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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.

47. Inciting Instruction

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"So show me family
All the blood that I will bleed
I don't know where I belong." - The Lumineers.

Chapter Forty Seven

Inciting Instruction

It's not much longer until the trees are packed closer together, forcing us to spread apart, and the ground beneath our paws hardens, silencing our movements. The pack is on full alert—ears perked, muzzles raised, heavy hearts pumping steadily with the beat of our pace. These lands have always been restricted. To run them now is somehow wrong, and the fact that we're running them to meet in peace with our enemies doesn't help much.

All thoughts are muted, the packs' minds too overwhelmed by the dark, dense, untouched forest to comment and question. My eyes scan over the nimble bodies that flash by, picking up on the hidden panic of the smaller wolves. They might as well be blinded by the green land surrounding them. Their clumsy paws crash through the brush in frantic attempts to catch up as they fall behind. I often find myself shoulder to shoulder with another, but the cramped forest always pushes the other behind before they can fall in step beside me. I press forward with ease, a white ghost braving the tumbles of vines and gnarled brush without a second thought.

We run like this for a good two miles. Eventually, I break through the thicket and enter a new patch of forest. Here, the thinning trees stretch up to the sky, and the brush is spread out, allowing rain to soak into the earth.

Seconds later, the brush behind me shudders, and another wolf trots forward to stand beside me. His muscles ripple under his russet coat as he moves, tense and stiff with unsettling anxiety. I keep my steady stare focused straight ahead as he pauses, taking in the area around us. One thought manages to form in his troubled mind.

We're almost there.

Almost, I respond. I pull in a short breath, unable to smell anything beyond the damp scent of the forest. But not yet.

There's a snuff of breath behind us. In my peripheral vision, I watch as branches snap and break under various pairs of paws. Nicole is the first to shove through them, shaking her head madly. She rights herself after her paws touch the bare ground, eyeing Jacob and me warily. Sam's hulking black form is right on her heels, the rest of the pack not far behind. As we all reunite, a sense of relief washes over the pack, but each mind remains quiet.

The movement halts for a single heartbeat. Nicole stalks forward, pushing past Jacob and me, her attention directed at him as she steps out in front and states her nonexistent superiority. The rest of the pack remains still, seeming unsure of how to proceed now that we're so close.

I snap my teeth at the pack's hesitation, jogging forward suddenly. Yeah, yeah, we made it through the jungle.Party hasn't even started yet, though, so what are we waiting for? Damn pack of kitties.

My shoulder rams into Nicole's as I pass, causing her to topple on her side at Jacob's paws. She bares her teeth as Jacob stumbles over her with a grunt, jerking her head away as if to hide her embarrassment. A sharp reply bubbles up in her mind, but the impatient tone of Jacob's thoughts crushes the comeback before it even forms.

Paws pad easily over the ground again. I drift off to the sidelines as the pack reorders, all of the passing wolves giving me a wide berth, as my presence is repulsive. I ignore the language of their actions, falling deep in thought as I make my way through the forest. The mainstream of the packs' mental connection is blocked out as one thought becomes dominant.

Emmett is waiting.

I sense him out there. Some part of me is so in tune with him that it's almost as if a part of him has been molded inside of me. I breathe in slowly, my mind flashing with brief, cut-off images of our last encounter. I can only imagine how I look to him—crazed, wild, out of control. That should have broken everything; it should have made him realize how dangerous even a short kiss can be. Yet, it hasn't ended. My mind fills with the memory of the emotion shining bright in his golden eyes.

No anger, fear, or hurt. Just understanding.

Maybe he does understand.


My wolf is feeding doubt back into my system. In this body, she has more freedom than she does when I take on my human form. She wants to kill him. To her, Emmett is nothing but a leech. Nothing but another kill. To her, this is a game, and only one winner will come out alive in the end. Impatience nips at my heels, urging me to hurry to him and to deny the wolf any sense of satisfaction or control.

Someone whines behind me. At first, I think it's just a reaction to the heated controversy roiling inside me. But a moment later, the odor of leech enters my nostrils, burning into my nose. The pack riles, minds striking up alarm and anticipation all at once. Even Sam, who has taken to lead with Jared by his side, gives a rough cough at the stench. Paul echoes the noise with a gag of his own.

