When Noah goes missing, Freddie enlists Drew to help him track the rabid beta down, unaware of Drew's own diminished abilities. Meanwhile, Dylan and Josh figure out how to move forward now that Caroline knows their secret.
Making amends, Dylan and Josh settle into their new normal at home, while Drew starts to figure out how to get his abilities back. Frightened while looking after Noah, Lily calls Dylan for a hand, but has she unwittingly led him into a trap?
Jono learns to pull himself together when Dylan wakes up not knowing who he is. Making a new friend, he vows to find out exactly what attacked Dylan and why. Meanwhile, Drew distracts Dylan by visiting Mrs. Johnson's contact. Will she be of any help?
As Dylan tries to adapt back to normality, it's up to Jono to keep the pack together as Caroline figures out the truth about Dylan's condition. Freddie grows suspicious of Noah, while Drew visits Edwina again. Will her solution have consequences?
Trapped in the sheriff station, Dylan and Jono must unite to face the Fenrir, but will Dylan's memory loss affect the faith he has in his pack? Freddie is faced with an out-of-control Noah, while Drew experiences a learning curve after seeing the results of Edwina's remedy.
A week after the Fenrir attack on the sheriff station, five bodies turn up in seemingly random locations around Crystalshaw. Dylan and Yasmin divide the team up to find clues, piecing together one alarming piece of information.
With Dylan struggling to find himself, Jono finds help in a surprising confidante. Drew and Lily investigate the clues left behind by the murderer, landing them in a dangerous life-threatening situation...
With Lily's life in the balance, Drew meets new allies that could make or break their situation. Yasmin, Freddie and Josh find themselves in trouble during a rescue mission, while Dylan takes Jono on a trip to help reclaim his memories.
Diego's plan is in full swing, with Yasmin and Noah in danger at the mysterious Nemeton. Dylan regroups the pack to make a stand. Meanwhile, In a heart-to-heart, Lily opens up to Jono for the first time.
1: Heal Written by MarthaJonesFan
Jolting awake, Noah was immediately disorientated. He felt like he had been asleep for a long time, but there was no way of knowing just how long. The unfamiliar room he was in didn’t have a clock. It was decorated with gaming posters and messy all over, and he wasn’t restrained. He couldn’t remember how he got there, but he knew it couldn’t be all that bad. He was comfortable at least.
He reached into his pocket for his phone – it as still there, much to his relief. The time said 08:37. Monday morning. How the heck was it Monday? The last thing he remembered was Friday night. He leapt out of bed, his lengthy auburn locks resting messily part-way down his chest.
He saw himself in the mirror next to him. His eyes glowed a deep, dark shade of red. Then he remembered. The Téras. Dylan’s bedroom. A bite from both alphas. Noah agreed to it – he couldn’t be surprised, but his eye colour scared him. It was a way darker colour than Dylan’s own eyes.
He checked his hands – no signs of any wounds. Did they heal already? He ran downstairs terrified, noticing Freddie in the living room.
“What’s going on?” Noah queried, distressed.
“You’re okay, you’re safe, don’t panic,” Freddie encouraged, “You need to keep cool or this is going to be more difficult than it needs to be.”
Noah felt anything but calm. He had to get fresh air. Noah ran for the front door, feeling the need to escape the confines of the walls. He couldn’t focus his mind, everything in front of him looking way more distorted than they should be. He had to get home, to safety, and fast.
The atmosphere could be cut with a knife. Dylan felt so embarrassed. His mum had seen Chase’s Tumblr post – she knew everything. What made it even worse was the awkward silence. Everyone else at the table knew already – Jono, Lily, their parents, Ed and Josh. She was the last person to find out, and this was not the way Dylan wanted it to be.
“It can’t be true, it’s ridiculous. There’s no such thing as werewolves,” Caroline nervously laughed. Nobody said a word.
“I think we had better go home,” Ed intervened.
“No, I think we need some answers,” Caroline looked around, “Why am I the only one surprised by this?”
“Not here,” Ed said more firmly.
“It doesn’t seem to be any sort of secret,” Caroline was getting frustrated. Dylan hated it. He wanted the ground to swallow him up. Jono squeezed his hand, sensing his discomfort, “Come on. Give me answers.”
Dylan glanced to Josh. He looked just as flushed as Dylan felt. They couldn’t escape. Dylan gave in; standing up and letting his inner wolf display itself.
“Mom, this is me,” Dylan looked into her eyes, not hiding any of his wolf aspects. Glowing red eyes, fangs, claws, extra hair across his face. All of it was on show.
He knew he looked ugly. This was never going to be welcomed with open arms. However, Dylan was never one to be ashamed of his identity. He knew who he was, and never felt like he should hide it from anyone. Why should this be any different? “I am a werewolf.”
“Me too,” Josh shifted too. The two of them stood side-by-side at the top of the table.
Caroline was stunned into silence. Dylan watched as a tear slid down her cheek. She ran out, too scared to face her sons any longer. It broke his heart.
Beep beep beep. The alarm sounded. Dylan was already awake though. He hadn’t slept much over the weekend. He’d been lying in bed, playing out the events of Saturday night on repeat in his mind. He wished he wasn’t dwelling, but he couldn’t help it.
Things at home couldn’t have been much worse; his mum hadn’t said a word to him or Josh the whole weekend. In fact, she had barely left her bedroom. Ed had tried to talk her down, but she was distraught. Dylan tried talking to her from behind the door, but he got ignored. Never had he felt more distant from his mum. She reacted similarly to her dad’s death, but she never shut him out – quite the opposite in fact.
Dylan rolled out of bed. He was so not ready for school. He ruffled his hair, not really caring about the end result, the mane was messy at the best of times anyway. He flung some clothes on and headed downstairs. The spring in his step had gone on vacation.
Ed was making breakfast, but Dylan wasn’t hungry.
“Are you sure you’re up to school, kid?” Ed questioned.
“Nothing will be achieved here,” Dylan sighed.
“She’ll come round, I’m sure. It’s quite a shock,” Ed assured. Maybe he was right, but it felt like Dylan’s entire relationship with his mum was reset to step one. It felt horrible.
Coming back to school was disorientating for Lily. George had picked her up, thankfully, but she didn’t really feel like interacting with anybody else. All she could see was Taylor, her pretty face becoming a pile of dust at the hands of the Téras. Her potential vanishing in an instant.
Furthermore, she had no idea what sort of reception she would get. It was fair to say her classmates weren’t exactly nice to her or the rest of the pack. She looked at George – he seemed so chilled. Nothing seemed to faze him. She wished she could be a little more like that.
As soon as they arrived, they want to their usual bench. As always, Yasmin was there already.
“You look how I feel,” Yasmin said as soon as she looked up.
“Is it that obvious?” Lily nervously laughed.
“Come on, most people will have forgotten everything by now. Mrs. Johnson’s coming down hard on anyone who says a word anyway,” George reassured. He was so optimistic. Nothing was ever that easy.
Lily didn’t want to talk about it anymore though. It had been on her mind all weekend, now she needed some normality.
“Hey, where’s Freddie?” Lily wondered.
“Looking after Noah. He’s been out stone cold all weekend,” George informed.
“That’s not a good sign, surely?” Lily wondered.
“Dylan recovered way quicker,” Yasmin added, “I’m kinda worried. There’s a chance he might not make it. He becomes a werewolf, or he dies.”
“It’s been three days though. If he was going to die, surely he would have by now?” George reasoned. All of a sudden, Lily heard a bang, and jumped out of her skin. Drew had slammed his textbook down on the table in front of her.
“You’re a bit jumpy today,” Drew remarked, as insensitively as ever.
“Don’t you dare,” Lily scolded, before storming off. She wasn’t in the mood for smug comments like that. It was making her difficult day way worse than necessary.
Driving like crazy, Freddie had to get to school. Noah could easily have been heading that way, or if not, he would be able to recruit some help in finding him.
Freddie remembered the way he felt as soon as he had been bitten. He had an uncontrollable feeling of rage running through every fibre of his body. Noah was surely feeling the same. Although he now knew he would be able to defend himself, putting some of his worries to bed, he was still a loose cannon.
Considering those feelings, he would likely have gone somewhere familiar. Somewhere safe. It felt like a secret mission for Freddie; he had to make sure no teacher saw him. He had phoned in sick to keep an eye on Noah, and to keep Dylan from worrying any further. He had heard about Caroline finding out – Josh had been ranting and venting to him – and to hear that Noah was missing was the last thing either of them needed.
He parked up his car and ran straight for the bench.
“Have you seen Noah?” Freddie asked, flustered. He was still wearing his dressing gown, and could see Drew was trying not to laugh. He and George were the only two there, so at least his embarrassment was limited.
“Isn’t he with you?” George wondered. A stupid question.
“Do you think I would be stood here looking like a twat if he was?” Freddie sighed.
“Come on, we’ve got to find him,” George stood up, with Drew reluctantly following. Freddie knew exactly where to check next: Noah’s house.
Although he was more than content to walk to school, Dylan was waiting for Jono to arrive and give both he and Josh a lift. He had insisted on taking them in, quite why Dylan didn’t know as Jono was well aware of how much he enjoyed his walking. Either way, it was a nice sentiment and one he very much appreciated.
He and Josh sat side-by-side on the doorstep. Nether had said a word, but they knew how each other felt. Dylan felt sorry for Josh – just as he had found a happy home it all came crashing down. He couldn’t catch a break.
“I’m sorry,” Dylan uttered. He felt a sense of responsibility over Josh.
“It’s not your fault, shut up,” Josh replied instantly. He paused for a few seconds, “It’s more my fault than yours.”
“Give over,” Dylan instantly replied.
“It is though. I bit you, you wouldn’t have this problem without me,” Josh sighed. Dylan felt awful. In a way, he wasn’t wrong, but he never for even a second blamed Josh for what happened.
“You could never have known this would happen,” Dylan consoled, “And I have no regrets.”
“But she’s your mom,” Josh added. He wasn’t seeing Dylan’s point of view very easily.
“Now she’s yours too,” Dylan reminded, “You’re just as much a part of the family as me.”
“If they still adopt me, that is,” Josh groaned. Dylan knew his mum. She worked so hard to ensure she could keep every promise she made. There was no way she would go back on her word.
“You’re my brother. That will never change,” Dylan put his arm around him for a hug. Although he and Josh were only a matter of months apart in age, Dylan took his role as big brother seriously.
Jono’s car pulled up on the curb outside the house just as they broke up the hug. Dylan headed round to the passenger seat, while Josh hopped in the back.
“Hope you’ve got your walking shoes on!” Jono grinned devilishly.
“Huh? You’ve picked us up dude, we don’t need to walk,” Dylan replied, trying to decode what Jono said.
“You guys need a break. Call it a favour,” Jono smiled. Dylan really was not in the mood for school, so he wasn’t going to complain at a little detour.
Frustrated, Lily ran and sat inside the newsroom. She wanted to be on her own. She couldn’t cope with school after all. It was too much. She pulled the blinds down and made sure nobody would spot her in there. It was too soon for her to go back after all.
Lily sat herself down on the floor against the far wall, facing the door. Her eyes shot around the remarkably tidy newsroom, undoubtedly kept tidy by Dylan rather than her messy brother.
Then she spotted, in front of the door. Taylor. Her silky blonde wisps of hair looked as flawless as always, resting elegantly on her shoulders. How was she there? She looked ghostly, white and pale. Lily knew it was her mind playing tricks on her. It had to be. She looked so real, though.
“It’s all your fault,” Taylor said to Lily, her voice echoing.
“No, I couldn’t have saved you,” Lily yelled back, feeling sick.
“It’s all your fault, Lily Chadwick,” Taylor repeated. Lily closed her eyes, curling up into a ball on the floor.
“No, no,” Lily kept saying to herself. She couldn’t let herself take the blame, but why did she feel so guilty?
“Lily?” she heard a voice ask. It sounded like Yasmin. Another figure of her imagination? She felt a soft hand being placed on her shoulder. Lily glanced up. Yasmin was right by her side. Taylor was gone.
“Where did she go?” Lily worriedly questioned, looking all around her.
“Where did who go?” Yasmin gently asked.
“Taylor. She was here, I promise,” Lily knew she sounded crazy, but she had to tell Yasmin the truth.
“I believe you,” Yasmin reassured, “What did she say?”
“She said it was my fault,” Lily admitted, “If that’s what she’s thinks…”
“No,” Yasmin interjected immediately, “It wasn’t your fault, and don’t think for a second that it was.”
“I should have stopped it,” Lily cried. She felt incredibly overwhelmed by everything in her head.
“How? You couldn’t have broken a grip that strong,” Yasmin reminded, “You need to forgive yourself. That might take time, and school’s probably not the best place, but I’m here for you. We all are.”
Lily nodded. Perhaps it was too early for school. She wasn’t quite as strong as she thought, and that was okay.
Bursting through Noah’s front door, Freddie was nervous. There were no cars outside, so at least his dad wasn’t home, but worryingly, it seemed to be pretty quiet all round. Where had Noah gone? If he wasn’t here, Freddie was out of ideas. He didn’t know Noah well enough to guess where else he could be.
“I’ll go upstairs,” Drew decided. Freddie used his nose to guide him. Noah’s scent was definitely there, but it was weak. He hadn’t been at home in a few days.
“Can you get a scent?” Freddie called up to Drew.
“No,” Drew replied, strangely delayed. It was unlike Drew not to reply straight away, he was usually on the ball more than anyone.
“He’s not here, we’ve got to get back out there,” George hurried.
“But where? We could search the whole of Crystalshaw and still never get to him,” Freddie reminded.
“Maybe he’s okay. He might have needed a breather,” George pondered.
“You didn’t see him. He looked out of it, just like me when I got bitten,” Freddie recalled.
“I guess I didn’t notice,” George’s body language regressed, as if he felt guilty.
“I didn’t exactly make it obvious,” Freddie admitted.
“I know, but mom would have noticed in an instant,” George sighed.
“You’re not mom, and that’s okay,” Freddie replied, “You’re only a year older than me, dude. Everything you do for me is super cool.”
“Things are kinda tight, I won’t lie,” George admitted.
“I better start job-hunting, then,” Freddie smiled. He had been meaning to suggest this before. Now was the perfect chance.
“You’re the best, bro,” George pulled him in for a hug.
“Back at ya,” Freddie smiled, “Don’t expect any more compliments this year, though.” George chuckled.
“At least someone’s having a nice time,” Drew muttered as he bounded back downstairs, “We’ve got to go. Now.” Freddie knew better than to argue with Drew.
Shoving the driver door shut, Jono was pretty satisfied at how well he had parked. The space in the forest car park was pretty narrow, but he navigated brilliantly with the help of his glamorous assistant Dylan. The two of them made for the best team going. Josh sort of ruined the dynamic, commenting on Jono’s parking ability, but Jono was used to his style.
As for their day out, Jono didn’t have much planned; he’d packed some snacks and drinks but otherwise, he had only planned to chill and take a quiet, calming stroll in the forest. Dylan and Josh needed a distraction from everything going on, so school could wait. As much as Jono was often a model student, even he knew it wasn’t always the best place for a positive state of mind.
He had charged his phone to one-hundred percent, ensuring it could play songs from Spotify all day long without running out. Feeling suitably planned, Jono led the way into the forest, venturing along one of the pedestrianised routes.
“Do you have any idea where you’re going?” Josh laughed.
“Not really,” Jono admitted, “But the keyword of the day is spontaneity.” He styled it out well. Dylan quietly laughed at his geeky big word moment. Jono desperately wanted to plant a huge kiss on his lips, but had to make sure that Josh wasn’t feeling left out. Somehow, he didn’t think Josh would be into the kissing part anyway.
“So, we’re just gonna be walking…and walking…and walking,” Josh exaggerated, trying to sound dramatic. He wasn’t really grasping the concept of the day.
“No, we’re going to an arcade. You know, the magic one in the middle of the forest,” Dylan teased.
“Hey,” Josh chuckled, “I was being serious. What are we actually doing?”
“I figured you guys needed a diversion,” Jono explained.
“You weren’t wrong to be fair,” Dylan added, “I mean, it’s not exactly been my favourite weekend ever.”
“It’s not exactly been my favourite life ever,” Josh added, “That doesn’t quite make sense, but you get my point.”
“It’s not all bad. I mean, look at us now,” Dylan reminded, “I’d have laughed at the idea of even being friendly with you not long ago.”
“Probably not long until I’m shafted across LA again,” Josh sighed.
“That won’t happen,” Dylan assured, “I won’t let it, and Ed won’t either.” Jono felt awful for them. His own parents seemed to take the news of their werewolf secret better than Caroline had. Maybe it’s different when it’s your own kid.
“Do you remember when you first told me?” Jono tried to shift the topic away slightly.
“I think I’m still drying off from that rain,” Dylan laughed, “How could I forget? One of the scariest moments of my life.”
“When I kissed you that night, I pledged a commitment to you. I didn’t care that you were a werewolf. I just cared that you were honest,” Jono replied, “Your mom will realise that. Even if I have to tell her myself, but it won’t come to that.”
“I hope you’re right,” Dylan sighed, “I never thought this would feel worse than coming out.”
Dylan had a point. Either way, neither fact changed who Dylan was, but they had shaped him into becoming the fine lad he was now. The sooner Caroline realised that, the better.
Travelling in the passenger seat of Freddie’s car, Drew was feeling uncomfortable. Freddie was capable of tracking scents, but he was well aware that Freddie knew Drew had the better sense of smell.
The problem was that it was past tense. Drew could barely smell what was directly in front of him. He didn’t want the others to know about his loss of werewolf powers; it would be a weakness and they would surely see him as disposable. He was the most distant in the pack at the best of times.
Some of it was his own doing though. Large social groups weren’t really his thing. Even his basketball friends didn’t really gel with him on a deeper level.
“Let me know if I’m veering off track,” Freddie requested. Drew opted not to reply. He wasn’t into making promises he couldn’t keep. He couldn’t get their hopes up. On the bright side, obviously Lily hadn’t told George. At least she was trustworthy.
“You think he’s in the forest?” George did not sound optimistic, “We’ll never find him there, it’s like a maze.”
Drew never usually doubted his abilities, but he was actually concerned for Noah. A brand-new werewolf running about in public. It was a recipe for disaster. He had to trust in Freddie.
The car pulled up at the side of the road by a clearing in the forest.
“This way,” Freddie directed, seeming quite comfortable in his leadership role.
“Maybe we should split up?” George suggested.
“No, we’ll get lost. Better together,” Drew quickly replied. He couldn’t be expected to look after himself against a werewolf. Not until he had worked out a strategy as a human.
Everything felt so oddly quiet, too. No far-away sounds. It was like his ears, and his nose, had been chopped off. Every scent was unbelievably diluted. This was going to take some getting used to.
“I think I’ve got him,” Freddie added, “Straight ahead.”
Drew looked on. The trees were leaning over, blocking the sunlight from creeping through between the trees ahead. The forest should feel safe for Drew. His reaction time would usually keep him safe. However, that had slowed significantly.
As he approached the darker area of the woods, he felt a tingle running through his spine. He felt unsafe. Unprotected. Wham! Drew smacked down to the floor. Noah had landed on top of him, his sharp fangs open wide.
Parking at a picnic bench in a clearing of the forest, Josh was pleased to be resting his legs. He wasn’t expecting to do any walking, so wasn’t prepared for Jono’s so-called “spontaneity,”. His converse were filthy, and very uncomfortable on his feet. His jeans were getting ruined, too. Typical.
Not that these were especially pressing concerns of his. His whole life was up in the air again. If Caroline didn’t go through with the adoption, he might not even stay in Crystalshaw. It wouldn’t be the first time he had been relocated. The system didn’t care. Everything he had achieved in Crystalshaw would be for nothing. All his friendships, and the home he had found, would be worthless.
Dylan had helped him become a better person. He wasn’t sure who he was without Dylan. It scared him to think of what bad werewolf influences were in other places.
Josh glanced at Jono, sat next to him and opposite Dylan. He was his best friend. Jono had been kinder to him than he deserved. After all he’d put up with, he wouldn’t have blamed Jono if he never spoke to him again, especially after biting Freddie. Everything he did was to try and make it up to both Freddie and Jono, and to show his gratitude in some way.
“You’re unusually quiet,” Dylan commented. Josh had zoned out. He and Jono had been talking between themselves but Josh didn’t catch a word of it.
“Sorry. Alone with my thoughts,” Josh smiled.
“Everything okay?” Dylan queried. He seemed to have a sixth sense for detecting sour moods.
“Depends how you define okay,” Josh opened up, “I keep worrying about what’s going to happen to me.”
“You’re not going anywhere,” Dylan reiterated, “Please try not to worry about it.”
“Besides, if Caroline doesn’t foster you, I darn sure will,” Jono lightened the tone. He always knew what to say to brighten Josh’s mood.
“I don’t think I’d forgive her if she went back on her word,” Dylan confessed. Josh had seen just how close he and Caroline were. It meant a lot to hear that, but he wouldn’t dream of coming between them.
“We need to make the first move,” Josh suggested, not wanting it to get to that point.
“I mean, she has had quite a while to get her head around it now,” Jono concurred.
“I guess we could try,” Dylan shrugged.
Josh knew it was the right decision. He couldn’t risk Dylan and Caroline’s relationship being ruined. He owed that to them at the very least after all they had done for him. Suddenly, Josh picked up on a lot of noise coming from the distance.
“Can you hear that?” he queried to Dylan.
“It’s Drew, I’ve got his scent,” Dylan replied, “Come on.”
Arriving back at Lily’s house, Yasmin didn’t want to leave her alone just yet. Taylor’s death was clearly playing on her mind, and she needed a friend to help her through. The house was otherwise empty; both her parents were at work and would be for hours, so they had free roam of the living room.
“Does George know about any of this?” Yasmin questioned.
“Can’t we talk about something different?” Lily sighed.
“I mean, if you want to bury your head in the sand, that’s your call,” Yasmin responded, “But from my experience, that’s never solved anything.”
Lily didn’t reply. She knew Yasmin was right.
“He doesn’t know. We both saw it but we’ve not said a word to each other,” Lily admitted.
“Maybe talking to him will help? You’ve been through it together. You can come out the other side together too,” Yasmin encouraged.
“He seems okay though. He’s always okay. It’s just me who’s an emotional wreck,” Lily opened up.
“Or he’s better at putting on a front. Just cause he’s a boy, doesn’t mean he isn’t feeling the same,” Yasmin reminded.
“What about you and Freddie?” Lily diverted the chat. Yasmin was caught off guard, “Don’t think I didn’t notice that you’ve not told your mom who he is.”
Damn. Nothing got past Lily.
“I’ve got a reason for it,” Yasmin tried to justify, “I mean, I still barely know my mom. I hadn’t seen her since I was a kid. What if she’s like my dad? He hid it damn well. I want to protect Freddie.”
“Are you sure that’s all? Really sure?” Lily probed.
“Yeah, why wouldn’t it be?” Yasmin was taken aback.
“You were apart for months. Don’t think I haven’t noticed a difference between you two. I’d be surprised if there wasn’t one,” Lily observed.
Yasmin considered. She was right – things were different. Being honest with herself, Yasmin knew she’d been avoiding thinking about her situation with Freddie for a few days now.
“Do you still like him?” Lily continued.
“Yeah, I’ll always like him,” Yasmin admitted.
“But it’s not enough, right?” Lily realised.
“He deserves the world,” Yasmin sighed. She still adored Freddie, but the magic wasn’t there anymore. She had a lot of thinking to do.
Fumbling around, Drew was doing his best to fight a vicious Noah off. His hands were keeping Noah and his dangerously sharp wolf fags away, but his claws kept swinging towards Drew’s face. He tried his best to dodge them, but it was difficult.
Swish! Another attempt. This time, Drew felt a burning sensation skid across his cheek. Noah had succeeded. Now Drew and his lack of healing powers were exposed.
Freddie lunged for Noah, but got hit back by his ferocious opponent. Drew was on his own. Before he could make his move to fight back, a rapturous roar filled Drew’s ears. Noah looked up and to his right – Dylan was there. Noah was responding to the call of his alpha. He shifted back, his innocent-looking human face staring down at Drew. Josh rushed over and gave him a hand up.
“Why aren’t you healing?” Jono questioned, noticing the blood seeping out of the claw marks on Drew’s cheek. He didn’t know how to reply. The secret was out. There was no place to hide.
2: Adjust Written by MarthaJonesFan
The meeting was finally here. Josh had never been so excited for a meeting with his social worker. In fact, he usually dreaded them. However, things were finally looking up. After four previous failed foster placements, Josh had found a new one all on his own, and he was ready to make it official.
Dylan had been nagging his mum Caroline to cave in and foster him. Josh didn’t want to be a burden, but when he met Caroline and her partner Ed, he instantly felt more welcomed than he ever did anywhere else. He was determined to make this foster situation work, so that he could finally call somewhere home. Never had Josh wanted anything more.
“Here are the papers,” Josh’s social worker handed them across the table to Caroline and Ed. Josh couldn’t believe this was going to be his family. He sat next to Dylan further down the table, both of them watching on excitedly.
“All done,” Ed handed them back, having signed everything necessary within a few seconds.
“Alright. I just need to get this filed and approved, which won’t be an issue, your licenses are perfectly in check, then I can drop Joshua to your place later,” the social worker explained.
“Can’t he come with us now? Save you the trip,” Caroline wondered.
“Better to be safe than sorry. I don’t want to jinx anything,” she reasonably answered. They had done all they could. Now Josh was excited to go home.
Being jolted awake, Dylan wasn’t pleased that his sleep had come to such a rough end. He slowly crept open his eyes, blinded by the light blaring through the windows. The curtains had been pulled back, making it way lighter than usual at that time in the morning.
He looked to Jono, who was stirring next to him in much the same way, Somehow, an early morning always felt better when Dylan got to see Jono first thing. Summer was fast approaching, and he knew they would be spending every second of it together. He wanted to think of some activities for them both to do, though normally he would ask Caroline for inspiration.
“It’s time, guys,” he heard Josh’s eager voice.
“Now?” Dylan sighed, still trying and failing to keep his eyes open for more than a few seconds.
“She’s downstairs, come on,” Josh tugged at Dylan’s arm. Reluctantly, Dylan grabbed a t-shirt off the floor, and threw another one to Jono. He had to quickly rehearse what he was going to say in his head, but all he had was a blur. He was too sleepy.
