Previous: Series 8

Next: TBA

College beckons for Dylan and the pack, giving each of them the chance to start afresh. However, when a professor is drowned at a party, they soon realise that their old life may not be so easy to escape. What do Yasmin's increasingly vivid visions mean? How will Sammi and Jeremy cope at school alone?

Claws Out is a spin-off of Teen Wolf.
Episode Name
Clean Slate
With college beginning, the pack settle in to their new accommodation, though Dylan finds it difficult to adjust to his new surroundings. Jono attempts to help Dylan settle, but will he succeed? Meanwhile, Freddie struggles to move on from Sammi, and Sammi herself faces an unexpected problem at school.
Safety Net
Desperate to find the girl from the party, Freddie enlists Josh to help search. When a professor is found dead among a flooded restaurant, Yasmin's visions could provide a clue to the killer. Dylan finds the transition to college overwhelming, while Jeremy takes a huge step to trusting Felix, against Sammi's better judgement.
Courses begin for the pack, but there's immediate trouble when Lily finds a dead body in the lecture theatre. Dylan leads the investigation, hoping to find a link. Yasmin struggles with her increasingly vivid visions, while Josh spots strange behaviour in Freddie. Felix asks Sammi on a date, but what's his ulterior motive?
When Freddie vanishes, Dylan enlists the entire pack to help search, and an old memory unlocks a clue. Jono and Lily face their own demons in the form of their parents, Oscar makes a new friend, and Josh persuades Yasmin to try an alternative method of searching. Meanwhile, Sammi makes a crucial decision.
The Siren
Stuck in a vision, Yasmin finds herself in more danger while trying to save Josh and Oscar. Freddie attempts to outrun Summer, but can Dylan reach him in time? Meanwhile, Sammi makes a decision on who she truly loves.

1: Clean Slate Written by MarthaJonesFan

The big day had finally come. So much planning had gone into making this the huge event it deserved to be, and Dylan felt so excited. It wasn’t often that he had the opportunity to give something back to his mum, but this day was all about her, and he felt so proud to be her son.

Caroline looked incredible, too. Her dress was perfect and suited her completely. The most important part was the smile on her face, though. It was wide, almost uncontrollable. Dylan recalled a time where he thought he may never have seen that smile again. Dylan’s dad remained a gigantic hole in both his and Caroline’s lives, but she deserved to find happiness again.

“Do you think he’d be upset?” Caroline questioned as they waited patiently behind the wooden doors. Evidently, she was thinking of the exact same thing. Proof that he could never be replaced.

“I think he’d be proud of you, mom. Just like I am,” Dylan nodded. His dad would have asked for nothing more than their happiness, and both of them had certainly found just that.

“My precious boy,” Caroline smiled, “I couldn’t be prouder of you if I tried.”

The music began. That was their cue. The wooden doors in front of them swung open dramatically, exposing the aisles of guests waiting patiently inside. To the familiar tune of the ‘Bridal Chorus,’ Dylan escorted his mum down the aisle. Glancing left and right, Dylan was so pleased to see so many familiar faces in attendance. Many of Caroline’s colleagues, and Ed’s deputies of course. Helen and Steve were there, as was George, but most pleasingly, the entire pack were sat right at the front. Jono’s beautiful face was waiting patiently for him on the front row. He looked so dashing in his suit. Dylan was so lucky.

Also looking dashing was Ed, wearing the finest suit Crystalshaw town had to offer as he watched in awe from the altar. Dylan took his place on the front row, in between Jono and Josh. The atmosphere among them was electric and powerful. The happiness was contagious.

Suddenly, it felt like Dylan’s entire journey up to that point had been worthwhile – every second of it.

Glancing around, taking in the sights, Dylan felt strange. The room was near-enough empty, completely lacking in homely warmth and character. It was strange to think it was basically going to be home for a while.

The only decorations the room had were a select few furnishings, most of which came in pairs: two ready-made beds, two wardrobes, two desks, and a single bedside table in the middle. All were necessary of course, but there was nothing Dylan found inspiring. It needed sprucing up.

“I cannot wait to stick some posters up on these walls,” Jono commented. Of course, he had come prepared with a stash of pictures and posters to add flavour to their new space. Naturally, they were sharing a room together, and it was so exciting. In fact, their entire living situation was pretty awesome, when Freddie, Josh, Lily, Alex, Yasmin and Oscar were the other occupants of this dorm.

“Shame the beds are separate,” Dylan coyly mentioned. He and Jono were more than a little used to sharing at night – single beds against opposing walls simply wasn’t good enough.

“Straight down to business, Mr. Drummond. I approve,” Jono smirked playfully. Instantly, Jono slid the bedside table out, while Dylan pushed the left bed towards the middle. Jono took charge of the bed on the right, and both beds slid together directly in the middle. Instantly, the room felt much cosier.

“Maybe we’ll have to try these beds out,” Jono teased.

“They’re gonna hear us,” Dylan thought practically, even though he was just as keen as Jono.

“You think they’re all gonna be celibate?” Jono debated. He had a fair point – college was no time for naivety. They deserved a little one-to-one time after the effort of dragging their suitcases around the ridiculously huge campus.

“Well I suppose a test run of the beds won’t be such a bad thing,” Dylan smirked, pressing his lips lovingly against Jono’s. He could never get bored of that sensation; it was so special. They climbed on top of their now-double bed, without breaking the kiss, grappling to remove each other’s t-shirts.

“Hey, I was wondering,” Yasmin strolled in. Dylan quickly broke away, trying and failing to look natural. An awkward silence ensued – Yasmin obviously knew what they were up to, and it wasn’t often she was left speechless, “…You know what, it’s not important.” She quickly backed up out of the room and pulled the door firmly shut behind her.

Dylan caught eyes with Jono as the awkward silence resumed. As if on cue, they burst out laughing, collapsing next to each other on the bed. There was no way to style out a moment like that. Embarrassing, but very funny.

“I think we need a knocking rule,” Jono giggled. Dylan caught eyes with him again, the laughter fizzling out as if it had run out of petrol. After a few seconds, Dylan resumed the kiss. After all, they definitely wouldn’t have been disturbed any time soon after that.

Blu-tacking a couple of photos of his family by the side of his bed, Oscar was keen to settle in to his new bedroom as quickly as possible. College was yet another huge change in his life, in what had been the busiest year ever. Moving school during senior year was one thing, becoming a werewolf was another. He was ready for some stability, but that wouldn’t come until he felt comfortable at college. Everything was new and strange, but at least he had his friends around him.

Wham! Yasmin rushed in; the door slamming way too hard behind her. She looked flustered, as if she’d seen something troubling.

“Where’s the fire?” Oscar queried, worried.

“No fire,” Yasmin replied, “But there’s a lot of heat next door.”

“Oh boy,” Oscar immediately knew what she meant. Dylan and Jono were clearly wasting no time in getting acquainted with their new beds, “I assume the beds have already been pushed together?”

“In record time,” Yasmin laughed, “I think I need brain bleach.”

Oscar knew he could laugh about anything with Yasmin. She was the first friend he made in Crystalshaw; she showed him the ropes at school, and now they could be there for each other at college.

“Look, are you sure you don’t mind sharing?” Oscar offered. Of course, it felt traditional for boys and girls to share with their own gender only.

“I mean, considering the two couples aren’t ever going to separate, my options are you or one of my two ex-boyfriends,” Yasmin playfully replied, “I trust you, Oscar, and I hope you’re comfortable trusting me.”

“Sure,” Oscar replied, “I guess you have nothing to worry about, you’re not exactly my type.” Yasmin laughed. They understood each other so clearly.

Without as much as a knock, Freddie breezed into the room. He looked flustered, as if he was going through the most stressful ordeal of his life.

“I can’t find anything. My phone’s on six percent, and my charger’s gone AWOL,” Freddie vented.

“Don’t panic,” Yasmin instantly reassured him, “Use mine for now. It’ll be around somewhere.”

“What if I left it at home? I knew I’d forgotten something,” Freddie continued to worry.

“Sammi’s coming to visit this week, don’t stress she can bring anything we forget,” Yasmin reassured, “Besides, we’re only twenty minutes away.”

“I’m not sure Sammi’s going to want to do me any favours,” Freddie panicked, his mood visibly becoming glummer.

“You need to talk to her, dude,” Oscar advised, “Nobody abruptly ditches you for no reason.”

“Except Sammi, clearly,” Freddie sighed.

“Besides, there are gonna be so many girls around,” Oscar encouraged, “Fresh start. We’ll be each other’s wingmen, alright?” Freddie smiled, clearly appreciating the motivation. It was a new chapter for everyone, and they had to make the best of it.

Though the mundane corridors of Crystalshaw High were completely unchanged, Sammi knew her final year of school was going to be quite unlike any other. Most of her friends had moved on to college, and suddenly, school felt like a huge and lonely place.

Sammi had never really connected with most people from her own classes. It didn’t really help that she couldn’t share the greatest, most significant part of her life with them, either. She couldn’t discuss werewolves. She couldn’t mention the real reasons her long-lost twin died and came back to life. It caused a disconnect.

“You have got to be kidding me,” Jeremy complained. At least she had her brother with her. The last members of Dylan’s pack left to defend Crystalshaw High.

“What’s up?” Sammi was confused – why was he complaining?

“Math first lesson,” Jeremy sighed, “AP Calculus.”

“Why did you pick it?” Sammi laughed.

“I need it for college,” Jeremy groaned. It felt weird to be making such big decisions for the future already; Sammi had spent so long selecting her high school classes.

“Only one more year,” Sammi encouraged, “Then we’ll be off to college with the others.”

“You’re missing them already, right?” Jeremy acknowledged. Sammi wasn’t sure how much she believed in the connection twins apparently shared, but Jeremy always seemed to know what she was feeling. Perhaps there was some truth to it?

“It feels so empty here. The bench shouldn’t have been that quiet. I keep expecting to see Josh mucking about, or Yasmin with five textbooks in her arms,” Sammi opened up.

“Or Freddie,” Jeremy brought up.

“Meh,” Sammi side-lined the thought. She didn’t want to discuss him and had already made that crystal clear.

“You can’t ignore him forever, Sammi,” Jeremy refused to give up. However, Sammi was equally as stubborn. They had met their matches.

“Watch me,” she smirked, strolling into Miss Asahd’s classroom. Inside was a mix of faces she knew well, and some she’d never been in class with before. New year, new classes. Sammi headed for the best seat that hadn’t been taken yet – third row, second from the left. As far back as she could get.

Jeremy nabbed the seat directly to her left. To her right was an empty set, and no matter who sat there come start of class, it would have remained blank as far as Sammi was concerned. After all, the seat’s eventual occupant was bound to completely ignore her too.

“Okay class, finish your conversations please,” Miss Asahd strutted in, immediately carrying an air of authority. She made math classes bearable; it always used to be Sammi’s least favourite, but nobody had a way with words quite like Miss Asahd. Everything sounded easy when she explained it.

Rocking up casually just after Miss Asahd was Sammi’s eye candy. His name was Felix, and he was the new basketball team captain. There was no doubt about it – he was no Brett. Brett was a keen motivator, passionate yet kind in his approach. Felix was driven, but almost too driven; it came across as if he were an arsehole.

Felix only had one potential seat left in the room. The desk to Sammi’s right. Darn. There was no way she could sneak a quick peek at his gorgeous face without making it obvious. Naturally, Felix slammed his book on the desk without even looking at Sammi. He didn’t care.

“Good morning. I’ve taught many of you before but for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Miss Asahd and I will be teaching AP Calculus this year,” the introduction began. Her attention already drifting, Sammi noticed Felix in the corner of her eye, swigging a drink of water. His free hand ran through his dark shaggy locks. Sammi loved what she saw, yet hated that he’d obviously never look twice at her.

“For your first assignment, I’m placing you in groups of three,” Miss Asahd continued. Oh boy. A group of three. Sammi just knew she was going to hate that.

“Our first group is Sammi, Jeremy and Felix,” Miss Asahd listed. Sammi had never felt such a mixed set of emotions. Though Felix audibly sighed next to her, she was thrilled to have the chance to chat to him. Maybe this was her moment?

Making a cup of tea, Josh was struggling to locate everything he needed in the new kitchen. There were so many cupboards both high and low, and there wasn’t a single mug in sight. He was strangely close to making his tea in a wine glass.

“Is this what you’re looking for?” Lily directed him to the mug tree on the counter behind him. Typical. Hidden in plain sight.

“Starting as I mean to go on,” Josh laughed, styling it out. As he grabbed a mug, Josh examined the full view of the communal area. The kitchen was open-plan, connected to the spacious living area. After all, it had to house eight people. At the far end of the room were three sofas, all positioned at sensible angles facing a television. A large dining table was in the centre, big enough to fit more than eight people for sure. Josh loved how huge the place was, and how modern in design it was. Living with all of his friends was going to be awesome.

“I guess it’s kinda weird to be starting from scratch,” Lily made conversation. He knew Lily’s first attempt at college hadn’t turned out so well. Even at a new place, those feelings must still have been lingering.

“It can’t be any worse,” Lily nervously laughed, “I’m relieved I’m not doing it alone this time.”

“If you ever need anyone to talk to, feel free to come in and see me, if you’re comfortable with that, of course,” Josh offered. The entire pack had been so helpful to him whenever he needed it. Repaying the favour was the absolute least he could do.

“Definitely,” Lily smiled back.

“How’s my beautiful girl doing?” Alex strolled over. He looked elated and chirpy, more than anyone else in fact. Instantly, Lily’s face lit up too. It was like his positivity was spreading.

“Just helping Mr. Rayner find what’s in front of his eyes,” Lily smirked playfully.

“Hey, there’s no need to expose me,” Josh played along, a smile painted widely across his face. Alex was chuckling too; Josh loved seeing spirits raised high. It was a far cry from where they were at the start of the year.

“I spoke to Sindy, she said all is good, but she still hates us for leaving her,” Alex kept the tone light.

“She’s got Misha there, they don’t need us,” Lily replied, “I do miss her though. Nobody makes a cup of tea like Sindy.”

“Erm, excuse me?” Josh interrupted, pretending to be offended, “I’ll just make one for myself, then.”

“Oh, well I’m open to persuasion,” Lily winked. Josh laughed; nothing could have brought his mood down. His only concern was that good moods always had an expiration date.

Jono immediately loved the hustle and bustle of college life. Groups of people walking all over the gorgeously designed campus, laughing with each other and enjoying themselves. It was a positive atmosphere all around, and it was difficult to resist sharing in the vibe.

Crystalshaw College was relatively new. As a result, every building looked very modern. There were small shops and cafés dotted around, as well as quiet side rooms to study with computer access. Jono’s favourite part, though, was the amount of green space. It was perfect for picnics, chilling out by the nearby lake, or even studying when the sun was in a favourable mood. He just knew he’d be spending so much time outside.

While Jono was wide-eyed at all he could see, Dylan seemed more reserved. Together, they had decided to spend the afternoon exploring and making the most of the free time they had before lectures began. Jono hated seeing Dylan feeling low. He wanted to do everything in his power to put his mood back on the right track.

“Something tells me you’re a million miles away,” Jono probed.

“No, not at all,” Dylan unconvincingly replied. He was the worst liar.

“And in reality?” Jono continued. He wasn’t giving up that easily.

“I feel strange, like I shouldn’t be here,” Dylan confessed.

“How do you mean?” Jono dug deeper, listening carefully to what Dylan had to say.

“So much happened at school. Werewolf stuff, you know? It was like a hotspot,” Dylan explained, “And we’re not there to stop it anymore.”

“Dyl, you can’t go and take another year of school,” Jono replied, half-jokingly.

“I know, but what if something happens? I know we’re not miles away, but it’ll still be too late by the time we get there,” Dylan continued, “I feel useless.”

