The Silent Alpha Chapter 41: In Her Shadow

***Vanessa***

All morning, the pack medical team has been examining me, testing my brain function and my patience with their incessant questions.

What makes this entire experience upsetting, however, is the fact that my own husband has not even bothered to check up on me.

I don’t expect to be coddled or doted on as Christian is not exactly a very nurturing man even when he was with Natalia, but still, a simple “Hey, how are you feeling?” would have been nice.

To make matters worse, my head is pounding and it feels like every part of my body is overstimulated.

My ears are so sensitive and the sound of the heart monitor beeping is only making my headache worse.

Even my eyes burn from all the damn light coming in from the window and I’ve been given sunglasses to alleviate the pain.

All this stimulation seems to be playing tricks on my mind because I swear I hear whines and barks in my head throughout the examinations.

I don’t think much of the sounds though, chalking it all up to my imagination and exhaustion.

Where the f**k is my Gamma? I wonder, looking around the empty hospital room.

Shouldn’t Jordan at least be here to take care of me? He used to take care of Natalia all the time whenever she was sick.

No matter what I do, I will always be stuck in her shadow.

Growing up, Natalia was the perfect golden child.

She was naturally very smart, always landing a spot on the Honor Roll while I always struggled to keep up.

I had to work twice as hard to make the list and when I showed my mother my report card for a tiny bit of recognition, she just shrugged and tossed it on the table.

“What do you want? A reward?” she scoffed sarcastically.

“Estas pero bien pendeja {You are an i***t!}.This is the bare minimum.I did not leave my country for you to not take advantage of your education.You should always make the honor roll, just like your sister.Deja de andar con tus babosadas y ayudame a hacer de comer {Enough with your stupidity and help me make dinner}.”

I never showed her my report card again after that.

With Natalia being such a damn star in academics, I turned to the next best thing, sports.I joined the soccer team and worked my way to captain on the cheer team.

Did it matter? No.

My mother was always too busy taking Natalia to her debate meets, her volunteering programs at the local nursing homes, and her community service activities at the rec center to ever see me cheer.

I had to build my own support group, seeking recognition in the amount of friends I had and attention from the football team.I was labeled a slut for most of highschool, though I never did could get attention for: my looks.I inherited my mother’s pale skin and green eyes and she always praised me for looking so pretty.I was dumb but pretty.

Of course, that quickly backfired.

One night, while at a highschool party, I met a college boy from the nearby university, Skyler, through some friends.

He asked me to join him for a drink in the master bedroom and being the dumb b***h that I was and excited to have caught the attention of an older man, I agreed.

I do not remember most of that night, only that I woke up naked in bed early the next morning with a soreness between my thighs.

Ashamed, I ran all the way home, convincing myself that nothing happened to me, that it was just a strange coincidence.

For many reasons, I never told anyone.

My parents would have been angry at me for sneaking out and the cops would have said I was asking for it by dressing the way I did and agreeing to drink with the boy in the bedroom.

Besides, it was my word against his and who would believe the promiscuous girl in school was raped? After that, I did everything I could to erase Skyler off my body, f*g anything with a pulse to distance myself from that turbid night.

I learned to see s*x as just an act, an exchange and nothing more.

My nightmare of an existence continued into college.

Unlike Natalia who always knew exactly what she wanted, I was completely lost.

With an undecided major, my parents were not “Become an engineer,” my mom would say.

“They make good money.”

But my brain is not wired like an engineer.It’s wired like a cactus st really hit the fan when Natalia became an EMT and then started working towards her Medical Assistant certification with the ultimate goal of going to PA school while I was still deciding what the fk I wanted to do with my life.

I turned to the only thing I knew, partying and drinking to numb the emptiness inside that was slowly starting to consume me.

That all changed when I met Christian.

He was like a beacon of hope.I had seen him in a few classes but it wasn’t until we were paired for a sociology project that I finally got to know him.

He was funny and charming, always very polite whenever we got together.

Unlike most men I had met up until that point, Christian didn’t try to jump into my pants at the first opportunity.

He made me laugh until my stomach hurt and we’d talk for hours about nothing and everything.

More than anything, though, he was the first person to make me feel smart.

“Damn, Nessa.You are one smart Lady.Why didn’t I think of that?”

He used to tell me whenever I got an idea for our sociology presentation.

It made me feel warm and fuzzy inside that someone actually thought my ideas were good.

over and I was more than a little hurt to realize perhaps it was all in my head.

Then he explained to me that he was looking for his other half and could only offer something casual until he found ‘ The One’.

I accepted the offer, hoping that in time he would see me as someone worth loving.

As time went by, I grew impatient and I decided to try the ol’ make him jealous’ tactic.

I begrudgingly brought Natalia to a frat party I knew Christian would be going to, for the sake of parents but bringing her proved to be the biggest mistake of my life.

I danced with guy after guy, hoping to catch Christian’s attention but it was all over the moment he walked up to her at the bar.

Within a blink of an eye, my hopes and dreams came crashing down on me and once again, I was pushed aside for my sister.

