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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.


18. The Big Bad Wolf

Rating 0/5   Word Count 4809   Review this Chapter

"Keep your distance,
Far away from me.
Watch this eat me alive
Keep your distance,
Far away from me
Watch this eat me alive." - The Used.

Chapter Eighteen

The Big Bad Wolf

May 26th, 2005.

"That's hot," Paul commented while bobbing his head to the music buzzing out of his cheap headphones. "You're gonna set a new trend."

I leaned over a puddle, studying my appearance. I scowled. My hair was a mess, splayed out around me as if I'd just gotten electrocuted and my face plastered with make-up to alter my appearance. It had been a while since I had committed all those murders, but in a small, secure reservation, that kind of news didn't die fast.

"I look like I have a severe case of bed head, and then took a bath in a puddle of crayons."

Paul only chuckled, shrugging his shoulders while popping the headphones out of his ears. He stuffed his music player into his pocket. "Nah, it's amazing. Once we get this over with, all the people on the street will stop and stare. They'll be all like, 'Whoa, who's that chick?' Paul paused to grin at me. "Then I can say, 'That right there is my best friend.'"

Glancing around, I rubbed my fingers to my forehead, trying to make myself smile. "Nice try, Paul."

With a fake huff of annoyance, Paul pulled me through the gathered crowd. "It was worth a shot." He patted my hair, smirking. "I'm still here for ya."

"As long as you don't start throwing a fit because you didn't get to go against the Cullens," I muttered.

Paul shook his head. "It was just a false alarm. I was hoping to get some action. And that was not a fit; that was a bout of vicious, manly anger."

I snorted. "Sure it was."

Being able to hang out with my best friend without a worry in the world was the best thing that had happened to me since . . . well, the best thing in my entire life, so far. Since I was now a part of the pack, things were smooth between us, just like they used to be. The bumpy texture of my upper half and the tiny scars still reminded me of what had happened. Sam also treated me like a little girl again, keeping me out of everything that happened with the pack in the past few days. He said it was for my safety, since I was new. Embry had just phased a few days before I had, so that was a sorry excuse. Life moved on, and other than those little things, I was managing just fine. Of course, I was still bitter, and I was defensive, but at times I found the strength to pull my walls down and be somebody.

People were scattered through the sandy streets. Grass sprouted through cracks in the ground. Summer was at its end and the reservation was showing off the last bits of its beauty. The sky was blue and free of clouds, the sun leaking warmth into the air. Wagons were pushed around with goodies as people bustled around to restock their homes for the coming winter. Children wove through the legs of adults, giggling, their braided hair bouncing along with every step. Cows tethered to thick ropes and boxes of clucking chickens were passed from one set of hands to the next. People shook cans full of coins as they shouted trade deals while the men in the shops hollered over the noise, pushing open the windows of their businesses as they advertised their products. It was a typically busy day in the main village of the reservation.

With his fingers clasped gently on my arm, Paul led me through the crowds. The heat of his skin blended with mine, no longer feeling as hot as it used to. He left his sleeve rolled up, showing the black tattoo on his shoulder. People recognized the tattoo as a sign of importance and they hurried out of our way, even if they didn't realize what it truly meant. I would have done the same, but the tattoo on my arm was still fresh and I was paranoid that exposing it might ruin the carefully crafted ink. That tattoo made me proud; it was a symbol of exactly what I was.

Eventually, we reached the last shop on the street. Paul shoved the wooden door open with his shoulder. It swung with a tiny ping, just barely missing my face. I glared slightly at Paul, who simply snickered, his chocolate eyes glowing with excitement as he led me to the counter.

The store was empty. If parents had money to spare, I was sure this place would be flooded with children. It was clearly a candy store. The store was rimmed by a counter, with overflowing jars of hard candies out for display behind the glass. Rows of tall racks of other candy took up the middle of the store. Lollipops dangled from the ceiling, and licorice was woven on the walls. The place was so colorful and vibrant that I felt dead and dirty just by standing inside.

"You like it?" Paul leaned back against the front counter, his arms propping himself up. I hadn't realized he'd let go of me and had been watching.

I frowned, my gaze darting around. "I don't understand."

"What?"

"Why did the big bad wolf take me to a damn candy store? I think I'm gonna choke on this air."

Paul was twisting licorice off the counter, chewing on it thoughtfully. "To get to the other side?"

I raised an eyebrow at him. "Paul."

"I just always loved this place when I was little. My friends used to—"

"Sir! You have to pay for that!"

