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

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Chapter Thirty-Five

ALPHA MARCELLUS STORM

“First of all, I would like to thank the both of you for making it down here on such short notice.”

Carmella and Valerie both beamed up at him from where they were sat across from him behind the desk, the both of them in silent competition with each other for the role of Luna of the Lupum Griseo pack. Unfortunately, neither of them that even if they won this race, they had already lost as Marcellus had already found his mate.

In fact, she had just finished giving birth and from what Dalton had mentioned to him when he had visited earlier, she was currently taking a nap.

You can’t be doing this right now. His wolf insisted, not ashamed to beg if it meant he was doing it for the betterment of his mate. You can’t be sitting here and pretending to choose one of those she-wolves to be your mate when you already have one.

She doesn’t want us.

That’s what your fucking problem is! The Alpha wolf roared back at his human counterpart, unable to take an more bullshit. You don’t fucking know what she wants because you haven’t spoken to her!

She wanted me to leave.

Yes, but she was giving birth and you, a man she barely knows but just broke her water over, was just stood there, watching her. What else did you expect? His wolf snapped, uncaring if he hurt any feelings.

The more Marcellus thought about it, the more it started to make sense, so much so that he couldn’t believe that he had jumped to conclusions without thinking it through properly; something which he hadn’t done since he was a teenager. However, perhaps that was something that came along with having a mate; especially in regards to the precarious situation that he had somehow managed to land himself in.

If he was about to give birth, he wouldn’t want a stranger or a person he barely knew to witness it either. Except, he was her mate and not a stranger. The fact that she didn’t know that was his fault and he had no one but himself to blame.

When do you suggest we tell her?

Right now, I think you should worry about what you should tell her and now when. His wolf chuckled lowly, very much aware that when she finally found out the truth, her anger would be directed at Marcellus and not his wolf, especially when she found out that he had wanted to be truthful with her from the very beginning.

“Alpha Marcellus?” A timid Valerie called out to him, her eyes wide in surprise and her lips parted as she sat back in her chair and watched the Alpha internally struggle with his wolf.

“Are you okay?” Carmella piped up in a squeaky voice, equally as concerned.

The more he battled back and forth with his wolf, neither of them able to come to a consensus about what to do with their mate situation and how to go about it, the more the incessant questioning increased until finally, he couldn’t ignore them anymore.

“Sorry about that ladies.” Marcellus cleared his throat as he adjusted himself in his chair and turned his eyes back to the both of them, though not bothering to appear remorseful or even the slightest bit apologetic. “Where were we?” He forced the question out of his mouth even though he agreed with his wolf.

Carmella and Valerie paused to share a knowing before hesitantly, turning back to the Alpha and continuing to pitch themselves however, he very quickly found himself zoning out again.

This has gone on too long.

I know. But she’s just given birth. How are we supposed to tell her now? Marcellus sighed as he reached a hand up to run through his hair, forcing a smile on his face so as to not raise any suspicions from the she-wolves in front of him; his potential mates.

The very thought of it left a bitter taste in his mouth – thinking of someone other than Anastasia as his mate – and Marcellus had to do all he could to stop from retching.

And what do you suggest we do? His wolf growled at him, having lost all patience after his human kept putting off the inevitable; essentially digging themselves a deeper hole for when their mate eventually found out the truth. You want to wait until her baby daddy turns up? When he comes to sweep her into his arms and take both her and their baby away, are you still going to be insisting that we wait then?

Unable to control his emotions after the picture that his wolf had painted for him, Marcellus growled loudly and slammed his fist down on the table.

Don’t even joke about that. Marcellus warned his wolf, his mood far from humorous.

Trust me when I say that, that could very well be the truth. His wolf growled again. You haven’t explicitly asked her about the baby situation so for all you know, the father of the child could actually still be in the picture.

She wouldn’t have slept with me if she was with someone else. He denied straight away, unable to believe the fact that Anastasia would cheat, even if it were with her mate. Not that she had any way of knowing that.

And how do you know that?

Because I know her!

Just because you’re her mate doesn’t mean that you know her! His wolf countered, trying to knock some sense into his human.

That’s exactly what it means!

No, it fucking doesn’t. It just means that you’re both tied together for the rest of your lives, but it’s on you both to put in the effort and make things work. You won’t get to know her unless you start talking, and lying to her isn’t going to help your case at all.

Marcellus frowned deeply; his eyes trained on the hard wood of the desk as he tried to piece together his thoughts.

It had been over a month now, nearly since he had met his mate, his little spitfire and during the entire time, he had been lying to her. From the very first moment that they had met, he had been lying to her and now stuck in a web so deeply spun, Marcellus had no one to blame but himself.

It had been his choice and his decision to hide the fact that they were mates, and it had been him that had actively sought her out even though he kept telling himself that they couldn’t be mated; that she couldn’t be his mate. He had judged her without knowing her and that, was both his first and his biggest mate. He may not have realised it, but he been sabotaging himself from the very beginning, before they even had the chance to start.