They were married just a few months later, ready to spend their eternity together.

It was the first time our parents were ever disappointed with Natalia but I could not even enjoy it because she had Christian to lean on.

Angry and humiliated, I moved away to New York, hoping to find myself there only to be brought back when the car crash happened.

Despite everything they put me through, I still loved my parents and I never got the chance to make them proud.

With their death, Natalia implored me to come live with her, probably feeling sorry for me now that I was now completely alone.

I hated the idea of moving in with her and Christian but to be honest, I was struggling in New York and finally gave in and my envy for my sister grew.

My parents were gone and she now had an entire community looking after her while I was still all by myself.

I prayed to their Moon Goddess that maybe just one wolf, just one out of the hundreds here, would want me, but none ever declared me their mate.

Then, like a blessing from Moon Goddess herself, I struck a bit of luck.

Natalia was struggling to conceive and the once perfect Luna was suddenly not so perfect.

It was my chance to shine.

I used my old relationship with Christian to my advantage, becoming a shoulder on which he could rest his head and complain to.

It only took a little encouragement before we shared the bed over and over again and in just under a year, I took back my dream…only to realize it was actually a nightmare.

As it turns out, being Luna is a lot harder than it looks.

Luna Kay did not hesitate to point out all of my shortcomings and loved to tell me just how wonderful of a Luna Natalia was compared to me.

She absolutely despises me but she is not even the biggest issue.

Christian’s father is quite frankly, the biggest asshole I have ever met.

Even more infuriating is the fact that the pack can’t seem to forget their Luna Natalia.

My blood boils as I look around the empty hospital room.

Had it been Natalia in this bed and not me, the entire pack would be visiting her, checking in and wishing her a speedy recovery.take first watch over her and several of the neighboring Lunas would likely stop by to see her.

The sound of a small whine in my head startles me, a feeling of restlessness washing over my body.

The door bursts open, Beta Derek strolling into the room with a gym bag.

He stops dead in his tracks when our eyes meet, a flutter of butterflies dancing in my belly and something stirring inside me.

“Mate,” he whispers, my eyes widening in shock.

What? How is this even possible? I’ve never even felt a pull towards him before! I think to myself, a soft whine responding to my surprise.

Startled, Derek drops the gym back, his eyes refusing to look away.

For a split second, I see a hint of a smile hidden within the features of his face and neither one of us moves, a part of me hoping all of this is a dream.

When I finally open my mouth to speak, the spell breaks, Derek rushing over to me to cover my mouth with his hand.

“Shhhh,” he hisses, sparks tingling across my face from his touch.

My heart rate starts to accelerate and he unplugs the heart monitor from the wall, one of his hands still covering my mouth.

Beads of sweat gather around his forehead as he tries to think of what to do before he finally looks me square in the eyes.

“You have a wolf.I can sense it inside you,” he murmurs to himself, as if only now just realizing what I have done.

“But you understand why I cannot accept you,” he pleads, the sound of a whimper escaping my throat when I realize what he plans to do.

No…I whimper, dread settling in the pit of my stomach.

No Please! I want a mate.

I want love too….

A lump forms in my throat as I look into the eyes of the man whose soul completes mine, understanding that my worst nightmares are finally coming true.

“I’m sorry,”

Derek murmurs, tears lining his eyes.

“I’m very sorry…but…we-“

He struggles to find the words, fighting with his own wolf but ultimately winning his battle.

“Please…”

The word leaves my mouth before I can stop it, a part of me hoping it could somehow change my fate.

Derek’s face softens, both of his hands cupping my cheeks as he pulls me in for a kiss.

Time comes to a complete stop, the world and all of its problems fading away with every movement of his lips.

It is the most breathtaking kiss I have ever experienced, but the bliss lasts only for a moment.

“I, Derek Mitchel, Beta of the Silver Crest Pack, reject you, Vanessa Vasquez as my mate,” he whispers, pulling up the blanket to my chin and stuffing into my mouth to stifle my screams.

A sharp pain burns in the center of my chest, spreading like tiny needles across my flesh.

Agony wraps its fingers around my throat, its claws digging into my neck and making it hard to get air ending waves, the tide overwhelming all of my senses until it nearly drowns me.

Tears blur my vision as I sob into the blanket, my wolf howling in anguish with me.

I do not know how long the torment lasts, but Derek never leaves my side until it finally subsides and he removes the drenched blanket from my mouth.

He tries to caress my cheek with the back of his finger but I pull away from his touch, fearful that the pain might return.

Turmoil lingers in his eyes, but he does not act on it, instead stepping away to put some distance between us.

Derek clears his throat to demand I complete the rejection when Dr.Lila comes in with a clipboard in her hand.

“Beta Derek, can I have a word with you? I just want to go over her list of medications with you very quickly.These are human drugs and we do not carry them here so you’ll need to I travel into town to get them,” she explains, eyeing both of us suspiciously.

