Rejected Mate and Following Fate - Awakening Book

Chapter 51: Don't Okay

“Oh my god.” I feel sick, as bile rises in my throat, the levity of the situation finally coming through at
me. I was an idiot to think that he’d been sitting twiddling his thumbs at the pack house while I’ve been
gone. Everything is in uproar and he’s been in the middle of an actual war.

“It’s not the same size as the manor by a long shot, it’s a homestead, and smaller, but it has land. It’s
isolated from humans, surrounded by forests, and for now we’re managing to defend it pretty well. I’m
more focused on keeping my people safe and giving them a place to rebuild, before I go chasing
vampires and starting fights like my father seems to be doing. It’s all he cares about, and now knowing
what you showed me… it makes fucking sense. The war were his glory days, he was a commander
with an army who jumped to his orders, lording over a united race. I wouldn’t put it past him to
somehow deliver a means to the vampires to rile it up again.” The anger simmers in his tone and it’s
obvious Colton has been going through it as much as I have.

“Do you think the orphanage attack, we were meant to die? Was it him?” I touch on the memory Colton
would have seen, of me and the doctor theorizing this exact question, but Colton shakes his head and
glances my way, a look of complete cynicism.

“No, he really didn’t seem to know that was coming, and from what you’ve shown me…. your death is
hers.” He nods at the rear view, so I glance back at his mother. “Her death is his. He wouldn’t have
wanted it. And until I challenged him, he truly was still reeling me along like he thought I would
somehow support him in his madness. He didn’t want me dead, he wanted me bound to his loyals, so I
would follow him into war.” That edge of something else clawing in, like maybe anger at not seeing it

So, Juan wasn’t behind the orphanage, but he did create the tech to disable us. He sold it out there, not
caring who got hold of it, because he wanted the vampires to think they had a weapon to restart a war.
He had to know once they got it they would have the confidence to try and come at the wolves again at
some point, so he waited.

The Vampires thought they had a full proof plan. They aren’t as strong as us, but with something like
the isolation box, they would be stronger, and have a shot at taking us down this time. Which means
Juan has to know how to combat it and disable the effects of the box. He would never let them have
something that would give them their victory, of course not, he’ll have a master plan that he’s going to
sit on until this thing is in full throes. He has to keep his weapon hidden and let this brew long enough
to give the packs a need to unite before he brings out whatever that is and prove victorious once again.

Juan craved the union of all the packs, not just the north, and he knew the only way to force that kind of
need was to push us back into a war. He supplied the possibility and then sat back and waited, his own
arrogance telling him that he would be the one chosen to lead them all. And now he has the answer to
their weapon, to force the packs into choosing him. It’s his leverage. The wolves from every land will
want the weapon to counteract theirs. It shows how insane he really is to believe he would reign and
lead, when the first time my own mother pushed him off that pedestal. So easy to knock down and
replace. Did that teach him nothing?

And then when he had the steps in place to ignite a second chance at his gaining a crown, the fates
intervened instead, and nothing has been coincidence on either side since. Turning and imprinting me
only weeks before the vampires first attack. Solidifying a white wolf in the midst in hopes of redressing
the balance, because they knew what was coming. Tying me to a Santo. It all makes sense; every
single piece of the puzzle fits and I was always meant to end up in Colton’s arms, in the middle of it all.
I’m the fates trying to reclaim a prophecy that Juan keeps trying to destroy.

I turn my attention back to what he said, dragging my brain from that to this. Head a tangled mess of
emotions, but the logic of the bigger picture is sliding neatly into place. Picking out something he said
which peeks my attention.

“What do you mean bound to his loyals?” I don’t even know how he could do that.

“Carmen. She’s the daughter of his Beta, he’s always tried to push me to stick with only the wolves he
approved of. He hated the fact my sub pack was never the children of his own subs. He just had to
accept it, but Carmen, now, looking back I realize he kept pushing femmes at me from certain houses
and he only wanted me to mark and settle down once you posed a threat.”

