Series 9 Episode 8
Panic. Dylan’s heart rate zoomed up. He wasn’t sure what was going on. He couldn’t think straight. Yasmin was lying in a hospital bed, and now Jono had gone. He’d been acting strangely all day, and now his eyes were glowing red. Something was seriously wrong.
“Jono!” Dylan called after him, but it was no use. Jono turned the far corner and Dylan lost sight of him. Following his instincts, Dylan ran after him, but someone grabbed his arm to stop him.
“We don’t know what we’re getting into,” Josh explained, gripping his arm tightly.
“But it’s Jono,” Dylan protested, “He’s not safe. Whatever’s happening to him is bad, that’s all we need to know.”
“We need more information first,” Josh reasoned, “When do we ever fight blind?” Dylan glanced over to Lily. She looked horrified, just like he did, but she gave a gentle nod. Josh was right. They had to figure everything out first, but that didn’t stop Dylan’s anxiety. He wouldn’t stop until Jono was safe.
“Okay, so what do we know? Did we find anything out about that alpha from the vision?” Dylan attempted to pull his focus back. His determination didn’t dip for a second, but now was the time to be smart.
“Where is it?” Summer arrived. She looked panicked, flustered even, as if she’d been chasing something. Dylan had had enough. Summer said something bad was coming. Now it was time for answers.
“I think it’s time you start talking,” Dylan skipped the pleasantries. It was time for her to prove herself.
“It was here, wasn’t it?” Summer ignored the question. Dylan had had enough. He pushed her back, pinning her against the wall, exerting enough force to keep her there with ease.
“Tell me everything you know,” Dylan demanded, glaring his eyes. Enough was enough. The more Summer held back, the more Dylan was starting to agree with Freddie.
“Okay, okay, I’ll talk,” Summer admitted. Dylan was all ears. This had better be helpful, because as far as Jono was concerned, Dylan was cutting no corners.
Gently closing the door behind him, Josh felt overcome with concern. Though he was desperate to help track Jono down, Dylan insisted he kept guard over Yasmin while he sought answers. After all, none of them knew what the intentions of the alpha were.
Besides, Jono wasn’t the only one in need. Yasmin was lying in a hospital bed, still unconscious, and Josh felt helpless. Despite their bumpy history, he still cared so deeply for her. They had too huge a connection to be ignored, after all. Yasmin clearly felt differently, but Josh had never stopped loving her. He’d never forgive himself for what he did. For what David forced him to do. He’d done many shameful things before, but none more so than almost killing the person that mattered the most to him.
“Hey,” Yasmin slurred, slowly opening her eyes. She attempted to sit up, but didn’t have quite enough energy and slumped back down.
“Take it easy,” Josh encouraged, “It’s good to see you awake.”
“Were you worried about me?” Yasmin raised a cute smile.
“Who, me? Nah, I’m as cool as a cucumber,” Josh pretended. Yasmin chuckled. She knew what he was really like. She knew how vulnerable and insecure he could be, “How are you?”
“I feel great, I fancy a jog actually,” Yasmin laughed. Joking was a good sign, “I’m okay, I guess. My head hurts a little.”
“It’s the visions, isn’t it? They’re too much for you,” Josh sussed. It didn’t take a genius to figure out the root of this.
“It started with the power of three,” Yasmin explained, “It’s been getting worse since then. I didn’t want to worry anyone.”
“Getting worse so the alpha could make its way through,” Josh pieced it together, “That was the plan. You’re the key.”
“I was the gateway,” Yasmin concurred. Clearly, she had thought of this already. She was a genius, after all.
“So you can close the gateway too, you can take it back,” Josh realised.
“Which is why I need you to get me out of this hospital,” Yasmin tried getting up again. She winced, clearly in pain.
“Woah, you’re going nowhere,” Josh commanded, “You’re too weak, you need energy first.”
“I need to do this, Josh. That alpha could be out there right now,” Yasmin protested. Josh stayed silent – he didn’t want to burden Yasmin with the news about Jono, “What aren’t you telling me?”
