“Hmm, where oh where could my little pup be?”
My mother’s velvety voice sounds just on the other side of the cabinet where I’m hiding. I press my
hands over my mouth to try and silence my giggles, but a few small sounds still escape.
“Aha!” Mom whips open the cabinets two doors down, shouting with triumph only to soften her tone into
another thoughtful hum. “Not in there.”
She muses aloud, and I can almost see her rubbing her chin in thought.
As she moves closer I climb along the shelves, clambering over towels and wash rags to settle in the
cabinet she just searched and found empty. A shaft of light bursts into the dark cupboards as my
mother pulls open the doors where I’d just been sitting, another delighted cry on her lips.
She doesn’t seem disappointed to have failed again, on the contrary she sounds impressed.
Ahh, he’s a sneaky little sausage.” She observes sagely, “That’s very good. All the best hunters can
track their targets as silently as a ghost.” I can hear her footsteps circling, and I know she can smell me
in the room, but I’m doing my best to outsmart her.
“In fact the very best predators can sometimes trick their prey into thinking they’re the ones doing the
hunting… when really they’re about to be someone’s dinner!” Her voice rises at the end as she lunges
for another cupboard. It’s getting harder and harder to hide my giggles as she fails to find me, but I
know she’s enjoying this just as much as I am. I shift again, crawling silently to the very last cupboard
in the man sion’s huge laundry room.
“What was that!” My mother’s voice sharpens, and I can see her freezing through a small crack in the
door. “Oh I wish my fierce little wolf was here to protect me! I think I’m being watched.” She frets loudly.
“I certainly hope something terrible isn’t about to jump out and scare me.”
Right on cue I leap out of the cupboard with a ferocious roar, pouncing on her and toppling her right to
the ground. She cries out dramatically, throwing her arm over her eyes to protect herself from the
terrible sight of her attacker. “Oh no! A Vicious rogue, please don’t eat me!” She begs, “I have pups!”
“Mommy it’s me!” I laugh hysterically, trying to pull her arm away from her face.
Slowly she lowers her arm, blinking down at me in surprise. “Oh Dominic, thank goodness! You’ve
gotten so big and strong I didn’t even recognize you. I was sure I was a goner!” Her shock and relief
only lasts a moment, and then she sits up, a familiar spark in her green eyes. “Such a rascal – scaring
me that way.” She prowls toward me, waggling her fingers in obvious threat. I back away, my pudgy
hands outstretched in preparation to ward off the imminent attack. “And you know what happens to
pups who play tricks on their Mommies don’t you? They get a visit from the tickle monster!” She lashes
out and snatches me up, her hands fluttering over my tummy, tickling me mercilessly.
Within moments I’m on my back, squealing with mirth and trying to push away her hands. When I’m
laughing so hard I can no longer breathe, I pounce again, putting a stop to the tickle monster’s
relentless assault. I’m only six, but my mother is so little that I already stand as tall as her shoulder, and
I must be at least half her weight. I flatten her to the laundry room floor, Sprawling on top of her and
resting my cheek on her breast, breathing in her familiar Scent as I try to catch my breath. Her arms
come around my back as I snuggle in, gentle fingers stroking my hair.
“There’s my sweet boy,” she murmurs, hugging me tightly.
“Mommy, I’m a fierce hunter.” I correct her indignantly, rolling my eyes at her silliness.
There are some things Mommies just don’t understand. “Deadly pred-ters are not sweet.”
“Says who?” She inquires, sounding slightly affronted..
“Um, says everyone.” I explain, as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world. “Alpha warriors don’t come
home from battle and run to their Mommies for cuddles. They go drink and hunt and kiss she- wolves.”
“And what do you know about drinking and kissing she-wolves?” My mother counters, playfully
narrowing her eyes. “Have you been sneaking out to the pub at night?” She gasps, gripping my arms.
“How many wives do you have, tell me right now!”
“None!” I laugh, “I promise!” Of course, she doesn’t need to know that I already have a girlfriend.
Knowing how mothers worry, she’d probably overreact to learn how fast I’m growing up.
“Listen to me very carefully Dominic,” Mom replies after a moment, trailing her fingertips up and down
my back, “The best Alphas and the best warriors are the ones who know that fighting is a last resort.
They don’t do it because it’s tough or manly, they do it because they have to protect their pack. They
do it for love of their family and people – nothing else.” She explains sternly.
“You can’t ever forget that duty, or that your power is a grave responsibility. Love is not a bad word, and
sweetness is not weakness – these things are your greatest strengths. You have to promise me that
you never stop coming to me for cuddles no matter how old you get, that you’ll never them. Never lose
this side of you, Dominic.”
I nod, feeling the truth and conviction in her words, and secretly feeling relieved that I don’t have to act
like I don’t care in order to be strong. I don’t want to stop hugging my Mom, I just thought that it wasn’t
allowed in order to be a real man.
