Series 9 Episode 1
The big day had finally come. So much planning had gone into making this the huge event it deserved to be, and Dylan felt so excited. It wasn’t often that he had the opportunity to give something back to his mum, but this day was all about her, and he felt so proud to be her son.
Caroline looked incredible, too. Her dress was perfect and suited her completely. The most important part was the smile on her face, though. It was wide, almost uncontrollable. Dylan recalled a time where he thought he may never have seen that smile again. Dylan’s dad remained a gigantic hole in both his and Caroline’s lives, but she deserved to find happiness again.
“Do you think he’d be upset?” Caroline questioned as they waited patiently behind the wooden doors. Evidently, she was thinking of the exact same thing. Proof that he could never be replaced.
“I think he’d be proud of you, mom. Just like I am,” Dylan nodded. His dad would have asked for nothing more than their happiness, and both of them had certainly found just that.
“My precious boy,” Caroline smiled, “I couldn’t be prouder of you if I tried.”
The music began. That was their cue. The wooden doors in front of them swung open dramatically, exposing the aisles of guests waiting patiently inside. To the familiar tune of the ‘Bridal Chorus,’ Dylan escorted his mum down the aisle. Glancing left and right, Dylan was so pleased to see so many familiar faces in attendance. Many of Caroline’s colleagues, and Ed’s deputies of course. Helen and Steve were there, as was George, but most pleasingly, the entire pack were sat right at the front. Jono’s beautiful face was waiting patiently for him on the front row. He looked so dashing in his suit. Dylan was so lucky.
Also looking dashing was Ed, wearing the finest suit Crystalshaw town had to offer as he watched in awe from the altar. Dylan took his place on the front row, in between Jono and Josh. The atmosphere among them was electric and powerful. The happiness was contagious.
Suddenly, it felt like Dylan’s entire journey up to that point had been worthwhile – every second of it.
Glancing around, taking in the sights, Dylan felt strange. The room was near-enough empty, completely lacking in homely warmth and character. It was strange to think it was basically going to be home for a while.
The only decorations the room had were a select few furnishings, most of which came in pairs: two ready-made beds, two wardrobes, two desks, and a single bedside table in the middle. All were necessary of course, but there was nothing Dylan found inspiring. It needed sprucing up.
“I cannot wait to stick some posters up on these walls,” Jono commented. Of course, he had come prepared with a stash of pictures and posters to add flavour to their new space. Naturally, they were sharing a room together, and it was so exciting. In fact, their entire living situation was pretty awesome, when Freddie, Josh, Lily, Alex, Yasmin and Oscar were the other occupants of this dorm.
“Shame the beds are separate,” Dylan coyly mentioned. He and Jono were more than a little used to sharing at night – single beds against opposing walls simply wasn’t good enough.
“Straight down to business, Mr. Drummond. I approve,” Jono smirked playfully. Instantly, Jono slid the bedside table out, while Dylan pushed the left bed towards the middle. Jono took charge of the bed on the right, and both beds slid together directly in the middle. Instantly, the room felt much cosier.
“Maybe we’ll have to try these beds out,” Jono teased.
“They’re gonna hear us,” Dylan thought practically, even though he was just as keen as Jono.
“You think they’re all gonna be celibate?” Jono debated. He had a fair point – college was no time for naivety. They deserved a little one-to-one time after the effort of dragging their suitcases around the ridiculously huge campus.
“Well I suppose a test run of the beds won’t be such a bad thing,” Dylan smirked, pressing his lips lovingly against Jono’s. He could never get bored of that sensation; it was so special. They climbed on top of their now-double bed, without breaking the kiss, grappling to remove each other’s t-shirts.
“Hey, I was wondering,” Yasmin strolled in. Dylan quickly broke away, trying and failing to look natural. An awkward silence ensued – Yasmin obviously knew what they were up to, and it wasn’t often she was left speechless, “…You know what, it’s not important.” She quickly backed up out of the room and pulled the door firmly shut behind her.
Dylan caught eyes with Jono as the awkward silence resumed. As if on cue, they burst out laughing, collapsing next to each other on the bed. There was no way to style out a moment like that. Embarrassing, but very funny.
“I think we need a knocking rule,” Jono giggled. Dylan caught eyes with him again, the laughter fizzling out as if it had run out of petrol. After a few seconds, Dylan resumed the kiss. After all, they definitely wouldn’t have been disturbed any time soon after that.
