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Monster

Summary:
I'm nothing but a monster burning in a hell that only exists in my head. There's no hope left until one harmless glance chances logic and binds two eternal enemies together in a twist of fate. Can the escape from this hell be found in an infuriating dimpled grin? Or is this another dark, dirty trick of my own mind? A forbidden passion, heat, and intense anger—this is no fairytale.


Notes:
[Disclaimer: Monster is an originally plotted fic. The ideas within this fic are not to be copied in any way, shape, or form—I have not given my consent to any manner of copying. All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the intellectual property of their respective owners. All canon concepts and characters are the property of the Twilight Saga's author, Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended. Similarities are for the sole use of fan fiction, and no profit has been or will be benefited from the posting of this fic.] Emerging Swan Award 2012, nominated into Fandom Choice Awards.


10. Reality Check

Rating 0/5   Word Count 3103   Review this Chapter

"But there's a side to you
That I never knew, never knew.
All the things you'd say
They were never true, never true." - Adele.

Chapter Ten

Reality Check

April 18th, 2004.

Tap…drip…snore…tap…

The familiar sounds of my history class seemed to cause the hands of the clock to drag even slower. I let out a short breath, tearing my eyes away to watch the rain drip down the window. I stared blankly at the crystal droplets, only to be distracted again, this time by the rumbling snores in the back of the room.

I grimaced when the sound of the snores spilled into my ears. I shifted in my seat to turn back and assess the scene. There were two half-asleep boys, each hunched over their papers, mouths wide open in a blank, thoughtless expression. I didn't know the names of either of them, but who could blame me? Nearly everyone on the reservation shared the same native features. It was hard to tell the difference between one person and another. However, there was a third boy in the back that did seem familiar. I think he went by Quil. I recognized him by his buzz cut; most boys wore their hair long, so he stood out from the rest. If not for his choice of style, I would have recognized him as a kid that Jacob hung out with. When Nicole wasn't around, at least.

The silence was shattered when the snappy, ancient substitute teacher announced that she was going to be calling out random names to read what they had for notes. I was pretty sure the whole thing was directed at the sleeping guys, but the teacher set her beady eyes on me long enough that I figured I would be one of the "random students" along with them. I'd earned a bad reputation around here, and lately, it seemed as if everyone knew about me just because of my boyfriend. Muttering, I unfolded my arms and snatched up my pencil, returning to my notes and flimsy textbook. The thing was probably just as old as the freaking teacher.

All this crap about how Quileute ancestors' "veins were filled with magic," and, "they were the only living creature powerful enough to fight off the world's unknown most dangerous predator" didn't make much sense to me. Something in the back of my mind triggered anxious shudders in response to some of the descriptions in the book. Maybe that was why I'd gotten distracted in the first place, but it wasn't clear what exactly was causing my reaction.

I needed to focus. If we didn't learn this, we'd all fail this year and end up with a crappy job, if anything at all. Ending up like the cranky substitute wasn't exactly on my to-do list, so I set to work, scribbling phrases on my paper. All anybody had to do was take the main ideas and change the words around. It worked like a charm, especially when notes were allowed on tests.

My hand started to flow across the paper while I turned thoughts into markings, my pencil making faint squeaks when it slid across the smooth, wooden desk.

Thousands of years ago, before most records were even recorded, Eli was. . .

I frowned, moving my fingers to bring my eraser to my paper and rub off the interruption before continuing.

Until one night, three women were declared missing. This was the start to the interesting part of our history, a twist in the story. After hearing the news, Quileute warriors, also known as Eli. . .

Once again, I scribbled off the name and continued to write, fingers clenching around my pencil while I willed myself to focus. I had ignored the note on the blackboard making it clear that copying directly from the book would drop the grade. Something was better than nothing, after all.

The Quileutes prospered, with fish to fill hungry stomachs and strong children born from their women. They pulled great whales from the sea, celebrating victories, not wasting a drop of what they owned, and for generations, they were content. However, jealousy rose among the Quileute's neighbors, and many had tried to take their lands by force, but the Spirit Warriors of the tribe used their magic to protect what was theirs. It came upon a time that the last of the Great Spirit Chiefs, Taha Aki, was betrayed by the Spirit Warrior, Utlapa. After Utlapa had stolen Taha Aki's body and used it to usurp Taha Aki's place among the tribe, the spirit of Taha Aki was in agony, having spent too long apart from his body. A predatory animal agreed to allow Taha Aki to share its body, and eventually, an enraged Taha Aki resumed a human form, strengthened by the animal, and slew Utlapa. After finding himself able to transform between man and an animal form, Taha Aki did not age and fathered many sons who shared his abilities. The sons of the tribe who were able to shift forms, known as Eli's—

My writing ended there. The swelling frustration exploded inside me, causing my pencil to snap from the strain of my clenched hand. I blinked, staring at the split wood, wondering why I was overreacting so much over my mistakes. I would be thirteen next month; I needed to keep my cool.

