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

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Chapter Twenty-Seven

ANASTASIA MULBERRY

If she hadn’t personally experienced the moment herself or the very real pressure of his lips against hers, Anastasia would have found it impossible to believe it.

An hour had passed since she was locked lips with the big bad Alpha and even now, while she stood in the bathroom, staring back at her reflection in the mirror, she still savoured the taste of him on the tip of her tongue.

“How could you kiss him back?” She groaned aloud as she reached out to turn on the taps and splash some water on her face in hopes of forcing some sense into her.

When the first splash didn’t work, she tried a second and then third time. And then, when she could still feel his kiss on her lips, she reached for her toothbrush and began brushing her teeth, making sure to use her extra minty toothpaste. However, it appeared that his minty taste trumped it all.

Knowing that he was only two doors away from her made everything all that much worse.

It was only when a knock sounded on the door was Anastasia pulled out of her thoughts, reaching for a towel to press against her face as she waddled out of the ensuite bathroom and toward her bedroom door, completely in the dark as to who was behind it.

Whoever it was, she just hoped it wasn’t Alpha Marcellus back for more. Anastasia sincerely doubted that if he tried to make another move on her, she would be able to resist. As if she had been able to resist him the first time.

When her eyes landed on an energetic Raphael and a mellow Justas, both with hopeful and expectant looks on their faces, a sigh of relief escaped her.

As she entertained her friends, thoughts of the Alpha quickly slipped from her mind.

Anastasia didn’t know what to do regarding the awkward situation that she had put herself in, so it warranted giving the big bad Alpha a taste of his own medicine. If he could avoid her, then she could certainly do the same to him.

“Where did you go after breakfast?” A curious voice sounded from the passenger seat of the car, turning slightly to look at her as he spoke.

“To my room.” Anastasia stated simply, her eyes briefly washing over him as she turned her head to stare out the window, watching the forest pass by as they continued to drive off pack territory and toward the nearest baby furniture store.

“But I saw you come out of the Alpha’s office.”

She stilled in her seat and her head slowly turned to face Raphael, surprised by his comment.

“If you knew I was in the Alpha’s office, then why did you bother asking me where I was?” Anastasia snorted, her lips tugging higher at the corners as she stared back at him.

Justas merely remained in silence, more than happy to allow the two friends to continue taking jabs at each other; their actions playful despite how it may appear to an outsider.

“I wanted to hear what excuse you would come up with.” Raphael shrugged and grinned, staring intently at her friend. “So, what were you doing in his office?” He asked like the nosy git that he was.

Since Anastasia knew that her best friend would be able to tell if she lied, she decided to just go with the truth. Or rather, as close as she could get to the truth without incriminating herself.

“I went to confront the Alpha as to why he had been avoiding me these past couple of days.” She chuckled, rolling her eyes slightly as she turned her head to glance out the window.

Raphael tutted playfully and shook his head. “What did I tell you about getting on the Alpha’s bad side?”

“Not to.”

“And what did you do?”

“I had a polite conversation with him?” Anastasia stated even though it came out as more of a question, unable to hold back the chuckle that escaped at the end.

Raphael groaned while Justas laughed, both completely opposite reactions which just made it all that much funnier.

Anastasia wasn’t really in the mood for shopping, especially since she had hoped to slip in a nap before lunch but when Justas and Raphael dropped by her room with the offer, wanting to grab a few last things for the baby and the new cottage that they had just finished getting built a few minutes away from the pack house, she just couldn’t refuse.

Thinking about the baby growing inside her made her smile and frown at the same time, such conflicting emotions that she was certain that her face had settled on an uncomfortable grimace.

She was just glad that neither Justas or Raphael was paying her particular attention and so didn’t realise that she was struggling with her innermost thoughts.

Perhaps it was because she was so far into the pregnancy and near the end, or perhaps it was because Raphael and Justas were officially moving out of the pack house today in preparation for the baby, but Anastasia couldn’t help but feel a certain way.

While she had agreed to be a surrogate for her friends – and still felt great about helping them out in this life changing way – a part of her couldn’t help but feel sad whenever she thought about the fact that the baby wouldn’t be going home with her after birth but rather, would be going home with Justas and Raphael to their perfect little home to be part of the perfect little family that they were starting together.

She kept telling herself that this was a natural feeling, that any other surrogate woman must go through such emotions and feelings however, she couldn’t quite be certain as she had never met another surrogate before. However, from the few YouTube videos that she had been watching lately about a surrogates’ views of their own personal pregnancy journey, everyone else said it was completely normal and expected.

Anastasia wasn’t sure if she had grown too attached to the baby growing inside of her or if she was just lonely, but one thing she was completely sure of was the fact that she was glad she was carrying the baby for her friends and would be able to see them and the baby whenever she wanted.

Either way, she sincerely hoped these feelings would pass soon.

It was when that they were heading into the third store, having already to place their bags in the car, that Anastasia stilled and squinted off into the distance, her eyes lingering on a familiar mop of mousey blonde hair that was now heading in her direction with a wide grin on his face.

“Anastasia?” Raphael called out to her in question, glancing back at her from over his shoulder, momentarily pausing as she stopped following the couple. “Are you not coming in with us?”

“Just give me a moment.” She murmured quietly before turning her back on Justas and Raphael, and going back the way she had just come.

