Previous: "Fear"

Next: "The Key"

Series 6 Episode 2

Panting like mad, Dylan safely shut his bedroom door behind himself and Jono. Only now was he starting to calm down and feel secure. The fear of the corpse was unlike anything else he had felt. His skin felt too tight, he couldn’t sit still, and he was constantly on the verge of tears. Whatever happened to it must have been so awful for this amount of fear to still be lingering.

“This is too creepy,” Jono breathed a huge sigh of relief, “That was a fucking eye, Dyl.”

“I know,” Dylan shared his relief, “Someone’s leaving us a trail, and I don’t like it.”

“Do you think it’s a trap?” Jono queried, both of them trying to squeeze as much information out of the situation as they could.

“Definitely,” Dylan replied. He was pretty certain this was all calculated perfectly. One thing he had learnt about the supernatural world was that nothing ever happened by coincidence.

“So what next? We can’t keep following, we can’t talk to Ed, we’re screwed,” Jono began to stress. His eyes glowed yellow; his emotions were getting the better of him.

“Jono, take my hands,” Dylan instructed. He took both of Jono’s hands himself, instantly feeling a sharp pain shooting through his hands. Jono’s claws had shot out and were digging into Dylan’s skin. Dylan winced, trying to keep himself composed, “Find your anchor.”

Jono was fully shifted. His usual clean-shaven face was covered in hair and his perfect teeth had become razor-sharp fangs. This wasn’t Dylan’s first time seeing Jono as a werewolf, but it never felt any more normal.

“Look at me, Jono. Remember me, it’s Dylan,” he encouraged. Jono made eye contact, looking as if he’d had a sudden realisation. He began to calm down, his face slowly but surely shifting back to its usual cute, naïve state, and his claws retracted, much to Dylan’s relief.

“I’m sorry,” Jono looked broken, “I don’t know what to do.”

“Then stay with me, because I do,” Dylan kept his grip on Jono’s hands, “Doesn’t Lily have her party tonight?”

“I can’t go, not like this,” Jono immediately rejected.

“It’s Lily’s big night. Let’s show our faces for ten minutes,” Dylan encou­­raged, “Then sneak up to the treehouse.”

Jono’s concern lifted. Dylan didn’t especially want to socialise at the party either, but this was their perfect excuse to spend a night together.

As Josh arrived at Lily’s house, the party was already in full swing. Music was pumping out of the wide-open front door, and Lily’s driveway was swamped with all sorts of vehicles – some flashier than others.

Linking arms with Yasmin, Josh decided to put the previous confusion behind him. No matter what, they were both still attending the party, and there was no use dwelling when he couldn’t do anything to fix whatever had gone wrong. Yasmin was his number one focus – it was important that she had the best time possible.

“Hey, welcome,” Lily beamed, playing the role of party host as brilliantly as always. She looked stunning in her stylish red dress and heels, with her cropped waves resting on top of her shoulders.

“You got Drew here? At a party?” Yasmin was impressed, spotting Drew filling up his glass in the kitchen.

“Nobody misses my parties,” Lily looked smug and more confident than she had in a while. George joined her by her side. She looked like she had won in life, and she was only nineteen.

Josh glanced past Lily and into the kitchen. She was there again. The nightmarish face of Clara. She had been a permanent feature of his mind ever since he became the alpha, and she was the demand he had fought so hard to bury. Now he couldn’t avoid her. All his work had been for nothing.

“Hey, Josh,” a voice interrupted. Zoning back into the group, Josh saw the newly-arrived Freddie trying to grab his attention, “Everything okay?”

Josh didn’t reply. It wasn’t the right moment to launch into an explanation, but he didn’t want to lie either.

“Let’s go chat,” Freddie suggested. Perhaps this wouldn’t be so easy to sweep under the rug after all.

Scanning the room, Drew was on red alert. He was hoping to spot the distinctive dirty-blonde curls of Brett, ready to probe his memory. He must have seen something at the school gate the previous night, but why hadn’t he said anything? Brett was in-the-know, and he was basically part of the pack. It was his duty now.

