Authors: Rose Pressey
How to Date a Werewolf
by Rose Pressey
How to Date a Werewolf
Copyright © 2011by Rose Pressey
More in the Rylie Cruz Series:
How to Date a Vampire
How to Date a Demon
More books by Rose Pressey:
Me and My Ghoulfriends
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form, (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, incidents, places, and brands are either the product of the author’s imagination and not to be construed as real. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
This is to you and you know who you are.
To my son, who brings me joy every single day. To my mother, who introduced me to the love of books. To my husband, who encourages me and always has faith in me. A huge thank you to my editor, Christy Phillippe. We were truly meant to work on this book together.
How to Date a Werewolf Rule #1:
Always tell your date how nice they look despite excess hair.
Romance was such a hairy business. Why I continued to subject myself to such freaky situations as the one I was in, I had no idea.
The clock on the wall read five PM. Evening fast approached, and the air in my cramped office felt stifling hot. Instead of being home and sinking my chops into a juicy steak, my butt remained firmly planted in my desk chair. My legs stuck to the leather, making a
sound every time I moved. A bead of sweat trickled down my forehead, and heat rushed to my cheeks. Some days you should stay in bed, and this day turned out to be one of them. Not to mention, in a few days a full moon would appear, making playing around with anger issues a dangerous proposition.
“I told you, Lily, I can only do so much to help you.” My temples throbbed and massaging them didn’t help. “I run a matchmaking service not a mail-order husband business. I can’t force the guy to like you. What do you want me to do? Bring him to you at gunpoint?”
I hated what happened when I lost my cool. Granted, it didn’t happen often, but when it did... Watch out. Fur everywhere, glowing eyes. It was not a pretty sight.
“You clearly state in your brochure you can find a mate for anyone. Right here it says:
Get a Mate Dating Service, bringing lonely hearts together all around town.
It even has your signature,
.” She pointed to the words. “You obviously found the wrong one for me.” Her hand trembled as she waved the brochure under my nose. “So I want to know, why not me? That’s false advertising, you know. I think I might sue you.” Her eyes shimmered with a faint tawny glow as she stared me down.
“Why, Lily, I do believe you’re trying to intimidate me.” My lips jerked at the corners.
She glared, then ripped my brochure in half.
Maybe she forgot we were alike--both succumbing to the lure of a full moon and morphing into hairy wolves. She possessed a knack for ticking me off. But the customer was always right, and I didn’t need a lawsuit, so I had to suck it up. For the sake of not upsetting myself, and dealing with the nasty feat of turning furry, I decided to try to make amends with my dear, sweet customer.
“Listen, Lily, I am truly sorry things didn’t work out for you. How about I offer you a full refund and we’ll cut our ties. I won’t waste any more of your time.” Nice, huh? Grandma Cruz always said I was a people person. Whatever that means.
“Are you friggin’ kidding me?” Her voice shot up a decibel. “You think you can flip your curly hair, dash your toothy grin at me and I’ll fall for that? No way.” She shook her head. “Men might fall for it, but I won’t. I want compensation for the distress you’ve put me through.” She slammed her fist on the edge of the desk.
Perhaps, I reflected as Lily narrowed her orangey eyes and fixed her venomous stare at me, in spite of how hard I tried, my customer service skills were lacking. I found myself in a bit of a quagmire.
“Let’s not make this any harder than it has to be. I said I was sorry and there’s nothing else I can do.”
“Sorry doesn’t cut it. I’m in love with Martin, and I thought he loved me too. Then last night over sushi and beer, he said he didn’t love me, and never would. He is my were-soul mate.” She lowered her evil glare, let out a sob and snatched a tissue from the box teetering on the edge of the desk.
Were-soul mate? Was that a word?
“Take a deep breath. Did you have a fight? Lots of couples argue and have misunderstandings.”
“Yes, we fought. He said that new beer with the lime added in sucks. I said it tasted good.”
What kind of lame-ass argument was that? “Oh, is that the beer I keep seeing commercials for all the time? It looks really yummy.”
Lily glowered. Her eyes were like daggers, and I thought at any moment they would cut right through me. “If you’re finished talking about damn commercials, I will continue.”
I nodded. She could
use a cup of chamomile tea right about now. Or a tranquilizer.
“He said fresh limes should always be used, but they’re so messy. Besides, he wanted beer with fresh lime while eating sushi. That’s a sin, in and of itself.” She let out another howl. If she didn’t calm down, I’d have a heartbroken lycanthrope to deal with. Talk about a mess.
“Aw, come on, Lily.” I moved around the front of my desk and placed my hand on her shoulder. I used care, though. I didn’t know when she might snap and take a chunk out of my hand. “I can find someone else for you. I bet the next guy will be even better. Martin’s not so special, anyway. He has coffee breath and I’ve noticed he belches way too much.” I brushed back a lock of Lily’s ginger-colored hair from her shoulder.
“What do you mean,
? You claim to get it right the first time.” The tears vanished and her belligerent tone returned.
I jerked my hand away before she had a chance to bite it. Hmm. She had me there. I did claim that.
“Anyway, you’ll be hearing from my attorney, Miss Cruz.” Lily snatched her purse from the floor and jumped to her feet. She flung the monster-sized bag around and let out an immense huff as she made a dash for the door, knocking my collectable figurines off the shelf in her wake. Damn. I loved those things. Now, much to my chagrin, the two knickknacks rested headless on the floor.
