Chapter 1 - The Missing Wolfblood
"What's the story, Mum?"
Rhydian spoke breathlessly as his rucksack pounded on his back with each stride. The early summer sunshine might as well have been dark clouds and thunder. He'd been worried about Maddy all day—after all, today was the day after Mother's Day—the first Mother's Day since Maddy had lost her parents. She'd seemed fine yesterday…but she hadn't shown up to school today and she hadn't answered any of his texts.
Ceri sighed on the other end. "I've been here at the house all afternoon. I even whipped up a half dozen bacon sandwiches. I know it must have had her wolf drooling, but she's being stubborn. She won't come out of her bedroom. All those feelings from Mother's Day finally came home to roost. Poor cub. It's so hard, to feel that ache of not having one's mum."
"You think I don't know that?" Rhydian blurted out, an unexpected jab at Ceri for the years she'd taken to finally find him. "Sorry, I didn't mean to… I'm just…Jeffries won't tell me anything. He just says 'Focus on your studies, Rhydian. Maddy will be just fine, Rhydian. She just needs time, Rhydian.'" Rhydian put on his best pretentious impression of Jeffries' voice. "He doesn't know what he's talking about…and I don't appreciate being talked down to. He acts like Maddy and I haven't been together for over a year." Rhydian was practically growling as he turned the corner and headed up Jeffries' street.
"My beautiful boy, you just need to calm down," Ceri said. "Jeffries is a human, so of course he doesn't understand the deep bond you two have, both your human selves and your wolves. Even though he knows about wolfbloods, he doesn't understand what that really means. Part of him still thinks you're just like any other love-sick teenage couple. You and I…we know better."
"I know," Rhydian said softly. Talking with Ceri this close to the subject of his love life made him uncomfortable, but he had to admit, after the rocky start between Maddy and his mum, the way she spoke about Maddy just now…it meant a lot.
"OK. Be there soon. Hanging up now."
Rhydian threw his phone back into his pocket and hastened his stride. Earlier his mum had helped him come up with a plan to help Maddy out of her doldrums, but of course he couldn't be sure it would work. In fact, there was a potential for it to make things worse…but he had to try. He had to.
Just then he heard the sound of two sets of running feet from a mile away. Shan and Tom had all the grace of a pair of buffaloes as they nearly ran him off the sidewalk before skidding to a stop.
"And just where to do you think you're going?" Shan panted with a note of irritation.
"Um, to comfort my girlfriend."
"Well she's our best mate too," Tom piped up. "And from what we've heard, Maddy needs all the cheering up she can get, so don't think you can do this alone." Tom and Shan each squeezed one of Rhydian's shoulders as they fell into step on either side of him. Their intentions were admirable and loving, but the wolf in Rhydian was bristling. Maddy's my mate. Mine. I'm the one who should be comforting her. He shoved the territorial animal in him aside and tried to give his friends a smile.
"Guys, I appreciate the backup, I really do, but I think it might be better if—"
"Oh no you don't, Rhydian Morris," Shan said, wagging a finger at him. "We may be humans, but we're part of this pack too. You and Mads have been good about not being one of those couples, and we're not about to let you start now."
The three friends passed the front hedge and turned up the front walk to Jeffries' door. "What do you mean 'one of those' couples?'" Rhydian asked.
Tom's eyebrow arched. "You know what she means, mate. She means one of those couples where, as soon as the girl and guy get together, they suddenly forget all their friends and see only each other." Tom's stare at Rhydian turned pointed. "You're not going to win this battle, so don't even try. Maddy needs all our support, so don't be acting like you have a right to some monopoly."
Rhydian looked up at the disgustingly carefree blue sky with a sigh. "Fine. You guys can come."
"We weren't asking your permission," Shan sniped as they knocked on the door. Ceri answered. Her blue eyes sparkled with pleasure and surprise at seeing Rhydian's human mates.
"Shan! Tom! It's good to see you two. Come in, come in."
Ten minutes later, Ceri had finished briefing them on the situation. Rhydian, Shan, and Tom prepared to go upstairs. They were all standing at the bottom of the stairway, whispering. You would have thought the three were about to head into battle.
"OK, now remember, we aren't taking no for an answer, no matter what," Rhydian reminded them."
"What if she really doesn't want to…?" Tom began.
"Tom, don't go soft on us. Maddy needs to get out. She needs to be reminded that there are good things in this everyday world, even if her parents aren't in it," Shan growled. "She's going, even if we have to drag her out of bed in her pajamas."
"Right," Tom said, unconvinced. "You do realize we're talking about an alpha female here?" He shifted his glance to Rhydian. "I mean, you may be able to change into a wolf and defend yourself, mate, but Shan and I—if she wolfs out and tries to eat us—we're nothing but a pair of tasty snacks."
Shan rolled her eyes. "Don't be so melodramatic, Tom. Rhydian will be right here to calm Maddy down, plus we have Ceri just a shout away."
Just then they heard a loud crash, several in fact, including what sounded like glass breaking.
"Maddy!" Rhydian yelled, leaping five stairs at a time with Shan and Tom puffing right behind him. They burst into Maddy's room to find the window completely shattered—and no Maddy.
A/N - Hey wolfblood fans. On Mother's Day today I got inspired to write this story (I know they celebrated Mother's Day in the U.K. weeks ago). Anyway, today I got to thinking, as great as Mother's Day is, how does it feel for anyone who no longer has their mom present in their life? So this story is for them. Right now it's a planned four-shot, but I may add more chapters. I hope you enjoy the story, and as always, your comments or suggestions are like oxygen. So please comment if you feel like it.