Despite trying to convince himself that he was over it, that he no longer cared that she was pregnant with someone else’s baby, that had just been Marcellus lying some more to himself. Ultimately, he couldn’t shake the feeling.

But right now, he needed to make a choice. He could either choose his mate and raise her child as if he or she was his own, or he could turn around and send her away, never to see each other ever again.

When the mere thought of never seeing her again struck fear in his heart and caused it to miss several beats, Marcellus knew that he had made his decision. While he now knew what he had to do, that didn’t mean it was going to be easy. Especially since he was currently tangled up in a web of lies.

She’s going to hate me. He whispered quietly, groaning as he bowed his head to bury his face in his hands; the gravity of his choices and actions now finally catching up to him. After everything that I’ve done, after keeping all of this a secret for so long, she’s going to hate me.

She’s your mate. She’s our mate. She may be angry at you and give you the cold shoulder, but she won’t be able to bring herself to hate you. His wolf murmured back in a reassuring tone, choosing this moment to be gentle and soft instead of growling at his human counterpart for being so stupid as he usually would have done. Don’t get me wrong, she’s going to be absolutely livid when you tell her the truth and she’s probably not going to want to ever see you again.

Well, that’s reassuring. Marcellus snorted; the sound quickly followed by a tormented groan. You’re really not helping here.

I’m not finished. His wolf chuckled lowly. Like I was saying before you rudely interrupted me. She’s probably not going to want to ever see you again, but that’s where you have to work hard and stay consistent to show her the real you, and not the douchebag that you’ve been embodying for the past couple of months.

It sounds so easy when you say it like that.

The Alpha wolf snorted. Trust me when I say this, earning back our mate’s forgiveness is going to be far from easy, especially since she’s a little spitfire and while the journey may be long and hard, it’s all going to be worth it in the end.

There’s absolutely no doubt about that. Marcellus hummed in agreeance. I’ve got my work cut out for me, don’t I?

You can say that again.

“I can’t do this anymore.” Marcellus announced as he stood up abruptly, completely uncaring of the fact that he was being rude and insensitive, especially since they had travelled such last minute just because he had asked them to with the promise that there was a chance that they could become Luna. “I’m sorry, but neither of you will become the Luna of the Lupum Griseo pack.”

“You can’t just change your mind like that!” Carmella declared as she rose to her feet, an astounded expression on her face as Valerie just stared at him with wide eyes, completely in disbelief that he had decided to go with neither of them.

“As I’m the Alpha, I believe I can.” Marcellus countered with a roll of his eyes, not at all appreciative of the tone used on him. While he understood that

“If you don’t choose a mate, you’re going to lose the pack!” Valerie insisted, turning her head to glance at Carmella, needing the support.

“Well, that sounds like a me problem, doesn’t it?” He chuckled and when they both opened their mouths to say something further, he held up his hands to indicate that he wasn’t looking to listen to any more excuses, having already made up his mind.

“Once again, I apologise but this pack already has a Luna.” Walking around the desk, Marcellus made his way past them and toward the office door, not even looking back as he left them behind where they were sat with equally bewildered looks on their faces. “Feel free to stick around for lunch but after that, Beta Dalton will sort out travel arrangements for the both of you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some grovelling to do.”

Marcellus didn’t stick around to hear any more of their complaints or questions – even if valid or warranted in regard to the situation – and instead, he all but ran out of the pack house and toward the pack hospital where he knew she was and had actively been keeping tabs of her.

Just as he had expected, Anastasia was napping when he arrived, a serene and peaceful expression on her face as sighed and snuggled her face further into the pillow, almost as if the mere presence of him calmed her.

Marcellus held his breath as he took a step further into the room, his shoulders drooping and a sigh of relief escaping him as he watched his sleeping mate. Staring down at her, he couldn’t believe that he had been prejudiced against her from the beginning, that he had pushed her away without even giving her a chance but then toying him around as if she meant nothing to him.

He could hardly believe the way that he had lied to her as looking down at her now, he knew that he was wrong. He was wrong about so many things but right on top of the list was Anastasia Mulberry – just as she would be on the top of every list for him for the rest of their lives.

He had judged her from the get go without really knowing her, unable to look past her pregnant belly. He had thought of her to be undeserving of being his mate and the Luna of the Lupum Griseo pack but now, finally, he had had, some sense knocked into him.

It was not her that was undeserving, on the contrary rather, but it had been him that was undeserving of her all along and right now, all he could do was hope that he wasn’t too late.

“Alpha Marcellus?” A squeaky voice called out to him from one corner of the room, one which took him by surprise that Marcellus snaped his head in its direction and bared his teeth and bracing his body into position, ready to attack if the voice posed a threat to his mate.

Glancing over, his stance relaxed a she recognised the mated couple, one of them holding the baby while sat on the sofa while the other stood behind and watched the two with the love and adoration evidently shining in his eyes.

“Justas? Raphael?” A light frown played on his face as he reached a hand up to scratch the back of his neck, feeling a mix of confusion and embarrassment. He was confused as to why they were here – though it did make sense as they appeared to be very close friends with his mate – but he was a tad bit mortified for being caught staring at her like that. Especially since he had kept their mate situation a secret for so long.

