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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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24. Chapter 24

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Her skin is like butter beneath my claws, the flesh splitting as though I’ve heated them directly in a flame.

She does not scream as she crumples to the floor. She simply goes down, not even clutching her face as she falls down, down, down. Her hair flies out behind her, and I swear the world seems to slow, just like in a movie, as I watch the unforgivable take place. She collapses there, at my feet.

The exact opposite of how things should be. I do not deserve even this involuntary reverence. I am the one who ought to kneel before her and beg for the forgiveness I will never be able to deserve.

I can feel my self-loathing twist me from shape to shape, and I am a man, at her side, hurriedly scrounging for the old clothes I know I have hidden nearby.

To my horror, as I lift the rock I’ve left them beneath, I see that I leave crimson smudges on the stone.

Blood on my hands.

Emily’s blood on my hands.


Oh, God. I rush back to her side and collapse atop her, gently turning her over.

I gasp as I witness what I’ve done.

Three angry lines, bright red with the same blood that stains my hands. Perhaps the literal stain of it will remain for the rest of my life. I would have thought it would shift when I did, disappear with my change of forms, but that’s ridiculous. I can no more be rid of the blood than of the guilt.

And that is one stain I will never be free of.

I see the marks my angry claws made, reflecting my own bitter anger against this defenseless and blameless angel. I trace with a tender finger the place where the mark begins, at the tip of her forehead, and the ending, on her lower thigh, almost at her knees. The whole right side of her body is ruined with the wounds I gave her, raw, bleeding wounds, rending her in half.

Her face was not spared. That perfect face is no less lovely to me with the horror I inflicted on it. I love her no less now. How could I? She is every bit as beautiful, and yet she is clearly marked. My guilt is mine, though, not hers, a stain on me, and no blight on her. The symmetry of that face is exquisite, and yet the scores on her cheeks ruin that. Even her eyes and mouth are tilted with the gash—I pray, though I don’t deserve it, that she hasn’t been hurt. Let her be able to see and speak when this is over. Let me not have taken that from her.

I must get her to help. I can’t lie here at her side and watch her bleed… to death. It’s a distinct possibility, I realize, with those wide gashes.

A lie. I need a lie. I can’t tell them the truth, can’t be taken in by justice. Though I know I deserve to be exposed as the monster I am, I must protect my secret and continue my duty.

It will be better penance than pain, anyway. I can punish myself plenty.

And yet never enough.

For all that I’ve done.