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Series 7 Episode 9
"The Rainbow in Every Storm"

Sat shrouded in darkness, Sammi didn’t know where she was. She’d been pushed through the bunker tunnels into what felt like a vast space, but she couldn’t see a thing. It could’ve been anywhere. She desperately wanted to escape, but her hands were tied with some pretty strong rope. If her werewolf twin couldn’t break free, she stood no chance.

One of David’s betas had jumped them both in the toilets and dragged them to wherever they were. Sammi had heard already that her dad’s lair was situated through the tunnels, so she could make an educated guess about where she was. The room smelt damp and dirty, as if nobody had bothered to sweep the floor in years.

Footsteps sounded. Sammi couldn’t tell who it was – if only she had the ability to track scents. She could ask Jeremy, but she didn’t want to make a sound. Even her breathing felt noisy in the silence, though, and whoever was approaching them was probably capable of tracking their heartbeats. Either way, Sammi was screwed.

“Stop struggling,” a familiar voice demanded. Josh. Sammi froze. She never thought she’d be so terrified of someone she considered a friend, but she couldn’t even look at his face – the little of it she could see in the terrible lighting, anyway.

“Let us out,” Jeremy called out. He didn’t know Josh like Sammi did. The old Josh, anyway. Before he succumbed to their father.

“Let him go, you can keep me,” Sammi tried her best to reason. She needed to look after Jeremy. He was wrapped up in this because of what David put him through. He didn’t deserve whatever this was.

“No chance. I’ve got orders, and I need to follow them if I want to live,” Josh replied, “I’m reuniting the family.”

“You forgot someone,” an extra voice came from behind Josh. Johnny. What was he doing here? It was far too dangerous.

“I knew it was only a matter of time until you showed up,” Josh glared his bright blue eyes. Freddie had told Sammi what the blue colour meant. She knew Josh had changed, but he had past form. There was nothing left in him to stop history repeating itself.

Josh lunged for Johnny, but each attack was swerved expertly. Sammi tried to wriggle free while Josh was distracted, but the ties were still too strong.

All of a sudden, Josh collapsed with a thud to the floor. Sliding into view was Brett, carrying a tranquiliser gun. Josh surely could have caught that, but Johnny was the perfect distraction.

“Where the heck did you get that?” Sammi was impressed.

“You think Ed left us without protection?” Brett smiled, looking proud of himself.

“Come on, get us out,” Sammi demanded. Johnny primed his claws, slashing the ropes with absolute ease. Sammi immediately checked Jeremy was okay.

“I’m fine, we just need to get out of here,” Jeremy read her mind, “None of us are safe.”

“Come on. If we get above ground before he wakes up, he won’t be able to track our scents,” Johnny reminded. Sammi wasn’t hanging around. Johnny was right – they had to get out, sharpish.

The library was its usual state of busy when Dylan filtered in. It wasn’t loud – much to his relief – but most computers and tables were taken up by studious kids, or those who had forgotten to do their biology homework before first period. He had been in that position more than once, and Mrs. Johnson’s wrath wasn’t worth it.

Yasmin rapidly secured the final free computer while Freddie pulled up an extra chair. Dylan, meanwhile, perched at the sole empty table a couple of metres away. He needed a bit of quiet time. Of course, Jono followed him. He was the only person Dylan wanted to be around.

“Hey,” Jono wiped a tear that escaped down Dylan’s cheek, “It’s okay, I’m here.”

“Josh is gone, isn’t he?” Dylan could barely speak – the lump in his throat was uncomfortable.

“For now, yes, but we’ll get him back. That’s what we do,” Jono reminded, “Don’t lose focus, we’re not out of the game yet.”

“What if this is the day we don’t win? What if we lose someone?” Dylan worried. His anxieties were building, his mind spiralling out of control to the worst-case scenario.

“What’s brought this on?” Jono queried. He was the best agony aunt. He listened to Dylan’s worries and his advice was second-to-none.

