Home > Wolf Gone Wild (Stay a Spell #1)(7)

Wolf Gone Wild (Stay a Spell #1)(7)
Author: Juliette Cross

“Who’s Violet?”

A slim woman with blue hair—taller and less curvy than Evie but with the same fair complexion and shape of face—stepped in from a door in the back.

“Well, well. Who’s Mr. Tall, Dark, and Fuckworthy?”

I like her. But sorry, babe, we’re already taken.

Taken by whom, I’d like to know?

He snort-laughed in my head. By the sister. Who the hell do you think I mean?

Stop obsessing over Evie. She’s not mine. Or ours. Or anything.

She will be.

“Mateo, meet my sister, Violet. She’s got the mouth of a sailor. Sorry for that. Violet, this is Mateo, our newest client.”

She sashayed within a foot of me, leaning one hand on the counter, devouring me with her eyes. “Nice to meet you, werewolf.” She winked.

Poor sweet thing. She wants us. They can’t help it, brother. We’ve got animal magnetism.

I cringed. Or you’re just a narcissist on top of all of your other fine qualities.

Yes, it’s true. I do have fine qualities. A consequence of being an apex predator.

Jesus. He didn’t even get sarcasm.

Evie grabbed my forearm and led me toward the door, that wash of tranquil bliss bleeding into my veins. I nearly groaned at how good it felt.

“Nice to meet you,” I called over my shoulder, but my gaze was locked on the pretty witch swinging her ponytail in front of me.

Chapter 4


Mateo dipped his head as we walked. “So who’s your Wednesday date?”


“Who’s Bam?”

“Actually, it’s Bam’s Comics.”

I dropped his arm, realizing I was still holding onto it. Why I’d grabbed him in the first place was puzzling. Well, not really. If I was going to be honest with myself, I didn’t like Violet being flirty with him. She flirted with everybody. It was just her way. But Mateo didn’t need her kind of distraction. One that might get his wolf worked up. He needed another kind of distraction. One that suited his artistic nature, which is why it was so perfect that today was Wednesday.

“You like comic books?”

“Like?” I scoffed and rolled my eyes. “Comics are life.”

He was silent, striding beside me. When I glanced up, his gaze was yet again on my breasts. Jeesh. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t mind his little obsession, but I was definitely about to call him out on it when he asked, “What’s hashtag Reylo?”

First of all, he pronounced it ree-low. Second, he was apparently obsessed with my T-shirts, not my boobs. Third, how the hell did he not know who Reylo was?

Stopping in front of the Boho Chic Boutique, my sister Isadora’s favorite shop, I propped both hands on my hips and squared off to him. To his credit, he actually looked concerned, even if he had an extra eighty pounds or so on me.

“You have got to be kidding me.”

“I’m sorry?”

“You should be sorry. Raaaay-lo is the most beautiful pairing ever to hit any sci-fi universe, like ever.”

He gave me a complete and utter blank look in response.

Summoning patience, I asked, “You do know Star Wars, right?”

“Of course, I know Star Wars. I’m not a hermit.”

“Could’ve fooled me.”

“I watched it once, but it was a long time ago.”

“Wait a minute. You watched it once? So you’ve seen one Star Wars movie? And that’s it?”

He shrugged a shoulder. “Not really into science fiction movies. Or movies in general, for that matter.”

“I can’t even believe what I’m hearing,” I muttered more to myself than to him.

It was like Chewbacca speaking Klingon. Does. Not. Compute. Okay. Don’t freak out on him.

Last time I was in the bookstore, I overheard a teenager asking for the Star Wars Rise of the Sith graphic novel. I accosted the poor guy and proceeded to lecture him on my theories of villain worship till his eyes glazed over. Best not go there again. Not everyone got my brand of crazy.

“So,” I asked lightly, what do you do all day?”

“I work. And read.”


“I don’t know. Sketch new ideas. I hike and walk a lot.”


“Yeah. And hike.”

“Hike? Hike where? All we’ve got are flat wetlands and snake-infested swamps.”

He chuckled, dipping his chin closer to his chest, his longer locks falling forward. God, he had gorgeous hair. It was sexily mussy. It was obvious he didn’t even try, and that was tragically unfair.

“If you must know, I drive farther north in between projects or when I need quiet for inspiration. There’s a place north of Baton Rouge. Tunica Hills. And I usually spend summers in a cabin in Tennessee.”

I thought about that a second. “Of course. You like the woods.”

He gave me a self-deprecating smile. “I like the woods.”

