“No, you didn’t.” The words rushed out of his mouth as he stared up at her after having frozen in his spot for a few moments, the both of them and the bed soaked in her fluids.
“I think I know when my water broke!” Her lips pulled down into a frown as she stilled on top of him, unsure of what to do.
From all of the books that she had read regarding pregnancy, Anastasia had learnt that sex often helped induce labour however, none of these books had ever mentioned that she would go into labour during sex.
“What do we do now?” Marcellus gulped from underneath her, not daring to move in case he hurt her, not all that knowledgeable regarding labour or giving birth but one thing he did know was that it was supposed to be very, very painful.
Her eyebrows knitted together as she stared down at him, her mind perplexed.
“I guess I’m supposed to go to the hospital, but I haven’t started getting contractions yet so they won’t be able to do anything.”
“What? So, we have to wait for the pain to start before doing anything?” He struggled to hold back the growl, not at all fond of the idea of his mate being in pain, especially when there were techniques and mechanisms to prevent or minimise that nowadays.
“Pretty much.” Anastasia grimaced slightly as she removed her hands from where they were rested on his lower stomach and lifted herself off of him, avoiding his gaze as she slipped off the bed.
“Is it a contraction?” Marcellus asked quickly as he shot up on the bed, the concern evident in his eyes.
When a few moments of silence had passed and all she had done was retrieve her robe from the back of the door and covering herself up with it, he couldn’t help but grow increasingly worried. So much so that he could barely think straight at the prospect of her being in pain and keeping it from him.
“Anastasia. You need to tell me what’s wrong.” He demanded of her as he rose to full height, marching across the room to take prisoner of her wrist, very aware of the fact that she was currently in labour.
When she refused to turn and face him, he frowned and tightened his grip on her wrist ever so slightly. However, before he could question her further, she finally spoke.
“Sorry about that.” Anastasia murmured quietly, purposely keeping her back to him, not bothering to pull her wrist out of his hold despite the strange tingles that sparked all over her body whenever he touched her or vice versa. It had surprised her at first and caught her off guard but very quickly, she found herself savouring those little zaps, especially when she knew it was because of him.
Anastasia didn’t quite know what it meant that she felt tingles whenever Marcellus touched her, but from what she had learnt from her dad, her wolf friends and even some research of her own when she had been younger and discovering herself as part wolf, she knew that wolves only felt such a thing when their mate touched them.
But Alpha Marcellus was not her mate. Or rather, that was what he had wanted her to believe.
She may not have realised it at first but after a comment that Raphael had made earlier about the tingles still being as strong as ever even after a couple of years, Anastasia couldn’t stop thinking about it.
She felt tingles whenever Marcellus touched her. She had been drawn to him since the moment she had met him, even when he had been barking at her to leave and never come back. There was this chemistry between them that she couldn’t ignore nor explain, yet he had told her that he already had a mate and that the situation was complicated.
What she hadn’t realised was that he was talking about her.
Anastasia knew that she probably shouldn’t have had sex with him or even asked him to make her cum for that matter, but she couldn’t bring herself to care nor regret what was the best night of her life.
Yet another indication of what he had been trying so hard to hide from her.
The very thought caused her to scowl deeply ahead as she ground her teeth in a mix of frustration, anger but the most prominent emotion of all; betrayal. When he tugged on her wrist again, she tugged back and refused to look at him as all she could think about right now was punching him in the face for lying to her all this time, if even by omitting the truth.
Punching the Alpha was not smart. Mate or not.
“What are you talking about? Why are you apologising?”
Ignoring his question, she huffed and yanked her wrist out of his hold, not the least bit concerned with being gentle or even subtle, for that matter. All she wanted to do right now was get away from him.
He had lied. He had looked her in the eye and said that he had a mate, conveniently failing to mention that she was in fact his mate but instead, he had deemed it complicated. She hated that word as she never truly understood what it meant when people described a relationship as complicated but now, it made so much more sense.
It was now clear to her that Marcellus had been unsure about keeping her as a mate and as a result, had chosen to keep it a secret from her. While he may have thought that he had been doing the right thing, now that she had found out the truth, it fucking hurt.
Anastasia wasn’t sure how she had been granted her mate while her dad had been skipped, and while she had always hoped that she would be lucky enough to have a mate of her own – though believed it to be nothing short of wishful thinking as she wasn’t a wolf – she had never thought it would actually happen to her.
But now that it had and he was stood right behind it, it was unfortunate that she had to find out this way.
Him having kept it a secret was so much worse than him rejecting her that first day they had meant as all this time, he had been toying around with her, almost as if trying to decide what to do with her; whether to keep her or reject her. As masochistic as it sounded, Anastasia much preferred ripping off the band-aid than struggling as from past experience, she had learnt that the former hurt more in the moment but less in the long run, and she was all about the bigger picture.
