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.
[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.
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"I'm bleeding out
I'm bleeding out for you
For you." - Imagine Dragons.
Chapter Thirty Nine
I stare at the clock until the red letters glow 4:00 AM. Don't fuck up. Don't fuck up. Don't fuck up.
My body moves without hesitation, sliding out the window, repeating a movement it has performed many times before. My feet touch the ground and I am off. My foot raises and crushes a boulder in my way, sending it toppling over itself as it tumbles through the forest. I don't bother to duck under branches. Instead, I slash them away; my fingers are sharp knives that tear them clean out of their sockets, while my arms are the propellers that push them forward. I sweep straight through the brush, not minding as it falls dead on the ground around me.
Emmett. I'm going to Emmett again, only this time, I don't feel like a sick, pathetic puppy heading back to its master. A suffocated voice inside me speaks against the feeling, working against the anger, the pressure, and even my own instinct. I threaten to burst into flames, but I hang onto thought of Emmett, and the voice quiets. I snarl softly to myself as I push forward until my feet step out onto the patted-down trail. I pause for a moment, sensing the quiver of branches further down the path. My eyes snap over toward the movement just as another figure appears on the opposite side of the trail.
She stalks out of the shadows, pausing in the middle of the opening. The dark of the forest brings out the glint of frustration in her eyes, and her hands close into tight fists. Something has pissed her off, once again.
I don't pause. My gaze rests on her figure, piercing into the back of her neck. Her back is to me, and she holds herself stiffly. It's clear she's making a point to ignore me, as if I don't exist. I clench my teeth at her arrogance.
"Pissy, pissy. Hit your first PMS?" I ask. My voice drips with sarcasm, but it's not hostile. Just a form of a greeting that Leah actually pays attention to.
As expected, Leah reacts as she hears my voice. Her head tilts back to the sky and her knuckles pale. "No. I haven't."
Steam whistles out my nostrils. I'm still smoldering, locking away each grain of ash as I gain some level of control over myself again. Words somehow manage to spit through my lips. "Don't need any menstruation to get you going when you have Sam to fuss over."
"What business do you have being out here so late, anyway? Need to catch up with another forgotten asshole?"
Our eyes lock. She turns her head to meet mine as I close the distance. "I prefer to spend time around people who don't turn me into a raging bitch, actually."
Leah jerks her head away. She breathes heavily as she studies the forest, her expression tightening. Even though she might have a temper, mine burns hotter, causing even the wildest of flames to flinch. "You haven't really had the best choices in men. Especially now." Her voice silences for a moment. "That's what you're doing. Going to see . . . it."
"Him," I correct. My own tone has taken on a layer of sharpness at her jibe. "He's a him."
"Whatever." Leah rakes a hand through her short hair, sighing heavily as she does so.
Silence wedges between us, thick and heavy. It threatens to spark and burst, but neither of us bother to start anything more than a conversation from the situation. I remain in place, my dark gaze locked on Leah's expression. Her brows have pushed together, and she's biting the top of her lip. I know exactly what she is about to say even before she gets it all out.
"Listen, I know that we both—"
"Have a lot of shit, and both of us know better than to stand here arguing about imprinting, because the two of us will only have more shit to deal with if we even start." I nod once, curtly. "I know, Leah."
Leah's eyes narrow to slits. Her jaw sets, and she speaks through her teeth. "You think you know."
The sound triggers another natural instinct. The desire to knock her teeth clean out of her gums arises, but I wrestle it back. My reply is instant as I feel my gaze searing against hers. "You're very fluent in the language of bitch. I've never heard it come so effortlessly."
For a moment, the only sound around us is the faint chirp of crickets with their halfhearted tune. Then, for split second, irritation flickers across Leah's expression. But instead of spitting out a bitter reply, her lips twitch, and she nearly cracks a smile. I smirk to myself, even though it's not so much my words that triggered the smile at all. It's just the way they've been put. Or, maybe, it's just the sound of a joke out of my mouth.
I've never been much of a joker. Although the sarcastic Jordan has always been there, the joking hasn't. Leah glances over at me, and I catch a glimpse of the emotion shining in her eyes. It's not so much the fear I've always seen reflected in the gaze of another. This time, it's brighter, stronger. It's hope. Leah doesn't have to ask why I've suddenly decided to toss out a joke in a tense situation instead of tear out someone's throat. She knows, and I know, and the one who has caused the change in himself even knows. And that's enough for Leah to change her mind about me—that's enough to give her the hope to believe that maybe, just maybe, the curses in this life can blossom out into gifts that make the pain worth it.
