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

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Chapter Two

ALPHA MARCELLUS STORM

Everything else became insignificant and faded into the background as he was overwhelmed by the honeysuckle scent, his wolf demanding him to track down his mate.

After ten years of nothing despite how hard he had looked for her, travelling from pack to pack, she was right here, under his nose the whole time. In his pack house. Waiting for him.

How could that be possible?

If Marcellus was thinking straight and his mind wasn’t clouded with the idea of finally finding his mate, he would have realised that if she was a part of the pack then he would have realised the moment she turned eighteen; old enough to be granted a mate.

So, either she had been hidden away in his pack the whole time or today was her eighteenth birthday.

Either way, he didn’t care as he had been eagerly anticipating having a mate of his own for the past ten years. Only the Moon Goddess knows how many nights he spent praying and pining over a woman he had never met before but today, in a moments time, this was all about to change.

He just hoped that his mate, whoever she was, wasn’t afraid or too hesitant to embrace a ten-year age gap.

“Marcellus?” Dalton called out in surprise at the distant look on his Alpha’s face. “Why do you look like that?”

If Marcellus was in the right mind, he would have laughed at the stupefied question but instead, he merely charged past his friend – careful not to run into him as Dalton was holding his sleeping son – and allowed the scent to guide him.

Once you find her, ask her where she’s been hiding these past 10 years! His wolf growled in anticipation, just as eager as his human counterpart, if not more, to finally meet their mate.

Yes, because that’s definitely going to make her want to run into our arms. He chuckled as he power walked behind the scent, first following it in and then out of the kitchen.

Only Marcellus and his wolf – with the exception of the Moon Goddess – knew just how much he desperately desired to have a mate of his own, to love and to hold just like everyone else. Having to run the pack and the business these past ten years all by himself, and then having to return to an empty bed had really taken a toll on Marcellus, to the point where he himself had began to fear the prospect of the Moon Goddess not giving him a mate or even worse, her dying before they had the chance to meet.

Hearing it from the Alphas today made the scary thought all the more real but now, he knew it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Never before had he smelt such a beautiful scent before, one which could only belong to his mate so he knew that this wasn’t a false alarm and he definitely wasn’t just imagining things.

She smells like honey.

The sweetest honey I’ve ever smelt. Marcellus couldn’t help but hum in agreeance, his lips twitching at the corners.

And the sweetest honey we’ll ever taste, too.

We have plenty of time for that later, but let’s find her first.

The scent then took him from the kitchen and into the living room, and then disappeared out of the living room and down the stairs which led to the den in the basement.

It was usually the teenagers and younger wolves that hung around in the den and the reality of today being his mate’s eighteenth birthday started to become more plausible but he didn’t care. Whatever apprehensions and concerns she had about the situation, he would be sure to resolve but for now, he needed to find her first.

The moment he burst into the basement, every single pair of eyes turned to stare at him, all of them a mixture of confused and surprised to see their Alpha down there as the den wasn’t quite his choice of location for relaxation, always opting to spend his free time either in his office or outside in the forest.

Ignoring the many sets of eyes set on him, he turned his head in all directions to look for his mate, unable to spot her anywhere. Before he knew it, he was swivelling around on the spot he was stood on, even going as far as to check behind the door as if she would be hiding from him.

It was a good thing she wasn’t there as she would have been struck by the door with the way he had burst into the place like a man on a mission.

To all the wolves looking in, they probably thought their Alpha had finally lost the plot after having been without a mate for too long and Marcellus himself didn’t blame them, as he was starting to think that himself.

It was only when he came back to his senses and glanced around the den that he realised she wasn’t here anymore. However, with the way her sweet, honeysuckle scent lingered all over the den and its furnishings, both him and his wolf were determined that she had definitely been here, and not too long ago.

“Alpha? Is everything okay? Are you looking for someone?” A curious voice sounded from within the den and the group of people that have been watching him carefully for the last few minutes.

His head snapped toward his pack member at the sound of his voice, his eyes wide and barely able to keep his wolf at bay. He was sure that his eyes were currently flashing between his usual hazel green eyes and the deep gold that signified that his wolf was on the surface.