“Fancy running into you here.” Harvey whistled lowly, rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet, his eyes lingering on her heavy belly, looking big enough to pop now.

“I could say the same thing about you.” Anastasia laughed softly as she came to a stand in front of him, her hands braced on her back which had started to ache slightly from having been walking around for the better half of an hour now.

“It must not be long now.” Harvey murmured absentmindedly, his eyes lingering on her stomach for another few seconds before travelling up to her face. His face transformed into a sheepish look when he met her mirth filled eyes and realised that he had been caught staring. “Sorry.”

“No need to apologise.” Anastasia chuckled and waved a dismissive hand in the air. “This far along, people stop and stare all the time.”

“Just how far along are you?”

“Eight and a half months.” She sighed, though her lips twisted up into a small smile and one of her hands travelled over to press against the side of her belly where the baby was currently kicking.

Anastasia wasn’t sure if they were correlated, but she had noticed that the baby was much more active whenever she was in the pack house or around other wolves which ultimately, made sense. As she was carrying a full-blooded wolf, it only made sense that the baby would feed off the supernatural energy.

Harvey whistled lowly, his eyes widening slightly. “So, you’ll go into labour in two weeks?”

“I hope so.” She winced at a particularly hard kick, but was fine after a few moments had passed. “I’ve gotten so big that I can’t wait to get this baby out of me.”

“Yeah, a lot of pregnant women tend to say that when they get close to the finishing line.”

“Finishing line?” Anastasia smirked as she cocked a teasing brow at his strange choice of words. “This isn’t a race. I hope you’re aware of that.”

“Yes, of course! Bad choice of words, sorry.” Harvey guffawed. “It’s definitely not a race, especially since you’re doing such a noble thing for your friends.”

She shrugged and her eyes avoided meeting hers, never one to take praise all that well.

“Well, I don’t see this as anything noble.” Anastasia shrugged again. “I’m just helping out my friends.”

“You really are so amazing and you don’t even realise it.” Harvey hummed and while it looked like he wanted to say something more, it was evident that he was biting his tongue. Before she could prod him with further questioning, he was quick to change the subject and this time, it was him who avoided meeting her eyes.

“You never did get that dinner with me that you promised.” His lips curled up into a devilish grin, the previous red hue that adorned his cheeks now fading as his eyes returned to meet hers; the moment having passed already.

“You’ve got a good memory.” She chuckled lightly, her lips stretching into a grin. “But as of recent weeks, I’m not really in the mood to do much of anything so how about I make you a proposition?”

“Tell me more about this proposition.” He hummed quietly, a curious expression on his face as he waited for her to explain what she had in mind.

“Let me pop this little one out and then I’ll reconsider. How does that sound?”

“I guess I’ll start planning then.” Harvey laughed softly, his eyes glinting as they scrunched up slightly at the corners.

“You do that, and I’ll work on pushing out this baby.”

They both laughed at her joke and as the conversation fizzled out, Harvey left to grab himself a sandwich before heading back to work while she returned to the baby store

“Who was that?” Justas asked curiously as she joined in the middle of all the baby clothes aisles, Raphael currently running around trying to find the cutest baby grows.

“Just a friend.” She hummed quietly with a small smile on her face, glancing between the couple and not for the first time very aware of just how different yet perfect together her two friends were.

They were truly soulmates for a reason and once again, Anastasia wished she was more wolf than human so she would be granted a mate and her life would become far less complicated than it already was. However, she had no one but herself to blame for she had been the one to kiss the Alpha, a wolf who had made it clear to her that he already had a mate; even if things were complicated, as he had so graciously put it.

“He seems like more than a friend to me.”

“Says you.” She scoffed but then visibly winced slightly as her back started aching some more, needing to sit down before it got worse. “Mind if I take a seat somewhere while you both continue shopping?”

“I’ll join you.” Justas offered straight away, his eyes glazing over which she now recognised to be a tell-tale sign of using the mind link.

“Oh, there’s no need.” She tried to dismiss even though she would really enjoy the company, especially since she never spent much time alone with Justas.

“Don’t worry about it.” Justas chuckled as he reached around to place his hand on the small of her back and guide her out of the store and heading in the direction of the cafeteria.

While Anastasia and Justas spent some quality time together over some fries and chocolate milkshake, Raphael ticked off all the items off his shopping list, getting the few last things that they needed before the baby came. Within the hour, they were back in the car and on their way back to the pack, Anastasia purposely dodging more questions that both Raphael and Justas had about her newfound friend, Harvey.

While she wasn’t exactly sure what was going on between them, if there was even anything going on since all they seemed to do was flirt casually, Anastasia didn’t really want to discuss the ins and outs of whatever she had with Harvey. And she knew that if she stayed over at Justas and Raphael’s new cottage that night, she would do a whole lot more than incriminate herself and instead, she chose to allow the happy couple to spend their first night in their new place together alone.

She could only imagine all the things that had planned to christen the place, especially since she knew just how freaky Raphael could be due to his few conquests during his college days, despite how seemingly innocent he appeared on the outside.

Anastasia chuckled as she let herself into the packhouse and down the hallway that led to the guest bedroom she was staying in. She was laughing quietly to herself and clutching the few small purchases that she had made as she entered the room, but it was only when Anastasia turned on the lights that she realised someone else was in the room with her.

-

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Layla Knight

29.10.2020

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