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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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35. Chapter 35

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“Hey, Sam.” “Jared phased today,” I whisper. “What?” Her voice is blank with disbelief and incomprehension. “Jared. This kid from my biology class. Turned into a werewolf. I heard him in the forests.” “Isn’t that good?” Emily says gently, taking my hand, pulling me to her. “You’re not alone anymore.” I sigh. “Yes. It is. Part of me is ecstatically, incredibly, selfishly happy. I’ll have time to sleep now, to find a house, to spend with you, instead of running patrol all the time. I can share the burden. There’s another person who I can talk to all this about, someone who understands… you know, we can read each other’s minds? When we’re in wolf form? He sees what I did. To you, to Leah. He understands. It’s so much easier already. And yet…” I pause. She’s taking this very well, this entire bizarre responsibility I have, but it’s hard to show her the extent of it. It’s unfamiliar territory, this whole world I live alone in. Well, no longer completely alone, but still the leader of a universe where the laws I must enforce are unclear. Where things I can’t control eat away at my dreams, till there’s nothing left, till I look in the mirror and don’t even recognize my face, no matter which one I am currently wearing. If only it was just the transformation, it would be no big deal. But it’s a vast, bewildering, inexplicable, important duty that I can’t shirk. Can’t. Am physically unable to. That’s the hardest part. I have no more free will. I can’t make my choices the way I used to. I never chose to do this. Maybe I would have wanted to give everything up to protect the tribe. Maybe. But I didn’t get the option. Maybe I would have given up Leah for this incredible, beautiful, overpowering love. Maybe. But no one bothered to as me. I sigh. “I guess I’m mourning, a little. Jared’s childhood ended yesterday. He’s a man today, and he’s not eighteen years old yet. Hasn’t graduated high school. He can’t live a normal life, from now on. He’ll have to give up everything, for the people. His life ended yesterday. He’s a tool now. Like me.” She is silent for a moment. Then, quietly, she says, “What does that make me?” “Huh?” “If you’re a tool. What am I? I’m part of it, aren’t I? The duty. The responsibility. All this that you never wanted. I’m part of what you never wanted.” Her insecurity hits me like a bullet, and I take both her hands in mine, looking down into the depths of her eyes. The power of the tears in her gaze is immense. I try not to lose myself, staring at her. “No,” I whisper. I can see the brightness of her sudden, confused, uncertain relief. “No, Emily. You’re the one thing that makes all this hell worth it. I do it all for you. You… you’re the reason for everything. You will never be a responsibility. You’re a miracle.”