Marcellus momentarily paused and stared back at Justas, currently sat next to his mate, Raphael, on the sofa, the very one which they honeysuckle scent was the strongest.

Just demand them to tell you where our mate is! His wolf demanded, growling between each word.

“I need to have a word with the both of you.” He murmured quietly, glancing around the room, making sure his eyes lingered on every single wolf to ensure that they got the message.

When they all shifted and began for the door, he nodded slightly in thanks before turning his attention back to the mated couple.

Justas frowned lightly but sat up straighter, stretching out his arm behind his mate in a protective stance as the Alpha had a feral glint in his eyes, not that he for one second believed that either him or his mate were in any sort of danger.

“Is everything okay, Alpha?” Justas repeated his question, his gaze wary as Marcellus walked over to take a seat on the sofa opposite to them, almost drunk on the sweet scent of his mystery mate.

“Everything’s fine. There’s no need to worry.” He tried to assure them before proceeding to clear his head awkwardly, unsure of how to approach the situation without setting off any alarm bells. “It’s just, you both smell a little different today. Why is that?”

Justas and Raphael frowned and shared a look, surprised with the weird question directed at them.

“You wanted to talk to us about smelling differently?” Raphael asked cautiously, the surprise evident on his face.

Marcellus nodded stiffly. “It’s a pretty strong scent, one which I don’t recognise.” He lied expertly through his teeth, choosing to feign being the concerned, protective Alpha instead of the freaky, crazy one which could smell his mate but not locate her. “I thought there was a non-pack member in the pack house but it appears not.”

Understanding dawned on the couple as their lips turned up into big matching grins.

“I’m not sure if Beta Dalton has mentioned it to you but we’re having a baby through surrogacy.” Justas smiled down at his mate and reached down to hold his hand, giving it a gentle, loving squeeze.

Marcellus ignored the pang that struck his heart, jealous of the couple and the beautiful, fulfilled relationship that they had with each other, wishing that he could have the same thing with a mate of his own.

“Yes. I briefly remember that conversation.” Marcellus nodded even though he didn’t as he wasn’t paying much attention in the first place, silently prompting them to continue.

“We were at the hospital today so that’s probably all the foreign scents that you smell on us.” Justas explained.

“And that’s at the pack hospital?” He asked casually, trying to feign indifference and cover it up with light curiosity.

“No.” Raphael continued to smile widely, excited about their impending parenthood. “It’s at the hospital a few towns over, in the neutral territory.”

Our mate works at the hospital! His wolf growled at him, already planning on trying to convince his human counterpart to drop everything and run over to the hospital where his mate worked, desperate to finally set his sights on her.

We need to keep things cool. He murmured back to his wolf, keeping a small smile on his face so neither of the mated couple would suspect anything. I’d much rather meet her first before alerting the pack that they’ve finally got a Luna.

“Well, congratulations are in order!” Marcellus rose to his feet and moved over to give a congratulatory hand shake to both of the males, genuinely happy for them as he knew that they had been considering adoption for a while, even going to consult him regarding the matter once last year, but it appeared their plans had now changed.

Either way, adoption or surrogacy, he looked forward to welcoming the new little pack member and was confident that the child would have a wonderful childhood growing up in a loving household with Raphael and Justas as his or her fathers.

“Thank you, Alpha.” They both took turns to return his handshake before he bid them both good night and heading out of the den and to his office, aware that the other pack members probably wanted back in the den.

Marcellus simultaneously nodded at the patient wolves as he made his way through the living and down the hallway where his office was located.

Unlike most other Alphas, Marcellus slept on the ground floor instead of the top floor, allowing the Dalton and his little family as well as a few of the warriors to occupy the top floor of the pack house, not really seeing it as a priority or necessity for himself. He was perfectly happy sleeping in the bedroom next to his office, giving him easy access to get some work done whenever he had trouble sleeping, which had been happening more often than not the past couple of years.

However, that all may change once his mate began living with him. Well, he would have to actually find her first.