Lily came to join him, emerging from the crowd with Yasmin in tow. Drew didn’t lose his focus on finding Brett, though. The amount of people in Lily’s house was pretty huge, making it difficult to spot even someone as tall as Brett.

“Explain again, I’m lost,” Yasmin requested, coming into Drew’s earshot.

“Monty went missing for three hours yesterday, we think Brett might know something,” Lily repeated, filling her glass with some more wine. Drew preferred to stick to the cola – werewolf bodies healed too quickly to get tipsy anyway.

“Brett? For real? He barely knows his own name,” Yasmin seemed shocked.

“Found him,” Drew noticed him enter the living room, “Meet me in your room, I’ll grab him.” Immediately, he pursued Brett, pushing through the crowd of humans who collectively had no spatial awareness.

“Brett,” Drew called up.

“Hey dude, didn’t think you’d be coming,” a jolly Brett replied. He was already a little drunk.

“Can I have a word?” Drew raised his voice, competing with the overbearing volume of the thudding bassline.

“Drew mate, you’re not really my type,” Brett laughed.

“Give it up,” Drew groaned, grabbing Brett by the collar and dragging him back through the crowd to the stairs. He knew his basketball teammate could be an idiot, but Drew had no time to waste.

Though he couldn’t deny just how great Lily was at throwing a party, Jono never enjoyed seeing his house full to the brim. At even the best of times, Jono had grown to prefer the peace and quiet of his own home as opposed to the claustrophobic dancefloors and late nights of parties.

Thankfully, Dylan felt much the same. Their nights together watching The Society on Netflix were far better than any party they had attended. He was craving one of those nights after the day he had just had.

“Your parents would go crazy if they saw this,” Dylan commented, seeing the mess already found outside the house.

“They know what happens when they go away, it’s hard to avoid the cheap replacements Lily finds in the thrift store the day after,” Jono mentioned, passing a broken family photo frame, “Anything valuable gets locked up before they go.”

“I couldn’t do that,” Dylan admitted. Jono understood – he got attached a lot more easily.

“Did you look into that diagnosis?” Jono queried.

“I want to get it,” Dylan replied, “It would be good to know for sure, but it doesn’t seem easy to get.”

“I see,” Jono nodded understandingly. He felt pretty bad for Dylan. Jono had read up on autism – lacking social skills, sensitive to light and sound, obsessive over interests; it described Dylan almost too well. However, it seemed like a long-winded process to get a diagnosis, “Well, we’ll tell our kids to have their parties somewhere else.”

Jono watched as Dylan’s sullen expression morphed into a beaming smile. He looked excited by Jono’s thought – the future was something they discussed from time-to-time, but it clearly meant a lot for Dylan to know that Jono had his back no matter what.

Inside the house, Jono was immediately met with the claustrophobic crowd he disliked intensely. He barely recognised anybody, either. Perhaps they were people he hadn’t noticed from around school? Doubtful, some of them looked at least double his age. Lily wouldn’t care, though; her party was a rip-roaring success.

“Drink?” Jono offered to Dylan, hoping the kitchen would be a bit quieter.”

“Definitely,” Dylan looked relieved. Sure enough, the kitchen was that little bit more tranquil, much to the relief of them both.

“Are you coping okay?” Dylan enquired, filling a glass with rosé wine; always his drink of choice.

“Yeah, trying not to think about it,” Jono admitted, “Trying to keep my brain busy.”

“I don’t get a choice, my brain is always busy,” Dylan opened up, “It’s hard to keep up with it.”

“That sounds exhausting,” Jono realised, “I can just about handle one train of thought.”

“Same,” Dylan chuckled, “You make it easy. Nobody’s ever understood me like you have.”

Jono felt touched. He knew he and Dylan had a connection like no other, but this was one of the loveliest things anyone had ever said to him. It meant the world.

“I love you, forever and always,” Jono quoted one of his favourite Taylor Swift songs as he tried and failed to keep his happy tears hidden.

“I love you too, silly,” Dylan wiped the tears away, gently caressing Jono’s cheek. It felt so cute; Jono couldn’t believe he had only known Dylan for little over a year. He could never go back to life without him – it simply made no sense.

