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Rejected Mate and Following Fate novel Chapter 15

Chapter 15: Your Gift

"Anyway… why are you here. I thought you were scared of me now." It's a half joke, half real question, because it's been playing on my mind since the first couple of hours they locked me in this lifeless room, to listen to the house being mended and boarded up. It's also my attempt to bring us back from the intimacy that is now making me uncomfortable as I push a little more space between us. I don't even have a cell phone to keep me occupied as I have no friends and the orphanage wasn't going to pay for them.

"Hmmm. Ha ha. Actually, it's sort of about that. Why I'm here I mean. About earlier and your moment of whatever the hell that was." Colton's face turns serious, those pretty eyes under black way too nice eyebrows, turning back to mine, and I can almost hear the gear switch of his brain as he focuses his mind on that topic. All tenderness fades away.

"What about it? You came to tell me they all think I'm a freak and a threat and I'm getting moved to an isolation tank." I say it so blankly like there's no feeling behind it, but honestly, it's had me worried to the pit of my stomach on and off for hours.

Isolation tanks dampen gifts and make you unable to do anything much about it. If they think I'm some kind of freak of nature, I can totally see Juan using that as an excuse to contain me. It would solve the whole imprinting issue and his son being in danger. I would literally live in a steel box, forgotten in some basement below one of the Santo houses. I could live and rot until I die of age in there. Problem solved.

"They're all too busy figuring out what we do about our lands before we're hit with another attack. This shit is just the beginning, Lorey. All these years wasted when we should have been preparing and building an army once more. Now they're calling on packs from the far reaches to consider uniting and mounting an offensive. No, you're low on the list of things they are worried about today... whereas I have a theory." He smiles a little at that, a lightness hitting his expression, the look of smug knowledge spreading into those deepest darkest chocolate eye and that annoyingly sexy smile widening enough to bring out dimples and showcase very nice teeth.

"Which is?" I sound as unconvinced as I feel, and he smiles all the more, making butterflies erupt low down in my body and I have to squirm to get them under control. I don't like the smug, twinkling, something in his eye. My instincts start to shift and suddenly I feel like wariness might be creeping in and the aura he's giving off.

"You have an absorption gift. And that's what you did. You absorbed the power of the weapon they used in the orphanage and for a short time you can throw it out there as your own. It's not a common gift, and usually they don't come across devices like the vampire hit you with. It makes sense. You haven't learned to contain your power and you were overwhelmed." He sounds so convinced, actually pleased at how smart he is for figuring it all out in a logical and almost believable way. I've heard of this type of gift among wolves. Well heard stories and legends, like he said, it's not common. They absorb and can use other wolves' gifts and some they even retain for more than days. They basically turn any enemies power back on them, and it makes them almost invincible.

"Except …. that weapon, you're talking about …. it didn't break anything, I didn't turn it to protect me, and it didn't do any kind of anything outside the house and courtyard. Your father said I sent shockwaves for miles." I raise a brow and then sigh at the fact I just disproved something that could have potentially made me feel better about what happened.

"Maybe you can amplify it, make it more potent. Maybe that's part of your gift. We could test that out. Your gifts were dampened by the weapon because you haven't mastered them, and you didn't even know you could. Don't you see. If you have a powerful gift it could change things for us. My father might reconsider your place in our pack. We try and see what you can do." Colton shifts so he's no longer as close but half sits, and turns to tower over me, letting the candlelight illuminate his face once more so I can fully see him. He seems almost pleased, but the doubt and uneasiness inside of me only grows stronger. Picking up on weird, antsy, signals from him and my inner red alert is starting to pique, even though I don't know why. I push it aside and try to ignore it as nothing more than anxiety because of what he's saying.

"How? If I don't know how to harness it, or what to do, or even how to use it." I query; not sure I'm into this, but he seems a little too keen. My head spinning with what he's saying and trying not to dig too deeply into his father changing his mind on anything. Colton's being stupid, and we both know my having a gift that's above average isn't going to change the fact I'm one of the shamed and will never be good enough for an alpha.

