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

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Chapter Thirty-Eight

ANASTASIA MULBERRY

She didn’t care if she was being rude or far too obvious about the whole ordeal, but Anastasia had made it her daily mission to avoid Marcellus – her unfortunate mate – at any and every cost.

On more than one occasion Marcellus had tried to get her alone or strike up a conversation when in the presence of others, but each and every time she had made a point of ignoring him, even going as far as to leave the room if it was necessary. While this raised many questioning eyebrows, no one dared question the tension that was evident between Marcellus and Anastasia and for once, she was glad of the perks that came alone with his rank.

It was at night that Anastasia struggled the most.

She wouldn’t be able to sleep until she heard him turn in for the night, usually quite late as he remained in his office into the earlier hours in the morning. More than once she had heard him shuffle outside her door however, he hadn’t been able to enter as she had made sure to lock the door every night, more so because she didn’t trust him.

Even though Anastasia was angry at him and knew that she had every valid reason to be, merely thinking about him made her want to give up her anger and go running into his arms, ready to forgive him and accept his apology even though it barely covered the gravity of his actions and the harm that they had caused to what could have possibly been a very bountiful relationship if only he had given them a chance.

The perks of the mate bond.

A week had passed since that fateful conversation, if one could even call it that, and while she had only stuck around at the insistence of Justas, Raphael and some of the other pack members, she was now determined that it was time for her to leave.

Once she was finished packing her case – all of her clothes managing to fit in this time as she had folded each article properly – Anastasia did one last scan of the room she had inhabited for the past six weeks. As there were too many bittersweet memories in here, she sighed and turned around to exit the room, wheeling her suitcase behind her.

Her steps were heavy and slow as she walked down the hallway, almost as if anticipating that he would choose that moment to come out of his office and she would be able to see him one last time before she left.

As she passed the second door, she just knew that he wasn’t behind it and so continued until finally, she was stood outside the first.

There were a lot of things she could do now if she wanted, most of them including actually pressing down on the door handle and going into his office however, there was something holding her back. She wanted to be in there and didn’t want to be in there at the same time; almost as if there was an invisible barrier between them, keeping them separated; more than just the physical door in front of her.

The fact that she was still immensely angry didn’t help, and not for the first time she reminded herself that she wasn’t interested in him if he continued to act this way, if he was going to continue lying to her and acting as if she wasn’t worthy of his time when in fact, she truly believed it to be the exactly opposite.

Alpha Marcellus was not worthy of her time and she needed to remind herself of it in fear of caving in, which would only make him think that he could continue getting away with this kind of shit in the future which couldn’t be further from the truth.

The fact that she knew that she would never dream of treating him, or any other person – human, werewolf or other supernatural creature – this way just made things all that much worse as looking past the surrogacy misunderstanding, deep down, he had also been prejudiced against her because at the time, he had believed for her to be human. It was only when he found out that she was part wolf and possessed a few supernatural abilities that his interest in her piqued.

Anastasia wasn’t sure how long she had been standing there, but she hated herself for every second of it.

Shaking such thoughts from her head, she greeted the wolves that awaited saying goodbye to her, Mary included, having enjoyed her presence and company during the past couple of weeks and not for the first time, Anastasia knew that she was really going to miss being around wolves; her own people.

“Do you really have to leave?” Raphael whined the moment he opened the door to her, a deep inset pout on his face, almost as if he had been practicing it just for this moment.

And knowing her best friend, she had absolutely no doubt about that he had in fact, been doing that.

“I’m not leaving. I’m just going back home.”

“That’s the same thing.” He sighed as he opened the door further to let her into the house.

Anastasia laughed softly as she slipped off her shoes, left her suitcase in the hallway by the door and ventured into the house behind Raphael, following him into the living room where Justas was currently sat enjoying a beer in front of some sports game that the other two had absolutely no interest in.

Abandoning his mate, Raphael took a seat on the other couch and pulled Anastasia down next to him, fighting hard to hold back the grin that threatened to take over her face as she squealed in surprise and landed next to him.

“When do you have to leave?” Raphael whined, sending her a pointed look, begging her with his eyes to stay even though she knew that was no longer an option.

It was bad enough that she hadn’t left a week ago after their huge fight. There was no possible way that she could stick around for any longer without the danger of either giving in or him trying to speak to her again, especially since she had been purposely avoiding him all week.

