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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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25. Chapter 25

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Eventually, I do what I have to. I am desperately unworthy of this touch, yet nonetheless my penance is much less important than her safety. I can wallow in guilt later, when she’s healed, when she’s not bleeding there, on the ground, her hair spilling out like her blood around her head, her eyes closed as though in rapture.

I pick her up, like a bride or a corpse, in my arms, and carry her that way. I try not to think of the contact, of her upper back or her knees pressing into my arms, of the coolness of her skin and the gentle way she breathes.

I don’t deserve it.

It is a short enough walk to the hospital, yet every step feels as though I’m burdened by the weight of the universe. Not because I’m carrying Emily—she’s light, and I’m strong.

What crushes me is the weight of my guilt. The chains I will lug along with me for the rest of my life.

It’s exactly as if I struck her, only with much more devastating consequences. I physically assaulted a smaller, weaker person out of anger, and that split second lapse could kill her.

Couldn’t it just kill me instead?

I deserve it.

Finally, the doors open. The receptionist gasps at the sight of Emily’s perfect face, stained with the fountains of blood.

“What happened to her?”

“A bear… came out of the woods… attacked her…” I gasp. “We were in La Push… talking… woods behind her house…”

“You carried her that whole way? Twelve miles?”

I nod. It’s not so bad for me.

“Oh, you have been very good to her. My goodness, she’s in a state. Let me call the doctor—We have an emergency, Dr. Gerandy.”

The man comes down the stairs, his white hair shining in the fluorescent light. He is followed by a nurse and a gurney. Gently, as carefully as I can, I place Emily on the white bed. Her eyes are still closed, but I can see her chest rise and fall with shallow breaths, I can hear her faint heartbeat.

She’s alive.

Thank God. She’s alive. For now, for only a while longer, maybe, but at least she’s alive. I don’t deserve the mercy of the universe, but she absolutely does.

She deserves so much more than a monster like myself can give her. Yet anything I can do, I will. More so now, with this huge failure to recompense, than when I merely wanted to make her happy.

“Tell me,” I beg. “Will she be all right?”

The doctor looks at me, at my closed and darkened eyes, at my bloodstained and torn clothes, at the red dripping from my hands.

Blood on my hands, still. Forever.

I can see pity I don’t deserve in his gaze. “I don’t know, son,” he says, and that’s the end of that. I watch him wheel her away and follow.

I don’t have any right to, but I have to watch him work. I stop outside the door. She’s unconscious, and I can hear the doctor attaching needles here and there, pulling out bandages. I smell sweat and medicine and someone else’s blood—a transfusion.

I lean against the wall. There is nothing more I can do, so I simply let the guilt take me.