While she had somehow been granted a mate, Anastasia didn’t feel much love right now, especially because he had chosen to keep their mate status a secret for this long. It was almost as if he was unsure or was ashamed of her and while Anastasia knew that she probably wasn’t the easiest person to get along with or even the most beautiful woman out there – especially when compared to she-wolves that were superior to an average human in almost every way – but she never imagined being treated this way.
While she far from deserved such treatment – or rather, mistreatment – she could pin it down to only two things. One, she was a mere human while he was an Alpha wolf and two, she had already been pregnant when they had met.
If she could go back in time and have a re-do, she wouldn’t change a thing about offering to be a surrogate for her friends, but it was sad that her mate didn’t see it the same way.
Anastasia had no doubt in her mind that when he had first set eyes on her in the den over a month ago, he had taken one look at her baby bump and deemed her undeserving of being his mate. Yet for some reason, he had decided to toy with her during that time and now that she had discovered the truth, the fire in the bottom of her stomach started ablaze, and not just because of her contractions which had become more regular now, about six minutes apart.
“I don’t think we should wait anymore.” Marcellus announced from behind her as he approached, choosing now to play the role of the doting mate that couldn’t stand to see their mate in pain. “I’d feel much better knowing that we’re with the pack doctor. Even if your contractions aren’t close enough yet.”
Before she could swirl around and give him a piece of her mind, another contraction hit. Unlike in the movies where the woman started screaming and swearing at her partner, Anastasia felt like the wind had been knocked out of her as she gasped quietly and reached over to brace herself on the desk, needing something to hold.
Some shuffling sounded behind her and before she knew it, she felt tingled all over her sides, travelling down.
With the sharp pain spiking through her body, she was unable to chastise him or push him away and just when the pain started to reduce, she was lifted into the air.
“What are you doing?” She was barely able to ask as he rushed out of the room, down the hallway and out of the pack house, careful not to jostle her too much.
“We can argue all you want later but right now; you need to get to the hospital.”
Very aware of the fact that now was not the time or place to demand the truth from her so-called mate, Anastasia bit her tongue and allowed him to carry her out of the room.
Or well, she tried to. When she felt her anger continue to bubble under the surface, Anastasia huffed and rolled her eyes. Before she could protest and demand that he put her down as she didn’t need his help, not after the way he had betrayed her by purposely omitting the truth, and especially for this long, another contraction hit.
From all the previous ones, this one lasted longer and was for more intense. She squeezed her eyes shut as a strangled moan escaped her, hunching over slightly as she became overwhelmed by the pain. As the wave passed and her breathing calmed, she opened her eyes only to find that they were already in the hospital in a private room, he had placed her down on the bed and both the doctor and Marcellus were currently staring at her while two nurses busied themselves with checking her vitals.
“You need to leave.” She demanded with a sharp look in her eyes, needing him to know that she was serious and that there was no room for negotiation.
“What?” Marcellus sounded in surprise, having been caught off guard by her sudden demand. “You want me to leave?”
“You heard me.” Anastasia huffed as she turned her head away so she wouldn’t have to look at him any longer, not after knowing what she now knew.
“Why do you want me to leave?”
She groaned into her hands and shook her head frantically, needing to leave and get out of her face before she lost her cool.
“I need you to call Raphael and Justas for me.”
When his eyes zoned out, she knew that he was using his mind link to call her friends and future parents, which also meant that he had no plans of leaving.
“I said call them! Not mind link them!” She snapped at him, having reached the end of the tether.
Marcellus frowned slightly as he stared at her, confused with her change of tone however, it was expected as she had started going into labour.
“What’s the difference?”
“The difference is that if you go and call them, that means you leave!”
Marcellus stilled and when he looked like he was going to protest yet again, she screamed at him once again but thankfully this time, he took heed to her words and decided to leave.
Once the door closed behind him, Anastasia released a sigh of relief and only wished that he actually called Raphael and Justas.
There was no way that she was going to have this baby without them here.
Anastasia was pulled out of her thoughts as the doctor approached the side of her bed, a worried grimace on his face.
“I suspect the Alpha went easy on you because you’re in labour, but if you want to keep your head, I would suggest you don’t scream at him again.” He informed her in a serious tone.
Anastasia gulped and barely shook her head before another contraction hit and once that had passed, they all left the room to give her some privacy while she got changed into the standard hospital gown.
By the time she had finished and called out to indicate that she was finished, Justas and Raphael had arrived. As she got settled on the bed again, the two mates flanked her by both sides as the doctor dipped between her legs only to announce that she was eight centimetres dilated and that it wouldn’t be long now until she was ready.
