Previous: Series 9

Next: TBA

With the first year of college under their belts, Dylan and the pack return home for the summer, but their break is far from restful. Haunted by visions that start to become true, Jono has to fight to keep control of his body. With Oscar missing and two looming threats about to clash, how will Dylan bring the back back together to save Crystalshaw?


Claws Out is a spin-off of Teen Wolf.
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Episode Name
Synopsis
1
Welcome Home
Returning home from college for the summer, Dylan settles into home life again, but both good and bad bombshells from Jono ensure it won't be such a quiet summer. Presumed missing by the rest of the pack, Oscar is surprised to see a familiar face turn up at his new home. Freddie is confused by a mysterious text.
2
Genetics
The arrival of his aunt causes discomfort for Dylan, but it's her surprise plus-one who creates bigger ripples for one of the pack. Upon seeing a strange note, Sammi and Jeremy are shaken, with Yasmin leading an investigation to distressing results. Brett attempts to understand Oscar's relationship with Cody.
3
Cowardice
Sammi panics as one of the pack goes missing, and a startling clue to the kidnapper's identity is left in her place. Freddie struggles to adjust to a surprise visitor. Dylan is quizzed by Caroline while Brett makes a horrifying discovery, leading Oscar to make a difficult decision. 
4
The Decision
Oscar finds himself in the middle of Cody and Dylan as he's left with an impossible choice. Jono and Josh go on the hunt for one of the pack, but are left reeling when all is not what it seems. Sammi and Jeremy are put on edge when they're haunted by a face from the past.

1: Welcome Home Written by MarthaJonesFan

Shuffling around yet again, Jono just couldn’t get comfortable. He usually slept so well, but it felt like his bed was made of rocks. Flipping the pillows upside down, taking his pyjama top off, even sticking one leg out of the duvet – nothing he did was any help.

To make matters worse, it was their last night in the dorm before heading home for the summer break. This meant a day of travelling and unpacking was ahead, and Jono needed energy. Exams were done and first year was officially over. Jono had been so excited to get home and enjoy some proper winding-down time with his friends, and with Dylan.

First, though, he had to get through the night. Outside, a storm was creating chaos, thunder racketing through his eardrums while lightning brutally jolted him awake every time he was on the cusp of sleep. It was only making him more frustrated.

It didn’t help that his thoughts were hectic. They raced around his mind, like race-cars running at top speed. To make matters worse, it only seemed to be getting worse. Jono stood up. He paced back and forth. He tried to clear the fog in his mind.

Then it stopped. His thoughts jarringly transitioned from one extreme to another, slowing down to a perfect silence. Jono looked around the room. The walls had changed; usually, they were covered in photos of fond memories and posters of singers he and Dylan liked. Now, new pictures were on display. Pictures he had never seen before. Pictures of him and his friends, but not just any old pictures. They were gruesome and repulsive in ways Jono had never seen before.

They were dead.

And Jono was standing over each of their bodies.

And his eyes were glowing red.

Jono was horrified. What the hell were those photos? How did they exist? He didn’t remember that, and his eyes most certainly weren’t red like Dylan’s, so how the hell did they exist? They felt so real. Like something tucked away in the back of his mind.

Like a memory.

Jono rolled back onto the bed. There was one person missing from the photos. Dylan. He was, of course, fast asleep on his side of the bed. Jono urgently grabbed him by the shoulder, but Dylan just slumped backwards. He was bleeding too. His head had been bashed in. His eyes were wide open, but not blinking.

He was dead.

Jono gasped; a gasp like he had been holding his breath for far too long. He’d just woken up. It was the morning. The room looked just as it was supposed to, and he could hear the reassuring sound of Dylan’s breathing.

It was a bad dream, but that didn’t reassure Jono.

Why did it feel so real?

Embracing the gorgeous sight of the forest before him, Dylan was so glad to be back home. He’d visited occasionally over the college year, and Ed and Caroline had been up to visit him at the dorm, but it wasn’t the same. He was looking forward to watching television every night with his mum. Waking up in his own bed. All of the creature comforts that he could only get at home, with the benefit of Jono, Josh and Freddie around too.

Dylan was immensely proud of himself, though. He’d made it through a full year of college. It was such a huge shake-up, and he’d survived it. In fact, he’d rather enjoyed it. He’d conquered his fears about moving out, and that wasn’t something to downplay. Now, he was able to let his guard down again for the summer.

Not everything was that rosy, though. College, after the first couple of weeks were tarred by Summer and Ranulf, had proceeded as it should have, but they were a man down. Nobody had seen Oscar in months. He hadn’t been to a single lecture, and nobody on campus had seen hide nor hair of him. Strangely, though, his assignments were still being completed. No matter how hard he tried, Dylan couldn’t figure out the logic. Had something happened? Was he kidnapped? The lack of answers was the strangest part of his vanishing.

Dylan knew he was never going to give up on finding Oscar, but for the time being, he had to trust that Ed was on the case. After rigorous searches around the campus, tracking Oscar’s scent, they still hadn’t found anything. The last time person to see him was Alex, before Ranulf’s attack, but after that was a complete mystery. Dylan couldn’t help fearing the worst – it felt like the Lunar Sanctum all over again.

“Freddie!” an excited voice squealed from inside. The front door flung open before Dylan could make use of the key in his hand. Sammi breezed straight past Dylan, Jono and Josh, and headed straight for Freddie, planting a gigantic kiss on his lips.

“Hi Sammi,” Josh sarcastically yelled while they kissed. Sammi held a finger up, directing Josh to wait. Dylan chuckled – her sass was second-to-none.

“Someone’s feeling single,” Dylan joked.

“At least you two aren’t giving me a front row seat,” Josh sighed, glancing at Dylan and Jono.

Stepping into the house, Dylan immediately felt like he’d never been away. Home brought him so much comfort. He remembered the day he moved in as if it were yesterday. The apprehension of a new house in a new town. The absence of his dad. It was insane how quickly things changed. He now had a step-dad. A brother. A boyfriend. A whole chosen family that he’d never dreamed of. He never took it for granted.

“Welcome home,” Caroline greeted from the living room. She had the biggest smile on her face. Together, she and Ed had decorated the room with balloons and “welcome home” banners. It was the cutest thing ever.

“What’s all this for?” Dylan was impressed. He wasn’t expecting such a fanfare.

“We’ve been celebrating the end of our peace and quiet,” Ed laughed, “Party’s just finished.

“So funny,” a bemused Josh murmured, “I need a drink. Looking this good is thirsty work.” Dylan rolled his eyes, but he loved Josh’s dry humour. He looked at Jono, hoping to share the joke, but his face told a different story. He looked glum, or even miserable. In fact, he’d been quiet for most of the day.

“Hey,” Dylan pulled him away, back into the corridor, “What’s up?”

“Nothing, I’m just tired,” Josh shrugged it off, avoiding eye contact.

“No, don’t do this,” Dylan refused to accept his answer, “The last time you weren’t yourself, you literally weren’t yourself, and I vowed from then on to protect your life with my own. Talk to me, Jon.”

“I’m sorry,” Jono looked up, meeting eyes with Dylan, “I had the worst night’s sleep. You know those dreams that feel real?”

“Yeah, vivid dreams” Dylan empathised.

“No, it was more than that. Not just vivid, but it felt like I wasn’t dreaming at all,” Jono continued, “I felt every emotion. It felt familiar, even though it wasn’t.”

“What happened?” Dylan listened intently.

“We were in bed, and I couldn’t sleep. I saw a load of new pictures on the wall. Pictures of everyone, the whole pack, that I’d never seen before,” Jono relayed, “And they were dead, Dylan. I had killed them. I was stood over their dead bodies with glowing red eyes.”

“Oh shit,” Dylan was gobsmacked.

“Then I got into bed and you were dead too, Dyl,” Jono started to cry. Dylan’s heart broke. He’d never seen Jono so vulnerable before. He was usually the calm, composed one.

“Look around you,” Dylan dug deep, trying to give Jono the best advice he could, “We’re here. Everyone’s alive. Look in that mirror, and glow your eyes.”

Jono did as instructed, walking over to the mirror beside the front door. His eyes flared their usual gorgeous fiery yellow colour, just as they were supposed to.

“All is okay,” Dylan took his hand, “And I won’t let anything happen to you. I promise.” Jono nodded, wiping away the tears from his cheeks. They could conquer anything together.

“Dylan,” Caroline poked her head around the corner from the living room, “Could I borrow you for a moment? When you’re ready.”

“Will you be okay?” Dylan checked with Jono first and foremost.

“Of course. I’ll be waiting for you,” Jono put a brave face on. As long as they had each other, Dylan knew they’d be okay.


Despite it being home for most of her life, Lily still found something so uncomforting about the large Chadwick house. Once upon a time, she thought it was magical. It was so exciting for a child, with a whole load of hiding places for hide and seek, and loads of room to store all her toys.

Come high school, it had turned into a bragging right, and it made for the perfect party venue. The house gave Lily status, but it was a vapid way of building friendships. The novelty wore of, and Lily had learnt that the company was so much more important than the building. Finally, she understood why Jono spent so much time in the treehouse alone.

Now, the house was just an embodiment of the fractured relationship she had with her friends. Since being at college, she’d had very little contact with either of them, and even her visits home had been spent at the lakehouse. The only reason she was visiting now was to collect the remainder of her belongings, and she was hoping to be as inconspicuous as possible.

“Not going to say hi to them?” Yasmin probed. Thankfully, Lily didn’t have to face that place alone. She’d breezed straight through the corridor and towards the stairs.

“Another day,” Lily brushed off, swerving the subject.

“Lily,” Yasmin stopped a couple of steps up, “Talk to them, please.”

“I will,” Lily turned to face her, “I’m just not ready yet.”

“Don’t delay,” Yasmin advised, “I don’t want you to have any regrets. God knows I have so many of my own.”

“I thought things were good between you and your mom?” Lily pondered.

“They are, but it’s all relative,” Yasmin opened up, “I missed out on years of memories with my mom, and there’s always going to be some distance between us as a result. Not to mention how she still doesn’t know what happened to my dad, or what I am. You’ve got a choice, Lily.”

“Noted,” Lily smiled kindly. Yasmin had a point, but that didn’t mean it was going to be an easy battle to overcome, “Come on, I’ve got clothes to collect.” Lily enthusiastically bounced up the stairs and brushed straight into her old bedroom.

“Lily!” Jeremy called out in shock. Oops. Lily had forgotten the room had a new occupant. Jeremy was lying on top of what used to be her bed, with another boy lying next to him. Whoever he was, Lily couldn’t help noticing how close together they were.

“Oh, um, I’m sorry,” Lily felt very awkward, as if she’d interrupted something, “I, um, just wanted to pick some clothes up.”

“Sure,” Jeremy seemed just as awkward. He sat up on the bed, and the young lad next to him did the same, “Help yourself.” Lily tip-toed to the wardrobe as if she were trespassing, hoping to be as quick as possible.

“Who’s your friend?” Yasmin playfully questioned, lightening up the atmosphere.

“Oh, this is Felix,” Jeremy introduced shyly, “Felix, this is my cousin Lily and my friend Yasmin.” Lily listened in as she bundled clothes into the two large plastic bags she brought. She knew that Sammi went on a date with this Felix guy, but wasn’t aware he and Jeremy were close.

“Nice to meet you at last,” Lily grinned politely, “Come on Yasmin, time to go.” She ushered Yasmin out with the bags carrying as many clothes as they could.

“That was so awkward,” Lily quietly mentioned after the door clicked shut.

“He was cute, though,” Yasmin looked pleased with herself.

“Oh, come on, did you see how close they were?” Lily rebutted. They were just centimetres from their bodies touching.

“Darn,” Yasmin’s face sunk, “It’s always the best-looking ones, too.” Lily chuckled. She’d almost forgotten the weight of the house she was stood in. Perhaps she was making progress after all?


Slumping back down on the bed, Oscar was on such a high. Cody slumped down next to him, and they shared the exact same expression. One of pleasure, satisfaction and pure elation. Nobody else could make him feel such an intense high, particularly in a small room inside an abandoned warehouse down the road from the college.

Slotting into Cody’s pack had been surprisingly easy, for the most part anyway. He’d spent months getting to know his new pack, and while both Oscar and the other pack members were initially resistant, he’d formed strong bonds already. He’d earned their loyalty.

Despite this, he so desperately wanted to talk to Dylan and Jono. He missed them so much. Oscar wasn’t stupid, though. He knew seeing them would be too risky, even from across the lecture theatre. They’d find out about the deal he made, and they wouldn’t look kindly on Cody. If that happened, everything he’d given up would have been for nothing. A war would break out.

“I could go again,” Cody toyed, his fingers twirling in Oscar’s unkept blonde shaggy mane.

“Sounds good to me,” Oscar smiled like the cat that got the cream. He rolled over and climbed on top of Cody, kissing him with every droplet of passion in his body. When they were together, Oscar felt safe, and Cody had defended him at every necessary moment, just as he’d promised.

“Cody!” a voice irritatingly interrupted. Oscar froze, before sheepishly dismounting Cody and slipping back under the covers. Modesty restored. He certainly couldn’t say that was the first time they’d been caught.

“Keisha, what have I told you about not knocking?” Cody angrily scolded. Keisha was his second-in-command, and she was definitely the toughest nut to crack. Oscar still wasn’t sure she trusted him yet, despite his best efforts to prove she could.

“I’m sorry that your shag is more important,” Keisha stormed back out, but not before issuing a completely unsubtle eyeroll.

“She really doesn’t like me,” Oscar commented. He chuckled nervously. Keisha seemed to trust Cody, but Oscar really wanted to win her trust on his own.

“She’s just got her guard up,” Cody insisted, “This is our first summer together, and you are my priority.” Cody leaned in to kiss Oscar again, and it felt so good. There was nothing Oscar wanted more than to spend the day in bed with Cody, but Keisha clearly had a reason for bursting in.

“Maybe you should go talk to her,” Oscar suggested, choosing his head over his heart.

“No, because if I talk to her, I’ll have to deal with someone else’s shit. It’s not going to be a thirty second conversation, and that’s about as long as I can bear to be away from you,” Cody snuggled in closer, his body leaned directly against Oscar’s side.

“But if you deal with it now, it might save something escalating. Therefore, more time to spend with me later,” Oscar reasoned.

“I hate how sensible you are,” Cody smiled, “Okay, where did you put my underwear?”

“Oh,” Oscar was stumped. He’d thrown them somewhere around the room in the excitement of the moment, “Are they important?” He winked at Cody. He had fallen so hard for him.


Dylan always felt anxious when someone said they wanted a word with him. It was so vague and ominous, and the subject of the conversation could range from the best news ever, to the worst news ever. The uncertainty created far too much paranoia in Dylan’s mind within a few seconds.

The annoying thing was that Caroline’s face gave nothing away. Her chemo-signals didn’t offer any clues either. Perhaps that was a good thing? Dylan would definitely be able to sense sadness. Maybe he was clutching at straws, but he had to reassure himself somehow.

“I wanted to tell you this face-to-face, so I’ve kept it secret for the past week,” Caroline began as Dylan made himself comfortable at the dining table. They had enough privacy in the kitchen while the party started next door, “I’m pregnant.”

Stunned into silence, Dylan didn’t know what to say. Of all the things he expected to hear, that wasn’t one of them. In some ways, it made perfect sense. Caroline and Ed hadn’t even been married a year yet. That said, Dylan had no idea kids of their own were on the cards.

“I know it’s a lot to take in, but I’m three months down the line,” Caroline continued, “I wasn’t even sure I wanted a baby. I’ve done the mom thing already, with you, and then Josh, but I always said this marriage was a fresh start, for all of us.”

“Does Josh know?” Dylan questioned. He needed to be in-the-know as well.

“Ed’s going to tell him later. I wanted to speak to you first,” Caroline mentioned, “How do you feel about it? This affects you, too, even though you’re nineteen now.”

“Mom, it’s amazing news,” Dylan gushed. He was truly delighted for his mum. She was right – it was the fresh start they deserved.

“I’m so glad to hear that,” Caroline smiled, “On another note, you know your Aunt Maria? She’s coming to visit. I’ve not told her the news, or much at all about the past few years.”

“Like your werewolf sons?” Dylan laughed.

“Exactly,” Caroline chuckled, “And I plan to keep it that way, I’m sure you understand.” Dylan nodded. He hadn’t heard from his Aunt Maria since they moved to Crystalshaw, outside of the obligatory Christmas and birthday cards. She and Caroline had an on-off relationship and a somewhat bumpy history. She didn’t need to know the full story.

“Where will she sleep?” Dylan enquired. There were no free bedrooms and the house just about accommodated six people already, before factoring in a baby and an intrusive aunt.

“On the sofa, I’ve already made that clear to her,” Caroline insisted, “I’m not asking any of you to give up your beds for her self-imposed visit.”

“Thanks,” Dylan appreciated his mum looking out for him, “It’ll be okay. Everything will be okay, mom. I’m here for whatever you need.” Caroline smiled proudly at him. Dylan was so fortunate to have her as his mum. The baby was in safe hands.


There was something so incredibly special about the Drummond house, Freddie always thought. He wasn’t family, but he was always welcomed with open arms, even after he’d been away to college. Caroline and Ed could easily have asked him to stay with George at the lakehouse, but it was quite the opposite.

