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

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Chapter Forty-Four

THEA PETROVNA

Even though neither he or she knew Juliette, her mate or her unborn pup personally, they were counting every single day down to her delivery date as if they were best friends and couldn’t wait to welcome the pup into the world. Except, only the latter part was true but no in a way that either of the parents would appreciate.

When Orpheus had mentioned that she would be getting more involved in everything, she had thought that, that was just something he said to be polite, but how wrong she was.

As Juliette’s due date was tomorrow, everyone that was in the need to know in the Apo to Chaos pack were huddled into Orpheus’ office to discuss their plans. As the phone call with one of her clients had run longer than she had anticipated, she was running a little late though doubted she would have missed much.

Especially since she was supposed to pay a vital role in this kidnapping plan.

“Sorry, Luna but we’re pretty busy right now.” Clayton was the first one to greet her as she stepped into the office and closed the door behind her. “We’re a little busy here but you can come back later.”

Before she could snap at him for the rude behaviour that now unfortunately, she was now used to, her mate beat her to it except, his message was far more direct.

“Is this how you would treat me?” Orpheus roared loudly as he rose to his feet, his gaze not wavering from Clayton who now quivered slightly in his seat, having not expected such a response. “

“What?” The Beta wolf questioned in response, barely able to get the single word passed his lips.

Even though Thea felt slightly bad for Clayton because of the harsh way that Orpheus had immediately responded with, she couldn’t bring herself to butt in or break them up as ultimately, he had this coming for the way he continued to treat her behind Orpheus’ back.

Just because she hadn’t said anything before didn’t mean that she was letting it slide but rather, she planned to allow Orpheus walk into the moment himself and decide what he should do about it. But perhaps she was biased because she knew that he would react negatively regardless of what Clayton said to her or acted around her.

Since Clayton had been stupid enough to be rude to her in front of the Alpha again, she was more than happy to allow him to now reap the benefits of what he sowed.

The fact that other than the Alpha and Beta duo, the room – which also consisted of a few warriors who had been involved in this whole operation from the very beginning, proving useful as they were able to provide a lot of the muscle work – was deathly silent, not daring to come between the two of them when Orpheus was evidently this piping mad, just made everything all that much worse.

“I asked you, is this how you would treat me?” Orpheus glowered as he crossed his arms over his chest and squared his shoulders back, looking at Clayton as if he was the only person in the room.

“No, Alpha.” He shook his head frantically in denial. “But I don’t quite understand what you mean.”

“Remember when I said that you are you to treat your Luna the same way you treat me? Or rather, when I gave you the last warning?”

“Yes, Alpha.” Clayton gulped and forced his head down in submission, his body now shaking in fear at the way his Alpha was now addressing him.

“I’ve warned you about this far too many times.” Orpheus tutted, almost as if he was disappointed when in reality, it was so much more serious than that. “Yet you still talk to her this way. There’s either something really wrong with you or you’re asking to for a month in the cells.”

Sensing that it was more of a rhetorical question, Clayton was smart enough to keep his mouth shut, his head still bowed in submission, growing even more scared with the threats that Orpheus had just waved in front of his face.

Pursing his lips, Orpheus exhaled heavily through his nose before finally turning his head toward her, the apology shining in his eyes even though it wasn’t his apology to make.

Not looking to draw any more attention to herself, Thea was quick to walk around the table when he gestured for her to take a seat in the empty chair next to him, having especially saved it for her.

“I’m so sorry about all of that.” Orpheus leaned in to whisper to her, offering her a small smile in hopes of lightening up the situation.

“You stood up for me.” Thea stated instead of thanking him as she wasn’t quite ready for that just yet. “You didn’t have to, but you did.”

“Of course, I did. You’re my mate.”

Staring back at him, Thea didn’t bother hiding the way her breath hitched in her throat or the way her heart skipped a beat. Even though she hated her body’s reaction toward him, Thea allowed herself to have this moment as she leaned in to rest her shoulder against hers.

With one last lingering look, Orpheus turned his head back to face all the wolves around the makeshift table to continue their plan for the next sacrifice.

Every idea that they managed to get through, someone else was able to debunk by exploiting one flaw or another.

