Rejected Mate and Following Fate - Awakening Book

Chapter 88: Jasper

I don't know how to react, what to think or feel. I stare at him, gawping, somehow rooted to my spot,
anger consuming me, mixed emotions swirling around me like a dense fog. Pain, then relief, some
inkling of joy and hope, but it all swirls back around to agonizing shards of biting fear as I try and
absorb that this is real.

I open my mouth to speak again, but only noise comes out, a whimper of desperate sobbing that
breaks me down and in a second I'm crushed against a strong warm chest, surrounded by arms that
used to be as familiar as my own skin. I'm hugged tightly by the one person who used to make my day
brighter, before Colton did, before our world fell apart. I can only slump into him, so caught in past
memories and how this feels so familiar, so necessary and yet I cannot stop crying against his soft
clothes like a wounded child.

"If I had known.... I would have found a way to take you. I would never have left you or abandoned you.
I truly, truly believed I was too late. I swear, Lorey." He mumbles into my hair, his breath warming my
scalp and sending shivers across my whole body as I collapse against him. Savoring the feel of him,
breaking to pieces and trembling at his touch, crying over a million days of haunting pain where I
mourned his loss along with my parents. My brain is so fuddled, confused, and I try to pull fragments of
possibility together, so not sure that this isn't a dream. Gasping in an effort to curb my emotional
breakdown and sniffing back to some level of sanity.

"But how..." the words push out with a weak tone from the chaos of my foggy head and I know I need
answers more than hugs right now. They all died. Juan made sure of it, so where was he, how did he
survive? Why is he with vampires?

He exhales heavily and rubs his hand over the back of my hair, stroking me in such a familiar way that
it pains me and cuts to the core like a knife, squeezing me tight as though his words are going to
wound me. My instincts immediately perking up and the red alert flag of instinct moves up my spine in a
cold shiver.

"There's so much you don't know. There's so much to tell you. I...... Lorey, the vampires are who saved
me. There's something really important... They gave me a home because...." He hesitates, pausing
between broken sentences, his voice trails off and his tone fades like a whisper as though he hasn't the
will. I pull back in suspicion, blinking away my tears to focus on his face and the joy and pain at being
able to look at him again almost ends me for a second time. I impulsively reach up and touch his
cheek, grazing his warm skin, checking he's real and bury my face against him again just to be sure.
My brother's really alive, and here, holding me, telling me that I have someone left of my blood that still
loves me. I wasn't truly alone all these years and had he known, he would never have left me in the
home at all, but then....I wouldn't have bonded to Colton. I push it aside, knowing now that despite what
I endured, I would never give up my mate or how I came to be his, even if I lost ten years at my
brother's side. I have him now, the fates brought him back to me and all I need is truth.

"Because?" I push where he left off, and then pull away again to gaze at his handsome face and
absorb every detail and line that I've missed beyond belief. When I realize no answers come, I raise my
brow and nudge his abdomen lightly with my palm. He's staring at the top of my head, avoiding my
focus; a look of anguish as though he's torn about what to say and even after all these years, I can still
read his facial gestures as if we haven't been apart for half my life. "Tell me." I shove my palm into his
chest like I did as a kid when he would tease me and hold out on something I wanted to know. His
pained half smile at my reaction tells me he remembers me doing this to him so many times as a ten-
year-old pup, the happiness of the familiar behavior. His whole body softens but then he lets out a sigh
while his brows furrow gloomily and he reaches out to stroke my hair once more.

"No matter what.... you're my sister. You always were and always will be. I never stopped loving you.
You have to know that, before...... just tell me you hear me, okay?" His words tremble, his voice low
and almost pleading me to agree to his terms. Dread rises in my stomach and I pull at his sleeve
nervously, yanking his hand back to my head almost childishly for reassurance. Confused and reverting
to habits of old and it only seems to wound him more so. My youthful behaviors so effortlessly returning

when my brother is holding me tight. He was always my guardian, my best friend and my mentor. The
protector who was always ready to kiss my boo boo's and carry me home.