Blu-tacking a couple of photos of his family by the side of his bed, Oscar was keen to settle in to his new bedroom as quickly as possible. College was yet another huge change in his life, in what had been the busiest year ever. Moving school during senior year was one thing, becoming a werewolf was another. He was ready for some stability, but that wouldn’t come until he felt comfortable at college. Everything was new and strange, but at least he had his friends around him.
Wham! Yasmin rushed in; the door slamming way too hard behind her. She looked flustered, as if she’d seen something troubling.
“Where’s the fire?” Oscar queried, worried.
“No fire,” Yasmin replied, “But there’s a lot of heat next door.”
“Oh boy,” Oscar immediately knew what she meant. Dylan and Jono were clearly wasting no time in getting acquainted with their new beds, “I assume the beds have already been pushed together?”
“In record time,” Yasmin laughed, “I think I need brain bleach.”
Oscar knew he could laugh about anything with Yasmin. She was the first friend he made in Crystalshaw; she showed him the ropes at school, and now they could be there for each other at college.
“Look, are you sure you don’t mind sharing?” Oscar offered. Of course, it felt traditional for boys and girls to share with their own gender only.
“I mean, considering the two couples aren’t ever going to separate, my options are you or one of my two ex-boyfriends,” Yasmin playfully replied, “I trust you, Oscar, and I hope you’re comfortable trusting me.”
“Sure,” Oscar replied, “I guess you have nothing to worry about, you’re not exactly my type.” Yasmin laughed. They understood each other so clearly.
Without as much as a knock, Freddie breezed into the room. He looked flustered, as if he was going through the most stressful ordeal of his life.
“I can’t find anything. My phone’s on six percent, and my charger’s gone AWOL,” Freddie vented.
“Don’t panic,” Yasmin instantly reassured him, “Use mine for now. It’ll be around somewhere.”
“What if I left it at home? I knew I’d forgotten something,” Freddie continued to worry.
“Sammi’s coming to visit this week, don’t stress she can bring anything we forget,” Yasmin reassured, “Besides, we’re only twenty minutes away.”
“I’m not sure Sammi’s going to want to do me any favours,” Freddie panicked, his mood visibly becoming glummer.
“You need to talk to her, dude,” Oscar advised, “Nobody abruptly ditches you for no reason.”
“Except Sammi, clearly,” Freddie sighed.
“Besides, there are gonna be so many girls around,” Oscar encouraged, “Fresh start. We’ll be each other’s wingmen, alright?” Freddie smiled, clearly appreciating the motivation. It was a new chapter for everyone, and they had to make the best of it.
Though the mundane corridors of Crystalshaw High were completely unchanged, Sammi knew her final year of school was going to be quite unlike any other. Most of her friends had moved on to college, and suddenly, school felt like a huge and lonely place.
Sammi had never really connected with most people from her own classes. It didn’t really help that she couldn’t share the greatest, most significant part of her life with them, either. She couldn’t discuss werewolves. She couldn’t mention the real reasons her long-lost twin died and came back to life. It caused a disconnect.
“You have got to be kidding me,” Jeremy complained. At least she had her brother with her. The last members of Dylan’s pack left to defend Crystalshaw High.
“What’s up?” Sammi was confused – why was he complaining?
“Math first lesson,” Jeremy sighed, “AP Calculus.”
“Why did you pick it?” Sammi laughed.
“I need it for college,” Jeremy groaned. It felt weird to be making such big decisions for the future already; Sammi had spent so long selecting her high school classes.
“Only one more year,” Sammi encouraged, “Then we’ll be off to college with the others.”
“You’re missing them already, right?” Jeremy acknowledged. Sammi wasn’t sure how much she believed in the connection twins apparently shared, but Jeremy always seemed to know what she was feeling. Perhaps there was some truth to it?
“It feels so empty here. The bench shouldn’t have been that quiet. I keep expecting to see Josh mucking about, or Yasmin with five textbooks in her arms,” Sammi opened up.
“Or Freddie,” Jeremy brought up.
“Meh,” Sammi side-lined the thought. She didn’t want to discuss him and had already made that crystal clear.
“You can’t ignore him forever, Sammi,” Jeremy refused to give up. However, Sammi was equally as stubborn. They had met their matches.
