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

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Chapter Forty-Four

ANASTASIA MULBERRY

Due to just how much she wanted to march over to the pack house, grab her mate by the balls and demand that he makes everything right, she was glad that it wasn’t an option.

The fact that Marcellus wasn’t at the pack right now had spurred her on to driving over to the Lupum Griseo pack and spending some quality time with her best friend and his family; eager and excited to see little baby Alistair again even though she had visited them twice already this week. With the perks of still being on maternity leave mixed in with the fact that Marcellus seemed to have a lot of business with the Red Howler pack this week, was more than enough for Anastasia to take advantage and make the most of the situation while she still could.

Surely, it was only a matter of time before he banned her from the pack for denying him.

“Why do you keep zoning out?” Raphael asked as he plopped himself down on the sofa next to her.

Anastasia blinked and shook her head to force herself out of her thoughts. When she turned to face Raphael, she shook her head before accepting the bottle of milk. Turning her head to glance down at the hungry boy in her arms, she cooed gently before softly pressing the nip of the bottle to his little mouth.

The pair of them all but melted as Alistair opened his little mouth and accepted the bottle. Every time he kicked out, he hit his dad but Raphael didn’t care, finding it cute and quite humorous instead.

“Are you thinking about him again?” Raphael asked softly as he played with Alistair’s feet, rubbing his thumb gently up and down the soft skin there.

“Who?” Anastasia asked with feigned innocence even though she knew exactly who he was referring to.

Raphael sent her a pointed, deadpan look, rolling her eyes at her poor acting skills.

“Please, babe. Don’t act like you don’t know.”

“Don’t know what?” She continued the act, choosing to pull faces at the baby rather than having her friend continue to analyse her behaviour and read into everything just as he had been trying to do since the moment that she told him and his mate the truth of her and Alpha Marcellus; two mates that couldn’t be more wrong for each other.

“Babe! You can’t be serious right now!”

Before Anastasia could respond with another innocent act, a laugh sounded from the doorway of the living room and as they both glanced up, they spotted a one Justas Constantine who had a mug of coffee for all three of them.

“You’re a lot of things, Anastasia Mulberry, but you’re not an actress.” Justas chuckled as he placed the tray of coffee and snacks on the coffee table in front of them before taking a seat on the single arm chair in front of the fireplace, a soft look in his eyes as he stared back at some of the most important people to him, Anastasia included.

“That’s not fair. You guys always gang up on me about these types of things.” She huffed as she pulled back the bottle lightly, Alistair having pushed it out with his tongue. After a few seconds of him squirming in her arms, she tried to get him to suckle on the nip again but Alistair merely turned his head away and cried out, clearly not hungry anymore.

“He hasn’t finished it all. There’s still about half of the milk left.” Anastasia hummed quietly as she handed off the bottle to Raphael so she could burp Alistair, not wanting him to choke on the milk that he had just drunk.

“That’s okay.” Justas hummed quietly as he rose to his feet and took the bottle from his mate, wanting to wash and sterilise it for the next feed even though they had a few other spare bottles. “We’ll just try again in an hour or two.”

“Have you spoken to Alpha Marcellus since ruined your date with Harvey?” Raphael asked curiously.

“It wasn’t a date.” She was quick to deny, genuinely meaning it despite the fact that no one seemed to believe her; not even Harvey himself.

While she had intended to throw out both Harvey and Marcellus from her house that day, the Alpha wolf had made it so that only Harvey had left; leaving the both of them alone. She may not have agreed with Marcellus’ antics, behaviour or attitude toward the situation, she couldn’t help but see where he was coming from. In fact, she had felt the same way when she had learnt that he was tinkering around the idea of taking a choice mate even after finding out that they were mates.

The fact that Harvey had allowed Marcellus to provoke him, even going as far as to claim that he hoped to take Anastasia as a mate in the near future despite the fact that she had never encouraged him to think or feel that way, had really done it for and in the moment, she was glad to see him go.

However, after some thinking and time to calm down, she had texted him and they had met up for breakfast the next morning. While it had been awkward and tense at times, an uncomfortable silence being the third wheel on their friendly brunch, they had both apologised for their behaviour their previous day and decided for there to be no hard feelings between them. Since then, they had continued to text back and forth but there were no imminent plans to meet up again.

“But I haven’t spoken to Marcellus since then.”

