Series 2 Episode 4
Nervous, terrified and feeling smaller than ever, Dylan wasn’t looking forward to his first day of high school. Junior high wasn’t the best experience he had ever had – there were very few people he felt he could call friends, and many of the kids picked on him for his sexuality. They didn’t even know he was gay for sure, and not did Dylan at first. Now he knew for sure though.
He had just walked to school for the first time – a tiresome effort but his mum wasn’t going to offer a lift – and instantly, he noticed how big everything felt. Tall buildings and huge, domineering kids. However, there was plenty of eye candy around from the older boys. That was a plus. It was a fresh start for Dylan. He knew nobody there. He was brand new to the area. Any of the kids who bullied him in junior high were miles away now. Although, instead of trying to make friends, as he knew he’d surely fail, Dylan decided to try to get to grips with the building. There was sure to be so many classrooms, and he had no idea where to go.
“Hey,” he heard a kind voice say behind him as he approached the main entrance.
“Oh, hi,” Dylan replied as he turned around to face a girl with wavy, brunette hair. She was pretty and had a sincere smile on her face.
“You’re new here, right?” she wondered. Dylan nodded shamefully, ready for her to stick the boot in.
“Me too. I’m Yasmin,” she introduced, still being polite.
“Dylan,” he replied, not losing grip of his shyness.
“Come on, let’s find out where we need to be,” Yasmin led the way inside. Dylan couldn’t believe it. He didn’t want to jinx it, but had he already made a friend? He certainly hoped so.
“What the hell have you done?” Yasmin yelled. Dylan was surprisingly on the receiving end. She was, however, quite understandably frustrated. He hadn’t found a moment to consult her before agreeing to Clara’s plan. Similarly, she hadn’t told him she was going to see Drew. They were even in the secrets department.
“I had to make a decision,” Dylan justified.
“It was a crazy decision. It affects all of us, Dylan. Not just you two,” Yasmin scolded.
“That’s not fair,” Jono defended, “I’m sorry we didn’t discuss it with you, but we had no time. Freddie is sick. If we leave it longer, he could die.” He spoke so clearly, always picking the right words. Dylan found it reassuring to know he had Jono to back him up.
“An alpha increases the strength of the entire pack, including you guys,” Dylan detailed, “If we got an alpha, Freddie might heal quicker.”
Yasmin sighed, “I just wish you consulted with me first. We’re a team. We’re a pack. Apparently.”
“I’m sorry. I was in a difficult spot,” Dylan felt regretful. While he stood by his actions, he couldn’t say Yasmin was being unreasonable.
“So, how do we get an alpha?” Yasmin pondered.
“We don’t,” Drew interjected, arriving at the bench.
Arriving late into school, Lily took her place in English class. She flung her bag down next to Oli and perched on the chair adjacent, but she wasn’t in the mood for their pair work. Yasmin had texted her about Dylan and Clara’s alliance, so Oli was clearly well aware of who she is and what they had done to Josh. Interestingly, Oli didn’t seem all that concerned about her. It was a relief, she guessed.
“How’s Freddie?” Oli asked first.
“Doing better,” Lily replied. A silence followed; Lily didn’t know what else to say.
“You know who we are,” Oli changed the subject, cutting out the middle man, “Does it bother you?”
“Yes,” Lily answered to the first statement, “And no. My brother’s dating a werewolf, why can’t I?” Lily spoke absent-mindedly, then immediately regretted it. She and Oli were not dating. She had gotten carried away. Maybe he hadn’t noticed?
“Oh, you’re dating?” Oli played it coy. Damn, he’d noticed.
“No, but I wouldn’t say no,” Lily hinted. She’d styled it out. Result.
“I could free myself up after school,” Oli smiled.
“It’s a date,” Lily felt a glint in her eyes and her heart flutter. That worked out much better than she’d expected it to.
“Chadwick, Martin, what’s the occasion?” Mr. Marshall yelled over, interrupting the mood. Lily couldn’t be put down though. She had been on many dates over the years, yet this one seemed like she had finally found someone who was worthwhile.
