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The Lonely Wolf

To phase the first time: disorienting. Horrible. Terrifying. Painful. To become a monster: sickening. Strange. Agonizing. Estranging. This we know from Jacob. Must it not have been so much worse to be Sam? He did it all... and he did it all alone. A story in the perspective of the first of our beloved werewolves, Sam Uley. From shortly before the time of his first phase to his marriage to Emily Young.

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13. Chapter 13

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I held Leah’s hand, firmly. She had needed the comfort of physical contact like this fairly frequently in recent weeks. It reassured her, constantly, that I still was here for her, that I always would be.

For some reason, the fact that my skin was hovering around a hundred and ten degrees had yet to phase her, no pun intended. Strangely, her touch didn’t feel cold to me, though mine did feel abnormally hot to her. In the mornings, when she felt sick, she would use my hand like a hot pack, resting on her nauseous stomach.

“So she’s on her way?”

“Yep. She’s going to stay here with us, I think. I hope you don’t mind,” Leah says. I know this means you totally don’t have a choice. But I don’t begrudge this stranger woman who’s about to be practically my sister in law a place in our house.

Or, actually, Leah’s house, since I signed the mortgage in her name. She doesn’t know that, but our home legally belongs to her.

It had been merely a romantic gesture when I’d done it. Now it seemed practical. Once she got sick of me, as I had a feeling she someday would, she’d be able to kick me out of her life with as little trouble as possible.

I didn’t think we would be able to stay together forever. She’d get sick of my excuses. I’d phase in front of her and scare her. I’m not sure what it will be, but I don’t think everything we’ve promised will come true.

But I will keep my promises. That’s the truth of it. I will remain a man of my word, even when I am not always a man.

“I love you,” she says, just into the silence, because it seems natural. “I know it’s not perfect right now, but it’ll work out.”

“Yeah. It will.” There is a silence, as we sit side by side, and then I realize. “Oh, and I love you too.”

She laughs out loud, brashly, the way she always has. It is part of the reason I love her, her total lack of false delicacy, of pretending to be something she isn’t.

The silence descends again. It is comfortable, to sit beside her, holding her hand, her head on my shoulder, long, black hair falling like a curtain in the narrow space between us. It feels very natural, and it should- I will be spending the rest of my life with her. It’s the only thing I want, is to be what I was once.

This is as close as I can get.

But it is enough.

More than enough, actually, to have her, the remnant of the life I was going to make. I can’t have the rest of it, but I have the one thing that really matters.

The doorbell rings. There is no greater announcement of the momentous occasion, just a commonplace ding-dong.

“Oh, that must be Emily,” Leah says.

I stand. “I’ll get it.”

The five steps to the door, for some reason, are the longest of my life. And then my hand is on the doorknob.