The best part about being home, though, was being reunited with Sammi. They’d spent every weekend together, but that was nothing compared to what they had planned for the summer. With any luck, they’d barely spend any time apart. Even more exciting was Sammi starting college herself in September. She’d be in the same building as him, up a flight of stairs. Freddie couldn’t wait.

“Is it weird that I’ll sort-of miss school?” Sammi pondered before sipping her juice.

“Yes,” Freddie joked, “I won’t lie, I sort-of miss it. College is tough.”

“At least you live with your friends,” Sammi sighed.

“You’ve got Jeremy, and this Felix dude,” Freddie reminded. That didn’t sound like a bad thing.

“Yeah, and a bunch of randomers,” Sammi elaborated, “You know what happens around us. People will be in danger.”

“What’s brought this on?” Freddie listened. Sammi only worried when she had something big on her mind. It was one extreme or the other.

“We tried to keep Oscar safe. Where is he now?” Sammi explained. Freddie couldn’t think up a good enough response, because Sammi was right. They had tried so hard to keep Oscar out of the supernatural world. Not only had they been unsuccessful, but Oscar was now lost inside it.

“Then we do better,” Freddie suggested. He wasn’t used to being the person anyone came to for advice, but he was certain of one thing: he was always going to look out for Sammi.

“Dude, can I borrow you?” Jono nervously interrupted.

“Sure,” Freddie tentatively replied. Jono led him to the corner of the room, clearly in need of privacy, “Everything okay?”

“Yeah, I think so,” Jono assured, “I was planning for today to be big. I slept really badly, but I’m not going to let that ruin my plan.”

“Okay, tell me more,” Freddie was intrigued.

“It’s for Dylan. I want to…” Jono froze, “I’m a bit nervous. I know we’re young, but we’ve been dating for ages now and there’s truly nothing I want more.”

“Oh my god, you mean…” Freddie realised, “That’s huge.”

“I know. I’m jumping the gun, aren’t I? This is a terrible idea,” Jono was sceptical.

“No,” Freddie insisted, “Dylan will love it. Go for it, dude.”

Freddie’s phone buzzed, rudely taking him out of a surprisingly cute moment. Strangely, it was a text from an unknown number. As he went to delete it, as he always did with spam messages, he saw the first word. His name. It was directly addressing him. Intrigued and slightly worried, Freddie read on.

‘Freddie. See you soon. Dad.’

Taken aback, Freddie wasn’t sure what to do. Was someone playing a practical joke? He’d spoken about his dad to so few people, because he had no memories whatsoever of him. Whatever it was, it was sick.

“What’s up?” Jono checked.

“Nothing,” Freddie replied, deleting the text. It wasn’t worth his time.


Checking his hair in the front camera of his phone, Jeremy felt equally excited and nervous about the party. He was excited to see his friends again, and they had a whole summer to spend together before the pressure cooker of college. Jeremy was looking forward to it, though – finally, he was out of the suffocating environment that was high school. Now, he could finally start living the life he wanted.

However, this was the first time most of the pack were meeting Felix. Other than Sammi, none of the pack knew the truth about, well, pretty much everything involving Felix. What he did. The reaction at school. How much he meant to Jeremy. The entire thing was one big secret.

After all, Jeremy didn’t truly know what he was yet. He’d spent months with Felix and he cared so much for him, but he still couldn’t find a label that fit him. How was he supposed to define himself? There wasn’t much of an answer when Felix was the only person he’d ever been particularly attracted to.

“You look amazing,” Felix reassured, “You look better than I do, and I’m the one who needs to make an impression.”

“Shut up, you look gorgeous,” Jeremy corrected, “Besides, they don’t know who you are to me. It’s less pressure.”

“I suppose if I can win Sammi’s trust back, this won’t be too difficult,” Felix pondered.

Jeremy watched Felix stare in awe at the surrounding forest as they approached Dylan’s house. The location was incredible, Jeremy always thought, and Felix seemed even more taken in by it than the huge Chadwick house he’d seen numerous times already. The natural beauty of the forest was breath-taking, and Jeremy found it so soothing. It was the only place he could ever really feel peace and quiet.

“Okay, one day, we have to live somewhere like this,” Felix blurted out, awkwardly glancing at Jeremy afterwards, “If that’s something you’d like as well, of course.”

“Yeah,” Jeremy smiled. He’d never given a great deal of thought to the future – living with his dad somewhat dulled his ambitions, and his only real aim was to find Sammi one day. Felix had opened his eyes, and now he was learning stuff about himself. Stuff he should have figured out already, but nonetheless, it was an exciting part of his life. Felix had marked a new beginning.

“It doesn’t need to be a big house, but somewhere cosy with enough space for us,” Felix thought aloud, “And a family.” Jeremy felt that strange feeling in his stomach again. Butterflies were fluttering around. He felt uncontrollably excited by the thought of a family with Felix. If that was what his future held, he’d be more than happy. After all, his dad was a pretty good indicator of what not to do as a parent.

“As long as you’re there, I’m happy,” Jeremy paused as they reached the doorstep.

“Oh, that’s so cliché,” Felix laughed, “But I love it. And I love you,” Felix kissed him, and it felt amazing. Every kiss felt just as intoxicating as the first.

“Hey,” the door swung open. Sammi quickly stopped in her tracks as Jeremy broke the kiss, “That’s not exactly subtle, guys.”

“That’s why we didn’t ring the doorbell, duh,” Jeremy playfully replied. The more he got to know Sammi, the more he understood her banter, and dishing it back never failed to be funny.

“Well, everyone’s inside, so be careful,” Sammi advised. Jeremy nodded. Though he had nothing to feel ashamed of where Felix was concerned, he wanted some answers of his own before he ended up in the hot seat.


The pure, untampered-with beauty of the lake never ceased to amaze Yasmin. She’d spent so many hours by it before, either to test her powers or just to clear her mind. Whether it was the nix part of her that found the gentle ripples of the water so calming, Yasmin wasn’t sure, but it worked a treat regardless.

Now, it was serving as the perfect location for some quiet reflection. Moving back home didn’t feel like a fulfilling move to Yasmin. She thrived in the college environment, living with her friends and putting the work in towards the career in medicine she was so keen to achieve. Summertime had applied the brakes when Yasmin wanted to keep driving forward.

If she couldn’t have that, the lakehouse was a satisfying consolation prize in the meantime. Some rest and relaxation couldn’t have done her any harm, Yasmin concluded, and college had been so full-on. Josh always said she worked too hard; Yasmin didn’t believe that was possible.

“Hey, Yasmin,” Mia called out, jogging over to the dock, “Everything okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Yasmin assured, “Just taking in the sights.”

“It’s pretty gorgeous, right?” Mia agreed, “George and I have spent so many nights out here. Perfect place for date night.”

“It’s so calming,” Yasmin added. She loved Mia’s innocence. Somehow, George had managed to keep her out of the supernatural world entirely. Perhaps there was some benefit to not-knowing after all?

“We’ve got a spare room if you want it,” she kindly offered.

“I’d love to, but I know my mom’s been so excited to have me home,” Yasmin sighed. She’d love to live at the lakehouse, but all she could think of was her chat with Lily that morning. She wasn’t a hypocrite. It was time to start appreciating her mum.

“Well, you’re welcome here any time,” Mia smiled again.

“Hey, ready to go?” Lily called from the back door. Of course – Caroline and Ed’s ‘welcome home’ party. Yasmin had almost forgotten.

“Coming,” Yasmin called back, before checking her hair in her phone camera to make sure she looked her best. She turned back to Mia, “Are you joining us?”

“Show me a party I couldn’t make,” Mia laughed. Yasmin felt so positive just from talking to Mia. If only everyone could take a leaf out of her book.


Heart beating like crazy, Jono couldn’t believe what he was about to do. It was something he had dreamed of for a long time, and they’d even talked about it on so many occasions, but it felt unreal that the day had finally come. There was truly nothing he wanted more, and he was confident Dylan felt the same.

He was sure some people would say it’s premature, but Jono couldn’t disagree more. He’d been planning this moment for months, saving up and waiting for the perfect chance. After all, spending time inside the vision world was quite the reality check, not knowing if he’d ever see Dylan again. He needed to make sure they’d be together forever.

Furthermore, Dylan’s advice and comfort after the horrible night Jono had was enough to keep him pushing on. He knew he loved Dylan a long time ago, and his future involved Dylan every step of the way.

The anticipation was unbearable. So much could go wrong, and Jono didn’t want to make a fool of himself, nor did he want to embarrass Dylan. That’s why he thought it best to happen in private – that way, there was no pressure on Dylan. He knew him too well to put him through that.

Now, all he needed was for Dylan to arrive back from his chat with Caroline. The party was continuing around Jono. Everyone else was oblivious to his plan, and it was difficult to blend in and act like nothing was happening. His mind was too busy performing somersaults. Time had come to a standstill. It was excruciating.

Then he arrived. Quietly, Dylan slipped back into the room. He looked surprisingly chirpy, which could only mean one thing: the chat with Caroline went well. That also spelled good news for Jono – his moment had been chosen well.

“Hey, how did the chat go?” Jono quietly asked, not intending to pry. Dylan looked around, checking nobody was paying them any attention.

“Okay, promise you won’t tell anyone. Not yet, anyway,” Dylan lowered his voice.

“Promise,” Jono nodded, intrigued. Dylan looked so excited.

“Mom’s pregnant,” Dylan revealed with a huge smile on his face, “I’m getting a baby brother or sister.”

“What? Oh my god Dyl, that’s amazing,” Jono was delighted, keeping the noise down.

“I know, right?” Dylan was visibly buzzing, “Are you okay now?”

“Yeah,” Jono assured, “In fact, there was something I wanted to ask you, in private. Don’t worry, it’s nothing bad. Promise.” Jono knew Dylan would worry, but he had no need to. Jono was doing more than enough worrying for the both of them.

“Sure,” Dylan anxiously replied before leading Jono into the kitchen. Jono’s heart was racing. He still had the chance to back out, but he didn’t want to. He knew this was the moment. Now, it was in Dylan’s hands.

“Okay,” Jono gathered all the courage he could find and took a deep breath in. He could barely think straight. Anxiety was consuming him.

“Jono, are you sure everything’s alright?” Dylan was concerned, but he didn’t need to be.

“I was wondering,” Jono reached into his back pocket and took out a box. It was perfectly plain; the direct contrast of what was inside. He flicked the box open, exposing its contents to Dylan, who looked on in disbelief, “Dylan Drummond, you’re the only person I’ve ever loved. You’ve literally saved my life, more than once, and I can’t imagine living without you. Would you do me the honour of becoming my husband?”

That was it. He couldn’t take it back now. Immediately, Jono examined Dylan’s face. He was stunned, but smiling as if he couldn’t restrain himself. That was a good sign. He was looking at the box. Jono had saved up to get the perfect ring for Dylan – silver, with a dash of red in the centre. The cost wouldn’t be important to Dylan, but he had to know Jono was serious.

“Of course,” Dylan replied after what felt like an hour-long wait. Jono started laughing. The anxiety had faded. All he felt was pure joy and elation, “You knew I’d prefer this in private?”

“I know you inside out, Dyl,” Jono smiled.

“You got it spot on,” Dylan chuckled, “I don’t know what to say.”

“Just kiss me then,” Jono directed. Dylan didn’t need to be asked twice. Jono had never enjoyed the feeling of Dylan’s lips so much. He was on cloud nine, and nothing was going to ruin his mood.


Adjusting his trousers as he walked, Oscar had to quickly get into the zone – mentally and physically. Keisha always had a good reason for summoning Cody, and usually, it meant that they had a visitor. In the likelihood that they did have a guest, Oscar had to look vaguely presentable. Cody had standards to maintain.

“Hair tie,” Cody demanded as they speed-walked to the communal area. The warehouse was huge, with the central communal area taking up the most room, spanning the length of the entire area. Small side-rooms acted as bedrooms, and they even had a kitchen and bathroom installed. They’d gone to great efforts to make it homely.

“Here,” Oscar twisted it off his wrist and handed it to Cody, who swept his unruly red curls into a smart bun. Oscar always kept a few spare hair ties for him on his wrist, just to be safe.

Keisha was waiting for them in the communal area, which was split into numerous small sections. A few sofas surrounded a television, but Keisha’s location spoke volumes. She was stood in the very centre, without a furnishing in sight. This was where business happened. She had her hands on her hips, and directed a stern glare straight towards Oscar. He sighed – if only she knew he was the reason Cody has even bothered to turn up.

Archie was by her side – six foot with an eight pack, Oscar was terrified of Archie when they first met. Surprisingly though, he was the first of Cody’s pack to accept him. He was a complete softy, not that he’d ever admit it.

“What’s the deal?” Cody questioned, standing in the centre of the room.

“It was nice of you to show up,” Keisha wasn’t letting it go. Oscar understood her frustrations, but she directed it at the wrong person.

“I’m here, Keisha, now are we getting on with it? Or did you just fancy wasting my time?” Cody was getting agitated. Oscar hated the tension between them – it had been there since his arrival, and months had passed since then with little change.

“We’re getting on with it,” Archie intervened, playing the peacekeeper – and not for the first time, “We caught someone trying to break in. He says he needs our help.”

“So why didn’t he use the front door?” Cody wondered. This wasn’t their first request for help. Cody’s status went a long way.

“He said he’s not from around here,” Archie continued.

“Bring him in,” Cody ordered. A door clanged from across the warehouse. Footsteps grew closer. Mariana arrived – the fourth and final member of the pack. She was the strategist, and the smartest of any of them. There was a lad with her, keeping his head down. He had a thick, messy array of curls that covered much of his face.

“Who are you?” Cody interrupted as Mariana pushed him onto the floor in the middle.

“Please, help me,” he begged. Oscar knew that voice anywhere. It was strangely comforting.

“Who are you?” Cody questioned again, more firmly that time. He looked up, exposing his face for the first time.

“Brett Sutton,” he introduced, “My boyfriend got kidnapped. I need your help, please.”

2: Genetics Written by MarthaJonesFan

Finally, summer had arrived. First year of college was over, and Brett was exhausted. It had been an intense year of basketball training mixed with studying, and he was getting closer and closer to the dream of playing as a professional. Now, he was ready to recharge his batteries for the summer, with the one he loved most.

Johnny stepped out of the car first. It was like returning home, and they’d both been counting down the days until their return. It was a driving force behind their college work, and the time had finally arrived.

Perhaps it was strange that what was originally used as a safehouse had become their perfect holiday destination, but Brett had no shame. Ed had decommissioned the hut from police use, meaning it was all theirs for a summer spent in each other’s arms.

“At last. Peace and quiet,” Johnny commented. It was blissfully silent, thanks to the empty road and lack of surrounding buildings.

Inside, the place looked surprisingly messy. It only had the bare minimum furnishings anyway, but what it did have was strangely erratic, as if there had been a struggle.

“Has someone else been here?” Johnny cautiously wondered.

“Not that I know of,” Brett replied. The only people who knew about the hut were Ed and the rest of Dylan’s pack, and truthfully, Brett had only sent them the occasional message over the past year. Supernatural chat was off the table and it was all about small talk, but Brett understood – he’d made the decision to move away, after all, “I suppose we’d better get cleaning.”

“Oh shit,” Johnny gasped, “I forgot to pack the vacuum.” A cheeky smile rose on his face.

“Well, you’d better find one then,” Brett teased. Johnny playfully glared at him. They took the mick out of each other constantly, but it was always from a place of love. After all, they’d had their whole lives to perfect the art.


Collapsing onto the sofa, Brett felt exhausted. They had spent the whole day cleaning and tidying the hut, and now it was completely spotless. At last, their summer could truly begin. Brett laid down across Johnny’s lap, his legs dangling over the opposite end of the sofa. He felt so comfortable there, glancing up at Johnny’s beautiful face. He was gorgeous from every angle.

For ten minutes, they laid perfectly still. No music or television, just each other’s company. It was all they needed, and there was nowhere else Brett would rather be. They had space and privacy – something he was guaranteed not to get at home.

“I almost forgot,” Johnny broke the silence. Brett sat up, allowing Johnny to leap off the sofa, “Drinks. We need to celebrate the start of summer.”

“You’re talking my language,” Brett smiled. Perhaps that was the one way to make their evening even better. Johnny bounced into the kitchen while Brett found a new position on the sofa to feel comfortable in.

Five minutes passed. Brett had scrolled up and down through his Instagram while he waited. It was completely mundane, but passed the time. Strangely, Johnny was still in the kitchen. Fetching drinks was taking a surprisingly long time.

“Johnny,” Brett called out. No response. This was probably one of his pranks. He was surely hiding somewhere, ready to jump out at him for a laugh. It wouldn’t have been the first time.

Nevertheless, Brett cautiously crept towards the kitchen. It was eerily silent. It was never quiet for this long when Johnny was around. Brett couldn’t deny – he was concerned.

Scarily, the kitchen was empty, and the back door was wide open. Johnny couldn’t possibly have gone to another room – that would have involved walking past the living room – so he must have been outside. Confused, Brett looked around from the doorstep. No sign, left or right. His emotions were all over the place, but worry was definitely prevailing. Johnny’s pranks weren’t ever that elaborate.

Stepping back inside, Brett tried calling Johnny. His stomach sank when he spotted Johnny’s phone vibrating on top of the kitchen counter. That was the final straw. Johnny never went anywhere without his phone – not even the bathroom.

