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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.


38. Sinking to the Depths

Rating 0/5   Word Count 3544   Review this Chapter

"Now, I've got nothing left to lose
You take your time to choose
I can tell you now
Without a trace of fear."
- Muse.

Chapter Thirty Eight

Sinking to the Depths

In life, I've fallen.

I feel myself plummet, the air whipping around me, my fingers sliding through empty air as I'm unable to catch myself.

The water parts around my figure. I hit the water with a splash, shooting down into a cold, dark world. I'm moving too quickly to make out shapes and colors, just the thick darkness that swallows me whole. By the time I'm able to snap my eyes open, the surface is gone, far away, out of reach. I can't breathe. I am silent, unable to speak. I'm caged in by the pressure of the water with no escape.

I sink down toward the freezing depths of the murky bottom. I'm alone, disappearing into the unforgiving sea, disappearing into a place where I'll never be found. I hit the bottom. My empty lungs are as heavy as anchors, weighing me down. It seems hopeless here, a land of no return.

Minutes, hours, or days could have passed. I won't know the difference in time—everything is meaningless down here. But suddenly, out of nowhere, my burning eyes catch the gleam of moonlight, shimmering far above me. It's an escape—a way out of this dark world. I either go to it, struggling through everything to reach the top, or stay here to die, to rot.

My mouth opens, gagging at the salty taste before pushing my heavy feet against the bottom of the ocean floor. The watery world rushes past before I break the surface, taking in a huge breath through the hair that's tangled around my face.

Because I have taken the chance, I breathe again, and I am instantly brought back to life, even though the darkness still lurks hundreds of feet below.

I shake my head, taking in a breath of salty air. My arms push against the surface of the water, treading. I glance around in the darkness, only to see Paul's head pop up a few yards away from my own. He grins over at me. "How's that for your first official cliff dive?"

"Could've been better," I start with a smirk, "If you hadn't decided to fall down with me. Although it is rather enjoyable to hear you screaming about the water like a baby whose candy has been snatched away."

Paul huffs. "I was only expressing how excited I was." He shakes his head. "It wasn't girly at all."

"Yes, I'm sure I just heard something else, like that invisible person who fell next to you," I say playfully, with a sarcastic edge in my voice. I lie onto my back, backstroking through the choppy water. "Enough of that, though. We'd better get onto shore before these waves make you piss yourself."

It seems easy again with Paul, like our friendship has been for years. Paul understands that I need a break from the others, and that I won't take his dramatics. He has taken me out here to the cliffs despite the hour, giving us time together as friends. Just friends. And I like it that way.

I reach the shore first, taking the time to stand and ring out my hair. Paul jogs in after me, shaking his head like a dog after a bath. He grins as he passes me, turning and plopping right down in the sand. I hum as I drop into the spot next to him, making a point to slide away slightly as I settle in. We sit in silence for a few minutes, brushing the water off.

"So, what'd you think of the legends?" Paul asks, ending the silence.

"Mmm." I study the water ahead. "Interesting."

Paul nods in agreement. "It's a little overrated, don't you think?

"It did look a little bloody," I reason.

"Not that," Paul says with a chuckle. "I mean how it went. If the Third Wife really did just need a distraction to save Taha Aki, couldn't she have cut her arm or something? A little slice would've done the job. Why did she have to kill herself? I mean, damn. Very dramatic for a serious, inspiring tale."

A small smile lifts on my lips. I raise a handful of sand from the ground, spreading my fingers. I watch it run through the spaces. "Rash decisions and instinct. They override better judgment."

Paul's quiet for a while. He swallows hard, his Adam's apple bobbing in his throat before he speaks. "You got that right." His body shifts closer to mine.

An instinct growl comes from my throat, my hand pressing down against the sand. "I'm serious," I say, because it's the only thing that can make it through my lips

Paul sighs heavily, bumping my shoulder with his own. "I love you," he mumbles.

I push my shoulder back against his, staring at the dark waves as they spill over the shore. No smile manages to form on my lips. "I'm your sister. You have to."

