Rejected Mate and Following Fate - Awakening Book

Chapter 50: Mom

He is all in wolf mode in his head and acting like a male hitting the haze. Possessively close, practically
bearing down on me as the femme he clearly wants to bone. It’s a little unnerving that he is being so
weird, but I get it … I left him. I knew where I was and was in control of my being gone, so I never had
that frantic pain of loss. I always knew where he was, and how to reach him, and could have if I
needed, and wanted to, but he had none of that.

He just had silence, no idea where in the world I went and not knowing if I was okay, so I guess it’s why
he seems a little stirred up and wolfy crazy. His bond instincts to protect me must have made him
insane these last weeks, and until now I never really thought of it. How that must have made him feel,
the powerless nature of it. Especially if he could feel my fear, my panic, my sadness, in everything I
have been through. His wolf taking over, and sheer instinct is to stay on my ass and convince me I
need, and like him stuck to me. That primal aggressive urge to stick to his mate and kill anything that
comes near her.

Normally the human in us counterbalances it a lot better than he is, but I guess I can let it slide while
he’s caught in our first moments of reunion. My scent alone must be affecting him on all kinds of
unbearable levels, because even his is getting under my skin and making me crazy. It’s taking all my
will power to not turn and wrap myself around him.

I walk a few steps to put distance between us unsuccessfully, him bumping me the whole way in an
almost claustrophobic manner. I stop when I know we’re fully inside and then reach, feeling his face
above mine with his taller height, having him towering behind me. I cup his chin just behind me,
stretching my arm slightly and lift it, so he looks directly at the corner where Sierra lays in front of him.
His senses are all on me so that he hasn’t even clicked she’s here. That there’s anyone else in here.

There’s a moment of pause. I sense the heart stop, and inhale. I feel everything that he exudes, and it
makes my own emotions fade in comparison. His shift from ‘I need you’ possessive over-hormonal
crazy, to ‘what’s going on’ confusion, and then the ‘is that?’ shock as everything about him changes.

Colton steps around me instantly, freeing me from his presence as his attention is swept out from under
him and darts to the bed in the dark. Swift, and direct, seeing exactly who it was in the dimness. Doc
seems to be shuffling around and manages to click something that illuminates the back of the truck with
built in low lights and I focus on Colton sliding to his mom’s side, scooping up her hand carefully, and
almost gasping in shock. He leans in, making her look so small in comparison to him and gently strokes
his thumb across her pale hand. All the tenderness of a sweet child, infatuated with the mom he’s been
pining for years.

“Mom…. Is that really you? Can you hear me?” he sounds like a lost little boy, so young, and
vulnerable, an aching rawness to his tone, and for a moment I forget my anger and nothing but
compassion for him fills my heart. I can feel the way this has ripped his heart open, and his pulse is
racing so speedily, mine starts to match it. Colton regresses ten years, and he’s just a boy finding his
mom, whom he’s needed for so long, so much more than anyone could ever have known.

“She’s sedated; the doc needs to wake her, but she doesn’t know what’s going on. Colton, you need to
know…. there’s nothing wrong with her mind.” I point out, coming level with him, and resting my hand
on his arm as he stares at her, eyes fixed on her face. His breathing is shallow, and the confusion and
pain is evident under that furrowed brow, and glowing amber eyes. He can’t contain his emotion, so his
wolf is showing. He swallows hard, reaches out lifting a strand of her hair and brushes it back gently, so
carefully like she’s fine china, so fixated on her, like this is some kind of dream he doesn’t want to wake

“How…… where?” his voice breaks, a harsh croak, and the doc seems to keep his distance to let me
be the one to explain. It’s not an easy thing to tell a guy that the father he loved all this time is the
reason his mother was imprisoned and put to sleep. I don’t even know how or where to begin, and I
hesitate, looking to the doc, mildly panic stricken for a moment when it comes to me. The doc shrugs
and nods at him, as though encouraging me. I think he’s a little intimidated by Colton to be fair, I mean
he did threaten to kill him three minutes ago.

I don’t need to tell him. I need to show him. It’s the only way I know how.

“It’s a long story, I think maybe it’s better to do it this way. So you can see for yourself.” I whisper,
reaching up and laying my fingertips on his temple and wait for his permission. Tensing as my touch
seems so light and hesitant on him, that familiarity dragging me to draw closer. Colton nods, oblivious
to me really, while his attention is on her, knowing I mean projecting my memories. I can’t blame him;
he’s searched for her for so long, so no wonder she’s all he sees.

I close my eyes and begin to push them his way, rifling through and trying to find a starting point as I
drag them to the forefront. I decide on one, right from my decision to turn east and follow that path, to
finding the facility, then being caught… Deacon, the doctor, the cell and finding Sierra, right until we got
out and I linked Colton. I show him every second on that timeline, even how they kept her, and where,
and hope it all filters in while he’s so distracted.