Jacob is the only one who doesn't seem to find much wrong with the scent. He hurries toward the front, extending his head to try to get a better view of what's ahead. Nicole blocks his way, her silver form darting in between the trees as she goes. Sam glances back at the two of them, his attention divided by all sorts of tangled thoughts and feelings. Jared bumps into him as he pauses, taking it on himself to set the pace evenly and lead the pack up the hill, wordlessly expecting us to climb it stealthily.

We should spread out again, Jared suggests. It'll make us look more united.

Yeah, that's a good idea. Paul gallops forward, hot on the leader's heels. Makes us look bigger. More threatening.

I snort, lunging to begin my own climb. My gaze searches the area ahead, but all I can see is the tips of the five pairs of ears ahead of me and the fat, shadowed trunks of trees. Other wolves are much more timid, their steps slow and careful as if they're too nervous to make a sound. Despite the packs' different emotions, we manage to situate ourselves in a spaced line by the time we reach the peak of the hill, and the twelve of us begin the descent as one.

The scents are stronger now. More defined. I can pick out one from the other easily. There are noises too, a low utter of hushed voices. My veins bulge as my heart sends blood rushing through my veins. I crane my head, picking up my pace as we near. The wolves in the front gradually decrease their pace, even though we haven't left the shadows, until finally, everything is brought to a stop again. I place my paw down, moving into position with the rest of the pack, hidden in the shadows. As my eyes take in what's ahead, they narrow.

The Cullens stand together, many of their backs turned and unprotected. The white light of the moon throws shadows off their bodies, casting them across the soft dirt of the clearing. They're positioned in an informal circle, discussing something amongst themselves. As the pack comes into place, the conversation cuts off and many pairs of shining eyes turn our way. Moments later, the Cullens break apart. I stare at one in particular, back still turned. My lips twitch at the sight of his head, raised above the rest. My heart thrums in excitement, waiting for him to turn to face me.

In the side of my vision, I study the human-like movements of the rest of the Cullens as they form a line, mimicking our own. Esme's eyes widen as she takes in the sight of us, her mouth popping open slightly in surprise. She leans back against Carlisle, who stands directly behind her, although his own shock is hidden behind his unreadable mask. I release a smug rumble at their fear. The large grey wolf behind me nods in agreement before looking ahead again.

I turn my gaze back to the Cullens, my eyes searching for Emmett. Instead, I'm drawn to another couple, one a pale-faced man and the other a helpless girl. I feel a wave of disgust at the mere presence of the human, standing here as if she too is very much involved—as if she somehow deserves to be involved in the conflicts of a world that she doesn't belong in. The disgust is strengthened by the sight of Edward, who holds Bella to him. His lips are at her ear, much too close to Bella's white throat. Although he's trying to hide the glint of want in his expression, my eyes can see it clear as day. I've seen it all too much, over and over and over again, just as much as I've seen the clouded death in a countless amount of red irises.

Bella stretches up onto her toes as the Cullens move, catching onto what's happening much later than anyone else. Her eyes search us, missing most of the wolves by a foot as her weak vision fails to separate the shapes from the blackness.

After a minute of gawking, she frowns, turning her head back to Edward. "I don't get it. What's wrong?"

"The pack has grown," Edward murmurs, his voice a soothing, disgusting velvet tone. "It's quite fascinating."

I slant my eyes further as Bella nods slowly, her gaze moving over to the pack again. She pauses at the middle. In the back of my mind, I can feel the warm swell of affection in Jacob's mind as Bella finds his stare. He holds his ground, but the desire to go to her courses through him, strong and untainted by Edward's presence. He gives a throaty chuckle, the sound soft and quiet, as Bella blushes deeply.

The disgust has thickened into nausea. I have to tear my gaze away from Saint Bella and her Prince Charming to keep myself from voicing my disgust. The moment my eyes move away, they connect with a lone pair of golden. In that moment, the sickness melts away, forgotten.

Emmett stares directly at me, having no problem picking me out from the rest of the pack. I know the white of my fur is hidden, stationed behind a tree and clothed in shadows, but the blue hue to my dark eyes must give me away. I'm almost thankful for them in that moment.