In the corner of my eye, I can see Paul's jaw tighten, his frustration clear in his eyes. "Not like that."

My tone sharpens, my response flying out of my mouth instantly. "You're fooling yourself, you big idiot." I try to make it sound somewhat joking, but I can't inject anything positive into my tone.

"No, I'm not." Paul rakes one hand through his hair. His dark gaze meets my own, and suddenly, I find my back pressed into the sand as he hovers over me, forcing me to press down. "Admit it. You've loved me all along. You're just too bound up in that disgusting leech to see it."

Hot breath is rough against my neck. I manage to tense up, forcing myself to think for a fraction of a second before I smack Paul, hard enough that blood runs out from the corner of his eye. I shove him off me, crushing him between my hands and the sand. Fury stirs inside me, and for a brief second, I imagine my hands pushing through his chest, breaking him beyond recognition. . .

No.

While Paul is still blinking in shock on the ground, I spin around and shoot off toward the forest. I splutter curses at everything, from the trees to the dark sky to the soggy dirt beneath my feet. I'm the fool here. Paul, forgiving me? Paul suddenly not minding our earlier conversation? Right. I should know better by now.

I push myself faster, forcing my pulsing legs to further the distance between Paul and me. My heated senses are sharpened in the adrenaline, and I know he isn't following. Still, I have to keep pushing forward, running and running and running until I break through the trees. Without missing a beat, I lunge for the ledge on the side of the house, pulling my body up. I duck through the open window, leaving a dent behind in the frame as I push inside.

The living room is completely quiet, dark with the black of night. I go straight to the bathroom. I know I'll need to unwind—to release the flames. I can't keep them tucked inside, keeping the heat at bay of the dam I've built. Eventually, the flames will flood over and engulf me whole. I need to let them go.

My clothes fall from my body and onto the floor, sinking flat against the tile as if relieved to be free of my heat. I am simmering beneath the surface, but it doesn't matter. I have to allow the flames to smolder now that they've risen. Water on the fire won't put it out; it will only light it like gasoline, feeding it. If I cage myself in, I will fight and struggle until I win. Until I have lost all reason and no part of me remains.

I run a hot bath, hot enough that the water scalds the tips of my fingers. I'm growing numb, and the heat is nothing. I still gradually ease myself into the boiling water, inch by inch. I watch my body disappear beneath the steam, and I allow myself to melt into the water. No soap, no suds, no rinse. Just me, the steam, and my buzzing thoughts.

Maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe this is stupid, and I am stupid to make a big deal out of something so small. But I know better. Paul has pressed the boundaries; pressed at the wall I've built; pressed at emotions that are slowly being locked away. He's jeopardized everything I've worked for, breaking the knots Emmett has tied. Emotion threatens to strangle me, to pull me back and suffocate the small portion of life that's been brought back. The monster will take over once again, and if it does, I don't know how many years it will take to grasp onto myself again. I don't know how long it will take for me to find another gleam of light and push back toward the surface of the water.

Paul is wrong. He's not right. Paul is a blaze struck by gasoline. I am a wildfire, untamed and unexpected, appearing out of nowhere. Emmett is the forgiving rain, washing out my bitter flames to allow new life to grow beneath the ash. Paul is a blaze, who can only feed those flames, causing them to burn brighter. Higher. Hotter.

The thoughts bounce around my head, scrambling all reason. I feel the tightly knit pieces of my control crack, breaking away from one another. I have to tuck my bent legs close to my body and drag in a long pull of steam in order to correct the path of my thoughts. Emmett, focus on him. He's real, he's here, he's. . .

My body stiffens, tense as a frozen statue as my vision clouds before disappearing completely in a wave of black.

My father's thrashing body is pinned to the floor, rendering him helpless. I watch from the corner. A large, muscular Cold Man hovers over him, hissing. A moment later, the leech rakes his nails down my father's neck, cutting deep into pink flesh. The thrashing slows, and my father's eyelids droop, nearly covering his eyes.

