Rejected Mate and Following Fate - Awakening Book

Chapter 69: Vampires

The branches and low hanging boughs skim my face, clawing my fur as I race through the forest,
ducking low to avoid overhanging sticks that pull harshly as I follow Colton into the darkness. My
heart’s racing, blood rushing through my head and I can barely keep up with the swift pace of my mate
before me. Focused intensely on the darting black slice of shadow that moves so sleekly to lead the
way. The zipping noise of foliage passing my ears at speed and yet I don’t slow my pace.

Colton, wait!….. I mind link him with a hint of warning in my tone.

Something internally sends the alarm bells ringing as the stealth shape of my wolf man leaps through
the dense forest and disappears into a thick brush mere feet before me. Almost swallowed by the
foliage so I lose sight for a second and my heart rate elevates. A tinge of panic hitting me hard in the
gut as the feeling of warning begins to grow inside of me as we proceed. I just don’t know what this
feeling is, but I have learned of late to always listen to my gut.

I can hear the others of our pack rusting through the undergrowth in line with us, but spread apart, and
yet it brings me little comfort. Instead, the increase of anxiety for my pack grows and I leap after him
again without waiting for his response.

I won’t leave you behind, Baby. Just stay on my tail. Stay close. Colton’s reassuring voice comes
through the link inside my head, his usual warm soothing huskiness and that internal feeling of unease
grows stronger. Normally his words bring me calm, but not in this moment. He doesn’t seem as aware
as I am of this feeling, and the confident tone tells me he has no intention of relenting this hunt. The
vampires are on a run and we are close at their heels after chasing them from the boundary.

No wait, there’s something off! Pull back. Stop!

I link back, this time with obvious intense caution and almost run into the back of him as I clear the next
brush in a leap to catch up. I see him last second and try to midair swerve with a yelp, in case I crash

down on him. He’s stopped dead in the track where I’m aiming and swiftly side jumps to let me land
beside him without accidental collision.

What is it? His amber eyes lock on mine as I come level, panting lightly from our high-speed chase,
glowing from the black fur framing them in the most sinister of ways. Out here in the dense wood in the
darkness, he looks eerily devilish like this. Standing almost six feet while on all fours, he is the most
impressive wolf in the pack and a born alpha who still makes me weak in the knees. Yet even as leader
and master, Colton over the past months of ruling our pack together has come to trust my instincts as
much as his own and he always listens to me. Ashe seems to be doing now.

I can feel them….. out there. They’re not running anymore. They’re waiting. I swear, I can feel it. It’s
almost like they’ve stopped and the fear they felt before has dissipated. I don’t hesitate and throw my
nose towards the looming shadow of mountain as thought o press the point.

In the last months since I became Luna, we have chased down dozens of the vampires who breached
our lines and entered our land to pick off our weak. We’ve killed many, more than I want to remember
and yet they still keep coming at an alarming regularity. Even after they realized their weapon to
immobilize us was useless as long as we stayed within our own boundaries.

The Doc and Mother Luna Sierra came up with a frequency to be played over speakers around the
homestead, which made theirs completely useless unless we stray out of ear shot. Not that the
frequency can be heard, even by us, but our abilities to be wolves is proof it is working fine.
Overwhelming the weapon and keeping us safe. We are still inside that boundary and yet they have
stopped trying to escape, which makes no sense. They always run to the outer limit when they know
we’re close on their heels.

A trap? I don’t see how…we outnumber them and in a face-to-face fight, we’re the stronger. He turns
his head towards the darkness ahead as though expecting to see them and mentally tells the pack to
stop and wait. I exhale with relief as the responses are obedient ‘Yes, Alpha’ and feel the vibrations of

our kin come to a halt immediately. Our sub pack waiting to proceed and standing wherever they have
halted in the forest around us. Obedience is their strongest skill, and they won’t budge without Colton’s
say so.

I don’t know. Something feels different. I can taste the anticipation…. There’s a smugness. I don’t like
it. Call the pack back, we’re turning around. The land line is just ahead anyway, we wouldn’t be going
much further once we hit the boundary.