He had managed a month – nearly two by this point – nearly completely fine, at least in front of the pack, but one moment alone with her and he was about to be found out.

Before they could answer, another question rolled off the tip of his tongue and much to his surprise, he didn’t regret the words as soon as they left his mouth.

“Can I hold him?” He asked quietly, unable to take his eyes off the baby now that he had spotted him, gently being rocked in Justas’ arms as he paced around the room, trying to settle the little guy.

It was only when the baby was nestled into his arms and blinking up at him that he started panicking.

“I don’t think I can do this.” He murmured quietly, gulping as he stared down at the little wolf pup in his arms. “What if I drop him?”

Raphael laughed at the question as the bewildered look on his Alpha’s face while Justas swatted his mate’s shoulder and pushed him up from the couch, making room for the Alpha.

“Why don’t you take a seat, Alpha Marcellus?” He offered, gesturing to the now empty sofa. “Maybe that will ease some of your worries.”

Marcellus didn’t bother look up at them as he nodded and moved over to the sofa, the baby still nested in his arms, conscious that he needed to keep the neck supported.

For the first few moments, Marcellus held his breath as he stared down at the child who was now sucking gently on his thumb, his eyes slowly closing as sleep beckoned him. While he had expected to hate the child as he wasn’t his and indicated that his mate had started a family with someone else, he felt nothing but a sense of love and overprotectiveness of the child; surprising even himself.

I told you. His wolf murmured quietly as he stared down at the baby through his human’s eyes. It doesn’t matter that he’s biologically not your child. He’s our mate’s child which makes him our child.

Marcellus sniffled quietly and fought to keep back the lone tear that threatened to escape and roll down his face, feeling even more regretful of his actions than ever before. While he was determined to make things right with his mate before, now he needed to, for both of their sakes.

Looking down at the child in his arms, he knew that whatever life through at him, Marcellus would do anything and everything to protect him and his mother as they were the two most important people to him. Ever.

Do you smell that? His wolf asked abruptly, breaking his chain of thought as he continued sniffing.

Smell what? Marcellus frowned but one purposeful sniff and he knew what his wolf was referring to.

Straight away, Marcellus could scent out that this baby in his arms was a wolf pup, indicating that the father was a wolf however, much to his surprise, Anastasia’s scent on him was very faint. His eyebrows furrowed together in confused as he frowned down at the pup, confused as to why he didn’t smell like his mother as did every other wolf pup when they were born.

“Why does he not smell like Anastasia?” Marcellus asked quietly, so as to not wake his sleeping mate, as he lifted his head to glance at the mated couple, a questioning look in his eyes.

Raphael and Justas shared equally as confused expressions as they shared a look before turning back to the Alpha wolf currently holding their child.

“Sorry, Alpha.” Raphael apologised before he continued. “What do you mean?”

“This is Anastasia’s baby so why doesn’t he smell like her?”

Raphael’s lips parted in surprised and form an O shape while his mate chuckled from next to him, his lips twisting up into an amused grin.

“I can understand why you’re confused, Alpha.” Justas chuckled as he walked across the room to take baby Alistair from his arms as he had fallen asleep. “We thought you knew that Anastasia was just carrying the baby for us.”

“What?” Marcellus sounded aloud, his mind perplexed as he watched Justas walk over to the bed and carefully place down the baby in the bassinet. “You’re saying that she was just the surrogate?”

“Yes.” Raphael nodded in confirmation. “You see, Ana and I have been best friends for so long and when she found out that Justas and I,” he paused as he shared a loving, endearing look with his mate. “Were planning to look for a surrogate that could potentially carry our child for us, she offered herself.”

“Are you serious?” Marcellus exclaimed in the utmost surprise and shock, unable to believe what he was hearing.

“That’s why Justas and I travelled over to the werewolf clinic in New York for two weeks last year. You signed the papers, remember?”

Marcellus frowned deeply as he blinked back at both the mates.

“It’s not her baby?”

“Not technically, no. But she’s the Godmother and we’ll never forget all that she’s done for us.”

Justas and Raphael continued to explain the story but Marcellus zoned out, unable to look anywhere but toward his sleeping mate.

Even though he had planned to wait a little longer before spilling the beans and telling her the absolute truth, he knew he couldn’t go on like this anymore; he couldn’t keep lying to her. She deserved to know the truth and once she found just how despicable he had been with strategically omitting the truth from her since the day he found out they were mated; he just hoped that she would forgive him.

This past month, Marcellus had gotten to know his mate better and while he was confident that he would get a brow beating for his behaviour, he was sure that eventually after some time, she would be able to forgive him. However, he was determined to do whatever it took to make sure that happened and speed up the process.

Marcellus had transgressed against his mate – albeit, unknowingly – and he needed to pay for his mistakes.

Whatever happened, he just hoped that he wasn’t too late.

-

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Layla Knight

06.11.2020

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