Rhyley was pleased to receive a text from Sandra on Monday morning asking him if he wanted to spend the P.S. in period 6 with her. He guessed she might be spending the one in period 3 with Roger and didn’t mind - he wasn’t going to be possessive of her time.
‘Well, I don’t want to, but I suppose I should, shouldn’t I?’ he texted back teasingly.
‘Cheek. If you don’t want to, I can spend it with Roger. :P’
‘:O Roger? But you’re my soulmate.’
‘Yes or no, Rhy?’
‘Don’t call me Rhy again - I don’t like it. :P Yes, I do want to. See you then, if not before x’
‘Love you x’
Rhyley put his phone away and smiled to himself. A few minutes later, Jonah and Willis arrived outside the room where their tutor group was registered.
“Had a good half term?” Willis asked after they had greeted each other.
“Yup, brilliant,” Rhyley replied.
“Spend some of it with Sandra, did you?”
Jonah frowned slightly.
“But ... you went off with Amelie. On the first Sunday. Didn’t you?”
“Yeah, I shouldn’t have. But Sandra forgave me. I won’t treat her badly again.”
Jonah nodded, his expression relaxing.
Willis looked surprised.
“Has Rhyley gone soft?” he asked. “You don’t care about treating your soulmate wrong, do you? She’s mistreating you by not wanting it.”
Rhyley was bewildered that Willis had remembered Sandra’s chastity. It made his reaction to Rhyley taking off with Amelie on the first Sunday seem less innocent.
“No, that’s her view,” Rhyley told him, defending Sandra. “I’m not going to force her to do anything she doesn’t want to do.”
Willis crossed his arms.
“And you’re just okay with that, are you? That you’re going to have to wait until you’re married. How long can a guy wait?”
“If a girl can wait, a guy can,” Rhyley said crossly, though deep down he was unsure if he truly believed that he could wait as long as Sandra wanted him to.
“Oh yeah,” Willis said sarcastically. “Says the guy who’s had half a dozen girlfriends or more in the space of two years.”
“Guys, stop it,” Jonah said, startled. “Let’s talk about something else. How’s Christa, Willis?”
Willis turned away from Rhyley and Rhyley felt grateful to Jonah. He was shocked that Willis was reacting this way. He knew that he and Willis had differences of opinion, but for Willis to suggest he hadn’t thought Rhyley cared about mistreating his soulmate? It was insulting. Rhyley decided he would have to keep away from Willis this evening - changing into a werewolf heightened negative feelings and he didn’t want a fight with one of his friends.
“She’s good,” he told Jonah. “In all senses of the word.” He glanced at Rhyley, but Rhyley ignored him. It was a strange reversal of the situation that had existed when Rhyley and Roger’s friendship had started to break down. Roger had thought too much of him whereas here and now Willis had shown himself to think too little of him.
He barely noticed the bell ring. His actions seemed to be automatic as he stood up, slung his bag over his shoulder and walked out of the classroom, heading for Chemistry.
Jonah caught up with him.
“Hey, you all right?” he asked. “Willis was out of line there.”
“I’m okay,” Rhyley said stiffly.
Jonah looked sympathetic.
“Ignore him. You’re doing the right thing. You know, I think you’re so lucky to have a soulmate. All this time I’ve been wanting a girlfriend, but you... You get the real deal - the big one.” He smiled to himself. “I hope my Wolf Dream’s coming soon.”
“Maybe it’ll come tonight,” Rhyley suggested, his tone expressionless.
“Yeah, maybe...” Jonah seemed wistful. “Well, I’ve got Maths now. See you later.”
“See you, Jonah.”
Jonah walked off and Rhyley soon found himself at his bench in the Chemistry lab.
“Morning, class,” said Mr Rapler cheerfully. “I hope you’ve all had a restful half term and are ready to throw yourselves back into the wonderful subject that is Chemistry...”