Name: Catalina Gato
Occupation: Cat Familiar
Species: Witch, Non-Elemental
Speaks: English & Spanish
Hair Color: Black
Physical marks: N/A
THE ONE WORD GAME.
Day or Night – Night
Single or Taken – Single
Cat or Dog – Cat
Gun or Knife – Knife
Upper body or Lower body – Upper Body
Blond or Dark – Dark
Two legs or Four legs – Four legs
Love or Sex – Sex
Bacon and eggs or Pancakes – Pancakes
Lips or Neck – Lips
Dead or Alive – Alive
I’m exactly 5 feet tall.
The moment the door clicked shut behind her boss, Catalina Gato shifted into her natural human form. Twisting the dead bolt into place, she shook her head. The man took forever to get out of the house. As much as she appreciated high- quality eye candy, she had better things to do with her morning.
She sniffed her sweaty T-shirt and winced. The clueless warlock had returned home earlier than usual yesterday afternoon, obliterating her window of opportunity to rinse off. Even though she’d spent their entire time together as a cat, she found staying in the same clothes for over twenty-four hours beyond gross. Padding to the smallest guest bath on the third floor, she stripped and shuffled into the glass stall. Though not as nice as the massaging rainfall in the master, she preferred to shower here since Leo almost never wandered into this section of the house. His absence allowed her to leave toiletries out in the open and commandeer the closet in the adjoining bedroom to store her stuff.
After a near miss early in their cohabitation, when he’d come home to grab some lunch while she was washing her hair, she’d decided to maintain a strict his-zone her-zone rule. His epic sense of denial somehow made him not question why a cat had streaked out of his bathroom sopping wet, but she’d rather not take any chances.
Rubbing shampoo into her chin-length black hair, she contemplated her options. Since tonight was All Hallows’ Eve, she had twelve hours of absolute freedom. At sunset, she’d gain the ability to leave this damn house and not risk morphing into a cat if she somehow ventured within ten feet of her master. She could embrace the holiday spirit and go out for a night on the town, or she could track down the bumbling new owner of her contract and tell him the truth.
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Her lips pursed, [Cat Woman] stared down at him for a long moment. Then she muttered, “What the hell,” and dropped her very attractive behind onto the opposite seat. “So, this is your idea of an easy place to pick up chicks in costume?”
Not only was the question out of place, it bore an uncanny similarity to something he might have said to his cat. “Well…one in particular, I guess. What’s your name, by the way?”
She had to be joking. Or she obfuscated on purpose. He decided on the latter. After all, keeping one’s identity hidden made for a great exit strategy. “Mine’s Leo.”
She lifted the leather menu and opened it, blocking his view of her face. “I know.”
Madame Eve must employ a double standard, revealing the identity of men and not women. Another possible theory was Jack had forged the card and kept the woman’s details a secret on purpose. Both explanations seemed plausible. “What else do you know about me?”
She flipped a page. “Everything.”
Talk about unfair. Cat Woman must have received an actual profile, complete with a photo and an option to decline the date. “It might not be all true.”
She tilted the menu forward an inch, revealing the top half of her masked face. “What?”
“The profile you read. Jack has a weird sense of humor. You shouldn’t trust any of it.”
Her eyelids lowered into a slight squint, something the non-human Cat he knew had a habit of doing whenever he forgot to grab his keys. “I don’t follow.”
“It’s obvious you received some basic information about me.” When she shook her head, he waved off the denial. “It’s not a big deal, but I thought I should tell you someone else filled everything out. Since I hadn’t been offered a file on you at all, we should pretend this is a normal date and start over.”
With a shrug and a swift nod, she put the menu down, pulled her gloves off, and reached an arm across the table. The smile she sent him made his stomach do an unsettling flip. “My name is Catalina Gato. I’m a maid, accountant, and shape-shifting witch with a clueless boss and very meddlesome sister.”
What a sense of humor. Considering her costume, cat burglar would have been funnier, but she deserved bonus points for saying it all with a straight face. He took her hand and fought the odd urge to grab her, kiss her silly, and tear her clothes off.
The candle’s flame changed from blue to white. Then the fire shot up in a straight line, six inches high. Another round of nervous clapping followed.
Their palms still touching, he frowned. “Someone here must love Halloween. These special effects are over the top, not to mention dangerous.”
She shook her head and broke contact. Hints of disbelief and resignation laced her bell-like laugh. “Do you think Gomez has recovered enough to send a waiter our way?”