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

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Chapter Twenty-Two

THEA PETROVNA

The sky was grey and the temperature had dropped a few degrees, indicating that it was now the evening. As he hadn’t napped during the day, Malik had fallen asleep an hour before his usual bedtime which she knew she would hate in the morning when he also woke up an hour early. But as he had fallen asleep in her room and looked so adorable snuggled under the covers, she couldn’t bring herself to move him to his room.

Not feeling sleepy and having nothing to pass the time since he had confiscated all her of her stuff that wasn’t clothes, Thea grabbed a towel and headed into the bathroom.

Even though she usually found baths to be a waste of time and didn’t usually take many, she needed something to pass the time.

Stripping off her clothes and dropping them into the laundry basket, Thea settled herself into the tub which she had filled earlier. As Orpheus didn’t have any bubble bath or bath bombs, the water was undecorated other than some shower gel which she had swiped from the cubicle specifically for this reason.

Today was the first full day that they had spent at the pack and already she hated it with a passion. Unlike her last pack where everyone had been relatively normal around her even though she was a human and stood out like a sore thumb, everyone here seemed to just stare at her, as if they had never seen a human before. However, she couldn’t help but wonder if it had more to do with the fact that technically, she was their Luna and the first time that their Alpha had brought them round to the pack, they already had a five-year-old between them.

As she hadn’t wanted to be the centre of attention all throughout another meal, or even have to eat in front of the TV again to avoid everyone’s stares, Thea had snuck into the kitchen and swiped enough ingredients to make pasta for the both. While it had been something to do and pass the time, that was a few hours ago and even after she had cleared everything away and cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom, she was bored once again.

Other than thinking of possible escape plans and then derailing them herself in her own mind, Thea had absolutely nothing to do.

Every time she took a step outside of the house, her mind instantly wondered if they would be able to make a run for it without being caught, at least until the forest where hopefully, she would be able to shake her captive from her trail. But each and every time, there had been people around and if she had so much as stepped a foot off the path, she knew that they would have mind linked Orpheus immediately and he would have had them both back at the house before she could even blink.

“Don’t you think he’s too old to be sleeping in his parent’s bed?” A voice sounded aloud from behind her and the doorway of the bathroom.

An estranged gasp escaped as she splashed in the tub from escape, wincing when some of the water flowed over the edge and onto the floor, knowing that she would have to clean it up later.

When Thea glanced over her shoulder and locked eyes with the dark, deadly orbs of none other than her mate, leaning against the doorframe with his arms crossed over his chest and an intense expression on his face, she couldn’t help but squeak. With no bubbles to cover her, Thea’s cheeks heated and she slid lower down in the tub in order to hide herself.

“How long have you been standing there?” She couldn’t but ask with wide eyes, turning her head to state ahead instead of at him, hating the way her traitorous body warmed under his gaze.

As she felt tingles run down the back of her neck, over her left shoulder and left arm, she couldn’t help but gulp, very aware that this was the path of his eyes, completely unashamed.

“Long enough to know that your ass has really filled out over the years.”

“You can’t say things like that.” Thea shook her head, her lips pulling down into a deep scowl, not at all appreciative of his comment. “

“And why is that?” Orpheus hummed lowly as he stepped into the bathroom, only stopping once he reached the tub, dropping himself to sit on the edge of it so he was sat directly in front of her. As if that wasn’t enough, he then dipped a finger into the bath water, almost as if testing the temperature but Thea knew better.

He knew he was making her uncomfortable and like the sick person that he was, he took great pleasure in it; almost as if it spurred him on.

Once again, Thea was reminded of the fact that there were no bubbles and under the water, everything was visible. While it was nothing that he hadn’t felt before, she couldn’t help but cross her legs and fold her arms over her chest in her best attempt of covering herself, hating the way her cheeks heated and she squirmed as he continued watching her.

“I never take baths.” He hummed quietly after a few moments of uncomfortable silence, his head still bowed and his finger still drawing patterns aimlessly into the water. “I usually just have time for a shower so I’m glad that the tub is actually being put to some use.”

Even though she wasn’t a fan of taking baths either, Thea bit her tongue and chose not to answer, preferring him to know as little about her as possible.

It was easier to hate him that way.

