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

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Chapter Six

ANASTASIA MULBERRY

Even though she had just awoken from an hour and a half nap after having done nothing but sit in front of her laptop all day, Anastasia woke up groggy from sleep.

Slightly disoriented, she blinked back the sleep and propped herself up against the headboard and glanced around the room, trying to figure out where she was.

After a few moments of rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she took in her familiar surroundings and sighed before slumping back against the headboard behind her. Instinctively, her hands trailed up to press down gently on her stomach, almost as if making sure that the baby was still in there. She internally snorted at the notion. As if the unborn baby would just go crawling out of her vagina while she was asleep.

It was laughable, and the baby – or rather, pup – seemed to agree as it began kicking, causing her to wince slightly.

“You’re hungry, huh?” She cooed down at her belly, laughing softly as the baby kicked again. “Yeah, me too. Come on, let’s go see if your daddies have some food for us.”

When she felt another kick, Anastasia chuckled through the wince and slid off the bed, aimlessly looking for her shoes on the ground as by this point, having just started her third trimester, she could barely see her own feet over her stomach.

During her pregnancy, Anastasia had visited the pack house, now more frequently than before as Raphael and Justas wished for the baby to be around wolves and its own kind as much as possible, but this was the first time that she had fallen asleep here. However, she faintly remembered falling asleep outside on a patch of grass in front of the pack house where they had all enjoyed a picnic with some other wolves, and could only assume that one of her friends had transferred her here for better comfort and for that, she was grateful.

Taking the two flights of stairs down slowly, she kept her hand firmly planted on the handrail for added support. As soon as she reached the ground floor, she could hear distinctive chatter coming from the end of the hallway which opened up to a living room, and she followed the sound with a small smile on her face, looking forward to the great cooking of the pack chef whom she had grown very fond of these past couple of weeks.

Her mouth watered just at the thought.

“And sleeping beauty awakes!” Raphael announced before he she even entered the kitchen, having sensed her to be awake the moment she opened her eyes.

“Oh, stop teasing her!” Linda, the pack chef lightly chastised the wolf with a slap of a spoon to the back of his hand rested on top of his mates, and Anastasia couldn’t help but guffaw at the sight. “Give her a chance to sit down and get some food in her before you get started with all your nonsense.”

“Thank you, Linda.” She grinned up at the woman before rounding the counter and pressing a soft kiss to her cheek, gladly accepting the steak dinner which had been especially reserved for her.

Anastasia absolutely adored steak. Heavy on the meat and light on the vegetables, just the way she liked it.

“How did you sleep?” Justas asked from over his cup of coffee, lightly massaging Raphael’s hand as the wolf was still pouting about the light tap.

“Well.” She smiled at him before raising both her knife and fork, getting ready to tuck in. “Were you the one that put me in bed?”

Justas merely nodded, a man of few words.

“Thank you.” She smiled gratefully at him before turning to Raphael and pulling a less than pleasant face at him, one which both burst out laughing out while Justas’ lip merely twitched in response.

Light conversation travelled around the kitchen as Linda left for the day and a few other wolves joined them. Anastasia added a few words here and there but mostly, she focused on her meal as she found herself to be far more starved than she had previously believed.

Pausing midway for some water, she glanced up and smiled at the sight of her friends.

Raphael had leaned over and laid his head against Justas’ shoulder whom had his arm around his mate, resting his hand on his hip. Bowing his head, he leaned to brush his lips against Raphael’s hairline and Anastasia couldn’t help but internally coo at the beautiful, wholesome sight. Yet another reminder of what she was doing for them.

At the thought, she laid her cutlery down on the counter before pressing her hands against her stomach, smiling softly as she felt the baby shift around.

Finding a surrogate in the werewolf world was very difficult as there weren’t many cases of infertility however, that didn’t account for a gay or lesbian couple who couldn’t reproduce with each other; her friends Raphael and Justas included.

Anastasia had first met Raphael on the first day of college, becoming fast allies when they bumped into each other in the hallway. They then went into spending their first official hour of college in the wrong lecture, far too embarrassed to get up and leave in the middle of it. While they were doing different courses, there always appeared to be one class they had together and any time not spent together, they made up for outside of college, mostly in her dorm room where she had been able to snag a double room but never really given a roommate.

