Accidental Surrogate Chapter 231

Accidental Surrogate Chapter 231-3rd Person

Cora’s eyes followed her sister’s retreating back as the delegation exited. Ella kept looking back over her shoulder, concern and apology clear on her beautiful face. It was clear she wanted to stay, to talk about what had just happened and offer comfort, but her responsibility was to remain with the group. She mouthed “I love you” just before disappearing around the corner, but Cora could only manage a tremulous smile in response, 1

She wrapped her arms protectively around herself, all too aware of Roger’s presence behind her. He was so close Cora could feel the heat radiating off his powerful form in waves, and it was all too tempting to imagine his arms around her. She didn’t know why she’d admitted her hurt feelings to him, but she suspected it was the same reason she found his proximity so comforting. “You should go ahead,” She tried to say, “they must need you.”

‘Tm not leaving you like this.” Roger answered firmly, shifting close enough that Cora’s shoulder blades brushed against his chest.

“Well I have work to do.” Cora answered hoarsely, trying to pull away.

A heavily corded arm snaked around Cora’s middle before she could take a single step. ‘Talk to me.” Roger encouraged in a tender purr. He pulled her back against him completely, and Cora could see his handsome face in her periphery, watching her intently. ‘You’re clearly upset, little one.”

Cora was desperately trying to ignore the sensation of having the wolf wrapped around her like a security blanket, and she hated the way his nickname played on her psyche. Next to tiny Ella, Cora had always felt a bit gangly and ungainly, even though she was a perfectly average height and weight. She’d never been considered “little” compared to her sister, but she certainly was next to most wolves. It was often intimidating, but with Roger? She secretly loved how small and safe it made her feel. “I

already have a support system.” She told him dismissively, but her voice shook and her lower lip quivered dangerously. “I don’t need you.”

“Maybe not, but I’m here and I care.” He answered gently, cupping her cheek in his free hand and turning her face towards him. It was an odd angle: at once sideways, backwards and upwards; but it was undoubtedly effective. The wolf’s dark eyes were boring into her own from only a few inches away, and Cora felt as though he was looking straight through her. ” Tell me how to make it better, Cora.”

He couldn’t have predicted the effect these simple words would have on the human, but the next thing he knew tears were spilling from her lashes. Heart-wrenchingly vulnerable, Cora admitted. “I don’t know. I don’t know what I need right now.”

Roger tsked, and turned her to face him. ‘That’s okay.” He assured her. ” Because, I do.” Wrapping Cora in a proper hug, he tucked her tear-stained face against the curve of his neck. He stroked her spine and began to purr, pressing soft kisses to her hair. Cora broke the moment his purrs began, clinging to Roger and sobbing into his collar. ‘That’s it, sweetheart.” Roger encouraged. “Just let it all out.” He swayed softly from side to side, and though his wolf was focused entirely on soothing the devastated bundle, his own thoughts were much darker.

Roger was already plotting ways he could take revenge on Kieran for his cruelty. It was better to do so now, while his wolf was distracted. As soon as the irate beast was no longer occupied with Cora, he was going to be so aggressive and bloodthirsty that it would take all of the Beta’s strength not to go rip the other wolf to shreds – which would hardly help their diplomatic mission. He needed to decide an appropriate revenge now, while he was still able to think logically

‘I’m s-s-sorry.” Cora wept, her words muffled against his shoulder. “I d- don’t kn-know why I’m being such a b-baby.”

“Don’t you ever apologize for crying.” Roger scolded, holding her just a bit tighter. ‘You have every reason to be upset. That mongrel was unconscionably cruel to you, and trust me, he’s going to pay.”

“He was r-right.” Cora cried. “As far as shifters are c-concerned I’m n- nothing more than a pet. I w- wouldn’t even b-be here if it wasn’t for Ella.”

A growl broke through Roger’s purrs. “He wasn’t right and if you ever suggest such a thing again, I swear to the Goddess I will put you right over my knee.”

