It's been thirteen days since Colton left me in the forest and I don't think I have the will to keep trying anymore. I'm tired of life and everything has become so mundane. Everything I thought I experienced before that day is nothing in comparison to how I've been since. It's like my family have died all over again, and I am bereft and inconsolable. I've no more tears because I've cried so many. I'm nothing, but a numb hollow shell and the sunlight has withdrawn from my world to leave me in eternal cold shadow.

I tried to stop the spiraling depression, I fought hard to beat this feeling of being sucked free of all life, but the fates don't play when you deny them. I'm not even living anymore. Such is my empty continuous state of nothing.

I robotically move from my room to kitchen, from kitchen to chores, from chores to my room, day after day. I've nothing to say, nothing to add to the conversations around me, and nothing to do or think about beyond focus on this eternal emptiness that I drag around day after day. It's like a sack of boulders chain to my back, and I can't free myself to outrun them

I was never this girl. I survived the loss of so much more, yet I don't know how to fight this. I've read books in the library that blame the severance for my worsened state and mental decline. Cast free, set afloat by a rejection of this level… it messes with you more than just the rejection of a normal union ever could. Wolves can pick mates; it's not always fated. And normally both parties get a choice, so you have to be pretty sure to shackle your heart to someone, if you're going to ask them to be mated for life.

Scenting's happen… that's when the mate you are most likely to bond with can smell out your scent among the many and identify you easily. It's usually the way we figure out who we want before we see them. Mates should and can smell one another, no matter the distance or the crowds. So, rejecting someone who syncs with your scent can be crushing as it is. Rejecting someone who imprints at the hands of the fates… there is no recorded outcome. No one has ever defied it, because quite simply… no one fights the union.

Its all-encompassing 'instalove' and a need and hunger stronger than any bond in the land. Imprinting is soul mate lore. Unbreakable, pure, and powerful and defies all logic, sense, or reason. It's magical. No one wants to deny that kind of obsessive connection and walk away to find another mate… until us.

I can confirm, rejecting from that kind of bond is like dying, only not actually letting the body fade out to black when the soul leaves you. I'm a walking shell. Zombified and unable to do anything about it at all, and death right now is starting to look a hell of a lot rosier than this. I'm in purgatory, only it looks exactly like my life before, yet a whole lot suckier.

I don't even know if this is how Colton feels, because sometimes, the rejector, they have very little in way of backlash in the way the rejected does. They made the choice to end things and for some reason, the fates let them away with crushing another soul. I guess that's why choosing a mate is not an impulse thing and marking someone you have been dating can sometimes be a choice of many years. I mean look at Carmen and Colton. Two years and he still hadn't marked her, even though he told me he made the choice to mate up with her. Even he wasn't ready to commit in case she turned him down and everybody knows how much she loves him.

I've tried not to wonder over the past two weeks if they have rekindled their love affair, but I guess I would know. We're bonded, so I would feel it if he had sex with anyone else, whether I want to or not. Hell, I'll feel it if he even kisses anyone. Even with a verbal renouncement, from what I have read, it should make no difference to my being able to know when he betrays the fates and chooses to procreate with another. The only balance to that is, he'll feel it if I do too. Whoever ordained this bullshit, they need therapy, because someone up there has a twisted sense of what's right.

I jump out of my skin when the door slams behind me and brings me back to reality with a bump. Daydreaming again while folding my laundry and flinch when Vanka strolls in, smoking a cigarette, and fills our room with the putrid choking smell of her bad habit. We're supposed to have a house rule against smoking, but it's not like Vanka ever does anything she's ever told.

"Do you mind?" I snap at her bitchily, wafting my hand in the air as the smoke curls towards me. Trying to stop it invading my newly heightened senses and stifle a cough as I get hit in the back of my throat.

"No, not really." She blows a fresh wave right at me as she strolls past, sashaying her hips and hits me with a sneer as she goes. I bite on my lower lip and ignore her, before this turns nasty. She's always been quick to aggression and left me with some pretty bad bruises and scrapes over the years. I know better than to start another fight with her.

I sigh heavily and go back to what I'm doing, folding clothes on my bed, wanting to have this done before lights out in a few minutes. There aren't many house rules for the likes of us, but our guardians have a very strict lights out and locked doors rule as soon as the moon comes up. It goes back to the wars and the fact the vampires can only come out when the sun goes down. The only time we have an exception is the full moon, every cycle, for the ceremony on shadow rock. We don't have packs to protect us here, so we don't get any leeway in our freedoms living in the orphanage.

Vanka's eyes bear down on me and reluctantly, I look up, and penetrate her with a questioning stare. She wants something, that's obvious, but it won't come as a polite request, it never does.

"I'm going out after the guardians go home…. if you snitch, I'll mess you up." The amber glow in her eyes add weight to the promise and I eyeroll, no longer intimidated since my power to heal and fight back improved greatly with my turning.

"Why would I snitch? I don't care what you do." I go back to staring at the endless pile of laundry, mostly PJ's, and try hard to ignore her. No energy for this at all.

"Good. I have a hot date with one of the boys from the Ryleigh pack. Nothing serious, totally slumming it, and wants to try it on with a shameful reject. He's a weird one with some serious kinks." She laughs dirtily, looking for a reaction, igniting an instant unease down deep in my stomach.