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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.


55. Heat

Rating 0/5   Word Count 4158   Review this Chapter

"It's so damn dark in here, I can't see in front of me
My flames have all burnt out, my hopes no part of my reality." - Deadly Weapons.

Chapter Fifty Five

Heat

I've never found time to be of much importance to me—the endless cycle of dimming and brightening in the grey skies are my clock. I can't see the sky from the bed, but I do know that time passes, eons and eons of sluggish seconds lapsing over one another. I know I'm not suspended in an ocean of nothingness because as these seconds disappear, my hand—still closed firmly around the bed frame—starts to ache. It's nothing at first, but as the seconds wear on, the ache becomes a throbbing that refuses to ease.

Eventually, my body commands release. I relax my fingers one by one, hearing my knuckles pop with each sudden movement until eventually, the throbbing dulls. I pull my arm back, folding it against my body and holding it there. Once the small tremble of the bed springs quiets, I allow myself to breathe again.

I try to, at least.

There's an anchor in the bottom of my heart. It weighs me down, pressing the air clean out of my lungs. Each tiny drag brings another round of sawdust-like dryness toward the brim of my throat. The heat of my body triggers another sweat, coating me in a layer of perspiration. My veins begin to tingle as the heat stirs the wolf inside.

Even though I'm very familiar with the antics of the heat, I lay motionless. My relief is somewhere behind me, just as still and silent. My chest constricts. He's crazy for staying here, possibly even more than I am. The rope between us has been strained, pulled to a breaking point. Yet under the conditions that should have snapped it, a knot has formed, binding us together with a solid certainty.

My body refuses to acknowledge the bind. Instead, it urges me away from him, heatedly whispering for me to get the hell out of here and return to the place I belong. But as I slowly become more and more aware of him again, I find myself inching toward the spot of cool on the other side of the bed. I feel the weight of his eyes on the back of my neck, but I don't turn. I pause, letting another long stretch of time pass before I slide a little farther away from the edge.

After a while, the covers have had it with the tug brought by my movements. They snap away from the edges and crumple around me. I turn slightly, and my arm brushes against something icy and firm. I release a hot breath through my teeth, my eyes trained on the head-shaped blotch of wetness on the pillow. After a long moment, I risk a glimpse over my shoulder.

Two black irises are waiting for my gaze. They brighten as I find them, though the onyx hue doesn't lighten. I take in the sight of Emmett, his dimples appearing as I do. One of his arms slides free from behind his head and lowers as he reaches out to touch the side of my face.

I can only stare for a long moment, not breathing, my heart beating strongly and surely inside my chest. Emmett's eyes search mine for a long while before his lips turn up in a relieved smile.

"Come here," he whispers.

I don't hesitate. My body repositions to face him while my arms find his neck, this time winding around them only enough to pull myself close to him. He holds my body against his, close enough that I can feel the echo of my pulse in his chest. He closes his eyes, leaning down slowly. There's a sudden pressure on my forehead—a soft, cooling kiss.

"I'll come back to you at sundown," I murmur, my words a sturdy promise.

Emmett chuckles under his breath, the feeling tickling my scalp. "Don't worry, babe. I'll be waiting."

He starts to move away, but I catch him, my arms closing around him and willing him to stay with me even if just for a heartbeat longer. His muscular arms encase me, wrapping around my sides with a firm reassurance. I bathe in the moment, washed bright with colorful buzzes of feeling and then it's all gone again. I slip away from him with ghost-like stealth, rise to my feet and gather myself; pulling in all the light, Emmett-induced feelings and tucking them away deep inside of me, saving them for later.

In a flash of movement, I lunge for the window. My hands catch the bottom and yank it open, throwing it above my head as I duck through, pushing myself straight out into the open air. A gust of wind catches me as I fall, whistling in my ears as I burst free of my shell, combusting into the wolf in a shimmering spasm of shudders.

She unfolds within me instantly. I land lightly on the damp ground with a huff before taking off, leaving the final traces of all other feeling there in the room, far behind.