Then he saw it. Easy to miss on a quick glance, but now Brett couldn’t unsee it. Blood. Blood that definitely wasn’t there before. After all, they had just cleaned the place from top to bottom.

Brett panicked. He needed help, and fast.

Carrying a glass of water in one hand and a change of clothes in another, Oscar speed-walked into his bedroom. He wanted to do everything he could to help, and that included being hospitable. Nobody else seemed interested in doing that.

Brett was sat in the centre of Oscar and Cody’s bed. He looked glum to say the least, his head tilted downwards. The bags around his eyes said a lot, much like his rosy red cheeks. Archie was stood guard by the bedroom door, but quite why, Oscar didn’t know. Brett wasn’t a prisoner, and Oscar trusted him more than anyone else in the warehouse. Cody included.

“We’ll be fine,” Oscar nodded to Archie, trying to shake him off.

“Shout if you need me,” Archie got the hint, slipping out of the room.

“He looks scary,” Brett broke his silence now they were alone.

“He’s sweet really, I promise,” Oscar revealed, approaching the bed, “Room for a little one?” Brett shuffled over, making room for Oscar to sit on one side of the bed.

“I feel empty,” Brett opened up. He had told the group about Johnny’s disappearance. Oscar had seen first-hand just how close they were. History like theirs carried so much weight.

“I understand,” Oscar consoled. He’d felt empty ever since abandoning the pack. He knew the feeling well, “Is there anything you need?” He passed Brett the water and placed the clothes next to him.

“No, that’s good,” Brett raised half a smile, “But I’d appreciate the company. I wasn’t expecting a familiar face. That was kind-of the point.”

“Why didn’t you go to Dylan?” Oscar queried. After all, Dylan wasn’t exactly miles away.

“We’ve not really spoken about anything supernatural since I left. I get it, it was my choice to leave for college, but I think I gave up my place in the in-crowd too. This way, there’s no awkward reunions. We can get straight to business,” Brett justified, “Which brings me to the burning question. Why are you here?”

“It’s a long story, honestly,” Oscar sighed.

“Is Dylan okay?” Brett was concerned.

“As far as I know. It’s been a long time since I last saw him,” Oscar mentioned. He missed his old friendships so much.

“Well, either way, these guys don’t seem as friendly. Have I come to the right place?” Brett worried.

“Yes. I promise,” Oscar assured. No matter what, he would do everything he could to help Brett.


It had been a long time since Dylan last woke up feeling so positive. He had an immediate fire inside of him, and he felt like he was glowing on the outside. It was the warmest, most exciting feeling, and only one person could make him feel that way.

Jono hadn’t woken up yet, so Dylan was enjoying just watching him sleep. He was so peaceful, and he always looked so beautiful when he slept. If nobody was perfect, Jono was as close as anyone had ever come.

Dylan couldn’t pretend he wasn’t worried about Jono, though. He was hugely shaken by his nightmare the night before, in a way Dylan had never seen before. At least he seemed to be having a better night now they were in their own bed.

That said, the main focus of Dylan’s mind was the proposal. He’d dreamed of marrying Jono one day, but now, it felt realer than ever. He couldn’t believe he was looking at his fiancée, but it felt amazing. The future was so exciting, but the next step was daunting. They had to tell people, and soon, because the ring on his finger wouldn’t go unnoticed for very long.

“Good morning, fiancée,” Jono smiled as he stirred.

“Oh, hey,” Dylan’s mood lifted further, “Sleep well?”

“Like a baby. Or wolf cub. Whatever a baby werewolf would be,” Jono chuckled.

“Baby will do,” Dylan laughed.

“I think last night was a one-off,” Jono pondered, “Thank god, because I don’t think I could manage more nights like that. I’d go insane.”

“I’m glad, one less thing for me to worry about,” Dylan admitted.

“You don’t need to worry about me, Dyl. I’m fine,” Jono insisted.

“I know, but I’m always going to worry. I can’t help it,” Dylan replied. It was natural, and only proved how much he cared about Jono.

“True. I mean, I can’t say I don’t worry about you,” Jono accepted, “And you can handle yourself better than anyone I know.” Dylan blushed. He wasn’t sure he agreed, but Jono did so much good for his self-confidence.

Interrupting his train of thought, Dylan heard a car pull up outside. He sat up in bed and peered through the window behind. He’d never seen that car before, but he knew who it had to belong to. The visitor nobody had invited.

“Is that her?” Jono questioned as two people stepped out of the car – a stylish woman from the drivers’ side and a smart man from the passenger seat.

“Yup,” Dylan unenthusiastically replied, “And her new fella, it seems. Oh, boy.”

“Come on, let’s get ready. We’ll face it together,” Jono encouraged. Dylan nodded. He always had the best ideas. Now all he had to overcome was his own anxiety.


Rummaging through the heap of clothes on the floor to find a clean shirt, Freddie was ready for his summer to truly begin. He had no plans for the first day in a long time, other than thrashing Josh in as many videogames as possible, of course.

Across the room, Josh was doing the exact same thing. Their bedroom was in its permanently disorganised state, and no matter how much effort they put into tidying up, it always found its way back to mess.

“One of yours,” Josh flung a pair of boxer shorts at Freddie. He caught them just in time, stopping them colliding with his face.

“I’m not touching any of yours,” Freddie joked, just as he finally found a t-shirt to wear.

Three knocks at the door. Thinking fast, Freddie flung the t-shirt onto his bed and answered it. Ed was outside, already dressed in full sheriff gear for work.

“Hey, can I come in?” Ed queried.

“Sure,” Freddie stepped back, making space. Ed closed the door behind him, “Any news on Oscar?”

“Sorry. I promise you, we’re leaving no stone unturned, but every road we take is a dead end,” Ed solemnly replied. Though everyone was attempting to carry on with life as normal, Freddie knew there was an underlying sadness and uneasiness because of Oscar’s disappearance. It made no sense at all, “I wanted to have a word with you both. Caroline spoke to Dylan last night but I wanted to be the one to tell you guys.”

“This sounds serious,” Josh observed.

“No need to panic, I promise,” Ed insisted, “Caroline and I, we’re having a baby.”

“Shit,” Josh was gobsmacked.

“Another kid living here?” Freddie joked, but he was half-serious. There was only just enough room for the six people currently living in the house.

“I know space is tight,” Ed was ahead of him, “Which is why we’re looking at expanding. Two more bedrooms. One for the baby, and one for you, Freddie.”

“Wait, my own room?” Freddie was taken aback. He wasn’t expecting that bombshell. Strangely, it came as more of a surprise than the baby news.

“If you want it. If not, I’ll make it my man cave, but I don’t think Caroline would agree to that,” Ed chuckled.

“I do,” Freddie accepted, “Of course. Thank you so much.” For a while now, he hadn’t really felt settled anywhere. Ever since leaving the house he grew up in, Freddie felt like he’d moved from pillar to post without settling. Now he had a permanent home.

“Awesome,” Ed smiled proudly, “I’ll see you boys tonight.” He showed himself out while Freddie collapsed onto his bed. He didn’t know what to say, but he felt elated. He was part of a family again. A family that cared for him. That was a feeling he wasn’t expecting to feel again.

“Welcome to the family, bro,” Josh sat next to him, patting him on the back. Freddie couldn’t help smiling, and he wasn’t sure he would stop all day.


Sunbathing at the lakehouse was the perfect way to kickstart summer in Lily’s eyes. She hadn’t felt so calm in a long time. For the first time in ages, she could completely switch off and clear her mind, and it felt so refreshing.

Lying either side of her were Yasmin and Sammi. It was meant to be their girly hangout, and it would’ve been if Sammi hadn’t dragged Jeremy along with her. He was sat up, feet dangling into the lake. Strangely, he’d not said a word since they arrived. Jeremy was far from the most talkative person ever, but he was never this silent.

It had been a while now since they met Jeremy, but Lily still found it strange how she had a family member that she didn’t know existed. The whole time, he’d been living his life in the shadows, yet now, it was hard to imagine a time without him around. Among the chaos and heartache of the Chadwicks, Lily loved that they had found something, or someone, to be positive about.

“What’s the deal with him?” Lily whispered to Sammi.

“He’s lonely. He was going to spend all day sulking in his room,” Sammi explained.

“I don’t get it,” Lily mentioned. Was she missing something? Why was Jeremy lonely?

“Felix,” Yasmin chipped in, “Right? I mean, we saw them yesterday.”

“Err,” Sammi hesitated. The lack of immediate denial was revealing, but Lily assumed it wasn’t her place to say more.

“Right,” Jeremy replied, turning around. Lily’s heart sank. He had been listening, and immediately, she felt guilty.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to pry,” Lily quickly apologised. The last thing she wanted was for Jeremy to feel uncomfortable.

“No, it’s okay. It’s about time you guys knew. Felix is my boyfriend, we’ve been dating for months,” Jeremy revealed sheepishly.

“Aw, that’s so cute,” Lily smiled, “No wonder you’ve been so chirpy recently.”

“Except right now,” Yasmin corrected, “Is everything okay?”

“It’s our first day apart in ages. He’s spending the day with his family, and he doesn’t even want to. It’s his little sister’s birthday so it’s a kids’ party. I miss him. I know it sounds stupid,” Jeremy sighed.

“No, not at all. Missing him isn’t stupid, or bad,” Lily encouraged, “It just means you care for him, and when you see him next, it’ll be even more exciting. One day is a small drop in the ocean in the long run.”

“Thanks,” Jeremy nodded, his face brightening up.

“You’re wasted here,” Sammi smiled, “Charge him for therapy time, Lil.” Lily felt proud of herself. She’d heard enough advice in her lifetime. Giving it back felt so rewarding.

“Hey, what’s that,” Yasmin pointed to the lake. Usually, it was completely clear and clean, and Lily never failed to be awestruck by its beauty. However, a plastic wallet was floating along the top a few metres from the dock. Yasmin sat at the edge of the dock and placed her hand on top of the water. Lily watched in amazement as the wallet glided along to her hand, as if the water was fetching it for her. She swiped it up when it got close enough and took out the sheet of paper wrapped inside.

“What is it?” Sammi keenly wondered.

“Probably someone’s lost homework,” Lily sighed. Her interest was considerably lower.

“No,” Yasmin looked stunned, “Read it.” She held it up for them to see. Lily was horrified. It wasn’t even close to what she expected. The piece of paper was a handwritten note. Handwritten in blood.

Carrying a glass of water in one hand and a change of clothes in another, Oscar speed-walked into his bedroom. He wanted to do everything he could to help, and that included being hospitable. Nobody else seemed interested in doing that.

Brett was sat in the centre of Oscar and Cody’s bed. He looked glum to say the least, his head tilted downwards. The bags around his eyes said a lot, much like his rosy red cheeks. Archie was stood guard by the bedroom door, but quite why, Oscar didn’t know. Brett wasn’t a prisoner, and Oscar trusted him more than anyone else in the warehouse. Cody included.

“We’ll be fine,” Oscar nodded to Archie, trying to shake him off.

“Shout if you need me,” Archie got the hint, slipping out of the room.

“He looks scary,” Brett broke his silence now they were alone.

“He’s sweet really, I promise,” Oscar revealed, approaching the bed, “Room for a little one?” Brett shuffled over, making room for Oscar to sit on one side of the bed.

“I feel empty,” Brett opened up. He had told the group about Johnny’s disappearance. Oscar had seen first-hand just how close they were. History like theirs carried so much weight.

“I understand,” Oscar consoled. He’d felt empty ever since abandoning the pack. He knew the feeling well, “Is there anything you need?” He passed Brett the water and placed the clothes next to him.

“No, that’s good,” Brett raised half a smile, “But I’d appreciate the company. I wasn’t expecting a familiar face. That was kind-of the point.”

“Why didn’t you go to Dylan?” Oscar queried. After all, Dylan wasn’t exactly miles away.

“We’ve not really spoken about anything supernatural since I left. I get it, it was my choice to leave for college, but I think I gave up my place in the in-crowd too. This way, there’s no awkward reunions. We can get straight to business,” Brett justified, “Which brings me to the burning question. Why are you here?”

“It’s a long story, honestly,” Oscar sighed.

“Is Dylan okay?” Brett was concerned.

“As far as I know. It’s been a long time since I last saw him,” Oscar mentioned. He missed his old friendships so much.

“Well, either way, these guys don’t seem as friendly. Have I come to the right place?” Brett worried.

“Yes. I promise,” Oscar assured. No matter what, he would do everything he could to help Brett.


It had been a long time since Dylan last woke up feeling so positive. He had an immediate fire inside of him, and he felt like he was glowing on the outside. It was the warmest, most exciting feeling, and only one person could make him feel that way.

Jono hadn’t woken up yet, so Dylan was enjoying just watching him sleep. He was so peaceful, and he always looked so beautiful when he slept. If nobody was perfect, Jono was as close as anyone had ever come.

Dylan couldn’t pretend he wasn’t worried about Jono, though. He was hugely shaken by his nightmare the night before, in a way Dylan had never seen before. At least he seemed to be having a better night now they were in their own bed.

That said, the main focus of Dylan’s mind was the proposal. He’d dreamed of marrying Jono one day, but now, it felt realer than ever. He couldn’t believe he was looking at his fiancée, but it felt amazing. The future was so exciting, but the next step was daunting. They had to tell people, and soon, because the ring on his finger wouldn’t go unnoticed for very long.

“Good morning, fiancée,” Jono smiled as he stirred.

“Oh, hey,” Dylan’s mood lifted further, “Sleep well?”

“Like a baby. Or wolf cub. Whatever a baby werewolf would be,” Jono chuckled.

“Baby will do,” Dylan laughed.

“I think last night was a one-off,” Jono pondered, “Thank god, because I don’t think I could manage more nights like that. I’d go insane.”

“I’m glad, one less thing for me to worry about,” Dylan admitted.

“You don’t need to worry about me, Dyl. I’m fine,” Jono insisted.

“I know, but I’m always going to worry. I can’t help it,” Dylan replied. It was natural, and only proved how much he cared about Jono.

“True. I mean, I can’t say I don’t worry about you,” Jono accepted, “And you can handle yourself better than anyone I know.” Dylan blushed. He wasn’t sure he agreed, but Jono did so much good for his self-confidence.

Interrupting his train of thought, Dylan heard a car pull up outside. He sat up in bed and peered through the window behind. He’d never seen that car before, but he knew who it had to belong to. The visitor nobody had invited.

“Is that her?” Jono questioned as two people stepped out of the car – a stylish woman from the drivers’ side and a smart man from the passenger seat.

“Yup,” Dylan unenthusiastically replied, “And her new fella, it seems. Oh, boy.”

“Come on, let’s get ready. We’ll face it together,” Jono encouraged. Dylan nodded. He always had the best ideas. Now all he had to overcome was his own anxiety.


Rummaging through the heap of clothes on the floor to find a clean shirt, Freddie was ready for his summer to truly begin. He had no plans for the first day in a long time, other than thrashing Josh in as many videogames as possible, of course.

Across the room, Josh was doing the exact same thing. Their bedroom was in its permanently disorganised state, and no matter how much effort they put into tidying up, it always found its way back to mess.

“One of yours,” Josh flung a pair of boxer shorts at Freddie. He caught them just in time, stopping them colliding with his face.

“I’m not touching any of yours,” Freddie joked, just as he finally found a t-shirt to wear.

Three knocks at the door. Thinking fast, Freddie flung the t-shirt onto his bed and answered it. Ed was outside, already dressed in full sheriff gear for work.

“Hey, can I come in?” Ed queried.

“Sure,” Freddie stepped back, making space. Ed closed the door behind him, “Any news on Oscar?”

“Sorry. I promise you, we’re leaving no stone unturned, but every road we take is a dead end,” Ed solemnly replied. Though everyone was attempting to carry on with life as normal, Freddie knew there was an underlying sadness and uneasiness because of Oscar’s disappearance. It made no sense at all, “I wanted to have a word with you both. Caroline spoke to Dylan last night but I wanted to be the one to tell you guys.”

“This sounds serious,” Josh observed.

“No need to panic, I promise,” Ed insisted, “Caroline and I, we’re having a baby.”

“Shit,” Josh was gobsmacked.

“Another kid living here?” Freddie joked, but he was half-serious. There was only just enough room for the six people currently living in the house.

“I know space is tight,” Ed was ahead of him, “Which is why we’re looking at expanding. Two more bedrooms. One for the baby, and one for you, Freddie.”

“Wait, my own room?” Freddie was taken aback. He wasn’t expecting that bombshell. Strangely, it came as more of a surprise than the baby news.

“If you want it. If not, I’ll make it my man cave, but I don’t think Caroline would agree to that,” Ed chuckled.

“I do,” Freddie accepted, “Of course. Thank you so much.” For a while now, he hadn’t really felt settled anywhere. Ever since leaving the house he grew up in, Freddie felt like he’d moved from pillar to post without settling. Now he had a permanent home.

“Awesome,” Ed smiled proudly, “I’ll see you boys tonight.” He showed himself out while Freddie collapsed onto his bed. He didn’t know what to say, but he felt elated. He was part of a family again. A family that cared for him. That was a feeling he wasn’t expecting to feel again.

“Welcome to the family, bro,” Josh sat next to him, patting him on the back. Freddie couldn’t help smiling, and he wasn’t sure he would stop all day.


Sunbathing at the lakehouse was the perfect way to kickstart summer in Lily’s eyes. She hadn’t felt so calm in a long time. For the first time in ages, she could completely switch off and clear her mind, and it felt so refreshing.