“Are you sure you want me there?” Jono queried.
“I always want you by my side,” Dylan replied without even thinking. He needed Jono more than ever. He was family now, anyway, so it concerned him too.
Now reasonably decent, Dylan followed Josh down to the kitchen. The sound of the kettle was filling his ears. Usually a sound he loved in the morning; there was nothing better than a cup of mum’s tea first thing.
“Morning,” Josh kept cheery as he took a seat at the dining table.
Dylan watched as Caroline made five cups of tea – one for each of them, plus Ed as well. She didn’t reply, though. In fact, she avoided eye contact entirely.
“Mom, we need to talk. It’s been long enough,” Dylan decided. Caroline carried the mugs over on a tray and sat at the dining table.
“I’m trying so hard,” Caroline admitted, “I’m learning that my kids are totally different to what I thought. That’s not easy.”
“I’m still me, mom. I always will be,” Dylan reminded. He felt his eyes filling with tears, his vision clouding.
“I know, sweetie, but there’s more to you now. Why didn’t you tell me?” Caroline was just as upset as Dylan.
“I wanted to,” Dylan confessed, “I was scared.”
“Listen here. I don’t care if you’re a werewolf, or gay, or even an alien from the planet Zog. You’re my boy, and I love you. I just need you to be safe. Both of you,” Caroline confessed. She turned to face Josh, “Ed said you were worried about the adoption. Don’t think for a second we’re ever letting you go again.”
Dylan felt exceptionally relieved. Josh was speechless – something that occurred very rarely. Dylan felt Jono’s hand on his leg. Somehow, everything had turned out okay.
Dylan hugged Caroline, thrilled things were okay between them. He still felt like the kid who once clung onto his mum for days when they lost his dad. Some things never change.
Glancing over and watching Noah sleep, Lily was in awe of how peaceful he seemed. The werewolf world was still new to him. He barely had any idea about what was still to come. Even Lily had seen her whole life flip on its head, and she wasn’t a werewolf.
It wasn’t all bad; Dylan was the best thing that had happened to Jono. He had always hated living in that big house. He spent his nights in the smaller, cosier treehouse on his own. Now he had someone who loved him irrespective of his background. Dylan understood Jono in a way even Lily couldn’t, despite how close they were.
She looked to her right. George was lying peacefully and still in her lap. She wasn’t sure if he was awake or not, but she was okay watching Noah on her own. They were in George’s bedroom, on the small couch while Noah took the bd. She didn’t mind the quiet time. It was just what the doctor ordered after everything that had gone on.
However, the sun was coming up. George would be going to school soon. Lily wasn’t ready for school still – she had offered to look after Noah for the day instead. He was still erratic and unsafe for the uninitiated to be around.
Drew had blown his cover, too. So much for that big secret. At least Dylan knew, now. They always had an immense respect for each other. Dylan never stopped until everyone in his pack was safe, and that’s what stopped Lily from losing her mind.
“You’re quiet,” she heard George mutter.
“I thought you were asleep,” Lily replied, keeping her voice low to avoid waking Noah.
“I can’t settle. What if he escapes again?” George wondered.
“Are you sure that’s all that’s bothering you?” Lily probed, acting on Yasmin’s advice. George was silent, as if he had been caught out.
“I guess it’s not just me who sees Taylor every time I close my eyes,” George opened up.
“I see her even with my eyes open,” Lily confessed.
“We should have saved her. We saved Matty, why not her?” George ranted at himself.
“Listen, all we can do is move forward and make sure there are no more Taylors,” Lily encouraged him, “We can’t save everyone, but maybe we need to try.”
“I don’t want Dylan to bite me,” George quickly refused.
“No, dumbass, we don’t need to be werewolves to save people’s asses,” Lily explained, “We need to learn self-defence.”
“Are you for real? What idiot’s gonna take us on?”
“Ed’s a cop, and he’s in-the-know. And definitely not an idiot. Come on, unless you’ve got any better ideas?” Lily smirked. She knew she was winning the battle. Yasmin had helped her to realise that the only way to overcome her fears was to tackle them head on.
Dylan never thought he would willingly go into school early. However, the incentive of Jono’s basketball practice was too good to refuse. Though there was a whole team of good-looking guys to stare at, he was only interested in Jono. His basketball shirt. His shorts. His curls bouncing as he jogged across the court.
Dylan was also keeping a close eye on Drew though. The scratches were still present on his cheek from Noah’s claws. It was unusual to see him with any injuries. His body healed super-fast usually. Dylan hadn’t had a chance to speak to him about it yet, he had scarpered from the forest too quickly the night before. Dylan now blocked Drew’s way back into the changing room though; there was no way to avoid it this time.
“I thought I’d find you here,” Freddie came and sat next to Dylan on the stand.
“I’m not that desperate for eye candy,” Dylan defended himself, smiling.
“I thought you’d be here for Drew, but hey, I’m not judging,” Freddie laughed.
“Did you wanna ask something, or just fire cheap shots?” Dylan enquired, keeping the banter going.
“It’s about Noah. When I was bitten, was I that erratic?” Freddie wondered.
“We all were, to an extent,” Dylan recalled, “He seems worse though, right?”
“You took the words right out of my mouth,” Freddie replied. Noah wasn’t just adapting, he was rabid in the forest. Way more feral than Freddie was, or even Dylan himself. Something wasn’t right, and they had a full moon approaching too. That could prove dangerous for Noah.
“We need to keep a close eye on him,” Dylan suggested, “But I don’t know why he’d be different?”
“Maybe it’s like his body’s rejecting it, like in transplants,” Freddie suggested. It wasn’t a bad thought, “Unless…” Freddie tailed off.
“Unless what?” Dylan needed to know.
“Unless it’s because he got bitten by two alphas, not just one,” Freddie continued.
Dylan hadn’t even considered that, but Freddie had a very good point. Noah was bitten by both Dylan and Scott at the same time. Entirely different to the usual one alpha bite.
“Maybe we need to do a little digging,” Dylan considered. He noticed the basketball game wrapping up, as the team filtered into the changing room. Drew and Jono approached together. This was Dylan’s moment.
Feeling antsy, Josh wasn’t sure he’d be able to concentrate during biology. He could finally focus fully on the adoption, and boy, was he excited. No more being removed from foster homes at short notice. No more living with people who only cared to foster for the money they received for it. Finally, Josh had a place he could settle. No need to worry about being taken away again before his eighteenth birthday next year. Josh had never felt more at ease.
“Josh?” he heard Yasmin call from next to him.
“Sorry. I was miles away,” Josh replied, “What’s up?”
“You’ve not written anything yet,” Yasmin notified. The perks of sitting next to every teacher’s favourite student.
“Oh,” Josh realised, “Sorry.”
“Anything you wanna talk about?” Yasmin offered.
“Caroline and Ed are adopting me,” Josh delightedly revealed, unable to hide the smile on his face. He could hardly sit still, his mind tucked up on cloud nine.
“For real?” Yasmin beamed, “Congratulations. I think this calls for a celebration. Does Dylan know?”
“Yeah, this wouldn’t have happened without him,” Josh noted.
“I guess Caroline’s okay with the werewolf thing, then?” Yasmin considered. She must have heard about that from Dylan.
“She’s taking it all in. I’m glad she’s not changed her mind about me, though,” Josh admitted.
“You’ll have to call her mom now,” Yasmin added.
“Really? Okay,” Josh hadn’t considered that. The words “mom,” and “dad,” carried so much weight. He had never had the privilege of using them to anyone in his life. It felt pretty momentous.
He looked to Yasmin. Her insight and intelligence always had him in awe. She was pretty amazing. Freddie was a lucky guy.
Making some lunch for herself, Lily was finding her way around George’s kitchen. It was nowhere near as organised as she would have liked, but despite her temptations, she realised George probably wouldn’t appreciate his kitchen being rearranged. Nevertheless, she was starting to locate all of the utensils she needed.
“Got anything to drink?” Lily jumped, startled, as she heard Noah’s voice from the doorway.
“Err, water,” Lily replied, checking the fridge, “Milk. No actually, that’s out of date. Yuck.”
“I’ll stick to the tap water,” Noah laughed.
“How are you feeling?” Lily questioned.
“Like I’ve been swallowed by a whale and vomited back up,” Noah replied, “How long have I been out?”
“All night,” Lily replied, “Do you remember last night?”
“Only when I saw Dylan,” Noah recalled, “He was kinda sketchy on the details.”
“Probably for the best,” Lily replied, handing him his glass of water.
He guzzled it down in an instant. Smash! The grass crashed to the floor, smashing on the hard-tiled floor. Lily jumped back, her reflexes protecting herself. What was going on?
“Can you hear that?” Noah whispered. Lily listened. She couldn’t hear a thing.
“No, what is it?” she asked, confused.
“Something’s outside. We need to hide,” Noah suggested.
“What’s outside?” Lily was worried, but she didn’t know why. Noah was being very vague, and she wasn’t sure if there was an actual threat or if his mind was playing tricks on him.
“I don’t know. It’s different,” Noah replied even more confusingly. He was evidently still getting used to his increased sense of smell. Lily had always wondered what that was like – smelling details you had never experienced before.
“Let me go and check,” Lily decided.
“No,” Noah tried to resist, “I don’t know what it is, but it’s not safe. I just know.” He didn’t know what it was, but Lily knew werewolves could sense emotions with their noses too. Dylan would hopefully be schooling him on all of these new skills.
“Don’t worry, I’m not going outside,” Lily reassured. She needed to take a look for herself, “Stay down. I’ll be okay.” Lily wasn’t sure she believed herself, but as long as Noah was convinced, all was good.
She put her eye up to the peephole in the door. Nothing was in sight. She examined all she could of the road through the tiny window.
“It’s all clear,” Lily notified.
However, she jumped back onto the floor instantly after. A wolf-like creature had pounced up at the door. Like it knew she was there. Noah came and helped Lily up, assisting her towards the kitchen.
“We gotta call Dylan,” Lily decided. She had no idea what that was, but it definitely worried her.
Darn. Drew had been trying to avoid Dylan, and had so far succeeded. He knew what Dylan was going to talk to him about, and quite frankly, he couldn’t be bothered. He wanted to skip the details and head straight for a solution. He would be on his own way to solving the problem by now if it wasn’t going to cause more hassle when Dylan eventually found out he’d been side-lined.
For the first time in a long time, he felt a pain in his side. He had a stitch. Usually, Drew’s body recovered too quickly for stitches to be possible. His body was different in ways he hadn’t even considered before.
“We need to talk,” Dylan said, joining Drew and Jono on the way into the changing rooms.
“What about? The weather? It’s pretty hot, right?” Drew facetiously replied.
“You should have told me,” Dylan continued.
“I’m not an invalid,” Drew hit back, “I don’t need to be treated like a baby. I’m not a werewolf anymore. The Téras took that from me. What more do you want?”
Dylan looked on silently, nothing more to say in response.
“Awkward,” Freddie remarked, he and Jono exchanging glances behind Dylan.
“I didn’t mean to…” Dylan tried to apologise, tripping over his words.
“I know,” Drew raised as much of a smile as he ever did. Although he didn’t need interference, he knew Dylan only ever did his best for him.
“Has this ever happened to anyone else?” Jono’s journalistic mind questioned. A good question to start figuring out a solution.
“Not to my knowledge,” Drew replied, “But I think I know someone who will.”
Dylan’s phone buzzed. He moved away to take the call for a few seconds, before returning to the group.
“It’s Lily. She says it’s urgent,” Dylan relayed, “You guys go find out more, I’ll check she’s okay.”
“I’m coming too,” Jono decided, leaving Drew with only Freddie for assistance. He prayed this would be fruitful, as it was his only real idea for a way to reclaim his status.
Halfway through. Though she had studied exceptionally hard for the forthcoming biology exam, Yasmin was finding the practice essay in class rather boring. For whatever reason, she couldn’t quite focus on the question. She had made it to the halfway point of the word count, but any further ideas were like pulling teeth. For whatever reason, all she could focus on was Dylan’s house. His bedroom as clear as day in her mind. It was like she had an irresistible urge to get there.
Without even looking at Mrs. Johnson, Yasmin stood and walked briskly out of the room.
“Yasmin, wait,” she heard Josh call after her.
“Come with me,” she commanded.
Yasmin recognised this feeling, and new it was best to let it take control. The nix inside had picked something up. Something was definitely wrong, and it was trying to warn her.
“Hey, what’s up?” she heard Freddie’s voice. She saw him coming into focus with Drew down the corridor, but she couldn’t stop.
“Can’t talk,” Yasmin rushed away. Josh kept following though, just as she asked. She had to follow wherever her mind was supposed to take her.
Rushing towards her own car, Yasmin managed to retain her logical thinking mind without losing sight of her vision.
“Can you drive?” she asked Josh.
“No, I mean, I can barely afford a bar of chocolate, let alone lessons,” Josh replied, “Why can’t you drive?”
“You’ll end up in hospital if I drive with a premonition, I’ve got no idea what I’m doing,” Yasmin warned.
“Alright, I’m good. Where are we going?” Josh queried.
“Your place,” Yasmin replied. Josh looked terrified, but Yasmin couldn’t stop. She began walking out of the school grounds. Her mind was more focused on Dylan’s room than ever. Something had happened, or was going to happen, and needed to figure out what.
Freddie was pretty baffled by Yasmin’s behaviour in the corridor. He had a job to do with Drew, and they couldn’t delay speaking to Mrs. Johnson, but it did get to him and he couldn’t deny it. It wasn’t the first time she had acted unusually towards him since she got back to Crystalshaw, either. Everything involving her mum felt shifty, as if she were ashamed to show him off. Freddie knew he would be showing her off to his mum if he could.
Entering the classroom, Freddie’s heart dropped. He had forgotten they were supposed to be in that biology lesson. It was too late to back out now.
“Nice of you to join us,” Mrs. Johnson barked, her voice rupturing through the silence in the lab.
“Can we have a word, please?” Freddie queried.
“You better have a darn good excuse,” Mrs. Johnson sighed, following them outside. When she shut the door, she didn’t drop the mood. In fact, it got worse, “I’ve taken a lot from you guys. I’ve been exceptionally lenient and understanding, but your exam is next week. You could at least try to care for a few days.”
“I’m not a werewolf anymore,” Drew simply stated. Mrs. Johnson was stunned into silence.
“We came to ask if you had heard of this happening before, or specifically, a way to reverse it,” Freddie added.
“Erm,” Mrs. Johnson tried to gather a sentence together, “I’m afraid I haven’t. I’m sorry. I wish I could be more help.”
Freddie noticed Drew’s face drop. As if he’d lost his last hope. It was unlike him to give up.
“Alright,” Freddie replied on Drew’s behalf, “Thanks anyway.” As he turned to walk away, Mrs. Johnson interrupted.
“Hold on,” she called out, “I can’t promise anything, but I may have a contact who can help you.”
Drew looked up, the glimmer of hope returning to his eye.
“Where can we find them?” Drew instantly questioned.
“Let me write down the address. He might have something to help,” Mrs. Johnson replied. Freddie felt relieved – Drew still had a chance to become himself again.
Hiding behind the dining table, Lily was feeling pretty terrified. Whatever the wolf was – it certainly looked like a wolf in the brief glimpse she got – it was something she hadn’t seen before. It was way bigger for a start. She didn’t manage to see its eyes, but Lily knew it was a fair bet that it was more than just a normal wolf.
The door opened. Lily ducked out of sight, Noah doing the same next to her.
“Lily?” she heard a familiar voice frantically call out. It was Jono. What a relief. Lily leapt up and went to meet him.
“I’m so glad you’re here,” Lily hugged Jono, gripping him tightly, and then did the same to Dylan. She was completely relieved that she wasn’t fending for herself anymore.
“What did you see?” Dylan questioned.
“It was huge, and it knew we were here, Dylan,” Lily explained, “It wasn’t random.”
“What was it?” Jono queried.
“A wolf,” Noah responded.
“One like I’d never seen,” Lily continued, “And it can’t have just gone. It was right outside.”
“Unless it’s waiting,” Jono thought.
“For what? What’s the point?” Lily was confused. Why had it not just attacked already if it were going to?
“Waiting for me,” Dylan realised. Lily’s stomach turned. This was a trap all along, and they had walked right into it.
Using his key to unlock the front door of his house, Josh was feeling concerned. Yasmin’s premonitions only ever meant something bad. The fact she was drawn to Dylan’s room gave Josh more than a little cause for concern. Perhaps it was obvious that he was the target – he was the alpha after all – but Josh couldn’t deny that he was scared.
“Hello?” he heard Caroline call out. Drat. He forgot she had just finished work.
“Hi, it’s me,” Josh called out while Yasmin ran upstairs, “I’m just picking up a book for math.”
“Okay sweetie, be quick,” Caroline continued, not moving from her comfy armchair in the living room. Phew. Although Caroline was in the loop now, Josh didn’t need to alarm her at this point. It would only have caused panic.
Josh went to join Yasmin upstairs. She was looking around Dylan’s room aimlessly. Nothing seemed out of place. Certainly, nothing had changed since that morning. The curtains were still lazily drawn from when Josh himself opened them earlier. Unusually for Dylan, the bed hadn’t been made, owing to the rushed manner in which Josh yanked him out of it.
“What am I missing?” Yasmin was being hard on herself.
“Don’t force it,” Josh reminded, “These things seem to come on their own, right? Just let it come to you.”
Yasmin closed her eyes, blocking out distractions. A few moments passed, nothing of note happening. Josh wasn’t sure whether to wait a bit longer, or to interrupt. However, Yasmin snapped out of it of her own accord.
“Nothing,” she disappointedly confirmed.
“We tried. We’ve just got to be wary,” Josh replied. Yasmin nodded. It was all they could do now. Ignoring the warning would be idiotic; they had to be prepared.
Typical. Dylan shouldn’t have been surprised that this creature was after him, but he should have seen this trap coming a mile off. It only scared Lily because it knew she would call Dylan for help. Now he was probably trapped inside George and Freddie’s house. It was no good. He had to fight back.
The issue was his lack of back-up. Noah was the only other werewolf around, and he was way too untrained to fight. Meanwhile, Jono and Lily were both human. He wouldn’t risk putting them in the firing line.
“I need to go out there,” Dylan decided.
“You’ll be ripped apart,” Lily immediately contested. Dylan primed his claws.
“It can try,” he smirked, before heading out of the front door. It was broad daylight, but nobody else was around. Pure silence. Eerily silent, in fact.
“Come on then,” Dylan yelled, tempting the creature out. Silence resumed after. Dylan sighed. Maybe it had gone?
Dylan collapsed to the ground. He heard a snarling growl as the weight of something heavy landed on top of him. It clambered off, everything happening so fast that Dylan couldn’t take in any details. He felt winded, but his body was healing quickly.
He stood up just as a horrific-looking wolf creature lunged towards him. Dylan shifted fully, holding nothing back. The creature pounded into him but Dylan fought back, shoving its weight backwards.
The wolf’s eyes flared a deep red, much darker than Dylan’s own eyes. He had no idea what it was, but it seemed to want to hurt him. Why? What had he done?
Its claws swiped at Dylan, making a cut in his neck. It hurt, but Dylan didn’t let it distract him. Ready to fight back, Dylan howled, but it had already scarpered. Was that all?
Dylan paid attention to his nose – no trace of its scent any more. It gave up after a single scratch.
Jono was exceptionally relieved when Dylan came back inside with no more than a scratch. All was good, and the threat had gone, for now anyway. Jono always admired his bravery in sticking up for the pack. He wished he was able to return the favour. Jono wanted to be able to protect Dylan in the same way that Dylan did for him, but he knew he never could without that level of strength.
Nevertheless, Jono enjoyed the rest of the night with Dylan, at his place once again. This time, however, they were both in a much happier mood now Caroline and Dylan had spoken and made up.
Now Jono was stirring, waking up to the ferocious sound of the alarm. Jono smiled. He loved that he got to see Dylan’s beautiful face first thing every morning for the rest of his life. Nothing could make him love Dylan any less.
“Morning,” Jono casually spoke, not moving an inch. Dylan jolted up, as if he’d been frightened by something. He met eyes with Jono and shot out of bed in an instant. Jono was baffled, “What’s up Dyl? Bad dream?”
“Who the hell are you?” Dylan asked, sounding terrified. Jono’s heart shattered into a million pieces. What the heck was he playing at?
3: Memories Written by MarthaJonesFan
Another year beginning. Jono was prepared for his sophomore year of high school, but that didn’t mean he was looking forward to it. School was a lot of unnecessary effort. He knew he wanted to be a journalist, why did he need to learn about plant cells in biology? It felt silly. He was almost seventeen, he should have been able to make decisions for himself.
Nevertheless, he found himself in biology first thing on the first day of term. Much to his relief, Josh was sat to his left and Freddie to his right. At least his best friends would help him through. Mrs. Harding opened the door, just before Mrs. Johnson could start class.
“Class, this is Dylan Drummond. He’s starting at Crystalshaw High today. Please make him feel welcome,” she introduced.
Jono watched Dylan walk into the classroom He looked anxious, his body language turning inwards, as if he lacked self-confidence. However, Jono found him pretty cute. He probably wasn’t interested in guys – that was always the luck that Jono had – but there was no harm in a little extra eye candy. His luscious, dark locks, looking messy yet perfect for running his hands through. Jono could fantasise all day.
Dylan went to the spare seat near the back, next to Yasmin. Jono didn’t really speak to Yasmin, but he was friendly with just about everybody. Maybe, just maybe, Dylan could be a cool addition to his little friendship group.
Jono was gobsmacked. He felt like he had been punched in the stomach by a championship boxer. Something had gone very wrong with Dylan, and he was way more worried than ever before. Worryingly, Dylan seemed to have no idea who he was. How could he have forgotten his own boyfriend?
“Dylan, you’re worrying me, please stop joking,” Jono clung on to every last bit of hope inside him. He was praying this was some twisted joke, even though it wasn’t Dylan’s style. Maybe Freddie had put him up to it? That would make sense.
“Who are you? Get out of my room,” Dylan yelled, distressed.
“I’m Jono, your boyfriend. Something has happened to you, Dyl, and I promise I’m going to figure it out,” Jono reassured.
Dylan threw his pillows at Jono, obviously very scared. Jono quickly darted out of the room and shut the door behind him. He wanted to run home and cry, but that would solve nothing.
Jono tried to retain his composure. He needed to check on Josh. Running down the corridor, Jono ignored all formalities and rushed into Josh’s bedroom. He yanked the curtains open and shook him vigorously to wake him up.
“What the fuck, dude? Where’s the fire?” Josh groaned.
“It’s an emergency, get up,” Jono commanded.
“What’s happened?” Josh queried, still hazy but now getting dressed.
“Something’s happened to Dylan. He can’t remember who I am. I’m scared, Josh,” Jono opened up.
“It’s okay, let me go talk to him,” Josh offered. Jono had never felt more concerned. He had to trust that Josh would be able to fix matters.
Carefully pushing Dylan’s bedroom door open, Josh wasn’t sure what to expect. Jono sounded very concerned, and shaken in a way he had never seen before. He always worried about Dylan – he was his boyfriend, it was par for the course – but this seemed like way more.
“Dylan?” Josh gently called. He saw Dylan lying flat on his bed. It looked like he had gone back to sleep at first, but he looked up at the sound of his name. Josh spoke again, “Everything okay?”
Dylan shot him a look. One of confusion and terror. Josh had never seen that before. He had the kindest eyes normally, but this was a far cry from the Dylan he knew.
“Do I know you?” Dylan worriedly asked.
“It’s Josh,” Josh reminded, still speaking kindly and gently, “Your brother.”
“I don’t have a brother,” Dylan simply said. It was put so coldly and heartlessly. Like he truly believed it. Josh simply left the room. He felt awful. Jono was next to him, listening in.
“What the hell do we do?” Jono queried desperately.
“I don’t know,” Josh sighed. He was truly out of ideas, and his brain was struggling to think sensibly and logically.
Lying in bed wide awake, Yasmin hadn’t slept very much. She had stayed over at Freddie’s, but she was still contemplating their future. Were they really right for each other? She still hadn’t decided.
Additionally, she couldn’t stop thinking about Dylan’s bedroom. Something was going to happen there, but what? She had no idea when, either. It scared her.
Yasmin checked the time: half seven. Time to get up. She prodded Freddie, bringing him round slowly.
“Morning,” he smiled, looking directly at Yasmin.
“Hey,” she smiled back, though she felt less enthusiastic than Freddie.
“That time again, huh?” he realised.
“Afraid so,” Yasmin replied. She kept her responses short and snappy. There wasn’t anything else she felt like saying. An awkward silence ensued.
“Is everything okay?” Freddie wondered, breaking the silence. He seemed to pick up on her technique.
“I’m gonna make a cup of tea,” Yasmin excused herself, dodging the question. She was aware it wasn’t going to solve anything, but Freddie wasn’t stupid. He would be able to tell that something wasn’t right. Now she had to play it cool. Above all else, Freddie was still her friend. Hurting him was the last thing she wanted to do.
What a morning. Dylan didn’t have any idea what was happening, but some people he’d never met before had obviously decided to play some sort of prank on him. Entering his house and pretending they were his boyfriend and brother? What a stupid game. Perhaps he’d have to report them to the police.
Now though, he was walking to school. He had to try and keep some sort of normality. He couldn’t afford to let his grades slip as a result. As he walked into the confines of the school gates, he saw those same people again. Not only were they at his school, but they were sat outside on one of the benches. The bench he always sat at.
“Are you stalking me?” Dylan confronted. He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. He was a werewolf, he knew how to defend himself.
“This is our bench,” one of them replied. Josh, he said his name was.
“No, it’s mine,” Dylan reiterated, “But you knew that, right?”
“Like he said,” the other one, Jono, butted in, “Our bench. Yours too.”
“You’re sick. Making up all of this crap about me,” Dylan was getting annoyed. How could anyone do this to him?
“Dylan, what’s going on?” a girl joined them at the bench. She looked a little older than the two lads.
“Leave me alone, all of you,” Dylan was getting more and more frustrated, “You’re another one of them, aren’t you?”
“This is Lily, she’s my sister and your friend,” Jono informed.
“What the hell is going on?” Lily wondered.
