Chapter 26 - Maddy and Rhydian - Part 2 of 2
I could guess Rhydian's thoughts easily enough even before he spoke.
"Do you think they have an update on Dr. Whitewood?"
I sat up with a shrug, gnawing at my bottom lip. "I should hope so. Liam's thoroughly sorted, we know that much."
We did know that much. After Liam dropped his bombshell on me at school yesterday, I had faked being sick and gone straight home to tell my parents, plus texted everyone in the pack. This had sent my parents into a spectacular wolfing-out session, followed by Dad completely combing over every inch of the house to make sure all was secure.
What he'd found had chilled our blood too. There was a faint scent of Liam in the den, and we discovered a hidden entrance that led to an underground tunnel, probably originally designed as a secret escape route for our wolfblood ancestors. Clearly Liam had somehow stumbled upon wherever the tunnel emptied out…his curiosity leading him straight to us. So, just as I'd thought, Liam had seen more than he'd let on….
Dad had covered up the entrance with fresh cement, left it to dry, and then we'd sat down to formulate a plan. It was my brilliant idea to bring them both to school earlier today for the show-and-tell presentation. I brought my parents in wolf form and told all my schoolmates about my two pet 'timber wolves'. Liam's mouth just about hit the floorboards and I could see that for him it all clicked into place. Having explained away the look of our wolfy den to Liam's suspicious nature, plus with Dr. Whitewood telling him my DNA was perfectly normal—it finally laid the threat of Liam to rest.
Of course that still left Dr. Whitewood. Just after school today my parents had insisted they would take care of it.
"Go along, cub. Enjoy the eclipse with your friends. Let us worry about Dr. Whitewood." No matter how crazy a crisis got, we could handle it together as a family, as a pack. So even though I was nervous as my parents hastened up the hill towards us, I was also a little hopeful. Maybe they had good news to share and just didn't want to wait?
As they neared I saw that they were putting away sunglasses, which could only mean one thing. They went into town? It wasn't like them, taking that kind of risk. With our eyes weirding out all eerie and yellow-tinted during the moon's total eclipse, it just wasn't like them at all. Rhydian and I sniffed again and we realized my parents weren't the only new visitors crashing our party. Tom and Shan were struggling up the hill right behind them.
"Maddy! Rhydian!" Mum stopped beside us, panting as if she'd run the entire way here. Even Dad looked winded, more than winded. I knew he wasn't in shape, but now he looked like a toddler's push might leave him unconscious. "Where's Jana?" Mum demanded.
"She went to fetch some rubbing alcohol, Maddy got a slight cut, nothing serious," Rhydian rushed out. "What's going on?"
Mum and Dad looked at each other, then at me. Shan and Tom were trembling and that's when I knew something was seriously wrong. They both catapulted into me, squishing me in a three-way hug as I hugged them back, still not comprehending.
"Whitewood knows everything. We went to see her today at her home outside Newcastle." Dad's face was lined as if he'd aged an extra year just this afternoon.
"We were able to break into her lab and sneak off with the strand of your hair she had for analysis. She doesn't have any of our DNA for the time being. Shannon and Tom are going to scrub the house to make sure it stays that way. But she knows what we are, Maddy, and she's determined to start a set of 'trials' to explore our 'genetic anomalies'." Dad's face searched mine as he prepared to land the blow that would rip my world apart. "There's an international Wolfblood group called 'Segolia'. They're willing to help get us resettled. We have to go, Maddy. We can't stay here in Stoneybridge."
"Go? As in tonight?"
"Yes Maddy," my parents replied in unison.
Mum broke in as tears made my vision swim in a disorienting blur. "I know this is hard, Maddy. This is the hardest thing we'll ever have to do…but it has to be done," she finished, her tone firm with conviction. She took both of my hands in hers as I shook my head, tears spilling out. No…this wasn't happening. This couldn't be happening! I was spending the most magical night any wolfblood could, with my boyfriend, about to tell him how much I loved him. My heart shuddered. My soul felt like someone had cleaved it in half and left it a dried-out husk. I was now careening back and forth from just feeling numb to reeling from an overwhelming sadness.
"Rhydian should come with us." I turned to him, and my eyes must have been shining with all the desperation from my heart.
Rhydian—I'd never seen him so tortured and helpless. His eyes darted to my parents and then back to me.
"You know if I do that…think it through, Mads. I can't…. If I go, this all becomes more than just your family suddenly pulling up stakes and disappearing. What will the Vaughns think? They'll report me missing. The police will assume your parents took me too, and then I'll be putting you in danger, Mads. You and your whole family." He shook his head miserably, a tear leaking onto his cheek. "I won't do that. I care about you too much."
If you care about me then come with me you daft idiot! my heart screamed. My wolf thrashed and snarled, wanting nothing more than to howl at the moon until the raw grief spent itself and left me completely empty. Instead I gripped Rhydian by the arms, almost shaking him as my frustration and sadness climbed.
"Rhydian, I love you. I love you so much it hurts." I had always expected that when I finally said those three Big Important Words it would be while feeling pure joy, and now…now despite telling him exactly how much he meant to me, I felt like I had just been stabbed. His expression looked as devastated as I felt, but a flicker of passion lit up his whole being as my words lingered in the air. More tears trickled down my cheeks in the dark. I could feel the wetness on my skin and I closed my eyes with a shudder until his fingers lifted my chin, making me look into his bottomless, loving gaze. The tenderness of his human asserted itself over his wolf, a pale sheen of blue temporarily eclipsing the eerie yellow in his eyes. It took my breath away. He choked back a wrenching sob, his eyes watering as he stubbornly refused to let the freshly-brimming tears fall. He caressed the side of my face, leaving trails of fire wherever he touched as I leaned into the strokes of his fingers. I savored that touch, tried to memorize it and burn it into my head because who knew when I might see him again?
Rhydian's thumb caressed circles against my cheek now, wiping away at my tears even as they just kept coming. He stared at me with both passion and stubbornness. His blue gaze pinned me like some Viking god, fierce with determination and also this undying devotion. He pressed his lips to mine, the caress of his tongue and his mouth searing into my memory, branded onto my heart. When he finally pulled away my breaths were ragged and so were his. I'd never, ever been kissed like that before….
"I love you too, Maddy. One day…no matter what, Maddy Smith, I'm going to find you. Do you hear me?" My eyes filled with more tears. This was too hard. I stubbornly blinked them back as Rhydian cupped my face. I sucked in a huge breath, finding strength in Rhydian's certainty even as his touch comforted me as if I were a lost girl stumbling on a secret treasure.
"We'll find each other," I said, and though my heart felt like breaking, deep down I held out hope that it was a promise we could both keep.
End of Secret Revealed Part 2
A/N - Now before you get upset wolfblood fans I have GOOD NEWS. The story continues in Wolf Bond, my story about what happens after Rhydian and Maddy are separated and find a way to reunite in Canada. I promise the overall story will have a happy ending. You can either go to my Wolf Bond story to read what happens next or read it more gradually as I'll be adding the Wolf Bond chapters to Secret Revealed one by one until they're all in one, convenient spot :)
After Wolf Bond I will be writing a final installment for the series to make it into a tidy trilogy :-) Rhydian's family, Gerwyn and Ceri, and other wolfbloods will take on a more prominent role. I hope you enjoyed this Wolfblood story - Now I must say 'Thank you!' multiplied a hundred times over for all of your kind comments, words of encouragement, and helpful reviews. Until next time wolfblood fans… XXOO