Series 7 Episode 8
The Drummond household was met with a more sombre tone than usual. Dylan had hoped it would fade, or that things would get back to normal, but how could they? It had been a whole week since he last saw Josh, and there hadn’t been hide nor hair of him in that entire time. He hadn’t been home, and search parties were fruitless. Ed even had all of his deputies on red alert, but nothing. Even the warehouse was completely empty. David was playing a game, and Josh was wrapped around his little finger.
What made the atmosphere even more pertinent was that it should have been a time for celebration. Though he’d missed it happening, Dylan was so pleased that Ed proposed to his mum that night. Naturally she said yes, but any dreams of planning for it were put on hold the second Dylan shared the bad news.
Freddie had started to relocate his stuff into Josh’s bedroom, just as Josh had requested before. Of course, Caroline and Ed would never have turned him away, and Dylan was so pleased he could be there for Freddie. It wasn’t his fault that all of this had happened at the worst possible time.
Grabbing his school bag, Dylan was not ready for another week of senior year. He had put in so much work, but he now felt out of his depth. There was no way he could focus on anything other than Josh, and whatever David was planning.
“You got this,” Jono reminded. He had slept over for the week while Alex had his bed – though he and Lily were no longer a secret, Helen and Steve were a separate matter entirely. On the topic of his parents, Jono had decided it was time they finally knew the whole truth. About David. About him being a werewolf. It was a huge decision.
Dylan smiled back at Jono. He forced it through the miserable mood he was in, because Jono always deserved him at his best.
“Let’s do this,” Dylan decided as he, Jono and Freddie marched to the car. They had each other through it all.
Passing Johnny his usual mid-morning cup of tea, Brett was settling into his brand-new routine nicely. He’d spent the entire week keeping his head down, which was a pretty easy task when the road their hideout was situated on was quiet already. No nosey neighbours, and very little to draw anybody to the outskirts of the nearby town.
“Perfect, thanks beautiful,” Johnny smiled, flicking the TV on. Brett collapsed on the sofa next to him. They didn’t have much room to spread out – they only had a small, single-storey hut anyway – but Brett didn’t care. He had three years of cuddles to make up for. He was thrilled to be glued to Johnny’s hip.
“Is it bad that I’m getting sorta used to this?” Brett thought aloud. He couldn’t deny that he was on red alert twenty-four-seven, but that aside, this really was the life he always dreamed of having with Johnny.
“I am too,” Johnny admitted, “I’m not mad about it, either.” They both paused.
“How do we know that David’s not gone?” Brett pondered. He’d figured that Dylan would get in touch somehow, but what if he hadn’t?
“We don’t know I guess, but I thought you trusted your friends?” Johnny mentioned.
“I do, honestly Johnny, Dylan’s insane. Trusting him with my life was easy, because he’s saved it more than once,” Brett gushed. He found it odd to think there was a time where he and Dylan were less than chummy. He directed a lot of internalised homophobia to Dylan and Jono to look cool among the basketball team, but that wasn’t okay. Somehow, Dylan had found it in him to look past that. Brett’s respect for Dylan was unending.
“Well, don’t worry then, we’re safe here, and Ed knows where we are. He’ll come and get us,” Johnny calmed Brett down, wrapping a comforting arm around him. Brett snuggled up, resting his head on Johnny’s shoulder. In that moment, Brett knew he’d be quite happy hiding out there forever. All he needed was Johnny.
“Maybe we should make good use of this free time, then?” Brett devilishly suggested. He and Johnny had already been making good use of their extra privacy. After all, they had three years to make up for.
“Only if you can beat yesterday, because that was quite something,” Johnny toyed.
“Oh, you know I like a challenge,” Brett pulled Johnny in for a snog. There was no point in dilly-dallying. He had a job to do.
This was it. The moment Jono had been dreading. The time for his dad to learn just what his brother really was. This wasn’t going to be easy – Jono knew what his dad could be like. Stubborn. Defensive. He was the worst listener ever.
