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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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43. Chapter 43

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It’s Jared, holding hands with a girl I don’t really recognize. He’s beaming, his smile incredibly huge and spread almost literally from ear to ear. It looks like it hurts.

“Hi, Sam!”

He kind of sounds like an idiot, I must say. His voice sounds too high, too bright, too happy. And then he turns to look at the girl beside him, and the smile doubles. He is looking at her like she’s the entire world, gleaming, glittering, his sheer joy shining out from around him.

I stand up, walk over to him, kick him in the shin, and hiss, “Idiot, introduce me.”

He turns back and blushes. “Oh. Right. Sam, Emily, this is Kim.” Her name sounds like a prayer in his voice, gently worshipful. I smile at this. Is it what I look like from the outside? Probably. It’s pleasant to watch. “Kim, Sam and his girlfriend Emily.”

“You explained it to her?” I whisper, quietly enough that human ears won’t be able to hear.

“Not quite yet. Actually, I was thinking we could do that now,” he replies, than says aloud, “Kim, do you want to sit down? We have something to explain to you. I have something to explain to you.”

I turn to look at the girl for the first time. She seems completely entranced in Jared, staring at him staring at her. She’s not a beautiful girl, not like Emily is. Her mouth’s a little too wide, her nose a little flat and broad, her eyes a little small and her hair a little flat. But it doesn’t make a difference. It’s impossible to look away from her, because of the way he stares, because of the love so apparent on both their faces.

“Jared, you want me to start?”

“I’d appreciate that,” he answers.

“All right, Kim.” I focus, trying to assume the seriousness and calm Billy Black or Old Quil has when they tell the stories. The kind of surety that even a bunch of crazy teenagers can’t doubt, no matter how insane the old legends might sound. “Well, Emily, Jared and I are the only others who are part of this secret, but you are one of us now. A part of our pack.” She starts to say something and I hold up a hand. “Wait. The legends, the Quileute stories of the werewolf warriors? You’ve heard them, probably.”

“More than once.” She laughs. “My mom hates the superstitious stuff, but Grandma’s big on it.”

“Many of the elders are. Because they’re the ones who remember the last time there was this burden to be shared. The legends are true, Kim.”

Jared takes over. “Sam and I are werewolves. I phased for the first time a couple weeks ago- that’s why I missed all that school. It’s why my temperature’s so high, why I move so fast, why…”

“Why you noticed me all of a sudden?” Her voice is piercing, too high, like she’s about to cry. Jared panics. He throws his arms around her with near-violence, pulls her against his shoulder.

“Yeah. Kimmy, sweetheart, it is. It’s called imprinting and it let me see what I needed. It’s the biggest gift we have. To know who we belong with, who we belong to… who we love. I love you, Kim. I do. I didn’t know it until yesterday, but it’s been there all along.”

She smiles through the sorrow. “I love you too.”