Cora shuddered reflexively, her pulse speeding up. Though she did her best to sound affronted, she couldn’t completely hide the curiosity in her voice.” You can’t do that.”

“Watch me.” Roger rumbled in her ear, sending a second shiver down her spine. His wolf howled in triumph, loving how responsive the lovely woman was proving to be. Holding Cora felt so impossibly right, and she clearly responded to his dominance. “He wasn’t right. No one thinks of you that way, Cora. Kieran is a vulgar little maggot with no redeeming characteristics. Don’t give his opinion a second thought.”

“You don’t really believe he was the only one who felt that way do you?” Cora inquired. ‘The others might not have jumped on board, but they didn’t object either.” She shook her head, frustration taking hold now that the worst had passed. “I hate the way I always freeze up that way! Why can’t I break myself of that? I’m not a little girl anymore.”

‘You didn’t freeze, you spoke up for yourself beautifully.” Roger argued.

‘That’s not what it felt like.” Cora confessed. “I felt like a mouse standing up to a lion. Ella and Gabriel were the ones who actually put an end to the matter. And I just stood there and let them defend me, I probably wouldn’t have been able to say what I did if…” She trailed off, her cheeks suddenly going pink.

“If what?” Roger asked, his instincts alerting him to her sudden spike of nerves.

It took Cora a long moment to answer, and when she did her voice was barely audible. “If I’d been alone, if I hadn’t had… all of you… beside me.” Her phrasing was stilted and uncomfortable, and Roger immediately understood that she’d been about to say: ‘if you hadn’t been beside me.’ Now she was trying to cover it by making it about the group.

“I see.” Roger said, smiling to himself and breathing in her scent. “And is there a reason you think you should have to go it all alone?”

“Because I never have before.” Cora explained, sniffling. Her tears had slowed but she didn’t make any attempt to leave Roger’s arms. Instead she leaned into him and closed her eyes. “I know I don’t have to be an island – I know everyone needs help sometimes. But just once in my life, I’d like to know I’m capable of saving myself.”

“So why do you think you freeze up?” Roger inquired, still purring.

“I know why.” Cora shared sorrowfully, “because I’m afraid that if I do or say the wrong thing, if I react at all, I might provoke an even worse attack… it’s a survival strategy I learned in the orphanage.”

Roger couldn’t hold back his growl, but Cora was surprised to find she didn’t mind. Growls from Roger never felt threatening, only . ‘Well maybe we can work on that together. I could teach you how to fight, or we could start running together – so you have a flight option as well.” He teased, remembering how badly she’d coped with a short job the day before.

“No running.” Cora grumbled sulkily, earning a chuckle from Roger. The sound filled Cora with warmth, and she found herself smiling too.

‘There now,” Roger praised, petting her hair, “Goddess you have a beautiful smile.”

His compliment jerked Cora abruptly back to reality, and she realized just how completely she’d dropped her guard. A flash of panic infiltrated her senses, and she desperately tried to regain control of her senses.

Attempting to backtrack, she said, ‘Thank you for comforting me, but I should get to work, and you should catch up to the group.”

‘That might be difficult if you don’t let me go, little one.” Roger teased, and Cora realized he was right. Her arms were still locked around his middle, and though she tried to convince her hands to release him, they would not obey. Mildly alarmed, she reflexively looked up at Roger for help, and found his face mere inches from her own. She gasped with surprise, her heart pounding even harder when she saw the wolf’s hungry expression. His eyes drifted to her full mouth, and for a moment Cora was certain he was about to kiss her. Worse, she realized she wanted him to do so more than anything – and that was truly terrifying.

Something flashed in his glowing gaze, and just when Cora thought he was about to close the final distance, he released her. “I’ll let you off just this once, Cora.” Roger promised, stroking her cheek. “Because you’ve been through a lot today, and I know you’re confused. But be warned, the next time I get you in my arms, I’m not letting go.”

Cora gulped with trepidation. Oh God, she thought as the butterflies in her stomach went into overdrive, I’m in big trouble.

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