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Next: "Beta"

Series 5 Episode 6
"The Bite"

Looking around the treehouse, Jono was basking in the sunset. Freddie and Josh were with him there, and music was playing from his stereo. Dua Lipa’s album, of course.

It was a chilled summer evening, with no school worry about. This was the life. Freddie and Josh were playing a game on his laptop, and everything seemed surprisingly normal. Too normal.

“What are you playing?” Jono enquired.

“Hospital,” Freddie replied coldly. He was confused. What sort of game was that? Freddie liked Fortnite and Call of Duty, and when he found a new game, you’d be hard pressed to get him to stop talking about it.

Jono moved round to take a look at the screen. Horrified, he saw visuals of himself lying on an operating table. Astonishingly realistic visuals. Freddie was making incisions in Jono’s stomach, which looked pretty badly wounded.

“Why am I on there? What the hell is this sick game?” Jono was outraged.

“It’s you,” Josh responded, “The real you. You’re dying, Jono.”

Jono felt dizzy. How could he be dying? Then he felt it. A throbbing pain in his stomach. A gunshot wound. How could he forget?

“We’re going to save you,” Freddie stated firmly, “Hang on in there.”

“I don’t think I can,” Jono worried. He started to feel light-headed.

“We’ve got you. We can cure you, with one final ingredient,” Josh explained. The reality of the situation had hit Jono and he was terrified. Surely, he couldn’t be dying?

“What’s that?” Jono wondered.

“The bite,” Josh answered chillingly.

Stirring in the waiting room, Lily immediately jumped up. She had no idea how long she had been sleeping for, so she needed an instant update on Jono. How well had the surgery gone? She desperately wanted to know.

“Hey sweetie,” Helen’s voice filled Lily’s ears. Her mum had been sat next to her, her dad opposite, “Did you sleep okay?”

“I guess,” Lily replied, knowing it was far from her biggest concern, “How is he?”

“They removed the bullet, but they won’t know more until he wakes up,” Steve replied, “He’s not out of the woods yet.” He looked broken, as did her mum. They looked how she felt.

“When will he wake up?” Lily queried.

“That’s in his hands,” Helen answered.

“Has Dylan shown up?” Lily had so much she needed to know. He needed to be there. He couldn’t be robbed of these precious moments with his love.

“No sign,” Helen replied.

“I need to find him,” Lily tried to stand up, but Helen kept hold of her hand.

“They’re looking for him already. Jono needs you here,” Helen encouraged. Lily wanted to feel useful, but she knew her mum was right. They had to be together. All she could do was pray that Dylan would be found sooner rather than later.

“Help!” Dylan yelled out, not for the first time. In fact, he had been crying out all night. Obviously, nobody was in the area, and he wasn’t surprised either. He knew exactly where he was, and that made him lose hope. Dami had taken him to Mr. Forsyth’s old warehouse. The place he became an alpha. It was as if Dami knew what had happened there. Like she knew it would be abandoned.

Dylan was cut off from the world, and he had no access to his phone. Even if he could move his hands, he wouldn’t know where it was. It was killing him not knowing how Jono was doing. Maybe Kamilah had worked her magic on him? He just needed an answer.

Now Dylan was chained to some railings, and they were darn tight too. He hadn’t managed even a second of sleep. He couldn’t, not when he was so worried.

“Quit yelling, dumbass,” Dami whined from the doorway, “There’s nobody for miles.”

“You’re still alive then,” Dylan observed. He bit her arm, and that had two possible outcomes. If she wasn’t dead, it meant Dami would be changing. Changing into her worst nightmare.

“It’s going to take a lot more than a bite to stop me,” Dami snapped back.

“It healed, didn’t it?” Dylan probed further. He didn’t care uncomfortable it made her feel. She was the reason his heart was aching so bad.

“Shut up,” Dami hit back, grabbing a remote from the table in front. Dylan knew what the remote would do. He was chained to metal railings; it didn’t take a genius.