Derek leaves his car keys on the nightstand, and promises to return shortly to take me home before following Dr.Lila out of the room.

Upon hearing the click of the door closing, I jump out of bed and search the gym bag, finding a change of clothes for me and my wallet.

I dress as quickly as possible, taking Derek’s car keys and shoving them into the pocket of my jeans.

Slinging the bag over my shoulder and pulling on my hoodie, down the hall so as not to raise suspicion.

No one tries to stop me or asks me any questions as I walk out of the pack clinic and get into Beta Derek’s car.

Luck smiles upon me when I find Derek’s wallet with some cash and a credit card in the glove compartment, along with a silver gun.

Stuffing the weapon into my gym bag, I pull out of the pack clinic, my wolf still whining in pain.

With no destination in mind, I drive down the road towards the horizon, determined to never return again.

Derek (Christian’s Beta)

Casper could sense the wolf within Vanessa upon seeing her, feeling his other half lurking just beneath her surface.

It appears no one else can sense it, however, as no one has informed me of any changes to the Luna.You rejected her …my wolf, Casper whimpers.

Why did you reject her? We’ve waited years.She’s the Luna, Cas, I sigh.She can’t be our mate…

But Alpha doesn’t plan to keep her for much longer…

he argues, his tail hanging between his legs.

Why can’t we have her? I don’t even know where to begin explaining why Vanessa wouldn’t be a good mate for us.

For one thing, she’s in love with woman seeking power.

Our Beta status would never satisfy her and her love would quickly run out.

As Dr.Lila explains the meds I need to get for Vanessa and the physical therapy regimen she wants me to go through with the Luna, a nurse walks in with a file.

Dr.Lila briefly scans them when her face suddenly pales.

“What is it?” I ask, unable to contain my concern.

“Whatever the Luna did with those rogues, it completely healed her body,” Dr.Lila explains as she reads through the notes again.

“I did a thorough examination of her, including a pregnancy test and…”

Her voice trails off when she hands me the file with Vanessa’s test results.

On the first page, the words PREGNANT are highlighted and written in bold at the top, my wolf roaring with rage at me.She’s pregnant! Hesnarls.

You rejected her while she’s carrying a pup! Ignoring my wolf’s outburst, I reread the document, hoping it is some kind of mistake but the words never change.

Vanessa is in fact pregnant and I may have just jeopardized her health.

The pieces all start to come together until I can finally make sense of it all.

Vanessa survived a turning, the venom restoring her uterus, and at the next full moon, her wolf will awaken completely.

The only question that remains is, is Christian the father of her “The Luna must have attempted to turn,”

Dr Lila mumbles as she thinks aloud.

“That’s the only reason I could think of as to how her uterus healed.But I didn’t see a bite mark for the infection,” She ponders.

“That’s the least of our worries,” I sigh.

“Right now we need to inform the Alpha that Luna Vanessa is carrying his heir.”

Dr.Lila raises an eyebrow in amusement at me but I ignore.It has to be Christian’s.

Perhaps then, he’ll stop killing pack members.

“I’ll inform the Alpha,” I say, closing the file and taking it.

“Thank you for the help, Doc.”

I brace myself as I return to Vanessa’s room, standing outside for a moment to gather my thoughts.

Casper snarls at me, demanding that I take back my rejection but I know it is simply out of the question.

A little life grows inside her and my mate belongs to someone else.

This rejection is for the best.

Besides…She loves Christian.

After calming my shaking hands, I open the door only to find the room completely empty, Vanessa’s things and my car keys gone.

Casper nearly goes feral as we search for her scent and follow it out into the parking lot where my car is missing.

I shift and race back to the Pack house, hoping perhaps she got sick of waiting for me and drove herself home instead.

To my dismay, however, she’s nowhere near the house, the omegas all shaking their heads when I ask if she’s returned.

Alpha glaring at me for intruding without knocking.

“Derek, you better have a good reason for barging in-“

“Nessa’s gone,” I pant, desperately trying to catch my breath.

“She took my car keys and my car.”

“So?” Christian shrugs.

“Just track her phone or the car’s GPS.Problem solved.”

“Sir, she’s pregnant,”

I blurt out, Christian’s unfazed look morphing into one of anger.

“She’s what?” he snaps.

“Pregnant, Sir.She’s carrying our next -“

Before I can finish my sentence, I’m slammed against the wall, Christian wrapping his hands around my throat and cutting off my air.

“Dakota is my only heir,” he snarls, his blue eyes shifting to green as Jack takes over.

“Who else knows about this?” he demands.

“Do-doc.Ju-just the doc,”

I manage to wheeze out.

“Good,” Jack smirks, squeezing tighter.

“You better keep it that way.Bring Vanessa home and get rid of that pup.”

“But, sir-“

He slams my head again, this time little stars blurring my vision.

“GET RID OF IT!” he roars, my wolf whining in pain at the thought of hurting his mate.

I barely manage to nod and the Alpha finally releases me, report back to me that the child is gone.

Pray to Moon Goddess you don’t fail me, Derek.

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