Previous: "New Rules"

Series 1 Episode 2

Tapping away at her laptop, Yasmin was concerned by Dylan’s behaviour earlier in the day. He was erratic and talking nonsense.

However, in the short time Yasmin had known him, she knew he wasn’t a liar. Those symptoms he had were unlike anything any human could have, and she didn’t need to be top of the biology class to know that. Glowing eyes was the most concerning part. It wasn’t like she could refer to a textbook for answers. She had to know more. Could she ask Dylan? Would he reciprocate? She had no idea. No matter what she thought she knew about Dylan, she had still only known him a short while.

Despite being the smartest person in all of her lessons, Yasmin knew she struggled socially and people generally avoided her. Dylan was kind to her from the start, that’s why they became friends. She had to be kind in return. Help him out. Do him a favour.

With no more thinking or hesitation, Yasmin picked up her car keys and set off to Dylan’s house.

Never having felt such a conflict of emotions, Dylan was in the worst predicament of his life. He was kissing his crush, which was unbelievable just a couple of hours before, and it felt so good. However, he was shifting. He was becoming a werewolf again, if he believed what he had read that is. Jono simply couldn’t witness this. It would ruin any chance Dylan had with his perfect guy. He had to break the kiss without being rude, and without giving the game away too.

That was impossible, he concluded. He’d been waiting for this moment since he first laid eyes on Jono. He couldn’t give it up, and he knew Jono would never forgive him. Why did this have to be happening now?

He navigated his hand to his own cheek and was horrified by how hairy it was. He was transforming fully. All of a sudden, he felt a hand on his shoulder, applying force and yanking him away from Jono.

“Sorry boys,” a familiar voice interrupted. Dylan didn’t glimpse at who it was. He was too busy ensuring he was facing in the opposite direction, shielding his face from Jono. However, his mind was working overtime trying to figure out who it was. Who would have known where he was? What he is? Only one person – Drew. That’s whose voice it was.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Jono was confused at his classmate arriving to interrupt his special moment.

“Dylan needs to be home right now, his grandma’s coming,” Drew lied.

“Why do you care?” Jono delved deeper.

“I’m his cousin,” Drew continued, lying flawlessly.

“Oh, alright, I’ll text you Dylan,” Jono spoke, sounding disappointed.

“Bye,” Dylan sounded equally disappointed as he spoke without making eye contact. He stared at his hands – his fingers were still claws, and he hated it. He wanted to become normal again.

Drew nudged him on the back, signalling that he had to get a move on.

Sulking all the way home, Dylan was gutted to be back so soon. Drew had kindly given him a lift, and he was back to his normal self, but he wanted so much more. He needed so much more. It hurt even more considering how close he was. Jono’s kiss was perfect, and he was now craving it. He was addicted, in the best possible way, and stepping out of the car outside his house felt hideous. Drew was the last person he wanted to see, even if he were grateful for the intervention. It was probably the least awkward way out of that scenario.

“I’m sorry dude,” Drew sincerely apologised.

“Why is this happening to me? I want a quiet life, I want to kiss the boy I fancy, what’s the problem? Why can’t I just have that?” Dylan ranted, not caring that his mum inside might have been in hearing range.

“This is your life now. You’ve got to adapt,” Drew told him firmly.

“What do you know anyway? You don’t know me,” Dylan was frustrated, “Leave me alone.” He stormed his way to the front door.

“You’ll come and find me, when you want to know more,” Drew called after.

Dylan didn’t care. He slammed the front door after him and stomped up the stairs to his bedroom. Swinging open the door, he was taken aback to see Yasmin sat waiting for him, arms folded.

Bemused by the end to an incredible evening, Jono was lying across his bed, cuddling his favourite cushion for comfort. He felt disappointed and extremely confused as to why Drew dragged Dylan away.

What made things worse is the lack of communication from Dylan after Drew’s arrival. Why didn’t he say a word? It wasn’t too much to ask for a proper goodbye. It’s not like he was hiding anything from Drew – it was a bit late for that considering how passionate their snogging was.

He really liked Dylan, and that made it feel worse. He’d only properly known him for about an hour and a half, but that was all the time he needed to know he was as sweet and lovely as he looked. However, if this was how he was going to be treated, perhaps it wasn’t worth the effort.

Jono’s thought process was interrupted by the gentle knocking on the outside of his bedroom door. Poking her head around the door, a young lady with long, silky brunette hair styled perfectly into a bun entered the room.

