The Alpha's Vessel [The Alpha's #2]

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Chapter Nine

THEA PETROVNA

She absolutely hated to admit it, but she couldn’t stop thinking about the way he had looked at her after she had managed to subdue the wave of immense panic and fear that had struck her.

While Thea had suspected the worst of him, that he was going to whip out his cock and rape her all over again, but this time with their son right next to them, she was shocked to learn that he had just been trying to lift himself off of her. However, she hadn’t realised that in the moment hence, the panic attack.

Thea vividly remembered the first time that she had suffered a panic attack. It was four days after the rape and the first time that she had dared to venture out of her apartment to grab some milk from the local supermarket. She had her headphones in the whole time and had kept her head low and with her hood up. Everything had seemingly gone fine until she reached the checkout and the cashier had greeted her.

She now knew that her eyes had simply been playing tricks on her but in the moment, she had sworn that the innocent cashier was none other than the despicable man that had raped her in the alley the previous weekend.

The carton of milk had dropped to the floor and exploded all over her feet, but Thea didn’t care as instead of sticking around to apologise and pay for the mess that she had just created, she turned around and sprinted out of the supermarket as fast as she could.

She ran back to the apartment in fear that he was following her for either a round two or to finish off the job, and it was only when she had slammed the door shut behind her and slid the bolt into place that she allowed herself to relax.

Now safely locked in her apartment and away from him – not that the innocent cashier was the rapist in the first place – she allowed herself to calm down and slow her breathing before walking to her room. However, every step she took toward it, her chest ached and she had only managed to make it halfway before her body fell to the floor.

In the moment, she had no idea what was going on and feared that she was dying as it had truly felt that way. Tears had streamed down her face as she leaned forward and tried to harshly suck in as much air as possible, but that just made things worse as she had started to choke. When she felt icy hands wrap around her neck and pin her down to the ground, she had sent a silent prayer up to the Lord to spare her, to forgive her for everything that she had done and shower mercy down upon her even though she wasn’t even the least bit religious.

Thea had no idea how much time had passed but once her heart no longer felt like it was going to burst through her chest and present itself to her on the ground in front of her and she was finally able to breathe without feeling like it would be her last, she had crawled back to her room and taken a nap curled up in a ball on the ground, unable to pick herself up onto the bed.

After that, the panic attacks kept propping up at the strangest and most unfortunate of moments but as the years passed, they had become sparse and far in between.

Well, that was until today.

Despite Orpheus being the cause of them, she couldn’t stop remembering the way that he had looked at her, almost as if he was concerned.

Shaking her head to rid her mind of such thoughts, she closed the door, turned off the lights and slipped into bed, not bothering to barricade the door this time. He had already proved that no matter what he did, he would be able to get to them if he wanted.

A shaky sigh escaped her as she settled herself into the middle of the bed and pulled Malik in for a cuddle, needing comfort now more than ever before.

The first house after he had left, Thea had tried sleeping but that didn’t work and instead, she found herself tossing and turning. She had then put a movie on her laptop to watch but hadn’t made it past the first ten minutes before closing it and groaning loudly in frustration. When Malik stirred next to her at the audible disturbance, she held her breath and watched him carefully. When he seemingly settled back down after a few moments, a sigh of relief escaped her.

But with nothing else to do, her mind ran loose and free, working in over drive.

“You and Malik are coming home with me tomorrow evening.”

His words echoed in her mind. At the sound of them, her lips turned down into a deep scowl and she turned over onto her side but when they sounded again, she squeezed her eyes shut and buried her face into the pillow. When that didn’t work, she reached out for her earphones and plugged them in even though she wasn’t listening to anything, but everything and anything was futile.

As much as she tried to not let his words get to her, they kept playing and replaying on her mind until finally, it felt like it was engraved on the back of her eye lids and she could see them etched even with her eyes closed.

He had managed to worm his way into her mind and that was that.

Despite his threat, one which she could tell he had every intention of fulfilling, Thea was determined that it wouldn’t come to that as going back to his pack with him simply wasn’t an option.

Even though she knew it was early, Thea couldn’t wait any longer.

The moment the sun rose in the morning and the birds started singing outside, she headed into the bathroom to wash her face before swiftly returning to her room and picked up her phone.

Unable to wait even a few hours, she clicked on Anastasia’s name and pressed her phone against her ear, nibbling on her nails in a mixture of worry, fear, impatience and restlessness.

When the phone kept ringing and ringing but no one picked up, she ended the call and groaned in frustration. While it made sense that Anastasia hadn’t picked up since it had just turned past the crack of dawn, she tried again.

It was only on the third ring that she picked up the phone, except it wasn’t Anastasia but Marcellus. Not that Thea was aware as the words rushed out of her mouth.

“Ana, I need to leave. I know I said that I was going to wait until after breakfast to leave, but I can’t wait any longer and I need your help.” She announced quickly as she began pacing around the room, unable to keep still, especially since she had already packed away all of their clothes.

Other than waking up Malik and getting him dressed, they were all set to leave.

“I need your help, Ana. Could you get me a car?” She asked, the desperation dripping from her voice. “If you could get me a car, I’d be able to drive back to the pack and get away from here.”

“Thea?” Marcellus’ audibly confused voice sounded aloud on the other end of the phone and when it did, Thea held her breath in fear, having thought that she had been speaking with Anastasia the whole time.

When she couldn’t bring herself to respond, still in a momentary state of surprise, he pressed on further.

“Thea, what’s going on?” He asked again. “Why are you leave and why do you need a car? Has something happened?”

