At the start of period 6 Sandra met Rhyley in the common room.
“Hey,” she greeted him cheerfully.
Rhyley took her hands, gently pulled her towards him and kissed her, startling her.
“Hi. You all right?”
“Yeah, good thanks,” Sandra replied, a little embarrassed to have been kissed in an area where the common room’s occupants could clearly see. “You?”
“Mm-hm.” He started leading her to the room with the TV in it. “Looking forward to tonight?”
“I am,” she answered truthfully, “though I thought it would be just you and me.”
Rhyley sat down on a sofa and tugged her down onto his lap, his arms wrapping around her waist. He managed to kiss the nape of her neck before she turned sideways to watch him as he talked.
“I’d love for it to be just you and me, darling,” he murmured, his eyes slightly intense, causing Sandra to shiver inside. “But you wouldn’t get much of a Wolfsong, then.”
Sandra sighed slightly, still faintly disappointed.
“Oh well. I’m sure it will still be enjoyable.”
“Sandra, you’ll love it,” Rhyley assured her. He smiled slightly as he went on to say “If you want to run off afterwards and find a lonely part of the forest, I’m happy to do that too.”
Sandra was about to grin but hesitated as the more sensible part of her was struck by a less attractive thought.
“Yeah, but what would the others think of that? They’d think I was a ... bad girl.” She blushed at her use of this term, half because she was embarrassed to think of herself like that and half because it sounded immature and silly to her ears.
“You kind of are for wanting to. But that doesn’t matter. My reputation will have already thrown doubt over yours.”
“Oh great,” said Sandra sarcastically. “That makes me feel so much better.”
“What did you want me to say? That it’s socially acceptable to run off in the woods together with the sole intention of kissing?”
“It might not have been just kissing.”
“The principal intention of kissing, then,” Rhyley amended. “People think less in terms of romance and prettiness than of sex, though.”
Sandra’s blush deepened.
“I’m really bad for liking the idea, aren’t I?”
“Either that or you’re radically free-thinking and you know there’s nothing really to be ashamed of.”
Sandra bit her lip, feeling half feeling guilty for not being ‘radically free-thinking’, and half still worried by the thought of losing her reputation.
Rhyley kissed her under the part of jaw beneath her right ear and she leaned into him, half conscious of wanting to and half moved into that position by her subconscious which knew that being more within Rhyley’s personal space made her happier and also increased the likelihood of another kiss.
“I’ll love you either way,” he whispered.
“Oh, Rhyley,” Sandra complained, burying her face in his neck. “You’re not supposed to do this to me at school.”
“Would you clarify on ‘this’?” he asked softly, his arms tightening slightly.
“Well,” she said quietly, really hoping that no one was eavesdropping on their conversation although they were the only people sitting on this particular sofa, “it’s half being so beautiful that I feel like crying and telling you you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me... and it’s half making me want to start a wild make-out session with you - right here, right now.”
Rhyley chuckled and Sandra felt his body’s slight tremors as they travelled through her in the spots where their bodies were touching.
“The latter sounds interesting,” he teased, “but I wouldn’t mind the former - though without the crying, otherwise someone might think I’ve upset you.”
“Okay,” Sandra said shyly. “You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
Rhyley kissed her on the mouth and Sandra had to push him away almost instantly to stop herself from falling into a place where the fact that they were in school didn’t matter one bit.
Rhyley looked surprised.
“I’m not allowed to kiss you at all?”
Sandra looked at her jeans and shook her head, blushing. She felt hyper-sensitised and she couldn’t articulate that to Rhyley; that would be too embarrassing - even after considering finding a lonely area of a forest to be with him after tonight’s Wolfsong.
“Why not?” he asked curiously.
Sandra rested her head on his shoulder and murmured “It’s just a bit too much.”
“Oh,” he said, an amused smile playing on his face. He leant back against the sofa. “All right.” He proceeded to watch TV.
Sandra adjusted her position on him and watched it too, feeling more like they were at a house than in the common room. In the adverts she played absently with his hands, lifting them up and tracing lines across his palms.
“You didn’t say you love me back,” Rhyley remarked absently after a little while.
“Oh, wasn’t it implied when I said you were the best thing that’s happened to me?” Sandra wondered.
“Oh, I suppose so.”
Sandra smiled slightly and looked down at her arms, which were now folded.
“I love you,” she said.
Rhyley’s lips brushed the side of her neck.