“What does a hunter do when they become the very thing they hunt?” Dylan continued to taunt. He had no sympathy for her whatsoever.

Dami pressed the red button on the remote. Dylan’s body felt the impact of some extremely painful electric shocks. He didn’t care, though. His body could take it. It would heal.

“You won’t silence me. Not until I can see Jono,” Dylan stood his ground. He was determined to win. Dami could only bend so much before she broke.

The basement door swung open. A tiny offering of natural light shone downwards. Noah was excited for the arrival of some company, no matter who it was. He couldn’t remember a thing about the night before, and that worried him. He could at least remember the previous full moons. Something different happened this time, and he didn’t feel good about it. In fact, he felt exhausted.

“Breakfast?” Monty appeared at the door with a tray of toast, juice, tea and various other treats.

“Please,” Noah smiled, “I could get used to this.” Monty placed the tray down and sat next to him.

“Last night,” Monty began.

“What happened? I’m out of my restraints,” Noah observed, feeling antsy. He really wanted to fill in in the gaps in his memory.

“Yeah, we gotta talk about that,” Monty vaguely replied.

“You got the short straw, huh?” Noah realised all was not well.

“No, I volunteered. I wanted to talk to you,” Monty affirmed. It was nice that somebody was willing to spend time with him at least.

“Tell me,” Noah worried.

“You changed last night, and not into a werewolf,” Monty explained, “You’re the kanima.”

“Huh?” Noah laughed, “You’re joking, right? I’d know if I were the kanima.”

“We saw you. You paralysed Yasmin,” Monty continued, “It’s okay. We want to help you. I want to help you.”

“That means I’m a killer,” Noah realised startlingly.

“No, you’re not,” Monty quickly defended, “The kanima’s not in control.”

“Why are you being so nice to me?” Noah wondered, “It doesn’t look like anybody else is on my side.”

“I don’t like seeing anyone left out,” Monty responded shyly, “Definitely not you.”

“I guess that makes you my best friend,” Noah smiled. Monty held his hand firmly but not uncomfortably. It felt cute. Noah could definitely get used to that feeling.

“So what do I do now?” Noah wondered, feeling a little lost.

“Stay here. It’s the safest place,” Monty thought.

“Don’t leave,” Noah begged.

“I won’t,” Monty confirmed. Noah would be happy anywhere with Monty.

Frustrated, Josh was having no luck. He, Yasmin, Drew and Freddie had been following any leads they could think of. Dami and Jake’s houses were turned upside down, but not even a tiny clue was in sight. Even the basement where Lily was held brought up nothing. There were no traces of Dylan’s scent around, so how was Josh supposed to find him now? Perhaps he could howl, but that would only work if Dylan heard and howled back.

Ed had all hands on deck looking for Dylan, but time could have been running out. Josh kept refreshing his WhatsApp waiting for an update on Jono. It was depressingly quiet. Maybe no news was good news? Josh kept telling himself that, but he wasn’t sure he believed it.

“Where are we going now?” Freddie queried. Yasmin was driving them back towards town.

“Jake was arrested,” Yasmin responded, “We can probe him for answers.”

“He won’t say anything, it’s a waste of time,” Drew was unconvinced.

“It’s not like we have any better leads,” Josh reasoned as Yasmin pulled up at the sheriff station.

“Stay here if you want,” Yasmin hit back. Josh shared her sentiment. They had to do all they could to find Dylan, so every idea was worth following.

“I’ve got an idea of my own,” Drew stated, “Freddie?”

“Alright, we’ll split up,” Freddie gave in, “Where are we headed?”

“The morgue,” Drew depressingly responded as they shut the car doors behind them. Josh was left alone with Yasmin as if the storm had just passed.

“Do you have any idea what you’re actually going to say?” Josh enquired.

“None whatsoever,” Yasmin replied honestly. Josh felt unsure of how worthwhile this was going to be, but it had to be worth a try.