“Why don’t you get out of the water so we can talk?” Orpheus finally lifted his head, though his eyes didn’t quite reach hers.

Completely unabashed and unashamed, his eyes started from the tips of her toes, taking his sweet time to take in every part of her that was visible under the water, though evidently lingering on the parts that she had chosen to cover.

When his eyes finally met hers, his lips curled up devilishly at the corners, not the least bit apologetic for blatantly violating her with his eyes.

If he wanted, he could strip himself of his clothes and climb into the tub with her before she could even stand up. He could pin her body down like he had done that night and use her body for his body. Again, something that he had done that night. When her tongue started to feel dry and her throat tighten up, making it difficult to swallow, she felt her vision start to blur.

When his whole hand joined his single finger in the water, her heart stilled and she held her breath, bracing herself to have to fight him off, but her whole world was shoved off its axis as instead of trying to pry open her legs or move her hands away, he scooped up some water in his palm and splashed it at her.

When his soft, throaty chuckles met her eyes, Thea could hardly believe what she was hearing.

Once again, much to her surprise, Orpheus stood up but instead of reaching for either the bottom of his shirt or his belt buckle, he moved over to the sink to begin washing his face and brushing his teeth.

Staring at his back, she couldn’t believe that he hadn’t tried to rape her even though she was close to powerless against him. Bringing her legs up to her chest in a form of self-soothing, something which had proved effective over the years, she willed herself to calm down as what she was afraid would happen again, hadn’t just happened.

Every single one of the one hundred and twenty seconds that it took for him to brush his teeth, Thea worked on slowing down her heart and regulating her breathing, reminding herself that everything was fine and that she wasn’t back in that day.

Once he was done, he rinsed his mouth and washed his brush before lifting his eyes to lock with her eyes through the mirror.

“I’ll wait for you in bed.” Orpheus simply stated as he turned around and headed out of the bathroom. Surprisingly, he had the decency to close the door behind him, something which she hated that she was grateful for.

Ignoring the double meaning of his words, Thea lifted herself out of the tub, drained it of its water and hopped into the shower for a quick rinse. After she was dressed in her pyjama shirt and full-length bottoms – trying to protect herself and make it as difficult for him as possible if he happened to get any ideas during the middle of the night – she pushed open the door and joined him in the bedroom.

“Where’s Malik?” Was the first question that tumbled out of her mouth the second she stepped out of the bathroom and back into the bedroom, her eyes immediately zoning in on the empty spot on the bed where she had previously left her son.

“I moved him into his room. He’s five, so should be perfectly capable of sleeping by himself.” Orpheus explained with a shrug. “Speaking of which, you said earlier that you wanted him to start going to school?”

“Like we discussed before, Malik is start going to kindergarten.”

“Yes.” He nodded with an undiscernible glint in his eyes which didn’t waver from her as she paced around his room. “He’s all set to start tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow?” Thea couldn’t help but question in surprise, so surprised that she had stopped pacing and came to a stand at the end of the bed, reaching out to brace her arms on the frame.

“Too soon?” He hummed quietly while reclining back on the bed,

“No, that’s fine.” She couldn’t help but murmur quietly. While it was a demand that she had made him earlier, it was one thing being hopeful and then a whole other thing to see him actually listen and implement just what she had said.

Once again, she refused to thank him.

“Tell me more about these demands that you have for me.” Orpheus chuckled, a carefree expression about him, almost as if he wasn’t keeping her and her son here against their will.

“I want all of my stuff back.” Thea squared her shoulders back and crossed her arms over her chest, hoping to leave no room for argument.

“I personally put all of your belongings in Malik’s room. Is something missing?” He cocked a questioning brow, almost as if challenging her to call him out on his bullshit.

“My laptop and iPad are missing.” Thea stated firmly, refusing to step down as she had done absolutely nothing wrong. “Not to mention the fact that you broke my phone.”

“It was an iPhone, right?”

“Yes, the 11th.”

“Well, I ended up getting you the 12th.” He shrugged, as if getting her the latest phone wasn’t a big deal and to him, it probably wasn’t.

Something which had very quickly turned into a recurring pattern, Thea merely pursed her lips instead of vocally thanking him but this time, she also hid the surprise that he was being so accommodating. She had believed that he would have put up some sort of fight and by the end of it, she would have been forced to fork out for a replacement phone even though he had been the one to destroy hers.