My eyes rake over Emmett, assessing every inch of him carefully. He's completely relaxed, as if he doesn't have a single worry in the world. His lips are spread in a wide smile, and he winks an eye in my direction. I flash my teeth in response, giving him a similar goofy smile. Emmett gives a good-hearted chuckle, holding my stare for just a moment longer before he is distracted by a sudden movement. Naturally, my gaze follows his own just as the leader of the Cullens takes a careful, deliberate step forward, moving away from his family. His hands are lowered and clasped together politely, but the attentive gleam of his eyes betrays his perfect calm.

"Welcome," he murmurs, his voice a light yet firm greeting. He pauses after he speaks, trailing into patient silence.

Expectant minds nudge Sam's. The black wolf huffs in the darkness, his breath a swirl of steam. His mind is a clutter of uncertainty, but he only hesitates for half a second before he responds in a flat, dead tone.

Thank you.

Just as the thought solidifies in Sam's mind, a much smoother voice mimics it. "Thank you."

All eyes shoot toward the source of the voice, studying Edward's expressionless composure warily. Jacob hums low in his throat, expressing his disapproval. Paws shuffle around, unnerved by the mind reader's ability. Minds begin to flare with alarm. I curl my lip at the thought of backing away, and Nicole backs it up with a snap.

Quiet! And pay attention. We'll need this if we are to go into battle.

She huffs under her breath, although her skin warms as Sam sends a grateful nod her way. Nicole dips her head in return. I can feel her attention lingering on my expression for a heartbeat, but I ignore the sensation completely and channel my focus on the leeches.

Sam's flanks tense as he continues tentatively, his mind zoomed in on the face of the leader as thoughts scrawl across his brain. We will observe, but nothing more.

At first, there isn't a response. Paul leans forward slightly, his chest heaving. Edward doesn't seem to notice, his brow furrowed as his eyes scan each pair of eyes, rising and falling to meet each height. Many wolves freeze, unease rolling through various minds. I work my paws in the dirt below, staring, until finally, Carlisle throws a look Edward's way. He catches his gaze evenly.

"They'll watch, but they're unwilling to do anything more than that. It's the most they can ask of their self control."

Carlisle nods slowly. "That is more than enough." He relaxes as he turns slightly, gesturing behind him. I growl once at the sharp, predatory expression on the face of the Cullen who steps forward. Carlisle continues to speak regardless, oblivious. "Jasper, my son, has experience in this area. He will be instructing us."

Sam mutters his relief. Fair enough. He shakes his head and his mind detaches from the others, drifting into the rush of the other's thoughts. There's another few thundering seconds of silence, each mind sharpened yet standing still as if waiting for the Cullens to act first.

None of them do. Leah is the one to break the stillness, the bitter edge in her tone clear and loud.

Might as well get cozy, she mumbles. They haven't bothered to bare their fangs at us. Yet.

A collective sigh passes through the pack. Each body lowers to the ground one by one, settling down on the damp soil. Even Paul flattens out reluctantly, although he grumbles to himself while doing so. The only wolves who remain standing are Jacob, who is too alert to even consider relaxing, Nicole, who's clearly set on outdoing Jacob in every way possible, and me, because I won't bow in the presence of a leech even if my legs got hacked off. I stand at the far edge, blocking out the russet and silver forms beside me, my eyes tracing Jasper's movements as he stalks forward to take Carlisle's place without a word.

The Cullen's expression is set, his shoulders raised around his neck in a taut, formal manner. His eyes stare at a point just above the relaxed wolves' heads, refusing to acknowledge them. My muzzle twitches in amusement. This isn't his place, and he knows it. Still, he steps before us, only to send a warning glance Edward's way and turn his back. Jasper's sentences come in a drawl, tight and carefully worded, directed at the five parasites and the scrawny human as if the pack of wolves looming behind him are as harmless as the shadows that stretch over the forest around him.

"In the newborn stage, our kind is at the height of their strength. Physically, they have every advantage against you. If they manage to get their arms around you, they'll crush you instantly. Without proper training, none of us would stand a chance against an army of them.

