Series 11 Episode 8
At last, the lights flickered on. Yasmin’s heart was beating louder than ever. She was terrified, and she had no idea where she was, which only made it worse. She’d only woken mere minutes before, and there wasn’t a shred of natural light, so Yasmin had to rely on her other senses to direct her instead.
Those senses painted a grim picture. The first thing she noticed was the damp stench that intruded upon her nostrils. Wherever it was, it needed a damn good clean-up. The sound of running water was the next thing to cross Yasmin’s mind. Usually it was a peaceful sound, but when the damp smell accompanied it, it was far from pleasant.
Now, Yasmin could see where she was. The sight of an underground cell, with stone bricks making up the walls and metal bars forming a door. She was tied to a chair, but more worryingly, a drowsy-looking Jeremy was secured to metal railings. Wherever they were, the person responsible clearly knew a lot about werewolves.
“Jeremy,” Yasmin whispered, “Are you okay?”
“No,” Jeremy whimpered back. He was crying, evidently just as terrified as Yasmin, “But I’m not hurt. Are you okay?”
“Same,” Yasmin replied, “How long have you been awake?”
“Not long,” Jeremy answered, “I can’t get out of these.” He tried pushing against the chains restraining him – chains that would usually be a piece of cake for him to break through.
“Because they’re laced with mountain ash,” a voice answered from outside. A woman looked in through the bars, “Feeling uncomfortable?”
“Oh my god,” Yasmin’s jaw dropped. It was a face she’d seen before. A face that had been more than helpful at the sheriff station, even when she had no idea what craziness Ed had asked her to deal with. Or so Yasmin thought, anyway, “Deputy Chang?”
“I leave my badge outside. My job is separate to the cause,” she spoke with an arrogance Yasmin had never heard in her voice before, “It’s Lisa. I think we need to have a conversation. The daughter of Forsyth deserves to be heard out.”
“You’re in the cult,” Yasmin realised. Finally, they had reared their heads. Her father’s existence continued to follow her like a bad smell. She’d never be able to shake his ugly legacy, and now the pack was in danger all over again.
Jono had never seen Dylan look so broken before. Waiting for news on Harry was breaking him, and understandably so, too. It didn’t take a genius to see how much Dylan loved Harry, and losing him was going to break his heart.
Quite where Jono himself stood with Dylan, he still didn’t know, and no matter what happened next, he suspected it would remain up in the air for a little while longer. He already knew returning to Crystalshaw didn’t mean returning to his old life, but it was going to be a long wait for Dylan to decide.
In the meantime, Lily was right. Dylan was still someone he cared deeply for. There was nothing more vital than showing his support when Dylan needed it most. Being back in Crystalshaw had to count for something, and he knew Dylan wouldn’t hesitate for a second if the tables were turned.
Lily had sprinted out in a hurry, and Caroline hadn’t yet returned from phoning Harry’s parents – giving them space, knowing her – so it was only Dylan and Jono in the hospital room with Harry. Whether it was an awkward or comfortable silence, Jono wasn’t sure, but he didn’t know what to say. All he could hope was that his presence was making Dylan feel at least a tiny bit more at ease.
“I know I’m being selfish,” Dylan broke the silence.
“What? No, not at all,” Jono was quick to disagree.
“I’m making you wait. I haven’t chosen. That’s not fair,” Dylan expanded, “I can’t make you wait for me, because I don’t know what’s happening next, and I’m sorry.”
“I was gone for seven years. I told you to move on and you did, there’s nothing to apologise for,” Jono reassured, “You love Harry, and he needs you more than I do right now. When you decide, whatever the outcome is, I’ll be here for you.”
“I don’t deserve you,” Dylan’s tears – which had been intermittent since Jono arrived – intensified once again.
“Hey,” Jono considered, “Maybe once things have calmed down a bit…” He paused, thinking of the right way to ask, “Maybe you could come with me to London? To get my stuff, I mean, but it’s not an emergency. Just thought it would be cool to show you my place. My old place, I suppose. Oh shit, I don’t know where I’m going to live. Back with mom, I guess.”
“I’d love to,” Dylan answered quickly, much to Jono’s relief. He didn’t even think about it.
“Dylan,” a gentle, weak whisper called. Jono was amazed. Harry was awake. His eyes were fixated on Dylan, and Dylan gazed back in amazement. The bite had worked, right?
