Previous: "Luna Llena"

Series 1 Episode 5
"True Colours"

Panting, running terrified, Dylan was letting his instinct steer him. He knew exactly where he wanted to go. Where he needed to go. The most important thing was that he had escaped without hurting Jono. However, he was frightened that he had blown it for good by snapping at him. He couldn’t help it, it’s the full moon’s effect.

Honestly, at times like this, it would be easier to just tell Jono the truth. It would at least give him a reasonable explanation for Dylan’s unusual behaviour. He couldn’t risk it though. At least this way, he can try to make it up to Jono. If he told him his terrible secret, Jono would run a mile. He could never find out.

Dylan needed help. Only one person could help him when he couldn’t control the wolf inside. He hated to admit that Yasmin, Lily or even Jono were not his ‘go-to’ in this scenario. Maybe it should even be his mum, but he didn’t want her to know yet either. Or ever.

He reached a hole in the pavement, indicated by a luminous barrier surrounding it. A ladder led the way down underground. Dylan skipped the ladder and jumped straight down. It was only a few feet anyway – the ceiling was just a metre or so above his head. Of course, he landed straight on his feet.

“I knew you’d be early,” came Drew’s voice, stood directly in front of where Dylan landed.

“Let’s hurry up then,” Dylan requested.

“You want to do what?” Dylan was repulsed.

“They will restrain you. I used them myself years ago and they worked perfectly,” Drew did his best to persuade Dylan, but it wasn’t working. Drew was holding some incredibly strong-looking chains, bolted to the wall of his bunker, as well as some strange and painful-looking contraption to wear around his head. It was metallic and a little rusty, and around the metal ring were a string of nails pointing inwards. Even looking at it made his head hurt.

“So I’m supposed to sit here all night in absolute agony while you do…what? Grab the popcorn and watch?” Dylan vented. He glanced around at his potential home for the night. Drew’s bunker was a mess. Very dimly lit, a little dingy, and all kinds of tools and pieces of equipment littered the place.

“I’ll be keeping guard on the off-chance that you escape,” Drew informed. He stayed as emotionless as ever. Like Dylan was a business deal.

He considered his options. He could take Drew up on this and almost guarantee that he and everyone else would be safe. Sure, he would feel pain, but he would heal, right? He still didn’t totally understand how that worked.

On the other hand, he could trust himself. Use the techniques that he had learnt thus far. Save himself the pain but risk hurting someone. Unfortunately, he only had one clear option.

“Alright. Let’s do this,” Dylan decisively commanded.

The chains slipped on without a problem. Drew tightened them, and sure, he couldn’t move much, but Dylan could handle them. They were pretty cold against his skin but it didn’t hurt. It was only for a few hours anyway, right?

The pain came afterwards though. The headset was placed around Dylan’s hair. Drew parted his locks where the nails were positioned so as not to damage Dylan’s appearance, for which Dylan was grateful. The headset felt heavy when placed on his head, but it wasn’t uncomfortable as such. Drew then tightened the nails, pulling them closer and closer to Dylan’s scalp. Dylan screamed in agony as the nails pierced his skin, and blood trickled down onto the floor. He had never felt such horrific pain in his life.

“What the hell are you doing this for?” Dylan yelled.

“Werewolves heal, pain makes you human,” Drew explained.

“I can’t take this,” Dylan was crying tears. He wasn’t sure he could stand the pain any longer.

“Find your anchor. Picture Jono. Remember why you’re doing this,” Drew encouraged. Dylan did as he said. He tried his best to shut the pain out and focus only on Jono. His heart fluttered even amongst the sharp tinges against his scalp every time he even slightly moved. He could do this. He had to.

Stirring, Dylan glanced up. He focused his vision on what was in front of him. He was still in the bunker, although something seemed different. He was much more relaxed now. Why wasn’t the headset hurting anymore? He felt his head. No headset. Not even a scar to prove it had been there. He had healed.

Then it twigged – he had moved his hands freely. The chains were gone too. Did he dream the entire thing? No, of course not. That excruciating pain was all too real.

“Morning sleepy head,” Drew strolled out from the shadows of the bunker.

“What happened?” Dylan slurred. He was fearing the worst.

