Accidental Surrogate

Chapter 121

Trigger Warning: This chapter contains experiences of abuse and s3xual assaultnothing explicit, but
please take care reading..


Ella’s small body is completely stiff in my arms, even though we’re in her favorite

place. I’ve only bathed with her once before, but it didn’t take a rocket scientist to

figure out how much she loves a bubble bath. She takes at least four a week, and

when she’s upset I’ve known her to have a bath even after showering. Until I spoke

with Cora about Ella’s self-care practices, I didn’t understand the connection to her

childhood experience of neglect, but now that I know I’m determined never to deprive

her of the comfort even if my water bills go through the roof and the city goes into a


“Are you ready to talk this out, trouble?” I inquire, resting my hands on her round

tummy and feeling a pulse of stress from the baby. A fresh spark of worry assails me,

and I know that Rafe is channeling his mother’s fraught emotions. Ella doesn’t

respond to my question, and I press on, realizing that the poor little wolf isn’t going to

relax until she knows l’m not going to reject her”

Sweetheart, it never even crossed my mind to end things. I love you

Ella’s muscles tighten further, though I didn’t think such a thing was possible.

“But..She stammers, twisting around to look at me, “but you left!”

Im sorry that I walked out.”I reply gently, grazing my knuckles over her cheek. “But it

wasn’t because I ever had doubts about us.”I share, wondering about my sweet

mate’s reaction. I know some survivors of child abuse view any confrontation as a

disaster or threat, but Ella has weathered my anger in the past without any signs of a

trauma response. “I was angry that you thought you don’t contribute anything to our

relationship, and my wolf lost it when you suggested you couldn’t be my Luna. The

idea of losing you pushed me over the edge, and I needed to calm down before


Ella’s brow furrows, and I can see her grappling with her emotions. “Dominic, I didn’t

just think you might end things.” She whispers, staring at the water. “I wasn’t even

sure you’d come back.. think.. I think maybe I have some abandonment issues I

wasn’t completely aware of. And Mike’s betrayal and learning that I’m a wolf has

thrown them into very sharp focus.”

Understanding washes over me, and I gently flip her body the rest of the way over.

When Ella is facing me completely, I snuggle her to my chest, lowering my knees so

that she can straddle my

lap. “I’m so sorry, baby.” I profess, kissing her head and stroking her spine. “I shouldn’t

have left you when you were already upset, I just don’t trust myself not to say things I

don’t mean when I’m that angry. The same way I would never make a pack ruling or

deliver a punishment in the height of a fury. I think taking some space in the heat of

the moment can be healthy, but maybe we can find some way to take breaks in fights

without too much physical distance.” I suggest. “But even if we can’t, you need to

know that no matter how far I go or how long I stay away, I will always come back to

you, Ella.”

Ella whimpers, and her arms tighten around me. “

Thank you,” She hiccups, “and I’m sorry I said I couldn’t be your Luna, but you have to

admit that I’m not pulling my weight here. This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to be there

for you and failed.”

“Ella, look at me for a moment.” I order, sliding my finger under her chin and pulling

her eyes up to mine. “First of all you take care of me all the time. You saved my

campaign. You keep me calm

when l’m being an ogre You stand up to bullies like the Prince and Lydia, and you

share my burdens even when I don’t want you to. Moreover, I need to dominate my

mate. It’s in an Alpha’s DNA to nurture and protect. If you didn’t let me comfort and

take care of you, I would be a mess.”

Ella frowns. “But I didn’t let you. I panicked.

“That’s the other thing.” I sigh, recalling the terror that came over her beautiful face

when I suggested tying her up. I’ve growled and grumbled at Ella a thousand times.

I’ve put her over my knee and overpowered her countless times without any issue. In

fact most of the time her wolf responds to my bossiness like a bee to honey. “I think

we both know this didn’t happen randomly. I accidentally triggered something specific,

didn’t I?”

I’m still holding Ella’s chin, but her eyes look anywhere but at me. Slight pressure

nudges my fingers as Ella gives a slight nod, and then her wide gaze returns to mine,

suddenly so vulnerable that my heart aches. “Do we have to talk about it?”

I wish I could tell her no, promise that she won’t ever have to relive her painful

memories, but I know that wouldn’t help anything. “We’re in a s3xual relationship, Ella.

I can’t avoid your triggers if I don’t know what they are.” I reason, “and keeping these

things buried only causes them to fester.

Tears well in those brilliant gold orbs, and I hate knowing that I’m causing my mate to

cry for the upteenth time today. “Do we have to talk about it now.

I think so.” I resolve gravely. “It’s never going to hurt any less, and the sooner you tell

me, the sooner it will be over with.”

Ella nods again, and I let her rest her cheek on my chest as she begins to speak. “The

orphanage had these dormitories that were divided by age. So the youngest children

would share a room, and the older we got, we would move up accordingly. Cora is a

year older than me, but when she turned eleven and was going to be moved into a

dorm with the older girls we both panicked a bit. We’d always been together and didn’t

want to be separated, and she also used to crawl into my bed at night when she had

nightmares – which was most nights. She was afraid that the older girls would make

fun of her, and I didn’t want to leave her without a friend when monsters visited her

dreams. Long story short, I pitched a fit so they would allow me to move with her.”

“I remember being surprised at how easily they agreed, but the dormitory matron

seemed really pleased to have me.” Ella pauses, taking a deep breath. “She was

always telling me how pretty I was.. and that she’d had her eye on me for some time. I

didn’t understand what she meant, but she always gave me a really uneasy feeling. In

hindsight I think that might have been part of why I was so determined to stay with

Cora… I think my instincts were warning me that the new dorm wasn’t safe.”

As Ella speaks, my wolf is growling louder and louder in my head, his energy

becoming more vicious and unhinged by the moment. We both know what is coming,

and suddenly I’m doubting whether or not I’ll be able to stay calm enough to hear this.

“The first night in the dorm seemed normal at first. Lights out was at eight, so everyone got in bed and
everything shut off. But when the clock struck midnight, everything changed. I remember waking up
with Cora beside me, and all the other away.”

“I watched them sneak behind curtains, in cupboards, behind furniture and into any nook and Cranny
they could find… They were hiding.” Ella explains hoarsely. “I tried to ask what was happening, but no
one answered. I had enough sense to realize something was very wrong, so woke Cora and told her to
hide. She climbed into the laundry basket, and I got under my bed and held myself up off the floor,
balancing my hands and feet against the underside of the bed frame”

“The matron came in about a minute later, and she didn’t say a word, she just began searching. She
must have been excited that there were new children to prey on, because she found some of the
veteran girls and just ignored them. She would open a cabinet, peer inside, and cluck when she saw
the trembling child inside, then close it up as if nothing happened… Then she found Cora.”

Ella’s eyes are clenched shut, and I’m trying to calm myself down enough to purr for her, but it isn’t
easy. “I didn’t know what was going to happen, but every instinct I possessed was screaming with

alarm. I knew that it was bad and I didn’t want Cora to be hurt. so I jumped out of my hiding spot and
made sure she saw me. I told her… I told her to take me instead.”

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