At the dinner table. Pure silence. Jono sat eating his Sunday roast dinner in peace. His parents were unusually quiet. They always talked about the most mundane things; anything from Trump to their lunchtime at work. Lily often interjected to talk about George, too, so Jono had little room to offer anything about his day. Not that he wanted to contribute much anyway. Werewolves were hardly polite dinner chit-chat, and that was the most interesting part of his life.

However, this was different. The atmosphere could be cut with a knife. Nobody said a word, and it felt awkward. Something was up.

“How was your day, mom?” Jono broke the silence. Helen didn’t respond, though. She simply took Jono’s hand.

“My baby boy,” Helen looked directly at him, tears forming in her eyes.

“It’s okay mom, I’m not bleeding anymore,” Jono looked at his stomach. His t-shirt wasn’t stained at all. He was healing.

“You’ve lost so much blood already. It’s not good,” Steve noted, “It might be too late.” Jono felt a shiver run through his spine. He was still fighting for his life.

“I don’t want to die,” Jono felt himself tearing up. He rarely cried, but he couldn’t control himself.

“I need you,” Lily said, crying her eyes out too, “But if you need to go, I’ll be okay. We’ll be okay.” Jono felt the tear droplets flood downwards at a quicker rate than he expected.

“I love you guys,” Jono sobbed. He was so upset that he could barely utter his words.

“And we love you too. Always. Take care, my special boy,” Helen let go of his hand. Jono was on his own now.

The last time Freddie had seen the morgue, the kanima had launched an attack on him. He couldn’t fight it off because it had paralysed him – it was a feeling of fear that he couldn’t forget.

He and Yasmin had inspected the bodies beforehand, now Drew wanted to do the same. Freddie was trying to work out the point of his investigation, and struggling. Why tread over buried graves? Not that these poor bodies had been given the burial they deserve yet.

“Open the drawer,” Drew ordered. Freddie sighed. Drew had hands – he could have used them himself. Instead, he was fumbling around in his bag.

Freddie opened the drawer of the first kanima victim. It was still as awful to look at as before. Rotting, decapitated corpses never got any easier to look at.

“What’s that for?” Freddie queried as Drew draped what looked like a daisy chain of flowers all around his body.

“It’s wolfbane. Pretty poisonous to us but short-term touch is okay,” Drew explained.

“Now is not the time to plan Dami’s front garden,” Freddie joked, though he was genuinely confused at its purpose.

“Wolfsbane can do all sorts to werewolves,” Drew continued, “One of them is the effect on dead bodies. It can’t revive them, but it sort-of heals them.”

“Sort of?” Freddie was getting more and more befuddled, thanks to Drew’s typically vague wording.

“As long as the body is more-or-less intact, it can heal to full wolf form,” Drew continued, “If my theory is right…” As Drew spoke, Freddie noticed fur spreading from the corpse’s legs.

“That explains why it ignored Yasmin,” Freddie recalled.

“It wants to kill werewolves,” Drew figured out, “And it’s not the only one in Crystalshaw right now.”

“It’s one of the hunters,” Freddie realised, “And only one of them knew the perfect time for the kanima to try and break out of the basement.”

“Dami’s the master,” Drew concluded. Not only did she have their alpha, but she had the best weapon of all.

“No way,” Ed firmly responded. Yasmin wasn’t prepared to take no for an answer, though. She needed to speak to Jake, it was her best shot at finding Dylan. They were in Ed’s incredibly disorganised office, away from the other deputies, so there was no need to keep up appearances.

“He will have the answer, I bet,” Yasmin bargained.

“I’m under inspection and my stepson has gone missing, which means the light is shining firmly on me right now. I’m not letting two teenagers, including my other son, get involved,” Ed stood his ground.

“We’ll be quick, I promise. He will know Dami’s plan,” Josh begged.

“How can you be so sure? He’s told us nothing so far,” Ed rebutted.