Sat side-by-side on Jono’s bed, Freddie was determined to get to the bottom of whatever was consuming Josh. He seemed like his usual self at school, so this turn felt very sudden. Obviously, something had happened between school ending and the party beginning.

“I’m sorry, I’m a wreck,” Josh looked on the verge of tears.

“That’s nothing new,” Freddie jested, trying to raise the mood. Josh raised a smile – Freddie knew him better than anyone, including just how to cheer him up, “Tell me, maybe I can help.”

“Clara,” Josh simply said. That was a name Freddie was hoping to never hear again. Everything she put the pack through. Everything she put Josh through. It was unforgivable.

“She’s dead, Josh, remember?” Freddie carefully nudged, unsure of the exact reason she was being brought up.

“I know, but I saw her. On the way here. At the party. She’s following me,” Josh explained.

“She can’t be,” Freddie tried to keep his head in reality.

“I know what I saw,” Josh defended. Freddie wasn’t sure what to say. He knew Josh wouldn’t lie about something like that, but he also knew that Josh couldn’t possibly have seen Clara. The supernatural world was weird, but surely not that weird?

“What’s brought this on?” Freddie wondered. It felt unusually sudden.

“That’s just it, I don’t remember. I can’t remember a thing from this afternoon,” Josh continued, “I was at school, in class, then the next thing I knew, I woke up in bed. What’s happening to me, Freddie?”

“I don’t know,” Freddie was stumped. He hadn’t seen anything like this before, but it was clearly not having a positive impact on Josh’s state of mind, “But we can figure it out. Us two, Dylan, Jono, all of the others. In the meantime, I need you to hold it together. You’ve coped with much worse, remember? You’re strong, and I believe in you.”

Josh nodded. Freddie felt pretty proud of his pep talk, and obviously it was working.

Interrupting the moment, the door swung open. Jono blundered in, blissfully unaware, before grinding to a halt, clocking eyes awkwardly with Freddie.

“Oh, sorry,” Jono apologised, backing out.

“No, it’s okay,” Josh grabbed his attention, “We need your help.”

Freddie smiled proudly at him. Thank goodness he was getting the help he needed.

Thus far, Yasmin’s evening hadn’t even remotely gone to plan. She was expecting a fun night of unwinding with her friends, proudly showing off Josh on her arm, and forgetting about day-to-day life for a few hours.

Instead, Josh was having some sort of breakdown, and Drew and Lily had roped her into their latest amateur detective mission, which somehow involved Brett, the biggest douche in junior year. He was sat on Lily’s bed while the three of them stood facing him, proving who was in control.

Despite her confusion, Yasmin was also very intrigued. Monty’s amnesia seemed to tie in with Josh’s, but she needed a few more details before blurting that out. Now was her chance to learn.

“What the heck is going on?” Brett questioned, having chugged down a full litre of water, “Is this more of that werewolf shit? I said I was sorry.”

“We know, but we need to ask you something,” Lily explained, keeping the situation as calm as she possibly could.

“Spit it out,” Brett rudely demanded. Yasmin was getting sick of him and his attitude. She grabbed him by the neck, holding him as firmly as she could.

“I suggest you co-operate, because if you don’t, I will drain every last drop of the water you just drank back out of your body, through your nose. Is that clear?” Yasmin played the role of bad cop. Drew usually did that, but he was being surprisingly tame instead. Yasmin would never have said it to his face, but she believed Allyn had softened him slightly.

“Alright,” Brett agreed, “What do you want to know?” Yasmin loosened her grip.

“Yesterday, straight after school,” Drew began, “You were stood outside the school gates.”

“Are you stalking me now?” Brett interrupted. Yasmin clutched his neck again, “Alright, I’ll be quiet.” Yasmin released him for what she hoped would be the last time.

“Did you see anyone? Anything out of the ordinary?” Drew continued.

“Err, I don’t think so,” Brett responded uselessly, “I saw that kid with the long hair, Monty.”

“Anything else? Dude, this is important,” Drew continued to probe.

“He was with his boyfriend, he said hi to me, but Monty wasn’t there anymore. I assumed he went a different way,” Brett detailed.