I hold Leah's gaze for a second longer. After a single thump of my heavy heart, Leah's gaze is gone and her expression relaxes. Leah sighs under her breath, just a slow, empty sound. Her head bobs once in a nod before she composes herself and slinks back into the shadows without another word.
The instant she's gone, I turn, heading back toward the border once more. I can sense the mingling scents, stronger now as they mix with the stale scents of the Cullens. Wolves will be out soon for morning patrol, and I'll be expected to join them, no doubt. But a certain part of me is forcing me forward, forcing me toward the place where I know Emmett will be.
The treaty line is less than half a mile out, and at my pace, I'm there in minutes. It's early, but it's not as if I'll be waking him up from an early morning nap. I press forward into the Cullen lands, my pace not faltering as my senses stretch out. It's not long before they find what they're looking for.
There's a crunch, crunch, crunch of the ground in the distance. It's much louder than my careful, silent steps. I inhale slightly, and his scent hits me just as the approaching figure does. Strong arms snag my waist and spin me around. As I am set down, an all-too-familiar deep laugh echoes out into the forest. There's a flash of white, and suddenly, I feel the familiar sensation of cold lips against my own. My hands slowly close into fists.
Some part of me wants to curl my fingers in, latch my hand around his throat, and listen to him scream as he dies. Another wants to grab onto him and never let go, to allow him to have his way and continue on through the night without a pause or break. My chest tightens, as if the controversy rising up inside of me is crushing me in. It only lasts for the shortest fraction of a second, but even that is enough to make me explode.
As my breathing hitches, Emmett pulls away. For a second, his lips linger above mine, his eyes still closed as if he's holding onto the moment. I stare at his smooth, content expression, and my fist slowly loosens. Emmett cracks one golden eye open, and then the other. We both stare at one another for what seems like a century before finally, Emmett breaks out into a huge, bright, dimpled grin.
My hands go limp.
"Look what I got!" Emmett crows, seeming to sense my tension. "I caught myself a real babe!"
The playful pride in Emmett's voice is amusing. His black hair is slick against his head, plastered down by the rain, with the exception of one little piece that sticks out on the side of his head. That, along with the grin, is enough to cause a laugh to begin to rise up in my throat. I feel my lips start to part in my own smile, my eyes staying steady on Emmett's expression, my body focused on the feel of his muscular form so close to my own. But right in the moment that the laugh reaches my throat, it's choked back by the sickening, perfumey stench that can only be caused by one thing.
"Let it go, Emmett," a low voice mutters. "Before it decapitates you."
Emmett's head turns back to look behind him. My gaze travels above his broad shoulder, meeting two pairs of glittering yellow eyes. Neither blinks as I stare evenly back at them.
The first pair belongs to the moody one, Jasper, who stands completely erect with his hands crossed behind his back. He stands formally, although his rigid posture gives off many different feelings. His honey hair shadows his face, adding a sort of calm darkness to his expression.
The second is Emmett's other brother. Edward's stance is just as stiff as Jasper's, although he leans forward slightly, as if he is poised to attack. There's a crease in his brow as he glares over at me, as if he actually expects to make sense of the jumble of thoughts racing through my mind.
As a few tense seconds tick by, Emmett's arms tighten around my tensed form. He pulls me into his side, keeping his arm circled around my middle as he turns us to face his brothers. He casts a half-smirk in my direction before he speaks.
"Alright, hand over that hundred. Bet's over."
A flicker of curiosity crosses through me, but I am quick to silence it. I watch as Edward's lips tighten, and he tears his gaze away from me. Jasper remains standing, although his jaw locks as Emmett speaks. His gaze remains unblinking.
"It's not over yet," he says slowly.
Emmett groans loudly. I am close enough to feel the sound vibrating from his chest, and something about it sparks another flurry of incoherent thoughts. I still don't move, although my arms decide to slide around Emmett's waist on their own.
"Really, man? C'mon! I'm in one whole piece. I snuck up on her and everything!"
The questionable argument should make me ask questions, but no words come from my lips. Instead, I feel my arms burn against Emmett's flat waist as Jasper glowers at him. The fury in his eyes is unmasked, burning against the dark color of the night. Everything about me knows that glare. It's the stare of a predator—the stare of a killer right before he attacks.