“Is everything alright?” a man in his forties nosily poked his head around the office door. He looked well chiselled and had an air of importance surrounding him. Immediately, Yasmin didn’t like him.

“Fine,” Ed bluntly responded. The door shut again.

“Who the hell was that?” Josh questioned.

“Agent McCall, he’s the one inspecting me,” Ed answered.

“McCall,” Yasmin repeated, recognising the name. The cogs were turning rapidly in her brain. Why did she know that name? Where had she heard it before?

Then it clicked. Yasmin’s feet couldn’t move fast enough as she sprinted out of the office and towards McCall.

“Agent McCall,” Yasmin yelled out across the station.

“Yes, can I help?” McCall turned around. Even his movements felt arrogant and important.

“Do you know Scott McCall?” Yasmin questioned. McCall froze on the spot for a few moments.

“He’s my son, how do you know him?” McCall looked a little freaked out.

“I’ll explain later, but we need your help,” Yasmin explained. She glowed her eyes, her sea blue glare reflecting in McCall’s regular blue colour.

“What can I do?” McCall instantly questioned. Problem averted. Yasmin could get to work.

“We need to speak to Jake,” Yasmin requested. Finally – progress towards finding her best friend. Time was running out.

Another shock. Dylan’s body was growing tired, but he was struggling to care. Dami wanted him dead anyway, so why didn’t she just pull the trigger and be done with it?

For now, though, he was still alive, and he was still firmly set on getting to Jono as soon as possible. Remaining prisoner wasn’t just torturing him, but Jono and his family too. He needed to get out.

“Why don’t you just kill me?” Dylan questioned, using his best weapon once again.

“Because your pack are so loyal. They will figure out where you are and come running,” Dami revealed. Now Dylan really had to get out. He couldn’t be bait for his friends.

“I need a drink,” Dylan lied. He could last a little longer without water, but an opportunity had arisen.

“You can sing for it,” Dami hit back.

“If you need me alive, I need water,” Dylan reasoned logically. Dami groaned, knowing he was right, and left the room.

This was Dylan’s perfect chance. He was tied to the railings by what felt like a tight but thin plastic tie. This meant he could break it if he tried hard enough. Dylan channelled every tiny bit of strength he could to bend the plastic against the railings. He was exhausted but determined, and pretty scared. That was a good thing in Dylan’s eyes – scared kept him fast, and he had never been more scared for Jono.

The plastic stretched and stretched as Dylan kept pulling and pulling. The tie was pushing into his hands, blood trickling onto the floor from the wounds he was inflicting on himself, but he didn’t care. SNAP! Dylan fell forward onto the floor. He was free. Now he had to make it out.

Sat at a table opposite an empty chair, Josh wasn’t sure how he was going to react to seeing Jake. Already, in such a short period of time, Jake had caused so much damage to the pack. The least he could do was tell them where Dylan was, but Josh had a back-up method.

Additionally, he had Yasmin to his side, with Ed and McCall behind the one-way mirror; he had loads of back-up, much to his relief.

The door ahead opened. A deputy escorted Jake into the interview room, his hands secured in handcuffs. The deputy attached the cuffs to the chain on the table before vacating the room. Jake looked Josh straight in the eyes.

“I’d love to say this was unexpected,” Jake grinned smugly. He knew why they were there, and it told him he had succeeded. Josh would have loved to punch that out of him.

“Where is he?” Yasmin questioned.

“You’re asking the wrong question,” Jake responded, “You should be asking how you can survive.” Josh sighed. He had no time for riddles. He got up and primed his claws. It was time for plan B.

“Whatever happens, don’t interrupt this. It could kill us both,” Josh commanded to Yasmin. She nodded.

With Jake unable to protest, Josh pushed his claws deep into Jake’s neck. Closing his eyes, Josh felt himself delving into Jake’s memories. He had to stay focused, or else he would get lost. Josh saw a warehouse. A warehouse he couldn’t forget; it was the one Mr. Forsyth had locked him up in. That was it. That was the answer. Slowly, Josh withdrew his claws. He was back in the interview room.