“I can’t believe this is happening.” Justas murmured quietly, unable to look away from her and her protruding stomach where their son would live only for a little while longer as he was getting ready to join them in this world. “I can’t believe we’re going to be dads.”
Raphael blubbered, unable to form any words as he stared between his best friend and his mate. As she was a sympathetic crier, Anastasia felt tears spark her eyes as she turned her head to glance between both of the men.
“You guys are going to be the best dads ever and this baby is so lucky to have you love and care for them.” She blubbered, losing control over her emotions.
Justas nodded as he sniffled, the only dry eye among the three of them.
“And you’re going to be the best Godmother this little one could ever ask for.”
Her lips quivered slightly as she nodded her head, unable to process such a compliment while in such a delicate state, especially as another contraction hit and she squeezed both of their hands to help ground the pain as she clenched her jaw and ground her teeth, groaning loudly.
Even though she was giving birth to a child that was not hers, Anastasia couldn’t help but wish that Marcellus – the man that she had just discovered to be her mate – was by her side to go through this with her but alas, she had sent him away in a fit of rage. Not that he hadn’t done anything to warrant such behaviour.
Refusing to have this beautiful memory tainted by her mate’s betrayal, Anastasia pushed all thoughts of him and what he had done out of her mind. Instead, she glanced at both Raphael and Justas who were holding each of her hands, tears streaming down Raphael’s face as the pack doctor informed them that it was now time to start pushing.
The longer she remained in labour, the harder she pushed, but it appeared the baby wasn’t ready to come out yet.
As the third hour came to an end and there was still minimal progress, Anastasia groaned in a mix of pain and frustration as she leaned back and buried her head into the pillow, her eyes squeezed tightly shut as she believed herself to not be able to go on any longer.
“I need a big push from you this time.” The doctor encouraged her gently, patting her leg gently to indicate that it was time to try again.
“I don’t think I can do this.” A few tears streamed down her face as she groaned, currently suffering the most amount of pain that she had ever experienced before.
Words of encouragement sounded from all around the room but only when her mate flashed before her eyes was Anastasia able to lift herself up and follow the doctor’s order, waiting for him to countdown before she tried pushing again.
By the end of the next hour, the sound of a baby crying filled the room and finally, she dropped herself down on the pillow behind her.
“Ana,” Justas called out to her in her post labour induced haze. When she hummed quietly to indicate that she had heard and acknowledged him, he continued. “Raphael and I have discussed this before and we want you to be the first one of us to hold him.”
“What? Are you sure?”
“It’s what both of us want.” Raphael grinned from beside her as the nurse joined them and leaned down to hand her the baby.
Holding the little bundle of joy wrapped up in a fluffy blue blanket for the first time and glancing down at his cute little red face even though his mouth was wide open as he cried, she had never seen a sight more beautiful or pure before.
“Have you guys decided on a name?”
“That’s such a beautiful name.” She couldn’t help but coo as she glanced down at baby Alistair, the regal name suiting her perfectly.
“You want to hear his full name?”
Anastasia was barely able to nod her head with how entranced she was with the baby in her arms.
“Alistair Mulberry Branover-Constantine.”
Her breath caught in her throat as she lifted her head to glance between them both in disbelief.
“We wanted to honour you because just as we’re a part of his life, you are too.”
“I love you guys, so much!” Anastasia gushed as a new set of tears streamed down her face at the thoughtful gesture, having not seen it coming.
“We love too, babe. Always.” Raphael leaned down to press a kiss to the crown of her head before doing the same to little baby Alistair, turning their trio into a quartet.
Once they had cleaned up both her and the baby, they were moved out of the delivery room and into a private room where Justas and Raphael sat on the edge of the bed while little Alistair slept in his cot without a care in the world.
Taking his lead, Anastasia decided that after everything she had been through these past couple of hours, she deserved a nap. She wasn’t sure how long she had been asleep or what time it was and when she woke up, all she could think about was that wretched mate of hers whom she was still yet to decide what to do with.
“Where’s Marcellus?” She was barely conscious enough to ask in a quiet whisper.
As Justas worked on changing baby Alistair’s diaper and Raphael helped him with it, their sole attention on him, neither of them paid her particular attention as they answered her question without a second thought.
“He’s in his office, I think.” Raphael murmured back with a goofy grin on his face, pulling faces at the baby who stared back at curiously, barely able to understand or recognise what was going on around him. “Rumour has it that he’s got some females over to pick which one of them would become his mate and the next Luna.”
While she had wanted to know where he was, she now wished she hadn’t asked the question in the first place after the answer that she had just received.
Anastasia wasn’t sure if she was more hurt or angry with him but what she was certain of was that they were mates and something needed to be done about; even if he refused to acknowledge it or had already moved onto other females.
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