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

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Chapter Fourteen

ALPHA MARCELLUS STORM

Marcellus was in the right mind to call Justas and Raphael back just so he could get his questions answered but with the way Dalton was looking at him right now, it appeared that he didn’t have much of a choice in the matter.

“Do you know what time it is?” He hummed quietly as his Beta took the seat that Justas was previously occupying.

“I could ask you the same thing, Mars.” Dalton snorted as he jerked a thumb toward the door, pointing out the fact that he was holding meetings in his office despite it being nearly midnight.

“Well, I needed to apologise for my earlier behaviour. That’s what I was talking to Justas and Raphael about.” He sighed and ran an embarrassed hand down his face, cringing just at the thought with the way he had overreacted in front of his mate.

“Yeah, you were acting really strange.” The Beta added cautiously, aware that Marcellus had lost his cool over this exact topic not even an hour ago. “Can I ask what all of that was about?”

Marcellus pursed his lips, rubbing a hand down his jaw.

“I’d rather not.” He chuckled lightly; his lips stretched out in a grimace. “I’d rather not talk about it. It’s kind of embarrassing.”

“Fair enough, but I’ve never seen you so prejudiced against humans before.”

“That’s exactly what she said.”

“Who?”

“Anastasia.” Marcellus murmured quietly, his lips twitching at the corners just at the thought of her.

Dalton frowned lightly as he stared at his Alpha and friend, surprised by his reaction toward the human that he had been engaged in a pretty lively screaming match not even an hour ago. However, before he could ask him about him, Marcellus had a question to ask.

“What did you want to talk to me about, Dal?” Marcellus asked casually, hoping to change the topic and shine the light away from Anastasia even though she was at the centre of all his thoughts.

“I just got a call from the council.”

Marcellus visibly perked up with a huge grin on his face.

“My dad called?” He asked, already reaching for his phone to dial his father’s number whom had joined the elders on the werewolf council last year after his mate and Marcellus’ mother had passed away.

“No, not your dad.” Dalton shook his head. “But you probably would want to give him a call after I tell you what the council had to say about you.”

“I’m not going to like this, am I?” He frowned at that, confused and with his fingers wrapped around his phone, not really sure if he was supposed to call his father now or not.

Dalton shook his head and chuckled, though the sound was far from humorous.

“Dal, what are you talking about?” Marcellus hummed in question as he dropped his phone on the desk and reclined back in his seat, prompting Dalton to explain.

“The council think that you’ve been running the pack by yourself for too long.”

“I haven’t been running the pack by myself. I’ve been running it with you.” Marcellus snorted as his lips twitched at the corners. “Did you tell them that?”

Dalton pursed his lips as he grappled for the right set of words that would perfectly explain the situation while causing minimum damage but when he couldn’t find one, he sighed and exhaled heavily, bracing himself to be on the receiving end of a fit of rage with what he had to say.

“I did try, yes, but that’s not exactly what they meant.” He murmured quietly, purposely speaking in a riddle in a desperate attempt to buy himself some more time.

“What is it, Dal?” His frown deepened as he stared at his Beta, searching his face for the answer to his question since it was apparent that Dalton was struggling with his words. “Surely whatever they said couldn’t have been that bad.”

Dalton chuckled lowly and shook his head as he clasped his hands together. Taking in a deep breath, he braced his feet firmly on the ground in case he needed to quickly move out of the way after Marcellus digested the news, definitely expecting his friend to react negatively.

“They actually gave you an ultimatum.”

“They gave me an ultimatum just because I’ve been running the pack without a mate? That’s hardly anything to worry about. In fact, isn’t that something we should celebrate?” Marcellus snorted at the absurdity of it all however, he quickly grew concerned when Dalton failed to see the same amusement. “What kind of ultimatum?”

When Dalton physically struggled with his words, taking a moment to open and close his mouth as he thought of the perfect way to explain things.

“Dalton. What kind of ultimatum did they give you?” He asked again, taking the time to spend a moment enunciating each other, needing a solid answer instead of beating around the bush as Dalton was currently doing.

“They basically said that if you don’t find a mate soon, they’re going to remove you as Alpha.”

A moment of silence passed before Marcellus exploding, slamming both hands down on the table in a fate of extreme rage, unable to believe the word that had just passed Dalton’s lips.