In a split second, my arm constricts around Emmett's body, yanking him back. I slide in place in front of him, leaning forward, my hands braced in front of me. My stare burns into Jasper's, and I can feel my muscles twitching as the wolf stretches.
Jasper's eyes narrow into slits. I want to pound those eyes right back through his skull, tearing straight through his body and reducing him to nothing. His scent is piercing my nostrils, churning in the pit of my stomach. I feel my lip start to curl as Jasper smirks, focusing on me.
My feet crush through the dirt as I push off. I have no plan, but I am a hunter. Hunters don't need to think; they just kill. I know I will kill this threat—I will kill this being before he can even lay a hand on—
Emmett's hands find my waist again. The air whooshes around me, the world spinning backwards, as if I'm being pulled back in time. Only, I'm not. I'm just being crushed back against Emmett's firm chest. Jasper's eyes narrow further, and suddenly, I am washed with calm.
Before I choose to react, a breath of cold whispers through my hair and into my ear. "Feisty. I like that. But I know, and you know too, that we can't start this right now. I'll let you beat me up; you can have all of me, anytime you want. But not him. His fight isn't worth it. I'd think you'd rather tear up my clothes, anyway."
Emmett's joking tone should make me smile, only this time, it doesn't. My mind rejects the words, locking out any sort of distraction. The two long, cold arms around me aren't limbs, they're restraints. Mere obstacles that pin me flat to Emmett's strong chest. He can be overturned and beaten out. Beaten dead and gone forever so easily. This obstacle is different than others, though. I barely take any notice to most, but this one isn't hot. It isn't blazing like the heat of the wolf inside me. This obstacle is . . . cold. Cold enough to hush my fire. I stare a little longer, until eventually, my muscles start to lock in on their own and I melt back into Emmett's chest.
Edward clears his throat, running one hand through his bronze hair, his gaze flickering between his brothers. "We'll . . . go."
I can still feel Emmett's head bent to my ear, and I can nearly sense his eyes as they lift away from me and onto his brothers. There's a sort of understanding that passes through them, one that I can't make any sense of. I watch Edward fly past Emmett, disappearing into the brush. Jasper remains in place for a moment longer before he follows, disappearing in a blur of white. I make sure to flash my teeth as he flies by, keeping them bared until only his scent remains.
Once he's gone, Emmett begins to chuckle. I lean my head back, twisting it to see his expression. His grin has appeared again, the childish gleam of amusement returning to his features.
"Damn, you make things fun!"
I exhale slowly, forcing all of the flames to rush out of my mouth in a single blow. "So that's what you call it now?"
"Hell yeah! It's a ton better than hunting with them when they're so depressed. Especially for the nocturnal. It's only fun when the lights go out." His hands brush up my sides for emphasis.
"Mmm." I can hear his words now as the roar of the fire dies down. But even though I can hear him, my mind has still scattered, making it hard to even comprehend the simplest of words. I inhale slowly, pulling in Emmett's scent, letting the flavor of it remind me just why I need to pull myself together.
As I fall into silence, Emmett peeks around my shoulder to look at my face, unwilling to separate our bodies long enough to turn me to face him. He rests his head on my shoulder as he looks at me, a smile still on his lips. His eyes stare into mine for a long moment before he speaks. I hear a hum of Paul's words in my ear, a faint memory of what he said. Deep inside me, I know he's wrong. I know this is right—that only this cold can dull the raging flames of my pain. As he stares, I feel the anger start to leak into my expression.
"Something's up," he states.
I take a minute to gather myself enough to respond. One eyebrow rises. "Oh?"
Emmett's brow furrows. "Yeah, I can see it. Your eyes, they kinda. . ." He spreads his hands over my body, pulling them away in opposite directions. "Go away."
"Right. That," I say with a slight smile. "It's just a little misunderstanding with the pack."
There's concern in his voice, something I've never heard before. It makes me want to smile a little more, but I resist the urge. "Yes, misunderstanding. Some more disapproval." I let out a slow breath, surprised at how easily the words are coming from my mouth.
Emmett hums low in his throat. His hands continue to travel up and down my sides absentmindedly, although they slow slightly, as if he's thinking about something else. "About that."
My other eyebrow rises. I rip my gaze away from his, letting them skim the forest. What about it? I want to ask. There are a lot of things he might say. A lot of things I probably shouldn't hear. I don't know what it is just yet, but something inside me hurts at the thought of what he could say.