Just because he had upgraded her old phone by buying her a new one – something which she hadn’t asked for or needed or she would have done it herself – didn’t mean that she was about to start being grateful to him. Especially not since she knew just what kind of monster he was.

“I’ll return all of your electronics to you if you can promise me that you’ll behave.” His lip twitched at the corners slightly, suggesting that he was fighting off a smile which just made her all that much more irked off with him.

“Behave?” Thea questioned with a frown on her face, not the least bit impressed.

“You know what I’m talking about.”

“I’ll be on my best behaviour.” She rolled her eyes and forced an obviously fake smile which quickly slipped off her face as he threw his head back and laughed, highly amused by her actions even though she hadn’t been putting on a show.

“I’ll have them returned to you in the morning.” He promised. “But I’m really trusting you on this.”

“Okay.” Thea replied nonchalantly, uncaring of what he expected of her.

“Anything else?”

“I want the pack to stop staring at me.”

“You noticed that, huh?” Orpheus chuckled. “I’ll see what I can do but it’s going to take some time. The pack hasn’t had a Luna in over thirty or so years so I don’t blame them for being weird about it.”

Thea pursed her lips and nodded, relieved to hear that he hadn’t demanded for them to treat her that way.

“One more thing. If we’re going to stay here, there needs to actually be food in the kitchen.”

“You want me to take you grocery shopping?”

“No.” She shook her head, resisting the urge to roll her eyes. “I want to go grocery shopping. There’s a difference.”

“I’m sure we can manage that tomorrow.”

“Great.” Thea sighed.

With no more demands to make at the current moment, she turned off the light and lay down on her side of the bed, making sure to face her back to him and keep as much space between them as possible but when she felt him shuffle around before pressing the hard, chiselled planes of his bare chest against her back, she knew that there was no point.

“I can the gears in your mind working hard so you might as well ask me what you want while I’m still in a good mood.

“What were you all doing on the field this morning?” The words blurted out of her mouth before she could stop them, not realising just how much time she had spent wondering that very question the whole day.

“Praying.”

“To the Moon Goddess?”

Thea knew that her guess had been wrong even before she felt him stiffen up from behind her but as a few moments passed, he visibly relaxed, though his grip on her hip tightened, almost as if he believed that she would escape one he indulged her in the truth.

“No, to Lord Erebus.” His lips brushed against the nape of her neck as he whispered, almost as if he expected her to react negatively.

When she didn’t say anything in response, she could feel his lips turn down, his minty breath from the toothpaste spanning over the exposed skin there.

“You don’t have any more questions to ask about that?”

“I don’t know what to ask.” Thea couldn’t help but admit honestly, her mind perplexed as to what would be acceptable to ask or not ask in this situation.

“Anything that’s on your mind.” Orpheus prompted her, curious as to what she was thinking right now.

“Why do you pray to Erebus and not the Moon Goddess?”

“Because the Moon Goddess,” he paused to roll his eyes. “Is nothing but a fake.”

“What do you mean?” Her eyebrows furrowed together as she mulled over his words, struggling to understand what he was saying or what he was trying to get at. “I thought all werewolves worshipped the Moon Goddess because she created them.”

“Well, you thought wrong.” Orpheus couldn’t help but growl, but was quick to apologise as it wasn’t her fault for thinking that way. “The Apo to Chaos pack has been worshipping and praying to Lord Erebus from inception because he is the true creator of all werewolves. The Moon Goddess only betrayed him by taking credit for everything even though she didn’t do anything.”

“How did she betray him?”

“After he had created the first two werewolves, she killed him and took credit for it all.” He spat out the words, nuzzling his face further into her neck, needing her to calm him down after her question had gotten him so worked out. “I know it must be very confusing for you right now because you’ve only heard about the Moon Goddess, but Lord Erebus is the one true deity and when I show you the Book of Erebus, everything will make so much more sense.”

While Thea wasn’t sure what to think, make of the situation or even believe, she only hummed in response.

Even though Thea had so many questions on the tip of her tongue, she couldn’t bring herself to voice them aloud, too afraid of what she would hear. Instead, she closed her eyes and pretend that she was asleep even though the both of them knew that she was faking.

-

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Layla Knight

12.12.2020

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