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

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Chapter Forty-Six

THEA PETROVNA

Even though the sun had just risen in the sky and she hadn’t slept for more than a few hours, Thea felt very, very awake. The most awake she had felt in a long time. Perhaps that had something to do with her sleep cycle but more probably, it had more to do with all of the things that they had planned for today.

The moment she turned on the shower and the water began pit-patting against the shower tiles, she reached for her phone and made sure to send Anastasia a quick text.

We’re going to leave in an hour.

We should be there a little after noon.

I’ll try to keep you updated but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to text you again.

Please don’t reply.

After she was sure that the messages had been sent, she was quick to delete them from her end so in case anyone checked or picked up her phone for whatever reason, they would have no idea that she had warned the Lupus Griseo pack that they were coming.

Very aware that she didn’t have long as Orpheus would be waking up anytime now, Thea jumped into the shower for a quick rinse as she was sure there wouldn’t be any time for showering over the next few days.

While she didn’t feel great about leaving Malik behind, Thea simply had no choice. There was absolutely no way that she was willing to take him with them as she didn’t want to put his life in danger when things went wrong – as she was both expecting and hoping for that to happen.

When all of this was over, she would just have to return as a distraught and widowed Luna, suffering from a broken heart at the loss of her mate or worse, having him only locked up. It was only then that she would be able to execute the last leg of her plan but for now, she had no choice but to leave him in the very capable hands of a few of the pack members that they were both fond of and had gotten to know over the past month.

Thea wasn’t overjoyed with having to leave her little boy behind, but she knew that this was something that needed to be done.

“You ready?” Orpheus asked as he held open the car door for her, his voice pulling her out of her thoughts.

“As ready as I’ll ever be.” Thea replied honestly before slipping in, though quickly had to budge up as he started to get in beside her.

With Clayton driving and a warrior she didn’t quite recognise in the passenger seat – a further two cars joining them – they were all set to go and in a few short hours, they would arrive at the Lupus Griseo pack where the final showdown would take place.

Just thinking about that now made her feel sick so she turned her head to glance out the window, needing something to take her mind off this mess which she was now trying to fix.

All she could think about was that the next time she came back here, she would have officially escaped him but she couldn’t dwell on that thought now. Not when they were so close to the finish line.

Since she had been spending a lot of time planning with Orpheus and the other wolves, needing to finalise every nook and cranny of this plan as they couldn’t afford any slip ups, Thea hadn’t had much time to speak to Anastasia so she could only hope that they had managed to round up the council in time. However, after the two times that she had failed during the trials – the first not her fault and the second time due to a complete and utter misunderstanding which she was now trying to reverse – she feared that the council would be willing to indulge but right now from where she was standing, all she could do was hope.

Keeping her head down for the rest of the car ride, Thea wasn’t sure when she had fallen asleep but when she felt a hand shake her shoulder, she groaned lightly and pushed herself up from the car window.

“Are we here?” She asked in a quiet, groggy voice when he opened the door for her, raising her hands to rub the sleep from her eyes.

“We’re about an hour away from the Lupum Griseo pack.” Clayton explained as he locked up the car and proceeded to hide the keys in a hole that one of the warriors had already dug up.

Thea could only assume that they were doing that to ensure that they had a safe getaway and wouldn’t lose their keys, but didn’t stop to ask any questions.

“Are we going to cover the rest of the ground on foot?”

“On paw.” Orpheus clarified as they all began stripping off their clothes.

When he noticed the hesitation evident in her face, not just because she was the only female in the group but also the only human that didn’t possess paws to ensure she kept up with them, he chuckled while proceeding to drop his trousers.

“Don’t worry, my little light.” He tried to assure her. “You can ride on my back.”

She wasn’t quite comfortable with riding on his back as that was something that she hadn’t done before, but she bit her tongue and chose to keep her opinion to herself.

While everyone around her stripped down to their birthday suits, Thea merely concentrated in keeping her gaze at chest level.

“What’s that?” Thea asked curiously as she spied the non-descript spray can that was currently being passed around.

“It’s that thing I told you not to worry about.” Orpheus stated in a serious tone though lip twitched slightly at the corners once he got to her. “It’s a scent masking spray. It lasts for a couple of hours so we need to be as quick as possible, in and out before it wears off.”

She nodded and held her breath as he moved over to spray her and once that was done, he dumped the can in the hole before one of the wolves then started covering it up with dirt.

“Everyone knows the plan so make sure you stick to it!” Orpheus ordered before he crouched down to his paws and shifted into his wolf effortlessly.

When he yapped at her, his tongue slipping out of his mouth to lick at her ankle, she sighed and shook her head.

“You’re too high off the ground. You need to crouch down more if you want me to get on your back.” She stated and crossed her arms over her chest, daring him to deny her since as far as she was concerned, there was no way she would be able climb onto his back when he was at full height.

He growled quietly but obeyed and sank all the way down onto this stomach, his legs flat next to him.

Thea couldn’t help but laugh softly as she swung her leg over his back and positioned herself in the centre so she wouldn’t fall off. Before she had the chance to get comfortable, he rose back up to full height and began leading the small group of wolves toward the pack but she yelped in surprise.

“You could have given me a moment.” She huffed and leaned forward to press her face into the crook of his neck as she didn’t want to risk falling off or hitting her head in one of the overhead branches, digging her fingers into his fur until she had a good grip to keep her upright. If it hurt, he didn’t protest and instead, started galloping faster through the thick trees of the forest.

What she had believed would be an hour until they reached the Lupum Griseo pack surely couldn’t have been more than three-quarters of an hour which was actually perfect since they had been running late before.

