Rejected Mate and Following Fate - Awakening Book

Chapter 80: The Journey begins

I exhale and almost cry with relief and turn to pull my hands from Carmen, who no longer has reason to
hold me back.

“Are you coming?” I ask her warily, legs shaking from adrenalin, and weakening with relief as she nods,
gesturing back to a hold all on the steps she must have zoomed together before hyper speeding down
here. She goes and retrieves it, and we head for the passenger door of the truck, her climbing in first
with me last to sit on the double seat side by side.

“Glad you could make it.” Meadow smirks knowing full well she almost gave me a heart attack minutes
ago. No remorse whatsoever in her tone or her amused expression.

“Sometimes I really don’t like you!” I point out, hand over my chest to calm my heartrate, glaring at her
scornfully and she laughs

“Ahhh but hamera, you love me more than life.”

“So where are we going?” Carmen cuts in, impatient already and I can feel the anxiety swarming from
her in getting to go already. There’s a smog of impatient in her manner and a restlessness that seems
a little unnatural. I can’t imagine what she feels today but it’s coming across in subtle hostile tension.

“New Mexico, Chica. Sierra is going to call us when we are almost there to pinpoint where exactly.
Right now, we have a rough town to aim for, but Sierra is going to keep using a locator spell to get us
right to her when we arrive.” Meadow pulls out her cell and shakes it for Carmen to somehow prove
that Sierra knows how to use such things before sliding it back into her pocket.

We packed our bags last night and stowed them in the truck, so we really have nothing to wait around
for. Sun is coming up; the homestead will start to wake soon, and we need to move before that
happens. Least amount of hold ups and we can focus on what’s to come.

I told Sierra not to see us off, or else I wouldn’t go. I’m worried about her being alone to cope as Luna
in my absence, no support, not even the subpack here to help and advise her and I know that seeing
her looking so lost would have swayed me. I’m hoping it’s an uneventful two or three days for her, or
however long we are gone and that the fog sitting around the perimeter keeps the pack in their homes
and out of her hair. There’s nothing else for them to do until we know more and whether we can do
something. It’s a waiting game where they have all been told to stay home, stay calm and let us do
what we have to do.

They have enough fresh supplies for the month, and we still have our animals, our dried stores and
ability to produce some of our vegetables in the homestead greenhouses we set up months ago. We
can stay put, stay safe without needing to leave the grounds for four weeks, providing nothing else
happens. It’s the best thing for them all to do.

I’m startled back out of my thoughts by the truck starting up again and I spot Tom getting out of the
way, his accompanying two wolves who are going on perimeter patrol this morning showing up beside
him and I can see the question in their eyes as they spot who is in here. I hold my breath, paused in
alarm because I know that the mind link gossip will start doing the rounds sooner than later.

Meadow is the military leader after Colton, I’m Luna, and here we are abandoning them right after their
Alpha fell to a spell. I know it looks bad, and they will panic, but they have to trust I’m leaving to try and
fix this.

“Good luck”! Tom pack links us, and I catch the side eyed suspicious looks he gets from his mates, but
they say nothing, just watch us turn out of the gravel drive and head towards the opening and out into
the fog.

I can almost taste their fear and anticipation as they realize we don’t intend to stop where clean air
meets emerald mist, but as soon as we cross the boundary, I lift my hands in readiness to push the fog
away should I need too, and we lose all contact with those inside.

Like an invisible barrier it cuts off Tom’s mind link and that of the rest of my pack. For the first time in 6
months all those subtle feelings and vibrations I am so accustomed to, the emotions of my people that
follow me every day, they all fall silent like I just stepped into a soundproofed chamber and it’s intense,
feelings of being swept over by a veil of cold. All that’s left is the tension and silent apprehension of
Meadow and Carmen, suddenly intensified as they no longer compete with all the other feelings around
me, and I blink back out of the rear window on the back door as the fog surrounds us and envelopes us
out of sight of the homestead. A sense of loss, heightened worry and a sadness that I’m leaving them.