“Sammi and Jeremy have school covered,” Jono assured, “Crystalshaw can’t rely on you forever. Dylan Drummond deserves to move on with his life. Crystalshaw will be fine.”

Jono could see Dylan was pondering on what he’d said. He couldn’t disagree. They had their own lives to live, and they deserved a fresh start.

“Hey, I know what will help,” Jono continued.

“Chocolate?” Dylan hopefully replied as they passed a snack shop.

“Well, duh,” Jono laughed, “But something else too. We should join a society. Find some people who share common interests with us.”

“Okay, but what?” Dylan seemed genuinely unsure. Their lives had been chaotic since they met; downtime was a rare treat.

Big Brother?” Jono joked.

“Don’t deny it, that would actually be amazing,” Dylan smiled. Jono loved that his mood was already picking up. He was doing his job just right.

“You’d just want to discuss how hot Tyler is,” Jono sussed. Dylan nodded in agreement – he knew he was right. After all, long curly hair was Dylan’s weakness.

“That’s it,” Dylan realised, “LGBTQ+. They must have a society for that, right?”

“Almost definitely,” Jono looked enthusiastic, “I think someone else might be interested in that, too.”

“Oscar?” Dylan presumed, “Sure, it’d be great.” Dylan and Oscar had become very close friends over the summer, both through socialising and werewolf tips. Oscar’s wolf was well-controlled, and the full moons were getting easier and easier to manage. Jono loved to see it; it meant a lot that Dylan had made such an effort with him. The three musketeers.

The day was dragging. Lunchtime was never-ending. Sammi was bored. She missed having company at the bench. All of the laughter and banter that used to occur. It just wasn’t the same without the pack, not that Jeremy was bad company by any means. The Lunar Sanctum had taught her never to take her brother for granted.

Sammi just wasn’t feeling the motivation to learn. School felt like her last priority. She had seen so much that others her age couldn’t even comprehend. Not to mention what happened to Jamal. She had killed him, and there was no escaping that. He may have been evil and nasty, and surely seconds away from killing Freddie, she was still haunted by his face. It was like she was being punished.

“Sammi?” Jeremy grabbed her attention. She had drifted into her head, not for the first time that day.

“Sorry, what did you say?” Sammi zoned back in.

“Are you okay? You’re so distant today,” Jeremy realised.

“I don’t know. I feel weird,” Sammi sighed.

“What’s the matter?” Jeremy enquired, keen to help.

“Where to start?” Sammi sighed, “My friends have left, I’m single, and I’m being taunted by my own head with the ghost of the person I killed.”

“Shit,” Jeremy paused. Sammi could tell from his pensive facial expression that he was considering his response, “I guess, breaking up with Freddie…”

“Dude,” Sammi sighed. She didn’t know how to make her feelings about Freddie any clearer. Discussion was still off the table.

“I can’t help if I don’t know what’s happening,” Jeremy insisted.

“Alright, whatever,” Sammi caved in, hoping it would get him to leave the subject alone, “I can barely cope in my own head right now. It’s not good for Freddie to be around me. He deserves a fresh start.”

Jeremy paused again. Sammi took a deep breath. She was letting her emotions consume her, and that wasn’t good. The only problem was that control was getting tougher.

“Look, it’s your life, you’re in charge, but I’ve learnt first-hand that you can’t afford to take anything for granted, because it can be snatched away in an instant,” Jeremy advised. Sammi paused, thinking. He had a point, but it wasn’t fair to string Freddie along. He didn’t deserve that.

“What’s up nerds?” Felix slammed his bag on the bench and sat himself next to Jeremy. Sammi could have done without whatever he was going to say – eye candy was better kept silent.

“Hi,” Jeremy replied, putting on a friendly smile for Felix’s sake.

“So, when are we starting this math assignment shit?” Felix enquired. Sammi was taken aback; she wasn’t expecting any productivity out of him.

“Err, tonight, round ours,” Sammi found herself suggesting before she could stop herself, “You know where we live, right?”

“Yeah, big house, can’t miss it. I’ll see you there,” Felix smiled kindly. Sammi was actually impressed – perhaps there was more to Felix than she realised?

Feeling apprehensive, Dylan wasn’t sure what to expect from the LGBTQ+ society. He loved the idea, but what was it going to entail? He’d never been a part of a club or group like that before. Uncertainty always made him nervous, and college was a gigantic avalanche of uncertainty.

The club was taking place in one of the small study rooms. It had an array of chairs arranged in a circle, with tea, coffee and a selection of treats laid out. A small crowd of people were inside already, the total almost doubling with the arrival of Dylan, Jono and Oscar.

“This seems cosy,” Jono commented.

“Yeah,” Dylan concurred. He still felt nervous, but it was nice to see how casual everyone was. Nobody had dressed up for a special event, it was simply casual and relaxed, and Dylan was relieved.

“I’m gonna get some cookies,” Oscar mentioned, spying the snack table. Dylan couldn’t even think about snacks, though; his stomach was too busy performing somersaults.

“Hey, welcome,” one of the attendees approached. They were pretty, with long, flowing auburn hair straight down her back. The most comforting part about them, though, was their comforting and welcoming smile. It was kind and genuine, and Dylan felt better just for seeing it,” What are your names and pronouns?”

“I’m Jono, this is Dylan, and over there, that’s Oscar,” Jono took the lead, as he always did in a social situation. It happened like clockwork without Dylan ever having to ask, “Pronouns are he and him for all three of us.”

“Awesome. I’m Alora, pronouns they and them,” Alora introduced. Dylan loved how open everyone could be about their pronouns – inclusivity was important, and he wished it was more prevalent everywhere.

“Nice to meet you,” Jono smiled kindly.

“Let’s grab a seat, apparently there’s a lot of demand so we there may not be enough seats,” Alora explained. Dylan sat next to Jono, who was in between him and Alora. The chairs weren’t the most comfortable, but Dylan couldn’t complain, “How do you two know each other?”

“Dylan’s my boyfriend,” Jono answered proudly. That word still carried so much weight for Dylan. It made him feel so happy.

“Sweet, how long have you been together?” Alora queried.

“Almost three years,” Dylan replied, feeling comfortable enough to join the conversation.

“Aw, a high-school romance, I love that,” Alora gushed, “My girlfriend went to a different college. You’re really lucky to be here together.”

Dylan nodded, knowing it was true. He was so fortunate to have Jono. He made every situation five hundred times more bearable. He’d never take that for granted.

No matter how hard he tried, Freddie just couldn’t get into the party mood. Lily had insisted in them all attending the freshers' welcome party, hosted in what would usually be a communal restaurant area. It made for a perfect party space, with a large dancefloor, but Freddie wasn’t feeling it. The music was too loud and the dancefloor was too crowded, so he’d made himself comfortable at one of the side-tables. He wished he was curled up in bed.

It wasn’t that he didn’t like college so far. The dorm he shared with the pack was beautiful. It was well-worth hacking the system to ensure they were all placed together. The source of Freddie’s sadness was Sammi. He knew he’d be separated from her at college, but he at least assumed they’d remain a couple. Long-distance could have worked for a year until she joined them.

The truth was, Freddie could guess why Sammi dumped him, and he wasn’t annoyed. She’d been through a traumatic event with Jamal, and she hadn’t been the same after that. Freddie just wished he could have broken down her walls to help her, instead of being pushed out.

“Come on, dude, dance with me,” Josh attempted to persuade him.

“I’m not feeling it,” Freddie remained firm, preferring the comfort of his table.

“It’s a new start for all of us, don’t miss out,” Josh persevered. Annoyingly, he was right. There was no more perfect opportunity to start a clean slate. Sammi was old news, and she wasn’t there at college. Perhaps he had to take a step in the right direction?

“Alright, just for a little bit,” Freddie gave in, Josh already pulling him from his chair by the wrists. Together, they joined Lily in the middle of the dancefloor. Some mindless dance track was playing, pulsating synths blaring out any hope of conversation.

Freddie surprised himself, quickly getting into the groove. He, Josh and Yasmin danced together, and for a moment, all of his worries seemed to evaporate. All that mattered were his friends. Lily and Alex were dancing side-by-side, Dylan and Jono were awkwardly bopping on the outskirts, and Oscar had found a couple of boys to dance against. Everyone was enjoying themselves in just the way they wanted to.

In the corner of his eye, Freddie spotted a girl. Not just any girl, but one of the most beautiful girls he had ever seen. She had long, flowing blonde hair all the way down to her waist. Her skin was flawless, and she was dressed in the most impeccable sea blue dress. What’s more was that she was looking directly at him, as if she were inviting him over. An invitation Freddie didn’t want to decline.

Carefully manoeuvring through the busy dancefloor, Freddie landed just in front of her. Instantly, she wrapped her arms around his waist, without a word being spoken between them. The electricity in the air said everything, anyway.

Freddie gazed into the girl’s eyes. They were a gorgeous bluey-green, and Freddie could have gotten lost in them forever. The room may as well have been empty in that moment; Freddie didn’t care about anyone else.

Suddenly, her eyes glowed. A gorgeous bright sea blue, much like Yasmin’s. Maybe she was a nix? Freddie glared his vibrant yellow eyes back, proving his trust. He had a good feeling about this. All of a sudden, he didn’t want the night to end.

Not having checked her phone in a while, Sammi was surprised to notice the time. The evening had gone very fast, which meant only one thing – she had actually enjoyed Felix’s company. The math project wasn’t especially strenuous, so they had spent most of the evening laughing with each other. It was a side of Felix she had never seen before.

For a while, too, Sammi had been able to brush her worries aside. She hadn’t thought about werewolves, or Jamal, or even Freddie at all. It was liberating to have a distraction, even if it was bound to be temporary.

“Mrs. Johnson totally caught me chewing gum,” Felix laughed.

“Oh boy, there’s nothing she hates more,” Sammi recalled.

“I bet she lost it,” Jeremy added.

“She flipped. I got detention that night and she made me scrape off everyone’s disgusting dried gum from underneath the tables,” Felix shared. Sammi winced at the thought; the underside of every table in the school was coated in gum, and it was rancid.

“No way,” Jeremy’s face curled up in disgust. The laughter fizzed out for a moment, silence filling the gap it left behind. Conversation had worn out.

“You know, you’re both cooler than I thought,” Felix complimented.

“Thanks, I think,” Sammi chuckled, “You too, for what it’s worth.”

“People talk a lot, not so much about you two, but about your friends,” Felix explained, “So much weird stuff happened with them. They missed so much school, and the rumours are wild.”

“Rumours?” Sammi played dumb. She knew the unspoken secrets of Crystalshaw High. Werewolves were hidden in plain sight. People talked, but with no proof, it could never escalate.

“Werewolves. People say they’ve seen glowing eyes and sharp fangs. It sounds stupid,” Felix continued.

“Very,” Jeremy agreed, keeping their cover. After all, he was the one at risk of being exposed. He had the most to lose.

“But I think I believe it,” Felix dropped the bombshell. Sammi’s heart sped up, stressing her out. Damage control was imperative.

“Really?” she tried deflecting. Jeremy looked worried. He wasn’t sure what to say.

“Yeah. Werewolves exist, I know it,” Felix remained firm. Sammi was speechless. She didn’t know what to do.

2: Safety Net Written by MarthaJonesFan

Wrapped up cosily in bed, Freddie didn’t want to get up. He was in no rush, and his mind was still processing the night before. It felt like a wild dream, as if it had come and gone within a second.

Before Freddie could find anything out about who the girl was, she had vanished. No goodbye, no introduction, nothing. He had no idea how to find her again, either, but Freddie was absolutely sure he would. Something as special as that couldn’t be so brief.

“Oi, lazy bones,” Josh threw a pillow at Freddie. He was already up and about, making full use of his werewolf healing powers to swerve the hangover.

“What? What’s the rush?” Freddie groaned.

“It’s a new day, I’m not wasting a second of this free time before lectures,” Josh harped on. Freddie didn’t care, though. He only had one thing on his mind.

“I’m not feeling it,” Freddie rolled over to face away from him.

“What? Come on, you were living your best life last night,” Josh encouraged, trying his best.

“Exactly, now today is one big bump back down to earth,” Freddie sighed.

“You didn’t get her number? Dude, that’s dating 101, I can’t believe it,” Josh replied, disappointed.

“She vanished, it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t even find out her name,” Freddie felt deflated.

“The thrill of the chase,” Josh excitedly plonked himself down at the foot of Freddie’s bed.

“She wants me to track her down?” Freddie was confused, “Why didn’t she just tell me her name? That would have been so easy.”

“Who told you girls were easy?” Josh laughed, “Neither of us have had much luck with girls, dude. Not even the same girl.” Of course; Freddie found it so strange that both he and Josh had dated Yasmin. Freddie and Yasmin as a couple felt like ancient history – their friendship was solely platonic, and it was all the better for it.

“So, how do I find her?” Freddie pondered, feeling lost.

“You’re a werewolf. Track her scent,” Josh suggested.

“You think I caught any sort of scent last night? There were hundreds in the room, and still all I could smell was alcohol,” Freddie felt exasperated. He was out of options.

“Well, lucky for you I haven’t actually decided what to do today,” Josh persisted, “Get ready. We’re finding your girl.”

Freddie wasn’t sure what to expect. Would they be able to find her? Was he getting his hopes up? Freddie knew he probably was, but he was going to try his best. He had nothing to lose.

There was nothing Lily enjoyed more than a quiet stroll first thing in the morning. Fresh air helped her gather her thoughts, and she had a load of crazy thoughts racing through her mind since restarting college. Arriving brought mixed emotions; a fresh start was exciting, and there was the potential for so many amazing things to happen. Not to mention how Lily was now surrounded by all of her friends, as well as Jono.

On the other hand, Lily’s only prior college experience hadn’t been so positive. Travelling far away was supposed to be her great moment of independence, where she truly got to be the person she wanted to be. Ultimately, she had jumped into the deep end and the current was too strong. It was true – packs were stronger together.

At least it hadn’t been a complete waste of time. She had made friends for life in Sindy and Misha, and they had spent the best summer together at the lakehouse. The mission had mainly been to distract Misha from everything that had happened with Monroe and Jamal, and it turned into the most brilliantly therapeutic couple of months. It felt slightly weird that they were continuing on at Washington while Lily had transferred.

Thankfully, she had Alex with her. The best part of her college experience had been meeting him, and now they were stronger than ever. Living together at the lakehouse had given her the dose of independence she so desperately wanted.

“It’s so pretty here,” Jono commented, examining the sights around campus. Lily had vowed to spend more time with Jono, seeing as they were living together for the first time in a year. Dylan had tagged along too, which Lily didn’t mind. He was family, and quite frankly, she was closer to him than most of her blood relatives.

“Just wait until the parties really start. Beer cans will decorate every sidewalk,” Lily reminisced, thinking about the state of Washington after freshers’ week.

“Probably from your parties,” Dylan called out. Lily blushed, knowing he was spot on. Their graduation party over the summer was the only event she’d hosted in ages. She missed hosting deeply; it was the time when she felt most at home.

“I hope it doesn’t end like this one,” Jono pointed ahead to the restaurant, which had served as the venue for the freshers’ party the night before. However, it didn’t inspire positive memories from the night before. Police tape guarded the entrance, and two deputies stood either side. Ed’s sheriff car was parked outside. Something bad had happened. A shiver travelled down Lily’s spine.

“What the hell?” Lily was gobsmacked.

“Can you smell that?” Jono wondered. Lily paid attention to her nose. There was a strange, damp scent in the air, quite unlike anything or anyone she’d met before.

“Something weird is going on. Come on, let’s speak to Ed,” Dylan suggested. Lily couldn’t deny it – she was intrigued.

Watching Sammi fret was making Jeremy anxious. She already had enough on her plate; Jamal had knocked her for six, and the break-up with Freddie was affecting her more than she was letting on. So much had changed, and Jeremy understood. Neither of them had experienced any level of normality in a long time.

