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

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Chapter Twenty-Three


What’s wrong with her? His wolf demanded to know in a panicked tone. What did you do to her?

I didn’t do anything! Marcellus roared back as he ran toward the pack house with his mate in his arms, still clutching her stomach with her face scrunched up in pain. With the way she was so absorbed into whatever she was feeling, it was almost as if she was completely unaware of what was going on around her or more specifically, completely unaware that she was in his arms and he was attempting to run as fast as he could without jostling her around too much to avoid the risk of worsening the already precarious situation.

If you didn’t do anything to her, then why is she like this?

I have no idea. He growled but thankfully, was greeted with the sight of a very sleepy pack doctor waiting for him outside the pack hospital. But he better have some answers.

“Alpha?” The pack doctor, Hugh, asked, his lingering on Anastasia in his arms. “What’s wrong with Anastasia?”

“I don’t know. She was fine one second and then hunched over and screaming the next.” Marcellus couldn’t help but grumble as he walked through the doors of the building as soon as Hugh had unlocked them. “You need to examine her now and find out what’s wrong.”

As this was his profession and field of expertise, Hugh didn’t need to be told twice as he geared up and began with the examination, asking Anastasia a series of questions all throughout.

Marcellus felt like he had disconnected from his body and was somehow watching this scene playout from the sidelines. He couldn’t move and he couldn’t speak, his body paralysed with fear as he drowned out whatever the doctor was saying. He was unable to do anything but stare down at the human he had spent weeks ignoring and denying her existence only for this to happen.

He could only imagine what could have happened if he had never been there. If she had been alone tonight sitting outside the pack house or even worse, by herself at her house with no one to help. If he had simply told her that they were mates the moment they met, he could have been there for her today without it being a coincidence.

It was a difficult pill to swallow, knowing that you had fucked up but Marcellus was determined to make things right with his little spitfire.

Does that mean you’re finally going to tell her she’s our mate?

Yes. His confirmation was barely above a whisper. But we need to wait for the right moment. We need to ease her into this.

As much as his wolf wanted to argue, another part of him also couldn’t help but agree. With their mate so far into her pregnancy, only a week or two away from labour, he didn’t want to do anything that would jeopardise her or the baby.

Neither Marcellus nor his wolf had any idea how she would react after learning the fact that they were mates and he had been hiding it from her this whole time, even more so since he had told her about looking for a choice mate however, he knew for a fact that it would be far from positive.

With her no-bullshit attitude, he didn’t expect nothing short of being shunned by her so if that was going to happen, they couldn’t help but come to the consensus that it was probably best to wait until after she had given birth. Just to stay on the safe side.

If anything happened to her or the baby just because he was too selfish to wait another few weeks, Marcellus would never be able to forgive himself and he didn’t plan on carrying around that sort of guilt for the rest of his life. Not when it concerned the happiness and well-being of his mate.

It was only when Hugh called out to him for the third time that he snapped back to reality and realise that she appeared completely fine and in fact, was staring back at him with a confused – albeit slightly concerned – expression on her face.

“What?” He sounded aloud in confusion, blinking at the two pairs of eyes that had been studying him for the past few moments.

“Braxton hicks.”

Marcellus blinked again. “Braxton who?”

Who is Braxton and why is he hicking our mate? His wolf growled, baring his teeth as his beady eyes remained glued to where the doctor was currently touching her arm as he checked her blood pressure.

I think that’s his surname. Marcellus murmured back to his wolf. Plus, hicking isn’t even a thing. Well, I don’t think it is.

I’m so confused right now. His wolf growled. What’s wrong with her?

I have no idea. Marcellus frowned as an aggravated sigh passed his lips.

“Hugh, please stop talking in riddles and just tell me who or what Braxton hicks are.” He demanded in his Alpha tone, crossing his arms across his arms over his chest with a deep onset frown on his face.

When he heard a snort sound from the hospital bed, his lip twitched at the corner but he refused to grin, his concern the most dominant emotion currently running through his body.

“Braxton hicks are false contractions which aid in helping a woman’s body get ready for labour.” The doctor explained. “While they’re not necessarily something to worry about, they can range in being nothing but a slight discomfort to causing great pain but I can assure you Alpha, Miss Mulberry, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.”

The frown on his face remained in place as he took a moment to glance back and forth at the doctor and patient that were staring back at him, both with curious expressions on their faces though the female wasn’t as reserved or purposely respectful in her demeanour.

While he was her mate, it appeared that she didn’t recognise him to be her Alpha, a fact which he wondered would change once they had completed the mate bond.