“Dylan,” finally, he heard a familiar voice behind him. Turning around, Dylan was thrilled to see Drew approaching.
“Thank god you’re here,” Dylan greeted, “I don’t know who these people are, but they’re harassing me.”
“They’re your friends, Dylan?” Drew looked baffled.
“What? I’ve never seen them before,” Dylan insisted. What had gotten into Drew?
“Alright, let’s get you to class,” Drew suggested. Thank goodness. At last, somebody he knew and could trust.
Parking herself at the bench, Lily had no idea what she had just witnessed. She’d made the decision to brave school again after a day at home, and she wasn’t sure how it would go down, but George was watching over Noah for the day instead.
Bafflingly though, she had just seen Dylan acting exceptionally weird. Totally unlike his usual self. The strangest part of it was that she only saw him the night before, and he was totally normal. He had saved her life, in fact.
“Tell me everything,” Lily instructed. Freddie and Yasmin joined them at the bench too, totally oblivious to what had just happened.
“I wish I knew,” Jono sighed.
“Wish you knew what?” Freddie enquired.
“You just missed Dylan going batshit crazy and forgetting everyone except Drew,” Lily informed.
“Say what?” Yasmin was taken aback.
“It’s true,” Jono sighed again. He looked so deflated. Dylan kept him on such a high. Now he was on the craziest comedown.
“He was fine last night,” Josh informed, “Then had no idea who we were this morning.”
“Sounds like some sort of sick joke,” Freddie commented.
“That’s not Dylan,” Yasmin interjected, “He wouldn’t do that. He hasn’t got it in him.”
“You didn’t see the look on his face either,” Jono recalled, “He was horrified when he saw me in his bed. Like he was seeing a complete stranger.”
“In his bedroom?” Yasmin queried.
“Yeah, why is that relevant?” Jono responded. Yasmin’s face went pale.
“We were there yesterday,” Josh realised, “One of Yasmin’s premonitions led us there.”
“And you didn’t think to warn us?” Jono reacted impulsively.
“We didn’t know what it was about. I tried, I promise,” Yasmin felt down, obviously kicking herself.
“What could any of us have done? We don’t know anything about what’s going on,” Lily reasoned. Then she remembered. Everything that happened the night before, “The wolf last night.”
“Of course,” Jono realised, as if a lightbulb had sparked above his head, “The scratch on his neck.”
“The what?” Yasmin was confused.
“I was looking after Noah yesterday, and this wolf-like thing attacked us,” Lily recalled, “Dylan fought it off but it scratched him.”
“Why are we here then?” Freddie decided, “We need the Bestiary.”
“I can’t miss class, and neither can you,” Jono irritatingly yet sensibly said while looking at Lily, “Mom will kill us. Besides, I want to be near Dylan in case his situation changes.” Lily hated to admit it, but he was right.
“I can go. George will understand,” Freddie volunteered.
“Me too,” Yasmin said right after.
“I’m gonna speak to Ed. I think he needs to know,” Josh decided.
Lily loved how they all had a part in the plan, but she wished it hadn’t come to this in the first place.
Concerned for Dylan, Drew wasn’t actually taking him to class. What he had just witnessed at the bench was not Dylan. He needed to piece the details together, and quickly. Especially as it seemed like he was the only one that Dylan still knew and trusted.
Drew led him to the library, sitting at the central desk. The place Dylan defeated Josh less than a year ago, back when he was the enemy. Perhaps it would jog a memory or two. Wishful thinking, Drew assumed.
“I don’t know what’s happening today. Something’s up, I’m sure of it,” Dylan explained.
“You’ve got no idea who those people were?” Drew clarified.
“No, should I?” Dylan wondered. Drew was unsure how to tackle this sensitively. Too much information dumped on Dylan could prove problematic.
“It’s complicated,” Drew replied, “But don’t push people away. Nobody’s gonna hurt you, Dylan.”
“I had a scratch on my neck,” Dylan recalled, “A wolf gave it to me last night. I don’t know what it was, but it was coming for me.”
“Where did it go?” Drew wondered. He was already trying to decode what the wolf might have been.
“I don’t know. It scratched me and scarpered,” Dylan thought, “But I don’t know where I was. All I know is that I was protecting someone, but I don’t remember who.”
“You always protect your friends, Dylan,” Drew subtly hinted. He wasn’t used to the sensitive approach, but he was the one Dylan was relying on. He had to be more comforting. It was like he had to be the whole pack at the same time. Lily’s tact, Jono’s gut feeling and Yasmin’s intelligence rolled into one.
Drew then noticed Dylan gazing behind him. Drew spun around to see Diego, a kid who started at their school a couple of weeks back. Drew knew that kind of gaze, too. It worried him a lot. Dylan didn’t know who Jono was any more. The field was wide open. This could get messy.
“Oi, Romeo, stop gushing,” Drew put a stop to it, “Come on, I need a hand.” He dug out the address that Mrs. Johnson wrote down from his pocket. It could be a welcome distraction for them both, but first, Drew had to send a text to Jono. He needed to know Dylan was safe.
Moving from history to English, Jono wasn’t getting much out of school that day. There was no way he would have been able to concentrate when worrying so much about Dylan. He didn’t turn up to history at all, which was concerning, but Drew didn’t either.
Jono didn’t understand why Dylan’s brain only seemed to remember Drew, and his mind was doing overtime to figure out why. Did he subconsciously trust Drew more? Is Drew somehow immune? It was a slippery slope. Jono had to trust Drew, though. He had no reason not to, after all, and certainly no alternative.
His phone vibrated in his pocket. Jono ducked into the boys’ toilets to read the text without the phone being confiscated. It was from Drew. Maybe a ray of hope?
“Dylan with me. Don’t panic.”
How irritatingly vague. “Don’t panic,”? How was Jono supposed to not panic? That said, Jono shouldn’t have been surprised. Drew wasn’t a man of many words, after all.
“Everything alright?” Jono heard a voice behind him querying. It was Diego, who was due to be in the same English class.
“Yeah,” Jono put on a brave face. He couldn’t begin to explain if he wanted to.
“Look, I wasn’t sure whether to mention it, but I think you need to know,” Diego began speaking. Jono didn’t care for whatever he was about to say. He hardly knew the kid, and he had way bigger priorities, “I know about werewolves.”
Jono looked up suddenly. He started to care.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Jono lied. He didn’t want to inadvertently inform a stranger about everything. That said, the rumour had passed around school already thanks to Chase. Thankfully, it had mostly been debunked but Jono knew there would be some doubters.
“I saw Josh change, you don’t need to hide anything,” Diego continued, before flaring his eyes. They were bright yellow, just like Freddie’s. He was a werewolf too.
“Why are you telling me right now?” Jono wondered.
“You looked like you needed some help,” Diego smiled, “Fancy a chat?” Jono couldn’t resist. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to have an impartial confidante.
Freddie didn’t think much of Drew’s bunker. He was far from the tidiest person in the world; his bedroom was all over the place, and George wasn’t much better. However, the bunker looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in years. It was dimly lit, the corridor outside was damp, and the atmosphere made Freddie feel grotty and uncomfortable.
Despite that, he was determined to dig out the Bestiary. Additionally, it gave he and Yasmin the chance to talk. He wasn’t going to let her avoid his questions this time.
“Do you know where to look?” Freddie queried.
“I think so,” Yasmin said, heading to the right-hand side shelving unit.
“I think we need to talk,” Freddie began, checking the left unit just in case.
“Sure, what about?” Yasmin replied jovially. Freddie knew she was hoping to dodge the chat again. She couldn’t crawl out of this so easily.
“Us,” Freddie simply stated. Silence followed.
“I can’t find it,” Yasmin tried diverting the conversation.
“We’re not doing this. Avoiding conversation. We’ve got to talk because I don’t know how much longer I can do this,” Freddie put his foot down.
“Okay. Let’s talk,” Yasmin gave in.
“What’s the deal? Something’s not right between us and it hasn’t been since you got back,” Freddie started the chat off.
“We spent three months apart, Freddie. That’s long enough for any couple,” Yasmin reasoned.
“And in those three months, you didn’t find one moment to tell your mom about me?” Freddie mentioned.
Yasmin fell silent. She moved back round to the middle of the bunker, pulling up a couple of the uncomfortable chairs Drew kept there. Freddie went and sat opposite.
“I barely know my mom,” Yasmin owned up, “What if she’s like my dad? I want to protect you.”
“That’s why you’ve not told her?” Freddie connected the dots.
“Maybe,” Yasmin vaguely replied, “To be honest, I don’t know what to think any more. We’ve drifted, and maybe it’s my fault.”
“We’ll always be friends, right?” Freddie felt himself welling up. He knew what was coming. It broke his heart, but he knew it was for the best.
“Always. Just friends, then?” Yasmin suggested.
Freddie nodded. He noticed she was crying, too, and his first instinct was still to comfort her. Freddie wrapped his arms around her in a warm hug. No matter what happened, she still understood him in ways very few people did. Now she could do that without the added emotional baggage.
“Alright,” Freddie tried to raise a smile as he broke up the hug, “Where’s this stupid book?”
Figuring out exactly what he was going to say in his mind, Josh didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news. He was waiting for Ed to finish in his office, but every second felt like a minute. Time was passing exceptionally slowly. There were only so many times he could scroll through his Instagram feed and still be entertained.
A selfie of Dylan’s popped up as he opened the app once again, taken the day before. It was a cute shot of him and Jono together. He couldn’t believe how fast things had changed.
It wasn’t going to be easy to tell Ed either, but he needed to be in the loop. Ed would be facing Dylan at home too, and he had to be prepared.
The office door opened. A middle-aged lady left the room, the sound of Ed’s charming voice wishing her a good day.
“Alright trouble, what’s up?” Ed queried, turning to Josh, “No sign of your partner in crime?” Josh simply walked into the office, shutting the door behind him.
“Something’s happened to Dylan,” Josh explained.
“Like what? Is he safe?” Ed immediately questioned.
“He’s safe, but he doesn’t remember any of us,” Josh regretfully informed.
“Nobody? How could that happen?” Ed was confused.
“Nobody except Drew. We’re figuring it all out, but I needed to tell you. I couldn’t keep it bottled up,” Josh admitted.
“Does Caroline know?” Ed queried.
“No, I don’t know if she should. It would break her heart,” Josh considered.
“Maybe she should decide for herself,” Ed suggested. Almost on cue, the door opened, Caroline casually strutting through.
“I brought you some lunch as you left it behind this morning,” Caroline put the bag down on the desk, “Who should decide what for herself?”
Drat. She heard it. Josh stared worriedly at Ed. He wasn’t going to be the one to let her know.
“You should decide…” Ed paused, “If you want to join us for a takeaway tonight.”
He’d chickened out. Josh’s heart was beating loudly. Caroline didn’t need to know yet, but he was holding out hope that she wouldn’t ever need to.
Stepping out of Drew’s immaculately clean car, Dylan found himself in front of a shop down town. It was old-fashioned, with the sign above simply reading “Edwina’s Herbal Remedies,” in a stylish, cursive font. Quite why Drew had been sent there as a fix for his werewolf problem wasn’t yet clear, but if it offered a solution, Dylan didn’t care.
Drew led the way into the shop, a bell sounding as the door opened. Immediately, Dylan noticed all of the jars cluttering up the shelves. All of them had some sort of spice or liquid in. Dylan had no idea where to start looking; it was, he assumed, organised chaos. The owner, Edwina, probably knew exactly where everything was, but to the naked eye, it was nothing short of a mess.
“What are we looking for?” Dylan hopefully asked Drew.
“No idea, Mrs. Johnson didn’t tell me anything more,” Drew replied.
“Mrs. Johnson? Our biology teacher? What does she have to do with anything?” Dylan queried.
Before he could get an answer, they were interrupted from the direction of the till.
“Good afternoon boys,” came the voice of a female. Dylan spun around, startled, “Sorry to scare you.”
“We need your help, Miss…” Drew politely began.
“Edwina. I’m the owner. How can I be of assistance?” Edwina replied. She seemed kind, her eyes shining through from her well lived-in skin.
“I’ve been told to come here,” Drew started to explain.
“You’ve lost something,” Edwina interrupted. Drew looked baffled. She seemed to know exactly what the problem was. Dylan was already in awe of her. She had a sense of brilliance about her, a worldly intelligence.
“How did you know?” Drew asked.
“It’s clear. You want to become a werewolf again,” Edwina confirmed.
“Yes,” Drew confidently answered.
“It’s a big ask,” Edwina replied.
“But can you do it?” Drew keenly interrogated.
“I think so. You’ll need to come back later, in maybe a few hours. I can make no guarantees,” Edwina explained. She seemed keen to help, but Dylan was worried about her lack of certainty.
“Thank you,” Drew raised a little smile. He seemed up for it, whatever it was.
“And what about you? You’ve lost something too,” Edwina turned to Dylan. Huh? What had he lost?
“I’m fine, thanks,” Dylan replied, keeping his cool.
“You might not realise it yet, my boy, but you seem vacant. Not whole,” Edwina said, before heading back behind the counter.
“What the fuck was that about?” Dylan whispered to Drew.
“I think we need a chat,” Drew ominously stated. Ugh. Dylan’s least favourite phrase in the world.
Sat in the newsroom, Jono knew this was the best place for a private chat. Nobody was allowed into the newsroom without his or Dylan’s permission, and he had shut the blinds across the door. Total privacy.
He had already told Diego everything about Dylan’s condition. He wouldn’t usually tell an outsider about his private live, certainly as far as werewolves go, but he felt he was justified this time.
“Dude, I’m sorry,” Diego raised a kind, comforting smile, “I can’t imagine how that feels.”
“Maybe I could cope with him forgetting me. He could learn to love me again, but he totally hates me. It’s a non-starter,” Jono admitted. It made him feel like shit.
“Maybe you need to try,” Diego suggested.
“You think it’s worthwhile?” Jono needed convincing. Of course, Dylan was always worth his time, and he would do everything he could to win him back. However, he couldn’t take much more heartache.
“If it keeps you fighting, yes,” Diego encouraged. Jono nodded. This gave him a goal. An end game in his mind.
“What about you?” Jono queried, “What brought you here?”
“I came to escape,” Diego revealed, “I was born a werewolf, both of my parents are so I inherited it. We were targeted by this giant wolf. It came for me.”
“It’s here now,” Jono responded, alarmed by the description.
“You’ve seen it?” Diego seemed startled, “So it’s found me.”
“It scratched Dylan, I think that’s what’s caused his memory loss,” Jono replied. Things were beginning to make sense all of a sudden.
“That’s bad news. Do you know anything about it?” Diego wondered.
“We’re trying our best,” Jono answered. He checked his phone. Not a word from anyone.
“I can help, I know a little,” Diego revealed. Finally, some hope. Finding out what the wolf was brought them one step closer to defeating it. He had to call a meeting.
Meeting at the treehouse after school, Jono had assembled as much of the pack as he could. George was still looking after Noah, and Jono hadn’t even attempted to contact Drew – he had enough on his plate with Dylan. That said, he still had Lily, Freddie, Josh, Yasmin and now Diego with him. Together, they were a dream team.
“No sign of it?” Jono was shocked.
“Nada,” Freddie replied. They were talking about the Bestiary. Surprisingly, it hadn’t shown up in Drew’s bunker. He never let it leave that room.
“Do you think Drew’s taken it himself?” Lily suggested, “He’s normally one step ahead of us.”
“Nah, he’s been in town all day,” Josh answered.
“Wait, how do you know?” Jono perked up. Had Josh seen Dylan? He was still very worried, and it wasn’t likely to die down.
“Snapchat. He left his location on,” Josh confessed, “I got bored.”
“So we’ve totally lost it. Great,” Yasmin sighed.
“We’re not out of hope. Diego’s seen the wolf,” Jono brought up. He knew they could all do with a glimmer of the light at the end of the tunnel.
“I’m sorry, I think I brought it here,” Diego opened up, “It’s called a Fenrir. It’s a crazily strong wolf, and very rare too.”
“I’ve heard about a Fenrir, although the myths and legends only normally tell half the story,” Yasmin mentioned, “How rare?”
“It only happens when two alphas bite the same beta,” Diego explained, “Two wolves inside become one, and it’s power hungry.”
“Noah,” Lily instantly remembered. Suddenly, his rabid behaviour made sense.
“Noah’s a…?” Josh tried to recall the name.
“Fenrir,” Diego helped out.
“What he said,” Josh added.
“He must be,” Yasmin answered, “There are two wolves inside of him battling for power. When they merge, we’re all in trouble.”
“Wait, so the Fenrir took Dylan’s memories,” Jono realised. He was piecing everything together in his mind, but one thing still made no sense, “Why? What does it gain from splitting Dylan up from us?”
“It gains an alpha, all to itself,” Freddie thought.
“But if it’s strong, stronger than any werewolf, it doesn’t need an alpha,” Lily considered.
“Oh god,” Yasmin had a moment of realisation, and her tone of voice sent a shiver of dread through Jono’s body, “It wants us.” Silence fell among the group. Jono couldn’t deny, it made perfect sense.
“What does it get from you guys?” Diego wondered.
“A pack that’s loyal ‘til the end,” Jono answered, “But it obviously doesn’t know us very well.”
4: Unity Written by MarthaJonesFan
Drew couldn’t believe it. He had trusted his friends to know their way around the forest. He was only being curious, but he would never have agreed to venturing so far in if Brett didn’t promise that he knew the way. They were only eleven years old, after all.
It felt like Drew was finally being responsible and grown up, going out without his parents. However, he was out way later than expected. The forest was dark, and the natural light of the moon was being blocked by the overarching trees. Furthermore, he was lost, and totally separated from his friends. Phone signal was terrible, and Drew was quickly beginning to panic.
Looking around, he saw nothing but tree trunks and broken twigs on the ground. Drew tried retracing his steps, but there only seemed to be an endless amount of forest in any direction. His parents were going to be so worried. They would never find him out there. Nobody would. Crackle. He heard a twig snap behind him. Maybe it was Brett?
“Brett, are you there?” Drew called out. No response. More crackling sounded, though. It got nearer, and nearer, and nearer.
“This isn’t funny, Brett,” Drew yelled, feeling more and more anxious with each crackle. His heart was almost beating out of his chest.
Wham! Drew felt himself crashing to the floor. He was pushed with quite some force, being lucky to avoid knocking his head. He couldn’t see a thing.
Instantly, Drew felt a sharp pain rushing from his lower leg. It was as if he’d been stabbed numerous times in close proximity. The pain was intolerable. Whatever stepped Drew gave way, and he heard twigs crackling again, faster and getting further away. The pain didn’t subside, though. Drew was hurting like crazy. He had never felt such horrible pain.
Grabbing his phone out of his pocket, Drew set the brightness to its maximum and shone it over the wound. It was a gruesome sight, as if he had been bitten by a wild animal. There was no way he would be able to walk. He just had to pray Brett wasn’t too far away after all…
Never had Jono been more anxious than he was on the drive to Dylan’s house. The nerves and anticipation were sky high. He had quickly abandoned the meeting he had summoned with the rest of the pack at the treehouse after receiving a text from Drew: “Come to Dylan’s now.” He didn’t have to be asked twice.
Jono parked next to Caroline’s car on the driveway and dashed to the front door, twisting his key in the lock as quickly as humanly possible. That key was the symbol of everything he and Dylan had built as a couple. Whatever this Fenrir was, it had stolen it from him. Jono was never going to forget that.
He bounced up the now-familiar staircase, enjoying the familiar smells of the house, mostly Caroline’s perfume and Dylan’s cologne. The walk to Dylan’s bedroom felt like an excessively long hike, though. Jono was scared. He needed a good outcome to this chat.
Pushing the door open cautiously, Jono met eyes with Dylan, who was sat in the middle of his bed. Drew was sat in the armchair near the window, very much present but keeping a distance.
“Hi,” Jono awkwardly greeted. Things had never been awkward with Dylan before, but suddenly he didn’t know what to say to him.
“Hi,” Dylan said back. It was said with so little emotion. As if Jono meant nothing to him.
“We need to talk,” Drew headed the meeting, “Dylan, I know you have no idea who Jono is, but you trust me, right?”
“Yeah,” Dylan warily answered, “I’m all ears.” This sounded more like the Dylan that Jono knew. Keen to learn and improve himself.
“Jono isn’t just your boyfriend,” Drew explained, “He’s the love of your life. You’ve been inseparable for almost a year.”
“Why don’t I know you then?” Dylan questioned. He sounded like he wanted to know. Like he was desperate to piece everything together.
“Do you remember the scratch you got last night? From the wolf?” Jono queried.
“How do you know about that?” Dylan seemed confused. Jono perched on the end of the bed.
“Because you were protecting me, and your pack,” Jono kindly explained, “You know, it’s not just me. You’re the alpha of the most amazing pack. All of our friends.”
“Why do I only know Drew?” Dylan was unsure. This was still the most confusing part for Jono. There was surely no reason for Dylan to remember only Drew?
“I don’t know, but that scratch wiped your memories, and I’m scared, Dylan. It doesn’t want you, it wants us. A pack. Your pack. We’re stronger together,” Jono pleaded, “I need you.”
A tear crept down his cheek. He was never going to stop fighting for Dylan.
“I can see why I like you,” Dylan smiled. His usual self started to shine through, and Jono had never been more relieved.
“Want to meet the pack?” Jono suggested. Drew nodded in Dylan’s direction, encouraging him.
“Guess I need to,” Dylan smiled nervously. Jono was thrilled. The Dylan he adored was on his way back. No Fenrir could split the dream team up.
Yasmin didn’t feel like going home that night. Her new house was fine, and she had ensured it was considerably homelier than her mum’s pad in New York, but she was preferring the company of Lily for the night.
Besides, she wanted to talk about Freddie to someone, too. She trusted nobody to keep her secrets more than Lily. Dylan was her best friend, but Yasmin knew he was likely to tell her secrets to Jono. If he even knew who she was still. She hadn’t seen Dylan since the Fenrir got to him, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to. She had known Dylan longer than anyone else in the pack, and she couldn’t bear to see him in that way.
“Yasmin?” Lily clicked her fingers. Yasmin had been lost in her thoughts, forgetting Lily was next to her.
“Sorry,” Yasmin snapped back to reality.
“Anything you wanna talk about?” Lily offered. Yasmin barely knew where to start. Perhaps she should just drop the bombshell?
“Freddie and I broke up,” Yasmin revealed.
“Hold up, what?” Lily seemed surprised. Yasmin supposed their relationship issues were the last thing on Lily’s mind, what with everything else going on, “I thought we were going to be sisters-in-law?” Yasmin laughed. She knew Lily would always cheer her up.
“We kinda decided together, I guess. There’s no bad blood, it just wasn’t working,” Yasmin justified, “We don’t hate each other, so best believe I’ll still be your bridesmaid when you marry George.”
They both laughed. They were half-serious in any of their wedding chats, but Yasmin knew if she ever did marry, it wouldn’t be any time soon.
“That’s all that matters,” Lily smiled, “Are you sure that’s all that’s on your mind?”
“Of course not. I think we’re all overthinking like crazy,” Yasmin sighed.
“I’m so worried about Dylan,” Lily admitted, “And Jono. This is breaking him.”
“I can’t see him. I don’t want him to look me in the face and not recognise me,” Yasmin confessed. The thought of it alone terrified her.
“What if Diego’s right about the Fenrir? What if it wants us?” Lily wondered.
“We barely even know who Diego is,” Yasmin reminded. So far, she had no reason not to trust him, but it wouldn’t be the first betrayal of trust she’d faced in recent times. People needed to earn their place in the pack. Josh worked for it, Diego needed to as well.
“He seems alright,” Lily considered.
“So did Chase,” Yasmin recalled, “And my dad.” Lily seemed to be considering it. They had to be careful, or it could cost them.
Freddie had been looking forward to heading home all day. He wanted to challenge George to a bunch of video game duels, drink copious amounts of coke, and basically chill the heck out.
However, Josh was joining them, and not for a three-way match, either. Fortnite was going to have to wait. Instead, they were going to check on Noah. They had to warn him, and George too, exactly what was going on. Freddie couldn’t lie, he was really worried about George. If Noah really was becoming a Fenrir, it was bad news and George stood no chance.
Bursting through the front door, Freddie dashed up to George’s room. He saw Noah lying on the bed with a laptop in front of him, while George was focusing on the TV. It all seemed pretty damn normal.
“Hey, what’s up?” George sounded concerned by Freddie’s frantic entry.
“We know what Noah is,” Freddie explained, cutting to the chase.
“Huh?” Noah sat up, diverting his attention away from the laptop.
“The reason you’re so erratic,” Josh explained, “You got bitten by two alphas, so there’s basically two wolves inside you, battling for dominance.”
“Eventually, they will both merge and become one power-hungry wolf called a Fenrir,” Freddie continued, “And I think it’s already happening.” He noticed a book tucked under the duvet next to Noah. A familiar book. The Bestiary.
“What’s this doing here?” Freddie demanded to know.
“I don’t know, I’ve never seen it before,” Noah was baffled.
“It’s been there all day, I assumed it was yours, what is it?” George wondered.
“The Bestiary. It went missing from Drew’s bunker. Why did you take it?” Freddie accused.
“Listen, calm it dude,” George scolded, “This Fenrir thing is what attacked here?”
“Yup, and it has powers beyond any werewolf. It wiped Dylan’s memories of the whole pack,” Freddie continued.
“The whole pack,” Josh repeated, as if he were processing it.
“Yeah,” Freddie confirmed, confused.
“Caroline knows everything now. I suppose that makes her part of the pack,” Josh realised.
“He can’t forget his own mom,” George said, “Right?”
“I need to get home,” Josh decided.
“Need some company?” Freddie offered. He knew things had been difficult at home for Josh, and he wanted to be there for his friend.
“It’s okay. I’ll be fine,” Josh assured, rushing out. Freddie had to take care of his own family, after all. A family Noah was fast becoming an extended member of.
Sprinting home, Josh was worried. Things at home could be going really badly, and although he had warned Ed earlier that day about difficulties with Dylan, it had only just occurred to him that Dylan may not even remember Caroline. Josh had no idea how Dylan might have reacted to finding out he couldn’t remember his mum. Besides, Caroline would be distraught beyond words. Josh didn’t want her to know unless it was entirely necessary.
He shoved the front door open, hoping to run straight upstairs, but Caroline heard him come in.
