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

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Chapter Forty-Eight

ALPHA MARCELLUS STORM

The time that it had taken his Beta and warriors to reach Anastasia’s house in neutral territory was more than enough for Marcellus to scour the entire area around her house only to come up with nothing. He searched her entire property from top to bottom, and then proceeded to sniff around her neighbour’s houses but he wasn’t able to pick up on any foreign scents, and definitely no werewolf or supernatural scents.

How much longer is it going to take you? Marcellus asked Dalton through his mind link, the frustration in his voice evident, so much so that he had accidentally broken one of her glasses as he had tried to pour himself a glass of water.

We’re nearly there. Five more minutes should do. Dalton replied in a rushed voice, very easily able to sense the Alpha’s frantic mood. While he still hadn’t received an explanation as to what was going on or why Marcellus had ordered them to get to Anastasia’s house as soon as possible, Dalton didn’t waste any time by asking questions and for that, Marcellus would be eternally grateful; as if he wasn’t already.

Another time, he would be more than happy to sit down and explain the peculiar situation between him and his mate however, now was just not the time for that.

Okay. Just hurry. Marcellus huffed as he crouched down to sweep up the shards of glass that had just broken by his feet, not the least bit concerned about cutting himself.

When he cut the tips of his fingers, a few drops of blood bubbling to the surface and dripping onto the ground, Marcellus simply hissed in response but continued to try and clean up the glass. While he was sure that his mate wouldn’t be happy about him breaking one of her glasses, especially since it looked like it was part of a set, he would just have to deal with her later. In fact, he would be more than happy and willing to take whatever tongue lashing and punishment that she wanted to dish out but now, all he was concerned about was finding his mate and making sure that she got home safe and sound.

When he realised that he wouldn’t be able to get every small shard by just using his fingers, Marcellus quickly searched the kitchen for a dustpan and brush. Once he located the cleaning device, he returned to his previous crouching position and thankfully, cleaning everything up was far easier and a simpler ordeal, managing to sweep it all up in a matter of moments.

There has to be some sort of rational explanation as to where she is. His wolf demanded in a gruff voice, his tone predominantly consisting of a mix of worry, fear and an intense need to know. Anastasia can’t just have disappeared into thin air.

You’re right, but I wasn’t able to pick up any scents. He groaned as he made his way over to the bin, intending to dispose of the broken shards of glass.

You may be an Alpha wolf but you’re not a tracker.

I told Dalton to bring the trackers, too, so hopefully they can pick up on something that we missed. Marcellus nodded.

His wolf merely hummed in response, though the sound was far from peaceful or at ease. In fact, it sounded even more worried than before.

Marcellus groaned in frustration as he pressed down on the foot pedal for the lid of the bin to open up but before he could dispose of the broken glass, his lips tugged down further at the corners, surprised to see a fresh bouquet of red roses that were still in the wrapping.

Immediately, the thought of his mate receiving a bouquet of roses from someone that wasn’t him – and most probably Harvey as it was obvious to anyone alive that he had an interest in Anastasia – angered him but Marcellus gritted his teeth as he willed himself to push past that clouded vision to look at the bigger picture.

There was the question of how these flowers had ended up in the bin or to be more specific, why? Why had Anastasia thrown away a fresh bouquet of flowers?

His frown deepened as he picked up the flowers and disposed of the glass. Once he had disposed of the glass and returned the cleaning utensils to where he had spied them in one of the bottom cupboards, he took a seat on the barstool and stared intensely at the flowers, confused as to why she had thrown them away. The longer he stared down at the fresh roses, the more he realised that that the card that he had found earlier – the very same one that he had kept in his pocket for safe keeping – had most probably come with the flowers.

However, that still didn’t explain as to why the note was hidden underneath the sofa while the flowers were in the bin but before he could ask any more questions, Marcellus sensed his pack wolves come onto neutral territory.

Leaving the flowers on the kitchen island, he rose to his feet and rushed out of the house, mind linking the trackers that he had a piece of her clothing ready for them to use.

Meeting them halfway, Marcellus handed off one of her jumpers – the one which smelt like her the strongest which suggested that she had worn it recently – to one of the three trackers, instructing them to get started on tracking down his missing mate.

This time, he didn’t bother denying that Anastasia was his mate and instead, he embraced it. A few of the warriors followed the trackers to help them out while the few that remained, including Dalton, shifted into their human form and began pulling on their clothes.

“What happened? What do you need us to do?” Dalton asked, not the least bit concerned about the fact that Marcellus had chosen this moment to admit that he had met his mate as that was something that they could address later but right now, his friend and Alpha needed his help.