“Watch me,” she smirked, strolling into Miss Asahd’s classroom. Inside was a mix of faces she knew well, and some she’d never been in class with before. New year, new classes. Sammi headed for the best seat that hadn’t been taken yet – third row, second from the left. As far back as she could get.
Jeremy nabbed the seat directly to her left. To her right was an empty set, and no matter who sat there come start of class, it would have remained blank as far as Sammi was concerned. After all, the seat’s eventual occupant was bound to completely ignore her too.
“Okay class, finish your conversations please,” Miss Asahd strutted in, immediately carrying an air of authority. She made math classes bearable; it always used to be Sammi’s least favourite, but nobody had a way with words quite like Miss Asahd. Everything sounded easy when she explained it.
Rocking up casually just after Miss Asahd was Sammi’s eye candy. His name was Felix, and he was the new basketball team captain. There was no doubt about it – he was no Brett. Brett was a keen motivator, passionate yet kind in his approach. Felix was driven, but almost too driven; it came across as if he were an arsehole.
Felix only had one potential seat left in the room. The desk to Sammi’s right. Darn. There was no way she could sneak a quick peek at his gorgeous face without making it obvious. Naturally, Felix slammed his book on the desk without even looking at Sammi. He didn’t care.
“Good morning. I’ve taught many of you before but for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Miss Asahd and I will be teaching AP Calculus this year,” the introduction began. Her attention already drifting, Sammi noticed Felix in the corner of her eye, swigging a drink of water. His free hand ran through his blonde shaggy locks. Sammi loved what she saw, yet hated that he’d obviously never look twice at her.
“For your first assignment, I’m placing you in groups of three,” Miss Asahd continued. Oh boy. A group of three. Sammi just knew she was going to hate that.
“Our first group is Sammi, Jeremy and Felix,” Miss Asahd listed. Sammi had never felt such a mixed set of emotions. Though Felix audibly sighed next to her, she was thrilled to have the chance to chat to him. Maybe this was her moment?
Making a cup of tea, Josh was struggling to locate everything he needed in the new kitchen. There were so many cupboards both high and low, and there wasn’t a single mug in sight. He was strangely close to making his tea in a wine glass.
“Is this what you’re looking for?” Lily directed him to the mug tree on the counter behind him. Typical. Hidden in plain sight.
“Starting as I mean to go on,” Josh laughed, styling it out. As he grabbed a mug, Josh examined the full view of the communal area. The kitchen was open-plan, connected to the spacious living area. After all, it had to house eight people. At the far end of the room were three sofas, all positioned at sensible angles facing a television. A large dining table was in the centre, big enough to fit more than eight people for sure. Josh loved how huge the place was, and how modern in design it was. Living with all of his friends was going to be awesome.
“I guess it’s kinda weird to be starting from scratch,” Lily made conversation. He knew Lily’s first attempt at college hadn’t turned out so well. Even at a new place, those feelings must still have been lingering.
“It can’t be any worse,” Lily nervously laughed, “I’m relieved I’m not doing it alone this time.”
“If you ever need anyone to talk to, feel free to come in and see me, if you’re comfortable with that, of course,” Josh offered. The entire pack had been so helpful to him whenever he needed it. Repaying the favour was the absolute least he could do.
“Definitely,” Lily smiled back.
“How’s my beautiful girl doing?” Alex strolled over. He looked elated and chirpy, more than anyone else in fact. Instantly, Lily’s face lit up too. It was like his positivity was spreading.
“Just helping Mr. Rayner find what’s in front of his eyes,” Lily smirked playfully.
“Hey, there’s no need to expose me,” Josh played along, a smile painted widely across his face. Alex was chuckling too; Josh loved seeing spirits raised high. It was a far cry from where they were at the start of the year.
“I spoke to Sindy, she said all is good, but she still hates us for leaving her,” Alex kept the tone light.
“She’s got Misha there, they don’t need us,” Lily replied, “I do miss her though. Nobody makes a cup of tea like Sindy.”
“Erm, excuse me?” Josh interrupted, pretending to be offended, “I’ll just make one for myself, then.”
“Oh, well I’m open to persuasion,” Lily winked. Josh laughed; nothing could have brought his mood down. His only concern was that good moods always had an expiration date.