“Any time, really.” She shrugged. “But I was hoping Alistair could wake up and I’ll be able to say bye to him before I leave.”

“You never did tell us why you’re leaving so suddenly.” Justas asked as half-time sounded and he reached for the remote to mute the TV, now giving her full attention. “We were under the impression that you would be spending your entire maternity leave at the pack house.”

“Well, a few things have changed and I can’t stay anymore.”

Raphael frowned deeply from beside her, a questioning look in his eyes as he looked back and forth between his mate and best friend.

“What do you mean by that, Ana? What things have changed?” He asked her quietly, sensing that she was in a sullen mood but wanted to get a few things off her chest. “Is it something that we did?”

Anastasia groaned quietly before she lifted her head to glance at the mated couple, a soft look in her eyes.

“No, it’s nothing that you guys did.” She assured them with a small smile on her face; evidently forced. “It’s more along the lines of something that your Alpha did.”

“Alpha Marcellus?” Justas questioned in surprise as if they had another Alpha she didn’t know about.

“Yes.” She spat out the answer through gritted teeth, his mere name angering her.

“What did Alpha Marcellus do?”

“It’s more like what he didn’t do.” Anastasia chuckled darkly, shaking her head.

“Okay, you’re speaking in riddles here.” Justas stated the obvious as he reached for the remote again but this time, he turned off the TV, choosing to give her his whole attention as it appeared that the situation warranted it; demanded it, even. “Why don’t you start from the beginning? What did Alpha Marcellus do to you, Ana? Or didn’t do to you? I don’t know.”

She sighed and rubbed her hand over her eyes, trying to will some energy into herself before she finally cam clean, though it was about time she confided in someone as it had been very difficult keeping this to herself this past week.

“Well, it turns out that Marcellus and I are mates.” She couldn’t help but grimace as she pushed the words out of her mouth, sounding foreign on the tip of her tongue. “What a cruel twist of events, huh?” She chuckled darkly even though the situation was far from humorous, especially from where she was standing.

“Excuse my language, but how the fuck did that happen? How the fuck are you mates with Alpha Marcellus?” Justas questioned with a strange, bewildered look on his face while his mate, Raphael, had his jaw dropped in the utmost surprise and shock, unable to process what she had just revealed to them.

“I have no idea.” Anastasia groaned, releasing a heavy sigh. “I have no idea what the fuck happened but somehow, I ended up mates with Alpha Marcellus.”

Raphael continued to stare at her in a state of shock while Justas alternated between opening and closing his mouth, struggling to string together enough words to form a coherent sentence.

“How long have you known this?” Justas finally asked quietly, now more interested in listening to her story rather than watching the second half of the game that he had been watching previously.

“I only figured it out last week. Just as I went into labour.” She admitted, hoping that they didn’t pay attention to the way her face flushed at the memory or rather, exactly how she had gone into labour.

On top of Marcellus while he was balls deep inside her.

Squirming uncomfortably at the memory which caused her pussy to tingle and her lower lips to warm up, she continued to tell the story. “The funny thing is that apparently Marcellus figured out that we’re mates that first time we met.”

“When he threw you out of the pack?” Raphael asked with wide eyes, finally breaking his silence.

“Yes.” She nodded her head in confirmation and sighed. “It turns out that he’s known that we’re mates since the very beginning but decided to keep it a secret this whole time.” She paused to chuckle, though the glint in her eyes was far from humorous or comical. When neither of the others joined in, she pursed her lips and pushed herself to continue. “It turns out that he took one look at me, saw that I was pregnant, classed me a hoe for not waiting for a mate that I didn’t even know that I was going to have, and decided that I wasn’t worthy of him.”

“He did not!” Raphael exclaimed, a murderous look on his face despite the fact that she was talking about his Alpha. “Tell me you’re joking!”

“Unfortunately, I am not.”

“That explains why the council has really been pushing him to take a mate recently.” Justas sounded aloud in awe; his voice quiet.

“The council?” She questioned, faintly able to remember him mentioning something about the werewolf council – the very same one that she had complained to when he had kicked her out of the pack – but she was too mad at him to listen.

“We don’t know the full story but they’ve given him two months or something to take a mate.” Justas explained, sending her an apologetic look as now, they all knew that he had been doing all of this even after meeting his mate; Anastasia.

