Pregnant and Rejected by My Alpha Mate By Caroline Above Chapter 16 by NovelsYou

#Chapter 16 The Wine Is Drugged

Selene’s POV


When I asked Drake to keep me company at the party, I planned to flirt and dance, to give Bastien a little taste of his own medicine. Annoyance, that was the plan. An annoyed Bastien is manageable, an enraged Bastien is dangerous.

I stare at my husband with wide eyes. He’s standing in the doorway, on the verge of shifting, fury rolling off him in waves. His metallic gaze is locked on my face, on my tears and Drake’s comforting hands.

Drake doesn’t seem the least bit troubled by the rabid creature looming over us. He slides his fingers from my skin, turning to Bastien with a friendly smile. “Bastien, it’s been a while.”

“Too long.” Bastien agrees, “So long you seem to have forgotten who you’re dealing with.”

Drake rolls his eyes, and I have a sudden and newfound respect for the young Alpha. He may wear the face of a playful rogue, but underneath he is every bit the hard and commanding leader the role demands. “Honestly Bastien, I didn’t think you’d be so ungrateful.” He quips, “In case you haven’t heard, I saved your wife’s life tonight. I wouldn’t have had to if you’d been here.”

Bastien’s claws extend and retract compulsively, betraying the conflict raging within him. Drake’s words were an outright provocation, but there was no denying the truth in them. After a moment Bastien settles into a low simmer, striding past the other man to reach me. He drags me into a tight embrace, cuddling me to his chest. “What happened?”

Feeling suddenly warm and hazy, it takes me a moment to realize he asked a question. Drake – apparently – suffers no such impediment. “You have some vipers in your nest.” He drawls, “It was only a matter of time before one striked.”

I plant my palms against Bastien’s chest, trying to push away from him so I can pin Drake with the full force of my indignant glare. “What happened to ‘heroes don’t tattle?!**

Drake’s face scrunches up in a wince, and I belatedly realize my mistake. I look up at my husband, whose handsome features are awash with foreboding. “Am I to take it you intended to keep this information secret?” He asks, his voice dangerously low.

I lower my gaze, careful not to challenge his dominance, “It wasn’t a big deal.” I argue, “It’s not as if she knew I couldn’t swim.”

I see Bastien’s head turn in my periphery, and realize he’s now looking to Drake, “Who?”

His answer is immediate. “Redhead, blue dress, gaggle of minions trailing after her wherever she goes.”

Ten minutes later the door swings open, and Aiden pokes his head in. “Bastien would like to see you in the great hall.”

Drake and I move silently through the opulent building, finally arriving in the hall just in time to see the rest of the party guests gather within. We move forward, slipping through the crowd until the object of everyone’s attention is revealed.

Bastien stands in the center of the hall, the redhead from the gardens at his feet. Bastien gestures us forward, still vibrating with anger.

We stop a few feet away and the she-wolf looks up at Bastien sulkily, as if asking whether she really has to do this. Bastien makes short work of her hesitance, clamping one large hand around the back of her neck and steering her forward until she’s kneeling before me. “Speak,” He hisses in her ear.

“Selene -” A sharp growl makes her wince. “Mrs. Durand, I’m deeply sorry for the things I said and the way I treated you. I was horribly disrespectful and I should never have spoken to my Alpha’s wife in such a way.”

Another warning growl thunders in my husband’s chest, and the woman quickly amends her statement. “I should never have treated you that way, no matter who you are.”

I’m not sure what I’d expected, but this isn’t it. Part of me is indignant: I’ll never learn to stand on my own two feet if other people are always fixing my problems for me. The rest of me is gushing pure elation. For the first time in my memory, Bastien is putting me ahead of the pack. He’s protecting me, making a public example of my detractors, and staking his claim for all to see.

I stare down at the she-wolf with growing contempt. She’d been so fierce and fearless when she was bullying me, emboldened by my vulnerability and weakness. Now she looks anything but strong; she looks like a spoiled child who got their hand caught in the cookie jaw.

“No, you shouldn’t have.” I agree, “I suggest you never do so again: you won’t like the outcome.” I warn.

Bastien gives me a small smile, before turning his attention to the gathered audience. “That goes for all of you.” He announces, “if I hear anyone speaking about my wife in such a way, or anyone lays a hand on her again, I will not be held accountable for my actions.”

The joy of Bastien’s public display fades almost immediately. Everything was fine when we sat down to dinner, but by the end of the second course, my husband was back to acting as if I don’t exist.

He’s behaving very strangely, almost as if he’s drunk – but he’s only had one glass of wine. He’s vacillating back and forth between giddiness, aggression, and detachment. One moment he’s so happy he’s grinning like a fool, the next he’s snarling and growling at anything that moves, and five minutes after that he can’t even focus enough to eat his dinner.

We make it through the meal in starts and stops, and Bastien’s odd does not go unnoticed. I see his parents exchange glances a few times, but no one says anything.

As the wait staff clears our places following dessert and the party begins to shift toward the ballroom, I catch him. “Bastien?” | say firmly, grasping his arm to get his attention.

He swings his attention to me in a daze. His pupils are dilated and his eyes glassy.

“Are you alright?” I question pointedly, checking his forehead for a temperature but finding nothing amiss.

Before he can answer me, a young socialite approaches his side and asks him to dance. I recognize her as one of the women who’d been gossiping with my would-be murderer. I shoot her a disgruntled frown, but she smiles defiantly back at me.

Bastien rises without a word, following her into the ballroom without a backward glance. Unease prickles at the back of my neck, It was extremely odd for a pack member to approach and proposition an Alpha this way – even if he weren’t married. The general rule is that unless you need their assistance with something, they’ll come to you.