Since she was the newest one here, Thea made a few notes and doodles but mostly, she sat back and observed the situation, mulling over every idea that was suggested until finally, her doodles started to make sense and she was able to brew up an idea of her own.

“Is that a map?” Orpheus asked curiously as he leaned in closer toward her to glance over her shoulder.

“It’s a map of the Lupus Griseo pack.” Thea hummed and nodded in response.

“And that’s the pack hospital?” He asked, pointing to something which appeared to be a building.

“No, that’s the packhouse.” She shook her head as she trailed her finger across the paper until landing on another building. “This is the pack hospital. As you can see, the best way to access it would be from here.” This time, she held up the notebook and made a show of pointing to the west side of the forest. “We’ll be able to hide behind the row of houses along here all the way to the hospital which we should then be able to enter through the backdoor.” Thea explained, giving them a few moments to think over her idea, bracing herself to be open for constructive criticism.

“Other than having to time it perfectly so we enter while border patrol is changing over, we’re going to have an issue with our scents.” Thea pursed her lips as she mulled over the one issue which could possibly hinder

A few of the wolves around the table chuckled while the others continued staring at her rough map drawing, trying to find a flaw in it which she appreciated as this needed to be fool proof. At least from her end, she needed to make it look fool proof so they wouldn’t suspect her of anything.

“Don’t worry about that.” Orpheus assured her with a chuckle. “We have a specific something to help us with that kind of thing.”

She pursed her lips but decided to trust him on this one. Since they pretty much had a whole plan now, the meeting quickly came to a close.

“Luna Thea?” Clayton called out to her just as she reached the door, her hand squeezed around the door handle. When she glanced at him from over her shoulder in surprise, he merely frowned and glanced down at the ground. “Can I please speak to you? In private?” He asked in a quiet, hopeful tone.

Her frown deepened as she glanced around the room. When she met Orpheus’ dark eyes, he merely shrugged his shoulders in response with an equally puzzled expression on her face.

Not really sure what to do or make of the situation, she stepped to the side to allow the warriors to leave the room.

“I’ll go find Malik and take him back to the house.” Orpheus murmured quietly as he stopped by her side, a tender look in his eyes.

“Okay.” Her lip twitched slightly at the corners. “You think you’ll be able to put him to bed last time?”

He threw his head back and laughed, catching on to what he was referring to straight away.

“That was only one time and what can I say?” He shrugged, not the least bit apologetic. “The boy

“Uncanny, isn’t it?” She snorted and made a show of rolling her eyes, but was quick to jump out of the way when he narrowed his eyes at her sarcasm and reached out for her playfully.

“I’ll see you back at the house.” Orpheus chuckled at her reaction and leaned down to press his lips to the crown of her head, momentarily catching her off guard despite the way they had been growing closer these past few weeks regardless of everything that had happened between them – something which she tried her best not to dwell too long on.

Still suffering from the surprise attack from her mate, Thea didn’t notice Clayton approach her until he came to stand a few steps in front of her, an evidently nervous look on his face as he stared down at her.

“I’m sorry for the way that I’ve been treating you, Luna.” Clayton bowed his head in shame and for the first time since she had known him, he looked like he actually meant it.

“Okay. Thank you for apologising.” Thea hummed quietly in response after a few moments, not really sure how to handle the situation, especially since the Beta wolf seemed genuine.

The whole time that she had known him, Clayton and Thea had been at each other’s throats constantly, always back and forth and arguing at whatever chance and opportunity they got but it appeared that now, all of this was changing.

Thea just hoped that it was for the better.

When her response was met with momentary silence, the wolf in front of her clearly battling internally with his wolf, she pursed her lips and decided to prompt him before she decided to leave.

“I can see now that I was wrong about you.” Clayton offered her a small smile in hopes of making amends. “You’ve done so much for the Alpha and the pack already even though I know how hard things have been for you. Even today, you had so much to add to the table and. If you weren’t here today, we certainly wouldn’t have been able to come up with a plan nearly as good as the one that we came up with today.”

Surprised with how pleasant his monologue had been as well as the fact that he hadn’t insulted her even once in the past minute, she could only blink back at him for a couple of seconds before she shook her head to snap herself out of the daze.

