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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.

48. Testing Boundaries

Rating 0/5   Word Count 2006   Review this Chapter

"I just want to take it in
Even when your fire runs out
Will you start it up again?" - Imagine Dragons.

Chapter Forty Eight

Testing Boundaries

"You see, whenever you need a snuggle buddy, I'm only a call away."

Emmett laughs lowly, amused by his own statement. I watch as his pale fingers carefully wind a thin slip of paper over the ring from the inside, turning it around and around until there's no way possible for a clawing branch or breath of wind will shake it free. He examines his work smugly as he finishes, nodding in approval before tilting his head slightly to catch my gaze.

My lips curl slightly in a wolfish smirk. I bow my head over his shoulder, feeling the areas where our skin heats on contact. Some sort of foreign emotion—something warm like affection and something thrilling like a surprised jump—swells through me, unable to be contained. Suddenly, I'm deaf to the distant frustrated hisses and uneasy growls and blind to the shower of rain above our bowed heads. Emmett's golden eyes brighten as they pick up on my interest, his lips spreading in a laugh.

"Alright, alright. Next challenge: making sure you don't bust this one up."

Emmett's eyes leave my own, skimming over the white fur along on my back before trailing down to my paws. He nods, his cool body brushing up against my own as he ducks down, falling into a crouch. One big hand closes over the corner of his shirt, tearing off a narrow strip. My eyes linger on the exposed flesh near his hip, studying the fine lines of his figure and the smoothness of his marble skin.

My thoughts are instantly sent toward forbidden territory. His hands brush over my fur, looping the shirt to my ankle before securing it. The heat of my body has risen slightly, even as I pull myself together and Emmett stands again. He doesn't make any comment about the change in my temperature, but his eyes are gleaming even more, as if something else has amused him.

"Anything else?" he asks.

I run my eyes up his body, starting at the tips of his toes and climbing upwards. My gaze stops a few times, pausing longer than necessary. By the time I reach his face, his lips have curved back into a smirk. I blow out a breath, studying his expression closely. The smugness still radiates off every inch of him, although now it's even stronger.

A huff escapes my muzzle. He's playing with me, teasing me as indirectly as he can, testing my boundaries. Instead of giving him the satisfaction of moving close to him again, I lower my head and bump my muzzle against a patch of dirt smudged on his forehead. He chuckles, causing me to press my muzzle against the spot again. When I pull back, there's a streak of brown across his forehead.

Moving backward, I swing my head from side to side. Emmett doesn't seem bothered. He pats his wet hair down with a hand, his lips twitching as if he's struggling not to grin. His head twists to meet my stare.

"So I'm a little less than perfect. You're okay with that, though, aren't you?"

I rumble low in my throat at his statement. His charm is still there, even though the seriousness in his words is masked by his teasing. I give in, coming close to him and bowing my head to touch my forehead to his. His irises fill with the sight of me, a large white wolf with her long, sharp teeth curled back in a strange sort of smile.

Emmett grins widely at the closeness, content with my wordless answer. "Excellent."

He extends a hand toward my face, his fingers skimming my fur. He almost says something, but his attention is arrested by something in the distance. His nostrils flare for a brief moment. I hold completely still, my senses slowly straining outward. It's not a scent or sound or sight that captures my focus, but words from an impatient mind.

If you must drool all over each other, can't you at least do it on your own time?

The warmth abruptly disappears, sucked away by the irritated sound of Nicole's voice pushing into my head. I clamp my teeth together, tearing my gaze away from Emmett, lifting my head over his shoulder. He glances over, his grin faltering as he takes in the sight of the approaching wolves.

The two of them stalk forward, brown and silver figures pushing through the rain. Jared is just a step ahead, but Nicole hurries along with him, trying to casually gain an extra stride ahead of him. They're shoulder to shoulder, inches apart as if they're trying to appear intimidating. I hold back a snort as Emmett's hand drifts down to the top of my leg, resting there with a hovering tension.

They stop a half a dozen yards away, standing still as they take in the sight of us. Jared nearly manages to hide his disapproval, but Nicole is hostile, her ears set back and her eyes narrowed. She shifts her stance in an attempt to make herself taller, releasing a hot breath as she finds my gaze.

It's time to go.

My eyes slant. I keep myself positioned directly beside Emmett, ready to jump to his defense at any moment. I return the bitterness of the silver she-wolf with an icy tone. That's Sam's decision. I quickly tack on another statement, flattering her ego. Princess.

Jared shakes his head, sending a small stream of rain running off the tips of his ears. Sam already went ahead. There's something else behind his words, something that stiffens the fur on his coat, but my mind doesn't take the time to pay attention to it.

Such a rush. My chin rests over Emmett's black hair, slick with rain, my eyes not leaving the steady stares of my pack mates. A little action sends you all scurrying away with your tail between your legs. Wow. Really terrifying, the lot of us.