“I promise.” I agree easily, thinking of my father then. He’s always touching and flirting with Mommy,
and always tells Roger and me how much he loves us. He makes time to play with us and read
bedtime stories, and always comforts us when we’re hurt or scared. He never shames us for those
feelings, even if the rest of the world makes those things seem wrong. But then again, he’s the most
powerful wolf in the pack, so if he can do it, it must not be wrong. Maybe it’s everyone else who has
We’re still lying there when the fire alarm begins blaring. Mom sits up with me still in her arms, scenting
the air. We both smell smoke at the same time, and she immediately jumps to her feet. She sets me on
the ground and leads me up the stairs, her eyes scanning the manor around us with hawkish intensity.
When we reach the front hallway, with the door only a few meters away, she releases me and nudges
me towards the exit. “Get outside, baby. Go straight to the guardhouse, and wait for me there.”
“But what about you?” I ask anxiously, my heart pounding in my chest.
“I have to find Roger.” She explains, gazing towards the upper stories. “Just go sweetheart, I’ll be there
before you know it.”
She kisses my cheek and dashes away up the stairs. I start to run outside, when I hear the sound of a
cat yowling in the distance. Oh no! Pancake! I think frantically, picturing our new cat. He must be
I change directions, following the sounds of the frantic meows. They carry me deeper and deeper into
the smokey house, until I can actually see the flames climbing up the outer walls. Fear slices through
me, but I know Pancake is close and I can’t leave him to die. I finally find the terrified animal cowering
under the china cabinet in the dining room, a blazing inferno surrounding him.
The door had been closed, and there hadn’t been another way out, but I still find myself scolding the
young tabby. “Pancake what are you doing? Don’t you know bout fire alarms? They mean you have to
get outs!” Shaking my head, I scoop up the fluffy creature, “What are you doing in a locked room
When I turn back to the door, I finally remember my school lessons about what to do in the event of a
fire. When I opened the door I’d let a bunch of air in, feeding the riotous flames. A wall of fire is blocking
the door, and all I can do is tuck Pancake inside my shirt, and hope I’m fast enough. I sprint forward
and leap through the flames, batting out sparks that linger in my hair on the other side. I’m choking and
coughing, and belatedly remember to crawl on the ground where there’s more oxygen.
I’m still crawling along on one hand, using the other to hold Pancake still, when I hear
my mother’s frantic screams. “Dominic!” She cries, Dominic where are you!”
“Mommy!” I call back, suddenly seeing her ahead of me. She has a wet rag pressed to
her mouth, and her eyes are wide with terror.
“Dominic! What are you doing, I told you to get out!”
She scolds, running towards me.
“I had to save Pancake! I cry, holding up the petrified feline.
Mom’s expression softens, “Oh, of course! Poor pancake” She takes my hand and
begins leading me out. “Come on, now, we have to go.”
My heart eases now that my Mom is here. I’m still scared, but I know I’m safe as long
as she’s here. I don’t know how the fire started, but it’s amazing how quickly the
flames consumed the house.
Everywhere I look is black with smoke and suffocating heat. I’ve never felt anything
like it. I feel like my skin might blister just from being in the same room with the fire.
We’re almost to the entryway when there’s a horrible rumbling and cracking sound
above us, and before I understand what’s happening, I’m being thrown forward
through the air. An explosion rocks the mansion as I crash into the ground, and when I
turn back I understand what’s happened.The ceiling caved in behind me, but Mommy
is still trapped on the other side. She must have used all of her strength to toss me out
of harm’s way, even knowing she would probably end up stuck. I can barely see her
through the flames, only her glowing green eyes remain. I wonder if she might shift,
but I know better – highly flammable fur is not any protection from a fire. “Go!
Dominic!” She shouts through the whirring conflagration.
“No,” I yell, horrified. “I won’t leave you!
“Go now!” Power rolls off of her in powerful waves, carrying an authority I’m not yet
strong enough to defy. I don’t have a choice. My feet are moving without my consent,
even as tears pour down my tear-stained cheeks. “No, Mommy No!”
“It’s okay, baby.” She cries, and I can hear tears in her voice. “This is the way it should
be. It’s okay.”
She insists again. “I love you! Remember who you are!”
I’ve barely stepped clear of the inferno when the entire house collapses in on itself,
sending a black mushroom cloud into the sky. Firefighters and guards are surging
around me, pulling me to safety, but I hear nothing but my own screams for my mother
– even though I know there’s no point.
Update of Accidental Surrogate by Caroline
With the author's famous Accidental Surrogate series authorName that makes readers fall in love
with every word, go to chapter Chapter 114 readers Immerse yourself in love anecdotes, mixed with
plot demons. Will the next chapters of the Accidental Surrogate series are available today.
Key: Accidental Surrogate Chapter 114