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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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33. Chapter 33

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I vaguely recognize the voice, from a long-ago project in Sophomore Biology. Jared, is that you?

Yeah. What…

Where are you? I interrupt. I’m slowly figuring this out… and abruptly I realize I am no longer alone.

I make my decision quickly. I will help him, the one who has to share my curse. We’ll make it through this together. I’ll stop him from ever making a mistake as huge as mine.

In the woods, he answers. If I could, I would slap my forehead.

I know that. Where in the woods?

I see him scan through his thoughts, the landscapes whizzing by in his mind, various different vaguely familiar shots of foliage and trees. Uh…

I give in. All right. Howl.

How do I…

Wow. It’s a good thing he wasn’t the first. It’s an instinct. An ear-shattering sound splits the air.

I heard that, by the way, he grumbles. I let my tongue fall out of my mouth in a grin.

Sorry. Hey, I hear you. I’m on my way.

Who is it?

Sam Uley. I’m a year above you in school. I picture myself- my human self, for his benefit. I feel his recognition.

Leah Clearwater’s boyfriend.

I try not to wince. There’s a story for a different day, or perhaps a warning. It could happen to him too, after all. Right.

He ignores my musings and continues pacing the tiny clearing he’s in. Cool. Gonna tell me what the hell is going on?

Yeah. Once I get there. I run faster, and then remember something important. Jared isn’t going to recognize me—I don’t exactly look like his old lab partner. Oh, and by the way, don’t freak when you see me. I’ve… changed. I’m black, and big as a house. I try to shoot him an image, but I’ve rarely seen this self. I only know the color of my fur from a few chance glimpses of my paw.

I thought you were Quileute.

I roll my eyes. No. I mean literal, jet-black. You won’t recognize me- I stumble into the clearing in his thoughts- there.

SHIT! There’s a… and then he realizes. Is that you?

Yeah. Now I’m gonna show you what you look like. He’s a light brown color, not quite as big as I am, with deep mahogany eyes, not black like mine.

Wow. I can read your mind! He realizes abruptly.

Yep. That’s new.

This comment makes him realizes he has a whole new barrage of questions. How long… why… what…?

I grin and answer them all. About two months for me. I’m not sure why. I think it has something to do with the vampires.

His eyes widen. Vampires?

Cold ones. You know the legends as well as I do. I’m well aware that Jared isn’t actually an idiot. He was in bio as a freshman, after all, a year younger than me. He’s just reacting to the shock of being a werewolf in a slightly idiotic way. Understandable enough.

Yeah, but I never believed…

Neither did I. I picture the memory of Leah and I at a bonfire, while I try not to concentrate on our linked hands, listening to legends. I laughed aloud at the phrase ‘spirit wolves,’ I remembered. A fairy story all these grown men believed! Sometimes, on my morbid days, I think I’m the victim of a nasty prank played by fate. This si what comes of laughing at serious things, you know.

Why nasty? He asks. Seems cool to me.

Responsibility. And imprinting.

And that means…

I take it he isn’t asking about responsibility.