Jeremy couldn’t lie – he really missed the pack, too. They weren’t far away, but when he had school and they had college, social visits weren’t going to be the priority. It was like a barrier had been raised between them, and he and Sammi were on their own.

“What if he tells people?” Sammi panicked. It was all they had discussed that day. Felix had left quite the impression on them, and it wasn’t a positive one.

“He doesn’t know what I am. We didn’t confirm anything,” Jeremy attempted to reassure her, but he was also trying to convince himself, “He’s just speculating, like most people do. He was right, there are rumours.”

“What if he tries to get proof, though? He thinks we’re the key, but we’re more than that. You’re more than that,” Sammi worried.

“Then we keep him close. He wanted to be friends, so let’s be friends. If we’re his friends, he won’t want to cause any harm,” Jeremy decided, “Perhaps he’s better off knowing my secret?”

“No way, are you for real? We don’t know this guy at all,” Sammi panicked further.

“Exactly. This way, we keep control, we tell him on our terms, and nothing more needs to be done,” Jeremy reasoned. It was the key skill he had learnt from Dylan during their time in the Lunar Sanctum – they had to remain optimistic.

“Hey guys,” Felix grinned excitedly, joining them at the bench, “What’s up?”

“Hey,” Jeremy smiled back. Already, he was putting his plan into action. Keeping Felix on their good side could be just the solution to containing the rumours.

“I spent last night doing loads of research,” Felix dived straight in, continuing the previous night’s discussion. He slid a folder out of his rucksack and shoved it down on the table. Jeremy flicked through it, seeing printouts of werewolf mythologies from various websites. Half of the myths were completely inaccurate, of course.

“What are you going to do with all that?” Sammi nervously queried. She still seemed tentative over the plan.

“Prepare ourselves. Knowledge is power, right?” Felix justified. In his eyes, it made perfect sense, but he only knew half the story. He had put two and two together to get five, and he needed to know most werewolves were not a threat to him.

“Maybe we don’t need to?” Jeremy found himself saying. This was it. This was the crucial moment.

“Why not?” Felix enquired. Sammi shot him a worried glance, but Jeremy knew he was doing the right thing. After all, it was his life, and he needed to be in control of it.

“Because I’m a werewolf,” Jeremy revealed, glowing his eyes. Felix’s face was a picture – pure confusion, shock, and strangely, a load of excitement. The secret was out, and Jeremy wasn’t sure how to feel. He was placing his trust in a stranger, and it could easily backfire.

Grabbing the carton of milk out of the now-packed fridge, Yasmin was surprised by how quiet the dorm was. It was part of a tall, wide building with various floors and dorm rooms, so she’d expected a lot of noise. She supposed it was the effect of a hangover from the freshers’ party, but even her own dorm was perfectly tranquil.

Most of the pack seemed to have gone out. A quick scout-around the house revealed Oscar and Alex were the only two at home, and Alex was still sleeping; the downsides of not having werewolf healing powers. Surprisingly, even Freddie and Josh seemed to have gone out. It wasn’t like them to be up and about so early when they didn’t need to be.

“Bathroom’s free,” Oscar notified. Each bedroom had an en suite, and Oscar was using it to get dressed, allowing each of them a level of privacy. So far, sharing with Oscar was going pretty well.

“Thanks, I’m not in a rush. Trying to enjoy not having to study or get up early for a few more days,” Yasmin informed.

“I thought you’d be raring to go,” Oscar chuckled.

“Sort of,” Yasmin tentatively answered, “I suppose I’m enjoying the relaxation. This is the most chilled I’ve been since…” She tailed off, not sure of the best way to phrase her sentence.

“Since you met Dylan?” Oscar understood. He got it in one – her life changed when she met Dylan, and at the time, she had no idea.

“Right,” Yasmin smiled knowingly, “I’m not complaining. My life is different in just about every way, except the bad luck in the dating department.” She laughed, and Oscar did too. Humour and self-deprecation were always the best ways to cope, Yasmin found, “Without Dylan, I’d probably never have spoken to Jono, or Lily, or Freddie, or Josh. My dad would have murdered so many more werewolves. Anything bad that’s happened to me, I can deal with, because I’ve gained so much from meeting Dylan. I’ve gained my best friends.”

“Same,” Oscar agreed, “I don’t know what I’d have done in Crystalshaw without you all. Becoming a werewolf? That’s a small price to pay.”

“Do you ever think about how normal life would look?” Yasmin wondered. It was something she thought about more often than she’d care to admit. Normality was a strange fantasy, and not something she ever envisioned she’d have.

“I don’t think I’ve ever known normality,” Oscar considered, “I had friends at my old school, but we were definitely the outsiders. Nobody would have called us normal.”

“Normality’s boring,” Yasmin affirmed, “That’s always what I’ve decided. Our lives are dangerous, but they’re exciting. We get to see what nobody else in the world sees. You can’t tell me that’s not awesome.”

Oscar smiled. Yasmin admired the kindness in his eyes. Even the supernatural world couldn’t take that away from him.

Suddenly, Yasmin was no longer in the room. In the blink of an eye, she found herself in the restaurant, where the party had taken place. This time, though, it was empty. The decorations were up, the food and drink were out, the music was playing, but not a guest in sight. Yasmin knew exactly what was going on. The nix was trying to tell her something, and it was important she paid attention.

Appearing directly in front of her, in the centre of the dancefloor, was an older man. He immediately looked wise, wearing round spectacles and, oddly, striped pyjamas. He must have been a professor at the college.

“Hello?” Yasmin nervously greeted. She knew how to treat a vision – probing for clues was the best skill she had.

“You’re a nix,” he simply said. His facial expression remained vacant. It was clear; he was dead.

“How is that relevant?” Yasmin made sure to ask the right questions. Visions weren’t meet-and-greets with the dead. Sympathy was a waste of time.

“You are similar,” he added. Nothing made sense. Similar to a nix? What did he mean?

“Who is?” Yasmin considered her next question.

“My killer,” he coldly answered. His mouth began to trickle water, followed by his nose. Quickly, water started to ooze out of every possible exit. It was a horrifying sight; Yasmin felt sick.

Back in the dorm. Oscar was staring worriedly at her, not sure what to do. Yasmin was shaken. Her premonitions were never unfounded, but were always so vague.

“What happened?” Oscar desperately questioned.

“Something bad,” Yasmin gravely answered. Something more was going on.

Half an hour down, Josh was getting sick of knocking on dorm doors asking about an unnamed girl with the vaguest description ever. It was tedious, and so far, they hadn’t even gotten close to finding her. However, this was for Freddie. A chance at giving back to his best friend. It was the least he could do.

After all, Freddie had gone so far to help Josh out. In the darkest hour, Freddie had never stopped fighting for him. He was the first to forgive the horrifying things Josh had done under David’s spell. He owed Freddie everything.

“Nothing,” Freddie rejoined Josh at the top of the staircase. They had exhausted all options. There were no more dorms left.

“Maybe she doesn’t study here? Anyone can get in,” Josh pondered. As much as he wanted to make the most of his free time, Freddie was priority. He deserved his full attention.

“It’s hopeless. I wish I’d never seen her. It got my hopes up. Just another disappointment,” Freddie was disheartened. It only made Josh more determined to succeed.

“Maybe we just need more details? Think, was there anything else?” Josh probed.

“Glowing eyes aside, no,” Freddie casually murmured. Way too casually for such an important piece of information.

“Glowing eyes? She’s a werewolf? Dude, this is important, all we had to do was howl,” Josh groaned. They could have saved so much hassle.

“No, they were light blue, like Yasmin’s. I think she was a nix,” Freddie pondered.

“I thought nixes were rare. Yasmin’s never met another like her before,” Josh recalled. In fact, even the Bestiary barely had any information on nixes.

“I know, but there she was, I’m sure of it,” Freddie confirmed.

“Does she know who you are?” Josh queried.

“I think so. I glowed my eyes back. She knows I’m not human at least,” Freddie explained.

“Okay, so it’s fair to assume she knows you know what she is,” Josh tried his best to piece the information together.

“Huh?” Freddie was lost. Josh couldn’t exactly blame him, either.

“She’ll be waiting somewhere she knows you’ll look,” Josh thought, “Where can you find a nix?”

“By water,” Freddie knew, “There’s a lake a couple of minutes away.”

“Come on then, Romeo,” Josh smiled. He was desperately hoping that his theory was correctly. Freddie deserved good news.

Being the stepson of Crystalshaw’s sheriff certainly carried its perks for Dylan. It meant that none of the deputies even thought about challenging him when entering a crime scene. In fact, a couple even said hello to him. It made investigating supernatural goings-on surprisingly easy.

The summer had been rather uneventful after the Lunar Sanctum closed down. Though Monroe threatened an army, none of them had showed up, and Dylan had enjoyed a quiet few months as a result. Adjusting to the end of high school was weird, so Dylan appreciated the time he spent with both friends and family, even if those lines had very much blurred.

One thing Dylan couldn’t forget was Caroline’s bittersweet facial expression from the day before. She and Ed had helped them move in, dropping Freddie and Josh while Jono drove Dylan down in his cosy little car. Though Caroline was undoubtedly proud, she looked so disappointed to be losing not just her sons, but Jono and Freddie too. They were a unit, and Dylan was grateful for each and every one of them.

“What’s happened?” Lily was horrified at the state of the restaurant. Dylan was taken aback, too. It looked a complete state, and not because of the littered plastic cups decorating the laminate floor. The room had been flooded with water, just a couple of centimetres high, but enough to be ruining Dylan’s new shoes. Most worryingly, though, was the dead body in the centre. A man, lying face down, with greying hair and long pyjamas.

“I saw him last night,” Jono recognised, gobsmacked, “He was supervising. He’s a professor.”

“Who would kill a professor?” Lily wondered.

“I think the bigger question is where did this water come from? This isn’t a leak, there’s too much for that,” Dylan considered. It wasn’t adding up.

“Look who it isn’t,” Ed walked in with a proud smile on his face. It had only been twenty-four hours since Dylan last saw him, but it felt amazing to be reunited. It had been an emotionally exhausting day, and familiarity was very much welcomed.

“Hey,” Dylan smiled back, hugging Ed tightly.

“How did I know you’d find your way here?” Ed remarked.

“Just checking you’re doing your job,” Dylan joked, “What’s happened?”

“Hard to say,” Ed replied, “The CCTV is bust, and there were no witnesses despite the freakin’ party.”

“This place was heaving, even when we left,” Lily added, “Surely someone saw something?”

“Look at his clothes,” the ever-observant Jono pointed out. His journalistic eye was second to none. He was right, too. The professor wasn’t wearing the evening suit Dylan remembered seeing him in. The pyjamas were quite the contrast – bright and stripy, with slippers on his feet.

“No wonder nobody saw. This can’t have happened during the party. He came back,” Dylan pieced it together.

“But why? We still don’t know what did this,” Lily queried. She was right – nothing made any sense.

“Guys,” Yasmin rushed in, Oscar trailing behind. She skidded to a halt, noticing the state of the room.

“You saw him, didn’t you?” Dylan identified. He knew a Yasmin vision when he saw one, “Who is he?”

“Yes, and I don’t know, but water trickled out of his body. He said the killer is similar to me,” Yasmin relayed.

“A nix?” Dylan wondered. Nixes weren’t usually killers – they predicted deaths, they didn’t cause them.

“No, similar. Not the same,” Oscar observed, “What’s like a nix?”

“I know how we can find out,” Dylan thought, whipping out his phone. The downside of living so far away from Crystalshaw.

Sammi had suspected it would only be a matter of time before Dylan called on her for help. Quite why he didn’t take the Bestiary with him, Sammi didn’t understand. All they needed to do was photocopy it – one for college and one for the lakehouse.

Though she was happy to help out, Sammi felt flustered. She didn’t think her day could be any crazier than the last, but it was certainly well on its way. Jeremy telling Felix the truth was such a risky move. They didn’t know how trustworthy he was, and now their greatest secret was in his hands.

No matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t shake Felix off. He was like a dog with a bone, understandably considering Jeremy’s bombshell. However, they had a job to do, and they needed to reach the lakehouse. The Bestiary was kept there, and Sammi wasn’t sure she wanted Felix to know about it. After all, it was their only copy, and if anything happened to it, they were screwed.

“Is this where the pack lives?” Felix excitedly interrogated. Sammi had never seen him so giddy before; he was usually the most chilled-out person around.

“No, it’s where my cousin usually lives, when she’s not at college,” Sammi answered. The lakehouse was Lily’s domain, but she didn’t live alone. Of course, she had Alex, and George moved in when he returned from London alongside his girlfriend, Mia. It was the strangest living arrangement Sammi had ever heard of. The boyfriend, the ex, and his new girlfriend. All things considered, it was strangely harmonious, “Just…don’t say a word and let us get on with it.”

As if dealing with Felix wasn’t bad enough, Sammi hadn’t seen George since she broke up with Freddie, and Mia knew nothing of the supernatural world. This was going to be awkward as hell.

“Oh, hey,” George poked his head out from the living room as the front door clicked shut. He didn’t look so pleased to see Sammi, but she wasn’t getting into that. An awkward silence followed. Sammi didn’t know how to follow that.

“I’m Felix, by the way,” Felix broke the silence. So much for keeping quiet.

“Who’s he?” George interrogated.

“Nobody,” Sammi swerved.

“Oh, I thought I could hear voices,” Mia came downstairs. Sammi had met Mia a few times now and she was super nice, though extremely protective of George. She was a social butterfly, much like Lily in fact. George clearly had a type, “Hey guys.”

“Hi Mia,” Jeremy spoke up, noticing Sammi’s awkwardness, “We just need to find a textbook that we left behind over the summer. Mrs. Johnson will go crazy if we don’t give it back.”

Smart. Sammi admired Jeremy’s quick-thinking. She supposed he’d learnt that after years of being shrouded from the world by their dad. He needed quick-thinking to escape.

“Sure, take as long as you need,” Mia smiled, bouncing into the front room, taking George’s attention away from Sammi.

“Woah, you could cut the atmosphere with a knife,” Felix remarked.

“Dude, shut up,” Sammi groaned. However, she needed to put the animosity aside. Dylan needed her, and that was her only priority.

Nervously approaching the lake, Freddie had butterflies swarming around in his stomach. He so desperately wanted to get lucky and find the mystery girl he had fallen so quickly for. It was hard to explain why he felt how he did, but he could only describe it as electric. He hadn’t felt this way about anyone before.

It wasn’t that he didn’t care for Sammi any longer, but it was like he no longer cared about the end of their relationship. This sensation was new. Freddie had never felt more spellbound by anything or anyone.

The sun was reflecting off the gorgeous blue lake, surrounded by crisp green grass. It looked so beautiful, like a child’s painting. Freddie had never seen an area so gorgeous. It was the perfect setting.

“There she is,” Josh pointed. Sure enough, he was right. The same girl, bathing in the shallow lake, singing loudly yet delicately to a song Freddie didn’t recognise. Her beautiful golden locks were flowing down her back even when wet, and her natural bluey-green eyes shone brightly in the sunlight. She was just as breath-taking as Freddie remembered.

Turning around, her drenched hair flicking sprinkles of water behind her, she immediately fixed eyes on Freddie. She stopped singing and smiled invitingly, but Freddie was nervous. He didn’t want to mess it up.

“Go, you got this,” Josh encouraged. That was the push Freddie needed. Cautiously and sheepishly, he neared the girl, pausing at the head of the lake.

“Don’t be afraid,” she invited him into the water. This was the first time Freddie had heard her speak.

“I’ll get my clothes wet,” Freddie worried. Without saying anything more, the girl slowly moved her arms to the side, brushing them away from her body. Directly in sync, the water parted, like two invisible barriers had been built. Freddie was amazed. He jumped down onto the bone-dry sea bed, standing eye-to-eye with her.

