Series 4 Episode 2
The meeting was finally here. Josh had never been so excited for a meeting with his social worker. In fact, he usually dreaded them. However, things were finally looking up. After four previous failed foster placements, Josh had found a new one all on his own, and he was ready to make it official.
Dylan had been nagging his mum Caroline to cave in and foster him. Josh didn’t want to be a burden, but when he met Caroline and her partner Ed, he instantly felt more welcomed than he ever did anywhere else. He was determined to make this foster situation work, so that he could finally call somewhere home. Never had Josh wanted anything more.
“Here are the papers,” Josh’s social worker handed them across the table to Caroline and Ed. Josh couldn’t believe this was going to be his family. He sat next to Dylan further down the table, both of them watching on excitedly.
“All done,” Ed handed them back, having signed everything necessary within a few seconds.
“Alright. I just need to get this filed and approved, which won’t be an issue, your licenses are perfectly in check, then I can drop Joshua to your place later,” the social worker explained.
“Can’t he come with us now? Save you the trip,” Caroline wondered.
“Better to be safe than sorry. I don’t want to jinx anything,” she reasonably answered. They had done all they could. Now Josh was excited to go home.
Being jolted awake, Dylan wasn’t pleased that his sleep had come to such a rough end. He slowly crept open his eyes, blinded by the light blaring through the windows. The curtains had been pulled back, making it way lighter than usual at that time in the morning.
He looked to Jono, who was stirring next to him in much the same way, Somehow, an early morning always felt better when Dylan got to see Jono first thing. Summer was fast approaching, and he knew they would be spending every second of it together. He wanted to think of some activities for them both to do, though normally he would ask Caroline for inspiration.
“It’s time, guys,” he heard Josh’s eager voice.
“Now?” Dylan sighed, still trying and failing to keep his eyes open for more than a few seconds.
“She’s downstairs, come on,” Josh tugged at Dylan’s arm. Reluctantly, Dylan grabbed a t-shirt off the floor, and threw another one to Jono. He had to quickly rehearse what he was going to say in his head, but all he had was a blur. He was too sleepy.
“Are you sure you want me there?” Jono queried.
“I always want you by my side,” Dylan replied without even thinking. He needed Jono more than ever. He was family now, anyway, so it concerned him too.
Now reasonably decent, Dylan followed Josh down to the kitchen. The sound of the kettle was filling his ears. Usually a sound he loved in the morning; there was nothing better than a cup of mum’s tea first thing.
“Morning,” Josh kept cheery as he took a seat at the dining table.
Dylan watched as Caroline made five cups of tea – one for each of them, plus Ed as well. She didn’t reply, though. In fact, she avoided eye contact entirely.
“Mom, we need to talk. It’s been long enough,” Dylan decided. Caroline carried the mugs over on a tray and sat at the dining table.
“I’m trying so hard,” Caroline admitted, “I’m learning that my kids are totally different to what I thought. That’s not easy.”
“I’m still me, mom. I always will be,” Dylan reminded. He felt his eyes filling with tears, his vision clouding.
“I know, sweetie, but there’s more to you now. Why didn’t you tell me?” Caroline was just as upset as Dylan.
“I wanted to,” Dylan confessed, “I was scared.”
“Listen here. I don’t care if you’re a werewolf, or gay, or even an alien from the planet Zog. You’re my boy, and I love you. I just need you to be safe. Both of you,” Caroline confessed. She turned to face Josh, “Ed said you were worried about the adoption. Don’t think for a second we’re ever letting you go again.”
Dylan felt exceptionally relieved. Josh was speechless – something that occurred very rarely. Dylan felt Jono’s hand on his leg. Somehow, everything had turned out okay.
Dylan hugged Caroline, thrilled things were okay between them. He still felt like the kid who once clung onto his mum for days when they lost his dad. Some things never change.
Glancing over and watching Noah sleep, Lily was in awe of how peaceful he seemed. The werewolf world was still new to him. He barely had any idea about what was still to come. Even Lily had seen her whole life flip on its head, and she wasn’t a werewolf.
It wasn’t all bad; Dylan was the best thing that had happened to Jono. He had always hated living in that big house. He spent his nights in the smaller, cosier treehouse on his own. Now he had someone who loved him irrespective of his background. Dylan understood Jono in a way even Lily couldn’t, despite how close they were.
She looked to her right. George was lying peacefully and still in her lap. She wasn’t sure if he was awake or not, but she was okay watching Noah on her own. They were in George’s bedroom, on the small couch while Noah took the bd. She didn’t mind the quiet time. It was just what the doctor ordered after everything that had gone on.
