Rejected Mate and Following Fate - Awakening Book

Chapter 104: The Battle

I steady my hands on my lap and screw my eyes shut forcing myself to calm my racing heart and
breathe as slowly as I can, nerves eating me inside out and I am trying not to show it.

Sat in the dark interior of one of our trucks, in the rear, listening and waiting patiently as the sun goes
down. Colton and the twins are out running the perimeter of where we wait to get as close to the
mountain as possible.

We have a convoy of a dozen trucks all nestled together in a deep dark forest on the far eastern side of
the valley below the mountain. A place that took us half the day to get to because of our long detour to
go all the way around in a wide berth to a part that Juan can’t see from his position. We needed to be
close before sunset and yet we needed to be hidden incase Juan got any ideas about starting a battle
before the real threat arrived.

We know from some of our pack that the mountain too had been released from the fog spell at the
same time as we were and their confusion and exhaustion has hindered them enough to make it easier
for us to get within mere miles of the manor. I am guessing Juan and his people have no memory of the
week of their lives they lost, because everyone here was affected and no one had the memories left
behind like we did in our protected shell. As far as they know, they woke up after a second of seeing
the fog and it was gone. Some know more has happened due to linking to family in our pack but none
of those people would dare report to Juan. He would know then that they were contacting us and be
seen as traitors. I guess in a way, it’s an advantage for us as that most of them are dazed and
confused and have no clue about the danger heading their way.

The only upside to Varro’s army are that halflings can only walk in the dark. Leyanne told us the pure
bloods don’t need darkness or to hide from sunlight. They can walk around plain as day among us if
they desire, but only don’t because they cannot conceal their teeth or blood red eyes. Varro’s army are
all halflings, so we don’t even have to worry about the possibility.

We had time to be ready and sit here waiting for the inevitable, watching the mountain for signs as the
light fades and tension rises around us. We’ve seen nothing so far and I jump when the door is yanked
open suddenly and Domi hops inside with a mischievous grin.

“Sorreeee….. I was in stealth mode.” He winks and Remo and Colton appear behind him, leaving the
rear doors open and exposing the next truck to view, bringing some needed illumination from the fading
sky. We have been silently inside here; me, Sierra, Radar and the Luna’s guard with Meadow up front
in the driver seat, just waiting. No one speaking because we are lost in our heads and focusing on
what’s to come. The witch is out front, standing meters away and staring at the vast mountain looming
up in the sky to our left and has been for hours, gazing into space with a huge black raven sat on her
shoulder. She makes an impressive visual with her long-hooded cloak and boho style swaying skirts
that move around her ankle sin the breeze.

“It’s like everything has stopped. I don’t know what the hell is going on but the valley, the manor, the
guards. No one is moving, no one is doing anything. The villages are almost dead and yet we could
feel the pack. We could hear them, but it’s so quiet and peaceful I guess they have no idea whatsoever
that Vampires are even coming.” Domi slides beside me and props his feet up on a bag sat in the
central area of the van.

“Didn’t anyone warn them after the links returned?” Sierra blurts out, casting a side eye towards me
and then Colton and he shakes his head.

“We forbade the pack from passing on the message in case it got to dad and he did something that
might hinder us. He will know when they arrive and by then, we should be ready to protect those we
need to protect.”

“We did managed to figure out that the pack is split in two,” Remi is the one to voice the intel this time
and Domi stretches and flops down on one of the metal benches we are occupying and sighs loudly.

“Village that Juan built in the valley looks like a prison camp now. It seems everyone who stood against
him is confined to a fenced off barrack of sorts.”

“Juan and his loyal are holed up in the manor and have a perimeter fence around most of the valley,
making it more like an army base than the home we knew. It’s not hard to scale but they have
loudspeakers all around, like maybe they have been using the weapon to counteract vampires in the
same way we have.” Domi finishes his brothers’ sentence and Colton looks lost in thought, gazing at
me without focus as he visualizes what they saw.

“It’s not the home we knew. It’s ……… he’s lost his mind and our people are more like prisoners, than
pack. It was hard to see it and stay away.” Colton’s pain erupts in my own heart as I feed from his
emotions and he locks eyes on me properly, a sheen to their surface as his raw pain shines through.

“We always knew he was capable of so much more than we had seen. I guess without having to keep
up an act, he finally showed his true self.” Sierra bites out harsh words, her voice rasping as she makes
it clear that she detests that man with a vengeance. She may still be bonded to him, but her mind and
soul have a venom that overshadows any love she may be forced to carry. Even bonded to a mate and
made to care, we can still harbor resentment and something close to real hatred when a relationship
breaks down. Maybe it’s because of the love that the anger and hurt can become so much more potent
when we no longer want our chosen mate.

I catch radar shifting slightly and pick up on his tense stature and the way he keeps his eyes on the
floor even when sat right by Sierra’s side. He has been her shadow since she came down from her
room this morning and stuck by my side. Radar as attentive as always but yet still cannot look his
Rema in the eye.

“We think we know which direction they’ll come. We rounded as far as we could to scope out without
being seen and we think they will head in from the west point. There’s a shaded forest that leads in far

from the outer roads. A trail wide enough and long enough to conceal them at first. Everywhere else is
too open unless they take this route the way we did.” Colton continues briefing us.

“An if they do?” my heart pounces into my throat and I lock my eyes on my mate, fear rising up in my
stomach that we may encounter them head on and intercept before they hit the valley at all. It may be
better that way for those in the valley, but we are hoping on added numbers from the villagers if we get
there first.

