Under the Moonlight: Alpha's Bride
- Genre: Romance
- Age: 18+
- Status: Ongoing
- Language: English
- Author: Sonii Naaz
My face pressed against the damp, muddy earth, my fingers plunging deep into the mire, I found myself in a desperate situation. The monster who had my leg in his grip possessed strength far above my desire to flee. Despite my sorrow, a spark of resolve burned within me, prompting me to resist. I managed to flip onto my back by twisting my body with all my power, taking advantage of the chance to toss handfuls of muck at his face, temporarily disorienting him.
The stakes were high, and my life was on the line. There was little chance of survival, and I didn't have time to catch my breath or find solace. I was racing against the unrelenting passage of time, straining my weary legs to carry me along the perilous path in quest of a haven.
I propelled myself forward, pushing through the murky waters, and navigating the hazardous terrain strewn with rainstorm debris. Though my body screamed in pain, I continued, seeking safety behind the shade of a gigantic tree, allowing myself a brief chance to recoup and rebuild my depleted strength.
I suddenly heard it—the ominous sound of approaching footsteps. The noise increased with each passing second, resonating through the silence of the woodland. My heart thudded in my chest, and panic seized me tightly—I was on the verge of a terrible fate, and my life was hanging by a thread.
"We're both aware that you're out of options. Do you honestly believe you can get away from me?" he taunted, his voice dripping with mockery, his eyes darting around, searching his surroundings.
I battled to recover my breath as I watched him from the shadows, concealed behind the protective cover of a gnarled tree trunk. He was only a few feet away, and I was continually shifting my position, scurrying from one tree to the next as he moved. He diverted his focus away from my location when a bird suddenly moved to a different tree.
"Don't put a test to my patience, Sansa," he snarled menacingly, his voice threatening.
In that brief instant, it became painfully evident that Edward Elijah took great delight in witnessing my terrible plight, reveling in the rising hopelessness of my escape. He had a dark wish to end my life shortly before the trial, and he planned to conceal the truth inside my deceased body.
I'd had a profound distrust of the Oak Pack and its antiquated code of conduct since the beginning, a deadly poison that had supported their loyalty for countless ages. Despite Xavier's efforts, the Oak Pack never completely accepted me as one of their own. Our personalities clashed with their rigid philosophy, causing our decisions and cognitive processes to differ. They had no individual opinions, simply following the Alpha's laws, their adoration bordering on worship, regardless of the righteousness or foolishness of his judgments.
Edward, dressed in a snug black leather jacket, looked impervious to the chill of the night air, while I shivered in a tattered, torn blue nightgown unsuitable for the weather. Every bruised inch of my flesh was exposed, with new droplets of blood streaming down as a testament to the agony he had inflicted on me. My escape remained unknown to the majority of the pack, who were unaware of the crimes I had witnessed.
My pulse hammered furiously within my chest as Edward continued his steady approach, each step drawing him nearer to where I was hidden. I walked slowly and quietly as I sought safety behind the tree, desperate to disguise myself and change my position.
A sharp crackling sound split the air as I gingerly went into the deep underbrush, echoing my most costly mistake. Edward Elijah's penetrating stare focused in on me in an instant, his observation fast and unrelenting. As his vicious grip tightened around my neck, yanking me off the ground with ease, panic flooded my senses, rendering me powerless to even plead for my life.
"Where do you think you're going?" he snarled, his voice oozing with scorn.
My eyes began to flicker with a savage green tint, my fangs elongating, and my claws extending—a painful transformation that symbolized my dual nature, imprisoned between the wolf and human realms. But I could never truly shift, always teetering on the edge of both worlds.
"Oh, you insignificant little bird, you're not one of us," he said, taking pleasure in my agony. His vicious pleasure sprang from a desire for my blood, and he saw me as nothing more than his prey and adversary.
"The Oak Pack never allows an enemy to escape; it is the first rule we follow," he stated, his voice brimming with determination.
A primordial impulse to scream for aid clawed at my throat, coursing through my veins. My cries, however, stayed imprisoned within as Edward Elijah, the Oak Pack's strong beta, continued to subject me to horrific agony. The pack was infamous for its brutality and mercilessness, and now I was at the mercy of their ruthless enforcer.
"Isn't it truly pitiful?" We accepted you even though you were never actually one of us. And what did you end up doing? You betrayed us," Edward screamed, his wrath boiling over.
My life was hanging in the balance, and each passing second left me gasping for air. Edward's actions were a betrayal of his Alpha, Xavier, motivated by a vengeful desire to avenge the death of his fallen best friend, Levine Ronan, whom he thought I had killed—Levine, my true mate.
"The guilty shall not evade punishment," he muttered, as though relishing the notion of tearing me apart and savoring the flavor of my flesh.
But then a voice pierced through the chaotic environment and stopped Edward's wicked plans. "Enough," said Adam.
