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

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Chapter Nineteen

ALPHA MARCELLUS STORM

He grumbled audibly as he marched into the kitchen and poured himself a mug of coffee before throwing it back, not even flinching when he burnt his tongue on the piping hot beverage.

Once he had finished the cup and reached out to for a top up, Marcellus stilled in his actions as he glanced around the kitchen. He took note of the numerous pairs of eyes that were currently on him, all wide with surprise at his sudden behaviour.

“What? Why are you all staring at me?” He asked with a frown as he poured himself another cup, already aware of exactly why they were staring at him however, he couldn’t be bothered to explain himself and frankly, he simply wasn’t in the mood to be offering up any excuses.

Mary, the pack chef cleared her throat before turning her attention back to the stove where she was working on a fresh batch of eggs for everyone.

“Would you like some eggs with that coffee, Alpha?” She asked politely with a small smile on her face, the only one in the kitchen daring enough to speak to him when it was clear that he was in such a foul mood.

“No, thank you.” He replied politely as he leaned against one of the counters, not really sure what to do since Dalton hadn’t come down yet.

Sensing that he wasn’t in the talking mood, a few pack members moved out of the kitchen to take a seat at the dining table while others continued as they were. The longer he had to wait, the more anxious he grew; moving onto his third cup of coffee.

If he wasn’t a werewolf – and an Alpha wolf at that – a third cup of coffee so early in the morning would have given him the jitters.

As soon as he sensed Dalton reach the ground floor and begin to make his way toward the kitchen with his mate and son in tow, Marcellus pushed himself off the counter without so much as an excuse and poured a second cup of coffee before leaving to meet them halfway in the living room.

“Good morning, Alpha.” Bronwyn greeted him with a wide grin, little Devon in her arms.

Despite his rotten mood and the gloomy cloud currently hanging over his head, he smiled politely as Winnie didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of his frustration as she was always nothing but pleasant.

“Good morning, Bronwyn, Devon.” He winked at the pup and chuckled lightly as the baby grinned up at him, a few little teeth showing. Marcellus chuckled at the sight of the joyous boy before he turned his attention to his Beta. “Dalton, can I have a quick word before breakfast? I already grabbed you a cup of coffee.” He asked, jerking his head toward the hallway where his office was located.

“Sure.” Dalton replied warily and followed behind Marcellus, but only after he had kissed both his mate and son, promising that he would join them for breakfast as soon as he was done.

Once they had entered the room, Dalton closed the door behind him and took one of the seats on the other side of the desk, smiling in thanks as Marcellus place down the second cup of coffee in front of him.

“What’s got you acting so strange this early in the morning?” Dalton hummed quietly as he raised the mug to his mouth and blew on the hot beverage softly before taking a small sip, much more cautious than Marcellus had previously been.

“I awoke to a call from the council this morning.”

Dalton frowned as he lowered his coffee back down on the desk, watching his friend and Alpha carefully.

“Your dad?” He asked in wishful thinking.

Marcellus sighed and shook his head. “You want to take another guess or should I just put you out of your misery now?”

The Beta wolf pursed his lips with a thoughtful expression on his face but after a few moments, his lips twitched at the corners into a light smile.

“Elder Malachi?”

“Yes.” Marcellus groaned and rolled his eyes as he remembered the horrid conversation that he had awoken to not even an hour ago.

“That makes sense. He was one of the ones that called last time, too.” Dalton hummed as he reached for his coffee again. “What did he say to you?”

“Pretty much the same thing that he said to you.” Marcellus groaned as he rocked back on his chair gently and ran an aggravated hand across his jaw, struggling to piece together all that had happened into a set of coherent sentences. “But this time, he gave me two months to find a mate otherwise the council will have to take the pack away from me.”

“What does that even mean? They can’t really do that, can they?”

“I have no idea.” Marcellus groaned; the sound strained as he threw his hands up in frustration. “But he kept repeating himself so I guess I’d have to be stupid to think there was no merit to his words.”

Dalton frowned as he blinked back at his friend, unsure and confused as to make of the peculiar situation that they had somehow managed to land themselves in.

“No, it would definitely be stupid to ignore them, but their argument is kind of stupid, too.”

“You, my friend, have never spoken such truth before.” Marcellus chuckled, though the sound was dark and heavy as opposed to being light and humorous as it should have been. “It’s as if they’re so concerned with my mental state that they’re taking action over something that may not even happen.” He sighed, referring to the fact that the council believed that he would eventually end up losing his mind from running the pack without a mate for so long.

“There’s a hidden agenda behind this, if you ask me.” Dalton sent him a pointed look.

A part of him wanted to tell Dalton everything, about having found his mate only to find that she was heavily pregnant with someone else’s child. He wanted to tell her that his mate was none other than the human, Anastasia and that she was the most beautiful being that he ever had the pleasure to lay eyes on. He knew that his wolf wanted nothing more than to finally accept their mate and tell her the complete truth, but there was a part of him that still was still very reserved about everything.

Be honest with me. What’s holding you back from accepting our mate? Other than the fact that she’s pregnant. His wolf asked, his voice and tone the epitome of serious.

That’s the thing. The only thing holding me back is the fact that she’s pregnant.

His wolf hummed quietly, silently urging his human counterpart to continue.

