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.