Ushering the group inside, Freddie heard the bunker door shut behind them. There were so many unknowns, and with so many people to protect, Freddie wasn’t taking any chances. He had a responsibility to protect both his family and his friends.
After all, his worst-case scenario had reared its head. Jonah was embroiled in the supernatural world. Freddie had worked so hard to keep him out of harm’s way for the entire time he’d been in his care, and in one moment, the entire secret was out. Jonah knew the truth, and his life was in danger because of it.
Once inside, the group all looked to Freddie for a plan. He was the one who led them to the bunker, but the truth was that he had no long-term solution. Protecting the group was his sole mission, but they’d ended up underground with no alternative exit or phone signal. There was no plan beyond that.
“What the hell is going on?” Jonah looked increasingly stressed, “What happened to Leah? How did you throw her like that? Freddie, what’s happening?”
“Not now,” Freddie brushed the questions aside. He owed Jonah an explanation, but it wasn’t the time nor the place.
“It looks like we’re sitting ducks, which means now is the perfect time,” Jonah argued.
“Not now, we’ll talk at home, I promise,” Sammi gently backed Freddie, “Your brother just saved our lives.”
“Why were you even at the school?” Keisha questioned, sounding ungrateful, though Freddie knew sentiment wasn’t her bag.
“Charlie and I were talking,” Freddie recalled. Being back at work knowing about the basement had been surreal, but at least he and Charlie were in the same boat, “The guy before me.”
“Barney,” Charlie jumped in, “He ran out screaming after seeing the basement.”
“And I don’t know about you, but as weird as that place is, that’s quite a dramatic reaction to an empty cage and some jars,” Freddie continued, “So I looked him up. He was found dead last week, just a couple of days later. Post-mortem was inconclusive and the forensic report was allocated to Jeremy.”
“Wait, he mentioned this,” Sammi thought, “There was no DNA.”
“Guess where else had no DNA found?” Freddie revealed. Poking around Jeremy’s work files felt like an invasion of his brother-in-law’s privacy, but Freddie knew he had good reason.
“The bar and the hospital,” Sammi assumed.
“Bingo,” Freddie confirmed, “The places we’ve been targeted.”
“I really have not missed this,” Keisha sighed.
“Targeted,” Jonah was processing everything, “Damn Freddie.”
Three thumps on the door. Freddie jumped out of his skin. Someone knew they were there, and it was almost definitely Leah. Cautiously, he went to open the door.
“What are you doing?” Keisha hissed, “Opening that door breaks the seal. She’ll be able to get in.”
“I won’t open it far. Yasmin said it barely knew how to walk in Oscar’s body, it won’t be able to push this door open,” Freddie thought. His strength could keep Leah out, and he had to be sure it was her in the first place.
“I think that might have changed, did you see the damage at the hospital?” Sammi reminded. She wasn’t wrong – it left barely any of the hospital room door intact.
“Okay, battle stations, just in case. Jonah, Charlie, stay back,” Freddie warned. He pressed the rusty handle down with more force than a door handle should ever require and heaved at the door, just enough to open it a couple of inches.
“Freddie,” Leah immediately identified from outside. No attack. No attempt to gain entry. Just a helpless voice.
“Don’t open it,” Keisha advised.
“I think it’s really her,” Freddie thought. He could see the desperation in her eyes through the door. She was the real deal. He pulled the door open further to allow her in.
“Hey, catch,” Sammi threw a small jar to her, Leah just managing to save it from crashing to the floor. Inside was a heap of mountain ash; Dylan always kept a supply, just in case, “Stick your hand in there.”
“Um,” Leah looked confused, but she followed the instruction anyway, her hand sliding into the black dust with no issues. Freddie, Sammi and Keisha breathed a sigh of relief. That was the proof they needed. It was definitely Leah, “What is going on? Please, I don’t know why but I knew I had to come here. The last thing I remember is first period.”
“We need to find Jeremy and Yasmin. They’ll know more. I bet they’re streets ahead of us,” Freddie figured. Yasmin was the most reliable person he knew, and they needed more than a quick fix. The entity was surely on its way to possessing its next victim, and they had to act fast.