“So, what’s your problem?” Dylan interrogated Drew at the bench that lunchtime. They hadn’t had a chance to speak all day, but for whatever reason, Drew was dead set against the idea of finding an alpha. It was baffling to Dylan – surely, he didn’t want to end up on death’s door like Freddie? He didn’t want any of them to be in danger.
“My problem is you, repeating the same mistakes, putting trust in alphas that have ulterior motives,” Drew answered harshly yet vaguely.
“How is this a mistake? Don’t just say things like that and not explain them,” Dylan scolded. He’d had enough of people not trusting him.
“You wouldn’t understand,” Drew condescended.
“I’m not a kid. We’re in this together. You can’t keep secrets anymore,” Dylan argued.
“Alright. They want an alpha, something that’s not just gonna make us stronger, but them too. They’ll have more power, and who will they want as their alpha?” Drew educated.
“One of them,” Dylan concluded.
“Exactly. It won’t benefit us at all,” Drew noted.
“Except it does. They need us for strength. The bigger the pack, the stronger everyone is. They won’t harm us because it will only be their downfall,” Dylan persuaded. Drew stopped to think.
“On your head be it,” Drew gave in. That was the closest thing Dylan was going to get to approval. It was a result.
Feeling weaker than he ever had, Freddie was getting fed up of the hospital. He had only been there for less than a day, but it was so boring. The same four walls were tiresome, and he only had his phone as a source of entertainment; scrolling through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram only occupied him for so long.
“Hello stranger,” George grinned as he opened the door.
“Hey,” Freddie croaked. He even sounded awful. Why wasn’t he healing? That was the best part of being a werewolf.
“How are you feeling?” George queried.
“Great, I fancy going for a run actually,” Freddie sarcastically responded.
“Har har, very funny,” George retorted, “Do you remember anything about last night?”
“Nothing at all. Fat lot of good I am,” Freddie felt bad. He had no recollection of arriving at the hospital in the first place. George nodded without saying a word. He understood.
“I miss you at home. It’s kinda lonely on my own,” George confessed. Freddie wasn’t used to him being so open, but he liked it.
“I miss you too. It’s no fun here. Nobody I can take the piss out of,” Freddie joked. At least he still had his humour, “Seriously though, go home and sleep. I’ll be fine.” Freddie knew he had to look out for his big brother. George had been so strong since their mum died, but everybody had a breaking point.
“I’ll only be bored at home,” George sighed, “It’s not so bad here. I’ve had some company.”
“Oh, who?” Freddie was intrigued. He almost felt popular.
“Dylan was here last night, I told him to go home. Lily came this morning too,” George recalled.
“Oh, I wonder which one of us Lily came to see,” Freddie teased. He had always joked about George’s affections for Lily. They were undeniable, and George had given up pretending he didn’t. At some point, he knew he had to play Cupid and hook them up.
“Shut it,” George blushed, “She’s going on a date later. I encouraged her. That Oli kid who started yesterday.”
Freddie paused. Oli. He remembered now. He and Shania were there last night. That injection was the missing piece of the puzzle.
“You need to get her away from him,” Freddie blurted out, feeling panicked all over.
“Huh, what? Are you alright?” George was concerned. He had that worried look on his face, but he was worrying about the wrong person.
“He did this to me. He caused my heart attack. Lily’s not safe. Go!” Freddie commanded. George listened this time and shot straight off. He knew he wouldn’t ignore a threat to Lily.
As he approached his house, Dylan was excited to chill out in front of the TV. Already, it had been a busier week than he’d had in a while, and he needed to relax.
However, he was slightly irritated to see Clara and Shania stood outside. School was over, and he didn’t think he’d have to worry about anything werewolf-related until at least the next morning. How they knew where he lived was another matter, but perhaps one for another time.
“What are you guys doing here?” Dylan queried as he approached them.
“No time to rest, we’ve got an alpha to find,” Clara told him.
“How though? I mean, there aren’t any other werewolves in Crystalshaw. We can’t just find one in the supermarket,” Dylan wondered.
“Two options,” Clara clarified, “We find an alpha from another pack. You heard about the werewolf that got killed, right? He has his own pack. There are more of them in Crystalshaw than Drew is aware of.”
