(A/N) I was trying to get more into Derek's head, so I decided I'd write this. Set during The Summoning, after Derek accidentally hurts Chloe, as stated in the summary.
She was trying to be strong, and it wasn't fooling me. I wasn't stupid. I knew I intimidated everyone, and no matter how amazing Simon swore she was, I knew Chloe wasn't immune to biology. It was programmed into her to be afraid of me, and the way I looked didn't help at all.
"You were trying to scare me. Do it again and I'll tell the nurses."
Her chin was lifted in defiance, but it was trembling slightly. Hell, it was trembling so slightly she probably didn't even notice. She was freaked out by me, but she was still trying to play the big girl, the one who could take care of herself.
That wasn't how the wolf in me saw it. The wolf in me saw it as being threatened. And when the wolf was threatened, the wolf had a temper, when under other circumstances, the wolf wasn't that bad.
In most cases, the wolf was helpful, even. Killer animal instincts and senses did come in handy, and I was pretty sure that was where me being so smart came from. In the very rare case, however, the wolf was an awful part of me that shouldn't have existed because the wolf would hurt people.
That was my logic, but it came too late. Just one little lapse of self-control, of listening to the wolf, and that was all it took.
Suddenly, I wasn't me anymore. I wasn't the person who was trying to overcome the wolf, I was the wolf. It was an out of body experience, like watching something in a movie. You see what's happening, and you know what the hero – or in the case, the villain – is thinking, but you can't do anything to change the course of events that were already scripted out.
I lost control, and I knew I wouldn't be getting it back.
She thought she could walk in and mess with the wolf. She thought she could separate the wolf from Simon, the remaining member in its pack. She thought she was better than the wolf. She thought she could challenge the wolf.
But she couldn't.
The wolf snarled at her. I didn't know what I was doing, but I couldn't help it. The wolf was insisting that she had to learn. You don't challenge the Alpha and get away with it.
You just don't.
My body was moving of its own accord, lumbering toward her. She stiffened, but didn't move. Stupid, trusting girl.
Dimly, I wondered if maybe she hadn't meant it. But the wolf wasn't listening to humanistic reasoning. The wolf was threatened, and the wolf would defend, even if I didn't want to hurt her.
The wolf jutted a hand out and latched onto her arm. The wolf growled before viciously flinging the girl. She let out a little scream, and the wolf glowed in satisfaction. She wouldn't be threatening the wolf anymore, not for a long time.
Then I was overcome with horror as the wolf retreated inside, gloating. She wasn't moving, and for a moment, I wondered in a daze if she wasn't going to move. If she was dead. Somehow, I overlooked the fact that she was blinking, but when I did notice, I was relieved momentarily before I realized just what I'd done.
I'd screwed up. I'd screwed up big time.
That was all I could think as I watched her stumble away. Her normally big eyes were widened even more, staring at me in terror. The shock and pain in those baby blues were hard to look at, and I couldn't believe what I did.
"Chloe, I'm sorry, I swear I didn't mean it. God, Chloe, I'm so sorry…" I was going on and on out of panic, something extremely unlike me as I reached out to help her up.
But she was gone. She was probably pumped full of adrenaline and moved so fast, I wondered if even I could have caught her. The stairs clattered and shook as she sprinted up, trying desperately just to escape me. I could hear her run all the way to her room.
I'd never forget the look on her face. Time was frozen on that one moment, the moment where Chloe became just like everyone else.
Everyone was terrified of me. No one could look at me and ignore the fear that roiled on the inside of them, threatening to make them puke up their guts. That was fine, it was normal. Add that to the acne, my stature, and people took one look at me and they were scared. That was fine too, puberty didn't last forever. I'd watch them go through the different signs of being overcome with horror. And that was fine because I was used to it.
Chloe wasn't like that. She saw me and I startled her. I frightened her, but for the first time, it was only the instinctual fear brought on being near a werewolf. It was something hardwired in everyone except my own kind and vampires. Even before I attacked her, she was trying not to be scared, something I wished out of all people, that they'd fight their instincts.
I felt terrible. Like shit. Not because she was so disgusted, but because I gave her, the only person who might have given me a chance to prove I wasn't the person everyone though, reason to be.
I retreated quickly, back up to mine and Simon's room. I banged on the door, and when he didn't open up, I just yanked on the doorknob to let myself in. The lock was already broken, so it didn't matter.
Simon was sketching. He looked so at ease. He always did when he was working on his art. "Hey, what was tha…" He trailed off, frowning. He rephrased whatever he was going to say. "What's wrong?"
"It's Chloe, I was… We were talking, and I just… the wolf and, I screwed up. I screwed up big time." When I couldn't find a way to explain, I settled for my thoughts earlier, right after I was aware of what the wolf had done, what I let it do.
"What happened?" He was angry, but he was confused. He didn't know whose side he was on. Mine, or the cute new girl that he liked.
Eventually, his concern for me won out as he repeated, "What happened?"
What happened? I'd made a perfectly nice girl scared of me. Maybe I was a little bit resentful of her before, seeing her as a spacey person that didn't have any idea what life was like. Still, she was a sweet girl, one who was good for Simon, and I messed up.
I hurt her. Both physically, and emotionally. I could see it in her eyes, that no one had ever laid a hand on her, that I was the first one. Even if it was the wolf, it was my fault.
I should've been thinking harder.
I should've been more careful.
I should've been in control.
But I wasn't. Just for a second, and I hurt Chloe.
We needed her. Simon had to get out, and everything I said to make him leave just wasn't working. If he suddenly knew that the girl he liked was in danger, wouldn't that spur him into action? Couldn't I use her as the catalyst?
Yeah, I could, and I would. She'd be the best encouragement to make sure Simon was safe, and that's all she would be. Chloe wouldn't be my friend because then there'd be less chance of me hurting her again.
Somehow, even though Chloe managed to scramble away, this was worse than the other kid. The other kid really was a threat, a threat to Simon who meant something to me. But Chloe? She couldn't hurt Simon.
She couldn't hurt anyone. She didn't have it in her. She was around a volatile werewolf, and she was the one who paid the price for my weakness. It wasn't right.
There was truth in her eyes, and she told me the one thing that I didn't want to hear but had to accept if I wanted to really keep those I cared about safe.
I was a monster. That person would never hurt Chloe again, would never hurt anyone again. I would stay at Lyle House, where I belonged. All because I screwed up.
"I really, really screwed up."
(A/N) Short, I know, but it got the job done. Feedback is greatly appreciated :)