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Accidental Surrogate for Alpha novel Chapter 24


I’m sitting in my office, speaking with my cabinet, when Ella’s delicious scent fills my nose. I’ve been thinking about her on and off all morning, wondering how she took the news of the interview, and hating that I hadn’t been able to tell her about it in person. Normally I wouldn’t do such a thing, but I’d needed to check in with my guards about their investigation into the intruder, and she’d been sleeping so sweetly that I couldn’t bear to wake her.

I can sense how close she is now, and wonder if something went wrong. I’m already on my feet when I hear my assistant encouraging her to stay, “No, he’ll want to see you, just wait one moment.”

“I’m sorry, it’s really not urgent,” Ella is protesting. “I should have known he’d be busy.”

She’s retreating, her delicate footsteps receding, and I push through the door before she can get away. “And just where do you think you’re going?”

Ella freezes in place, her little body winding tight as a spring. When she turns, she’s staring at the floor, “I’m sorry.” She says again, “I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

I glance at the wolves over my shoulder, “Leave us.”

Ella gnaws on her plump lower lip as my cabinet members file past her out of the office, shifting restlessly on her feet. I can tell something is bothering her, but I also can’t help but think how lovely she looks in the cream-colored dress hugging her curves. “Come here, little one.” I command, not moving from the doorway.

This gets her attention, and indignation flashes in her golden eyes as her gaze snaps to mine. I can tell she wants to disobey, but I arch my brow in challenge and she slowly crosses the distance between us. I drag my knuckles over the high plane of her cheekbone when she’s finally in front of me, enjoying the way her defiance becomes muddled with uncertainty once more. “How did the interview go?”

“Good – I think.” She qualifies, unconsciously leaning her cheek into my hand. My wolf perks up at her obvious response to my touch, and I beckon her inside.

“Can I get you anything, have you eaten lunch?” I question, thinking of the pup.

“My stomach has been too unsettled.” Ella admits, looking guilty.

I press my hand to her flat belly, feeling the pup’s heartbeat and prodding the mental link. The babe seems perfectly content, but it worries me that Ella hasn’t eaten. “We can order in some lunch.” I suggest, resisting the urge to continue touching her.

“Sin–Dominic, I need to talk to you.” She answers, ignoring the offer and just barely remembering to call me by my given name.

“Sure, what’s going on?” I inquire, taking a seat behind my desk.

Ella’s hands are fidgeting, and she’s staring at the anxious movement rather than meeting my gaze. “I think… I think I’m having second thoughts.”

This gets my attention loud and clear. “How so?”

“What we’re doing… it’s wrong.” Ella chokes out, positively trembling. “It’s fraud. I… I don’t know if I can take the pressure.” Her cheeks are flushing with color and she sounds as though she might cry. “I know I said I could do it, but I’m not sure I can pretend to be someone I’m not for the rest of my life… but I don’t want to lose the baby.” Now she really is crying, and I’m on my feet in an instant. Ella turns her back on me, shoulders shaking, as if she doesn’t want me to see how upset she is. “I don’t want to fail you, I can’t lose the baby. I just don’t know what to do.”

I approach behind her, my heart aching for the poor little human. I should have foreseen this problem. Ella is honest and good-hearted, of course a life of deceit would bother her. I suppose when we made the agreement I didn’t realize how much integrity she has, but I know now. Ella flinches when I take her shoulders in my hands, and I have to forcibly turn her body to face me again. “Come here,” I say again, but this time it’s not an order. It’s an invitation, one I have to force Ella to accept by pulling her into my arms.

As soon as I envelop her in my embrace, she cracks, emitting a heartbroken sob and wrapping her slender arms around my middle. She must be clinging to me with all her might, but it feels about as powerful as a child’s grip compared to my shifter strength. “I’m sorry.” I profess, kissing her hair. “I should have realized how much this scheme was asking of you.”

“I can still do it!” She insists defiantly, clearly beside herself with the competing needs to prove herself, keep her baby, and do the right thing.

Doubts swirl in my own mind. Can this really work? What will we do after the baby comes, and she no longer has its smell? What happens if someone connects her to Ella Reina, orphaned human and disgraced nanny? Am I really willing to put her through all this? She doesn’t even know about the true dangers she faces, and already the stress is becoming too much. Is asking her to pose as my Luna hurting the pup? What will it think when it gets old enough to understand our relationship is a sham? What would happen if the pack found out the truth?


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