Oscar had rehearsed his planned conversation in his head for the entire journey home. Brett had dropped him back to have one of the most important conversations he’d ever had, and despite the practice, he still wasn’t quite sure how to approach it.
Though polyamory had been something Oscar had loved exploring, his heart was truly only with one person: Brett. They gave him everything he needed, and when Oscar pictured his future, it was Brett he saw in it.
That wasn’t to say he wasn’t interested in branching out again one day. Polyamory appealed to Oscar, and he liked the idea of not being tied down quite so strictly. That said, Oscar knew he couldn’t be as devoted to Cody as he evidently wanted him to be. He pretended he was fine with the set-up, but it was clear to Oscar that Cody wasn’t happy with second place. Letting him down gently felt like the kind thing to do.
“Hey,” Oscar timidly greeted as he closed the front door behind him. Cody was lounging on the sofa, the huge Netflix logo only just popping up on the TV.
“Oh, hey, I was just about to find a movie to watch,” Cody greeted him with a smile, “Come sit down.”
“Sure,” Oscar obliged. He didn’t want to ruin Cody’s good mood, “Can we talk first?”
“Oh, of course, I think we need to have a conversation actually,” Cody said, much to Oscar’s surprise. How different were their ideas of a conversation?
“Oh, okay, what did you want to say?” Oscar chickened out, allowing Cody the first move.
“Um, well,” Cody considered his words, “Thank you for everything you’ve done for me since I got back. I didn’t deserve any of it, and I was fully expecting you to tell me where to stick my apology. You’re the best person I know, Oscar Madden-Whelan.”
“You’re not too bad yourself Cody Irwin,” Oscar smiled. Countless people had told him not to forgive Cody, and sure, the manipulation when they first met was off the charts, but his time away had clearly had a positive impact. He’d worked on himself, and Oscar respected that.
“It’s just…I think I have feelings for someone else,” Cody revealed. Oscar was amazed. That was such a huge step forward for Cody to take, “And I’ll always love you, but you’re with Brett, and they can give you everything you deserve.”
“That’s amazing, who’s the lucky guy?” Oscar enquired.
“Um, well, it’s actually a girl,” Cody revealed. Oscar was shocked – he’d never heard Cody talk about feelings for girls before – but equally pleased for him, “I know, I didn’t see it coming either, but she’s perfect. Way out of my league, but I think she feels it too.”
“Is it someone I know?” Oscar pondered. Cody didn’t usually venture far outside the house without Oscar, so he was curious to know more.
“Maybe,” Cody playfully smiled, as if he were keeping the most exciting secret.
“Oh my god, it’s Yasmin, isn’t it? I saw you two outside the hospital yesterday and you looked smitten,” Oscar realised.
“Is that weird? I know she was your college roommate,” Cody blushed, his face almost as red as his curls.
“No, not at all. Yasmin’s amazing. I think you’d be great together,” Oscar assured, “I can put in a good word if you want.”
“Can’t hurt,” Cody chuckled, “Hey, what did you want to talk about?” Oscar’s smile faded. He took a deep breath, preparing himself to lower the mood. Cody needed to be kept in the loop – it was the least he deserved.
“Um, so, Brett got offered the chance to play for a team. The LA Lakers, literally their dream,” Oscar revealed, “But it means we have to move. Just me and them.” Cody’s face mellowed. He paused for a few moments. The wait was lethal; Oscar needed to know how he felt.
“A fresh start for us both,” Cody broke the silence, nodding gently, “I’m happy for you both. You deserve this.”
“Really? I’m sorry, I hate that we have to leave,” Oscar justified, “We’ll be back to visit, I promise. You can’t get rid of me that easily.”
“Glad to hear,” Cody laughed. Oscar breathed a sigh of relief. Cody was right – it was time for a fresh start. Onwards and upwards.
To Lily’s concern, Brett was right. When she got the text from them, she downplayed the situation. Perhaps they’d just gone for a lunch break? Maybe they were out examining a crime scene? Surely those were the obvious answers as to why they weren’t at work? Especially for Yasmin and Jeremy, the two biggest workaholics Lily knew.
The reality became immediately clear to Lily upon her arrival at the labs, though. Her first observation was the terrifying sight of blood splattered across the front gate. The security guard’s face was a gruesome sight, destroyed by a bullet that was visible through the wound just below his eye. Lily felt sick. There were no other corpses, but one was still too many.