“Anastasia has gone missing.” Marcellus couldn’t help but growl as he reached a hand up and ran his fingers through his hair. “I have no idea where she is but I can’t smell her anywhere. I can’t even scent out anyone else near.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.” Dalton murmured quietly with a concerned look on his face as he moved past Marcellus to move into the house, wanting to take a look around for himself. “How can she go missing all of a sudden? That’s not like her.”

“You don’t think I don’t know that already?” Marcellus groaned as he followed Dalton into the house.

Even though he had already checked the entire house and hadn’t been able to find anything but the card and bouquet of red roses, Marcellus insisted that Dalton and some of the other warriors check out the house in case they were able to spot anything that he had previously missed.

As ten minutes and they still weren’t able to find anything, Marcellus, Dalton, and a few of the warriors from earlier, Mohammed, Zion, Luke, Arnold and Amir gathered around the kitchen island, while the rest of them joined the trackers outside to see if they were able to pick up on her scent.

While Marcellus had been determined to join them, unable to sit around twiddling his thumbs while his mate was out there and potentially in danger, Dalton had insisted that he remain in the house as it was evident that he clearly wasn’t in a clear state of mind.

“Have you spoken to Justas and Raphael?” Dalton asked with a sigh, staring at his friend and Alpha with a questioning look in his eyes.

“I called them straight after I mind linked you.” Marcellus nodded and groaned quietly, unable to think clearly now. “They last saw her when she was at their house earlier. They said that she had plans to get some writing done after dinner. She also usually calls them afterward so they know that she got home safe, but she didn’t call today.”

“And they didn’t think that anything was weird about that?” Amir asked curiously, not at all fond or happy with the news that the new Luna of the Lupum Griseo pack was potentially in danger.

He shrugged; his lips twisted into a deep scowl. “They just assumed that she had gotten caught up with her writing and either forgot or lost track of time.”

“And where did these flowers come from?” Luke asked, blinking down at them.

“I found them in the bin.” Marcellus pursed his lips; a conflicted look on his face. “I found the note under the sofa and I found the flowers in the bin. I know the note says it’s from me, but I didn’t send this.”

“Is it possible that you sent the flowers and the note and just forgot about it?” Arnold hummed with a thoughtful expression on his face as he rubbed his chin thoughtfully, blinking up at the Alpha without realising just how bad his choice of words was.

Before Marcellus could growl in warning and possibly even lunge at Arnold for the stupid question, clearly not able to think or function properly with Anastasia missing, Dalton was quick to jump to his defence.

“Alpha Marcellus isn’t one to write notes. Also, that’s definitely not his hand writing.” Dalton shook his head, his lips twitching up at the corners in hopes of lightening the mood. “The handwriting is far too neat for Mars to have written it.”

Marcellus merely snorted in response, not nearly as angry and frustrated he had been only moments ago however, it was only the thoughts of his mate that kept him calm.

“They’re really beautiful flowers.” Luke hummed aloud as he picked them up from the table and leaned in to take a big whiff.

Marcellus fully intended to growl at the warrior, not the least bit fond of his comment as it just wasn’t appropriate or necessary in such a situation, especially since he suspected that these flowers were from none other than Harvey but before he could do that, Luke visibly swayed on his feet as the flowers escaped from his grasp.

“Luke?” They all called out to him in question but before they knew it, the flowers slipped through his fingers and dropped to the floor, very closely followed the warrior who was previously holding them.

“Luke!” A few of the warriors called out to him in panic and even Marcellus himself peered over the edge of the counter, completely at a shock with the way Luke had all but crumpled within himself and dropped to the floor.

A few of the wolves around him crouched down next to him and tried to shake him awake, even going as far as to slap his face lightly but the wolf didn’t even stir; completely blacked out.

It was only when Arnold picked up the flowers and lifted them up to his face that it all started to make sense. Unable to fight off the effects of whatever was wrong with the flowers, Arnold’s eyes rolled back in their sockets as his body went limp and he too dropped to the floor in an unconscious state. However, he escaped the same fate as Lucas as he had been crouching on the ground.

“She was drugged.” Marcellus voiced aloud, the sound barely above a whisper as he blinked down to both of the unconscious warriors, no one else daring to go near the flowers that had managed to take out two of their own and their Luna, too.

It was only when they sprinkled some water on Luke and Arnold’s face that the both of them started to gain back consciousness but they didn’t have time to ask too many questions as Marcellus’ attention was now trained elsewhere, far too concerned with the fact that his mate had been drugged and removed from her home.

Alpha! One of the trackers called out to him through mind link.