I love my brother so much. I have missed him beyond belief and if this a dream then I never want to
wake up. Sobs catch in my throat and desperation overwhelms me.

"I understand. I hear you." I repeat his words, needing to know what he's holding back and not really
laying any weight on them. Of course he's my brother, I know he loves me. He always did. We both
thought each other dead but it doesn't change a thing, nor does it matter now. Jasper will always be in
my heart and hold a special place that no other living soul can replace. There has always been a dark
hole that belonged only to him.

"They saved me because of..... your mother." He dodges eye contact and goes back to staring over my
head at the sky in the distance, his emotions all over the place and feeding my nerves. I frown waiting
for him to elaborate, impatience growing until one little word catches my attention and I furrow my
brows as I repeat back his sentence in my brain and sound it our for myself

"Your?" I hone right on it, loudly verbalizing with heavy questioning as he pauses. I feel his stiffness as
he looks left, over the top of my head at the open door of the car which is silent and still. Leyanne and
the vampire still tucked inside and leaving us to it.

"She wasn't my mother, Lorey... by blood. I'm not even related to you. I never was. We're not siblings in
any other way than marriage."

I step back, gasping as my head spins and I'm hit with the weight of his words like a kick to the gut
while nausea rises rapidly in response. Trying to compute, but it doesn't make sense. I glare at him,
anger rising because it's a lie, frowning, shaking my head. I have the urge to laugh at him. To hit him in
the shoulder and tell him to stop messing with me, but the deadpan blank look on his pale face tells me
that's not what he's doing at all.

"Yes, you are. Stop it." I snap, swallowing my ludicrous bubbling despair, and step back to shove him in
the chest again, only with aggression and denial. "Take that back" I snap, eyes glowing with burning
rage that he's trying to hurt me or make me hate him and I don't know why. He flinches at the contact
but reaches for my hand and catches his fingers in mine so he can pull me back to restrain both my
hands in his.

"You have no idea what it means to be here right now, to see you, to know you're alive. God, I have
wished for this moment for so long." He swallows the croak of his tumbling emotions and furrows his
brow back to seriousness, quieting my voice within my chest as he exhales harshly. Caught in shocked
silence and begging him with pleading eyes to stop doing this. "She was pregnant when we met her.... I
was five years old. Dad was my uncle; he was raising me because my mother died in childbirth and
took her mate with her. I always knew who I was, and then you two came and you gave me a new
family." He pulls me in nearer as the choked expression and numbness stills me completely. Freezing
out my thoughts as I blink and try to inhale through what he's saying and almost fail at getting enough
oxygen in the process. "She was running, from our kind, for fear of what they would do if they found out
about you. And we were camping on the south side of the mountain, out there alone. I don't think it was
by chance.... they imprinted on sight. It was... beautiful. I gained a mother in the blink of an eye. And a
few short months later, a baby sister." His explanation cuts my heart from my soul and rips it into
shreds, burning my body with intense pain as my brain stammers.

"No! ... He was my dad too. He's my dad.... she's my mom... you're my brother. STOP IT!" The sobs
break as every memory I possess is torn in two and all I thought was real turns out to be a lie. Every
moment, every happy encounter and image I have clung to my whole life. None of it is real and I was
living in a fake world with people who were never even my own blood. Jasper hauls me into his arm
and pulls my face against his chest with a strong palm, enveloping me with that protective bulk of body.

"He was, in every other sense of the word, Lorey. He loved you. You were his daughter; it didn't matter
to him where you were created. You both became ours and we loved you both exactly that way. It didn't

matter to us. You ARE my sister."

"No, I don't want it to be true. He was my dad, you're my brother, stop saying it. They were all my
family. I won't believe you." I can't take this in and he squeezes harder, pinning me tight, as though
somehow this isn't the worst he has to say, and I instantly absorb his tension, reverberating through
me. Picking up on his feelings even while mine are insanely overpowering and it freezes me to my
core. A new wave of dread hitting me like a brick wall.