“Well, this was something I didn’t think of.” Meadow cuts into my thoughts sharply, and pulls me back to
face the front window, glancing to her furrowed scowl and her newly aggravated mood.

“What?” I frown at her and look out when she nods ahead at the misty view feet in front of us and I click
right away at what she’s hinting. We can’t see a damn thing, not even the road. Despite the fog near
the boundary seeming thinner and almost transparent in places, it seems coupled with morning mist
from the mountains, damp air and dull light, it’s killing vision beyond four feet.

“That’s why I’m here” I point out and lift my hands to part the smog. Splitting it apart enough to clear our
view for a couple of hundred feet and giving us a an almost uninterrupted path to follow, pushing it out
as we go. It’s eerie and deathly silent out here, a strange atmosphere of surreal and with the sun
peeking up to bring a little warmth to the green air, it’s an almost haunting atmosphere. It reminds me of
a memory, many moons ago when the mountain fogs stayed around the valley for three days and no
one could see a foot in front of them while the noises of daily life echoed spookily around.

“Where do you think they are?” Carmen quips in and I squint my eyes to the side to look through the
density and shrug. Knowing I can feel the presence of others out there, tingling my sixth sense at a
distance but not enough to decide if it’s them I can feel, or the homestead behind.

“I don’t know, I can’t really feel any of them for certain. There’s nothing but emptiness and shallow

I spoke too soon, and almost as the words leave my mouth, the truck shudders at the rear, like we were
kicked with something hard and heavy, as something fast collides in a weird kind of way. It reverberates
through the metal of the vehicle and sends shivers up my spine, widening my eyes in alarm.

Meadow almost loses control of the wheel for a second as she tries to right our wobble and floors it as
fast as she can. I push myself out of my seat and dash into the rear of the truck to peer out the window,
to see if I can see anything, but I also have to keep my hands splayed to the front to keep the fog
parted so she can see where she is going. My heart racing and perspiration forming across my
forehead as my stress levels skyrocket. It truly felt like something was thrown at us.

Carmen follows me with haste and peers out too, wiping the condensation which is starting to collect
form our combined heavy breathing as we are rocked again with another strong shockwave. This time
though even though it causes the side of the truck to wobble, it doesn’t veer us from our path and a
strange mystical air ripple travels down around us in much the same way the rune border can move
when hit with the enchanted pack.

“Look” Carmen grabs my arm and shakes me, pointing to the far left out of the very corner of the
window and I spot the wolves running parallel just inside the fog around us. They are keeping up speed
to meet ours and one takes a running leap at us again. Only this time we see it. The bouncing off the
invisible forcefield much like they do with the homestead boundary and sending another violent thwack
of energy through our vehicle. Although we are hit, it’s like we have a forcefield and we shudder, but
the barrier takes most of the impact so we can keep going.

The spells working, for without it they would have taken this truck down in one run and no doubt be all
over the top of us and ripping through the metal with their claws. They are barely denting the surface of
the strange orb around us and as long as Meadow keeps us on the road and going, they won’t be able
to do a damned thing. Well unless they figure out that throwing trees and boulders might take us down,
but they are so focused on chasing, intent on pursuing that they don’t seem to stop to find non

enchanted items as weapons. I wonder if the fog has pushed instinct and chased away logical thinking,
as Colton would definitely have thought of an alternative attack had he not been under a spell.

“Is that Colton?” Carmen squeaks, pulling my thoughts of him to reality as a dark black shadowy wolf,
bigger than the rest and defined by his darkest fur and forbidding presence, runs at us and makes a
leap for the roof.

I cower instinctively, waiting for the impact of his sheer weight and brute strength but it doesn’t come,
and we catch sight of him rolling to the ground on the opposite side of the road, as though he went right
over the top of us. He obviously couldn’t get on the roof, swayed by the protection, but it doesn’t stop
him from chasing us regardless.

