Rejected Mate and Following Fate - Awakening Book

Chapter 52: Homestead

The warm sensation sliding around me and the sudden weightlessness I experience wakes me up
before his voice does. A feeling of floating, as everything comes back to me and my brain re-engages
with my limbs, as warm hands, and body transfer heat to mine.

“Baby, we’re here, wake up.” Colton’s honey tone slides over me as his scent submerges me in a firm
cozy hold, submerged in his delicious scent that makes me giddy, and I blink my eyes open to find
myself in his arms while being scooped out of the truck as he stands by my door. The night is cloaking
in around us but illumination from the front of me makes my eyes blurry as I try to adjust and screw
them shut again quickly. Taking a moment to savor the weird in between state of awake and dreaming
while being cradled. He has me in his arms, pressing me to him, one under my legs and one around
my back while my face is in against the crook of his throat, nestling me in as the cool air brings me
round fully.

I slide my hands up his expanse of hard chest impulsively, searching out a place to anchor myself,
aiming to slide around his neck when sense fully awakens me and I realize this is probably not wise
when my heart is so bruised. That getting all tangled up with Colton is the opposite of what I need. It’s
far too easy to accept his touch and his willingness to add intimacy to the mix but I have to be stronger
than him.

“I can walk, put me down.” I croak hoarsely, my sleep addled tone heavy and I wriggle to get my legs
free. Resisting even if it’s feeble and thankfully he isn’t too set on fighting me.

Colton relents after a moment of hesitation, sliding my feet to the ground carefully, but he keeps me
anchored to him with the arm around my waist and tugs me front on. Bodily closing the gap between us
and lifts his other hand to stroke my cheek as he leans in to bridge the height difference. Rendering me
momentarily senseless, as that burning connection makes my knees buckle almost completely. He
cups my face and pulls me in, bringing his forehead down to mine and pushes us together intimately.
Our breaths mingling in the cool air and I’m overly aware how dangerously close this is, a slight inch

more and he’ll be kissing me. Caught tired, and slow in reaction speed, and somehow feeling
vulnerable at waking up to his touch.

“When my mom’s settled in the infirmary, we need to talk. We need to figure this out and fix us. I
missed you more than you’ll ever know, Lorey. I’m never letting you go again.” His eyes stray to my lips
and that crazy overwhelming urge to lean in and take what he’s pondering doing almost kills me. My
own lips parting slightly as the tug of desire pulses through me with fervor and I’m powerless to pull
back when caught in his breath this way.

His touch goosebumps my skin all over, the low intensity of his voice drawing me in as if no one else
exists around us and I almost weaken to the point of melting into him. My pelvis, and between my
thighs heats up to molten lava at this kind of contact with him and I almost have to press my knees
together to gain some control. The haze is approaching, and I guess it’s already starting to screw with
my libido, or maybe it’s always just him and I’m still a weak fool for this man. More so when caught off
guard and too sleep addled to think straight. So easy when this feels so right, but I catch myself and
finally muster the strength to pull back, covering his hand with mine and sliding it from my face.

“Colton…” I start to rebuff him, but he doesn’t let me loose as easily as he put me down.

“We can’t ignore how we feel about each other. That we’re meant to be.” It’s a hint of desperation in his
ravaged tone, mirroring my urges, his jaw tensing and squaring off which only makes those irresistible
dimples prominent and those lowering brows bring out the cute boy face. Leaning closer and making it
harder to breathe when my senses are filled with him. It sparks that self-defense mechanism in me
though, that urge to run far away before he cripples me again, and I slide my hands between us and
push him away with enough force to get him to release me.

“Why not? You did!” I bite, stepping back coldly, as his hold drops and the sweep of hurt and regret is
evident on that flawless face. It tugs at me, slicing my own heart with a sharp stab but I don’t weaken,
pushing my pain and agony away and refusing to break. If he thinks he can be mated elsewhere but

still have a side chick so he doesn’t have to live with the mistake, then he can go to hell. I won’t be
some dirty secret that has to steal moments with him, and share him with her, just because he didn’t
manage to break our bond in taking another. I’m not doing this, no matter how much I yearn for him, or
how much I still love him. I have more respect for myself than that and I won’t be one of those wolves
who bring shame upon themselves by committing adultery with a mated, even if we were destined.

He broke this, not me. He made his choice, no matter what his reasons were. It can’t be undone.

“You’re angry, and hurt, and upset…. all valid, and I understand why. If you need time to forgive me,
then I’m not going anywhere. I’m not giving up. I need you, and I’ll earn your forgiveness, no matter
what it takes.” Colton back in serious, soft faced, high school, hot boy mode, and I shake it off.