Talk to me, Evan! He couldn’t help but growl in response, already rushing out of the house and shifting into his wolf in mid-air, galloping toward where he sensed the group of trackers to currently be.

The wolf that had called out to him trotted over to the Alpha and dropped his Luna’s jumper onto the ground between them, a slightly fearful look in his eyes.

We’re so sorry Alpha but we couldn’t find the Luna’s scent anywhere.

Instead of lashing out just as the tracker had clearly expected the Alpha to have done, Marcellus reared his wolfish head back and howled loudly, the trees shaking at the wild, feral sound that had rumbled from deep within his chest. Before the vibrations could stop, he was already on his way to the pack where he knew those despicable wolves had all the answers.

As soon as he reached the basement, Marcellus shifted into his human form and pulled on a pair of jogging bottoms from one of the piles of clothes that they had kept around different parts of the pack.

Without so much as giving them a chance to explain, Marcellus started to pound his fists into the first wolf, still holding out on the belief that this was the way to break the both of them. Especially since the second wolf seemed the one with the weaker stomach of the two.

By the time that the warriors that had joined him in the basement, the rogue was currently coughing up blood as he tried to crawl away from the angry Alpha wolf. As his warriors cheered him on, Marcellus growled and slammed his foot down on the rogue’s back, forcing him to slam face down on the cold, cemented floor underneath.

It was only when Dalton mind linked him that Marcellus stilled in his actions – ignoring the way his knuckles throbbed from the number of punches that he had just thrown, all of them aimed at the despicable rogue that was now unrecognisable; his entire body black, blue and bloody. He threw his head back and laughed freely, uncaring of the fact that both the rogues and his warriors probably believed for him to have finally lost his mind.

“Why are you laughing?” The first rogue frowned. “What part of this do you think is funny when the life of your mate is at stake?”

Instead of growing angry as was his initial instinct, Marcellus laughed some more as he lifted himself onto his feet and glanced over his shoulder, eagerly awaiting Dalton and their eagerly anticipated guest.

“I find it funny that you think I’ll let anyone touch even a single strand of hair on my mate’s head.” He turned around and took a few steps back to head out of the cell, unable to wait any longer. “There’s also the fact that you either tell me where my mate is, or your mate pays for your mistakes with her life.”

“What?” Both of the rogues sounded aloud and Marcellus laughed again, not at all surprised that he had caught the attention of the second rogue whom had been quiet and faking fear the entire time, believing that all of them had bought into his act.

“You heard me.” He stated simply and as soon as he sensed Dalton to have stepped foot into the dungeon, pushing the female ahead of him as they walked down the stairs, Marcellus turned his head in their direction as he decided to meet them halfway, his warriors already taking a step forward and bracing themselves in case either of the rogues decided to try anything funny.

“Since neither of you have decided to answer any of my questions, I’m going to have to do something I don’t want to do.” He stated simply as he grabbed the mated she-wolf by the arm and pressed her back against her chest, his other arm tight around her shoulders so she wouldn’t be able to escape.

Despite the fact that Marcellus wasn’t one to hurt children or women, he was willing to bend the rules this time. Especially when this female was most likely involved in the disappearance and kidnapping of his own mate.

“Since I’m feeling generous, you can either answer my questions now or I’m going to have to slit your mate’s throat.”

“I told you, she’s not my mate!”

“Then I guess you wouldn’t mind if I slit her throat.” Marcellus chuckled, his lips twitching higher at the corners as Dalton came to stand by his side with a silver dagger in hand, careful to keep his hand on the handle and not on the lethal blade that would cause him some serious damage even with just a simple touch.

“Slit her throat?” The first rogue gulped as he watched the scene unfold in front of him with wide eyes, almost as if looking for a sign of a bluff but what this rogue didn’t know was that Marcellus was a man of his word and if he didn’t receive the answers that he was looking for, he would just have to follow through with his earlier promise.

Any feelings of guilt that may bubble up to the surface regarding it, well, he would just have to deal with later. However, not for one second would he be able to regret his decision as it was all done in the pursuit of saving his mate.

“No! No! Don’t touch her. Please!” The second rogue called out to them, a wild look in his eyes as he pushed himself away from the corner and crawled across the cell floor to grip the silver bars that separated both the cells; seemingly unaffected with the way his skin burned on contact or rather, he simply didn’t care as his mate’s life was now in danger. “Don’t touch her. I promise I’ll tell you everything!”

Since he had no reason to trust this rogue that had clearly been putting up an act this whole time, Marcellus merely turned his head to glance at Dalton, a sinister glint in both of their eyes. One that promised death with a capital D. But only after they had their questions answered, of course.

-

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Layla Knight

15.11.2020

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