Vibrating like there’s no tomorrow, Liam’s phone was going crazy. It was first thing on a Monday morning and he was enjoying the little sleep he could get, while he still could. He could hear the phone vibrating, waking him up, but opted not to pay any attention. However, he couldn’t settle back to sleep, so opted to put it on silent. When he looked at the hugely bright screen, he saw 38 missed calls from Nolan.
“Really?” he commented to himself, before reluctantly calling Nolan back.
“Liam, finally!” Nolan yelled as soon as he answered the phone.
“I was trying to sleep, is that too much to ask?” Liam slurred, still tired.
“I think I’ve mastered it, I got angry earlier and I didn’t transform, I was prepared to run away from my mom and hide but I had no need, cause I controlled myself” Nolan spoke quickly, obviously excited.
“You woke me up at 6:30 in the morning to tell me that? Why are you even awake at this time?” Liam seemed uninterested.
“I thought you’d want to know, we’ve been working on it for the last month” Nolan replied, downhearted.
“Sorry Nolan, I’m really proud of you, that’s a huge step” Liam spoke sincerely. It was true, Liam had been working with Nolan every day since he became a werewolf, teaching him to control his instincts and monitor his heart rate.
“Alright, I’ll catch you later” Nolan replied, feeling chuffed with himself, before finishing the call. Liam sighed, delighted for Nolan but annoyed that his sleep had been interrupted. He turned over in his bed, trying to regain any sleep he could before his alarm goes off.
“Morning sweetie, I heard you were awake” came a soft voice from the doorway.
“Well, I…” Liam began to protest, but ultimately gave in, “Hi mom.”
“Thought I’d get you breakfast in bed” Liam’s mother Joanna replied.
“What have I done to deserve this?” Liam asked, confused.
“I’ve barely seen you recently, you’ve been so busy with your friends. Thought it could be a chance for us to talk” Joanna explained, “Anything bothering you?”
“No, everything’s fine” Liam lied. He knew there were problems he had to deal with, including a rogue Eichen House nurse and Nolan’s continued issues. Even Mason had commented about how little of Liam he’d seen recently.
“Alright, if you’re sure. I’ll let you enjoy your breakfast. Don’t forget it’s a school day too” Joanna smiled, before closing the door on the way out.
“I’d quite like to” Liam muttered under his breath.
“So I thought you could maybe spend the night at mine” Mason explained. He was sat in the school library with Corey, just half an hour before classes were set to begin for the day.
“Huh?” Corey was barely awake. He had a textbook open in front of him but he hadn’t read a single sentence since he arrived.
“Our date night, you suggested it, I’m trying to make plans” Mason was slightly frustrated.
“Sorry. I’ve not been sleeping well. I’m so tired but I can’t actually fall asleep for longer than like ten minutes” Corey explained.
“You feeling sick?” Mason asked, concerned.
“No, I’m fine, just exhausted” Corey had bags under his eyes, he looked like he hadn’t slept for days.
“Hiya guys” Hayden greeted them both, sitting down next to Mason and opposite Corey, “Wow Corey, you look awful.”
“Thanks” Corey sarcastically replied.
“Stressing over this morning’s test?” Hayden queried.
“Wait, we have a test?” Corey asked, startled.
“You forgot the biology test?” Mason was shocked – Corey never forgot a test, or homework, or anything important for school, “Dude, what’s up with you?”
“I…I don’t know. Look, you gotta revise” Hayden opened the textbook onto the right page.
“I can’t focus” Corey complained. He was staring intensely at the textbook, but nothing made sense.
“We gotta get you to the nurse” Mason suggested.
“No” Corey protested, “I’ll be OK. What’s the test on?”
“Everything we’ve done so far this year” Hayden informed.
“Alright. I’ll be back in a sec” Corey said, getting up from the table.
“What’s up with him?” Mason queried once he’d left.
“I don’t know, but it’s worrisome. I think we should tell Liam” Hayden suggested.
“He’s got enough on his plate with Nolan” Mason warned.
“I don’t care. Nolan’s not his pet, he can look after himself. We’re his friends too” Hayden complained. Mason nodded in agreeance.
Waking up from a deep slumber, Theo Raeken stirred and stretched his arms wide. His back was in pain, as a result of the rock solid concrete floor he’d spent the night lying on. He took his surroundings in, seeing the damp and dirty empty warehouse he’d slept inside.
“Hey you” came an angry voice from across the way. Theo couldn’t focus on him, he had only just woken up after all, but his sight only gave him a blurred figure in the distance.
