– Sinclair Visits the Refugees
When we arrive at the air field, I do my best to keep Ella from feeling my nerves. As loathe as I am to
admit it, part of me is still terribly afraid that my people will blame me for everything that’s happened.
My angel of a mate did wonders assuaging my own guilt, but I know how grieving and heartbroken
people often need someone to blame for the world’s cruelty. The Alpha in me kind of wants them to
lash out at me, because I know I can take it and at the end of the day the responsibility is my own. The
man in me, however, is beyond agitated by the thought of the pain this would surely bring.
Ella glances up at me as we move towards the tents, leaning her slight weight into my side and sending
a rush of affection through our bond. It will be okay. Her precious wolf says to mine, and an image of
the rose gold canine cuddling up to my brooding black beast appears in my mind’s eye. I pull her a bit
closer, purring my thanks in her mind.
I know. I assure her. I’m always okay when I’m with you.
Ella’s cheeks flush pink, and while this usually might put all sorts of ideas in my mind about how to
make her blush more, the matter at hand is much too serious. When we enter the first and largest tent,
a hush falls over the sprawling space. Whispers of the Alpha start fluttering through the air, and I force
myself to meet the eyes of each of the refugees. I’m mildly surprised to realize that the shifters in front
of me come from all corners of the continent, far beyond the borders of my own pack. Yet they all call
me Alpha with the same tone of reverence.
“I’m sorry I have not visited sooner.” I state, raising my voice to be heard at the far end of the tent. “My
beautiful mate convinced me that constantly focusing on war wasn’t good for me or fair to you, and as
usual, she was exactly right.”
An appreciative chuckle travels through the crowd, and sweet Ella turns her body into mine, hiding her
embarrassed face in my shoulder. I rub her back and drop an amused kiss to her hair, my wolf purring
through the bond, What’s wrong trouble, you only like my praise in private?
Apparently feeling emboldened, her wolf answers. Oh so you want me to share my blushes with all
these other wolves? I would have thought you wanted them all for yourself but if you insist– before she
can turn back I lock my arm around her waist, holding her in place.
Naughty mate. I tease, both amused, provoked and thankful that Ella is relieving some of my tension
exactly when I need it most. Feeling heartened, I continue. “I cannot express the depth of my sorrow
and fury for what has happened to our home. None of you should be here, none of you should have
been forced to flee your ancestral lands, especially not at the hands of the person who is supposed to
protect and care for you most. Damon’s actions are a betrayal of the very worst kind, and though I
cannot undo the damage that has already been done, I want you to know that I am doing everything I
can in order to bring him down.”
I pause, looking around the room to see how my words are being received. I see only wide, hopeful
eyes, so I continue with the statement that scares me most of all. “I also need you to know how difficult
it was for me to leave Moon Valley, and that I never would have done so if I saw another option. It goes
against every instinct in my body to flee rather than stand and fight, but I could see the writing on the
wall. I could see that the Prince was going to win this battle and that if the united packs were to stand
any chance of winning the war, then we had to survive and fight another day.”
A few murmurs of approval bolster my spirits. “I am working hard to build alliances here in Vanara and
am continuing to work with my connections to keep apprised of events on the continent, and when the
time is right you have my vow that I will return to lead the rebellion against Damon. We will take back
our home, and we will do everything in our power to make this right.” Emotion is making my voice grow
thick, and Ella opens her emotions to me so I can feel the depth of her pride.
“In the meantime, I want to hear from you all. Any intel you have to share, any concerns you need to
voice, any needs you require to be fulfilled. I want to hear it all – good or bad.” I continue, my voice
growing strong again amidst my mate’s encouragement. “I may not be able to visit as often as I like, but
as long as we are here in Vanara, my door is always open to you, and I will set up channels to ensure
you all have a way to reach me or Ella if you cannot find us in person.”