"On the other hand, their impulse control is weaker than our own. Their common sense and reasoning has yet to have the chance to develop. They fight like children."

Jasper pauses for the slightest second, his breath catching. His voice is strained as he speaks again. I start to grin at how uncomfortable he is, but his words send the grin away as quickly as it came.

"The most important thing to remember is to not, in any circumstance, underestimate the enemy. You will lose."

The words are arrows pointed straight at my ears. I release a low, frustrated sound that vibrates deep in my chest. Many of the others respond to the sound with whimpers and snorts, clearly unhappy with the Cullen's lack of confidence. It's as if we're all nothing but slabs of meat, completely worthless unless all else fails.

Cocky bastard preaching underestimation to something he hasn't fought yet. That makes a hell of a lot of sense. The thought breaks through the dense bubble of my thoughts, entering the pack's connection. I don't take notice to the others' reactions, though; my attention is directed at the unprotected back just a lunge out of reach. It will only take seconds. Just a leap and a snap, and there won't be any cocky bastard to preach at all.

I brace myself against the ground, leaning into squishy moss. It'll only take seconds. A breath spits through my bared teeth, my muscles contracting as they get ready to spring. My mind races along at a mile a minute, abruptly preparing itself without any further command. The temptation is strong, nearly unbearable. The sharp angles of the Cullen's shoulder blades jut out as he turns, narrowing his back into one straight line. His spine is right there. It would be too easy.

The packs' thoughts begin to flutter around my own, catching onto the path of my plans. I show the fine points of my teeth, warning them to stay back. My breathing stops, my lungs frozen, filled with a burning ache of desire. It's the hunger again—the need to kill. Once more, I'm finding myself trapped beneath the spell of my wolf, influenced by her as if she holds the reins of my control in the cage of her claws.

She's pulling those reins back, raising my head slowly and urging me to get in position. Her impulse is directing me, raising one paw and letting it fall soundlessly to the ground, rolling the curve of my shoulders as I begin to creep forward. My ears ring, the shrill sound screeching out as I take another step. The Cullen is even closer now, still just in reach. I plant my paws down and bunch my muscles, pulling in a final breath. My teeth snap and my eyes pinpoint the cut line of his neck—the breaking point.

And I almost do it. I almost leap straight out of myself and into the full control of the wolf again before anyone can stop me. But just one word stops it all and sends me spiraling back into reality.


Instantaneously, my advance ends. My eyes move instead, trailing after the muscular form of Emmett as he struts toward Jasper. I reel in a sea of humid air, filling my lungs with the taste of the forest, only to blow it out a moment later as Emmett breaks out into a huge grin, revealing the dimples of his smile. He pauses after a few strides, standing before Jasper like a white angel, his skin bright against the black of the early hours. Barely-contained enthusiasm twinkles in his eyes as he slides into place, almost as if he can sense my gaze.

I have to take a minute to piece myself back together. The wolf in me has quieted suddenly, but my body is numb as the reins are passed into my hands once more. I shake my head slightly and bump my shoulder into the moss. Drops of rain splatter over my coat and sink down to kiss my hot skin, wet and cool and real.

After another moment, I'm breathing normally, and the forest around me has returned. I can sense each puff of hot breath on my back, along with the many pairs of eyes staring at me questionably through minds that don't know exactly what to think. I brush off the sensation and lean into the tree, feigning boredom until there isn't searing pressure on the back of my head and I'm in my own space once more.

Jasper matches each of Emmett's steps with one backward stride of his own, speaking without taking his eyes off him. "Emmett will go first. His style is very similar to a newborns—they rely on raw strength."

Emmett pauses away from Jasper, cracking his knuckles and rolling his neck around. "I have my woman watching me, so don't try anything funny—she doesn't need ideas."

The pack gives a disapproving mutter. My expression remains smooth, unaffected, but I grin inwardly.

Jasper ignores Emmett's statement. His liquid eyes hold Emmett's own as he drops into a crouch. "Don't hold back now—you only have to catch me."