“This is a tramp-free zone, clear off” he shouted again. Theo didn’t bother to argue, he didn’t have the strength, so he packed up his flimsy sleeping bag, grabbed his sole backpack and made his way to the exit.
Drifting slowly off to sleep, Daan was struggling to hold his interest in his maths lesson. Sure, it was his favourite subject, but differentiating equations wasn’t the most thrilling subject for him to partake in.
“Hey, wake up” Cody nudged him, “This is important.” They were sat on a desk that could fit four people, with Cody on the far end and Daan to his immediate right. Two blank seats were positioned alongside them on the back row of desks in the classroom.
“Alright, alright” Daan whined, begrudgingly sitting up.
“Are you boys listening?” the teacher queried. She was a new member of staff, having joined only a few weeks ago at the start of the school year. Her accent was northern English, but she was of Indian descent.
“Sorry Miss Padhi” Cody apologised. Daan pretended to look interested, but continued to daydream. The next thing he heard was the door opening, and the sound of Miss Padhi’s loud voice once again.
“Hurry up Mr. Holloway, you need to catch up on what you’ve missed” Miss Padhi nagged. Daan looked up and saw Nolan stood in the doorway.
“Sure” Nolan nodded timidly. He came and sat next to Daan, who moved his bag, which had also served as a pillow, out of the way.
“Not like you to be late” Daan commented.
“I was preoccupied. Couldn’t exactly walk in here with my claws out” Nolan explained, whispering.
“I thought you said you learnt to control your claws ages ago?” Cody queried, confused.
“I did, and I had, but I couldn’t hide them just now. Something’s not right” Nolan detailed.
“You need to tell Liam” Cody sensibly suggested.
“He thinks I’m doing so well, I don’t want to disappoint him” Nolan shied away. All of a sudden, the door burst open, and a girl, the same age as the boys, ran in. Bloodstains covered her bright t-shirt and her trendy denim jeans.
“Oh my god help me, somebody help me” she spoke quickly, obviously panicked, before fainting. Miss Padhi instantly leapt to action, rushing to her side and checking her pulse.
“She’s alright, she’s just unconscious. I need help, some volunteers to take her to the nurse” Miss Padhi assertively said.
“We’ll do it” Nolan volunteered him, Daan and Cody.
“Dude” Daan whispered, elbowing Nolan.
“Thanks boys” Miss Padhi smiled. Daan and Cody heaved her up, while Nolan opened the door.
“What did you do that for?” Daan moaned once they were out of the classroom.
“She’s a werehyena, I can smell it” Nolan informed them.
Scrolling through his phone, which had eight percent battery remaining, Theo was at a loss. He was sat on a park bench, overlooking a dull field with little in the way of scenery. His finger paused scrolling when he saw a particular name – Liam Dunbar. However, Theo struggled to swallow his pride and simply dial Liam’s number. He hated giving in and accepting defeat, but he had 84 cents in his pocket and his sleeping bag was so thin that he may as well just sleep on the floor. Biting the bullet, he pressed the green phone icon next to Liam’s name.
“Theo?” Liam queried instantly, skipping any form of greeting.
“Nice to hear from you too” Theo sarcastically replied, “Look, I need your help.”
“Theo Raeken needs my help? Now I really have seen it all” Liam taunted. He was walking into school, having had a free period first thing, and felt fresh-minded for his biology test.
“Glad you find it so amusing. I could really do with a hand. Besides, I seem to come running whenever you call. A bit of give and take wouldn’t go amiss” Theo commented. Liam pondered on this thought. He knew that the biology test was significant, and Ms. Finch wasn’t forgiving if somebody missed such a test. However, Theo made a good point. He did indeed owe him a favour, and there was no time like the present. After all, that’s exactly what Scott would do.
“Alright, I’ll help” Liam replied.
“Meet me at the animal clinic” Theo responded, before shutting his phone. He smiled, feeling content.
Blurred lights and indistinct outlines was all Corey could see. In front of him was his biology test, lying flat on his desk, with a pencil to the right of the fresh new sheet of paper. He looked at the first question, but he simply couldn’t make it out. It was like someone had slammed their head against a keyboard, with no clear words standing out on the page. He tried and tried, but there was simply no understanding of that question, or the nine that followed, in his brain. His head was spinning, and he felt increasingly uncomfortable sat at his desk. Within an instant, he leapt out of his seat and sprinted out of the classroom.