"I'll always be your family, but the truth is.... who you are is why I got to live.... Do you understand what
I'm saying?" he falters and through the mess of my head and the muggy thoughts colliding one truth I
already knows rings clear. Sense prevailing, logic kicking my ass.

"Because my mom was part vampire... and that somehow saved you." I blurt it out, whimpering,
wishing none of this was true, but his tense stiffening tells me that's not right exactly.

"No... I mean, she was, but...... your father, Lorey, your biological dad. He's the son of the high lord.
Your dad's one of them."

His words have the same effect as cutting me down where I stand and even though my brain doesn't
really compute it, my body reacts just the same and my legs give out. Crumbling but his grasp on me
tightens and he holds me up and to him as I break all over again. Nausea choking me and I wretch and
sob at the same time, unsure how else to respond.

I'm not part vampire, diluted from my mother's side. I'm half of a freaking vampire and for the first time it
suddenly makes sense why my eyes are red and hers never were. Why my gifts are strong and yet, I
never saw them in her. Yes she was part vampire, but no, she didn't give this to me... he did.

I shake my head over and over and the only noises are my pathetic gulps, gasping for air, my wails of
shock, as my entire life history burns to the ground and crumbles to ash. Everything I thought I was.
Who I thought I was; it was never real. I was never a Whyte, I'm not even bigger percent wolf anymore.

I was never Jasper's sister...I was an invading half breed, and they all knew and kept it from me the
entire time. I can't sense any lies or deception in him and even I know he has no reason to tell me this
if it wasn't true. Jasper was never a liar.

"Alora, your father is the vampire who has been waging a war against the wolves for two decades,
taking over where his ancestors gave up. His wrath and hatred is completely fueled by the thought that
wolves took his lover and his child, not once, but twice. He thought you both perished almost two
decades ago and created an army to fight a war. Only then to find that no, she was cut down in the war
of his own doing and his child was taken at ten years old."

His words stop my uncontrollable deterioration and I grasp Jaspers clothes as what he says pulls
together in my head. Reason and sense bringing sudden calm to my body and I jerk my face up to
meet his eyes on mine.

"He started the war because of her.... us?" I blink, instantly still, my brain hitting some weird lull of
hysterics to really get this and realize Leyanne is standing right behind me now. No longer waiting in
the car, but here to confirm what he says.

"He did. She ran to protect her baby from her own pack and he never knew what happened to her.
When she imprinted, she never returned, thinking he would forget her. But he never..... he thought she
was dead and so was his bairn, so he came after your kind to avenge you both." Leyanne touches my
shoulder and makes me jump with the contact. Weirdly soft for her, as though she's explaining to a
fragile mind and all I can do is shake my head. My eyes round out in bewilderment as I stare at her and
then Jasper and then blanche as it hits me again

"And ten years later...." I blub, grasping at it all.

"He rebuilt his army after finding out the truth, with intentions of avenging you both once again. This
war, is all about you. He knows she fell on that battleground, he thinks you were murdered on the

mountain right after." Jasper releases me from his tight embrace to give me room to breathe and it
gives me a moment to pull myself together. Stunned by this new history, no longer capable of feeling
anything more while so much hangs inside of me.

"I don't believe you.... it can't be real.... I couldn't be the source of all this death and pain. All those who
have died in the battles." I don't want to carry the guilt or believe this.

"Lorey, vampires have kept me alive and safe for a decade. On the strength of being Marina's adopted
son and your sole living wolf family. The high lord favors me, and gave me Darrius as my eternal
companion to make sure I remain unharmed..... he takes no part of his son's war. He doesn't care what
he does but if he knew his heir is still alive.... He would intervene."

"You could end a war by merely existing... the high lord would exert his power and recall his son. His
son.... would be tamed with the knowledge his child lived. You, my pet, are literally the one to bring
peace to two kinds, by just breathing." Leyanne's words sit heavy on me and I stare between the two of
them at the long distant road we came here on. Mind peacing out as I pick apart and process every
single detail with eerie stillness. The prophecy that I would end a war was always within my grasp, and
it was never anything to do with my gifts at all.