“You fell asleep. You tamed the wolf, blocked the pain and kept control,” Drew proudly revealed, “I unchained you during the night.” Dylan felt a flush of excitement run through him. He had come out on top. The wolf had lost.

“Will I need to do this every month?” Dylan wondered.

“It’s hard to say. You may need it again, but I think you’ll have learnt what to do to keep control. Maybe just the chains next month,” Drew considered.

“Thank god,” Dylan cherished the thought of never seeing that headset again, “But can I still shift at any time?” He thought he should ask all the necessary questions right now, while he could.

“Yes, but you can control it the same way. Think of Jono,” Drew informed.

“This is what I don’t get. That first night, when you saved me from hurting Jono, he made me shift. How can he be my anchor when he can cause it too?” Dylan recalled.

“You know there’s a difference between being in love and being a horny teenager, right?” Drew detailed, “That night, you were horny as anything. Don’t worry, you’re head over heels for him. Love wins.”

“How cliché,” Dylan laughed, before he remembered. It was Friday. A school day, “Shit, what time is it?”

“Half seven,” Drew replied.

“I need to get changed for school,” Dylan replied.

Scared out of her wits, Yasmin was worried about what she may or may not find at school. She had not heard from Dylan or Lily, and she prayed that no news would be good news. However, an all-clear text would have been nice.

Now she was fearing the worst. The bench was startlingly empty. Come on Dylan, or anyone. As if he heard her prayers, Josh came and sat next to her

“It’s quiet here today,” he commented.

“Tell me about it,” Yasmin dishearteningly replied. Her stomach felt sick with dread, but she didn’t want to talk about it, “Where’s Freddie?”

“On his way. He and Jono tend to arrive nearer the bell. I prefer to get in earlier, gives me time to study without any distractions,” Josh explained.

“Same,” Yasmin replied. He smiled at her. That adorable smile. The kind she always wanted to see from him, that suggests they’re on the same wavelength.

“I was gonna ask,” Jono began as Yasmin’s ears picked up, “Are you free tomorrow? You know, to hang out?”

Oh boy. Was she dreaming?

“Yes,” she replied, a little too quickly. How uncool, “I mean, I think so.”

“Great,” Josh grinned like the cat that got the cream.

As Yasmin stared sweetly at his smile, she noticed Jono approaching in the background. She had almost forgotten her worries in that moment. Seeing Jono was a huge relief.

“Morning,” he greeted, much less excitably than normal.

“What’s up?” Yasmin asked, noting the lack of enthusiasm in her tone. She was terrified of his response.

“Have you seen Dylan today?” he questioned.

“No, why?” Yasmin replied. She braced herself.

“Last night. Things were going so well, then he snapped at me,” Jono explained. Gulp. That didn’t sound very good. Yasmin hoped it wasn’t literal.

“That doesn’t sound like Dylan,” Josh commented.

That’s because it wasn’t, Yasmin thought, it was the wolf.

“It was mega weird. He then said he had to go, and he ran out,” Jono detailed.

“I’m sure he had a reason,” Yasmin tried to justify. How could she defend that though? It was erratic to say the least.

“It’s not the first time he’s done it though. He left suddenly a few nights ago too and never really explained why. It doesn’t add up. He’s giving me mixed signals,” Jono confessed.

“Trust me. He adores you. I mean, he’s barely stopped yapping about you all week,” Yasmin joked. She knew she had to do some damage control, “Everything Dylan does has a rational explanation.”

“I hope so,” Jono said, “I really like him.” He looked on the verge of tears. Yasmin glanced at Josh. He put a comforting hand on Jono’s back.

Yasmin knew she had to do something. She had to speak to Dylan, but he still hadn’t shown his face. He was usually in school by now. What had happened?

Sprinting through the front door, Dylan needed a quick freshen-up shower. He wasn’t being especially quiet. Would his mum have batted an eyelid at the fact he didn’t come home that night? Not that she was ignorant, but it wouldn’t be the first time he had “forgotten,” to tell her about a sleepover. He still hadn’t really spoken to his mum since their run-in. He was scared to. Dylan would rather paper over the cracks than reveal them and seal them for good.

