Toby has known little more than loneliness since he was taken from his home and his family was killed. He’s a prisoner, forced to heal the members of the gang that bought him from the men who kidnapped him.
Until he’s not.
Camden didn’t expect to find out that Sam’s brother, the brother who was sold to a gang, is his mate. He’s not sure where to go from here. Toby is understandably wary and cautious, and most of the time, he won’t let Camden close enough to talk to him. Camden doesn’t have a problem giving him the time and space he needs, but they might not have much of it.
When the envoy from another pack arrives and demands Camden give up one of the unicorn shifters, Camden refuses, even though he knows the Rosewood pack doesn’t stand a chance. The pack is small, and its members aren’t warriors. He’s not about to give Toby or Sam up, but he has no idea how his people are going to deal with this—or if they’ll make it out alive.
Toby knew something was wrong before Roy burst into his bedroom looking like he was about to kill someone as painfully as possible.
“Stay in here,” he barked.
Toby knew better than to answer, but he needed to know if he was in danger. The last time this had happened, he’d almost been kidnapped, and he wasn’t looking forward to going through something like that again. “What’s going on?”
“We’re under attack.”
Toby had suspected that. “Who?”
“Why the fuck does it matter? You better be here when it’s over. We’re gonna need you.”
Toby nodded, but Roy was already out the door. Toby heard the sound of the lock engaging in the door. He sighed and wondered what gang was after him this time. Ever since they’d found out this gang had him, they’d been trying to raid the house every few months, with varying results.
Toby couldn’t say he liked being with the bears, but he also knew they were better than a lot of the other gangs. They’d taken him because of what he could do, and that meant that while they didn’t have a problem insulting him and scaring him, they also didn’t hurt him or touch him in any way. He wouldn’t be that lucky with others, as Roy made sure to remind him every so often. He didn’t need to—Toby wasn’t even thinking about escaping, not anymore.
He had no idea what he’d do if he managed to sneak out. His family was gone. He didn’t have friends. He couldn’t drive. He was alone in the world and had nowhere to go, and Roy was right. If people found out he was a unicorn shifter and that he could heal with his hands, they’d tear each other apart over him. They already did, although he didn’t feel guilty that drug dealers and killers were bleeding and killing each other. There would be fewer bad guys alive by the end of the night.
Roy grabbed Toby’s hand and pushed him toward the closet. Toby yelped at a sudden pain in his ankle when he fell to the floor.
“Fuck,” Roy growled. “Get in there.”
“You’re not gonna need it. Hide in the closet and make sure to stay there. Don’t open the fucking door for anyone but me, got it?”
“I hope for your sake we win this.”
Toby hoped that too. He scrambled into the closet, and Roy slammed the door shut behind him. Toby’s ankle pulsed, and he was pretty sure he’d twisted it when Roy had pushed him. He didn’t think Roy had done it on purpose—although he wouldn’t put it past the guy—but this would complicate things if he had to run.
He’d been lucky the other times, but he was always ready. He needed to be.
These were the times when he missed his brother the most. Sam hadn’t been that much older than him, but he was his big brother, and he’d always protected Toby.
Until that night.
Thinking about it made it hard to breathe. The people who’d grabbed him had been overjoyed to tell him they’d killed the rest of his family and that they’d mutilated their bodies to get their horns. They’d wanted Toby to be meek and not to fight them, and it had worked. Toby had been in shock, and he barely remembered the first few months after that. He’d been sold a few times until he’d ended up in the hands of this gang, and he’d been with them ever since.
From the sound of it, it looked like that might not last, though.
Toby had been through this already, but he didn’t think the yells and screams had ever come that close to his bedroom. He could hear them as if they were right outside, and maybe they were. The bears’ luck had to break sooner or later. Maybe today was that day.
Something crashed against the door of his bedroom, and Toby jumped. He tried to crawl deeper into the closet, but there wasn’t much space. This was it, in more ways than one. It was the end of the closet, and possibly, the end of Toby’s time with the bears.
He wasn’t sure how he felt about that. He didn’t particularly like the bears, but he realized he’d been lucky to end up with them. He might not be as lucky with the next people he’d be with, and that was the terrifying part of this.
Gunshots made Toby jerk. He swallowed and pressed his back harder against the wall, wondering if pulling down his clothes to cover himself would help. Probably not, since he suspected the people attacking were shifters. They always were, and they’d be able to smell him and to hear him even if he tried to hide.
The bedroom door opened, and footsteps came closer. Toby held his breath and resisted the urge to screw his eyes shut. If he was going to be taken again, he wanted to see everything. He’d closed his eyes the last time, and he’d missed having one last sight of his parents. Closing his eyes also made things confusing, since he couldn’t see what was happening, and he needed to be ready in case he had a chance to run. He wasn’t sure how he’d manage, but he could always shift if he needed to. Not the best way to be discreet, but at this point, he doubted discretion would help him.
“Anything?” a man asked.
“No,” another one answered. “I think this is his room, though.”
“It does smell familiar. Could the gang have moved him? Maybe they found out we were coming.”
“How could they have? Only people from the pack knew. No, I think he’s still here.”
“We need to find him then.”
“We will. Stand guard at the door. I don’t want to be surprised.”
“You think he’s in here?”
“I don’t know, but I’m going to look.”
And he was going to find Toby. There was no way he wouldn’t.