“Nothing,” Josh lied. Thankfully, Yasmin didn’t have the werewolf abilities to suss out his mistruths, but her intelligence superseded the need for them.
“Jono’s going to die,” Yasmin coldly stated. Josh grew even more concerned. He knew a Yasmin premonition when he heard one.
And most of them came true.
Returning home to the dorm was supposed to spell some sort of relief for Oscar, but he just felt cold instead. Cody had left a bad taste in his mouth on what was supposed to be a really exciting and positive afternoon.
To make matters worse, he had eight missed calls from Dylan, and now he wouldn’t pick up, so Oscar couldn’t even pass Cody’s message on. Something was up, and he didn’t need Yasmin’s visions to realise that.
“Hi Dylan, it’s Oscar, please call me back, we need to talk. It’s urgent,” Oscar left a message, but it wasn’t much of a solution. He had no idea when Dylan would end up hearing it.
“Hey Oscar,” Alex greeted, lounging on the sofa with his laptop on top of his legs, “How was the date?”
“Terrible, you’ve got no idea,” Oscar sighed, “I need to talk to Dylan, do you know where he is?”
“Have you not heard?” Alex sat up, his casual smile dropping into the most serious expression.
“Yasmin’s in hospital, she collapsed,” Alex informed, “Lily said I should wait for you.”
“Oh shit,” Oscar worried. Yasmin seemed okay that morning, though he’d seen just how crazy her visions had become, “Can we visit?”
“Sure,” Alex grabbed his jacket and stood up.
“Nobody’s going anywhere,” a deep, terrifying voice growled from behind Oscar. The hairs on his neck stood to attention. Goosebumps scattered themselves along his arms. Gently, Oscar turned around to face who it was. The most horrifying sight stood in front of him.
“Jono,” Oscar uttered. It wasn’t just Jono, though. His eyes were glaring a dark red. A red Oscar had seen before. The red from Yasmin’s vision. The red from the alpha’s eyes.
“Are you okay, dude?” Alex queried, trying to keep calm. Jono closed the door after him and twisted the lock. Oscar gulped. This was bad news.
“Where’s the siren?” Jono growled. It wasn’t Jono’s voice, though. The real Jono was buried inside. Oscar felt so scared. Not just of the alpha, but for his best friend. Despite all they’d been through, Jono never gave up on caring for him. He could so easily have cut him off when Dylan returned from the Lunar Sanctum, or when Oscar became a werewolf, but Jono was still there for him.
“We’ll tell you, if you let Jono go,” Oscar bargained.
“I need a body,” the alpha explained, “I need a body to kill the siren.”
“What has she done?” Oscar let his journalistic instincts take over.
“She will pay,” the alpha threatened. Oscar was terrified. He didn’t know what to do. He had to try and think – how would Dylan keep everyone safe?
Statement written, Sammi was desperate to get back to Jeremy. She felt completely uneasy leaving him alone with Felix. It was insane how quickly her opinion of him had soured. It wasn’t that long since they were on a date together, and Felix felt like a fresh new start.
Sammi wasn’t sure she’d ever forgive herself for being that naïve. No matter how she looked at it, she blamed herself. What she did to Jamal. Cutting Freddie out. Rushing to win Freddie back and kissing him in front of Felix. Everything pieced together and pointed in her direction. She truly didn’t deserve Jeremy’s kind, forgiving nature.
In the newsroom, Felix had taken her spot by Jeremy’s side. They were giggling with each other, getting along as if nothing had happened. Though Sammi blamed herself for the series of events that put Jeremy in danger, it was Felix’s actions that caused all of this. Sammi promised she’d tolerate him for Jeremy’s sake, but she wasn’t going to be forgiving him so quickly.
“That’s all done,” she commented as she strolled in, “Mrs. Harding said we could work in here for as long as we want.”
“Thank you,” Jeremy smiled, “I’m so lucky to have you both.” Sammi rolled her eyes. She’d do anything for her brother, but Felix was not the same. Far from it.