“Yeah…. That’s him.” The words stick in my throat bitterly, and I have to look away as tears blind me,
pain surging in my chest and crushing my heart at the angry vengeful wolf coming at us again. He’s
determined to derail our vehicle. Colton isn’t in there anymore, only darkness and fury and a mind set
on destruction controls that powerful body and I can’t bear to look at him and see someone so familiar,
someone I love and worship, trying to destroy us.

“What do we do?” Meadow seems locked onto the window in front of her, veering around wolves who
try and get in our way but are pushed aside by our invisible forcefield, unable to tear her gaze away
from the high-speed maneuvers. I check I’m still keeping the fog open for her to navigate through and
raise my shoulders in a shrug, overwhelmed at the numbers of them swarming at us from all angles.
The mist is not getting any thinner but it looks like we’re heading out onto the road to the main route.
Still getting out even if we’re being chased.

“Keep going… pray they give up. Try not to run anyone over in the process.” I state loudly, catching the
determined look on Carmen’s face and then the stiffening posture of Meadow in the driver seat. The air
around us thick with tension, subtle fear seeping out, anxiety tainting the oxygen, because we have no
idea how to process what’s happening right now. All three of us gasp loudly, rocked in reaction by a

sudden jolt as we’re thrown sideways violently inside the back of the truck. I barely catch myself as I go
sprawling across the smooth floor, grasping for a hold, and Carmen catches me by the waist and yanks
me against her as she braces us to one of the beds. Meadow screeches at us to hold on to something
with a frenzied croak.

“They jumped in front of me, I think I hit him! I did hit him, them…God knows how many but….I hit
HIM!.” her voice breaks, tears evident as her pain saturates her emotions, her face crumbling as her
brows hit her lashes and she struggles back a sob. I crawl to the front seats as carefully as I can, trying
to not let my forcefield down so the fog stays separated and cling onto the back of the seat to squint at
her. “It was Cesar….it was my baby. I’m sure of it.” She mumbles on in distress, her voice wavering and
her grip is so tight on the wheel that her knuckles are white and solid.

“You know he’ll be fine. He’s in wolf form, even under a spell he should heal.” I try to soothe her but the
intensity of her heartbreak seeps into my own soul and I slide down beside her on the seats,
overwhelmed with heaviness and the urge to break down and cry too.

“I hit my mate with a truck, chica …. there’s no going to be fine when he finds out I did that. He will
unbind me and send me packing for sure.” She stubbornly wipes away a tear and gasps as another
fleeting wolf form jumps in front of us again, causing her to swerve left and I’m thrown against the door
this time. I see the collision of the wolf hitting the side, but the forcefield makes it feel like we just
grazed bushes and he spirals off in a horrifying manner, like a spinning top. If I hadn’t seen it for myself,
the wolf being bounced away from a devastating impact, I would never have believed we just hit an
eight-hundred-pound animal in full fury mode.

“What the fuck are they doing?” Carmen spits out and comes to sit back up front with us, both of us
clipping on our belts as a precaution because this is far from over. I’m already bruised all over from
being thrown around and I’m starting to get weary from holding my powers up and onwards to keep the
path clear.

“Trying to stop us and failing. They don’t seem bright enough to realize they can’t.” I point out.

“So the spell made them stupid?” Carmen verbalizes my suspicion and I shrug, deflated, and searching
the fog and the moving figures for the one wolf I want to see yet don’t since he jumped over us back
there. I don’t know how to feel, knowing he’s there, despite not being able to feel him, but he’s intent on
chasing us.

“I would say they’re more like on auto pilot. One thought, one urge, and all other reason has flown
away.” It’s the only way I can describe how they are right now and Meadow nods, wiping her soggy
face and pulling herself back together with that fierce aura of command kicking in now her shock is

“The spell has them looking for wolf blood, no matter what stands in their way. They don’t seem to think
beyond that. It’s pure instinct and no sense of being able to calculate beyond it.”