“I’m Summer,” she introduced. At last, he knew her name.

“Freddie,” he replied.

“A cute name for a cute boy,” she replied, placing her damp hand on his cheek. Freddie had never experienced such elation before. This was exactly what he dreamed of.

“I thought I’d never find you again,” Freddie revealed.

“I told you all you needed to know to track me down,” Summer replied. She was immaculately spoken, and her voice was one of wisdom and experience, “And here you are. An intelligent beta is the strongest of its kind.”

“That’s what my alpha taught. Violence is a last resort,” Freddie mentioned, “And you’re a nix?”

“You’ve seen my kind before?” Summer looked surprised.

“My friend is one, though I’m not sure she can do this,” Freddie pointed at the impressive water barricades.

“It’s about learning. A nix can do so much,” she answered, “A bit like this.” Summer placed her calm, soothing lips on Freddie’s. It was the most magical kiss ever. Freddie had waited all day for this moment. It was everything.

Taking a breather outside the restaurant, Dylan was overwhelmed. He was certain that something bad was happening, and he’d only been at college for two days. It was like trouble had followed him away from Crystalshaw town and into the college. Was his mere presence enough to cause death? He felt cursed.

Though Dylan had seen so many different supernatural creatures, he felt more exposed at college. He knew the safe places at home. His bedroom, the treehouse, the lakehouse, the school, Jono’s house, and he could go on. College was new, and Dylan barely knew his way around. There was a lot to adapt to, and suddenly the pressure was on.

“Hey,” a comforting voice came from behind him. Lily had followed him out, “Getting a bit much, huh?”

“Was a couple of weeks to settle in too much to ask for?” Dylan sighed. He knew the supernatural world didn’t work to a schedule, but Dylan’s life couldn’t stop progressing. It was a lot in one go.

“I know exactly how you feel. One year ago, I was on my own, fighting a battle that was hours away from home,” Lily recalled, “At least you have us. Don’t forget that.”

“I won’t,” Dylan confirmed. Lily was right. He had all the people he needed around him, and that was the best safety net he could ask for, “Are you okay?”

“I think so. I wasn’t sure about starting over, but it was the right thing to do. I don’t care what comes our way now. Werezombies, vampires, whatever. I know we can handle it,” Lily assured.

“Werezombies?” Dylan chuckled.

“Shut up,” Lily laughed with him. Dylan saw Lily as the big sister he never had. She was always there for him, and Dylan was always keen to return the favour where he could.

Buzz! Dylan’s phone vibrated harshly. Sammi was calling back. With Lily’s words placed firmly in his mind, Dylan was motivated. He needed to know what this creature was. He answered the call and placed the phone on loudspeaker.

“Hey, so, we’ve found something,” Sammi launched straight into the explanation, “Water creatures are few and far between, but the one with the biggest Bestiary entry is the siren.”

“I’ve heard of that,” Dylan immediately thought of Doctor Who – one of his favourite shows to binge with Jono, “They live in water and sing to lure their victims to their deaths.”

“Pretty much, but I think there’s more to it than that,” Sammi informed, “Much like a nix, they can summon water, but they can also excrete it. They create water, Dylan.”

“No wonder it was flooded,” Lily thought.

“They’re bad news, Dylan. Sirens are cold-blooded killers. If there’s one in Crystalshaw, we’re all in danger,” Sammi warned. Dylan’s stomach dropped. This was serious, and lives were at stake.

3: Lectures Written by MarthaJonesFan

After a whole week at college, Yasmin had hoped her sleeping pattern would have settled down. Unfortunately, she had spent the night tossing and turning, doing everything she could think of to try and block out the increasingly noisy voices in her head. Nothing worked.

Strangely, Yasmin had adapted to sleeping with a lot of chatter in her mind. It was almost a comfort, in fact; quiet voices whispering to her, soothing her worries. However, for weeks, if not months, the voices had been yelling, and it was horrible. Yasmin couldn’t bear it any longer.

Yasmin jolted upright. The room was jam-packed all of a sudden. There was no space to move around. People had somehow made it into her room, and they were shouting. Shouting at her. Oscar was still sleeping, oblivious. He obviously couldn’t hear anything. They weren’t real.

No matter how hard she tried, Yasmin could barely make out what they were saying. Everyone was calling out different words, and it was overwhelming. Yasmin felt claustrophobic. She needed to get out.

“Enough!” an authoritative voice demanded, controlling the others. Instantly, the room emptied, people fading out of view entirely. Only one remained. The owner of that voice. A man in his early forties with dark, slicked-back hair and a kind smile.

“Who are you?” Yasmin questioned. She needed to get to the bottom of this.

“No time. Yasmin, you need to listen. You’re not safe, and if you’re not safe, neither is Dylan. Your mind is being flooded. I don’t know how, and I don’t know why, but they’re coming for you,” he warned. Yasmin had no idea who he was, but she would have been stupid to ignore a warning like that.

“How can I stop it?” Yasmin probed.

“I don’t know, but I’ll do what I can to help,” he explained.

“Yasmin? Everything okay?” Oscar stirred. He must have heard her. Yasmin looked back around to the man, but he had gone.

“I don’t know,” Yasmin answered truthfully. She had no idea what was going on, but she was sure of one thing: she was terrified.

Walking into the lecture theatre was a strange feeling for Dylan. It was a world away from the classrooms he had become so used to. In fact, it made perfect sense as to why it was called a ‘theatre.’ Rows of seats ascended up the room, all facing a stage with a desk and computer. It was like he was about to begin watching a performance.

As always, Dylan’s saving grace was Jono. They had planned for so long to study journalism at college together, and that moment had finally come. It was strangely exciting – finally, Dylan could study something he was interested in.

“Okay, where to sit?” Dylan pondered. Naturally, he wanted to get there early; it allowed him time to prepare and adjust his mindset. As a result, they had a choice of any and every seat in the theatre.

“At the back,” Oscar insisted. Dylan loved how Oscar had joined their journalism crew – he just knew all three of them would be running their own company one day.

“Bagsy the aisle seat,” Dylan concurred. He needed the opportunity to make a quick getaway to the loo, after all.

Dylan led the way up the staircase, feeling like he was at the cinema, only without the pile of snacks. He took his seat and whipped out his laptop. They were expected to take notes, and Dylan was a far quicker typer than writer. Oscar had brought a tablet along, while Jono preferred a good-old-fashioned notebook. Of course, Jono sat in the middle – Dylan wanted him by his side.

Over the next ten minutes, the lecture theatre began to fill up. Everyone followed similar logic to the boys, heading for the back first before the lower rows were occupied, but the room wasn’t full. Everyone had their own space.

Nine o’clock. Time to start, but there was no sign of their professor. Dylan didn’t know who was meant to be taking their course beyond the initials of ‘RJ.’

Voices around the room began to whisper, creeping louder and louder in volume. They knew something Dylan didn’t. He focused on one particular voice, blocking out the others so he could get the gossip.

“No, they found him dead, maybe they’ll cancel our lectures?” the voice whispered. Dylan felt sucker-punched. Their course leader was the professor who drowned.

“When is this starting?” Jono wondered.

“Slight problem,” Dylan broke the news, “You know Professor Jenkins? He was our lecturer.”

“Shit,” Oscar was gobsmacked.

“Settle down please,” a young lady rushed in, flustered and panicking. She must have been the replacement, and it was already obvious that she hadn’t had long to prepare. Dylan was worried. This wasn’t how college was meant to start.

The sight of a lecture theatre was strangely surreal for Lily. Her mind associated it with so many bad memories from her first college experience. Nicolas. Jamal. Violet’s death. The memories of all of these had come flooding back, and it was more than a little overwhelming.

She had a pleasing support network in her first lecture, though. Alex was by her side, just as he always was. They made it through everything bad at Washington together, and they had earned this fresh start.

Within seconds of sitting down, Alex had set his laptop up. Lily provided the earphones; one ear each, of course. The best thing about Alex was that he could read her like a book. He knew when Lily needed her hand held. He respected when conversation wasn’t the first thing on her mind. He knew the right music to cheer her up on YouTube (Ed Sheeran, of course).

“Second time lucky,” Lily commented as the lecture began.

“Here’s to normality,” Alex concurred, raising his water bottle to toast.

“I wouldn’t go that far,” Lily laughed. She had accepted that normality was a distant memory. All that mattered to her was safety.

“Alright, the Lily Chadwick version of normality,” Alex laughed, “Not gonna lie, I kinda prefer it.”

“Life’s never boring, at least,” Lily chuckled.

“I mean, it’s pretty cool. Dylan’s a bit of a legend, and I’m part of his pack, I suppose,” Alex pondered.

“Definitely,” Lily confirmed. Alex had more than earned his spot in the pack.

“I like it. It’s the first time I’ve ever been part of something, you know? People didn’t want to know me at school. I didn’t want to know me either, to be fair,” Alex opened up. Lily’s heart always broke when Alex spoke about his childhood. She had definitely taken her own for granted.

“I like to think everything happens for a reason. Otherwise, life feels pointless. We go through so much, it’s all got to lead somewhere, right?” Lily thought aloud.

“You’re so cute when you make no sense,” Alex laughed.

“Shut up,” Lily giggled, “The point is, everything you went through happened for a reason. It got you here, and that’s what matters.”

“Damn,” Alex reacted, looking impressed, “You’re great at pep talks.”

“That’s what therapy does to you,” Lily smiled, “Best decision I’ve ever made.” Before Alex could reply, Lily felt the uncomfortable sensation of her socks getting wet. Looking down, she saw her shoes immersed in a puddle. Someone must have spilt their drink.

“Gross,” Lily remarked.

“Um, Lil,” Alex’s good mood faded away, morphing into a look of horror and concern, “Look behind you.”

Nervously, Lily rotated around. Lying below the seats in the row behind was a body. A dead body. It was a young male, lying face down in the water – just like the professor.

“Shit,” Lily uttered. They had to do something, “Um, okay, we’ve got a dead body behind us and a theatre full of people. How do we handle this?”

“Scream?” Alex suggested. Sure, it would be a normal reaction, but they didn’t need extra attention drawn to it.

“Fire alarm,” Lily spotted. There was one just a couple of metres away, along the side wall. Lily quickly ran and slammed her elbow into it, the alarm immediately sounding. Quickly, the lecture theatre began to empty, confused faces glaring at Lily wondering where the fire was supposed to be.

With the job done, Lily whipped out her phone. The dead body was Ed’s territory, but the siren was hers. Already, too many lives had been lost.

Firmly shoving her chemistry textbook back into her locker, Sammi was slowly getting into the swing of senior year. Everybody seemed surprisingly chilled, and free periods were an absolute blessing. Studying at her own pace with a cup of tea was the dream.

Oddly, Felix had been one of the best parts of the year too. His endless stream of questions kept Sammi occupied, and Jeremy’s ridiculous plan seemed to have worked – he was on their side, and seemed invested in their friendship on a personal level. Conversations had progressed beyond a werewolf question-and-answer session, and Felix seemed truly happy to hang out with them both.

“That is the tidiest locker I’ve ever seen,” Felix remarked, joining her. His locker was just a couple of columns along.

“I think I learnt how to be organised when I was with Freddie,” Sammi mentioned, “I didn’t mind, he couldn’t help it.” Of course, Sammi would never have chastised Freddie for something his ADHD held over him.

“I hate messiness,” Felix replied. It was the worst attempt at flirting ever, but she knew the angle he was going for.

“Yeah?” Sammi smiled. She wasn’t sure how much she believed him – his hair was completely unkempt and he probably didn’t own a comb. That said, she knew appearances could be deceiving; her dad taught her that. An awkward silence followed. Neither knew how to react.

“Look, I was wondering,” Felix tentatively broke the quiet, “Would you like to go for a coffee after school?” Sammi felt like all of her Christmases had come at once. The popular, hot guy was asking her on a date? It was a wild fantasy, but not any longer.

“Yes,” Sammi confidently said. Felix blushed. He was too adorable.

“Without Jeremy, no offence,” Felix clarified, as if his intentions weren’t clear.

“I got that,” Sammi grinned.

“Cool,” Felix smiled gleefully, “I’ve been wanting to ask that for ages.”

“Ages?” Sammi was intrigued. There’s surely no way he’d even thought about her before Miss Asahd’s pointless group task?

“Since you joined the school. I mean, you had a boyfriend, so I didn’t say anything,” Felix explained.

“I suppose every cloud has a silver lining,” Sammi playfully replied. Something felt so perfectly right about Felix. She was on cloud nine.

Though he preferred to pretend otherwise, Josh had been extremely nervous to make a start on his course. High school had been a slog in so many ways, and he had graduated by a whisker. Even then, Yasmin’s helping hand was his biggest driving force. College was another huge obstacle, and one Josh didn’t feel confident in jumping.

However, the lecture had been surprisingly enjoyable. Time had flown by, and the course was shaping up well. This time, he had to motivate himself. Yasmin wasn’t on his course. In fact, none of the pack were. He had to be his own motivation.

Everyone’s lectures had finished for the day, and Josh had joined most of the pack in one of the study rooms just opposite the dorms. Yasmin was next to him at their table, while Dylan, Jono and Oscar were opposite.

“At least yours went smoothly,” Jono groaned, “Turns out our lecturer was Professor Jenkins, who’s currently in the morgue.”

“Shit,” Josh was taken aback, “Have you told Ed?”

“He’s snowed under,” Dylan replied, “I mean, he can’t exactly write ‘psycho siren’ on the police report. There’s a full investigation and everything.”

“The CCTV’s bust, they’ve got no chance,” Jono mentioned.

“At the restaurant, yeah,” Oscar added.

“Wait, what do you mean?” Josh was confused.

“There’s CCTV all over this place. There’s bound to be footage outside the restaurant,” Oscar explained.

“Footage that could show a siren,” Dylan worried, “We need to get there first.”

“How? Ed’s not here, there’s no way we’re getting access-all-areas without him,” Josh reasoned.

“I think he might be,” Jono looked up from his phone, “Lily’s with him now. There’s another body. A student, this time.”

“Why?” Yasmin spoke up for the first time since Josh arrived. She looked distracted, distant even. Josh knew when things weren’t okay with her.

“Why what?” Dylan queried, confused.

“Why a student? A professor first, a student second, what’s the link?” Yasmin questioned. As always, she thought logically and sensibly, and she was right. Nothing happened for no reason.

“Then we split up,” Dylan decided, “Jono, Oscar and I will find Ed and Lily. Yasmin and Josh, find Freddie and do some research on Jenkins and this kid.”

“I’ve found Freddie already,” Josh sighed, looking to the far end of the room. Freddie was sat in one of the booths, snogging Summer’s face off. It was borderline grotesque, and it looked like he hadn’t stopped for breath in half an hour.

“Yikes,” Dylan’s face scrunched up, “They’ve been like that for days.”

“Tonsil tennis is too addictive, clearly,” Oscar frowned.

“Spoken from experience,” Josh teased. Oscar raised an eyebrow but couldn’t help laughing, “Okay, I’ll take one for the team, but you all owe me.”

Josh sauntered over to Freddie, turning his bravado level up to eleven. He needed his sense of humour to be easily accessible in this situation, “Alright lover boy, it’s time to get to work.”

Freddie paused the kiss momentarily, looking up at Josh, “Huh? My lecture’s over?” The snog resumed as if Josh wasn’t there.

“No, dude, we need you. Now,” Josh persisted, wishing the unpleasant sight of their PDA would cease.

“He’s busy, sorry,” Summer brushed him off. Josh was gobsmacked. This wasn’t the Freddie he’d known for so long. He was worried about him.