“What time do you call this?” Caroline called out from the living room. She wasn’t nagging, it wasn’t her style. She was simply curious.

“Sorry mom, I stayed at Jono’s,” shamefully, Dylan was getting better at lying.

“Alright. We need to talk later honey,” Caroline continued as she approached the porch area, “I don’t like leaving things between us on a bad note.”

“Sure,” Dylan smiled. He hated falling out with his mum more than anything, “I need to go to school, we can talk when I get home?”

“Alright sweetie, have a nice day,” Caroline planted a kiss on his head. Now he just needed to tackle Jono.

Bored of waiting, Drew was flicking through his phone. He had given Drummond a lift to his house and they would proceed to school after, but despite his gesture of good will, he was still wary of Dylan. On one hand, Dylan was strong. He had good control over himself and would undoubtedly go on to become a superb fighter. He would be brilliant as part of a pack. On the other hand, he was a loose cannon and had already ignored Drew’s instructions one too many times. Could he be trusted?

Drew knew he was this only option though, if he wanted to fight the alpha. Maybe there will be more of their kind in Crystalshaw one day. Just like there used to be. What’s worse is that he still didn’t know who the alpha was. It could be anyone in the entire town, how was he supposed to narrow it down?

As he was thinking, he saw the driver’s window steam up. Blasts of steam continued to cover the window every few seconds. Like something breathing. Drew stayed totally still, not wanting to provoke anything with sudden movements. The alpha was here. He was sure of it.

Drew paid close attention to its scent. Any details would help to identify it. The alpha would know that though. To be an alpha, you had to be smart. It’s how you gained such a status. This was a calculated move.

The steam faded, and Drew moved his attention to his hearing. Thudding footsteps faded into the distance. It had gone.

“Alright, I’m ready to go,” Dylan began chatting as soon as the car door clicked open. Drew exhaled, ignoring him.

“What’s happened?” Dylan sensed Drew’s vibe.

“The alpha was here,” Drew revealed, “And I have its scent.”

The alpha occupied Dylan’s thoughts for the rest of the journey. He was outside Dylan’s house. He knew where he lived. His mum was inside – leaving her alone made him uncomfortable. Maybe he knew all along – Dylan hadn’t even considered that he was bitten just metres away from his house.

As soon as Drew pulled up in the school car park, Dylan raced towards the bench. He had to tell Yasmin and Lily. The alpha had attacked them both, and they could be at risk.

As he arrived, he tapped Yasmin on the back and escorted her away from the rest of the group’s hearing range.

“Oh my god, I’m so glad you’re alright,” Yasmin threw her arms around Dylan, “Why didn’t you text me?”

“Sorry, I was a little caught up,” Dylan frantically explained, “Look, I have good news and bad news.”

“Alright, what’s the good news?” Yasmin keenly queried.

“I controlled myself. Drew helped and I know how to tam the wolf. I did it,” Dylan proudly announced.

“You did? Amazing!” Yasmin breathed a clear sigh of relief, “So wait, what’s the bad news? Did you kill Drew in the process? Not even sure I’d be annoyed at that.”

“No, what do you take me for?” Dylan scowled, “The alpha found us earlier. It wants us to find out its identity, it was taunting Drew. Luring us in.”

“Huh? Why doesn’t it just reveal itself?” Yasmin wondered.

“I don’t know, but we need to tell Lily. Any of you guys could be at risk,” Dylan commanded.

“Leave that to me, you’ve got some apologising to do,” Yasmin suggested, nudging her head to her right. To Jono.

“Will do,” Dylan nodded. He knew for sure that he had to make it up to Jono. How he would do it was another matter.

Sheepishly, Dylan slumped down onto the seat opposite Jono. He wasn’t really sure what he was going to say, but perhaps that was for the best. He didn’t want to sound clinical, that would only make things worse.

He glanced at Josh, signalling that he needed some alone time with Jono. Josh seemed to get the message, leaving them alone. Now for the hard part.

“I assume you’re here to apologise,” Jono began. Dylan was slightly relieved that he didn’t have to think of an icebreaker.

“You have no idea how mortified I am about last night,” Dylan attempted to justify himself.