“What’s the other option?” Dylan cautiously questioned. He was slightly concerned about what he’d learn.
“One of us becomes the alpha,” Clara informed.
“But how? I don’t get it,” Dylan was getting more and more confused. For one of them to become an alpha, they had to kill another, which linked with option one all over again. Besides, Dylan certainly didn’t want to participate in anything like that.
“Alphas can earn their status. Legend has it that a true alpha can be made when a werewolf pushes his or her way through a mountain ash barrier,” Clara explained.
“I thought that was impossible?” Dylan pondered. Drew had never mentioned this.
“It’s rare, but not impossible. Only the strongest can do it. Wanna try?” Clara proposed. He glanced at Shania. She hadn’t said a word to him. He wasn’t sure he trusted her. He had no reason not to trust Clara so far though.
“Let’s do it,” Dylan decided impulsively. What could go wrong? He had nothing to lose.
“You’re almost there, you just need to square-root your answer and there you go, you’ve found out what c is,” Yasmin explained. Jono tried his best to listen in, but after a whole day of school, he was finding it hard to focus on Pythagoras’ theorem. He couldn’t even think of the square root of 25.
“Jono?” Yasmin nagged. He looked up, trying to focus on her, “You look a million miles away. Is it Freddie? Are you worried?”
“No. I mean, I’m worried, but that’s not it,” Jono explained. He felt bad – he had asked Yasmin for some extra maths help but he needed to speak to her privately, “It’s Dylan. I’m worried.”
“I thought you agreed with him about Clara,” Yasmin recalled.
“I did, but I’m still sceptical. What if this doesn’t work out?” Jono pondered.
“Then we’ll be here to give him a helping hand. Don’t worry. We got this,” Yasmin reassured. She was right. No matter what happened with Clara, Dylan still had his pack behind him. That wasn’t the only issue, though.
“One more thing,” Jono continued, “I think his mom is having an affair with the Sheriff.”
“Wait, what? How do you know? Does Dylan have any idea?” Yasmin was gobsmacked.
“Long story, but he has no idea. I want to tell him but it’s not my place,” Jono expressed his dilemma.
“I guess it’s not an affair if they’re both single,” Yasmin considered factually.
“I just don’t want him finding out accidentally. He doesn’t show it but he’s sensitive,” Jono worried.
“You don’t have to tell me. He doesn’t like change either, remember the drama over Mrs. Johnson’s seating plan last month?” Yasmin remembered.
She was right. Dylan loved routine. School, “mom time,”, homework and bed. Anything that disrupted that routine bugged Dylan like hell.
“What can we do?” Jono wondered. It was the million-dollar question.
“There’s nothing we can do. It’s all up to Caroline. Like I said about Clara, we’ll just have to be there to pick up the pieces,” Yasmin sensibly suggested. She was right again. It was a waiting game, and Jono had to learn patience.
Bristling with excitement, Lily could hardly wait for her date. Although she was filled with nerves, the fact she was going to be spending time up-close and personal with Oli could only be a good thing. Besides, it was her first time dating a werewolf. It had to be worth the wait.
She was waiting outside the cinema down town, her first time there in a few months. They were intending to watch Love, Simon on Jono’s recommendation. Dylan said they both cried their eyes out, which said a lot. Jono almost never cried at a film or TV show.
“Hey,” Oli approached, interrupting Lily’s train of thought, “You look gorgeous.” Lily always appreciated a compliment, especially when she had put so much effort into her appearance. She only wore lipstick in terms of make-up and had picked up a stunning dress after school in town. It was a dark blue and fit her small frame perfectly.
“You too,” Lily blushed. Oli was wearing a light blue shirt and cream chinos. He totally rocked the smart-casual look.
“Ready to go in?” Oli questioned. He seemed pretty relaxed; nothing like how Lily felt.
“Sure,” Lily shyly responded. He held out his hand and Lily gently slotted her fingers between his. It felt blissful, and she suddenly felt much more at ease.
“Stop!” a familiar voice yelled from a few metres away. Lily spin around. George was running as fast as he could towards them.