“Okay, it can’t just be me,” Sammi spoke up, “But I can’t keep hiding out in here, and I’m not going to let you do that again either, Jeremy.”
“You saw what happens when he’s around people,” Felix debated.
“And I’m never going to allow that again. We need to fight back,” Sammi motivated.
“You’re right,” Jeremy nodded, “I’ve hidden for long enough. My dad’s gone, this is my life now.”
“Okay, fine, while you guys come up with a plan, I’m going to get some water,” Felix leapt up and bounded out of the newsroom. Sammi slumped back down in her original spot by Jeremy’s side. He was gazing longingly after Felix as he left. Things were beginning to slot into place.
“Tell me how you feel,” Sammi interviewed. She didn’t want to ask any leading questions – whatever Jeremy said, he had to say it on his own terms.
“Tired,” Jeremy chuckled, “My body’s using all my energy to heal.”
“Nothing else?” Sammi dug deeper.
“What’s this about?” Jeremy sussed her out. Darn – she was being completely unsubtle.
“I’m just…being protective,” Sammi considered.
“This is about Felix, isn’t it?” Jeremy realised.
“You two are very close all of a sudden,” Sammi mentioned.
“Because he’s on my side, Sammi, but you don’t seem to like that,” Jeremy hit out. It was unusual for him to react so strongly. He was usually the calmest person around.
“I’m sorry for looking out for you,” Sammi sarcastically replied. Silence followed. This was their first ever row. Not a moment Sammi wanted to repeat; she felt bad immediately after.
“Sammi,” Jeremy began again, much more calmly, “How do you know when you like someone?”
“You just…do,” Sammi answered truthfully. She’d forgotten that Jeremy had no experience at all in the world of romance. He had a lot of self-discovery to do, “The right person comes along and everything makes sense.”
“Was it that way with you and Freddie?” Jeremy wondered.
“Sort of,” Sammi admitted, “It wasn’t easy but we liked each other straight away, and that’s what mattered.”
“I don’t really know how I feel,” Jeremy sighed. Everything made sense to Sammi now. She had been insensitive and forgetting Jeremy’s understandable anxieties.
“You will,” Sammi smiled. Her support was what Jeremy truly needed.
Carefully shutting the door behind him, Dylan had ushered Summer into an empty hospital room. Freddie and Lily were still by his side, for emotional support just as much as physical. After all, he still knew very little about Summer, and despite their deal, Dylan didn’t trust her.
Dylan’s mind hadn’t settled down since Jono vanished, either. He was so worried for him. After being held captive in the Lunar Sanctum, Dylan had vowed never to let anything separate him from Jono ever again. The alpha had crept in behind Dylan’s back, and that was a low move.
Now it was time for answers. Summer knew a lot, and thus far, she had reaped the benefits of a pack without contributing much. Everyone pulled their weight in the pack without ever needing to be asked, so Dylan was getting frustrated.
“Keep calm,” Lily whispered in Dylan’s ear. She was right – Dylan couldn’t let his emotions get the better of him. They had to keep the upper hand where Summer was concerned. Dylan turned towards her, ready to begin the grilling.
“Start at the beginning,” Dylan began.
“I used to be part of a pack. A pack I grew up in. It was pompous as hell,” Summer detailed, “The alpha was a werewolf named Ranulf. I remember him being such a good leader, but he lost his way. Five-hundred years can do that to you.”
“Wait, werewolves can live for five-hundred years?” Freddie was gobsmacked.
“Some can,” Summer clarified, “But living too long can be bad. After a while, you’ve seen everyone you love die. It gets to you, and it got to him. He spiralled out of control. When you become numb to grief, life loses its value, and he took so many lives.”
Dylan’s eyes were opened. This story was fascinating. He was so used to his own pack made up of his friends, that it was easy to forget just how volatile some packs could be. He was certainly very lucky.
“People got annoyed. Nobody knew who was next, so the decision was unanimous. He couldn’t be the alpha any longer,” Summer continued, “Which was a disaster, and only caused more death. People eliminated their competition so they could be the one to strike and kill Ranulf for good.”