Paul whipped around at the barking voice of the old man. I snorted and crossed my arms over my torso to hide the candy. An old man was huffing and puffing as he hustled toward the counter.

"Sorry," Paul apologized quickly. He made a point to shuffle to the right so his tattoo was visible.

The spluttering old man dropped his gaze to the tattoo. He made a rumble that sounded like a growl before looking up at Paul again. "That'll be five dollars out of your pocket, boy."

Paul's eyebrows scrunched. "Don't you know who I am?"

"Yes, I do. You're an arrogant boy trying to rip me off because you painted a fake symbol on your shoulder." He leaned over and spat in a trash bucket before repeating himself. "Five bucks, for yours and the girl's."

Rolling his eyes, Paul's shoulders slanted as he fished through his pocket, drawing out a five-dollar bill. He waved it in front of the man before tossing it to him. "There's you go, Gramps. No thanks needed." He turned, leading me out of the store and onto the gritty, muddy sidewalk.

"What an asshole," I mumbled as I unfolded my arms, biting the candy in my teeth and ripping off a bite.

"Tell me about it." Paul kept close on the sidewalk, his pace slowing as we distanced ourselves from the store. "A complete rip off."

I nodded, chewing slowly before swallowing. "Wouldn't be a first."

Paul chuckled softly, his anger seeping away. He tilted his head back, shoving the whole stick of licorice into his mouth and chewing it quickly. "I think he was asking for it." Paul swallowed hard, his throat expanding for a moment as it slid down. He wiped his arm over his mouth before speaking again. "I didn't upset you by doing that, did I?"

"What do you think I am, a damsel in distress?" I finished off my own candy as I spoke, watching the swirls of the muddy path beneath my feet as we neared the edge of the village.

"Uh . . . you. . ." Paul shook his head, letting his voice trail off. He scratched the back of his head.

"Oh really?" I shoved his shoulder with my own, knocking him back slightly. "Spit it out."

Paul exhaled slowly, turning his face to look at me. "What they did to you on the Makahs. It didn't change you, did it?"

The light shade of relaxation faded out of my expression. My teeth clamped down, and a prickle of anger crept into my veins. I shook my head once, as if I hadn't understood him.

His eyes darted down to my arm, staring at the hundreds of scars. They were almost invisible, but still clear to see with our heightened senses. "What exactly did they, you know, do to you?"

I listened to the soft patter of our footsteps, trying hard to shove out the defensive part of me. "Forget it."

He cleared his throat, glancing over at me. "But what are you gonna do?" he pressed. "You're just going to keep it all to yourself, and never let anybody know what's going on over there?"

I swung my foot back, kicking a nice sized rock and watching it clatter down the dirt path. A slight layer of anger went with it. "Forget it."

Paul shrugged, raking a hand through his cropped black hair. "Am I out of luck?"

"Patience," I muttered.

There was a sharp whistling noise as he exhaled. "I'm not very good at being patient."

"Me neither, but you don't hear me whining about it."

Paul snickered, shrugging his shoulders once more. "Still . . . doesn't all of that, all of what happened, bother you? Wouldn't it make you act different around people? You don't seem so . . . loose anymore."

I was quiet for a few minutes while I considered his question. "Not really. I guess I'm kind of an outcast."

Paul snorted, his eyes narrowing as a mischievous smirk grew on his face. "I can fix that for you." He glanced at my challenging expression, and then put his hands up. "Kidding, kidding. Give it time. You sound like you can handle tough crap, especially like being left out." Paul grinned.

"Handle tough crap, huh?" I nodded slowly. "Where did that impression come from?"

"Uh, well, I guess I've always expected girls to cry or chew off their fake nails, or maybe even throw a hissy fit when they're going through rough things. But you . . . you just don't."

I shrugged while studying the sky. "I guess that makes me a little different than other girls?"

"Totally. You're like your own species."

I scoffed and threw my elbow into his ribs. "Says the werewolf."

Paul raised his arms, chuckling while he hopped back to dodge my jab. "Yeah, She Wolf. I said it. Got a problem?"

"Want a list, do you?"

"Hell yeah! Bring it!"

I snorted. "The list is a little too long, Lahote."

Paul huffed. The sound was supposed to come across as irritated, but to me, he just sounded playful. I nodded once more, not bothering to try to form a smile that wouldn't come.

"Upset?"

When he didn't answer right away, I looked up, confused, only to find Paul glaring at me. He caught my gaze and forced me to look at him. Once he was sure he had my gaze, he nodded very slowly.

My expression hardened. "Suck it up."