“Then we have you. And the witch. And the hope we end this without a fight.” Colton winks at me,
showing a confidence I know he isn’t really feeling, and it does nothing to console me.

“That is not going to happen, Master Santo.” Leyanne’s voice wafts our way as she climbs in the back
of the truck and all eyes are diverted to her. The twins immediately go all gooey eyed and turn to her
adoringly but are met with a deadpan blank gaze as she wafts past them to nestle firmly in the center.
Leyanne seems intolerant of any kind of lust aimed her way from males.

“Meaning?” Colton interjects.

“They are close and whether they come this route or the other, they won’t leave here without a fight.
They won’t leave without Juan and his men laid in a pool of their own blood. Varro isn’t such a pussy
cat that the life of his daughter remaining will sway him from decades of anger.”

The tension rises around me once more and the shift of bodies moving around me highlights we all feel
the same.

“Do you know which way they approach?” Radar stands to shield us almost instinctively upon hearing
our enemy moves close and Leyanne smiles somewhat absurdly for the strained atmosphere.

“Not yet, but my friends are keeping watch. As the crow flies…. Once they change route to advance,
then we’ll know.” She shrugs, with a little smug twitch to the corner of her mouth.

“If they are moving then so should we. Get to the villagers and face down my father before they get
here. We need to alert the people and those that can still fight should be with us. We’ve waited long
enough. If they are close, then we don’t have much to wait.” Cesar is in bossy mode and like the rest of
us, wants an end to this night before it has even begun.

My heart somersaults because I already knew the plan before he said the word, yet it still makes me
afraid. Like a huge, monumental ball of darkness is swinging over our heads on a thin thread that is
about to snap at any moment. No matter which way we dive and run, that ball will come crashing down
on us because we can’t dodge it.

“Let’s move. There’s no point in waiting any longer.” Meadow cuts through the tense noise and brings
us all to reality. “There’s only so much planning we can do.” Her tone tense, her words weighing us
down with the truth within. NO matter how much we plan this out, it’s never going to be the same as
getting through it.

Colton nods his head to signal agreement and we all get up without anymore hesitation. My stomach in
knots and light fading fast outside, we cannot delay any longer. The wind is in our favor as it’s blowing
away from the valley, but at the same time it means we won’t smell the vampires approaching either.
Our senses maybe overall heightened compared to humans but smell is still our strongest.

We file out of the truck quickly and quietly in an orderly fashion and wait while other vehicles empty
before we play follow the leader and stealthily move into the forest nearby to spread into our
designated teams. Colton moving behind me closely as we progress and his warmth cloaks me in the
chilled night air. My guards and Sierra surrounding me, and it hits me with a deep dread that this feels
as familiar as our mini war against the mountain. The sense of safe that Colton is with me is dampened
down as my own anxiety swirls up inside my chest.

You know the plan. Stay close, don’t stray from me. No matter what happens stay within the Luna’s
guard and by mom’s and my side. Don’t take any risks. We will get through this.

He links me, for my ears only, that soothing and protective way of his, and I nod back at him, turning in
time to see him shedding clothes and tossing them aside to turn. That magnificent beauty as his black
self appears and seems to take over the landscape with his sheer size. In a flash all the wolves follow
suit and leave piles of clothes here in the shadows, dumped and discarded, while human flesh turns to
fur and the air becomes eerily quiet. Even the creatures in this forest sense the change of form and go
into scared hiding. Wolves reign supreme here and they know when to flee.

I swallow hard and push on behind my newly formed wall of furry protectors, Sierra moving to flank me
on one side and I impulsively look around for Carmen. Blinking to adjust and nervous at the lack of her.
She was in another truck, but I don’t see her wolf figure yet and I want her here with me. I scan the
space, pausing for a second before I am nudged in my spine gently by a warm touch.

She’s coming. Stay focused. Colton inside my head and knowing exactly why I hesitate. I take a deep
breath, trusting he has this all mapped out and move on into the dense wood. In here the light is filtered
out dramatically and it almost feels like dusk already, so it takes a moment to get sued to the
gloominess. It somehow feels like a Hollywood setting for an up-and-coming spectacular misty battle in
the shade of a mountain, in the depths of a magical forest. I shudder with that thought and push it away

I’m Scared. I link him back with impulsive nerves, my inner voice weak, and wavering, and again he
nudges me with his nose. That sincere ‘I’m here, it’s okay’ that brings me some sense of calm, yet not
fully. I try to keep my eyes forward in a bid to adjust my night vision and flinch when that familiar femme
leaps out right in front of me and scares me half to death. I inhale so sharply I have to stifle a choke.

Did you think I wasn’t coming? Carmen paces back and forth in front of me in an almost seductive
manner, glee at her ability to give me a scare, then rubs her skull against my left hand to show

affection. Her mere presence somehow warms me to my core and despite being afraid, I feel more at
peace seeing her with us. All four of us close now. Meadow, Sierra, and Carmen, together in one place
to see this out to the end. My circle of femmes.

“Maybe for a moment” I smile, hushing my tone to a whisper to suit the emptiness around us and I’m
quickly moved forward by my impatient mate with a nudge. He’s riled up and ready to fight, his
anticipation beginning to seep through to my own emotions and fill me with a buzzing kind of energy. I
sigh with deflation and accept that this is happening, no matter how much I try to spread my hands and
slow time around me.

We descend into the trees at a steady pace, heartbeat pumping inside my head and I know without a
doubt, this night is going to be long.