“Hey, in here,” Brett called from down the corridor. They were stood outside Jeremy’s lab. Horrifyingly, he was the only heartbeat Lily could hear. She was starting to panic. She couldn’t lose anyone else, especially not another family member.
“Where are they?” Lily queried. Brett hadn’t told her much in their text. All she knew was that something bad had happened at the labs and she had to get there quickly.
“I needed someone else to see this. Look in there,” Brett pointed Lily inside the lab. The first thing she spotted was a load of papers and equipment spilled across the floor.
“I thought you were with Oscar,” Lily recalled as she crouched down, inspecting the paperwork. To her concern, it was the forensic data from both the bar and the hospital, as well as a murder in town the week before.
“Yeah, long story,” Brett swerved.
“In a nutshell?” Lily gently probed. It was obvious something was on their mind.
“I got a job playing for a team. The LA Lakers,” Brett revealed. Lily’s jaw dropped – that was huge news, “I’m over the moon, but Oscar and I are going to have to move.”
“Oh, of course,” Lily hadn’t even considered, “I’m so happy for you, and I know you’ll make it work. Where’s Oscar?”
“Talking to Cody,” Brett sighed, “Yasmin was calling us both so I dropped Oscar home and came straight here, but there was no sign of her or Jeremy.” The topic swerved, and Lily wasn’t going to press any further. They’d open up more when they were ready, “It was like this when I arrived. You think the entity’s got them?”
“I saw what it did to Harry,” Lily replied, thinking back to the horror of the night before, “I don’t think this is its style. This looks more like a kidnapping.”
“Kidnap?” Brett was shocked.
“Signs of struggle, strong scent of fear,” Lily explained, picking up another sheet of paper to notice a line of red droplets on the floor, “Blood.”
“Wait, it’s a trail,” Brett observed, following it through the door, “It goes the whole way down the corridor.”
“I’ve got its scent,” Lily stood up.
“What are we waiting for?” Freddie called from the door. A group flanked him – Sammi and Keisha were less surprising to see, but Jonah and his friend Leah were there too, alongside a guy Lily assumed was Freddie’s colleague Charlie.
“Let’s go,” Lily commanded, leading the way. Whoever had interfered with her friends wasn’t going to get away with it – she’d already lost far too much that week.
There was no sugar-coating the situation – Yasmin knew they were in severe danger. Being the daughter of the man Lisa idolised meant she got an audience, but she was confident that it didn’t protect her life, and certainly not Jeremy’s.
The hierarchy was blatant. Yasmin had been given a glass of water to drink at her own pace – albeit with her hands firmly tied together – while Jeremy was forced to sip water from a doggy bowl. It was degrading, and just the kind of stunt her father would have pulled.
For years, the existence of the Forsyth cult had baffled her. Why would anyone idolise her father? The man that had actively disapproved of his daughter’s mere existence and attempted to kill her friends – more than once – simply because of who they are. What was so admirable about that? Yasmin was ashamed to be a Forsyth.
She had to keep her head in the game, though. It was a difficult mission, but the pack was now relying on her to get answers, and they didn’t even know it. All Yasmin had to do was ask the right questions.
“Is this what you wanted? Me in here, the daughter of your beloved leader, not that he’s able to partake in the fun from jail, that is,” Yasmin began.
“Oh, you’d be surprised at how much involvement your father has,” Lisa answered. She was smug, as if victory was already hers, “The perks of working in law enforcement. Who do you think helped him escape those years ago?”
“That was you,” Yasmin realised, thinking back to the evening that saw Forsyth kill David.
“Of course. To answer your question, no, this was not the plan, but you work as excellent bait. Dylan Drummond’s best friend, and Jono Chadwick’s cousin. If the two of you can’t lure your entire pack to us, then you clearly aren’t as tight knit as we both know you are,” Lisa revealed.
“You want us all dead,” Yasmin continued to piece the information together.
“The bar,” Jeremy coughed.
“The bar explosion was not us. Technically,” Lisa vaguely answered, “The thing you call ‘the entity’ is a creation of the Lunar Sanctum. It has no physical form and was manufactured to follow instructions. It has a mission.”
“You worked for them,” Jeremy realised. He sounded weak – the mountain ash can’t have been doing him any good.