He had Sammi and Jeremy either side, taking up the sofa while his parents sat in their usual armchairs. Somehow, they had successfully managed to spin the concept of Jeremy being Sammi’s friend, in need of a place to stay while his dad’s away at work. Well, there was some truth.
What made Jono extra nervous, though, was that this had to be the moment he told his parents that he was a werewolf too. He had been putting it off so long, because he knew Dylan would be blamed. He knew they’d look at him differently.
“What’s this about, Jonathan? Your mom and I have to go to work,” Steve impatiently queried. Story of Jono’s life.
“There’s stuff you need to know. Really important stuff,” Jono began. His heart was beating so fast, and so loud. His nerves were shattered.
“About my dad,” Sammi jumped in to help. She had really stepped up to help, even though she was relatively new to the supernatural world. He was proud of her, “He’s a werewolf. An alpha. He’s a killer.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Steve laughed. Jono knew that was coming – a typical reaction.
“It does sound silly, Sammi. I thought Dylan was the alpha?” Helen added.
“There can be more than one alpha. Each pack has one,” Jono educated, “Sammi’s right, I promise this is the truth. He’s killed other werewolves, his own kind. He’s threatened us.”
“And by ‘us’, you mean Dylan?” Steve attempted to deflect. He was too quick to throw Dylan under the bus for Jono’s liking. Nevertheless, this was his moment.
“No, me too,” Jono corrected, “I’m a werewolf.” He glowed his eyes to prove it. It was oddly liberating – he’d tried so hard to keep his eyes out of view from his parents for so long.
“Oh, honey,” Helen looked mortified.
“Wait ‘til I find that so-called alpha,” Steve ranted, “I’ll kill him for what he’s done to my son.”
“No, you won’t,” Jono called out, “Remember when I got shot, and I almost died? It wasn’t a miracle that saved me, it was Dylan. If he didn’t bite me, I’d be dead. He saved my life, and this? Well, it’s a darn sight better than being dead.”
“What about Lily?” Steve paced up and down the room. He couldn’t focus.
“She’s part-werewolf. Not quite the same as me, it’s a long story,” Jono continued, wheeling out the line everyone always used to swerve the explanation of how Lily became what she was.
“Jeremy’s hearing all of this,” a tearful Helen finally spoke up, noticing the elephant in the room, “Come on Jono, there’s more to this story, please tell us the rest.”
“He’s my brother,” Sammi jumped in, “Jeremy. He’s my twin, and yes, before you ask, he’s a werewolf too. A werewolf that saw what my dad did.”
“Is this true?” Helen questioned.
“He experimented on me, testing his virus to see if we were immune, except it took me ages to heal,” Jeremy replied, “I almost died.”
It was too much for Steve. He stormed out of the room. Jono knew it was information overload, but his heart had broken. His dad couldn’t face him, and his mum looked mortified.
“Um, okay, I think we need to continue this later, once everyone’s calmed down,” Helen organised, “Kids, you need to get to school. Now, please.”
Jono couldn’t think of anything he’d like to do less, but on the bright side, he’d be reunited with Dylan. The one person who he knew would never, ever judge him for who he was.
Despite a full week away, Lily immediately felt like she had never left campus. Everything was the exact same as it was when she left. The hustle and bustle was unchanged by Violet’s death. Nobody else knew her, so nobody else cared. It filled Lily with an immense sadness. Violet deserved better.
On a lighter note, one thing had definitely changed. She was able to walk onto campus with Alex on her arm. She could flaunt him, show him off, because she was so happy. The happiest she had been in ages, in spite of everything.
“Hey you two,” Sindy rushed over, not commenting on their hand-holding. She looked flustered and hurried; unusual when Sindy was always so calm and collected.
“Hey, how was your week off?” Lily made polite conversation.