“Josh? Hey sweetie,” Caroline called out. Josh went to join her and Ed in the living room.
“Hey,” Josh smiled, trying to act normal.
“We thought you’d like to know we’ve got a meeting with your social worker tomorrow,” Ed explained.
“We’re finalising your adoption date,” Caroline excitedly continued.
“Already? Wow,” Josh smiled uncontrollably. Suddenly, he felt a rush of happiness flow through his body.
“Might be a while before it’s official, but the wheels are turning,” Ed smiled too. He seemed just as happy as Josh.
“Have you seen Dylan, by the way?” Caroline queried. Ed’s smile turned to a dead straight face, as did Josh’s.
“I think he’s busy with an assignment, that’s all,” Josh replied.
“Oh, I’d better bring his tea upstairs, then,” Caroline spring out of her seat and paced towards the kitchen.
“No, no, it’s okay, I’ll bring it up,” Josh offered, hoping to dodge the situation entirely.
“No worries, I need to visit the ladies’ anyway,” Caroline responded.
Damn. There was no getting around that. Josh followed her upstairs, hoping the situation could be dodged.
Entering Dylan’s room, all seemed normal. Dylan was sat in the middle of his bed, Jono adjacent, with Drew on the armchair. They had sheets of paper and textbooks littered all over Dylan’s usually-pristine bedroom.
“Hey, I’ve barely seen you today,” Caroline smiled, placing the tray of dinner down on his bedside table.
“Sorry, been really busy,” Dylan kindly replied. Josh was amazed. Everything seemed totally normal. Josh’s lie seemed to be true after all.
“Alright, I won’t keep you. Have fun,” Caroline replied, before shutting the door on her way out.
“That’s my mom?” Dylan said as soon as she left. His act slipped into a confused, worried voice.
“Sure is,” Drew answered, shoving the textbooks out of the way.
Wow, he really had forgotten his mum. Josh couldn’t believe it. He was the glue that held the family together, after all.
“How can I forget my mom?” Dylan was visibly stressed.
Josh opted not to say anything. He didn’t want to complicate matters further, but he shot Jono a worried glance. The door opened behind Josh again. Caroline was stood there, her cheeks wet from tears.
“I thought you were acting shifty,” she said, looking primarily at Dylan, “We need to talk.”
Never had Dylan felt more confused. Nothing that had happened that day made any sort of sense, and it was stressing him out. He had no recollection of anybody that was supposedly in his pack. He trusted Drew, but as far as he could remember, it had only been the two of them since he was bitten.
Now he was being faced with his mum. How could she have been? Nobody forgets their mum. Though no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t think of how his actual mum looked.
“What’s going on, Dylan?” Caroline queried, “I knew something was going on. I’m part of this now, I deserve to know.”
“I think maybe we should talk about this downstairs,” Josh tried to manage the situation.
“It’s okay,” Dylan replied, “I want to talk.”
He looked to Jono, who was smiling kindly. He was beginning to understand what he saw in him. Drew couldn’t have been wrong about that. It spurred him on, knowing he had the support of someone like Jono.
“What’s happened to you, Dylan?” Caroline wondered, “You talk like normal but you’re looking at me as if you’ve never seen me before.”
“Where is dad?” Dylan questioned. If he didn’t remember his mum, maybe his dad was downstairs too?
Jono’s smile dropped, though, and Caroline looked lost for words, as if he’d said something really bad.
“Oh sweetie,” a further tear slipped down Caroline’s cheek. She walked to the noticeboard on Dylan’s bedroom wall and unpinned one of the numerous photos up on display. She handed it to Dylan and started pinpointing who each of the three people in it were, “This is you when you were eleven, and there’s me. This guy next to you is your dad.”
“Why was he in a hospital bed?” Dylan questioned naïvely.
“Honey, he died the next day,” Caroline explained as delicately as she could. Dylan felt emotional. As if some sort of feeling had been triggered in him, but he didn’t know why.
“You remember him, don’t you?” Drew wondered.
“No,” Dylan felt a tear slide down his cheek, “I don’t know why I feel like this. Mom.”
He reached out to touch her hand, like it was a reflex. As if it made him calm down. Caroline embraced him in a warm, comforting, homely hug. It was the nicest feeling ever.
Waking up alone in his own bed was a slightly weird feeling for Jono. He was so used to spending his nights with Dylan, but understandably, this wasn’t the time for them to be sharing a bed. Things had certainly improved over the course of the day before, but they had a lot to re-establish still.
Now, Jono could only look forward to seeing him at school, and the wait was killing him. Jono waited patiently at the bench, sat with Lily as well as Yasmin, who was typically early.
“Sit still, you’re making me nervous,” Lily ordered. Jono hadn’t realised his leg bopping under the table. He couldn’t contain himself.
“I’m too anxious,” Jono defended himself, just as he saw Josh and Dylan approaching.
“Hey,” Jono smiled. Dylan looked at him shyly, but raised a smile nonetheless.
“Hi,” Dylan replied, sitting directly next to Jono.
“So, this is Yasmin,” Jono introduced Yasmin sat opposite, who waved back awkwardly. She looked terrified to offer anything more.
“I’ve heard all about you. I’m sorry I don’t remember you,” Dylan blushed.
He obviously felt bad for what had happened. It broke Jono’s heart. It obviously wasn’t Dylan’s own fault. This was what he adored so much about him, though. He wore his heart on his sleeve.
,”And this is the biggest annoyance of the pack, Lily,” Jono smirked. Lily whacked Jono jokingly on the arm.
“Here comes trouble,” Josh observed as Freddie and George arrived with Noah.
“What’s he doing here?” Yasmin questioned, staring right at Noah.
“He can’t hide away forever,” George defended.
“I guess you’re the rest of my pack,” Dylan observed.
“Yup, this is Freddie, George, and your beta Noah,” Jono introduced.
“I’ve got a beta? One I bit myself?” Dylan seemed scared.
“You kinda saved my life,” Noah replied. He was quite similar to Dylan, notably in his kind and gentle approach. There was no doubting Dylan would take to him quite easily. Again.
“We’re just missing Drew, then,” Dylan noticed. He seemed almost disappointed, but then Drew was the only one he actually remembered after all. The one bit of familiarity.
“He said he wouldn’t be around today for practice,” Jono recalled.
“The shop,” Dylan realised.
“What shop?” Yasmin was confused.
“Drew took me there yesterday,” Dylan explained, “To help him become a werewolf again. We met a woman called Edwina who said she could help.”
“And he’s gone on his own?” Lily seemed concerned.
“If anyone can handle themselves alone, it’s Drew,” Josh sensibly mentioned. Jono knew he was right. All they could do was continue with their day. Try to instil some normality into Dylan’s life again.
However, almost on cue, Josh’s phone buzzed. It was a text.
“It’s from Ed,” he announced, “We need to get down there.”
The sense of mystery surrounding Edwina’s shop didn’t subside at all for Drew’s second visit. All of the different herbs and spices in the jars intrigued him, and he was desperate to know what they were all capable of.
However, for the time being, he only needed one remedy. As far as Drew knew, it was impossible to be “cured,” of being a werewolf. It simply couldn’t just go away. That meant his inner wolf was dormant, and it needed waking up.
The bell on the door sounded as he walked in, alerting Edwina to his arrival.
“Ah, my boy, come and sit down,” she guided, still smiling as kindly as before.
Drew sat on the reasonably comfortable armchair in the corner of the shop. He watched as Edwina carried a rather large cup, almost like a chalice, over.
“I’m afraid you need to drink all of this. It contains a mixture of herbs and oils,” Edwina vaguely explained, “Like I said yesterday, this is not tried and tested. It might not work.”
“I know, I understand,” Drew gave his consent.
He looked inside the chalice as Edwina passed it to him. It was a rather disgusting green colour, and it stank. Drew couldn’t define the smell, but it’s how he imagined vomit to be. He hadn’t thrown up since he was a little boy thanks to his healing powers. Now he was totally sure he needed those powers back.
Holding his nose, Drew went for it. He tipped the chalice upwards and felt the thick liquid trickle down his throat. He did it in one go – he had to, desperate to avoid the taste.
Letting go of his nose, Drew felt the effects instantly. He fell forwards onto the floor. Clambering to his hands and knees, following his reflexes as his mind was foggy, Drew felt his insides burning. He was in so much pain, and he had no idea what was happening to him. For the first time in ages, Drew was scared.
Ever since he saw Noah with the Bestiary, Freddie was a little sceptical of his fellow beta. There were only a select few people who knew where that book was, and the fact it went missing just as they needed it was more than convenient.
There was no denying that he was becoming a Fenrir, but nobody seemed to have considered that he might already have been one. Noah might not have even know he was doing it, but they couldn’t afford to ignore the suggestion. Freddie made sure to sit next to Noah in maths, right at the back of the room.
“The Bestiary,” Freddie whispered, ensuring Mr. Larsen couldn’t hear.
“I told you, I don’t know how it got there,” Noah was firm in his response.
“I’m not accusing you,” Freddie backed himself up, “But I’m just saying, what if you didn’t know you took it?”
“You think I’d do that?” Noah seemed annoyed by Freddie’s theory.
“Not you, but the Fenrir, maybe,” Freddie reasoned.
“I’m not the Fenrir,” Noah responded. Freddie noticed his fists were clenched extremely tightly. He was getting irate and on the verge of shifting. This had to be avoided; they were in a classroom, after all.
“It’s fine, we’ve got Dylan back now, he can help,” Freddie reassured. He wasn’t backing down on his point.
However, Noah lost it. He ripped his maths book before flinging the desk in Freddie’s direction. Much to his relief, Freddie’s reflexes allowed him to grab the desk before it injured him.
“Mr. Kosinski,” Mr. Larsen intervened, “Do you need to take time outside?” Freddie saw Noah’s eyes glow bright yellow, just like his. A far cry from the blood red colour he saw before.
“Out. Now,” Freddie commanded, pushing Noah towards the door. He escorted him to the boys’ toilets. Noah had fully shifted, and he stared at Freddie like he knew he had to kill him. Freddie was going to have to act fast, for both their sakes.
Dylan was quite happy for Jono and Josh to take the lead at the sheriff station. Dylan had been introduced to Ed, his step-dad, the night before and he seemed pretty reasonable. He was pretty shocked that he had even told Ed or his mum about being a werewolf. That didn’t feel like something he would do, unless he had to.
Nevertheless, he was quickly realising that he really did trust all of these people. No matter how much or how little he could recall, he felt at ease when around them. Whatever this Fenrir did, it didn’t take away the way he felt about every one of these people.
The sheriff station was busy, deputies rushing around as if something crazy had gone down. Ed was stood at his office door, waiting for them impatiently.
“I’m so glad you’re here,” Ed greeted. He seemed to lack the charming, jovial tone he had the night before in favour of a more serious mood.
“What’s gone down?” Jono interrogated.
“I think the Fenrir is here. One of our deputies got mauled outside. The intruder alarm sounded and I heard a howl,” Ed explained.
Dylan felt terrified. He’d fought this creature already. It was strong – stronger than he was. Fighting it again didn’t inspire confidence inside him, especially following the effects of the scratch.
“We’ve got to evacuate,” Dylan decided, “Nobody’s safe when it’s here.”
However, almost on cue, the Fenrir growled, the rapturous sound filling Dylan’s ears, making it hard to track its location. Then Dylan saw it, pouncing from behind to directly in front of him, blocking the main exit. The huge, dark, fully-shifted beast with its blood red eyes.
Dylan stared the horrific beast in the face. He wasn’t sure how, yet, but Dylan knew he was going to triumph. He wasn’t going to settle for anything less.
5: Wild Written by MarthaJonesFan
The door clicked shut. Homely warmth flooded over every exposed section of skin. Jono was finally home. The first semester of high school was over at last, and he was so ready for a break.
Collapsing on the couch, Jono had a flick through the television channels to find something good to watch. In the end, he settled on a music channel. The current song was “WILD” by Troye Sivan, a particular favourite of Jono’s. he adored watching the free expression of Troye’s sexuality. He didn’t shy away from kissing other guys. Jono wished he cared as little as that about what other people were thinking. He hadn’t told anyone at all that he was gay. He felt an immense amount of paranoia, worrying about what everyone else in his life would think. It was too much to think about, so he often blocked it out.
“Cute video,” Lily commented, joining Jono on the sofa. Jono jumped. He didn’t realise she had been there.
“I guess,” Jono tried to act casual.
“Oh, come on bro, I saw you watching that video. You’re gay, right?” Lily assumed.
Drat. So much for keeping cover. Jono didn’t know what to say, but he nodded. That was all he needed to do. Of all the people in his life, he knew Lily would never have had an issue, but regardless, Jono felt himself welling up. His emotions reached boiling point. Suddenly, he felt exposed, and Lily instantly pulled him in for a hug. It felt warm and cosy, just what he needed. He had worried for so long about coming out, and it had happened without even a single bit of planning.
“What’s this modern rubbish on?” Jono heard his dad interrupting, entering the room and grabbing the TV remote before Jono could protest, “I hate all these singers trying to rub these LBTG antics on us. It wasn’t necessary when I was growing up.” Jono sighed. He knew his dad was far from the most politically correct person around, but this was one of the most narrow-minded things he’d said.
“Don’t worry about him. He only says it because he thinks it doesn’t affect him,” Lily whispered.
It was a nice thought, but Jono still felt uncomfortable. How would he ever feel okay about bringing a boy he truly adored to his home?
Facing the gruesome creature that took away the memories of his loved ones, Dylan wasn’t sure how he could defeat the Fenrir. It was big enough to block the doorway, and before he and the rest of his group would be able to run back through the sheriff station, it would have attacked no problem. He needed a distraction.
All Dylan knew for sure though was that he had to protect the people he was with. The Fenrir had tried to take his memories, but his impulses hadn’t changed. He had to look after Jono, Josh and Ed, as well as every damn person in that station.
“What do you want?” Dylan let his journalistic instincts take over while he thought of a plan.
“I want a pack,” the Fenrir spoke. It had a gravelly, growly voice, but it was unmistakably human at its core, “Your pack.”
“You underestimated them, I might not remember everything we’ve done together, but you didn’t count on their strength,” Dylan revelled in its failed plan. He grabbed Jono’s hand next to him. They were stronger together.
“Then I will claim the pack myself,” it replied.
“Over my dead body,” Dylan allowed himself to shift. He had to be the distraction. Dylan lunged towards the creature, letting go of Jono’s hand, “Run!”
He dug his claws into the Fenrir’s chest, but it knocked Dylan back into a desk, breaking it clean down the middle. Dylan ached all over, but he got up, ready to fight back. The Fenrir swung its claws at Dylan, but he dodged them like a pro. He wasn’t allowing for a repeat of that situation.
Dylan jumped behind another desk, using it as a shield, before pushing it against the Fenrir. It was a barrier, but not for long. There was only a limited time before it broke free, but enough for Dylan to get a head start on finding Jono.
Fearing for himself, Freddie was figuring out his plan. He was faced with an angry beta, Noah, who could well be possessed by a power-hungry Fenrir. It was unchartered territory for Freddie. He had to act fast, because Noah wasn’t thinking straight and would very quickly be rushing into a fight. His instinct to kill was strong, Freddie recalled just how powerful it was when he first got bitten, and Noah hadn’t yet mastered how to control himself.
Noah snarled, his fully shifted werewolf face staring Freddie eye-to-eye. Freddie allowed himself to shift, too. It had to be a fair fight.
Freddie howled, asserting his superior status. Noah leapt towards him, bashing Freddie against the wall very harshly, cracking the tiles behind him. Freddie was unfazed though, and he very quickly and easily kicked Noah backwards, blocking his next advances with his leg. Noah wasn’t giving up. He was still dead set on Freddie’s blood. It was unlike him, but the wolf had yet to be tamed.
“Noah, I know you can hear me. Find your anchor. Find what makes you human,” Freddie encouraged. Noah didn’t seem to take any note, though. He still fought back, swiping his claws while Freddie dodged, his superior senses and reflexes benefiting him.
Realising he had little other choice, Freddie grabbed Noah’s wrist when he next took a swipe. Regretfully, Freddie twisted it round, hearing the gut-wrenching crunch of Noah’s bones.
Noah cried out in pain, backing off against the opposite wall. Freddie shifted back, noticing Noah had done the same, though his auburn locks obscured much of the view.
“Noah?” Freddie tried to grab his attention.
“What happened?” Noah queried as he glanced up, looking terrified. His wrist had already healed.
“Pain makes you human,” Freddie justified. He needed to educate Noah on how to control himself, as this was too close for comfort.
Picking himself up, Drew took a look at his hands, checking he was okay. Nothing seemed untoward. He rushed over to a mirror in the cluttered shop, though. This would be the giveaway. Had the scratches on his face healed?
Drew looked himself over. Sure enough, the scratch had gone. He touched his skin, feeling how beautifully smooth it was. However, Drew still didn’t feel like his usual self. He focused his hearing, but it didn’t work. His ears only had their human capabilities. The wolf still didn’t feel present in Drew’s mind. It hadn’t worked.
“My dear, is everything okay?” Edwina approached him.
“It’s not back,” Drew tried his best to keep calm, but he was devastated. If this didn’t work, nothing would.
Without wanting to hear another word, Drew stormed out of the shop. He needed to be on his own. However, when he got into the car, he didn’t feel the urge to switch the engine on. He just wanted to sit, and be. This was his new reality now. Sure, he might have some form of healing power back, and that was good, but it wasn’t enough. He needed to be able to fight, and use all of his senses to his advantage, but he couldn’t now. He was no use to Dylan or the pack.
Knocking at the window, Drew looked up to see a girl, of a similar age to him, looking in. He rolled down the window.
“Can I help you?” Drew abruptly questioned. He didn’t need some randomer interfering.
“What’s a pretty boy like you doing hiding away?” she wondered.
“None of your business,” Drew hit back.
“Alright, if you don’t need a shoulder to cry on,” she turned to walk away. Drew knew he could have done with some company. Specifically, someone who didn’t already know all about him.
“Wait,” he called out, “Come inside.”
She came back and climbed inside the passenger side of the car. Any sort of distraction could prove valuable for Drew’s state of mind.
Her first day back at school had gone relatively well. She didn’t even have George for support, as he was watching over Noah. She did it all on her own, and Lily was exceptionally proud of herself.
However, day two was proving a little more difficult. Lily didn’t know why, but a series of events kept playing over and over in her mind. Taylor vanishing into dust. The sight of the Fenrir jumping up at the peephole. She was surrounded by danger, and there was so little she could do. Lily began to feel trapped.
She looked ahead, trying to focus on class, but her mind was speeding like a race car. She grabbed George’s hand on her right, holding him tightly for support. Her breaths were short and restricted.
It was in there. The Fenrir. Staring her in the face. Without a second to dodge, it jumped right at Lily. She was its prey. No way to escape. She cried out, terrified. Eyes shut.
“Lily?” George’s voice filtered into her ears. Lily re-opened her eyes. No sign of the Fenrir. Her classmates were staring at her. Her breathing was escalating out of control. She couldn’t cope.
“Help me George,” Lily desperately requested. She was breathless. George held both of her hands. He stared her in the eyes.
“Listen to my voice,” George spoke calmly, “Focus on me and only me. I need you to count to ten with me.”
“I can’t,” Lily was still struggling. She felt awful. Nothing was in focus.
“You can, we can make it,” George encouraged, “One. Say it with me. Two.”
“Three,” they said together, “Four. Five.”
Lily’s mind was spinning less fast. She was calming down.
“Six. Seven. Eight.”
The classroom came back into focus.
Lily looked at George face-to-face. She could finally focus on him. His cute smile. His gorgeous blue eyes. She didn’t deserve him.
“How did you know all that?” she questioned. The rest of the class were still watching, their curiosity turning to genuine awe.
“You were having a panic attack. Freddie had them quite often when mom died,” George explained.
“Miss Chadwick, would you like to be excused?” Miss Daniels interrupted.
“Yes miss,” Lily got up, leading George out. She wasn’t letting him out of her sight. Not until she got the help she needed.
Sprinting as fast as he could, Jono was leading the way through the sheriff station. It wasn’t a very big building, but it felt like a maze when he had so little time to think. He didn’t know the way to the back exit, and Ed was too busy bringing up the rear, keeping guard, to offer directions. However, neither he nor the three deputies had said they were going the wrong way, so all must have been good.
At last. The fire exit came into view. Jono sprinted into it, pushing the bar down, but it wouldn’t budge.
“It’s barricaded,” Josh realised.
“We’ve got to hide, it’ll be following soon,” Jono noted. He trusted in Dylan’s fighting ability, but he knew it could only hold the Fenrir off for so long.
“In here,” Ed directed, opening a door behind him.
The room was small and dark, but Jono could easily see what was there as the light from the corridor reflected off the tall metal bars. The large jail cell was in this room.
“It won’t look in here if we keep the lights off and lock the door,” Ed continued.
“Let’s do it then,” Josh concurred.
“We can’t lock Dylan out,” Jono reminded. He would have nowhere to go. There was no way he could fend for himself long enough.
“If we don’t lock that door, it will get all of us. Dylan’s a smart lad, he’ll be able to look after himself,” Ed reasoned.
“Lock the door behind me,” Jono commanded. He wasn’t convinced this was a good idea, but he had to do it for Dylan’s sake. He heard both Ed and Josh begin to protest, but it wouldn’t change his mind.
He began frantically looking for somewhere they could hide, but it was the only room down that corridor. Jono tried shoving the fire exit open, but it was no good. It must have been barricaded darn well. The Fenrir obviously covered itself perfectly.
However, it was barricaded from the outside. How could it have done that? It didn’t come in through the main entrance, it pounced at the pack from behind. Either it was already inside, or it has an accomplice.
Nevertheless, Jono heard a growl from nearby. This was the moment of truth. He had to pray Dylan was on his way first.
A figure appeared at the end of the corridor. Jono squinted. It was the unmistakable silhouette of Dylan, making his way nearer and nearer at an incredibly fast pace. Thank goodness.
“What are you doing? Where are the others?” Dylan questioned.
“They’re safe. We need to get out, but these doors are barricaded,” Jono explained.
“Why aren’t you with them?” Dylan wondered.
“I couldn’t leave you,” Jono replied.
“Wow,” Dylan smiled. However, Jono knew there was no time for chit-chat. They had to get out, and fast.
Drew had found small talk pretty easy with his new friend. Her name was Allyn, she was also a sophomore but attended a high school at the opposite end of town. She was mega pretty, too. Drew rarely considered a love life, he had way bigger priorities and a love interest would only have distracted him. He didn’t need any further weakness.
“What’s up with you, then?” Allyn queried, “No offence, but you’ve got a face like thunder.”
While she spoke, Drew noticed her beautifully styled hair, her afro pulled back into a neat bun, with a cute rose clip attached to the side.
“Do you know when you lose something, and you can’t find it so you have to start adapting to life without it?” Drew tried to keep it vague. She would never have understood or believed his full story.
“You just said so much without saying anything at all,” Allyn remarked, laughing, “But yes, I think I get you. You can tell me the details, you know.”
“It’s hard to explain,” Drew shut himself off.
“Is it really?” Allyn vaguely replied. Drew looked up at her. Her eyes flared blue, much like Josh’s. A deep, haunting blue. She was like him, but he knew blue meant she had taken an innocent life.
“You’re a werewolf?” Drew identified.
“Werecoyote,” Allyn replied. Drew had heard about werecoyotes before, but had never met one, “And you’re a werewolf. I know a werewolf when I smell one.”
“That’s the thing. I’m not a werewolf anymore,” Drew explained.
“It doesn’t just go away. You’re always going to be a werewolf, you just need to find it again,” Allyn explained.
“How? Everything I used to do doesn’t work,” Drew was keen to learn. Wherever Allyn had come from, she was a sudden ray of light for him, at just the right moment.
“You’ve got to work harder. Find something that makes you emotional. Something you care about. The wolf will resurface,” Allyn explained.
There was Drew’s problem. He cared so little about emotions. He’d hardened himself so he could protect himself in a place that was as dangerous and volatile as Crystalshaw.
Before Drew could try and verbalise his thoughts, Allyn leaned in and pressed her lips against his. Drew hadn’t experienced the touch of a girl’s lips in a long time. It felt exceptionally amazing, though. Drew felt a fire ignite inside him. He savoured the moment, enjoying it while it lasted.
Allyn pulled away after a few seconds, but Drew’s fire remained burning.
“See,” Allyn commented, “Your eyes are glowing.” That explained the fire. The wolf was waking up.
“How could you know that?” Drew was in awe.
“I’ll catch you later, cutie,” Allyn stepped out of the car, much to Drew’s disappointment.
“Wait!” Drew called out, but Allyn didn’t respond. He looked around, in all of the mirrors, but she had already vanished. Drew wasn’t going to forget that encounter any time soon.
He looked at his phone, hearing it vibrate in the dashboard. A text from Josh…
Sitting on the top step just outside the school doors, Freddie had taken Noah for a spot of fresh air. Everyone was still in class, so the school grounds were remarkably tranquil. School wasn’t Freddie’s favourite place in the world, and he couldn’t wait to start making actual progress towards his goal of designing video games. It felt like a waste of time to be studying most school subjects.
However, he was quite enjoying looking over the grounds. Seeing the basketball court to the right. The car park in front. The field just about visible in the distance. When he wasn’t being bored to death about the world wars, school wasn’t always awful.
“I don’t think I’ve been this relaxed in weeks,” Noah commented. It had been a pretty darn hectic time for him. Even before he became a werewolf, the Téras had tormented him for the sake of generating fear.
“Me neither,” Freddie chuckled, “Look, I’m sorry for what I said. If I’d kept my darn mouth shut, we could’ve avoided all of that.”
“It’s okay,” Noah smiled kindly, “I genuinely have no idea how the Bestiary got there, though. I must have been framed.”
“I believe you,” Freddie admitted, “I looked through it anyway, there’s not even one mention of the Fenrir. There’s a couple of pages missing though, I don’t remember that. Whatever took it must have stitched us up.”
A pause followed. Food for thought.
“You know what you said, about pain making you human,” Noah queried, changing the subject, “Is that true?”
“I learnt it from Drew. The wolf heals. Pain is human. You felt pain, so you switched back, almost like a reflex,” Freddie educated.