I give no reaction. I stand like stone, my gaze resting on the bloody scene before me. Breezes whistle through the cracks in the wall, but I am too numb to feel them, as if I'm not even really there at all. The sound seems to alert the creature, who grunts in response. Slowly—very slowly—the Cold Man moves away from my daddy's body, and turns his head back to me.

Blood drips off the leech's lips as his crimson eyes connect with a hiss, the malicious creature jerks, standing erect in a flash. His expression is dark at first, but slowly, it relaxes. I study the dark curls and bulging muscles of the leech, feeling my stomach heave with realization. Dimples pop up on the creatures face as he grins. AsEmmettgrins, he reveals his gleaming white teeth.

I can only stare, my gaze locked on the smooth curves of his lips. Lips that are stained red with the final drops of my father's blood.

My hands fly out, grabbing the edge of the bathtub. Water sloshes out, splattering on the floor. The edge of the bathtub splits clean open beneath the pressure of my grip. I grit my teeth, unaware of the mess I am creating. My nails dig into the bathtub while my spinning head slams back into the wall, trying to smash out of memories that flood in.

I'm back there, in the very hell that has created what I am. I stand in a familiar mud pen, my feet braced in the muck. The ground is still torn and cracked, dried with soil the color of waste. There are no sharp objects, no weapons—not even small rocks. This is an empty field, open for nothing more than physical combat. I stand in the middle, alone.

It takes a few minutes before I hear laughing. It has to be a crazed girl, I think. It must be the one I defeated, risen again for a second round. But, as I listen closer, I realize that the laughing isn't a cackle. It's a deep boom, so loud that it shakes the earth beneath my feet.

I recognize that laugh. I know it so well that the sound of it is ingrained in my memory. I want to turn back, to see the owner of the laugh, to face my opponent, to show I'm not an open target. But I am rooted to the spot, unable to move.

The volume of the laughter increases as the one behind it comes nearer. I watch from the corner of my eye, at first only seeing a flash of white. Then, there is a form: tall, muscular, and absolutely beautiful. The figure stares straight at me as it steps into view, its unblinking black eyes trained on my face.

Emmett stands before me, his hands balled into tight fists. His expression is . . . hungry. Hungry for blood, no doubt. He stalks toward me, leaning forward intently. I still can't move, even as my instincts go wild, ordering me to leave. I can only stare as Emmett closes in.

As he reaches me, he stops. His black eyes narrow, his lips opening, revealing his sharp teeth. I can't help but stare at them, my body pulsing with heat. The laughter eases down into a chuckle, just an amused sound. I don't know that he's grinning at me. Instead of a huge, happy smile, I see a bared set of teeth challenging my next move.

The lips move over the teeth in front of my face. My gaze remains steady as two cold objects rest on my back and pull me against a rock-hard body. I am being pulled out of my trance, my body working once more. I slide my hands up the figure's stomach, unable to match it with a name.

It seems like the lips will meet mine. They are leaning in, moving in for a kiss. But, as they come close to my own, they freeze. In the corner of my eye, I watch as the pair of black eyes dart down, becoming aware of the hand around the throat just as its too late. Cracks burst out over the skin as my hand closes in.

A moment later, his perfect body crumbles, pieces of him scattering across the ground before they are swept away by the wind.

My shoulders shake against the wall. My body is jerking, moved by a force beyond my control. I draw in ragged breaths as I try to pull in the last whiff of Emmett's scent. He's gone, though, as I've killed him. I feel my shoulder jerk once, knocking the nozzle to the left. Water rains down over me, surrounding me and swallowing me whole.

Rain pours from the sky, soaking the world around me. The Seattle area buzzes with life, despite the late hour. I stand on a porch, clutching the empty bottles of alcohol I have brought. A man stands in the doorway. His thick arms are braced on either side of the frame, refusing to allow me back inside. Angry words spill from his mouth as he argues with me. I stare, trying hard to force myself to keep in mind that Leah lays, passed out, on the wheel of the running car behind me.