“Me and all. I have been trying to rationalise it in my head ever since but I haven’t gotten anywhere,” Jono still seemed annoyed. He had every right to be.

“I’m not going to bore you with excuses, but I can assure you that last night was a moment of madness. It won’t happen again if you give me a second chance,” Dylan pleaded his case.

“Where is the evidence, Dylan? Look, we barely know each other, maybe we need to be friends for now,” Jono’s words broke Dylan’s heart. It felt like his entire world was being torn apart to tiny shards.

“I swear, you have my word. I will make it up to you in every way possible,” Dylan continued.

“Why should I trust your word though?” Jono queried.

“Because you are the best thing that has ever happened to me and I cannot bear the thought of going back to life without you,” Dylan passionately detailed.

Jono stood up and sat down on the other side of the bench, next to Dylan. Dylan wondered what he was doing. He stared longingly into Jono’s dusky grey eyes once again. God, he really adored him.

Much to his surprise, Jono leaned in to make out with him. Dylan was taken aback but was not complaining. The feel of Jono’s lips never lost its appeal. He was in paradise, and he didn’t even care about the numerous school kids who were undoubtedly gawping at the sight of two guys kissing.

Breaking apart, Dylan waited for Jono to explain himself.

“You are impossible,” Jono commented, “I’ll let you make it up to me.”

“Why?” Dylan was baffled by his change of heart, “Not that I’m upset by your decision of course.”

“Because you’re the best thing that has happened to me too,” Jono admitted, “I love you Dylan.” Wow. Those three words were the best sound Dylan had ever heard. The first time anyone, other than his mum, had used them to him. And everyone knows that doesn’t count.

“I love you too, Jonathan,” Dylan replied with a grin on his face. They moved in for another kiss, relishing each other’s company.

“Hey, how about you come around to meet my mom tonight? You could stay over if you wanted,” Dylan offered.

“I would love that,” Jono grinned, “Starting as you mean to go on.” All was good in the world again as Dylan was concerned.

Much to Dylan’s amazement, Jono had gotten them both out of history that morning. Quite how he managed it, Dylan had no idea, but Jono was on much better terms with Mr. Hamilton than Dylan was, thanks to some overdue homework. Jono escorted Dylan to the old deputy head’s office, recently relocated to a nicer office with air conditioning.

“Our new home,” Jono swung the door open. The office looked almost bare, beyond a couple of desks decorated only by a computer and a desk chair each.

“Wait, this is…,” Dylan tried to process.

“The newsroom,” Jono replied excitedly, “This is our base for the school paper. Our own lil’ office.” Dylan couldn’t lie – he was blown away. He certainly did not expect them to get their own office. It was more than a little cool.

“This is amazing,” Dylan could not stop smiling. He sat down in one of the extremely comfortable swivelling desk chairs and spun himself around, “I could get used to this.”

“I’m glad we get to do this together,” Jono admitted.

“Me too,” Dylan continued smiling. He looked up to the large noticeboard attached to the wall above his desk, and his mood came crashing down when he saw a note pinned to it. One with the alpha’s pack symbol on it.

“So, it could be coming back for us?” Lily was terrified to hear that the alpha was still lurking. She was well aware that the problem hadn’t been solved but she hoped Dylan and Drew would be covering it.

“Quite possibly. It seems to be provoking Dylan and Drew, and we’re guilty by association,” Yasmin explained. It was only her and Lily sat at the bench during break time. Lily had no idea where any of the others were, although Jono did mention something about that school paper business. That would explain his absence.

“So is Jono. He might not know it but he’s in the firing line just as much as we are,” Lily thought, “So what are we supposed to do/,”

“I don’t know. Drew has its scent but that doesn’t help us,” Yasmin considered.

“Part of me thinks we should tell Jono,” Lily confessed.

“Dylan would hate that,” Yasmin instantly replied.

“It’s not all about Dylan. We’re all involved,” Lily justified, “Our lives are at risk too, which makes it about all of us.”

“I guess. We need to talk to Dylan first though. It’s his place to tell Jono,” Yasmin suggested. Lily nodded. She hated to admit, but everything did converge on Dylan. He had to be consulted first.

