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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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26. Chapter 26

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She awakes the next morning, early. I am in the room, kneeling by her side, as I have been the entire night. I do not sleep—how could I? I may never sleep again.

“Sam?” she says, voice groggy with sleep, and my heart leaps. Her mind is intact. She can speak.

And she pronounces the name with no loathing or hatred in it, like I’m any other person, like I’m a man at all and not a monster. “Emily,” I reply, a whisper, a breath, a prayer.

“What happened?”

“I… I have to explain it to you. I’m… how do I say this, Emily? How do I tell you what I am?”

I look around the barren white room, the tubes she’s strapped to, the blood dripping on the bed’s colorless sheets. Guilt chokes me again.

Her voice is soft and gentle. “Tell me, Sam. Just tell me.”

“I am… Emily, did anyone ever tell you the legends? Of the spirit wolves?”

Her jaw drops. “You turned into a wolf.”

I nod. “Yes. And I… Emily, that’s why I left Leah. Because, because of the change, I had to be with you. I have to.”

Her eyes are far away, poring over old stories in her mind. She dredges up the word. “Imprinting.”

I’m impressed. “Yes. It took me longer than that to figure it out.”

“Sam… my face hurts. What happened?”

“You don’t remember?”

She shakes her head. “I didn’t see. The doctor said… something about a bear… you carrying me here?”

“Oh, Emily.”

How do I say this? How do I admit my guilt, all of it, my vast mistake, to her, her of all people? My victim, and my goddess? The injured and the judge in one?

“Emily, it was…”

I hold out my hand. There is blood there, and also dried on my clothes from where I carried her here.

For a minute, she just stares. And then she sees the symbolism in the bloody hand.

“Sam. You… I…”

“I lost control, Emily.”

I am silent for a minute while she fights the horror in her eyes. I prepare for her to send me away. For this last minute I will ever spend in her presence, I know how it must be spent.

“Emily, I am so… so… there are no words to express how sorry I am. I will never again… yet… I… is there anything, anything, I can do for you? Anything. Tell me, Emily, how I can make up for what I’ve done.”

She sighs and closes her eyes for a brief moment. “Sam…”

“Anything. I can see you feel guilty, Emily, and there’s no need to. I would be glad to die this minute if that will help. Anything for you.”

“I need you to leave. Not… for a while, all right? Let me think about this.”

That’s almost overwhelmingly reasonable. I nod. “Of course. I’ll be waiting. Right outside, if that’s okay.”

She looks at me, and I leave.

Outside, I am alone again. And this time forever.