It's not long before I'm surrounded by the familiar drizzly greenness, a silent thunder shooting through the brush without leaving a mark. My muscles and bones work in an effortless harmony as I push myself faster, racing along the paths of two other's musky scents. Both minds are muffled through the block in my mind, slowly growing louder and louder as my mind cracks open and my presence is broadcasted through the pack airway.

Yep! I'll tell ya! It was freakin'— oh . Hey, Jord! Nice to see ya! Er . . . hear ya!

I know, I've heard this same exact story twenty times, Seth.

Well . . . sorry. Just because I'm not a Black doesn't mean I can't scare 'em when I want to!

I shake my head slightly, picking up on the pair of galloping foot falls in the near distance. My shoulders tilt as I angle my body, cutting across a gnarled patch of thorn bushes to head closer to the others. With his big mouth, we won't be hearing a damn thing within a ten mile radius.

An internal sigh comes from the stronger of the two minds. I thought we'd asked Paul to be out here. What's he up to now?

Sucking face, Seth declares, although he winces at the thought.

My teeth bare slightly in reaction to Jacob's indirect dismissal, my heated thoughts overriding Seth's comment. I round a heavy boulder, entering another sandy trail. Two wisps of color—one sand-colored and one russet—flash in the brush ahead. I head to the other side, setting an even pace as I run parallel to them.

I'm sure he's not the only one who would rather swallow someone else's tongue than frolic around all morning. What the hell is this, anyway? A parade?

Yeah, yeah. Jacob lengthens his stride, picking up his pace as the rain starts to hit harder. C'mon, Seth. We've gotta get started.

()()()

By the time we've cleared the whole perimeter, the clouds have swallowed the rest of the rain and the sun has managed to peek through the dull grey wall. I keep my pace steady as I lope through the trees, my focus centered on the village just through the brush tangled along the weak, rusting fence. How vulnerable they all are, with only a fence to keep out any prowling predators.

Seth's disappointment grows as Jacob stops in the trees on the other side. The volume of his thoughts blare with each high-pitched complaint.

Oh, gosh darn it! I really thought we'd end up getting one this time!

Well, shit. Maybe they're just allergic to whining runts.

Jacob's snort cuts out the sound of Seth's whimper. I flick my ears in the direction of his foot falls, pressing forward as he trots around the back of the village.

Shut up. Both of you.

I turn my gaze on the russet wolf as he shoulders through the brackish brush. Branches and leaves are snagged in his coarse fur, fluffing up his neck. My lip curls slightly at the proud glory in his pace, nearly sickened. He glances my way, but before a thought can form together in his mind, the brush trembles behind him.

Seth stumbles forward, huffing and coughing as he rises to stand at Jacob's flank. His eyes brighten as he sees Jacob watching, looking like the most ass-kissing puppy I've ever seen, topped off with a layer of brown, gooey mud covering him from head to toe.

Yet the kid still has stars sparkling in his eyes like he's about to drop down and worship Jacob's power, drowning in awe.

Pathetic.

Jacob shakes his head again, looking between the two of us with a short rumble. Guess we'd better head back to Sam's. Nicole said they'd have dinner waiting for us.

If you say so, Jake!

I stand back as the sandy and russet bodies sprint off into the trampled brush. There's really no point in tagging along, but the wordless invitation in Jacob's thought is so close to an order that there's not even a chance for seconds thoughts.

To hell with it. I mutter the thought to myself before pushing through the brush and heading after them.

()()()

"Head's up!"

Nicole's head snaps up, her eyes crossing as a spoon whizzes straight toward her nose. Right when it's about to hit, a russet hand snatches the spoon out of the air, setting it down gently by her plate. Nicole shoots a grateful look at Jacob, though his attention is directed at Seth. Fury darkens his features as he fixes him with an accusing scowl.

Seth bows his head with a sheepish grin. He laughs nervously, fidgeting with his own spoon. "Hey, accidents happen. . . right?"