I need to give him all of it, even the parts I’m afraid of him knowing, because I don’t have the words to
tell him about his father, and I don’t have the strength to tell him about my family. Or that we’re both

Colton stands stock still, as it all plays in and he relives what I did in the past couple of days, seeing,
hearing, learning everything I did. Feeling what I did and experiencing everything he must have felt
from afar. In microseconds of time, the way transference works. Even the part I was most afraid of
telling him…. that I’m a half breed vampire.

I feel him close me out as soon as the images of the last memory fade away. Like a shutter coming
down as he disconnects from me, and that wall of emotion blanking, pushes me away. It’s not
something most wolves can do, especially to an imprinted bond, but Colton does it right now and
shields me from everything he’s feeling in the moment and numbs me out. It’s an alpha gift, to shield
loved ones from the pain and horror.

It shocks me, hurts me a little too, but I don’t think he’s doing it to punish me. I think he’s doing it
because he knows his own emotions are completely overwhelming and he doesn’t want to make me
feel them too. He’s protecting me and pulling back so he doesn’t share what he’s experiencing. He
stands, lets go of his mom’s hand and looks over my head at the doc, a glazed distant expression and
not what I was expecting at all. A look of determination as that leader takes over and he stands that
little bit taller, moving to take charge mode.

“How long do you need before you can wake her?” There’s a coldness to his tone, a lack of feeling and
I wonder if he has recoiled even from his own feelings, because it was too much for him, or if he is just
really, really pissed. I honestly cannot tell, but there is a brewing storm in the air around him, even if he
is shielding me. I guess finding out everything in your life was a lie, and the villain in your story is your
own father, has to hurt as much as what I learned about what he did to my family.

“A couple of days to bring her round fully, but she may take weeks to properly come to and recover
enough to turn, there is no telling. She’s been asleep for a very long time, and I don’t know what kind of
harm that has caused her.” The doctor looks helpless and I can tell he too doesn’t know how to react to
Colton being so…. unemotional. It’s like he didn’t find his long-lost mother laid sedated in the back of a
truck, and he’s absently directing some lost tourist on where to go next.

“I’ll drive. You stay back here with my mom. The manor is another thirty minutes, minimum, and we
need to get going before that asshole Deacon and his failure sub pack show up. I don’t want to be
spilling blood in human territory.” That growl, a hint of anger, and I guess I feel a little smug about that.
Colton might actually rip that jerk a new one after all. I honestly hope Deacon does show up, because I
know my Santo will kick that Santo’s ass into next week, and I actually don’t mind letting him have that
one. Watching will be as much joy as doing it.

He doesn’t even look at me, just nods at the doctor to bolt the doors and then walks forward to the cab
and climbs into the driver seat, smoothly, and fluidly, like he’s driven military medical trucks his whole
life and doesn’t even blink an eye at it. Stopping and staring out the window at the assembled vehicles

out there and I know he’s linking the pack to tell them to move. He’s issuing orders, and I follow and
climb into the passenger seat, a little afloat with the sudden disconnect in him and unsure how to
behave. This version is a Colton I don’t know, and even I feel like I should do what he says.

I screw my eyes up at the trucks, counting maybe five, and way too many for the sub pack, unless
they’re spread thinly among them, but can’t make out who’s driving at all. The headlights are screwing
with my night vision and I can’t see anything but light glare when I try and look past them. I wonder if
Meadow can see me, and I long for nothing more right now than to go hug her. She would get a hug;
Colton can go to hell, well maybe not right now as he seems like he could probably use one.

As soon as we hear the door lock get slid and clicked in place, he glances back to make sure the doc
has pulled down one of the folding seats and strapped himself in before he moves us on. The fleet of
vehicles roar into life and two stay back to let us pass and follow. So, we’re flanked, and Colton just
focuses on driving. He positions us right in the middle of the other cars as though they’re escorting
some sort of president. A precious cargo who needs their protection. I guess we are. The Luna is as
important as the Alpha in a pack, she’s our Queen.

My need to have him say something overpowers my need to be mad at him, and I reach out placing my
hand on his bicep gently.

“Are you okay?” I sound like that feeble girl from so long ago that imprinted on him, and not the person
I’ve been growing into these past weeks. When faced with this guy, it seems I become a submissive,
lovesick, fool, and I silently hate myself for it. Colton seems different too now though, as I sit and
evaluate his profile in the light of the headlights shining back at us from the rear of the black four by
four in front.