Lying either side of her were Yasmin and Sammi. It was meant to be their girly hangout, and it would’ve been if Sammi hadn’t dragged Jeremy along with her. He was sat up, feet dangling into the lake. Strangely, he’d not said a word since they arrived. Jeremy was far from the most talkative person ever, but he was never this silent.

It had been a while now since they met Jeremy, but Lily still found it strange how she had a family member that she didn’t know existed. The whole time, he’d been living his life in the shadows, yet now, it was hard to imagine a time without him around. Among the chaos and heartache of the Chadwicks, Lily loved that they had found something, or someone, to be positive about.

“What’s the deal with him?” Lily whispered to Sammi.

“He’s lonely. He was going to spend all day sulking in his room,” Sammi explained.

“I don’t get it,” Lily mentioned. Was she missing something? Why was Jeremy lonely?

“Felix,” Yasmin chipped in, “Right? I mean, we saw them yesterday.”

“Err,” Sammi hesitated. The lack of immediate denial was revealing, but Lily assumed it wasn’t her place to say more.

“Right,” Jeremy replied, turning around. Lily’s heart sank. He had been listening, and immediately, she felt guilty.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to pry,” Lily quickly apologised. The last thing she wanted was for Jeremy to feel uncomfortable.

“No, it’s okay. It’s about time you guys knew. Felix is my boyfriend, we’ve been dating for months,” Jeremy revealed sheepishly.

“Aw, that’s so cute,” Lily smiled, “No wonder you’ve been so chirpy recently.”

“Except right now,” Yasmin corrected, “Is everything okay?”

“It’s our first day apart in ages. He’s spending the day with his family, and he doesn’t even want to. It’s his little sister’s birthday so it’s a kids’ party. I miss him. I know it sounds stupid,” Jeremy sighed.

“No, not at all. Missing him isn’t stupid, or bad,” Lily encouraged, “It just means you care for him, and when you see him next, it’ll be even more exciting. One day is a small drop in the ocean in the long run.”

“Thanks,” Jeremy nodded, his face brightening up.

“You’re wasted here,” Sammi smiled, “Charge him for therapy time, Lil.” Lily felt proud of herself. She’d heard enough advice in her lifetime. Giving it back felt so rewarding.

“Hey, what’s that,” Yasmin pointed to the lake. Usually, it was completely clear and clean, and Lily never failed to be awestruck by its beauty. However, a plastic wallet was floating along the top a few metres from the dock. Yasmin sat at the edge of the dock and placed her hand on top of the water. Lily watched in amazement as the wallet glided along to her hand, as if the water was fetching it for her. She swiped it up when it got close enough and took out the sheet of paper wrapped inside.

“What is it?” Sammi keenly wondered.

“Probably someone’s lost homework,” Lily sighed. Her interest was considerably lower.

“No,” Yasmin looked stunned, “Read it.” She held it up for them to see. Lily was horrified. It wasn’t even close to what she expected. The piece of paper was a handwritten note. Handwritten in blood.


My dear Samantha and Jeremy.

See you soon.

Love, Dad x


Lily looked nervously around the group. Sammi and Jeremy had the same horrified expression on their face. Lily herself felt sick. She didn’t know what to say.

“Okay,” Yasmin broke the awkwardness, “This is a prank. It has to be, right? Whoever sent that note can’t be far, so how about we go and find them?” Lily nodded. Yasmin always had the best ideas. Whoever did this, though, clearly had it in for them. They had to be careful.

Escorted back into the main warehouse area, Brett was taking in the sights. It was a huge building with more room than Cody’s pack would ever need, yet it was the perfect hideout – from the outside, it looked like nothing more than a typical warehouse used for industry.

Finding Oscar there was a pleasant surprise. He was just as friendly as he always was, and he still seemed keen to fight Brett’s corner, but not everything added up. Why he wasn’t with Dylan was a mystery. It must have been something pretty damn serious to have ended up like this, and it surely involved this Cody guy.

Oscar led him into a cosy-looking area, with three sofas surrounding a television. Four mugs had been left on the central coffee table – a couple half-finished – next to a couple of magazines.

Waiting for them on one sofa was Cody. His body language said it all. He was sat upright and his facial expression was wholly unfazed. He knew he had all the power. Brett and Oscar sat facing him, as if they were awaiting a verdict in court. Brett felt sick. He’d waited all night, not knowing what was going to happen. It wasn’t his life on the line, either; it was Johnny’s.

“Thank you for waiting, Brett,” Cody began proceedings, “Oscar says you’re a dear friend of his, and any friend of Oscar’s is a friend of mine. I want to help you find your boyfriend. I’ve sent Keisha and Mariana to where you last saw him to gather evidence. In the meantime, is there anything you want to ask?”

That was a big question. So much didn’t make sense to Brett, but this wasn’t the time to ask. This was the only opportunity for a first impression, and he had to make it good. For Johnny’s sake, if nothing else.

“No, I’m good, I think,” Brett lied, “Thank you.”

“How long have you known Oscar?” Cody wondered.

“A couple of years,” Brett replied.

“He was in a few of my classes at school,” Oscar chipped in, steering the discussion. Notably, he seemed to swerve any mention of Dylan, “Brett was one of the first friends I made in Crystalshaw.”

“Sweet, huh?” Cody smiled. He seemed more relaxed now they had been able to talk, and Brett certainly felt it too. He wasn’t going to forget the niggling feeling in the back of his mind telling him that Cody was suspect, but for now, he was giving Brett what he had asked for. A helping hand. If he had to dance with the devil to get Johnny back, then that was what he was prepared to do.

“Tell me, because I’m definitely behind the times, how did you two meet?” Brett saw his moment to get some answers, in the most natural and least suspicious way possible.

“College,” Cody replied very casually. Brett desperately wished he had the ability to listen to his heartbeat. He had to rely on his own powers of deduction instead, “LGBTQ+ society.”

Brett noticed Oscar seemed quite happy for Cody to answer the question, offering no other details. Being reserved wasn’t unusual for Oscar, but the lack of eye contact spoke volumes.

“I love that,” Brett smiled. He was being careful about what he said – though he couldn’t hear heartbeats, Cody could, and the wrong sentence could expose him. Everything he said needed to be the truth.

“Excuse me,” Cody slid his phone out, reading a message for a few moments before turning his focus back to Brett, “Keisha’s got something. They’re on their way back. This could be the clue we need to find Johnny, Brett.”

Brett felt nervous. He desperately needed good news. So far, things were looking up.

Dylan felt sick. It was overwhelming, fogging his brain up with uncomfortable nerves. He hated how much social anxiety consumed him. There was so much he was able to do; being a werewolf came with so many perks, and he could control them like flicking a switch, yet meeting new people still provoked an untameable fear.

It had been a while since the possibility of autism was mentioned to Dylan. He’d spent many a night googling it, and he was amazed at how closely it matched him. Finally, he had a reason for the routines he valued so much. The jokes he missed. The unique viewpoints he brought, for better or for worse. At the very least, he had a reason behind his social anxiety, even without a diagnosis.

For now, though, he had to push through his worries. There was no exit route, not without making a terrible impression. Dylan had to pretend everything was fine and normal, when his life was anything but. He’d become so used to openly discussing werewolf details at home that watching his mouth was going to be a challenge.

Dylan took a deep breath at the bottom of the stairs. He wanted to compose himself and put a brave face on, but it was easier said than done. Jono was a source of encouragement by his side, but that didn’t change the reality. He hated being the centre of attention, and the spotlight was ready and waiting for him.

“Are you ready, fiancée?” Jono whispered. Suddenly, the nerves in Dylan’s stomach gave way. Just for a moment. One blissful moment.

“I am now,” Dylan smiled, “You go first.”

“Okay,” Jono accepted, leading their mini-procession into the living room. Caroline was perched in her usual spot on the sofa, opposite a man and a woman. The woman had a face Dylan knew well, though naturally it had aged slightly in the years since Dylan last saw it.

“Maria, this is…” Caroline introduced.

“Dylan,” Aunt Maria stood up. Her hair was styled as impeccably as Dylan remembered, and she was wearing a stunning light blue dress, keeping the glamour levels at their peak, “Wow, you’ve grown.”

“I know,” Dylan awkwardly replied, not knowing what else to say.

“And this must be Josh,” Maria turned to Jono, who concealed his amusement politely.

“No, that’s Jono,” Caroline corrected with a big, beaming smile on her face. Nothing had ever looked more fake.

“Oh, the boyfriend,” Maria remarked, “Are you both allergic to the hairdressers?”

Dylan wanted to roll his eyes badly. Not once had he ever laughed at a hair joke. He took his appearance seriously. It was his identity, and an integral part of how he expressed himself. Without his hair, he wouldn’t have felt like Dylan Drummond. His looks were not the butt of someone’s joke.

“No,” Dylan stated bluntly but calmly. He held back, opting not to rant at his aunt, but he wasn’t going to play along either. Jono winked at him. An approving wink. He made the right decision.

“Anyway,” Maria looked taken aback, as if she wasn’t used to a tough crowd, “Everyone, this is Mark, my husband.”

She gestured to the gentleman sat next to her. He was a similar age to her, his hair greying but smartly slicked backwards. His style was suave, matched perfectly with Maria’s. His suit jacket was dark blue, over the top of a black, unbuttoned shirt. He meant business, that much was obvious.

“Nice to meet you,” Mark smiled, standing up next to Maria and offering out his hand. Dylan obliged, timidly shaking it before Jono did the same.

“Hey,” Josh sauntered in. As always, he didn’t have a care in the world. If he felt any anxiety, it was covered up expertly, while Dylan felt like he was drowning. Freddie followed behind, much more reservedly. He noticed the company in the room and stopped dead in his tracks. He looked like he’d seen a ghost.

“Josh, Freddie, this is my sister Maria and her husband Mark,” Caroline introduced.

“Dad?” Freddie stuttered. Dylan’s stomach dropped. The mood in the room shifted completely. He didn’t know what to say.

Stepping cautiously over a strangely shaped twig, Yasmin wasn’t feeling so pleased to be trawling through the forest. She’d planned for a day of sunbathing at the lakehouse, not a wild goose chase. That said, she hadn’t thought twice about heading into the woods. This was for Sammi and Jeremy, and they deserved peace of mind.

The strange thing was, they didn’t even know whether this had any connection to the supernatural or not. In fact, Yasmin felt pretty sure it wasn’t. Notes floating along the river weren’t David’s style. It was a practical joke, and the real concern should be finding who the joker was. Somehow, someone knew their story, and they weren’t keeping quiet.

By her side, Yasmin had Jeremy, who wasn’t taking the news so well. Understandably, his dad was a gigantic trigger for his anxiety. After all David had put him through, the fact he hadn’t run away screaming was a testament to Jeremy’s strength.

Yasmin could sympathise, too. She knew all about unhealthy relationships with fathers. Even before she discovered his sickening hobby of hunting werewolves, Yasmin had become distant with her dad. She was better off without him.

“Got anything?” Yasmin questioned, making conversation.

“Nothing at all,” Jeremy sighed. They had split up, with Lily and Sammi venturing in the other direction. It made sense to have one werewolf on each team (or part werewolf, in Lily’s case). Any scents they could discover, or any clues they could find would bring them one step closer, “I don’t think I’m being much help. My mind is so foggy.”

“You’re doing so well, Jeremy,” Yasmin consoled, “All we’re doing is putting your mind at ease. He’s dead, he can’t hurt you now.”

“I know,” Jeremy replied, his mop of curls obscuring eye contact, “But he’s never really gone. He’s still in my mind. In my nightmares. I’ll never be rid of him for good.”

“It gets better,” Yasmin assured, “In time. You will move on, and you will be able to cope. You’ll get there, Jeremy.”

“I hope you’re right,” Jeremy sighed, his voice nervously quivering, “Because I can’t spend any more of my life living scared.”

“Hey, don’t forget that you’re smart, and you’re strong, and you’re your own person. You’re nothing like your dad, and trust me, your mom would be so proud of you,” Yasmin motivated. She knew Jeremy’s story inside out. She knew how much he resented his father for the time he stole from him. The time he could have spent with his mother. Jeremy smiled, brushing the curls out of his eyeline for the first time that day.

“Hold on,” Jeremy’s smile dropped suddenly.

“You got something?” Yasmin quickly refocused. This sounded serious.

“Blood. Down here,” Jeremy led the way down a small slope. At the bottom was exactly what Yasmin had feared. A body. A young man, eyes wide open but with no life inside them. His throat had been slashed, with dried blood coating his naked body. Yasmin needed to call Ed. They needed back-up.

His arms were shaking. His mind was spinning. Freddie wasn’t sure what to do. All he knew was that he needed fresh air. The walls of the house were too close. He felt trapped. He had to get out.

Freddie was so confused. Why the hell was his dad in the front room? Why had he decided to show up now? They had spent so many years apart that his arrival was simply an insult. How dare he walk back into Freddie’s life just because he felt like it?

Leaning against Caroline’s car, Freddie felt a little relief from the fresh air. The gentle breeze helped to slow his mind down, but that didn’t change the core emotion he felt. Freddie was angry. He wanted to scream and yell at him, but Freddie knew better. If he lost control, the wolf would take over. He had to try and keep his composure.

“Freddie,” Josh ran out immediately after him, “Are you okay?”

“Oh my god,” Freddie couldn’t formulate a coherent answer. He was overwhelmed, and emotions were clogging up his judgement.

“Deep breaths,” Josh encouraged, “Sit down, come on.” Josh sat on the ground, his back leaning against the car. Freddie did the same, focusing on his breathing. It was working. He felt his mind slowing still, little by little, but his hands were still awfully shaky.

“How can he be here?” Freddie ranted.

“He’s Maria’s husband. What a weird coincidence, huh?” Josh calmly answered. Perhaps it seemed like a coincidence, but Freddie remained unconvinced. Josh didn’t know everything yet.

“I got a text, from an unknown number, claiming to be my dad. I thought it was a stupid joke, but now he’s actually here. He got my number. He knew exactly where I’d be,” Freddie mentioned.

“Oh shit,” Josh processed.

“He’s been out of my life for sixteen years. I’ve got no memories of him at all. When mom died, we heard nothing. Not even a word. George became mom and dad to me, because my real dad couldn’t even be bothered,” Freddie let out his frustrations.

“You don’t owe him anything, dude,” Josh reminded, “If my birth parents showed up out of nowhere and wanted to get to know me, I’d tell them where to shove it. Family isn’t always about blood. George isn’t your only brother. You’ve got Dylan. Jono. Me. Your family is here.”

Freddie wiped tears from his eyes. Josh was right. Family had a new definition for him, and he had so many people around him that cared. There was still one problem, though, and it wasn’t one Freddie could swerve so easily.

“He’s living here, though. He’s living in my house. I can’t get away,” Freddie sighed.

“Hey,” Dylan rushed out, “Sorry, we tried to get away but Maria kept talking.” Jono followed straight behind him and they sat cross-legged in front of Freddie and Josh, “Are you okay?”

“Not really,” Freddie sighed, “Thanks for being here for me, all of you, but I think I need a bit of alone time.”

“Of course, whatever you need,” Josh heaved himself up, Dylan and Jono following his lead, “Text me whenever you’re ready.”

“I will. Thanks,” Freddie nodded, wiping another tear from his eye. There was only one person he wanted to speak to. He had to talk to George.

Having seen so much in the supernatural world, very little seemed to faze Sammi these days. She felt confident in herself and her abilities, even as a human. Dylan had never made her feel lesser for not having all of the powers that the rest of the pack had. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

That said, there was one exception. One thing always sent a shiver through her entire body. Her father. Sammi never could have predicted how quickly she would go from being her dad’s number one girl, to being terrified from the mere mention of his name.

Of course, Sammi wasn’t stupid. She knew her dad was dead, but why did she still feel so terrified of him? She’d tried to bury him so deep inside of her, and amazingly, it had mostly worked. Having a boyfriend and discovering a twin brother helped distract her mind. The downside was that hearing his name dragged those memories straight back up. She’d never truly be able to escape him.

“If only this were handwritten,” Lily thought aloud, taking another look at the note. Sammi found it intriguing – why would someone go to the effort of printing off a typed-up note? Somebody was very keen to cover their tracks.

“Notes were never his style anyway,” Sammi recalled, “I mean, he unleashed a whole damn virus.” Her dad was ruthless, and never cared who he was hurting, even if it was one of his own. This was a pretty weak imitation.

“But how does anyone know about this? How did they know you were here?” Lily pondered.

“I mean, he did infect almost every werewolf in Crystalshaw at the Nemeton. He’s not exactly unknown around here,” Sammi sighed. His reputation followed her around, and quite frankly, it made her feel embarrassed.

“So we narrow it down. Someone’s after revenge, and it’s not okay,” Lily insisted, “Nobody messes with my cousins. Us Chadwicks have to look after each other.”

“How did I ever cope without you?” Sammi chuckled. Lily and Jono felt much more like her older siblings. They protected each other at all costs.

“It’s a true mystery,” Lily laughed. Quickly, her smile faded. The mood rapidly shifted. Sammi felt that now-familiar sensation at the bottom of her stomach. She was nervous. She knew they were in danger.

“What’s up?” Sammi questioned, keeping her voice low.

