Rejected Mate and Following Fate - Awakening Book

Chapter 59: Sleep

“Right now, all we have is time to kill. Sierra is a couple of days before we even know how much
recovery she’s going to need. It may be weeks before either of you are unbound. For now, we need to
spread this among the pack and let them decide whose side they are on. Hybrids have always been a
secret, and now their leaders are mixes of the enemies they hold within them. The pack needs to know
everything, and after, those who are still here, and choose to stay, they can’t ever hold it against any of
us again…. we are who we are.” Meadow gets up and stands beside Colton, turning to the rest of the
pack and drawing my eve back across the room at them from my horizontal position. What she says
makes perfect sense and yet it’s utterly terrifying.

Outing everything to the rest of the pack. Telling them what I am, what he is, what they are, and
opening all out and laying it bare for them to choose which side they want to follow. We may lose
everyone. There has never been an outpouring of such honesty among this pack for decades under
Juan’s rule. Some may not want to accept the truth.

“We give them a choice and until my mom wakes up, to make a decision. Stay and accept me and
Alora or go back to the mountain to my dad, whom they might deem their true alpha if they think I’m
impure. From now on, no more secrets. We let the Shaman teach what he knows to be true in the
school hall, and whoever wants to know can join in.” Colton’s voice is hoarse, a husky undertone of
fatigue, and he rubs his hand over the back of his neck, rolling his shoulders before exhaling heavily. A
sign he’s stressing about this choice, but he knows it’s inevitable. His intentions are the right thing, but
much like me, there’s apprehension in him and a fear the pack will up and leave when they know what
he is. What I am.

“Let’s get to it at first light. We can split up and project on small groups at a time, let them pass it on.
Won’t take long to cover the whole pack and spread the memories. That gives us the whole day to get
through all of them, but right now, we should all sleep. We’ve had a long night and the new patrols are
out doing the walks already. We need rest.” Meadow claps her hands to get everyone up, and the air of

heavy mood and simmering anger at the lies they were drip fed their whole life is evident in the smog
around them. It’s thick, and dense, like I could cut it with a knife.

The subs are angry, hurt, confused, but one thing is clear. It didn’t change the loyalty, or love, within
any one of them and through all of the emotions swirling in this room, one stands out the strongest. The
unity and devotion they have for one another. The sense of solidarity, that any one of them are one
hundred percent behind Colton with whatever he wants to do. That’s a real pack, that’s the bond of
family, and I know I’m not officially one of them, but they make me feel as though I am. They’re my
pack, no matter what happens with Colton, they’re not going to lose me for a second time. I need these

One by one they stand and begin to shuffle out of the room, some of the boys stopping to fist bump
Colton on the way by in that very bro way they have with one another, they wave my way, and I sit up
properly, pulling myself to the edge of the bed to stand ,and find out where I’m meant to go, but
Colton’s voice in my head stills me.

Stay put. You look beat and need the rest. This room is fine, and no one will come in here without my
say so. His voice inside my head, always that aching wave of intimacy, and yet sorrow, and all I can do
is nod his way and avoid direct eye contact. I’m too fatigued for more emotional head mess and his lips
are still lingering on mine from his kiss earlier, tingling softly, reminding me that when it comes to him,
I’m stupidly weak, especially when I’m this tired.

I flop back down, glad I don’t have to now find the energy to go anywhere, but at the same time, I feel a
little disorientated at the thought of staying here by myself. I’ve been alone for weeks, knowing only the
solitude, and sounds of nature, and the wilds. Now here I am, thrust back into civilization and tossed
around for the last twenty-four hours in a bizarre and noisy manner and I haven’t really had a moment
to reacclimatize, or even catch my breathe. It’s all a muddled mess of crazy, and now with the
opportunity to lie back and let it sink in, it seems terrifying. I’m sort of depending on their company to
keep me sane, and stop my mind from wandering, and I’m not sure I want to be alone anymore. I think

I had my fill of it in the forests, the reminder of the never-ending loneliness I experienced, and I stop
him as he goes to leave.

“Where will you be?” I sound as desperate as I feel, blurting out a delaying tactic and I scold myself for
the neediness. I guess I feel out of whack and set adrift now all my plans were upended, and life got
completely side-tracked. And having no answers, and no direction, other than just waiting, is like having
the rug pulled out from under you. It feels awful and he’s been the constant, stable, wise words, knows
what he’s doing, in all of this. Right from day one that in this moment, I need it.