Leaning over, I swiftly grabbed a stray pencil from the floor. My eyes darted around, meeting the gaze of classmates who were, or had been for God knows how long, staring at me. They saw me looking in their direction and quickly averted their eyes, trying to make their gazes less obvious.

"Take a picture. Lasts longer." My voice was a mutter, quiet enough to stay out of the range of the teacher but loud enough that I was sure my little audience could hear.

I shook my head and almost started to write again, but it seemed pretty useless now. What was the point if I couldn't even focus in the first place? I jabbed my eraser into my paper and removed the last sentence. Afterward, I paused and drew a little heart over the grey splotch where Eli's name had been a moment earlier. I shuddered at the cheesiness, groaning quietly at my stupidity.

There was no way I could do this. My mind was in a hundred places, making it impossible to focus. I shoved my desk to the side as I stood, and then stared at it for a moment. Was running in the woods with Eli making me stronger?

Ugh. Thinking of him. Again.

I hurried up to the substitute, muttering nonsense under my breath. I grabbed a pass off the wall and held it in front of her. She acted as if I wasn't there and continued to stare down the long line of her nose for a moment, her eyes scanning the pages beneath her. I waved the pass in her face, irritated by her ignorance. Her head craned up slowly. She gave me a nasty glare before she nodded. I spun on my heels and nearly sprinted out of the room, ignoring the zombie-like stares of my curious classmates.

The halls were empty, thankfully. Taking in thick breaths of air, I rounded the corners while I weaved my way toward the bathroom. A splash of cool water on my boiling skin sounded good right about now.

When I neared the bathroom, I heard the faint sound of hushed murmurs in the hall. My feet froze for a moment before speeding up. I could just see one girl on the corner, pressed against the wall.

Her feminine body, one any young, aspiring supermodel would die for, was pressed up against something on the wall. Dark skin was in high contrast against the pale wall, the waves of her silky black hair falling down her back perfectly. She wore a frilly cream-colored shirt that made me gag, finishing off the style with golden hoop earrings. She appeared to belong in big cities, not our homey little reservation.

When I got closer, I could make out the shape of her long, curled lashes and splashes of pink on her cheeks. Her mouth had the same pink hue, but the lips that captured hers hid most of it. My back pressed against the wall while I edged closer. I was curious to see who she was sucking face with, but felt like I might puke at the same time.

I didn't have to be a super genius to recognize the identity of the girl. She was Beth Anderson, Sam's girlfriend Leah Clearwater's tag-a-long. She carried herself around like she was a freaking gift from above, and the slutty wannabees made up her crew. Leah was supposed to be the prettiest girl on our whole reservation, and with Leah as her hero and apparently also her mentally "adopted sister," Beth thought she was fit to be a tie as far as Leah's beauty went. Personally, I thought Beth was more of Leah's stunt double; she was all about dramatics.

My shoulder bumped the corner when I turned for the bathroom, pretending to be oblivious. But my eyes set on the boy backed into the wall with Beth's perfect nails on his shoulders. While my gaze traveled to his face, my foot squeaked on the floor. Beth's eyelids snapped open and she turned to me, her chocolate brown gaze lit with fear until they settled on me. I ignored her glare. My stare was focused on Eli and the pink lip-gloss staining his mouth.

"I thought you said we'd have no witnesses." Beth gave me the cold shoulder while she asked Eli in her bell-like voice. Completely rehearsed.

"Didn't know. . ." Eli trailed off, raising an arm to wipe the gloss from his lips. He stared back at me and shrugged. No apology, no freak out. Just a shrug.

"What the hell is going on?" I demanded in a shaky voice. My fingers clenched and unclenched, my throat swelling thick. "What did she do to you, Eli?" I saw red while I glared at Beth, raising my hands to break her face.

Beth simply laughed, as if she was oblivious to my threats, shaking her head slowly. She ignored me once more. "I'll see you later, baby. Look forward to it; the second time is always the best." She winked and flipped her hair over her shoulder, strutting back around the corner. Lucky for her, my shock was so thick that I didn't have time to put a fist in her mouth.

I stood in stunned silence as the emotions collected in my chest. Eli simply stared where Beth had been a moment before, a stupid grin on his face. After a moment, he dropped his gaze to me. He even had the balls to talk. "What do you want?" His voice was slow, almost bored.

His tone was cool and casual, like he was talking to an acquaintance. That caused my fingers to shake and heat to wash through my body. Before I could stop myself, my hand caught Eli's throat and my fingers pressed in, blocking his airways.

"You were sucking faces with that slut behind my back!"

Eli's jaw clenched, his throat moving while he swallowed. He ripped my fingers off and shoved me back, stepping forward to stand face to face with me again. I recognized the same fury on his face as I'd seen when he was ticked at Seth, only this was at a much higher magnitude. "Reality check: she's hot as hell. A complete upgrade."

The words struck me like a punch in the gut. I didn't flinch; I held his gaze steadily. "Have you gone mad?"

"No. You're the one that would be mad to think I would like you." He shifted a foot back, shrugging his hands into his pockets as if this was old, casual news.

That one stung. I stared at him blankly, my mind scattered in a billion different trails. "But . . . you, and me. . ."