“What are you doing here?” Lily was baffled. Why had George arrived? Was Freddie okay?
“You need to get away from him. He’s not safe,” George panted. He was growing more and more confused by the second, “He hurt Freddie.”
“What? This can’t be…” Lily was trying to process the information. She looked to Oli, “Is this true?”
Instead of answering, Oli placed his arm around Lily neck within an instant. His claws were primed against the bare skin, ready to slice. Lily had never felt so vulnerable as she noticed the horrified look on George’s face. He looked how she felt.
Jumping the Chadwick house security gate was no issue for Drew, nor was a leap up to Jono’s bedroom window. Their parents worked busy schedules, Jono was at Yasmin’s house and Lily was on a date. That meant the coast was clear for Drew to have a private chat with their special guest. Josh’s face was a picture when Drew burst through the open window.
“What the heck?” Josh was stunned as he jumped off of Jono’s bed and backed against the far wall.
“We need to talk,” Drew commanded. He noticed a familiar scent in the room, beyond that of Jono’s cologne, but he couldn’t figure it out.
“I have nothing to say to you,” Josh tried to ignore, focusing on watching the television.
“That’s alright, we’ll go to plan B,” Drew rapidly approached Josh and mercilessly slammed his claws into the back of Josh’s neck. It was a trick that alphas normally used in his past experience, but he had taught himself well while the hunters were taking over. It was the perfect skill as long as it was performed with care and attention.
As soon as the sharp claws broke Josh’s soft skin, Drew felt like he wasn’t in the room anymore. Cautiously, Drew navigated his way through Josh’s memories, looking for exactly what he needed.
After what felt like a long time, Drew backed out. It had only been a matter of seconds in reality; always disorientating for Drew.
“What was that?” Josh immediately broke away, rubbing the back of his neck. He was showing just how inexperienced an alpha he really was in his ignorance.
“You’re telling the truth,” Drew acknowledged. He sat down on the bed, thinking things through. He was so sure that Josh was bad news, but he needed help before he came to any conclusions. He had to speak to Dylan.
Then it twigged. That familiar scent. He should have identified it in an instant. In Josh’s mind, Drew had seen the boys’ toilets at school. Josh stumbled in, dripping in black blood. The same black blood he saw just the day before. Why didn’t he suss it out instantly? Perhaps Josh’s change in status came with a new scent.
“The school, why did you go there?” Drew interrogated.
“I wanted to speak to Freddie in private. I followed his scent, but I was wounded. I’d only just escaped from Clara,” Josh admitted, “She’s bad news, Drew. She only wants status for herself. I need you to help me convince Dylan.”
Drew considered it. It was a tempting offer, even taking into account Josh’s previous form.
Stood around a broken circle of mountain ash in Drew’s bunker, Dylan glanced at Shania and Clara. Shania looked as vacant as ever, clutching a jar that looked very uncomfortable for her. No surprise – it contained a large amount of mountain ash that Drew kept as a security measure. Clara on the other hand seemed much more relaxed. She was focused and in the zone.
“Who’s going first?” Shania questioned. It was the first time Dylan had heard her speak. She basically seemed to be Clara’s lapdog.
Clara made eye contact with Dylan, asking him if he wanted to go first without uttering a word. Dylan shook his head. He didn’t fancy taking that leap into the unknown.
“I will,” Clara then volunteered. She confidently stepped over the mountain ash barrier. The circle was wide enough to situate her, and the fact it was broken meant that Clara could step over it with absolute ease.
As soon as she was inside, Shania tipped some more mountain ash to complete the circle. Now Clara was trapped. She placed her hand against the invisible barrier and it glowed a pale blue, like a ripple effect. Clara withdrew her hand, as if it had repelled her.
“Good luck,” Dylan smiled kindly. He didn’t know what to expect, but he was hoping it would work out. Clara prepared herself, taking deep breaths to calm herself down.
Creeping downstairs, Yasmin and Jono went to fetch a drink each. Jono was only supposed to be there until six o’clock, but it was now almost eight and her dad hadn’t cottoned on. He would go ballistic if she had disobeyed him, but they wanted to investigate and bounce ideas off each other with regards to Dylan and Josh.
