Prologue: The Strange DreamMature

Sandra Longmorrow is 17 and chaste. Rhyley Quentin is on his ninth girlfriend... at the age of 18, and unlike Sandra, is not chaste. Could a couple formed of two such different people ever work? What if their relationship ... was Fate's desire?

The girl dreamed that she was walking through a dark and unfamiliar forest. The pearlescent full moon was shining high above against a velvety black canopy scattered with stars and creating a stark contrast with her loose and tangled coal-coloured hair whilst blanching her already fair skin.

 The girl knew neither where she was walking to nor why she was going there. She only knew that she was walking... and drawing closer...

She stopped into a clearing. There was a great rush of silence as her feet came to an autonomously decided halt; it was ironically forceful, like a great crescendo of noise or a tide crashing against a shore.

She thought herself alone when a single sharp sound cut through the silence - the long, unmistakable howl of a wolf. But instead of terror and the desperate need to run away, she was filled with a sudden, unnatural serenity and felt an inexplicable oneness with the world. It felt like she was aware of everything going on around her, despite the stillness and the re-gathering of the silence. There was ground beneath her feet, and there were roots and worms and rabbits and moles in the ground. Far, far below the ground were the mantle and the chaos of the magma and then the solid, cool rock of the core. And just as her thoughts turned to the Earth’s core, a pair of glowing amber eyes appeared across the clearing. Animal eyes - the amber filled what were the iris and the white in the case of humans - and at the level of a wolf’s head. And she wasn’t startled and she wasn’t afraid: she was caught in tranquil synchronicity with the planet. Even when the wolf moved forwards so she could see the steel grey fur of its head and the tip of its muzzle, she felt calm and safe. Somehow she knew that this wolf wouldn’t hurt her.

A name whispered itself in her mind - a stranger’s name. Rhyley. She even saw the way that it was spelt. And the way that it had come was like ... an introduction.

“Sandra,” she heard herself whisper, though it wasn’t she who had decided to speak.

The wolf bowed its head - in a way that was... reverent? - and the eyes disappeared as it turned away. And that was when the dream ended.

~

The End

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