The café down town was a gorgeously tranquil place, and Sammi thought it was the perfect location for a date. It was quiet, pretty, and comfortable, and all of those mattered when it was Sammi’s first proper date. Her dad hadn’t allowed her to date, and with Freddie, things felt somewhat different among the pack environment. The traditional concept of dating felt new, and she was both nervous and excited to delve into it with Felix.

Felix was already waiting patiently for her at a table. He’d picked out a smart shirt, though his hair had been left traditionally untamed. He looked amazing in Sammi’s eyes.

“Hey,” Felix grinned chirpily at her, “Wow, you look incredible.”

“It’s nothing,” Sammi downplayed her effort, as if she hadn’t spent half an hour deciding on what outfit to wear, “You look great, though.”

“You’re too kind,” Felix looked like the cat that got the cream, “Sorry, I feel kinda awkward.”

“Don’t,” Sammi took her seat opposite him, “I don’t bite. I’m not a werewolf, remember?” Felix laughed, thankfully appreciating her joke.

“Would you ever want to be?” Felix wondered, “I’ve been thinking about that a lot. Most of your friends are werewolves, or something else. What about you?”

“Starting with the big questions, I like it,” Sammi bought herself some thinking time, “I don’t know. It’s weird, I’m so immersed in all things supernatural, but I’ve never really thought about it. I just help my friends when they need it, because we’re privileged. Who else knows about werewolves? Almost no-one.”

“Nice answer,” Felix approved.

“Go on then, what about you?” Sammi probed. It was clear that this had been the only thing on his mind for days.

“At first, I thought no, definitely not. Werewolves seemed scary. Every time you see a werewolf on TV, it’s dangerous and people are killed. I thought I had to protect myself. I’ve realised that’s not the case, though,” Felix explained, “I was wrong.”

“You know, the first time I saw my dad’s eyes glow, I was horrified. I had good reason with him, but at the time, I knew nothing about werewolves. Jono and Dylan showed me that being a werewolf doesn’t mean you stop being human,” Sammi opened up. A week before, she would have scoffed at the idea of speaking so openly with Felix. It felt like a strange dream, “So what’s your answer?”

“It depends whether you’re cool dating a werewolf or not,” Felix winked. His charm was irresistible; Sammi loved it.

“Dude, I’ve been there and done that,” Sammi laughed, “Besides, most of my family are werewolves.”

“Well, yes, then. Being a werewolf would be awesome,” Felix confessed. Sammi smiled at him. She wasn’t sure whether Felix would ever get his wish, but he would definitely make a positive addition to the pack, “Can you do that? Can you make it happen?”

Sammi froze. There was a huge difference between wanting to be a werewolf, and taking steps towards it actually happening. She wasn’t sure what to do.

Dylan felt overcome by sadness. Seeing dead bodies never got any easier, particularly when they were so young. This boy was the same age as him. He came to college with the same hopes and dreams as Dylan, and everyone else for that matter. The siren had taken those opportunities from him.

Alongside Jono and Oscar, Dylan had reunited with a shaken Lily and Alex, and Ed had escorted them to view the CCTV footage. Dylan was concerned about what they would find. The murders were sloppy, which meant there was an ulterior motive. The siren wanted attention, and they were certainly getting it.

“What the heck is a siren?” Ed, as usual, was confused. His mind was logical and methodical, and the supernatural world required him to step outside that.

“Water-based creature,” Jono answered.

“I thought that was a nix,” Ed pondered. Dylan had to conceal an affectionate laugh. Ed never changed.

“Think of it as being like a doctor and a nurse. They’re similar, but not the same,” Dylan tried to assist.

“Which one’s which?” Ed tried to process.

“It doesn’t matter,” Dylan chuckled, “We’ll know it when we see it.”

“And if we see it, we need to make sure nobody else does,” Oscar added.

“It’s only a matter of time,” Lily mentioned, “These murders are happening in public places. Someone’s bound to see before long.”

“Why, though?” Alex wondered, “Why would they risk being exposed?”

“Maybe that’s the point,” Dylan worried. If someone was looking to get caught, it put all of them at risk.

“Or they’re just sloppy,” Jono hopefully added. Dylan certainly wanted him to be right.

“Here it is,” Ed paused the footage. A girl was lurking outside the lecture theatre, her back to the camera. The footage was so grainy and in black-and-white, making it near impossible to work out who it was.

“Can you enhance it?” Oscar enquired.

“This is the best we’ve got, sorry,” Ed answered, “About as much use as a chocolate teapot, I know.”

“Hold on,” Jono intervened. He paused the footage. The girl had turned her face to the side. They could see who it was.

“That looks like…” Oscar recognised.

“Like who?” Lily was confused, but Dylan knew. It hadn’t been that long since he last saw her.

“It is,” Dylan confirmed, “Come on.” It was a race against time.

Yasmin thought that a distraction was exactly what she needed. Her nights had been getting crazier and crazier, and it was beginning to consume her daytimes too. A redirection of her thoughts was just what Yasmin thought she needed, but she was wrong. She couldn’t focus her mind on anything.

Nevertheless, her research on Professor Jenkins wasn’t getting her anywhere. A name like Alan Jenkins was far too standard for Google to yield any relevant results, and they didn’t even know the name of the second victim yet. So much for finding a link.

“I can’t get in,” Josh sighed. He was trying to hack the college system with no luck. That was usually Freddie’s job.

“What’s up with him? He never turns us down,” Yasmin pondered. Freddie hadn’t been himself for a few days.

“A girl,” Josh replied quickly.

“Hey,” Yasmin interrupted, “Don’t be sexist.”

“I didn’t say all girls,” Josh defended playfully, “It began when he met Summer, though.”

“He’s attached to her hip,” Yasmin agreed.

“It’s grotesque,” Josh winced. Yasmin agreed, picturing the thought of Freddie and Summer snogging each other’s faces off, “Away from that, how are you?”

“Fine,” Yasmin lied.

“You’re not as good a liar as you think you are,” Josh sussed. Yasmin sighed. She didn’t want to get into it, but Josh was like a dog with a bone. He wasn’t going to let this go.

“I’ve been seeing things,” Yasmin began, “I know that’s not exactly news, but more than usual. So many people.”

“How long’s this been happening for?” Josh looked sincerely worried about her.

“A few months,” Yasmin answered, “And it’s getting worse.”

“Why didn’t you say?” Josh looked deeply saddened. Yasmin knew it wasn’t because he’d been left in the dark, but because he couldn’t have helped.

“I don’t know. I guess I thought it would go away,” Yasmin sighed, “They were shouting last night. That guy…”

“Guy? What guy?” Josh queried.

“I didn’t recognise him, but he controlled the voices. He said I’m in danger. He mentioned Dylan,” Yasmin recalled.

“And he’s…” Josh attempted to process everything coming his way.

“Dead, yeah, he must be,” Yasmin considered. She only ever saw dead people in her visions, but not like this. Not this many of them.

“Okay, who does Dylan know that’s dead?” Josh logically considered.

“More than most teenagers,” Yasmin realised, “It’s a man, so that narrows it down.”

“Leadsom,” Josh instantly thought.

“Not him,” Yasmin replied.

“David,” Josh guessed.

“No. I said I didn’t recognise him, dumbass,” Yasmin scolded.

“Oh shit,” Josh had a lightbulb moment. His confused expression turned into one of deep worry.

“What? Dude, come on?” Yasmin impatiently nagged. If something was up, she had to know.

“A dead man who Dylan knows but not us,” Josh clued her in, “Think, there’s only one person.”

“Oh my god,” Yasmin realised, “Dylan’s dad.”

Staring blankly back at Felix, Sammi was struggling to find the words to reply to his request. She didn’t anticipate that he would actively want to become a werewolf so instantly. It should have been a pipe dream, but instead, he’d put her in a tough situation.

Ultimately, Sammi knew it was Dylan’s decision. He was the only one who could administer the bite, making it his responsibility. Knowing Dylan, Sammi wasn’t convinced he would go for it. The only people he’d bitten were Noah, Jono and Oscar, all when he had no other choice to save their lives.

“What do you think?” Felix nagged.

“Um,” Sammi paused. She didn’t know how to answer, “It’s not really my decision.”

You know Dylan, you could ask him, right?” Felix didn’t take the hint. How could Sammi let him down gently?

“It’s not that easy,” Sammi attempted to explain.

“All it takes is one bite, it sounds pretty easy,” Felix considered.

“Yes,” Sammi confirmed, “But it’s complicated. The bite doesn’t always turn you.”

“Okay, I’m cool with that, but it’s worth a try, right?” Felix interrupted. His excitement was overbearing.

“Dude, let me finish,” Sammi firmly requested, “If the bite doesn’t change you, it takes your life. The bite can kill.”

“Oh,” Felix’s enthusiasm fizzed out quickly like air escaping a punctured balloon. Silence followed. Felix had been knocked for six.

“Sorry,” Sammi cut through the now-awkward atmosphere, “I know you wanted it.”

“It’s fine,” Felix sighed, “I just thought it would be cool, you know? I could be like Jono, he was always such a good basketball player. Now I know why.”

“Jono was a good player because he trained and worked hard. He never used his werewolf abilities on the court, even though he could have wiped the floor with anyone if he wanted to,” Sammi justified, “Being a werewolf isn’t about cheating to succeed. It’s about finding the right way to make use of your powers.”

“How can you do that, though?” Felix looked baffled, “There’s no handbook, is there? Maybe there is?”

“No,” Sammi assured, “The key is humanity. Being a werewolf doesn’t mean you stop being human. Those who forget, they go crazy. They become the psychos and killers.”

Felix nodded. Much to Sammi’s relief, he seemed to understand. She held a hand out to him across the table, and he placed his on top. There was something so special about him, and Sammi was allowing herself to fall head-over-heels for it.

Flustered, Dylan was the first back to the dorm. The study room they had gathered in earlier that day was empty, and there was no other place he could think of to look. Troublingly, the dorm was empty too. It looked just as they’d left it that morning.

Panic began to settle in. Freddie was nowhere to be seen, and he was in danger. Dylan cared for Freddie like a brother, and more importantly, Freddie was his beta. Dylan had a sense of responsibility, and if Freddie was in danger, it was his job to help him.

“Nothing? Jono followed, with Oscar, Lily, Alex and Ed in tow.

“What the hell is going on?” an impatient Lily demanded.

“The girl was Summer,” Dylan informed.

“Who the heck is Summer?” Ed queried, behind the times again.

“Freddie’s girlfriend, except she’s gone, and she’s taken him too,” Dylan confirmed.

“How do we know? They could have gone out, maybe they’ll be back tonight?” Oscar hoped. Dylan had met his match in Oscar when it came to optimism, but they had to face the facts.

“He’s not answering his phone,” Jono added, “And he’s turned off Snapchat location.”

“His stuff’s gone,” Lily reported, checking the bedroom, “No sign of Freddie ever being there.”

“What kidnapper stops to pack a suitcase?” Alex was clearly getting more and more confused, but Dylan understood. It sounded ridiculous, but there was only one solution he could think of.

“He’s not been kidnapped,” Dylan reasoned, “He’s been brainwashed. The siren must have mind control. She’s hypnotised him into trusting her, and if she’s got him…”

“…then she’s got us too,” Jono realised.

“Josh said he wasn’t himself earlier,” Oscar recalled, “And they’ve been together non-stop.”

“I’ll get an APB out,” Ed decided. As Ed stepped outside, Dylan looked at the pack, who were all staring back at him. They were waiting for an instruction.

“We need to get a head start,” Dylan decided, “We have one advantage on the deputies. We know about the siren. We’re Freddie’s best shot.”

“What if he’s already dead?” Lily worried.

“We can’t afford to think like that. We assume he’s alive. If the siren wanted to kill him, he’d be dead by now, right?” Dylan justified, “So, who’s in?”

Everyone nodded. They were a pack, and were stronger together. Dylan was going to bring Freddie home; he was sure of it. No other option would do.

4: Hypnosis Written by MarthaJonesFan

Gently rubbing his eyes, Freddie tried examining his surroundings. He wasn’t in the dorm. In fact, he didn’t know where he was. How did he get there? His mind was hazy. His thoughts were jumbled. His vision was blurry, though slowly coming around. He felt disorientated.

“Good morning,” a delightfully calm voice greeted. It was chirpy and melodic, like a song. Freddie started to remember. Collecting his stuff. Driving for what felt like ages. Spending the whole evening with Summer. It felt so comfortable. So easy.

“Hey,” Freddie smiled, rolling onto his side to match eyes with her. Freddie couldn’t believe his luck. Summer was the most gorgeous person he’d ever laid eyes on. He didn’t deserve someone so perfect.

“This is so cosy,” Summer smiled. The bed was quite small for a double, but it wasn’t exactly a big room either. Freddie had driven them to a small house outside Crystalshaw, one he knew was owned by Ed and used for witness protection. The same place Brett and Johnny stayed at to hide from David. It was the safest place Freddie could think of.

“I’ve never been here before,” Freddie commented, “There’s not much around. No supplies.”

“We’ll cross that bridge later. All we need is each other,” Summer assured, “No family, no friends.”

“Well,” Freddie paused. Nobody knew where they were. Dylan would undoubtedly be worrying, “Maybe I should tell George.”

“No need,” Summer stated, looking directly into his eyes. Instantly, Freddie’s cloud of worry lifted. George wasn’t his concern, and neither was Dylan. All he needed to think about was Summer. He wasn’t sure if he’d make it back to college, but Freddie didn’t care. Everything he needed was right in front of him.

Dylan hadn’t expected to be back at the lakehouse so soon after starting college. He hadn’t seen Crystalshaw town since moving into the dorms, so being back was a strange feeling. It was nostalgic, in fact, despite not even being gone a couple of weeks, but so comforting to see the familiar places and faces.

Freddie’s disappearance had spooked the entire pack, and Dylan had wasted no time in gathering everyone to help. Oscar, Yasmin and Josh were searching the campus and surrounding area, while everyone else was at the lakehouse, ready to be assigned roles.

Among the worry and discomfort, Dylan was pleased to see Caroline again. Though he’d spoken to her on the phone every night, he hadn’t seen her in person since move-in day. He only wished they were reunited under better circumstances.

Already, Caroline had searched the Drummond household. Freddie’s room there was completely untouched, ruling one place out. However, Dylan knew that if there was any hint remaining of the old Freddie, he would have gone somewhere he could be found by the pack.

“Are we all here?” Dylan checked. He was in charge, and they couldn’t afford to waste time.

“We are now,” Sammi poked her head round the door, Jeremy following sheepishly behind. Dylan caught eyes with an unimpressed George. The break-up between Sammi and Freddie was clearly still fresh in George’s mind, but Dylan didn’t care about the past. He was thrilled to see Sammi, because it meant she still cared. The pack was stronger together.

“Hey,” Mia smiled at Sammi. George was still intent on Mia not knowing the truth about supernaturals, which made Dylan’s job unnecessarily tougher. That said, Mia was an extra pair of eyes; one they couldn’t afford to turn down.

“Okay,” Dylan began, “We need to split up to cover everywhere we can. Mom and I will check Freddie’s old house. Jono, Lily and Alex, take the treehouse. Everyone else needs to stay here, because he might come back, and if he does, we don’t know what state he’ll be in.” Carefully, Dylan avoided mentioning the siren, but it was getting tougher to avoid details to protect Mia alone.

“Wait,” Sammi was confused, “Are you sure you want us here?” She was obviously not keen on spending time with George, but that was the point. Dylan wanted them to talk and hash it out.

“Yes. Come on, let’s go,” Dylan motivated, not giving her a chance to argue.

On his way out, Dylan glanced at George again. He looked sullen and wrecked. He and Freddie were extremely close; they were the only family each other had.