“And you survived that,” Lily mentioned.
“Nobody thought a siren could be an alpha, so nobody targeted me,” Summer explained, “But I heard a legend once. A hybrid between a siren and a werewolf.”
“A chimera,” Dylan noted. He remembered Scott’s story about the chimeras he encountered – the engineered, hybrid experiments created by psychotic scientists known as the Dread Doctors. It terrified him – the thought of being poked and prodded against his will was grotesque, but there had to be other cases of it happening out there.
“It is possible, so I let everyone else take each other out and I mopped up the rest. Nobody saw me coming,” Summer casually continued. Far too casually for Dylan’s liking, considering she had just confessed to murder, “But before I got to Ranulf, somebody else did. Have you ever heard of the power of three?”
“Three harbingers of death,” Dylan explained. That was the reason they were at the hospital in the first place – Yasmin hadn’t been herself since that stupid ritual.
“Together, three banshees banished Ranulf to an alternate realm. They separated his mind from his body, and trapped him on his own,” Summer continued.
“Clearly they didn’t do a very good job,” Freddie remarked.
“The power of three is a powerful ritual, but a very rare one too,” Summer clarified, “Ranulf has harnessed the power of the last one to contact Yasmin and resurface.”
“So Yasmin’s the key to sending Ranulf back,” Dylan sussed.
“He wants revenge. Revenge on me,” Summer confessed, “And if I’m dead, nobody can stop him.”
Dylan gulped. The answers made so much sense, but it only made him more worried for Jono. The sooner they rescued him, the better.
Yasmin truly hated being a sitting duck. Her brain was firing on all cylinders, but her body was weak. The visions were too much, and she knew it. She’d known it for a while, too. Every vision made her more exhausted. Nobody was supposed to see any ghosts, not even a nix like her. She couldn’t cope.
The problem was that Yasmin couldn’t figure out a solution. That was what she was usually best at. She always had a way out. The problem was, she still barely knew her own powers. She could summon and control water, and visions came to her unannounced, but there was little else that she knew about. The powers of a nix weren’t documented well in the Bestiary, after all.
Thankfully, Josh was by her side. Though they’d had their ups and downs, to say the least, his loyalty towards her was incredible. Yasmin remembered how she felt about him after what happened with David. That fury, angst and tension had fizzled away for the most part, though Yasmin couldn’t help keeping him at arm’s length.
The truth was, she still loved Josh. The Josh she’d spent time with, and laughed all night with, was back. Though David was gone forever, Yasmin couldn’t help feeling sceptical. Once bitten, twice shy.
“You’re thinking about him, aren’t you?” a voice called out. Yasmin sat up, startled. Josh was on the chair by the hospital bed and he’d nodded off to sleep. Nobody else was there.
“He’s not trustworthy, I tried to tell you,” the voice spoke again. It was definitely that of a female, and Yasmin was sure she recognised it, but she couldn’t quite place it.
“He’s a pathetic power-stealing rodent,” the girl ranted. Suddenly, she appeared out of nowhere. Staring Yasmin in the face. Leaning over the bed.
Clara. The daughter of Josh’s first alpha. The alpha he earned his status from.
“He took what was rightfully mine,” she continued, “And he took any chance of happiness away from you.”
Yasmin was freaked out. None of the ghosts she had seen before were people she knew, until now. The intensity was increasing. They felt so real.
“He doesn’t deserve a pathetic nix,” a suited man joined the room. The man who the power of three was used against. The man who tried to invent a cure for being a werewolf. Leadsom, “Though Dylan Drummond’s pack are entirely deserving of each other. The wet blankets of the supernatural world.”
“No,” Yasmin nervously replied, trying to block it out by covering her ears.
“You can’t hide, Yasmin,” a third voice said, “I made sure of that.” Chase. The troubled boy who lost his sister to the Téras, before losing himself too, but not before leaking the presence of supernaturals to the whole high school.
“Get out of my bed,” Yasmin started to cry. She was in pain. Her head was pounding, and her visions had turned on her.