And we come straight to the one thing that chokes me up and makes me hate him all over again. He
says it so matter of factly, like he didn’t just stab me in the chest with a dull object and twist it for good
measure. He just admitted it. That he’s bound to Carmen, and his father wanted it that way. He maybe
didn’t say it outright, but he said enough for me to interpret it that way. I fall silent and turn away as
tears prick my eyes and that sense of ‘I knew it’ makes me feels so stupid. Crushing that stupidly, ever
hopeful, annoying shining light, that pops up no matter what I tell it.

I might be the fates trying to set the scales right, but Colton is obviously not part of that plan, because
no way in hell would they allow him to be such a dumb ass and do such a hurtful and stupid thing if he
was my forever. How could he be if they let him mark her and break me all over again. You don’t come
back from a betrayal of the mate bond, not like this.

“So, your father’s raging a war with not only vamps, whom he set in motion, but his own pack, even
though his intention was to lord over you all? And half of you now live in the manor that belonged to
your mom, a half witch? A manor you knew you had but didn’t need. All while I was off finding your
mom who holds the key to us having some sort of powerful gifts to put things right?” I digress, trying to
put everything in order and avoid all mention of what a douchebag, selfish, hurtful, cheating, dickhead
he is.

“Yeah, sounds right.……. My mom’s family are mostly gone. Not that I ever knew them, and I only knew
I inherited this manor because she left me it as a birthday gift on my sixteenth with a femme she
trusted. It sat empty, she never lived there, so we had some cleaning up to do. Generally, though, I’m
guessing she really is a witch as it was completely untouched, and no one seemed to be able to get in
until I tried the door. It was weird but…. a god damn witch! The strangest part is…. I don’t feel shocked.

It’s like I knew, but I didn’t. I can’t explain it.” He’s slowly coming back to that swoony high school jock
as he talks, hints of normal Colton shining through at me, but it doesn’t dampen my feelings of hurt.

I allow my eyes to stray back to him, holding my outward cool and trying not to let all I’m thinking spew
out at him while being really good at focusing on the important issues in this conversation. Not me and
him, and I’m trying to absorb his words and that other little issue that has been getting to me, peeks

“At least it’s not vampire…. can’t say that was welcome news.” I answer sarcastically, a little more edge
to my tone than I intended, watching that slight change to his expression and completely unable to read
it. He half frowns, his jaw tensing a touch, but he doesn’t have any kind of over dramatic response at
all. No instant hatred or recoiling in disgust.

“It is what it is, doesn’t change who you are. It’s just something to figure out, I guess.” He doesn’t look
my way and I can tell he’s not as okay with it as he’s making out, but he’s also not freaking out and
calling me a monster either. I really expected a bigger reaction to be honest and this seems
anticlimactic. I probably took it worse than he is.

“The sub pack won’t accept me back when they find out.” I point out as if that was ever in my master
plan, but I guess it partly is. I mean, everything is upside down and my plan of leaving and running just
brought me back right here to where I started, among the people I left behind. No idea what the future
holds anymore, especially if the wolves are warring too. The pack seems like my destiny, even if he is

“Why not? You think they’ll care? You’re Alora, and I’m Cole to them…. they won’t give a shit if we’re
half breeds. That’s not how they are…. it’s how my father is. And we’re not the only hybrids hidden in
the Santo pack. Nor the subs. Secrets are rife in my father’s kingdom because he’s an asshole and it
took me way too many years to realize that and see through him.” He grips the wheel, that growl again

in the undertone as his own words touch a nerve and I can tell the whole father things is getting to him
way more than anything. Maybe finding out about his mom was the final straw.

I grasp at that titbit of information though, shocked, instantly grabbing at the file marked Colton’s
memories but know I won’t even know what to look for in the nineteen years’ worth of them, and
instead start pulling names out of boxes in a bid to figure out which subs are also half breeds.