After releasing a shaky breath, Thea forced herself to continue as she simply didn’t have any time and without Anastasia’s help, it would be even harder for her to get out of the pack and back to her own.

“Could you pass the phone to Anastasia, please?” She asked, ignoring the way her voice shook and dropped into a quiet whisper at the end.

“Tell me what’s going on. Whatever it is, I’m sure I can help you.” Marcellus persisted even though there was no point as Thea had already made up her mind.

Despite how messy things had gotten, Thea was still determined to keep Marcellus and the council out of this matter until she had at least escaped. If she spilled the entire truth now of what Orpheus had done to her all those years – and how he was no terrorising her by sneaking into her room late and night – they either wouldn’t believe her or they would make her stay here and face him if they deemed a trial to be necessary.

Either way, Thea didn’t want to spend a second longer looking at him.

If Anastasia wanted to tell Marcellus of what happened later, she couldn’t stop her and if any of it escalated further, she still wasn’t sure if she wanted to be a part of it yet.

Malik had just recently turned five and the past couple of years had been great for the both of them – especially the recent months as they had now joined a pack and moved into werewolf territory. Coming clean now, to her, felt like she was going back to square one; the scared little girl that was afraid to leave her house and didn’t have anyone to help or care for her during her pregnancy.

Thea wasn’t that same person now. While she wasn’t in touch with her parents, she had people she loved and people that loved her back. She had friends she wasn’t depending on and that she was burdening with all of her troubles but most of all, she was a whole new person. She worked hard while also following her dream, earning just enough to provide for both her and her son; the most important person to her.

“I can’t get into this right now, Mars, but I really need you to give the phone to Anastasia.” She instructed in an emotionless voice. “It’s an emergency.”

When she heard some shuffling sound on the other end of the line, she could only hope that he had heeded to her demands. If the situation wasn’t so serious and she wasn’t currently in a state of panic, Thea would have never thought of raising her voice and instructing an Alpha what to do, even if they were friends.

“Thea? What’s wrong? Why are you calling so early?”

“I’ll tell you everything later but right now, I really need you to get me a car.”

“A car?” Anastasia voiced aloud in a mixture of surprise and confusion, her voice still groggy yet no longer heavy with sleep; Thea’s admission and early morning phone call clearly having woken her up. “What are you talking about?”

“I promise I’ll explain later but I need you to get me a car. We can’t stay here anymore.”

Even though it was obvious to Thea that her friend had so many more questions to ask, she was grateful that the Luna wolf held her tongue and instead, agreed to lend her car and meet outside the pack house in ten minutes.

Even though Malik was still asleep, Thea knew that she couldn’t waste any time. Once she had woken him up, she prompted him to use the bathroom before helping him to get dressed. Since he was still sleepy, she picked him up, grabbed her bag and quietly made her way down the stairs, unsure of where the Alpha wolf was spending the night.

Just as she had promised, Anastasia had a car waiting for her outside the pack house.

“What are you doing?” Thea questioned quietly as she slipped Malik in the back of the car and strapped him into the child’s seat which Anastasia had somehow remembered to grab.

“What?” Anastasia snorted as she slipped out of the car and proceeded to help begin load their single travel bag into the car. “You think I’d let you go through this alone?”

If the situation wasn’t so dire and Thea wasn’t so desperate to leave as soon as possible, she would have pulled Anastasia in for a hug but as they simply didn’t have time for that right now, she shot her friend a thankful smile before she slipped into the passenger seat.

“As much as I agree with you getting away from that terrible man, what exactly happened?” Anastasia asked as they pulled away from the pack house and began the three-hour journey to the Lupus Rapax pack.

“Orpheus came to my room last night.”

“What?” She exclaimed in shock, so shocked in fact that she accidentally pressed too hard on the break.

“After leaving Justas and Raphael’s house, Malik was already asleep so I put him to bed. I barricaded the door because I didn’t trust Orpheus to try nothing and headed into the shower but when I came out, he was asleep on the bed next to Malik. Or, he looked like he was asleep but he clearly wasn’t.”

“What happened next?”

“I tried to grab Malik so we could get away from him but he was awake and flipped me over onto the bed.”

When Thea heard Anastasia’s breath hitch in her throat, she knew her friend was wondering the same thing that she had so afraid of last night. That he was back to have another go at her.

“He didn’t rape me. Not again.” She whispered quietly, unable to stop her shoulders from relaxing with relief despite how serious of a situation that they were currently trying to drive away from in a desperate attempt at escape. “I’m not sure if he tried or not, but I ended up having a panic attack.”

“I’m so sorry, Thea.” Anastasia apologised with a tender look on her face even though none of this was her fault. Far from it, actually. “How are you feeling now? Were you able to calm down fine?”

“That’s not even the worst of it.” Thea sighed as she reached a hand up to pinch the bridge of her nose in frustration. “He said and I quote: you and Malik are coming home with me tomorrow evening.”

“That’s not happening!” Anastasia was quick to deny with a shake of her head. “There’s no way either of you are going anywhere with him.”

“My thoughts exactly.” She sighed again. “But it’s fine now. We’re leaving so he won’t be able to take us with him.”

Anastasia hummed quietly but paused to share a knowing look with Thea. Even though she was more than willing to help her friend in anyway, the both of them shared the silent fear that all of this was finally over but for now, at least they were safe and putting as much distance between them and him as possible.

With the end in sight, Thea sighed and closed her eyes briefly, resting her head leisurely against the back of the headrest.

Unfortunately, she could still hear his words ringing in her ears.

-

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Layla Knight

05.12.2020

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