Raphael hummed in response, now playing with Alistair’s sleepy fingers while staring up at his best friend with a soft, concerned look in his eyes.

“Do you want to know what I think?”

“Always.” She hummed in response.

“I think you deserve to be happy.” He murmured quietly. “And I can tell you that no one will make you as happy as your mate can and vice versa, but that also doesn’t mean that your mate should be able to get away for all the bullshit that he’s trying to pull.”

“What do you suggest I do?”

“It isn’t my place, babe.” Raphael shook his head gently. “I don’t want to tell you what to do, but I just want you to know that whatever you choose to do, I will stand by you and support you all the way. No matter what.”

Anastasia sighed and nodded her head, glad that Raphael was being honest with her while also not trying to sway her opinion either way. Despite the fact that they were best friends and she trusted him with her life, Anastasia had feared that he would attempt to work in favour of his Alpha and push her to forgive him but staring back at him now, she knew she couldn’t have been more wrong.

When Justas next returned to the living room, Alistair was asleep in Anastasia’s arms so he picked up the little guy and placed him down in the baby bassinet that they kept downstairs as he would be able to sleep there for longer rather than in her arms. Not to mention that it would become uncomfortable for them both after a little while.

“I think I’m going to head home now, guys.” Anastasia announced as she rose to her feet and stretched her arms above her head. “I want to finish another chapter tonight after dinner.”

“You’re not going to stay for dinner?” Justas asked with a light frown on his face. “We were thinking of making tacos.”

“That sounds amazing.” She grinned. “But I really want to get one more chapter done tonight and if I stay for dinner, I just know that isn’t going to happen.”

Justas and Raphael shared a knowing look but neither of them protested further as she slipped her coat on and laced up her boots.

“Are you leaving because of what I said?” Raphael whispered as he pulled her in for a hug after having walked her out to her car.

“No, of course not.” Anastasia denied with a small smile as she squeezed him back before they pulled away from the hug. “I’m glad you told me truthfully what you were thinking but honestly, I don’t really know what I’m going to do about him.”

“Just give it some time, babe.” He murmured quietly and pressed his lips to the crown of her head, genuinely torn up inside at the thought of all that she was currently going through, and he was helpless to help out in any way, shape or form. “I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but everything will fall into place eventually. You just have to ride out the bad waves.”

“I know, Ralph.” She murmured back. “I love you.”

“I love you too Ana.”

Anastasia threw him one last grin before she got into her car and pulled out of their driveway, starting on the journey home where her laptop and pasta leftovers were awaiting her.

While she had been telling the truth about hoping to write another chapter today, have wrote one before breakfast and then a second between breakfast and lunch, she doubted that she would be able to now.

In order to be able to drive off pack lands, she had to drive past the pack house and the more she thought about it, the more she felt herself giving in despite the fact that she knew it was a bad decision. Most probably one that she would come to regret later.

But for now, all she could think about was parking up outside the pack house and going into his office just to feel like she was around him.

When she stepped into the pack house and stopped by the kitchen to grab a bottle of water from the fridge, no one battled an eyelash and instead, they greeted her warmly. Not a single one of them asked what she was doing there but rather, they expressed their wishes of seeing her more often which made Anastasia feel very warm and tingly inside.

Unfortunately, that feeling didn’t last long as the second she slipped into his office; Anastasia felt like the breath had been knocked out of her.

Despite wanting nothing more than to wait around for him in his office until he got home so they could talk about everything, her head now in a much clearer state than it had been since their argument over a week ago. While she had a lot of time to think about everything that had gone on between them, she also had, had a lot of time to think about how good they could truly be together if only the both of them allowed it.

While she wasn’t in any state to be able to forgive him and move on from the way he had treated her, Anastasia wanted to give him a chance. Even though things looked quite dull, grim and hopeless from where she was standing, she wanted for things to work between them. She wanted for them to work but for that to be possible, she would need to push her ego to the side and see if he felt the same way, or if he preferred to remain dicking around.

If the former, then she scarcely allowed herself to hope that despite the tragic beginning and rocky middle, they would eventually make it to the end. However, if the latter, then she was prepared to permanently cut him out of her life. Although, despite trying to force herself into thinking positive thoughts and trying to see the positive side of things, she couldn’t help but wonder where he was.