I ignore him, trying to blot out words that wound me to the core and turn to walk away, but he catches
me by the wrist and stops me in my tracks. Tugging me back slightly and igniting further fury. Burning
searing touch that was invented to torture me by being both the best feeling in the world, and the worst.
That bubbling temper begins to dominate the pit of my stomach but before I can turn to tell him to back
off, my thoughts are interrupted with a high voltage distraction.

“Chica!!” Meadow comes bounding from seemingly nowhere, darting at me like a lioness pouncing its
prey, like a freight train and a tornado all in one, and sweeps between us, hauling me off my feet in a
bear hug that momentarily dazes me, and spins me around with alarming strength for a girl shorter than
me. “Dios mío, niña, te extrañé”

She smothers me in Latino love, squeezes me so my ribs almost crack under the strain and then
dumps me on my feet and grabs me by the face with an insane clutch like grip. She starts kissing me
all over the cheeks, nose, and forehead, like an overbearing momma, and it’s a furious fast barrage
that doesn’t give me a second to counteract. I can only screw my eyes shut, pucker up my face to
protect my poor features and accept this ambush while trying to unhook her fingers around my cheeks
before she leaves bruises. She’s strong and persistent with her very aggressive affection.

“Mead….ddd…oowww” I try and wriggle free of those claw-like hands and the lipstick smeared attack
on my face, giggling wildly at the ridiculousness, but she’s relentless. Finally, once I’m sure every inch
of my face is in matching rouge red from her lips, she lets me loose.

“Oh my god, my baby girl, she’s come to me and now I can die happy, knowing my Chica is home.”
She’s being overdramatic, her accent heavier than usual with the surge of emotion she’s spewing.
She’s still holding me in her arms, but I have to say the feeling is mutual. I’ve never been so happy to
see another femme in my life, as her. I throw myself at her for a second hug, this time one I can
actually participate in and she squeezes me once more, so I get to wrap my arms around he properly.

I can tell Colton has moved away, as his invasive presence releases the strangle hold on my heart and
a quick glance tells me they’re at the rear, removing his mother’s bed as members of the pack move
into help. There’s a lot of chatter as people figure out who’s coming out of the truck and I can feel the
whispers spreading through the pack as the atmosphere is charged with shock and excitement. I can
see some pulling out the machines and cabinet and putting ramps in place. A hive of activity over there,
with the doctor directing with that unique accent of his above the drone, issuing orders to his new mass
of helpers.

“Let me look at you.” Meadow drags my attention back to her, pushes me back to arm’s length and
even though its dark out here, lights from the pretty huge and towering house, standing tall in front of
us, illuminates this area enough that we can see each other with clarity. That was the light which hurt
my eyes when I woke up.

“You look so good, so healthy, your hair has grown, your losing your puppy face and…oh, god! What
are you wearing?” Meadows face and tone completely drop as her eyes run up and down my attire and
she visibly gawps. The look of sheer disgust which envelopes her expression makes me laugh.

“Escape clothes!” I shrug under her scrutiny, amused with the way she’s now holding the arm of my
sweater between two nails like it’s an unhygienic rag and let’s go before rubbing her fingertips as if to

expel the grime. I’m not dirty but her reaction is priceless as she shakes her head at me.

“Why do you keep letting that boy pick your clothes, huh? It’s not a good look. Colton has no taste
when it comes to female things. I mean, he dated Carmen for two years, that says it all, Chica.” She
bobs her head side to side waving a very pointy red nail in the air and I let out an involuntary snort
laugh. She’s so hood sometimes; I love her to bits.

“He didn’t … Dress me, I mean. He found me like this. It’s all I had to hand.” I look down pulling at the
grey sweats a little as I take in my baggy outfit and oversized boots, but it’s not as bad as she’s making

“We need to remedy that. Once we get our Luna inside and comfortable, you and I, we need to burn
these. Maybe bury them and perform some kind of last rights.” She tugs at the hemline of my sweater
and then runs a set of talons through my hair to push it off my face and draws me back to her. “You do
look different though…. like you maybe only left for a few weeks, but you’ve grown in years. You look
beautiful, and less tortured. My baby growing up so fast.” It’s an insightful perspective, but she’s right.
These past weeks I do feel like I’ve matured some, and definitely grown as a person in subtle ways,
and I knew I had shed puppy fat while being out there in the wild. Eating less, exercising more, I
probably look slimmer.

I’m no longer in that frame of mind that I’m some feeble no one that isn’t important. I know I’m the
center of something, and this is where I need to be for now. I’m not sure about less tortured given my
current state of affairs; cheating mate, relearning my past, and finding out my entire pack was
murdered. I would say maybe, I’m just handling it better than I would have a few weeks ago. I feel
mentally stronger.

