According to my pre-mission briefing, kidnappings were up in the States by five percent over the last five years. The significance of which didn’t hit me until I found that the statistics for kidnappings had remained static for a good thirty years. The spike caught the attention of the FBI, and they put their best men on it. The problem? Right when they thought they’d discovered the pattern of the kidnappers, it seemed to change.
We hit some turbulence, and the force of it pulled me out of my reverie. I sucked in a deep breath, my hands resting on the soft leather side arms of my big comfortable seat as the Gulfstream jet jumped. I let the rollercoaster feeling wash over me like a wave, forcing myself to enjoy every last tingle. I only had this flight and a few hours tonight to assume my new thrill-seeking alias—the one that would lure the kidnappers and save the day before the pattern changed again. I might as well make the most of it.
Toby squeezed my hand, holding my gaze. “Maybe this will be the month you can finally shift again, Victoria.”
Sharp pains ran through my body. My right hip cracked. I bit my tongue, trying not to cry out in pain. My skin felt on fire as fur tried to poke through, but couldn’t.
His face tensed, a pained look in his eyes. “Are you shifting?”
I shook my head. There was nothing normal about this, and it was proving to be more difficult and painful than my other months of un-shifts. Each one grew worse than the last.
Toby scooped me up, carried me inside, and helped me onto my bed. “I can’t keep my wolf inside any longer. I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay.” I fought to keep my voice steady. Tears threatened.
He brushed hair from my face and kissed my forehead. “Ziamara’s upstairs sleeping. She said to wake her if you need anything.”
“I’ll be fine.” I grimaced, the pain nearly choking me.
Toby cried out and the sound of ripping fabric tore through the room. He spun around and dashed out the door. The back of his shirt had ripped, and fur poked through the split material.
I gripped a pillow, squeezing it as hard as I could to distract myself from the pain. It didn’t work, and the pillow exploded, filling the air with white feathers.
A loud pop sounded and then a horrific pain shot through my shoulders. I slumped down and screamed, unable to take the pain.