For whatever reason Run Free in my Collier Pack series has been getting a lot of mentions lately, so let’s go with it. This is actually the entirety of Chapter 3.

I was so tired. I tried to open my eyes. I tried to lift my head off the cold ground but found I could do neither. I thought my wolf had already died, despite being stuck in his form, but he was up and more energized than I could remember in days, maybe weeks.

I heard the sound of a truck and recoiled as far back in the cage as my size and tired muscles could manage. I sniffed the air. That wasn’t them. The smells were all new. One of them was even pleasant, like coconut and happy times that made my wolf react.

He tried to stand and had no more luck than I’d had when I’d tried to force it. I felt the familiar ripple wash over me and I shivered lying now in my naked human form.

I sighed. I hadn’t even been able to control the shift. This was not good. Still, if new people were here, maybe I could find help. I yelled out, “Help,” but all that escaped me was a hoarse whisper lost on the wind.

I tried again, and again. By the fifth try a small squeak came out. “Help me,” I cried out with all my might.

The coconut scent grew stronger. I pushed myself up on shaky arms and yelled, but barely a noise was made. My throat was too parched; it felt like sandpaper when I swallowed. My tongue felt too large for my mouth, and I was too weak to do anything about it.

The scent slowly faded, and I collapsed back onto the floor of my cage. I shifted immediately back to my wolf, who felt more miserable than I could ever remember. He actually tried to howl, but just like my tries at calling for help, no noise was made. I was resolved to the fact that I would die here. I lay my head back down, closed my eyes, and waited, praying death would take me quickly.