It had been a lousy end to a long day. I wasn’t a violent person. When munching on meat, I always use a fork and proper table etiquette is always followed, unlike some werewolves I knew. Heck, my high school classmates named me Miss Congeniality. Well, it was never official, because of the little incident with the principal, but whatever. Point is, I contained my anger with the drama queen.
I never told Lily Friedman I was perfect at my job. What did she expect from me--everlasting love? I reached down and salvaged the broken turtle and frog from the floor and placed them ever so gently back on the shelf. How she had managed to behead them with one clean sweep of her handbag, I’d never know. The poor maimed things would have to wait on the shelf for my return. I’d bring glue in the morning, but at that moment, I longed for nothing more than a relaxing bath and a glass of wine.
My tired muscles breathed a sigh of relief as I made my way out of the office and up the stairs. I didn’t have a long commute home--I lived on the second floor with my best friend of twelve years, Jennifer Matthews. The narrow staircase leading to my apartment had a claustrophobic feel and a persistent musty smell. The odor was faintly akin to rotten bananas, but it had been ages since I’d eaten a banana. Other than the smell from hell that wouldn’t go away, I loved my home. At the top of the stairs, I turned left, then reached for the knob. The door burst open and I fell flat on my face with a
“Ugh. What the...?”
“I was coming to find you. You have got to have a look at this. Hot guy alert. I mean
H. O. T.
“Give me a second while I retrieve my teeth from the hardwood floor. Then I’ll check out the ‘hot’ guy.”
“Oh, don’t be so dramatic.” She turned her attention my way. “You still have all your teeth. Wait. Smile for me.”
I lifted an eyebrow, but couldn’t keep myself from smiling at my roommate, the screwball.
“See? All your teeth are still attached. Now get over here and check him out.”
Jennifer slid to the window, feet stuffed into her bunny slippers. She’d already traded her work clothing for sweatpants and a t-shirt. The sun shone across her mass of shoulder-length blond hair. With her long legs and gorgeous face, she looked like a model even in sweats.
Grabbing the doorknob of the still open door, I pulled my way up from the floor. “Thanks for the hand.” She ignored my sarcastic comment, and I took my time getting over to the window, because I knew it would get Jennifer’s feathers ruffled.
“Sure, take your time. You’ll be sorry, though, when you see what I’m looking at.”
“Uh-huh. I’ll be the judge of that.” I ambled over to Jennifer while she ogled the poor guy out the back window of our living room. “Whoa. For once you actually weren’t kidding.” I stopped in my tracks, then leaned close to the window.
“What do you mean ‘for once’?”
“Admit it. Your taste in men is questionable.”
“Give me one example, please.” Jennifer jutted a hip and placed her hand squarely on it.
“The guy at the grocery store last week.”
“I thought he was adorable.”
“Sure. If you like trolls.”
She rolled her eyes and said, “I like guys shorter than me.”
I laughed and squeezed her shoulders. “Fair enough.”
I couldn’t take my eyes off the guy outside.
“He’s perfection,” Jennifer said.
Hiding behind the silk curtain, I watched as he ran his hand through his short blond hair.
“I do love the tousled look,” I whispered.
A U-Haul truck full of boxes and furniture was parked next to the curb. He grabbed a box from the back of the truck and turned toward the building, muscles flexing as he carried it across the courtyard. We stood in silence when he disappeared around the corner. After a minute, he returned. His chiseled features made my heart go
. Six feet tall with broad shoulders--I hadn’t seen a man like him since...well, never. Not in person at least. Only on television or the cover of a romance novel.
“What color do you think his eyes are?” Jennifer whispered dreamily. I knew where her thoughts were.
“Brown, maybe? I don’t know--he’s too far away. Why don’t you go down there and find out?” I flashed her a big grin.
“If I weren’t dating Todd I would. Believe me, I would.” Ah, Todd Christian.
“Six years and I still don’t have a ring,” she mumbled, then let out a sigh.
Touchy subject. He still wasn’t ready to commit. He had issues, but who was I to point fingers? I didn’t even have a boyfriend.
“You go, Miss Matchmaker. Do your job.”
“My job does not involve flirting with strangers.”
“It should,” she whispered.
“I heard that. Look, it’s complicated, you know that.”
When I was fourteen, my mother sat me down and explained the
. The Cruz curse. As the story goes, the youngest daughter of the Cruz name was destined to live a lonely life, never to find true love. A gypsy witch bestowed the punishment upon my ancestors for becoming involved in the werewolf world. She was a meddlesome bitch, to say the least, and thought it a sin to be involved with werewolves in any form. It wasn’t as if my ancestors chose the wolfy lifestyle.
I know, I know--it sounded crazy to me too when I first got wind of the wild tale. To be perfectly honest, I hadn’t believed the legend for a long time. Not a word of it. However, when my twenty-sixth birthday rolled around, and not one prospect of true love had come my way, I started to believe. How could I not? As if the fate of my family being werewolves wasn’t enough, I received a curse to boot. Lucky me.
“Yeah, yeah. The curse, I remember. I think the only reason it’s complicated is because you let the werewolf thing upset you too much.”
“You know the same as I do that in all my years of dating, I’ve never gotten past the third date with a man.”
“That’s not true.”
“Okay, other than the year I dated Bruce Taylor, but that was probably a fluke. It’s the curse, I tell ya. It has to be. What other explanation is there?”
“Find a werewolf to date and be done with it.”
“That’s easier said than done, and no amount of dating will work for me. Werewolves, humans--it doesn’t matter.” I waved my hand. “I’ve given up all hope. Besides, the whole werewolf thing is kind of a big deal.” My gaze wandered down to the magnificent piece of yummy on the sidewalk below.