Eli shook his head slowly, chuckling. "There was never a you and me. Ever. The last few months have been the biggest joke I've had in a while." He stopped chuckling to explain. "I got kicked off the fishing team that we have down at First Beach. I was losing my cool and needed some attention. What better way to get some than to bring back the missing girl and seem to fall for her? Completely original." A proud smirk was etched on his face while he spoke. "Very dramatic, yeah. But dating the hottest girl around? Much better for my image." His stare probed into mine. "Face it—you're old news."

I simply continued to stare at him, my anger boiling over the top. My mouth was dry, my thoughts blank with shock.

"Being shy now, are you, Jordan?" Eli sneered in my face, breath swirling in front of me when he laughed.

The boy that had once brought butterflies to my stomach was making me sick. I wanted to do something, anything, to force him to move away, but I felt rooted to the spot. Out of nowhere, his hand whooshed in front of me, a blur until it smacked into my right cheek. The force of the blow caused me to collide back into a locker, my skin scraping against the floor.

"You're disgusting," I snarled breathlessly, cupping my cheek where it throbbed. The laughter ended abruptly when Eli's expression morphed into pure fury. His dark eyes flashed when red blossomed from his cheeks to the rest of his face.

"Say you love me!" he demanded.

I felt the fingers of my free hand slowly curl inward. "Nobody loves an ass."

Eli's face seemed to be turning purple. "You're just a little whore who shouldn't be alive," he spat. "It's obvious Sam only looks after you because he takes pity on you. You're a worthless screw-up who wants nothing more than attention and people to feel bad for you." He paused to take a shaky breath, his shoulders trembling with the intake. "YOU KNOW I'M RIGHT! I'M ALWAYS RIGHT!"

Eli's voice rang out through the empty halls, loud enough that it was a wonder why nobody came out to stop him. I kept staring at him, wondering how I'd missed this side of him. My mind wandered back to when we were biking, to when Seth had come out. I vividly remembered his pointless fury to his cousin, all for interrupting us…

My thoughts were ended with a burst of pain. His fists zipped forward, pounding into my face repeatedly. The pain wasn't nearly as bad as the betrayal that cracked my heart in two.

"Stop," I commanded in a croak.

I tried to raise my fists to punch him back, but it only landed as a sharp shove to his chest. Eli crashed back into the wall on the opposite side of the hall, his feet catching on the edge of the stairs as he rolled down, bloody hands flailing. I stumbled, swaying as my sight wavered, before falling over. I groaned at the throb of pain throughout my body.

"Somebody needs to—!" My loud shout was cut off as a foot connected into my temple, sending an explosion of pain into my head.

"Shut up!" Eli hissed. With my face pressed into the floor and pain engulfing my body, I couldn't move. I could hear Eli's shoe squeaking on the floor as he pulled it back, raising it to give me another blow. . .

Until Eli's head snapped up. He stared at something on the wall. He muttered something incoherent before jogging down the hallway. I waited until the patter of his shoes on the floor disappeared before sitting up, rubbing my forehead.

When my sight returned, the first thing I noticed was the clock on the wall, showing that the release bells would ring in just three minutes. Guess I had been saved by the bell. I didn't brighten at the thought while I gathered myself with steady breaths.

My hand spread across a locker. Standing would be a challenge, but I didn't want attention. Numbness captured most of my body, blocking out the thoughts of Eli all together. Or maybe that was what early signs of a concussion felt like.

Muttering to myself, it took me a minute to process the fact that I was being watched. When the realization hit, I raised my head. Back down the hall in the window stood a man, his eyes trained on me. If that wasn't weird enough, I noticed the blackness of his eyes. They caused the hair on my arms to rise slightly. He almost looked like another Quileute, except his skin was snowy white.

A strange feeling rose in the pit of my stomach. I couldn't really explain it. The feeling seemed to be somewhat of a stir, set off by the man's eyes; unless I was going to be sick, or maybe I was going into shock from all of this.

After a few more heartbeats of staring at the man and trying to figure out if he was real or not, the bell rang. I jumped back into a locker, my head whipping back in forth as students swarmed into the hall.

Crap.

I didn't want to find out what caused that feeling, especially if it meant I might embarrass myself in front of the whole grade. My shoes squeaked as I turned and made a beeline for the door, ignoring the pound of my head or the shaking of my muscles. I hesitated only once to glance at the window.

Nobody was there.

Calm down, I thought to myself. It's all in your head. Focus, you need to get out of here.

Shaking off my discomfort, I burst through the doors ahead of the chattering crowd, quickly wiping the blood away from my nose. I had to get home, fast. The plan was already completely formed in my head, ready to go. But the only problem was how to get there.

There. Eli's bike was parked on the sidewalk where he'd left it this morning. I rushed for it, snatching up the handles and raced down the cement at the speed of the wind. I needed to get out of here, fast. Sam couldn't know, or Nicole. Maybe I'd leave a note, after I crashed the bike, hoping that somehow, Eli would feel the impact right in his too cute, disgusting face.