“We’re not alone,” Lily replied with a quiver in her voice. Sammi couldn’t help panicking. Very few people knew where they were. Either it was Yasmin and Jeremy playing a practical joke, or they’d succeeded. They’d found the person they were looking for.

Something swooped past. Sammi spun around, just missing the opportunity to see what it was. As she spun, Sammi’s heart dropped. Lily had gone. Whoever it was – or whatever it was – had taken her. Sammi was on her own.

“Lily?” Sammi called out, to no avail. Silence followed. She needed help, and fast.

Lily looked nervously around the group. Sammi and Jeremy had the same horrified expression on their face. Lily herself felt sick. She didn’t know what to say.

“Okay,” Yasmin broke the awkwardness, “This is a prank. It has to be, right? Whoever sent that note can’t be far, so how about we go and find them?” Lily nodded. Yasmin always had the best ideas. Whoever did this, though, clearly had it in for them. They had to be careful.


Escorted back into the main warehouse area, Brett was taking in the sights. It was a huge building with more room than Cody’s pack would ever need, yet it was the perfect hideout – from the outside, it looked like nothing more than a typical warehouse used for industry.

Finding Oscar there was a pleasant surprise. He was just as friendly as he always was, and he still seemed keen to fight Brett’s corner, but not everything added up. Why he wasn’t with Dylan was a mystery. It must have been something pretty damn serious to have ended up like this, and it surely involved this Cody guy.

Oscar led him into a cosy-looking area, with three sofas surrounding a television. Four mugs had been left on the central coffee table – a couple half-finished – next to a couple of magazines.

Waiting for them on one sofa was Cody. His body language said it all. He was sat upright and his facial expression was wholly unfazed. He knew he had all the power. Brett and Oscar sat facing him, as if they were awaiting a verdict in court. Brett felt sick. He’d waited all night, not knowing what was going to happen. It wasn’t his life on the line, either; it was Johnny’s.

“Thank you for waiting, Brett,” Cody began proceedings, “Oscar says you’re a dear friend of his, and any friend of Oscar’s is a friend of mine. I want to help you find your boyfriend. I’ve sent Keisha and Mariana to where you last saw him to gather evidence. In the meantime, is there anything you want to ask?”

That was a big question. So much didn’t make sense to Brett, but this wasn’t the time to ask. This was the only opportunity for a first impression, and he had to make it good. For Johnny’s sake, if nothing else.

“No, I’m good, I think,” Brett lied, “Thank you.”

“How long have you known Oscar?” Cody wondered.

“A couple of years,” Brett replied.

“He was in a few of my classes at school,” Oscar chipped in, steering the discussion. Notably, he seemed to swerve any mention of Dylan, “Brett was one of the first friends I made in Crystalshaw.”

“Sweet, huh?” Cody smiled. He seemed more relaxed now they had been able to talk, and Brett certainly felt it too. He wasn’t going to forget the niggling feeling in the back of his mind telling him that Cody was suspect, but for now, he was giving Brett what he had asked for. A helping hand. If he had to dance with the devil to get Johnny back, then that was what he was prepared to do.

“Tell me, because I’m definitely behind the times, how did you two meet?” Brett saw his moment to get some answers, in the most natural and least suspicious way possible.

“College,” Cody replied very casually. Brett desperately wished he had the ability to listen to his heartbeat. He had to rely on his own powers of deduction instead, “LGBTQ+ society.”

Brett noticed Oscar seemed quite happy for Cody to answer the question, offering no other details. Being reserved wasn’t unusual for Oscar, but the lack of eye contact spoke volumes.

“I love that,” Brett smiled. He was being careful about what he said – though he couldn’t hear heartbeats, Cody could, and the wrong sentence could expose him. Everything he said needed to be the truth.

“Excuse me,” Cody slid his phone out, reading a message for a few moments before turning his focus back to Brett, “Keisha’s got something. They’re on their way back. This could be the clue we need to find Johnny, Brett.”

Brett felt nervous. He desperately needed good news. So far, things were looking up.


Dylan felt sick. It was overwhelming, fogging his brain up with uncomfortable nerves. He hated how much social anxiety consumed him. There was so much he was able to do; being a werewolf came with so many perks, and he could control them like flicking a switch, yet meeting new people still provoked an untameable fear.

It had been a while since the possibility of autism was mentioned to Dylan. He’d spent many a night googling it, and he was amazed at how closely it matched him. Finally, he had a reason for the routines he valued so much. The jokes he missed. The unique viewpoints he brought, for better or for worse. At the very least, he had a reason behind his social anxiety, even without a diagnosis.

For now, though, he had to push through his worries. There was no exit route, not without making a terrible impression. Dylan had to pretend everything was fine and normal, when his life was anything but. He’d become so used to openly discussing werewolf details at home that watching his mouth was going to be a challenge.

Dylan took a deep breath at the bottom of the stairs. He wanted to compose himself and put a brave face on, but it was easier said than done. Jono was a source of encouragement by his side, but that didn’t change the reality. He hated being the centre of attention, and the spotlight was ready and waiting for him.

“Are you ready, fiancée?” Jono whispered. Suddenly, the nerves in Dylan’s stomach gave way. Just for a moment. One blissful moment.

“I am now,” Dylan smiled, “You go first.”

“Okay,” Jono accepted, leading their mini-procession into the living room. Caroline was perched in her usual spot on the sofa, opposite a man and a woman. The woman had a face Dylan knew well, though naturally it had aged slightly in the years since Dylan last saw it.

“Maria, this is…” Caroline introduced.

“Dylan,” Aunt Maria stood up. Her hair was styled as impeccably as Dylan remembered, and she was wearing a stunning light blue dress, keeping the glamour levels at their peak, “Wow, you’ve grown.”

“I know,” Dylan awkwardly replied, not knowing what else to say.

“And this must be Josh,” Maria turned to Jono, who concealed his amusement politely.

“No, that’s Jono,” Caroline corrected with a big, beaming smile on her face. Nothing had ever looked more fake.

“Oh, the boyfriend,” Maria remarked, “Are you both allergic to the hairdressers?”

Dylan wanted to roll his eyes badly. Not once had he ever laughed at a hair joke. He took his appearance seriously. It was his identity, and an integral part of how he expressed himself. Without his hair, he wouldn’t have felt like Dylan Drummond. His looks were not the butt of someone’s joke.

“No,” Dylan stated bluntly but calmly. He held back, opting not to rant at his aunt, but he wasn’t going to play along either. Jono winked at him. An approving wink. He made the right decision.

“Anyway,” Maria looked taken aback, as if she wasn’t used to a tough crowd, “Everyone, this is Mark, my husband.”

She gestured to the gentleman sat next to her. He was a similar age to her, his hair greying but smartly slicked backwards. His style was suave, matched perfectly with Maria’s. His suit jacket was dark blue, over the top of a black, unbuttoned shirt. He meant business, that much was obvious.

“Nice to meet you,” Mark smiled, standing up next to Maria and offering out his hand. Dylan obliged, timidly shaking it before Jono did the same.

“Hey,” Josh sauntered in. As always, he didn’t have a care in the world. If he felt any anxiety, it was covered up expertly, while Dylan felt like he was drowning. Freddie followed behind, much more reservedly. He noticed the company in the room and stopped dead in his tracks. He looked like he’d seen a ghost.

“Josh, Freddie, this is my sister Maria and her husband Mark,” Caroline introduced.

“Dad?” Freddie stuttered. Dylan’s stomach dropped. The mood in the room shifted completely. He didn’t know what to say.


Stepping cautiously over a strangely shaped twig, Yasmin wasn’t feeling so pleased to be trawling through the forest. She’d planned for a day of sunbathing at the lakehouse, not a wild goose chase. That said, she hadn’t thought twice about heading into the woods. This was for Sammi and Jeremy, and they deserved peace of mind.

The strange thing was, they didn’t even know whether this had any connection to the supernatural or not. In fact, Yasmin felt pretty sure it wasn’t. Notes floating along the river weren’t David’s style. It was a practical joke, and the real concern should be finding who the joker was. Somehow, someone knew their story, and they weren’t keeping quiet.

By her side, Yasmin had Jeremy, who wasn’t taking the news so well. Understandably, his dad was a gigantic trigger for his anxiety. After all David had put him through, the fact he hadn’t run away screaming was a testament to Jeremy’s strength.

Yasmin could sympathise, too. She knew all about unhealthy relationships with fathers. Even before she discovered his sickening hobby of hunting werewolves, Yasmin had become distant with her dad. She was better off without him.

“Got anything?” Yasmin questioned, making conversation.

“Nothing at all,” Jeremy sighed. They had split up, with Lily and Sammi venturing in the other direction. It made sense to have one werewolf on each team (or part werewolf, in Lily’s case). Any scents they could discover, or any clues they could find would bring them one step closer, “I don’t think I’m being much help. My mind is so foggy.”

“You’re doing so well, Jeremy,” Yasmin consoled, “All we’re doing is putting your mind at ease. He’s dead, he can’t hurt you now.”

“I know,” Jeremy replied, his mop of curls obscuring eye contact, “But he’s never really gone. He’s still in my mind. In my nightmares. I’ll never be rid of him for good.”

“It gets better,” Yasmin assured, “In time. You will move on, and you will be able to cope. You’ll get there, Jeremy.”

“I hope you’re right,” Jeremy sighed, his voice nervously quivering, “Because I can’t spend any more of my life living scared.”

“Hey, don’t forget that you’re smart, and you’re strong, and you’re your own person. You’re nothing like your dad, and trust me, your mom would be so proud of you,” Yasmin motivated. She knew Jeremy’s story inside out. She knew how much he resented his father for the time he stole from him. The time he could have spent with his mother. Jeremy smiled, brushing the curls out of his eyeline for the first time that day.

“Hold on,” Jeremy’s smile dropped suddenly.

“You got something?” Yasmin quickly refocused. This sounded serious.

“Blood. Down here,” Jeremy led the way down a small slope. At the bottom was exactly what Yasmin had feared. A body. A young man, eyes wide open but with no life inside them. His throat had been slashed, with dried blood coating his naked body. Yasmin needed to call Ed. They needed back-up.


His arms were shaking. His mind was spinning. Freddie wasn’t sure what to do. All he knew was that he needed fresh air. The walls of the house were too close. He felt trapped. He had to get out.

Freddie was so confused. Why the hell was his dad in the front room? Why had he decided to show up now? They had spent so many years apart that his arrival was simply an insult. How dare he walk back into Freddie’s life just because he felt like it?

Leaning against Caroline’s car, Freddie felt a little relief from the fresh air. The gentle breeze helped to slow his mind down, but that didn’t change the core emotion he felt. Freddie was angry. He wanted to scream and yell at him, but Freddie knew better. If he lost control, the wolf would take over. He had to try and keep his composure.

“Freddie,” Josh ran out immediately after him, “Are you okay?”

“Oh my god,” Freddie couldn’t formulate a coherent answer. He was overwhelmed, and emotions were clogging up his judgement.

“Deep breaths,” Josh encouraged, “Sit down, come on.” Josh sat on the ground, his back leaning against the car. Freddie did the same, focusing on his breathing. It was working. He felt his mind slowing still, little by little, but his hands were still awfully shaky.

“How can he be here?” Freddie ranted.

“He’s Maria’s husband. What a weird coincidence, huh?” Josh calmly answered. Perhaps it seemed like a coincidence, but Freddie remained unconvinced. Josh didn’t know everything yet.

“I got a text, from an unknown number, claiming to be my dad. I thought it was a stupid joke, but now he’s actually here. He got my number. He knew exactly where I’d be,” Freddie mentioned.

“Oh shit,” Josh processed.

“He’s been out of my life for sixteen years. I’ve got no memories of him at all. When mom died, we heard nothing. Not even a word. George became mom and dad to me, because my real dad couldn’t even be bothered,” Freddie let out his frustrations.

“You don’t owe him anything, dude,” Josh reminded, “If my birth parents showed up out of nowhere and wanted to get to know me, I’d tell them where to shove it. Family isn’t always about blood. George isn’t your only brother. You’ve got Dylan. Jono. Me. Your family is here.”

Freddie wiped tears from his eyes. Josh was right. Family had a new definition for him, and he had so many people around him that cared. There was still one problem, though, and it wasn’t one Freddie could swerve so easily.

“He’s living here, though. He’s living in my house. I can’t get away,” Freddie sighed.

“Hey,” Dylan rushed out, “Sorry, we tried to get away but Maria kept talking.” Jono followed straight behind him and they sat cross-legged in front of Freddie and Josh, “Are you okay?”

“Not really,” Freddie sighed, “Thanks for being here for me, all of you, but I think I need a bit of alone time.”

“Of course, whatever you need,” Josh heaved himself up, Dylan and Jono following his lead, “Text me whenever you’re ready.”

“I will. Thanks,” Freddie nodded, wiping another tear from his eye. There was only one person he wanted to speak to. He had to talk to George.


Having seen so much in the supernatural world, very little seemed to faze Sammi these days. She felt confident in herself and her abilities, even as a human. Dylan had never made her feel lesser for not having all of the powers that the rest of the pack had. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

That said, there was one exception. One thing always sent a shiver through her entire body. Her father. Sammi never could have predicted how quickly she would go from being her dad’s number one girl, to being terrified from the mere mention of his name.

Of course, Sammi wasn’t stupid. She knew her dad was dead, but why did she still feel so terrified of him? She’d tried to bury him so deep inside of her, and amazingly, it had mostly worked. Having a boyfriend and discovering a twin brother helped distract her mind. The downside was that hearing his name dragged those memories straight back up. She’d never truly be able to escape him.

“If only this were handwritten,” Lily thought aloud, taking another look at the note. Sammi found it intriguing – why would someone go to the effort of printing off a typed-up note? Somebody was very keen to cover their tracks.

“Notes were never his style anyway,” Sammi recalled, “I mean, he unleashed a whole damn virus.” Her dad was ruthless, and never cared who he was hurting, even if it was one of his own. This was a pretty weak imitation.

“But how does anyone know about this? How did they know you were here?” Lily pondered.

“I mean, he did infect almost every werewolf in Crystalshaw at the Nemeton. He’s not exactly unknown around here,” Sammi sighed. His reputation followed her around, and quite frankly, it made her feel embarrassed.

“So we narrow it down. Someone’s after revenge, and it’s not okay,” Lily insisted, “Nobody messes with my cousins. Us Chadwicks have to look after each other.”

“How did I ever cope without you?” Sammi chuckled. Lily and Jono felt much more like her older siblings. They protected each other at all costs.

“It’s a true mystery,” Lily laughed. Quickly, her smile faded. The mood rapidly shifted. Sammi felt that now-familiar sensation at the bottom of her stomach. She was nervous. She knew they were in danger.

“What’s up?” Sammi questioned, keeping her voice low.

“We’re not alone,” Lily replied with a quiver in her voice. Sammi couldn’t help panicking. Very few people knew where they were. Either it was Yasmin and Jeremy playing a practical joke, or they’d succeeded. They’d found the person they were looking for.

Something swooped past. Sammi spun around, just missing the opportunity to see what it was. As she spun, Sammi’s heart dropped. Lily had gone. Whoever it was – or whatever it was – had taken her. Sammi was on her own.

“Lily?” Sammi called out, to no avail. Silence followed. She needed help, and fast.

3: Cowardice Written by MarthaJonesFan

Running towards the lakehouse felt like an easy morning jog for Freddie. Sprinting straight through the forest would have been an impossible task just a few years back, when Freddie was still human, but now, it was basically as easy as a five-minute walk. His fitness levels had never been stronger.

Exercise wasn’t at the forefront of Freddie’s mind, though. All he wanted to do was get to George, and he’d have crossed the whole country if necessary. He needed his brother.

Though Josh had done a good job at calming Freddie down, he still felt on-edge. He had so many questions, but didn’t have the courage to face his dad again to ask them. After all, he was the only one with the answers.

Talking to George was more important, anyway. He was the one who had been burnt worst by their dad. He was the one who had to pick up the most slack. He was the one who became Freddie’s parent-figure when their mum died. Freddie owed it to George to be the one to tell him.

Freddie felt an immediate sense of relief upon seeing George’s car on the driveway. Nervously, he slid the key into the lock, though it took a couple of attempts to line it up correctly; Freddie couldn’t help himself shaking. Inside, the lakehouse was eerily quiet. Nobody was home. No Alex. No Lily. No Mia. And, disappointingly, no George. Where was he? Freddie was beginning to stress out again. He needed George. Waiting was only going to worry him more.

“Freddie?” a voice called out from the doorway. George’s voice. Relieved, Freddie ran to meet him. He and Mia were carrying a couple of shopping bags each.

“Hey, I need to talk to you. It’s urgent,” Freddie skipped over the pleasantries.

“Um, okay, can’t it wait a few minutes? I’ve got frozen stuff in here,” George looked confused.

“Dad’s back,” Freddie dropped the bombshell. George’s face said it all. They were in the deep end, and neither of them knew how to swim.

Dylan’s mind was blown. His day was already pretty crazy and it wasn’t lunchtime yet. He was in a daze as he tried to process what was going on around him. The arrival of Aunt Maria was pretty huge on its own, and adjusting to that took a lot of energy.

Never, though, did Dylan expect his aunt to be married to Freddie’s dad. He’d not really given much thought to Freddie’s parents. He knew the story of his mum and what happened afterwards, but his dad almost never got a mention. After all, Freddie never really knew him. Dylan couldn’t imagine how he must have felt.