Jacob's jaw tightens. "You know what that could have done to her?"

"Sorry!" Seth squeaks. He suddenly appears to be much smaller, as if he's shrunk in his seat.

"It's fine, Jacob," Nicole murmurs soothingly. She places her hand over his curled fist with a sugar-sweet smile. "It was an accident."

Jacob turns his head slowly to face Nicole's. The moment they meet each other's stares, Jacob's expression lights up. He smiles apologetically, throwing a nod in Seth's direction without averting his stare.

"Yeah. . . yeah, it's fine."

Seth blows out a relieved breath, pretending to wipe sweat from his forehead. He straightens his back, kicking out his legs beneath the table. As he relaxes, he smiles slightly and shoots a glance in my direction.

I sit on the opposite end of the table, as far away from the rest of them as I can manage. My hands clasp my silverware, a fork in one hand and a knife in the other. A small smile is plastered on my expression as I watch the others with a mocking sort of enthusiasm, though the knife in my left hand is bent and twisted and the veins on the back my hands pop above my skin with the exerted pressure.

Seth studies me for a moment, unfazed by my stance. As the seconds drag by, I swear he's about to speak. My muscles bunch, my teeth clenching together in preparation. What's it going to be this time? Another cheerful purge of random thoughts, or a bombing of shy questions and gestures?

Just as I start to consider saying something myself, Sam appears around the corner, carrying a stack of bowls and glasses. Emily follows in close behind, her arms wrapped around a large pot.

"Finally!"

Emily giggles at Seth's exclamation, lowering the pot onto the table and carefully positioning it in the center. Sam sets the bowl and glasses beside it, smiling to himself as Emily awards him with a flirty wink. She appraises the rest of us with a huge smile, her scars wrinkling as she lifts the top of the pot. Steam rises, warming the air with the scent of stew.

Almost simultaneously, the rest of the them lean in toward the food. Emily picks up the large spoon in her hand, humming delightedly as she pours out three bowls of stew. She serves the others one by one, along with two others in the spot across from Nicole and Jacob. She raises her head when she finishes, sending Sam off to get the soda before turning her attention on me.

"Do you want anything, honey?"

I feel the others slight distraction as their eyes dart in my direction. I manage to widen my fake smile, though my body's stiff as a board and my teeth grind at her babyish tone.

"No," I breathe lowly through my teeth. "No thank you."

"Oh." Emily smiles yet again, clearly content with the fact that I've given her a response. "Well, alright then."

The moment I'm relieved of her attention, the fork in my hand breaks in half with a miserable snap.

Emily sets the last bowl by the half-empty pot and lowers herself into her seat. Sam returns in the same moment, setting out various liters of different sodas. He frowns slightly at the silence, but makes no comment as he helps himself to a Sprite and takes his spot next to Emily.

I watch Emily take Sam's hand above the table without any reaction. They both look at all of us, the others just barely hanging on to their table manners as they lean over their bowls, nearly drooling. I sit perfectly straight in my seat, barely acknowledging anything around me. Sam's brow furrows, his nostrils flaring as if he can smell something off. Emily, giddy and oblivious, breaks the silence.

"Shall we give thanks?"

A mumble of sound runs around the table. Heads bow and eyes close, all except mine. I'm frozen on the spot as my stomach curls, my throat full of bile. My legs pulse against the smooth surface of my chair while my muscles twitch and my veins jolt. Something hot and heavy looms above my head, hovering and taunting as I'm forced to hold still and fake a grin. A pounding beat echoes through my head, muting the room as Sam leads the meal's prayer.

I turn my attention on the glass door. A hum of life thrives beyond it, hidden in the depths of the forest. A longing stretches in my chest as I stare, my eyes fixed on the escape just a few strides out of reach. My reflection gazes back at me, a statue of blazing stiffness mirrored in the glass.