“Noah was there?” Lily was surprised.

“He didn’t mention anything,” Drew added, “He knew nothing about Monty’s disappearance at all.”

“He disappeared?” Brett interjected, “Is he okay?”

“Fine, but someone or something took him, and left Noah,” Drew answered. Yasmin could see he was trying to piece everything together, but what they had heard so far kept adding to the confusion.

“Maybe it was that scientist guy?” Brett pondered. Immediately, alarm bells began ringing in Yasmin’s mind.

“What scientist guy?” Yasmin queried.

“He walked past, just before I saw Noah,” Brett replied, “I wasn’t paying attention, but he had one of those white lab coats on.”

Suddenly, Yasmin’s intrigue ramped up to maximum levels. This was too weird not to be connected. She needed to confer with Josh’s story.

Sticking around in the quietest part of the kitchen, Dylan was wondering where Jono had gotten to. He had nipped upstairs to change into a more suitable party outfit, but hadn’t returned in almost twenty minutes. Dylan was debating whether or not to go and find him.

His eyes scanned the party – what he could see of it from the most distant point of the kitchen anyway. Weirdly, there wasn’t a single one of his friends in sight; even Lily herself was nowhere to be seen. That said, Dylan had noticed a wasted Sammi grinding between two senior year guys. Somehow, he wasn’t shocked.

Finally, to his relief, Dylan found a familiar face in the hallway.

“Freddie!” Dylan called out, grabbing his attention.

“Hey, there you are,” Freddie pulled up a stool and sat next to Dylan at the breakfast bar.

“Is everybody hiding from me?” Dylan chuckled.

“Yeah, you caught me so I’m eliminated,” Freddie went along with the joke, “No, I came looking for you. Shit’s going down upstairs.”

“Huh? What’s going on?” Dylan immediately began to panic. After everything he had seen that day, his mind was on red alert.

“Long story, but we need you. You’re the only person who can do this, apparently,” Freddie reasoned unconvincingly. He didn’t seem to have any idea what was going on either.

“Do what?” Dylan was getting more and more confused. He was hoping to have a chilled night after the day he’d had, not get further wrapped up in supernatural drama.

“Josh can’t remember anything this afternoon. Something happened to him, Dylan, and I’m worried. He wants you to help him find out, and he can show you how,” Freddie explained.

“What? How can I do that?” Dylan had no idea what Freddie was hoping he would do, “There’s so much weird shit happening, Freddie, and I think it’s only just beginning.”

“What have you seen?” Freddie could clearly tell something was up. Dylan felt scared even thinking about the corpses from before. The fear he felt was strongly present in his memories. He was on the verge of tears just thinking about it – as if he were on the edge of a cliff about to be pushed.

“A body, decapitated more or less. You could feel the fear miles away, even though it was dead,” Dylan detailed, his hands shaking. He noticed Freddie was listening intently. They both needed each other.

“Use that fear you can feel to help fight back, because Josh is scared too, and he needs his alpha. He needs his brother, because I know damn well I’d need mine in a time like this,” Freddie reasoned. Dylan nodded. Freddie was right. Dylan had a responsibility.

Josh hadn’t moved from the side of Jono’s bed. In fact, he didn’t want to. He felt safer away from the crowds. Away from the possibility of seeing Clara’s fearsome face again. Even the thought of her name made Josh feel anxious, on-edge, and quite frankly disgusted. Without her interference, he wouldn’t have been so damn messed up.

That said, Josh couldn’t deny that so many good things had come from the chaos. He met Jono and Freddie – his best friends. He met Yasmin – the light at the end of ever dark tunnel he faced. Most importantly, he met Dylan – the only one who truly made him strive to become after person. He needed Dylan to look for his memories for him, because he was the only one careful enough, and who cared enough, to carry out this difficult task properly.

“Where is he?” Josh wondered, feeling impatient.

“He’s coming, Dylan wouldn’t abandon you,” Jono was sat by his side, keeping him calm.

“You’re so lucky,” Josh commented, “You found your someone. Someone to trust and rely on. I wish I had that.”

“You’ve got Yasmin, dude,” Jono reminded.

