Rejected Mate and Following Fate - Awakening Book

Chapter 99: Aftermath

Lorey, what in the hell is going on?

Colton walks to me in the open hall space and closes the gap between us, pulling me to him and
focusing fully back on me. Finally looking for answers now he’s done what was needed and I catch
sight of Meadow and Cesar turning human and embracing several feet behind him. My heart happy
with the sight of her, okay, and reunited with her mate. My heart swells to bursting and I can finally feel
at peace, feeling that my pack are all intact and safe. My gut confirming it.

Colton pulls me to him as he stays in wolf, linking me mentally and cradles my face in his hand, careful
not to hurt me with his claws. Being so gentle it just breaks down my last defenses and despite his
filthiness, I curl against him and hold on tight. Embracing one another for a moment, feeling the high
rate of his wolf heart and the excessive heat coming from this mountain of a body. He pulls me
backwards to look at him and I just gaze adoringly, drinking him in, aching all over with the disbelief that
we did it and he’s here. This seems like a dream and I bask in the happiness of his touch, never
wanting this feeling to be lost to me again. Even in wolf form, I love him so much.

I know the only way to get him up to speed and stop questioning is the one way he’s going hate himself
for seeing, but I can’t put it all into words. And I know the quickest way to get out of this hellhole and
leave, is to explain and go home. Already wolves are evacuating from every tunnel and clearing the
space around us in a bid to leave behind the mess we made here.

Colton notices his mom and his obvious shock startles her. She smiles and shrugs then darts off
towards Carmen’s side as though to avoid being scolded by her own son, and he turns back to me,
locking amber eyes on my green and I sigh, knowing it’s the only way.

Meadow throws me a look and then gestures Carmen and Sierra to her side, pulling them with her and
towards the narrow walkway and gesturing Leyanne too. I think she knows I need Colton alone for a

moment because he’s not going to take this well at all. There’s so much I know he will explode over,
and so much he will feel is all his fault. I’m expecting him to react in a million ways all at once.

I sigh, swallow nervously because I don’t want any of this to hurt him, locking my eyes on amber fire in
black fur and smile softly. I rub my fingers through the softest patch on his chest before sliding up with
a stretch, despite his crouching, to meet that huge head and bypass terrifying teeth in his impressive
jaw. One arm sliding halfway around that neck, so I struggle to meet his height, but he leans further and
kneels down to me. I can tell he’s too riled to turn human and that’s why he hasn’t turned. He needs to
be calmer, to let the best let go.

I lift my fingers to his temple, finding the magic spot and brace myself for what’s to come. My nerves
sizzling in anticipation and my heart stands pounding against my ribcage again. Blood running cold and
I swallow loudly.

I close my eyes; focus on the section of time he missed and transfer the memories as quickly as I can
so it will pain me less about doing it. Fromm the second we parted after Tawna’s death, until now, and
hold my breath knowing that little revelation in there, standing out among all the rest, will be the one
which I want the reaction for the most.

It takes only a few long seconds before he finally leans away, and I break the contact and stare at him
to watch as it all registers on his face. Letting go of him to stop myself stretching so much and lean
back on my own feet to give him a moment. It seems the shock of learning, kills his wolf fury in one
swoop as he transforms and shrinks to an impressively tall human form. His amber eyes fade to brown,
his face back to what I love most, and his eyes are rooted on my face in utter disbelief. His posture stuff
and he doesn’t say anything, just stares at me with confusion and pain etched all over him.

I can almost decipher which memory is being churned over by the expression of shock, regret, guilt,
anger, shock again, and then a soft disbelief and an open gasp before his face crumbles back to

devastated regret. A million emotions in one fast change and it’s like I experienced this whole week all
over again just by feeling him.

“I……. we’re…. you…” he’s too overcome to form words and clutches my hand tightly, pulling it first to
his cheek then to his lips before hauling me into his arms and squeezing me half to death. It’s an
instinctive reaction born of shock, guilt and maybe a little surprise. His emotions are all over the place
and tinge mine too, and I start to mist over with the intensity of so much all at once. It’s heavy, yet
dizzying, sore, yet happy. He’s clawing for sanity and seems to be growing through the thoughts all
over again to see it all to be sure.

