Chapter 12

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Kasia's entire body ached from being stuck in the box for so long. There were tiny rays of light getting through the now cracked wooden surface, but she couldn't make out anything about their location or progress on the route. Despite everything, she was surprised how well her cage had held up, with only parts of it having fallen prey to claw marks. Her wolf-self had been restless and tirelessly fought its imprisonment. Kasia was under the strong impression that magic, once again, played a big part in her not having been able to escape. Even the wolf must have sensed it at some point and had to resign itself to its fate. It simply fell asleep until it was time to return to her human form again. The reversed transformation was never as painful as the one that turned her into a wolf. Most times she just woke up from a deep slumber that made the past hours seem like a distant dream. Her brain felt foggy and her senses were incredibly dulled in comparison to before, but other than that there were barely any lasting effects.

As time wore on, the ground beneath her was still vibrating, telling Kasia that they hadn't stopped moving yet. It wasn't that long of a way from Vancouver to the mountain range in Oregon, but they still had to find the exact location once they were there. They would probably make the best headway during the night, but there was no way she would spend those hours cooped up in a tiny box in her human form.

Screaming over the roaring wind, she hoped someone in the front of the car would hear her. Eventually, she felt the vehicle slow down and heard the steps of someone approaching her box. Kasia covered herself as good as possible, hoping that Georgie and Findlay wouldn't forget her robe when they let her out. She still hadn't gotten used to the fact that she woke up naked after her transformations, but at least she was smart enough to change out of her clothes before they got shredded now.

When her wooden cage got opened, she was blinded by the beam of a flashlight.

"Girl, you need to shut up. Do you want people to think we are actually kidnapping you?" An unfamiliar voice asked with laughter.

"Who the fuck are you?"

Kasia's first instinct was to withdraw further from the stranger, but there was nowhere to go. If it came down to it, she wouldn't even be able to defend herself, seen as she was literally naked right now.

"Shut up Casper, you're scaring her." Finally, there was the sound of someone more familiar. The other person, whose name was apparently Casper, finally shone the light in a different direction. Faster than she thought her reflexes capable, she grabbed her robe from Findlay and wrapped it tight around her body. He held out a hand for her to help her down from the bed of the truck. Her eyes finally adjusted again and she could make out the newcomer to their troupe.

Casper was barely her height and definitely shorter than Findlay. His white skin rivalled her own paleness and she wondered briefly if he, too, hadn't seen actual sunlight for a while. Something in her was reluctant to trust the guy and it had nothing to do with his dark hair in a messy man bun or his motorcycle jacket with some sort of gang sign. Contrary to that immediate sensation of familiarity she had felt with Findlay and Georgie, all she wanted to do now was get as far away as possible from him.

She must have stared for too long, because Findlay gently took her by her shoulders and guided her towards the front of the car.

"Don't worry, he helped us." Findlay whispered.

"Why do I have a hard time believing that?" Something about Casper vexed her, but she couldn't put her finger on it. When she took another look at him, his sand-coloured eyes sparkled and he winked at her, before getting in the car himself.

Kasia took her seat next to a sleeping Georgie while Findlay updated her on their progress. They had crossed the border a while ago and had encountered little to no problems after that. It only now occurred to Kasia that the border control might have been a problem with her being in wolf shape.

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