That’s if she decides to forgive you for being such an asshole.

Me? I thought we were in this together.

His wolf chuckled before following it up with a snort. Well, you thought wrong.

Marcellus frowned lightly as he returned his attention back to the pack doctor, struggling to keep his eyes off his mate who was now watching him with narrowed eyes.

“She’s nine months pregnant. How is she not ready for labour yet? What more readying does she need?”

Hugh laughed while Anastasia scowled back at him, not at all appreciative with his choice of words or tone of voice.

“Well, you try having a baby. Maybe you’ll understand what it’s like then.” Anastasia huffed as she crossed her arms over her chest.

Both wolves in the room shared a knowing look before bursting into light laughter, though they came to a quick stop when the human slithered over to the edge of the bed before proceeding to jump off it.

“Miss Mulberry, what are you doing?”

“What the fuck! You need to be more careful!”

Both Marcellus and Hugh asked at the same time – though the latter was more forceful and less graceful – before rushing to her side. When Hugh reached out to grab her arm and help her down, Marcellus snapped his head up at the wolf, a dark, menacing glare on his face.

The pack doctor immediately dropped his hand and took a step back, stricken with fear and forced into submission but before Anastasia could notice, Marcellus had already helped her off the bed and had begun ushering her out of the room.

“You can’t be jumping off the bed like that.” He hummed quietly as they walked out of the pack hospital and began the short walk back to the pack house. “Not in this delicate state.”

“I hate it when people describe pregnant women as being in a delicate state.” Anastasia frowned as she blinked up at him, though he didn’t seem the least bit fazed by his words. “I’m pregnant, not dead or immobile.”

“Yes, but you’re carrying a life.”

“And my life shouldn’t have to stop because of that.”

She has a point you know. His wolf hummed, absolutely in awe of his mate but Marcellus refused to agree.

She was pregnant and couldn’t be jumping around as she could seriously hurt either herself or the baby, or even worse, both.

“Well, thanks for walking me back but it’s late so I should probably head to bed.”

Marcellus hummed in response as he held open the door for her, his eyes following behind her as she walked past him and down the familiar hallway. When she walked past the staircase and continued down the hallway, he couldn’t help but frown and trail behind her, a cloud of confusion and curiosity hanging over his head.

“Where are you going?” He asked as she walked past his office and continued down the hallway.

“To the guest room.” Anastasia answered him in a quiet voice but when he didn’t respond, she paused outside the second hall down the hallway and glanced at him from over her shoulder. “Is there something wrong?”

“No.” Marcellus was quick to deny in a quick murmur, holding his breath as she stared at him for a moment before turning away from him and continuing down the hallway to the third and last door; the guest bedroom. Well, the room had been reserved for him even though he never used it, so Marcellus could only assume that Dalton had set her up since walking up and down the stairs in her condition was out of the question.

Marcellus made a mental note to thank him in the morning, but quickly ruled out the thought as he realised that he wouldn’t be able to extend such thanks without giving himself away.

Much to his surprise, Anastasia paused once again and turned to glance at him from over her shoulder.

“I know this is a strange request, but could you sit with me until I fall asleep.” She murmured quietly, refusing to meet her eyes as she felt her face flush, and not in a blush. “It’s late and I’m tired, so I should be asleep soon.”

When he didn’t answer straight away, the uneasy smile slipped off her face and instead, was replaced by a grimace.

“You can say no if you want to.” She offered him an out, his silence embarrassing her.

“No.” He shook his head, but was quick to amend his response as his response didn’t quite come out the way he wished it to. “I don’t mind at all.”

“Thank you.” She sighed before turning around and pushing open the door, leaving it open for him as she headed into the bathroom, already dressed in a pair of jogging bottoms and an oversized shirt she had borrowed form Justas. While the bottoms would have been unusually big on her any other time, with her protruding, heavily pregnant belly and the strings to tighten it around her stomach, they remained on her hips and didn’t roll down.

Even though it was technically his room – or rather, an extension of his room as there were two doors in this one, one that led to an ensuite bathroom completely separate from him, and another that led into a small walk-in closet, Marcellus couldn’t help but feel awkward.

While she was his mate and he shouldn’t feel uncomfortable or awkward with being alone with in a confined space, especially during a time as intimate as the middle of the night, there was a cloud of lies that that kept them apart.

All thanks to him, of course.

Not wanting for her to take back her request, Marcellus sat himself on the desk chair on one side of the room and leaned against the back of it as he waited for her to return.