Adam Nigel, another member of the beta ranks, arrived on the scene just in time, causing Edward to relinquish his grip on me. Adam's presence provided a brief respite from my tormentor's hands as I slumped to the ground, coughing and gasping for precious air.
"What in the world were you doing, Edward?" Adam wondered, perplexed by Edward's activities.
"She was attempting to flee," Edward responded defiantly.
Adam's eyes narrowed as he answered, "We're not here to take lives, my friend."
I watched as Adam knelt before me, his delicate touch lifting my chin to meet his eyes, still battling to catch my breath.
"Look at the state you're in," Adam lamented, his voice full of real worry.
His gaze traversed my ravaged body, noting each bruise and my filthy, naked feet. Nothing slipped his observant gaze, as if he was trying to decipher the depths of my anguish.
"Why are you putting yourself through this, Sansa?" Why are you fleeing if you are innocent?" Adam's voice was colored with both perplexity and compassion.
Adam showed real concern for my well-being. He was the one werewolf who had never harmed me, constantly extending a protective hand to shelter me from Edward Elijah's violence.
"Why did you kill him?" Edward's voice cut through the tension, his demand tinged with rage and intrigue.
My fear raced through me, threatening to engulf every fiber of my being, but I refused to give in. I found the resolve to react without hesitation, relying on my aptitude for deception. "Go to hell, Edward," I responded, my voice defiant.
Even though terror had an iron grip on me, my fearless façade remained unbroken. I summoned every ounce of power I could muster to rise, supported by the firm support of the tree behind me.
Edward, driven by simmering wrath, proceeded to obstruct my path, aggressively pressing for an answer. "Why did you do it?" he demanded, his voice filled with rage and frustration.
I avoided his questions, his hungry curiosity. Edward, on the other hand, unexpectedly halted my advance, his hand clasping mine in a vice-like grasp. In an act of defiance spurred by my wrath, I shoved his hand away, watching as his teeth bared in an aggressive display. Adam quickly interfered, putting himself between Edward and me, sensing the impending danger.
"Enough," said Adam, his voice stern but tinged with desperation.
Despite Adam's intervention, Edward proceeded in his efforts to persuade his ally to support his cause. "Do you honestly believe Xavier will pardon her for her crimes? Adam, we must put an end to this once and for all," Edward pleaded, his voice compelling.
"What exactly are you insinuating?" Adam inquired, his voice tinted with doubt and anxiety.
"I don't trust Xavier in this matter," said Edward, his tone indicating his skepticism.
"He is an alpha," Adam argued, remaining firm.
"He is also the husband of this criminal," said Edward, his voice bitter.
"He was an Oak before that," Adam said matter-of-factly, recalling their Alpha's previous position.
Edward's frustration was visible in his low growl. He eagerly anticipated the opportunity to end my life, but Adam stood in his way, keeping him from acting on his terrible urges.
Recognizing the need to persuade me to return, Adam spoke with sincerity, his words laced with a request for confidence. "Believe me, Sansa, the Oak Pack would never sacrifice an innocent."
But I knew there was no turning back. Even if I returned to that location, salvation would elude me. I had destroyed all bridges behind me, choosing the path of least resistance.
"Isn't it fascinating? Xavier would be the judge in your trial. I wonder what punishment he would inflict on you—would he cut your hands? Or imprison you in the dungeon indefinitely, or make you a pack slave so that everyone can have you for pleasure," Edward said while laughing and daydreaming, Just as he had always desired.
"You have no idea how dangerous it is out here alone," said Adam, his voice laced with real concern.
My gaze was drawn to the fence, which was only a few feet away, its mysteries beckoning from beyond. Since his arrival, Adam had been throwing glances over it, the curtain of darkness providing us with little view.
"I'm not going back," I said emphatically, my resolve unshakable.
"You must, or you will meet your demise here," Edward insisted, his threats looming over me.
While I concentrated on Adam, Edward was unrelenting in his pursuit of my attention, his presence a continual reminder of the dangers that lurked.
I spoke with a mix of determination and grief, meeting Adam's look squarely in the face. "My answer remains unchanged."
"Make an effort to realize the gravity of your predicament. If you flee, they will pursue you brutally. A trial is your best chance to prove your innocence," said Adam, his words tinged with a sincere desire to persuade me.
"I trust no one," I admitted, my broken heart clear in my voice.
"You can only trust yourself. Prove that you did not murder Levine. Come along with me. By fleeing, you only reinforce your guilt before the trial even starts," calmly Adam said, his voice ringing with logic.
Adam's remarks touched a nerve in me. I had fled in fear for my life, unable to recognize that I should have maintained my ground and fought back against those who had harassed me—Edward and his close accomplices.
Adam promised me, "Rest assured, justice will be served," his tone soothing and reassuring.
I decided to return with Adam's compelling words ringing in my ears. The road ahead appeared difficult, but I took comfort in the fact that Adam stood behind me, offering his assistance. So I took my first steps, walking beside them, ready to tackle the challenge that lay ahead.