“The flat got torched,” Sindy simply stated. Lily’s jaw dropped. Their flat? Up in flames? So many questions.
“Um, what?” Alex took the words out of her mouth.
“It’s being treated as suspicious apparently,” Sindy explained, leading the way as they speed-walked to their accommodation, “I told the sheriff none of us have been there in a week.”
“Oh, you think?” Lily had her doubts. A week away wasn’t long enough to forget Nicolas’ threats, especially when she had a pretty good idea of who put him up to all of this.
“He wouldn’t, surely,” Sindy immediately knew who she was referring to, “Wait, your crime board.”
“Don’t worry,” Lily wasn’t concerned, “Trust me, I know so much more after going home. Jono was one step ahead.”
“That’s good, because the virus has hit the college,” Sindy added, “If you can help, there’s no time to waste.”
“Go,” Alex directed, “I’ll find out where we’re staying. Go save lives.”
Lily smiled, enjoying a comforting kiss from his perfect lips. Alex then departed, and it felt odd to think of how much she already missed him.
“You and Alex, hey?” Sindy smirked. She had so much gossip to catch up on, and the short walk to medical felt like the right opportunity.
“You can’t be surprised,” Lily downplayed it.
“I’m surprised because you have a boyfriend,” Sindy was clearly very behind the times.
“George and I broke up. Don’t worry, I made it my priority when I got back. Turns out we were both singing from the same hymn sheet,” Lily informed.
“Huh, really?” Sindy smiled, “I’m happy for you, honestly. Alex is cool.” Lily smiled back. Sindy had become a great friend in the short time they’d known each other. She appreciated being able to talk so openly.
“Anyway, there’s been ten cases of the virus this weekend. Same symptoms as the guy at the bar, but the nurse doesn’t know that. I’ve been keeping my ear to the ground,” Sindy detailed.
Sure enough, the medical centre looked like a quarantine zone. The nurse was nowhere in sight, only ten, clearly very poorly werewolves.
“I think this is how it’s meant to work,” Lily picked up a knife from behind the desk and gently sliced the skin on her arm. She knew she would heal quickly, so she squeezed a few droplets of blood into a plastic cup from the water cooler, before handing it over to the first girl on her right, “Drink this.”
“What?” Sindy was baffled.
“My blood is the cure,” Lily replied, “The perks of being a Chadwick.”
The bench had started to feel unusually empty over the week, and there was no greater example of this than Yasmin’s latest briefing. Of course, Lily could no longer join them, Brett was on the run, and Josh, well, he was the reason she called these daily briefings. That morning saw Jono and Sammi missing too, even though it was Jeremy’s first day of school.
This left her with her two most trusted allies: Dylan and Freddie. Her two best friends. The people she always knew she could count on in her hour of need.
She had put a lot of effort into preparing these briefings. Before school, she visited Ed to gather any new evidence on the search for Josh. All of this was necessary, to build up a plan.
“God, this bench feels so big,” Freddie remarked, also noticing the large number of absentees.
“Jono will be here, he just has something important to do first,” an antsy Dylan added. Yasmin could tell something was bothering him; it was hardly surprising with his brother missing.
“Right, anyway, I’ll update you two,” Yasmin was keen to press on. They didn’t have all day, “Two more bodies found across town. All mauled, sharing the same injuries.”
“Trying to make us scared,” Dylan identified.
“Still no sign of David or his betas,” Yasmin continued, “It’s like they’ve purposely chosen places with as few security cameras as possible. He doesn’t want to be seen.”
“Yet he’s killing to get his voice heard,” Freddie disapproved. They were all on the same page so far.
“There’s one more thing. The most interesting part,” Yasmin slid a piece of paper across the bench, “This is from the nearest camera to one of the bodies. Look at who it is.”
“Josh,” Dylan observed. This was their first glimpse of Josh in a week. He was alive, “He wants us to know he’s okay.”
“His hands, though,” Freddie added, “That looks like blood.”
