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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.

52. Declaration

Rating 0/5   Word Count 1720   Review this Chapter

"Let the storm rage around me
I will stand, I will fight." - Jamie O'Neal.

Chapter Fifty Two


This isn't the quiet quarrel Sam has asked for.

This is a snarling, thrashing, mad chaos. The once-flat landscape is a torn, trampled mess churned into a grimy paste of wet mud and hot blood that drips from broken jaws and pours from streaming muzzles. The storm of clashing, snapping, grappling wolves rages like a natural disaster released into the tiny clearing.

Puffs of hot, heavy breath swirl in the heavy air; an additional layer of steam. Only one of us, the small grey she-wolf who slunk into the forest before the fight even started, hasn't bothered to fight. The rest of the pack has erupted into a mad fit, brothers and sisters turning against one another in a primal struggle to come out on top.

Most of them don't even know what hit them.

Drunk with instinct, I tear my way through the tussling wolves, a blur of white fur and snarling, dripping jaws. The stale, dry taste of angry heat coats my throat. My fur is matted with mud and brush, clinging to me like an extra layer of fur. My paws drive me forward, mindless of my condition as I round the edge of the clearing and leap back into combat. I've set my aim on a distracted wolf whose gaze flickers across the clearing nervously, completely off guard.

I meet the body of my unsuspecting target at top speed, a sudden wall of muscle and fury that connects with his side with a sickening crack. The spotted male is unprepared—a startled wave of fear rushes through his brain, quickly overrode by the pain of impact. He kicks out his legs uselessly as I bring my weight down over him, giving a sharp cry of pain when I pressure his injured side. My opponent snaps and snuffs, throwing his weight around in a frantic attempt to shake me off. Blinded by rage, I sink and slash my teeth into open areas of hot skin, jerking my head back as I tear through hot flesh.

It only takes seconds before my opponent is overwhelmed. He gives a sharp yelp as the blood loss hits his veins with a paralyzing shock and his body gives out beneath him. He crumples to the ground in a heap, his spotted fur glistening with sweat. I lunge over the fallen body, landing on my paws before throwing myself back around to face him, caged snarls rumbling in my throat as I prepare to strike again. The skin of the spotted male's muzzle wrinkles as he bares his teeth, his eyes squeezing shut as he pushes against the ground, attempting to stand. He rises an inch off the ground before collapsing, heaving out a deep wheeze.

Victorious, I trot over to my fallen opponent and close my teeth around his neck. I retreat toward the perimeter, dragging the limp body along with me. His body leaves a shallow track in the mud.

Once I return, I take in the scene before me. The clearing is a battlefield mangled beyond repair. Trees are stripped bare, branches torn and bowing limply toward the ground. Rocks are smashed and strewn in bits across the ground while the ground is nothing more than a stirred rubble. I huff, tasting the salty flavor of another's blood spewing from my mouth. There aren't many others left—only three fights rage on, leaving no other opponent.

Except one.

Across the field, one of the fights comes to an abrupt end as a small wolf falls, dropping to his knees in submission. The other huffs down at him and retreats, his head raised, openly projecting his pride. My eyes trace his movements, watching the large male wolf, his fur a deep silver, step back into the clearing. He glances at the other fight with mild interest before his gaze flickers in my direction. I lean forward, baring my teeth, presenting my challenge. This is it.

The male hesitates, and for the smallest fraction of a second, worry lights up his gaze. But as his dark eyes zero in on my teeth, all bits of worry disappears. With a grunt, he saunters forward, his body lowering with each roll of a shoulder that brings him closer. I pick up on the slight angle of his body—there's a limp on his left side.

His head extends as he nears, bouncing his weight from one side to the other indecisively. I remain motionless, only waiting. A pre-battle heat passes between us and washes over me, recharging my body.

And all at once, my opponent attacks.

He lunges, his teeth aimed to catch me right in the jugular, but I'm expecting this. I throw myself at him, my front half rising off the ground as I slam against him. The force of our bodies jolts us up in their air and we're both on our hind legs, snapping and snarling and shoving. My opponent swings his head wildly, his teeth straining for a grip. I take advantage of this movement and toss my head into the air. He reaches forward to catch my exposed neck, giving me my chance—I drive my head down, meeting his skull with a bone-crushing force.