Begrudgingly, Dylan headed back inside to face his newly extended family. Talking to Maria was the last thing he wanted to do. He was even less enthusiastic than he usually was about a social situation. Freddie was the only thing on his mind. Small talk was not a priority.

“I’m going to get a drink,” Dylan decided, dipping into the kitchen and swerving the living room. He planned to take as long as possible, to miss as much conversation as he could. He struggled to pretend to care when Maria hadn’t been a fixture in his life for a long time.

Jono and Josh followed him into the kitchen like lost puppies. He knew they were aware of exactly how he felt, and it meant a lot to Dylan that they were by his side. They were the people who knew him best, after all.

“You could cut the atmosphere in there with a knife,” Josh commented, trying to lighten the mood.

“I can’t believe that’s Freddie’s dad,” Jono was gobsmacked.

“He’ll be okay, he just needs time,” Josh reassured, “Not like any of us are new to the concept of problematic parents.”

“You can say that again,” Jono sighed, before turning to face Dylan, “You’re doing so well, by the way.”

“I feel like I’m drowning,” Dylan opened up. He was exhausted, and it wasn’t even lunchtime yet. Jono held his hand up to Dylan’s cheek, gently caressing it with his thumb. It felt so soothing, as if Jono was taking each and every worry away from him, one-by-one.

“Wait up,” Josh interrupted, pointing at Jono’s hand, “That’s…that’s a ring.”

“Yes,” Jono smirked playfully, “Well noticed.”

“Are you two…?” Josh’s face filled with excitement. Dylan’s mood was much the same – just thinking about it made him feel so much better.

“Yup,” Dylan smiled proudly. Despite Josh’s distraction, he and Jono hadn’t lost eye contact for a single second.

“Okay, you have to tell me everything,” Josh sat down at the dining table, “It’s not every day your brother gets engaged, right?”

“What?” a new voice entered the room. Caroline. She was stood in the doorway, looking more stunned than Dylan had ever seen before. They needed to talk.


Lights flickering on. Lily shielded her eyes. It was a harsh contrast from the dark room she had been kept in for…well, she didn’t know how long. It had felt like forever. She had no way of knowing the time, and somehow, that made it feel like she’d been there for days.

Everything that had happened was a complete blur. She remembered being outside in the woods with Sammi, but since then, all she’d seen was darkness. Lily was terrified. She’d called out for help to no avail, and she’d not seen a single person since she woke up. Someone must have put her there, but who? Who hated her that much?

At least Lily could finally see where she was. It was an abandoned shop, still complete with furnishings. Lily was sat with her back against the counter, directly behind a row of shelving units with only dust coating the surfaces. The large windows at the front were completely boarded up, not allowing even a small speck of sunlight in. Lily was cut off completely from the outside world. The perfect hiding place, but a nightmare prison cell.

Of course, Lily had tried to escape. She had barely stopped. The ropes around her wrists and ankles were too much, though. She had many werewolf abilities: enhanced hearing and vision, and the ability to heal. Sadly, super-strength wasn’t included. Furthermore, it had been a long time since she’d had something to eat or drink. She was shattered.

“Lily,” a voice whispered uncomfortably. It felt like the person, whoever they were, had spoken directly into her ear.

“Who are you?” Lily yelled back.

“Lily,” the voice repeated, never going above a whisper. Whoever it was knew how to project their voice. They knew she had wolf hearing.

“Come out and see me,” Lily called out, “Only cowards hide in the dark.”

“Lily,” the voice continued. It was definitely male, but that was all Lily could distinguish. The whisper concealed its identity well, and that did nothing to help her nerves.

“What do you want?” Lily asked the most important question. She was there for a reason, and there was no doubt about that in her mind.

The lights flickered. Floorboards creaked, initially in the distance but the sounds crept closer, slowly but surely. Whoever it was, they were on their way. Lily’s fears were growing. Was it going to be someone she knew? There was nobody that came to her mind. It had to be someone new, but whoever they were, they knew about her. They knew about her family. Had someone been watching them? So many questions.

A door slammed open behind her. The counter blocked her view, but she could hear a heartbeat. Lily wasn’t alone any longer.

“Who’s there?” Lily called, not quite as loudly this time, “Show yourself. Come on.”

“It’s been a long time,” the voice stated, no longer whispering. Lily shuddered. She knew that voice. She’d pick it out anywhere. It was a voice she shouldn’t have heard. He couldn’t have been there. He shouldn’t have been there, “But it’s so good to see my niece again.”

“David,” Lily uttered as he finally showed his face. He looked the same as ever, as if he was living his best life. Lily felt so unsafe.

“And it’s about time I put you out of your misery,” David stated ominously. Before Lily could process anything, David launched at her. His fangs sank into her neck, pain immediately shooting through her body. Lily screamed in pain, but she couldn’t get away.

It was too late.


Jeremy knew that dead bodies were part and parcel of what the pack often dealt with. He’d seen more than his fair share in just a couple of years. That didn’t make it any easier, though. A young man had been cruelly murdered, the scent of his fear still lingering around his lifeless body, with all of his potential snatched away from him in an instant. Whoever did that couldn’t have had a heart.

The small comfort Jeremy could find came from the determination he shared with Yasmin. They weren’t going to let this lie. The killer had to be caught.

Taking a seat next to Yasmin in front of the sheriff’s desk, Jeremy was ready to get to business. He knew that Ed was the right person to be on the case. Ed was darn good at his job, but he was also the only officer who knew about the supernatural. He was able to be open-minded in any cases he investigated, and that was always a big helping hand.

“Was this one of your, you know, premonitions?” Ed queried from the other side of the desk. He’d picked them up from the crime scene while forensics worked their magic. Jeremy was just relieved to be somewhere safer – he still felt shaken from the note, let alone the body.

“I mean, probably,” Yasmin replied, uncertain, “We were just walking. There aren’t any alarm bells in my mind when I have a premonition.”

“Let me tell you, you’re getting a bit of a reputation for finding dead bodies,” Ed commented, “The other deputies don’t know the truth, of course.”

“Guess that makes me the grim reaper of Crystalshaw, huh?” Yasmin joked, but she seemed unimpressed.

“No, not at all. Did you see anyone else?” Ed continued probing.

“Nobody,” Yasmin verified.

“Lily and Sammi went in the other direction,” Jeremy chipped in.

“Have you heard from them?” Ed wondered.

“No, not since we split up,” Jeremy answered, before the panic button set off in his head, “What if they’re in danger? The killer could be out there.”

“Relax, the forensics said the body’s been there at least a couple of days,” Ed reassured.

“So the person who sent the note isn’t the killer,” Yasmin pieced the information together.

“Note?” Ed was confused.

“Lily has it. A note to Sammi and me, from our dad, supposedly,” Jeremy replied.

“Your dad? Isn’t he dead?” Ed processed.

“Yeah, so this is some cruel trick. We went to investigate,” Jeremy clarified.

“Weird stuff is happening, I’ll give you that,” Ed mentioned, “Because the injuries on this body are consistent with five other bodies we’ve discovered in the past fortnight.”

“You think it’s supernatural?” Yasmin considered.

“Hard to say either way, but if you ended up finding this body, I’m leaning towards yes,” Ed answered.

“Guys,” Sammi burst in, panting loudly and looking exhausted.

“What’s up?” Jeremy was worried.

“Lily’s been taken,” Sammi announced. Jeremy’s heart sank. They were being targeted.


“I can’t believe him,” George paced up and down the living room. Freddie completely understood how he felt – even after having time to process what had happened, he was seething.

As expected, George was just as furious. He was the person who had been affected the most by their dad. As a child, he’d spent time with him. Built a relationship with him. Then it was snatched away in an instant. In a strange way, Freddie felt somewhat grateful for not getting the chance to get to know him. He was fortunate to swerve the rage and grief that George felt.

“How dare he show up unannounced and try to play happy families?” George ranted, “He abandoned his kids. He left his wife, and she never saw him again. Mom died never knowing why he left. If he steps anywhere near the lakehouse…”

“Hey, take a seat,” Mia urged, her tone soothing and calm.

“I don’t want to,” George continued.

“Dude,” Freddie agreed with Mia. He had every right to be annoyed, but this wasn’t solving anything. They needed a plan of action.

“Okay,” George sighed, collapsing onto the armchair, “How long has he been here?”

“Not long, I came here straight away. He’s married to Dylan’s aunt, George. He’s staying at the house,” Freddie explained.

“Shit,” George only felt angrier.

“You can stay here if you want, Freddie. We’ve got the spare bed ready any time,” Mia offered.

“Thanks,” Freddie nodded, “I didn’t know what to say to him, so I just ran out.”

“You did the right thing, dude,” George encouraged. Freddie knew he wasn’t just referring to his composure, but also his control over the wolf, but Mia was still in-the-dark as far as that was concerned, “He’s not worth your time.”

“I can’t help thinking, though. There’s so much he doesn’t know about me. He doesn’t know that I graduated high school, when I was almost excluded years ago. He doesn’t know about my ADHD diagnosis. He doesn’t know I go to college. He doesn’t know I have a girlfriend,” Freddie continued.

“And that’s his fault,” Mia replied, “Look, I come from a close family. I’m fortunate to have both my mom and dad, so I can’t pretend to know how you both feel. What I do know, though, is that the next step is yours. Make sure you’re deciding for the benefit of yourselves and not him.”

Freddie couldn’t help considering Mia’s words. He was too annoyed to consider what he truly wanted. The jury was still out, but he had a decision to make. Whatever it was, he and George had to be on the same page.


Having spent so many months hiding in the shadows, it felt strange to Oscar that he was out in such a public place. Crystalshaw town was the closest he had been to home in so long. Being around so many different people, observing the varied faces and personalities that brushed past him. It was far too exciting for something so mundane.

Of course, Oscar knew he had to take precautions. There was no way Cody would let him walk around in such an open space like nothing had happened. They had a deal, and Cody wouldn’t ever risk jeopardising it. It wouldn’t have ended well for Dylan, anyway, so Dylan ensured he kept his hood up, pushing his shaggy blonde locks behind his ears. Nobody would easily be able to identify him that way.

It wasn’t a casual day out, though. Nothing as ever that simple as far as Cody was concerned. Oscar knew that more than most. Keisha had a lead. A lead that could potentially lead them to Johnny. Brett had been buzzing ever since Cody promised an update. It felt like they were making good progress. They were so close to Johnny.

Keisha led them down an alleyway. The tall shop buildings either side blocked out any hope of natural sunlight, so an ominous shadow was cast along the long, narrow path. Oscar brought up the rear as the group meandered around wheelie bins and lampposts along the way. Brett walked just in front; Oscar could sense the electric anticipation he was feeling. He was expecting good news, and Oscar was so pleased for him. Brett deserved to be happy.

“What are we looking for?” Oscar enquired. He’d been told precious little so far. Keisha was keeping him just as in the dark as Brett, who was an outsider to their pack.

“I’m tracking a scent, I need silence,” Keisha hit back. Oscar rolled his eyes. He was used to her attitude, but it didn’t make it any easier to put up with.

“Keisha and Mariana took one of Johnny’s shirts around to some contacts. Someone recognised the scent and directed us here,” Cody explained, playing mediator as always.

“Have you been here before?” Oscar wondered.

“The town? Yeah, who hasn’t?” Brett answered, “But not this place. I’ve never even noticed it before.”

“Is that relevant?” Keisha rudely barked.

“Yes, actually. Why here? There are so many places he could be. Nothing is ever random,” Oscar kept his composure, as much as he wanted to shout. He knew that would only make things worse.

“Bullshit,” Keisha scoffed.

“Enough,” Cody demanded, “We have to keep an open mind, but first, rescuing Johnny is our priority.” Oscar nodded. Cody kept the peace so well, as if he was born with the ability to please everyone. Oscar was envious.

“We’re close,” Keisha changed focus. Brett’s excitement levels were peaking, Oscar could feel it against his skin. He felt more pessimistic, though. The alleyway turned a sharp left, but still, there was very little in sight. Where was Johnny supposed to be? There were clearly no other people around, even despite the lack of natural light illuminating the walkway.

“Stop,” Keisha ordered, “The scent’s weaker again. Move back.” Oscar shuffled backwards, swerving a large rubbish bin parked next to the back entrance of a shop.

“In here?” Brett wondered. Oscar felt sick. Why would Johnny have been in a random bin? It wasn’t sealed shut, even a human would have been able to climb out. Nevertheless, Cody opened the lid and peered inside. Immediately, he withdrew, coughing as if he’d smelt something hideous.

“What?” Brett’s excited face quickly bled into anxiety and panic, “Is he there? Is he unconscious?”

“Brett, I’m so sorry,” Cory composed himself, but his cheeks were almost as red as his hair. His eyes filled with tears in a way that Oscar had never seen before. He was never very emotional, certainly not in front of strangers.

“No,” Brett went to look inside, but Oscar blocked his way, “You don’t want to see it.”

“I have to,” Brett insisted, trying to struggle, but Oscar didn’t let him past. He held him firm as Brett’s struggle collapsed into a desperate hug, “He’s gone, isn’t he?”

“Yes,” Oscar consoled, keeping his arms wrapped tightly around him. As he hugged Brett, Oscar couldn’t help noticing the body inside the bin. Johnny’s eyes were wide open, his throat slashed, with blood stains layered over his naked body. Oscar tried his best to keep his own tears at bay, but it was hard. Johnny didn’t deserve this.

“Put your hands in the air,” a command came from behind them. Flashing lights. Footsteps. Heartbeats. Oscar looked around to see armed police.

“Come on,” Cody held out a hand.

“Hands up,” the officer yelled, pointing a gun directly at Oscar and Brett.

“I can’t leave him,” Oscar insisted. Cody and Keisha leapt upwards, climbing the surrounding brick walls and escaping before the officers could react. Oscar broke the hug and held his hands up, setting the example for Brett. Whatever was going on, they had to co-operate. Cody would help them out later.

Now, Oscar had to look after Brett, and he had to do it on his own.


Deep breaths in and out. Dylan felt so nervous. His hands were shaking and his right leg was bobbing up and down uncontrollably. He knew this moment was coming, but he wasn’t prepared for it just yet.

Facing him across the dining table was Caroline. Jono and Josh had given them space to talk, but Dylan couldn’t help feeling exposed. His day had been hectic, and Jono and Josh had been his protective barriers. Without them, his emotions were out in the open.

Dylan found it difficult to consider why he was so nervous. Caroline had always been the most supportive mum he could possibly ask for. She never once took issue with his sexuality or his relationship with Jono, and all things considered, she got used to him being a werewolf pretty darn quickly too. Her acceptance wasn’t in question, but Dylan couldn’t help feeling anxious.

“Show me,” Caroline requested. Dylan obliged, placing his left hand on the table. Caroline held his hand, admiring the ring, “I love it. Looks expensive, though.”

“Jono said it wasn’t. It’s beautiful,” Dylan corrected.

“How long ago did it happen?” Caroline queried.

“Just yesterday. We were going to tell you, I promise. Josh is the only other person who knows, and that’s because he guessed about two minutes ago,” Dylan insisted.

“I’m so proud of you, Dylan,” Caroline said as a tear fell from her eyes, “You’re growing up. If someone told me you would be engaged at nineteen, I’d have been worried, but not now. Jono is your one, and you are just right for each other.”

“Thanks mom,” Dylan felt more at ease, “I want this more than anything.”

“That’s how I felt with your dad,” Caroline opened up, “There was this magic from when we first met, and it never went away. I always wanted that for you, and now for Josh too.”

“Do you feel that way about Ed?” Dylan wondered.

“You know, after your dad died, I thought that was it. I thought that feeling was something teenagers felt, and that I’d never experience it again even if I did find someone new. Ed proved me wrong. He taught me how to love again,” Caroline continued, “But I can’t help wondering whether your dad would approve.”

“He would, I know it,” Dylan insisted.

“Maybe, honey,” Caroline smiled, “Nobody knows for sure, though.”

“I never told you, because I didn’t know how,” Dylan cast his mind back a few months, “I saw dad, in Yasmin’s vision.”

“Wait, what?” Caroline was stunned. Even more stunned than when she saw the ring.

“She saw ghosts, mom. Dad helped her out inside her head, and she let me see him. I was going to tell you, but I didn’t want to make you upset, and Yasmin was so weak,” Dylan explained.

“How did he look?” Caroline wiped the streams of tears now flowing.

“Just as I remember, but healthy. He looked happy, mom. He met Jono, and he knows everything about me. He’s happy for me, and he’s happy for you too,” Dylan reassured.

“Yeah?” Caroline sobbed, but Dylan thought they were happy tears. They both cared for Dylan’s dad, and they always would. Now they both deserved to be happy too, “Okay, well, I think we’d better get wedding planning.”


Being back at the forest felt uncomfortable for Sammi. The fear she felt was still very much present. She felt exposed, and whatever took Lily could still be out there. She wasn’t safe.

This time, at least she had company. Yasmin and Jeremy were by her side, and deputies were scattered around looking for evidence. That said, they weren’t far away from where Yasmin had found a dead body, and that only made Sammi feel worse. There had to be a link between this murder and Lily’s kidnap. This was far too strange to be a coincidence.

Sammi couldn’t help feeling guilty for Lily’s disappearance. Perhaps if she paid more attention, she could have helped her? Lacking werewolf abilities didn’t work in her favour, though. All Sammi could think about was why Lily had been taken. Why not Sammi herself? Was it random? Nothing ever seemed to be random in Crystalshaw. There had to be a reason why Lily was chosen. This only confirmed what Sammi already knew – whoever this was, they knew the pack. They knew their story.