“Yeah, it really fucking hurt,” Noah laughed.
“You need to find an anchor, though,” Freddie continued, “It’s way easier than breaking your arm each time.”
“Anchor?” Noah seemed unsure of the concept.
“Something that can keep you human. Something that calms you down, or someone,” Freddie detailed.
“I don’t know if I have someone like that,” Noah admitted, “I mean, I’ve not been home in days, and I don’t think my dad’s even noticed.”
“I guess that could work,” Freddie thought, “Disappointment is a valid emotion too, you know. It’s very human.”
Noah smiled and nodded. The door behind them slammed open. It was Yasmin, and she looked in a rush.
“Do you not check your phones? Sheriff station, now,” she commanded. Freddie knew better than to argue with Yasmin.
One. One two. One. One two three. Lily was building up her rhythm, throwing punches at the punchbag. This was the benefit of having a fitness-crazy mum, and a spare room in the house for a bunch of gym equipment. She was determined to start building some strength up. She had even tried to phone Ed to book some self-defence classes, but he wasn’t picking up.
“Come on,” Lily encouraged George to join in. He was sat casually on the armchair with his phone out, looking highly disinterested.
“Hey, I’ve got a shift this afternoon, I need to conserve my energy,” George made excuses.
“Alright, but if the Fenrir comes along, don’t expect me to save you,” Lily reasoned, laughing.
“You know this won’t help you fight it off, right?” George mentioned. Lily stopped punching.
“I know,” she replied. As keen as she was to learn self-defence, she knew her realistic capabilities, “But I can try.”
“I’d rather not go near it at all,” George chuckled, “We can’t heal like Freddie or Dylan. I don’t want to fight it.”
“That’s the thing,” Lily replied, sitting down next to him, “We can’t pick and choose when it attacks, we just need to be ready.”
“I guess. Is it bad that I sometimes wish Freddie and I were never caught up in this?” George confessed.
“No, I think the same. All the damn time,” Lily opened up. She was pleased it wasn’t just her who sometimes hated being in the pack.
“I promised to protect Freddie. Keep him safe. I’ve done anything but,” George confirmed. He was being harsh on himself, and it upset Lily. She knew how hard he fought for Freddie.
“Hey, none of this was your fault,” Lily cuddled him, “We’re here because we care. For Freddie. For Dylan, and Josh, and everyone else in this pack, werewolf or not. We can protect people from stuff they have no idea even exists. That’s gotta be good.”
“I guess another good thing came out of it too,” George looked up into Lily’s eyes. His adorably cute face stared back at her. He wasn’t wrong, their relationship was one of a tiny pool of things keeping her strong.
“We were friends already. This was always inevitable,” Lily smiled. She knew what George meant, but was making him work for it.
“All it needed was for your life to be in danger for me to realise that I love you,” George chuckled, before settling into a smile.
Lily leaned in for a kiss. That was what she wanted to hear. She could have all the self-defence lessons she wanted, but she never felt safer than when she was with George.
Spoiling the moment, the fluttery sound of Lily’s text alert filled her ears. She reluctantly checked it.
“It’s Josh,” she said, skimming the message. Her heart dropped, “Jono’s in danger.”
No matter how hard he pushed against the fire exit doors, Dylan couldn’t get them to budge. It was no wonder Jono struggled when he only had the strength of a human. Dylan heaved, using every inch of his might to push on forwards, but it was no good.
Now he could hear the Fenrir getting nearer. Its deep, heavy breathing, closer and closer. It was walking down the corridor, intimidating Dylan and Jono. Dylan turned around. He faced the creature, waiting to see who made the first move.
“Nowhere to run,” it threatened. Dylan couldn’t deny he felt scared, but he was shoulder-to-shoulder with Jono. He felt comfort in their unity. Together, they could succeed.
Dylan heard the door behind him begin to rattle all of a sudden. Familiar, hopeful voices behind it. This was their way out. He had to keep talking.
“I’m not going down that easily,” Dylan stood his ground, “You can take me out, but my pack still won’t join you. They’re strong, they have free will…” The doors behind kept rattling, louder and louder, “…and they can outsmart you any day of the week.”
The doors flung open. Lily, George and Yasmin were there, providing an escape route.
“Now!” Lily commanded.
“Go,” Dylan ordered to Jono. George went to knock on the door of the room adjacent, ushering Ed and the deputies out, but Josh joined Dylan’s side instead. From behind the creature, Freddie and Drew arrived. It was cornered.
“This is my pack,” Dylan spoke again, retaining his confidence. He allowed the alpha to take over, his face shifting into the beast that he was. His betas followed, Freddie and then Josh. Drew nodded. He may not have been a wolf any more, but his strength was still a vital asset.
Dylan let out a huge roar, using every fibre of his being. Freddie and Josh joined him in chorus, the pack united.
Dylan kept an eye on Drew. His eyes began to glow. His face started to morph. Then, unbelievably, he let out the loudest roar of them all.
The Fenrir began to shift back, taking back its human form, stunned by the unity of the pack. Dylan didn’t know the name of the guy now stood in front of him, but he had seen him at the sheriff station before, as one of the deputies. How could he know that? Had he been there to see Ed before? He was totally over the memory loss.
“You’d better run,” Dylan ordered. The man scarpered back through the station, without even underwear to preserve his modesty.
Dylan looked at Drew, who smiled at him. The first time he had properly seen Drew smile. However, Dylan wasn’t celebrating yet. He was far from done with this Fenrir.
Lounging in the treehouse that evening, Jono felt relieved. The threat was gone for the time being at least, and he was finally holding Dylan in his arms again.
The view from the treehouse was always so relaxing, the beautiful colours in view as the sun began to set. It was breath-taking, much like the guy in his arms.
“I’ve missed this,” Jono commented.
“It’s only been two days, no?” Dylan tried to figure out. He wasn’t wrong. It had only been two days of Dylan’s memory loss, but it felt way longer.
“Exactly. That’s enough,” Jono smiled, “Oh, and by the way. I think I figured out why you remember Drew.”
“Oh really? The brains and the beauty, that doesn’t leave much for me to be,” Dylan jested. He never lost his sense of humour.
“He wasn’t a werewolf any longer, the Drew you knew had already gone, momentarily at least,” Jono suggested. It was the best theory any of them had given, “That must be why he was the only one you remembered.”
“I really wish I remembered everything though,” Dylan opened up.
“You think you can get them back? I mean, how would you even do it?” Jono wondered. He was undoubtedly optimistic, but there didn’t seem to be any obvious solution.
“I don’t even know, but I want it. More than anything. I feel like I’ve only just met you, Jono, but everything feels so right. So special,” Dylan confessed. Those words warmed Jono’s heart. To think, he could easily have lost him for good.
“I guess I can help fill in the gaps,” Jono offered, “Come on, story time before bed.”
“This better be good,” Dylan laughed, settling himself into Jono’s arms. Jono felt so blissfully calm, like nothing could ever go wrong in their little world.
“There was once a normal, lonely school boy, who had a crush on the most handsome prince in his class,” Jono told.
“You’re too sweet,” Dylan commented, taking the compliment.
“No, I’m the prince,” Jono joked, “Seriously though, you came to Crystalshaw High at the start of sophomore year. I fancied you from the start, but we only got talking about a month later, in detention.”
“You? In detention? You’re way too nice for that,” Dylan mentioned.
“You don’t know the half of it,” Jono subtly hinted, “I invited you round, we kissed, and the rest is history.”
“Suddenly, history is my favourite class,” Dylan looked up, kissing Jono on the lips. This might as well have been their first kiss; it certainly was for Dylan.
Jono twirled his hands in Dylan’s untamed hair, never wanting to let him go ever again. One thing he knew was that this was just the start of their night together.
Stumbling back down into the tunnels below Crystalshaw, Ronnie was furious at himself. That puny alpha should have been easy to squash, but he ran back to his silly little pack still.
The boss was going to be even more furious, though. He had been given a mission to succeed at all costs, and he had failed. Ronnie knew the reasons he had failed, he could justify himself very easily, but the boss didn’t ever care for excuses. He made the consequences for failure very clear.
Ronnie knew he could have run away. Maybe he’d have survived a bit longer, but the boss would still have found him. He had contacts everywhere.
Ronnie opened the bunker door, just down the corridor from that pathetic beta’s private bunker. Breaking in and stealing that book to frame the new beta was stupidly easy. Just about the only part of their plan that had gone as expected.
Everyone was already in the bunker, as if they had been expecting him. Four of them watched on. People who were on his team, recruited similarly, but they had barely said a word to each other.
Ronnie heard the door click shut behind him. He didn’t need to turn and see who it was. There was only one possible contender.
“I’m sorry, anyone would have failed. I can try again,” Ronnie pleaded. He knew it was in vain, but the pain would be more tolerable if he knew he tried.
Four flames ignited in front of him. Four blowtorches, burning brightly. He felt a fifth behind him, the heat wafting onto his skin. The boss was going to revel in the torture of his failure. The flames got closer, and closer, until they made contact with his skin. Ronnie was in agony from the start, but the pain only got worse and worse.
He tried not to scream, but he couldn’t help himself. Ronnie shrieked, trying to expel the pain, but it didn’t work. His skin was being torn apart. He had no chance. This was his penalty.
6: Scorch Written by MarthaJonesFan
Enjoying the cool breeze brushing through her hair in the dead of night, Yasmin was realising just how therapeutic a late-night stroll could be. The heat of the summer could be exceedingly overbearing at times, so the cold air of the night was refreshing.
Less comfortable was the harsh, gravelly feel of the concrete road on her bare feet. She knew she had to invest in a pair of slippers. Her dressing gown fluttered in the breeze behind her. Not the best attire for a trip out, even if nobody was likely to see her.
Something didn’t add up. By now, Yasmin was well aware of what was going on when things didn’t seem quite right. She would never normally have left the house his late, certainly not without shoes or more appropriate clothing. What’s more is that she was walking down the centre of the road. Thankfully, it was a quiet road, with no cars at this time of night, but Yasmin was never one to take a risk like that.
She recognised it, though. This was the road that Drew’s bunker entrance was on. Though she wanted to go home, and back to the comfort of her duvet and pillows, Yasmin knew she was there for a reason. She had to keep going.
She kept her focus, grabbing her phone from her dressing gown pocket; her subconscious must have picked it up from the beside cabinet on the way out. She got ready to call Dylan, knowing he was just the person she needed when she reached her destination.
Approaching the entrance to the bunker, Yasmin noticed it was blocked by something dark. There was little in the way of natural light, but Yasmin could make out the general shape – a body. A human body. She shone her torch light on it.
Immediately, she shot backwards. The sight as hideous. It looked like the person’s skin had been burnt off, and so little of it remained. The call had to be made. This was a warning.
Saturday morning. The weekend at last. Dylan had been looking forward to this all week. School had been strangely normal, and just as tedious as ever. Equally though, there hadn’t been hide nor hair of the Fenrir in over a week, since the sheriff station incident, which made Dylan feel much more at ease. Perhaps the pack’s warning did scare it off after all.
However, Saturday wasn’t quite going the way Dylan had hoped so far. Instead of having a lie-in, wrapped in Jono’s arms, he was sat out in the humid air of the summer night after a worrying phone call from Yasmin. Dylan had brought Ed with him, who called the disgusting, rotting corpse in to the station. Now a team of forensic scientists were flooding around it, at half past four in the morning.
Dylan’s job, however, was to take care of Yasmin. They were sat on the curb, Dylan’s jacket covering Yasmin’s legs like a blanket.
“This is what you can do?” Dylan queried. He knew Yasmin was part-nix, but not the specifics.
“I find dead bodies. Yay,” Yasmin sarcastically replied.
“Don’t knock it. You’ve got a skill none of the rest of us have,” Dylan encouraged. He had taken to Yasmin very quickly, and nobody was better at helping him with maths homework.
“I guess. Suppose I’m not loving life. A forever single undertaker,” Yasmin laughed ironically.
“You’re so much more than that. I swear your IQ is higher than all of ours combined,” Dylan complimented. He hated people feeling down on themselves, especially people he cared about so deeply.
Ed came over to the curb, crouching down in front of them.
“We’re done here. Going to run some tests to figure out this poor person’s identity,” Ed explained, “Sorry you had to see that.”
“Is there any CCTV around here?” Dylan queried.
“Unfortunately not. I was wondering if you had any theories?” Ed wondered.
“It’s a little coincidental that it’s right by Drew’s bunker,” Dylan suggested. He didn’t believe in coincidences in the werewolf world.
“My thoughts exactly. We can’t prove anything yet but I’ll keep you updated,” Ed responded diplomatically, “You two should get home. I can call you if we come across anything.”
Dylan couldn’t say no. He didn’t want to let Yasmin out of his sight, but equally, his eyes were heavy. Sleep was calling.
Normally a jolly, jovial tone, Dylan was not thrilled to hear the sound of his ringtone waking him up. He’d gained an extra few hours of sleep, but they were on Yasmin’s carpet, with one pillow, and a blanket for a duvet. Jono was still at Dylan’s house, in Dylan’s bed, but Dylan had already left a note explaining his absence. One problem ticked off.
Dylan reached for his phone, seeing it was Ed calling. Shit. Must have been an emergency. He answered the call.
“Hey,” Dylan slurred, not fully awake yet. Being woke up twice in three hours by the same ringtone was not the most pleasant experience.
“Dylan, we’ve got four reports of homicides, all with their skin burnt like the guy we found earlier,” Ed explained. He sounded flustered, which was unlike him.
“Send me the locations, we can get there,” Dylan offered. This was undoubtedly planned.
“I’ve got deputies on the way to each one, but you’re right, this can’t be a coincidence. Just, be careful, please,” Ed continued.
“I will. Thanks,” Dylan hung up, immediately thinking through a plan of action. However, he knew he needed Yasmin’s touch. Gently, he woke her up; somehow, she had not been disturbed by Dylan’s penetrating ringtone.
“What’s up?” she questioned, trying to adapt to the light.
“Emergency from Ed. Four homicides in four locations, all killed the same way. Ed wants us to investigate,” Dylan explained.
“Alright, let’s go,” Yasmin shoved her duvet out of the way and rushed to the dresser.
“We can’t go to them all, though. Maybe that’s the trap,” Dylan realised, “Keeping us occupied and out of Crystalshaw.”
“We can split up then, call the others,” Yasmin suggested.
“It could be dangerous. I can’t put them at risk, especially anyone who can’t heal like me,” Dylan considered. People like Jono, Lily, George and of course Yasmin herself were human. Any injuries sustained would be far more impactful than for one of the werewolves. That said, Dylan doubted that even he could survive being burnt like that. The corpse he saw had no skin left.
“We can put one werewolf to one human. Easy,” Yasmin decided, figuring out the math in her head, “We can head out together now. Freddie and George can go together.” It was a good plan, as always from Yasmin.
“Jono’s at mine, he can go with Josh,” Dylan added.
“Which leaves Drew and Lily,” Yasmin finalised.
“Wait, what if this is a trap? They want us out of the way so they can attack. Whoever they are,” Dylan considered. He had been a werewolf for long enough to see how cunning some people were. He could only trust his friends.
“Noah. He can go to the sheriff station, help Ed out,” Yasmin suggested.
“Noah? He can’t fight, he doesn’t know how to protect himself, let alone anyone else,” Dylan was worried.
“Which makes him our best weapon,” Yasmin justified, “Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get dressed.” Dylan laughed, stepping outside the door for a few minutes.
His phone buzzed again. Ed had texted the locations. The plan was on.
Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Jono’s phone was vibrating incessantly. The vibration was so loud and sudden that it jolted him awake. He looked to Dylan, only to find an empty space next to him, and a note scribbled on a torn-out page from a notebook.
“Huh?” Jono picked it up. He read it aloud, “With Yasmin. Didn’t want to wake you.” Three kisses followed. Too cute.
He checked his phone. Yet another message from Dylan: “Need your help. Please take Josh and go to the shitty hotel down town. Homicide, look out for anything supernatural. Love you.” Three kisses again. Still cute, but the rest of it was too serious to be distracted.
Jono yanked his t-shirt from the floor and sprinted into Josh’s room. This felt like déjà vu, it was exactly what he did when Dylan lost his memory. Jono drew the curtains, nudged Josh awake and collated some clothes off the floor of the messy room for him to wear.
“What’s up? Is Dylan okay?” Josh instantly queried.
“Come on, we’ve got a mission,” Josh ordered, “Downstairs in five.” Jono bounded downstairs, leaving Josh to it. He filled up the kettle and prepared a flask of tea; he desperately needed that extra caffeine first thing in the morning.
“You’re up early, where’s Dylan?” Caroline noticed.
“Long story. We gotta go out for a bit,” Jono brushed her off. Dylan had given him strict instructions to not involve her where possible. He needed to protect his mum, just as Jono himself never involved his own parents, but Caroline didn’t make it easy.
Josh skipped down the stairs, giving Jono the perfect chance to avoid more questions.
“Jono, I swear to god, if Dylan’s in danger,” Caroline continued.
“He’s fine, I promise,” Jono kindly reassured, before leaving the room. He hated withholding information, but equally, he wasn’t lying.
“What’s the deal?” Josh queried on their way out to the car, “I mean, something’s totally up. I’m kinda worried.”
“Same,” Jono sighed. He wasn’t really sure what was going on either, but when Dylan called, he didn’t need to ask twice.
Yasmin was pretty amazed that any deputy would so freely allow a couple of teenagers into a crime scene, particularly a homicide. This deputy almost certainly had no knowledge of werewolves, either. Yasmin supposed Ed had briefed her already. The benefit of him being Dylan’s step dad. This wasn’t by-the-book at all, and Ed could easily come under fire if his superiors found out about this.
That said, Dylan was right. The body earlier being at Drew’s bunker. Her premonitions. None of this happened by accident.
Keeping her theories in mind, Yasmin followed Dylan through the fire exit at the side, creeping in with her senses on high alert. It was weird to see the coffee shop so quiet, especially on a Saturday.
Locating the body wasn’t difficult. Lying on the counter was the rotting corpse of a human, looking no less horrific than the one she saw that morning. Ed was right – the skin had been scorched so much that barely any was left. Dylan next to her was trying to put on a brave face, but it was obviously affecting him.
“We got this,” Yasmin encouraged.
“You don’t get used to this, do you?” Dylan commented.
“No, no you don’t,” Yasmin responded. She was certainly the expert when it came to dead bodies.
“Any feelings here?” Dylan questioned.
Yasmin listened to her mind, hoping a clue would be there. Silence. She felt just like her usual self.
“Nada,” Yasmin replied. Dylan looked around aimlessly. Yasmin tried to be proactive, looking around the body, checking for any clues.
“Is it just me who feels like Scooby-Doo?” Dylan remarked.
“You’re more Shaggy. I’m totally Velma,” Yasmin laughed with him. However, Dylan froze, his smile fading to a straight face. He raised his index finger to his lip.
“Something’s here,” he whispered.
He crept slowly but surely back to the fire exit. Yasmin could hear footsteps, and banging on the fire exit door. Was it the killer? Yasmin felt her heart pumping faster and harsher than before. She was scared.
The footsteps got nearer, and nearer, and nearer. The door burst open. Dylan was about to pounce.
“Wait!” Yasmin called out. She recognised the perpetrator, “Diego, what the heck are you doing here?” Dylan restrained himself.
“I heard something had gone down, I had to investigate,” Diego explained, “Sorry. I didn’t realise you guys would be here.”
“It’s fine, no harm in an extra pair of hands,” Yasmin welcomed. She looked at Dylan, who seemed a little lost, “Right Dylan?”
“Yeah,” he sheepishly replied, “How did you even know to come here? Not like it’s common knowledge.”
“I live down the road, I could smell something was up,” Diego justified, “I’m glad you’re okay, by the way. Jono was worried.”
Diego had been pretty helpful with the Fenrir. Yasmin was hoping she could pool his wisdom once again.
There was nowhere Freddie wanted to be less on a Saturday than school. He didn’t even want to be there on a weekday, and only kept going because he knew George would give him a complete bollocking if he didn’t go.
Now he and George had been sent on a mission by Dylan, and despite the location, Freddie found it pretty exciting. He might as well have been a special agent for the police. If video gaming fell through, Freddie had found his back-up career.
“Where are we going?” Freddie questioned.
“I don’t know, follow your nose,” George instructed.
Freddie paid attention to the scents around him. Places as busy as schools had so many scents scattered all around. All of the hundreds of teenagers that had roamed the corridor for the past week. The chemicals from the science lab. The food and drink in the canteen.
However, Freddie had to look past that. His senses were getting better and better the more he focused. He tried to find something he didn’t recognise in the air. Sure enough, there it was, repugnant as anything.
“Down here,” Freddie led the way to their maths classroom. The stench was undeniably coming from there.
Freddie opened the door, not being able to see anything. He cautiously poked his head into the doorway. Horrified, there was the body. Slouching over the desk at the back. Blood was dripping all over the floor, drooping still like a leak. Freddie went over to examine it, trying his best to be brave. It smelt awful, unlike anything he had ever smelt before. Like it was still cooking.
“Be careful,” George tugged on his sleeve.
“What have I got to lose?” Freddie shrugged himself free.
“Don’t say that,” George responded, with a serious look on his face. Freddie stopped in his tracks. He’d buried his head in the sand all week. Sure, breaking up with Yasmin was the right decision, but that didn’t make it easy to deal with. Being friends wasn’t as easy as he thought.
“I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry,” Freddie felt bad. He would never prioritise any girl over George. Nobody mattered more than him.
“You might have nothing to lose, but I damn well do,” George reminded, raising his eyebrows to Freddie. He nodded in response. He hadn’t thought of it that way.
Freddie continued making his way over to the body, George following nervously behind. There was no sign of any weapon. However, for Dylan to be involved, there had to be something more. Something that wasn’t visible to the uninitiated in the werewolf world.
“Look at this,” George picked up an ID card off the floor, gulped, and showed it to Freddie. His heart dropped. The ID card belonged to Mr. Larsen. Killed in his own classroom. He was barely recognisable. Freddie felt sick from the bottom of his stomach.
“Who would do this?” Freddie tried to word his feelings, but it was tough.
“Nothing human,” George observed. He picked out something from the body, much to Freddie’s disgust.
“Dude,” Freddie disapproved.
“It’s a hair. One way longer than anything Mr. Larsen had on his head,” George notified, “Come on, we’d better take this to Ed.” This could be the breakthrough clue they desperately needed.
Lily always used to love going to the playground as a kid. It was located in the forest of Crystalshaw, in a clearing of the tress. This meant it had such a magical quality to it. As a young kid, the mystery of the trees always enchanted her. It made sense, her favourite books were the Faraway Tree series after all.
Now though, it felt creepier than anything. She knew what lurked in those woods. If the authorities had any idea, they would not allow a kids’ park to be placed that near.
Of course, the park was now deserted, save for a couple of deputies guarding the outside perimeter. Drew was with her, which put Lily’s mind at rest. The fact he was a werewolf again was extremely reassuring. She had started her self-defence lessons with Ed, and they were going well, but Lily knew she needed Drew on her side. Seeing how much it took for the Fenrir to be defeated, it didn’t fill her with much confidence in her own abilities.
“Woah,” Drew exclaimed as they got inside the gates. The body was draped over one of the swings, obviously placed there after the deed was done. This was no accident.
“Oh god,” Lily shielded her eyes, seeing the awful state of the body. What a waste of an innocent life. She wasn’t usually squeamish, but this took it to the next level.
“I can’t recognise the scent, it’s like it’s still cooking,” Drew detailed, “You’d have to be heartless to do this.”
“You’d know,” Lily remarked.
“I’m not a killer though,” Drew defended himself. Of course, Lily knew this, but she felt comfortable enough to joke in his presence.
“Are you totally normal now?” Lily wondered, changing the subject. Little had been said about how Drew became a werewolf again – Lily assumed Dylan had discussed it with him and little more had to be said – but she couldn’t help being curious.
“Nobody is totally normal,” Drew replied, irritatingly vaguely, “But I know what you mean, and yeah, I think so.”
“You think?” Lily noted his lack of certainty.
“Nothing is straightforward, especially in the werewolf world,” Drew explained.
“Maybe it is. Just this once, you’re allowed your happy ending,” Lily considered. Jono always said she was good at offering comfort. Now she could hopefully extend that to Drew.
“I’d love to believe that, but when you’ve seen your parents killed for something they’re not. When everyone you know is slaughtered. You start losing faith in happy endings,” Drew opened up. Lily hadn’t heard Drew offer much in the way of his life story, so hearing him open up was an admission of trust. Lily didn’t take it for granted.
“Alright then, any scents?” Lily queried. Enough had been said, she didn’t need to delve any further.
“Nothing,” Drew informed, “Hold on. Someone’s coming.”
Drew helped Lily to climb over the small fence that bordered the park, and they hid behind a wide tree trunk. Lily felt nervous. Surely an intruder would be caught by the deputies? They didn’t react, though, continuing to keep their backs to the playground, totally oblivious.
The intruder was fully masked, their identity shrouded entirely. Lily couldn’t even figure out if they were male or female. The intruder took their backpack off, digging an aerosol out of it, spraying what looked like deodorant around and over the body. How incredibly random. The intruder then flung it back in their back and left the scene. Everything seemed to be making less and less sense.
“Who the heck was that?” Lily wondered.
“I recognise that scent,” Drew mentioned, “Something’s up.”
There was nothing like a spot of music to wake Jono up. His playlist was full of new energetic tracks – “I Love It” by Oscar Enestad and “Tempo” by Margaret being two of his current favourites.
Of course, he had already added them to Dylan’s playlist for him to check out. He’d had to teach him about the playlist from scratch. The past week had basically been about re-establishing a routine, and reliving past memories too. Jono had even taken Dylan to retrace their steps of the night they first kissed, but nothing jogged his memory.
It was a weird feeling. He knew how he felt about Dylan, and that never changed, but Dylan had to re-learn how to love him back. Love like that couldn’t just be taught. It was a relief that Dylan had adapted like a duck to water.
“Here? Really?” Josh remarked as Jono pulled up outside Crystalshaw Palace, a name that could easily have this hotel sued for false advertising. It seemed to have management with delusions of the two-star residence actually being five stars. Even those two stars felt exceptionally generous.
“Hey, you really think I’d choose this dump?” Jono clarified.
