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

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Chapter Thirty-Two

RECAP:

For those of you skipped the second half of the previous chapter due to the trigger warning, here's what happened:

1. Orpheus forcibly marked Thea

2. His mark didn't stick

3. Thea became unconscious

-

THEA PETROVNA

As much as she wanted to say that she woke up confused, disoriented and with absolutely no idea of what had happened to her, that was simply not the case.

The moment she opened her eyes, she wished she hadn’t.

Being awake meant that she had to face the reality of what had happened to her; the reality of what he had done to her. The junction between her thighs was sore and she hadn’t even moved a single muscle yet but in comparison to the excruciating pain that resonated from deep within her neck.

The longer she focused on it, the more it burned however, it was nothing compared to what she had felt in that moment when he had plunged into her for the second time; raping her for the second time.

“Thea?” A quiet, muffled voice called out to her although she didn’t dare turning her head to spy who it was. “Can you hear us, sweetie?”

Her body still partially asleep, all she could do was moan in response, throat parched and scratchily dry.

Thea wasn’t sure who it was but when she felt a straw land on her bottom lip, she parted her lips and sucked gently, moaning again as the waster sloshed around in the inside of her mouth and down her throat. Not that she cared all that much, but the person helping her made sure she only took a few sips at a time, not wanting her to choke on the water, especially not while she was in this delicate state.

Before any of them could bombard her with all of the questions that they had prepared, they all respected her enough to take a step back and allow the doctor to check over her and make sure she was on the mend; and what a lot of mending there was that needed to happen.

Respect. It had been a while since she had received any.

Glancing around the room, she was met with all familiar faces except one; the doctor who very quickly excused himself from the room as he had already completed his routine check-ups, but not before assuring her that he would be back to check on her again soon.

Forcing her eyes to look away from the door, she glanced back to the five council members and Marcellus, all of whom were sparsely spread around her hospital room but with Anastasia by her side.

“How are you feeling?” Anastasia asked quietly, reaching out a hand to brush her hair away from her face.

“Worse than shit.” Thea frowned, fidgeting slightly on the bed but then quickly regretting it when her neck hurt. Even though the doctor had given her some painkillers, they hadn’t quite kicked in yet so she could feel everything. Despite that, she felt uncomfortable with being laid down on the bed while everyone was either sitting or standing, not to mention she had to keep craning her neck if she wanted to see anyone.

Unsurprisingly, no one smiled or laughed but rather, they all frowned, feeling nothing but pity on her behalf however, she couldn’t bring herself to care all that much. Not when they declared her to be lying about being raped all those years ago and then all but pushing her into her rapists’ arms.

“Can you help me up?” She asked with yet another wince, not wanting to remain lying down on the bed as she had done plenty of that while locked away in the dungeon cell.

“Are you sure that’s such a good idea?” Anastasia asked, the concern dripping off her voice. “I think that might just hurt you more.”

“Do you want us to call the doctor again?” Maverick asked but before anyone else could jump in with the questions, Thea groaned in protest instead of shaking her head as she was sure that she would have regretted that very quickly; her neck still very much tender and sore.

“No.” Thea groaned out in frustration, not the least bit worried or concerned about being polite now, not after the last two weeks that she had just suffered through; yesterday’s unfortunate turn of events just being the cherry on the cake. “I just want someone to help me sit up. If you can’t do that, then please call either the doctor or the nurse.”

Momentary silence filled the room before a few of them scrambled over to help heed her request, though understandably, Anastasia and Marcellus reached her first.

“How are we going to do this?” Marcellus whistled lowly as he glanced down at her, his lips curling down in deep thought.

“Bridal style?” Anastasia suggested but judging by the hesitant look on Marcellus’ face, he wasn’t quite on board with that idea.

“Wouldn’t I just jostle her too much when picking her up?” He asked, glancing down at his mate in question but it was the patient that answered.

“Since the painkillers haven’t quite kicked in him, I’m confident that whatever you try, it’s going to hurt a little so all I want is for you to it fast so it’ll be over with quickly.”

Even though he still didn’t think for it to be a good idea, Marcellus sighed and nodded his head, nonetheless.

Heeding her wishes, the Alpha wolf provided her with no warning as he braced one arm under her upper back and the other under her thighs. In one quick, swift motion, he lifted her into the air. Anastasia took advantage of the situation and grabbed a pillow prop it up against the headboard so she would have something to lean back against.

“Thank you.” She grimaced while fidgeting slightly.

Once her back pressed against the soft pillow behind and she found a comfortable spot where she wouldn’t have to move, a sigh of momentary content escaped her lips.

Glancing up, she was met with seven curious sets of eyes, all watching her every move, almost as if they expected her to explode or break down at any moment now.

“Why are you all staring at me?” She rolled her eyes. “And where is Malik? I’d really like to see him.”

“Of course! I’ll ask Dalton to bring him around. He keeps asking about you.” Anastasia nodded but Marcellus reached out and placed a hand on her shoulder, his eyes already clouded which suggested that he was already mind linking his Beta who had come along to sort out whatever this huge mess was.

“How is Malik?” Thea asked, her voice dripping with worry and concern.

“He’s fine.” Anastasia assured her as she joined her on the bed, also leaning back against the headrest. “Other than wondering why you went to visit me for a week without taking him, he’s absolutely fine.”

To describe what Thea was feeling now as relief would be a complete and utter understatement.

“He told Malik that I went to visit you? Without him?”

Her friend nodded in agreeance and reached out to give her hand a reassuring, comforting squeeze.

As the next few moments passed by in silence, all of them refusing to take responsibility for their actions which together, pushed her into that monster’s arms without any chance or hope of escape. If they had just believed her that night, she would be here today.

