Book cover of “Awakening: Following Fate“ by L.T.Marshall

Awakening: Following Fate

  • Genre: Romance
  • Age: 18+
  • Status: Completed
  • Language: English
  • Author: L.T.Marshall
Alora and her mate Colton have just begun to find their feet in lives and positions that have drastically changed. As the vampire attacks loom over them they need to come to some sort of resolution over Juan and the mountain wolves before it's too late. A dark force threatens to destroy everything Alora fought so hard to have in her life, and she h... 

Chapter 1. Vampires

The branches and low-hanging boughs skim my face, clawing my fur as I race through the forest, ducking low to avoid overhanging sticks that pull harshly as I follow Colton into the darkness. My heart’s racing, blood rushing through my head, and I can barely keep up with the swift pace of my mate before me. Focused intensely on the darting black slice of shadow that moves so sleekly to lead the way. The zipping noise of foliage passes my ears at speed, yet I don’t slow my pace.

Colton, wait!…

I mind link him with a hint of warning in my tone.

Something internally sends the alarm bells ringing as the stealth shape of my wolf man leaps through the dense forest and disappears into a thick brush mere feet before me. Almost swallowed by the foliage, I lose sight for a second, and my heart rate elevates. A tinge of panic hits me hard in the gut as the feeling of warning grows inside me as we proceed. I don’t know what this feeling is, but I have learned to always listen to my gut lately.

I can hear the others of our pack rushing through the undergrowth in line with us but spread apart, yet it brings me little comfort. Instead, the anxiety increase for my pack grows, and I leap after him again without waiting for his response.

I won’t leave you behind, Baby. Just stay on my tail. Stay close.

Colton’s reassuring voice comes through the link inside my head, his usual warm, soothing huskiness, and that internal feeling of unease grows stronger. Normally his words bring me calm, but not at this moment. He doesn’t seem as aware as I am of this feeling, and his confident tone tells me he has no intention of relenting in this hunt. The vampires are on the run, and we are close at their heels after chasing them from the boundary.

No, wait, there’s something off! Pull back. Stop!

I link back with obvious intense caution and almost run into the back of him as I clear the next brush in a leap to catch up. I see him last second and try to midair swerve with a yelp in case I crash down on him. He’s stopped dead on the track where I aim and swiftly side-jumps to let me land beside him without accidental collision.

What is it?

His amber eyes lock on mine as I come level, panting lightly from our high-speed chase, glowing from the black fur framing them in the most sinister ways. He looks eerily devilish out here in the dense wood in the darkness. Standing almost six feet on all fours, he is the most impressive wolf in the pack and a born alpha who still makes me weak in the knees. Yet even as leader and master, Colton has come to trust my instincts over the past months of ruling our pack together as much as his own, and he always listens to me as he seems to be doing now.

I can feel them… out there. They’re not running anymore. They’re waiting. I swear, I can feel it. It’s almost like they’ve stopped, and the fear they felt before has dissipated.

I don’t hesitate and throw my nose towards the looming shadow of the mountain as though to press the point.

In the last months since I became Luna, we have chased down dozens of the vampires who breached our lines and entered our land to pick off our weak. We’ve killed many, more than I want to remember, yet they still keep coming at alarming regularity. Even after they realized their weapon to immobilize us was useless if we stayed within our boundaries.

The Doc and Mother Luna Sierra devised a frequency to be played over speakers around the homestead, making theirs utterly useless unless we stray out of ear shot. Not that the frequency can be heard, even by us, but our ability to be wolves proves it works fine. Overwhelming the weapon and keeping us safe. We are still inside that boundary, yet they have stopped trying to escape, making no sense. They always run to the outer limit when they know we’re close on their heels.

A trap? I don’t see how…we outnumber them, and in a face-to-face fight, we’re the stronger.

He turns his head towards the darkness ahead, expecting to see them, and mentally tells the pack to stop and wait. I exhale with relief as the responses are obedient ‘Yes, Alpha’ and feel the vibrations of our kin come to a halt immediately. Our subpack is waiting to proceed and standing wherever they have halted in the forest around us. Obedience is their strongest skill, and they won’t budge without Colton’s say-so.

I don’t know. Something feels different. I can taste the anticipation… There’s a smugness. I don’t like it. Call the pack back. We’re turning around. The landline is just ahead anyway, and we wouldn’t be going much further once we hit the boundary.

As Luna of the pack, I, too, have the authority to make them return via the link between us all, but I respect my mate’s dominance and let him be the one to recall them. The hunt is over; we chased them out and are not jeopardizing any of them tonight. We’ve lost many over the last six months, and I can’t bear to carry the pain of their losses each time. It never gets easier, even if it’s a wolf I never knew. Such is the curse of being the pack’s heart. Luna is to love all of them.

Colton hesitates and stares off into the darkness again, thinking, deciding, and then snorts in distaste, shaking his head and making it obvious he isn’t happy, but he agrees. My wolf man has become a hunter, and sometimes I worry the thrill of battle is becoming something he’s getting too accustomed to. Sometimes, when we defend our pack, he has a coldness that makes me remember he is still a Santo. I can almost taste his bubbling energy and will to keep going, the restless aggression because today did not end in a fight.

As my Luna commands…

Colton lowers his head towards me so his nose almost touches one of his paws in a mock bow. Humor to lighten the mood, and then via the link, I listen to him recall the ones we are patrolling with and tell them to return to the home perimeter.

No one argues. Just agreement and the rustling noise as they begin to turn back and head home. An atmosphere of both relief and disappointment comes with mixed vibes. They seem to be too used to this ongoing battle and bloodshed.

Let’s go.

I nod backward into the bushes and turn to go, but Colton stands for a moment, and I hesitate to leave him. Pausing to look back at him and stare at his statuesque figure.

What are you waiting for?

I don’t know… Something is out there with them. I can sense it now we’re still. I didn’t before, as it’s faint. It’s not just vampires… I can feel something else.

There’s an undercurrent, an edge to his tone, and then he throws off his inquisitiveness and moves to me.

When Colton turns, I inwardly gasp at the unusual sight of his eyes glowing ethereal blue. It’s not entirely unknown. The witch in him sometimes piques, but it rarely shows in wolf form as it’s more of a human-related gift and usually held down by his Lycan gifts. It’s generally for very specific reasons too, like using his healing powers while Sierra trains him to be more efficient with them or when he has visions and small snippets of the future. Or when he nears his mother in her own state of glow, it triggers him.

Your eyes… they’re blue.

I point out, closing the gap between us to gaze into the almost luminescent color, and he frowns, shaking his head to try and shift it. Making it obvious he isn’t even aware it’s happening, so I guess no visions, nothing from him that is igniting the glow.

That’s new. Usually only happens when my mother is near and using her…

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