“Well?” Yasmin desperately wondered.

“Your dad’s warehouse,” Josh fed back, “Let’s go.”

Creeping through the basement corridors, Dylan was trying to remember the way out. His legs were weak and numb after not being used all night, but nothing was going to be his barrier.

Every time he felt like he was close to giving up, Dylan remembered Jono. He pictured him in the hospital, bleeding out. It hurt to even imagine it, but it kept him going. Whether he could help Jono or not didn’t matter. He just needed to be there.

That said, Dylan couldn’t help assuming the worst. He knew that if Jono wasn’t going to make it, he had one final trick up his sleeve. Dylan would never forgive himself if he didn’t truly try everything. This final resort was risky, and not something he ever imagined he would do to Jono. However, he had vowed to protect him, and that was what he would do. At any cost.

He passed an open door, quickly dashing by. Dylan could smell Dami’s scent inside. It was clouded slightly. Clouded by blood. She hadn’t healed. Dylan thought back to when he was bitten. He definitely had healed by the morning after. If the bite didn’t turn, there would only be one option. Dylan couldn’t stand by and leave her, but he had to get out first. With back-up, he could come and help her.

Dylan darted towards the staircase. He was almost out. The end was in sight.

Yasmin’s car pulling up outside the hospital, Drew hopped in the back seat while Freddie went around to the passenger side. Drew was raring to share his findings. Though his pride wasn’t the top priority, he did feel a little smug in anticipation of proving to Yasmin that he could be helpful too.

“Find anything?” Yasmin immediately questioned.

“Dami’s the kanima master, that’s why it’s only killing werewolves,” Drew answered.

“Wait, what?” Josh was taken aback, “So she’s got a mole?”

“And a weapon stronger than any of us,” Yasmin added. She kept her eyes focused firmly on the road; she knew exactly where she was going.

“What about you?” Drew enquired.

“Dylan’s at my dad’s warehouse,” Yasmin relayed.

“Shit,” Freddie worried, “You don’t think he’s…”

“No,” Yasmin replied, “I’m sure of it.” Drew could smell the worry radiating of Yasmin. She was putting on a brave face, but brave faces meant very little to a car full of werewolves.

Drew’s phone buzzed. A text from Lily.

“Jono’s not looking good,” Drew read out. Even he felt scared of losing Jono. Once, he feared Jono would be Dylan’s kryptonite. Love was a distraction to werewolves, allowing the likes of hunters to gain the upper hand. He had seen his friends killed as a result. However, Jono was the glue holding Dylan together. He was his support beam. His emotional and physical scaffolding. Taking them away would see Dylan break.

Yasmin pulled up to the warehouse, knocking over one of the “keep out,” signs recklessly. There he was – waiting for them. Dylan. He had made it out. Drew shuffled along the back seat, leaving room for Dylan to climb in the back.

“Boy am I glad to see you,” Dylan was a little relieved, but not entirely. He knew this was far from over.

“He’s still alive,” Drew informed, answering the question he was obviously desperate to ask, “Just.”

“Let’s go then,” Dylan ordered, trying desperately to keep his cool, “Dami’s not healed from the bite. I think she’s dying too.”

“Good,” Drew remarked. She was nothing more than trouble and Drew struggled to feel sympathy.

“I did it,” Dylan opened up, “I’ll be her killer.”

“We can come back for her,” Yasmin was more sympathetic, “We need to focus on Jono now.”

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Drew looked directly at Dylan, who awkwardly averted his gaze. If Jono was dying, there was one final option. Drew wasn’t sure whether Dylan would be so risky, but he nodded regretfully in response. Either way, the pack was about to change forever.

Glancing across the bedroom, Jono had woken from what felt like a deep sleep. He felt at ease, as if nothing in the world could stop him feeling chilled. He had slept over at Dylan’s, though the bed was surprisingly empty. Dylan was sat in his armchair, facing out of the window. The sun was bright, shining gracefully onto the bed. Everything felt so peaceful.