With a nod, Emmett expels a cool breath. In the blink of an eye, he charges forward, his feet barely leaving a mark. Jasper rises up to meet his charge the second Emmett comes in contact. The impact of their connecting bodies gives off a bellowing thud, like two rocks slammed together at once. Emmett's muscles flex as he strains against Jasper, the two of them locking gazes. Impatience quickly gets the better of Emmett and he grabs Jasper by the side, sending him flying back.

My eyes follow Jasper's white figure as he crashes down. His foot touches the ground for a brief moment, and then he's up again, rushing toward Emmett. Emmett smirks and lunges straight at him, sure that he's got him, but there's nothing there. Emmett huffs and slams his feet down to stop himself from toppling head first onto the ground. I growl warningly as Jasper doubles back and comes at Emmett from behind, but Emmett is just quick enough. He raises his forearm to block Jasper's blow, and the two break apart again, circling for a brief moment before Emmett throws himself at Jasper once more. Jasper twists, dodging the attack that would have otherwise beheaded him.

The rest of the pack watches the brawl intently, some entranced, others more critical. I am prickled with heat from the close calls of the combat. I don't have a problem with Emmett fighting, not minding the beauty of him in action or the deep focus set on his expression. It's the stealth and confidence of his opponent that's setting me on edge.

Jasper ducks around Emmett, coming up behind him once more. Emmett gives a frustrated grunt, his grin gone, coiling back before striking out at Jasper with a swing of his arm, only to miss by inches. He shakes his head, baring his teeth for a moment as he paces back, his eyes locked on Jasper. Jasper spins around to face Emmett, but the movement isn't fast enough. Emmett kicks off, this time moving before Jasper has a chance to anticipate his movement. Emmett gives a victorious shout, but the sound falters as Emmett lands, looking confused.

His big hands have closed around empty air.

Out of nowhere, an echoing boom sounds out, followed by a slight cough of dust. I jerk my head up, growling lowly as the dirt floats away in the night sky. As it clears, I can see Emmett, lying flat on his back on the ground. Jasper stands over him, looking amused, his teeth gleaming in the darkness. The rest of the pack gives an approving mumble as the fight concludes.

No sound leaves my throat. I'm struck with a jolt, like an electric stake has been shoved through my ribs and out the other side. There aren't any thoughts in my head now, just a burning, buzzing need. I shoot forward in a flash, howling out in pure rage, my teeth bared and aimed for Jasper's exposed throat. Time ticks by slowly as Jasper twists his head around, and I can feel my teeth grazing against his granite skin for a moment. I imagine the glorious crunch of his neck in my jaws.

But I don't get the chance to feel it.

Emmett slides in front of Jasper abruptly, his hands raised. He takes the blow all at once, his arms cracking from the force and his body crushing to the ground below my own. My eyes flash and my jaws snap shut as I land right over Emmett in a heap of burning skin and snarling jaws.

For a single heartbeat, I lay over Emmett, his cold body completely covered by my own. I lean back in reflex, staring down at Emmett. His arms are crossed in front of his face, his eyes closed behind them. My throat swells at the sight of him, my eyes searching for any signs of injury.

As the shock subsides, the pack breaks out in yelps and barks. I howl in return, the sound infuriated, extending my head out to the shadows and baring my long, sharp teeth. The sounds quiet, but thoughts push at the borders of my mind, struggling to break through the tightly knit mess of emotion. Their thoughts have no effect on me—I'm too far gone to even register what they mean.

I snap my head to the side and repeat the sound out to the Cullens with the ferocity of a lioness crouched over her prey—ready to defend at all costs. The Cullens are frozen on the spot, silent, with the exception of the pound of Bella's heart. Even Jasper has enough sense to stand still, his eyes burning into me with meaningless threat.

Once I'm sure that there isn't going to be any interference, I lower my head and nudge Emmett's arms away from his face with gentle care. The second they part, one eye cracks open, staring up at me. I hold his gaze, standing over him, my breath hot against his skin. Emmett arches an eyebrow up at me, pausing before his lips curl in a half-smirk.

"You know, it's not very polite to try to tear out my brother's throat. Not the best idea, either."

I breathe out a short breath and lean my head down to Emmett's neck, resting against his chest in relief. He laughs once and ruffles the fur between my ears. "Okay, okay. You're forgiven."

