Chapter 12: What Now?

I tremble in front of the huge roaring fire, in a state of surreal daydream of the grand fireplace in the room that Colton left me when he brought me into his pack house. My blanket draped around my shoulders as my only modesty covering, as he goes and fetches clothes.

I'm tucked into the armchair in the corner, out of the way, while some of his pack pace around in the clearing directly in front of the flames, inwardly thrashing something out. They're wired, agitated, the air thick with the stench of testosterone, blood, and fury and more are returning by the minute to convene here in this house. Obviously, the pack returning from chasing off those vile murderous intruders.

It's all in their actions, their mannerisms but as I'm not privy to Santo Pack linking, all I can do is watch the animated expressions and occasional outbursts of a word here and there.

 

They know I'm here, but yet, are completely ignoring my presence, much like they have done for years. It's not like I care. My head aches, and emotions are fragile, barely keeping it together and I can't stop replaying the horrific scene in my head of what I saw laid out in front of me in my on courtyard. Vanka's scent burning my nose even still and I shudder at every thud they make while pacing around so erratically. Unable to wipe that noise from memory.

"Here" I jump when Colton touches my shoulder, so preoccupied in my own mind I hadn't even realized he'd come back. I'm too nervy, too coiled tight and antsy. He drops a pile of clothes on my lap, a simple grey hoody, a pair of sweats and a t-shirt that I guess are all his.

"I'll show you where you can dress in private" he motions for me to follow; his face softening and his manner follows. I think he can sense how not myself I am right now and reverts to gentle handling. He waits for me to get up, pulling the dark grey covering around myself a little more snugly before leading the way out of the room with me close on his heel, cradling my new bundle in against me. My head stuck in surreal and detached from a whole lot of feelings in this moment.

"Cole? We need you in this!" A voice echoes his way and he throws the male back a silent look, eyes glinting as his wolf connects with his packmate. An exchange of nods and he turns his attention back to me to hold the door open out into the large spacious hallway.

"What the fuck is she doing here?" A nasty, biting tone is spat our way as Carmen comes marching across from the open doorway in the main hall, which is sitting wide for returning wolves, and accusingly squares up in front of me, shoving Colton hard in the shoulder as she does so. It looks like she's just returned from the hunt, robed in a blanket like mine and visibly grimy from being out as her wolf self. Most of the pack have gone straight to their rooms for fresh clothes on entry but I guess she thinks yelling at us is more important.

Something inside of me lets out a tiny murmur of a growl in outrage, that she would physically shove him, come at us angrily after the night we have all had, and I quickly swallow it down and drop my eyes to the floor as she spins on me hatefully. Bravado waning fast as I sigh at my own impulsive reaction with immediate regret.

"Did you just growl at me, Reject!" She almost bites it at my face getting close enough to make me flinch. Snarling, scathing anger that makes my body bristle and for a second, I swear my claws begin to peak involuntarily. An anger swirling warmly in my belly as she pokes some deep internal beast.

"Leave her alone… Go into the main room, I'll be there in a minute." Colton pushes in front of me to make her step back, intent on still guiding me away but his protective need taking over. She doesn't like it one bit and the change in her manner is obvious. She gets even madder. Spinning to face him down instead of me.

"I'm not going anywhere until you tell me what the hell she's doing here!" She spits a little more venomously this time, eyes glowing bright amber and throat eliciting a snarling growling undertone in her words. She's on the verge of turning and her wolf is already riled and ready to fight. I shiver, not sure I can take any more violence tonight. I may be healed, but I'm in no state to have a femme go at it with me over a mate who doesn't even want me.

not to die so I too can carry on breathing. Do you mind?" He snaps right back and extends a hand as if to say, 'can we get by?'. Ignoring her hostility, exerting his dominance but even I can tell it's not the right way to handle Carmen right now. She's running on extreme female possessiveness and green-eyed rage. Colton should be soothing

thrash it out with her so called mate, because quite frankly, he's being insensitive to what she's feeling about my

body, you go anywhere with that mongrel! I forbid it. She shouldn't even be here!" She can't conceal her hatred and jealousy, barking an order that even I know she has no right to make to an alpha, even if he is her mate now. I sink down inside my own wrap of itchy blanket and try to not

this. Doing anything with Colton is not high on my list of priorities when I just had the worst night of my life. I

how this works." There's an edge to his tone but as of yet, his dominant vibe is playing cool and humoring her a little.

Don't make me laugh. Where was that trust when you were inches from marking this little tramp? I wouldn't trust you

be an issue otherwise." Colton snaps back in an icy tone, surprising me with that little statement, shoves her aside aggressively before turning to catch my hand firmly and yanks me with him. I yelp at the sudden motion and almost drop the clothes I'm holding to my chest, anchoring

with utter bitterness, and I can smell the stench of the betrayal which fuels her. He bristles lightly but just keeps pulling me across the hall without looking back, his mood taking a turn

and shoulders and try not to react in any kind of way. I never thought I would ever see the Packdom's dream

supposed to be fixing things with her and rebuilding trust. Fat chance when she throws it at me, every second, of every hour, of every fucking day. He sounds pissed, and he's definitely giving me the vibes as I feed on his emotions. It's said in link and I dart a glance back at the seething bitch,

out, but I'm sorry I screwed

came out of, and he throws her a stiff look back. Carmen is full on shaking, with a mix of anger, and hysteria, obviously torn about her mate dragging his bond to some secluded room to dress. I can almost taste her mistrust and panic, and can't help but pick up on her projections, from sheer proximity, of seeing his kissing me that night. She's

simmering anger, he opens the door, ushering me inside with a gentle push, one of his hands sliding behind me, but he stays out there glaring at her in a war of angry snarls. I duck under his arm and turn to grip the handle

first loved, and me that's made for you. You betrayed me and I have every right to be mad about that." Her tone is more pained sadness than rage now, but he misses it entirely. I stand here, mutely uncomfortable, trying not to feel

I literally denied the fates and abandoned her, to take my place with a chick the fates obviously didn't pick. How about, go be mad with them, for not agreeing that

to sting. I mean, it made me

to say something as hurtful as that to the girl he's meant to be repairing his bond with. I clock on to the fact my mouth is sagging open and I quickly shut it and turn inside, trying to yank the door with me, sighing with relief when he realizes he is still

literally sync with Colton's

closed with my foot and hurry

to control her gift when she's mad. That girl gives

the door and I nod, stupidly forgetting he can't see me. Not that it matters, his voice tense and I pick up

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