My Wolf's Bane (Shapes of Autumn, #1)(4)

By: Veronica Blade

Gina stopped talking mid-sentence and turned to us with a grin. “Hey, guys.”

“I’ll see you later,” Natalie told her, rising from the bench. She wrinkled her nose at me, then left. I knew Natalie was just jealous that Gina hung out with me more, but knowing Natalie’s reasons didn’t make her any less irritating. Thankfully, once I showed up, she didn’t usually stick around long.

I returned Gina’s smile, but it faltered in anticipation of her reaction to my house arrest. “How’s it going?”

“Babe, I’ll be back.” Daniel’s beefy hand darted out for the sandwich on his tray, then he left without waiting for a reply. Relieved to have him gone, I watched him join a couple of his friends.

“God, who died?” Gina asked.

“What do you mean?” Oh, crap, was my reluctance to confess that obvious?

“Look at you.” She quirked a brow. “You’re so junior high without makeup.”

“Oh, yeah.” I lifted one shoulder. “Ran short on time this morning.”

Maya appeared at our table, looking amazing even holding a plastic food tray. She was a guy’s embodiment of perfection with her long, wavy blond hair and voluptuous body. She occasionally complained how hard it was to find a bra that fit around her narrow ribcage, but could still hold all she had to offer. Like all that cleavage was such a burden. Poor thing.

“Hey, Autumn.” Maya turned to Gina, her tone going flat. “Hi.”

“Nice shirt.” Gina smiled sweetly. “How generous of your brother to go through his clothes for you.”

My mouth dropped open. Gina had never been nice to Maya, but she usually limited their interaction to giving her the cold shoulder. “Gina, what the hell?” I demanded.

“Holy Underwear Model.” Gina’s gaze riveted to her right. “Who’s the hottie sitting with Trevor?”

Following the path of her gaze, I froze. The din of voices, the distant clanging of trays and the smell of grease faded away when I recognized the guy with the dark hair and green eyes I’d gotten lost in.

My stomach dipped.


Maya glanced behind her. “That’s Zack De Luca.”

“And?” Gina prompted.

“Trevor’s cousin.” Maya laid her tray on the table, but remained standing.

As if he could feel me staring at him, Zack turned his gaze on me. I gave him a welcoming smile, hoping he’d forget I’d bulldozed into him earlier and how my dickhead boyfriend had behaved. No such luck. He narrowed his eyes and shook his head.

I instantly deflated. “What’s his deal?”

“Zack just enrolled. He’s been visiting weekends and summers for years, but now he’s here for good.”

Maya had crushed on Trevor since grade school and knew everything about him and, it seemed, his relatives. I couldn’t understand why she and Trevor hadn’t already hooked up.

“Did he fail a couple grades? He looks old enough to be in college.” I surreptitiously checked out the boys again, while I broke off a piece of my grilled cheese sandwich. Trevor’s hair was a little lighter and his features less angular, but both guys excelled in the cute department. Zack more so.

“Almost the same age as Trevor. He’s a senior like us,” Maya said, glancing back at them. “Though he’s grown about a foot and bulked up since I saw him last.”

“Steroids?” I asked.

Maya laughed. “He’s always looked older than Trevor.”

“He could have that aging disease,” I offered.

Gina still hadn’t taken her eyes off him. “Who cares? He’s smokin’ hot. You can practically see his six-pack through his T-shirt.”

Maya rolled her eyes as if Gina were insane to prefer Zack over Trevor. “I could find out more about him, if you want me to.”

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