“Morning,” Jono smiled.

“I’m sorry I took so long,” Dylan sounded more downbeat than usual.

“It’s okay, you’re here now, just get back into bed,” Jono requested. Dylan stood up to join Jono, slipping in underneath the covers.

“You look pale,” Dylan observed, “But still beautiful.”
“You always look beautiful,” Jono responded, “I’m so glad I found you.”

“Best year of my life,” Dylan smiled, caressing Jono’s curls.

“You made me feel happy with who I am,” Jono realised. Thanks to Dylan’s belief in him, Jono was able to come out to his parents. He expressed himself on a daily basis at school. His life had changed, entirely for the better.

“I couldn’t be more proud of you,” Dylan confessed, a tear sliding down his cheek. Jono felt the same happen to him. His tear ducts were certainly hard at work, “And I don’t want you to go. I need you, Jono. I need you by my side. I’m nothing without you.”

“You’re wrong. You’re everything you need to be. Back yourself, Dyl, because you are incredible. You can cope, and sure, you might be on your own for a bit, but it won’t be forever,” Jono passed on the best advice he could, “You’ll find another guy who adores you like I do.”

“I don’t want another guy,” Dylan replied, the singular tear drops turning into a river, “I want you. We said we’d get married, have kids.”

“Maybe in another life,” Jono smiled, “You’re the love of my life, never forget that.” He was trying to remain strong, but he was emotionally weak, “Remember our first kiss?”

“The treehouse, the day after I got bitten,” Dylan laughed fondly, “Remember when you found out about me?”

“I’m still drying from the rain,” Jono fondly recalled, “I love you so much, Dylan Drummond. I need to go now.”

“I don’t want you to,” Dylan was adamant.

“You have to. I need you to do one thing for me, it’s very important,” Jono requested, taking Dylan’s hand tightly, “Don’t forget me.”

Dylan nodded tearfully as Jono leaned in to kiss him. The best and most meaningful kiss of his life. Smiling one final time at Dylan, Jono succumbed to his heavy eyelids one last time.

Blink. A little light crept into Jono’s eyes. Bright white walls surrounded him, as well as four dark silhouettes slowly coming into focus. He wasn’t sure what was happening, and he felt a little scared. What was going on?

“Jono?” he heard a familiar voice exclaim. Dylan. He was one of the silhouettes by his side. His gorgeous face came into view, his pretty brown eyes and dark brown mop of hair. His favourite vision.

The rest of the pack made up the other silhouettes, creating a much calmer atmosphere for Jono. The white walls were now much clearer too, but they gave off a less relaxing vibe – it was the unmistakably mundane sight of a hospital room.

“What? What’s happened?” Jono’s mind was a foggy cloud of uselessness. He couldn’t remember a thing about what had happened.

“You’re okay, you got shot, remember?” Lily reminded him. Jono tried to think. He remembered the cottage. Sierra’s cottage. Dylan was there, and Dami. With a gun.

“I remember,” Jono muttered, trying to speak though his voice hadn’t totally woken up yet. He smiled at Dylan, and got an awkward, concerned smile back, “What’s up?”

“I’m just relieved you’re okay,” Dylan replied, stroking Jono’s cheek. Jono looked down at his arm. He felt a dull, throbbing sensation here, and concerningly noticed it bandaged up.

“What’s that?” Jono queried. He was certain he had been shot in the stomach, not the arm. He certainly still felt the pain from the bullet wound there anyway.

“We saved you,” Lily answered, “Dylan saved you.”

“It was the only way,” Dylan looked almost regretful. Jono peeled the bandage off his arm. In full view of the room was the wound. Specifically, bite marks. Jono shuddered. He knew exactly what had happened. His whole life had changed without him even knowing, and he had no idea how he was supposed to react.

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Next: "Beta"

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