The muffled words rise in volume with the start of casual discussion. Spoons clink against bowls and throats chug down mouthful after mouthful of soda. The sounds are far away from me—a different world that I'm not apart of. My body is consumed in flames while my senses roam, carrying me out into the forest.

My mind swirls with a swarm of scattered thoughts and pictures. I don't feel the crushed silverware in my hands as I picture myself somewhere out there, bursting out of this cage and being free of these chains. The vivid sensations of power and speed flood through me. I'm absolutely emersed in the feelings all until one scent assaults my nostrils, flaring the heat in my body.

My eyes refocus, snapping wide open. I'm suddenly aware of the worrying grip of a hand pressed over the tense curve of my shoulder. I'm still away from it all, my muscles locking as my eyes search over every inch of green forest. I breathe in again, redirecting my gaze.

There.

A piercing crimson glare hovers in the tree line. I take in the pale white man at once, my mind suddenly whirling at a million miles an hour. I'm on my feet in a split second, earning a menacing grin from the man through the glass. I don't—hell, can't—think as the wolf in me bubbles to the surface, taking over me in the blink of an eye.

Snarls rip through my muzzle as I explode in that tiny space. A gasp hits my ears, drowned out by the roar of the flames crashing through my body. I shake my head and howl in rage, throwing myself straight through the window. The glass erupts around my figure, shimmering around me. I land in the lawn while the glass is still falling, my body jerking with random bursts of heat and tremors as I settle into my new form.

Through a haze of red, I begin the chase. My paws tear into the loam below as I push off with a feral snarl, thundering after the stinging breeze of leech. I can hear the wind of his speed as he goes, whistling through the forest in a streak of white. My eyes follow the leech's darting, twirling, leaping movements as he races through the forest and I find my teeth baring not with hostility, but with a satisfied amusement.

He thinks he's going to escape.

Damn, is he mistaken.

Behind me, the shock has faded and a shimmer frees the others of their human bodies. Heavy paws beat against the ground behind me, tearing through the brush with angry huffs and frustrated grunts. Their joined presence only pushes me faster, my focus centered on the wisp of white as it dashes through the tangle of brush just ahead. I gnash my teeth wildly as I shoot around a corner, bursting out into a small clearing.

The leech is only a few feet ahead—close enough that my breath is hot on the top of his head. As the scene abruptly changes, he shoots a startled glance over his shoulder, causing his rhythm to falter for half a second. His scarlet eyes stretch wide and his body whips back around, lurching forward as he pushes off the ground.

I don't give him the chance. In the heat of my mad pursuit, I've never planned to stop. My prey pauses, and in his mistake, I claim my victory. With a raging howl, I close in on his unprotected head, my jaws closing around the leech's unprotected throat and tearing it free from his neck with a yank. My legs continue to churn beneath me, powering forward as the sucker's head disconnects with a sharpchink and his body thuds to the ground behind me.

I have to slam my paws down, digging deep groves into the ground, to stop myself. I snort and snarl as I shake my head, my teeth crunching and grinding through the boulder of ice in my jaws until the leech's gaping scream is crunched into a mangled mess of white rock. My body is rocked with a shudder, the final moments of surging adrenaline screaming in my bloodstream before numbing as they settle.

Victorious, I twist back around with the chunk of leech still clamped tightly in my jaws. The others have already gotten to the trampled kill—Nicole and Jacob's shaking bodies rip away at the pieces in a frenzy. Behind them, the sandy form of Seth prances like a prince, showing off the twitching hand trapped in his jaws.

Seth's bright eyes flicker my way. He grins through the hand before lowering his head to spit it onto the ground. He gapes at the fingers as they curl into the wet ground, digging in deep as the hand starts to flop below him. Seth's paw catches it, quickly pinning the hand into the mud.

We need a lighter.

Nicole shakes her silver coat, taking a few steps away from the torn pile of leech. Jacob raises his head, holding his ground above the body. He rakes his eyes over Nicole's form, checking every inch of her before he turns his attention to Seth and me.