“Penny for them?” she chirped.

“It’s a long story Lily,” Jono brushed her off.

“I don’t give up that easily, you know that,” she firmly responded, entering the room and elegantly sitting on the edge of Jono’s bed. She was wearing an evening dress and posh high heels, looking drop-dead gorgeous, “It’s boy drama, isn’t it?”

“Is it that obvious?” Jono stopped trying to conceal his emotions.

“I’m your big sister. It’s my job to suss out your crap,” Lily joshed, “Tell me the details.”

“You know I mentioned that guy at school, the one I really fancied? We kissed, in the treehouse,” Jono revealed, blushing with embarrassment.

“Oh my god,” Lily was enjoying the gossip, “Was he good?”

“Great,” Jono smiled, his mind reliving the moment.

“So, what’s the issue?” Lily nudged the story on.

“He had to rush off, his so-called cousin turned up. It was weird, he didn’t look me in the eye after,” Jono’s demeanour soured again.

“That’s super weird,” Lily agreed with him, “But if he’s worth it, and if he’s into you as much as you’re into him, he’ll give you an explanation tomorrow. Don’t give up so easily.”

Jono nodded, taking his big sister’s advice on board. She was right – time would tell if Dylan was worth the effort or not. The ball was in his court.

“Where have you been? I’ve been waiting here for half an hour. Your mom had no idea where you were,” Yasmin complained.

Dylan was clearly not in the mood. He ignored her and crashed out on his bed, bouncing as his weight crashed onto the soft, comfy mattress.

Yasmin stood up to avoid being knocked out. She took a moment to think. Perhaps she was being harsh. He wasn’t himself. He obviously needed a friend, not nagging.

“I’m sorry,” she said gently, re-assessing her tone, “I’m just worried about you. You’ve been erratic today. What’s up?” She got no response from Dylan. Wow, he really was in a bad mood.

“I can’t help you if I don’t know what’s up,” she spoke softly, gently perching herself on the edge of the bed. He reshuffled himself to face towards her.

“Will you believe me if I tell you?” Dylan asked. He sounded worried.

“Of course,” Yasmin instantly responded. She didn’t even have to think about that answer.

“I’m a werewolf,” Dylan simply started.

Taken aback, Yasmin took a couple of seconds to process and join the dots. As ludicrous as it sounded, it actually made perfect sense. The healing, the glowing eyes, everything joined up.

“Wow,” she responded, speechless, “That’s insane.”

“You’re telling me,” Dylan sighed.

“How do you even know all this? It’s not like this information is on Wikipedia,” Yasmin attempted to get her head around it.

“Drew, he’s a werewolf too. He gave me a lift back. That’s why he came over to us earlier,” Dylan explained.

“Wait, that asswipe is a werewolf? Him, of all people?” Yasmin was offended by the mere mention of his name.

“He did me a favour, I think he genuinely wants to help,” Dylan insisted.

“Hold on, rewind a second. He gave you a lift? Where were you? You never said,” Yasmin interrogated. Dylan’s face sunk. For a change, he didn’t give an immediate answer.

“I was with Jono,” he confessed, “We got talking and, err, things happened.” His body language was awkward and uncomfortable. It didn’t take much for Yasmin to read between the lines.

“You and the fit boy? Oh my god, I can’t believe it!” Yasmin perked up as she connected the dots and realised what Dylan was referring to, “That’s incredible, I mean I’m totally jealous, but I guess I never had a chance.”

“It’d be incredible if I didn’t start to shift while making out,” Dylan didn’t share Yasmin’s enthusiasm, “Drew saved me just in time.”

“Oh boy, that’s not so good,” Yasmin toned down her excitement, “You’ve gotta make it up to him.”

“What if I shift again? Drew can’t follow me everywhere. I can’t risk him finding out,” Dylan was insistent.

“Maybe we need more information. There must be a reason why you shifted, and I’d bet all my money on Drew knowing the answers,” Yasmin considered.

That night, Dylan tucked himself into bed hoping to get a good night of kip. He felt like he’d barely relaxed all day, and now he was in his bed, he was hoping this was his chance to finally switch off. His bed had never felt comfier. He pulled the duvet up to his neck and positioned himself comfortably, lying on the right-hand side of his body. He glanced at the clock – 23:58. Around seven hours of sleep before school. A bit less than normal but not bad.