“Something Scott said, a while ago,” Dylan opened up, “He said he lost a girl. Allison. He loved her, Jon, and she died.”

“Hey, listen,” Jono took Dylan’s hands, “You’re not losing me. We’re in this together, we have been since the start and we will be until the end.”

“I couldn’t cope without you,” Dylan cried. The flood barriers had caved in. He worried so much about losing Jono, and all of his friends.

“Same. No matter what, Dyl, you’ve always got me, I promise,” Jono was tearing up too. Neither of them cared what the people around them would think – they had no idea what they were facing, after all.

“Shit, how did your parents take everything? I’ve been so wrapped up in myself, I forgot completely,” Dylan had an immediate sinking feeling. He should have checked on Jono before unleashing his own feelings.

“No, don’t apologise. It could’ve gone better, I can’t lie,” Jono admitted, “Dad’s stubborn as always, mom’s not said much. Things are gonna be different.”

“Not with me. I’m still here, and if you want to stay around mine for a bit, you know mom and Ed won’t have a problem,” Dylan offered. It was like a reflex – he was unconditionally supportive.

“Yeah, that sounds good,” Jono raised a small smile, “Look, I was going to keep this for Christmas, but I picked it up this morning, and I think we both need a little boost now.”

Jono picked a cute box out of his bag. It looked like the kind you’d see at marriage proposals with an engagement ring positioned cutely inside. Jono popped it open – Dylan's guess wasn’t far off. Inside was a cute, shiny silver ring.

“I’m not proposing, don’t panic, you know I’d do that in a far more romantic place than school,” Jono laughed, “It’s an eternity ring. If you ever feel down, you’ll have me with you in some way, even if I’m not with you physically.”

The tears didn’t stop, but Dylan felt an uncontrollable rush of endorphins throughout his body all of a sudden. They were happy tears. The ring was perfect, and Dylan already knew he’d never take it off.

“I love it,” Dylan was in awe, “Please don’t tell me it was expensive.” He didn’t want Jono spending a silly amount of money on him.

“Only the best for you,” Jono smiled cheekily, “It was the cheapest one they had.” Dylan chuckled, sliding the ring onto his finger. The price didn’t matter, it was the sentiment and the meaning. It was just the boost he needed.

“Now we get Josh back,” Dylan nodded firmly.

Watching Yasmin scroll up and down through Google was tough for Freddie. She had immersed herself into the mission so intensely that any chance of processing what just happened with Josh was long gone. He knew how unhealthy that was, because he had been doing the same. With both Yasmin and Dylan struggling because of Josh, and with George gearing up to move away, and the house on the verge of being sold, and now Sammi missing, it was on Freddie to be strong, no matter how hard it was.

“Why is nothing coming up?” Yasmin angrily complained, slamming the keyboard away with a little too much force.

“Hey, don’t rush it. Take a breath,” Freddie encouraged.

“There’s no time. We need to get a plan together,” Yasmin refused to make eye contact.

“Yasmin, stop,” Freddie commanded. She paused, but still didn’t face him, “Face me, please.”

“If I face you, I’ll cry. I’m not crying, not yet,” Yasmin replied, as determined and headstrong as always.

“Take it from me, keeping it together does nobody any favours,” Freddie warned. He so desperately wanted to make Yasmin laugh, but humour wasn’t on the cards. Sometimes, laughter wasn’t the solution, especially when Freddie himself could barely muster up a smile.

“Found it,” Yasmin changed the subject, clicking on a result from Google. The website wasn’t one Freddie recognised, but it looked professional. Yasmin read it aloud, “Crystalshaw’s abandoned underground warehouse was owned by the Lunar Sanctum, until operations ceased in 2013.”

“What the hell is the Lunar Sanctum?” Freddie was baffled. Sammi said Jeremy had mentioned it, but nobody had any clue what it was. Regardless, they were proving annoyingly significant.

“It was decommissioned, but all equipment remains installed in the event of a crisis,” Yasmin continued to read.