“Well, if we’re going to be spending four hours a day together,” I said, marching down Magazine, “then I’m introducing you to what you’ve been missing.”

“I don’t feel like I’ve been missing anything.”

“That’s because you’ve been missing it.”

Even his sidelong glances were intense. He didn’t seem to be aware of how penetrating his gaze was. His looks were like flicks of lightning. When I was a little girl, I used to rub my shoes on the carpet really hard and fast and then zap Jules on the arm. That’s what it felt like when he looked at me. Except the shock wasn’t at all painful. Just filled with something super charged and exhilarating.

“Here we are.” I gestured toward the small window display spray-painted in graffiti-style lettering, Bam’s Comics.

We entered with the bell tinkling overhead. Near the cash register, Bam sat on his stool behind the counter on the right wall. His beatnik style never did quite match his clean-cut hair and lack of a beard. I always thought he’d look better if he’d go full hippie. He was a quirky guy, Bam, with nice blue eyes and a perfect smile. It brightened the second he looked up and saw me. Then it dimmed a little when he caught the shadow at my back.

“Happy Hump Day, Bam.”

“And to you, little Evie.”

I hated it when he called me that, but he gave me such a fabulous discount on my weekly comic book haul that I let it slide every time.

He stood from his stool and patted today’s release of Farmhand on the counter. “I’ve got your baby all wrapped up and ready for you. You going to browse today?”

I decided Mateo could use a little more excitement than walks in the woods, so I opted to browse. “Yeah. I’m gonna look around a bit.”

I gestured for Mateo to follow me toward the rows in the back.

“Okay, so since you’re an artist, you need to broaden your horizons. The illustrations in some of these are absolutely amazing.”

I checked over my shoulder, waiting for him to disagree with me, but his gaze was on one of my all-time faves.

“Oh! That’s Deadpool Assassin. That’s where Wade Wilson is fighting the Assassin’s Guild in New Orleans, which is super cool to see him in our city. Anyway, he fights all kinds of villains. My favorite is the knife-wielding speedster called the Harvester.”

I grabbed his wrist and dragged him down to another rack. “But take a look at this. Savage Avengers. So badass. And Wolverine is back! Gah! Finally.”

My geeky heart did a cartwheel, so pumped to see Wolverine back on the scene. I picked up the issue I’d bought last week and stared at my lovely, vicious man on the front cover.

“Do you want to get this one?” he asked, peering over my shoulder.

“Got it already.”

“Did you just shiver?”

“Yep. Wolverine gives me all the shivers.” I gave the cover an air-kiss and set it back on the stand.

When I turned to move on, Mateo stood well in my way, his broad chest blocking the path. Confused, I glanced up to catch a slow roll of yellow across his brown eyes. The subtle shift of color and the penetrating lock of his gaze on me sparked a scary kind of shiver.

“You okay?” I asked, about to step back and put some distance between us.

He shook his head and gave me a tight smile, swallowing hard, his Adam’s Apple bobbing. “Sure. Fine.”

Quickly, he stepped aside, clasping his hands behind his back. I wondered if his wolf was being chatty again. If so, what the hell was he saying to make him go all feral-looking for a second?

I roamed farther down, pointing out another favorite, reining in my crazy this time. “Now, this is awesome, too. I freaking love Wolverine Weapon H. It’s when they combine DNA of the Hulk with Wolverine.”

“So, what you’re saying is you like Wolverine.”

Ignoring his sarcasm, I fled ahead, too excited to spout about big W to someone new.

“There’s also Return of Wolverine and another of my favorites Old Man Logan. Oh! That one is so damn good. It’s like set in the wastelands of the future. You know, like Mad Max and Road Warrior.”

Mateo stared at me like I was speaking Russian.

“That’s right. You don’t watch movies. Damn. You mean you haven’t seen the newest version of Mad Max: Fury Road?”

A subtle shake of his head while he continued to stare.

“You have no idea what you’re missing. I feel so sorry for you.”

I strolled the aisle, pointing out a few of my other favorites like Star Wars: Tie Fighter, Oblivion Song, Weapon H, and Old Man Quill. I honestly didn’t remember the last time I rambled so much. None of my sisters were into comics. Since Mateo was quiet and attentive, he was just asking for the full-throttle version of my obsession. Or addiction.

When he lifted an issue of Monsters Unleashed and focused intently on the illustrated cover, sliding his fingertips over its beautifulness, I said, “I’ve got that one if you want to borrow it.”

“I think I’ll get this copy for myself.”

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