Rejected Mate and Following Fate

Chapter 2: The Awakening


My blood is rushing through my head to the point I have a headache, palms sweaty and adrenaline spiking as I follow the path to the top of the cliff on .Jell-O legs. Walking in behind the others, like me, who are to go through the ceremony at the highest point of the full moon. lm breathless, fighting the nausea and internal shaking of fear, body trembling, as l watch where I step, a little too closely, and almost collide with the girl in front of me. Staggering sideways and kicking stones in my path, accidentally, to avoid her.


“Watch where you are going, reject!” The growl of one of our accompanying mentors hits me in the side of the face with an open palm as he leans in close and shoves me back in line, harshly. Hard enough to send me crashing into the rock face, we are brushing up against and I almost hit the ground with the force, coughing out a whimper of pain. I catch myself, right my body quickly, ignoring the burning pain of grazes, and skip two steps to catch up and get back in line while rubbing my bruised arm and shoulder from the collision. Trying not to look his way, knowing if I do, he will probably smack me in the face for showing zero respect to a superior.


He's called Raymond, and he's around twenty-four. One of the Alphas main pack leaders of the subs, one of the Santos, and he hates anything to do with us. Another superior wolf from a pure bloodline who sees us as an inconvenience and unworthy to breathe his air.


This is the reality of my life and how little value I have in this hierarchy. Reject is the name for all of us, like we don't have separate identities anymore and I can't wait to be free of these people and this life.


“Halt!”" A booming low and gravelly voice ahead of us stops us all in our tracks as we come to the level top of the cliff known as “shadow rock.. It's more of a large plateau than a rock but the sun never seems to lay its light and warmth in this nook of the mountain and yet it gives us a direct and uninterrupted view of the moon every night. It's been the point of this ceremony for hundreds of years and we're finally here.


I pull myself past the girl in front of me and come to her side to gaze at the familiar scene before us. Stomach churning up with the knowledge it's happening. The ceremonial set up of flares and burning fires at points near the ledge, are already there and glowing bright, all the way around the curve of this large platform. Creating a red and amber glow that illuminates the space in what will soon be wall to wall darkness of this still night. The center of the clearing is marked out with symbols in chalk and a large set of circles surround them, one for each of those who are to awaken. I shudder inside as reality hits home that this is really it and I have nowhere to hide. You can't outrun it, there's no way to stop it from happening.


“Clothes off here and put these on” scratchy grey blankets are thrust into our arms by a tall muscular Santo, looking down at us with almost black eyes as he snarls his contempt. Probably annoyed that they even allow my kind to go through this like everyone else does. Walking past as he dishes them out and Ì am aware that many have gathered around the ledges, and above us on the edges of the cliffs above to watch this.


All the packs are here already, and right in the middle stands Juan Santo and his immediates. His second in command, his third, and his son, Colton. The ceremonial Shaman in full dress ¡is standing with his staff awaiting the start of his duties. Something he could do with his eyes closed l expect, as he has been here for so many years.


wait to question the order, eyes down, nerves frayed but get to it. I know the drill. I throw it around my shoulders to conceal my body as best | can,


Not that anyone cares. Nudity among wolves is common and not something they actually stare at or find abnormail. So many turn at the blink of an eye and come walking back in human form with no covering at all. Is another sign of weakness to


being they are physically perfect. The only time it's an issue is if a mate is being


Ì mean aggression, physical hostility and even beating each other is not viewed in quite the same way that humans would between married people. Mates fight, sometimes in wolf form and bites and scratches

snugly to await the next orders and shield myself from the cool air. Visibly shaking with nerves, and I glance around me quickly to see equal fear, pale skin, and solemn faces of the others. m not the only one who is terrified. We ve all seen how bad this gets and before the night

veins like ice, my throat dry and itchy with the effort. Holding myself together, I quickly move to the first circle l see as the line in front of me dissipates. Hundreds of eyes on us as they watch and wait. Silence every on the oncoming night and I look up to the sky to find some sort of eternal calm. Soon it will be dark and dotted with twinkling Stars but


am told, slide down quickly, and sit cross legged within my blanket on the cold hard, gritty ground beneath me. Trying to get enough of the covering underneath me to make it less uncomfortable. i'm aware of the penetrating stares from all around and I try to blot


ribs from behind and I strangle a yelp, sitting upright sharply and spin my head around to see a wooden cuụp held out to me. Another Santo shoving it into my hand as I unravel it out


it for?” I ask innocently, always wondering when we watched from a distance and stupidly

take it down and almost choke on its thicker consistency. Ì gag but manage to claw myself into staying still and swallowing hard with multiple gulps. Closing my eyes as the taste turns bitter, spreading down my throat and into my stomach and immediately


over, l now understand why every time Ï watched


They have drugged us for the pain, and I start to lose track



here or even conscious. Time passes but I have no clue how fast or slow, and all I know is it gets dark so quickly around me and I can seem to stop myself drifting into space or losing track and fading away. Cocooning me into the little bubble of black space around me where the smell of fire and incense makes me giddy and sleepy. it's peaceful yet somehow, it's not, and there's a stirring of awareness and


warm hands on me, maybe, but i'm not sure, the sudden breeze although it does nothing to cool my eternal warmth. Lulling into a weird state of semi sleep and can no longer open my eyes or really understand what is going on


down the bridge of my nose and I pull from memory that the new turns are marked with a fresh blood kill in preparation for our own turn. My

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