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

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Chapter Eighteen


After getting everything that he needed to get off his chest, Orpheus had stormed out of the room and locked the door behind him.

At first, Thea had screamed as loud as she could for as long as she could, but she quickly remembered that Malik was down for a nap after a long day of travelling. Even though she was deathly afraid of what would happen to her, she knew that Orpheus wouldn’t hurt Malik. While she hoped that it was due to the fact that Malik was his son, she suspected it was more because Orpheus could use him as leverage over her if necessary.

Once that phase had passed, she had rubbed the tears from her face and began pacing around the room, trying to think of an escape plan. Very quickly, she had discovered that for some reason, she couldn’t get the windows open, and the glass didn’t even tremble when she banged her fists on them with all of her strength.

In all of her pent-up rage for him putting her through so much, Thea went through all of Orpheus’ drawers and closet, looking for something, anything that would be able to help. When her search amounted to nothing of the sort, she screamed once again and began throwing everything on the floor.

It was only when she ran out of clothes and there was no space on the floor left untouched that she finally crumbled to the ground in a mess of limbs, unable to hold back the stream of tears.

That was over two hours ago and once all the tears were out, Thea didn’t know what to do with herself.

Instead of sitting on the ground and continuing to feel sorry for herself, she lifted herself up and buried herself under the sheets. Even though sleep was the last thing on her mind, it was the only thing that could temporarily save her from the reality that she was somehow forced into.

Thea wasn’t sure how much time had passed but when the lock rattled and the door opened, she squeezed her eyes shut and worked to slow down her breathing even though she knew he would be able to sense out that she was awake, thanks to his enhanced werewolf abilities.

Despite knowing that, she dared not move when she felt the bed dip down beside her. When he reached out and ran his fingers through her hair, pinching a silky strand and running his fingers down until he reached the very end and twisted it around his finger, she willed for body to not stiffen or even worse, melt into him. He leaned in from behind her to bury his nose into the crook of her neck, inhaling deeply while still playing with her hair.

Instinctively, her body curled back toward him as he dropped himself down on the bed and pressed his bare chest against her back and once again, she cursed the mate bond for existing and tying the both of them together. More than that, she cursed her body for wanting him even after the way he had violated her and then decided to paint her nothing but a liar or even worse, a woman desperate for any and every sort of attention.

Thea had absolutely no idea when he had taken off his shirt but with his warmth enveloping her, she hated the fact that she didn’t have more complaints.

“Don’t worry. I checked on Malik and he’s still asleep. If he wakes up, I’ll hear him.” He whispered in her ear in hopes of reassuring her and calming down her erratically beating heart, though his words didn’t help even in the slightest.

Even though he already knew that she was awake, Thea was determined to keep up the act, simply because she couldn’t bring herself to talk to him; she was too afraid to even contemplate it.

With his body pressed against her back, his arm under her head, his hand on her hip and his breath fanning against the back of her neck, Thea doubted she would be able to get any sleep tonight – not that it mattered much as it was past midnight already.

“I know you’re awake, you know?” His lips brushed against the back of her neck as he spoke, the ends of her hair tickling his face.

“I don’t fucking care.” Thea forced the words out of her mouth through gritted teeth, her lips pulled down into a deep scowl.

“Oh.” He chuckled from behind her, his chest vibrating from behind her. “I thought you were still pretending.”

Refusing to dignify his light-hearted words with a response, she rolled her eyes and pressed her face further into the pillow, willing for it to open up and swallow her whole but unfortunately, nothing seemed to work out in her favour.

“I see that you trashed my room,” he murmured quietly in hope of striking up a conversation.

It was just too bad that he was the last person on the planet that she desired to talk to. The fact that he was her rapist and was keeping her here against her will just made everything all that much worse.

“And?” she prompted him quietly, hating that sleep was evading her. However, she couldn’t help but fear the possibility that he could try something on her while she was asleep.