He looks like Colton, still cute boy with dimples that are prominent whenever he moves his face in any
in kind of way which could melt any grown ass women’s panties. Still handsome, dreamy, pretty boy
face, with that air of cheeky confidence, but yet he seems older. More mature, maybe a slight aging

that has him seeming less carefree, and high school jock, and somehow more capable and serious in a
way he wasn’t before. There’s a darkness around him that was never there and without tapping into his
feelings, I don’t know what it is. It’s more than just learning about his mother; it was there when he
walked into me outside the truck. Colton’s carrying a weight and I want to know what. There’s a shift
and it’s like some of his youthful light has gone out.

“I don’t want to talk about this right now…I need to…. just let me be, Lorey. Just for a minute.” A
petulant shrug of his arm so I stop touching him, and it’s like being scolded. An unexpected rebuff from
the guy who just minutes ago hugged the life out of me with sheer need, and now I’m not allowed to
touch him. I shouldn’t be upset. He’s hurt, he’s processing, and he’s in his own head, and it’s pretty
hypocritical for me to be mad about that. I didn’t want him touching me, and that hasn’t changed.

I try to link him, thinking maybe talking that way will help soothe him, away from the doc’s ears and he
might be more open to being less cagey with his feelings but he has the door closed and I can’t get
through at all. He’s literally locked me out in every way, and I don’t even know if this is normal behavior
for him when he’s nursing pain, or if this is because he remembers I’m not his mate and he should only
be sharing that space with her.

Fuck you, Carmen. Fuck you, Colton.

I hate that he can make me feel this way, a new storm swishing around inside of me and I have to stop
myself from glaring at him. A new surge of conflicting pain and I resist the urge to slap him. I sit back in
my chair and pull my legs under me, hauling my body in tight to self soothe, calm the torrent of crazy,
and try not to stare at him, or throw shade. It’s hard when he’s right there, yet feels a thousand miles
away, and my own emotions are in uproar. I can’t even pick a side and stick to it.

I want to be mad at him and hate him, I have every right, but when he’s near I can’t stop this
overwhelming pain and heartbreak he causes me, although right now, I’ve added compassion and

empathy to that mix, and I’m dying inside for him. Even while cursing him. I want to ease his own pain
and as stupid as it seems, I’m devastated he’s closing me out like it has nothing to do with me. I’m so
confused at my idiot thoughts and responses.

“Where are we going?” I utter it his way, unable to not say something to him, even though he said he
doesn’t want to talk. I can’t sit in painful silence feeling like this. Colton exhales with a sigh that signals
he’s not really into answering but compelled to do so.

“To the manor I inherited from my mom. It’s someplace my father never had any control over. It’s where
we’ve been staying these past weeks. Lorey, I told you, so much has changed.” Colton’s eyes flick my
way, he frowns at me and sighs again, and then looks back at the road and doesn’t elaborate. I mean I
get he’s currently working through some of his own shit in his mind, but an explanation would be nice.
This minimal chat bull crap isn’t working for me.

“Such as?” I push, locking my eye on him with a flash of stubborn and I can’t miss the way his whole-
body tenses up. The exhale, frustrated grip on the steering wheel, because it’s obvious I’m not going to
shut up and leave him alone, and that has him rolling his shoulders to relieve tension while he decides
answering is inevitable.

“The pack is divided. Half are here with me, the other at the mountain. There was a fight, when I
challenged my father for leadership, and it got real messy. The people were turning and with more
attacks in the west, he was becoming a dictator, forcing the people under his command, and treating
them like they were all his prisoners. I had to do something, and he didn’t like it. He lost! …. I’m the
rightful alpha of the Santo pack now, but instead of stepping down gracefully as the laws dictate, he
ordered those loyal to him to take out me and mine.” It’s an exasperated tone, explaining something he
clearly doesn’t want to, and it revs up that aura of closed off hostile around him. I gawp at him in wide
eyed shock, heart thundering crazily, trying to really pull those words together. It hits me that while I
was having my own existential crisis, so was he.

“I don’t know what to say.” I stammer, side swept with that revelation of events, that I honestly never
saw coming at all. That explains that cloak of darkness around Colton. Since I left his whole world has
turned upside down, and his father already gave him reason to hate him, making my enlightening news
somewhat less unbelievable. My memories only added fuel to his fire.

“There’s nothing to say. My father tried to kill me. You were the catalyst, I guess… you leaving me,
realizing that I was an idiot and lost the only thing that should have mattered. I failed you, and then a
shit storm blew up around me with another vamp attack and life imploded. My father’s men are at war
with his own people, still under threat of new vamp attacks. We’re scattered across the north and I
have a sizeable chunk at my mom’s estate, hiding out, scared shitless.” there’s a calm sort of
acceptance in his tone, as though he’s not okay, but this is his reality and he’s dealing with it in anyway
he knows how.