“Crisis?” Freddie was still stumped. Whatever this website was, it was talking in riddles.

“Maybe if we can get in, we can reboot the system, find out what it’s about, gain control?” Yasmin suggested.

“You’re talking my language,” Freddie smiled. Whatever that place was, it could be the key to saving his girl and his best friend.

Entering her new accommodation for the first time, Lily saw a dorm room with three single beds, spread equidistantly apart. It was a lot less spacious than her previous shared living situation, but it would do for now.

Lily collapsed onto the bed farthest from the door. She was emotionally drained. She hadn’t even been back a full day and she’d not had a single moment to rest yet. It was far from over, too. She had just an hour to decide how she was going to deal with Nicolas. She couldn’t allow the virus to get any worse. No more death. However, there was no way she was joining that pack.

“They’re expecting me to share with Nicolas,” Alex sighed. Of course – they wouldn’t allow boys and girls to share bedrooms.

“We’ve got an extra bed. What they don’t know won’t hurt them,” Lily smirked. There was no way she was letting him anywhere near Nicolas. He was human – easier to hurt, and easier to kill.

“If we’re even alive by bedtime,” Sindy sighed, claiming the bed nearest the door. This gave Alex the middle bed – right next to Lily, thankfully.

“I hope that’s not a premonition,” Alex half-joked. His face looked so worried, and Lily felt the same. This situation felt impossible.

“You should have seen him,” Sindy opened up, “He was unhinged. He would have killed me.”

“That rules out negotiation,” Lily added. She had met unhinged people so many times – words never worked on them. They needed action, “Unless…”

“Unless what?” Alex impatiently wondered.

“We don’t know how he got involved with David. He’s manipulative, he coerced Johnny into his pack. Who’s to say Nicolas isn’t the same? We can unlock a part of his humanity that’s been buried,” Lily thought aloud, “We need to do some digging.”

“Or it makes him angrier and he kills us sooner,” Sindy played devil’s advocate, “We need a plan B.”

“I think I have an idea,” Alex piped up, “Sindy, do you know where they took Violet’s body?”

“Yeah, it’s at the undertaker’s, her funeral’s in a few days,” Sindy replied cautiously, “Why?”

“Plan B,” Alex vaguely replied. Lily wasn’t sure where he was going with his idea, but they needed a back-up and it was surely better than nothing. This ended today.

Anxiously looking behind while he ran, Brett felt nervous. They had only been running for a couple of minutes, but the bunker tunnels covered most of Crystalshaw. The end was still far away, and none of them were safe until they got far, far away.

For Brett, it wasn’t a question that he had to return to help Sammi. She hadn’t been immersed in the supernatural world for long, much like Brett himself. There was still a lot to learn about it, and they needed each other’s backs.

Johnny was bringing up the rear, while Jeremy and Sammi sprinted ahead. Even now, when his life was in more danger than anyone’s, he was still selfless. Borderline stupid, but absolutely heroic.

A glimmer of light appeared ahead. The way out was near. They were so close. Brett’s legs were tiring, but he couldn’t allow himself to think about that. He imagined the basketball net ahead, and he was just about to slam-dunk the winning shot.

Suddenly, a shadowed figure shot down the ladder. All Brett could see was two threatening, glowing blue eyes. Josh had caught them up, taking the scenic above-ground route.

“In here,” Brett directed, yanking open Dylan’s bunker. Sammi and Jeremy filtered in, but Johnny was too slow. Josh caught him by the shirt.

“Close the door,” Johnny yelled. Brett was torn. He wanted to save Johnny, but doing so put Sammi and Jeremy at risk.

“I’ll rescue you,” Brett promised, regretfully yanking the door shut. Josh couldn’t get inside – the walls and door were lined with mountain ash, making it the perfect hideout.

“Johnny,” Jeremy called out. Brett forgot that they were essentially brothers. Johnny had spoken a lot about their years apart during their time at the hut. David had treated him like one of his own.

“We’ll rescue him,” Brett assured Jeremy, and himself too. He just wasn’t sure how. He was all out of ideas.