“Says Mr. Moneybags,” Josh scoffed. He meant it light-heartedly but Jono hated any mention of his family’s wealth, “You didn’t have to live here when you first arrived in Crystalshaw.”
This was news to Jono. Though he and Josh were close friends, he had very little knowledge of where he stayed before Caroline and Ed fostered him. This was proving to be more eye-opening than he expected.
Jono pushed open the door, creaking on its hinges, and he held it open for Josh.
“Just as glamorous as I recall,” Josh muttered sarcastically.
Jono had never been inside before, but it was basically as he expected. There was a slightly damp smell in the air, and a thin layer of dust covering all of the surfaces. Ornaments decorated the lobby, as if they had tried to decorate the place to make it look sophisticated, though it was painfully obvious they were bought for less than five dollars in the antique store across the road.
Completing the design, of course, was the dead body. A disfigured, scorched corpse, laid out over the reception desk. Josh brazenly went to approach it.
“Don’t touch it,” Jono warned. He had seen enough articles through his research to know how easy it was to get framed. They did not need their DNA anywhere near that body, even if Ed could back them up.
“Trust me dude, I’m not putting my hands anywhere near that thing,” Josh responded. He looked behind the counter, checking nobody was spying on them, before examining the corpse. Jono didn’t feel like getting too near it, he had always been pretty squeamish.
“Hey, it’s someone’s phone,” Josh noticed, picking it up. Jono despaired at how readily he picked it up, spreading his DNA.
“You’d better hope that’s not the victim’s,” Jono sighed.
“Not quite,” Josh replied, a worried tone creeping into his voice. He brought the phone over to Jono and pressed the home button. The lock screen lit up. Jono couldn’t believe his eyes. A photo of Noah adorned the lock screen. The sooner they got to the bottom of this, the better.
Noah couldn’t sit still. He had taken one of the swivel chairs in the sheriff station, which was alarmingly pretty quiet. Many of the deputies had been dispatched to deal with the bodies, so only a couple remained alongside Ed. Noah felt on edge as a result, as if he were sat on a cliff waiting for something to push him off the edge, but he didn’t know when. It made time pass pretty darn slowly.
Being a part of a pack was hard work, even when he signed up for it himself. Noah knew he had to do this, for his own sake as well as Dylan’s, but he missed his old life. His old nerves and anxiety weren’t gone now, but Dylan promised he could teach him control. He had to have faith.
“Tea? Coffee?” Ed offered.
“I don’t think a cup would survive in my hands right now,” Noah admitted.
“Anything you wanna talk about?” Ed sat down on the table next to him.
“I’m not of any use to you here, or anywhere,” Noah admitted. He felt he had a sense of responsibility to be honest with Ed.
“I don’t believe there’s anyone who’s no use to someone,” Ed replied, “You’ll find your place. Dylan will never leave you in the cold.”
Before Noah could say anything more, the front entrance door burst open.
“What’s going on?” a determined Caroline brushed through.
“Good morning honey, how is your day going?” Ed cheekily replied.
“You’re totally up to something with Dylan. I’m part of this, Edward, you can’t sneak around anymore,” Caroline reasoned.
Noah couldn’t imagine his dad knowing about him being a werewolf. Above all else, he probably wouldn’t have believed him.
“Maybe we should have a chat in my office?” Ed suggested. It made sense. His deputies didn’t know a thing about the werewolf world, after all.
“I’m not missing this,” Noah stood up, refusing to miss out on the drama. It was a welcome distraction from all the shit going on in his own life. He followed them into the office, the door slamming behind him.
“Come on then you two,” Caroline demanded. Noah was letting Ed do the talking, but his ears were keenly open.
Disappointed that the café murder hadn’t turned up any clues, Dylan was feeling antsy. There was no news from neither Ed nor Noah, and no news was good news, but Dylan couldn’t help being paranoid. What if they’d been attacked and weren’t able to get in contact?
What’s more, Dylan wasn’t sure how much he trusted Diego. The werewolf world had taught him to keep his cards close to his chest, and that many people were not what they seemed. Though Dylan knew Diego from around school, the only information about him in a supernatural sense had come via Jono. Apparently, he’d been helpful about the Fenrir, but had also inadvertently brought it to Crystalshaw.
Dylan was keen to use the drive back to the station to delve a little deeper into the details of Diego’s life.
“How long have you been in Crystalshaw?” Dylan made conversation from the passenger seat of Yasmin’s car, making eye contact with Diego through the rear-view mirror.
“Just a few weeks. I started school a couple days after we moved in,” Diego explained. Dylan took mental notes, being the best undercover journalist he could.
“We?” Dylan picked up.
“Me and my parents,” Diego replied.
“Why did you move?” Dylan continued.
“Dude, calm the questions,” Yasmin interrupted.
“It’s alright. We moved because of the Fenrir. It was stalking all of us. My parents are both werecoyotes, so I was born one,” Diego explained. It fit perfectly with what he told Jono. No discrepancies. However, Dylan still felt unsure. He trusted his gut more than anything, after all.
The car pulled up outside the station and Dylan sprinted inside, the others not far behind. Stunned, he saw his mum there, alongside the rest of the pack, as if they had been waiting for him.
“Mom, what are you doing here?” Dylan worriedly queried.
“Lending a hand. I think you’d better listen to your friends, Dylan,” Caroline advised. Dylan looked around. Obviously, the others had had more luck than him with their investigations.
“The report from the lab came back,” Ed explained, “The body Yasmin found this morning was Deputy Ronnie Ravera, also known as…”
“The Fenrir,” Dylan identified without an issue, “Someone got to him.”
“That’s not all,” Freddie took over, “The body we found as Mr. Larsen. We found a hair on it, way longer than his own hair was.” Dylan’s stomach dropped. His maths teacher had been murdered? What the fuck?
“We saw somebody spraying deodorant over the body in the park,” Drew educated, “We didn’t see who, but I recognised the scent.” Dylan was beginning to feel worried. This seemed to be building somewhere, but he didn’t know where yet. That terrified him the most.
“Whose scent?” Dylan desperately questioned.
“We found a phone,” Josh took over, ignoring the question, “The phone was Noah’s.”
Dylan looked around the room. Everyone was there except Noah.
“Where is he?” Dylan questioned, extremely concerned.
“Can’t lie sweetie, the evidence is pretty conclusive,” Caroline tried to soften the blow, but it wasn’t much use. Dylan had no idea how to feel, but it wasn’t good.
“I need to see him,” Dylan demanded.
“Not now. Best you keep your distance,” Ed responded. Dylan rolled his eyes, fed up, and rushed out of the station. He needed space and fresh air.
Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Dylan had been monitoring his breathing for about ten minutes. He wasn’t an angry person. It took a lot to make him snap.
That said, Dylan didn’t really feel like himself anyway. His emotions were heightened. He couldn’t quite find his anchor. What had kept him calm all this time? He knew about having an anchor, but he didn’t have any idea who his own one was. It was like a massive, heavy, metal door was standing between him and the answer.
Maybe it was Yasmin, his best friend? Josh, his original alpha and brother? Caroline, the mum who raised him alone for the past six years? Perhaps it was Jono – the love of his life? Dylan wanted his memories back more than anything, because without them, he wasn’t himself.
He’d kept this from everyone over the past week, too. Perhaps it would subside and he’d make his way through?
“Hey,” he heard from behind him. Undoubtedly, that was the voice of Jono. Just the person Dylan needed. The mere tone of his voice felt soothing and relaxing, and Dylan felt his heart rate decreasing instantly. Jono came and sat next to him, his adorable, kind face making eye contact, “I’m sorry you had to find out like that. Kinda overwhelming, I know.”
“Everything makes so little sense to me,” Dylan admitted. He had spent the last ten minutes trying to piece things together in his mind, but it wasn’t coming together, “There’s so much evidence against him, but there is no way any killer would be this sloppy.”
“I’m glad you noticed too,” Jono admitted, “The evidence was too much for Ed, but everything feels too convenient. Noah’s not like that.”
“He’s being framed,” Dylan concluded, “Come on. We’ve got some detective work to do.”
He wasn’t going to give up until he was proved right. Dylan was more determined than ever.
7: Comfort Written by MarthaJonesFan
Tossing and turning, fidgeting like a little kid who’s had too much sugar, Dylan simply could not settle. It was his first night sleeping round at Jono’s – the first night he could remember anyway – and it was not going like he’d hoped. There was no focus in his mind. The bed was very comfortable, and Jono by his side was a reassuring thought, but his mind was working overtime.
Everything concerning Noah was very worrying, and Dylan had to sort it out. There was no time to waste. Except, it was three in the morning. Nobody would be helping him at that time. Anyone who could offer assistance would be too busy sleeping, unaware of the urgency of the situation.
Dylan hadn’t even seen Noah since. He didn’t need to meet him face-to-face to know he had been framed, though. Noah was so innocent and unassuming. Perhaps he was at risk of becoming a Fenrir himself, but nothing seemed to add up. It all felt way too convenient, and when Drew mentioned a hooded figure spraying the same deodorant that Noah uses, Dylan knew it had to be a set up. Now he just had to prove that to Ed.
However, he had a night’s sleep to get through first, and irritatingly, it was dragging. He needed some fresh air. Nothing in his mind felt right. The walls felt suffocating.
Dylan pushed away the sheets that covered him, picked up his dressing gown and leapt out the first floor window, landing expertly on all fours. All he wanted to do now was run.
Gazing over a map of Crystalshaw, Drew was trying to piece together all of the information he knew from the murders the day before. All of the locations felt random, but from his own experience, random wasn’t a thing among the supernatural world.
On his phone was the list of locations for all of the bodies. Picking up his sticker sheet and selecting a red circle, Drew placed the first one on top of the map. Just above his bunker. The bunker was supposed to be a secret, but it didn’t feel much like it any longer. Perhaps he’d need to reconsider where it was located.
The door suddenly jolted open. Drew looked up, not expecting company. He was on red alert. The body above the bunker told him that he was most definitely a target of the killer, or killers.
“Only me,” Lily poked her head around the heavy door. Drew breathed a sigh of relief.
“You could have told me you were coming,” Drew warned.
“I thought you’d like a nice surprise,” Lily heaved the door shut and pulled a stool up next to him, “I also thought you might need a hand.”
“I’m capable,” Drew kept his guard up like a reflex.
“I didn’t doubt that for a second,” Lily noted, “What have you got?” Drew finished placing the stickers on all crime scenes. Lily observed, “Wow, that’s a pretty perfect pentagon.” It was indeed a pentagon shape. Five locations, all bordering Crystalshaw, roughly the same distance from the centre.
“What’s in the middle?” Drew thought aloud, placing his finger in the middle of the pentagon, before lifting it again.
“Right in the centre of the forest,” Lily spotted.
“Why are you still sitting there? Come on,” Drew said as he stood up. There was no way he wouldn’t be going to investigate. Lily smiled enthusiastically and joined him. Whatever it was, it was sending them a message, and the answer was in the middle of that forest.
Waking up next to an empty space was starting to feel like a regular occurrence for Jono. He went to bed, safe in the knowledge that the person he loved most in the world was lying directly next to him.
The last couple of times had spelt disaster in one way or another, though. Nothing could be as bad as Dylan’s memory loss of course, but the morning before had been to investigate a murder. It was never good news.
Once again, the bed was empty this morning. Jono’s first instinct was to worry. What had happened to Dylan? Where was he? However, there was probably no need. Perhaps he had just gone for a glass of water, or a spot of breakfast. It wasn’t like he was a total stranger in the house after all.
Jono threw on his dressing gown and headed down to look for Dylan, and grab a hot drink while he was at it. Jono met his mum in the kitchen. It looked like she hadn’t long been up either, her dressing gown wrapped snugly around her.
“Hey honey, fancy some breakfast?” Helen offered.
course,” Jono let his stomach answer, “I came to look for Dylan, have you seen
“No honey,” Helen replied, “Not a peep yet.”
“Oh,” Jono felt deflated. The worries began to creep in all of a sudden. Dylan was nowhere in sight.
Just to be sure, Jono frantically rushed around the house. He could have been in the shower, in the toilet, or even in the treehouse, but no. Not a trace. Now it was time to panic.
Jono raced into Lily’s bedroom. He needed her support. However, it was empty. Lily had gone too. Jono needed somebody, though.
He tried calling Dylan, but his ringtone sounded from Jono’s bedroom. He never went anywhere without his phone. Now was the time for action.
Stopping for breath, Dylan was getting tired of running. He had been here, there and everywhere around Crystalshaw, trying desperately to find somewhere he felt comfortable. However, nowhere seemed to bring that feeling to him. He was constantly on edge, feeling like he was going to explode at any moment. All of a sudden, he felt little control over his inner wolf, and he couldn’t remember how he used to tame it.
Now Dylan had ended up in the forest, just a few metres away from his own house. Listening in, he heard the door shut. The sound of Josh breathing as his feet rapidly dashed across the pebbles that decorated the driveaway. Dylan didn’t want to be noticed, so he kept back, out of sight. The footsteps got quieter and quicker, moving away. Phew.
Dylan didn’t want to be around anyone. Desperately, he needed to gather his mind, and people around him couldn’t allow his mind to run free in quite the same way.
Dylan wrapped his dressing gown tighter. Clothing was far from his biggest priority, but he was certainly feeling a little chilly even on a summer night. He looked around, taking in the sights of the forest. He felt on edge, especially here, but he couldn’t pinpoint why. It was like he was missing something important.
Dylan was so over this memory loss. Sure, he could fill in some gaps with Jono and his friends, but all of the experiences they had shared were gone. How did Dylan know whether he was now completely different as a result or not? He had to find somewhere safer, and this was not the place. He had to keep going.
Josh was becoming more and more concerned about Dylan and his state of mind. Jono had called him over with yet another Dylan crisis. Josh had never known him to be like this. Dylan was always the strong one. He helped everyone else, not the other way around. That was always how it had been.
However, Dylan needed Josh now. In the past, Dylan was the only one who believed in him, even after everything that he had done. There was no way Josh would ever abandon him at this point. Now he, Yasmin and Freddie had met outside Jono’s house. They had a rescue mission to complete.
“Is he definitely not at home?” Freddie checked.
“Not when I left,” Josh clarified, “If he ran away, he probably won’t go anywhere he can be found so easily.”
“I agree. He’ll be somewhere we wouldn’t look. Somewhere he can gather his thoughts alone,” Yasmin added.
“Somewhere he feels safe,” Jono thought aloud, “Where would that be?” Josh was stumped. He would easily have thought that Dylan’s safe place was anywhere with Jono. That said, Dylan barely knew who Jono was now. It was understandable that he might be readjusting his priorities.
“School?” Freddie offered.
“He hates school, always has,” Yasmin replied, “Though he gets help at mine.”
“Worth a try,” Jono suggested.
“Where did Dylan live before Crystalshaw?” Josh wondered. He knew Dylan hadn’t been in Crystalshaw for long, but he rarely spoke of his old home.
“Canalou,” Jono informed, “It’s a two-hour drive.”
a direct train from down town,” Yasmin added.
“Why would he go back there?” Freddie queried.
“It’s where his dad is buried,” Josh thought. Whether he remembered his dad or not, he knew the comfort he always felt from his memories.
“Take Freddie and check the train station,” Jono decided, “We’ll check Yasmin’s place.” Josh wasn’t wasting any time. If Dylan really had gone to the train station, it was a race against time.
Back into the depths of the forest, Lily was relieved to be with Drew. He knew those forests like the back of his hand. Though Lily wasn’t at all bad at directions, the forest was beyond her. Maybe that was the disadvantage of not being a werewolf.
“Are we there yet?” Lily sighed.
“Almost,” Drew replied. He had no map, not even on his phone. His sense of direction was second-to-none, “It should be around here.”
“It?” Lily wondered. She had no idea what they were even looking for, neither of them did. A psychotic murder didn’t really lend itself to identification.
“Whatever is meant to be here,” Drew replied.
Lily glanced around. There was nothing but forest everywhere. No sort of clue. Then Lily noticed. A clearing in the woods, one she hadn’t spotted before.
“Drew,” She warned, not taking her eyes away from it. Cautiously, Lily approached the clearing. This must have been their destination. The centre of the murders.
“Woah,” Drew reacted, rushing in front. He seemed in awe. As she approached, Lily saw a pretty huge tree directly in the middle of the clearing. It looked quite normal, though it had no leaves despite it being the summer and it was way bigger than any other tree in the forest, in both width and height, “I had no idea this was here. I’ve never seen one before.” Lily noticed tiny little fireflies fluttering around the enormous branches. It looked so pretty.
“What is it?” Lily queried. She had never seen a tree like this before.
“It’s called a Nemeton,” Drew revealed, “Beacons for supernatural creatures, drawing all kinds here.”
“Why? What can this tree do?” Lily was confused.
“I don’t really know, but there’s legends of all sorts,” Drew clarified.
“And it’s the perfect hiding place,” came a voice from behind. A scarily familiar voice, too. Looking round, Lily caught eyes with Diego, whose eyes flared a deep, dark shade of red. The colour of a Fenrir.
Going out of his mind, Jono was assuming the worst. He couldn’t even begin to guess what was going on with Dylan. For all he knew, something really terrible could have happened. It made him feel sick to even consider the potentials.
The past week had been mostly normal, too. A few blank spots existed in Dylan’s mind, but otherwise, it was back to the daily grind of exams. They now only had two days left of sophomore year until the summer they had been so desperately looking forward to. Things could not go wrong now. Jono would not stand for it.
However, there was no sign of Dylan outside Yasmin’s house. Not hanging around, Yasmin slammed the front door key into the lock and ran upstairs, while Jono looked around downstairs.
“Oh, hi,” Autumn greeted as Jono rushed into the living room. He hadn’t considered that Autumn may be home. Jono barely knew her, she had only been back in Crystalshaw for a matter of weeks, and Yasmin seemed to keep her mum as far away from her friends as she could.
“Hi, sorry, we were just wondering if Dylan had turned up here,” Jono tried to keep his composure.
“Oh, Dylan, cutie with the shaggy hair,” Autumn commented, “Sorry love, he’s not here. You seem pretty worried about him.”
“You could say that,” Jono rested himself on the arm of the cosy, posh-looking sofa. He had to be careful what he said. Autumn didn’t know the full story about werewolves, and, most notably, what Yasmin was. There was always a risk that she was involved with Yasmin’s hunter father.
“You really like him, huh?” Autumn perceived.
“I didn’t think I’d be this crazy over a guy before my, like, thirties,” Jono opened up. He didn’t know why, but he felt at ease with Autumn. She had a calming influence.
“Take it from me. Don’t let go of him. Special people like him don’t come along often,” Autumn advised. Jono nodded. It was nice not to have adults yapping on about “young love,” so patronisingly.
“I won’t,” Jono ensured. It felt like a vow to himself. It just reaffirmed what he already felt.
“Nothing upstairs,” Yasmin burst in, “He’s gotta be somewhere else.”
“Thanks,” Jono smiled to Autumn before rushing out. Now he was more determined than ever.
Josh felt anxious beyond belief as he entered the train station. He was desperately hoping he had caught Dylan in time, because if he had hopped on that train, it could cause so much chaos. Dylan was out of control, and Josh had seen out of control werewolves rip throats out with ease. Dylan knew control better than that, but a good heart meant nothing when the wolf’s bloodlust came through. The people on the train, the people in Canalou, they would all be at risk.
Bursting over the barriers, neither Josh nor Freddie cared about the security. Josh scanned the platform. It looked pretty empty. Perhaps they had just missed a train?
“There!” Freddie exclaimed. Sure enough, his head faced downwards in reflection, Dylan’s auburn locks were drooping into view.
Freddie immediately began sprinting – he was a better runner than Josh for sure – and Josh followed just behind. He felt such a crazy sense of relief.
“Dylan, you’re okay,” Freddie breathed a sigh of relief as he approached. Dylan was still wearing his dressing gown, and his hair was messier than usual; he looked rough.
Dylan looked up. His eyes flared their bright, vibrant and dangerous shade of red. He was out of control, big time.
Baffled, Drew was unsure of how Diego knew about the Nemeton. He and Lily seemed to find it by accident, and they had been living in Crystalshaw for a lot longer than him. Somehow though, Diego was always one step ahead.
Now his eyes were glowing the scary colour of the Fenrir, and nothing was making sense. In fact, it was unravelling like an out of control ball of string, every possible explanation in his mind rendered useless with everything new he uncovered.
“What are you playing at?” Drew interrogated.
“Come on dude, is it not obvious? Well done, you solved my conundrum. I feel like congratulations are in order,” Diego spoke confidently.
“Your conundrum?” Lily sounded repulsed. Drew felt similarly; Diego had double-crossed them.
“Impressive, huh?” Diego smirked.
“What are you?” Drew questioned.
“Fenrir. Isn’t it obvious? I was bitten by a werewolf and a werecoyote. Study hard enough and you can pass as either. Or maybe I just know some gullible people,” Diego replied.
Lily went to lunge for him, but Drew blocked her. Reacting would be pointless and achieve absolutely nothing.
“What do you want from us? Why are we at the Nemeton?” Drew continued. Obviously, if Diego had led them there, he must be willing to talk.
“Well I was hoping for your precious alpha to come. He’s too good, he sussed me out right away, However, seeing as you’re here. You’re going to have a new leader soon. One more shot of a Fenrir’s claws and he won’t even know his own name, let alone his pack,” Diego detailed.
“You didn’t realise when we met the guy you sent before,” Drew hit back, referring to the deputy who tried to kill Dylan at the sheriff station, “We work as a team. You’re going to have to kill us to break up this pack.”
“So be it,” Diego grinned, his eyes flaring again. He was about to shift. Drew grabbed Lily’s hand and led her back through the forest. They had to hide, and fast.
Freddie ran into the waiting room, and Josh followed, the two of them luring a fully shifted Dylan out of the view of the public. Josh shut the blind on the glass windows overlooking the platform. Nobody could see this.
Dylan was angry, as if every semblance of his human self had been lost. Dylan was the one who took Freddie under his wing after he got bitten, despite still being new to the werewolf world himself. Nobody had been more compassionate, except perhaps George. Tough competition.
“Dylan, find your anchor. Remember what you taught me,” Freddie encouraged.
“He can’t remember his anchor,” Josh explained as he dodged Dylan swinging his claws at him, “Make him.”
“Dylan, think about Jono,” Freddie remined, as Dylan snarled his way, “Think about everything you’ve got together. Everything you want to do with him in the future.”
Dylan flung another swipe, this time in Freddie’s direction. Expertly, Freddie grabbed the arm, holding Dylan’s wrist tightly and firmly. Much like he did with Noah, Freddie twisted Dylan’s wrist, hearing the stomach-churning crunch of his bones breaking.
Dylan lurched backwards, examining his wrist. His claws retracted, his face shifting back to its default, human state just in time for a tear to drop. Dylan looked up, worried and ashamed. His wrist had already healed. Pain makes you human.
“What have I done?” Dylan worriedly questioned. Freddie knew this had to be part of a bigger conversation.
Never the fastest of runners, Lily was feeling afraid. Drew was sprinting ahead, and even without his added werewolf advantage, he was considerably faster than her. Running was always Lily’s worst sport, and she hated it during PE lessons at school too. She preferred to work out in other ways; the benefit of having a home gym.
Below her feet, twigs were crunching and crackling. She hopped over stray logs from chopped down trees that got abandoned, worried she would miss one and faceplant into the hard, dry mud. Diego may not even have been following, but Lily didn’t want to take any risks.
“Almost there,” Drew yelled back. Not near enough, though. Lily was tired. Her asthma was feeling more noticeable, and her inhaler was in the car. She had to stick it out a few more metres.
Finally, the trees began to clear. The edge of the forest was in sight. Lily spotted her car. So close, but it felt so far.
A few more steps. Lily opened the door in record time, She leapt into the driver seat, slamming the door after her. Click. The doors were locked. Now all she had to do was drive. Lily froze. She was scared stiff.
“Lily, I need you to drive,” Drew encouraged. Lily couldn’t. She wasn’t in focus, and she felt panicked. Her self-defence was no good yet, not enough to fight off a Fenrir anyway.
“I can’t,” she admitted.
BANG! Lily felt her heart jump. It was on the windscreen, sat on the bonnet. There was the Fenrir. It had shifted fully into its gruesome, dark form. It raised both claws and without hesitating, they both shot through the windscreen, shattering the glass entirely.
Lily felt the claws dig into her chest, seeing the same in the corner of her eye happening to Drew. It hurt, and the pain didn’t subside when it withdrew its claws after a few seconds.
Before Lily could do anything more, it had gone. She looked at Drew. He seemed just as shell-shocked as she did. Lily placed her hand over the wound, applying pressure to it like she had seen on TV. The Fenrir might have gone, but Lily was still terrified.
The relief of Freddie’s phone call, telling him that Dylan had been found and was safe, was music to Jono’s ears. He could stop panicking again. That said, for how long? This was becoming more and more regular. He needed to take action to help Dylan now.
He and Yasmin had arrived at the train station, meeting Freddie and Josh inside the waiting room. Freddie had mentioned that Dylan was acting rabidly, which worried Jono a lot. It was unlike him, even in his werewolf state.
“Hello stranger,” Jono smiled kindly, approaching Dylan. He was sat on one of the hard, red seats that decorated the perimeter of the room. Dylan looked a wreck. Jono could never find him unattractive, but he certainly wasn’t looking his best either.
“I’m sorry,” Dylan simply said.
“You’ve got nothing to be sorry for,” Yasmin sat on Dylan’s right, while Jono parked himself on the left.
“Except some property damage at the train station,” Josh joked. Jono shot him a glare. Josh had a good sense of humour but rarely managed to read the room, “I’m sure Ed will sort it.”
“Ignore him,” Jono sighed, “You’re safe, that’s all that matters.”
“Is it though? I didn’t just lose my memories of you guys, I lost who I am too. I can’t figure anything out until I can remember Dylan Drummond,” Dylan justified.
“We need to get you those memories back,” Jono decided.
“How? It’s not like anything we’ve tried so far has helped,” Dylan sounded unusually defeated.
“I think I have an idea,” Yasmin suggested, “If it works, you could be fine and dandy before dinner.”
“If not?” Dylan worried.
“Well, let’s just say the clock’s ticking for Noah,” Yasmin reminded. It was true – Noah was still locked up for crimes he certainly didn’t do, and they had to find some evidence to free him. Ed was on their side, but he also had a job to do.