However, the sun was coming up. George would be going to school soon. Lily wasn’t ready for school still – she had offered to look after Noah for the day instead. He was still erratic and unsafe for the uninitiated to be around.
Drew had blown his cover, too. So much for that big secret. At least Dylan knew, now. They always had an immense respect for each other. Dylan never stopped until everyone in his pack was safe, and that’s what stopped Lily from losing her mind.
“You’re quiet,” she heard George mutter.
“I thought you were asleep,” Lily replied, keeping her voice low to avoid waking Noah.
“I can’t settle. What if he escapes again?” George wondered.
“Are you sure that’s all that’s bothering you?” Lily probed, acting on Yasmin’s advice. George was silent, as if he had been caught out.
“I guess it’s not just me who sees Taylor every time I close my eyes,” George opened up.
“I see her even with my eyes open,” Lily confessed.
“We should have saved her. We saved Matty, why not her?” George ranted at himself.
“Listen, all we can do is move forward and make sure there are no more Taylors,” Lily encouraged him, “We can’t save everyone, but maybe we need to try.”
“I don’t want Dylan to bite me,” George quickly refused.
“No, dumbass, we don’t need to be werewolves to save people’s asses,” Lily explained, “We need to learn self-defence.”
“Are you for real? What idiot’s gonna take us on?”
“Ed’s a cop, and he’s in-the-know. And definitely not an idiot. Come on, unless you’ve got any better ideas?” Lily smirked. She knew she was winning the battle. Yasmin had helped her to realise that the only way to overcome her fears was to tackle them head on.
Dylan never thought he would willingly go into school early. However, the incentive of Jono’s basketball practice was too good to refuse. Though there was a whole team of good-looking guys to stare at, he was only interested in Jono. His basketball shirt. His shorts. His curls bouncing as he jogged across the court.
Dylan was also keeping a close eye on Drew though. The scratches were still present on his cheek from Noah’s claws. It was unusual to see him with any injuries. His body healed super-fast usually. Dylan hadn’t had a chance to speak to him about it yet, he had scarpered from the forest too quickly the night before. Dylan now blocked Drew’s way back into the changing room though; there was no way to avoid it this time.
“I thought I’d find you here,” Freddie came and sat next to Dylan on the stand.
“I’m not that desperate for eye candy,” Dylan defended himself, smiling.
“I thought you’d be here for Drew, but hey, I’m not judging,” Freddie laughed.
“Did you wanna ask something, or just fire cheap shots?” Dylan enquired, keeping the banter going.
“It’s about Noah. When I was bitten, was I that erratic?” Freddie wondered.
“We all were, to an extent,” Dylan recalled, “He seems worse though, right?”
“You took the words right out of my mouth,” Freddie replied. Noah wasn’t just adapting, he was rabid in the forest. Way more feral than Freddie was, or even Dylan himself. Something wasn’t right, and they had a full moon approaching too. That could prove dangerous for Noah.
“We need to keep a close eye on him,” Dylan suggested, “But I don’t know why he’d be different?”
“Maybe it’s like his body’s rejecting it, like in transplants,” Freddie suggested. It wasn’t a bad thought, “Unless…” Freddie tailed off.
“Unless what?” Dylan needed to know.
“Unless it’s because he got bitten by two alphas, not just one,” Freddie continued.
Dylan hadn’t even considered that, but Freddie had a very good point. Noah was bitten by both Dylan and Scott at the same time. Entirely different to the usual one alpha bite.
“Maybe we need to do a little digging,” Dylan considered. He noticed the basketball game wrapping up, as the team filtered into the changing room. Drew and Jono approached together. This was Dylan’s moment.
Feeling antsy, Josh wasn’t sure he’d be able to concentrate during biology. He could finally focus fully on the adoption, and boy, was he excited. No more being removed from foster homes at short notice. No more living with people who only cared to foster for the money they received for it. Finally, Josh had a place he could settle. No need to worry about being taken away again before his eighteenth birthday next year. Josh had never felt more at ease.
“Josh?” he heard Yasmin call from next to him.
“Sorry. I was miles away,” Josh replied, “What’s up?”
“You’ve not written anything yet,” Yasmin notified. The perks of sitting next to every teacher’s favourite student.
“Oh,” Josh realised, “Sorry.”
“Anything you wanna talk about?” Yasmin offered.
“Caroline and Ed are adopting me,” Josh delightedly revealed, unable to hide the smile on his face. He could hardly sit still, his mind tucked up on cloud nine.
“For real?” Yasmin beamed, “Congratulations. I think this calls for a celebration. Does Dylan know?”