You can go. I'll keep an eye on it.

Doesn't make a difference to me. I fling the head in his direction, setting off at a steady jog. As long as the son of a bitch burns.

Yeah! Seth gives an enthusiastic bark, nudging the hand toward the rolling head. He pauses, watching Jacob expectantly until he acknowledges the piece and takes it in his mouth.

Hurry up. Nicole heads into the forest briskly, radiating impatience. Before it starts to put itself together again.

I watch Seth turn and sprint off into the trees, tailing after Nicole while trying not to stumble over his paws. Nicole doesn't even bother to look my way—she starts off without a pause, expecting us to follow. Jacob's gaze settles on the back of my neck, resting there until I finally give a snuff and throw myself into a sprint.

As I go, the world tips and spins around me. The heat of the chase still smolders, blocking out the satisfaction of my catch. The green of the forest blurs around me as my skull fills with another's feelings—a frantic worry and a slur of whines. I plow through the empty forest, my paws numb on the ground below me until I break through the trees completely and am greeted by a flurry of movement.

I plant my paws against the ground, holding myself upright. I can feel my heart beating in my throat as I watch the scene before me unfold, teetering and wavering before setting into a solid reality. Sam is crouched in the lawn, his cutoffs jerked onto his hips while his shoulders tremble, his back hunched as if he's been yanked out of his body and placed in another. His bloody fingertips hover in the air above a body, quivering as they hesitate. Sam's lips move in a desperate mutter, but I don't hear his words.

I only smell the blood and see the crimson flow of it that runs out of a deep gash in the body's shoulder, filled by a stained shard of glass. The rest of the window is sprinkled around the body—a woman laying flat on the ground—like a light dust of rain. Her chest raises with faint, quiet breaths, her neck twitching with the slight thump of her quickened heartbeat. She looks as if she's asleep, right there on the ground.

Nicole's silver body approaches slowly from the other side of the wood. Seth's wide eyes watch her from the tree line, his head bowed low and a series of whimpers escaping his muzzle, though he doesn't follow. Nicole pauses halfway there, her nostrils twitching. A panic floods her icy eyes as her mind bursts with a single image.

It's a frozen part of a memory—a body twisted as it reshapes in the middle of the raining glass, crashing straight through it in a wild rage. In the corner of the image, a smaller figure leans away, her petite arms raised in front of her face as she tries to defend herself.

Nicole shakes her head, sending the image spiraling into the corner of her mind. She hurries into the house, using her teeth to turn the doorknob as she shoves inside. There are a few heartbeats before she reappears on the porch, her hands full of gauze, towels, and a bottle of medicated liquid strong enough that its sharp scent saturates the air. She crouches beside Sam, blocking out the sight of the woman as she empties her arms in a fumbling rush. As she spills the contents, she slings her free hand behind her, releasing a tiny silver object into the air.

I follow its movements through the air, my eyes landing on the ground with it as it skids in the dirt beside Seth's paws. He flinches away as if it's poisonous, his gaze flickering around anxiously. He glances over at me before snatching the lighter in his teeth and heading my way.

The next ten minutes don't make much sense. With my ears stuffed with sand and my vision riddled with blotches of swimming black dots, I run with the sandy wolf through the forest until we come across a russet male. He steps close to the sandy wolf, stealing the lighter. Thoughts swap from mind to mind, though I'm excluded, like I'm only here in my own head.

My vision blacks out for a split second. I remain still, only breathing until it returns. My paws are bricks and my saliva is glue now and I can barely manage to form a complete thought. Through the blotches, I make out the circle of a dark eye as it gazes into mine. Words push into my mind, though they come in slow motion, static and stuttering.

Seth—scatter—leech. Jordan—patrol—gather—lake.

Lake.

I manage to dip my head, even though my neck's a block of cement. I jerk my shoulders to raise the bricks of my paws, sauntering back into the forest. Even as all feeling leaves me, I continue forward without a damn clue as to what I'm doing.