There was a diminuendo and a rallentando as the Wolfsong concluded, as well as a gradual shortening of the wolves’ howls. They finished on a united chord that was slightly discordant and then there was silence. Sandra watched as most of the wolves melted away into the forest, no longer seeming linked and of one purpose - now free to pursue their own enjoyment. Rhyley came up to her and licked her cheek, tickling her. She ruffled his fur and kissed him above his nose.
“Thank you. Thank you so much,” she said to him.
He licked her cheek again.
Roger approached and Sandra looked up at him wondering if he was able to communicate with her in wolf form on the night of a full moon, as one of his powers as an Alpha’s son. But he merely nodded to her before walking past her, giving off the air of someone taking a casual stroll. Rhyley gestured with his head for her to follow him and, rising to her feet, Sandra did so. He trotted through the trees so that Sandra almost had to jog to keep up, leading her to the red flag near where the werewolves’ cars were parked, around which were lying piles of boys’ clothes. She closed her eyes, instantly guessing what was going to happen, and after about two minutes was startled into a squeal by Rhyley hugging her, whispering “Thank you for coming.”
Sandra opened her eyes and was startled to find Rhyley topless.
“Rhyley, you’ve not got your shirt on,” she pointed out, highly embarrassed.
Rhyley stepped back and grinned roguishly. Sandra kept her eyes on his face.
“Sandra, we’re soulmates. We’re going to see each other naked one day.”
Rhyley crossed his arms, his expression teasingly disappointed.
“What’s happened to my radically free-thinking girlfriend?”
“I didn’t say I was radically free-thinking,” Sandra replied.
“But you still want to kiss in the forest, right?”
“I don’t know,” she said hesitantly. She suddenly thought of the time she had been told to get back home by. “What’s the time?”
Rhyley dug around in his trouser pockets and pulled out his phone. He tapped a key and the screen appeared.
“It’s only half past six,” he told her.
“You’re joking,” she said, bewildered and a little disoriented. It felt so much later because of the darkness.
“Nope.” He showed her his phone and there in the corner was the time: 18.32.
“Is it slow?” she wondered.
“No, it’s not,” Rhyley said, amused, putting his phone back in his pocket.
“Well, my mum said I didn’t have to be back until eight o’clock,” Sandra told him. “So I ... suppose we could kiss.” She glanced at his state of undress very briefly before looking back into his face. “But put your top back on first. Aren’t you cold?”
Rhyley shook his head.
“I half feel like I’ve still got a wolf pelt.”
“Still, shirt back on.”
Rhyley did a salute.
Sandra chuckled as he marched over to his shirt. He came back with it on and she found herself hugging him tightly.
“I’m glad you came,” Rhyley told her. “It’s something any werewolf’s soulmate should get to experience.”
They stopped hugging and Rhyley took Sandra’s hand.
“Listen, I know you’re not keen on us being too passionate here. But we could go for a walk?”
“I’d like that,” Sandra said, pleasantly surprised that Rhyley was suggesting something like this.
They began walking.
“But we... can kiss a few times, right?”
Sandra rolled her eyes, though she was grinning as well.
“How did I know you were going to say something like that?”
Rhyley shrugged innocently.
“You’re predictable - that’s how,” she teased.
Rhyley pretended to looked shocked.
“Predictable? Me? Never.”
Sandra only smiled.