“We’ll find him,” Dylan assured. He wasn’t going to rest until Freddie was safe again. George simply nodded. Mia had her hand clasped tightly around his. The support network George had was second-to-none, and was surely somewhat reassuring. After all, Dylan knew exactly how it felt to be separated from his loved ones, and he would never have allowed it to happen to his friends too.

Three laps of the college campus had brought no luck, and Yasmin was starting to panic. She knew Freddie inside out, and there was no way he’d have run off with a girl like that. Not in his right mind, anyway.

Yasmin felt guilty, too. She’d been so wrapped up in herself that she’d hardly noticed Freddie’s unusual behaviour. She should have spotted it. She should have known the signs. She should have signed.

Though she had Josh and Oscar by her side, there had been little attempt at conversation. Josh was in full focus mode and he was teaching Oscar how to focus his senses, leaving Yasmin to wallow in her own mind, her guilt wiping out any desire for conversation. Nevertheless, they all had a common goal. They needed to find Freddie, and quickly.

“Let’s check the lake again,” Josh suggested.

“We’ve checked there five times now,” Oscar groaned.

“This is hopeless. He’s not at the lake, and he’s not on campus,” Yasmin sighed. They were wasting time, and Freddie’s life was on the line. Every second mattered.

“Do you have any better ideas?” Josh questioned bluntly. He wasn’t intending to be rude; emotions were running high and they all felt stressed. Yasmin appreciated that Josh was trying his best.

“Walking around aimlessly won’t solve anything. We need a break, it’ll give us time to think,” Yasmin considered. Josh sighed. He knew she was right, but Yasmin understood his frustration. He was so hands-on. Their approaches were polar opposites, but to find Freddie, they needed to find a middle ground first.

Yasmin led the way into the study room, stopping at the hot drink machine first. There was nothing a cup of tea wouldn’t solve, but Josh was getting antsy. Slowing down didn’t compute to him.

“I’ll be back,” Oscar mentioned. Yasmin looked up; he noticed someone waving at him across the room. Someone from the LGBTQ+ society, she assumed.

“I feel like we’re treading water,” Josh confessed, between the two of them, “I know Dylan’s doing so much, but I feel helpless. I want to be out searching everywhere. I owe that to him.”

“We all do,” Yasmin reassured, “We all want Freddie back as soon as possible. We just have to cover all bases.”

“Hold on,” Josh paused, “I think I’ve got an idea.”

“Okay,” Yasmin tentatively waited. Any idea was worth considering at this point.

“We could ask for help,” Josh said, “Well, when I say ‘we,’ I mean you.” Yasmin wasn’t sure she liked the sound of that. The pressure had landed on her.

Tensions had been running high between the pack, understandably, but Oscar needed a breather. Laps of the campus hadn’t proved even slightly fruitful, and the dorm remained empty every time they checked back in. It was difficult to remain motivated when they were obviously making no progress.

Naturally, college life had taken a pause. Freddie was their top priority, and Oscar wanted to help find him. After all, Freddie was one of the first friends he made in Crystalshaw. However, Oscar felt somewhat sad to have missed the LGBTQ+ society meeting. He’d been looking forward to it all week, partly to crush on all of the cute guys that attended the first meeting.

Therefore, when he noticed Alora waving at him from across the study room, he had to go and speak to them. They were a friendly face and a reminder of normal life, and Oscar appreciated that. They were sat with another lad, someone Oscar recognised from the meeting. Someone cute, too, but his name alluded Oscar.

“Fancy seeing you here,” Alora greeted, clearly in high spirits. They had a textbook open in front of them, but their notebook page was empty. Clearly, socialising was higher on the agenda.

“Hey, sorry for missing last night. There’s a lot going on,” Oscar vaguely replied, sitting down next to them.

“I heard about your friend. I hope you find him,” Alora assured. Oscar appreciated the thoughts, even if the details were clearly thin on the ground.

“Thanks,” Oscar smiled, “We’re just taking a break, gathering ourselves.”

“We’ll distract you,” Alora confirmed, “This is Cody, by the way, from the meeting.”

“Nice to properly meet you,” Oscar coyly smiled at him. Cody looked relaxed and calm, as if he didn’t have a care in the world. He wasn’t even pretending to study, his phone being the only thing laid on the table in front of him.

“You too,” Cody raised a small smile, sweeping his loose, shoulder-length red waves out of his eyeline. As far as Oscar was concerned, the distraction had been a success.

Four episodes down, Freddie was settling into the Netflix-binging lifestyle. He didn’t have a care in the world. Summer was by his side, and she was the only thing he needed. Of course, though he thought about George and all of his friends, they weren’t a concern of his. College was equally unimportant. Only Summer mattered.

Freddie was snuggled up closely to Summer, resting his head on her shoulder. He’d never felt so comfortable before, and he’d be happy staying there forever. That was the only future he dreamed of.

“Hold on, I’ll be back,” Summer smiled, slipping off the couch from under Freddie’s resting head. Left alone momentarily, Freddie checked his phone for the first time that day. He had a flurry of notifications. Missed calls. Facebook messages. WhatsApp messages. Texts. Every social network had a ridiculous number of notifications, all from his friends trying to get in touch. Thirty missed calls from George. Twenty-two from Dylan. Even sixteen from Sammi.

Immediately, the comfort and ease in Freddie’s mind slipped away. It was replaced by concern. What had he done? Why had he abandoned his loved ones? Why did he not even care them? The more he thought about it, the more Freddie realised there was one common denominator: Summer.

Thinking fast, Freddie knew he had to alert Dylan. They were surely already looking for him, but without a location, Freddie was a sitting duck. Summer must have had some sort of effect on him, and he had to protect himself.

Calling someone would be too risky, Freddie thought. Summer wasn’t far away and the hut wasn’t big, so she would surely hear his conversation. Texting was the answer. Opening up the chat with Dylan, it felt ridiculous to see their message history. They usually sent each other memes and jokes, and it felt so flippant now. Times changed so quickly.

The message had to be vague. If Summer saw it, she would surely react badly, and the whole plan would be a bust. Freddie simply typed one word. “Hut.” That should have been enough for Dylan to know where he was.

Footsteps. Summer was coming back. Rapidly, Freddie hit send and shoved his phone back into his pocket.

“Hope you didn’t miss me too much,” Summer smirked playfully. Oddly, her face was wet, as if she’d splashed it all with water. Nevertheless, Freddie smiled back, but the magic wasn’t there. Nothing was the same, and Freddie needed to get out.

Approaching Freddie’s old house, Dylan’s mind immediately flooded with memories. The house looked just the same as it always did, paint chipping away from the outside wall and a few dead garden plants decorated the patio; he was fairly sure they were leftovers from George and Freddie.

So much had happened at that house. Most notably, it was the place Freddie was bitten at. Dylan could never forget the awful, stomach-churning sight of his bloodstained sheets from that night. It changed Freddie’s life forever, but perhaps Dylan would never have grown so close to him otherwise?

Dylan flashed back to the night Yasmin returned from New York. Naturally, she visited then-boyfriend Freddie first, but Dylan’s jot at her surprise return was second-to-none. That short time without Yasmin around was difficult. Dylan cherished her friendship so much. She was the first friend he made in Crystalshaw. Without her, the entire pack would be so different.

“Is the coast clear?” Caroline checked. Dylan wasn’t used to going on werewolf missions with his mum. He felt somewhat self-conscious. Unusually, he was the more experienced of the two.

“Not a peep,” Dylan listened carefully. There were no heartbeats coming from inside. The new owners weren’t home. Sensibly, though annoyingly, the front door was therefore locked. No easy way in.

“Need this?” Caroline held up a key. The front door key.

“How did you get that?” Dylan was impressed. His mum had clearly learnt a thing or two.

“Plant pot. Only stupid people leave a spare key in such an obvious place. I guess the new owners are a downgrade,” Caroline remarked with a cheeky smile. Dylan laughed – the sass levels were through the roof.

Inside the house, things were equally similar. Of course, the family pictures were gone, replaced by the new family’s special moments, but the beige walls remained untouched, and the carpet, fraying at the edges, was still in place.

“What are we looking for?” Caroline questioned.

“Anything from Freddie. He’s under mind control, but he’s still there underneath. I’m hoping he’s found a way to let us know where he is,” Dylan explained. His head told him it was a long shot, but his heart wasn’t letting him give up, “I’m out of better ideas.”

“You’re doing your best, sweetie. Nobody can ask for anything more from you, okay? Ed’s got every deputy out looking for him. He’s out there somewhere, and we’ll bring him home,” Caroline encouraged, “We all want to find Freddie. He’s family, and no-one knows that better than you. You’re the glue that holds everyone together.” Dylan had missed her wise words so much. She knew just how to make everything feel better.

“I’m worried, mom,” Dylan confessed. He was trying to stay strong, but there was so much pressure on him. It was hard.

“Worry means that you care,” Caroline reminded, hugging Dylan tightly, “Now let’s get to work.” Dylan nodded, refocusing his mind. The mission was ongoing. Dylan led the way up to Freddie’s old bedroom. In the past, that room would have been a chaotic jumble sale of clutter with no sense of organisation. Now, it was quite the opposite. A pink bedspread was the centrepiece of the room, and a series of toys adorned the edges, each one perfectly tidied away. All remnants of Freddie were gone.

“No luck?” Caroline commented. Sadly, it seemed Dylan’s wild theory was a waste of time after all.

“Wait,” Dylan froze, noticing a sheet of paper poking out from behind the dresser. It was a photo, in fact, and one Dylan hadn’t seen before. Freddie with Yasmin, Josh and Brett. It was super cute, and must have been left behind by accident when Freddie moved out.

Dylan’s phone vibrated harshly in his pocket. Much to his amazement, it was a text from Freddie. One simply word: “Hut.”


What hut?

Then Dylan realised. He spotted Brett in the photo. Freddie was hiding. Brett and Johnny hid at Ed’s safehouse just outside town, and that was very much a hut. That’s where Freddie was, and he wanted to be found.

There was always an uneasy feeling in Jono’s gut every time he went back to the Chadwick house. Even at the best of times, that big house never felt very homely to him. He had everything a kid could wish for: toys, space and a huge garden. Perhaps the company made a difference, because Dylan’s smaller house always felt cosier. Jono was sure that was down to the atmosphere created by Caroline and Ed. Everyone was welcome, and family came first.

On the way in, Jono glanced up at his treehouse. His safe haven. It was the one part of this house that he truly missed. It was where he always felt at ease, after a bad day at school or an argument with his parents. Though college was going somewhat well, he could have done with a treehouse there to escape to for some peace and quiet.

Though Jono knew it was tough for him to return home, it was even harder for Lily. SO much had changed for her in a year, and facing her demons was an ongoing battle. Jono held her hand tightly, ensuring she knew he was there for her every step of the way. They’d both experienced the frayed relationships with their parents, making their own relationship more vital than ever.

“I love this place,” Alex commented, misreading the room, “The building, I mean.”

“Yeah,” Lily replied. She was quiet – far quieter than usual – and that was a giveaway sign for Jono.

“There’s no scent. He’s not been here,” Jono recognised. He didn’t want to spend any longer there than necessary.

“Jono! Lily!” an excited voice called from the doorstep. Jono sighed. He didn’t want to be spotted, but it was too late. Helen had seen them. Jono painted his best smile onto his face and approached sheepishly.

“Hey, mom,” Jono kept up appearances. To her credit, Helen had tried her best to make up for all the heartbreak and anger of the previous year. Jono had never known her to be so active and present in his life, and it meant a lot, even if the wounds were taking time to heal.

“I didn’t know you were coming home. Please, come in. Steve! The kids are home!” she called out, thrilled. Jono had never seen her so happy before.

“We can’t stay, sorry,” Jono felt bad. Freddie was his priority, but he didn’t want to let his mum down either.

“Not even a quick cup of tea?” Steve suggested, joining Helen at the door.

“Freddie’s missing,” Jono explained.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Helen realised, “I hope he shows up. Anything we can do?”

“Just keep an eye out if you could, please,” Jono requested. Lily’s grip on his hand was tightening. She felt anxious, and understandably so.

“Sure. Good luck,” Helen smiled, closing the door. Instantly, Jono checked in on Lily.

“All good?” he queried.

“It’s just hard,” Lily admitted, “Come on, let’s find Freddie.

“Hey, check your phones,” Alex advised, “Dylan’s got a location.”

Jono’s hopes immediately lifted. Freddie was one of his closest friends, and they had to find him as soon as possible.

There was nothing Sammi hated more than feeling useless. Though she may not have had the super-fast healing, or enhanced speed, she had time and time again proved her worth in the pack. Leaving her behind achieved nothing, especially when George and Mia obviously had the lakehouse covered.

Equally, Sammi knew Dylan wasn’t stupid. Even without a werewolf’s ability to sense emotion, the tense atmosphere between her and George was obvious. Dylan wanted them to heal the rift, but it wasn’t that easy.

Instead, Sammi and Jeremy sat side-by-side on the sofa, while George and Mia parked themselves on the dock. So much for healing the wounds. Sammi was more concerned about Freddie than his brother, anyway.

Keeping Sammi occupied was Felix, who keenly replied to every message she sent within seconds. She hadn’t told him what was going on, knowing it would be strange that she was so concerned about her ex, but he’d already sussed that something was up. There was no other reason for both her and Jeremy to be off school at the same time.

“You two have been cosy recently,” Jeremy commented. It was early days between her and Felix, so she hadn’t told Jeremy the details yet. Seemingly, it had already made itself apparent.

“I suppose,” Sammi coyly replied.

“You and Felix,” Jeremy laughed.

“Hey, what’s so funny?” Sammi playfully shoved Jeremy, “Besides, there is no me and Felix. Not yet, anyway.”

“It’s not funny as such,” Jeremy clarified, “But who would have called that a few weeks ago?”

“True,” Sammi blushed. Something about Felix was just so comforting. He was adorable.

“Yet you came here as soon as you heard about Freddie,” Jeremy mentioned. Darn. She’d been completely caught out. Though Sammi was enjoying her time with Felix, her mind was confused. She felt so worried about Freddie, and that told her one thing: she still cared for him, “You still have feelings for him, don’t you?”

Sammi fell silent. It was unusual for her to be speechless, but she truly didn’t know how to answer that. Her heart still fluttered when she thought of Freddie, but after all that had happened, did she have any right to love him?

“Go and tell George,” Jeremy advised, “I know how it feels to be away from my loved ones. You have a choice. I didn’t.” Jeremy spoke so wisely, and suddenly, everything made sense for Sammi. He was right, and even though she didn’t want to speak to George, she knew she had to.

Nervously, Sammi made her way outside. As soon as she spotted Sammi, Mia stood up and backed away. She knew they needed some private time. George looked less than pleased, though. He swerved eye contact and scrunched up his nose.

“I want to fight for him,” Sammi began. There was no point in small talk.

“Do you? You’ve got a funny way of showing it. Why weren’t you fighting for him before? Freddie needed you, and he wouldn’t be out there if you hadn’t given up on him,” George ranted.

Sammi was shocked. She’d never heard George speak like that before, but he was right. She’d been selfish. She was in the wrong.

“I’m sorry,” George calmed himself.

“No. I deserved it. I was thinking of myself only,” Sammi swallowed humble pie. She had to be honest with herself, after all, “I’m sorry it took me this long to realise.”

Sammi’s phone buzzed. Felix had messaged again, but Sammi wasn’t concerned. Freddie was all she cared about, and now was her chance to prove it. A second message arrived almost immediately after. Sammi sighed, expecting more from Felix, but it wasn’t. This time, it was Dylan.

“The hut,” George said aloud, examining his phone.

“Let’s go,” Sammi encouraged. They were a team now, for better or for worse.

Though Yasmin was usually the best person for coming up with a plan, Josh enjoyed his own outside-the-box approach too. Yasmin was right – they were getting nowhere, so they needed a change of tact. Would his plan work? Josh didn’t know, and Yasmin seemed uneasy about the entire prospect, but it was the best idea they had.