“David’s going to know exactly where we are before long. You think he’ll leave that door unguarded? We’re sitting ducks if we don’t move now,” Sammi reasoned. She was right. They were safe inside, but it wasn’t practical.

“Okay, so Josh was on his own. He’ll need to take Johnny to David. We’ve got a window now,” Brett processed as a lightbulb flickered on inside his head, “Let’s play Josh at his own game. We can navigate the forest, right?”

“I know the way,” Jeremy added. He had escaped David before. He knew the route.

“Okay, let’s go,” Brett yanked the door open. As expected, nobody was there. This was his chance to return Johnny’s favour.

Dylan could never forget the last time he was at the warehouse; it was the most confusing time of his life. Jono had only just become a werewolf, and it was the most stressful experience he’d been through. Seeing Jono suffer the way Dylan himself once had was awful.

Now he had another level of stress. Josh was in danger this time – not just from David, but from himself. Dylan had to get him back, and rescue Sammi and Jeremy in the process. They were his family, after all.

The vast space hadn’t changed at all. The lighting was terrible, and it stank of damp. It wasn’t hard to tell that it hadn’t properly been used in years.

“Now,” Dylan whispered to Freddie and Yasmin. They needed to reach the control room, situated in a side passage, and seeing as nobody was in sight, this was the perfect time to slip away.

“Ah, Dylan, I was wondering when you’d be arriving,” David approached from the far end, just as Yasmin and Freddie slipped out of sight. Phew.

“Where are they?” Dylan asked. Jono stayed firmly by his side. No matter what happened, he always had back-up.

“Nothing comes for free, Dylan,” David bargained, “You know what it will cost you.”

Before Dylan could reply, the door behind them burst open. Josh had arrived, and he was shoving a restrained Johnny forward. What was he doing back? This wasn’t remotely safe for him.

“Ah, my incentive. Not the one I had intended, but this one will do,” David smirked, “It’s simple, Dylan. Join me, or Johnny dies.”

“No,” Jono called out. The roles had switched – Dylan was now Jono’s back-up.

“No?” David scoffed.

“No,” Jono reiterated, “You won’t kill him.”

“I won’t? Do you want to bet on that?” David kept the upper hand.

“He’s your son, to all intents and purposes anyway. He’s family. Just like Sammi. Just like Jeremy. Just like me,” Jono explained, “You kept us all safe from the virus for a reason.”

“Gold star,” David smiled, looking impressed, “Though I suppose some family members are of more value than others.”

Almost on cue, the door burst open again. Two of David’s betas pushed Sammi, Jeremy and Brett inside. They were all reunited, but this situation wasn’t ideal at all. The fate of the pack rested on Dylan’s shoulders – at least until Freddie worked his magic.

“The Drummond pack back together, what a lovely reunion. Come on out, Mr. Ruben and Ms. Forsyth,” David yelled. Damn. He knew the plan. Another beta followed Freddie and Yasmin as they re-emerged. Now they really were stuffed.

The on-site coffee shop was the perfect place for a private chat, Lily thought. It was never very busy, and most of its customers were students trying to rush-complete their assignment due in the next day. If they kept their voices down, nobody would bat an eyelid at their conversation.

Lily and Sindy sat next to each other at one of the booths. They had come prepared with some evidence they managed to collect – the perks of having Ed on speed dial. This was their trump card, and Lily was strangely excited to play it.

Nicolas hadn’t actually specified a location to meet at, but Lily assumed he wouldn’t be far away regardless. He seemed to have nothing better to do, and he’d developed a habit of stalking her. If only she knew who he was when she saw him on her first flight over. He played the role of the bumbling idiot well.

Glancing around, Lily almost had a heart attack. Nicolas was sat opposite the coffee shop table, quietly creeping up on her. His facial expression was blank. He meant business.

“I’m here to talk,” Lily skipped the greetings. This wasn’t a social gathering. She wasn’t going to pretend.