“I remember the day they brought you in, Jeremy. I was fascinated, but you’d quickly served your purpose in my research. We should have disposed of you just as quickly,” Lisa revelled in her sickening remarks, an arrogant grin painted across her face. A furious Jeremy heaved at the chains, desperate to fight, but they kept his inner wolf firmly at bay.
“So you infiltrated,” Yasmin continued the story.
“Forsyth was known to the Sanctum already, and I realised I wasn’t the only one who shared his ideologies. The dark web even covers the supernatural world if you look hard enough. We met up after the Sanctum disbanded and the cult was born,” Lisa explained, “To continue your father’s legacy.”
“A legacy of hatred and murder,” Yasmin corrected.
“That’s not how Mia saw it. She blew her cover too soon and we had to cut her off but the rest of us are finally ready. The Drummond pack is a stain on Crystalshaw,” Lisa spoke with so much hate in her voice; Yasmin couldn’t comprehend how anyone could feel that way.
“We saved lives,” Yasmin bargained
“This discussion is over. Say your goodbyes now, there won’t be a chance for last words later,” Lisa warned, walking away from the railings. Yasmin was angry. Lisa was beyond help, but why? She couldn’t comprehend his way of thinking, but that was for another time. She had to escape first, not just to save herself and Jeremy, but all of her friends too.
Miraculously, Dylan’s prayers had been answered. He had all but given up after hearing the doctor’s prognosis earlier that day. The situation seemed hopeless, and Dylan had started to grieve. The game was up.
Yet there Harry was. His eyes were open and he was conscious, just hours after the doctor had said he would never wake up. Dylan had come alarmingly close to losing him, and he never wanted to feel that way again. Harry had been Dylan’s rock, and he deserved better in return.
“How are you feeling?” Dylan gently asked as Jono’s hands slipped away from his shoulders.
“Like I’ve been hit by a truck,” Harry replied with a smile, but his voice was weak. He sounded very worse for wear, but even werewolf healing sometimes took a bit of time to kick in, “What happened?”
“You got attacked,” Dylan regretfully informed, “You, err, you were in a pretty bad way.”
“I ache all over. My wrist,” Harry paused, examining the source of the pain, “Oh my god.” The bite wound still looked just as raw as it did when Dylan first bit him. It was a horrible sight, “Dylan, what’s happened? Please, tell me.”
“Um,” Dylan didn’t know how to explain the severity of the situation.
“You were in a coma,” Jono took over, much to Dylan’s relief. He was always better with words than Dylan was, “You were dying, Harry, and we played our last card. Dylan bit you.”
“You’re a werewolf now,” Dylan added, watching as Harry’s face didn’t know how to react, “I couldn’t lose you, Harry.”
“Dylan,” Harry seemed uncertain, “Is this meant to be happening?” Dylan looked at the bite wound. It was trickling blood, but it should have stopped bleeding ages ago. Harry wasn’t healing.
“Maybe it’s just taking time to heal,” Dylan theorised, keeping his optimism.
“I feel weak,” Harry croaked.
“Harry, your nose,” Jono pointed. Sure enough, a single drop of blood was trickling down Harry’s upper lip. Dylan felt sick. That couldn’t have been right. Harry should have started to heal, but he was getting worse.
“I’m not a werewolf,” Harry realised.
“Then it’s the alternative,” Jono stuttered. Dylan felt Jono’s hands back over his shoulders. He didn’t know what to say. The bite wasn’t changing Harry. His body was rejecting it.
“Okay,” Harry tried to be proactive, obviously fighting back tears, “So, we probably don’t have long.”
“I’m sorry,” Dylan wept, not even attempting to hide his own tears, “I ignored you and I shouldn’t have. That wasn’t fair. You deserved better from me.”
“It’s okay. I know how much you love Jono, and he needed you too. I’d say I forgive you, but there’s nothing to forgive,” Harry replied. He was putting Dylan’s mind to rest, but his guilt was drowned out by the horrible feeling in his stomach.
“I love you too,” Dylan insisted.
“And I love you. More than anything, Dylan,” Harry opened up, “Please, stay with me. I want you here.”
“I’ll leave you both to it,” Jono decided.