Emmett isn't bothered by my silence. He isn't able to read the smooth expression on my face, but I can tell he has some sense of what's going through my head. A smirk twists on his lips.
"I want you to myself, Jordan," Emmett murmurs, his voice just a cool breath against my skin. "And I want them to know it. That you're mine."
It could be worse.
I release another slow breath. My gaze turns back into his, and I smile slightly at the mischievous look in his eyes. "Are you going to try to kidnap me? 'Cause I sure as hell won't fit in a sack."
"Not yet," Emmett says with a quiet laugh. I'm not sure why he keeps his voice low, but it probably has something to do with the rising temperature in the air. "It's deathly important."
"Is it now?" I ask in a whisper.
Emmett nods once, pressing his lips to the side of my jaw for the briefest moment. "I would say so."
I can only stare steadily, my thoughts racing. Him. Me. Want. Who? Emmett. Why? His. Mine. Breathe. In. Emmett, why? Out. I force out a breath.
Suddenly, the air rushes around me, and I find my hands placed against Emmett's chest. He's smiling again, and his eyes have some sort of twinkle in them that instantly brings a smile to my face. I feel my thoughts fall away, and suddenly, it's as if it's just the two of us. Emmett, me, and nothing else.
Emmett's hands trail down my back, and I find my own hands running slowly through his hair in response. A low purr rumbles in his throat. Our bodies press against each other, gravitating by a force neither of us can control. At first, there's that burst of adrenaline, and for a millisecond, a need to kill the enemy. But our bodies only move closer, and as they do, that adrenaline lights up, and there's a spark of emotion that sends my veins pumping in reverse. A shock strikes my body, and my lips part.
I love you, Emmett Cullen.
I'm so sure of it now. What has been an empty, floating question is now a solid part of me, a solid truth settled deep in the empty chambers of my heart. It's emotion, something raw and foreign after years and years of feeling nothing other than bottled anger. I want to force the words from my mind and through my open lips, but everything is happening so quickly. Before I can even think to speak, Emmett's mouth takes my own.
It's a short kiss, but it's a kiss, and any kiss is something special. It's just enough to set the embers alive again, the heat that's hovering over us with every touch. Emmett pulls away slightly, his head still bent toward mine. My hands remain in his hair, my breathing coming slowly. I study Emmett's expression, puzzled, as he reaches back in his pocket as he speaks softly to me.
"Jordan, I know this is fast, but please, you have to at least realize that I—"
Out of nowhere, the powerful call begins. At first it's just one voice, ringing out over the trees. But soon, another joins it, and then another, and the three cry out together. The volume grows with each passing second, as if their impatience is painful.
Emmett growls once, the sound low. I stare back at him, and he doesn't move, even as the howls continue. For a moment, I am torn, staring up at the handsome face of this man who completes me, listening to the order of my pack. But I can only be torn for a second before the wolf inside makes the decision.
"Shit," I mutter. I feel my nails pierce through my palm, and shakes spread out over my body. I need to close the wolf off before it takes control. I need to stop; I need to allow Emmett to have what he wants. The desire is strong, but the wolf in me has always been stronger, and instinct moves my feet for me, against my own will.
But both of us aren't victim to the call. One of us doesn't have to bend under the undeniable wish of the alpha.
Emmett shoots forward and catches me. He pulls me into his hold again, stopping me in place. I stare up at him blankly, unable to form anything, from a thought to a word to a feeling. Emmett doesn't need any of that, though. Emmett understands it, as if he's already bound to me, enough to feel everything.
Our lips meet again, working together with a sort of desperation. I am numb. I can feel the two leashes of my loyalties around my neck, both closing in as they block off my airways. The wolf in me is all but dragging me by the ankles, but Emmett's arms hold me in place, fighting against the pull. I need to turn around and go, but everything else is making me stay. Even instinct is overpowering, its voice hissing in my ear.
"Weak. You are weak if you retreat. Don't back down. Don't show weakness."
I fight hard for some level of control, but I have lost it all. I am in a different world, in a different body, somewhere else. The numbness spreads over me, engulfing me. There is no fire, just the feel of Emmett's mouth and arms and the closing of my airways as I gag on my own decision. In the distance, the howls continue to cry out, but I stay there, my lips moving with the lips of the enemy. The betrayal of the simple act crushes me, and my lungs slowly empty.
