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Rejected Mate and Following Fate novel Chapter 8

"Your father made it pretty clear, all the why and what nots. I don't need you to repeat it." I snap a little too tetchily, and instantly get hit with a wave of sadness, maybe regret, as it moves over me, and I pick up on his feelings. I glance up and see he is marginally closer, and I guess that's why I can now feel what he does. In our separation I couldn't feel much except my own misery, I guess that's the only positive about being apart. Now I'm carrying both of our emotions.

"I need to explain my reasons. I don't blindly do what he says… I have my own mind. Please don't be like this. I'm trying to do something to move us forward." He too slumps down, on top of a rock not far from me, and mirrors my pose, dropping his legs over the edge as we sit facing one another across the clearing, in what seems like a huge gulf between us. All my hopes of reuniting with passion and lust dying a hefty death and depressing me all the more.

"So, explain, and let me go back to my exciting solitude and imprisonment. I'm totally missing out on the adventures of the day meeting you here." Its sarcastic and drenched in bitterness that even shocks me, and I flinch at how nasty and cold I manage to sound, but it's purely frustration at the predicament we find ourselves in. Realizing my hurt feelings are getting the better of me, I try to swallow it back and throw him a wary look fleetingly. I catch him out of the corner of my eye frowning, then looking down at his swaying feet, regret all over his face that pains me all the more for my hostility.

"I'm doing what's best for the future of the pack... all of them. You included. I care what happens to all of us. My father was right, and my mate needs to be worthy to lead by my side one day. We need a strong Luna, with pure blood. A warrior who can rise in battle if needs be, and we both know that's not you. The vampires won't stay down forever, they'll rise in my reign, if not before. I need to think of our kind and not what my soul craves. Distance is best, and in time, maybe we'll learn to live without it consuming us the way it is now. We have to be practical and think of the responsibility I bear, with who I am. It's a heavy weight I've carried my whole life…. it's not yours to share. I need someone like Carmen, with strong gifts and a thirst for blood when the time comes. She's a warrior… you're a land child. Your family were growers, gatherers… not hunters. Not killers. It is what it is." His whole manner and tone are low, and apologetic, a slight rasp to his voice and he can't seem to look me in the eye. I can't speak as his words choke my throat to almost closed, my eyes fill with warm fluid that blurs everything in front of me. Wounded by something I already know as factual, in being weak blooded and nothing close to a leader, but it still stings to hear him say it so directly.

I've never been more ashamed of my bloodline than in this moment. My heart aching painfully with stabbing throbs and my insides clench with the sharpest of pangs as he verbalizes exactly what I have known was coming, deep down inside, but too afraid to actually believe.

"You're rejecting me as your mate." I point out croakily, fighting myself to get the words out, through the shards of broken glass caught in my throat, and dying a little inside. It's almost unheard of for your mate to reject you after imprinting... in fact I don't think it's ever happened. No one challenges the fates in this way. I should have known it would happen to me, though, I mean, not even a regular wolf wants to shackle himself to a reject as a mate. That kind of shame tars a family for generations. And he's hardly regular.

I knew this was how it was, if I stopped and really looked at the bigger picture, but somehow, it's different having him say it instead of Alpha Juan. I guess, I held a small candle of hope that Colton would feel as strongly as me within our bond and deny his father's commands. As stupid as I know that is, I wanted to believe I was worthy of someone, and maybe the fates were telling me that. I've always known the importance of his position among us. It's why he has spent his life acting like royalty among us and avoiding my kind completely. This shouldn't be a shock.

I instantly break and sob at his use of the pet name used by my family, so long ago. Turning away from him and sliding off the log to move so he can't see my tears. Stinging my face with their invasive appearance, another sign of my weakness and flawed lineage. I cry when everything goes wrong.

Then why bring me here for this? Why not tell me this back in my room and avoid this agony?

It's sent mentally, defying him on his stance of linking anymore, unable to say what I need verbally as I stagger away from him and break into a run. Knowing leaving is a knee jerk reaction, but I have no space in me for this kind of pain right now, and I don't want to stay and drag it out for what is next to come. I can't handle it; I need to go back to my room and never let him close enough to feel ever again. He wanted me here for one reason only…. he has to declare his rejection of me to make it final. Screw him.

Lorey, wait. Please. Don't go.