“I know that must have been hard for you since you don’t like me.” Thea began with a teasing smile on her face. “But I really appreciate the apology.”

Clayton nodded his head in respect and after sharing a few more pleasantries, she excused herself by calling it a night and making her way back to the house.

After the long day she had, Thea all but dragged her feet as she walked out of the pack house and made her way toward Orpheus’ house, needing these few moments to clear her mind and think over the recent happenings of the meeting that had just ended.

She hated that she played such a big role in coming up with the plan for kidnapping the pup that was still yet to be born but she needed them to trust her and the more involved, the better. However, there was one flaw that she was aware of yet they had all been blind to and unable to spot, just as Thea had planned with Marcellus and Anastasia.

Whatever happened, as long as they thought she was on their side, that was all that mattered because from the other side, Marcellus, Anastasia and the rest of the Lupus Griseo pack would be making sure that no one got hurt – or as few people as possible got hurt as sometimes, in these sorts of things, casualties were impossible to escape.

Or that was what she was telling herself to avoid feeling the buckets of guilt that threatened to swallow her whole whenever she thought about what her life had turned into.

Needing something stronger than a walk to clear her mind, Thea headed into the downstairs bathroom as soon as she got into the house. Making sure to lock the door behind her, she stripped down to her birthday suit and stepped into the shower.

After getting over the initial shock of the cold water, thinks quickly started to warm up and she sighed, her eyes fluttering closed as she felt her sore muscles to relax.

Even though she had planned for this to be her alone time, the moment didn’t last long as she heard the bathroom door open and then close, not bothering with being too quiet about it as Malik wouldn’t be able to hear from all the way upstairs. That, and the fact that he was already fast asleep.

By now, she had learnt that if Orpheus wanted to get into a room, there was no stopping him so when all of a sudden that she felt his naked chest pressed up against her back, she wasn’t all that surprised. She was uncomfortable, but not surprised at all.

“I’m so sorry for what Clayton said to you back there. I don’t know what’s wrong with him but I think it’s about time he starts paying for that sharp tongue of his, Beta or not.” His statement ended in a growl as he tightened his arm around her middle, his bead bowed as he spoke directly into her ear, the water dripping off the wet strands of his hair and rolling down her shoulder and the rest of her body until finally, it dripped onto the ground.

“I don’t think there’s any need for that.” She hummed quietly as she leaned back against him, allowing herself to enjoy this moment as well. “He apologised to me without you having to force him this time, and he actually seemed like he meant it, too, so maybe things will be different this time?”

“Maybe.” Orpheus sighed and pressed his forehead to her shoulder, closing his eyes in bliss as they swayed back and forth slightly under the warm water that drizzled over them both.

A few moments of silence passed between them, with him plastered against her back and his arms wrapped around her so tight, almost as if he was afraid that she would suddenly disappear, the both of them stood underneath the water as it rained over them.

“I’m not over it yet.” She whispered quietly after a few moments. “It’s far too soon so please don’t expect anything from me because I’m just not ready for anything more than this. Even this is a little much for me right now.”

“I know.” He whispered into her shoulder in a quiet, gravelly voice. “I don’t expect you to ever get over it, let alone anytime soon. Not after everything that I’ve done to you.”

Thea clenched her jaw but nodded her head, her face softening as she tilted her head back and closed her eyes, struggling to get a hold of all the thoughts, feelings and emotions rushing through her body.

“I need you to know that I’m so sorry.” Orpheus whispered after a few moments, his voice wavering with emotion.

“I know.” Thea sighed, that being the only response that she could manage.

“I always knew that it would take a lot for my mate to love and accept me just because of who I am, but I never thought I would be capable of something like this. I never thought I would be able to harm my mate like I’ve done to you.”

“I know.”

“I feel like I’ve ruined everything between us before they even had the chance to take off.” He groaned and pressed his forehead further into his shoulder, almost as if he was trying to force those thoughts out of his mind. “I wish I could go back to that night. I would do everything differently and then maybe we would have actually stood a chance.”

“I know.” She sighed again.

She was just that what he had done to her was irreversible and things couldn’t have been different between them.

-

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Layla Knight

20.12.2020

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