Since then, they had been inseparable and very quickly branded themselves as friends which was upgraded to best friends. By the time they finished college, it was bittersweet but they rejoiced in the fact that she only lived a short drive away from him.

Once Raphael returned back to the pack for good as a nurse – hoping to upgrade to junior doctor soon – he met his mate, Justas whom had transferred to the pack with his family, and the rest was history.

When she had discovered that her favourite couple and friends were struggling to find a surrogate to carry their child, Anastasia hadn’t wasted any time in offering herself. While they were initially wary, especially because she was only a quarter-wolf – from her father’s side – and didn’t really embody many qualities of a wolf, the pack doctor was able to confirm with a simple test that she would be able to carry the pup to term without any health issues for either her or the baby.

A regular human – unless mated to a strong wolf – would never have been able to do this as werewolf pups were far too strong and would end up tearing up whatever poor soul that attempted to carry the pup but thankfully, she didn’t have to worry about the same.

One of their sperm was randomly picked and with her egg, she now found herself heavily pregnant six months later.

Much of the pregnancy had been very regular and akin to a human one so far but now that she was this was far along and the baby was far more active, the doctor at her local hospital had suggested that she started seeing the pack doctor.

“Ana?” A voice called out to her, breaking her away from her internal ramblings.

“I think I ate too fast.” She mumbled sheepishly before reaching out for her glass of water again.

Laughter filled the kitchen and one of the wolves moved over to rub her back for some relief, and another round of laughter sounded.

Once she had finished with their meal, the crowd in the kitchen moved through the living and down the stairs into the den where a huge cinema room had been set up, and they joined in the current viewing of Tenet which the Beta couple had picked out.

Anastasia made sure to smile politely at Dalton and Bronwyn as they had been nothing but pleasant to her during this whole ordeal, managing all the paperwork and passing their situation by the Alpha before they were able to move forward.

“How are you, Anastasia?” Beta Dalton shifted his body in his seat as he glanced back at her.

“I’m good, thank you, Beta Dalton.” She smiled politely back at the both of them.

“You’ve got impeccable timing. We only started five minutes ago so you haven’t really missed much.” The Beta female turned to join the conversation. “How have you been sleeping, Ana? I know when I was pregnant with Devon, he used to keep me up all night.”

She nodded and sighed in response, further sinking into the comfortable seat that she was sat on.

“You’ve hit the nail on the head. This little one is so active at night that I’ve resorted to taking several naps during the day.”

Dalton chuckled as he glanced at both Raphael and Justas. “Seems like you’re going to have your hands full.”

They both grinned in response and gazed down at her, forever grateful for the favour that they would never be able to repay.

A quiet hum filled the room as more wolves joined them and they started up the movie again. At first, she had found it very strange and unnerving about being on pack lands and surrounded by every wolf but now, she had grown quite fond of it.

She hadn’t come across any wolf that was unpleasant or rude in front of her, grateful about the fact that those that didn’t agree with what they were doing chose to distance themselves from them. In fact, she found herself making a few friends from the pack and was glad with welcoming the whole experience had been.

However, she was certain that the news that she was quarter-wolf and currently carrying a pup helped tremendously with that transition.

Halfway through the movie and she found herself falling in love with Robert Pattinson – the sparkly vampire that her teenage-self had been utterly and completely in love with – all over again.

It was only when the movie ended and Anastasia was unable to fight off the exhaustion that Raphael and Justas had offered to drive her home. Before they left, she made sure to wave at everybody and personally greet the Beta couple. While she wasn’t completely sure of how werewolf customs worked, but she was aware that a Beta was very high-ranking in the pack and she wished for them to like her, especially since she had many plans to visit the baby once it was born; and if one of the most powerful people in the pack disliked her for some reason, that would be very difficult to do.

“Are you sure you don’t want to stay the night?” Raphael pouted as he sent her his best puppy dog eyes, trying to convince her.

“Positive.” She chimed quietly, a sleepy smile on her face. “I’ve got a pint of chocolate chip ice cream waiting for me.”

The trio chuckled as they headed out of the pack house and began making their way up the stairs.