As Luna of the pack, I too have authority to make them return via the link between us all, but I respect
my mate’s dominance and let him be the one to recall them. The hunt is over, we chased them out and
we are not jeopardizing any of them tonight. We’ve lost many over the last six months and I can’t bear
to carry the pain of their losses each time. It never gets easier, even if it’s a wolf I never knew. Such is
the curse of being the packs heart. Luna is to love all of them.

Colton hesitates and stares off into the darkness again, thinking, deciding, and then snorts in distaste,
shaking his head and making it obvious he isn’t happy, but he agrees. My wolf man has become a
hunter, and sometimes I worry the thrill of battle is becoming something he’s getting too accustomed
too. There’s a coldness in him sometimes when we defend our pack that makes me remember he is
still a Santo. I can almost taste his bubbling energy and will to keep going, the restless aggression
because today did not end in a fight.

As my Luna commands… Colton lowers his head towards me so his nose almost touches one of his
paws in a mock bow, humor to lighten the mood, and then via the link I listen to him recall the ones we
are patrolling with and tell them to return to home perimeter.

No one argues. Just agreement and the noise of rustling as they begin to turn back and head home. An
atmosphere of both relief and disappointment coming in mixed vibes. They are all too used to this
ongoing battle and bloodshed it seems.

Let’s go. I nod backwards into the bushes and turn to go, but Colton stands for a moment and I hesitate
to leave him. Pausing to look back at him and stare at his statuesque figure.

What are you waiting for?

I don’t know…. Something is out there with them. I can sense it now we’re still, I didn’t before as it’s
faint. It’s not just vampires…. I can feel something else. There’s an undercurrent, an edge to his tone,
and then he throws off his inquisitiveness and moves to me.

When Colton turns, I inwardly gasp at the unusual sight of his eyes glowing ethereal blue. It’s not
completely unknown. The witch in him does sometimes pique, but rarely does it show in wolf form as
it’s more of a human related gift and usually held down by his Lychan gifts. It’s normally for very
specific reasons too. Like using his healing powers while Sierra trains him to be more efficient with
them, or when he has visions and small snippets of the future. Or when he nears his mother in her own
state of glow, it triggers him.

Your eyes … they’re blue I point out, closing the gap between us to gaze into the almost luminescent
color and he frowns, shaking his head to try and shift it. Making it obvious he isn’t even aware it’s
happening, so I guess no visions, nothing from him that is igniting the glow.

That’s new. Usually only happens when my mother is near and using her…… Colton’s head spins back
out to where he gazed before and it immediately silences him. His gaze narrowing to a scowl and a low
snarl emits from his deep throat like a vibration.

What is it? What can you see? I look too, my senses on high alert and body prickling as I can still feel
the vampires in the distance and now feeding form his burst of hostility. The downside to my blood
being part theirs, is since I opened my gifts, I can always feel them whenever they’re close. Mixed with
my mate’s emotions, it’s making me feel nauseous and feint.

It’s a witch… let’s go. Move, catch up with the pack. We shouldn’t linger alone; I need to protect you.
Colton’s words are heavy and laced with anger, yet also worry. When it comes to protecting me, he
takes zero chances and is most definitely overprotective.

I don’t argue but instead I trust his instinct and turn, pick up my paws and run like the wind, back in the
direction we came from. I can feel him close behind me, always staying steps behind even though I
know he’s faster than me at a sprint. He’s staying back in case we are followed by whatever he thinks
is out there, because he never stops shielding me. Not that I need it. As far as powers go, Colton
sometimes needs me to look after him. As my gifts grew and I began to hone them over the months I
found just how powerful I can be. Almost like sliding into a warm bath after a long hard day: it both set
me free and rejuvenated me. From the first moments of the gifts being free I learned how to use them
almost like a forgotten memory and even he admits that I can be way more useful than him at times.