“Ghosts?” Oscar was taken aback. Josh had attempted to fill him in on the situation, but he was struggling to comprehend. The three of them were stood by the river, where Freddie and Summer first introduced themselves to each other.

“Sort of,” Yasmin corrected, “But it’s not exactly new. I see dead people all the time.”

“Not Dylan’s dad, though,” Josh mentioned. This wasn’t normal in any way, and he wasn’t happy to pretend.

“It sounds kinda creepy,” Oscar wondered, “Can you see him now?”

“No, but he shows up when I need him,” Yasmin replied.

“Being real, I think we need him now. This is life or death for Freddie,” Josh insisted.

“He agrees,” Yasmin said, looking over Josh’s shoulder. Josh spun around, but he couldn’t see anyone. Oscar was right – it was really darn creepy.

“He’s there, right?” Oscar presumed. He seemed nervous; after all, he wasn’t used to supernatural goings-on. It was still new to him.

“He says hi,” Yasmin relayed.

“How can we see him?” Josh probed.

“I don’t know,” Yasmin shrugged, before pausing. She was listening, to the voice Josh couldn’t hear. Seconds later, she took both Josh and Oscar by the hand. Instantly, Josh’s perception shifted. The colours were tinted a strange, uncomfortable yellow, and a man had appeared in front of him. A man Josh had seen in pictures so many times. He had a good head of hair – making it obvious where Dylan had got his genes from – and a kind smile. Josh suspected he would have guessed he was Dylan’s dad even if he didn’t already know.

“Hi,” Josh nervously spoke.

“Hi Josh,” he replied, “Nice to meet you at last. I know Caroline cherishes you.”

“Likewise,” Josh smiled, “This is Oscar, by the way.”

“Tom Drummond, nice to meet you,” he greeted, shaking Oscar’s hand, “I wish it were under better circumstances.”

“A ghost hand,” an awestruck Oscar commented.

“Do you know where Freddie is?” Josh cut to the chase.

“I’m afraid not, but the siren isn’t your only concern. Yasmin, this shouldn’t be happening. Something is using the vulnerability of the power of three to break back into this universe, and ghosts are seeping through,” Tom explained.

“What’s coming?” Yasmin nervously asked. It was the question on Josh’s lips, too. They had to be prepared.

“I wish I knew, but I can help as much as possible,” Tom detailed, “I’ve seen Dylan in action, and I’m so proud of him. I want to help.”

Rapidly, the yellow tint faded into black. It looked as if night had suddenly fallen around them. A rush of wind scraped harshly over Josh’s face. He felt uneasy. Something bad was on its way.

“Get out. Let go of their hands,” Tom instructed, yelling over the wind.

“I can’t,” Yasmin whimpered. She was frozen to the spot. Suddenly, Tom vanished. The draught grew stronger and faster. Materialising in front of them was a dark cloud, almost smoky, but pitch black in colour. It grew taller. Faster. More fearsome. It was trying to assert some sort of dominance.

Josh looked at Oscar. He was horrified, and Josh concurred. This was bad, and only getting worse. Yasmin had lost control. She was the gateway, and whatever was forming in front of them had jammed it wide open.

Freddie was sick and tired of clock-watching. Netflix wasn’t enticing anymore, when all Freddie really wanted to do was get home. Summer wasn’t who she said she was. She could hypnotise him, and that terrified Freddie. He wasn’t in control, and that was his worst nightmare. Summer could make him do anything and he’d have no say.

Since his realisation, Freddie had been desperately thinking of an escape route. On the bright side, he had his car outside, but he couldn’t afford to misfire. One failed attempt would screw his chances completely. If Dylan was coming, he had to grab this opportunity to reach him.

Glancing at Summer, who was resting on his chest, Freddie noticed something odd. Something unlike anything he’d ever seen before. The skin on her arms was dry, and getting drier with every passing second. It was spreading, like an out-of-control rash. Yasmin had never had that happen before. She couldn’t have been a nix. She was something else. Something more dangerous.

“I’ll be right back,” Summer smiled, sliding gracefully off Freddie’s chest and out of the room. Freddie kept listening, checking where she was going. The back door clicked open, and then shut immediately. He was on his own. Perfect chance to get out.

Freddie grabbed his bag from the bedroom, shoving his toothbrush in before zipping it up. He tried his best to ignore every impulse telling him he was scared. His heart was pounding and his stomach was packed full of butterflies. So much was riding on this moment.

Car keys. Freddie rummaged frantically through his bag, but there was no sign. Where had he left them. They couldn’t be far away, but it was a race against the clock. A race for Freddie’s life. He checked the bed. The bedside table. Under the bed. The sofa. The bathroom. No sign. Surely Summer hadn’t taken them? The worst-case scenario wasn’t worth thinking about, but rapidly, Freddie was thinking of plan B. He could outrun Summer, surely? He didn’t need the car.

There they were. Slipped underneath the coffee table. The car keys. Freddie swept them up and dashed out to the car. He tried to keep a clear, focused mind, but it was hard. Every part of his body wanted to panic.

Key in the ignition. The car started up. This was it. Freddie was almost on his way. The sooner he could get to Dylan, the better. Instantly, the car jolted. Staring directly at him, with her hands on the bonnet, was Summer. She’d found him. He was screwed.

5: The Siren Written by MarthaJonesFan

Frozen to the spot, Yasmin wasn’t sure what to do. She couldn’t let go of Josh and Oscar’s hands. They were all trapped inside her vision, and she didn’t know how to get out. Never before had she felt a vision so intense, so consuming, and it was draining every ounce of energy from inside her body. Yasmin felt tired, but she couldn’t rest. Not until everyone was safe.

In front of them, the black cloud grew darker and more defined. A large, tall, wide figure was forming, standing over them as if it were in charge. Two red, threatening lights began to glow near the top. The eyes.

“What the hell is that?” Oscar panicked.

“Red eyes,” Josh twigged, “We know what that means.”

“Alpha,” Yasmin realised. Whatever this beast was, it was a werewolf. One unlike any they had ever seen before. It was scarier, and undoubtedly tougher an opponent, “I can’t get us out.”

“Yes you can,” Oscar encouraged, “Remember when I first met you? You thought Dylan was dead. You were grieving, but you pulled through to help show me around. You overcame every bad feeling you had. You can do it again.”

Oscar was right. Yasmin could do anything if she tried, and she wasn’t going to be defeated so easily. She had to break free from that spot; there was no other option. This alpha couldn’t be allowed to materialise.

Focusing intently, Yasmin tried to release her grip. Something had to give if she tried hard enough, not that the supernatural world ever followed the laws of physics. Nonetheless, Yasmin gave everything she could to breaking the force. It was the only thing on her mind.

Both hands fell loose. The bond was broken, but the vision was ongoing, and both boys were still there. Yasmin was even more concerned – where was the exit? How could this stop?

“What happened?” Josh panicked.

“We need to hide,” Yasmin instructed, shouting against the full force of the draught. The creature in front was getting more and more defined. It was solidifying itself, and that was terrifying to Yasmin.

Together, the trio ran for the dorm. It was the safest place they knew, though Yasmin wasn’t going to be happy until this nightmare of a vision was over.

Every second in the car felt like dead, wasted time to Dylan. Though it was productive, and he was on his way to Freddie, Dylan didn’t feel like anything was being achieved. Freddie was in danger, and the wait could make all the difference.

Jono’s car was jam-packed. George, Sammi and Lily were squeezed into the back seat. Dylan loved how many people were keen to see Freddie found quickly and safely. He was the life and soul of the pack, never failing to cheer everyone up with a well-timed joke, mostly at Josh’s expense.

Of course, Dylan valued him on a personal level, too. Freddie had become a brother to him, and they had made it through the werewolf world together. After all, they were bitten only days apart. They had each other every step of the way, and that wasn’t going to change.

Dylan had never been to the hut before. He knew Brett was fond of it from his time on the run with Johnny, but Dylan expected things were somewhat different for Freddie. He couldn’t imagine how he must have been feeling.

“Here it is,” Lily pointed out, following the directions on her phone. Sure enough, standing alone along a quiet road decorated only by a few empty buildings, was a small, wooden house. It was ordinary; so ordinary that anyone driving past wouldn’t look twice at it. Dylan supposed that was the point.

Worryingly, just outside was Freddie’s car. The driver door was wide open, but nobody was in sight. The bonnet sported a large dent – something that would have required a lot of force. Dylan’s concerns were only growing. Where was Freddie?

“Hey,” Jono stopped the car, placing a hand on Dylan’s leg as the other three clambered out of the back, “We’re going to find him.”

“I’m responsible for this. I’m the alpha. I should have seen this coming,” Dylan vented. His mood had only sunk lower and lower.

“If you think that way, anyone could be responsible. Everyone you’ve ever met is responsible for what happens to you. It’s not fair on you, Dyl. We’ve all been so busy,” Jono reminded. He knew the best way to put Dylan’s mind at ease every time he panicked.

“I guess. I just…I could have stopped this. Freddie’s my beta. If anyone should be looking out for him, it’s me,” Dylan sighed.

“You’re amazing. You try so hard to look after everyone else, but you can’t forget yourself. You just moved away from home, Dyl. That’s hard for anyone,” Jono reassured, “You’re the alpha but you’re not psychic. Nobody knew what was happening with Freddie.”

Dylan nodded. Jono was right, and he felt better for talking to him. Dylan didn’t know what he’d do without Jono. Together, they stepped out of the car. Already, George and Lily were inspecting the state of Freddie’s abandoned vehicle.

“The door’s intact,” Lily observed, “He wasn’t dragged out.”

“The bonnet though,” George worried, “She’s got him. She must have.”

“He’s not here, we need to keep going,” Sammi stressed. She couldn’t stand still, pacing up and down the path impatiently.

“Where? We need to be smart about this. There’s no time to waste,” Dylan reminded. He wasn’t taking any chances.

“He was here not long ago,” Jono mentioned, “His scent is strong.”

“He must be nearby, let’s go,” Dylan concurred. The race was on, and none of them were prepared to slack.

Panting. Losing momentum. Freddie was growing tired. Even werewolves had a breaking point, and he was extremely close to his. He couldn’t give up, though. He knew Summer wasn’t far behind. She couldn’t outrun him, but she wasn’t giving up.

The small array of buildings around the hut provided very few hiding places. Freddie had to be smart. He dipped inside a boarded-up house, which couldn’t have been more than ten minutes down the road. Freddie checked behind him on his way in – no sign of Summer. The coast was clear, for now.

Inside, behind the rackety front door barely gripping onto its hinges, was a dilapidated front room. A solitary sofa sat facing the window, its arms sliced open and its exterior fabric rotting away, exposing the off-white padding underneath. The rest of the house wasn’t much more glamorous, either. Every surface was coated in dust, and Freddie didn’t want to touch anything. He couldn’t just stand around, though. He had to hide.

The best idea Freddie had was the basement. A wooden door with white paint chipping off its surface was just to his left. There had to be a hiding place down there.

Each stair on the way down creaked, no matter how lightly Freddie trod. Thankfully, Summer still didn’t appear to be near. Freddie kept his senses on high alert just in case, though. He couldn’t afford to miss a thing.

Downstairs was much the same. The basement had clearly been used for storage in the past; it was filled with furniture and appliances, some with plastic sheets over the top to attempt to preserve them. Freddie couldn’t pinpoint much else. The basement had little natural light coming through, and he wasn’t risking the lightbulb – that would have given his game away.

Quickly, Freddie ducked underneath the tatty sofa. He wasn’t convinced it was the best hiding place, but the plastic sheet helped hide him away. Now all Freddie had to do was wait. Dylan was on his way, but he had to find him, too. With Summer on the loose, that could have proven difficult. Freddie could have lured Dylan into a dangerous trap.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Freddie listened closely. Water was trickling its way into the basement. He could just about see a small puddle beginning to form on the hard flooring at the bottom of the stairs.

“Come out, Freddie,” Summer’s voice rang harshly through his ears, “It’s no use hiding.”

Slamming the dorm door shut behind him, Oscar was panicking. He had no idea what was happening, and every exit route seemed to be cruelly boarded up. If Yasmin couldn’t get them out of her vision, who could?

Oscar wasn’t sure whether it was a relief or not that Josh felt just the same as him. Josh had been doing this longer than him. Longer than any of the pack, in fact. He knew the most about the supernatural world, and yet, he was truly terrified as well. It was some tiny comfort to Oscar to know he wasn’t simply out of his depth as a newbie.

“What do we do now?” Oscar frantically queried. He couldn’t begin to think about a way out.

“I don’t know,” Yasmin yelled, pacing back and forth. She had her hands pressed firmly against her head. It was too much. It was hurting her.

“Hey, come on,” Oscar held her shoulders, “You can do this. You’re the smartest person I know.”

“Darn right,” Josh concurred, “But I think you might need to be smart a little quicker. It’s almost here.”

Josh was right. Oscar focused his hearing, but he didn’t need enhanced hearing to notice the loud, thudding footsteps on their way up.

“I can’t,” Yasmin closed her eyes, “My head hurts.”

“You can,” Oscar encouraged, “The Yasmin I met on one of the scariest days of my life would have moved mountains for her friends. You can do it, and we’re here for you.”

Yasmin opened her eyes. She looked like she was in pain, but there was a newfound determination in her eyes. She’d listened to Oscar. She’d found her last reserves of strength.

“Our bodies are still present in the real world,” Yasmin theorised, “And sometimes, my visions allow me to move. Maybe, just maybe, if we grab onto something real, we can get out.”

“How do we move our real bodies?” Josh panicked, still guarding the door.

“Connect with yourself. Use your mind. Make a conscious decision,” Yasmin guided.

“To do what?” Oscar wasn’t put at ease yet. This seemed so complicated.

“Visualise where we were stood. What could you feel? Touch something,” Yasmin clarified.

Oscar followed the instructions. He pictured where they were stood. They were outside, by the river, leaving very little in the open, grassy space for him to touch. Nonetheless, Oscar knelt down. He kept the image vivid in his mind, focusing as clearly as he could. His hand brushed against the ground. To his amazement, Oscar felt the gentle tickle of the blades of grass. He’d found reality.

Awestruck, Oscar looked around. He’d snapped out of the vision. He was back in the real world. He could see the gentle ripples of the river, and the dim sunlight peaking out from behind the clouds. He was safe.

“Woah,” Josh commented. He was out as well. They did it.

“One more to go,” Oscar turned his attention to Yasmin. She hadn’t moved yet. She knew what to do, but the connection hadn’t been made yet. Seconds passed, and still nothing. The worried glances Oscar and Josh were sharing said it all.

Yasmin was stuck in side, and she was on her own.

Sammi felt somewhat left out from tracking Freddie. She couldn’t follow a scent like Dylan, Jono or Lily could, and she didn’t have the brotherly instincts of George. That said, Sammi had her own super strength. She cared for Freddie in a way that nobody else did. She loved him. Above anyone and everyone.

She felt somewhat embarrassed that it had taken her so long to realise that Freddie was the only one she truly wanted. Everything that went on with Jamal had played with her mind. She had pushed away the one person she truly needed. Now he was in danger.

Dylan led the way through the small array of buildings that lined the road. There didn’t appear to be anyone else around. The atmosphere was eerily silent, in fact. Why was this place so horribly quiet? There had to be some interesting history to the place.

“Maybe we should split up? We’ll find him quicker,” Sammi pondered.

“No,” Dylan insisted, “We don’t know what we’re up against. None of us really know what Summer’s capable of. We have to stick together. I’m not losing anyone.”

Sammi couldn’t fault Dylan’s approach. He was the best alpha she could wish for, and she trusted him entirely. He would have done anything to bring Freddie home safe and sound.