Jono immediately loved the hustle and bustle of college life. Groups of people walking all over the gorgeously designed campus, laughing with each other and enjoying themselves. It was a positive atmosphere all around, and it was difficult to resist sharing in the vibe.
Crystalshaw College was relatively new. As a result, every building looked very modern. There were small shops and cafés dotted around, as well as quiet side rooms to study with computer access. Jono’s favourite part, though, was the amount of green space. It was perfect for picnics, chilling out by the nearby lake, or even studying when the sun was in a favourable mood. He just knew he’d be spending so much time outside.
While Jono was wide-eyed at all he could see, Dylan seemed more reserved. Together, they had decided to spend the afternoon exploring and making the most of the free time they had before lectures began. Jono hated seeing Dylan feeling low. He wanted to do everything in his power to put his mood back on the right track.
“Something tells me you’re a million miles away,” Jono probed.
“No, not at all,” Dylan unconvincingly replied. He was the worst liar.
“And in reality?” Jono continued. He wasn’t giving up that easily.
“I feel strange, like I shouldn’t be here,” Dylan confessed.
“How do you mean?” Jono dug deeper, listening carefully to what Dylan had to say.
“So much happened at school. Werewolf stuff, you know? It was like a hotspot,” Dylan explained, “And we’re not there to stop it anymore.”
“Dyl, you can’t go and take another year of school,” Jono replied, half-jokingly.
“I know, but what if something happens? I know we’re not miles away, but it’ll still be too late by the time we get there,” Dylan continued, “I feel useless.”
“Sammi and Jeremy have school covered,” Jono assured, “Crystalshaw can’t rely on you forever. Dylan Drummond deserves to move on with his life. Crystalshaw will be fine.”
Jono could see Dylan was pondering on what he’d said. He couldn’t disagree. They had their own lives to live, and they deserved a fresh start.
“Hey, I know what will help,” Jono continued.
“Chocolate?” Dylan hopefully replied as they passed a snack shop.
“Well, duh,” Jono laughed, “But something else too. We should join a society. Find some people who share common interests with us.”
“Okay, but what?” Dylan seemed genuinely unsure. Their lives had been chaotic since they met; downtime was a rare treat.
“Big Brother?” Jono joked.
“Don’t deny it, that would actually be amazing,” Dylan smiled. Jono loved that his mood was already picking up. He was doing his job just right.
“You’d just want to discuss how hot Tyler is,” Jono sussed. Dylan nodded in agreement – he knew he was right. After all, long curly hair was Dylan’s weakness.
“That’s it,” Dylan realised, “LGBTQ+. They must have a society for that, right?”
“Almost definitely,” Jono looked enthusiastic, “I think someone else might be interested in that, too.”
“Oscar?” Dylan presumed, “Sure, it’d be great.” Dylan and Oscar had become very close friends over the summer, both through socialising and werewolf tips. Oscar’s wolf was well-controlled, and the full moons were getting easier and easier to manage. Jono loved to see it; it meant a lot that Dylan had made such an effort with him. The three musketeers.
The day was dragging. Lunchtime was never-ending. Sammi was bored. She missed having company at the bench. All of the laughter and banter that used to occur. It just wasn’t the same without the pack, not that Jeremy was bad company by any means. The Lunar Sanctum had taught her never to take her brother for granted.
Sammi just wasn’t feeling the motivation to learn. School felt like her last priority. She had seen so much that others her age couldn’t even comprehend. Not to mention what happened to Jamal. She had killed him, and there was no escaping that. He may have been evil and nasty, and surely seconds away from killing Freddie, she was still haunted by his face. It was like she was being punished.
“Sammi?” Jeremy grabbed her attention. She had drifted into her head, not for the first time that day.
“Sorry, what did you say?” Sammi zoned back in.
“Are you okay? You’re so distant today,” Jeremy realised.
“I don’t know. I feel weird,” Sammi sighed.
“What’s the matter?” Jeremy enquired, keen to help.
“Where to start?” Sammi sighed, “My friends have left, I’m single, and I’m being taunted by my own head with the ghost of the person I killed.”
“Shit,” Jeremy paused. Sammi could tell from his pensive facial expression that he was considering his response, “I guess, breaking up with Freddie…”
“Dude,” Sammi sighed. She didn’t know how to make her feelings about Freddie any clearer. Discussion was still off the table.