“What was all that about?” Dalton asked as he slipped into the room not even a moment later, this time sans sleeping toddler.

“What was all what about?” Marcellus feigned innocence as he plugged in his laptop and turned it on, needing to get some work done before he could head to bed.

Either Dalton or one of the warriors must have brought it in.

Before Dalton could continue asking about something Marcellus wasn’t quite ready to talk about, he was quick to change the subject. “How’s Devon? Is he feeling better?”

Dalton frowned lightly and narrowed his eyes at his childhood friend, but once he noticed the look on his face, the Beta wolf sighed and nodded his head reluctantly.

“He’s doing much better.” Dalton sighed in relief, his lips curling up into a small smile. “Winnie and I think it was just a twenty-four-hour thing.”

“I’m glad he’s feeling better.”

Dalton hummed and they both fell into a comfortable silence as they got started on work, needing to tackle a good chunk of it today as otherwise, there would be too much to handle tomorrow. Essentially, they were trying to save their future selves some stress even though there was something new that was bound to pop up in the morning as it usually did.

Not even a minute in and Marcellus could feel himself unable to focus, both his mind and wolf choosing to dwell on the potential of meeting their mate tomorrow since it appeared that most likely, she worked at the hospital.

However, he refused to get his hopes up as it had already been ten years and the chance that she was only a short drive away the whole time was ridiculous, especially since he had travelled to packs all over the country when he first took over as Alpha in search of his mate.

Once he set eyes on her and had her safely in his arms where she belonged, only then would Marcellus allow himself to rejoice at the prospect of finally meeting his mate.

She works at the hospital. She must be smart.

She could be a cleaner or work at the reception or something.

Are you calling our mate dumb? His wolf barked at him, and Marcellus couldn’t help but laugh quietly at the irony of it all.

No. He denied. But it sounds like you think cleaners and receptionists are dumb. Imagine she does work one of those jobs, she isn’t going to be very happy to hear that.

Well, she isn’t going to find out, is she?

Marcellus smirked internally at his wolf. We’ll see about that.

Fuck you! His wolf swore at him but very quickly, both his mood and tone changed. Actually, there’s no need as soon enough, we’ll have our mate for that.

Marcellus must have pulled a face as Dalton felt the need to ask about it.

“Marcellus?” Dalton called out to him again as he walked further into the room and pulled out a chair to take a seat on the other side of the desk, helping himself to a stack of paperwork that desperately required attention. “What’s up with you? You’re acting very strange today. More strange than usual.”

Marcellus chuckled and ran a tired hand down his face, rubbing gently at his eyes, willing himself to stay awake long enough to get some work done.

“I’m just tired. It’s been a very long day.”

Dalton nodded in understanding.

“You look like you could do with a cup of coffee. Fancy one?”

“That would be great, thanks.” He nodded in thanks and hunched over his laptop, a multitude of urgent emails blaring back at him.

“Decaf?”

Marcellus scoffed and rolled his eyes playfully. “Don’t even dare.”

Dalton returned five minutes later with two cups of steaming hot coffee, strong enough to affect a werewolf and they both retreated into a comfortable silence as they continued working.

It was already quite late as he had stuck around at the Mating Ceremony for longer than he had anticipated and after the first hour of working through some paperwork, Dalton had called it a night, leaving Marcellus to his own devices.

Another hour passed and while exhaustion threatened to overtake him and his eyelids began to feel heavy, he was determined to push through it. However, that only lasted ten minutes before he felt sleep trying to take him.

It didn’t help that his wolf was currently asleep on his back, his hind leg twitching as he drooled, already fast asleep and lost in werewolf dreamland.

Once he was sure that he could no longer go one any further, he closed his laptop and slipped out of his office only to let himself into the room right next to it.

For the first time in a long time, Marcellus fell asleep the moment his head hit the pillow with a small smile on his face. He was eager to head to the hospital first thing in the morning, determined to find his mysterious mate, refusing to allow her to evade him for a second time now.

-

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Layla Knight

05.10.2020

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