As they all came to a stop a few feet away from the border of the pack, Thea slid off his back and followed his silent command to hide behind the tree so if there was anyone still lingering around the border on this side, they wouldn’t be seen.

“They should be changing over in three minutes.” Thea whispered into his ear as she slid off his back and dropped herself onto the ground, not patient enough to wait for him to lower himself to the ground like he had done before. “As soon as they step away, we have only a minute to sneak into the pack without them noticing.”

Indicating that he had heard and understood, he shook his wolfish head and turned his head to stare at the border of the pack, watching the few wolves that lingered around and were still on duty.

Three to be exact.

Everyone held their breath as they waited for the border patrol to switch over, the perfect time for them to make their way into the pack unattended and just to maintain timing, Thea kept a watchful eye on her watch.

“Twenty more seconds.” Thea whispered quietly, barely more than an exhale but she knew that he would be able to hear with his enhanced supernatural hearing.

As she silently counted down the last few remaining seconds, Thea lifted her head and watched the three remaining wolves.

Earlier than anticipated, two of the wolves clapped the third one on the back and began their way away from the border and toward the centre of the pack. Thea couldn’t help but frown on that and as she gulped, he still remained in place.

“What the fuck?” She couldn’t help but whisper under her breath. “Come on. Come on!” She urged, her words barely able to pass her lips and sound aloud in an airy whisper as she urged the wolf to leave like he was supposed to do when border patrol changed shifts because if he didn’t, she didn’t even want to think about what terrible fate he would suffer.

When Orpheus growled lowly and lifted himself up onto his paws, snapping his jaw in preparation, her eyes widened and she reached out for him. Thea shook her head frantically and gripped his fur tightly between her fingers, trying to silently tell him that he couldn’t do what she knew he was thinking.

“A few more seconds.” She whispered directly into his ear, pleading with him to grant her what she wanted.

As far as Thea was concerned, she planned on causing as little damage as possible and killing a wolf at border patrol just because he didn’t leave when they expected him to didn’t quite tick off that box.

Except, Orpheus finessed her and the moment his eyes clouded over, she knew that she couldn’t stop him. While he remained right by her side, unmoving, Clayton charged forward and leaped into the air before the wolf on border control couldn’t even hear him.

Snapping his neck between his paws, his body fell to the ground before Clayton’s did and just like that, they were in the clear.

Thea barely had a second to catch her breath or even try to comprehend what had just happened before Orpheus turned his head to face her, growling quietly, demanding that she get on his back again.

Pushing all of her thoughts and feelings to the side, Thea inhale deeply and swung her leg over his back once more.

Just like last time, he lifted himself off the ground and started running before she had time to get adjusted.

As discussed, all of the wolves made it past the pack border in under a minute and with plenty of time to spare, they began behind the back row of houses, making sure to crouch down low so as to avoid being seen by any unsuspecting pack members.

She didn’t even want to think about what Orpheus would order to happen to them; their body of their other pack member not even cold yet from where they had left him at the edge of the border.

While she had no physical confirmation of whether the new pup had been born or not yet, Orpheus was adamant in getting in there as soon as possible. She feared that if the woman in question – the one that didn’t quite exist as the trio had perfectly orchestrated this whole charade – hadn’t given birth yet, these wolves weren’t beyond kidnapping her and then delivering the child themselves.

From what she had learnt and been told, that wouldn’t be the first time.

When she tugged on his fur as agreed, he quickly dropped himself to the ground and she slipped off his back and onto her feet.

Glancing back to make sure that everyone was ready, Thea crouched down and turned her head both left and right to make sure the coast was clear before she made a run through the open space to get to the pack hospital. Once they reached the building, they would very easily be able to rush around the back where they could sneak in through the pack without being seen.

Gesturing for them all to follow, Thea crouched low and ran as fast as she could and made a run for it as fast as her legs carried her. By the time she reached the building, she rose to full height and plastered herself against the side of the building, holding her breath as she began inching her way to the other side where the door was; grateful that all of the wolves were doing a quick check before they decided to join her.

She had no doubt in her mind that if anyone caught them now, the wolves wouldn’t hesitate to end their life on the spot without so much as a second thought.

The second she opened the door for them all, the sharp cry of a baby sounded aloud and her eyes grew wide in size, having not expected this as Anastasia hadn’t mentioned it. Gulping, she rushed in through the door and gestured for them all to join her so she could close the door before anyone got suspicious with the sudden sound.

Taking a step back, she allowed the wolves to storm through the hospital, temporarily knocking out the few wolves that they came across in their path, following the sound of the crying baby which only got louder and louder as they got closer to it.

This was now her time to shine.

Orpheus smoothly transformed into his human form and walked further into the room with a large grin on his face, his eyes twinkling in excitement as he spied the bassinet next to the hospital bed. While the female was seemingly asleep, all they needed to do was snatch the child and then they could be off.

The moment he bent over the bed and realised that there was no heartbeat, neither from it or the bassinet, he knew something was wrong.

Reaching out and pulling back the sheet, he spied the numerous pillows fluffed up to make it look like there was someone under the sheets even though they weren’t.

As the baby’s cries continued to meet his ears, he growled lowly and dipped his head low to glance inside the basket and just as he expected, there was no pup in there as not for a second did he believe for the battery operated doll to meet the requirements of the sacrifice.

When Orpheus turned around to call out to Thea, it became very quickly apparent to him that the new born pup or his mother weren’t the only ones missing.

-

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Layla Knight

20.12.2020

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