“Yeah, and I screwed that up without even knowing it,” Josh sighed. He felt deflated and fed up. Things had gone from the best they had ever been, straight back to square one.

“Isn’t that for me to decide?” Yasmin interrupted, stood in the doorway without Josh noticing.

“Sneaking up on me,” Josh raised a smile. He was so pleased she was willing to talk to him.

“Are you okay?” Yasmin wondered.

“I will be,” Josh replied, raising a smile, “And I promise I’ll make it up to you when I am.”

“You better,” Yasmin teased. Josh laughed, before spotting Dylan behind her. He had finally arrived.

“Sorry to interrupt,” Dylan approached, stopping in front of the bed, “I can’t lie, I’m pretty terrified about what’s about to happen.”

“It’s okay, I’ve done this loads before,” Josh assured him. He took Dylan’s right hand and placed it on his neck, “Release your claws.” He felt the gentle sensation of the tip of Dylan’s thumb claws scratch against the hairs on his neck.

“What are you doing?” Yasmin looked concerned.

“Getting back what’s mine,” Josh replied, “When I say go, you need to press into my neck with your claws and keep totally still. If either of us move, I’m dead.”

“Got it,” a nervous Dylan responded.

“Okay, now,” Josh commanded, taking a deep breath. Instantly, he felt the harsh claws pinch into his skin. Josh froze on the spot. He focused his mind, feeling Dylan trundling around through the depths of Josh’s mind, searching for the memories he so desperately wanted.

Inside the deepest sections of Josh’s mind, it felt like Dylan was unlocking the most dusty and buried doors. All sorts came flooding back that Josh had kept away for so long. Clara. Clarissa. His parents. So much pain.

Then, suddenly, there it was. In the farthest corner of his memories. Hidden and disguised so that he couldn’t find it. Josh saw the white coats. The needles. The medical equipment. The ghastly plain walls. The clinical scent of hand sanitiser.

Dylan withdrew. Josh snapped back into the room. It felt like his mind had been blown.

“Did you see it?” Josh frantically asked, “The people in white.”

“Yes,” Dylan looked startled, as if he had seen a ghost. Josh remembered it all now, and instead of finding peace in knowing the truth, he now felt even more scared than before.

Re-joining the party, Lily felt satisfied that Brett hadn’t been a total waste of space for a change. He had provided them a lead, and even though they still knew very little about who or what this scientist was, it was some level of progress. Quite honestly, Lily found herself pretty horrified by the thought of the scientist – the convenient amnesia, the calculated CCTV disruption, and the after-effects the victims had already experienced.

On the bright side, her party was a massive success. The music hadn’t stopped the drinks kept flowing. Even though it was a school night, people were still getting wasted as if they had a chance to sleep off their inevitable hangover.

“You did it,” George found Lily as soon as she stepped into the front room, “I’m sorry for doubting you, baby.”

“I did,” Lily repeated, filled with pride. She knew she could – and it was her best party yet.

Shockingly, Lily heard a scream. Then another. And another. A chorus of screaming and shouting followed as the crowd began racing towards the door. Lily was confused, and instantly a little furious. What had happened? What was ruining her party so suddenly?

Pushing against the tide, Lily forced her way into the living room. Immediately, she noticed exactly what was causing the fuss. Draped over what used to be her coffee table, now a pile of shattered glass mixed with the broken window adjacent, was a corpse. It was brutal, and absolutely horrible to look at.

“What the hell is that?” George asked, repulsed. Lily felt the light hairs on her arms standing up. She was terrified.

“An experiment gone wrong,” Lily theorised. She couldn’t take her eyes off of it, even though it was the most awful sight she had ever seen. It looked like their skin had simmered and burnt, almost liquidated against its organs and skeleton.

“What’s going on?” Dylan rushed in, hearing the commotion.

“They were here,” Lily replied. Immediately, Dylan raced out of the front door. Lily followed – whoever did this, she had to see them.

Rushing into the front garden, Lily saw Dylan sprinting off after a person in a white coat. The scientist was there, and Dylan was heading straight towards them.

Previous: "Fear"
Next: "The Key"

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