My heart starts to flutter, its strong, steady beat skipping. Emmett grabs my hand, his lips becoming rougher against mine. The leash that ties me to him must be around his neck as well, as if it is strangling him at the same time, making him stay with me. Emmett's fingers move over mine before he finally pulls away.
We stand there for a second, both of us breathing heavily, with Emmett seeming to choke on the air he doesn't need. My body heals, as it always does, although my heart still stings. My vision wavers, my head starting to spin from the lack of air. Through it all, I can still see the golden glimmer of Emmett's eyes darting down toward my hand. There's a splash of white, as if he is grinning. The air hums as if he is speaking, but I hear nothing other than the whisper of leaves as he disappears.
I stay there for a moment longer, imagining the feel of his arms around me again, holding me together. But the howls are still there, and the leash tightens once more. I am quick to set back into pace, marching back through the forest like a solider out to duty. With every step, my lungs refill a little more and the numbness is a little less obvious. But, at the same time, the ache in my heart becomes more and more real.
The howls don't stop, even as I press forward into the woods. My strides lengthen, all but sprinting now. I let the hot breath puff out as I run, attempting to pull myself together before my mind joins with the pack.
With each stride, my arms swing forward. I think nothing of it; it's just a normal running form. But after a few paces, I start to notice the glint of color as I go. I frown, my eyes darting down toward my hand. My heart nearly stops.
There, placed on my finger, is a sparkling diamond, sitting on none other than a ring. My eyes flash again, and my body locks up, although my legs keep moving. Emmett's voice thunders in my ears. "I want you to myself, Jordan."
Another stampede of thoughts threatens to break loose in my head. I shake my head sharply, growling once as I rocket forward again. Normally, there's a much bigger deal made out of this. But what the hell? I can't ever expect any of this to be normal. And a tricky charmer is just my type. Emmett makes things fun. He makes my fire run cold.
Emmett makes things hard, but I've never asked for easy. Everything, everyone is against this. It's wrong. It's wrong to find peace, hope, and real emotion with the enemy. It's wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. But then again, everything about me is so damn wrong. But Emmett, he makes me right, in some strange way. He is closing my wounds and opening the strangled parts of me. Emmett is the one thing I have that isn't wrong.
It must take a monster to kill another monster, like the one that has grown inside of me and killed what used to be Jordan Uley.
Why the hell should I say no? Emmett has promised to fix me, in time. I don't know why, but for some fucked up reason, I believe him. Or at least, some suffocated part of me has the smallest sliver of hope. Although I know better than to let him get to close, I can't—I won't—deny him of anything that will make him grin at me like he does with those damned dimples of his.
I know I can't let Emmett go. He's something real, something right, and something worth the risk. Becoming a person again isn't going to be easy—it's going to be hell, and I'm ready for that. My ancestors haven't always lived solely to kill off leeches—they have lived to preserve humanity. That's what I have to do. I have to find the remains of my own humanity before the monster finds its release and I lose myself all over again.
With another large breath, I force my thoughts to cut off. My body closes in on itself, giving into the wolf. I head back to the river, to the place where I still belong, crushed under the order of the alpha and suffocated by the being trapped inside of me—by the monster stripping away at the control I've managed to find, bit by fucking bit.
- Breaking the Ice
- Bad Feelings
- Games Gone Wrong
- Dead Ends and Dead Roses
- Gathered Pride
- It's a Date
- Reality Check
- Move Along
- Tick, Tock
- Talk to Me
- The Famous Jordan Uley
- Tempers and Tails
- The Big Bad Wolf
- Fighting Freedom
- Back to Hell
- Dark-Eyed Desires
- Man Up
- Unexpected Company
- Electric Encounters
- First Impressions
- Ugly Introductions
- Something About You
- We Might Fall
- The Tribal Tales
- Sinking to the Depths
- Beautiful, Bloody Angel
- Crash and Burn
- Hear Me
- Breaking Curses
- Believe It Or Not
- Favors and Fevers
- Rash Agreements
- Inciting Instruction
- Testing Boundaries
- In The Eye
- Making Medicine
- Dimples and Duties
- The Final Four
- Ten Ways Backwards
- I Dos and I Don'ts
- Burning Up
- Underlying Matters
- Ruining Plans and Pillows
- A Lovely Surprise
- The Hushed Hunter
- Striking the Spark
- Cry Wolf
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- 01 Jan 13
- 15 Jun 13