Accidental Surrogate

Accidental Surrogate For Alpha Novel Chapter 35


“I swear, Cora.” I groan, burying my head in my hands. “I’m in so far over my head it’s ridiculous.”

“You’re doing fine!” Cora insists, despite the fact that she doesn’t have any idea how things are actually
going. “I mean a month ago you didn’t even know this world existed.”

“How did you keep it quiet for so long?” I inquire.

“I didn’t have a choice.” Cora admits, “I didn’t even believe it at first. It took me a lot longer to come to
terms with it than it took you, believe me. I mean I could see it through my microscope, I could see the
molecular evidence, but…” She trails off, shaking her head about just how deep her denial had run. “I
just couldn’t wrap my head around it. I always thought magic was nonsense – it actually shook my
belief in science for a minute there.”

I appreciate her consolation more than I can express. I’ve felt so alone in all this, it’s wonderful to know
I’m not the only one who struggled this way. “I think it helps that I’ve been completely immersed in it.” I
reason. “You have no idea how much better I feel just being out with you – away from all that. I mean
honestly, it feels as though I’ve been living underwater or something. Like I’m learning how to survive
without air because there’s no other option, and I don’t even realize how odd it is until I surface again
and remember what breathing is.” I explain. “Not to mention Sinclair. He’s confusing me so much. It’s
like I’m a teenager again and he’s my first crush.”

“Maybe it’s just the baby,” Cora suggests, “it wants to be near him.”

“I suppose.” I concede, “but I still don’t understand how any of this is possible. I mean the shifters are
one thing – but how can I be pregnant by one?”

“I don’t know.” Cora sighs, “I mean their society has always been hidden for their own protection. A few
humans like me are allowed to know, and I expect a few have fallen in love at some point or another,
but I’ve never heard of anyone cross breeding. It shouldn’t be possible.” She shakes her head. “Your
baby really is a miracle, Elle.”

“Don’t I know it.” I grin. “I have to focus on that. I have to focus on the baby, rather than him.”

“Is it really that bad?” Cora presses.

“Yeah, I feel like I’m losing it, and I can’t figure out if he reciprocates the feelings, or if it’s all in my head.
And then there’s all this stuff with his former mate. It’s all such a mess.”

“Do you trust him?” Cora probes gently, squeezing my hand across the table.

I feel like there’s a rock sitting in the bottom of my stomach as I consider this question. “I made the
mistake of trusting one man – after everything that happened to us when we were growing up, I
actually fell for Mike’s lies. I knew better and I let my guard down. I’ll never forgive myself for putting
myself in that situation, and it’s not a mistake I plan on making again.”

Cora looks at me with so much undiluted pity that I pull my hand away. “Please don’t look at me that

“Mike wasn’t your fault, Ella.” She declares firmly. “Mike was Mike’s fault.”

“It takes two to pull off a con.” I remind her, “It can’t succeed without an easy mark – and that’s
obviously what I was. I’m at least partly responsible for not seeing through his bullshit. There were red
flags and I just buried my head in the sand rather than confront them.”

She’s shaking her head determinedly, “You know, the older we get, the more I realize just how much
you shielded me from when we were kids. You let yourself be hurt so that I and the other little ones

wouldn’t be, and now you carry the weight of that trauma while we get off scot free. It isn’t fair. And I
hate to see you blaming yourself this way when none of it has been your fault.”

I stare intently at my surrogate sister, feeling a rush of warmth for her. “You know I wouldn’t change that
for the world, Cora. I would so much rather suffer myself, than let you be harmed, than fail to protect

“That’s why you’re going to make such a wonderful mother.” She smiles tenderly.

“I just hope this baby is safe.” I relate. “The campaign ends just before I’m due, and once Sinclair is
King I’ll be able to relax. But I’m terrified of him losing. If the Prince wins I really think he might come
after my baby… maybe it and Sinclair both.”