That was the last thing he remembered until he woke up in somewhere that wasn’t even slightly as cosy. All of a sudden, Dylan found himself in the forest. Dawn was approaching and the sun was starting to shine through the treetops. How did he get here? He had no recollection of anything.

He shot up onto his feet, parting with the leaves that had become his pillow. Looking around, Dylan saw nothing familiar. He didn’t know where he was. The forest might as well have been a foreign country for all he knew about it. He had to find his own way out.

Picking a direction, he sprinted as fast as he could. The less time he spent in that forest, the better. Even if he ended up at the other end of town, at least he’d be able to phone for help. That was the most annoying thing – his own mobile was still on his bedside table. He had nothing but his pyjamas.

Faster and faster, Dylan used all of his strength to run. He was part wolf now. He could run much faster than he ever could before.

It has some benefits, Dylan thought to himself.

To his relief, as he jumped over twigs and streams, he caught glimpse of his house. Dylan made a mental note to trust his judgement more often. Slowing down the exceptionally fast pace of his running, Dylan exited the forest through the clearing. However, he turned back, hearing a familiar growling sound. The same one as a couple of nights ago.

“I’ll find you, whatever you are. Whoever you are,” Dylan threatened, feeling much less terrified this time around. He pressed on the doorbell of his house, and his mum answered it, about thirty seconds after it rang. Her hair was messy and she was wearing a dressing gown, looking like she’d just gotten out of bed.

“Where the heck have you been?” Caroline Drummond questioned before allowing him access.

“I couldn’t sleep, I went for a walk,” Dylan lied. He hated lying to his mum, but the truth was far worse than a tiny white lie.

“In your pyjamas?” she was unimpressed, “Well, I better get started on breakfast. There’s no chance of getting back to sleep now.”

Dylan slumped into the house and slammed the front door behind him. Home sweet home. He’d never been more relieved to be back. In fact, even the sound of Caroline complaining couldn’t put him off.

Walking to school that day felt like much more of a slog than usual. Dylan was tired after a hectic night. He racked his brain all morning but absolutely nothing could tell him what he did. He was optimistic though. School was going to be a welcome distraction. If he could avoid the telling-off for missing double biology yesterday, that is.

As he arrived at school, he saw Jono’s tiny car pull up outside. Not making eye contact, Jono headed straight for the main entrance.

“Jono!” Dylan called after him.

“Yeah?” Jono turned around and responded nonchalantly. He didn’t look especially happy to see Dylan,

“I am so sorry about last night, I truly mean that,” Dylan apologised sincerely. He meant every word he said, he just needed to ensure Jono did too, “Drew is pretty forceful and I was embarrassed that he showed up. Please let me make it up to you.”

Jono perked up. The blank expression on his face turned into the cute smile Dylan adored.

“My sister’s throwing a party tonight, wanna come?” Jono suggested excitedly.

“I’ll be there,” Dylan grinned. That was one problem solved, and it went as well as it possibly could have.

Of course, Dylan’s day didn’t stay perfect for long. His first lesson was biology, and Mrs. Johnson was forever scolding students for missing her lessons without a sick note. The most important thing was that he stayed calm. Hopefully that would keep the wolf inside him at bay. He managed to avoid shifting throughout school yesterday, today should be a piece of cake. If only he knew why he shifted so sporadically. What happened to werewolves only shifting on a full moon?

“Morning Dylan,” Mrs. Johnson greeted with a glare as he sheepishly strolled into the lab.

“Hi,” he awkwardly responded.

“Any reason for missing my lesson yesterday? You showed up to all of your other lessons and I wasn’t aware of any dentist appointment,” Mrs. Johnson began.

“Sorry, I’ll catch up,” Dylan tried to avoid further interrogation.

“Sorry for what? Bunking?” Mrs. Johnson didn’t give in.

“Why are you doing this?” Dylan took offence to Mrs. Johnson’s accusations, and he felt his insides burning up with anger.

“Excuse me?” Mrs. Johnson was appalled by Dylan’s response. Dylan didn’t care though, he saw nothing but red.

On red alert, Yasmin jumped out of her seat at the other end of the classroom and rapidly escorted her friend outside, with Drew following. On their way out, they passed Jono, only just arriving for the lesson.

“Hey Dylan,” Jono excitedly greeted, but his volume tailed off as Dylan didn’t make eye contract. He walked inside the classroom cautiously, and glanced at Mrs. Johnson, “Is he okay?”

