Chapter 23

Disclaimer: The world of Twilight belongs to some woman from Utah who misspells her first name. My apologies if your first name is Stephenie too…

A/N: This is going to be a short one, but I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. I'm enjoying writing again. Thanks to TheMightyRen and ThatPanicGirleE for making be believe I can actually write again. I was starting to get worried there for a bit.

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"The wolf, I knew, would lead me deep into the woods,
away from home, to a dark tangled thorny place
lit by the eyes of owls."

-From "Little Red Cap" by Carol Ann Duffy

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He watched the pair of them as silently as possible from the safe darkness of the trees. Listening as the young man made his excuses to the girl who stood before him, her heart thrumming away like a bird's as he poured his poisonous words of pretty treason into the girl's ears. It was impossible to tell how much the girl really knew or how much she had guessed, but it was time to end this little fantasy of Jacob's.

He could only play human for a little while before the reality of his existence would come crashing down around his ears. Just like his father, that one.

The wolf pacing in the shadows sniffed the air; he could smell the fresh, salty tears running down the young girl's face, and it stirred a hunger within him. She was tempting this one. He could see why the young one was so taken with her. He had been willing to give up anything, well almost anything, to be with her, but everyone had their price. Jacob's hadn't been too hard to find.

In the end, it had been surprisingly easy to ensure his compliance, surprisingly simple enough to get him to abandon this girl. She would heal. The broken pieces of her heart would grow together once again into almost exactly the same shape. Besides, her life wasn't her own to direct any longer. She belonged to her father, to her fiancé, to nearly everyone else besides herself. Her destiny had long been decided, and nothing but disaster could come from defying it.

The wolf watched a few moments longer, pacing nervously as Jacob tore himself away from Isabelle's arms and ran for the forest, changing in midstep, and leaping through the trees away from the source of his heartache. The sound that tore through the forest behind him was the most mournful thing, that the wolf had ever heard, the sound of a heart breaking, of hopes being dashed against the rocks. The howl was met with the sound of another and another, echoes hanging in the air like ghosts. He raised his own voice to join them in the song of loss before running towards the source of the cry, leaving the girl sobbing in his wake.

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A/N: Because I know you're going to ask. This is not the same wolf that the other wolf POV chaps are from. Let me know what you thought.