“Alright. Let’s do it,” Dylan decided, much to Jono’s relief. Whatever Yasmin’s ideas was, it felt like their last-ditch attempt.
Stirring with the smell of burning filling his nose, Drew woke up on red alert. He took in his surroundings. The first thing he noticed was that he was in a car. Lily’s car; the scent was recognisable behind the smoke.
Lily herself as in the driver’s seat on his left, still out cold. She was bleeding heavily from her chest. Drew smelt his own blood, too. He looked downwards. His shirt was drenched in his own blood, its usual horrific black colour. However, his wound had healed. Lily’s wouldn’t have.
Drew spotted the fire, coming from the boot. Instantly, Drew went into panic mode. A car on fire with a tank of gas so near? This was not safe at all. He had to get Lily out.
The weird thing was, Drew had no memory of getting there in the first place. What was up with the fire? How did he get hurt? It made no sense whatsoever.
Nevertheless, his first instinct was to protect Lily. Every second they were in the car put them in more and more danger.
Drew tried to open the passenger door. Locked.
He had to locate the key. The ignition had nothing attached. Drew fumbled through Lily’s pockets – he hated invading her privacy, but it was an emergency – but there was still no key. This would have been alarming if Lily had woken up first, but Drew had the upper hand.
Beginning to feel light-headed, Drew nevertheless swung for the window adjacent. He couldn’t break it. He should have, easily, but nothing gave way. Not even a tiny crack. His strength was diminished.
Then Drew spotted it. Clogging the shattered windscreen were an array of purple-pink plants. Pretty to humans perhaps, but Drew knew they were deadly to werewolves.
He was trapped. It was fogging his mind, trapping him in that car. Drew was scarily close to accepting his fate, but he had one last tactic. Using all of his remaining strength, Drew unleashed the loudest roar he could. He prayed somebody would answer his call. Any werewolf in all of Crystalshaw.
Now he had to wait. Perhaps Dylan would be on his way? He didn’t have much time, though. Someone had to get there, and quickly.
The glass smashed on his window. Suddenly, Drew felt himself being heaved out of the window. He didn’t see who it was, and his brain was too clouded to process a scent.
Drew was laid on the floor a few metres away, and the mystery rescuer sprinted back for Lily. Drew recognised them when they came into his eyeline. It was a woman, similar in age, with her jet-black afro hair styled back pristinely into a bun. This could only be one person. Allyn had come to his rescue. She must have been nearby. Allyn carried Lily in her arms, before taking her phone to make a call. Perhaps an ambulance?
Before Drew could ask who it was, the car exploded into a heap of flames. The impact of the heat enveloped Drew, sliding over his face. It could have easily been so different, but he and Lily were safe. Once again, Allyn had gone. He needed to find her again.
The same four walls of the cell at the sheriff station were driving Noah insane. He couldn’t believe he had been framed for anything, let alone something as heinous as multiple-homicide.
He missed his own bed, and his phone, and all of his home comforts. His dad hadn’t responded to any calls from the station either, so child protective services had been called. It was one huge mess, and he wasn’t sure there was an easy way out.
His night’s sleep had almost been non-existent. The little sleep he did manage was uncomfortable and interrupted. He really hoped the real killer would be found sooner rather than later.
“Kosinski, you have a visitor,” a deputy opened the door and came to unlock the cell. Of course, Noah had to be put in handcuffs first. As if he’d really cause anyone any danger. He hated even harming spiders or moths in his house, it felt cruel.
A visitor sounded promising, though it was probably just his social worker. At least it gave him a brief recess from his mind. Walking into one of the interview rooms, Noah was gobsmacked and extremely relieved to see who was waiting for him.
“Hello Noah. Tell me everything,” Dylan commanded.
8: Discovery Written by MarthaJonesFan
Concerned about what he was going to hear, Dylan faced Noah eye-to-eye. There was no doubt in Dylan’s mind that Noah was innocent, but he was prepared just in case. It wouldn’t be the first time he had been blindsided.
Dylan prepared for every outcome. He hated seeing Noah looking so downbeat. He was always so chirpy and sweet. Dylan almost regretted having to bite him. It was necessary, and he was thrilled to have somebody as kind-hearted as Noah in the pack, but he didn’t deserve any of this. He had to be innocent, but Dylan needed to hear it for himself.
“Hello Noah. Tell me everything,” Dylan commanded.
“There’s nothing to tell,” Noah responded vaguely.
“Tell me what you were doing in the early hours of yesterday. Every single detail,” Dylan demanded. He needed to know everything.
“I was asleep for most of the time,” Noah replied, “I don’t sleep very well. I woke up, went to get a drink and watched Netflix. Ed said it’s not a strong enough alibi, as anyone could have used my account.”
Dylan paid very close attention to Noah’s heartbeat. It didn’t flinch, not even once. He was telling the truth.
“Did anyone see you?” Dylan queried. Ed had surely already covered this, but Dylan had to be sure.
“No,” Noah responded. His heartbeat jumped and sped up. He was lying.
“The truth, Noah,” Dylan was adamant. He couldn’t help out if he didn’t know the truth.
“Okay. I was staying over with this guy. His mom saw me when I went to get a drink. She can vouch for me, and so can he,” Noah revealed.
“Why didn’t you tell Ed? That’s your alibi, dude,” Dylan was confused.
“He doesn’t know I’m bi,” Noah answered, “My dad. I can’t tell him. He wouldn’t accept me.”
Dylan nodded. He understood Noah’s fears, even though he was much more fortunate in that department. Now he had to brainstorm. Perhaps there was a solution to satisfy everyone?
Anxiously checking Lily’s pulse, Drew was relieved to find out that she was still alive, but only just. Her breathing was limited, and her wound still had blood sliding out. Drew was worried about how much blood she was losing. Perhaps he could have sustained such an injury for longer, but Lily was human. Her body would not come much longer. Whoever Allyn had called really needed to hurry up. Perhaps an ambulance?
“Hey, this way,” Drew heard a voice from behind. He looked over to see a lad, no older than him, ushering him over. Picking Lily up and carrying her in his arms, Drew didn’t need to be asked twice. Maybe this was his source of help?
He followed the lad through the forest for about two minutes, until they reached an abandoned-looking shed. A shed that Drew recognised. He had hidden there so many times from hunters, but his last visit was many years ago now.
Drew felt sceptical about going inside now though. What if this were a trap? It could easily have been Diego’s latest trick. Drew had to be on red alert. He wasn’t going to allow anything else to harm him, and certainly not Lily.
“What’s in there?” Drew queried.
“Help,” the lad answered. His hair was long and untidy, the soft auburn curls congregating behind his back. Drew realised this was his chance to save Lily’s life. She was still bleeding, and leaving help any longer could make the difference between her living and her… Drew didn’t want to think about the alternative. He’d lost enough people. He wasn’t losing Lily too.
Inside the shed, it looked like it hadn’t been touched for years. Layers of dust caked the various gardening items you would typically expect in a shed.
“Where’s the help?” Drew impatiently queried. He wasn’t feeling optimistic, and he knew there was a ticking clock hanging over Lily’s life.
“Shut it,” the boy responded, fumbling away with a load of crappy equipment om the floor, clearing a space. He pulled at a hatch on the ground, exposing a tunnel, “Come on, I’ll help carry her down.”
Together, they managed to help Lily downwards into what seemed to be further along the system of tunnels underneath Crystalshaw. Drew’s bunker was down there somewhere, but not especially close. He had barely explored the tunnels over the years, as it was the perfect place for hunters to strike without anyone else ever knowing.
The lad heaved open the first door and led them into a bunker very similar to Drew’s own.
“Lay her down,” a woman ordered. She must have been in her late twenties, and was wearing medical gloves with her hair tied back.
“She’s human,” Drew specified, “She won’t stop bleeding.” The woman examined Lily. Drew prayed this would work. It had to.
Now the ball was rolling, Dylan was able to focus on himself once again. Yasmin, Josh and Freddie could take over on rescuing Noah for the time being, and they had to find Drew and Lily while they were at it, neither of them were answering their phones.
That left Jono to accompany him to the place he should have gone a lot sooner. Bracing himself outside Edwina’s Herbal Remedies, Dylan took a deep breath. This could solve his memory loss, or it could not, but he knew this was by far his best shot.
“You’re doing the right thing,” Jono encouraged. It was importantly to Dylan that he had his support.
“I know,” Dylan smiled at him, holding his hand tightly.
Dylan exhaled before pushing the shop door open. The familiar sights of the organised chaos that made up Edwina’s shop filled his eyes, and all of the different spices and lotions engulfed Dylan’s sense of smell.
“Hello again,” Edwina smiled at Dylan, “I was wondering how long it would be before I saw you again.”
“I need your help,” Dylan explained.
“I know. Just tell me, what did this to you?” Edwina enquired.
“Fenrir,” Dylan answered. It felt odd saying that aloud to someone outside the pack.
“Take a seat. Give me ten minutes,” Edwina kindly responded.
Dylan felt anxious. He knew Edwina was somewhat an expert, and she unquestionably knew more about what was about to happen than Dylan did, but that didn’t stop him worrying. What would he have to do?
He glanced at Jono, who shot him a supportive smile. Whatever Dylan needed to do, Jono made it worthwhile.
“You’re shaking,” Jono pointed out. He wasn’t wrong. Dylan was terrified, and his body wasn’t hiding it.
“I don’t know what to expect. You know I hate the unknown, right?” Dylan admitted.
“Totally. I also know you’re not a quitter,” Jono added.
“You know me well. I’m doing this. For the pack. For my family. For you,” Dylan confidently said. Saying It aloud made it feel like a legally binding contract. No way out.
“Do it for yourself,” Jono added, “Your life matters too. It’s okay to be selfish now and then.” Jono wasn’t wrong. Dylan just had to trust in himself this time.
Leading the charge while Dylan was out of the picture, Yasmin stood by as Freddie and Josh shifted Drew’s bunker door. Though Yasmin was never one to avoid getting her hands dirty, she was self-aware enough to know that werewolf strength outdid her human power vastly. Well, technically she wasn’t human, but being part-nix came with annoyingly few benefits.
Now Yasmin needed Drew and Lily to help her. The greater their numbers, the better chance they had to find whoever framed Noah. The door creaked open, and Yasmin had a clear view inside.
“Where are they?” Yasmin was baffled. Neither Drew nor Lily were in sight.
“I’d hazard a guess at ‘not here’,” Josh jested. Yasmin shot him a death glare in return. Not helpful.
“Drew’s down here, I’ve got his scent,” Freddie identified.
“That’s because it’s his bunker. It all smells like Drew down here,” Josh suggested.
“No, because I can smell Lily too,” Freddie corrected, “Down the tunnels.”
“What are they doing down there?” Yasmin worriedly wondered, staring down the long stretch of corridor in front of her. It was dimply lit and very damp, hardly giving off an inviting vibe.
“I don’t know, but I don’t feel so good about it,” Freddie responded. At least they were on the same wavelength.
“Come on chickens,” Josh motivated, much to Yasmin’s annoyance.
“You want to go down there?” Freddie was every bit as hesitant as Yasmin.
“What’s the worst that could happen?” Josh grinned, “Actually, don’t answer that, but we’ve got two werewolves. Nobody else stands a chance.”
Yasmin sighed. She wasn’t winning this one. At least if they found Drew and Lily, it would be made worthwhile. She was beginning to feel very worried by their absence.
Drew felt annoyingly antsy. He was watching as the medic operated on Lily. He couldn’t identify exactly what was up, he was far from a medical expert and Drew was pretty used to healing of his own accord. It had been a long time since he had needed proper medical attention.
The medic looked like she knew what she was doing, and Lily had stopped bleeding, thankfully. Drew had amazed himself at just how much he cared for Lily. He was used to looking after himself and nobody else, but Lily was his friend. She trusted in him, and took the time to talk to him properly. He needed to return the favour of kindness.
“She’s lost a lot of blood. We need to do a transfusion,” the medic explained. Drew felt relieved – Lily was going to be okay. However, his attention was turning to the bunker and who these people were. They were werewolves for sure, Drew knew the scent, but what type? Were there any more of them? How did they get all of this medical equipment?
The lad returned with an IV line and a bag of blood, which the medic set up. The blood was black, just like a werewolf’s own.
“I told you, she’s human,” Drew yelled over.
“It’s this, or she dies,” the medic firmly replied. Drew sat back. This was unchartered territory. Lily wasn’t out of the woods yet.
“It’s all ready for you Dylan, come through,” Edwina revealed. Dylan looked nervously at Jono. The fear of the unknown was still engulfing his mind like a tidal wave. There were no known factors involving what he was about to do. What would this involve? What would the outcome be? Edwina never guaranteed a treatment would work. Perhaps it was one big waste of time. He had no way of knowing.
Dylan followed Edwina through to the back of the shop, not letting go of Jono’s hand for even a second. He saw a bath in the centre of the packed stock room, the wallpaper barely visible behind cardboard boxes piled up high.
As he got nearer, Dylan felt the hairs on his arms stand up, goose bumps popping up as a wave of cold air hit him. Dylan spotted that it was coming from the bath, which was filled with ice. Next to Edwina was a man, likely in his forties, with a shaven head and a styled, suave beard.
“Hello Dylan,” he introduced himself, “I’m Dr Alan Deaton, veterinarian.” He seemed assured and relaxed, yet confident and motivated.
“Err, hi,” Dylan greeted. He was unsure as to why a vet was there to help him with a condition like memory loss.
“Dr Deaton is an old friend of mine. He’s here to help,” Edwina explained.
“That’s for me?” Dylan pointed at the bath. A whole bath of ice and cold water looked highly unpleasant.
“The ice bath slows down your heart dramatically so we can speak to your subconscious, clawing back the memories you lost as a result of the Fenrir,” Deaton explained.
“A Fenrir excretes a serum that blocks your memories, as soon as the memories return, you’ll expel it from your body,” Edwina continued.
“What if I catch hypothermia?” Dylan worried. It didn’t feel very safe.
“You’ll be fine as long as you listen to my instructions,” Deaton detailed.
“How dramatic?” Jono was concerned, “You said his heart slows down dramatically. With all due respect, Doc, that sounds kinda bad.”
“Very dramatic. Near death,” Deaton replied candidly.
“Dr Deaton is an expert, he has carried this off successfully before,” Edwina noted, “On another werewolf.”
“A friend of Scott McCall’s,” Deaton added. He knew Scott, and somehow remembered him. Anyone Scott trusted was automatically a friend of Dylan’s.
“Okay, let’s do this,” Dylan decided. The sooner this was over, the better.
Hearing the drip-drop of leaking water all around him, Freddie felt unsettled in the tunnels. His shoes were wet, and he was sure they must have had a hole or two in as both his socks were soaked too.
Freddie was far from his comfort zone of his bedroom, music blaring out, video game taking all his attention. Josh seemed to know what he was doing down in the tunnels, but he was very good at overestimating himself. For all they knew, they could have walked right into a trap. Freddie knew that if he were going to set a trap, it would be somewhere as quiet and hidden away as those tunnels.
That said, Drew and Lily’s scents were clear. He had no doubt that they were down there, and the scents were only magnifying as they travelled further in.
“Anyone else feel like this is a waste of time?” Josh wondered. He always asked the difficult questions, with very little tact.
“Two of your friends go missing and you call it a waste of time?” Yasmin hit back.
“I’m just saying. Noah’s a ticking time bomb right now, should we not focus on him?” Josh thought.
“Drew’s been investigating the murders, he knows more than any of us,” Yasmin reasoned.
“Besides, the more the merrier,” Freddie added. He knew his abilities and he trusted in them, but they were dealing with a multiple murderer. Splash. Freddie picked up on the sound of a footstep colliding with a puddle of water. It wasn’t particularly near, but it meant they weren’t alone.
“Did you hear that?” Freddie whispered.
“Hear what?” Josh questioned loudly, not understanding the urgency of the situation. Splash. “Oh, that.”
“Someone’s coming?” Yasmin wondered.
“Maybe it’s Drew or Lily?” Josh thought.
“Or someone else,” Freddie feared.
“One way to check,” Josh decided, before yelling, “Drew? Lily?”
“Dude,” Freddie harshly whispered. What was he playing at? He could have just alerted an enemy to their location.
The splish-splashing of shoes in puddles got closer and closer. Freddie felt his claws lengthening and his teeth extending, preparing for a fight. He heard Josh snarl next to him. Obviously, he had prepared in the same way.
Freddie looked up to his left as a large, blurred figure swiped past. Josh was knocked to the floor.
Freddie was swept off his feet as another figure barged into him.
“Run, Yasmin!” Freddie commanded. He looked up, but Yasmin wasn’t there. It was too late. Freddie went to stand back up, when…THUMP.
Stripped to his underwear, Dylan was cautious about the ice bath. He felt it on his skin already before he’d stepped in. He had to do it, though. He had to take the jump.
Carefully, Dylan dipped a toe in. The ice-cold touch was almost painful. He didn’t let it stop him, though. He slipped his whole body in, trying hard to forget about the feeling that now covered his whole body.
“Remember, I am the only one to speak, or he will get confused,” Deaton advised.
Nodding, Dylan gave the command. Placing his hands across his chest, Dylan allowed Deaton, Edwina and Jono to push him under the icy top layer in the water. Dylan shut the horrible, cold feeling out by focusing only on his thoughts.
“Dylan, are you with me?” Deaton questioned. Dylan felt his face rise above the water again, but his eyes remained shut.
“Yes,” Dylan answered assertively.
“I want you to think about Jono. Picture his face. Remember where you saw it first,” Deaton commanded.
“School,” Dylan immediately replied, like it was a reflex. He could visualise it. Jono was sat in his classes, Freddie and Josh always accompanying him. It felt so familiar, like Dylan had seen and experienced it, “I found him cute as soon as I saw him, but I guessed he was out of my league. And straight.”
“When did you first kiss?” Deaton probed.
“A few weeks later, after detention. Jono took me to his treehouse and we kissed. I almost shifted in front of him,” Dylan recalled, as if it had never left his mind.
“What about when you got bitten? What do you remember?” Deaton continued.
“I was doing homework with Yasmin at my house,” Dylan recalled, “I was bored and got too big for my boots, so we went outside into the woods. That’s where it happened. That’s where he bit me.”
“Who bit you? Can you name them?”
“Josh. He was the alpha. He went crazy, so we stopped him. He lost his status,” Dylan remembered. Somehow, all of these memories filled his mind with absolute ease. How could he ever have forgotten?
“How did you learn to control the wolf?”
“Drew taught me about anchors. Jono is mine. Everything we’ve done together, everything we have,” Dylan replied.
That was it. He felt more like himself than he had in weeks. Jolting awake, Dylan felt the wave of cold whacking harshly against his skin. Jono helped him out of the bath, and wrapped a few towels around him.
“I remember. I remember you,” Dylan smiled at Jono. Kissing him with more passion and fire in his belly than ever before.
“Now for the hard part,” Edwina ominously stated, killing the moment.
Stirring with a banging headache, Lily didn’t recognise her surroundings. It looked a little like Drew’s bunker, but the storage units were far tidier. She was on some sort of table, which wasn’t remotely comfortable.
“Take it easy, you’ve been injured pretty badly. I don’t want you to pop your stitches,” a girl advised her. She didn’t recognise the voice.
“Where am I? What’s happened?” Lily was panicking. She had no recollection of how she got there.
“Lily!” she heard a more familiar voice yell. It was Drew, who came and stood next to her, saving her having to sit up, “I’m so glad you’re okay. I was worried.”
“What happened?” Lily questioned. Drew never shared his emotions like this. Something bad must have gone down.
“I don’t know. I can’t remember. I woke up, and we were in your car. She saved us,” Drew confusingly recalled.
“Who saved us? From what?” Lily tried to make sense of what he said. Her brain hadn’t fully woken up yet, and her chest was hurting like mad.
“Your car exploded. We were both injured, and it was filled with wolfsbane. I couldn’t break us out,” Drew explained. That sounded suspiciously well-planned. This wasn’t some freak accident.
“Neither of us can remember,” Lily realised, having a brainwave, “You don’t think…”
“Fenrir,” Drew identified. They had been hit the same way Dylan had, but to a lesser extent.
seen the Fenrirs?” a lad interjected.
“Allyn told us they were out there,” the medic added.
“Did she know anything else?” Drew desperately questioned.
“She said there were a group, a whole pack of them, led by the boss. A lad with dark hair.”
“Diego,” Lily identified.
Furious, Yasmin was trying her best to struggle free. She didn’t notice who had grabbed her, but their grip around her wrist only got tighter the more she wriggled. There was no way she could escape. She was being dragged through the tunnels, further away from Drew’s bunker, until they reached a ladder.
“Go up. Don’t even think of trying to escape,” the voice spoke, barking instructions. It was female, but Yasmin still couldn’t see her face. Nevertheless, with strength like that, she wasn’t likely to be human. That meant even if she did try to escape, she could easily be outrun and caught. It wasn’t going to help her case.
She needed the right moment, and she had to be smart about it. A moment where she had an undeniable advantage. Therefore, Yasmin climbed the ladder up to the surface, the girl following just behind. Yasmin could now see her face in the light of day. She was a bit older than Yasmin, but not by much. Her long, strawberry-blonde curls glistened in the light, though her pretty face looked exhausted.
“Why are you doing this?” Yasmin pleaded. Perhaps she could appeal to her better nature?
“Keep walking,” the girl responded hesitantly.
“You could let me go, we can say no more about it. You can make up an excuse, like you couldn’t find me,” Yasmin bargained.
“The boss would punish me,” the girl answered. Progress. She had actually responded.
“Surely a slap on the wrist is worth my life?” Yasmin reasoned.
“Maybe, but my life isn’t worth yours,” the girl continued. Wow. This boss seemed pretty nasty. Yasmin was taken aback. She had to change tactic.
“We can both escape, then,” Yasmin begged, “We can run away and nobody will ever know.”
“He’ll find me. He always finds me,” the girl was getting more and more emotional.
“We can protect you, I promise,” Yasmin was feeling desperate as they continued through the forest. They passed a car, with flames burning brightly and dangerously from it. Yasmin knew that car anywhere. It was Lily’s. Her stomach had dropped. She prayed Lily was okay, but this didn’t feel good. She tried to keep focus on the girl, “What’s your name?”
“Julia,” she replied.
“Julia, I’m Yasmin, and I give you my word,” Yasmin turned to face her. Julia didn’t look like a bad person. She obviously had her hands tied.
“I’m sorry,” Julia responded, just as they reached a clearing in the woods. In the middle of the clearing was a massive, majestic tree, way taller than any other in the forest.
“What’s this?” Yasmin wondered. She saw somebody approaching. A familiar face. Diego.
“Time for an upgrade,” he replied. A sentence that made Yasmin wish she had tried to escape after all.
Head pounding, Josh sat up. The floor was damp and grotty, and his clothes were soaking wet. He looked around. Nothing but brick walls all around him, and a skylight letting in a tiny glimmer of light. There was a huge, metal door in front of him, blocking the exit. Josh heaved at it, pulling and pushing in every way he could. Nothing budged, though. He supposed that whoever locked him in there knew exactly who he was. Josh was angry. How had he allowed himself to end up in this situation? He used to be a goddamn alpha, he should be above stupid traps like this. That said, that was probably why his alpha-hood was so short-lived.
“Josh?” he heard a voice call. It was Freddie. The walls were thick, so Josh was grateful for his enhanced hearing.
“Freddie, I’m here. Are you okay? I’m trapped,” Josh explained, without raising his voice. There was no need for anybody else to be listening in.
“I’m fine, but I’m locked up too. Is Yasmin with you?” Freddie wondered.
“No,” Josh worriedly replied. Yasmin must have been in danger, then. Perhaps she was in another cell? She didn’t have enhanced hearing, so she’d have had no idea they were there. Josh listened even more closely. He could hear only two heartbeats: himself and Freddie. She wasn’t there, “Maybe she got out?”
“I don’t know. I tried calling her but there’s no signal down here,” Freddie answered. Josh checked his own phone, just in case. Not even one bar of signal. Darn.
“Let’s make ourselves known, then,” Josh opted.
He started banging on the cell door as loudly as he could, kicking and punching at it, yelling at the top of his lungs. He heard Freddie doing the same too.
Still focusing on his hearing, Josh heard two further heartbeats approach the cells. The bolt on the door loosened, so Josh stood back. He prepared himself for a fight. The door flung open, creaking loudly on its rusty hinges.
“Quit the noise,” a man threatened. He was older, in his forties at least, with only the tiniest scattering of hair sprinkled across his head.
“Or what?” Josh hit back.
“Or this,” the man responded, his eyes glowing a familiar, Fenrir shade of red. His fangs grew, way larger than any werewolf’s.
“Oh shit,” Josh muttered as the man swung his fist rapidly into Josh’s face. He would have to be much smarter about this if he wanted to get out alive.
Positioned on a stool with a bucket in front of him, Dylan was preparing for the last stage of this treatment. He was so relieved to have all of his memories back. He kept revisiting so many moments in his mind. All of the special times with his friends. Hugging his mum. Saying goodbye to his dad. All of these memories had shaped Dylan. He was nothing without them, or the people he created them with.
Edwina was now preparing one of her remedies to expel the Fenrir’s serum from his body. If he didn’t get it out, it could easily infect him again. There was no way Dylan would allow that; now he had his memories back, he wasn’t letting them go.
“One thing that bothers me,” Jono mentioned. He was sat on a stool next to Dylan. Together every step of the way, “Is why you only remembered Drew. What was it about him?”
Dylan hadn’t considered that. It didn’t make any sense at all, and he could tell Jono was upset by it.
“What’s so special about Drew?” Deaton questioned. He seemed to be quite the expert, perhaps he would know?
“He’s a werewolf, just like me, but he’s been one for a lot longer,” Dylan replied. Then it hit him, “Until recently.”
“He became human, just for a few days,” Jono recalled.
“That must be it. The Fenrir wanted you to forget your pack, Drew as a human wasn’t a part of your pack, so you remembered him,” Deaton logically realised. It made perfect sense.
“I would never choose him to remember over you, I hope you know that,” Dylan reminded Jono.