“Corey?” Ms. Finch yelled out, to no avail. Corey was already out of the classroom and heading down the corridor. Mason wasted no time, heading straight out of the door after Corey, terribly concerned.
“Mason? What’s going on?” Ms. Finch called, but once again, there was no response. She turned back to her desk and sighed, “Carry on with the test” she ordered the rest of the class.
“Corey?” Mason called down the school corridors. They were eerily empty, with all students in class. He got no response, but heard a clanging noise coming from the door of the changing room. Mason followed his ears, and found himself creeping step-by-step, inching into the boys’ changing rooms as if he knew something bad were about to happen.
“Corey, it’s just me” Mason called out again, encouraging him to stop hiding, “I always know where you are, don’t forget.” Mason wasn’t lying. He’d reached the door to Coach’s office, and was fully aware of the fact Corey was stood against the door, hidden and invisible.
“I’m not hiding” Corey responded.
“I can’t see you” Mason replied, facing in the right direction but simply seeing a door instead of Corey.
“I can’t control it, I didn’t shift, I swear” Corey replied, before suddenly becoming visible again. Mason hugged him, while Corey shed a tear, worried about himself.
“I don’t know what’s happening, I can’t control myself” he sobbed.
“It’s alright, we’ll get to the bottom of it, I promise” Mason consoled him.
Back in the test, normality had restored. Or so it seemed at least, from Ms. Finch’s point of view. She failed to notice Hayden staring intensely at her test paper, hands clenching the table. She couldn’t answer a single question, and it frustrated her. She knew that she’d revised these topics, and she knew the answers somewhere in her brain, but absolutely nothing was coming to her and it made her angrier and angrier. Patrolling the classroom, Ms. Finch finally took notice of Hayden.
“Hayden, take a step outside and calm down” Ms. Finch calmly said, before giving a knowing look towards Hayden’s hands. Hayden took a look herself, and saw her claws were out. Without a second thought, she leapt out of her seat and outside the classroom. She felt embarrassed, and incredibly worried that Ms. Finch had seen something as revealing as her claws…
The rattle of the bell above the door of the animal clinic sounded as Liam made his way inside.
“Good morning Liam, I have a visitor for you” Deaton greeted, opening the mountain ash barrier. Theo stood in the doorway.
“Thanks for coming” Theo expressed his gratitude, meaning it sincerely. Liam followed him into the main area of the clinic.
“What’s up? I’m missing a really important biology test so if this is a waste of time, I swear to god” Liam began to rant.
“I’m homeless” Theo interrupted, cutting Liam’s rant off. Liam stopped talking, and took a moment to think of an appropriate reply.
“I’m sorry. I had no idea” Liam apologised.
“It’s alright, it’s my fault, you weren’t to know” Theo explained, “I’ve coped for a while but I’ve got nothing. You’re the only person who might even slightly show some compassion, now that Scott’s not exactly nearby.”
“What do you want me to do?” Liam asked, open to listening.
“I want to be part of your pack, Liam” Theo proposed.
“It’s not my pack, it’s Scott’s” Liam contested.
“Well I know, but he’s not here and you are, so it’s your pack for now” Theo argued, “Besides, let’s not pretend your buddies would have anything to do with Scott if you weren’t around.”
“They won’t be happy about this, they still don’t trust you, and I’m not sure I do either” Liam thought aloud.
“Then let me prove it to you. Actions speak louder than words, and I’ve already saved your ass a few times” Theo responded. Liam thought for a second, considering his options.
“You can stay at mine, but on two conditions. I tell the others when the time is right, and you promise there’ll be no funny business” Liam bargained.
“Cross my heart and hope to die” Theo agreed.
“Two sugars please Parrish” Sheriff Stilinski placed his order for a cup of coffee. He stared at the large pile of paperwork on his desk, “Actually, make that three.”
“On it sir” Parrish responded, “By the way, we checked the CCTV footage of the alleyway where the young girl got killed. I emailed it to you, take a watch.”
“Thank you deputy” Stilinski finished the chat, immediately clicking onto his emails. With a few clicks, the video file began to play. Stilinski watched on in horror as he saw a woman in her 30s pull the trigger on a teenager begging for her life. What shocked him even further was the woman’s knowing look at the camera, complete with a smirk. Feeling sick at what he’d just watched, Stilinski stood up and headed to Parrish’s desk in the next room.
“It’s her” Stilinski announced.
“Shall I call Liam?” Parrish asked.
“Scott said only to bother him if absolutely necessary. I have someone else we could call” Stilinski pondered.