“I can’t imagine anyone being strong enough to lay a hand on Sinclair.” Cora observes doubtfully.

“On their own maybe not.” I agree, “but with an army behind him?”

“Then you’ll just have to make sure he wins.” Cora encourages. “The word around the office is that
you’ve already made an incredible splash.”

“Yeah, so much of one that I can barely go anywhere without camera crews following me around
everywhere I go.” I complain.

“Well it definitely sounds like you need a night off.” Cora declared mischievously. “We should go out!
Just the two of us – before your whole life gets consumed by the holidays.”

“I’d love to,” I sigh, “but if we want to go out without an entire entourage we’ll have to be sneaky about

She arches her brows. “Sinclair is being that overprotective?”

“Yes and it’s driving me crazy. I mean about eleven different people have explained to me about male
wolves with a breeding mate. I guess the pup is enough and I understand the prince might want to take
him out of the running – but it’s not like anything has even happened to make him worry!” I exclaim.

“I suppose it’s better to be safe than sorry.” Corry counters.

“True – so we’ll just have to be extra safe when we go out.” I decide. “In fact, we won’t go anywhere
near the shifter neighborhoods – human world only. I need some more time with my head above water.”


The next afternoon I’m patiently allowing Sinclair to take my blood pressure, despite the fact that I’m
perfectly capable of doing it myself. I’m trying to keep my thoughts neutral as the cuff begins to inflate,
but it’s hard to ignore the Alpha’s laser focus on my features.

“I know what you’re thinking.” He smirks after a moment.

“Do you?” I quip.

“I know you can do this yourself.” He grins, “but I like doing it for you and I’ve been so busy that last few
days that this is one of the only times I get to spend with you and the pup.”

Sure, I think wryly, other that when he’s scent marking me every morning and night. “Why have you
been so busy?”

“Just the campaign, and the holidays. It’s the craziest time of year.” Sinclair explains, frowning at the
reading on the little screen. “Your pressure is still too high.”

“Have you ever considered that you might be what’s stressing me out?” I suggest, the words slipping
out before I can stop them.

Sinclair gives me an appraising look, before reaching up to stroke my cheek. “Hmm, your heart does
speed up when I touch you. Why might that be?”

“As I said, stress.” I supply, instantly regretting the direction of this conversation.

“Uh-huh.” He rumbles, still petting me in the most infuriating way.

“Not to mention all this festival business.” I admit, eager to change the subject.

“What worries you about it?” He inquires, taking the bait.

“It’s seven days straight in the public eye, under intense scrutiny when I don’t know the first thing about
the Solstice – beyond what Aileen told me.” I share.

“Ella, look at me.” He encourages, waiting for me to obey before continuing. “I promise you, I’ll help you
through it.”

“You said that about the campaign dinner.” I remind him.

“I know, but I won’t let you down again, I’ll stay with you the whole time.”

“Okay, but if you don’t –” I begin to object.

“If I don’t I will grovel at your feet and grant you anything your little heart desires.” Sinclair vows, cutting
me off.

“Anything?” I repeat, intrigued.

“Yes, but don’t you even think about sneaking away so that I’ll owe you.” He forbids, offering me a
wolfish grin.

“Now there’s an idea!” I remark deviously.

Sinclair throws his head back and laughs. “Good Goddess, I’m not going to have to chain you to my
wrist am I?”

I shrug, playfully batting my lashes. “I can pick a lock.”

He laughs again, and I’m filled with warmth. Shaking his head, he presses a swift kiss to my forehead
before standing. “No plotting. Focus on relaxing. I’ll be home very late tonight, so don’t wait up.” He
informs me, putting away the machine. “I’ll see you in the morning.”

I wait until he drives away before calling Cora. We’d agreed to go out the next time Sinclair stayed out
late, and I’m not going to miss out on this chance. She picks up the phone promptly, and I’m smiling
widely as I tell her the good news, “Cora – we’re on.”

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