“Yeah, this wouldn’t have happened without him,” Josh noted.
“I guess Caroline’s okay with the werewolf thing, then?” Yasmin considered. She must have heard about that from Dylan.
“She’s taking it all in. I’m glad she’s not changed her mind about me, though,” Josh admitted.
“You’ll have to call her mom now,” Yasmin added.
“Really? Okay,” Josh hadn’t considered that. The words “mom,” and “dad,” carried so much weight. He had never had the privilege of using them to anyone in his life. It felt pretty momentous.
He looked to Yasmin. Her insight and intelligence always had him in awe. She was pretty amazing. Freddie was a lucky guy.
Making some lunch for herself, Lily was finding her way around George’s kitchen. It was nowhere near as organised as she would have liked, but despite her temptations, she realised George probably wouldn’t appreciate his kitchen being rearranged. Nevertheless, she was starting to locate all of the utensils she needed.
“Got anything to drink?” Lily jumped, startled, as she heard Noah’s voice from the doorway.
“Err, water,” Lily replied, checking the fridge, “Milk. No actually, that’s out of date. Yuck.”
“I’ll stick to the tap water,” Noah laughed.
“How are you feeling?” Lily questioned.
“Like I’ve been swallowed by a whale and vomited back up,” Noah replied, “How long have I been out?”
“All night,” Lily replied, “Do you remember last night?”
“Only when I saw Dylan,” Noah recalled, “He was kinda sketchy on the details.”
“Probably for the best,” Lily replied, handing him his glass of water.
He guzzled it down in an instant. Smash! The grass crashed to the floor, smashing on the hard-tiled floor. Lily jumped back, her reflexes protecting herself. What was going on?
“Can you hear that?” Noah whispered. Lily listened. She couldn’t hear a thing.
“No, what is it?” she asked, confused.
“Something’s outside. We need to hide,” Noah suggested.
“What’s outside?” Lily was worried, but she didn’t know why. Noah was being very vague, and she wasn’t sure if there was an actual threat or if his mind was playing tricks on him.
“I don’t know. It’s different,” Noah replied even more confusingly. He was evidently still getting used to his increased sense of smell. Lily had always wondered what that was like – smelling details you had never experienced before.
“Let me go and check,” Lily decided.
“No,” Noah tried to resist, “I don’t know what it is, but it’s not safe. I just know.” He didn’t know what it was, but Lily knew werewolves could sense emotions with their noses too. Dylan would hopefully be schooling him on all of these new skills.
“Don’t worry, I’m not going outside,” Lily reassured. She needed to take a look for herself, “Stay down. I’ll be okay.” Lily wasn’t sure she believed herself, but as long as Noah was convinced, all was good.
She put her eye up to the peephole in the door. Nothing was in sight. She examined all she could of the road through the tiny window.
“It’s all clear,” Lily notified.
However, she jumped back onto the floor instantly after. A wolf-like creature had pounced up at the door. Like it knew she was there. Noah came and helped Lily up, assisting her towards the kitchen.
“We gotta call Dylan,” Lily decided. She had no idea what that was, but it definitely worried her.
Darn. Drew had been trying to avoid Dylan, and had so far succeeded. He knew what Dylan was going to talk to him about, and quite frankly, he couldn’t be bothered. He wanted to skip the details and head straight for a solution. He would be on his own way to solving the problem by now if it wasn’t going to cause more hassle when Dylan eventually found out he’d been side-lined.
For the first time in a long time, he felt a pain in his side. He had a stitch. Usually, Drew’s body recovered too quickly for stitches to be possible. His body was different in ways he hadn’t even considered before.
“We need to talk,” Dylan said, joining Drew and Jono on the way into the changing rooms.
“What about? The weather? It’s pretty hot, right?” Drew facetiously replied.
“You should have told me,” Dylan continued.
“I’m not an invalid,” Drew hit back, “I don’t need to be treated like a baby. I’m not a werewolf anymore. The Téras took that from me. What more do you want?”
Dylan looked on silently, nothing more to say in response.
“Awkward,” Freddie remarked, he and Jono exchanging glances behind Dylan.
“I didn’t mean to…” Dylan tried to apologise, tripping over his words.
“I know,” Drew raised as much of a smile as he ever did. Although he didn’t need interference, he knew Dylan only ever did his best for him.
“Has this ever happened to anyone else?” Jono’s journalistic mind questioned. A good question to start figuring out a solution.
“Not to my knowledge,” Drew replied, “But I think I know someone who will.”
Dylan’s phone buzzed. He moved away to take the call for a few seconds, before returning to the group.
“It’s Lily. She says it’s urgent,” Dylan relayed, “You guys go find out more, I’ll check she’s okay.”
