Rejected Mate and Following Fate - Awakening Book

Chapter 12: What Now?

I tremble in front of the huge roaring fire, in a state of surreal daydream of the grand fireplace in the
room that Colton left me when he brought me into his pack house. My blanket draped around my
shoulders as my only modesty covering, as he goes and fetches clothes.

I’m tucked into the armchair in the corner, out of the way, while some of his pack pace around in the
clearing directly in front of the flames, inwardly thrashing something out. They’re wired, agitated, the air
thick with the stench of testosterone, blood, and fury and more are returning by the minute to convene
here in this house. Obviously, the pack returning from chasing off those vile murderous intruders.

It’s all in their actions, their mannerisms but as I’m not privy to Santo Pack linking, all I can do is watch
the animated expressions and occasional outbursts of a word here and there.

They know I’m here, but yet, are completely ignoring my presence, much like they have done for years.
It’s not like I care. My head aches, and emotions are fragile, barely keeping it together and I can’t stop
replaying the horrific scene in my head of what I saw laid out in front of me in my on courtyard. Vanka’s
scent burning my nose even still and I shudder at every thud they make while pacing around so
erratically. Unable to wipe that noise from memory.

“Here” I jump when Colton touches my shoulder, so preoccupied in my own mind I hadn’t even realized
he’d come back. I’m too nervy, too coiled tight and antsy. He drops a pile of clothes on my lap, a simple
grey hoody, a pair of sweats and a t-shirt that I guess are all his.

“I’ll show you where you can dress in private” he motions for me to follow; his face softening and his
manner follows. I think he can sense how not myself I am right now and reverts to gentle handling. He
waits for me to get up, pulling the dark grey covering around myself a little more snugly before leading
the way out of the room with me close on his heel, cradling my new bundle in against me. My head
stuck in surreal and detached from a whole lot of feelings in this moment.

“Cole? We need you in this!” A voice echoes his way and he throws the male back a silent look, eyes
glinting as his wolf connects with his packmate. An exchange of nods and he turns his attention back to
me to hold the door open out into the large spacious hallway.

“What the fuck is she doing here?” A nasty, biting tone is spat our way as Carmen comes marching
across from the open doorway in the main hall, which is sitting wide for returning wolves, and
accusingly squares up in front of me, shoving Colton hard in the shoulder as she does so. It looks like
she’s just returned from the hunt, robed in a blanket like mine and visibly grimy from being out as her
wolf self. Most of the pack have gone straight to their rooms for fresh clothes on entry but I guess she
thinks yelling at us is more important.

Something inside of me lets out a tiny murmur of a growl in outrage, that she would physically shove
him, come at us angrily after the night we have all had, and I quickly swallow it down and drop my eyes
to the floor as she spins on me hatefully. Bravado waning fast as I sigh at my own impulsive reaction
with immediate regret.

“Did you just growl at me, Reject!” She almost bites it at my face getting close enough to make me
flinch. Snarling, scathing anger that makes my body bristle and for a second, I swear my claws begin to
peak involuntarily. An anger swirling warmly in my belly as she pokes some deep internal beast.

“Leave her alone… Go into the main room, I’ll be there in a minute.” Colton pushes in front of me to
make her step back, intent on still guiding me away but his protective need taking over. She doesn’t like
it one bit and the change in her manner is obvious. She gets even madder. Spinning to face him down
instead of me.

“I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what the hell she’s doing here!” She spits a little more
venomously this time, eyes glowing bright amber and throat eliciting a snarling growling undertone in
her words. She’s on the verge of turning and her wolf is already riled and ready to fight. I shiver, not

sure I can take any more violence tonight. I may be healed, but I’m in no state to have a femme go at it
with me over a mate who doesn’t even want me.

“Trying not to die so I too can carry on breathing. Do you mind?” He snaps right back and extends a
hand as if to say, ‘can we get by?’. Ignoring her hostility, exerting his dominance but even I can tell it’s
not the right way to handle Carmen right now. She’s running on extreme female possessiveness and
green-eyed rage. Colton should be soothing her as gently as he is handling me, but he seems oblivious
to that fact.

Carmen turns almost feral at his response, full hackles rising, and her fingernails extend to claws as
her anger leaches out of every pore. Turning and ready to thrash it out with her so called mate,
because quite frankly, he’s being insensitive to what she’s feeling about my being here. If I was her, it
would probably be my reaction too.

“Over my dead body, you go anywhere with that mongrel! I forbid it. She shouldn’t even be here!” She
can’t conceal her hatred and jealousy, barking an order that even I know she has no right to make to an
alpha, even if he is her mate now. I sink down inside my own wrap of itchy blanket and try to not make
eye contact; in the hopes she runs out of steam.