Arriving at the bench with Jono in the final few minutes of break, Dylan was feeling a mix of emotions. On one hand, he had cleared the air with Jono and had just finished a very productive morning in the newsroom. The night they had planned together was bound to be exciting too – his mum left for work at five o’clock, meaning they had the entire night to themselves.

However, he had not forgotten the note. It had been playing on his mind all morning. He needed to find Drew as soon as possible to let him know.

“Dylan, I need a word,” Yasmin said just before Dylan could take a seat. Why did ominous statements like that always end badly? She escorted him away from Jono’s hearing range.

“What’s this about?” Dylan worriedly asked.

“You have got to tell him,” Yasmin commanded. As vague as she was, Dylan knew what she meant with no confusion.

“No way,” Dylan instantly refused.

“He’s at risk, Dylan. Just like the rest of us. Do you think the alpha will care if he is in-the-know or not?” Yasmin backed herself up.

“We can protect him. If I tell him, that’s it. Any chance I have with Jono is gone,” Dylan emotionally argued. He couldn’t believe Yasmin was trying to take this away from him.

“We? Dylan, you have only just learnt how to protect yourself. We cannot rely on Drew. Jono needs to know his enemy in case none of us are around,” Yasmin continued. She wasn’t wrong, and Dylan hated it. Yasmin’s best ally was logic – she was almost always right. Dylan took a moment to consider his options.

“If I tell him, we will be over. He wouldn’t go near something like me,” Dylan was on the verge of tears.

“And if you don’t tell him, he will be killed,” Yasmin concluded.

“Alright. I’ll tell him at mine tonight,” Dylan regretfully said. Yasmin pulled him in for a hug. Dylan didn’t want it, and tried to struggle, but Yasmin persisted. He just let the tears flow. This werewolf thing was stupid. He was slowly losing any chance of happiness. How could he truly live with anybody who knew what he was?

The final school bell rang out, and it could not have come soon enough. Dylan had found the afternoon excruciatingly tedious. Maths was not getting any more interesting and his mind was totally absent.

Jono was going to meet him at his house at four o’clock, which gives them both a chance to spruce themselves up, although Dylan was wondering what the point was. He had to speak to his mum in that time too – not a conversation he was looking forward to.

He rushed out of the school doors, much like every student as soon as the clock rang three in the afternoon. He felt a shove on his shoulder and noticed Drew next to him.

“Drummond,” he greeted, “I heard you’re telling lover boy the truth.”

“And you’re here to tell me not to,” Dylan predicted, rolling his eyes.

“No, I was going to say that I hope it goes well. It’s a big step but I think it’s the right one,” Drew almost smiled. Not quite though – his mouth only moved slightly. That was as close as Drew ever got to a smile, so Dylan took it.

“Thanks. Did you ever have to do this?” Dylan wondered.

“A long time ago. I chose to keep it a secret though and look where that got me,” Drew cryptically revealed. It was the most he had ever opened up, and Dylan was amazed he even said that much.

“I’m sorry,” Dylan compassionately replied, “We’ll stop the alpha. We have to.”

“I’m gonna look this weekend. The scent will help although its human and wolf scents could be different,” Drew replied.

“Maybe this could help,” Dylan handed him the post-it note from earlier. Drew took a sniff.

“Who gave you that?” Drew asked bluntly.

“I found it left for me in the newsroom,” Dylan explained.

“The scent is different. I think I recognise it,” Drew announced. Before Dylan could ask who it was, Drew had rushed off. Typical Drew.

When he arrived home, Dylan had to brace himself. On the way home, he had tried to rehearse what to say to his mum. How could he explain why he was missing school? While he was being honest with Jono, he was not ready to tell his mum that he was a werewolf.

However, he could share a part of the truth. If she was going to meet Jono, she deserved the full experience, right? He failed at rehearsing anyway. Just as he always did. Maybe, like with Jono earlier, it was for the best. Sounding overly rehearsed meant what you were saying sounded less sincere. He just had to go for it.

He opened the living room door and saw Caroline enjoying some chill time before work. She worked two jobs – she did night shifts at the supermarket during the week and worked at the local elementary school on reception in the afternoons. She really savoured the little pocket of time between the two jobs where she could chill out and spend time with Dylan. It made Dylan realise how he had neglected her that week.