I have many doubts about my husband – about my marriage – but I know something is wrong. This is not Bastien. His behavior is completely out of character, regardless of how he may feel about me or Arabella or anyone else. He is not in control, and he is always in control.

I find my feet, and notice Aiden studying Bastien’s wine glass out of the corner of my eye. I shift in his direction and our eyes meet. We’re both thinking the same thing. Aiden slips the goblet into his jacket, no doubt planning to take it for testing.

Aiden’s confirmation is all the confirmation I need to go after Bastien.

Whatever happens in the future, Bastien has watched my back for years without complaint; the least I can do is return the favor. Doubt lingers in my mind as I search the crowd. What if he will not come away, what if he publicly rejects me after making such a display a few hours ago?

It’s a risk I have to take.

It only takes a moment to find them. They stand at the center of the dancefloor, Bastien swaying drunkenly next to the blonde, who is wrapped around him like cling film. I glide through the swaying mass of dancers, never taking my eyes from the pair.

In the end I needn’t have worried about being rejected. When Bastien sees me over his partner’s shoulder he steps away from her without a word, closing the distance between us as if in a trance. I rise up on my tiptoes when he is in front of me, looping my arms around his neck so I can speak in his ear. “I think it’s time to go home.”

Bastien’s arms close around my middle and he pulls me flush to his body, continuing to sway to the music. I drop back down onto my heels as he begins to turn us haphazardly around the dancefloor, his intimate grip and undulating movements arousing my erogenous zones and muddling my own thoughts. I’m caught between my desire to extract us both from my situation and my instincts to submit to my husband. Drugged

Bastien might be out of his right mind, but he is the same dominant Alpha he’s always been, and my body responds thus whether my brain is in agreement or not. Eventually he solves the problem for me.

His strangely shifting moods take a turn for the risqué. One moment we’re dancing and the next Bastien has dragged me out a side door and pressed me up against the wall, kissing and nibbling my neck.

“Bastien.” | gasp, trying to get his attention. “Take me home.” i free my hands from their trapped position between our bodies and catch his face between them. “I need you to take me home.” I implore, hoping my words will trigger the caretaker in him.

He frowns down at me for a long moment, as if trying to remember something he’s long forgot. Bastien’s confused expression gives way to something feverish and fierce before he takes me by the hand and pulls me out the door.

Bastien’s POV

My wolf is going out of his mind with the need to claim Selene,

She’s driving, her attention fully focused on the road, but every few minutes she sends a worried glance my way. She’s so beautiful, and her sweet scent is making my mouth water. I’m not sure I can wait to get home, I want to take her now, finally make her mine in every way possible.

I’ve been worried about my little wolf lately: first the strange illness and her refusal to seek help, then the incident with Arabella and her flight from the hospital, Worse was her determination to hide from me during the storm, and her devastation throughout; her secretive behavior afterwards.

Perhaps it is simply that so much has happened in such a short period of time, or that I’m projecting my own distress about the rejection onto her, but something tells me there is more to her actions than meets the eye.

Tonight didn’t help, staying on task after learning that Selene had nearly drowned had been nearly impossible. Only Aiden’s level headed counsel kept me from tearing through the city to reach her. When I was finally free to leave I’d been ready to cart her out of the party, pack obligations be damned,

Then I found her with Drake Cavanaugh. It infuriated me to know that he’d been there for her when I was not, that he’d done my job and I couldn’t even hold it against him. He’d been right, if it weren’t for him, she would have died, and there would have been no one to blame but myself,

Still, seeing him comfort her, seeing Selene no longer wearing my colors but sporting his, made Axel roar in outrage. My wishes to abandon the party were eroded by my need to formally stake my claim, but even that went out the window when Drake told me what Selene apparently intended to hide – what she’d lied to my parents about.

Yes, something is definitely wrong.

This is not terribly unusual for my wife. Communicating her emotions is very difficult for her – with good reason. Her brain had been wired to associate showing her emotions as a vulnerability others would exploit to inflict harm upon her, but I thought we’d made good progress over the years.

It seems getting to the truth of the matter will require some creative solutions. In the back of my mind i’m already devising countless debauched strategies for making her talk, but right now my plans for Selene have nothing to do with extracting secrets, and everything to do with filling the gaping hole in my chest where our mating bond is supposed to implant.

I know I’m dangerously on edge, that Axel’s desperation to join with her is dangerous for my delicate mate – yet I can’t dampen the flames engulfing me. I need Selene in the most raw and primal way. I’ve been ravenous to claim her for years, and the strange fog now dulling my ability to reason is like a sweeping invitation to give in to my base instincts.

I’ve been lost to this bizarre haze since dinner first started, the world going fuzzy all around me. At first it seemed like everything was under water-dulled, distant and distorted. Now everything has reduced to a single focal point: Selene.

My drowsy euphoria has slowly morphed into excruciating l**t and the gradual disintegration of my inhibitions. I feel the way she wolves must in heat, as if my entire world has reduced to a single searing need – so powerful and all-consuming I think I might go mad without it.

Axel’s urging to claim Selene right there on the dance floor had jarred my senses enough to slip away from the pack, but only my wife’s gentle plea had overpowered my desire enough to get me out of the building.

Now I count the minutes until we reach home, knowing with a resigned sort of certainty that I’ve finally lost the battle against my instincts. Tonight I will mark Selene, once and for all.

Selene’s POV

By the time we get home Bastien is so far gone into the drug that I barely recognize him. Though his pupils are still blown wide, the glowing state of his eyes betray how close he is to shifting. His claws and fangs are halfway extended, and the low purr in his chest is sending tortuous vibrations through my most sensitive parts.

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