“Are you sure that’s what they’re doing? I mean has anyone actually tried to see if they will do anything
to us?” Carmen looks form her to me, severe doubt written all over her face, which only pushes me to
doubt myself what’s happening here.

“Do you wanna get out and see, chica? I will happily oblige in opening the door and throwing you out to
test this theory. See how long you last in the fog.” Meadow snaps at her and Carmen rolls her eyes,
sitting back bitchily and crosses her arms over her bust in a haughty manner. Anger and dislike pouring
into her eyes which are piercing like daggers in meds direction. Strangely, despite being the last thing
we need it’s somehow comforting to see them behaving like they used to and normalizing things for a

“I think what they’re doing now, is proof enough. If they wanted something else, I doubt they would be
attacking.” I try for a gentler approach, but Meadow and Carmen are sat in stubborn silence and both
stare right ahead as we progress. The atmosphere turns frosty and I sigh to shake off the battle of

these two stubborn femmes. My arms are getting sorer by the second due to holding them up with
intent, and my energy is waning with holding my powers straight and steady for so long to keep the fog
clear. I wonder how much further before we are free from it and I can take a small breather. I’m not
used to using my gifts for long stretches of time, usually only quick bursts.

“It’s getting thinner, I think I might be able to see without you doing that.” Meadow breaks into my
thoughts, sensing my tiredness which is coming way quicker than it normally does and I sigh with relief
and drop my hands in relief, sighing heavily and rubbing my shoulders to ease the pain. “Reserve it for
when we really need it. You’ve had a rough night and probably should rest.” She throws me a look that
says ‘please’ and I sit back to let the ache from my arms disperse.

The thuds at the rear persist but their futile attempts at stopping us or hitting us seem to push them to
stop trying, well at least tail off as more of them fall back the further we go. They become less frequent
and less violent and more like small thuds that barely do anything other than shudder the walls for a
second. It looks like they are bound to the homestead and fololowi8ng us is not an option. I feel like
we’re all holding our breaths and silently praying they give up soon, as we carry on forward at
breakneck speed and Meadow stays with her eyes glued to the road and her foot pressed hard on the

“Thinner means it’s maybe not going to be much longer, right?” Carmen breaks the tense silence and
leans forward as though she is peering outside to try and see any kind of end to the smog and I sigh

“I don’t know. The mountain is miles to the north, and it reached there. So if it does thin we have miles
of it yet.” I point out in deflation and rest my head against the frame of the window, peering out into
endless mist for miles.

“It reached the mountain?” Carmen gawps at my words and I nod my head as she sits and stares
blankly at me, her eyes misting up and she shakes her head to clear the obvious emotion. “All those

wolves, all those children.”

Meadow looks shocked for a second and narrows her eyes before glancing at Carmen from the side.

“When did you become miss ‘I give a rats ass?’ I’ve never known you to care about anyone except
yourself and now you’re crying over wolves you spent a lifetime treating like trash.” Meadow’s anger
spikes and I know it’s born of frustration and the tension of our current predicament but its harsh, even
for Meadow.

“Meds” I reach out and lay a hand on her arm and throw her a look that’s meant to say ‘calm down’ in a
bid to diffuse and settle this hostility. Carmen has suffered a loss too and it’s obvious she loved her
mom and is still in a lot of pain. I’ve never known Meadow to be so callous with a wolf’s feelings like
this, normally she is so maternal.

“A lot happened when you all left. There were people I cared about….. things change.” Carmen turns
forward and stares out the window to hide the instant welling of her tears across her eyes and I sit in
awkward silence for a moment, throwing Meadow a strained look and she sighs loudly, letting out a
heavy breath and slaps the wheel hard, making me jump.