“Can someone please tell me what happened?” Thea didn’t bother hiding the evident distaste and annoyance in her voice, her gaze trained on the five wolves in question or more specifically, the three of them that had openly stated and acted as if she had been crying wolf.

Unfortunately, it appeared that none of them had the decency or courage to face her and instead, Marcellus frowned but took a step forward, not wanting to leave her hanging.

“Marcellus, Anastasia.” She smiled softly while turning to face both of her friends. “I hope you don’t mind but I’d much rather hear all of this from the horse’s mouth.”

Nodding in understanding, Marcellus dropped himself to take a seat in Anastasia’s now vacant, carefully watching his father and the rest of the council, also awaiting their answer.

“Thea, what do you remember?” Maverick asked but she was having none of it.

“We’ll talk about what I remember later but now, I want to specifically know what happened yesterday.” She insisted with a fierce look in her eyes. “I know he marked me but after that, I don’t remember anything. Why?”

“The mark didn’t stick.” Harriet explained with a sigh.

“The mark didn’t stick?” Thea echoed, surprised and confused. “What do you mean the mark didn’t stick? How is that possible?”

“The mark didn’t stick because the mate bond was rejected.” Malachi stated matter-of-factly. “Because of what he had done to you, your body and the mate bond rejected him. Hence, the mark faded away.”

“You mean because he raped me?” Thea questioned with a cocked brow, not the same weak, small girl that had stood and had her character and retelling of events questioned two weeks ago, even though her rapist was supposed to be the one on trial.

“Yes.” Malachi confirmed with a gulp before clearing his throat, clearly uncomfortable with the turn that the conversation had taken.

“And why exactly was the mate bond rejected?”

“That only happens when the pairing aren’t mates and also when it’s a forced mating.”

“Well, we’re definitely mates.” Thea replied sarcastically, moving to cross her arms over her chest. “So, do you believe me now?”

Instead of answering the question, Malachi sighed.

“On behalf of the council, Thea Petrovna, we would like to issue an apology for believing you at the trial.”

“I wasn’t lying then and I wasn’t lying all those years ago.” Thea took advantage of the situation to clarify, uncaring of the fact that she probably looked smug with the way that she was speaking to everyone. “All you had to do was believe me and then all of this could have been avoided.”

“We give you our dearest apologies.” Maverick added to the apology and while he at least seemed sincere unlike Malachi, it still rubbed her up the wrong way.

“Look. You can apologise as much as you want right now but it’s not going to change the fact that I told you he raped me, and then you sent me to go live with him.” Thea sighed as she rolled her eyes, unable to hold back the sour mood that was threatening to take over her whole being. “You don’t know what it’s like to be raped, to have him on top of you doing and taking whatever he wants. You don’t know what it’s like being powerless, being able to do nothing other than have to take it all. You can keep apologising but it’s never going to be enough. You can argue that the first time is on me but the second time, there’s no way on Earth that you can stick that on me. The second time, the second rape, that’s all on you and a simple, half assed sorry isn’t going to make it all go away. It isn’t going to make me go away.”

When she spoke the last line, she forced herself to make direct eye contact with the council members or more specifically, the three that had played their part in landing her in this hospital today.

While nearly all of the council members had the decency to bow their heads in shame, the same could not be said about the head of the council, elder Malachi who judging by the clenched jaw and fisted hands by his sides, far from appreciated the way that she had just spoken to them.

But Thea couldn’t give a single fuck. Instead, she sneered at him and made a show of rolling her eyes, just for his benefit.

“Where is he right now?” She asked, looking straight at elder Malachi who didn’t appear to feel any sense of remorse guilt. “Still leading the pack, I presume.”

“In the dungeon.” Harriet was quick to answer before any of her male colleagues, a smug expression on her face. “The same cell that he kept you in for that week.”

“You know about that?” Thea couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow in surprise that they knew the happenings of the Apo to Chaos pack, especially since she had assumed that he would have kept anything that shone a bad light on him a secret, especially from the werewolf council that held the power to strip him of his title if really necessary.

If this situation was not necessary then she didn’t know what would be. The fact that he was a second time offender just made everything all that much worse and luckily for Thea, both offences had been against her.

Oh, what had she done that was so wrong to land her as Alpha Orpheus’ mate?

“He actually told us everything.” Malachi stated, his jaw still clenched. “The doctor had alerted us that our presence at the Apo to Chaos pack was necessary and once we got here, he told us everything that Alpha Orpheus had said to him as it was a crime against the Luna.”

“We then came into the room to find that they let him stay in the room with you.” Paulo spat with clear hatred and disgust evident on both his face and voice. “He confirmed everything the doctor told us. He kept apologising and crying so it was a little difficult to understand. He put up a fight but we kicked him out of the room.”

“He was crying?” Her eyes widened in shock, waiting for them to tell her that it was a joke but when it never came, she still couldn’t believe it.

Orpheus was crying? Tears were leaking from his eyes? For her?

“Dad told me about what happened when they got here so Anastasia and I set out as soon as we could.” Marcellus piped up, adding in his two cents. “The fucker was already locked away before we got here otherwise he’d be in a whole lot of pain right now.”

“Thanks, Mars.” Thea laughed softly despite the gravity of the situation but when her throat ached as well as her tender nether region, the sound quickly ceased.

When Anastasia lifted the bottle of water and straw to her lips, Thea sent her a thankful smile before allowing herself a few sips. Once she was done, she was feeling much better but unfortunately, nothing regarding the horrid situation surrounding her had changed.

Her mate was still a rapist and currently, he was locked away in his own dungeons.

“Thea?” Anastasia called out to her a soft, gentle voice, sensing that her friend was deep in thought. “What are you thinking? Tell us what you need.”

“I need you to take me to Orpheus.”

-

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Layla Knight

11.12.2020

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