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

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Chapter Twenty-Four

THEA PETROVNA

It appeared that Alpha Orpheus was indeed a man of his word as when they returned to the packhouse after having dropped Malik off at school, her laptop, iPad and new phone were awaiting her in his office.

“You really weren’t joking about getting me the 12th iPhone.” Thea hummed lowly as she lifted the phone box into the air to open it up.

Since she had managed to salvage her sim from the pile of broken last which had previously been her phone, getting it up and running with all of her data should be fairly easy, though she couldn’t help but worry that he had bugged the device or something. However, she could argue that he could have bugged all of her electronics but with him sitting right in front of her, she decided to wait before inspecting them all.

“You don’t like it?” He hummed aloud, watching her carefully, almost to see if she would lie to him.

“No, it’s fine.” Her lips stretched into a small smile. “Is there anywhere I can sit and get some work done?”

“There’s a library on the second floor and if you don’t like that, you could always head back to the house. No one will disturb you there.” Orpheus murmured quietly from where he was sat on his desk chair. “Or you sit here with me? There’s plenty of space here and I’m willing to share my desk.”

As spending even more time alone and sheltered in that house, Thea shook her head gently; the first option appealing to her a little more than the second. The third wasn’t even in the running and not something that she dared wasting time dwelling over.

“I’ll check out the library, thanks.” She murmured quietly before scooping up her belongings and turning around to head out of the office, holding back the urge to squirm as she could feel his eyes watching her walk away.

Before she could venture up to the second floor to get started on work, she needed a big cup of coffee to get her through the morning, especially since she hadn’t eaten as much at breakfast as she probably should have.

Heading into the kitchen, she dropped her things on the kitchen island but didn’t realise that she wasn’t alone. When she glanced up, she was met with three pairs of curious eyes that were all currently staring at her, watching her every move but what surprised her the most, was that they were smiling at her.

“Hello.” Thea cleared her throat before greeting them, not even sure if they would respond as that had been the trending pattern for the past two days.

Even more to her surprise, their smiles widened before the person closest to her decided to introduce himself first.

“Hello, Luna.” He greeted her with a large grin, holding out his hand in a polite manner. “My name is Dylan. It’s a pleasure meeting you.”

“Nice to meet you, Dylan, but you don’t need to call me Luna.” Thea smiled back at him before accepting his hand, happy to make her first acquaintance at the pack.

After the other two pack chefs introduced themselves, Maribel and Renee, she moved over to begin brewing herself a cup of coffee as the pot seemed to be all out from breakfast.

“How did you find your first day here, Thea?” Renee greeted her with a polite smile on her face, shooting the question over her shoulder as she worked on the gravy to go with the chicken Maribel was cooking for lunch today.

“It was pleasant.” She pushed herself to smile a little, especially since she had just met these people and so far, they had been nothing but nice to her. In fact, they were the first people that had actually spoken to her since Thea had arrived at this new pack.

The three chefs shared a knowing look before laughing softly, and Thea couldn’t help but join in.

“We understand that this move has probably come as a big change for you.” Dylan laughed softly as he offered her one of the freshly baked biscuits that he had just pulled out of the oven, rendering her unable to resist.

Thea couldn’t agree more. “These things take time.”

“Well, if you ever need someone to talk to, you know where to find us.”

“Thank you.” She smiled genuinely with all of her belongings, hot cup of coffee and freshly baked biscuit in hand. “I have to get started on some work now but I’ll be sure to take you up on that offer.”

“Bye, Thea.” They all chimed politely and she waved at them one last time before heading out of the kitchen.

Even though that simple conversation hadn’t lasted longer than a few moments, Thea felt so good about herself. She had officially met the first few people at the Apo to Chaos pack and even though it wasn’t anything revolutionary by any means, to her, it was progress.

Just as Orpheus had stated, the library was on the second floor, right at the end of the hallway and past all of the bedrooms. As it was still morning, most pack members were already awake as well as out and about, getting a head start on their day and so was Thea, just a little differently.

Seeing as she had been forced to permanently move into the Apo to Chaos pack, that meant that she was no longer able to work part-time at the local diner which stopped one form of cashflow for her. Luckily, working as a freelance graphic designer meant that she was still able to follow her dream as all of her work was done remotely and from her laptop but as it was still somewhat of a dream and not so much as a successful reality as of yet, she would need to start looking into some part-time jobs around the pack if she wanted to continue providing enough for her and Malik.