“What the fuck! They can’t do that! They can’t take my Alpha title away from me.”

“Well, you’re in luck since they’re not going to do that.”

“What do you mean?” He asked quietly, still breathing heavily. “You just said they’re going to remove me as Alpha!”

“As long as you get a mate soon, they won’t take the Alpha title away from you.” Dalton was quick to explain without causing any more confusion, his eyes wide with worry with the dangerous shade of red that Marcellus was turning right in front of his eyes. “As long as you either meet your moon destined mate soon, or you take a choice mate, the pack is still yours.”

“They can’t do that!” Marcellus growled loudly as he slammed his hand down on his desk, uncaring of the way it shook at the impact as he purposely chose to ignore the part about finding his mate – either moon destined or choice. “They can’t fucking do that to me! They can’t fucking do that to the pack! We’ve been fine for the past ten years without a mate. Why would I need a mate now all of a sudden?”

“Mars, calm down.” Dalton exhaled as he reached a hand up to pinch the bridge of his nose in frustration, his mind lingering on the uncomfortable phone call that he had just had. “I said the same thing to them but they weren’t interested in what I had to say. Maybe it will work better if you talk to them yourself?” He suggested, his argument weak and his voice shaking slightly, growing more and more concerned the longer he stared at Marcellus.

Both Marcellus and his wolf growled loudly, slamming his fist down on the table one more time before he reached for his phone, having finally reached the end of his tether.

Already searching through his contacts, he didn’t bother looking up as he next spoke.

“I need to call my dad.”

“Yeah, I think that’s a good idea.” Dalton sighed as he slouched back in his chair, a worried expression on his face. “Do you want me to leave while you talk to him?”

“No, you should stay. I feel like I’m not thinking straight. I’m going to need you to jump in if things go awry.” An aggravated groan passed his lips as he clicked the green phone icon and watched it ring, having place the device down on his desk and on speaker.

The phone rang a grand total of five times before it ended abruptly.

“Do you think he’s asleep already?” Dalton dared to ask in a quiet voice, his eyes wavering back and forth between the phone on the desk and his Alpha who thankfully, had started to visibly calm down even though he was still breathing heavily and his hands fisted tightly.

Dalton was just glad that he was sat on the other side of the desk.

“I’ve never known my dad to sleep before midnight. He definitely saw me ringing and then hung up.” Marcellus frowned and continued to stare down at his phone as he shook his head. “I bet he knew I was going to call.” He murmured quietly, his lips curling down into a deeper frown.

“Try texting him.”

Marcellus nodded and did just that.

Dad

We need to talk. I know you’re trying to avoid my call but I need you to call me back now

Please call me back as soon as you get this message

“Did the message go through?”

Marcellus nodded and pursed his lips, still staring down on his phone.

“What?” Dalton asked as he noticed the peculiar expression on Marcellus’ face.

“He left me on read.”

Dalton scoffed and laughed softly. “Typical parents.”

The Alpha wolf rolled his eyes, dropped his phone on the desk and leaned back in his chair, raising his hands up to run them down his face.

“What am I going to do?”

“I have no idea, man.” Dalton sighed, groaning lightly. “But it sounds like they think you’re going to go crazy without a mate or something.”

“So, what? They’re going to force a choice mate on me?” Marcellus threw his hands up in frustration, unbelieving of the fact that he was caught up in such a situation.

Everything will get solved if you just tell them that you’ve already met your mate. No one will try to force a choice mate on you then.

He made a point of ignoring his wolf as he turned back to Dalton. Instead of his Beta mirroring his anger and frustration, Dalton leaned back and watched him with a curious, strange expression on his face.

“What? Why are you looking at me like that?”

“I agree that the council is completely out of order with trying to get you to take a choice mate.” Dalton hummed quietly before he continued, watching Marcellus intently as he trekked carefully over his words as setting off his Alpha was the last thing he wanted to do right now. “But you have been acting very out of character lately.”

“Okay, okay. I get it.” Marcellus sighed as he held up his hands and resisted the urge to roll his eyes as he knew that none of this was Dalton’s fault. “I know that I’ve been a little all over the place and losing my temper a little lately, but we’ve already talked about this. Like I said before, everything will be back to normal soon.”

“Why do I feel like you’re lying to me?”

