Chapter 2Mature

Rhyley (4): Explanation Time

Brilliant. His soulmate was friends - and good friends, it seemed - with one of the people who hated him most. Roger bloody Steelfang.

At the very least she hadn’t agreed with Roger on the subject of his ‘indecency’. But she hadn’t agreed with him either. And they were meant to be fated for each other! Though, it suddenly occurred to him that Roger could change things. If Rhyley wasn’t careful, things could go very wrong. But right now, he really needed to do this Economics homework. So he pushed his troubling thoughts away and concentrated on getting the work done. He wasn’t in the mood for getting a detention today.

***

The rest of the day passed at a speed that wasn’t too fast and wasn’t too slow. Period 6 came around naturally, and two or three minutes after he had left Chemistry Rhyley found himself lingering outside the Conal building, wondering if he was still supposed to be waiting for Sandra or if Roger knew where the quiet room in the music block was and was taking Sandra there himself. Luckily, Sandra and Roger came out shortly and joined him.

“Hi,” Sandra said.

Roger said nothing.

“Hi,” Rhyley said to Sandra, and he ignored Roger too. He led them to the music block where Jonah was waiting outside the practising room for him.

Jonah did a double take when he saw Roger. It must have been bewildering for Sandra to see people who she probably hadn’t met before know her best friend.

“Roger! What are you doing here?”

“Jonah, this is Sandra,” Rhyley said, gesturing to Sandra. Jonah nodded, looking at Sandra for a moment before looking at Rhyley again. “And Roger wants to be there when I tell Sandra what a Wolf Dream is.”

Jonah looked torn between showing sympathy for Rhyley and not offending Roger.

“Let’s all go inside,” Rhyley said, saving him from having to say anything.

“Good plan,” Jonah said. He opened the door and held it for Rhyley, Roger and Sandra. Rhyley led Roger and Sandra to the quiet room while Jonah closed the door between the practising room and the corridor and put his schoolbag down, taking out his drumsticks. The door between the quiet room and the practising room closed by itself, and a few minutes later Jonah’s muffled practice could be heard.

In the quiet room there was a round table, around which there were four chairs. Roger sat next to Sandra and Rhyley sat across from the latter.

“Did you say ... Wolf Dream?” Sandra asked, looking as if she thought that that was very odd.

“Well, there was a wolf in your dream, I’m presuming?” Rhyley said.

“How do you suddenly know my dreams? I swear today was the first time I’ve spoken to you.”

“It is,” Rhyley said. “And I don’t know all your dreams - just this one. Look, I should tell you that the explanation for this is very strange and quite hard to believe. So ... you’re going to have to have an open mind.”

Sandra sighed.

“Well, it’s been strange enough so far.”

Roger put a hand on one of Sandra’s on the table.

“It’s okay. I’m here, Sandra. You can trust me to tell you when he’s lying to you and we can deal with the odd stuff together.”

“Do you love her?” Rhyley asked, quite irritated. “Because if you do, there’s no point in me saying anything, is there? Because you can have her if you really want her, can’t you?”

Roger looked at Rhyley with a threat in his eyes.

“I just care that she doesn’t get hurt, Rhyley.”

“Guys, please, you’re confusing me,” Sandra complained.

“Sorry,” Roger said, looking at her, his expression so sincere that Rhyley thought he was going to throw up at the soppiness of it. Roger looked back at him. “Go on then. I won’t interrupt unless you don’t tell it straight.”

“Well, the first thing you should know,” Rhyley started, “is that Roger and I are werewolves.”

Sandra stared at him for a moment before saying, “You’re crazy! What are you playing at?” She looked at Roger. “Why would he say something like that?”

Roger’s expression was patient.

“I know it sounds ridiculous, Sandra, but he’s telling the truth. Remember there was a wolf in your dream? That was Rhyley.”

Sandra looked like she was finding this very difficult.

“That’s impossible. Stop messing around, Roger. I just want to know why I heard his name in a dream.”

“And I’m telling you,” Rhyley said, trying to keep his cool. “Roger’s right. I was the wolf in your dream.”

Sandra crossed her arms, looking offended.

“I’m not stupid. Werewolves don’t exist.” She looked at Roger like he was a traitor. “You’re my best friend, Roger. Why are you acting like this?”

Rhyley put his face in his hands.

“You wanna show her, Alpha’s son?” he asked Roger.

“I’m not shifting in school,” Roger said flatly. To Sandra he said, “Sandra, I wouldn’t make something like this up. I wouldn’t ever insult your intelligence. I know that it’s almost impossible to believe, but you have to believe us. Werewolves are real, and Rhyley and I are werewolves.”

Rhyley uncovered his face to see Sandra’s reaction.

Sandra looked tortured.

“I... Roger, I don’t want to believe that you’d hurt me - ever. But do you know how insane this is?”

“Yes,” Roger told her. “Yes, I do.”

“And d’you know that if I were to believe you I’d have to give up half my sanity?”

“No, you don’t have to do that, Sandra. This weekend I’ll show you. And then you don’t have to be worried about being mad.”

Sandra replied, “Well, that’s what you think.”

Roger smiled slightly.

“Well, we’ll both be mad together then, won’t we?”

Sandra smiled a little.

If you can prove you’re a werewolf.”

“If I can prove I’m a werewolf.”

Sandra looked at Rhyley. “So you’re werewolves. But I still don’t understand why I had this dream.”

“This part’s really difficult to believe,” Rhyley told her. “Werewolves... have predestined soulmates. People who they might never ever have talked to before but who they are meant to share the rest of their lives with. The Wolf Dream is the dream that tells the werewolf the name of their soulmate.”

Sandra seemed to go tense.

“But... But does that mean that you’re saying....?” She trailed off, looking suddenly like she didn’t want her question to be finished at all.

“Yes,” Rhyley said, looking at the table. “It does.”

~

The End

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