“No, stay,” Harry insisted, much to Dylan’s surprise, “Dylan’s going to need you a lot. He’s only ever said good things about you, so prove to me that he’s in safe hands.” Dylan felt another wave of tears coming. He felt so overwhelmingly sad, but he had to be there for Harry. It’s the least he could do.
The trail of blood had petered out not far from the labs, but the scent had carried on to the outskirts of town, and Sammi was growing more and more worried. Being protective over Jeremy was in her nature. It had been the best part of a decade since she found out about her twin brother, and in that time, he had more than proved just how capable he was as an individual.
With the Lunar Sanctum rearing their heads again, though, the entire pack was on edge, and Sammi had good reason to be concerned for Jeremy. She knew how much he feared the Sanctum and the toll his previous encounter with them had taken on him. Whether they were involved in his disappearance or not, Sammi couldn’t take any chances.
Thankfully, Lily’s grasp on the scent was strong. It must have been Jeremy’s blood – the trail ending so soon proved that they’d healed quickly, and Yasmin didn’t have that ability. Sammi was impressed at how, even in a bleak situation, Jeremy had kept a clear mind and thought ahead. It could have saved their lives.
“Do we have a plan?” Freddie asked.
“It would help if we knew where we were going,” Keisha remarked.
“We can’t be far now, right?” Brett optimistically considered.
“A bit further,” Lily answered, being careful not to break her focus, “The scent is strong here.” Sammi glanced behind, keeping an eye on Jonah and Leah who were lagging a little, chatting to each other quietly.
“We should have sent them home,” Freddie stressed, noticing her gaze.
“You think they’d have listened?” Sammi rebutted.
“No,” Freddie chuckled, “But this isn’t their fight.”
“We’ll help him understand. He was going to find out sooner or later, right?” Sammi mentioned. Freddie was as protective of Jonah as Sammi was of Jeremy, if not more so, but sometimes, it was too much. Jonah was almost an adult. He could handle the truth.
“Freddie!” Jonah called. Sammi glanced back again in an instant to see Leah on the ground, still awake but looking extremely frail.
“What’s the matter?” Sammi rushed to her side.
“I feel weak,” Leah whispered, barely able to speak.
“We need to get her checked out,” Freddie decided.
“I’ll take her to the hospital. You’re more use here, go save Yasmin and Jeremy, they need you,” Sammi ordered. As anxious as she was to find her brother, Jonah needed her as well. She had to make sure Leah was safe.
Every word sounded like it took more and more effort to say. Every breath felt like a bigger ordeal than the last. Time was running out, and Dylan had never been more aware of a ticking clock. It was breathing down his neck like a tiger about to pounce on its prey, and somehow, Dylan had to remain calm. It felt impossible, but he was doing it anyway.
The reality was unavoidable. These were Harry’s final moments, and Dylan couldn’t let them go to waste. They were going to be his lasting memory of a person who meant the world to him. A person who had been there for him at his lowest moments and picked him back up as though it were easy. Harry deserved the best possible closing moments, especially given the circumstances.
“Wait, Ed didn’t like you?” Jono was helping to fill the silence in a way Dylan didn’t know how to. Usually, conversation with Harry flowed so easily, but he could barely think straight. He didn’t know what to say.
“Not at first,” Harry croaked slowly, his eyes struggling to stay open, “We’re good now, but I think he was always team Jono.”
“Hey, you’re more than worthy of this man’s love,” Jono affirmed. It meant the world to Dylan that Jono and Harry were getting along.
“It was my honour. He’s all yours now. I know you still love each other, so if that’s what you both want, you have my blessing,” Harry’s eyes let a couple of tears slip as a bigger droplet of blood spilled from his nose. Jono tightened his grip on Dylan’s hand. He was glad to have him there, but that wasn’t how it was meant to be.
“I love you, Harry Callahan,” Dylan said, one final time.
“I love you too, Dylan Chadwick-Drummond,” Harry said with his eyes shut, “Don’t forget me.”
Silence. Harry’s chest was no longer moving softly up and down. There was no heartbeat. He was gone, and Dylan’s floodgates were well and truly open.
Immediately, Jono pulled him in tightly, and Dylan wrapped his arms around Jono. He needed every bit of comfort he could find. His heart was broken, and still, things weren’t over. The entity caused Harry’s death, and it was still out there.
Dylan was sure of one thing: he wasn’t going to let it hurt anyone else.