“I can’t help if I don’t know what’s happening,” Jeremy insisted.
“Alright, whatever,” Sammi caved in, hoping it would get him to leave the subject alone, “I can barely cope in my own head right now. It’s not good for Freddie to be around me. He deserves a fresh start.”
Jeremy paused again. Sammi took a deep breath. She was letting her emotions consume her, and that wasn’t good. The only problem was that control was getting tougher.
“Look, it’s your life, you’re in charge, but I’ve learnt first-hand that you can’t afford to take anything for granted, because it can be snatched away in an instant,” Jeremy advised. Sammi paused, thinking. He had a point, but it wasn’t fair to string Freddie along. He didn’t deserve that.
“What’s up nerds?” Felix slammed his bag on the bench and sat himself next to Jeremy. Sammi could have done without whatever he was going to say – eye candy was better kept silent.
“Hi,” Jeremy replied, putting on a friendly smile for Felix’s sake.
“So, when are we starting this math assignment shit?” Felix enquired. Sammi was taken aback; she wasn’t expecting any productivity out of him.
“Err, tonight, round ours,” Sammi found herself suggesting before she could stop herself, “You know where we live, right?”
“Yeah, big house, can’t miss it. I’ll see you there,” Felix smiled kindly. Sammi was actually impressed – perhaps there was more to Felix than she realised?
Feeling apprehensive, Dylan wasn’t sure what to expect from the LGBTQ+ society. He loved the idea, but what was it going to entail? He’d never been a part of a club or group like that before. Uncertainty always made him nervous, and college was a gigantic avalanche of uncertainty.
The club was taking place in one of the small study rooms. It had an array of chairs arranged in a circle, with tea, coffee and a selection of treats laid out. A small crowd of people were inside already, the total almost doubling with the arrival of Dylan, Jono and Oscar.
“This seems cosy,” Jono commented.
“Yeah,” Dylan concurred. He still felt nervous, but it was nice to see how casual everyone was. Nobody had dressed up for a special event, it was simply casual and relaxed, and Dylan was relieved.
“I’m gonna get some cookies,” Oscar mentioned, spying the snack table. Dylan couldn’t even think about snacks, though; his stomach was too busy performing somersaults.
“Hey, welcome,” one of the attendees approached. They were pretty, with long, flowing auburn hair straight down her back. The most comforting part about them, though, was their comforting and welcoming smile. It was kind and genuine, and Dylan felt better just for seeing it,” What are your names and pronouns?”
“I’m Jono, this is Dylan, and over there, that’s Oscar,” Jono took the lead, as he always did in a social situation. It happened like clockwork without Dylan ever having to ask, “Pronouns are he and him for all three of us.”
“Awesome. I’m Alora, pronouns they and them,” Alora introduced. Dylan loved how open everyone could be about their pronouns – inclusivity was important, and he wished it was more prevalent everywhere.
“Nice to meet you,” Jono smiled kindly.
“Let’s grab a seat, apparently there’s a lot of demand so we there may not be enough seats,” Alora explained. Dylan sat next to Jono, who was in between him and Alora. The chairs weren’t the most comfortable, but Dylan couldn’t complain, “How do you two know each other?”
“Dylan’s my boyfriend,” Jono answered proudly. That word still carried so much weight for Dylan. It made him feel so happy.
“Sweet, how long have you been together?” Alora queried.
“Almost three years,” Dylan replied, feeling comfortable enough to join the conversation.
“Aw, a high-school romance, I love that,” Alora gushed, “My girlfriend went to a different college. You’re really lucky to be here together.”
Dylan nodded, knowing it was true. He was so fortunate to have Jono. He made every situation five hundred times more bearable. He’d never take that for granted.
No matter how hard he tried, Freddie just couldn’t get into the party mood. Lily had insisted in them all attending the freshers' welcome party, hosted in what would usually be a communal restaurant area. It made for a perfect party space, with a large dancefloor, but Freddie wasn’t feeling it. The music was too loud and the dancefloor was too crowded, so he’d made himself comfortable at one of the side-tables. He wished he was curled up in bed.
It wasn’t that he didn’t like college so far. The dorm he shared with the pack was beautiful. It was well-worth hacking the system to ensure they were all placed together. The source of Freddie’s sadness was Sammi. He knew he’d be separated from her at college, but he at least assumed they’d remain a couple. Long-distance could have worked for a year until she joined them.