Just thinking of it made Thea feel tired, especially since she was sure that Orpheus wouldn’t be too happy to hear about that. She had already made so many demands about him returning her stuff, allowing Malik to go to school and a few other things which she now regretted as she should have put more thought into prioritising her demands; Malik going to school and her job being on the very top of the list. She should have left him to worry about the grocery shopping but she couldn’t go back in time and change things now.

What’s done was done and there was no point wasting time dwelling on the matter.

Before booting up her laptop to get started on some work, Thea couldn’t help but start on her inspection, almost as if she was expecting for these electronics to be watching her, listening to her and relaying the information back to none other than Orpheus. In fact, she didn’t put it past him as he had gotten so vexed over something as small as her speaking to Anastasia that day. If you counted a thirty second phone call where Thea didn’t actually say anything as speaking.

She certainly didn’t.

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary – no apps that weren’t there before, no recording, nothing. Even though she still felt a little strange about something which she couldn’t quite put her finger on, there was a lot of work pending that needed her attention; especially since she was now a few days behind.

With her coffee within reach and her laptop balanced on her legs, Thea finally got down to business and started on some work. As she had been away for a few days, there were more than a few messages and emails that she needed to reply to, so that was the first thing on her agenda for that morning.

After that, there were two deadlines that she needed to meet before the end of the day. While the first was about half way done since she had been working on it before getting up to visit Anastasia at the Lupum Griseo pack, she hadn’t even started the second one so the pressure was one.

Thea wasn’t sure how much time had passed but within the first two hours, she was able to finish the first task which was a design for a billboard in a local town, and send it off to the client for review. Usually there were a few things that needed tweaking before it was completely finished but for the most part, the hard part had already been completed.

As she hadn’t started the second task yet, that also meant that she didn’t have any notes written down. As she needed to brainstorm some ideas before she could physically start working on it, she left her laptop down on the table while she paced around the library.

With all sorts of thoughts and ideas swirling through her mind, Thea walked through the rows and rows of shelves aimlessly, not really paying attention to where she was going. In fact, she was paying so little attention that when she literally tripped over a book on the ground, she was forced to stop.

Glancing down, she couldn’t help but chuckle at the offending book, surprised to find that it was Twilight, highly amusing to her as she was undeniably Team Edward even if the movies weren’t quite up to par; and that was putting it mildly.

Turning it over in her hands, she couldn’t help but laugh at all the fond memories that rose to the surface and she glanced up to place the book back on the shelf.

Even though she was supposed to be brainstorming ideas, Thea couldn’t resist snooping through some of the books she found on the shelves, specifically about this Lord Erebus that everyone seemed to love but she knew virtually nothing about.

As there were so many other fantasy books on she shelves as well as all the other Twilight books, Thea had no doubt in her mind that no one above the age of eighteen – and even that was at a push – probably used this library.

She laughed softly but before turning away to get back to work, her eyes landed on a black hardback book which stood out like a sore thumb among all of the other colourful and illustrative covers, definitely out of place.

As her curiosity got the better for her, Thea reached out to grab the book and as she glanced at the front cover only to find nothing, she turned it over in her hands but it appeared this book had no name. Opening up the front cover, she was surprised to see the title.

Erebus – The Primordial God of Darkness

As the title was enough to pique her interest, Thea leaned back against the Twilight shelf and flipped over a few more pages.

Erebus is the primordial dark god of night and darkness. He was the offspring of Chaos, the first god that ruled over the confusion of the void that existed prior to the world as it is known today. He supplanted Chaos as the most powerful of the gods and became immortal, only to be supplanted by Aether and Hemera, his children with his wife, which led to the Titans that were overpowered by the Greek pantheon of gods that we know today.

From Chaos came forth Erebus and black Night (Nyx); but of Night were born Aether and Day (Hemera), whom she conceived and bore from union in love with Erebus.

Erebus features little in Greek mythological tradition and literature, but is said to have fathered several other deities with Nyx; depending on the source of the mythology, this union includes Aether, Hemera, the Hesperides, Hypnos, the Moirai, Geras, Styx, Charon, Nemesis and Thanatos.

In Greek literature, the name Erebus is also used as a region of the Greek underworld where the dead pass immediately after dying, and is sometimes used interchangeably with Tartarus.

As she flipped through the pages, she was met with more and more information and at this point, most of it was going over her head but she couldn’t bring herself to stop.