She had absolutely no way of explaining it but the closer she got to the car and further away from the pack house, if even by just a few metres, Anastasia found herself not wanting to leave. She couldn’t quite explain it, but she felt the need to stick around. Putting it down to the werewolf cub she was carrying, she shook her head to rid her mind of the thought and pushed herself to continue forward.

There was a limit to everything and she didn’t want the pack wolves – or even worse, the Alpha or Beta – to feel like she was overstaying her welcome and taking advantage of their hospitality. Just because she was doing this favour for her friends and carrying their pup didn’t mean that it earned her an automatic in into the pack house.

“Ana? Is everything okay? Is it the baby?” Raphael asked with worry as he jogged down the steps and rushed to her side, pressing a hand to her back to support her, almost as if he feared that she was about to collapse any moment. “Tell me what hurts.”

She laughed softly and waved her hand in the air, hoping to dismiss the two pairs of worried eyes that were now trained on her, watching her every move in caution.

“There’s nothing to worry about, don’t worry.” She tried to assure them. “I’m just tired.”

“Are you sure?” Justas asked with his lips pulled down at the corners, holding open the car door for her as Raphael helped her into the passenger seat even though she was perfectly capable of doing so herself.

“Yes.” Anastasia glanced between them both with a large smile on her face, not wanting to worry them over something so trivial and out of their control.

Plus, she had absolutely no idea why she was feeling this way.

“Are you sure you don’t want to stay the night?” Raphael asked, a hopeful glimmer in his eyes as he slid into the middle of the backseat and braced his hands on the back of the two seats in front of him, leaning forward just as Justas claimed his spot in the driver’s seat.

Anastasia smiled back at her best friend and nodded her head, reaching out to give his hand a gentle, reassuring squeeze.

“I’ll feel more comfortable in my own bed.”

“We understand.” Justas spared her a nod as he started up the car and put the gear down into drive before beginning to pull out of the parking spot. “But the offer still stands so don’t be afraid to ask if you ever do want to stay here. I’m sure the Alpha won’t mind.”

Anastasia couldn’t help but frown at that, despite Justas’ kind words.

She couldn’t quite explain it, but whenever she heard of the Alpha, a shiver ran down her spine, almost as if igniting her body at the very mention of him. It was a silly and unexplainable reaction to have, especially over a man she had only heard of before and never physically seen with her own two eyes but once again, she put it down to the pup that she was carrying. Almost as if the wolf already recognised his Alpha from within the womb.

She didn’t quite understand a lot of things about werewolves, probably because she was only a quarter were and had never experienced such things, but she knew all the pack wolves looked up to the Alpha wolf as he was their leader. Perhaps that was why she felt strange whenever he was mentioned.

Either way, she didn’t have anything to worry about as a busy wolf like him would take no interest in a mere human like her.

Her incoherent thoughts came to a standstill as a deep howl sounded in the darkness of the night, causing the ground beneath the four wheels of the car to tremble and shake, forcing Justas to gently brake to avoid losing control of the vehicle.

It was only when the fearful sound was followed by a deafening silence that Anastasia dared to speak.

“What was that?” She perked up in her seat and glanced out of the windows, not really sure what she was looking for.

Her eyes grew wide as she stared into the forest where the sound has come from, but she saw nothing out of the ordinary.

During all the times that she had visited the pack house in the last couple of months, not once had Anastasia seen a wolf shift. Something told her that was down to Justas and Raphael not wanting to overwhelm her but on pack lands and a pack house full of werewolves, she was a little disappointed she hadn’t managed to see any action yet.

“That was the Alpha.”

“The Alpha?” She couldn’t help but question, unable to tear her eyes away from the tall trees and the darkness which it concealed even though Justas had begun driving again.

“Yes. He’s probably just letting out some steam before heading to bed. He’s been very busy lately.” Raphael explained nonchalantly from the backseat, neither of the wolves in the vehicle all that bothered about what they had just witnessed, almost as if it was a normal occurrence. And for them, it probably was.

She merely hummed in response and continued looking out the window, not really sure what she was looking for or why the need to return grew stronger in size and force the further the car pulled away from the pack house.

It was an unexplainable feeling, one which didn’t make any sense and one which she had never felt before. Yet for some strange reason, not once did it scare her.

In fact, it had the complete opposite effect.

-

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Layla Knight

10.10.2020

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