“Across the hall in the infirmary with my mom. You can have this room until we figure things out. If you
need me, then link me, and I’ll come back.” He throws me that sexy, genuine smile, his voice low, and
fading, because he too is exhausted.

“This is your room?” I blanche, wondering why the alpha of the pack isn’t upstairs in a grand suite like
is normal within a pack manor. Now I also feel guilty, that I’m taking his bed when he needs it, and also
a little worried that he’s setting me up in his room because he might think he can wear me down and
start something in time.

“Yeah, space is at a premium with a lot of families needing bigger rooms. It wouldn’t have been right to
monopolize one when I can put a bed in here and double up the communal and my room. It’s not like I
sleep in here much, plus, with all the building work out back as they construct small homes, we’ll soon
move a lot of the pack out into the forest we’re clearing behind us. This is all temporary while we get
this place capable of being our permanent home. You need it more than I do.” It all sounds so plausible
and logical, and I can’t help gazing at who he’s become, seeing him somehow in a new light.

In just a few weeks he’s grown so much, and the needs of his people have taken the forefront of his
priorities, as they should. There’s a new level of serious, and commanding, to him, a hint of mature
beyond his years, and all it does is weigh me down heavily. Liking this about him, and all that does is

make it hurt more. Colton really is everything I would ever want in a mate, and it just kills me, ripping
my insides apart that he gave up on me.

I glance at the window as though trying to see out into the darkness at the building work being carried
out, but really, it’s an excuse to break away from the way his eyes are holding me hostage and I’m
suddenly on the verge of stupid tears. The burning intensity of them pooling in my eyes and I have to
swallow hard and blink them away to regain control. That same lingering need coming from him that
gnaws at my soul constantly, and I lose my courage, sounding feeble, and weak, as I utter a few words

“I could use something to sleep in.” I hesitate, knowing fine well it’s a lie and I could strip off, but
something in me just doesn’t want him to leave yet, even if it’s just prolonging the agony and making
me feel worse. Since I came back, we haven’t really separated properly for any length of time, and now
I’m experiencing some crazy anxiety about him leaving when I feel like there’s so much still left unsaid,
unresolved. He’s the anchor in my boat, and I’m on a stormy sea. I need to break this dependency on
him if I’m to survive here from now on.

The whole Carmen thing, his saying he still wants us, his kissing me outside, Sierra, the doctor… the
future. It’s all too big for me to handle, or think about, and my brain is scared that letting him leave will
open a damn in my brain I have no energy to deal with. He already has me teetering on emotional
break down with tears threatening to push out.

“The middle cupboard has everything you need. I wasn’t about to leave any part of you behind because
I wasn’t going to rest until we found you. Sweet dreams, baby.” What he says confuses me enough to
distract me completely; screwing my face up in confusion and as he walks out the door. Too focused on
discovery and already climbing off the bed to open the center oversized wooden cabinet to see what he
meant by that.

Much to my shock, every single belonging I left in my room in the manor is in here, folded neatly,
stacked up, and waiting for me to reclaim it. From clothing, to shoes, to my boxes of sentimental items,
and keepsakes. All has its place and fits neatly in here, taking over an entire cupboard in Colton’s

A lump forms in my throat that almost chokes me half to death, and tears sting my eyes with venom, so
that I know I won’t be able to hold them back for long. My emotions take a sudden nosedive, and I
cough on a sob trying to escape my throat. My hands tremble as I reach out and touch the first of my
sweaters, my legs turning to Jell-O and a wave of lightheadedness because of my extreme reaction to
something so basic.

I don’t know why this gets to me so badly, but it does. The fact he took the time to pack up everything
that was mine, so carefully, and brought it when they all left the manor together. Sure they were limited
in time to pack, considering they were leaving under hostile terms and had to get out, yet he made sure
he left nothing of me in that place. It’s all here. Every single little thing that I never knew I missed until
now. All clean, and pressed, and set in here in almost military precision. He took care of my things in
the hopes he would bring me back here one day.

I try and not to ponder on it, to push it out of my head and focus on a task of doing, instead of thinking.
It’s all I can do if I don’t want to succumb to these overwhelming feelings, and all the questions about
Carmen, about us. Starting to doubt myself and what I felt in the forest, but there’s nothing else to
explain what that was. It had to be him marking her or betraying our bond in another way. Nothing can
compare to the level of pain, and heartbreak, and betrayal I felt, and I should remind myself of that and
not get lost in him as he tries to win me round. I need to stay true to the fact and ignore how much I still
love him. How every sense, and fiber in my soul, aches to be reunited with him in even the smallest