“It was about here,” Sammi stood in her exact position from when Lily vanished, “I was facing this way and saw nothing, but it was just for a few seconds.”

“Werewolf,” Yasmin identified immediately, “No human could be that quick.”

“Okay, but which one? I’m starting to think there are more werewolves in this town than humans,” Ed commented.

“We don’t know. They were pretty good at covering their tracks,” Yasmin sighed.

“Someone who knows about our dad,” Jeremy added.

“Which barely narrows it down at all,” Sammi reminded.

“Okay, so let’s forget about the werewolf. Lily still has her phone, right? Can’t we track her?” Jeremy suggested.

“I’ll call the station and get a deputy on it,” Ed decided.

“No need,” Sammi corrected, quickly opening her Snapchat app. The map was a lifesaver – quite literally – and the whole pack knew to keep their location on at all times, “She’s moving. On her way into town.”

“Town? What?” Yasmin was baffled. When even she was confused, Sammi knew she stood no chance.

“Call Jono again,” Ed suggested, “Tell him to meet us there.”

“On it,” Sammi nodded. She turned away from the group and dialled Jono’s number for what felt like the five-hundredth time. He was always glued to his phone, so either he was ignoring her, or something serious was happening. Considering Dylan wasn’t answering either, it was bound to be the latter. As expected, she heard the same old voicemail again. Sammi was worried.

In the corner of her eye, Sammi spotted something familiar. Something completely impossible. Something that couldn’t have been there, yet somehow was. Just a few metres away was one of her old toys – a teddy bear – laid down in front of a tree. A toy she hadn’t seen in years. A toy she’d lost and cried over as a young kid.

“Guys,” Sammi called the others over.

“What’s up?” Yasmin queried.

“Look at that,” Sammi pointed.

“Oh my god, I’ve seen that before,” Jeremy recognised, “In the pictures he used to show me.”

“Who? What?” Ed was baffled.

“Our dad,” Sammi uttered. She felt sick. This was too creepy for words.


Collapsing onto the bed, Jono was anxious. All he could think about was Dylan and how the chat with Caroline was going. He felt confident that she’d take it well, but Dylan wasn’t someone who felt comfortable talking too much about himself. All Jono could do was wait, and he hated feeling like a sitting duck.

Jono couldn’t help reflecting on himself in the meantime. He still had to tell his own parents the big news. Things were still somewhat frosty between them, even if they had improved since they first found out he was a werewolf. Hopefully the good news would go a long way.

“They’re taking ages,” Jono commented.

“It’s not exactly a thirty second conversation topic,” Josh reminded. Jono sighed. He was right, but the wait was agonising. For the first time in a while, Jono slid out his phone to pass the time. Usually, he checked it constantly, but it had been about an hour since he last looked. Typically, he didn’t miss very much.

This time was different, though. Jono was shocked to see seventeen missed calls from Sammi, as well as five voicemail messages. Something was clearly up. Jono’s gut feeling was filled with worry. Sammi never tried this hard to reach him.

Thinking fast, Jono listened to the first voicemail. A panicked Sammi was shouting down the phone, her voice drowned out by panting and the harsh wind slamming into the phone. Catching any words was difficult, but Jono picked up on two. The most important two.

“Lily’s gone.”

“Guys,” Dylan burst in, looking just as shocked as Jono felt. Perhaps Sammi got through to him?

“Hey, how did it go?” Josh questioned, entirely oblivious.

“Yeah, fine,” Dylan brushed off. Jono had almost forgotten where Dylan had been in that moment. It was a comfort that it had seemingly gone well, but now, it was panic time, “I just had a call from the sheriff station.”

“What?” Josh was baffled.

“Lily’s gone,” Jono mentioned.

“What?” Dylan was stunned, and in turn, so was Jono. Dylan was just as shocked as Josh was. He didn’t know about Lily already. Something else was up.

“Sammi told me. I thought that’s what the sheriff station called about,” Jono clarified.

“Shit,” Dylan was horrified, “We need to split up, because they found Oscar.” Jono felt like he’d been sucker-punched. That was amazing news, but all he could think about was Lily. What did he need to do?


Stumbling forward, Lily felt hazy. She’d never felt as out-of-sorts as that before. Simultaneously, she felt dozy and ready for bed, yet like she had so much energy fizzing inside of her. Walking in a straight line was near impossible. It was like she was drunk, but hadn’t touched a drop.

Lily knew the way home like the back of her hand. The lakehouse wasn’t too far away, but the road by her side was busy. She had to be careful, because one step in the wrong direction would be very dangerous.

Everything that had happened since the forest was a blur in Lily’s mind. Her memories weren’t clear. All she knew was that her neck was exceptionally painful. A dull, impossible-to-ignore ache was pulsating from her left side. Whatever it was, it wasn’t healing quickly.

So many emotions ran through Lily’s brain. She couldn’t describe how she felt, because it was everything all at once. Rage. Sadness. Joy. Relief. Those emotions and more stampeded over her mind. She’d never felt like that before. It was overwhelming and all-consuming.

Most strangely, though, Lily didn’t feel alone. The path was empty, and there was definitely nobody else around, so why did she feel like she had company?

Scuttling across the ground, Lily noticed a few mice. Completely harmless, but definitely gross. Lily felt encapsulated by them, though. Like she wanted to grab them. Like she wanted to kill them. Like she had irresistible instincts. Animalistic instincts.

Lily couldn’t help herself. She launched at one of the mice, capturing it between her hands with ease. Without a second thought, Lily ripped its head off, not caring how it would look to anyone driving by. The thrill was enough.

“Lily,” a voice called out. Lily looked up, hiding her bloody hands. Sammi ran towards her, but Lily couldn’t think of what to say.

All she could do was bare her brand new fangs, ready to experience another thrill.

4: The Decision Written by MarthaJonesFan

Dylan was quickly growing tired of the college campus. He had traipsed the same route over and over again, and the same sights were more than tedious. He wasn’t even sure there was much point revisiting the same patch so many times. His eyes weren’t fresh. If he was going to find anything, Dylan was sure he’d have seen it by now.

He wasn’t going to give up, though. Oscar had been missing for a week, and there had been absolutely no sightings of him in that time. Oscar would never have run off without telling one of them. More importantly, he wouldn’t have run off without a good reason.

So many theories had been going around in Dylan’s mind, but none of them seemed to add up. What logical reason would Oscar have had to leave of his own accord? It simply didn’t add up. Nothing ever happened for no reason, especially as far as the supernatural went.

Therefore, Dylan was only entertaining one theory. The only one that truly made sense.

Oscar had been kidnapped.

He still didn’t know all of the details, but the outline was there. Oscar had vanished without a trace. No social media logins. No spending on his debit card. No contact even with his mum. Nothing.

The whole pack had barely slept for a week. Yasmin had taken charge, formulating a map of routes to cover. Everyone had a job to do, but energy levels were rock bottom. Nobody had found anything of substance to point to Oscar’s location, and optimism was draining away.

Dylan never lost his optimism, though. It was the glue that held the pack together. He had to be strong for everyone else. That was the job of the alpha. It wasn’t about recruitment or gaining power, it was about care.

That said, Dylan was beginning to feel slightly hopeless as he completed the circuit again. They needed a new strategy, because the longer they went without any news, the further away Oscar slipped.

Waiting patiently as a deputy swiped her key card, Dylan was feeling a gigantic mix of emotions. Naturally, he felt relieved and somewhat excited, but he couldn’t help feeling confused and concerned. He had a load of questions to get answers to.

“Hey, sorry I’m late,” Freddie joined him. Of course, Dylan had insisted that Jono go find Lily. That was a priority, and he needed all the help he could get from the pack. Dylan needed a helping hand, though, and he suspected Freddie would appreciate the distraction.

“You’re just in time,” Dylan assured, “Thank you for coming.”

“Of course,” Freddie smiled. It was obvious that he was putting on a brave face, but Dylan admired his determination.

“Are you sure about this?” the deputy checked, “They’re suspects in a murder enquiry.”

“Completely. I’ll call when we’re ready,” Dylan confirmed. The deputy pushed the door to the cell room open. Dylan knew what he was there for, but he could still hardly believe his eyes. Obscured by the cell bars were two familiar faces. Faces Dylan hadn’t seen in a long time.

“Stand back,” the deputy commanded as she swiped her key card on the cell. She ushered Dylan and Freddie inside before securing it shut after them.

“Hi,” Oscar timidly greeted. Dylan felt so happy to see him again. He looked healthy, if a little tired. Next to him, to Dylan’s amazement, was Brett. He’d not seen Brett in a year, since he left for college, but he looked just the same, save for the streams of tears slipping down his rosy red cheeks. He looked wrecked, in a way Dylan hadn’t seen before.

“It’s good to see you, dude,” Freddie added.

“Back at you,” Oscar smiled.

“I don’t know where to start,” Dylan mentioned, “Where have you been? Did you escape?” Small talk wasn’t on his mind. He knew that Oscar was okay now, so his attention was firmly on the truth.

“I’ll tell you everything, I promise,” Oscar insisted, “But we’re not the murderers, Dylan. You know us.”

“What happened?” Dylan was concerned. There was so much going on, and he knew none of the answers.

“Johnny,” Brett broke his silence, his voice quivering in fear, “He’s dead.”

“Wha…what?” Dylan was gobsmacked. How could Johnny be dead? So much was happening. He was getting overwhelmed.

“We found his body, and now we’ve been arrested on suspicion of his murder, but we’re innocent,” Oscar protested.

“I know,” Dylan affirmed, “I believe you, but there’s so much I don’t understand.”

“I owe you an explanation, but there’s something going on, Dylan. It’s bigger than this. We’ve been following it for ages,” Oscar continued.

“We?” Freddie questioned.

“Like I said, I’ll explain, but I can’t in here,” Oscar begged. He seemed different to the Oscar Dylan remembered, but he was still his friend. He deserved his trust. Dylan had to get them out, but how?


Sprinting as fast as she could, Yasmin barely had time to think. Her body was running on autopilot, her reflexes taking over. The only thing on her mind was helping Sammi as her legs carried her along the path. If only she’d stopped her running ahead.

Sammi was lying on the pavement, blood spilling out of her neck from a series of bite marks. It looked gruesome, but Yasmin had no time to be squeamish. Her first instinct was to stop the bleeding. Applying some pressure should at least slow it down.

Before she could even reach Sammi, though, Yasmin ground to a halt. Terrifyingly, Lily blocked the way. A different Lily to the one she knew.

A fully transformed Lily.

That wasn’t supposed to happen. Lily was only part-werewolf. She couldn’t transform. She shouldn’t be able to transform. It had never happened before. What had triggered it? Yasmin was desperate to know, but she couldn’t dwell. Too much was going on, and none of them were safe.

“What the hell?” Ed commented from beside her. Lily bared her fangs. It was a terrifying sight.

“Lily, listen, it’s Yasmin. Your best friend,” Yasmin urged. She knew Lily had to find her humanity again if she wanted to shift back, but how easy that would be was an entirely separate matter. Nevertheless, Yasmin’s words weren’t working.

“Lily, it’s Jeremy. Please let me help Sammi,” Jeremy attempted, but still nothing. Even her own family wasn’t enough.

“Jeremy, shift,” Yasmin commanded. This was her only idea. Lily wasn’t responding to humanity, so perhaps she needed something further away from that. As easy as flicking a light switch, Jeremy transformed. So rarely did Yasmin see her friends in wolf-form that it always seemed so weird when she did see them like that. They were visibly the same person, but an animalistic version. It looked so wrong, even though Yasmin knew Jeremy was in complete control.

“Lily,” Jeremy growled. She backed off just a few inches, slightly but not totally deterred.

“More,” Yasmin urged.

“People are driving past, Yasmin,” Ed reminded.

“Too fast to pay much attention. It’s this, or Sammi bleeds out and dies. Take your pick,” Yasmin justified. There wasn’t a single element of doubt in her mind.

“Okay, do it,” Ed agreed. Before any more could be said, Jeremy unleashed the deepest growl, vaguely resembling a drawn-out version of Lily’s name, but it was so deep and gruff that it was difficult to say for sure. Regardless, it did the job. Lily scuttled away like a toddler that had just been scolded by its parents. The coast was clear. They could get to Sammi.

“Call an ambulance,” Yasmin called out to Ed as she and Jeremy knelt either side of Sammi’s unconscious body. Jeremy took her hand, and her pain, while Yasmin applied pressure from both hands at her neck.

“Lily!” Jono called, rushing over with Josh in tow, “Where did she go?”

“Up there. Jono, she’s shifted, you need to be careful. She’s dangerous,” Yasmin warned. Jono nodded before taking off again. If anyone could bring her back from the brink, it would be him.

Now all eyes were on Sammi.


Planting himself down in Ed’s chair, Dylan needed a moment. So much was happening that he was feeling overwhelmed, and every second brought him more and more stress. He needed to digest and process everything or he’d be no use to anyone.

Though Dylan was trying his best to focus on the matter at hand, he couldn’t help worrying about Lily. She was practically his sister, and if anything bad had happened to her, Dylan wasn’t sure how he’d cope. All he could do was pray that she’d be brought home safely.

Dylan needed to keep his focus on Oscar and Brett. Every part of him said Oscar was being truthful, and Brett’s tears were clearly completely genuine. His love for Johnny was huge. Dylan couldn’t fathom the thought of losing Jono; Brett must have been completely lost.

The only doubts in Dylan’s mind came from Oscar’s story – or rather, lack, thereof. Why was he so precious over the details? Why didn’t he say where he’d been? There was much more to this than Dylan first thought.

“What are you thinking?” Freddie asked, breaking the silence from opposite the desk.

“I don’t even know, there’s so much happening,” Dylan sighed.

“You don’t have to tell me,” Freddie nodded.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t even ask. How are you holding up?” Dylan checked.

“I’ve been better,” Freddie shrugged, “I went to see George. He’s taken it worse, of course. I don’t really know how to feel.”

“I get it. Sort of,” Dylan tried his best to empathise, “I’ll speak to mom, make sure they don’t stay long.”

“It’s fine, I’ll stay with George,” Freddie said.

“You shouldn’t have to, though. That’s not your home. I’m not letting you get pushed out,” Dylan insisted.

“Thanks, dude,” Freddie smiled. Dylan smiled back. It was the absolute least he could do.

“Everything okay?” a deputy popped her head in. The same deputy that escorted them in and out of the cell.

“Not really. I’ve got some questions,” Dylan took the chance to learn some more details.

“I’ll try my best, assuming Sheriff Taylor doesn’t mind,” she answered, slipping inside and shutting the door behind her.

“I’m his stepson, don’t worry. Thank you, Deputy…” Dylan trailed off. He didn’t know her name. Ed was the only person at the station he ever spoke to.

“Chang,” she answered, “You can call me Lisa.”

“Thanks Lisa,” Dylan nodded, “What are your leads?”

“For a fortnight, we’ve been tracking a series of homicides. Six bodies with identical wounds found in different places. Your friend’s body had the exact same injuries. I’m sorry for your loss,” Lisa explained, the sorrow clear in her voice.

“Thank you,” Dylan nodded. He still couldn’t process that Johnny was dead. It didn’t feel real, “Why do you think Oscar and Brett did it?”

“It’s more the people they were with. Two others escaped. We don’t know their names, just vague descriptions. Strangely, they seem to live almost entirely off the map, but they’ve been spotted in the vicinity of all seven crime scenes. Your friends were with them, but they didn’t escape. Didn’t even try,” Lisa continued.

“I give you my word, they’re both innocent, I know it,” Dylan vouched for his friends, “And I think they could be the key to catching the real suspects.”

“I guess we don’t have anything concrete,” Lisa considered, “Let me see what I can do. Wait here.”

“Thank you,” Dylan smiled. They were one step closer to solving all of their mysteries.


Brett had never felt so broken. He didn’t know what to do with himself. No position felt comfortable. Conversation wasn’t even on his mind. All he wanted to do was curl up and sleep, because that would, at least, shut off the pain for a short while.

All Brett was thinking about was the ways in which he could have been deceived. Johnny couldn’t be dead, right? He only saw him a day ago. He had to be out there still. Clearly, this was some cruel trick. The body in the bin was a lookalike, or a dummy – it was getting dark, after all.

That was what Brett’s heart said, but his head knew better. His eyes had seen it. The worst sight imaginable. His dead boyfriend’s body lying in a random dumpster in town. He’d never shake off what a truly hideous vision it was.

It wasn’t just Johnny’s future that had been stolen, and that’s what Brett felt most broken by. Every plan he’d made for the rest of his life had vanished in a single moment, because each and every one of them contained Johnny. Someone had stolen everything from him, and he couldn’t fathom why.

Oscar had been a huge comfort to him, though. Their situation was far from ideal, yet Oscar had made it his priority to take care of Brett. He’d wrapped his arms around him, keeping him close as they sat against the hard back wall. He was the only company Brett could reply on, and he valued that more than anything.

“We’ll be out of here soon,” Oscar encouraged, keeping his voice low and soothing.

“I trust Dylan as much as you, but what if he can’t get us out? He’s not exactly got any jurisdiction over the law,” Brett sighed. He couldn’t think of anywhere he wanted to be less than a jail cell.

