Before I could think about it, I jerked my hand away and watched as wolf-Kale snorted and shook his head. He bumped his shoulder into me nearly knocking me off my feet. His head bumped against my leg. He continued shoving at me until I had to walk or fall down. I stumbled a few paces. He was right behind me. When I stopped and looked down at him he again butted his head into my thigh and pushed. It seemed he was herding me toward somewhere. My hope of escape dwindled inside me. I knew where this was going.
“Your leading me back to the house aren’t you?” I asked.
Wolf-Kale made a short bark which I took for a ‘Yes’.
“Please don’t Kale.” I begged. “I want to go home.”
He growled and shook his head with a big huffing snort before he pushed his shoulder back into me. It was obvious he wasn’t letting me go and he was rushing us both back to the house. The thought of facing Judi, Bram and the others scared me. They would be angry. I had shoved their friendship back into their faces.
I stopped moving through the woods to look at Wolf-Kale. “I can’t face them. I just can’t.”
Kale seemed to think about that for a moment but then huffed and gently prodded me with his nose. He was urging me on again.
“Can’t you even change and talk to me about this?” I asked.
I felt dumb asking it. I felt oddly even talking to a wolf in the middle of a forest. But today was not my usual day. And this wasn’t an ordinary animal.
Wolf-Kale didn’t reply to me but just prodded me harder so we started moving once more through the forest. It felt surreal to be walking through the woods with a wolf at my side. At times his silky fur brushed my fingers and weirdly enough it was a kind of comfort. I had always liked animals and cried my sorrows on my dog’s shoulder growing up.
What seemed like many hours later we could see the clearing ahead where the driveway was cut into the forest. My steps faltered and halted.
“I don’t know if I can do this.” I admitted in a whisper. “Your…family. They will hate me after this.”
When there was no response behind me I turned to look and Wolf-Kale was gone. Heaving a heavy sigh of confusion and frustration I hugged my arms around my middle and stood in the forest looking out at the driveway. Almost daring myself to step out. I don’t know how long I was standing there with my mind turning with thoughts before a hand clamped on my shoulder.
It surprised me and I let out a high shriek that startled birds out of the trees and sent a squirrel running from my vicinity. The touch had been light before but now it tightened. I tried to turn but was held back so I twisted by neck to see who was behind me instead.
“Do you have to scream every time I touch you?” Kale asked.
My fear slipped away as I saw it was Kale who touched me. A very human Kale. I wondered why he wouldn’t let me turn toward him but then I noticed his lack of shirt. My eyes must have widened when I finally figured out that Kale was naked. He smirked at me.
“Yes, I’m naked.” Kale confirmed. “It goes without saying that I cannot shift fully clothed.”
“I know…but…” I lapsed into silence as a blush stole over me and I turned my eyes away before I saw more then just Kale’s chest.
He laughed at my embarrassment. “Okay, enough talk, more walk.” He gently pushed me to continue forward while keeping his grip on my shoulder. “My clothes are near the back kitchen door there where I hastily threw them. Let’s get over there and I’ll get dressed then we need to talk.”
I started forward reluctantly. “But your family….”
“Didn’t approve of me kidnapping you to begin with.” Kale interrupted. “So they will be sympathetic and understanding. Trust me.”
So everyone knew then that I was being held hostage. I had wondered even after the looks I saw on Judi and Candace but now I knew for sure.