“Don’t waste my time,” Nicolas muttered, still not giving any emotions away.

“He saved you, right? David. My uncle. He was there for you when you had nobody, wasn’t he?” Lily spoke. Slowly, Nicolas’ expression began to change. The tough exterior showed signs of cracking. His top lip quivered. Yet, Nicolas still remained silent.

“What happened?” Sindy probed.

“My parents were killed. David saved me. He turned me, to save my life. I owe him everything,” Nicolas answered.

“Or, he manipulated you,” Sindy served back, “Have a look at this.” She pushed the file of paperwork over. Lily watched as Nicolas’ composure dropped further. A tear trickled from his eye.

Inside the file was the coroner’s report on his parents’ deaths. Evidence that Ed had dug up and emailed over, and not all of it was lining up with Nicolas’ account.

“He killed your parents, Nicolas. He manipulated you and Johnny, and kept Jeremy a secret for years. My own cousin, and I didn’t get to know him, because of David,” Lily did her best to persuade him. Any sane person would surely be able to understand her angle.

“No,” Nicolas was annoyingly defiant.

“Please, listen, I want to help you. Nobody has to die. My pack. Dylan Drummond’s pack. We can help you,” Lily continued. She knew Dylan’s name carried some weight.

Nicolas paused. He actually seemed to be considering the offer. Lily was very impatient for the answer – this was genuinely a matter of life or death. The fact he even had to consider it was a cause for concern.

Suddenly, Nicolas erupted into laughter. A small cackle initially, but it ascended into a full-on belly laugh. He was mocking them both.

“He said you’d do this. Try to use my humanity. Don’t worry, my conscience left the room a long time ago,” Nicolas glared his terrifying blue eyes, exposing his sick pride in that shameful colour, “I’ve killed so many, why stop now?”

Right on cue, the fire alarm sounded. The café began to evacuate. Lily concealed her own laughter. That was Alex’s plan B at work.

Nicolas spun around, confused as to what was going on. This was Lily’s moment. Without a single second of hesitation, Lily jammed a syringe into Nicolas’ neck, releasing the blood inside into his system.

“What have you done?” a horrified Nicolas scrunched his face in anger.

“This is for Violet,” Lily smirked, “A little dose of her blood. Blood that you infected with your little virus.”

Nicolas was gobsmacked. They’d played him at his own game, and he knew it.

“You wouldn’t leave me to die,” Nicolas yelled.

“Of course not. Somewhere in this café is a dose of my blood. Good luck finding it in time,” Lily explained confidently, sliding herself out of the booth with Sindy in tow.

Alex was waiting for her at the main entrance. Plan B had worked, and it was all down to him.

“Come on, let’s go home,” Lily smiled, wrapping one arm around each of them. Even if Nicolas found the blood, he wouldn’t mess with them again. Not if he knew what was good for him.

Well and truly cornered, Dylan’s mind was racing. He couldn’t waste a second in thinking up a way out for the pack. Time was valuable, and their lives were on the line. If there was one thing he knew about David, it was that he was ruthless and unpredictable; David’s family still weren’t safe either.

“I’ll play nicely, to give you all some choice in the matter,” David confidently circled the centre of the room, scanning everybody’s faces, “I’ll let you decide between you two dies first. Any volunteers?”

Dylan felt sick. He couldn’t believe what was happening. Desperately, he hoped it was just a dream, or a nightmare. This was the worst-case scenario.

“Me,” Yasmin bravely volunteered. Dylan’s stomach dropped. This couldn’t be happening. This shouldn’t be happening.

“No,” Dylan intervened.

“Yes,” Yasmin nodded, her eyes widening in Dylan’s direction. She had a plan. Of course she did, that was Yasmin Forsyth all over. Dylan would’ve been dead ages ago without her.

“Kneel,” David demanded as Yasmin approached the centre of the room. She obeyed, placing her hands behind her head, “I’ll let Joshua have this honour.”

