My Wolf's Bane (Shapes of Autumn, #1)(9)

By: Veronica Blade


A head appeared in my window and I jumped. Realizing it was Zack and not a serial killer, my muscles relaxed a little. I gazed at him, mesmerized by his deep, green eyes.

The corners of his mouth twitched. “Car trouble?”


Apparently, Zack shared his smiles with everyone except me.

“Yeah.” I teeter-tottered between being embarrassed for being seen by him in my dilapidated car, and fear that he couldn’t or wouldn’t save me. “Car won’t start.”

Zack blew out a breath, then motioned to the hood of the car. When I didn’t move, he stared at the sky for a moment before saying, “Release the hood, so I can check it out.”

He’d spoken slowly, like I had a learning disability. Heat rushed into my cheeks. I reached around my knees where the lever should’ve been, but my hand came up empty. Where was it? I’d found it before. If I just had another minute…

“Move and I’ll do it.”

I scrambled out, bumping shoulders with him as I squeezed past. Wow, the guy was all muscle. I cursed the butterflies fluttering like crazy in my stomach, vowing not to get a crush on a guy who had such a low opinion of me.

Zack immediately found the release, then propped up the hood. I darted around to the front to see what he’d do. The engine looked like grease-covered metal. It could’ve been a time machine and I wouldn’t have known the difference.

“So what do you think?” I asked.

“If I knew…” he paused to eye me from under his brows, “I’d already be fixing it and one step closer to being gone.”

I gritted my teeth. “If you’re going to be a jerk about it, why bother helping me at all?”

“Because my mom raised me right.” His gaze fell on my mouth and, for an instant, his eyes darkened. Just when I thought we were having a moment, his lips thinned as he met my eyes. “If you prefer, I could leave.”

“That would make you even more of a douche,” I said, sticking a hand on my hip and praying he’d stay.

The corner of his mouth quirked and he resumed scrutinizing the engine.

I breathed a sigh of relief, but I didn’t want to press my luck. To keep myself occupied, I counted the flattened gum spots in the asphalt while listening to his occasional mutters. What I really wanted to do was get a closer look at the seat of his pants, but I didn’t want to get caught ogling him. Again.

“Rear passenger side tire is a little low,” he said, almost like he was talking to my car. “You should stop and get some air soon.”

“Okay, thanks.” Sure, he’d been rude before, but he didn’t have to stop to help me and he could’ve let my tire go completely flat. Maybe he was finally warming up to me. My insides turned to jelly at the thought. I sidled up next to him and leaned over to peer at the engine. “So… you know a lot about cars?”

Except for his eyes that studied the engine as if mentally taking it apart, Zack didn’t move a muscle or even glance my way. “I know enough.”

That didn’t curb my curiosity. “Where’d you learn? Your dad teach you?”


Several seconds passed and he didn’t say anything more. So much for making conversation. Considering how little he apparently thought of me, what had I expected? Maybe he’d lighten up if I apologized for bumping into him and told him I was dumping Daniel. I opened my mouth to speak, but Zack beat me to it.

“See the way the clamp isn’t connecting to the battery?” He pointed at a big, rectangular thing.

Grateful for the break in his silence, I studied the box. “The vibrations wiggled it free?”

“That would be my guess.” He flashed me a grin and nudged me with his elbow. My insides warmed. “Maybe under all that hair and spiffy clothes is a car geek just itching to bust free,” he said.

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