I tiptoed downstairs until I could hear the voices from Mrs. Dallas’ office. “You must understand, gentlemen,” I could hear the headmistress saying, “that here in this school we have the daughters of many rich and influential men. For many of them kidnapping is a real worry. Miss Forester in fact does not use her real name, and her father and I have arranged certain protocols to ensure she is safe. That you failed to follow one of those protocols means that I had to invite these fine men to establish your bona fides.”
Now was a good time to make an entrance, so I went in, and addressing the senior policeman, said, “Good afternoon, may I have a word in private?” Higgs and Parsons looked daggers at me, but couldn’t do anything with half a dozen policemen there.
Getting a nod from Mrs. Dallas, I led him to a vacant classroom as far away as possible, and closing the door, asked in a whisper, “May I know your name?”
“Inspector Mc Donald,” he replied. “And you are…”
“I’m Moonbeam Hammersmith, and my father is Jerry Hammersmith. I believe this to be a genuine attempt to abduct me for ransom or worse. I have never met either of these people, and my father would never send someone I didn’t know. Fortunately this school is set up to frustrate this sort of thing. I need you to detain these men for a while, and to ensure they do not communicate with anyone until you get them to the police station. They most likely have a backup plan, and I want to be well away from here before their associates discover that I have not been captured.” I smiled, as I had been trying to turn on the dominance with a man probably twice my age.
“Of course, Miss, do you need an escort anywhere?” Wow! Dominance worked.
“That’s generous, sir. My father has contingency plans in place, so a lift into the city would be enough. I have already contacted my father’s people, and they are assembling a team to protect me.” This was nonsense, but I needed to get away so my first shift later tonight would be done in a safe place. I also had to worry about this being part of a move against dad, not to mention that I probably could not trust anyone until I had sorted some things out.
That was when we heard gunshots. I dived for the window, while the Inspector listened on his radio. It was clear the men were resisting arrest, and would be coming for me. Once I had the window open, I pulled on his arm, whispering, “Get me away now!” When he didn’t move, I told him, “Those men didn’t have guns. The sounds come from your men shooting.” With that, I virtually dragged him to the window, and pushed him out. It was a good thing this old building had large windows. “Come on, move it!” I urged. “It’s that or have me abducted from under your nose.” At last he started moving.
“How did you know those men had no guns?” Crap, he was stuck on an irrelevancy.
“I just knew,” I told him, then slapping his backside, I added, “Go, go, go!” He went while I chewed over the concept that my wolf might make me really dominant.
As he slipped into the driver’s seat of his car, I heard the radio conversation between him and one of his men. “They resisted and got away, boss. George got off some shots and hit one of them in the shoulder. Didn’t seem to slow him down.”
At last he put his foot down as a loud scraping sound came from the back. One of them was hanging on, so I told Inspector McDonald. “Give me your gun.” Since he had both hands on the wheel, I didn’t wait for a reply before opening the holster on his right side. Taking his silence as an affirmative, I pulled it out, flicked off the safety, and nearly emptied the clip before the wolf let go. “Thanks,” I told him as I gave it back. “We’ll pay for the repairs.” That clearly wasn’t the important thing right now, as he turned out of the school driveway with a squeal of tires.
It was five minutes before he chose to speak. “Not helpless, are you?”
“No, that isn’t me,” I replied, smiling at him. “Daddy dearest didn’t want me to be a scared little princess.” So true.
After that, he spent a few minutes on the radio with his team. All my intended kidnappers had managed to get away, even the one who must have had five bullets in him. I don’t miss. Although the Inspector was surprised, I wasn’t. I checked my watch. It was still a bit before two. I should easily get to a bank before they closed. If I was going to run I would need funds. Going to Toronto to get them was an obvious move, but with cash, I could go anywhere, and stay under the radar. I knew McDonald would expect me to make a statement at a police station, but as I now didn’t trust anyone except perhaps him, I would have to lose him. In any case I didn’t have the time to spare.
I did it at a traffic light outside a mall on Yonge Street. I don’t think he knew I had gone until the door closed. By then I was halfway to the mall entrance, and someone behind him was leaning on their horn. Just to be on the safe side, I went through the mall and took a different exit, and then went looking for a branch of Royal Bank. There were a few around, and ten minutes later I was in one, waiting to see the manager.
I had to turn on the dominance again, as Mrs. Fox, the branch manager, rather baulked at giving a seventeen year old girl twenty-five thousand dollars cash. Even when I pointed out that my name was on the account, and that there was a note that I was to be allowed to take out said twenty-five thousand, she was still unwilling. It was only when I suggested she call the bank’s Chairman, another of dad’s friends, on his cell phone that she crumbled. She didn’t have his number, but I did.