Dylan glanced to Josh. His tough-guy act fell away in an instant. That was all the reassurance he needed to know that the Josh he knew was still inside. He still loved Yasmin. He still cared for her.

“You said she’d be safe,” Josh protested.

“From me, yes. From you? That’s another matter,” David grinned.

“I’m sorry,” Josh muttered, a tear slipping down his cheek as he begrudgingly positioning himself behind Yasmin.

“Me too,” Yasmin hit back. The tear failed to reach the ground. It suspended itself a few inches above – stopped in mid-air. Dylan smiled. Yasmin knew her abilities inside out. The nix was their key.

The teardrop grew in size. Bigger and bigger, in just a matter of seconds. Yasmin took aim. She swiped it at Josh, crashing him into David as the flood forced him backwards.

“Freddie, go,” Yasmin demanded. They were in control again. Freddie had a mission to complete.

“Get ready to fight,” Dylan warned the others, scanning the room to witness the three betas fully shifted. They weren’t getting out without a fight, and Dylan was ready.

“Oh, I hate teenagers,” David groaned, picking himself up. He’d already shifted. It was alpha to alpha, but Dylan had numbers on his side. His entire pack were there, and that was David’s fault.

“We don’t like you much either,” Sammi yelled out. Dylan was so proud of how she stood her ground.

“This is for mom,” Jeremy added, ramming towards David and collapsing them both to the floor. The battle had begun.

“Dylan!” Freddie called out. He needed help.

“Go, we’ve got this,” Jono encouraged. Dylan felt bad to be leaving them, but without Freddie, they had no plan.

Dylan darted off down the short tunnel to the control room.

“What’s up?” Dylan questioned, a sense of urgency pulsating through his veins.

“The system’s rebooted. This was a detention facility, Dylan. Creatures the Lunar Sanctum found dangerous were put in here,” Freddie explained.

“What does the Lunar Sanctum do, though? Why would they need to do that?” Dylan was getting irritated. The Lunar Sanctum were cropping up incessantly, but there was still little indication as to who or what they were.

“It doesn’t matter, but they had a precaution installed. A bomb, made of mountain ash, certain to kill anything left inside,” Freddie explained.

“Okay, let’s do it, we can get out in time, right?” Dylan optimistically commanded. It didn’t sound like a difficult decision.

“That’s the thing,” Freddie regretfully mentioned, “There’s no timer. The bomb was only deemed appropriate in the worst-case scenario. Immediate destruction as a final resort.”

Dylan’s heart dropped. The hope filtered out of his body. He could hear the screams from the pack coming from the main arena. They were giving everything to the fight, but they needed a solution.

“Get everyone out. When the coast is clear, howl,” Dylan decided. This was his chance to be the alpha. To prove himself, for once and for all.

“No,” Freddie argued, “You can’t. I won’t let you.”

“Don’t leave Josh behind. Make sure mom allows you to move in, she’ll need you around. Tell her I love her, and Jono too. He’ll need you more than ever, okay?” Dylan’s voice quivered. This was so hard, but it had to be done. It was the only way out, “Make sure he moves on. He deserves someone amazing. I want him to be happy.”

Freddie nodded regretfully. He handed Dylan a button, attached by a short lead to the control panel, “Press this when you hear me.” Dylan nodded. He hugged Freddie – he didn’t deserve a friend like him.

Dylan followed Freddie halfway down the corridor, as far as the lead would let him go. Freddie did as directed – he pulled the pack away from the fight, pushing them towards the exit.

“Where’s Dylan?” a panicked Jono yelled. Dylan couldn’t help crying. This broke his heart. It was horrible.

The pack had been rounded up, and three betas laid unconscious on the floor, but Jeremy was still fighting David, pinning him to the floor. The fight wasn’t over yet.

“Jeremy, stop, I’m your father,” David tried his manipulation.

“You used me. Experimented on me. You deserve everything you get,” Jeremy hit back. He locked eyes with Dylan, giving him a nod. He knew what was about to happen.