“We need to get the pack home and talk… all of us. This isn’t the place.” I utter softly, caressing his
cheek and inhaling him to drown out the smell of what’s around us. I can sense his indecision, his lull of
logical thought as he swallows this all down. Colton’s trying to process but he’s unable to when it’s so
much all at once and all he; s doing is clinging to me like I might implode if he let’s go. His breathing
heavy by my air and as much as I could stay this way forever after yearning for him for endless days, I
really don’t want to stay here.

Colton continues to hold onto me, silent and pondering before he scoops me into his arms like a bride
and starts carrying me towards the path that leads up and out into the woods. His face says it all, that
blank expression yet it doesn’t shield the war in his eyes and his lack of verbal response means he just
can’t right now.

I know my mate too well and his guilt will be taking hold over everything else, even the news that I want
him to acknowledge. That we’re pregnant, yet I know not to be hurt by him saying nothing. I can see it
in his face, feel it seeping from him. My boy’s in shock and his instinct to take me home where it’s warm
and safe is overriding everything else.

I curl up against him, sliding my arms around his neck and pull myself up to his jaw to inhale him and
cuddle in. He’s stiff, solemn faced and giving out all kinds of weird vibes as he processes the

memories, I gave him. Set on a goal – getting us out of here as we follow the last signs of our pack
mates. He’s closing me out to save me from being emotionally ambushed and I don’t like it at all. The
ebbing away as he closes back our link and doing what Colton does when he wants to protect me from
his pain, his suffering. He cuts the bond as much as he can and tries to bear it alone.

“Say something” I nudge and tense when his jaw twitches. I expected some kind of outward verbal of
some kind and not thins weird silent thing he’s doing. It’s unnerving me that he isn’t reacting in quite the
way I expected.

“I’m sorry, baby….. I’m so fucking sorry.” He stops dropping me to my feet and hauls me bodily against
him, pulling me in so hard he almost wounds me and wraps me up in is arms tucking me face under his
chin and squeezing. His voice breaks as a torrent of pent-up emotion breaks and I feel a tear pass form
his cheek to mien that almost breaks me. “I could have killed you… I almost…… the doctor that’s the
first port of call. To get you checked, them checked. You should never have been in this fight, not
pregnant, Lorey… Do you realize how stupid that was. How close to dying you were?” He pulls back.
His tone form soft and sorrowful, to instant rage as his last words are delivered loudly, with aggression
and I flinch in reaction.

Okay anger I didn’t expect and as he lets me go an picks me up again because I am so obviously not
allowed to walk. He furrows his brow, blinks away the show of tears and that determined but pissed as
hell expression covers his face once more. He bites on his lower lip to curb his urge to scold me and
instead starts stomping through the forest, turning semi wolf to make it less painful on his human skin
to be naked. His emotions are strong, the wave of fury and fire coursing through because he’s mad as
hell for many things, but mostly because I put myself in danger for him. In so many ways.

“I had no choice…I need to lead.” I whimper softly, not wanting our reunion to be like this and recoil
when he snaps back.

“No you fucking didn’t. That’s what Meadow is there for when I’m not. She’s my beta…the one who
deals with war and battle. You’re the Luna, you’re my fucking life, Lorey…. I don’t care what is
expected of a Luna, it doesn’t count when it comes to you. You always put your safety first, over
everything you hear me…That’s a fucking order!” The biting attitude and he actually alpha tones me in
his last two sentences and enrages me on all kinds of levels. He swore he would never ever alpha tone
me again as long as we lived, because he knows how much I hate his use of it over my free will. The
angry growl he exudes and yep, he is really pissed about all of this despite the fact we just saved his
ass and broke a spell. “If anything has happened to those two babies. I’ll never forgive myself!”

His last words tear me open inside, dampening my own growing rage as it sizzles into nothing like
water on hot coals. I lift myself back to his face and pull his jaw with clasped hands to look at me.
Pulling his eyes to mine even though he tries to fight me at first, but then relents when he catches my
gentle expression and the misting of my eyes at his being so mad.

“I had to bring you home, or else those two babies were not going to have a father…and I wasn’t about
to leave you out here. I couldn’t live without you.” I try softly, attempting to soothe him with my obvious
devotion, but he squints his eyes and turns away from me. His jaw clenching, showing he’s still highly
emotional and not really in the soft lovey mode of communication. My sweet talking never works when
he’s in pig headed and overprotective mode.

