Accidental Surrogate

Chapter 246 – Human Camps


I don’t depart for the human refugee settlement alone. I take every Alpha I can find, but I take special
care to rope in Kieran. The wolf has been shooting me subversive glances since we arrived. He’s been
perfectly attentive to the shifter refugees, but it’s almost as though he’s angry I’m making him care
about them – that I’m confronting him with their pain.

It’s a short trip to the human camps, and we promised the pilots we would return by the scheduled
departure time. This only leaves us about an hour to actually get a sense of the situation. Before we
arrived I was worried this wouldn’t be enough time – afterwards I realize it was too much. The scene is
so overwhelming, so distressing that even a few minutes amidst the chaos is overwhelming.

If we’d believed that the plight of shifter refugees was grave, it’s nothing compared to that of the
humans. After all, the shifters understand why their lives have fallen to ruin, the humans are completely
in the dark, and they’re not coping well.

We hear the camp before we see it. This isn’t much surprise with our supernatural hearing, but the
sounds that float to us through the forest are not the desperate cries of people in need. It sounds like a

Eventually we reach the crest of a hill overlooking the sprawling camps – if they can even be called
camps. “Holy Goddess.” Gabriel says beside me, his dark skin going remarkably pale.

A vast field of black and blue tarps sit in deep mud, propped up on shabby poles and sticks. They’re
supposed to be tents, but they look more like the squalid dwellings often built by those experiencing
homelessness in large cities. The ramshackle structures are on the verge of collapse, and there is no
sign of any food or fresh water. The stench is incredible, and it’s immediately apparent that there is no
one governing this place.

The disconsolate cries of women and children rise through the air in a miserable symphony, while the
voices of angry men explode in violent shouts. It seems like there’s movement everywhere, but none of
it is positive or productive. There are fights breaking out every few feet, people lashing out over the last
piece of fire wood, or accusing one another of thefts and attacks.

Utter dread fills me as I wait for the inevitable castigations from the other Alphas. And you want us to
bring these wretches into our world? I imagine Kieran saying, with disdain dripping from his tongue. A
crash sounds in the distance, and terrified screams break out as the humans whip around, searching
for the source of the disturbance. It’s coming from the Northern mountains– the opposite direction of
the shifter camps – and it sounds like nothing more than a rock slide. However to their ears it must
sound like an incoming army, and their fear is so potent my heart aches.

“I’ve never seen anything so…” Callahan begins, trailing off before he can find the right word.

“Hopeless.” Of all the members in our party, Kieran is the very last man I expected to find an ounce of
empathy for these people. Still, the pain and concern in his voice is clear, and I find myself even more
on edge than before. I can’t make sense of his behavior today. One moment he’s so tense and on
edge, looking around at the other summit attendees with such suspicion and distrust that I wonder what
on earth is going through his head. The next moment he’s acting as though he actually has a heart,
and I don’t trust it for one moment. Something is going on with him, whether this latest show of emotion
is to throw us off the trail, or he’s internally overcompensating for his treachery. I have a terrible feeling
that Kieran has not only made his decision about where to pledge his alliance in this war, but that he’s
chosen the opposition.



He’s late. The lying fink promised me! But here we are five minutes after the designated landing time
and the airfield is completely devoid of planes.

“Something’s wrong.” I fret, looking back and forth between Henry and Isabel, eager for their

“They probably just got caught in a headwind.” Henry answers, squeezing my hand. “Flight timetables
are an estimate, not an exact science.”

I gnaw nervously on my lower lip, focusing on Isabel. Surely she’ll support me, I think, with James away
as well. “They did radio when they departed the coast.” She reminds me, the traitor! “We have no
reason to think anything has gone awry.”

My wolf grumbles mutinously in my head, and I’m already wracking my brains for some way to go after
my missing mate. There aren’t any planes left here in the capital – at least, not any that belong to the
King. “Do many Vanaran citizens own private planes?” I ask curiously, trying to keep my voice innocent.

“Don’t even think about it.” Philippe growls from behind me. “For my sake if not your own. Dominic will
kill me if I let you anywhere near an aircraft.”

“Let me?” I mutter under my breath, my wolf roiling against the idea that anyone but Sinclair should
give us orders. “I ought to– look!” I exclaim, interrupting my own train of thought as a dot appears on
the horizon, zooming towards us.

“There, you see?” Henry chuckles, “they’re just running a little behind.”

The wait is much easier then, but still frustrating. The delegation isn’t on the first, second or third
transports to land, and I realize my noble mate probably waited until everyone else had departed
before taking off himself. Finally the last plane taxis over the field, coming to a stop mere meters away.

The cargo door starts to descend before the plane has even finished moving, and then Sinclair is there,
bounding out onto the pavement.

I throw myself into his open arms, feeling every muscle in my overwrought body finally relax. “Seven
minutes, Dominic!” I tell him furiously. “You are seven whole minutes late!”

“I’m sorry, sweetheart.” He breathes against my ear, squeezing me so tightly I think I might burst. “But
I’m here now.” He purrs, “I’m here.”

I pull back only far enough to kiss him, tears of relief stinging my eyes. Sinclair hungrily takes my
mouth, and he lets his power pour off of him in heady waves. The wolves around us shrink back at the
force, but my own inner canine only swoons. I don’t understand why he’s unleashed his full strength on
the airfield, but I’m too caught up in the delicious feel of him to care at this moment. It goes on and on,
until everyone around us retreats to the intake tents. Even James and Isabel, who were trying to
pretend they didn’t want to be wrapped around each other in precisely this way, eventually slip away
hand in hand.

It’s not until later, when we’re alone in our rooms, that he explains himself. First he tells me of the
human camps, which devastates and horrifies me in equal measure. It’s easy to understand why he
would feel so on edge, and as terrible as it sounds I wish that was all there was to his temper. Instead
he explains about the Storm Forest Alpha’s most recent offenses. “Kieran was acting very odd today.”
He confesses, sprawled naked beside me in bed. “On edge, cagey, even after the danger had passed
and we were on our way back. It set off alarm bells in my mind, so I wanted to remind him of exactly
who he’s dealing with – just in case.”

“Then you mean it wasn’t for me?” I pout, my body still flushed from his thorough loving.

“Not entirely.” He grins wolfishly, caressing my belly. “I knew you’d enjoy it and I wanted to let go for my
own sake, but I also needed to send him a message.”

“Well it worked.” I assure him. “You should have seen the looks on their faces when they first felt it?”

“Should I take that to mean you were looking at other wolves while I was kissing you?” Sinclair growls
playfully, making me squirm with renewed heat.

“I was just curious.” I shrug, blushing. “Besides, my wolf liked seeing all those big tough Alphas run
away with their tails between their legs.” I admit, rubbing my body against him.

“Oh?” He inquires, eyes glinting.

I nod eagerly, unable to hide the sensual pleasure in my voice. “They looked like children compared to

“Now you’re just flattering me.” He teases, kissing my nose. “And if you keep this up then we’re going
to get distracted and end up late for dinner – which we can’t afford. Not with Kieran acting so shifty and
the summit coming to an end tomorrow.”

My desire is immediately banked. “You think he might betray us?”

Sinclair grimaces, “I think he’s hiding something… and we need to find out what it is. We don’t have
much time left.”

Read Accidental Surrogate Chapter 246 – Human Camps

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