After that it was quick but routine. Back into the mall for a backpack, three changes of clothing, several cheap disposable cell phones, and a whole lot more. Fifty pounds, but I could carry it easily. Then it was what I really needed the money for. I picked up a brand new Harley, along with appropriate leather clothing. This gave me mobility, and I took off North, stopping after an hour or so in the Casino-Rama car park. It was probably the last spot for guaranteed cell phone reception for a while. Who to call first? I called Mrs. Dallas. It was a short call. I was fine, I would be back soon, but would need a strong contingent of bodyguards until the prospective kidnappers had been apprehended. Then it was my agent. Again, I was fine, and still hoped to make the audition on Saturday. She had heard about the kidnapping attempt, so I had to calm her down. That was it for the moment. I wandered towards the casino, and slipped the cell phone into the trunk of a taxi unloading at the entrance. No point in taking chances.
I took the opportunity to have a quick snack at their buffet restaurant, as hunger was still a factor, and although some of the fifty pounds were edibles, I didn’t know how long they would last. I must have eaten nearly two pounds of roast beef before I set out again, with two souvenir water bottles I picked up in one of their shops. I went back south, and then cut east for another hour and a half before I reached Head lake by the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands provincial park. I now needed to get as far away from the world as I could, and decided to get a good few miles in. By the time I got to a place I felt was suitable, it was beginning to get dark, so I decided to rest up a bit before it happened.
Sticking my head on my pack, I dozed.
I woke to a shaft of moonlight streaking through the branches of a nearby tree. Clearly it was time. I took off my boots and outer garments, not wanting them to either get shredded or to constrict me when my shift came. I was about to get a blanket from my pack when I felt it begin. One moment I was human, and the next I was wolf. That would have been ideal except my bra strap broke, and I was still wearing granny panties. That wasn’t what caught my attention, however, as the smells and sounds all around me started battering my senses. I took several long moments to get acquainted with my new form. It wasn’t as if I hadn’t expected everything, it was just that experiencing it all was still something that I had to adjust to. All sorts of small animals were about their business, but no large ones. I relaxed, and once I had caught up with my enhanced senses, it was time to check out my new bod.
I had to estimate my height by standing next to the Harley. I was big, or at least bigger than I might have expected. What I could see of my fur was black, like my human hair, but I couldn’t see everything. Turning my head, I ripped off my panties with my teeth. It was time to run. I started off slowly, getting used to my new gait, but then as it started to come together, I sped up, until I was virtually flying through the trees. I felt amazing. Half an hour flashed by, and I wasn’t tiring. That was when I caught their scent. Wolves, two my new nose told me, and male. Notwithstanding all the possible horror stories I had heard about first shifts, I wasn’t frightened at all, so I veered off my intended course to investigate.
They caught my scent when I got close, and as predicted what it was they smelled on me drove them wild. I decided to lead them a merry chase as I was feeling absolutely wonderful. It was the most fun I had had in a long time, and it went on for a long time too. I ran, I jumped, I veered and did all sorts of acrobatic maneuvers until I couldn’t hear them chasing me anymore. Taking that as a signal to go back to my bike and change, I slowed down and found a nearby stream to drink from. From there it was a short hop to my things, as I had essentially run in a circle.
Dressed again, I was easing onto the bike when I heard a plaintive yip in the distance. I knew the sound; it was a cry that a pack mate was hurt. I figured it was one of the two wolves I had led on a fruitless chase, so I felt obligated to check them out. Following the noise was much easier now, and soon I came across the yipping wolf, who simply turned, and loped away. He was leading me to his friend whom I presumed was injured. When I got close enough to smell him, I could detect undertones which I instinctively knew to be fear, pain, and distress.
I approached on foot, not wanting the bike to upset him. The well wolf who had led me nuzzled my side, so I decided to try something dad did. I turned his head towards mine, and mentally commanded him to shift back to human. It took a bit longer than it had taken me, but soon I was holding a human face, one which wouldn’t look me in the eye. Crap, it was a boy younger than me. Of course he was naked. “First things first,” I told him, “now what’s wrong with your friend?”
The youth rather stuttered, “Bad break.” Well it would have to be bad for a shifter to need help, as most injuries healed fast, and faster with the help of a shift. Clearly the frenzy of chasing me had led to him being careless. Pulling the boy with me, I approached the injured wolf, who was lying down and occasionally whimpering slightly.
“His back leg,” was all the youth could say. No surprise, as I could see bone sticking through his fur. Now I understood. Shifting cures most things, but when bones are badly out of place, and with pain being excruciating, shifting is just not possible. Pain itself inhibits shifting, but even if he could shift, the bone, not being lined up neatly and set, wouldn’t knit.