“I’m so tired.” Anastasia murmured through the yawn as she stretched her arms above her head and walked back into the bedroom, completely unaware of the way his hungry eyes feasted on her beautiful full form that was apparent even under the baggy clothes.

He gulped and kept his head bowed, but couldn’t rid his mind of the shape of her perky breasts and the pebbled nipples that poked through her shirt.

“Thank you for agreeing to sit with me.” She smiled softly at him as she reached for the bed sheet and pulled it back before taking a seat on the edge of the bed and slipping under the sheets, fluffing the pillow under her head so she could get more comfortable.

“You don’t need to thank me, Anastasia.” He whispered back at her, a soft look on his face as he continued to watch her, longing to be able to slip under the sheets and just hold her; just hold his mate.

However, for now, that was nothing short of impossible.

“It’s my pleasure.” He murmured quietly.

She hummed and said, “Tell me about yourself.”

“What do you want to know?”

“Whatever you’re willing to share.” She mumbled quietly to him, her eyes fluttering closed as the promise of sleep teased her, having had a long day even though she hadn’t done much after work.

Marcellus was usually quite a private person but since she, his mate, had asked, he did.

“And that’s the story of my fifteenth birthday.” Marcellus chuckled as he finished relaying to her the wild shenanigans of his most memorable birthday.

Anastasia had laughed through the first half of it and proceeded to prod him with questions every now and again, but he could tell that she was nearly asleep when she quietened in the second half, only humming every now and again.

When a few moments passed and she made no move to answer his question, he knew she was asleep. Well, that and the slight up and down movement of her chest as she breathed lightly.

Unable to resist himself, Marcellus rose to his feet and wondered over to the side of her bed, staring down at his little mate; his little spitfire.

I’ve never seen a sight more beautiful. His wolf whispered quietly, almost as if afraid that one little sound would wake her up.

Me neither. Marcellus couldn’t help but agree.

The longer he stared down at her, the more he regretted all the mistakes that he had made with her already. The first being that he had judged her upon first sight, choosing to make a decision for the both of them.

We can fix this.

I really hope so. He murmured and sighed before leaning over the side of the bed and pressed his lips against the smooth skin of her forehead, reaching a hand out to smooth away her unruly auburn locks that dared to hide her face from him.

“I’ll see you in the morning, my little spitfire.” He whispered the promise against her skin and brushed his lips against the crown of her head before forcing himself to stand up straight and walk out of the room before he finally gave in to his desires and crawled under the sheets with her.

While he wouldn’t regret anything about it, he could only imagine the response he would receive from her in the morning.

Both Marcellus and his wolf chuckled at the thought as he slipped off his clothes and crawled into bed, though it seemed far too big and far too empty now. While his mate slept peacefully in the room next to her, Marcellus couldn’t help but toss and turn until his legs were tangled in the sheets and he had to fight them off in order to escape.

He wasn’t sure how much time had passed but it appeared that sleep had simply evaded him and instead, all his thoughts centred around the sleeping beauty in the next room, blissfully unaware of the effect she had on him.

Marcellus groaned, squeezed his eyes and pressed his head further back into his pillow, unable to hold himself back any longer.

Even though he knew it was wrong, Marcellus couldn’t help himself. His hand crawled under the sheets and quickly grabbed his engorged cock that had been throbbing painfully for the better half of an hour now, desperate for the release which he hadn’t been able to achieve in days now.

With how sexually frustrated it was, it didn’t help that his beauty of a mate slept soundlessly in the room next door. If she was awake, he had no doubt that she would be able to hear the grunts of satisfaction that escaped him as he continued jerking off to the sensual thought of her.

Picturing the beautiful, womanly curves which had teased him through the thin material of the shirt she wore to bed, he remembered how smooth and supple her skin had been under his fingertips, clear and completely unmarred. A beautiful, bare canvas for him to paint upon.

He imagined the sound of her moans as he leaned down to capture the pebbled nipples in his mouth – the very ones that had teased him earlier – his tongue desperate for a taste of her, but all it took was the thought of her reaching between them to grab his cock, pressing her thumb against the slit that leaked copious amounts of precum, for him to finally shoot his release into her hands.

Groans of satisfaction escaped him as his cock jerked in his hands, the milky semen dripping down his length and onto his thighs, but he couldn’t bring himself to care.

It was only when he was completely and utterly spent that Marcellus was finally able to fall asleep with the picture of his mate in mind and a small smile gracing his lips.


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Layla Knight


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