“That’s my question too,” Mrs. Johnson sighed. Jono was intrigued and very confused. Dylan was capable of acting especially odd when he wanted to but was the sweetest person ever otherwise.

Shoving him carelessly into the boys’ toilets, Drew knew he had a loose cannon on his hands in Dylan. Dylan knew it himself too, which should make his job easier. At least he had a willing student.

However, Dylan was the first new werewolf he had encountered in Crystalshaw in years. He wanted to be the kind of person to Dylan that he wished he’d had many years back.

Dylan was fighting back though. He had fully shifted into his wolf form, and unsurprisingly, he hadn’t learnt any aspect of control yet.

To protect her, Drew ensured Yasmin was stood firmly behind him. He could heal, she could not. The look on her face was one of both amazement and horror, as she finally saw first-hand what her friend had become.

“Dylan, you have to calm down,” Drew firmly stated. Dylan growled at him, annoyed and volatile.

“What can we do?” Yasmin desperately asked.

We can’t do anything, it’s down to him,” Drew vaguely answered, “He controls the shifts. Only right now, he hasn’t read the manual.”

“Read it for him, then,” Yasmin commanded.

Drew had to be careful. Too much information would not help Dylan – only confuse him. He needed to be selective with the advice and guidance he gave away.

“Dylan, I need you to look at me,” Drew grabbed Dylan’s cheeks in his hands. He struggled, but Drew knew he was stronger, “Think of something, or someone, that you love and care for. Find them in your mind and use them to pull yourself back. Find your anchor.”

Dylan heard exactly what Drew was saying. He understood and processed it with no difficulty. However, acting on it was proving to be more than just a little bit difficult. His mind was a mess. He couldn’t focus his thoughts for even a single second.

“Find your anchor, Dylan,” Drew commanded, much more firmly second time round. Anchor. Who was his anchor? Is that even a serious question? Obviously, it was Jono.

Using all of his willpower, Dylan tried to think of Jono. Picture his face, hear his voice, anything that could make him feel like his usual self. He imagined a door, and slammed it shut on the anger he felt. Jono was all he had in his mind. He felt calmer, and in control of himself again.

He now focused on Drew’s face in front of him – breathing a sigh of relief. He had done it. He’d conquered the wolf. For now, anyway.

“I did it,” Dylan exclaimed, proud of himself.

“Better late than never,” Drew scoffed. Yasmin flung her arms around him, relieved he was back to his usual self.

“I’m so glad you’re alright,” she smiled, “I guess you won’t feel up to the party tonight.”

“Party?” Drew’s relief quickly turned back into concern.

“I’ll be fine, I’m not letting Jono down,” Dylan insisted.

“No no no, you have to back out,” Drew was adamant.

“No chance, this werewolf business has already ruined my life, I’m not letting it take away the best thing I have right now. The only good thing to have happened in the past couple of days,” Dylan reasoned.

“Jono may be your anchor, but he could easily enough make you turn again. You could kill him, and everyone else at the party,” Drew detailed.

“Wait, I could kill people?” Dylan was astonished.

“Yes, you’re a predator,” Drew answered.

“Have you killed anyone?” Dylan was panicking. Drew looked to be considering the wording of his response. Annoyingly, before Drew could utter a word, the school bell rang.

Drew pushed past Dylan and Yasmin, as if he were very keen to reach his next class. Dylan felt more uncomfortable than ever. The idea that he could kill someone horrified him, and he was certain he would never let that happen. However, after his lack of control earlier in the day, he wasn’t sure he had much choice in the matter anymore.

Much to Dylan’s relief, the rest of the school day was a relative breeze. Nothing else provoked him, and above all else, he was glad this werewolf business had made Drew act nicer to him. He wasn’t missing his taunts and jibes. However, he knew an awful lot about, well, just about everything werewolf related.

Annoyingly though, there was no more mention of who or what this “alpha,” is, or what it means for him. Who knows? The entire thing could be a bluff and Drew could be the alpha. He had to keep his guard up.

Now he was at home, getting dressed ready for the party, and the nerves were bubbling inside him, but nothing would prevent him from his night of joy with Jono.

“Dylan, are you decent?” Caroline yelled from the other side of the bedroom door. He wanted his mum’s approval for his new smart-casual shirt and stylish black jeans.

“Yeah mom, come in,” Dylan responded. Caroline peeped around the door, and looked astounded.

“Wow, don’t you scrub up well?” she smiled, “I’m so proud of you.” Dylan grinned too. It meant a lot to hear that from his mum, especially after a turbulent few months.