“Nobody’s going anywhere,” another voice joined in. This was one Yasmin would never forget. The girl who shot Jono. The girl who aligned with her father. Dami.
“Yasmin,” Josh jolted awake, hearing her cries for help. She panicked, looking back around at the visions, but they’d gone. That didn’t help Yasmin calm down, though. She was shaken and scared. The visions wouldn’t be gone forever.
“I need to stop this,” Yasmin muttered, trying to get her words out between tears, “Because if I don’t, I think I’m going to die.”
The school day seemed to drag even more when Jeremy was working in the newsroom. Moving classrooms and changing teachers broke the day up. Completing worksheets that had been emailed to him was much more tedious.
On the bright side, Jeremy wasn’t alone. He had Sammi and Felix working in there too, and if the past few days had proven anything, it was that they were the only people he needed. After all, Jeremy had never had many people looking out for him before. Quality, not quantity, and he definitely had quality on his side.
Jeremy could tell how Sammi felt about Felix, though. He got why she was still so angry at him, but at the end of the day, Felix had a choice. He could have opted to leave, but he didn’t. He stayed by Jeremy’s side, and backed him in front of Tommy, too. If that wasn’t a clear display of his allegiance, Jeremy didn’t know what would be.
“Please tell me you’re just as bored as I am,” Felix whispered.
“I’m even more bored,” Jeremy winked.
“Is that even humanly possible?” Felix chuckled playfully.
“I’m not human, so duh,” Jeremy laughed. Felix definitely couldn’t argue with his mic-drop moment.
“Fuck you,” Felix giggled, accepting defeat. Jeremy felt so elated. Felix made him feel so cosy and warm. Sammi’s advice kept replaying over and over in his mind. Jeremy had been waiting so long for his love story, but he still wasn’t sure what he was feeling. Was he gay? Bisexual? Something else? He truly didn’t know. The world of love was so confusing.
“Look,” Felix changed the topic, keeping his voice low so Sammi couldn’t hear, “I just wanted to say I’m so glad I got to know you. You’re the most amazing guy, Jeremy.”
Jeremy’s tummy felt unusual. Not uncomfortable at all. In fact, it felt like excitement. Was this what butterflies were meant to feel like?
“Back at you,” Jeremy smiled. He looked at his hand placed on the desk, just a few centimetres away from Felix’s own. He dropped the pencil he was holding and slowly, gently, crept his hand over to the right, landing right next to Felix’s. A few silent moments passed – neither of them knew what to say. Felix’s hand then shuffled over to the left, slotting perfectly on top of Jeremy’s.
Jeremy felt the most enormous smile widen across his face. There was little doubt left in his mind now. He was in love.
Lily needed to take a break. There was so much to process, and her mind was racing. Her breathing was frantic. Her chest was tight. Her senses were blurred. None of this was new to her, but it had been a while since her last panic attack.
After all, she had been so satisfied and content with life for a while. Even starting college again didn’t feel so bad with Alex, Jono and her friends all with her. Lily had become so comfortable, and life had never been so good.
The thought of losing Jono changed that. Hearing Summer’s story only solidified how bad the situation was. What if Jono was dead? Being pushed out of his body couldn’t possibly be good, and even if he was still tucked away inside there, it was going to be a battle to bring him back.
“Lily?” she heard a comforting voice call out. Dylan had followed her outside. Lily cared so deeply for Dylan; they both valued Jono so much and losing him would wreck them both. At least they had each other.
“You know what to do,” Dylan reminded, “Start counting with me.” Lily could hear what Dylan was saying, but processing it was something else.
“One-hundred,” Dylan began, leading the way, “Ninety-nine.”
“Ninety-eight,” Lily squeezed out between breaths, but talking wasn’t easy.
“Ninety-seven, ninety-six” she diverted all her attention into counting.
“Ninety-five.” Lily started to focus on Dylan in front of her.
“Ninety-four.” Her breathing began to slow. Control was hers again. She was calming back down.