Colton is having a harder time with his witch gifts though. So long repressed and so at odds with how
he was raised. He is a warrior, and a fighter, but his witch side is to heal, nurture, care, much like his
mom and to avoid conflict. So at odds with who he is. He has visions, dreams sometimes, that he
cannot separate from fantasy or reality as he tries to navigate what they mean and what he’s to do with
them. It frustrates him on so many levels, being a guy who likes to have all the answers to all life’s
problems. He hates puzzles and trying to read meanings through vague images. Sierra is trying to
expand that ability but sometimes Colton is too rough and ready to sit down and center himself to his
peaceable side long enough to do much about it.

We run back the several miles we covered in the hunt, until the homestead looms ahead, high on a hill
over the next mound of treetops, like a welcome calling haven. We don’t let up and can sense the
closeness of the others rounding in as we get home to our safety net.

Why would they have a witch out here? I ask innocently as we slow our paces to a trot and move to the
clearing that opens out, before we hit the new village we built around and behind the homestead to
accommodate our pack. It’s been a busy few month of creating a proper habitat for our growing pack to

live, and as the houses come into view behind the tall cage fences, I relax and start to walk. We’re
close enough now that the other patrols in the pack will still be circling, and we no longer have to watch
our backs. We’re within the perimeter of our safe haven.

You heard my mother, she told us that some of the witches joined forces with the vampires in this fight
and are only too happy to see the downfall of the wolves. Some of them feel wronged by us. I guess,
this is the first of them showing up to prove her right. It’s been months of sporadic attacks that never
succeed. Maybe they think a witch on side might give them an advantage since their weapon is all but
useless now.

I don’t respond as a cold chill runs through my stomach and I glance back into the dense darkness and
try to feel anything beyond the tree line. There is nothing, they never followed us back in here, but the
uneasiness that I picked up first is still there, almost like we’re being watched. I shudder in subtle fear
at the thought of what might be out there. Trying not to let my mind run riot and imagine the worst.

Don’t! Colton nudges my face with his nose, reading my mind, and pushes me away from where I’m
staring, breaking my train of thought. Let’s go inside and change, clean up, and eat. Forget it for now
and we’ll talk to my mom in the morning. We’re safe within these boundaries, even from witches.

His tone tells me he’s worried about what we felt out there too but he’s being his usual self. Solid,
commanding and like nothing gets to him. He is brushing aside the current problem, and shelving it
until after we eat and sleep, when I know Colton does his best thinking. He’s a dawn riser and uses the
quiet time to figure things out. We’re all tired and it’s almost morning as it is.

Aye, aye, Chica, do what the man says! I’m beyond starving. We have spent half the night out here. I
need food, and sleep!

Meadow saunters into the clearing, hearing the link conversation inadvertently because we were not
shielding to a private mate link, and nudges against me with her brown sleek furry body. As a wolf,

Meadow is weirdly similar to her human form. Sleek, yet curvy, smooth furred with slanted amber eyes
that somehow sit well in her face to make her attractive as a Lychan. She isn’t as big as the males, but
she is fast, and fierce, and despite her slender build I’ve seen her devastate everything in her wake and
not even ruffle her fur in the process. Knowing she’s half shifter took away any questions I had about
her slight differences to regular wolves. Subtle, but I see them.

Two more wolves appear in the shadows and walk past, one huge dark one stopping to run his body
along the length of Meadow, rubbing his head up against hers as he falls in step beside her. Her mate
is as built as mine, only grey and equally rough. He nudges her suggestively and the two of them take
off wordlessly ahead without a second thought and Colton snorts in humor at their behavior

For some the Haze is still lingering it seems. He pushes up against me to walk side by side with
physical contact and I lean my head into his neck to share his warmth as we cover the last ground.
Relaxing into that firm body as he takes some of my weight and guides me onward.

You can talk… I don’t get a single night of peace from you, even before the haze hit. I laugh and lick
him quickly, hitting the lower profile of his jaw with my darted action.

What can I say, my mate is a vixen and completely irresistible? I’m alpha, I can’t be outdone in terms of
testosterone and horniness, baby. Colton’s smug and yet also right. I know he means it, but it still
makes me blush and smile inwardly whenever he talks like this and nuzzle him adoringly. Still a little
too enamored with my mate, even after months of being his.