As I finish my impromptu speech, I task Hugo with taking notes and Ella and I move throughout the
tent, meeting with each refugee and family individually. Some are angry, as one might expect, others
have problems or grievances to air about the camp or people they left behind. However the vast
majority of people have only kind words and thanks to share. My heart grows lighter and lighter as
more and more shifters express how grateful they are for what we’re doing, and that they understand
why we left. However it’s not until we meet a young couple with a pair of twin toddlers, that I finally
forgive myself for leaving my pack behind.
While the children play on the floor in front of us, their parents sit wrapped in each others’ arms. They
are from the shadow pack, and escaped because the man was targeted by the Prince’s forces for
being a possible contender to replace the murdered Alpha. “You must know what a symbol you two
have become back home.” He shares, looking between Ella and me.
My mate, who is thoroughly distracted by the little ones at her feet, takes a moment to process his
words. “A symbol?”
“Yes.” His wife confirms earnestly. “At first it wasn’t clear that you got out, but then Damon put a bounty
on your heads, blaming you for the murder of the King and the Alpha council, and of course in doing so
he basically told everyone that you’d managed to escape.”
“Bloody idiot.” Her husband mutters. “He made it possible for the entire resistance to form around you.
Everyone knows you’re out there somewhere, plotting, waiting until the time is right to return. You are a
beacon of hope for the entire continent.”
Ella squeezes my hand, and I can barely contain my shock. “You mean… people aren’t angry that I set
all this in motion… that I left?”
The couple exchange shocked glances. “Of course not. You are the only thing keeping them going.”
The she-wolf expresses, still sounding bewildered. “The way they see it, you were brave enough to risk
everything, including your own campaign, in order to do right by the people. And trust us, everyone
would rather you run and be alive to lead us when the time comes, than for you to have been a martyr
and left us alone in this fight.”
I can’t help myself. I plant my elbows on my knees and crumple in half, lowering my face into my hands
and breathing an aching sigh of relief. Ella’s tiny paw settles on my back, stroking my spine in long,
soothing lines as her silken voice sounds in my head. See, you impossible wolf. I told you so.
I chuckle, turning my face to the impudent creature and feeling my heart stop in my chest from the
mere sight of her smile. I catch her nape and pull her in for a fierce kiss, and my stationary heart leaps
back to life until it’s racing too fast to contain.
When we finally part, Ella and the she-wolf take the pups for a diaper change, and I find myself staring
after my mate as she cuddles the little boy in her arms, making silly faces and nodding along as he
babbles excitedly in baby language. When I turn back to the father, I find him watching me with a
knowing expression. “It’s amazing isn’t it. How the tiniest look, the simplest gesture, can send you over
the edge? It’s pure witchcraft if you ask me.”
I nod. “I never knew I could feel this way about anyone, and I’ve been with a fated mate.”
The man chuckles darkly. “Just wait until your pup comes. If you think you’re a goner now…”
I shake my head. “I can’t wait… but I’m also terrified. And I can’t stand the thought of welcoming a pup
while we’re at war.”
He nods, “How are you holding up, having Ella caught in the middle of all this?”
“Not very well.” I admit, thankful to talk about this with someone who understands only too well. “I’m
trying to figure out what to do about building alliances, whether I should bring her along or leave her
under lock and key. I hate the idea of being apart but…”
“But it’s not about your happiness, it’s about her safety.” He surmises.
“Exactly.” I groan miserably. “And at the end of the day she’s safer here.”
He purses his lips with grim understanding. “I would feel exactly the same way in your shoes.”
Nodding I emit a heavy exhale. “She’s going to hate me for this.” I admit.
The other man pats my shoulder. “Better her hating you alive and well, than loving you six feet under.”
Truer words have never been spoken.
Read Accidental Surrogate - Chapter 163
Read Chapter 163 with many climactic and unique details. The series Accidental Surrogate one of
the top-selling novels by Caroline Above Story. Chapter content chapter Chapter 163 - The heroine
seems to fall into the abyss of despair, heartache, empty-handed, But unexpectedly this happened
a big event. So what was that event? Read Accidental Surrogate Chapter 163 for more details