Jared starts to sigh, but Nicole cuts him off with a raise of her lips. You don't have to make this difficult, Jordan. Can't you just come on already? It won't make a difference to the leech either way.

My ears flick, dismissing the statement. I pull in a long breath of Emmett's sweet scent, easing the locking of my muscles. Emmett. His name is Emmett.

Both of their eyes dart over, taking in Emmett's expression. His mouth shapes into a wide grin, but he doesn't speak. Nicole gives an uneasy snap while Jared's shoulders bunch up defensively. The rain burns against my coat as I slide my head down over Emmett's broad shoulder and across his chest, protecting his heart. My eyes are trained on them, unmoving.

Jared's paws work in the mud for a moment, leaning away as he looks back at me. Jordan, we need to go.

Their persistence lights another round of tension. I shake my head slightly, barely blinking. You first.

Without the slightest hesitation, Jared takes a backward stride, his brown form starting to blur in the sheets of rain. Nicole remains still in the mud, her white teeth gleaming against the dull colors of the forest. If it's going to be such a distraction from your loyalties, maybe we should eliminate the issue completely.

My body is suddenly in motion, brushing past Emmett, moving into a protective stance in front of him. He has enough sense to let me move, but he takes a slow step forward to stand at my flank. Trembles race through my body, my senses sharpened as the predatory defense slowly sets in. Hell, why don't you go right on ahead? Try it.

Jared's paws are stepping through the mud in retreat. His voice is louder now, pushing into my own head with strained worry. No, we don't need to fight. Nicole, you have to stop.

Quiet, Jared, Nicole snaps. She casts a look his way before she returns her attention on me, ignoring Emmett completely. Her confidence is tainted by frustration, her body bristling with it. Fine. If that's what you want, then . . . fine.

Heat sparks behind my lids at the challenge, sending a wave of red washing across my vision. My eyes are trained on Nicole as she starts to lean forward, pausing for the slightest second before she takes a step forward. I hear the touch of her paw to the ground—the beginning in her advance—and there isn't any holding back.

With a sudden, violent jerk, I knock Emmett back with the force of my strength and weight. I rise up with a fierce howl, standing high on my hind legs as the sound rips through the air. Rain batters at my form, sizzling against the heat as my paws slam down, sending out spurts of mud. My teeth gnash furiously as my eyes pinpoint the silver wolf. I shake and quake, dying to release the fire, but it's strangled by Emmett's presence.

Nicole has frozen as she takes in the sight of me. For a split second, something stronger than frustration flashes in her eyes, but it disappears before I can make any sense of it. My body is refusing to attack, stuck in the wolf but absent of the wolf's need for death. The two of us stand, inches apart, teetering on the edge of attack.

After a few moments, the sound of light footsteps breaks the silence. I don't move my gaze as Emmett moves forward, standing in between Nicole and me. His brow is furrowed as he steps in between us, his head turned toward Nicole. "Hey now, let's all play nice."

I watch as the silver wolf straightens up abruptly, ignoring the annoyance at Emmett's words. She takes advantage of my pause, the icy blue of her eyes jumping over Emmett's shoulder to find me again. Well? You're going to allow it to hold you back?

I give Nicole no response. Instead, I focus on Emmett as he glances back over his shoulder. His expression softens into another dimpled smile. At a short distance, he seems so at ease, but up close, the rain manages to highlight concern in his golden gaze. My heart pounds heavily with the fading adrenaline as I take a step forward, closing the distance. My muzzle nuzzles into Emmett's neck, taking in the smell of him. Almost instantly, my shoulders drop and my muscles still.

Emmett bumps his shoulder into mine. "Go on ahead, Jordan. I know you'll come back for me." He winks, chuckling under his breath at the little joke.

My mouth forms another wolfish smile as I reluctantly pull away, holding Emmett's gaze. I freeze the image of his face—wet with rain yet smooth and bright, dimples and all—and pocket it away in my memory to hold on to later. Emmett raises his hand in a goodbye wave as I slip past him and jog off, heading straight past Nicole and back into the clearing. Nicole's paws squish in a small distance behind me, following without even a short growl.

I rush past Jared without a pause, not even bothering to glance his way. Once I pass, he exchanges a look with Nicole, who stops to stand beside him. Neither of them follow as I lunge up to the hill, climbing it effortlessly. I snort once, not bothering to make a smart ass comment as my speed builds, my legs sure and strong beneath me, carrying me home.

In the back of my thoughts, the attention of another wolf hovers. His temper is cooled off and his thoughts are strangely quiet, as if he's intending to catch up with me but something holds him back. Moments later, my thoughts twist and jumble, once more becoming a thick jungle of nonsense.

In the midst of my tangled thoughts, the monster thrashes, unwilling to be caged any longer.