“Hey mom,” Dylan smiled. He always felt like a young kid again when he was around his mum. Some things never change.

“Hiya sweetie, how was school?” Caroline smiled back. The best thing about her smile was how her eyes lit up too.

“Same old. Was work alright?” Dylan continued the small talk nervously.

“Ditto,” she laughed, “Look, I don’t want to nag, you know that’s not my style, but I’m a little worried about you Dylan.”

“Skipping school was a moment of madness, I promise it will never happen again. Sorry mom,” Dylan sincerely apologised. He totally understood where she was coming from. She worked so hard for them both, yet Dylan was carelessly missing school.

“I hope not. There’s more though. Is something bothering you, sweetie? You’ve not been yourself this week,” Caroline observed. Gulp. This was his chance.

“There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you mom,” Dylan began. Caroline was staring at him. This felt excruciatingly uncomfortable. Every second was taking ten minutes to pass. He went for it – no turning back now, “I’ve been seeing someone.”

“That’s brilliant honey, what’s their name?” Caroline asked.

“That’s the thing, I’m…seeing a boy,” Dylan revealed, holding back the flood of emotions he was experiencing, “I’m gay.” He couldn’t hold back anymore. Droplets of tears began to flow down Dylan’s cheeks, and they didn’t stop. Caroline pulled him in for a cuddle.

“Aw sweetie. I don’t care whether you’re gay, straight, bi, or anything else. You’re my son, and if you’re happy, so am I,” Caroline comforted.

Somehow, that only made Dylan cry more. Maybe they were happy tears. He couldn’t even tell. Then he realised – when asking for a name, she said “their,”. No specific gender.

“Did you know?” Dylan noticed.

“I had my suspicions,” Caroline revealed, “The Harry Styles obsession was a giveaway.” Oops. Dylan really did have a big thing for Harry Styles.

“You’ve not answered my question anyway – what’s his name?” Caroline reiterated.

“Jono, the guy from my class. He’s coming round like, any minute now,” Dylan explained, drying his eyes.

“And you really like him?” Caroline ensured.

“I love him, mom. He loves me too,” Dylan smiled.

“I better get ready, don’t want him thinking we’re a family of scruffs,” Caroline joked. She got up and went to leave the room, but turned around in the doorway, “I’m proud of you Dylan, and your dad would be too. He wouldn’t care any more than I do.”

Dylan nodded. Just as he dried his tears, they were on their way back. The fact that his dad would not have looked down on him for being gay meant everything. He didn’t have time to mope though, as the doorbell rang. Answering it, Dylan as very pleased to see Jono.

“Hey,” Jono grinned, “You look like you’ve been crying, what’s up?”

“You better come in,” Dylan replied. He felt on cloud nine, and prouder of himself than ever before. Such a shame it was destined to be short-lived.

Stood on the outskirts of the Crystalshaw forest, Yasmin was raring to go. She was about to get some much-needed practice in self-defence and had even stocked up on some equipment – hence her heavy backpack.

“Come on then,” she enthusiastically yelled to Lily.

“Really? Do we have to do this?” Lily complained.

“Don’t you want to be a strong, independent woman who can fend for herself?” Yasmin persuaded.

“I want my bed,” Lily moaned.

“You said it yourself. We are all at risk. We need to be able to fight for ourselves. Dylan can’t watch over us all twenty-four-seven,” Yasmin reasoned.

“I suppose. This better be worthwhile,” Lily gave in, “So what have you planned for us?” This was the fun part. Yasmin dropped the backpack and produced a plastic, realistic-looking gun prop. Instantly, Lily stepped back and put her hands in the air.

“What the hell are you doing?” Lily was totally fooled. Yasmin couldn’t keep it up any longer and burst out laughing.

“What’s so funny?” a confused and frustrated Lily asked.

“It’s a prop from drama class,” Yasmin explained through her giggling fit.

“What was the point of that? Other than to make me shit myself of course,” Lily was not seeing the funny side.

“It was a test. I wanted to see how you would defend yourself. Turns out, you didn’t,” Yasmin detailed.