“I’m coming too,” Jono decided, leaving Drew with only Freddie for assistance. He prayed this would be fruitful, as it was his only real idea for a way to reclaim his status.
Halfway through. Though she had studied exceptionally hard for the forthcoming biology exam, Yasmin was finding the practice essay in class rather boring. For whatever reason, she couldn’t quite focus on the question. She had made it to the halfway point of the word count, but any further ideas were like pulling teeth. For whatever reason, all she could focus on was Dylan’s house. His bedroom as clear as day in her mind. It was like she had an irresistible urge to get there.
Without even looking at Mrs. Johnson, Yasmin stood and walked briskly out of the room.
“Yasmin, wait,” she heard Josh call after her.
“Come with me,” she commanded.
Yasmin recognised this feeling, and new it was best to let it take control. The nix inside had picked something up. Something was definitely wrong, and it was trying to warn her.
“Hey, what’s up?” she heard Freddie’s voice. She saw him coming into focus with Drew down the corridor, but she couldn’t stop.
“Can’t talk,” Yasmin rushed away. Josh kept following though, just as she asked. She had to follow wherever her mind was supposed to take her.
Rushing towards her own car, Yasmin managed to retain her logical thinking mind without losing sight of her vision.
“Can you drive?” she asked Josh.
“No, I mean, I can barely afford a bar of chocolate, let alone lessons,” Josh replied, “Why can’t you drive?”
“You’ll end up in hospital if I drive with a premonition, I’ve got no idea what I’m doing,” Yasmin warned.
“Alright, I’m good. Where are we going?” Josh queried.
“Your place,” Yasmin replied. Josh looked terrified, but Yasmin couldn’t stop. She began walking out of the school grounds. Her mind was more focused on Dylan’s room than ever. Something had happened, or was going to happen, and needed to figure out what.
Freddie was pretty baffled by Yasmin’s behaviour in the corridor. He had a job to do with Drew, and they couldn’t delay speaking to Mrs. Johnson, but it did get to him and he couldn’t deny it. It wasn’t the first time she had acted unusually towards him since she got back to Crystalshaw, either. Everything involving her mum felt shifty, as if she were ashamed to show him off. Freddie knew he would be showing her off to his mum if he could.
Entering the classroom, Freddie’s heart dropped. He had forgotten they were supposed to be in that biology lesson. It was too late to back out now.
“Nice of you to join us,” Mrs. Johnson barked, her voice rupturing through the silence in the lab.
“Can we have a word, please?” Freddie queried.
“You better have a darn good excuse,” Mrs. Johnson sighed, following them outside. When she shut the door, she didn’t drop the mood. In fact, it got worse, “I’ve taken a lot from you guys. I’ve been exceptionally lenient and understanding, but your exam is next week. You could at least try to care for a few days.”
“I’m not a werewolf anymore,” Drew simply stated. Mrs. Johnson was stunned into silence.
“We came to ask if you had heard of this happening before, or specifically, a way to reverse it,” Freddie added.
“Erm,” Mrs. Johnson tried to gather a sentence together, “I’m afraid I haven’t. I’m sorry. I wish I could be more help.”
Freddie noticed Drew’s face drop. As if he’d lost his last hope. It was unlike him to give up.
“Alright,” Freddie replied on Drew’s behalf, “Thanks anyway.” As he turned to walk away, Mrs. Johnson interrupted.
“Hold on,” she called out, “I can’t promise anything, but I may have a contact who can help you.”
Drew looked up, the glimmer of hope returning to his eye.
“Where can we find them?” Drew instantly questioned.
“Let me write down the address. He might have something to help,” Mrs. Johnson replied. Freddie felt relieved – Drew still had a chance to become himself again.
Hiding behind the dining table, Lily was feeling pretty terrified. Whatever the wolf was – it certainly looked like a wolf in the brief glimpse she got – it was something she hadn’t seen before. It was way bigger for a start. She didn’t manage to see its eyes, but Lily knew it was a fair bet that it was more than just a normal wolf.
The door opened. Lily ducked out of sight, Noah doing the same next to her.
“Lily?” she heard a familiar voice frantically call out. It was Jono. What a relief. Lily leapt up and went to meet him.
“I’m so glad you’re here,” Lily hugged Jono, gripping him tightly, and then did the same to Dylan. She was completely relieved that she wasn’t fending for herself anymore.
“What did you see?” Dylan questioned.
“It was huge, and it knew we were here, Dylan,” Lily explained, “It wasn’t random.”
“What was it?” Jono queried.
“A wolf,” Noah responded.