Something forces me to stand there. I have been stripped of my clothing—I stand in only my underclothes, covering what must be covered. I feel so bare, so open and exposed. I should feel shame, but I am far past the point of ever feeling such emotions again. I can hear the man start to groan and growl as he runs out of words. My mouth barely opens as I speak. The man quickly shakes his head before my sentence has even finished. His lips raise as he begins to fire off another round of shouts.

His words are lost in the ringing of my ears. I only see teeth once more. Bared teeth. I don't even think as I force the man to his knees. My other hand catches his head and twists. The man's head hangs limply in my hands. I stare straight ahead for a long moment, listening to the hum of the motor behind me.

I gather myself quickly. My grip loosens as I pull myself in, although my body shakes with heat. For a millisecond, I look down. The world is tipping and tilting around me, but I still can make out the shape of the face in my hands. I stare at the frozen expression, feeling something break inside of me. I stare a little longer, watching red run over the curls of the man's hair, streaming out of a defined hole that my actions have driven through my now empty chest.

Even as I return back into the world, I'm not there. The anger is boiling over inside of me. I thrash, strangled whimpers spilling through my lips. I've killed him.

The glass door shatters as my fists connect, bursting into dozens of sharp shards. A wave of scalding water crashes down over the floor. I hop onto my feet in an instant, swinging my fists wildly and snapping my teeth. Objects in range crack and crumble while boiling water streams around my calves. Once there isn't anything left to break, my hands meet the shower frame, closing around it before tearing it clean out. As I bring it down hard into the ground, my feet slide over the slick surface of my clothes and I fly backward, disappearing beneath the scalding water, the frame of the shower pinning me in place.

For just a moment, I incinerate. My body shakes and locks in place, and I am down. Fallen. Lost. Hopeless.

"Emily!"

The frantic shout of another being is audible even beneath the half-foot of bath water. It's not directed at me, but it tugs at my attention, reminding me to keep moving. I wind my arms around the metal beam and constrict until it breaks with a nice snap. Water boils around me as I push back up, moving onto my feet. I breathe loudly through my open mouth, pushing the soaked strings of my hair back behind my shoulders. Some part of me manages to force my hand to rise in a slow, robotic way, grabbing the door and pulling it open.

Emily stands in the hallway, dressed in a lengthy purple nightgown. Her eyes bulge as she takes in my form, and then the hot water that runs out into the hallway. She seems frozen, unable to react, even as the burning water swarms around her bare feet.

We stand there for minutes, locked in a stare. Emily finally manages to gasp. Her lips move frantically as she speaks, but I can't comprehend the words. I watch as one hand rests on my shoulder, and my body reacts for me.

I slam the body back into the wall. Emily starts to scream, but she cuts it off as she scrambles to catch herself in the inch-deep puddle of water beneath her. Sam is there, the pants of his pajamas stained with wet blotches. His eyes are bright with alarm despite the unreasonably late hour. He grabs Emily, pulling her tight to him. Emily lets out a choked sob, burying her face in Sam's chest.

Sam shakily turns his head, staring over at me. I yank a towel off of the side of the counter, holding Sam's gaze evenly. Slowly, I wrap the towel around my figure, turning off the light with a stiff hand as I step out of the bathroom.

Nobody moves. I slip past Sam, who pulls Emily away from me as I pass. My gaze is focused solely on the door at the end of the hall. In the corner of my eye, I can see the icy gleam of Nicole's hard gaze, but I don't feel it. I can't feel it, or anything else. I hold the towel tight against me as I push through the door, slamming it behind me, hard enough to rattle the whole house.

I tear open my dresser the moment I hear the knob click, forcing clothes over my body. A tag juts out beneath my chin and zippers press into my skin, but I don't notice, much less care. I am focused only on my scattered thoughts, trying to come up with some reasonable reaction that any normal person might have.

Again, the idea of leaving comes up, but I silence it quickly. My hands slow, and I lean forward against the dresser, one of my hands covering my eyes. I really am the fool here. I should know that everything that seems right in my life is too good to be true. All will burn, and all will bleed, until eventually, the weight of the world crushes me, and I finally fall into my first and only defeat.