“Alright, you made your point, let’s get on with it,” Lily nagged. Yasmin laughed again – she was enjoying herself way too much.

As she continued to lead the way through the forest, she felt a cold rush over her skin. Goosebumps appeared as her arm hairs stood on end.

“Lily, can you feel that?” Yasmin nervously asked.

“Yeah,” Lily nervously replied, “Like something is watching us.” They grouped together, to keep each other safe, “Yasmin, if this is another of your silly pranks, it’s very funny but can it end now please?”

“Even I can’t organise something this realistic,” Yasmin replied. It felt like the alpha. It had to be. All of a sudden, a familiar voice called out to them.

“Get down!” Drew yelled, jumping out from the shadows to shield the girls. As he did so, gunfire began to sound. Yasmin was terrified, although she noticed the hairs on her arms stand down. The alpha had gone, but who was firing at it? Surely not Dylan? The gunfire stopped after about half a minute, and Drew stood up first.

“What the hell was that?” Yasmin asked, scared.

“I found the alpha, but they found us, and I think they have led it straight to Dylan,” Drew worried.

In any other circumstance, Dylan would be having a pretty brilliant day. He finally plucked up the courage to come out to his mum, and she got on with Jono like a house on fire. However, it felt slightly in vain considering what he was about to do. Now Caroline had gone to work, he had taken Jono upstairs to see his bedroom for the first time.

“Oh my god, I love this room,” Jono smiled as he walked in.

“Really?” Dylan was taken aback. It was hardly the tidiest room going, as he hadn’t found a moment to clean it beforehand.

“It’s so homely,” Jono looked to be in paradise as he collapsed onto Dylan’s unmade bed.

“Jono, I have something to tell you,” Dylan sat on the edge of the bed. This was it. This was the moment he lost Jono forever. And possibly saved his life. And it all began with one of those ominous statements he truly loathed.

“Why does this not sound very optimistic?” Jono pondered. Dylan struggled to speak. The look of confusion on Jono’s face quickly turned into worry, “You’re scaring me now.”

“This will sound stupid, but you have to promise to believe me because I am telling you the absolute truth,” Dylan requested.

“I promise, just tell me, please,” Jono begged. As Dylan braced himself to speak, the windows shattered and Drew came tumbling through, as if he’d been thrown in.

“What the hell?” Dylan yelled as Drew curled into a ball on the floor. He staggered up, with no visible injuries of course, but he seemed dazed and disorientated.

“Drew?” Jono was baffled.

Before he could ask any further questions, another creature came flying through the window. Dylan jumped back – it was the alpha. The atmosphere in the room felt eerie and terrifying. This was the first time Dylan had come face-to-face with his nightmare. The huge, dark beast with those fearsome red eyes Lily had described. It was a horrific sight – who would want to look like that?

“Dylan, what is that?” Jono’s voice quivered as he spoke. The fear he felt radiated onto Dylan, who stood in front to protect him. The alpha opened its huge jaws and let out an ear-piercing howl.

Dylan caught a glimpse of Jono in the corner of his eye, covering his ears, but he was more worried about himself. He felt the wolf breaking through, and although he tried to shut it behind imaginary doors in his head, it was no good. He was transforming, and there was nothing he could do to stop it. He managed to catch sight of Drew, who was struggling much in the same way.

Dylan dropped to the floor, on all fours, as his nails became claws and scratched the flooring in his bedroom. The howl subsided, and Dylan stood up. He tried his best to hang onto the last scrap of humanity in his mind as he turned around to face Jono. However, he knew it wouldn’t be enough.

Jono’s face was the most horrific picture Dylan could imagine. He looked ashamed of Dylan. Like he was the most repulsive creature he had seen. A tear fell from Jono’s eye and it broke Dylan’s heart. He wanted to go and hug him, and tell him everything was alright, but the wolf was in control now.

He and Drew were stood next to each other, shifted into their wolf forms, while the alpha behind regressed back into its usual shape. Dylan looked around, and his heart skipped a beat when he saw the alpha’s human form for the first time. Stood behind him, still with red glowing eyes, was the deathly stare of Josh…

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