Molly Sterling was in the hospital room of Marisol Garza. As she saw the sick girl laying there, some sympathy came over her. Certainly, she and Marisol had their differences in the past few months but Molly knew that whatever illness had overtaken her, it was something that went beyond the troubles the two had. Marisol, through her fevered speech, mumbled to Molly that ‘the wolves were coming’ and they would tear the town apart. This ominous statement had Molly rethinking her plans.
First, Molly removed the psychological curse she had placed upon her months ago and then she reached deep down inside to attempt to pull off a ritual that would cure her. Surprising even herself, Molly was successful at what she did and Marisol immediately began to feel better, whatever magical curse had been placed upon her, apparently lifted.
Meanwhile, across town, Devon Lauer had almost made it back to San Luis Obispo after almost 2 months of being on the run. His father, Tony Lauer and his mother, Summer Lauer, had been left behind in Oregon, and they may or may not have gotten away from the wolf clan that had chased them down. Devon’s only hope was to get back to San Luis Obispo and find allies who could help protect him. But in the forest north of town, he could almost see the road when the wolves sprung out of nowhere, finding him, catching his scent and beginning to chase him down. His only hope was to get to the road and find a passing motorist. As he ran to the road, luck was on his side (more or less) and he was able to find a car – one driven by Mahala Kindt. She took him into the car and sped back to her house, asking where he had been and if anyone knew he was back. He was hysterical but she promised to take care of him and give him food, a shower and clothes and they they would straighten everything out.
Returning to Mahala’s house, Devon was surprised to see Sage Castle present, as she and he had a romantic relationship over a year ago. Mahala took Devon upstairs, gave him coffee and some food and and a shower. Upon getting out of the shower she was waiting with cigarettes and more coffee but it was not long before Sage arrived, aggressively interested in rekindling their relationship. In an evening of passion that followed, Sage showed herself to be sexually adventurous and almost bestial as was her apparent nature, Devon unwittingly being in danger twice over; first her relationship to the very wolf pack that was chasing him down and second, her mystical nature he was not yet informed about.
But towards the end of their romantic interlude, something happened. Devon froze up, unable to move and Sage’s eyes turned black. She began to speak with a voice that was not her own and shortly thereafter, Mahala entered the room, looking far more in control than Devon had ever seen her. She explained that she and his friends (Simon Parker, Molly Sterling, Emma Lee Raines and Lilith Marid) had a difference of opinion recently as they thought – incorrectly – Mahala was the bad guy in the situation and she was about to use Devon as leverage to reopen the conversation. Devon was unable to move as Mahala left in order to enact the next phase of her plan. He could only speak and he was able to use his supernatural abilities to question Sage, mostly regarding her greatest fear. Her response was the same as that of Devon’s: Carnamagos.
Across town, Emma Lee Raines was with her cousin, Quinn Raines, who had only recently moved to town and started school with her. Quinn wanted to know what the situation was, the dating scene, school gossip and so on, with Emma Lee more than happy to fill her in. For better or for worse, Quinn had made at least one friend, the drug dealer, Dusty Keppler. But that is when they were interrupted by a call from Mahala, who stated that things had changed since last they spoke and she had something that might bring everyone back to the bargaining table – Devon. Mahala suggested that Emma Lee round up the others and come over to her house so they could continue the discussion. Within a few moments, Emma Lee had called Jeremy Lakota to come over and take Quinn out shopping as a distraction and then called the others. Simon agreed to pick everyone up and get over to Mahala’s house.
However, on the car ride over, the cracks in the friendship continued to deepen. Lilith accused Molly of being ‘too close’ with Mahala and Molly shot back with Lilith being a ‘dragon fucker’ in reference to her relationship with Raphael Castalanta, who several of them knew to be a dragon in human form – all of which was news to Simon, who was trying to get his mind around it.
Finally, arriving at Mahala’s house, they noticed that the grounds were being guarded by Mahala’s brothers, the Coyotes. This served as a not-so-friendly reminder that they were in a specific kind of danger even though Mahala seemingly invited them under the banner of peace. As they went inside, they were greeted by Tony Malone, one of Mahala’s puppets, as well as Sage Castle, Gunner Holz, and Lizzy Ashbury, all loyal to Mahala as they were reanimated dead, serving her.
It did not take long for Mahala to send for Devon, have him brought down and have the paralysis spell removed from him. However, throughout the conversation, Gunner and Sage made eyes towards their respective former friends and lovers, showing that whatever humanity they still retained – if any – was very convincing. There seemed to be some kind of light inside of them, indicating that Mahala was extremely powerful or she was very convincing in keeping the illusion seem real.