“Who? What secrets?” I blurt out, overwhelmed with too many scenarios and thoughts. The downside
to having a head full of someone else’s memories is they are too vast sometimes to know you possess
an answer without them guiding you to the right visual. I probably have so many things in my head
about him that I haven’t even opened and explored. I definitely didn’t ever stop on any conversations
about hybrids in the pack.

Colton sighs, tapping the steering wheel as he guides us onwards and shrugs. Like this isn’t news to
him and acting like it’s nothing really in the grand scheme of things. To him maybe, but I spent my life
being told I was an impure reject only to find out the Santos have been interwoven with that all along.

What the hell?

“The twins are hybrids. Angelics, actually. Then meadow, her mother was a shifter, not Lycan, still a
wolf, but different. She’s fierce because she’s multi gifted, like you are, and my father made sure no
one knew his son pack-bonded with impure breeds. He couldn’t do anything about them, as they are all
Santo by blood and he’ll never shame his own bloodline or admit that most of the pack come from
interbred unions. There are hundreds of supernatural species, wolves are highly sexed horn dogs, they
will fuck anything.” delivered with a callous smirk and a hint of pride at his own species being hoes.
Only a man would actually be proud of that.

“Eww, Colton!” I slap his arm, stinging my own fingers in the process, grossed out and a little offended
with that last sentence. It’s hardly admirable in a species who also like to mate for life when they pick

the right one.

“It’s true and the biggest secret of all. The haze doesn’t just make us want to bone each other… it’s a
free for all and has been for centuries. I’m pretty sure my father isn’t even a hundred percent Lycan. He
can’t trace his roots any more than anyone else and the history books are complete fabrication, with
every alpha removing parts they deem shameful. They’re bullshit … like him removing prophecies. I
would put money on the fact that the Santo wolves being all shades are a massive nod to us being
mixed species. The original Lycans were always brown. Brown with amber eyes …. most of the Santos
are grey.”

“Why am I only knowing this now? How long have you know all of this?” I blanche as my head spins
and it’s like I’m relearning the entire history of everything I’ve ever known. All while he’s over there like
Mr. Cool. taking it in his stride without barely even a blink that our entire existence is based on horse
shit. The nausea envelopes me fully and I get a little lightheaded with the number of explosions going
off in my brain.

“Not long. The Shaman, he’s with us, and finally no longer bound to his alpha Juan because I’m the
rightful leader and he doesn’t have to obey my father anymore. He can now unleash all he knows
without fear of the fates punishing him for betrayal. He’s a wealth of knowledge. Like what having red
eyes in white wolves really means and why you had extra strong powers.” He raises a knowing brow at
me and even that clicks into place.

“You knew?” I gasp at him, sitting up tall and leaning at him in utter disbelief. That statement makes my
head spin and I honestly can’t even with him right now. My stomach is all in knots, my palms sweaty,
and I think my lungs were on the verge of packing in with the fear of his reaction, and he already
fucking knew!

“I’ve known for a couple of weeks. It all slotted into place when I found out and now, I guess I know why
you found it hard to home in on your abilities and why they weren’t run of the mill wolf gifts. I’ve had

time to get used to it, you might say.”

I slump back, rubbing my temples with my fingers as everything blurs slightly and the lack of oxygen
from gasping hits me between the eyes. I feel woozy.

“What else did he tell you?” I breathe out, feeling surreal now.

“Nothing really that important in our current situation. Just general history of our people and the fact
you’re not the first like you. Neither was your mother. He knew nothing of my mom’s whereabouts, her
breed, or anything about my father’s actions before he came to the Santo house seven years ago. The
Shaman previous to him died, and he came to us from my family’s origin in Colombia. He never really
fell for my father’s bullshit and has always kept his peace and distance from the pack elders and the
sub packs loyal to my father.”