Sitting in his chair behind his desk, running her hands over the same wood that he sat at every day, the musky scent of her mate that wrapped around her, it was almost like he was there with her. Like she was near him. Like they hadn’t been arguing and going at each other’s throats since the first day that they had met.

Anastasia wished for things to be different between them, for things to be easier and simple but alas, things were never that easy.

Anastasia had visited Justas, Raphael and baby Alistair three times that week, and every single time they had mentioned that Marcellus was away at another pack. While she trusted her best friends and didn’t believe that they would lie to her about something as simple as that, she didn’t believe that things were as simple or mundane as a friendly visit.

She sincerely doubted that he was suddenly in a very friendly, gracious mood with the urge to make peace with his fellow Alphas, and couldn’t help but wonder if he had resumed trying to find a choice mate at the insistence of the council.

That thought left a sour taste in her mouth and desperate to get away from anything that reminded her of him, Anastasia rushed out of her office, forgetting her water bottle in the rush as well as leaving the door ajar. Her tunnel vision continued to be fuelled by her anger and loathing of him as she got back into her car and continued the journey home, desperate to get away from him and his pack.

The moment Anastasia pulled her car into her driveway, she felt the itch to turn around and head back to the pack house, now wishing that she had remained waiting for him in his office for when he got home so they could properly talk, and maybe even resolve matters.

“Fuck him!” She swore loudly as she slammed the front door behind her, hating the fact that tears sprung to her eyes. Despite the fact that she attempted to blink them back, they streamed down her face at the thought of him picking out a choice mate; of him mating with someone that wasn’t her.

She hated the fact that she wanted him and didn’t want him at the same time. She also hated the fact that he didn’t seem to want her. Or if he did, he was giving her mixed signals, leaving her thoughts and feelings all over the place.

Desperate to get her mind off him, she dropped herself at the dining table and turned on her laptop, her fingers tapping away at the keys, only pausing a few times a minute to wipe away the tears that clouded her vision.

The fact that she was currently writing a difficult scene where the it appeared that one of the main characters wouldn’t make it just made it all that much worse and as much as she tried to pour her hurt and pain into her writing, she couldn’t stop thinking about him.

Anastasia wasn’t sure how long she had been forcing herself to write the final chapter of the evening, but when her stomach rumbled multiple times, she knew that dinner time had long passed come and gone however, she still wasn’t finished.

It was only when a knock sounded on the door that she paused. Her head snapped up at the sound and she glanced up from her laptop, not too sure what to do. When another knock sounded, she wiped away her tears on the back of her sleeve before making her way toward the door, confused as to who was dropping by so late in the evening.

“Marcellus?” She couldn’t help but whisper as she headed toward the front door, hoping it was her mate even though he was the last person that she wanted to see right now.

All of these conflicting emotions were starting to take a toll on her as she felt mentally drained however, she wouldn’t be able to sleep without eating something first.

Her lips tugged down into a small frown as she stared out the peep hole, not recognising the man on the other side of the door. She watched as he reached out to press the doorbell again. When he rang for a third and fourth time, she held her breath and forced herself to stay deathly quiet, not at all trusting of the strange man stood outside her door at ten in the evening.

It was only after the fifth ring that the delivery man huffed and took a step back.

Anastasia watched as he bent down and placed the flowers down on the ground in front of the door before finally, he turned around and began away from the house. It was only when he got into his delivery van and drove away down the road until she could no longer see him through the peep hole that Anastasia dare to open the door.

A puzzled expression played on her face as she reached down to pick up the bouquet of roses and closed the door, tugging on the small card that was nestled between the petals.

I’m sorry, my love.

Yours,

Mars

While she would actively deny it if someone asked her about it, but her lips tugged up high at the corners as she read over the simple message again and again. The more she read over the words, the more she felt like her heart would burst in her chest.

A small giggle escaped her as she lifted the flowers to take a big whiff, genuinely touched by his gesture, uncaring of the fact that roses weren’t even her favourite flowers. Another giggle sounded from her as she clutched the flowers to her chest and headed into the kitchen so she could place them in a vase, wanting these flowers to last for as long as possible.

Unfortunately, she was barely able to take three steps before she realised that something was seriously wrong.

Her whole world started to spin and slowly, everything started to go dark. Despite everything and her suspicions of her mate doing this to her, she clutched the card tightly between her fingers, not yet ready to let go.

-

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Layla Knight

14.11.2020

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