I ignore his mental pleas, coming at me desperately, struggling to breathe as I break into a super run and try to put distance between us. Sprinting and then hitting full stride as I skim over the landscape and clear fallen trees easily. Caught in my need to flee and focused on nothing else. Reverting to all fours as my body aches to transform and set me free, but I reign it in and shake it out of my head. I don't want to be in wolf form when this distraught. That kind of loss of control can be devastating and forbidden.

I run with blurry vision, washed almost blind with my own tears and gasp when I'm suddenly yanked back, mid jump, and hauled backwards to tumble into a mossy patch in the forest floor with a thud, rolling and landing on all fours and instantly bristle defensively. Breathing heavily as I square up to my pursuer aggressively, a new feral kind of instinct I've never felt before, full on fierce initiated. I calm instantly when faced with Colton, his eyes glowing amber and equally poised for battle. We stay separated, panting, staring one another down, mere feet apart, closer than we should be, and fueled by pure painful emotion.

"You think this isn't just as hard for me? That doing this is going to cure me of everything?" Colton's desperate plea shines through his own broken words, breaking down my anger and shattering me into tiny pieces. "I had my life mapped out. Chose a mate I loved, and thought I knew what the future held. I didn't think this could ever happen and now, I spend my every waking second wanting you, needing you, and thinking about you, until it drives me insane. The love I had for Carmen died, the second I imprinted on you, and I can't get my head around any of this either. This isn't a cure… it's a necessity. For the good of our existence, our pack. No one will follow an Alpha or respect one who shackles a shamed wolf to his side."

Anger overtakes me as jealousy twists my heart around at the mention of her name, the words coming from his mouth, making me irrationally furious at him once more. Heartbreak and sheer hatred for this situation coming out of every pore.

"Just let me go. This is pointless and you telling me these things, they don't help. Just go away and leave me alone. I don't want you near me ever again. I get it… reject me, say it, and be done with it. Save your precious pack and your honor and go to hell. I was never one of you anyway!" I snarl at him, wipe the sodden mess from my face with the back of my hand aggressively, full on faux bravado and put on the tough girl act as best I can. Literally swallowing my tears and gagging on the acid rising in my throat. Standing up to tower over him in his crouched position, adopting an air of 'I don't care anymore' and will him to be done already. "I didn't want this either. I was leaving, I had a plan and it was thousands of miles away from all of you. Especially your kind. Santo! ….. You've despised us for a decade, treated us with disdain and shunned us to the shadows of that damn orphanage. I spit on your family and all they are. You're the last person in this world I would ever want to imprint on, so go.... go mark your mate and follow your destiny because it sure isn't me. Go be with your chosen one and leave me to find one of my own. My heart will heal from whatever this was, faster than you can imagine, and you can stop pretending you don't want her. I don't want you either!"

It's said in anger and heartbreak and I can't conceal how much pain is ripping through me anymore. Turning, this time to walk away slowly, too exhausted for anything else and unable to maintain a run as fatigue overtakes me. All my energy is going into pulling on this hard outer shell and showing him, I don't give a crap anymore.

"I love you. No matter what I do to try and break it; I can't stop, and the thought of you being with another, kills me. There is no her anymore, Lorey. There's just us. We imprinted and got to know one another in a split second, the way a lifetime of being together would. I feel like I've loved you that long, no matter how insane that sounds." His words stop me in my tracks, and I inhale sharply. Stunned that he just came out and said it but saddened that he verbalized what the agony I have been suffering is called. Love! And the why, the fact it does feel like he's been in my heart since the day I was born. Imprinting messes you up royally.

It made me love my mate as soon as it happened, because it makes you relive every second that came before, in your head within your own memories, with that person's intwined even though they don't belong to you. I have his life in my head; therefore, I've known him intimately that long. It's insane, and he's right. We can't break it because we were never in control of it. Fate did this, dealt us a hand and a cruel joke and fate doesn't like defiance. Knowing he feels as I do doesn't make it any easier though. It doesn't change a thing.

"It doesn't mean anything. Your father was right when he told us to stay away and break the link. I can't ever be what your father and the pack need, and you can't ever be the mate I need. So, we shouldn't do this again, it's only torturing us more than we are already. Just say the damn words already, I don't care." I don't know where this is coming from, this detached cold bitch, as words spill out of my mouth. It's the exact opposite to what my heart craves and I turn to face him to further drive it home that I'm not playing, wiping my expression as clean as I can to show him nothing of how this is killing me. My words die on my lips when our eyes meet, and Colton looks as openly broken and disheveled as I am.


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