Paul laughed at my word choice, shaking his head. "Guess you fit in, She Wolf."

"With what?"

Paul's gaze flickered over to mine. "The pack."

I raised an eyebrow, thinking about how he had agreed that I was an outcast. "How so?"

Paul rubbed the back of his neck, his expression growing thoughtful. "You just fit in with us. Maybe you're not close, but you just act like one of us. You can stick up for yourself. You don't need anybody to always have your back, even though you've had a hard life." He paused for a moment. "But I still got your back anyway."

I shrugged thoughtlessly at the rest of his comments. "You have my back?" I snorted. "I'm screwed."

Paul's eyes narrowed into slits. At first I thought he was offended by my sarcastic comment. I stared at him as I racked my brain for some mistake until I noticed that he had raised his gaze to stare into the woods. I followed his stare, studying the black, tall figures of the forest trees. I didn't realize we had walked so far. "Paul—"

l never got to finish my sentence. Paul froze, his hand reaching out to stop me in the middle of my step. He stood taller, tensed. I froze too, not even breathing. Instinctively, I glanced around, scanning for any sign of danger. I saw nothing. A moment later, the sound of the howl caught in the stirring breezes reached my ears. Paul and I both looked at each other at the same moment before launching off the path and into the trees.

My heart was pumping, my body tingling with the rush of adrenaline. I threw branches and kicked over bushes while I raced after Paul. He used one hand to rip the shirt over his head. The other seemed to be reaching for his pants, but suddenly, his form burst out in a flash of grey, and Paul was gone. In his place stood the silver wolf, his body trembling while it settled from the change. His white teeth gleamed when he snuffed and snarled.

I dodged the wolf and kept running deeper into the forest. For a second, I faltered, my throat thick while I realized I didn't know how to change into a wolf. The first time was triggered by the spiders, the second a shock, and only for a moment. I anxiously shifted through my thoughts, trying to remember.

After a few minutes, I closed my eyes. The wind brushed me as I kept running through the woods, allowing my senses to guide me. I forced my breathing to speed, feeling the heat inside me start to rise. My heart pumped harder with excitement. I shivered at the burst of heat as it shot through my veins like wildfire. I let out a moan as I was filled with the sensation of falling through the air. My bones twisted, my muscles shifting. Goosebumps rose on my skin while hair sprouted through it. The flames grew impossibly hot. When I was sure my bones and muscles would break through my skin and the heat would engulf me, my shoulders hunched. I opened my eyes and stared down at two white paws just as they thudded to the ground.

The grey wolf brushed by me a moment later, charging past me and deeper into the forest. Nice one. Not as smooth and cool as me, though.

I was too high on the feeling of the change to completely register his words. I lunged after him, liking the feeling of raw power and grace. You wish.

Paul's head jerked slightly as he snorted, plowing straight through the brush. Keep dreaming. Or maybe you will be better than me. When I'm dead.

Carefully, I darted around the path of destruction Paul was making. I pushed myself faster, my eyes narrowing as I rushed after him. That can be arranged.

Paul's mind scrambled slightly while he fought for a response. Another voice cut into our conversation, one I'd never heard before. Ooh, aren't you a feisty little girly-wolf?

I raised my head higher, looking around the forest. Nobody seemed to be near us. The voice let out a laugh. A picture of a clearing entered my mind. Sam's black wolf sailed through the image, thundering across the clearing. Grass flew in every direction as two flashes of silver and grey, blurs of accelerating watercolors, raced after him. I could have sworn that the bushes were blown back, knocked over by the speed.

Jared, shouldn't you be busy trying to keep up with them? Paul's voice was a grumble while he angled himself to head in the direction of what I assumed to be the clearing. I followed after him, keeping my thoughts on the forest and the current conversation.

Hey, no hard feelings man. Jared's thoughts faded slightly as he focused deeper on his task instead of the conversation. I was just picking on the newbie. It's my job, you know?

Another voice chimed in. I knew it was Embry's, having remembered it from many conversations in school with Jacob and Nicole. Since when?

Jared didn't have a chance to answer, as Paul cut in. It doesn't matter. Sam, what the hell is going on here?

Vampire. Sam's voice was thick and deep. I dipped my mind into his curiously, still remaining silent as I watched the forest blur by through his eyes. Nicole scented it.

Yeah, it was a female one, passing through the border. Recently. There was another, but I wasn't sure. Not a Cullen, so it's an open target. Nicole's voice was tinged with an edge of smugness. I could feel her thoughts pushing into mine, but I ignored it and kept busy with trying to catch up.