“Oh god,” Dylan panicked. Though it was good to know Josh was alive, this was an unwelcome reminder of his deal with David. He’d worked to improve himself, and now he was back to square one.
“Hey, sorry I’m late,” Jono jogged over. His eyes were red and his cheeks were puffy. He’d obviously been crying, but Yasmin didn’t want to say anything – he was obviously trying not to discuss whatever was bothering him. Instantly, he spotted something was up with Dylan. It was like a sixth sense, “What’s the matter, babe? Tell me.”
“Josh killed someone,” Dylan’s lips trembled. He was trying so badly not to cry. Yasmin knew the feeling – she had done such a good job of keeping the tears at bay all week. Staying busy really worked.
“It was my job,” a voice came from behind. A usually comforting tone that Yasmin now hated to hear.
The look on Jeremy’s face said it all – he was terrified of school. Sammi didn’t need supernatural abilities to be able to sense his fear; it was painted onto his face, clear as daylight. She knew exactly how he felt, too. It wasn’t that long ago that she was the new kid. High school was daunting.
It was tougher for Jeremy, though. He had been hidden away for so long. He wasn’t even meant to exist, so school had never been on the agenda. Whoever this Margaret woman was, she had taught him everything he knew from home. It was pretty impressive that he came across so well rounded, all things considered.
“This is your locker, I managed to grab the one next to mine,” Sammi persevered with her little introductory tour, but Jeremy seemed distant. He had a lot on his plate, even without the anxieties of school.
“Hey,” Sammi grabbed his attention, “You’ll be okay, we’re in all the same classes today.”
“I know, I’m just nervous,” Jeremy spoke for the first time since he entered the building, “I’m not used to busy places.”
“Don’t worry, I’m here the whole time,” Sammi reassured. She had no intentions of leaving him alone for even a single second.
“Hey Sammi, who’s your boyfriend?” the mean-girl voice of Sumi rose above the constant chatter in the corridor. Sumi was the most stuck-up person in her year. Clearly one of the popular crowd, with little time for anyone outside of her clique.
“He’s my twin,” Sammi defiantly replied without bothering to make eye contact. Jibes towards her were one thing, but involving Jeremy was where she drew the line.
“That’s gross, Sammi, even by your standards,” Sumi grossly remarked. Jeremy was shielding his face. Something was up. Sammi pushed him away from Sumi and into the girls’ toilets.
“Get out,” she commanded to the group of freshmen pretty girls who were applying their make-up in front of the huge mirror. This was more important.
“Jeremy, look at me,” Sammi demanded. Jeremy looked up, as instructed. His eyes were flaring yellow. His sharp fangs were primed. He had no control, “Find your anchor.”
Nothing changed, though. Jeremy had lost it, and couldn’t get it back. He didn’t know control. Seventeen years without an anchor. Just when Sammi thought her father couldn’t disgust her any more.
Sammi was thinking fast. She needed to find an anchor for Jeremy, but what? Dylan and Jono had each other, but Jeremy wasn’t in love. Freddie had George, but Jeremy was already on the verge of attacking his own sibling. Their bond was too new.
Then there was Josh. Their conversation about parents had stuck with Sammi. His anchor was pain, and Sammi knew David had caused both of his kids enough of that.
“You know, mom would be proud of you,” Sammi called out. Jeremy paused. This was working, “She always wondered what you’d be doing if you were around. She never stopped loving you, Jeremy.”
turned his back. Sammi knew the thought of their mum played heavily on his
mind. David had robbed him of knowing her, and it hurt.
“I’m sorry,” Jeremy wept as his eyes dimmed to normality.
“It’s okay,” Sammi pulled him in tightly for a hug. She was relieved to have succeeded, but this was far from over.
A growl sounded behind them. Someone had joined them. Someone who wasn’t human. Sammi met the girl’s glowing blue eyes. Before she could talk her down, the wolf pounced.
