Roger picked up his clothes from where they lay folded on the ground near the red flag, carrying them in his jaws to a quiet spot of the forest where he could enjoy the night. When he found a place that satisfied him he dropped his clothes and got into a sphinx-like position, his stomach on the ground. He closed his eyes, letting his ears absorb the noises of the wood as it let out the breath it had been holding for the Wolfsong. Nocturnal animals resumed their usual activities and soon there was a sort of aliveness about the air as scents drifted past him and a cool breeze ruffled his fur. In other areas of the forest he sensed his peers hunting their dinner or simply taking pleasure in the experience the forest provided those with heightened senses. He wasn’t capable of knowing exactly what each of them was doing but he knew that Kayla and Ben were strolling together, Christa and Willis were sitting in one place, Amelie and Natalie were stalking prey in different directions, and Jonah was ambling about on his own. Rhyley had phased back into his human form and had walked out of range with Sandra. Roger was slightly worried that he wouldn’t be able to help Sandra if she needed him but then reminded himself of the day out bowling where Rhyley’s behaviour had been exemplary.
At one point in the evening Roger rolled onto his back and gazed up at the stars. He thought about his non-existent love life and wondered when it would start - though with curiosity, not impatience. Until it had seemed that Sandra might need saving from being Rhyley’s soulmate, he hadn’t ever talked to a girl with the view of entering a relationship with her - or even thought about kissing one. Of course he had had vague fantasies - he was pretty sure everyone had some sort of fantasy at some point in their life - but none of them had ever contained a girl he knew in real life. He thought, rather guiltily, about how he had kissed Sandra, and about how she had revealed two days afterwards that she hadn’t actually disliked it. He wondered, with a vague sense that he was half being silly and half breaking some rule of modesty or convention, whether he was what a girl would term a good kisser. Sandra’s opinion was her own - he wouldn’t ever suggest she had bad taste - but was what one girl liked the same as what another did? Could he even be sure that there was another girl who would also enjoy being kissed by him?
Did he have a soulmate? Not every wolf did and he wondered what would happen without the simplicity of knowing he was destined to be someone’s lover for the rest of their life. How did you even know you fancied someone? Could he have unknowingly fancied a girl in the past and missed out on an opportunity to experience having a girlfriend...?
Roger sensed his thoughts were becoming silly and focused his gaze on the moon. It was bright and beautiful and slowly Roger felt himself calming down. Love would happen when it happened. There was no necessity for him to worry. One’s life elapsed at its own pace and it wasn’t to be sped up or slowed down. Dawn would come tomorrow, with the sun and another day of school, and Roger might find himself a girl’s boyfriend in the near future or he might have to wait a good deal longer. The important thing was to make the most of every moment.
Roger’s eyes shut and his mind cleared as he rolled onto his side for greater comfort. He murmured a goodnight to the moon in wolf-tongue and fell into a deep sleep.
He was padding through the forest in search of something. He paid little attention to his surroundings - the sights, the scents, the sounds of the flora and fauna around him that he passed on his way - entirely focused on this single goal... which his conscious mind was ignorant of. However, it seemed that all that mattered was that his subconscious knew what was happening as his legs carried him to his fate.
He stopped at the fringe of the clearing where he and his brothers and sisters had held their Wolfsong. A pair of ice-blue eyes glowed from the other side, the rest of the form hidden in the obscurity of the trees. Roger knew with a sudden clarity what was happening. Added to this knowledge was the recognition of the shade of the eyes and the height above the ground at which they floated in the dark air. He was surprised to know the wolf and felt slightly shy as he thought ‘Well, I guess you know. Roger.’
For a moment the other wolf didn’t respond. Roger could sense her amazement in the magic that the dream contained within itself.
‘Is this real?’ she wondered. ‘Can you dream a false Wolf Dream?’
‘I ... I don’t think so,’ Roger thought, and suddenly he was worried that the wolf didn’t want him: that his soulmate didn’t want him. ‘Please,’ he thought suddenly. ‘Think your name.’ He had the horrible feeling that if he woke up without her saying her name, even though he knew it, their relationship as lovers would never work.
‘Sorry,’ the female wolf thought hurriedly, clearly startled to have upset Roger. ‘You know it too.’ There was a pause that held Roger tense, his heart racing, him barely willing to breathe in case the whole world would change when he exhaled. ‘Kayla.’
Roger relaxed, letting out that suspended breath. Everything was going to be all right.
‘Thanks,’ he thought, but he was starting to wake up and the dream dissolved around him. He blinked and found that he was still in the spot where he had fallen asleep. It was vaguely disorienting to be here after dreaming he had been at the clearing. But the main thing on his mind was the revelation of the dream. How could he have known her for so long and yet not had the Wolf Dream about her until tonight? He couldn’t quite believe that his soulmate ... was Kayla Chalcedony.