Mahala stated her case for an alliance. She wanted the others to join her in destroying the Castalanta family as well as Carnamagos, and in addition, dealing with the new factions that seemed to have appeared – the werewolf clan as well as the Cult of Vesta. She further explained the war that had been going on for centuries stating that she was, at one time, along with her family, servants of Carnamagos until he abandoned them with the dragons of the Castalantas came. For that reason, she and her remaining family had to go underground and hide, swearing revenge on both Carnamagos as well as the Castalanta family. Further, whether she was bluffing or telling the truth, she revealed that she knew who Lilith’s father was, a question that had been with her for quite some time. This was the first opportunity that Lilith ever had to even possibly learn about her heritage and now that Mahala claimed to know, it made her a valuable ally, at least temporarily. Further, Mahala also dropped the message that Devon’s father, Tony, as a supernatural beast, used to work with Mahala as the Consag. This was an interesting revelation that Devon knew would come up again soon, especially seeing as Mahala suggested that he, Devon, could take his father’s place.
In the end, the teens agreed to think on Mahala’s offer and get back with her in 24 hours. But for the time being they planed to stay at Emma Lee’s house where they would discuss and examine the items in the abandoned wing of Emma Lee’s home, the items that once belonged to her mother, as she was a warrior against darkness. This was a mantle that Emma Lee was increasingly embracing for herself.
Molly, returning to her home was confronted by Mahala, who had magically appeared in her bedroom. Molly was taken back and completely turned off by her sudden appearance, especially when Mahala suggested that Molly become her apprentice. To say that Molly took this the wrong way was an understatement. However, upon leaving, Mahala seemed to have dropped some kind of curse of her own on Molly, suggesting that the wolves would find her far more delicious than any of the others. With that, Molly knew she had to get with the others.
Simon and Devon made a quick stop to Devon’s house where the band, the Dick Nixons were using as a practicing area for their music. Whereas Devon was happy to see them and they were surprised to see him, they had to cut the conversation short as Devon knew the wolves would not be far behind. Unfortunately, there was little of value present that his family left behind, but he ushered J.J. Ross, Sachamo Luke and Harley Morningstar to safety with the promise he would catch up with them later.
Arriving at Emma Lee’s house, she showed Lilith the abandoned wing of the home. It was here that the two had a true heart to heart talk, mostly about Raphael Castalanta. Lilith tried to convince Emma Lee that her initial conversation with Raphael was one to convince him to take her back but one thing led to another. They discussed the complications of loving the same person, a person who was truly not a person at all but instead was an ancient being. Lilith, of course, was curious was to why Emma Lee was not more aggressive in trying to win him back. However, her response was that with everything happening, Emma Lee felt as if she had to grow up and take on more serious responsibilities for the time being.
Once the others arrived, Emma Lee assured them they would be safe here. Molly recounted her encounter with Mahala – one that she was not pleased about. Devon and Emma Lee scoured the area for items that would be helpful. An item that her mother had hidden – an Ivory Dagger – was said to be a weapon against the Consag; Mahala. Devon, on the other hand found a stick that would prove as a weapon against werewolves. Most interesting was the note that came with it. The item was clearly given by Devon’s father, to Emma Lee’s mother and with it was accompanied by a note with the suggestion that the two were at one time very close, perhaps even romantically linked.
While this was happening, Simon, detecting the appealing scent from Molly, puled her to the side, and went to the kitchen looking for food but the two shared a moment of intimacy while alone.
Upon their return, they discussed the pros and cons of dealing with Mahala and her brothers in the war against far more nefarious enemies. They would, if they decided to work with Mahala, insist that no matter what happened, they would not attack Raphael. Certainly, they did not trust her, at all, but she was seemingly the best option of the bunch. It was agreed by the group they would work with her but not trust her as she was the least evil option they currently had.
The following day at school, none of them could shake the feeling that Mahala’s puppets were watching them. Everywhere they turned the eyes of either Mahala or her undead servants were among them. Lilith did, however, get an opportunity to talk to Raphael, who mentioned that when she was not around, he thought of her and found himself missing her when she was gone.
That evening they returned to Mahala who was accepting of their offer for an alliance. She provided them the names of her undead servants, promised to not kill anyone new but was allowed free reign to take those who had died. She explained that due to the sympathies some of them had with the Castalantas, they could deal with that faction later turning their attention to Carnamagos first. However, in order to neutralize the god, they would have to deal with his newest chosen servant, Annabell Starr. This was something the group was sqeamish about doing but they convinced Mahala to at least let them try another way before killing the girl. Mahala agreed.
But she was skeptical. Very, very skeptical.