The haze was crazy when it hit. We had only been mates for around three weeks when it swept over,
and I was almost insane with the need to be joined to him about fifty times a day. I never knew how
badly the heat and desire could get when you had already mated up. Never experienced a haze before
turning either, so it was a massive wake up call. How we ever got out of our room for more than three
minutes a day is beyond me because nothing could satisfy the hunger or the uncontrollable urge to
mate, constantly. No matter how many times, or how good it was, it was just seconds of relief and I was

whining again to have him back on top of me. Colton was only too happy to oblige, given he was in a
worse state than me. Males apparently feel it with more vigor, given that it’s meant to want to make
them procreate and spread their seed to enable their blood lines.

Luckily, the haze only lasts two weeks and slowly tails off when mating season dies away, and the
constant crazy hunger to be in his bed, wrapped around him, slowly began to fade to a manageable
level of need. Not fully though. I don’t think I’ll ever stop lusting after him and needing to feel his touch
every second of every day. We’ve rarely been apart since our union so many months back and I’ve
grown and flourished with his love to become the Luna I never thought I could be. I truly believe it was
the one thing I needed in my life to really find myself once more and blossom under his tender care.

The people treat me with respect and love, and I’m growing as mother to all. By the side of my born
leader, him showing me how to command without fear because he’s nothing like his father as alpha. He
listens to his people, walks among them as though he’s never been any different to them. He’s hands
on and involved with the building works and the overseeing of every detail, every waking day. We join
patrols, make sure we know everything that there is to know about the sick, the school, the problems
with the community, and we rectify as best we can.

His mother is a good mentor, but she grows restless here, and now she’s recovering well from her time
asleep, and regaining her gifts slowly, she’s made it clear she wishes to return to the lab where the
doctor returned and continue her work with him. I think she feels lost here, like she has no one to really
focus her time and energy on. Not that I blame her. Her life isn’t what she left behind when she fell to

The lab became ours after the Santo pack abandoned it and returned to the mountain under the
command of their alpha. With Sierra out they had no use or interest in it and knew that Colton would
send some of his own to claim it to keep all his mothers and the doctors work safe. Which Colton did
and Doc was able to go back with a new, stronger, kinder pack, as protection to continue his work into

our species. He comes here every few weeks to talk through his needs, his findings and keep Sierra up
to date. Who knew we would have human allies in this new world in which we live.

Waking to find her son grown and mated, her husband a betrayer who still holds her home captive and
defends it fiercely. No longer Luna of the pack, and no longer required to raise a child. No real mate to
have another, even though she’s capable enough and still in her prime. She’s at odds with the modern
advances of our world and she finds the noisy chaotic business of the pack hard to bear. She stays
alone in her room most of the time and rarely ventures to see anyone except Colton or I, or the maids
Colton assigned her to meet her every need. Doc comes and goes to see her, but she is almost a
hermit, living in the west corner of the homestead.

This used to be her ancestral home; someplace she visited from time to time, and thanks to her we
found the secret tunnels under the estate that led to the apothecary that belonged to her long-forgotten
relatives. The library of grimoires and books that contained histories we had never known. It opened up
our knowledge on so many things and the Shaman was excited to be given more insight into things he
always longed to know.

The homestead had been for generations of witches, but with her father mating with a wolf, he was
outcast to live far away with his wife and half-breed child, near the pack of his mate, who also rejected
her. His ancestors had no other heirs and this place fell to emptiness when the last of his blood was
killed in the vampire wars of old. This was never truly her home, although she did inherit it and come
here over the years. She kept it a secret from her mate and used the protection placed on the land to
keep it free from invasion. Those spells work in our favor now. They still hold in place as applied in the
ground for generations to keep nonblood out without invitation, and that goes for vampires too. Our
safe haven is protected in so many ways.