It all explains why in the room after imprinting he was the one to intervene and Colton always said he
trusted him. Now I know why, and it clicks together, another puzzle piece falling into place. Another
random tidbit from our combined past that had more meaning than either of us comprehended at the

“Everything is crazy, yet all seems to tie together. Even us.” I drop my hands on my lap, still leaning my
head against the rest and suddenly so very exhausted with thinking, feeling, talking. Everything taking
its toll, coming to a massive head, and draining what little energy I have left inside of me. I’m heavy and
weighted down in so many ways, all while his presence is screwing me up and I want to curl up and
shut it all off for a bit.

“I knew. About us…. Like the whole witch thing. Something in me; it wasn’t a surprise when we
imprinted. It’s like I always knew, yet somehow my brain didn’t know how. Maybe I have her visions and
somehow when she bound me, I lost the memory of them. I can’t grasp it, but it’s like all of this was
always out of reach of my fingertips, but I knew it was there. When it happened, it was like déjà vu in a

sense.” Colton casts me an apologetic look and I get that hint of regret, slowly filtering my way as if
he’s lifting the wall between us a bit at a time and yet it’s too late. A dimple appearing with a coy boyish
half smile that doesn’t do anything to lift my growing black cloud.

I just glare at him, making sense of it but at the same time hating on him all the more with what he just
admitted to me. If he knew somehow, then why the hell did he let me go? Why did he reject me?

“Then you’re an even bigger idiot.” I snap, emotionally done and this adds another layer of fatigue to
what I can’t handle as it is. Turning my head and staring out the window, tensing up and bristling with
that same pain all over again and fighting my own stupid tears. I’m getting so fed up with feeling like
shit when it comes to him. And he sits and admits that he maybe knew I should have been more
important to him all along. Screw him. It crushes me and I no longer want to talk and figure all of this
out. I want him to leave me alone.

“I learn from my mistakes. I’m here, aren’t I?” I can feel his eyes on me, but I refuse to look. Heart
stricken with a clawing gnawing slicing agony.

“You can’t undo what’s done. Just drop it, okay. Now isn’t the time to talk about us. We need to get your
mom someplace to wake her up, see what the hell she has to say about all of this and how we unbind
these gifts that are somehow going to do something in the grand scheme of things.” My voice is low
and raspy, I sound upset, yet probably tired, and I can feel him eating away at me with his eyes as he
tries to read me.

“I can’t believe I ever doubted you weren’t going to be the Luna we all needed. I was wrong… to doubt
you, to doubt us. I really am sorry that I wasn’t what you needed. I can’t tell you how much I regret
everything, baby.” There is genuine sorrow and it’s just another nail in his coffin.

“Don’t okay. It’s been a long freaking day and I’m exhausted. I want to close my eyes and think about
all of this later. I feel like my head’s going to explode and we’re not even getting the whole picture yet.

I’ve been running for so long and I think my body is finally giving up on me.” It’s a hint, turning fully
away from him as I try and get comfy on the worst seats ever invented as we bump along a relatively
smooth road. Colton looks at me; a long drawn out pause of seconds and relents, exhaling heavily. He
knows defeat when he senses it.

“Try and sleep, the manor is a while away and it’s not like I’m about to let you out of my sight anytime
soon. We have time to talk. I think I need the headspace too, to figure some stuff out. I can’t believe my
mom is laying out behind me. This is all so surreal.” There’s a lightness to what he says, and I blank it.

I curl up against the window fully, not like I needed his permission, but I’m grateful he’ll leave me be. He
still has it in his head that I belong to him, even though somewhere out there, most likely this manor, he
has an actual mate and he needs to remember that. I’m not his, he’s not mine, and when Sierra wakes
up and unbinds me, then we need to figure out how to keep our distance and navigate this if we’re all
going to get through it.

Colton’s story and mine, it’s going to head in different directions when Sierra tells us what to do. We
both need to accept that and deal with it.