Nayla coughed as she threw herself into the scourging hot tiles of the poolside. Her chest still hurt from gasping for air, her head throbbing. The midday sun bore into her drenched skin. She could see the guests were already huddled on the other side of the area, where her husband held Melanie. She strained her ears to pick up words from the murmuring guests.
"It wasn't an accident. Everybody knows Melanie can't swim."
It's Luna Gwyneth. She pushed Melanie."
She closed her eyes and groped for her wolf through the chaos in her thoughts. She found her curling defensively, ready to launch a calculated attack.
"She pushed us." Her wolf recalled.
"I know." Nayla muttered under her breath. "Hold your ground. Let's wait and watch."
She looked at the small crowd. Everyone seemed so concerned. Grabbing the marble coping of the pool she pulled herself up, brushing her dripping brown hair off her face.
The guests shifted realizing her presence, but most of them looked everywhere but to her. Only a few looked back at her angrily.
She saw her husband, Gareth, Alpha of the pack, lifted Melanie from the ground steadily; her arms wrapped around his neck, his cheek leaning against his chest. He turned to the direction of the mansion.
Nayla watched. He ignored her completely.
The guests slowly dispersed. Nobody came to help her, nobody cared to ask.
"What a pity for Remu's wife. I never thought Gareth's mate is vicious. They could dress her with fancy clothes alright, but bloodline does not lie."
"Our Alpha should have married Remu's wife instead! I heard Remu entrusted her to him. Too bad he died before they could crown her Luna."
Alpha Gareth should have never allowed a stranger into our pack. And a commoner!"
"I know. We deserve a Luna with royal bloodline."
"I heard that Gareth found her in the wild, she was wandering around the pack house like a stray."
To the typical wolf, the whispers of these guests would have been indistinguishable, but to Nayla, every single word is clear as spoken in front of her. The throbbing of her head from having almost drowned persisted, but it was nothing like the hurt and indignation she felt from what heard.
As the only daughter of Alpha Valadir, the alpha of Sirius Pack-- a quiet but even more powerful pack,Nayla hided her identity,disguised as an ordinary werewolf named Gwyneth, in the hope of being loved for who she really is, not for her identity as the daughter of an Alpha.
But after she married Gareth,her husband's pack had always looked down at her no matter what she does, or what she says.
In her presence they are quiet, but she knows, and hears, senses every bit of their backstabbing. Nobody believed she is fit to be the Luna of such a powerful pack, Canopus.
A gust of wind blew in her direction and she rubbed her arms unconsciously. Anger started to well up inside her. Melanie clearly has a well-executed plan.
She wished Gareth would believe her no matter what,but Gareth never did, instead he broke her heart into pieces..
Gareth stepped out from the porch into the well-kept mansion garden, where a number of guests were already relaxing in the shade of the century old tree. So far, everything looked well. His phone beeped. He looked at it, frowned, and shoved it back in his pocket. A lot of work has to be done for the Canopus estate but that can wait.
He scanned the place for Melanie, his late brother's wife.Melanie is pregnant with his brother's child. The day's celebration is to honor her. A brief but sharp pain cut through Gareth at the thought of his brother. He shrugged it off. His brother had entrusted her to him before taking his last breath, and he vowed to protect her. That matters.
A scream cut through his thoughts. It was Melanie's nurse. Where is Melanie?! A growing panic attempted to rise in his throat but he pushed it back as he raised to where the sound was coming from.
"It's Melanie!" The nurse was crying when he found her by the pool. She was pointing at the water. He looked. It wasn't hard to see Melanie's unconscious form underneath.
Gareth dived into the water and grabbed sister-in-law. He got her out in seconds. He carried her to the grass and she coughed. He let out a small breath of relief. Melanie jerked and clutched her abdomen suddenly. Gasps can be heard from among the guest, who have just gotten to the poolside to check the commotion. Her long pale-yellow dress was stained with blood from her thighs.
Melanie moaned, "It's Gwyneth! She --pushed--" Melanie fainted again.
Gareth lifted her from the ground. No emotion on his face betrayed his inner dread.
"Call Glen." He ordered a Royal guard, holding his brother's wife steadily as he turned away from the wide-eyed guests.
"Done sir," one of the guests, among the few he trusted, trailed anxiously behind him. "Doctor coming right away."
Gareth held on to the only person that mattered more than anyone -- the only person that still connected him to the brother he failed to defend. He held her protectively.
"Your wife, sir?"
He ignored the guard.
He will deal with his wife later.