“God dammit Carmen. Don’t fucking do that. Last thing I need is to feel guilty over the likes of you. I
never saw an ounce of humanity in the two years you were in our pack, and now I don’t even…. People
don’t change that dramatically.” Meadow can’t help the venom in her tone and despite me having more
reason to not like this girl, Meadow has still never let go of her grudge about Carmen’s misdemeanors
of the past. Maybe because they have a two-year history and a lot more than I ever did with her, maybe
that’s why. I just don’t get why she asked for her to come if this was how she intended to be with her.

“What would you know?” Carmen mumbles it to the window and more to herself than Meadow, her
mood spiking into many conflicted feelings that I can’t read, and I honestly don’t know how to mediate. I

love Meds to death and well, Carmen, she’s not my favorite person, but I do feel this isn’t the time nor

“What did you say?” Meadow is obviously looking for a fight and I get it. She’s in pain, this is how she
is. Her outlet when she needs to vent is to be fierce and Cesar is usually the one to handle her like this.
Her pain comes out in aggression, loud sassy attitude, hot fiery passion, or sheer fury, and she has
only us two to take it out on. She would never do it to me, not because I’m her Luna, but because she
protects and loves me like she’s my mother and I never get her rage. Cesar can handle it; he draws it
to him on purpose when she gets this way so he can take her back down to a normal level.

“I said…. What. Would. You. Know!” Carmen bites it back at her boldly, annunciating every word cattily,
turning with a tight expression, eyes ambering out in anger. This time turning fully hostile and the heat
and sparks begin to rise between them like high voltage energy, crackling as Carmen’s own temper

“Stop it.” I snap at both of them and raise my hands to wipe my face in frustration “You two better not
be like this for this entire trip.” My patience snaps, my attempts at hopeful and upbeat are stomped out
and instead heavy fatigue grips me as my head starts to ache. I can’t deal with this shit.

“I’m sorry.” Meadow grinds her teeth, glancing to me with apology and a hint of defeat on her pretty
face and goes back to the road, something coming to her realization suddenly as she widens her eyes
and quickly turns left to right with a quick head move. “They’ve stopped” she points out and instinctively
I turn and look out the back window, seeing nothing but the distant still shadows of figures in the fog,
unmoving, and letting us leave with no more interaction. Carmen turns too.

“Why did they stop so easily?”

“Maybe they can’t go any further….. look” Meadow points ahead pulling our attention back to the
windscreen and we can see where the fog thins out enough that its’ barely there, finally an end in sight

to this depressing smoke. It’s definitely thinning to almost nonexistence and I wonder if maybe the spell
really does weaken when they leave it for any length of time.

“You don’t think…” I trail off not sure how to word it, but Meadow cuts in.

“Maybe, I mean it’s a possible back up plan right…. kidnapping them one at a time and keeping them
out of the fog out here to see…. If all else fails.” She shrugs, a look of possibility glinting in her eye.

I blink at her, my gut churning over, gazing back one more time at the distant figures and sigh heavily,
expelling some heaviness now we know we are running free.

“It can’t be that simple. There has to be another reason they aren’t following us.”

“We are three…. the homestead is dozens, maybe they just want to stay where they have more to kill,”
Carmen chimes in bluntly, as gracious as ever, and I shudder at the thought. Maybe she’s right, even if
she said it without tact or any obvious emotion. What is three lone wolves when they have an entire
homestead of hundreds left behind. If blood and destruction is what they’re after, then we are too much
effort to chase when they can’t get into our steel box.

The thought makes me sick and as we hightail it onto the main route and relatively clear air with no
more impaired vision and the sun warms us as it starts to reach higher in the sky. If we were not on
such a depressing mission, it would be the start of a beautiful and unusually warm day. I start to rub my
temples, overwhelmed with utter sadness and despair at what we are even having to do and force
Colton out of my mind once again. The constant craving for him never seems to subside and now we’re
leaving them behind, I experience a new sense of longing and a subtle panic that we will be far apart.