“Your life trumps everything. Your safety comes first. I can’t believe my mom even allowed you to do
this, what the hell was she thinking?” he rages out loud, throwing out a Colton tantrum into the air
around us. Stamping across the foliage like a bad mooded bear and I close my mouth and cling on in
the hopes the walk home will help him vent a little.

“That my daughter was more capable than you give her credit for!” Sierra’s voice cuts in, almost
making Colton drop me as he realizes she’s still wandering around here without an escort but walking
along beside him inside this retched forest. She has dodged Meadow and carmen and found her way
back to us and probably has Carmen going mad with looking.

“Don’t even, Mom. You don’t know what you missed back there when you lost her. Jesus Christ, I go
mentally off the charts for a week and you two start running around the forest taking on vampires! What
the hell, mom? The two most important people in my life, and you’re out here acting like all this is a
walk in the park and neither have any chance of being hurt.” He shouts at her too, and I flinch and curl
up into a tight ball in his arms. He never raises his voice to Sierra, ever, in the whole time I have loved
him and yet here he is, scolding her like she’s another unruly pack member and not the Rema. I squirm
to get loose but the death glare he snaps on my face tells me to stay still and let him carry me all the
way home. He’s not to be screwed with in this mood.

“I know this may be really hard to comprehend Cole, but I’m your mother, and I was doing far more
dangerous things before you were born or old enough to lead a pack. I can hold my own, and your
mate…the fates wouldn’t give you someone who wasn’t able to fend for herself. She made it out, didn’t
she? She’s here, unharmed, and so are your children.” Sierra pushes us out onto a well-worn path that
leads back to the homestead that I guess the vampires used and we catch sight of others in the woods
heading home too. Some trying not to eavesdrop, but I guess the alpha going at his mom and mate are
something worthy of listening to. It doesn’t happen …ever.

We make our way into the sunny clearing of freedom and stench free air, inhaling to clear our nostrils
and Sierra darts fast to wipe her blood-soaked hands on the grass by the opening of the forest canopy
where light becomes bright enough to see. “God their blood is disgusting. Sticky and ughh.” She
mutters absentmindedly and I tense as my mate’s body gets a degree stiffer. His mood inching higher. I
swallow down the inner angst that I know he’s not even close to being done.

Colton looks even more unamused if that was possible and then shakes his head, hauling me higher in
his arms so he pulls my face into his neck and almost crushes my body into a tight grip that has me
clinging on for dear life. He turns to look down on me and I blink with a hopeful look of innocence. His
eyes amber once more and it’s clear I’m not winning with loving looks or sweet smiles.

“You two… vampire blood, battles, road trips and fucking witches. Don’t bet on getting outside of the
stead any time soon, or ever again… not happening. Letting you out of your rooms for the next decade,
not likely. And letting you have any say in what we do concerning future attacks… don’t bet on it.
House arrest, grounded, locked up…. whatever you want to call it. I am drawing a fucking line.” He
grinds out through clenched teeth in a low and hostile, hoarse tone, Eye’s burning in rage as he zones
on mine and I flinch and look way from the rage I see there. Maybe mind linking wasn’t the best way to
explain and I might have had an easier time omitting some details from this back story.

He’s in full on protector mode and I can’t really say I’m mad about it, even if he has me trembling under
his fury and feeling apprehensive about getting home to be alone. It’s kind of a relief to not make those
decisions or have to think about leaving my bedroom ever again.

I mean I’m pregnant, I’ll happily stay in bed for the foreseeable future while groveling for his
forgiveness. I can sleep as long as I like and not worry about the safety of my pack. My mate is home,
well almost, I mean we still have to walk the several miles to get there, but for right now, the danger has
been annihilated.

He won’t be mad at me forever. Once he calms down, and lets it all sink in and ensures the pack really
is okay and that I’m unharmed and our babies are healthy... Maybe in like, a month, he’ll finally stop
growling at me. Maybe.

I didn’t fall in love with just gentle Colton, but this stubborn, aggressive, crazy protector, who is
physically hauling my ass home and looks like he might be about to eat me. That right there, is the guy
who makes me feel the safest. I just hope he’s hungry and tired because I could use food and sleep.