“Jeremy, now,” Sammi called out. She was still in the dark. If Jeremy gave up, David could escape, and the lead of Dylan’s remote didn’t stretch that far. Dylan couldn’t save him.

Then it came. Freddie’s howl. The all-clear.

“For Jono,” Dylan simply said, slamming his hand against the button. Fire erupted all around Dylan. He collapsed to the floor immediately, his skin irritated by the mountain ash scattered around. Feeling weak, his eyes snapped shut.

The last one up the ladder, Freddie had done his part – he’d seen the rest of the pack to safety. They exited the tunnels through the far hatch, nearby the warehouse, leading them up into the shed in the middle of the forest. The walls were strong enough to contain the blast, but above ground, the damage was clear. Mud sprayed everywhere, leaving the ground unstable. They had to keep their distance.

The entire pack was silent. Brett was cuddling Johnny – he’d lost a brother, of sorts. Sammi gripped onto Freddie, but he felt lost. He didn’t know how to ease her pain. Josh had already scarpered – too ashamed, clearly. Yasmin and Jono stood side-by-side, both looking numb. There was no sugar coating what had just happened.

“We can find them, right?” Jono broke the silence.

“He was at the centre of the blast, Jono,” Yasmin replied, “He took David and the betas out.”

“He could be buried alive, we need to find him,” Jono ran across the forest, but Freddie pulled him back. The ground wasn’t safe to walk on.

“Come on,” Freddie pulled him in for a hug, “He saved us. He saved you. He loved you, Jono.” There was no way Freddie wasn’t going to uphold Dylan’s wishes.

Jono broke down. He gripped Freddie so tight as he unleashed the uncontrollable wave of tears. Freddie was trying to be strong, but he’d been doing that for days already. The flood barriers gave in. His eyes trickled teardrops for the first time in a long time.

“What now?” Brett wondered.

“We keep going. It’s what Dylan would want,” Yasmin assured. Freddie agreed. They all had each other, and they’d get each other through it.

The day had come at last, and Jono was dreading it. He hadn’t slept much overnight, or much at all for a week. Sleeping alone gave him and instant reminder the second he woke up that nothing was the same any more.

Adjusting to life without Dylan was impossible. They had been inseparable for over two years – and both of them knew it would have been many more. Jono’s entire future completely blinked out of existence. It was horrible, and it was all he could think about.

He hadn’t left Dylan’s bedroom for the whole week. He wanted to be surrounded by his belongings, his clothes, his keepsakes, so he could feel close to him. It was comforting to know that he had Caroline and Ed nearby, too – they were going through everything he was. Lily visited every day – she came home from college as soon as he heard the news, of course. Everyone felt broken, and Jono wasn’t sure how to build himself back up.

Now it was the big day. The one he had been anticipating with anxiety and worry. This was where he finally had to face up to the facts. Dylan was gone, and Jono owed him a proper goodbye. He and Sammi were going to need each other, too. It was a celebration of Jeremy as well. The brother she barely knew, but so desperately wanted.

The chapel was decorated beautifully. Photos were scattered around. Dylan as a kid. Dylan as a teenager. Dylan with Caroline. Dylan with his dad. Dylan with Jono – lots of those in particular. Dylan always said he was unphotogenic, but Jono thought he was gorgeous in every single one. His beautiful man.

There were no coffins for either lad – that was the toughest part. The only bodies found in the wreckage belonged to David’s betas. It gave Jono some degree of hope, even if everyone thought he was refusing to admit the truth. That said, it had been a week. If Dylan were alive, he’d have returned in that time. Jono was slowly but surely coming to terms with reality.

The front row was populated by Caroline, Jono, Lily, Sammi and Ed. Family stuck together – except Josh, of course. Nobody had seen him since the explosion. Ed had sent search parties out, to no avail. It was the last thing Caroline needed – her family was broken.

It was time for Jono to speak. He had spent the entire week worrying about what to say, but it was no good. Perhaps an improvised speech would be better anyway – that was Dylan to a T. He looked down at his eternity ring for a final boost. Dylan was still with him, in some capacity, and he was never taking that ring off.