“He will. He always does. I have to believe that,” Oscar insisted.

“So why did you desert the pack?” Brett blurted out without thinking, “Sorry, I didn’t mean…”

“No, it’s okay. I know how weird it looks. I owe everyone an explanation, but it’s not straightforward, and it’s not something I took lightly. He doesn’t know it yet, but I saved Dylan’s life. Every day I’m not here is a day that keeps Dylan safe,” Oscar explained.

“Then tell him, dude,” Brett encouraged, “Because it sounds a lot like Dylan’s been missing you. You’ve got a second chance to reconnect with your friends. I wish I had that with Johnny.”

“Yeah,” Oscar reflected, “We’re going to catch the bastards that did this, you know.”

“Of course, if it’s the last thing I do,” Brett affirmed, “But who’s ‘we’? Cody or Dylan? You’ve got a choice, Oscar. Whatever you choose, remember who gets hurt the most.” Cody clearly had something on Oscar, and he couldn’t be a bystander any longer.

The cell room door buzzed open. Dylan and Freddie filtered in alongside the deputy from earlier that day. She slid her key card along the cell look and stood back as the door glided open.

“What’s happening?” Brett was confused.

“You’re free to go,” the deputy announced.

“But we have a deal,” Dylan reminded.

“I know. I’ll talk. Let’s go,” Oscar nodded. He clenched Brett’s hand gently, keeping him safe even then. Brett felt a slight comfort from it, but also from Oscar’s decision. Knowingly or not, he’d just made it.


Beginning to feel the burn against his muscles, Jono wasn’t losing any of his determination. He was ignoring the feelings of his body and focusing on one thing only – finding Lily. She was his only priority, and if he needed to, Jono knew he’d be roaming the streets all night.

Irritatingly, it was getting dark. There wasn’t much Jono could see without using his wolf eyes, and they were in far too public a place for him to risk that. Cars were zooming past, oblivious to what was happening, but two glowing yellow dots would draw attention to them.

To Jono’s relief, he still had Josh by his side. He needed all the help he could get. Of course, he wished Dylan could be there, for support if nothing else, but Oscar needed his attention. As soon as he found Lily, Jono knew he’d be straight round to see Oscar again. His safe return was a definite relief.

“Did you see where she went?” Jono turned to Josh.

“No, it’s too dark,” Josh sighed, “What’s happened to her, dude?”

“I wish I knew,” Jono worried. Lily vanishing before returning a fully transformed werewolf was extremely concerning. It should have been impossible. Jono wanted answers so badly, but that was low down his agenda. All he could afford to focus on was tracking Lily down.

“She’s close,” Josh identified, “Her scent is strong here. She can’t have gone far.”

“I’m scared, Josh,” Jono confessed, “I need her to be okay. I can’t lose my sister.”

“You won’t. She’s alive, Jono, and that’s the most important thing. We’ll figure the rest out. We always do,” Josh encouraged. He wasn’t one for sentiment or emotion, but they’d known each other a long time, and Jono always knew he could count on Josh when he needed him the most.

A heartbeat. Jono heard one creeping closer. It neared him rapidly. Jono ducked. A figure lunged past him, crashing onto the floor with a hard thud. Quickly, it got up, revealing its face. Of course. Lily. Jono couldn’t bear the sight of her so very familiar face, destroyed by piercing fangs and bright, fierce, yellow eyes. He thought he’d been able to save Lily from this fate. Jono couldn’t help thinking he’d failed.

“Distract her,” Josh suggested. Jono looked Lily eye-to-eye. He glowed his identical wolf eyes, throwing caution to the wind and ignoring the cars passing. Some things were more important.

Lily looked like she was ready for a fight. Jono was primed and ready, but fighting was the last thing he wanted to do. The real Lily – the human Lily – was the exact same. She’d never have wanted to fight her brother, but she had an inner wolf now, and Jono knew how challenging that could be to control.

Lily snarled, so Jono snarled back. He was doing his best to keep her attention while, in the corner of Jono’s eye, Josh crept close behind Lily’s back. All he had to do was strike at exactly the right moment, but that was easier said than done.

“Come on Lil, you don’t want to hurt me,” Jono urged. Lily growled, disapproving. Words weren’t even on her mind; the human Lily was miles away.

Rapidly, Josh launched forward. Irritatingly, Lily swerved in one simple move. Josh crashed forward, only just avoiding landing in the traffic. Jono gasped, panicking even more. The plan hadn’t worked. They were in the worst-case scenario.

Before Jono could react, Lily herself collapsed down. A hand was firmly gripped around her ankle. Josh had pulled her over. The real plan. Jono breathed a sigh of relief.

“Let’s get her home,” Josh mustered, heaving himself up. Jono was terrified, but the first step in rescuing his sister was complete.


No matter how hard she tried, Sammi just couldn’t get comfortable. Hospital beds were wildly unpleasant; always were and always would be. Thankfully, it had been many years since her last experience of one, and she definitely wasn’t planning on making it a regular occurrence.

Worse, though, was the pain shooting from her neck. It was inescapable, no matter how hard Sammi tried to distract herself or to drift off to sleep. It throbbed like nothing she’d felt before.

To her relief, the doctor had said Sammi will be just fine and out of hospital in no time at all. The wounds were deep but would heal. It was news to Sammi’s ears, but she wished it could heal faster. The pack needed her. So much was going on.

Though brief, Sammi couldn’t forget the hideous sight of Lily’s new form. What had happened to her? That wasn’t the kind of thing that happened overnight. Whatever it was, it made her attack her own cousin, and that wasn’t Lily at all. The four of them had each other’s backs above all. In one way or another, the Chadwick adults had screwed them all over. They’d made a pact never to hurt each other. The human Lily was evidently buried deep if she could so easily ignore that promise.

“They found her,” Jeremy announced, his posture bolt upright on the chair next to the bed.

“Thank god,” Yasmin breathed a sigh of relief from across the room, “I’ll go tell Ed.” Sammi felt more mixed emotions than Yasmin, though. Capturing Lily had stopped anybody else getting hurt, but they were still miles away from a solution. Whatever did that to Lily was still out there. They weren’t out of the woods yet.

“How are you doing?” Jeremy asked, relaxing back into his seat now it was just the two of them in the hospital room.

“It hurts,” Sammi sighed.

“Give me your hand,” Jeremy directed. Sammi knew what he was going to do, and it was just what she needed. Jeremy took her hand and immediately, his veins became visible through his skin, turning a deep black colour. Amazingly, Sammi’s pain seemed to drain away via Jeremy’s hand on her wrist. It made so much difference.

“That’s not it, though, is it?” Jeremy realised.

“How did you guess?” Sammi chuckled. Jeremy always seemed to know exactly what was on her mind, as if it were a sixth sense.

“You know what they say about the bond between twins, hey?” Jeremy smiled, “I mean, we’ve known each other longer than anyone, despite everything, right? Nine months of just you and me.”

“Oh yeah, so many good memories in the womb,” Sammi jested, “I agree, though. Nobody knows me better than you.”

“Best not tell Freddie that. Or Felix, actually,” Jeremy laughed, “I texted Freddie, by the way. He hasn’t replied yet but I’m sure he’ll be on his way as soon as he sees it.”

“Thanks,” Sammi nodded. She didn’t doubt for a second that Freddie would be by her side as soon as he heard the news. He was the most reliable person Sammi knew.

“Hey, how’s the patient?” a friendly face popped around the door. Felix. Sammi had been hoping for Freddie, but Felix had become a good friend, and any distractions from the uncomfortable bed were welcome.

“Great, just about to go for a jog,” Sammi joked.

“Hey, come in,” Jeremy invited, his whole face brightening up. It spoke volumes about the impact Felix had on him. The love he felt was unparalleled, and it warmed Sammi’s heart. The idea of her dating Felix felt so completely alien.

“Any news about Lily?” Felix asked.

“They found her, but that’s all we know. Jono’s with her,” Jeremy relayed.

“Thank god. I hope whoever took her gets what’s coming to them,” Felix replied, sharing their frustration.

“The note,” Sammi realised, her heartbeat picking up the pace as she started to piece things together.

“What note?” Felix was confused.

“A note to the two of us, signed by our dad,” Jeremy clarified.

“I thought he was dead?” Felix recalled.

“So did we. We assumed it was a hoax, right? But think about it,” Sammi pondered, “A note from our dad, followed by Lily going missing and returning a full werewolf. Who would have the ability to do that?”

“An alpha,” Jeremy realised, “Oh my god.”

Three knocks at the door. A silhouette stood outside the window; their face obscured by a hood. Sammi couldn’t make any details out, but whoever they were, they were observing, and they wanted their attention. Suddenly, two bright lights appeared. Two glowing eyes. Glowing the most fearsome colour.

Red.

“He’s not dead,” Sammi panicked. The silhouette vanished.

David was back.


Exhausted, Dylan was ready for the day to be over. It had been non-stop since he woke up. Thankfully, though, things seemed to be dying down, much to his relief and almost certainly, everyone else’s too.

Jono had texted him to say that they’d found Lily and she was safe, which of course, Dylan was delighted about. They’d taken her to the bunker, which was the only place in the whole town lined with mountain ash. For the time being, it made perfect sense to keep her there, and the human Lily would have understood that.

“Oh my god,” Freddie commented, checking his phone. He’d just parked his car outside the lakehouse. It was the most private place Dylan could think of, and as long as things remained discreet, he was sure George wouldn’t mind, “I’ve not looked at this all day, but Sammi’s in hospital apparently? Lily attacked her.”

“Shit,” Dylan was gobsmacked, “Is she okay?”

“I think so,” Freddie was stunned, “Look, I need to go.”

“Of course. I’ll be fine from here. Thanks dude,” Dylan smiled, “Send her my love.” Dylan stepped out of the car, followed by their backseat passengers. Brett and Oscar had been silent since leaving the sheriff station, though it was hardly the time for small talk.

Inside, to Dylan’s relief, there were no heartbeats. George and Mia had clearly gone out, which worked out perfectly. Now, they didn’t have to beat around the bush. Dylan was ready to get answers. Oscar had better start talking.

Oscar headed straight out the back door, pausing on the dock. Fresh air perhaps wasn’t such a bad thing considering the conversation they were about to have. Dylan looked to Brett, who was gazing at the floor. He looked so broken. Dylan couldn’t imagine what he was feeling. A life without the one he loved the most. It was completely unfathomable. Dylan never took for granted just how lucky he was.

“It’s okay, you’re safe now,” Dylan assured. He found it difficult to know what to say, and whether he needed to speak at all. The last thing he wanted to do was upset Brett.

“Am I? Whatever killed Johnny’s still out there, Dylan. None of us are safe,” Brett ranted. Dylan couldn’t even sugar-coat that. Brett was right, and no level of optimism would change that, “Sorry, I know this isn’t your fault.”

“Don’t worry. I remember when I lost my dad. Nothing felt right for ages,” Dylan sympathised, “Everyone says it, but it does get better.”

“I don’t want it to,” Brett was fighting back tears, but losing the battle, “That would mean I’ve gotten over him.”

“Never,” Dylan assured, “He’s with you forever, dude. You’ll never lose him.” Brett nodded, giving in to the tears. Dylan hugged him tightly, consoling him as best as he could. It broke his heart, and Dylan couldn’t help shedding some too, “It’s good to have you back.”

Everything suddenly felt very real.


Cautiously scanning the area, Oscar’s anxiety levels were through the roof. It felt so strange to be back in Crystalshaw town. He had dreamed of coming back to the lakehouse. He wanted so desperately to see his friends, but he never expected it would actually happen. It was like a weird dream.

It wasn’t much of a happy reunion, though. Cody was surely looking for him, and Crystalshaw was the obvious place to look. It was only a matter of time until he turned up, and Oscar was terrified about what that would mean for Dylan. He hadn’t spent so many months in hiding for nothing. The whole pack was in danger just by his presence. It would be sensible for him to remove himself from the situation.

Oscar couldn’t bring himself to do that, though. His head was losing the battle against his heart. He loved Cody, but he didn’t want to lose his friends again. Seeing them was a much-needed reminder of just how much he’d lost.

Furthermore, Dylan was expecting answers. Oscar knew he had to explain the full story. Dylan deserved honesty, particularly as this whole situation was to protect him. It was the least Oscar could do to ease the grief he’d gone through.

“Hey,” Dylan joined him out the back of the lakehouse, “Everything okay?”

“Yeah,” Oscar replied, “I think.”

“Come on, let’s sit down,” Dylan encouraged. He ushered Oscar to the dock, taking his shoes and socks off before dipping his toes into the lake. Oscar followed suit; despite the chill of the lake, the ripples were instantly soothing against his skin. It was like Oscar could forget all of his problems like they no longer mattered.

“I’m sorry,” Oscar began. He found it difficult to know where to start. It was such a long story to tell.

“I just want to understand, because right now, I couldn’t be more confused,” Dylan said.

“That day, the day Jono was possessed, he came to the dorm. It was just Alex and I, and I didn’t know what to do. He arrived just in time and saved me. He fought for me,” Oscar explained.

“Who?” Dylan wondered.

“His name is Cody. He’s an alpha of another pack. They live near the college. You’ve seen him before, at the first LGBTQ+ society meeting,” Oscar continued.

“That was almost a year ago,” Dylan sighed.

“I know, I wasn’t expecting you to remember, don’t worry. He seemed like the most normal guy ever. I saw him a couple more times, then he showed me his eyes,” Oscar thought back.

“He wanted something, didn’t he?” Dylan realised.

“He felt threatened by you. By us. He made me a deal. If I stayed with him and joined his pack, he’d leave you alone. If not, he’d kill you,” Oscar explained.

“What?” Dylan was gobsmacked, “You shouldn’t have done that. We’d have fought, or we’d have run. I’d rather run for miles than lose you.”

“You’ve done so much for me, Dylan. I wanted to look after you too,” Oscar tried to rationalise.

“You didn’t have to do it like this. Cody took advantage of you, dude,” Dylan said. Oscar’s heart was breaking. He couldn’t help how he felt about Cody. The way he felt wasn’t forced or fake.

“You don’t get it. I love Cody, and he loves me,” Oscar insisted, “And you could be at least a little bit grateful.”

“It’s not about that. Look at it from my point of view, Oscar. He manipulated you into staying. He blackmailed you,” Dylan continued.

“No,” Oscar firmly replied, “I made a decision. I stayed with the guy I love to protect my friends. I wasn’t a prisoner.”

“You could have gone back to him at any moment” Dylan reminded, “Defend him if you want, but you’re here right now. If you still want to be here, I’ll be there for you. I can bring you home to your mom. Heck, you can sleep at mine for the time being if you want somewhere else to stay. This has to be what you want, though.” Oscar took a deep breath in. He had a choice to make, just as Brett said. This time though, his options were wide open.

“Can I see mom in the morning?” Oscar asked. Dylan nodded, smiling. His decision was made.


Boom. Boom. Boom.

That was all Lily could hear. It was on repeat in her head, like a song that she couldn’t get enough of. This was different, though. She’d definitely had enough of this rhythm. She had a banging headache; worse than any hangover she’d ever experienced. It was so unpleasant.

What’s more was that Lily felt so uncomfortable. The bunker floor was solid concrete. It was hard and freezing cold, and Lily had no choice but to sit on it. The least she could have been afforded was a pillow, surely? After all, none of this was her fault.

Lily felt so down on herself, though. She didn’t know what was happening, but she remembered everything from that night. Walking home. The mice. Hurting Sammi. She felt so unbelievably guilty.

“How long have I got to be here?” Lily yelled. Though the bunker itself was otherwise empty, she could hear two heartbeats just outside. It didn’t take a genius to work out that it was Jono and Josh out there.

“Until you can control yourself,” Josh shouted back.

“Jono? Please, help me,” Lily begged. Her wrists were chained to the wall. She just wanted to go home. She needed her brother.

The seal clicked. The heavy door inched open just enough for Jono’s slim frame to slip inside before it crashed shut again.

“You don’t have to hide outside. These chains can hold me,” Lily said, breaking the silence.

“For now,” Jono corrected, “Looks like your neck has healed pretty well.”

“That’s nothing new, Jono,” Lily added. She’d had werewolf abilities for a long time. Healing was the best part of it. Her face hadn’t seen a single spot since.

“You were bitten, Lily,” Jono replied, “Things are different now. This bunker is lined with mountain ash. All of us are weaker in here, you included now.”

“Then help me, please. You’ve been here before. How did you get through it?” Lily was desperate to know. If she really was a proper werewolf now, she needed assistance.

“I found my anchor,” Jono answered.

“Help me find mine, then,” Lily begged. He made it sound far too easy.

“Mine is Dylan, but it doesn’t have to be a person. It can be a memory. An emotion. Anything that keeps you grounded,” Jono explained, before crouching down and holding both of her hands, “Think about it, okay?”

“The shop,” Lily said, as if it were a reflex.

“What shop?” Jono looked at her in confusion.

“I…um…never mind,” Lily stuttered. She couldn’t find the words to explain it, “Can you get me a pillow please?”

“Sure,” Jono stood back up, “I love you, sis.”

“I love you too,” Lily smiled. The smile faded quickly, though. She caught a quick glimpse of Jono’s eyes before he turned around to leave. The tiniest flash, but it was enough. They were glowing, but it was wrong. They weren’t glowing yellow like they should have been. Lily began to panic, but she was helpless.

They were glowing red.

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