Reborn (Shadow Beast Shifters #3) - Jaymin Eve

1

A broken mind and a fractured soul. Was there redemption or relief from the endless darkness? Or would I continue to dwell on the bane of my existence?

I reread the final line of the book in my hand. A paranormal romance I’d loved, despite the somewhat evil cliffhanger it ended on—I had hate-love for cliffys because I was desperate to know what was going to happen next, but there was also this thrill of the unknown that kept me thinking about the story long after I finished reading.

Either way, it had been such a great book, temporarily keeping my mind off the shitshow of my life.

“Girl! There you are!”

Sucking in a deep breath, I tried not to lose my shit over the fact that someone had discovered my hiding spot by the lake. Not just someone… Sisily Longeran. Former enemy and current frenemy, which was both confusing and annoying. Par for the course these days.

Ever since I’d woken in Torin’s bed a week ago with a decent chunk of memory loss, life had been topsy-turvy. Case in point: Sisily, the shifter who had fucked my true mate in front of me while asking for my death, was now my new “best friend.”

With friends like these…

“Meeerrss.” She annoyingly dragged my name out as she collapsed next to me. Her eyes rested briefly on the blue typographic cover that sat on my leg. “Really? You’re still reading? I don’t get it.”

She really didn’t, and that in and of itself was my first warning that I would never have been friends with this lunatic.

“Books legitimately saved my life,” I reminded her. “When my dad was killed.”

Sisily paled; no one liked to discuss my previous place of torture in the pack. No one liked to acknowledge that because I was mated to the alpha now.

I was the alpha-mate.

A title that sent a chill down my spine.

“Torin’s looking for you,” she said, changing the subject as she ruffled a hand through her mahogany hair. It continued to drift around her pretty face in the light breezes of the spring air, and seriously, how the fuck was it spring? The last I remembered, winter had been choking the life from Torma.

“He’s the damn alpha,” I snarled. “If he wanted to find me, I have no doubt he could have just strolled out of his own ego and discovered me right where you did.”

Torin was trying to wait me out since I wouldn’t go near him, sleep in his bed, or otherwise acknowledge his existence until I got to the bottom of what had caused me to forget all of the very dramatic events that had happened to Torma over the past few years.

My memory was patchy, but from what I’d managed to pry from Torin, I was missing more than just a few months. When I’d woken up, I’d remembered my first shift, Torin’s rejection, and nothing else beyond that. But that wasn’t even where it got really weird because it turned out that all of that didn’t happen in the year 2020 as I’d expected. Nope. Apparently, just before the 2020 Winter Solstice, Victor, our former alpha, had pissed off the shifter god, Shadow Beast, getting himself killed and all of Torma locked down in a two-year stasis.

I came out of this stasis with everyone else in 2022, shifted for the first time, and got rejected, which I remembered, but then the rest was blank after that. So, technically, I was missing two years and two months of time, with only one day of memory in there—my first shift and Torin’s rejection.

How did any of that make fucking sense? No wonder my head ached consistently as I tried to drag memories back that I believed had been stolen from me. “Tell me again where my mom, Simone, and Glendra are,” I said to Sisily, hoping that this time, she would trip up and reveal the lies. “Torin told me that all of Torma was locked in the stasis, so why are those three missing now?”

She leaned in with a smile like we were about to gossip. “It’s so weird to me that you can’t remember anything from the last few months. Like… how?”

I glared at her, wishing I could forget her existence just as easily.

“Anyway,” she continued, not caring that I hated her, “your mom ran away and we think she’s shacked up with a loser in the Alikta pack.” I found it hard to believe that my mom had sobered up enough to do that,