hits me hard. Like being in a
train wreck, only it’s all mental now the physical has been brushed away.

Colton scurries over to me and hauls me into his arms without hesitation, the relief evident on his face
and yanks me close to his chest. Wrapping me up and smoothing his hands over my naked body to
check for any sign of unhealed marks. There are none. Wolf healing is incomparable and almost
always fully effective. There are only a few things in this world that wolves can’t heal from and none are
present tonight. He tugs my face to his throat and hugs me with less panic in his touch, exhaling
heavily as he allows himself a moment of relief that warms me to my core and brings me some calm.

“The pack have them in retreat. I need to get you to safety and follow them. There are survivors and we
have to stop them before we lose them.” He nuzzles his face against my hair before shifting me,
making it clear we can’t stay her. He helps me up, pulling me to my feet and leads me bodily, keeping
me close, to one of the abandoned trucks that are scattered in every street surrounding the school. I
recognize them as belonging to the Santo family. They must have flooded in from every part of the
mountain at a moment’s notice.

“How did you know to come?” I ask weakly as he slides me into the nearest vehicle, pulling a blanket
from the rear and draping it over my naked body as I begin to shiver insanely. I may be healed but my
body and mind are going into shock from all that has just taken place and I suddenly feel as though I’m
in some sort of a dream. Fully aware his taking control is necessity as I don’t have the presence of
mind to do anything for myself.

“Your link was broken, and I couldn’t reach you. I knew something was wrong. I could feel your
confusion, and then your fear. Your pain almost ended me, and I didn’t think I would get here in time…
They did something to the house. Soon as I got near it, my wolf form struggled to stay. There’s some
sort of noise or frequency around it. It stops us. I could feel it in the garden, but I couldn’t hear it.” He

closes my door, jumping in the front of the truck and scrambles around for keys, finding them still in the
ignition, thankfully. Wasting no time in putting it in gear, reversing us at screeching speed as though
we’re in pursuit of something and high tailing us towards the south road out of this part of the mountain
valley. Getting me away from here, even if the threat is being chased off in the other direction.

“Where are we going? Why aren’t you saving anyone else? There are more of us, it’s not only me in
that home! You can’t leave them behind!” I sit up, panic stricken and sudden concern for the others left
behind, hitting me in the chest like a freight train as my tears return with a passion and I half sob, half
choke the words out. My reject pack are back there, they’re the only family I know, whether I liked them
or not and there are so many innocents among them.

Colton catches my eyes in the rear-view mirror and looks away quickly, a sadness hitting me right in
the heart as his emotion silences me with a swift shunt of my stomach. I immediately know what the
pain and sorrow is in what he doesn’t say. He avoids my eye as I stare at the back of his head, feeling
him, reading him as he overcomes my own senses. Tasting his hesitation and sorrow.

“There is no one else is there?” I state blankly, numb shock weaving through me and hitting me with the
gravity of this situation. The weight of reality settling on my shoulders to drag me back down to numb
calm. He’s in constant link with his pack, they would know about survivors, and I’m guessing the fact
they’re chasing down the vampires who ran, and no one but Colton is shepherding one of us away,
means they already checked.

He shakes his head, unable to look at me and I catch his furrowed brow and the gleam of moisture
glazing his eyes in the mirror over his head. He ups a gear, pushing the truck to dangerous speeds as
we head out of the valley and up onto the main road that takes us around the perimeter and out to the

“We weren’t fast enough…. I almost didn’t get to you in time. We just weren’t ready for something like
this. I wasted time assembling the pack, when I knew you needed me.” He sounds almost ashamed,
but without the pack, he wouldn’t have been able to fight all of them himself and save me at all. They
would have taken him down too, as soon as he lost his wolf form in the gardens.

“All of them… the unwanteds…. the guardians. They’re all gone.” It’s not really a question but more of a
dazed reaction as my mind pushes me into shock at what’s happened, verbalizing the truth, and I
slump down across the back seat as silent tears begin to fall down my face, diagonally across my
cheek like sobering cold smears and soak the cold leather of the truck.

“I’m sorry, Lorey. I know they were all you had. We never knew this was coming.” Colton’s voice is
shaky and low. Shame and regret tainting his normally sexy huskiness. We share the agony, but it
doesn’t lighten the load. Insides twisting in cruel heartache as it sinks in fully.

In the blink of an eye…… they’re all gone. Just like ten years ago.

The sad thing was, until this moment, I hadn’t thought they were what I had at all. We were never a
pack, or a family in my mind before, but now, those others, they matter more than I ever gave them
credit for. Even Vanka, my roommate of ten lonely years, and I would give anything right now to have
her get in this truck and blow smoke in my face.

My heart crashes inside my chest as the most painful debilitating heaviness hits me hard, and I let out
a mournful sob that turns to a howl as my body turns without my trying. I lie on the back seat breaking
inside all over again. My body reverting to my wolf form in a bid to heal me from the agony my heart’s
in. A defense mechanism, because my instincts think I’m dying all over again, how ironic.

The most heart wrenching howl I’ve ever heard, leaves my own body, fills my ears and echoes into the
eeriest silence of the dark world around us.

First my blood family, then my pack, and now my unwanteds.

Is there nowhere to run where fate won’t deliver me the worst kind of blow and take everyone from me?