Yasmin had signalled to Jono that he had to be silent, especially on the godawful creaking staircase they had. Yasmin listened intently for any clues as to where her dad was in the house. Curiously, it was dead silent. No kitchen appliances being used, no TV blacking out, just pure silence across the entire house.
“Wait here,” Yasmin whispered to Jono halfway down the staircase. She rushed into the room located to the right of the stairs and peered through the window. Her dad’s car wasn’t on the driveway outside.
is clear,” Yasmin called out.
“Nobody home,” Jono bounced into the living room with her.
“No, He didn’t say he was going anywhere tonight,” Yasmin was stumped. He always told her where he was going. He expected it in return from Yasmin and was a big believer in practising what he preached.
“Err, Yasmin, you might want to see this,” Jono ominously warned. A shiver immediately travelled down Yasmin’s spine as she turned away from the window. Jono had picked up a book from the coffee table and was holding it up to her. The horror in Yasmin’s system soared as she read the book’s name.
Lily was horrified. Oli’s claws were an inch away from tearing through her neck. George’s face spelt everything out. He wanted to help Lily but was too scared; she knew she would feel the same in his position.
“Please Oli, you don’t have to do this,” George tried to persuade.
“I didn’t want to. Really, I didn’t, but if you’re going to get in my way, I might have to,” Oli threatened.
“I’m not, I’m not,” George quickly replied, “Do what you need to do, just let Lily go.” Oli didn’t reply. Every second felt like an hour for Lily. She just wanted it to be over. Surely Oli wouldn’t dispose of her as easily as that? How did George even find anything out?
“What is this all about?” Lily wondered. Perhaps she could talk her way out of this.
“He and that Shania girl, they poisoned Freddie. That’s why he had a heart attack,” George explained. That justified George’s involvement, but Oli’s motivations remained confusingly unclear.
“Why would you do that?” Lily questioned as Oli moved his claws closer to her skin. He was feeling threatened, and Lily couldn’t tell if that was good or bad news for her.
“We need an alpha, and the only way Dylan would agree to an alliance was to put one of his own pack in danger. Make him realise how much he needs one,” Oli enlightened. It made sense – Drew always said packs were stronger with numbers.
“He’ll be furious when he finds out you deceived him,” Lily responded, “He’d be even more furious if you killed me. Don’t do it. No-one wins.”
Oli didn’t reply. A few moments passed; the deafening silence was painful. Then, much to Lily’s relief, Oli let go. Before she could turn around and speak to him, he had raced off, obviously ashamed. She embraced George in a warm hug, delighted to be safe again.
“Thanks,” she smiled.
“No problem,” George casually replied, “But we need to talk.”
The blue ripple effect shone brightly around both of Clara’s hands. Dylan’s eyes were fixated on her and whether she would be able to penetrate the barrier. It was like nothing he had seen before. Grains of rock in a circle were somehow so powerful against werewolves. Yet seemingly not as indestructible as they thought if Clara’s story were true.
Dylan took a quick glance to his right. Shania was just as fascinated as he was. She was holding a leaf blower in one hand – the only way any of them could free Clara if she failed.
Speaking of Clara, she was putting all of her effort into pushing against the barrier. Sweat was dripping from her forehead as she bared her teeth, focusing completely on the mission at hand. Every ounce of strength was being used.
The ripples grew bigger and bigger, but the barrier wasn’t budging. Clara was yelling, forcing herself forward, but it still wasn’t enough. In an instant, Clara shot back against the back of the barrier, collapsing into a heap in the middle of the circle.
Immediately, a startled Shania flicked the switch on the leaf blower and blew the mountain ash away from Clara. The seal was broken.
Dylan was shaken. He immediately rushed to her aide, feeling hot and exhausted with anticipation. He checked Clara’s pulse – still going, she was just unconscious.
“She’ll be fine,” Dylan told Shania. His phone buzzed. A new text. It was from Lily – “Clara is dangerous. Get out.” What did that mean? Clara had been nothing but pleasant thus far, despite his initial concerns. She seemed to want the same things as Dylan, and unlike Josh, she hadn’t given him a reason to be sceptical. However, he trusted Lily. She wouldn’t have said something like that unless he actually was in danger.