“That wasn’t very nice of you.”

“I don’t care what you think,” Thea couldn’t help but snort back in response.

“Well, that’s quite unfortunate, isn’t it?” Orpheus chuckled but even she could hear that the sound was strained and far from humorous. “You questioned the legitimacy of our mate bond earlier,” he more stated than asked or implied. “Do you still believe that I’m lying about us being mates?”

As much as Thea wanted to deny the fact that they were mates and back up her earlier question, she knew she wouldn’t be able to do that without lying. Even without feeling a light buzz sizzle around her body whenever he was near and the tingles that spread over the surface of her body whenever he touched her, Thea knew in her heart that they were mates and no amount of denying it would change the fact – regardless of how much she wished for it to be different.

“I think you already know the answer to that question,” Thea murmured back in an airy whisper, unable to bring herself to admit it aloud.

“Yes, but I’d love to hear it from you.”

The fact that he loved to torment her just rubbed her with the wrong way. Still refusing to admit the undeniable truth to him, she let out a frustrated groan and tried to roll away from him – “tried” being the keyword.

“Let me go!” Thea gritted her teeth as she struggled harder, even reaching out to claw her fingers into the pillow next to her, hating the fact that he had decided to settle himself on her side of the bed even though it was huge and the other side was completely bare and empty.

“Over my dead body.”

“I can make that happen,” she grumbled while moving her hand down to place it over the larger one resting on her hip, trying to remove it – but both he and his grip were relentless.

“I like it when you threaten me.” His chortling only grew louder when she dug her nails into the back of his hand. Even though it barely hurt, Orpheus decided to humour her by momentarily letting go and allowing her to escape his arms.

“What is wrong with you?” Thea spat out the words the moment she was able to crawl her way over to the other side of the King-size bed. She sat up and rested her back against the headboard in fear that he might try reaching out and overpowering her again.

“So many things.” Orpheus threw his head back and chuckled, moving to lie on his back before turning his head to glance at her, mirth swimming in his dark orbs. “But it’s probably best we don’t get into that right now, don’t you think?”

Instead of answering, Thea turned her head to glance away from him and snorted out loud, unable to believe his audacity to act like this wasn’t a big deal.

The moment she lifted the comforter and swung her legs out of the bed, he leaped for her. Before the scream could pass her lips and sound aloud, he had managed to turn her around and force her back onto the bed, positioning himself right behind her; just like how they were before.

“Nice try, but you’re not getting away from me that easily.” His chest rumbled from behind her as he spoke. “As fun as this is, it’s pretty late and I think it’s about time that we get some sleep.”

When Thea sniffled, she hated that she was showing her vulnerabilities in front of this man. She hated that he affected her so much; this was the third time that she was crying now in the past couple of hours, and she had no one else but her ‘dear’ mate to thank.

“Why am I here?” The words barely left her mouth as she spoke aloud, though he was able to hear perfectly with his enhanced werewolf hearing ability.

“Because it’s in the middle of the night and most people sleep during the night?” Orpheus questioned in a humoured tone, very aware that that wasn’t what she had been asking.

“You know that’s not what I meant.” Thea squeezed her eyes shut and sniffled quietly, hating how fast her heart was beating; both in fear and excitement, two very conflicting emotions which she struggled to wrap her mind around.

“Care to explain?” Orpheus prompted her in a quiet voice, suddenly so serious despite the humoured and teasing mood that he had been in only moments before.

“I know that you turning up at Marcellus and Anastasia’s mating ceremony is more than just a mere coincidence, especially since everyone says that you and your pack never turn up to such events.”

“And when did everyone start speaking on my behalf?” He questioned in a low tone, his voice husky and groggy with impending sleep.

Ignoring his question, Thea sighed and rolled her eyes.

“Why do you want us all of a sudden?” She asked quietly, starting to lose all hope that he would answer her questions and clear things up for her. “Why now? Why not five years ago when Malik was born? I’m sure that wolves can feel and sense that sort of thing.”