Sat outside the nurse’s office, Nolan was sat opposite Daan and Cody. They were waiting anxiously for more news on the young girl, hoping she’d pull through so they could ask some questions.
“How do you know she’s a werehyena?” Daan asked, inquisitively.
“I just…do. Liam taught me how to recognise scents, everyone has their own scent and my senses are amplified” Nolan explained clearly.
“Can you hear through walls?” Cody queried, having a brainwave.
“Yeah, why?” Nolan innocently questioned.
“Listen to what the nurse is saying” Cody suggested. Nolan focused, fine-tuning his hearing. He hadn’t totally mastered this yet, but he did his best to block out the exaggerated noise of footsteps at the other end of the corridor, and chatter from other classrooms, to focus solely on the nurse’s room.
“Your name, please” he heard the nurse say.
“Becky Whinston” the girl answered, now obviously awake.
“Alright Becky, I don’t see any visible injuries, whose blood is this?” the nurse asked.
“Must be someone else’s” Becky responded.
“OK, I’m going to have to report this to the Sheriff, to get you back to your family” the nurse spoke clearly. This was the last thing Nolan heard in the conversation, before the sound of clicking on the phone handset as the nurse made the call to the sheriff station.
“The Sheriff’s coming” Nolan explained to the other boys.
“You said he knows about supernaturals too, right?” Cody questioned.
“Yup. I think we’ve found our way in” Nolan realised.
Sat around a bench outside eating their lunch, Mason, Corey and Hayden were feeling a mix of emotions. An awkward silence ensued, as neither Corey nor Hayden felt like discussing their issues and Mason was at a loss as to how to change the subject.
“Hey guys” Liam arrived, sitting down at the table, “What’s going on?”
“Oh nothing much, just the fact that you’ve ignored all of my calls today and I can’t calm myself down” Hayden ranted. Liam felt awful – he hadn’t checked his phone since he met up with Theo. He took it out of his pocket and had a look. He saw 19 missed calls all from Hayden, plus a further eight from Mason.
“I’m so sorry, I’ve had a lot on my plate today” Liam tried to justify, although he was reluctant to mention Theo’s name.
“Like what? Your little pet project Nolan?” Hayden remarked, visibly upset.
“Where has this come from?” Liam asked, genuinely confused.
“There’s something happening dude” Mason attempted to explain, “Hayden and Corey are all over the place and have been for days. You’ve not noticed because you’ve been too busy with Nolan.
“I…I…” Liam struggled to articulate himself.
“Save it, we’re obviously not a priority anymore” Hayden complained, before getting up and walking away.
“Hayden” Liam called out, to no avail.
“I’ll go” Corey added, knowing Hayden would rather speak to anyone other than Liam in that moment.
“I don’t get it” Liam commented to Mason.
“Emotions are running high. Are you feeling alright?” Mason asked, concerned.
“I’m quite tired, but I’ve got a lot on my plate. Nolan’s just one of my problems right now, Theo’s another” Liam explained, frustrated.
“Theo? What’s he doing back?” Mason queried.
“Long story” Liam sighed.
Nolan strolled towards his next lesson – chemistry. On the way, he passed the guidance office, and saw Miss Padhi unlocking the door.
“Nolan, just the guy I was looking for” she spoke as soon as she saw him.
“Miss Padhi, is everything alright?” Nolan asked, a little wary of what she was going to say.
“Yes, very much so. Thank you very much for earlier on, you and the boys were a huge help. I just wanted to say, I’ve seen your records, if there’s anything you need to talk about then my door is always open” Miss Padhi smiled a welcoming smile.
“Thanks. I think I’m in control now but I’ll remember that” Nolan mentioned, before walking off to chemistry.
Having been picked up by one of the deputies, Becky was now being escorted towards the police car. Daan and Cody walked either side of Becky, with the deputy stood behind, begrudgingly allowing the duo to interrogate her.
“What are you?” Cody asked.
“Tired, frustrated, and worrying about the company I’m currently in” Becky replied with a hint of sass.
“No, what specifically are you?” Daan asked, still being vague as he was perfectly aware of the policeman directly behind him. Becky didn’t respond, and the deputy shuffled her off out the front door of the school, to the police car.
“Great job” Daan remarked to himself sarcastically. What he failed to notice was at the corner of the school, just metres away from where the duo stood, was a woman hidden in the shadows. She kept a keen eye on the police car as it drove off, but she was more interested in Becky inside. Grinning, Angela Frost was ready to make her next move.