Returning from a jog, Brett was feeling pumped. He was an expert by now at avoiding the busiest places around, ensuring as few people saw him as possible, so he could keep training with that extra dose of fresh air in peace.
Though he and Johnny were loving all of their time spent together, Brett occasionally needed some alone time. A few moments to spend with himself, to process everything that had happened over the previous couple of weeks. It was a lot to digest, after all.
Brett always came back to how much his life had changed in that time. It had only been a couple of weeks since LA. Everyone was high on life, having fun, until it quickly crashed down. The rest of the pack seemed used to this, but it was taking Brett some adjustment. Being on the run didn’t exactly help, either.
Arriving back at the hut, Brett did a quick scan around him. He had to check he hadn’t been followed before he went inside. If he had been found, he couldn’t risk Johnny’s safety too. Nevertheless, the coast was clear. Brett undid all three locks on the front door to gain entry.
“Hey babe, I’m back,” Brett called out.
“I’m in here,” Johnny called back from the living room. He sounded notably less cheery than he usually did. Brett was worried – he always got an enthusiastic greeting.
“What’s up?” Brett questioned, resuming his usual spot on the sofa.
“Take a look,” Johnny handed him his phone. They had invested in a couple of cheap burner phones when they arrived; nothing fancy, just so they could contact each other in an emergency. Of course, nobody else had their numbers.
The phone had been texted a photo from an unknown number. A photo of Sammi and Jeremy, battered and bruised, in the Crystalshaw tunnels.
“They’re tempting us out,” Brett immediately knew.
“If they have this number, they probably know where we are too,” Johnny added.
“What do we do?” Brett worried. He wasn’t sure where they were supposed to go from here.
“Two options,” Johnny answered, “We move on and keep running, or we go back.”
“Sammi’s my friend,” Brett considered. He hadn’t known her long, but she was so brave. He knew she’d save him without question.
“Jeremy’s basically my brother,” Johnny added, “We were raised together. We spent a lot of time with each other.”
“I think that decides it,” Brett realised, placing his hand on top of Johnny’s. Next stop: Crystalshaw.
Staring Josh straight in the eye, Dylan had no idea how to feel. Was he relieved? Happy? Overjoyed? Or was he concerned? Anxious? Worried? He wasn’t sure. Perhaps it was even a weird cocktail of all of the above. He was pleased Josh was alive and safe, but his visit was only going to spell bad news.
Dylan glanced at Yasmin. She was in the same position. Her face looked numb, as if it hadn’t yet decided which expression to use. Freddie and Jono completed the set. Josh’s brother, girlfriend and best friends, all horrified by his mere presence.
“What are you doing here?” Dylan interrogated, trying to keep his emotions together.
“Am I not allowed to see my friends?” Josh hit back, sitting with them at the bench.
“Please tell me you escaped,” Yasmin wasn’t holding herself together so well. Her voice quivered and her cheeks were red. Dylan understood – he was on the edge of that cliff himself.
“Escaped? Yasmin, I stayed to protect you. I wouldn’t be in this mess if it weren’t for you,” Josh let rip. Dylan was disgusted. This wasn’t Josh. He cherished Yasmin. She was a queen in his eyes, and that’s the treatment she deserved. Yasmin was the best girl any guy could be lucky enough to date. What’s more is that Josh – the version Dylan knew – was already familiar with that.
“You really think that lowly of me,” Yasmin scoffed, wiping tears from her eyes, “I know you’re still there, Josh. Come on, we can fight this together.”
“I didn’t come for help. I came to issue a warning,” Josh held his phone out. Sammi and Jeremy were there, on a live link, being marched through the bunker tunnels, “You know where you can find them. You’re all welcome to come.”
“They’re your friends, dude. You don’t have to do this,” Freddie reminded. He was keeping it together impressively well considering his girlfriend was in danger – that was Freddie all over.