I stay still for a moment, relishing the feel of him so close to me again, before I duck to the side. Emmett hops up onto his feet, running a hand through his hair. I step in place behind him, focusing on the wolves and Cullens, my peripheral vision trained on both for any signs of movement. The two of us stand between our families, tension crackling in the air above our heads. No wolf dares to take a step and each Cullen is dead still, except for the pixie, who flits over to Jasper's side, taking her place in his arms.

Emmett clears his throat, his eyes running over the pack before returning to his family. "I think we need a minute. Alone."

"Emmett—" Esme starts. Her voice is strained with worry.

"Nothing to worry about, Esme," Emmett reassures her. "Just give us a few minutes. It's Eddie's turn to go, anyway." He looks over at Bella, who is white as a sheet, and amends his statement. "Or Carlisle's."

I nod once in agreement, watching the stiff, horrified expressions of the Cullens. After a few second's pause, there isn't any objection, and Emmett pats my shoulder. "C'mon, I won't be long."

Emmett starts for the trees at the opposite end of the clearing, glancing over his shoulder as he waits for me to follow. I can feel the push of the pack mind grow stronger in my mind, but it has no effect. I jog after Emmett, staying close at his heels. As we pass by Jasper, I lurch in his direction, faking a lunge. He leans away slowly, tightening his hold on his mate. His eyes flicker uneasily. I huff and press after Emmett, allowing him to take the lead. Neither of us comments on the stares burning holes in the back of our necks.

The shadows take all the pressure off our shoulders. Emmett drops back to walk beside me, humming to himself. I don't look at him for a long while, focusing on placing my paws down silently. I wait a few minutes, allowing the forest to strip away the remains of the adrenaline, before I turn my gaze into Emmett's own.

He slows, a grin growing on his expression. "That was some crazy shit you pulled out there. You know that, don't you?"

The sound of his voice—deep with amusement and low with his undivided attention—tickles my ears. I willingly give into the warm feeling rising inside of me and bump my shoulder lightly against his in response, nudging the top of his head with my muzzle. No words form in my mind, more because of the scattered order of them than the fact that the heat of my body is preventing any chance of a change.

"Yeah, I thought so." Emmett shakes his head and laughs under his breath. "I'm still working on that. On turning that light on."

A rumble passes through my throat. We've stopped by now and are standing face to face, close enough that the opposite temperature of our bodies sizzle between us. I stopped believing in hope years ago, but the determination in his voice is strong.

"You don't believe me?" he guesses. His eyes search mine for a moment. I turn my ears forward, holding his gaze until he looks away, nodding. "I thought so. I'll show you, eventually."

I blow a breath into his face, earning another grin. I study the happy curve of his lips, knowing that it's sincere. His family may think he's crazy to go out here and talk to a wolf, holding a conversation as if he really does understand everything without any words. As if he doesn't need anything from me; as if he only wants me.

The thought isn't comprehended in my mind. It's marked as impossible, filed away and crammed into the far corners of everything else that's become impossible over the years. But here Emmett is, without any judgment, without any second thoughts, without any questions or anger or requirements. He's only here because I am, and because he wants to be here with me.

We're both wrong. Emmett, wrong in his choice to chase after something that might be meant for him, and me, wrong in every way that this hell has twisted me. Just like two negatives equal a positive, these two wrongs have to make a right.

As the thought strikes me, Emmett reaches in his pocket. "I almost forgot. When you rushed out early, you busted this up."

He puts his hand out in front of him. My eyes study his clenched fist questionably, watching his pale fingers fall open to reveal small scraps of a tiny object in the center of his palm. My stomach drops all over again as my eyes take in the shiny object that is—or has been—my ring. I look up into Emmett's eyes, my ears flattened back to my head. My mind is racing all over again, churning in anger directed toward the monster.

Emmett doesn't react. He shakes his head, smiling slightly. "Hey now, don't worry about it." He shoves his hand back into his pocket and pulls it out again. This time, the ring in his hand is in one piece. It's an identical match to the one that was on my finger. I stare at it, my thoughts slowly working backwards. Emmett only laughs.

"I understand."