The truth was, Freddie could guess why Sammi dumped him, and he wasn’t annoyed. She’d been through a traumatic event with Jamal, and she hadn’t been the same after that. Freddie just wished he could have broken down her walls to help her, instead of being pushed out.
“Come on, dude, dance with me,” Josh attempted to persuade him.
“I’m not feeling it,” Freddie remained firm, preferring the comfort of his table.
“It’s a new start for all of us, don’t miss out,” Josh persevered. Annoyingly, he was right. There was no more perfect opportunity to start a clean slate. Sammi was old news, and she wasn’t there at college. Perhaps he had to take a step in the right direction?
“Alright, just for a little bit,” Freddie gave in, Josh already pulling him from his chair by the wrists. Together, they joined Lily in the middle of the dancefloor. Some mindless dance track was playing, pulsating synths blaring out any hope of conversation.
Freddie surprised himself, quickly getting into the groove. He, Josh and Yasmin danced together, and for a moment, all of his worries seemed to evaporate. All that mattered were his friends. Lily and Alex were dancing side-by-side, Dylan and Jono were awkwardly bopping on the outskirts, and Oscar had found a couple of boys to dance against. Everyone was enjoying themselves in just the way they wanted to.
In the corner of his eye, Freddie spotted a girl. Not just any girl, but one of the most beautiful girls he had ever seen. She had long, flowing blonde hair all the way down to her waist. Her skin was flawless, and she was dressed in the most impeccable sea blue dress. What’s more was that she was looking directly at him, as if she were inviting him over. An invitation Freddie didn’t want to decline.
Carefully manoeuvring through the busy dancefloor, Freddie landed just in front of her. Instantly, she wrapped her arms around his waist, without a word being spoken between them. The electricity in the air said everything, anyway.
Freddie gazed into the girl’s eyes. They were a gorgeous bluey-green, and Freddie could have gotten lost in them forever. The room may as well have been empty in that moment; Freddie didn’t care about anyone else.
Suddenly, her eyes glowed. A gorgeous bright sea blue, much like Yasmin’s. Maybe she was a nix? Freddie glared his vibrant yellow eyes back, proving his trust. He had a good feeling about this. All of a sudden, he didn’t want the night to end.
Not having checked her phone in a while, Sammi was surprised to notice the time. The evening had gone very fast, which meant only one thing – she had actually enjoyed Felix’s company. The math project wasn’t especially strenuous, so they had spent most of the evening laughing with each other. It was a side of Felix she had never seen before.
For a while, too, Sammi had been able to brush her worries aside. She hadn’t thought about werewolves, or Jamal, or even Freddie at all. It was liberating to have a distraction, even if it was bound to be temporary.
“Mrs. Johnson totally caught me chewing gum,” Felix laughed.
“Oh boy, there’s nothing she hates more,” Sammi recalled.
“I bet she lost it,” Jeremy added.
“She flipped. I got detention that night and she made me scrape off everyone’s disgusting dried gum from underneath the tables,” Felix shared. Sammi winced at the thought; the underside of every table in the school was coated in gum, and it was rancid.
“No way,” Jeremy’s face curled up in disgust. The laughter fizzed out for a moment, silence filling the gap it left behind. Conversation had worn out.
“You know, you’re both cooler than I thought,” Felix complimented.
“Thanks, I think,” Sammi chuckled, “You too, for what it’s worth.”
“People talk a lot, not so much about you two, but about your friends,” Felix explained, “So much weird stuff happened with them. They missed so much school, and the rumours are wild.”
“Rumours?” Sammi played dumb. She knew the unspoken secrets of Crystalshaw High. Werewolves were hidden in plain sight. People talked, but with no proof, it could never escalate.
“Werewolves. People say they’ve seen glowing eyes and sharp fangs. It sounds stupid,” Felix continued.
“Very,” Jeremy agreed, keeping their cover. After all, he was the one at risk of being exposed. He had the most to lose.
“But I think I believe it,” Felix dropped the bombshell. Sammi’s heart sped up, stressing her out. Damage control was imperative.
“Really?” she tried deflecting. Jeremy looked worried. He wasn’t sure what to say.
“Yeah. Werewolves exist, I know it,” Felix remained firm. Sammi was speechless. She didn’t know what to do.