“I’ve got a job to do, and I can do it far better without worrying about a bunch of sentimental teenagers,” Josh condescendingly hit out. Dylan was speechless.
“How about this for sentimentality?” Yasmin stood up just as Josh tried to walk off, “It’s over. We’re done.”
“Whatever,” Josh nonchalantly yelled, without turning back around. He didn’t flinch. It was like his humanity had been filtered out.
“Fuck that,” Yasmin cursed, no longer bothering to hold back the tears. Instantly, both Dylan and Freddie wrapped their arms around Yasmin, ready to soothe her concerns. Dylan was doing his best to keep it together for her sake, but it was hard. Josh was his brother. He hated seeing him like that.
Sensing a hand on his knee, Dylan immediately began to feel at ease. He knew it was Jono, comforting him in a small yet very much appreciated manner.
“We have to get Sammi back,” a worried Freddie mentioned.
“I know,” Dylan replied, “But we can’t go in there without a plan.”
“Library. Now. We need a computer,” Yasmin jumped in, wiping her tears away. Dylan admired her bravery. She was so strong. Josh really didn’t deserve her.
Much to her relief, only a small amount of Lily’s blood was needed for each sick werewolf in medical. The downside, for a change, was her healing power. Each cut healed within seconds of being made, meaning she had created ten different incisions. Healing or not, each one hurt – more so when she knew what was coming each time.
The first nine werewolves had all showed quick signs of improvement, which was another benefit. In fact, it was all going surprisingly smoothly so far. Something had to go wrong – it was just her luck.
“What are you?” the final girl asked. She looked beyond drowsy, barely able to muster the energy to speak.
“Part-werewolf,” Lily replied, “Long story.” It had almost become a running joke to swerve an explanation of how Lily came to be what she was.
“Tell me,” the girl begged. The blood was taking its time to heal her, so perhaps a story would distract her.
“I was injured, I was going to die at the hands of a creature called a Fenrir,” Lily recalled, “A blood transfusion saved me. Werewolf blood.”
“That’s cool,” the girl coughed. Her voice was louder that time, though. She had a little more strength. Finally, she was starting to heal. Lily smiled. Though she had succeeded in healing these werewolves, she didn’t expect that to be the end of her problems.
“Lily,” Sindy called out from behind. She sounded nervous – a feeling that immediately transferred onto Lily. Gently spinning around to face the door, Lily saw Nicolas restraining Sindy around the neck.
“I was wondering when you’d show up,” Lily tried to keep her cool, “How’s life as a murderer?”
“I’m only completing my mission,” Nicolas defended, “And you’re the final piece of the puzzle.”
“How?” Lily knew what was coming. Nicolas was one of David’s betas, sent to track Lily. His mission would be no different to David’s own.
“I was told to build up a pack. A werewolf, a banshee, a human, and you, the freak of nature,” Nicolas explained, “A pack to join the greater cause. The fight against the Lunar Sanctum.”
“You killed one of your pack already,” Lily reminded. She wasn’t allowing Violet to be side-lined.
“It was necessary. The virus wasn’t enough, you weren’t going to listen. Join us, Lily,” Nicolas begged.
“You know the answer to that already,” Lily replied as calmly as possible, trying to conceal her disgust. Nevertheless, Nicolas wasn’t stupid. He surely wasn’t expecting her to roll over.
“Then you leave me with no choice,” Nicolas ominously stated, “I’ll give you until twelve midday today. Join the pack, or I’ll unleash a new strain of the virus. Your blood won’t reach their veins in time for them to be saved.”
He released Sindy from his grip and rushed away. Claw marks were present in Sindy’s neck – not very deep, but he was clearly applying an unnecessary level of force.
“Are you okay? Lily quickly asked.
“I’m fine,” Sindy assured, catching her breath, “What now?”
“Let’s play him at his own game,” Lily decided. Her brain was already whirring, thinking of a plan. She wasn’t losing this battle.