“I know,” Jono smiled, but his lips were quivering, as if he were holding back the tears. However, one slipped out of his tear ducts, as if it were on the run. Dylan wiped it away, resting his hand on Jono’s cheek. His own eyes were welling up too. He would have hated to have been in Joon’s position. Waking up to find out that Jono couldn’t remember him would have destroyed Dylan.
“I’m sorry you had to see me like that,” Dylan admitted.
“You’ve got nothing to be sorry about,” Jono instantly replied.
“I got too big for my boots. I shouldn’t have gone to fight that Fenrir,” Dylan opened up.
“You had no idea that would happen,” Jono said, “You still trusted me, even though you had no idea who I was. That meant the world.”
“I fall in love with you every day, you dumbass,” Dylan laughed, “Why would amnesia change anything?”
Jono laughed. They were both crying their eyes out while Deaton watched on. Dylan had momentarily forgotten he was in the room still.
“It’s all ready,” Edwina walked back in, holding a chalice carefully in her hands. Dylan felt nervous again, but he was prepared. Edwina handed the chalice over and Dylan examined the drink. It looked like a glass of cola, but it didn’t smell anywhere near as nice.
“Bottoms up,” Dylan nervously giggled, tipping the contents of the chalice into his mouth and down his throat in one. What happened now was up to his body.
A few moments passed, and he felt nothing. All of a sudden, Dylan began to feel sick. His stomach wasn’t reacting well.
“So?” Jono eagerly waited.
“I don’t…” Dylan began to reply, but stopped. His whole body began to convulse and shake violently. All of his self-control vanished…
The cell was driving Noah mad. It was approaching twenty-four hours since his arrest now, and he felt awful. It was like he’d caught some sort of sickness bug, and it had been ongoing for weeks now in a much less noticeable fashion. Ever since he had gotten bitten, in fact. He thought werewolves weren’t supposed to get sick? His bite wounds had healed, but his body had obviously not bothered. He felt nauseous, his head throbbed like mad, and he was so tired. He needed some fresh air.
“Hey! Sheriff!” Noah called out.
Moments later, Ed came into the cell room, acting as casual as ever. Noah watched him through the thick, metal bars. He hated Ed’s freedom. His power. He felt himself getting angrier and more frustrated.
“What’s up, kid?” Ed queried.
“I need to get out,” Noah replied frantically. It was imperative. He couldn’t stay imprisoned for much longer.
“It doesn’t work like that Noah, I’m sorry,” Ed replied. It was almost as if the sheriff badge had responded instead of the human being wearing it.
“Let me repeat,” Noah snarled, “I need to get out.”
He felt his eyes glowing. It was escalating, and fast.
“Still a no,” Ed firmly answered. Noah pressed his hands against the bars. With little effort, he bent them apart, creating enough room for his head. Ed sprinted out backwards, locking the door of the cell room, but it wasn’t enough. Noah snapped the bars, slid out, and bashed the door down without a problem. Finally, he was free.
9: Sacrifice Written by MarthaJonesFan
Three weeks on. The accident was distant history in Diego’s mind, but the effects were still going strong. He hadn’t been to school for three weeks either, and they were getting pretty frustrated at his absence without a note from the hospital.
His parents were none the wiser to his true injuries, either. He couldn’t possibly tell them what happened. They’d never have believed it anyway. His so-called friend had coerced him, tricked him, into something horrendous. He didn’t even have the wounds to show for it any longer. The bite wounds on both arms had totally healed within a day, which creeped Diego out like crazy.
Now he felt like he was going to throw up. The constant nausea, headaches and drowsiness were grating on Diego but he hadn’t actually thrown up yet. He rushed into the bathroom next door, flung the toilet lid up and prepared for the vile sensation.
Nothing happened. Diego was confused. However, his body began to convulse instead. He felt himself shaking like mad. His insides were burning up. Hotter. Hotter. Then…nothing.
Diego stopped shaking, regathering his breath. He looked in the bathroom mirror. His eyes glowed a bright, burning yellow, until they slipped into a dark burgundy. His teeth were shaped more like sharp, pointy fangs.
Diego panicked. He had to have been hallucinating, right? There was no way that could have been real…
His body shaking out of control, Dylan was terrified. He couldn’t stop. The potion Edwina had given him had obviously reacted badly in his system. The chalice had smashed to the ground, and he felt Jono holding his hand.
All of a sudden, he stopped. Sweating like crazy, Dylan took a moment to gather himself. Jono, Edwina and Deaton were all crouching down next to him. He had somehow landed on the floor, but he didn’t realise how or when that happened.
Before anyone could comment, Dylan felt the unpreventable urge to wretch. He reached for the bucket as a relatively small amount of liquid found its way up and out of his mouth. Without actively looking, Dylan noticed it was clear and kind-of gooey. He didn’t fancy a proper look, though.
“It worked,” Jono smiled.
“Did it have to be that dramatic?” Dylan looked to Edwina.
“It worked, quit while you’re ahead,” Edwina smiled kindly. She was right. It had indeed worked, and he was so grateful. Both her and Deaton had done so much for him.
“Thank you. Both of you,” Dylan added.
“Of course,” Deaton replied, “I think Scott would have killed me if I didn’t help you.”
“How do you know him?” Dylan wondered.
“I was his boss,” Deaton answered, “We taught each other a lot. He was very complimentary of you.” Dylan felt a sweet, tingling feeling inside. As if he’d made a success of himself.
Dylan’s phone buzzed. He checked it instantly and saw a text from Drew: “Meet at bunker immediately.”
“We gotta go,” Dylan said to Deaton and Edwina, “Thanks again. I owe you everything.”
“Take care,” Edwina smiled. Dylan took Jono’s hand and ran with him to the car. It was time to kick some murderer’s ass.
Pushed towards the huge tree in the clearing by Diego, Yasmin was trying desperately to think of a way out. However, it seemed pretty unlikely. If she didn’t think she could outrun Julia earlier, she certainly couldn’t outrun her, Diego and one other that was also there.
However, Yasmin stayed alert. If there was even one single moment that could allow for a speedy escape, she was going to take it. Ultimately, the key was to avoid rushing.
In the meantime, talking would help. She had some unanswered questions that would definitely delay proceedings.
“What’s the deal, Diego? I’m having a hard time figuring shit out,” Yasmin probed.
“I need a pack, and Dylan Drummond’s pack, well, it’s just about the best pack for miles. Honestly, you guys are making quite an impression,” Diego explained.
“Didn’t you hear? Your last guy…” Yasmin tried to hit back.
“Yeah, you won’t do it, blah blah blah,” Diego belittled, “Look, there are two options. You can join me, or die. Your other friends found that out already.”
Yasmin gulped. It didn’t take a genius to work out who he meant. Drew and Lily had been missing all day, and Lily’s car was burning like mad.
“Why am I here, then? At some stupid tree,” Yasmin tried to hold herself together.
“This is called the Nemeton. It’s one of many around the world. They’re supernatural beacons,” Diego explained, “Nobody quite knows all of its powers, but I read a little myth. One about nixes.”
Yasmin gulped again. This didn’t sound positive in any way. Their walk came to a close as the tree stood just inches away from Yasmin, and Diego placed both of her hands onto the trunk.
“I’m not a nix,” Yasmin corrected, “Not fully.”
“Not yet,” Diego replied. A shot of electricity vaulted down the tree and onto Yasmin’s hands, filtering through her body. It hurt like mad. So much for that way out.
His face stinging like crazy, Freddie sat himself back up against the wall of the cell. His face had been beaten pretty badly, but at least it would heal. However, things could get tricky for real if he didn’t get out soon. He needed to check in on Josh again.
“Dude, you still there?” Freddie called. His voice remained quiet, but that’s all he needed for Josh to hear him.
“Just about,” Josh croaked. He sounded even worse than Freddie felt.
“They beat you too?” Freddie clarified.
“Nope, I walked into an open cupboard door,” Josh responded. At least his sarcasm hadn’t been lost.
“I worry it’ll be even worse next time,” Freddie admitted. He didn’t want to think there would be a next time ideally, but he couldn’t be naïve.
“I know. We gotta get out,” Josh concurred.
“How though? We can’t get past those doors,” Freddie thought aloud.
“I don’t know. Got a spade on you?” Josh confusingly questioned.
“Huh? No I damn well don’t,” Freddie was baffled.
“Darn. I was hoping we could dig a hole out,” Josh added the punchline. Freddie raised a smile. Then he had a brainwave.
you’re a genius,” Freddie exclaimed.
“I am? Oh, sure,” Josh sounded confused.
“Can’t go under, but we could definitely go over,” Freddie looked upwards, “Tell me you’ve got a skylight in your cell.”
“Yeah, but it’s way out of my reach,” Josh answered pessimistically.
“Dude, you’re a werewolf,” Freddie reminded, “We can jump. I’ve got a bar I can swing from to help. You?”
“Same. Okay, we better get this over with,” Josh didn’t sound confident, but Freddie was pleased with his plan. It was definitely their best shot.
Freddie brought on the wolf inside. As always, he thought of his mum, and the grief he felt when she died. That was like the switch to turn the wolf on and off.
He focused on the pole dangling less than a metre below the skylight. His target was locked. Freddie leapt up, bouncing off the left wall, springing to the right, then reaching and locking his hands on the pole successfully.
Freddie swung for a few seconds, gathering his strength and trying not to look down. All he had to do now was smash the skylight, making as little noise as possible. He and Josh had to be in sync for this to succeed.
“Josh, where you at?” Freddie queried.
“Err, I’ve got a problem. They caught me,” Josh replied, defeated. Freddie was torn now. He was still hanging from the pole, which could quite easily give way any second, and he had to decide between himself and Josh rapidly…
Feeling more motivated than he had in a long time, Jono felt a fire light up inside his stomach. Having Dylan by his side, knowing everything was back to normal, wasn’t just comforting, but it gave him his mojo back. Now he was ready to solve this murder mystery once and for all.
Climbing down the ladder to the tunnels, Jono was surprised to see Drew waiting for them outside his bunker. This signalled an emergency, and Jono’s bubble was bursting already.
“What’s the deal?” Jono questioned, as if he were a reporter arriving on the scene.
“You’ve missed some crazy shit,” Drew began, “We know who the murderer is.” Jono was all ears. Nobody had heard from neither Drew nor Lily all day; obviously they had been pretty productive.
“Don’t leave us in suspense,” Dylan hurried.
“You know the Fenrir? Well, there’s a whole damn pack of them,” Drew detailed, “Led by Diego.”
“Diego?” Jono was shocked. He had trusted in Diego while Dylan had lost his memories. His support was so important, “The double-crossing swine.”
“You’re gonna hate him even more,” Drew added, “He tried to kill Lily and I.”
“What?” Jono was raging. He wasn’t ever one to get angry, but when someone he loved was threatened, he felt exceptionally protective, “Where is she?”
“She’s fine, she’s at another bunker right at the end of these tunnels. She’s got to take it easy,” Drew continued, “He tried the memory loss on us, but we figured it out anyway.”
“Where’s Yasmin?” Dylan queried.
“Yasmin? I’ve not seen her,” Drew answered. Yet more alarm bells were ringing for Jono.
“Yasmin, Freddie and Josh came to find you,” Jono notified.
“They were here,” Dylan added, “Their scents are lingering.”
“I need to go to Lily,” Jono told Dylan.
“Go, we’ll be fine,” Dylan commanded, offering a kind, sympathetic smile. Lily was his priority. He had to be there for his sister.
“Sorry Mrs. Gardner, was it one sugar or two?” George kindly asked, needing a reminder. Working on a Sunday was far from ideal, but he enjoyed his job. Working part-time at the elderly people’s home was pretty cathartic in some ways, and there was nothing more interesting than hearing the stories of the residents either.
“Just the one, my dear,” Mrs. Gardner replied from her living room next door. Though George never showed favouritism, Mrs. Gardner was definitely the resident he enjoyed talking to the most. She had fascinating stories of growing up, and George could sit and talk to her all day long.
He tipped one teaspoon full of sugar into her mug of tea and went to pass it to her, when he spotted Noah in the kitchen window. George quickly placed it on Mrs. Gardner’s coffee table next to her armchair in the living room before heading to the window and opening it slightly.
“Outside the door, meet me there,” George whispered. He couldn’t raise any alarm bells with Mrs. Gardner. Closing the door to her room, George was shocked to see Noah already outside.
“You don’t waste any time,” George commented.
“You’re the only one I can find,” Noah explained, “I need your help. Badly.”
“I’m at work. I can’t miss this,” George reasoned. He had bills to pay. He couldn’t miss a shift, it could jeopardise his whole job. Noah glared his eyes in response.
“I’m sorry. I can’t control it. I feel like I need to throw up,” Noah answered, “Ed is gonna be going crazy.”
“You broke out? Are you crazy?” George was concerned. He was now harbouring a fugitive. Noah was frustrating him with his lack of transparency.
“I couldn’t stop myself,” Noah justified, “I need to find Dylan, that’s all.”
“George,” he heard Mrs. Gardner call out.
“Be right back,” George told Noah, before closing the door and heading back inside.
“Is everything okay, Mrs. Gardner?” George put on a brave face, trying to act as if nothing was wrong.
“It’s okay George dear, I heard every word you said. Your friend needs your help,” Mrs. Gardner confusingly said. Huh? How did she hear?
“It’s not what you think,” George quickly defended himself.
“You need to find the Nemeton in the forest,” Mrs. Gardner instructed. The Nemeton. George had no idea what that was, but he was sure to find out, “Go and take your break.”
George smiled gratefully at her. Any questions he had could wait, Noah needed him.
Knife to his neck, Josh was trapped. His and Freddie’s subtle plan obviously wasn’t as subtle as they thought, and one of the Fenrirs, the one who beat him up, must have heard them talking. Freddie was almost out, but all Josh could do was stare longingly at the skylight, wishing he had been just that bit quicker.
“Go, Freddie,” Josh yelled, “I’ll be fine.”
“I can’t leave you,” Freddie responded.
“Don’t be wet, I can defend myself,” Josh lied. He didn’t have any idea how things would turn out, but it wasn’t worth both their lives.
Josh felt the grip tighten around his neck. The glass of Freddie’s skylight shattered. He had gone. Before the Fenrir could react, Josh heard a deafening howl. Freddie had called for back-up. They weren’t going down without a fight.
A few moments passed while the Fenrir re-evaluated his options.
“Move,” the Fenrir commanded. Josh wasn’t going to argue with a blade that sharp so close to his skin. He moved out into the corridor, somewhere along the system of tunnels.
Within seconds, Josh heard a swoosh behind him, the Fenrir crashing to the floor as if he were pushed over. The knife clinked to the floor beside him. Instantly, Josh kicked it far out of the way. The Fenrir tried to lunge for Josh again, but Drew appeared, picking him up and lobbing him across the corridor, knocking him out stone cold. Behind Drew were Dylan and Freddie, heeding the latter’s call.
“Let’s get out here,” Dylan decided.
“They took Yasmin,” Josh mentioned.
“I think I know where,” Drew added, “This way.”
“Wait, I have an idea first,” Dylan commented. Whatever it was, Josh was all-ears. The last thing he needed was a repeat showdown with a Fenrir like that.
Minutes passed, and Yasmin stayed attached to the Nemeton. She wasn’t sure she could move even if she was able to make an escape, and interrupting whatever was happening could make things even worse.
It really hurt, though. Bolts of electricity were still shooting through her body, every one just as painful as the last, and although she tried to keep a brave face, Yasmin couldn’t stop tears slipping down from her tear ducts like runaways. She felt weak and defenceless.
“Halfway,” Diego announced. Halfway? Yasmin wasn’t convinced she could last much longer, let alone the same time again. She felt different. Worse. Further away from herself.
Yasmin tried to keep her mind focused elsewhere instead. She imagined a door in her mind and shut it on the pain, preferring to imagine she was at home in her bedroom. She pictured her chemistry textbook, the one she needed for her next exam, and recited the periodic table.
“Hydrogen, helium, lithium…” she muttered under her breath.
The bolts stopped. Yasmin fell backwards crashing onto the ground. The Nemeton had released her. The process was done.
Diego knelt next to her, putting his hands on her cheeks frantically and intrusively.
“Show me your eyes,” he commanded. Yasmin was panicked. He was erratic and obviously very unstable. She had to keep him satisfied, but she didn’t know what he meant. He could clearly see her eyes.
“I’m showing them,” Yasmin gently insisted.
“Your other eyes, show me them,” Diego demanded. Other eyes, like Dylan’s wolf eyes? She had them too? Even if she did, Yasmin had no idea how to activate them. She was stuffed.
Before she could justify herself, a rapidly moving figure threw Diego across the clearing in one swoop. Rushing back, it was clear. It was Noah, rescuing her.
“What the heck are you doing here?” Yasmin questioned, knowing he should be in a police cell.
“Ask later, we need to go,” Noah explained as George rushed over to join them.
“If it isn’t our newbie,” Diego had recovered and was walking back over, “You’re too late, she’s a full nix now. On the bright side, it’s your turn now, Kosinski.” Yasmin gulped as she looked around her. Not only was Noah in danger, but she was somehow covered in a puddle of water in the middle of a hot summer’s day.
Trying to sit up, Lily was still feeling weak. She couldn’t quite manage to sit upright, and her chest was hurting like mad. Drew had gone to find Dylan, but she was really noticing his absence. She felt safe with her new friends, but she couldn’t stay with them forever after all.
“Woah there, take it easy,” the medic reminded, rushing to help Lily. Just about, with this helping hand, she managed to find a reasonably comfortable upright position, “How are you feeling?”
“Shit,” Lily candidly replied, “I hate this. I feel weak.”
“You survived,” the medic noted, “That makes you strong.” Lily nodded. She wished she had that level of confidence in herself.
“What’s your name?” Lily wondered.
“Kamilah,” she responded, “This is Monty.”
“Nice to meet you,” Lily smiled. The bunker door heaved open. It certainly squeaked a lot less than Drew’s did. Monty stood up, his bright yellow eyes glaring in the dimly lit bunker, ready to attack,
“Hello? Lily?” a delightfully familiar voice greeted.
“It’s okay, he’s my brother,” Lily informed Monty, “Jono, come in.” Jono peeped his head round, making eye contact with Lily before rushing to embrace her in a hug, “Careful, mind the stitches.”
“Are you okay?” Jono queried.
“Yeah,” Lily lied. She knew she was far from okay, but Jono wasn’t aware of this. He had been through so much crap of his own. He didn’t need her burdening him.
“Really though, tell me. I don’t believe you’re fine,” Jono admitted, “I know you, better than anyone.”
“Darn,” Lily got caught out. It was true, nobody knew her better than Jono, and vice versa, “I feel anxious and weak. Ever since Taylor’s death, I can’t cope.” She felt her eyes dripping with tears, like she couldn’t turn the tap off.
“Maybe you should see a doctor or someone who knows their stuff?” Jono suggested. It made her even more anxious to think of such a formal setting, but Lily knew she had a problem. She owed it to Jono to tackle it.
“Would you come with me?” Lily questioned.
“You try and stop me,” Jono smiled, hugging her tightly, “I’m here for you always. For a chat, for a cry, whatever you need.”
“Love you, bro,” Lily raised a smile too. Lily had been dreading a conversation like that, but this is what she needed to improve herself. She was so grateful for the ones she loved.
Walking behind Drew, Dylan was prepared for a confrontation. Anybody who abducted his best friend and expected sympathy would be sorely mistaken, and that’s without even considering everything else Diego did.
They were approaching what Drew called the Nemeton, some sort of tree for the supernatural world. Dylan didn’t totally understand, but he believed in Drew. Now he had Freddie and Josh with him too, a formidable team that he believed in, one-hundred percent.
He had a rough plan in his mind too, but he felt slightly concerned about a full pack of Fenrirs. One of them was undeniably strong, let alone several. However, with Yasmin’s life in the balance, Dylan wouldn’t stop at anything.
“It should be around here,” Drew explained, “We kinda found it by accident before.”
“There,” Josh pointed out. Sure enough, through a clearing in the trees, the biggest tree sat alone. Straight ahead in his line of vision was Noah, pressed against the wide trunk of the beautiful yet mysterious tree. Yasmin and George were both there too, alongside Diego. Whatever was happening, it looked bad. Dylan had to intervene.
“Hey!” Dylan called over, marching into the clearing, “I think we need to talk.”
“Ah, here he is, the golden boy. The person everyone in this pack is so desperate to protect,” Diego began, “Do you enjoy having minions running around after you, Dylan?”
“They’re my friends, don’t you get that?” Dylan tried talking to him. He had to be given a chance.
“No, I don’t, because my own friends abandoned me. I want a pack like yours, Dylan. One that’s reliable, loyal and friendly,” Diego justified.
“You need to earn it. You can’t force people to protect you, that’s not how a pack works,” Dylan reasoned.
“I already have a full nix on my side,” Diego pointed to a frightened Yasmin who was being helped from the floor by Freddie, “And the Nemeton is ensuring I have another Fenrir too.” He looked to Noah, pressed against the trunk, screaming in pain. The process must be underway.
“I gave you a chance,” Dylan explained, “Now you leave me no choice.”
Dylan primed his claws. Drew chucked him a jar, which Dylan opened rapidly to coat his claws with the contents – the memory loss serum he expelled. He dodged a swipe from Diego, who was also displaying his claws, ready to fight. Dylan wasn’t going to be hit by them again, though.
Behind him, Drew took out a young, female Fenrir, while Freddie and Josh were fighting a middle-aged male.
Dylan made his move – he swung his claws at Diego’s chest, but Diego caught his wrist, twisting his arm and breaking the bones.
“Pain makes you human,” Diego chuckled, seeing Dylan’s claws retract and the serum drop to the floor.
“Using my own trick against me. Very clever, but too slow,” Diego added. That was their only supply of the serum. Now Dylan really was screwed.
However, just as Dylan was giving up hope, he saw a needle sticking out of Diego’s neck. It had just been stabbed in, and the contents released into his body. Diego swung around, the culprit getting swiped deeply by his claws: Lily. Blood sprayed out of her chest violently as she lost balance, falling into Jono’s arms. Diego fell to the ground too, thudding onto the hard mud.
“Lily! Oh my god, is she okay?” Dylan frantically crouched next to her.
“I don’t, I…” Jono panicked, tears rolling down his cheeks. Her eyes were shut, and Jono was in too much of a state to check her pulse, so Dylan did it himself.
“She’s alive, just,” he relayed. Her pulse was very weak and slowing down. She wasn’t going to last long.
Jono held her hand tightly. It broke Dylan’s heart to see them both like that. People he adored so much. He needed to be there for Jono more than ever.
All of a sudden, Lily jolted awake.
“What happened?” she questioned. Dylan was confused. Her pulse had picked back up to a normal state. She pulled up her top to examine her wound, but there was no trace. No sign of either the new wound or the one from earlier.
“You healed,” Jono replied, just as baffled as Dylan. He hugged his sister tighter than ever, so grateful.
“Dylan, a little help,” Freddie called, just as Noah jolted backwards harshly from the Nemeton. Dylan caught him just in time in his arms.
“Noah, are you alright?” Dylan questioned worriedly.
“Err,” Noah stirred, “What did it do? I feel…fine. I think it’s gone. It’s cured me. Only one wolf left.”
Dylan glanced up to the Nemeton. He had no idea what it was, but it hadn’t done them dirty after all. He was awestruck, and he still had his pack with him, too.
That night, Yasmin had taken Dylan to the lake. It was situated on the opposite end of the forest to Dylan’s house, and she had never seen it at night, but it looked so pretty. The almost-full moon was shining down on top of it, the ripples making for such a soothing atmosphere.
“How are you feeling?” Dylan queried.
“Okay, I guess. I don’t know if it worked, but I don’t feel the same,” Yasmin answered honestly.
“If you’re not sure, then this might not work,” Dylan reminded.
“Dylan, I was sat in a puddle of water on a hot summer’s day. A nix summons water. It’s more than a coincidence,” Yasmin noted.
“Okay. I’m here for you,” Dylan kindly smiled.
Yasmin took a deep breath. She stripped her clothes off, down to the bikini she had put on underneath.
“Here goes nothing,” Yasmin said, breathing deeply, before slipping into the water, submerging herself fully. She held her breath the best she could, scared to open her eyes as her legs flapped under the surface, but she opened them nonetheless. Yasmin felt it happen like it were a reflex that she could not control. She then opened her mouth, like she could breathe in the water. It felt so natural.
Rising back to the top of the water, Yasmin locked eyes with Dylan.
“Woah, your eyes,” Dylan took his phone out, putting the camera onto selfie mode and holding it to Yasmin. She saw it for the first time. Her eyes were glowing an unnerving yet beautiful sea blue.
“I’m a nix,” she acknowledged. Yasmin wasn’t sure how she felt about this, but she was alive and in good health. That’s what mattered.
The day had finally come. Sophomore year was over, and Dylan was dressed unusually smartly. He had never been in court before, but it was a special day after all. The judge had just granted Josh’s adoption order. He was officially one of the family.
Everyone had come along, the whole pack. It had only been three days since Diego and the Nemeton, and it was like nothing had happened for the most part. The memory loss serum had worked, perhaps a bit too well as they could barely recall their names. Nevertheless, Drew administered the serum, from his own body after drinking one of Edwina’s cocktails, to the two remaining Fenrirs – the ones that imprisoned Freddie and Josh. Now they could live their lives out separately and away from harm.
In other good news, Noah had joined them, freed from the confines of the cell at last. Ultimately, the evidence that locked him up in the first place was thrown into doubt when Drew and Lily spoke about the Fenrir they saw tampering with one of the crime scenes. Dylan never doubted him for a second, though.
Furthermore, Noah seemed to be a proper werewolf now. Everyone was in good spirits. Josh was happier than ever, Lily was in good physical health still, and Freddie and Yasmin were in good spirts too. Drew was still trying to track down Allyn, with little success so far. Her pack had cleared out their bunker, so he was back to square one.
“Come oh, photo time,” Caroline announced. Dylan had barely spent time away from his mum once his memory came back. He hated to think of how distressed she must have been, even if he knew it wasn’t his fault.
Now he had to endure a group photo, with Josh front and centre. Dylan hated photographs like that, but it was worth it for his family. Dylan had Jono on his right and Caroline on his left; there was no place in the world he would rather be.
Dylan linked hands with Jono and smiled. He couldn’t wait to make many more memories with the person he loved the most.