“Yes, and the fact that he’s been messing about with me while looking for a choice mate just makes things all that much worse.” Anastasia admitted, uncaring of the fact that she had basically admitted that she had been messing around with the Alpha, especially since there wasn’t much that she kept secret from Justas and Raphael, and vice versa.

“I’m so sorry, Ana.” Raphael sighed as he shuffled closer to her on the sofa and threw an arm over her shoulder, pulling her into his side as he gave her an apologetic, reassuring squeeze.

As much as she appreciated the gesture and the level of comfort that it provided, unfortunately, it didn’t make any changes to the current shit-show that she was bang in the middle of.

“What are you going to do?” Justas asked after a few moments, still struggling to believe that Alpha Marcellus would do such a horrendous thing but believing every single word that passed Anastasia’s lips with his very being. He knew her well enough to know when she was lying which, other than the odd white lie, was nearly never and there was also the fact that she had absolutely nothing to gain from lying about such a thing.

“I have no idea.” Anastasia exhaled deeply, shaking her head in hopes of clearing her mind. “I have no idea what I’m going to do about this whole thing, but I just need to get away from here, I think. Hopefully that will clear my mind.”

“Do you want to be with him?” Justas asked seriously, his eyes trained on her as he carefully watched for her initial, natural reaction to his question.

“Not when he’s lying to me and treating me like I’m not worthy of his mighty self, no.” She shook her head, meaning every word of it even though it made her heart ache to admit such a thing.

Satisfied with her response, Justas nodded.

“Have you thought about rejecting him?”

“No.” Anastasia shook her head and gulped, aware that rejection in the werewolf world was a very big deal, even more so when an Alpha or high-ranking wolf was involved. “I haven’t thought about rejecting him right now and I also don’t think I’m in the right place to make such a decision because if I do now, it will definitely be out of anger and desire to get him back for treating me like this.”

“I think that would be best.” He hummed and nodded. “This is definitely something that you would need to think through before making any final decision.”

Anastasia opened her mouth to say something further but when a loud, shrill cry sounded on the baby monitor, they all scrambled to their feet to go tend to the crying baby that had just woken up.

Holding baby Alistair in her arms, she was very tempted to drop her ego and stay, at least until the end of her maternity leave but Anastasia knew that she needed to be strong. She couldn’t let the Alpha continue toying with her as he had been doing for so long, and that would always be a possibility as long as she stayed here.

If she went back home, there was less of a chance of him getting to her. Or at least she hoped so.

And so that’s why, she cooed at the little boy one more time before strapping him into his car seat and handing him to one of his fathers before they all piled into the car and began the journey over to neutral territory. Despite their best attempts at keeping the conversation flowing, long bouts of silence filled the car which was perfect for Anastasia as she simply wasn’t in a very talkative mood.

“It’s not too late to change your mind, you know.” Justas murmured quietly as he wheeled her suitcase into the house and left it in the hallway, his gaze on her.

Anastasia sighed and nodded before she walked over to him and pulled him in for a hug before moving over to do the same to Raphael and placed a gentle kiss on sleepy Alistair.

“Do you want to stay for a coffee or something? Or maybe we could order takeout?” She asked, the hopefulness evident in her tone as she glanced between the mated couple.

Both Raphael and Justas frowned slightly and shared a knowing look.

“Sorry, babe. We can’t today. We’re supposed to be having dinner with some of the other new parents at the pack.” Raphael pouted, clearly not happy about leaving her hanging but since they already had plans, their arms were twisted and there wasn’t much that they could do.

“Oh, shit. I totally forgot about that.” She swore, but quickly pressed a hand over her mouth as she remembered she was in the presence of a child, even if he was currently asleep and there was no way of him remembering this moment when he was older. “Sorry.”

“No, we’re sorry, Ana.” Justas gave her a soft look before reaching out to give her a shoulder a reassuring squeeze. “How about we all go out for lunch tomorrow?”

“That sounds like a plan.” She forced a grin on her face and gave them both another hug, watching from the doorway of her house as they got into the car, offered her one more wave before driving away.

It was only when they had disappeared from her vision and she could no longer hear the quiet rumble of the car that she forced herself to stop looking.

Even though Anastasia had been determined and adamant that this was the right decision, that she needed to get away from him, now that she was alone and back home, she wasn’t so sure.

Turning around and closing the door behind her, staring into the dark, cold house which couldn’t compete with the vivacious life of the pack house, Anastasia had never felt so alone.

-

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Layla Knight

08.11.2020

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