“One like I’d never seen,” Lily continued, “And it can’t have just gone. It was right outside.”
“Unless it’s waiting,” Jono thought.
“For what? What’s the point?” Lily was confused. Why had it not just attacked already if it were going to?
“Waiting for me,” Dylan realised. Lily’s stomach turned. This was a trap all along, and they had walked right into it.
Using his key to unlock the front door of his house, Josh was feeling concerned. Yasmin’s premonitions only ever meant something bad. The fact she was drawn to Dylan’s room gave Josh more than a little cause for concern. Perhaps it was obvious that he was the target – he was the alpha after all – but Josh couldn’t deny that he was scared.
“Hello?” he heard Caroline call out. Drat. He forgot she had just finished work.
“Hi, it’s me,” Josh called out while Yasmin ran upstairs, “I’m just picking up a book for math.”
“Okay sweetie, be quick,” Caroline continued, not moving from her comfy armchair in the living room. Phew. Although Caroline was in the loop now, Josh didn’t need to alarm her at this point. It would only have caused panic.
Josh went to join Yasmin upstairs. She was looking around Dylan’s room aimlessly. Nothing seemed out of place. Certainly, nothing had changed since that morning. The curtains were still lazily drawn from when Josh himself opened them earlier. Unusually for Dylan, the bed hadn’t been made, owing to the rushed manner in which Josh yanked him out of it.
“What am I missing?” Yasmin was being hard on herself.
“Don’t force it,” Josh reminded, “These things seem to come on their own, right? Just let it come to you.”
Yasmin closed her eyes, blocking out distractions. A few moments passed, nothing of note happening. Josh wasn’t sure whether to wait a bit longer, or to interrupt. However, Yasmin snapped out of it of her own accord.
“Nothing,” she disappointedly confirmed.
“We tried. We’ve just got to be wary,” Josh replied. Yasmin nodded. It was all they could do now. Ignoring the warning would be idiotic; they had to be prepared.
Typical. Dylan shouldn’t have been surprised that this creature was after him, but he should have seen this trap coming a mile off. It only scared Lily because it knew she would call Dylan for help. Now he was probably trapped inside George and Freddie’s house. It was no good. He had to fight back.
The issue was his lack of back-up. Noah was the only other werewolf around, and he was way too untrained to fight. Meanwhile, Jono and Lily were both human. He wouldn’t risk putting them in the firing line.
“I need to go out there,” Dylan decided.
“You’ll be ripped apart,” Lily immediately contested. Dylan primed his claws.
“It can try,” he smirked, before heading out of the front door. It was broad daylight, but nobody else was around. Pure silence. Eerily silent, in fact.
“Come on then,” Dylan yelled, tempting the creature out. Silence resumed after. Dylan sighed. Maybe it had gone?
Dylan collapsed to the ground. He heard a snarling growl as the weight of something heavy landed on top of him. It clambered off, everything happening so fast that Dylan couldn’t take in any details. He felt winded, but his body was healing quickly.
He stood up just as a horrific-looking wolf creature lunged towards him. Dylan shifted fully, holding nothing back. The creature pounded into him but Dylan fought back, shoving its weight backwards.
The wolf’s eyes flared a deep red, much darker than Dylan’s own eyes. He had no idea what it was, but it seemed to want to hurt him. Why? What had he done?
Its claws swiped at Dylan, making a cut in his neck. It hurt, but Dylan didn’t let it distract him. Ready to fight back, Dylan howled, but it had already scarpered. Was that all?
Dylan paid attention to his nose – no trace of its scent any more. It gave up after a single scratch.
Jono was exceptionally relieved when Dylan came back inside with no more than a scratch. All was good, and the threat had gone, for now anyway. Jono always admired his bravery in sticking up for the pack. He wished he was able to return the favour. Jono wanted to be able to protect Dylan in the same way that Dylan did for him, but he knew he never could without that level of strength.
Nevertheless, Jono enjoyed the rest of the night with Dylan, at his place once again. This time, however, they were both in a much happier mood now Caroline and Dylan had spoken and made up.
Now Jono was stirring, waking up to the ferocious sound of the alarm. Jono smiled. He loved that he got to see Dylan’s beautiful face first thing every morning for the rest of his life. Nothing could make him love Dylan any less.
“Morning,” Jono casually spoke, not moving an inch. Dylan jolted up, as if he’d been frightened by something. He met eyes with Jono and shot out of bed in an instant. Jono was baffled, “What’s up Dyl? Bad dream?”
“Who the hell are you?” Dylan asked, sounding terrified. Jono’s heart shattered into a million pieces. What the heck was he playing at?