“I’m getting picked up in ten minutes,” Dylan informed her.

“By Yasmin? Whose party is this anyway? I don’t think you said,” Caroline queried.

“Yeah, and it’s Lily Chadwick, she lives a few minutes’ drive away,” Dylan answered carefully. He was telling the truth but omitting one or two of the facts.

“You’ve never mentioned her,” Caroline commented.

“Mom, is this an interrogation?” Dylan kept his cards close to his chest and didn’t want his mum prying.

“No sweetie, I’m sorry. You’re old enough to make your own decisions,” Caroline smiled again, “Have a wonderful time.”

She gently closed the door as Dylan made the final checks to his appearance. He flung a mint into his mouth for freshness and ruffled his untidy hair – the only part of his look that wasn’t planned to every detail. Perfectly imperfect, he liked to think.

Pulling up on Dylan’s driveway, perfectly on time as always, Yasmin beeped her horn to signal her arrival. She had been out dress shopping after school to ensure she looked her best for the party – her first in quite a while. It’s not that she was unpopular, but because Yasmin was such a bookworm, people arrogantly assumed she wouldn’t be interested, and she never got invited to any cool events. Even now, she was basically Dylan’s “plus one,” after his new lover invited him. On the bright side, it would provide a chance for her to get to know the studs in Lily’s year group. Any opportunity to find a boyfriend.

Just moments after beeping the horn, Dylan emerged from the house, dressed impressively smart. Yasmin knew he had to put in as much effort as possible for Jono to make up for the night before.

“You look dashing,” she complimented as he flung the door open. Dylan smiled, ruffling his hand through his hair again.

“And you…,” Dylan was breath-taken as he examined Yasmin’s sparkling light blue dress and her hair beautifully styled into a bun, “…You look stunning.”

“I try my best,” Yasmin joked, “The guys better notice me now.”

“You’ll be batting them away like tennis balls,” Dylan jested. The jovial tone didn’t last, and Yasmin turned their focus to the elephant in the room.

“Nervous?” Yasmin questioned.

“Heck yeah,” Dylan immediately responded, “I feel sick.”

“Good,” Yasmin bluntly replied, “It means it’s a big deal for you.”

“You can say that again,” Dylan added, feeling the pressure.

“You’ll be just fine. If you feel like you’re gonna shift, just find me. Don’t forget your anchor, either,” Yasmin reminded.

“What good is that when my anchor caused my shift last night?” Dylan was still baffled by everything.

“We’ll investigate that later. For now, you have a man to impress. A very fit man, at that, so if you ruin this chance, he’s all mine,” Yasmin flashed him a cheeky smile, before setting her car into gear and reversing back off the drive.

Similarly, Jono was ensuring he looked his very best too. Dylan hadn’t seen his house properly, only the treehouse, and he was going to be meeting Lily for the first time also. It was nerve-wracking, but so very exciting too.

He couldn’t help feeling it was a little premature though. He and Dylan weren’t official, or anything really, but maybe tonight was the night it would change. Everything had to be perfect. First impressions were everything, and he wanted Dylan to love his house, and Lily had to be on her best behaviour. That said, it was her party. She never behaved too well with alcohol in her.

He plodded down the stairs and into the living room, where Lily was setting up the audio system for the night. Her phone was plugged in using Jono’s auxiliary cable – Lily was useless when it came to technology beyond the Instagram app.

“You look amazing,” Jono complimented as he collapsed onto the posh, comfy sofa against the ceiling of the spacious living room. The décor was expensive, his parents worked in law and could afford to splash out, but he didn’t want to brag. Lily on the other hand was a different case.

“Thanks,” she smiled, flicking her beautifully curled auburn locks as she turned to face him, “You’re dressed to kill. He’s gonna love it.”

“You think?” Jono was doubting himself.
“If he has any sense,” Lily added, “What’s his name? You never said.”

“Dylan,” Jono answered. Even saying his name to Lily felt strange. Almost like Dylan was a figment of his imagination crossing over into the real world.

“Are you gonna tell mom and dad?” Lily queried.

“We’re not even official yet, I don’t know if he wants that from me,” Jono expressed his concerns.

“Take this from the expert of failed relationships,” Lily dished advice out to her younger brother, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You’ve got nothing to lose by asking what he wants. If he’s not ready for the boyfriend tag yet, that’s alright.”