A burst of pain explodes in my head, powerful and real though only a reflection. We both topple down to the ground together. I land on top of my opponent while he's still rolling and have to lurch in the opposite direction to avoid being trapped. I'm quick to pull myself back onto my paws, finding my footing in the wet ground. I pivot back the moment I'm balanced, moving with lightning speed as I charge the silver male.

With an enraged snarl, he dives toward me again. I duck and return the lunge with a powerful blow from my shoulder. For a moment, our bodies strain against one another, hot breath panting on my side, before my opponent loses his grip and stumbles, somewhat dazed. I twist and throw myself at his sides, aimed for his unsteady legs.

I step aside and watch as my opponent drops like a stone.

It's all over. I've won.

But I'm not done yet.

While the male struggles to regain his footing, I strike, colliding with his form and knocking him onto his stomach. We wrestle, rolling and grappling in the mud. I don't back down, even as his struggle grows weaker and weaker and blood spills into my gnashing jaws.

Finally, heaving his weight forward in a final attempt, the wolf frees my grip, prying my teeth from his neck. I throw my weight back at him, sending him skidding through the mushy ground. As I wheel around, I pause, my paws slowing.

My opponent isn't fighting back anymore. Instead, he leans against a torn tree, his shoulder propped up against the thick trunk. He's breathing loudly, not bothering to move, even though his determination still lingers. There isn't any way for him to return—he's been banished by the boundary. It's all over for him.

The dark eyes of the wolf are weary. His stare is heavy. Inside his irises, the dark blue glaze of my wild eyes shine. As I stare, something inside me retreats and with it, my crazed persistence is diminished.

With a sharp bark, I leave the male behind and dive back into the clearing.

My eyes search for any other challenge, but find no fight to be fought. The empty clearing is silent, the mud imprinted with layers of paw prints, each facing in different directions. Many have been smeared and deformed, but none show signs of continuing struggles. The other fights have ended, leaving only two other wolves remaining. I raise my lip, finding them standing near the hill. Neither shows any sign of the slightest aggression. Both are frozen stiff, staring into each other's eyes with a horrified realization.

The bigger of the two, a russet male, is frozen beside a broken boulder. His body curves around it, as if he had been stalled in the middle of his charge. The other, a silver female, stands braced in a crouch, ready to defend herself against the threat that won't ever hit. Her eyes are widened and flooded with dread. Both of their minds are a flashing panic, weighed with the searing pain of the thought of committing the biggest crime; a crime that would cripple them both—one hurting the other.

As I stare, my gaze passing between the two of them, I push myself out of my fighting stance. There isn't any fight left—his is the end of the battle.

My ears flick, sensing a small breeze of sudden movement. I turn my head toward the hill just as Jared bounds to the top, stopping at the curve beside the edge and pushing himself up to his full height. His dark eyes are troubled as he takes in the sight of the pair of frozen wolves. He doesn't even seem to notice my presence, as if I'm nothing more than thin air.

Moments later, Sam creeps up beside the brown wolf. He does so carefully, almost as if he has no desire to have any part of this. At first, only the lines of his flattened ears are visible, and then the rest of him slowly appears as he walks to the peak of the hill. Sam's eyes don't so much as twitch in my direction—he stares down at wolves below him, waiting, his mind nearly empty.

Eventually, Nicole lifts her head. She meets Sam's eyes with worry, her body unmoving. Jacob follows her gaze, his shoulders hunched below the quiet stream of doubts filling Nicole's head. They both wait, silent.

Sam releases a heavy breath through his muzzle, an unfamiliar emotion flickering in his irises. For the briefest moment, his gaze turns in my direction, acknowledging my presence with a short look of indecision, before his dark eyes rest on the two wolves below him.

With a final sigh, Sam forces out the words that put out the fire within me.

I. . . It's over. This is all over and I'm proud to declare Jacob Black the alpha of the pack, with my daughter, Nicole Uley, by his side.