Submissive, nervous, beyond exhausted, both mentally and physically, and too tired for this. Doing
anything with Colton is not high on my list of priorities when I just had the worst night of my life. I have
bigger problems than teen drama and broken hearts.

“It’s called trust. She’s here for protection, and I’m showing her to a room so she can pull herself
together…. nothing else. Don’t assume you can tell me what to do, Carmen, that’s not how this works.”
There’s an edge to his tone but as of yet, his dominant vibe is playing cool and humoring her a little.
He’s aware he could shut her down with that one tone, but he’s not trying to. I think it’s dawning on him
that she’s mad because she’s insecure and I’m the very good reason to be so. I can’t imagine what it’s
like to have the love of your life suddenly start to love another.

“Trust!! Don’t make me laugh. Where was that trust when you were inches from marking this little
tramp? I wouldn’t trust you with her, any day of the week. I meant nothing in that moment.” She
blanches, thrusting words like knives at his face.

“Well, it’s just as well we aren’t dating right now then, isn’t it. Might be an issue otherwise.” Colton
snaps back in an icy tone, surprising me with that little statement, shoves her aside aggressively before
turning to catch my hand firmly and yanks me with him. I yelp at the sudden motion and almost drop
the clothes I’m holding to my chest, anchoring my blanket I place. Distracted by his warm touch in my
cool hand and by the absolute hatred being thrown at me from poisonous glares.

“I swear. You get one shot, Cole. You fuck up a second time and we won’t ever be mates. I won’t even
try to forgive you again, I mean it. Don’t fucking touch her!” She yells it after us, a stifled sob mixed with
utter bitterness, and I can smell the stench of the betrayal which fuels her. He bristles lightly but just
keeps pulling me across the hall without looking back, his mood taking a turn and I can taste his own
aggression starting to peak.

“Like you have in the first place.” He snarls under his breath, out of her ear shot and I stare at his
muscular back and shoulders and try not to react in any kind of way. I never thought I would ever see
the Packdom’s dream couple talking to one another like this, or for Colton to be so cold towards her.

I’m supposed to be fixing things with her and rebuilding trust. Fat chance when she throws it at me,
every second, of every hour, of every fucking day. He sounds pissed, and he’s definitely giving me the
vibes as I feed on his emotions. It’s said in link and I dart a glance back at the seething bitch, watching
us go, before hurrying to close the gap and pull my hand out of his with irritation. Something rising up
from inside of me, but I try and ignore it.

I’m sorry that I ruined things between you. Even though it hurts me, for the obvious reason, that there is
a Carmen and they’re trying to work it out, but I’m sorry I screwed it up for him. I feel like I should be

apologizing for something anyway. His life was fine before my cursed blood latched onto it and sucked
all the goodness right out.

“Just remember who you chose as your mate, Colton Santo…. Remember, you made a choice! A
commitment. Remember you chose ME over HER!” She yells it screechingly so, as we reach a door,
diagonally from the one we came out of, and he throws her a stiff look back. Carmen is full on shaking,
with a mix of anger, and hysteria, obviously torn about her mate dragging his bond to some secluded
room to dress. I can almost taste her mistrust and panic, and can’t help but pick up on her projections,
from sheer proximity, of seeing his kissing me that night. She’s completely absorbed in her own misery.

“Yeah, I made a choice, but that doesn’t seem to register with you, does it. I denied the fates and stuck
with you, yet it doesn’t seem to weigh up to much. I’m still dealing with this shit every day.” Oozing with
sarcasm and simmering anger, he opens the door, ushering me inside with a gentle push, one of his
hands sliding behind me, but he stays out there glaring at her in a war of angry snarls. I duck under his
arm and turn to grip the handle of the bathroom door to shut it, but he still has his hand on the edge up
top, holding it open. I sigh inwardly, wanting to be free of this little battle and not stuck witnessing it.

“That’s because I’m the mate you were meant for… not that reject. Just remember that in all of this,
that it’s me you first loved, and me that’s made for you. You betrayed me and I have every right to be
mad about that.” Her tone is more pained sadness than rage now, but he misses it entirely. I stand
here, mutely uncomfortable, trying not to feel anything at all.

“Actually…. I think if anyone should be mad, then it’s Lorey. I literally denied the fates and abandoned
her, to take my place with a chick the fates obviously didn’t pick. How about, go be mad with them, for
not agreeing that you were made for me.” He spits it at her, emphasizing her own words mockingly, and
her instant gawping, shock, and sharp inhale make me wince.