"I can trigger you. Absorb mine, see how much you can amplify it back at me. If you can, then his is huge, Lorey. It means you have a superior power and we might….Don't you see? You might be a Santo yet, if you have it in you to become something amazing, a warrior for her people. If my father sees promise in you, then he might reconsider you enough to let you become one of my pack… and then…." He tails off, but I can see where his mind is heading, and it now makes sense why Carmen is not high on his priority list. Colton is looking for a way to claim me as his mate, even after everything he said in the forest. I guess the bond for the past weeks has made him as miserable as I've been, and that's why he can't stay away from me.

It hurts at the same time as making me stupidly emotional. Bittersweet pain riling up in my stomach. Adoring him for looking for a way for us, for not really giving up on our bond, but being the realist and shoving hope out like it's trash.

It sounds ludicrously simple, except for one little problem. Colton is an alpha with all the gifts that go with that. He's aggressive, dominant, strong, fast, ruthless, when he needs to be. Can command with a mental link and get no resistance, can jump at insanely high levels. I mean Colton can scale a house of many floors in just a leap. I can't even make it over a brick wall without catching on. I've no idea how he's going to expose me to any of that and then make me somehow use it on him. Triggering me might do nothing, or he might maim me in the process without meaning to. I don't want to do that; I would never be able to hold my own in a battle with him. He would annihilate me even without wanting or meaning to.

"I wouldn't even know how to, and you're making no sense. Your father isn't going to do a U turn because I have a rare gift…. my name and bloodline are what he despises, not my abilities." I sit up, pushing myself back against the headboard and slide my butt back until I'm fully nestled, and gaze down on him.

"Abilities are everything! Don't be so sure. I'm guessing I have to do something near you, or to you, using one of my gifts so that you instinctively defend yourself. That's how it should work in theory. Instinct taking over and no room to think." Colton looks away from me, a small muscle in his jawline clenching that reveals his rarely seen dimples again and I get a tiny surge of uncertainty. He's thinking about something, analyzing, worrying, doubting his own decisions and I blink at him a little apprehensively. I don't like the vibes he's giving off, that have all my senses tingling, and now I'm starting to wonder in what way he might make me want to defend myself.

"So, what you're saying is… you don't have any idea either, how to actually do this, right?" I point out, rolling my eyes and playfully shove him in the shoulder in a bid to kill the tension and to get him to drop this stupid direction of thought. He's making me nervous and I don't like it.

"Hey… don't question the man with the brains. Of course, I know what I'm doing, and I have a full proof, well, almost full proof, plan. You just need to not hate me after this…. Or kill me because that would be counterproductive." He may sound like he's joking with me, but there's a U turn in his mood and a seriousness clouding over it that doesn't reach his smile. A severe tingle of apprehension hits me in the gut as I pick up again on an undertone between us. An inkling of something hitting out at me that's subtly under the surface of his jokey manner and fast smirks. I can't put my finger on it, but catching him looking me over with a slightly vacant gaze, the tiniest of wrinkles between those brows of his and the hint of muscle twinge in his jaw, my stomach sinks and nerves seem to overwhelm me instantly. I tense and become aware of the fact, that for the first time since we bonded, I feel like I shouldn't trust him at all.

"Don't hold back." He breathes it out and doesn't give me a chance to respond to that weird command. I frown, mouth opening to say 'What?' but he grabs me by my hips, yanks me down the bed and jumps on top of me in under a second, using hyper speed and insane reflexes so I haven't even time for a breath, or a blink. I yelp with the surprise of the maneuver, winded with his sudden weight on top of me, aggressively heavy, his body fitting snugly against mine in every way so he's literally nose to nose with me and I can't move an inch. My hands pinned to the cushions beside my head by his, and ankles shoved apart by his feet, viciously. Stunned and suddenly feeling all kinds of things that conflict and collide, I gawp at him, heart rate pounding up to insane levels and start to squirm in his harsh grip.

"What are you doing? Colton, get off of me." I whisper huskily against him, panic flashing that this doesn't feel right, or like that first time we started to mark but he has me completely immobile. I'm instantly a little too hot, and internally pulsing, for my liking, as the bond need for sex begins to boil up inside of me instinctively, misinterpreting our body contact, but somehow it's not the same, and it dies when I realize it's not radiating back at me at all. This isn't lust driven and consensual. This isn't seduction and a willingness to mate with me to seal our bond at all. He hasn't even attempted to kiss me and he's avoiding looking me in the eye properly.


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