The Alpha's Surrogate [The Alpha's #1]

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Chapter Nine

ALPHA MARCELLUS STORM

“Why are you looking at me like that?” He asked in a quiet murmur, not bothering to glance up from his laptop screen.

Beta Dalton chuckled lightly before adjusting himself in his seat, his arms crossed over his chest as he stared expectantly with Marcellus.

“There’s something you’re not telling me.” Dalton simply stated the fact, not leaving any room for question or discussion. “What are you keeping from me, Mars? You know you can tell me anything. I’m your Beta for a reason.”

“You picked up on that, huh?” He chuckled lowly, though he wasn’t laughing.

“I think everyone in the pack has picked up on the fact that you’re going through some stuff right now.” Dalton mentioned, thinking back to the few wolves and even one of the chefs that had mentioned to them that Alpha Marcellus had been acting out of character lately.

“Yeah.” Marcellus sighed and reached a hand up to brush his fingers through his hair. “This past week has been really difficult for me but things should be back to normal soon.”

Dalton hummed, the sound far from convinced.

“Do you want to talk about it?” He asked quietly, aware that his friend had always struggled to be open and honest about his feelings, usually keeping them bottled up.

“Not particularly, no.” Marcellus denied with a gentle shake of his head, just as Dalton had expected.

The Beta frowned and pursed his lips at that. “How do you expect to be able to deal with the situation and move on if you never want to talk about it?” He asked, these being the exact words which he had asked the Alpha numerous times over the years.

“I’m dealing with it.” He insisted but his words fell on deaf ears.

“You’re clearly not.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Marcellus asked, finally glancing up at his Beta and friend from under dark, hooded eyes. His wolf rose to the surface, now staring at Dalton as if he was a threat, not at all appreciative of his words or tone of voice. “What are you insinuating, Dalton?”

“What I’m saying is that you’ve been acting completely out of character lately and everyone knows it.”

“I haven’t been acting all that out of character.” Marcellus murmured quietly, pressing his hands into his desk as he tried to keep a lid on his temper, reminding himself that he was speaking to his best friend right now. “Like I said, I’ve just been going through some stuff. It’s just temporary. Everything will be back to normal very soon.”

“What kind of stuff, Mars?” Dalton asked but when Marcellus refused to comment, he continued. “You need to let me in, Mars. If not me, then you need to let someone else in. It’s not healthy taking on all of this responsibility and having no one to talk to when things get rough.”

“I have you to talk to, Dal.” Marcellus avoided his eyes, not yet ready to spill his big secret about having finally met his mate.

“But that’s the thing, Mars. You have me but you don’t talk to me about this stuff and that’s okay.” His friend insisted with a small frown on his face. “You don’t have to talk to me about it, but you do need to talk to someone else about it.”

“Everything is so complicated.” Marcellus released an aggravated sigh and ran a hand through his hair and then down his face. “I have no idea where to start.”

“How about from the beginning?” Dalton suggested quietly in a small voice, very aware that he was treading on foreign territory right now.

“Maybe another time but I really need to get back to work now.” Marcellus expertly deflected before turning his attention back to his laptop even though his mind wasn’t focused on work anymore.

“Just remember that I’m here for you, Mars. Whenever you’re ready to talk, you know where to find me.” Dalton murmured quietly and sent his friend one last pointed look before he rose to his feet and slipped out of the office.

Once the door closed gently behind him, Marcellus released the breath he hadn’t realised he was holding in and closed his laptop, unable to think of anything other than the food for thought that Dalton had left him to ponder over.

He’s not wrong, you know? Maybe we do need to think about all of this with someone.

Marcellus sighed again and leaned back in his chair. Maybe I should give dad a call.

Or you could just talk to Dalton.

That would probably be best. His lips twitched down at the corners into a small frown. Or maybe we could just get revenge.

What do you mean?

We could get our own back against our mate.

Despite his own personal rule about not sleeping with anyone from his own pack as it would just be messy further down the line when he finally met his mate and brought her into the pack, his jealousy regarding the whole situation nearly drove him over the edge.

Not that he was boasting or keeping track, but Marcellus knew that there were a handful of females from his pack who would be more than happy to do him the favour of aiding him in getting back at his mate however, he couldn’t even stomach the thought.

He was far from a virgin but something about sleeping with another female after having met his mate made him feel sick. And that was without the added input of his wolf who claimed to be already be in love with the human that was destined to be his.

The fact that she had seen other people before him wasn’t what bothered him but rather, the fact that she had started a family already before him. That was what he couldn’t get off his mind.

Much to his surprise, his wolf sighed but didn’t comment.

You don’t have anything to say? Marcellus asked curiously, his head bowed over his desk, his mind swarmed with all of these thoughts instead of all the work that desperately required his attention.

No.

He snorted and raised himself up to lean back in his chair, rocking back and forth gently, almost as if seeking the comfort.

How can that be? You always have something to say.

I don’t know what to make of the situation so what do you expect me to say?

Marcellus snorted again; his lips pulled down into a deep frown.

I thought you were in love with her already.

I am. His wolf growled, clearly offended by his human’s tone. And so are you.

That’s debatable. Marcellus denied but pursed his lips, silently in agreeance with his wolf.