“What the hell do we do?” Lily questioned, regaining her composure. She felt sweaty and disgusting, but that wasn’t a priority. All she wanted to do was find Jono.
“We do everything we can,” Dylan assured, “I’m just as worried as you, believe me, but if we want Jono back, we need to turn our worry into motivation. We’ve done this before, Lil, we can do it again.”
“What if we can’t?” Lily worried, “We almost lost him before. I saw him on his death bed, Dylan. If you hadn’t been able to bite him…”
“But I did, and he survived. We found a way,” Dylan encouraged. He never lost his optimism, and Lily didn’t know how he managed it, but she sure as hell admired it.
“I’ve got an idea,” Freddie poked his head out of the room, looking surprisingly enthusiastic.
“Tell us,” Dylan had a glimmer in his eye. A glimmer of hope.
“Ranulf has Jono’s phone,” Freddie reminded, “Which means he’s on Snapchat.”
“He’s not going to update Jono’s snapstreaks, Freddie,” Dylan was confused.
“Location,” Lily realised. She always snooped on the Snap Map feature – she couldn’t help being nosey about where her friends were. They’d struck gold. They had a chance after all.
Terror rushing through his veins, Oscar was unsure of what to do. Thinking like Dylan was easier said than done, especially with a possessed Jono blocking the only exit. All Oscar could do was focus on protecting Alex, because he couldn’t heal like Oscar could.
That said, Oscar didn’t feel confident as the protector. He didn’t know how to fight. Dylan never saw violence as the answer, and always strived for an alternative method. Perhaps that was the inspiration that Oscar needed?
“Who are you?” Oscar interrogated. That was Dylan’s technique. Be the journalist. Find out all of the necessary information first.
“My name is Ranulf, and I demand to see the siren,” he demanded. Oscar was never going to get over the horrifying voice coming from Jono’s body. It was surreal, and it hurt his heart. No matter what, Oscar cared so much for Jono and always would.
“What do you want with her?” Alex joined in. He understood the technique; clearly Lily had trained him well. This was their chance at staying alive for longer.
“To kill her,” Ranulf replied. He wasn’t divulging many details, but Oscar didn’t mind. The longer he could delay, the better.
“Why?” Oscar continued.
“Because she will kill me. I will always be the alpha,” Ranulf angrily answered.
“Dude,” Alex whispered in Oscar’s ear, “If she kills him, in Jono’s body…”
“Oh my god,” Oscar realised, “Then Jono dies too.”
Four knocks at the door. Oscar’s interest was piqued. The rest of the pack all had a key, so why would anyone be knocking? Either they knew he was there, or it was a mystery guest. Either way, this could be their chance to escape, and Oscar wasn’t missing out.
“You might want to get that,” Alex advised, “Or people might suspect something.” Oscar had to conceal his smile – Alex was on the exact same wavelength. Ranulf obliged, opening the door, but nobody was there. Looking left and right, nobody seemed to be there. Oscar tried listening, but there weren’t any heartbeats other than their own. He was just as confused as Ranulf surely was.
Ranulf flung back across the apartment, slamming into Alex harshly. Oscar was gobsmacked and immediately ran to help Alex, but both of them had been knocked unconscious. Quickly, Oscar’s attention turned to himself. He was the last one standing. What was coming his way?
“You just can’t last five minutes without me,” Cody slid inside, a smug grin plastered across his face.
“What the hell, dude?” Oscar hissed, “Come on, we need to get Alex and go.”
“No time,” Cody warned, “Shit’s about to hit the fan. I’m saving you.” He grabbed Oscar’s hand and pulled him into his bedroom, closing the door behind. Almost on cue, four sets of footsteps arrived.
“Oh my god,” Lily’s voice was the first to speak. The pitter-patter of fast-paced footsteps against the dorm’s laminate flooring indicated she’d rushed over to Ranulf and Alex, “They’re alive, both of them.”
“Oh, this will be good,” Summer said, far too excitedly.
“Siren,” Ranulf croaked. He was awake, and he’d got what he wanted. Oscar gulped. Jono’s life was in the balance.