“What sort of thing? Their pup being born?”

“Yes, exactly.”

“I think that’s a conversation for another day,” Orpheus hummed quietly before tightening his arm around her middle and pulling her further back so her back was now flush against his bare chest, his chest rumbling slightly in satisfaction as he nuzzled his face into the back of her neck, where her scent was strongest and sweetest.

Even though there was a lot more that Thea needed to ask, she doubted that she would be getting any more answers out of him that night, as his breathing began to slow down until finally, light snores sounded from behind her. His breath fanned over the back of her neck with each inhale and exhale.

Despite knowing that he was already asleep, Thea couldn’t bring herself to sleep but with the sound of his soft snores and the thump of his heartbeat against her heart, she was finally able to close her eyes and allow herself to drift off into dreamland, after battling it for the past few hours.

She wasn’t sure what time it was when she awoke, but when she felt a pair of soft lips press against the back of her neck, her eyes shot open. When he pressed himself further into her back, her eyes widened and she held her breath, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable with how he was essentially grinding his morning wood into her bottom. The fact that she was wearing a pair of thin leggings didn’t help the situation any.

“What are you doing?” She whispered in an alarmed voice, her eyes wide with fear as her body momentarily froze. She found herself at a complete loss of how to react to this situation, especially when she had no idea of his intentions.

“What do you think I’m doing?” His chest rumbled in a deep growl as he pressed another kiss to the back of her neck.

Before she could protest or try and escape his arms, Orpheus turned her over so she was now lying on her back with him hovering over her.

All of a sudden, she found herself transported back to that fateful night when her life had changed forever. Looking up at him now, she was unable to see the man on top of her this morning, instead seeing visions of the brick wall of the dark alley as he forcefully took her from behind. Feeling the weight of his body against hers now, she felt the weight of him pressed against her back as he trapped her between him and the wall, forcing her to remain there as he took from her whatever he wanted, not the least bit concerned with being gentle – not even when she cried aloud for him to stop.

When she blinked and returned back to reality, Thea had just enough time to turn her head to the side, forcing his lips to land on her cheek instead of on her lips as he had anticipated.

Her heart hammered dangerously fast in her chest at the fact that he had just tried to kiss her – the one thing that he hadn’t been able to do that night – and while she knew that it sounded stupid, she was more afraid of him trying to kiss her again than him trying to rape her again.

Scared of how he might react, Thea gulped.

“It’s okay.” He murmured quietly in a soothing tone, brushing away an offending strand of hair from her face. “We’ll take things slow. There’s no need to rush into anything.”

“Okay” was all she could manage to whisper back. Desperate to get him off her and transport herself out of this situation, she wracked her brain for something, anything she could use to change her topic.

Clearing her throat, she slowly turned her head back to glance up at him, surprised to see nothing short of pity on his face.

“Malik should be awake by now,” she couldn’t help but squeak, feeling slightly bad that she was using her son as an excuse.

“No. He’s still asleep.” He groaned aloud as he moved himself off of her, laying down on his back.

When an uncomfortable silence filled the room, Thea was desperate to break it and so blurted out the first question that sprang to mind.

“How long is the door going to stay locked for?”

“Until I’m finished with my shower,” he murmured back in a low, groggy voice. He lifted himself up from the bed and stretched his arms out, a low groan passing his lips as he did.

Forcing herself to look away, Thea was forced to lift the sheets higher to hide the warmth that spread over her cheeks. She cursed her eyes and body for wanting to revel in his raw, unconventional beauty which attracted her so much to him.

Not blind to the effect that he had on her, Orpheus laughed quietly as he winked at her.

Not the least bit self-conscious about his body, Orpheus dropped his boxers in front of her before turning around and heading into the shower, leaving the door wide open in invitation for her to join him, – not that she would ever dream of it.


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Layla Knight


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