“Why thank you, although I’m tired. I need sleep. I must look a wreck, but you’re right, we need to get
Sierra inside.” I nod to where they all seem to have everything under control, catching sight of the bed
coming into view and Colton stuck to his moms side, her hand in his once more, even though she is still

dead to the world. He’s looking at her with so much adoration, fixated, that it does make me feel
completely broken as I watch him. A longing for that without complication, without this mess between
us. To have him look at me the way he’s looking at her, that unconditional love that’s so hard to find.

We move out of the way as they swing past and I flatten against the truck as the entire entourage gets
by us and follow close behind, meadow sliding her hand in mine and guiding me with her to tag on at
the end when they get past.

“Ahhh, Alora.” A voice comes from my side and then I’m dive bombed by an enthusiastic male who
footballer style wrestles me into a hug before I’m hit from behind by another. Equal stealth and strength
and I almost fall over with the weight of two heavy boys hugging the life out of me. Unable to breathe
and not sure if this is an attack, I crumple almost to my knees.

Domi and Remi near choke me to death, ruffling my hair, picking me up between them before I get
ground into the mud and I get a kiss on each side of my face in unison. Sloppy, wet, a bit ewww but
overall, it’s kind of sweet.

“Our little sister came home. Our puppy!!” They both state in synchronized perfection, sounding like a
melody in their sing song playfulness. I get yanked from side to side, set on my own feet then let go just
as Cesar appears in front of me, Meadow moving aside with a look of joy on her face, smiling like a
proud mother.

“Don’t you ever do that again, missy. Do you know how worried your pack has been?” Cesar swoops in
between the twins, that equally heavy accent as his mates and a stern paternal tone to match that
serious frown he is giving me. He gives me a less ferocious cuddle, a quick squeeze, and kiss on the
cheek, before he pulls back, and the rest of the sub pack seem to appear around me.

Matteo, Radar, Jesus, all crowd in at me and I guess they were part of our escort to get us here. All of
them take it in turns to lean in and welcome me back with a short embrace and a peck on the cheek, a

few words of welcome back, until I’m blushing and awkward with all this attention.

“We missed you. Don’t run like that again. We’re your pack, man, we were all crazy worried.” It’s Jesus,
and he bops me on the head with a soft closed fist and shakes his head at me, a real frown on that
face that shows his genuine emotion.

“Yeah kid, little pups like you shouldn’t be out there alone!” Cesar reiterates his earlier statement.

“Colton has been unbearable, dude. You girl, are getting chained to him so we don’t have to endure
that again.” Matteo pushes the twins aside and clears a path in front of me as he tries to move us
along, and Meadow ducks into the center beside me, catching my arm in hers and starts walking me in
behind the boys as they turn and starts leading the way. Some turning to walk backwards as they
interact and throw me smiles and genuine looks of relief that I’m home. I can feel it all around me, that
it’s real and honest. The genuine relief, the love from my adopted pack that swells my heart so much it
hurts. None of them faking it at all, and I don’t question where that certain femme of Colton’s is,
because right now, I don’t want to know, and I don’t care.

“You missed a war. Colton put his daddy on his ass. It was epic.” Jesus seems a little too gleeful over
that fact, skipping sideways in front of me somewhat boyishly and Matteo shoves him in the shoulder
playfully, out of the way. A warning tone to his words.

“Shut up. Colton hears you talking like that he’ll put you on your ass. You know how sensitive he is
about all this right now.”

“Yeah pipe down, bro, he’s only a few feet ahead. Have some respect.” Radar the voice of reason
leans in; he pats me on the arm in afterthought, with a nod, and a wink, to say hey. That always
terrifying white eye, blank, dead, but his good one is kind of shiny and happy and it makes him a little
less scary to look at. The scar isn’t as much of a visual draw like it was when I first met him and he
steps in, speaking a little lower, nearer my ear.

“Welcome back…. and thank you. For finding her. She’s been missed for so long, some of us were
losing hope.” There’s a strange tone in what he says, a distant look in his eye and as he talks his gaze
wanders to the bed ahead of us, he shoots off instantly, to go catch something one of the trolley
pushers drops. Scooping it up before it hits the ground and merging into that hobble of people to
replace it on the bed.

“Radar always had a thing for Sierra. You’ve no idea how much this means to him, for her to be home.”
Meadow whispers in my ear, hushed so the rest of them don’t catch on. Like it’s some sort of unknown
secret and I quizzically glance her way.

“What? Isn’t he too young? Aren’t they like son and mother aged?” I flash a look at him again in the
crowd, then back to her in confusion, but she shakes her head.