Jono nodded. It didn’t make him any less nervous, but it was a comforting thought amongst the craziness of his mind.

Fifteen minutes later, Yasmin’s car pulled up outside. Dylan took a proper glance at Jono’s house, getting much closer than he had the night before. The sheer size of it had passed him by in the heat of the moment. Jono’s family must have been rich to afford such a house. Maybe there would be a spare room for him and Jono to escape if the party got crazy. Or a room for Yasmin to restrain him if he shifted. The latter felt more likely.

The party looked to be filling up already, as a stream of people were arriving, all dressed to the nines, and suddenly the idea of a party felt very scary. Drew’s words still rung through his head. What if all of these people left the party in body bags?

No, that wouldn’t happen. He wouldn’t let that happen. Optimism was the key.

“Ready?” Yasmin prompted, already spotting eye candy on the way in.

“Yeah,” Dylan unconvincingly replied. He shoved the car door open and looked at his reflection in the window. He was still his usual self. He didn’t feel different, beyond the nerves. So far, so good.

Yasmin led the way into the house, and Dylan couldn’t help notice how posh the house was. There were stylish paintings hung in the hallway, and an expensive-looking rug along the floor. The stairway was grand and there was so much space everywhere. Sometimes, this could be a hinderance to the warmth of the house, but it still managed to feel cosy and homely. Not that it would stay that way for long, with the number of teenagers and young adults piling in.

He desperately looked around for Jono, or even anybody he or Yasmin would know. Jono was the priority though. Annoyingly, all he could see around him was a sea of teenagers a couple of years older.

Much to his concern, the first familiar face he spotted was Drew, at the far end of the corridor, watching Dylan. He looked to find Yasmin, but she had vanished.

Probably found a hot guy, Dylan assumed. He marched towards Drew, furious that he had arrived.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Dylan spoke quietly but harshly.

“Keeping an eye out. I knew you’d ignore me and you’re a loose cannon, so I thought I’d drop by,” Drew explained.

“Nice to know you have faith in me,” Dylan retorted.

“Dylan!” came a pleasant familiar voice from behind. Dylan spun himself around to see Jono, waiting eagerly for him. They leaned in for a hug. Dylan found it a little awkward, not sure how much to reciprocate, but he embraced the moment. After all, he was the one who had some making up to do.

“You look beautiful,” Dylan admired Jono and the effort in his outfit. His cologne smelt heavenly too.

“You too, wow,” Jono smiled. Dylan was delighted that his own effort had been noticed, “Want a drink?”

“Sure. Is there somewhere quiet we can go?” Dylan questioned, aware that Drew was still watching over his shoulder just behind.

“I’ll take you to my room, but first, I want you to meet someone,” Jono grabbed Dylan’s hand and dragged him away from Drew, and into the kitchen.

Losing herself in the music, Yasmin was having a great time. She’d lost sight of Dylan but was now dancing with a cute lad from a couple of years above at school. The music was loud and she was enjoying it, not that she really knew what it was. Some generic dance song you would hear in a club, she assumed.

Despite the fun she was having, Dylan was still on her mind. She was worried for him. Much to her horror, she spotted Drew in the corner of her eye, hanging around in the corner of the living room. Regretfully, she ceased dancing with the hot guy, whose name she didn’t know, and went to interrogate.

“Oh, here we go again,” Drew remarked before Yasmin could say a word.

“Again? What do you mean?” Yasmin queried.

“I’ve already had Dylan giving me an earful, I could do without. I’m trying to do you both a favour,” Drew explained.

“A favour? By stalking us everywhere we go?” Yasmin questioned his choice of wording.

“No, by stalking Dylan everywhere he goes. It’s a pure coincidence if you’re there too,” Drew dryly replied.

“Do you not have a life of your own?” Yasmin was fed up of Drew by this point. Sure, he had stopped picking on her and Dylan, but this was annoying on another level.

“No, not really,” Drew bluntly replied. Yasmin didn’t really know what to say beyond that and sighed.

Jono led Dylan into the kitchen. It was hard to sift through the vast amount of people that had arrived. Obviously, a party at the Chadwick house wasn’t one to be missed.

Jono held closely onto Dylan’s hand, careful not to lose him amongst everyone. Dylan loved the feel of his soft skin against his, it was bliss and he never wanted to let go.

At the far end of the kitchen, Jono grounded to a halt, in front of a girl who must have been a couple of years older than him.