Paul's lips turned up in what seemed to be a wolfish smile. Awesome. We're on our way.

Paul's head rose, turning over his shoulder while his gaze settled on me. I rounded a tree and lunged, falling in step next to him. We raced shoulder to shoulder, zipping through the meadow at the same moment. The scents of the other wolves flashed in front of me before disappearing with the breeze.

Heartbeats later, we fell in step with each other, moving as one. Shoulders bumped against mine while I charged into them. Paul shoved Embry and Nicole out of the way, making his way toward Jared. Sam was far in the lead, his head the only thing visible over the others. I tried hard to hide the excitement bubbling through me, and tried to ignore the rush of the fact that I was on my first vampire chase.

Sam, we're close, Jared noted. Just a few minutes now; I can sense it.

Alright, Jared. Paul, you float off to the side in case she tries to flee west.

Paul's head dipped. On it.

His wolf disappeared into the shadows with a flash. I pushed against the silver wolf, filling in the spot just behind the black and brown wolves before me. I cranked up the speed, loving the tireless feeling in my legs.

Jordan, this is your first chase. I understand thatyou're excited, but you need to stay back with Embry and Nicole. It's not safe. Sam's tone was full of warning, but I didn't hear a single word.

A stench had filled my lungs, intoxicating me. I could feel and taste the vampire. A Cold One. Just like the one that had killed my parents. I was so close to killing one.

I couldn't take it anymore.

My body curled back and rocketed forward. I huffed with every step, plowing through the larger wolves until finally, I could see the white blur as it blasted through the forest ahead.

The pack's thoughts were bombing in my brain, but I didn't hear a single one. They all halted, but I couldn't stop myself as I rushed forward. My ears were drumming, heart pounding along to the beat. This was my kill.

Another wolf, I think it was Embry, broke me out of my rhythm. He threw himself into me, knocking me down in a hurried attempt to stop me. Snarling and spitting, my head reflexively reached out and latched my teeth onto his flank, dragging him down with me. My body rolled, tumbling head over heels as I crashed downhill.

The vampire was getting away.

Just the thought filled me with rage. The yips and snaps of teeth behind me let me know that the rest of the pack was hot on my heels. I slammed my paws into the ground, gaining control. I pushed myself to my feet in time to see the human form of Embry continue to crash down the hill, his left arm slapping the trees in a desperate attempt to slow himself. He was saying something too, but I couldn't make out the words. I had to get that vampire.

Not having a second to lose, I twisted around and shot off after the scent of vampire.

The sickly sweet scent trickled into my nostrils, growing stronger with every powerful stride. Just the scent was driving me nuts. The desperation to kill swelled deep inside me, pushing me forward. The forest faded out around me, being sucked into the blackness. I charged forward, only seeing the bloodsucker ahead of me, knowing that soon I would have her down.

After a few more lunges and dodges, my prey came into clear view. She was rather scrawny, with long, silvery blonde hair. Her skin was white and her eyes sparkled crimson. The leech leaned forward intently as if she was waiting for something.

Her stupidity of not seeming to sense my approach must have been to trick me, because when I lunged at her, she jumped at me with a metallic screech. My ears flattened when her fist connected with my muzzle. The force caused my teeth to rattle and blood to spray out of my nose. I snuffed, clearing my muzzle while my paws continued to push forward, knocking the parasite down.

She was quick, though. When I knocked her down, she rolled away and slipped back up into a crouch. Her eyes narrowed into slits as she moved her head to study my every movement. I shook my shoulders to clear out my fur and snapped my teeth, slamming a paw down and lowering my body until my back was perfectly straight.

This was my first fight against a vampire. I'd seen the pack think about it and watched them be shredded by gleaming white teeth. But I had no advantage with skill. I think the vampire might have thought that, too.

She jumped at me again, her arms spread wide, her lip curled back as she let loose a stream of hisses. I was ready this time and swung my body around to the side. Not wasting even a heartbeat, I lashed forward again, my jaws closing on the vampire's shoulder. She gave an awful scream as I jerked back, pulling her down while feeling her arm dislocate and break off in my teeth. Her skin crackled like ice, spiky shards prominent where her arm had been moments before.

The temperature of her arm was so cold, it stung my mouth like fire. I dropped the limb as the vampire continued to scream, frantically swiping at the armless shoulder. She was distracted. I took my chance and lunged at her again.