Almost twenty years alive on this earth, all my losses connected to this enemy, only to find they're all
linked, and my loss was for nothing. I was the center of the storm and if the fates had only revealed me
sooner to the vampire lord, then maybe no one would have died at all. It can't be that simple. None of it
can. My mother died for her own cause, and my pack continue to suffer because of my existence. All I
ever needed to do was stand up and be seen.

"I can't..... I need to think." I spew out my rush of words and push away from Jasper's close proximity
as though he's causing my lack of air. Dizziness overtaking me as my vision blurs while I stumble to the
verge and crumble into the grass to sit down and put my face between my knees. Taking deep breaths
to cool the sudden heat crawling over my body like fire ants. It's all happening too fast and it's so

beyond crazy and farfetched. My brain is close to exploding and it's all too much to compute in such a
short time.

"Not all vampires are at war with your kind. Some of us just don't care. The lord has been left to run
rogue for twenty years.... it's' time my people took their kind in hand." The low rumbling voice of the
dark stranger pulls me out of my posture, lifting my chin unsteadily and I realize I'm being shadowed by
the one from the car in all his huge glory. He's tall, wide, and impressively terrifying when standing like
an imposing tower over me. Yet, he's standing in full sunlight, even if he is wearing a dark hood and
gloves. That's the only part I seem to focus on.

"Your kind? Aren't you all the same? Vampire is vampire." I hesitate, trying to gauge if his clothing is
enough to protect him but stare in shock as his naked tanned wrist peeks out from under his coat as he
stretches and pulls his hood back down without a single reaction to the light. He smirks and somehow
despite all that's going on with me, I gawp at his sudden exposure and complete lack of pain. Blinking
in daze that it does literally nothing to him, and swallow hard with this new piece of information. We've
seen Vampires in the sun when we caught some as prisoners to extract intel. They burn and die in
horrifying cries and screams of pain, then dissolve to ash like a bursting powder puff. We have an
upper hand because of this weakness, and yet here's one, and he's fricken fine. Walking in sunlight
could be a complete game changer to the wolves upper hand.

"Vampire is a loose term for a varied species... we can be born or made, and it makes a difference.
Birth keeps us pure and strong.... it's also heavily monitored to ensure no child is born without
purpose... except the occasional accident. The ones who are turned, they're weaker, slower, and they
have nothing of our gifts and abilities, also easier to kill with such basic things. Lord Varro's army is
borne of turned halflings. Pale eyed, weak, blood thirsty, sun fearing .... pawns. Consider them an
abomination and an embarrassment to our bloodlines. My kind are royalty, and we stay far from the
mongrels in order to preserve our existence." His superior tone, that weird accent and his blood red
eyes all surround me with a heaviness that causes me to pause and listen with no response. My heart

thudding and head swirling, taking in his words. Vampires can be like humans, that can walk in light,
have warm and tanned skin and look relatively passable, despite teeth and red eyes. Does this also
mean they can control the blood hunger? Don't need it to survive and can ignore the impulse to feed?
He seems pretty controlled.

"The pure breeds are rare, Lorey. Compared to other species, they are still only in their hundreds
globally..... Darrius here is from the house of Danesti, one of the oldest in the vampire hierarchy,
second to Draculesti.... The high lord's bloodline. Your bloodline." Now that makes me snort and choke
in disbelief as lame movies we watched in the orphanage appear in my head.

"You’re saying freaking Dracula was real? ... I'm a descendant of some horror story vampire?" I blurt at
the absurdity and laugh insanely with a head shake. The bubbling giggle of someone having a real
hard time processing reality. Sure I'm having some sort of midlife crisis brought on by the trauma of my
mate abandoning me to some stupid cursed fog. Or maybe I've had a mental break, and all of this is
only happening in my mind.

