In Breaking Dawn, Seth tells Bella that "the most absolute of all the pack's laws is that no wolf would ever kill another's imprint. The pain of such a thing would be intolerable to the whole pack... It had happened once, years ago, but only by mistake." This is that story, the story of how, in one instant of anger, the pack was torn apart. Pre-Twilight One-Shot
Mild BD Spoilers
Rating 5/5 Word Count 807 Review this Chapter
There were only two wolves in the pack. The tribe didn’t need more than that, not when only the occasional Cold One crossed into their land—and they were a small people, besides.
One of the wolves had a mate. She was a beauty of their people, pursued by many, but of course in the end the one she chose was him.
He was hers, and she couldn’t bear to see him hurt any more than he could stand her.
It was not an atypical pack. The two brothers ran, always one and usually both of them relishing in the tap of firm earth beneath their paws. The mated one was the Alpha, as he was the first to phase.
He had the bloodright, too, from his father and his mother. Though his brother had it from both sides as well, his was not as strong.
The two brothers were running one day, a patrol like any other, side by side, when one of them caught the trail of a Cold One. The icy stench burnt his nose.
Over time, we have forgotten which one of the brothers caught the trail, but we remember the other caught the creature. They disposed of it easily. It was young and weak.
The two phased back, clothing themselves quickly and returning to their homes. As they jogged back in their human skins, the mated brother teased the other lightly that he was the one to deliver the final bite to the beast.
They were young, these two, new to the double life. They had not yet learned to tolerate their anger, to adjust the unnatural rage of their bodies to maintain their shape when necessary.
The brothers both stopped at the home of the mated one. As often as not, their whole small pack would stay there, rather than risk disturbing the sleep of the other young men by coming and going from their lodging in the middle of the night with their supernatural duty.
The elder wolf greeted his wife warmly, with a kiss as always, and held her close.
Jealousy began to boil beneath his brother’s skin. Why had he not been chosen for this gift? Why was he denied this selfless and eternal love? He could not marry in the normal way, not when he could be overcome by the force of gravity at any moment. But so far, it had shunned him.
His limbs shook.
And then she spoke the forceful words. “Hello, my brother. My dearest was just telling me of your exploits today. I hear you acquitted yourself most bravely.”
Nothing more was intended than a bit of harmless teasing, perhaps at his expense, but without any malice.
Yet he was so young, and so furious, and he lost control. It was less than a split second, and his great paw sliced across her belly.
She fell to the floor.
The other wolf changed with a roar. Later, he would regret it. Better to let his brother take him down too, better to die and leave the tribe with a suitable protector, than to do this.
They fought, then and there, both their minds swarming with rage and pain. Their thoughts were truly one in that moment, and as the killer wolf was slain, a deep, deep regret filled his mind, almost as immense as the agony they both felt.
The Alpha was alone, all alone. He could not bear the strength of his pain in the stronger emotions of his human form. No, he had to remain like this.
It was on the shoulders of the sons to protect the people now. He had a greater problem.
He chose the form of the wolf, because he couldn’t take the intolerable agony. He had lost his brother by his own hands. He had seen his beloved soul struck down by his dearest friend.
Such a thing… it would be intolerable.
It will never happen to us. True, we can afford the loss of a wolf or two. We’re a bigger pack. But it would shatter us all. The pain, the pain, so much pain for the whole pack-mind!
Do you see that? I’m not much of a teller, but surely you remember the story from when you were little.
If you are to be near her, anywhere near her, you are going to have to learn control, Paul. You’re my brother, yes, but Emily is my life. If you hurt her, it will tear us all apart.
I made that mistake, to a lesser degree. I cannot allow it to be repeated. Or, Gods forbid, inflated. And I will never live to see her dead before me. Understand?