Erebus was the first god of the Underworld, a place which legend says that no light or healthy living thing could live. He created the shadows and dark spaces inside the earth and on it, giving space for his many children to hold dominion over their associated aspects.

Erebus was always associated with his consort and sister, Nyx, who was the goddess of night. The two made a logical pair, and they are said to have had some children, Hecate and Selene. It is interesting to note that Selene is also associated with the night. However, in some stories, Nyx is told to be Erebus’s mother, not his sister.

“What are you doing?” A loud voice called out to her from over the shelves at the entrance of the library, making Thea drop the book that she had been reading.

“Nothing!” She was quick to deny, reaching down to pick up the book and place it back on the shelf before he could come find her himself.

She had no idea what he would think, finding her in the midst of reading up on their deity, but she wished to avoid finding out as she wasn’t sure how she felt after the little that she had learnt from the book, even more suspicious than before as everything that she had been read had been nothing short of good.

She may sound like a pessimist, but Thea was a firm believer that if something sounded too good to be true, then it usually was, and she couldn’t help but think tat this was one of those situations.

“Doesn’t sound like nothing to me.” He hummed aloud, his voice growing louder as he stepped further into the library, only coming to a stop at the table that she had previously been working at.

“I just dropped a book. Clumsy me.” Thea hummed as she emerged from the row of shelves, finally exposing herself to him as she returned to her laptop, reaching out to close the lid as she eyes the gifts that he had come bearing; chicken sandwiches and a water bottle for the both of them.

“Shouldn’t you be working?”

“I should, but I got distracted.” She admitted with a chuckle before taking a seat, purposely leaving out the part where she had been snooping about the Apo to Chaos pack and their own version of the Moon Goddess.

“Well, you think you could take a break for lunch?”

“Sure. That sounds nice.” Thea murmured quietly before reaching out for a plate of her own, her stomach now rumbling with hunger now that he had mentioned food.

“How is work going?” Orpheus asked as he pulled out the chair next to her and took a seat, his lips twitching up slightly at the corners as he watched her, amused with how hungry it seems. “I had a feeling you would be hungry since you barely ate much at breakfast.”

“I wasn’t hungry then.” She lied effortlessly before picking up her sandwich. “But yeah, work is good. I’ve got a lot to do but it’s going good. How about you?”

“Yeah, I’ve got a lot on my plate too.” He chuckled from beside her and very quickly, they resorted to an uncomfortable silence while they enjoyed their lunch.

“I’ve got something I want to show you.” He announced the moment she finished off her sandwich, having already finished with his a few moments ago.

“You do?”

Orpheus merely hummed in response before he rose to his feet and wiped his mouth on a napkin. As he dropped it down on his plate, he moved away from the table and disappeared from behind the shelves, though she could still see the back of his head as he appeared to be taller than the actual shelves.

“What is it?” She asked quietly as he approached the table again, holding something behind his back.

“We didn’t really get to talk much this morning but I wanted to let you know that I was really grateful that you tried praying with us this morning. It must have been weird for you, huh?” He chuckled, staring back at her with a hopeful, expectant look in his eyes.

Unsure of what to do and feeling uncomfortable under his gaze, Thea squirmed in her seat and just nodded her head, hoping that it would be enough to pacify him.

“You found it strange?” Orpheus prompted with a questioning look on his face.

“At first.” Thea forced her lips into a smile even though she knew it was the opposite of genuine, purposely leaving out the fact that it had been strange at first, as well as every other moment that followed after it up until the very last moment when the prayer had ended but in this situation, it appeared that the less he knew, the better.

“I know you’re really busy and we don’t have much time now, but maybe you can read this later? Get to know more about the pack?”

“Yes, sure.” Her head bobbed up and down slightly as she reached out and accepted the book with open hands, not really sure what to do with it.

“Great. Take all the time you need and if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. I’ll do my best to make things as simple for you as possible.” He cheered with a light chuckle, clearly overjoyed that she had been so forthcoming and accepting. “Come on. I thought you said we needed to go grocery shopping.” Orpheus grinned as he picked up both of their plates, sending a pointed look at the door which suggested that they needed to get a move on.

Even though Thea still had a lot of work to get done before the end of the day, she smiled softly and nodded her head, giving in.

As long as they got the food shop done, picked up Malik and came straight home, everything should be fine.

-

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Layla Knight

12.12.2020

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