“I gotta go,” Dylan excused himself, nervously attempting a getaway.
“Not gonna attempt it yourself?” Shania interrogated.
“I’ll pass for now,” Dylan casually responded. He didn’t want to sound panicked even though his heart was setting new records for speed. As he went to open the bunker door, he was blasted backwards as the horrific sound of gunfire filled his ears.
“He can’t know, surely this is some sort of mistake?” Yasmin panicked. Jono watched on as she paced back and forth across the room, stress levels soaring.
Jono understood how she felt. He knew he didn’t want his own parents to find out that he was dating a werewolf. Any positive thoughts they had about Dylan would be cancelled in an instant.
“What do you think it means?” Jono tried to fill Yasmin’s logical-thinking space while she was busy worrying. The only problem was that he was much less logical than she was, but he made up for it by being great at details, “Think of the possible answers before we freak out.”
“Maybe, err, maybe he helps werewolves like Mrs. Johnson,” Yasmin optimistically thought. A sensible and likely idea.
“Maybe he is a werewolf,” Jono suggested.
“That’s a terrible idea, there is no way he’s a werewolf. Wouldn’t that make me part-wolf?” Yasmin rebutted. Her tone sounded rude but Jono let it slide – she was stressed.
“Perhaps, depends on when he was bitten. Besides, it’s just an idea, and we have no proof to rule it out,” Jono considered.
“I would know. Trust me,” Yasmin seemed confident.
“Alright, so what else?” Jono thought. One more idea filled his mind, but he was undecided as to whether he could let Yasmin worry.
“I don’t know, maybe there’s a clue in the book,” Yasmin picked it up off the table and out slid a sheet of paper, folded neatly. Jono instantly grabbed it and saw a long list of names filling the sheet from top to bottom.
“Oh god,” he muttered, examining it. He couldn’t believe his eyes.
“What?” Yasmin impatiently questioned.
“It’s a list of werewolves in Crystalshaw. Drew is on it, with Oli, Shania and Clara, but not Dylan,” Jono detailed, “It’s a hitlist, which means…”
“Don’t say it,” Yasmin cottoned on. This is what Jono had considered and feared. Her worry was going into overdrive.
“He’s a hunter,” Jono said regretfully. Yasmin dropped to her knees, losing every ounce of strength in her legs. Her whole world was collapsing, and Jono had nothing but sympathy.
Looking frantically around, Dylan was trying to take cover. The bunker was a very restricted place and there were only so many places to hide, although the metal bookcases were a good shield. He needed to look after himself first and foremost, but Shania and an unconscious Clara were both in the room too and he felt protective. Lily’s text hadn’t been forgotten though – if they were dangerous, he needed to have as little to do with them as he could.
His senses were all over the place. Focusing his hearing was much tougher than usual thanks to the amount of noise going on around him. All he could smell was the terrifying scent of gunpowder and the room was smoky and dark, obscuring his vision.
He tried looking for both Clara and Shania, but there was no sign. Even the spot where Clara was lying was empty. Had she recovered and moved herself? Had Shania moved her out of harm’s way? Or had they caught her? Dylan couldn’t afford to worry about her too. It was every man for himself in that room.
He crawled along the floor, remaining sheltered behind the bookshelf, inching closer and closer to the door. Whoever they were, they all seemed to be inside the room, as Dylan noticed the doorway was clear. This was his moment.
Without thinking any further, Dylan made a run for it, his heart panting faster and faster. He legged it out of the door, not turning back. Gunshots fired in his direction as bullets bounced off the wall in front, only just missing his head. They had seen him.
His legs refused to stop as he reached the ladder, hauling himself up to save time. He saw the night sky above, the moon almost full. Only a couple of days away, in fact. Strangely, it lined up perfectly with his birthday. He wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad coincidence.
Regardless, he clambered onto solid ground and kept on running. Further and further away, so that the hunters couldn’t catch him. However, he feared it would only be a matter of time.