I stood in a corner, looking at the grand wedding in front of me, the crowd coming and going. However, instead of feeling festive, my heart was full of unwillingness and grievance.
Today was my father's second wedding, and the Silver Ridge Pack was holding a grand wedding ceremony for him since he was the Alpha.
Although this wasn't his first marriage, my father still attached great importance to it. He made sure that the wedding venue was decorated lavishly, and I overheard some people saying that it was even more beautiful than that of his wedding with my mother. My father had also invited many Alphas here, which showed how much he loved and respected his new bride.
But what he failed to realize was that today was also the death anniversary of my mother.
The wedding progressed smoothly, and everyone looked so happy. My mother's grave, on the other hand, was desolate and lonesome, without anyone there to visit her.
I didn't want to be at this stupid wedding. I just wanted to accompany my mother now.
"Debra, where are you going?"
A sharp female voice sounded from not far away, interrupting my conversation with Vicky Todd, my maid.
I turned to look in the direction of the voice and saw my stepmother, Marley Clarkson, and her servant walking to us.
Marley was much younger than my father. In fact, she was only four years older than me. She was the daughter of the Alpha of the Frosty River Pack and exceedingly beautiful. Marley's white wedding dress billowed in the breeze. Her wavy blonde hair framed her face perfectly. She looked as pretty as a porcelain doll.
Not wanting to talk to her, I turned my head away.
"Are you planning to miss an occasion as important as this and embarrass your father's Luna?" Marley demanded.
"Of course not!" Vicky hurriedly stepped in to mediate. "Debra's tired and wants to have a rest, that's all."
"Is that so?" Marley narrowed her eyes at me and suddenly cracked a smile. "Good. I want to talk to you about something."
"Why?" I asked, staring at her vigilantly.
I never got along with Marley, but for the sake of my father's happiness, I tried to stay out of her way as much as possible. And Marley never came to me on her own accord.
Now, she wanted to speak with me. My intuition told me that something bad was about to happen.
"Relax." Marley's grin widened. "I just want to borrow the necklace you're wearing. It'll go perfectly with my wedding dress."
"Sorry, but no." I refused without hesitation. "This was my mother's."
The necklace I was wearing was the only thing my mother had left me, and I treasured it dearly. It was my only connection to my mother. Whenever I was wearing it, I felt that my mother was close and had never left me.
Of course, I would never lend it to anyone, let alone my stepmother.
Marley seemed to read my mind. She softened her tone and said gently, "Why are you so cold to me? It's our first day together as a family."
If Marley treated me as a family like she claimed, she wouldn't have tried to take away my mother's last belonging.
"Sorry, but I can't lend it to you." I narrowed my eyes at her coldly.
"Then don't blame me. I need that necklace." Marley's gentle smile was instantly replaced by a sneer. She then signaled to her servants.
The two servants immediately sprang into action. One grabbed my left arm, while the other grabbed my right. They forced me to kneel, my knees hitting the ground hard.
Wincing in pain, I raised my head and saw Marley standing before me.
Her beautiful face was tainted with mockery. She stretched out her slender hand and yanked the necklace off my neck.
The next second, the clasp came undone and the necklace was taken away from me.
"What the hell are you doing?" I never thought this woman would be so shameless. "Marley, give me back my necklace!"
Even Vicky was aghast. "You can't do this! That necklace was given to Debra by her mother!"
As she spoke, Vicky hurried forward to block Marley from leaving.
One of the servants who were holding me kicked her away.
Vicky stumbled and fell, her forehead slamming into the stone pillar. Blood trickled down from the wound, staining her pale face.
Vicky was my mother's best friend. After my mother passed away, she stayed in the pack for my sake and remained single all her life. She practically raised me.
How dare Marley hurt her like this!
My wolf, Ivy, became restless. I, too, was driven mad with anger.
Ivy growled in my mind, "Rip them to shreds, Debra!"
But before I could do anything reckless, Vicky struggled to stand on her feet. Leaning on the stone pillar for support, she managed to cry out, "Debra, don't do anything rash!"
I knew she was right. Because Marley was now married to my father, she was officially the Luna of our pack. If I laid a finger on her, my father and all the members of our pack would sense it immediately.
As Vicky spoke, the blood trickled down from her eyebrow to her chin.
Seeing her like this made my heart ache so much. I rushed over to help her.
"Eww, this necklace is so cheap." A playful smile appeared on Marley's face as she took a closer look at my mother's necklace. "How could your mother leave you such a cheap thing? Pathetic!"
As she spoke, she fiddled with my necklace casually.
"Don't worry. I'll give it back to you. It's just a necklace. I'll have countless better necklaces now that I'm the Luna."
Marley threw my necklace to the ground as hard as she could. The chain instantly broke, and the gems clattered to the ground one by one.
The only thing my mother had left to me was ruined.
For a split second, I felt as though my heart was being squeezed by an invisible, oppressive force.
Ears buzzing, I knelt down to pick up the stray gems in a daze.
Suddenly, a sharp pain shot up from the back of my hand.
Marley had stepped on my hand.
She dug her high-heeled shoe into the back of my hand deeply.
"You are the daughter of a noble Alpha. How dare you touch dirty trash? Let go, my dear stepdaughter."
I slowly raised my head to look up at her, my eyes filled with hatred and anger.
"Fuck this bitch!" Ivy was so angry that she wanted to rip Marley to shreds. "Bitch, move your stinky foot away!"
Of course, Marley didn't budge. She had nothing to fear after all.
She smiled at me scornfully and warned, "Debra, you'd better learn how to respect your new Luna."
Just then, the wedding music started to play. Marley slowly removed her foot, straightened her dress, and walked away haughtily, followed by her servants.
Ignoring the pain in my hand, I continued to pick up the stray gems on the ground.
Now I understood why Marley wanted the necklace in the first place. It turned out she just wanted to send a message to me—loud and clear.
Up until this point, Marley had only avoided me because she hadn't married my father yet and wasn't officially the Luna. Today was her wedding. Now that she had the power, she wanted to teach her rebellious stepdaughter a lesson. She wanted to show me who the pack's real matriarch was.
"Oh, you poor thing..." Vicky sighed and helped me up. "Don't worry. I'll fix the necklace. I promise it'll look exactly like it used to."
"Thanks, Vicky." I forced a smile at her, trying my best to swallow my sadness.
The wedding of my father and Marley officially began.
Under the dazzling lights, my father and Marley celebrated their love, whereas the werewolves celebrated and welcomed their new Luna. No one noticed me, the pitiful, disheveled she-wolf in the corner, and no one remembered my dead mother.
Depressed and angry, I grabbed a whole bottle of wine and downed its contents in an effort to numb the pain.
I wasn't good at holding my alcohol. It didn't take long before my vision started to blur and my mind began to whirl.
But no matter how much I drank, I couldn't forget that fucking smile on Marley's face, which made me want to puke.
I couldn't stand it. I needed to get out of here.
Just as I turned around to leave, I inadvertently ran into the person standing behind me.