“I met Dylan on his first day of high school,” Jono addressed the crowd. The chapel was packed – the whole pack was there, including Johnny, George, and even Yasmin’s mum. His own parents were there, not that they had reached out to him. Even the death of his boyfriend wasn’t enough for his parents to accept a werewolf son. Teachers like Mrs. Johnson, Miss Asahd, and even Mrs. Harding, the headteacher, were there, alongside many students. So many people wanted to pay their respects. It warmed Jono’s heart.

“We didn’t really talk at first, though,” Jono continued, “But he caught my eye from day one. A few weeks later, we were in detention together. The rest is history.”

Jono paused, spotting a figure slipping in at the back. Josh. He was shrouded inside his hoodie, but he smiled at Jono. A simple gesture to show he was safe.

“Dylan brightened up my life. He saw me for who I was inside, and made me feel happy every time we were together,” Jono continued. His voice was shaking, and the lump in his throat made talking difficult, but he powered through. This was the least he owed Dylan.

“He overcame his insecurities daily, and I was so proud of him. I still am, and I always will be. I’ll cherish the music we loved, the places we visited, and all of the memories we made forever. In the words of one of our favourite songs, he taught me to look for the rainbow in every storm. He’ll always be my baby. Goodbye, my gorgeous Dyl.”

Jono wiped the heavy stream of tears from his eyes as the next song played – “Goodbye” by the Spice Girls. Lily and Caroline both wrapped their arms around him. Dylan was gone, and he didn’t know how he’d ever get over it.

Stirring from what felt like the sleep of a lifetime, Dylan tried opening his eyes. It wasn’t very easy at first – the room he was in was lit very brightly. However, his vision soon adjusted to give him an idea of where he was.

Confusingly, Dylan appeared to be in some sort of lab. The bed he was on was like a hospital bed, and he was wearing a gown like a patient typically would. Those gowns always made him think of his dad. They carried a peculiar scent of sadness as a result.

The lab was otherwise mostly empty – worktops ran around the perimeter of the room but nothing was on them, except a sink with plastic cups piled next to them. A toilet was situated at the far end of the room, and large windows ran the entire length and width of the room, exposing similar labs both in front and next to the one Dylan was in. In the room directly in front, Dylan spotted Jeremy. He was alive too; that was a relief.

Dylan remembered it all. The warehouse. David. Seeing Jono ushered out for his own safety. Dylan should have been dead. Why wasn’t he? He was relieved to be alive, but he wanted to be at home. He felt so uncomfortable and panicked.

He spotted the eternity ring on his finger. The only thing that belonged to him in the room. A reminder that Jono was still out there. He must have been grieving. It broke Dylan’s heart.

“Jeremy,” Dylan slammed his hands against the window. He tried opening the door, but it was locked and coated in mountain ash. He couldn’t even go near it without feeling sore.

“Dylan, you’re awake,” Jeremy sat up, “I’m so glad to see you/”

“Where are we?” Dylan queried desperately.

“They’re coming. Remain calm. It won’t be nice if you don’t,” Jeremy warned. Dylan quickly laid back down, just as a suited white man in his forties entered. Dylan had never seen him before, but he looked important.

“Good morning Dylan,” he smiled.

“Where am I?” Dylan questioned.

“All in good time. You’ve been out for a while,” the man replied vaguely.

“How long?” Dylan probed. He needed more answers, because nothing made any sense.

“A week,” He responded, “The mountain ash was almost fatal, but the doctors have been very helpful in pumping it out of your lungs. Even for an alpha, that explosion was dangerous.”

“David,” Dylan remembered. Was he dead? Did he escape too? All of this could have been for nothing.

“David’s body was collected by us. You and Jeremy were salvaged,” the man informed, “Welcome to the Lunar Sanctum.”

Dylan’s eyes widened. Whatever the Lunar Sanctum was, it was dangerous. He needed his pack back.

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