“The scent’s getting stronger,” Jono observed. They were approaching a house, looking just as dilapidated as every other building. It didn’t take a werewolf to detect the uneasy, eerie vibes from their location. Sammi wanted to find Freddie and leave as soon as possible, but life was never that simple.

“The door’s unlocked,” George announced as the front door creaked open with a small push.

“Be careful,” Dylan advised. Sammi didn’t need to be asked twice. She knew her body couldn’t heal like a werewolf’s could. Getting herself killed wasn’t going to help Freddie.

Inside, the place looked like it had been turned upside down. Tatty furniture had toppled over, the top of the worn-out sofa colliding with the disgustingly dusty floor. The place had been completely ransacked. Someone had been there already.

“Sh,” Lily commanded.

“We didn’t say anything,” George was confused.

“No, listen. It’s coming from below,” Lily directed. Sammi couldn’t hear anything. The downside of not being a werewolf.

“Sounds like a bath running,” Jono observed.

“Who’s running a bath in this place?” George questioned.

“No,” Dylan interrupted, “That’s not the question. Why would there be running water in the basement of a place like this?”

“Good question, alpha,” another figure emerged from the back room. It was her. Summer. Sammi was enraged. She was ready to fight.

Water level rising. Panic setting in. Freddie regretted choosing a hiding place so low to the ground. It seemed genius at the time, too. If only he had hindsight. A Yasmin vision or two could have been really helpful.

The worst part was that any movement would instantly make a sound. Summer couldn’t know he was there for sure. She was trying to flush him out, and Freddie didn’t know what to do.

He knew he had two options. He could stay where he was and attempt to hold his breath, keeping his cover, but even a werewolf wasn’t immune from drowning. Alternatively, he could attempt to move, risking being heard and exposed. Freddie couldn’t decide if it were a risk worth taking. There were no good options.

The deceptively gentle drip-drop of the water ceased. Freddie paid extra attention to his ears, or rather, his left ear. It was the only one not submerged in water, after all. Why had it stopped? No sound was coming from the steps, and they would creak for an ant.

Perhaps this was Freddie’s chance to escape? Maybe Summer had given up, assuming he wasn’t down there? Freddie’s plan could actually have worked. He couldn’t miss the opportunity.

Moving very slowly, doing his best to minimise noise, Freddie slid his way out from under the settee. The water covered the underside of his body, his face just about remaining dry. Freddie glided cautiously to the bottom of the steps. He began to hear some noise from upstairs, though whether that was good or bad, he couldn’t make out yet.

So many theories were running around Freddie’s mind. The water in his right ear was blocking his hearing. He couldn’t figure out who was up there. He wanted to be optimistic; Dylan was on his way, so perhaps he had arrived? However, he couldn’t forget Summer. She could surely have found him.

Regardless, Freddie needed to know more. He slowly and carefully lifted himself out of the water and onto the first step. Immediately, he could hear the voices more clearly. Dylan. Freddie kept going up, one step at a time, though with a stronger sense of urgency. His friends were upstairs. Summer couldn’t get to them too – Freddie was not going to put them in danger.

The different voices filled Freddie with hope. Jono. Lily. Sammi. George. They had come for him, and it meant a lot. He wasn’t fighting this battle alone.

“I don’t know where your friend is,” Freddie heard the spine-tingling voice of Summer. A voice that previously filled him with excitement and joy. She was surely lying, too. She was just metres away from him. She must have known he was there.

“She’s lying,” Lily immediately detected. She and Freddie had learnt from the same book – Dylan was an excellent mentor, “Her heartbeat is all over the place.”

“The Drummond pack. I’ve heard so much about you all. You’re practically famous, Dylan. Famous for being the biggest party pooper around,” Summer harped on. Freddie had heard enough. He burst through the basement door, immediately catching eyes with Dylan. Oh, it was good to see him again.

“I don’t think so,” Summer interrupted, firing a blast of water at Freddie. He fell backwards, unable to grab a hold of anything. He tumbled back downstairs, feeling every single harsh bump on the way down.


Panic setting in. Yasmin had tried to hard to remain calm, but any hopes of that were long gone. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t connect with reality. Josh and Oscar had succeeded – they had faded from the vision just as Yasmin had hoped, but bow she was on her own, and she was scared.

Yasmin knew that the inside of her mind was a scary place at times. She was trapped inside her own vision, and it was a claustrophobic feeling.

The door slammed open. Yasmin was cornered. The black, smoky figure glided towards her, its shape slowly becoming more and more defined. It had short but wide legs, and long arms with sizeable claws. It looked more like a giant wolf, and that scared Yasmin more than anything – her two werewolf friends had made it back safely, and her powers were useless.

“This is just a vision,” Yasmin told herself, though she wasn’t convinced. She was trapped against the wall. All she had left was hope. Hope that reality would kick in eventually. Nope that nothing could actually hurt her in a vision.

The figure approached, stopping directly in Yasmin’s face. She looked into the bright red lights that must have been the creature’s eyes. She couldn’t tell anything from them – they were soulless, completely void of any and all emotion. Nothing about it was remotely reassuring.

Yasmin closed her eyes. Whatever happened next was out of her control, and it was bound to be unpleasant. Suddenly, its shape began to filter away again, back into the black smoke Yasmin first saw. It streamlined into a cloud and sucked itself into Yasmin’s mouth.

Blinking rapidly. Yasmin’s eyes were blinded by the sunlight. She was outside. Back in reality. She could see the river, and the grassy banks surrounding it. Josh and Oscar were looking worriedly back at her. She was home.

“What happened?” Yasmin’s heartbeat slowed again. She felt so relieved to have made it out.

“Err,” Oscar stuttered. He glanced at Josh, who wasn’t saying anything. Now Yasmin was worried again. What had happened?

“Guys, tell me,” Yasmin nagged.

“Your mouth,” Josh broke the news, “Whatever that thing in the vision was, it came through your mouth. It’s in this world.”

Yasmin was horrified. Her vision had made it into reality. It was real.

Cornered. No way out. Dylan’s brain was working overtime trying to figure out how to get away. It was easier said than done, though. Summer was strong, and she had the upper hand. Freddie was trapped in the basement, and none of them would be able to get down there quickly enough to retrieve him.

Dylan could see the range of emotions on everyone’s faces. Sammi was angry, furious in fact. George was much the same, but the scent of worry in the air was strong. Either side of Dylan were Jono and Lily, and all three of them were feeling horrified. They were terrified of Summer.

“What do you want?” Dylan questioned. He had to be brave. The pack were relying on him, and he needed all the information he could get. The one missing piece of the puzzle was the reasoning. Why was Summer targeting the pack? Everyone had a motive.

“I want…a pack,” Summer replied brazenly.

“You want what?” a gobsmacked Jono blurted out. Dylan agreed with his sentiment. It was an unusual way of getting their attention, to say the least.

“There are whispers everywhere. Something terrible is coming. I’m surprised you don’t know already, everything around here seems to revolve around the Drummond pack. Something’s coming, and it’s going to devour everything in its path,” Summer explained, “I’m sure you understand the strength in numbers.”

“Why didn’t you just ask?” George angrily questioned, “Instead of tormenting my brother.”

“I’m not stupid, your pack has a reputation. Dylan Drummond’s elite pack, only taking the best. You destroy everything that doesn’t fit your ideal. Making the world more boring with every day,” Summer hit out.

“This is your pitch?” Dylan was appalled. Her words were hurtful.

“I had to take drastic action. Allow me into your pack, Dylan, and Freddie will be just fine. He’s so sweet, isn’t he?” Summer bargained.

“And what’s in it for us?” Lily stood form.

“Loyalty. You’ll get a siren on your side, and I’ll fight whatever comes your way. All I ask is for the same in return. We’ll be on the same team,” Summer explained.

Dylan looked at Jono. He wasn’t sure what to do. His morals told him it was a terrible idea – Summer wouldn’t gel with the pack; her intentions were all wrong. However, her offer was surprisingly tempting. It would spell an end to the threats and killing, and it would be a safety net for the whole pack. Jono simply smiled at him. A reassurance that whatever he decided would be okay. Whatever he decided would work.

“You have once chance,” Dylan decided, “We work as a team here. If you’re serious about that, you’ll do the same.”

“What?” Lily glanced at Dylan in shock. Evidently, that wasn’t the response she had anticipated, but Dylan felt confident. This was, at least, the lesser of two evils.

Head pounding, Freddie was in a daze. He couldn’t remember what had happened. His vision was blurry. Where even was he? The only colours he could make out were all dark.

Strangely, his hair was drenched. His clothes were soaking wet. He was half-submerged in water, or at least, he assumed it was water. Freddie began to remember. Summer. Hiding out. Seeing Dylan. He was so close to safety.

Carefully, Freddie tried to push himself up, but he couldn’t quite manage it. He had little strength left inside him. It took a lot to wear a werewolf down, but Summer had succeeded. His body took quite a knock on the way down. The good news was that the pack were upstairs. George. Sammi. Freddie hadn’t realised how much he’d missed the sight of Sammi’s face. Summer had been so all-consuming that Freddie had forgotten who he really loved. It had always been Sammi.

“Freddie,” a voice called from above. Light flickered through. The door at the top of the basement stairs flung open. George. As soon as he noticed Freddie lying at the bottom, George sprinted down, barely touching each step on the way, “Hey, Freddie, are you alright? Are you hurt?”

“A few bumps and bruises,” Freddie downplayed, “I’ll be okay.”

“I’m sorry. This shouldn’t have happened,” George looked glum.

“This isn’t your fault. You were miles away, how could you have known?” Freddie refused to let him take responsibility. George had taken care of him for years, but Freddie was an adult now.

“I knew you were distant. You weren’t returning my calls, I just assumed you were busy with college,” George sighed.

“I’m okay now. That’s what matters,” Freddie insisted, “Where are the others?”

“Look, Dylan struck a deal with Summer, and you’re not gonna like it,” George began. Freddie immediately felt concerned. What deal could possibly have been made with someone like her?

“He’s keeping us safe. He’s keeping you safe,” George insisted, but the lack of details was only unsettling Freddie more.

“Tell me, please,” Freddie pushed.

“Summer said something bad is coming, and she needs safety in numbers. In return, she’ll fight for us,” George summarised. A shiver shot uncomfortably through Freddie’s spine. The last thing he wanted was the lingering scent of Summer around him and his friends.

“What the hell?” Freddie couldn’t hide his annoyance.

“Save your energy. Let’s get out of here first. Don’t be mad at him,” George advised. Freddie sighed. He didn’t know what to think. He always trusted in Dylan, but somehow, this felt a step too far.

It was a relief to get back to the dorm for Dylan. Though he hadn’t lived there long, he was amazed at how quickly it began to feel like home. He had his friends around him, and Dylan had realised that home wasn’t the building, it was the people, and he lived with some of the best people he’d ever known.

The journey home wasn’t long, but it was tiring. Dylan wasn’t sure whether his decision about Summer was the right one or not. Freddie had barely even looked at him when George helped him up from the basement, and he’d been quiet the whole way home. Dylan always knew something was up when Freddie was quiet.

George and Sammi had taken Freddie home to Crystalshaw for the night. Understandably, college wasn’t the first thing on his mind. Dylan knew he was in a tight spot – he loved Freddie like a brother, and Summer made Freddie uncomfortable. However, he had a whole pack to consider. This way, everyone could be safe.

“Did I do the right thing?” Dylan pondered. Everyone else had filtered back into the dorm, but Dylan paused in the doorway. Only Jono remained.

“I don’t know,” Jono shrugged, “It’s too early to say. What I do know, though, is that you’re trying to do the right thing, and I think that’s what counts.”

“Yeah,” Dylan raised a slight smile. As always, Jono had put his mind right at ease.

“Hey, Dylan,” Josh called out from inside. Dylan felt relieved to hear the comfortingly familiar sounds of his brother’s voice. He ushered Jono inside and closed the door, ready to settle down as quickly as possible.

“He’s safe, he’s with George and Sammi,” Dylan relayed. He knew Josh, Yasmin and Oscar would be keen to hear how Freddie was doing.

“That’s great, but there’s another problem,” Oscar revealed. Dylan’s mood immediately dropped. They were spiralling from one issue to another, and it was the last thing he needed.

“What’s the deal?” Jono interrogated.

“You remember the power of three, right?” Yasmin began. She looked tired, exhausted even. Yasmin was never tired – she kept the most sensible, rigorous sleeping pattern, “I’ve been seeing things since. It’s like a lingering effect that won’t fade.”

“Seeing what?” Dylan was worried. Yasmin’s visions weren’t anything new, but if something had changed, that could only be a bad thing.

“Ghosts,” Yasmin uttered. Dylan’s mind was frazzled. Ghosts existed? Since when? It made no sense.

“Woah,” Jono spoke Dylan’s mind. Just when the supernatural world seemed familiar, something had to remind Dylan that he knew almost nothing still.

“How long has this been going on for?” Dylan was concerned. Why had Yasmin not shared this with them?

“A while,” Yasmin sighed, “But that’s not all. Most of the ghosts, I’ve never seen before, but one of them, well…”

“Someone we know?” Dylan’s mind began to race. Who could she have seen?

“Someone you know,” Yasmin corrected, “Dylan, I saw your dad.”

Dylan’s heart dropped. How could Yasmin have seen his dad? An old wound just re-opened and his heart began to ache. He missed his dad every day, but over the years, things had become slightly easier. Within seconds, every bit of progress seemed to fall away.

“Can I see him too?” Dylan immediately asked. Suddenly, it was the only thing he wanted.

“I’ll see you tomorrow morning, text me if you need me,” George assured, fist-bumping Freddie through the driver’s window of his car. Sammi loved watching them; she’d never seen brotherly love quite like theirs before. Growing up an only child and being deprived of her twin was something she’d never be able to forgive.

Freddie was spending the night at the Chadwick house with Sammi. She didn’t want to let him leave her sight, not after she’d fought so hard to get him back. First, though, she had some grovelling to do.

“Look, Freddie,” Sammi turned to him as the Chadwick house gates parted, taking as long to open as they always did.

“No,” Freddie paused her, “I know what you’re going to say, and it’s okay, I forgive you.”

“I need to say it, please, because it’s taken me a stupidly long time to realise what I had in front of me was all I needed,” Sammi pleaded, “I’m sorry I pushed you away. I was stupid, and selfish. Jamal got inside my head, and it shouldn’t have taken me this long to figure it out, but you’re the one I want, Freddie. I don’t deserve you, but all I’m asking for is a chance.”

“Sammi,” Freddie took her hands, “I was there for you the whole time. You didn’t need to push me away, because I understood. I’ve never cared for someone as much as you.”

“Is that a yes to the chance?” Sammi anxiously waited. She wanted to hear him say it, because this was her final step. This was the forgiveness.

“I’d be stupid to say no,” Freddie smiled uncontrollably, “Samantha Chadwick, I love you.”

“I love you too, Frederick,” Sammi smiled back, pressing her lips firmly against his for the first time in way too long. For that moment, nothing and no-one else mattered. Freddie was the person she wanted and needed. She broke the kiss, feeling a chill against her skin, “Go on, it’s cold here, I’ll close the gates and follow you in.”

“Sure. I’ll put the kettle on,” Freddie nodded, dashing off. Sammi pressed the button to close the gates back up. As they slid back to their usual position, a figure approached the gates. Felix. Darn. Sammi had forgotten to reply to him entirely.

“You’re okay, then,” Felix simply stated. He was visibly annoyed. Sammi felt bad – he needed the truth, and she hadn’t been fair on him.

“I’m sorry, I got caught up. Look, we need to talk,” Sammi fretted. Had he seen her and Freddie kissing?

“Save it. See you at school,” Felix skulked off. Sammi sighed. She needed to know more. Felix had information that could expose not just her, but Jeremy too. Things could go seriously wrong.

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