"All stories come from somewhere and his bloodline was created long before his fable was. The house
of Draculesti, well, they have ruled the vampires since the dawn of time.... it was the child of Draculesti
that first started these troubles." Darrius gazes off towards our truck and I follow, glimpsing both my
femmes staring this way and eavesdropping in as best they can. Still immobile and I guess Leyanne is
keeping them tied to their seats even now. Leyanne follows my line of vision and I hear her sigh, before
I look away and dismiss the sight of them.

That renders me mute and I gulp down any kind of reaction. The memory of so long ago, Sierra telling
me a story of a half breed child who died at the hands of the wolves... she was the child of the vampire
king and her blood was spilled by the Lychans. If she was Draculesti and I am too... the fates really are
trying to redress the balance and put things back to rights. It's all slotting into place and if this wasn't
about me, I would be fascinated and excited at the piecing of the puzzle, but instead I can't breathe and
I have to force my face back between my legs to catch it before I suffocate to death

"If this is all true, then you can end it... all you have to do is tell him?" Meadow's voice startles me out of
my stupor and snap my chin back up to see them moving closer to me. Her and Carmen have been let
out now it's obvious we are not in danger here and Leyanne trusts they will behave. Meadow comes to
me in a flash to catch my hand and hold it tight. Giving me her strength, her support when she knows
I'm struggling, and surrounds me with that sense of safe I need right now. "The fog.... if the vampires
give up, the spell is taken back?" She nods towards Leyanne for confirmation of a possible solution to
our own problem and I turn in expectation, seeing that she might be right.

"It's not the simple. Lord Varro has been out there for a decade, no one knows where he is currently.
And if we need to go to the high lord, we need proof of you .... That means my going back and letting
the mind link show today's events. That I saw you, that I know it's you. If he's to recall the vampires, it's
not a case of commanding a halt. His son leads the halflings, they won't just come to heel without his
say so. So, after carrying a message from his father, we then need to show Varro you lived as he's cut
off any psychic linking from anyone who would stand in his way." Jasper sits down beside me,
answering for the witch, all eyes on me and slides his arm around me, getting a wary look from
Meadow. The mistrust evident that a male is touching her Alpha's woman. She stares at him for a long
moment and then sighs, seemingly relenting that as my brother, he has a right to touch me without

"I remember you... Jasper. Nice to see you alive, compadre." Meadow reaches out and gives him an
awkward handshake and he throws her a half smile and shrug back at her. It's weird given the
circumstances but it's also sweetly heartwarming. My brother who's not really my brother, and my sister
who's not my sister, meeting properly for the first time ever. I doubt they knew each other back when
we were younger as Santos and Whytes didn't really interact.

"Meadow... and that's Carmen." She nods behind her at the hovering figure who edges closer with
apprehension, and Jasper glances up, laying eyes on the new figure for the first time too. It's an
instinctual almost polite response to greet someone he's being introduced to. Nothing in it other than

reaction because he was raised with manners, but the next second sends everything into chaos. His
whole body slams to an unnatural halt that sends a shiver through me as he's touching my body with
his and I feel it firsthand.

One moment, one look is all it takes.

The spark, the clap of tension, the forced eye lock as both of them open wide in shock, bodies riveted
to weird stiffness like an electric voltage has been administered. The hold of breath, the panicked gasp,
and the sudden look of realization on both of their faces, seconds before both fall backwards in
dramatic release and crumble to the ground panting. Like tumbling matchstick towers, both end up on
the ground, shell-shocked and crumpled, blinking at one another as though only each could hold the
answer to what just went down. It's a moment, felt by all around. The heavy atmosphere zinging with
emotional fall out that something major has just happened between them.

Seeing it from this side is way less dramatic than being the one going through it, and it stirs up so many
sudden emotions as I click on what this is. Colton shooting through my mind's eye but also a low little
inkling of warmth and joy. It doesn't alter the shock factor none the less. Jasper just imprinted on
Carmen and things just got a whole lot weirder and complex.