“I’m not lying to you.” Marcellus denied as technically he wasn’t lying but rather, omitting the truth. However, he chose to keep that little piece of information to himself as he knew that Dalton wouldn’t see it the same way.

“As your Beta, I’m going to say I believe you but as your best friend, you’ve never been able to lie to me so I don’t know why you’re trying to start now.” Dalton smiled softly though it didn’t quite reach his eyes. “Winnie is waiting for me so I’m going to head to bed now, but I’ll come find you first thing in the morning, okay?”

Marcellus sighed and nodded his head in gratitude, bidding Dalton goodnight as the door closed on him.

A few minutes passed as Marcellus sat in silence, doing nothing but staring straight ahead at the wall directly in front of him. his mind clear for the first time in the past week.

All of this can be avoided if you just tell them that you’ve found your mate.

Tell them what? Marcellus scoffed. That my mate is pregnant with another man’s baby?

At least it’s the truth.

I can’t do this right now. He shook his head and groaned, rubbing his hands down his face again but before the argument between human and wolf could continue, his phone started vibrating as a call came in.

“Dad? Why did you ignore my call earlier?” Marcellus demanded as soon as he picked up the phone.

Regardless of the fact that he was an Alpha and had been one for the past ten years, no one could resist turning back into a child when speaking to their parents.

“It’s nice to speak to you too, son.” His dad chuckled on the other end of the line.

Marcellus merely sighed in response and squeezed his eyes shut.

“I was in the middle of the TV show I’m currently watching and wanted to finish it before I picked up your call.”

“I’m really feeling the love here, dad.” He couldn’t but chuckle.

“As much as I appreciate you calling, it’s past midnight so I’m assuming you’ve heard the news?”

“Yes.” He replied dryly. The previous wave of rage that had swamped him had now passed and instead, he was simply tired and couldn’t wait for this day to end.

“I’m sorry, son. I have absolutely no say in this. In fact, I was only informed that this was happening a few hours ago. It was just before they called you guys up but we can both imagine why that was.”

“There’s really nothing you can do about this?” Marcellus asked, his voice laced with desperation.

“No, unfortunately. I’m not even involved in the decision-making process. Something about a conflict of interest.” His dad sighed, growling the last sentence as the Alpha wolf in him begun to rise to the surface.

“Conflict of interest, my ass!”

“My thoughts exactly!”

“Why has this turned up so out of the blue?” Marcellus groaned and fisted his hand again. “I’ve been running the pack without a mate for ten years now. Why do they care so suddenly?”

“I’m assuming there was a complaint. Any other reason doesn’t make sense as to why they would think you as unable to continue running the pack by yourself.” His dad hummed quietly. “Do you have any idea who may have sent in a complaint about you? And why?”

Marcellus audibly denied even though he had a nagging feeling about who exactly it may have been to have complained about him. While it didn’t make sense that she could formally complain about him – or even know how to go about the process – it was a gut feeling and Marcellus knew from past experience to trust his gut. There was also the fact that she was the only person that he could think of to have a valid reason to complain about him.

Much to his surprise, he wasn’t even the least bit angry toward her but instead, he was proud with how resourceful she was, as well as how brave she was to file a complaint against an Alpha wolf. Especially one that seemingly harboured a strong dislike toward her.

If his theory was correct, it would be so fucking ironic. Unfortunately, he had no way of finding out without asking her himself but with the way he had treated her, he wasn’t sure if she would be willing to speak to him ever again.

“What about Alpha Orpheus? He’s older than me and doesn’t have a mate either!” Marcellus knew that he sounded petty – especially since Dalton was currently snickering at him from behind his hand – but frankly, he couldn’t bring himself to care.

“Like I said,” his dad sighed. “I have no idea what’s going on or what the council thinks they’re playing at, but I’ll try and find out some information, okay?”

“Yeah, thanks, dad. I’d really appreciate that.” Marcellus sighed; defeated.

“Okay, son. Get a good night’s sleep. I’ll call you as soon as I find something out.” He promised before hanging up, leaving Marcellus all alone as his wolf had abandoned him for dreamland about halfway through the conversation despite the severity of it all.

Not for the first time in the past week, Marcellus went to bed in a sour mood.

-

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Layla Knight

14.10.2020

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