Unprepared, the vampire only had time to uselessly claw her fingers through my fur as I pinned her. My jaws opened wide and I closed them around her throat, sinking my teeth in deep. I shook my head wildly, listening to the spitting and hissing of the leech until her body thumped to the ground, no longer connected with her head.

My jaws still clasped the throat. I increased the pressure in my jaws, growling as I focused. Seconds later, the neck and head of the vampire shattered to bits. She was dead.

Pride swelled inside me. I reared up, my paws pattering against the ground while my head fell back, a victorious howl rolling through my mouth. I spun around and launched myself into the trees, eager to share my victory with the pack.

I flew through the forest, my muscles rolling, legs pumping, breathing in sync with the air itself. The miles disappeared at an incredible rate. I cleared a fallen tree before skidding to a stop, my fur ruffled but my muzzle still carrying a brilliant grin.

They weren't waiting for me. They weren't even happy. In fact, none of them were even paying any attention to me. All of the packs' bodies were huddled close, their tails dropped low. My lip dropped, my breathing quieting. When I crept closer to the group, I could see why they were acting so strangely.

Embry lay human on the ground in the middle of the circle, his body curling upward with every trembling breath. His abs tensed, sweat gleaming on his exposed russet skin. His cheeks swelled and relaxed with the puff of every breath. I stared at his fingers pressed tight into his elbow. Embry let out one final breath before jerking his arm back out, his jaw clenching as he grunted at the pain. His arm fell back into place with a sharp crack.

"A-Ah. . ." Embry sighed once. He wasn't done, though. His eyes squeezed shut, the shaking increasing, and his whole body balled together before disappearing when he burst into his wolf form.

That's better. Much better.

My whole body tensed when Embry's thoughts hit me. The pack's thoughts jumbled together as they all pressed in around the spotted wolf, huffing and growling as they asked their questions.

Serves ya right for tackling a wolf in motion!

Did it break?

You okay, man?

Embry, are you in any shape to take the next patrol?

The spotted wolf shook his shoulders, his head bowed. He appeared to be embarrassed by all the attention. I'm fine, seriously.

His dark gaze swept over the pack, assessing them before they set on the space between the black and silver wolf, focusing in on me.

At the same time, all four of the other heads snapped up. I stiffened, my lip raising instinctively at the pairs of bared white teeth. The hostility in their eyes sent a flame through me. I exhaled sharply, tensed under their silent, furious gazes.

Each mind had fallen silent. We all stood there for what seemed like hours, locked in glares, until the black wolf broke through the pack, towering high above me.

Why did you continue after that vampire, Jordan? His tone was sharp and rough. I told you not to, but you disobeyed me.

I just wanted to get the damn 'sucker. My ears pressed flat against my head, my body lowering to the ground under his gaze.

You were out of control. You injured a pack brother, Jordan. The black wolf's gaze darted around. As a consequence, you are to phase back immediately and head home.

I nodded to him, my emotions churning deep inside me, all contained in a forever growing pit. Yeah, yeah. Okay, Sam. Still holding my head high, I padded through the group of wolves. A low growl rumbled through them, but Sam silenced it with a flick of his ears. I didn't look at Paul as I passed him but continued pressing forward, the swirl of his own emotions being lost behind me.

Violence filled my thoughts. If I couldn't kill vampires, what would I do to keep my head clear? If I had the power, I wasn't going to ignore it. The face of Mr. Anderson was at the front of my mind. I imagined sinking my claws into his face, digging them into his flesh before dragging them apart, pulling his face apart, listening to the throaty scream. . .

Jordan.

Sam's tone was serious but softer now. I allowed my paw to dangle in the air as my head swung back. I met the dark blue pools of his eyes steadily, my mind still raging and at loss for words.

The black wolf swished his tail, dismissing the rest of the pack. They all shot off into the trees, leaving just Sam and me. He stepped forward, his head held high over mine as he peered down at me. Don't do anything stupid. That includes going back to the Makah reservation. You are to go home and stay there while you think about what you've done. Am I clear?

I probed into Sam's stare but didn't find any emotion. Not wanting to answer, I ducked my head in a form of a submissive nod. The black wolf's head swung from side to side before he disappeared into the forest.

Once I was sure they were all gone, I allowed the furious fire to explode through my body, blistering heat escaping the confined depths of my core. My body trembled as I tried to force myself back into a human, the strain so heavy that spit ran through my jaws. I threw my weight around wildly, shaking and jerking and violently thrashing, until finally, I shook free of the wolf and melted into my human skin.

But not even the shift of bone and muscle could extinguish the burn of the released anger that raged through me; real and hot and craving a very bloody revenge.