Colton could walk in and invite his pack because he was blood, and the house became his. No one can
cross the inner perimeter unless the heir welcomes them. Colton being a witch, means without even
knowing it, he keeps the inner sanctum safe by merely refusing non pack in. He set the spell when he

first entered the house. Later his mother renewed the spell to cover all the runaways from the mountain
who found their way to us, but it means Vampires can get close but never in. And his mother assures
us it should work for any other being that we don’t welcome to our abode. It’s an unbreakable magic.
Only Santo pack of our inviting can cross the inner threshold of the boundary lines now Sierra adjusted
the spell to be more precise in that fact.

Hey, earth calling Lori.

Colton breaks into my mind and I come out of my thoughtful daze to see the opening door ahead of us
at the main entrance as we are welcomed home by guards of the pack.

Sorry was just thinking. I exhale heavily and sigh at the thought we can soon go to bed. It’s been a long
patrol tonight and too much running. I’m exhausted, filthy, and looking forward to laying down.

Yeah, well less think, more action. You were practically motionless with the slow pace you were pulling.
He jests and nudges me with his side and sends me reeling a little.


I follow him in, nodding at the human form guards as we pass and still get that warm tingle as they
lower eyes as we pass, as a sign of respect for their Alpha and Luna. I follow Colton to the main stair
and up to our floor quickly in hyper speed. I can’t get used to this thing where no males look me in the
eye except those worthy: the sub pack, my chosen femme companions, Sierra, and my alpha mate. I
guess the same goes for Colton too, as only his select few can, while everyone else lowers to the
ground as a sign of submission. It’s an old tradition that is wordlessly passed down and we never
question it.

Since the village was finished, we got the whole upper west floor of the homestead to ourselves. Only
the main pack, us, Sierra, some single warriors who walk the house perimeter at night and a few of the

housekeepers live inside the homestead now. Guards swap every few hours outside though, so we
always have different faces coming and going. We have a school room in the main hall while an
outbuilding to become the education center is being built and the hospital wing still operates from the
first floor. So at all hours there is motion and movement in this vast place, yet it still seems so eerily
quiet compared to the months before the village started to get filled out.

Colton swiftly gets ahead of me first and when I catch up and follow him into the bedroom he’s already
alone in the inner suite and nakedly walking around in human form, dusting off the muck and debris
from the forest. I transform to human as soon as I see him and he floors me with that gorgeous,
dimpled grin of his, his eyes back to deep dark brown, his hair ruffled messily on top of that head. My
gorgeous, tanned Latino lover stands proudly in front of me in all his perfection with that devilish look in
his eye and runs a hand across his abs absent mindedly. That body that makes me weak at the knees
in his tall, muscular glory.


The cheeky smile makes me smile too because I know it’s not an invite, but more of a command.

Just like that, you forget about the troublesome witches out there in the forest and your mind is straight
to shower? We both know that isn’t exactly what you mean.

I saunter past him as though I have no intention of getting in there with him and squeal when he grabs
me from behind and hoists me up princess fashion into his arms.

Worries will keep for a while. Urges will drive me insane. You know how hot for you I get after we turn
and go chasing vampires in the forest. He plants a kiss on my temple, and I know struggling is futile.
Besides, I’m not refusing because I too am hot for what my mate does to me.

Colton, I swear, you have about five hundred reasons for being hot for me every single day. Yesterday
it was because we had ribs for dinner…… and the sun came out after lunch….. and before breakfast,

you woke up hot for me because it was Tuesday morning. I sigh indulgently and slide my arms around
him as I try to get comfier in this grip he has me in.

Baby, is it wrong to want to get naked with my mate as much as possible? We’re only young for like
maybe eighty years, give or take.

I laugh and bounce him on top of his head with a soft fist and curl my arms around his neck savoring
the unique feel of his skin against mine. Pushing my face into the crook of his neck to inhale everything
that is good about him.

Hmmm … don’t change.

It’s an impulsive lovesick adoration as he carries me to the bathroom, but I truly mean it. I have never
known happiness or this sense of home before him and being his mate these past months has been
every single wish and dream I never knew I had.

I wasn’t planning on it. You love me this way….. so this way I stay. Got to keep my Luna happy.

He smirks, always cheeky, always grinning, and hauls me into the shower unit to get clean while being
anything but.