“Don’t think about it. Just focus on what we have to do. It’s a long drive and we have to stick to human
routes to keep contact with other packs to a minimum. If we plough on, we can get there before dark,
as long as we keep stops to fuel only.” Meadow pats me on the shoulder and pushes my hair off my

face in that gentle mom type way she has. “Sleep while you can, you look exhausted. We need our
Luna to be fit and well and I don’t need you right now. You too, Carmen, you can take over driving
when I need a break.” Meadow is in bossy mode once more, bickering forgotten, commanding like she
does the sub pack and the sentinels and I nod, knowing there’s not much else to do but stare at
passing scenery while these two bicker and glare the journey away.

Carmen doesn’t argue but gets up and moves to the back and climbs onto one of the stabilized beds,
turning away from us and pulling the blanket in front of her face. I could sense her tiredness when I
collected her earlier, I guess sedation and grief are not a great combo and I’m sort of glad she’s chosen
to go lay down. I stop as I lift form my seat and lean down to Meadow, linking only her with a gentle

“Go easy on her, I get the feeling things have happened in the past months and she doesn’t seem the
same. Remember what’s just happened to her.” I squeeze Meds shoulder lightly and smile as her eyes
dart to mine for a second.

“It’s hard to let go of old grudges when she looks and seems exactly the same. Her mom died, yet she
seems fine. She’s so much more stable than I expected her to be.” Meadow bites bitterly, as though
she is somehow disappointed in Carmen for not breaking down, but I frown at her and shake my head.

“Everyone grieves in their own way. I think she’s in shock and it hasn’t sunk in that she’s really gone.
Med’s please, treat her the way you would treat any other wolf in the pack. Forget who she used to be.
Her heart is broken, I can feel it.”

“Is that a command, Luna?” Meadow eyes me up with a hint of attitude, knowing I usually never tell her
what to do in terms of how she handles things and I throw her an exasperated look.

In all the months I have been such I have never commanded Meadow to do anything. She’s my best
friend. It’s a line I don’t like crossing, even if I do have a right to do it. She was there for me when I was

no one, and I don’t like to lord over her in anyway when she mothers me effectively.

“It’s a gentle request, for me.” I point out with a smile and lean in to kiss her on the temple, smoothing
back her hair in a bod to show her my deepest love and respect and that I don’t want bad blood
between us, and pause before I head to the back.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to sit with you for now. Company?” I hesitate and go as if to sit again,
but meadow shakes her head

“I need thinking time. Seeing him, hitting him with the truck…my head’s a mess. I want some space to
process shit.” She furrows her brow over a saddened gaze and taps the wheel distractedly, shaking
free some of the surging sadness that seems to climb up over her.

“It’s not him…. None of them are themselves right now. Don’t dwell. Stay focused and remember, none
of them have any control of what’s happening.” I rub her shoulder again and take the hint to move,
leaving her sitting in the driver seat while I go to the back and climb onto the other made-up bed.

Carmen is quiet but I can tell by her breathing she’s wide awake and staring at the truck wall. Her back
to me, her posture stiff and unrelaxed despite laying down, and I feel for her.

“Are you okay?” I ask her as I settle myself on top of the blankets of this bed and lay down, relived that
these are pretty comfortable despite being medical trolleys.

“No. But does it matter?…. Life goes on. The world keeps turning. People die…. It’s the living that
matter.” her response is low, shocking to me and almost bitter though she doesn’t turn to look at me at

“If you need to talk…” I start to try for compassion, the will of my Luna side taking hold to try and ease a
pack member.

“I don’t. I need to sleep.” it’s a snapped final statement and she reinforces it by pulling the blanket over
her head to shut me out and make it clear I need to leave her alone. Waves of iciness thrown my way
and I take the hint, slightly irritated by her brisk manner and can only exhale to calm my own turmoil.

“Okay then. Goodnight, I guess.” I try not to let her get to me but this whole situation is weird. In here,
I’m no Luna when it comes to these two head butting stubborn femmes, and it feels like we are just
three girls with old wounds on a road trip to try and make sense of everything that has ever come to us.

If only that were true.