I know you’re fine with raising a child that isn’t our own, but I don’t feel the same way. Marcellus huffed and ran a hand down his face, his eyebrows knitting together as he thought long and hard, momentarily forgetting that he wasn’t alone. As much as I want to accept her and live a lovely and fruitful life together, I know that I’m going to wake up one day and end up resenting her for starting a family without us. For not waiting for us. I know I’m going to resent that child because it’s not my own.

I thought we’d already established the fact that she’s human and so had no idea that somehow, she would end up with a mate. His wolf growled in frustration.

You don’t think I don’t know that already? He growled back at his wolf. I know that this isn’t her fault and that she would have no idea that she would end up with a mate, but that doesn’t change the fact that she’s having a baby that isn’t ours.

She didn’t know!

I know she didn’t know, but this is just the way I feel! Marcellus groaned in frustration and for the first time since his mother had passed away a few years ago, he suddenly felt the urge to cry. But this time more so from frustration than pain and sadness, though it wasn’t far off. You don’t think I want to live happily with her? You don’t think I want a mate? Of course, I do and you know that! I want for everything to be okay and to tell her the truth about us being mates, but I can’t stop feeling this way.

Marcellus more so felt his wolf frown rather than saw it

Do you think this is something that will pass with time? His wolf asked quietly, holding his breath as he clung onto the last bit of hope that he had.

Maybe. He rubbed a hand down his jaw. It’s just too bad that time is the one thing that we don’t have.

His wolf groaned in appearance and dropped himself to the ground before throwing his paws over his eyes, almost as if trying to block out the unfortunate situation that there appeared to be no escape from.

“Mars?”

When Dalton called out to him, Marcellus blinked to snap out of his mate-infused daze only to find his friend and Beta watching him with clear concern shining in his dark eyes.

“What are you thinking?”

Marcellus sighed and pressed his head back against the headrest of his chair, blinking up at the ceiling as he attempted to reign in his emotions.

“I’m thinking a lot of things right now.”

“Like?” Dalton prompted gently, hoping that his friend would finally open up to him.

“I can’t really talk about it.” He murmured quietly, his lips pulling down at the corners into a melancholy smile, one which he couldn’t shuck off regardless of how much he tried to, if only to keep up appearances.

“I’m really worried about you, Mars.” Dalton frowned deeply as he sat back and stared at his friend, his eyes not wavering once, genuine concern and worry shining in the dark pools of his eyes. “There’s so much on your plate right now with the pack and the business, and now with the added stress of the council breathing down your neck and trying to pressure you into taking a mate, I just really worry about you.”

“I know, Dal.” Marcellus sighed, smiling softly. “I genuinely appreciate you as a friend and I understand your concern, but it just feels like everything is out of my hands right now and I can’t really talk about it all.”

Dalton nodded respectively, though the frown remained on his face.

“But what I can talk to you about is what we’re going to do about the council’s threats.”

“Can’t we talk to your dad? He’s on the council too and is a former Alpha. Do you think there’s anything that he can do?”

Marcellus shook his head. “I know that dad isn’t happy about it but there’s just one of him and eight of them. From what he told me, it doesn’t sound like the others agree with him and even if he does manage to get a few of them on board, he would need to get majority vote which isn’t looking very likely right now.”

“This is so fucked up!” Dalton released a frustrated groan, his lips curling down into a nasty scowl. “It’s been ten years and you haven’t found your mate. What makes them think that you’ll be able to do in two months what you couldn’t do in the years?”

“That’s exactly what I said to him but it appears that the don’t give a flying fuck about anything other than me having a mate and the pack having a Luna by the end of the two months.”

“You know what this means, don’t you?” Dalton watched him carefully, the lack of surety shining in his eyes as they not once wavered from Marcellus’ hazel orbs.

Marcellus nodded. He hated to admit it, but he nodded.

“We’re going to have to start looking for a choice mate.” He mumbled, a horrific chill running down his spine at even the thought of mating with a female that was not his moon destined mate. Especially since he knew exactly where his actual mate was. “If I don’t have a mate by the end of the two months, they’re going to take the pack away from me.”

“Can they even do that?”

“I have no idea.” He admitted honestly as another frustrated groan passed his lips. “But with the amount of power and influence that they have over the werewolf world, it’s a risk that I’m not willing to take.”

“Do you want me to start spreading the word?” Dalton dared to ask, mumbling the words as he believed in wolves waiting for their mates, especially since the Moon Goddess had paired them together. While he didn’t judge those wolves that chose to live life with choice mates, especially since in some cases, wolves were able to go a whole lifetime without ever meeting their mate, he judged the council for trying to force this lifechanging decision on Marcellus just because they suspected that he could possibly lose his mind in the future from having lived so long without a mate.

“No, but it appears that I don’t have much of a choice.”

“Just think about it.” Dalton hummed quietly as he rose to his feet, knocking back the rest of his coffee. “This time in two months, you’ll have a mate and the Lupum Griseo pack will have a Luna again.”

Marcellus murmured his agreeance but mostly chose to keep his mouth shut as he was unable to voice aloud the fact that he already had a mate but had no idea what he was going to do with her.

If only she wasn’t pregnant with another man’s child. Perhaps things wouldn’t be so difficult then.

-

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Layla Knight

18.10.2020

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