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While You Were Gone

By indigofrog

Fantasy / Romance

Coming Back, Voices and Bright Blue Hair

The school was exactly the same as he remembered it. He had even been assigned the same locker. Rhydian still couldn't believe he had been gone for a year; it seemed like a number of days since he had first walked down this corridor and into his classroom. Only hours since he had met his classmates - the Ks, Jimi and his cronies, not forgetting Tom and Shannon - and become 'Leek boy.' And it was but seconds since he had leaned he was not the only wolfblood, become part of his first pack, and laid eyes on Maddy. His Maddy.

Their reunion was envisioned as the best moment of both their lives so far. Rhydian would walk into class. Everyone would stop and stare. After a few seconds, Maddy would rush out of her chair and throw herself into his waiting arms. He had imagined that moment over and over, again and again.

Reaching the door of his classroom, Rhydian hesitated. This was his final moment of sadness, of being alone, being without her. He still hated himself for leaving. It had been a spur of the moment decision, the wrong spur of the moment decision. As soon as Rhydian had left, he wanted more than anything to come back. He missed his friends, his life, and his old pack...Maddy. Eventually, Ceri and Bryn had agreed to leave with the pack, to head south towards the New forest. Despite abhorring Geography, he knew that was too far. Checking everyone was asleep, he slipped away in the night, leaving only a note to explain that he couldn't live like it any more and why he had left. Rhydian had left out the small detail of where he was going to avoid the pack following and bringing danger to Maddy and the others.

Here goes, Rhydian thought to himself as he eased open the door.

The sight that met his eyes was almost precisely the same as it had been when he left. The three Ks occupied the desks directly down the middle of the classroom. Kay was filing her nails, Kara was chattering away about God knows what and Katrina was sitting with a bewildered look on her face.

Shannon's head was buried into a book, whilst Tom was busy talking, most likely about football, to his oblivious friend.

Looking to the back of the room, Rhydian expected to find Jimi, Liam and Sam messing about, telling jokes or discussing the football game from last night. To his surprise he was wrong.

With on elbow on the desk, Jimi and his friends were listening eagerly to a girl who was sitting on the edge of the table, her long hair cascading down her back in electric blue with the occasional brown streaks.

They all laughed at a joke she must have told, and as the girl tipped her head back, her fingers slipped her brightly coloured mane behind her ear. It was as though she was listening.

"No," Rhydian whispered to himself. "It can't be."

Maddy flicked her vivid blue hair behind her, allowing it to freely flow down to her waist. It had been dyed at midnight about six months ago, the first step towards the new Maddy. Being a wolfblood was part of who she was and she simply had to accept it, embrace it.

Her parents didn't like it. They thought her reckless actions would one-day amount to her revealing herself. They told her that her inner wolf would break free. It won't, she assured herself, constantly. If it hasn't already it wont. Her family didnt even know the full extent of what she was doing. They believed that she had only changed her image, her attitude, and her routine. They had no idea.

Maddy barely slept. She couldn't, for she would only of dream of him. So she would run. Anywhere, any time. Before school, during school - at lunch or if she was stressed out enough, she would bunk off and run - after school, even at night when sleep eluded her. It was her only mechanism of escaping her thoughts.

That wasn't all. Anything that would give her a rush. She had tried archery, cycling, climbing, abseiling, and paintballing. During the summer, when the Smiths would travel to Devon on their annual visit their wolfblood friends, Maddy had plans to try surfing, sailing and cliff diving. Running was still better.

None of this however, not even running, compared to the thrill of eolas. The way the blood pumped through her body as she spied on anyone and everyone. Feeling the world spinning around at one thousand miles an hour, falling through space, clinging to this tiny, insignificant little world. Knowing she could do anything, go anywhere. It was the biggest adventure of them all. With all the practice she had put in, Maddy could control it now; at least she thought she could.

"So, are you guys going to Katrina's party on Saturday?" Jimi asked nobody in particular. Sam and Liam nodded eagerly, replying with a "yes," and a "sure thing."

"What about you, Mads?" Jimi repeated, "Are you going?"

"Hell yeah! It won't be a party without me, will it?"

As everyone laughed at the joke, Maddy heard the almost inaudible sound of someone entering the classroom behind her. That can't be right. Maddy had been the last person to come in and everyone else in her form had already arrived. She would have heard someone leave. If it was Mr. Jefferies he would have shouted at her for something by now, whether it was telling her off for sitting on the table or because he had discovered it was her who had dropped those stink bombs in assembly.

Moving her hair out the way, she listened.

"No," whispered the voice. "It can't be."

The voice. Maddy knew it. It was once the most important voice to her in the whole world. A voice that brought happiness, excitement, adventure... It was a voice Maddy hoped never to hear again.

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