Even without knowing her properly, Marcellus couldn’t deny that she was absolutely perfect and he was stupid to deny her as his mate, but that also didn’t mean that he had to accept her.

She’s pregnant with someone else’s baby.

Yes. I already know that. His wolf hummed, surprisingly mellow despite the nightmarish situation that they had somehow found themselves in.

She’s pregnant with a baby isn’t ours.

We’ve established that already. His wolf growled, annoyed at the reminder, as if he didn’t know it already. I know she’s pregnant and I know the baby isn’t ours. You don’t need to keep reminding me.

But we need to talk about it. Marcellus insisted even though this was the last thing he wanted to talk about right now. However, he was never one to shy away from confrontation as he believed that regardless of how uncomfortable a situation was, it was best to face it head on rather than run away from it.

Probably, but just not now, okay? We can talk about this later. His wolf sighed and growled lightly when his human refused to drop the subject, insisting they discuss absolutely everything right now. I don’t know what to do but we can’t deny her. That’s not fair on either of us and it’s not like she even knew that she was going to be mated to an Alpha. Or even a werewolf, for that matter. It’s not her fault.

Maybe. Marcellus pursed his lips and squeezed his eyes shut. But are we going to be able to live a life with her knowing that her child isn’t ours? Are we going to be able to raise this child, knowing that our mate had him or her with someone else?

Honestly? I don’t know, but I sincerely hope so.

Having not expected that response, Marcellus was at a momentary loss for words. His wolf was never this amenable and usually, he just demanded that he get his way. Marcellus was surprised that the Alpha wolf was actually considered compromising, especially in regards to something as serious and life-changing as this.

Don’t tell me you don’t feel the same way.

I don’t know what I feel. He admitted honestly and reached a hand up to run through his dark hair, pulling on the ends slightly in frustration. This is all too much too soon.

I couldn’t agree more.

A moment pass before Marcellus voiced aloud what they were both thinking.

It’s going to be harder if she’s still with the father.

You think he’s still in the picture?

I don’t know. Marcellus groaned aloud in frustration. But it looked like she lives alone. It didn’t look like she was living with someone.

One-night stand?

I hope so.

That would certainly make things easier.

Marcellus hummed, still unable to see the positive side of the situation. As far as he was concerned, there was no positives to his mate having a child with someone else, especially since werewolves were brought up on the belief of a one true mate.

It was one thing to have sexual partners and relationships before meeting your mate however, it was a whole other thing for a wolf to start a family with someone that was not their mate. To go that far was like slapping the Moon Goddess in the face, not to mention nothing short of a crime against their moon destined mate.

In all his years as Alpha – and even before then when his father ruled the pack – not once had Marcellus come across a case where a wolf had started a family with someone that was not their mate, before meeting their mate.

A rejection would have been less cruel.

Rejections weren’t all that uncommon as some wolves just weren’t interested in putting in the work that was required to establish a healthy relationship, expecting the mate bond to do all the work for them. But starting a whole family without rejecting your mate was abominable but unfortunately, not technically a crime.

Either way, I’m not sure I’ll be able to raise a pup that isn’t mine. Having to look at him or her everyday would just remind me that our mate started a family with someone that wasn’t us. I don’t think that’s something I can spend the rest of my life dealing with.

So, what now? You’re just going to reject her? His wolf challenged him with a deep growl.

I don’t know. I need some time to think.

You can’t fucking be serious right now!

I just told you I don’t know what I’m going to do! Marcellus couldn’t help but roar back at his wolf, not at all appreciate of the way he was being spoken to, as if he was some common wolf and not an Alpha.

How can you even think of rejecting her? How can you think of rejecting our mate?

She’s having someone else’s child! She didn’t wait for us. How are we supposed to raise her child?

Like it’s our own!

So, you’re going to do that, are you? He fired back at his wolf, his hands fisted and his jaw clenched tight.

It was time like this that Marcellus wished his wolf was a separate entity. It wasn’t often that they got into an argument – and never one as serious as this – but when they did, it would have been so much simpler to sort matters by throwing fists. Unfortunately, he could not fight himself. While it would be a rather comical sight, it wasn’t the most feasible.

If I need to, yes!

Bullshit!

I’m not chatting bullshit.

Yes, you fucking are! There’s no way you’re going to be able to look at that child without thinking of her betraying us!

His wolf growled loudly, baring his teeth at him, almost as if he was getting ready for an attack.

Marcellus snorted at that and rolled his eyes, his sharpened claws now digging into the palms of his hand.

She’s human! She didn’t know she was going to have a mate so how did she betray us?

She’s having someone else’s child! She’s starting a family without us! That’s betrayal. I don’t fucking care if she’s human or not.

It’s not betrayal! She didn’t even know about us.

Marcellus huffed and ground his teeth, at a complete standstill with his wolf who refused to see eye to eye on the matter. As far as he was concerned, his mate had committed the greatest betrayal a wolf could ever commit and unlike his wolf, he wasn’t as forgiving.

Even though he knew it was impossible, Marcellus was determined to forget his so-called mate. Since he had no intentions of letting her know that they were mates, or even stake his claim on her, everything would just be better this way.

His wolf snorted at the absurdity of the notion but didn’t bother commenting.

If Marcellus was going to be stubborn, then his wolf was determined to show him the true meaning of the word.

-

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Layla Knight

11.10.2020

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