“Dylan, meet my sister Lily,” Jono nervously introduced.

“Hey,” Lily excitedly grinned, “I’ve heard a lot about you, nice to meet you.”

“Hiya,” Dylan awkwardly said, unsure what to say next. He offered out a hand for a handshake, which Lily graciously accepted.

“A gentleman, I like,” Lily smiled, “Tell me something about yourself, Dylan.” While Dylan appreciated that Lily wanted to know more about him, his mind went blank. Suddenly, he couldn’t remember a single one of his interests. He froze.

“Err,” he slurred, then it came to him, “I’m hoping to become a journalist.”

“Me too,” Jono exclaimed, “I’ve always wanted to be one. I’ve been talking to Miss Daniel at school about setting up a school paper. Maybe we could work on that together?” Dylan was amazed. This was an offer he would be stupid to refuse. An excuse to spend more time together.

“Sure, sounds great,” Dylan replied enthusiastically, but not quite as excitably as he would have liked. He didn’t want to lose his cool.

“Right, we’re gonna head upstairs. Call on up if you need help,” Jono said before dragging Dylan back away. He didn’t want to spend too much time talking to Lily when he’d much rather be alone with Dylan.

Feeling similarly, Dylan was excited. Alone in Jono’s bedroom. Nobody to disturb them or interfere with them. Most importantly, it was somewhere Drew couldn’t spy on him either.

They trotted up the stairs into the much quieter out-of-bounds upstairs area, and to the right of the staircase was Jono’s room. He pushed open the door, and Dylan took in his surroundings. The room was stylish and modern, with a laminate flooring and colourful rugs to liven the place up. Posters covered the walls, much like the treehouse, and Jono’s laptop sat with the lid shut just opposite his double bed, made perfectly without as much as a crease in the duvet. He was amazed at just how tidy the room was, in contrast to his slightly messy little car.

“How is it so neat?” Dylan was amazed. His own room was what he liked to think of as “organised chaos,”. Sure, it was a complete mess, but he knew exactly where everything was, and despite his mum’s nagging, that was what mattered to him.

“My parents are on my back all the time,” Jono explained, “They’re quite irritating when it comes to cleanliness. It’s why I have the treehouse. I spend more time there than here, but I can’t leave my laptop outside. Take a seat.” Dylan did as he was instructed and perched himself gently on the side of the bed. He didn’t want to ruffle the perfect bedsheets.

“You can make yourself more comfortable than that,” Jono noticed Dylan’s caution and laughed affectionately. Dylan smiled and made himself comfortable, lying down on the pillows on the right-hand side of the bed.

Jono dropped onto the left-hand side, rolling over to face Dylan. They met eye-to-eye, and shared a moment of silence, simply admiring each other. He looked at Jono’s beautiful face, and all of a sudden, a horrible vision shot through his mind. He envisioned Jono’s body, lifeless in the spot he was on in that moment. Worse still, he was covered in blood. The bedsheets were drenched, as were Dylan’s own clothes. He looked in the mirror and saw the horrible sight of his werewolf self.

He shook his head. That wasn’t going to happen, but while he still could, this was Dylan’s chance to make amends.

“About last night,” Dylan began, preparing his words mentally.

“You don’t need to say anything,” Jono cut him off.

“No, I do. I owe you an apology. Drew, he can be a bit…forceful,” Dylan explained.

“Forgiven,” Jono smiled, before laughing, “Is he really your cousin?”

Avoiding the question, Dylan moved in for a kiss. He had been waiting all day for this and didn’t want to drag it out any longer. This time, while the kiss felt as incredible as ever, Dylan felt differently in himself. Jono was his anchor, and it was lodged firmly to the seabed.

He felt Jono’s hands ruffling through his already untidy hair, and it felt like nothing he’d experienced before. He unbuttoned Jono’s shirt, gently slipping it off his arms without breaking the kiss, and Jono did the same to him. Dylan adored the feel of their nicely toned chests against each other. Any idea of the wolf making an appearance was slammed shut behind an imaginary door in his mind.

Jono broke the kiss for a second.

“Are you alright about this?” he questioned.

“I’ve never been more alright about anything,” Dylan responded, “You?”

“Same,” he grinned, leaning in for another kiss. However, among the scent of Jono’s cologne, he noticed a familiar smell. One he’d smelt before. Just once. On the night he was bitten.

The alpha’s here, Dylan thought, trying not to allow his worries to ruin the moment.

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