That had to sting. I mean, it made me flinch and it wasn’t even about me.

Colton is obviously pissed. Majorly so. I mean to say something as hurtful as that to the girl he’s meant
to be repairing his bond with. I clock on to the fact my mouth is sagging open and I quickly shut it and
turn inside, trying to yank the door with me, sighing with relief when he realizes he is still jamming it
open and lets it go.

“Screw you, Colton.” She screams it at him, that piercing high pitch sound that sends me into a
slumping cringe as I grab my ears and attempt to keep the pain out. I literally sync with Colton’s pain,
crumbling in the same kind of agony, and know her ‘gift’ has just been used against us once more as
an effective weapon. She really likes to throw that around the way a toddler throws tantrums.

It stops as quickly as it hits and then in eerie silence and I pick myself up from the floor, pushing the
bathroom door to click fully closed with my foot and hurry to pull his clothes on. Shaking from that
assault and hoping to god she’s run off to carry on her hysterics somewhere her screams can’t rupture
my eardrums.

You okay? Carmen needs to control her gift when she’s mad. That girl gives me major headaches.

He links me, from the other side of the door and I nod, stupidly forgetting he can’t see me. Not that it
matters, his voice tense and I pick up on the frustration and turmoil in his emotions, wondering if it’s
why I feel so tetchy too.

There’s a deep irritation rising in me that I assume is what he’s feeling, and I’m absorbing. There’s
definitely a burning ember of ‘grrr’ growing in my belly and I can’t pinpoint why. Maybe it’s fallout from
my trauma and the anger and aggression coursing slowly through my veins is some kind of temporary
PTSD. I push it aside and focus on getting theses sweats on and tying them tight enough, so they don’t
slide down. He’s so much bigger than me and they swamp me with oversizedness.

I shouldn’t have said that to her… She just makes me crazy lately. It’s like I have no patience for her
and no real guilt over what we did. I know that makes me shitty, but we were bonded, and she has no

idea how hard fighting that is… In my head, we didn’t do anything wrong, even though I know
technically I cheated on my girlfriend. But she wasn’t anymore… I mean…. We imprinted! … And that
pretty much meant you were my mate from that second on, and it blanked out all other feelings for her.
What we did, was what we were meant to do.

He stops, and I inhale heavily. Guilt instantly thudding down on top of me from my own heart and not
his, pushing my irritation button all the more and I answer abruptly. Not sure I want to be the one he
pours all his Carmen issues out on. I mean this alone is making me feel sick with the stabbing pain it’s
inflicting on my heart. I still feel the same way about him, so I don’t know why he’s trying to talk to me
about her.

You don’t need to explain this to me.

In other words – I don’t want to hear this.

I know it’s just, this whole thing sucks. It’s a mess and despite her being the one I’m supposed to be
working things out with, I never stop thinking about you.

I inhale sharply, and insta-tears sting my eyes that I try to shake away. We went through this already
and it’s futile talking about it again. I know what we are and that there is nothing we can do about it.
This is pointless and only drags out the agony of knowing so. He walked away and left me alone for
these past weeks to really let that hit home. This, now, it’s all just fallout from something bigger than
this mess. The attack brought him to me and nothing else. His survival rests on mine too.

Please don’t. I try and shake him out of my head, but I’m too tired, to close the link when he is this near.

I know. I made my bed, right? I chose. And it’s not like this could ever work. My father would never
allow it. I just don’t get why the fates would throw us together like this if we can’t ever be together.
They’re meant to be the all-seeing power, and every choice has a reason. What reason did they have
to do this to us? His angst is evident, and I agree, but the way he’s rambling makes me lose all

patience with him. Burned with my own pain, frustrated with all this Carmen bullshit he’s throwing at me
and now this, what sounds like regret, and wishful thinking, and questioning our entire belief system as
though he had literally no hand in this at all.

We were always taught to never question the powers that be, and this kind of crap could have all sorts
of consequences for him. Wolves are superstitious as hell, and condemning the fates is like breaking a
mirror, crossing the path of a black cat or worse! Not to mention, he’s really getting me mad. It’s like he
isn’t listening to the words coming out of his own mouth and his utter Prince Santo privilege just plain
pisses me off. He has no idea.

You know better than to question the fates, Colton. Don’t tempt a curse. We shouldn’t question.

I try a diplomatic, please shut up in a stern tone, but he misses it entirely.

Why the fuck not? They gave me you, and an inability to do anything about it. They made us love one
another, in a way that nothing will ever be able to kill, and then they made sure we couldn’t ever act on
it. This is a curse! I can’t even be around you without someone busting my ass, let alone touch