Love Spells and Other Disasters by Angie Barrett
Publication Date: February 1, 2021
Publisher: Entangled Teen
I didn’t know when I wrote the first love spell that it would actually make things happen. Like, actually make people fall in love with each other…
How could I have known something like that? I mean, magic isn’t real, right?
But here’s the thing—the spell does work and so does the next one and the next one...and suddenly I’m getting a whole lot of attention from everyone at my high school. Me, Blend-into-the-Walls, Please-Let-Me-Introvert-in-Peace Rowan Marshall. And not only that, but I’ve also caught the attention of Luca Russo, a godlike, football-playing hottie who claims he likes me just the way I am. Ummm...
But as I’m about to learn, playing around with things you don’t understand means when things go wrong—like really, very awfully wrong—you don’t know how to fix them.
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“We were both out of the room when your spell took effect.” Ethan is thinking exactly what I had been thinking hours ago. “That’s what you mean when you said it ‘allegedly’ worked, right?”
“Abby sent you out to find me. So neither of us saw Will and Amanda actually start talking. Abby could have set it up. And who knows with Mel—that girl could get anyone she wants. I don’t think she needed a spell.”
“Exactly.” He leans in. “Which is why we have to test it again. Prove it doesn’t work once and for all.”
“Prove it how?” My stomach drops right down to my toes. If it does work, then what? If it doesn’t work, then I have to convince Abby somehow to change our project.
Kelly walks by. He sits back and nods in her direction. “Do one for Kelly. I bet she needs some love in her life.”
I watch Kelly as she walks behind the counter. “Kelly and who?” This is defeat talking and it feels worse than getting a bad grade on an assignment. If this is going to happen, might as well let Ethan call the shots.
He follows my gaze, then continues looking, past Kelly to… “Big Dave.” He points with his toast to the kitchen area.
Big Dave is the cook in the back who is mostly a disembodied voice, shouting orders when things get really busy.
“I’ve seen them flirt with each other.”
“You have not.” I force myself to sit up even though it takes gargantuan effort. I lean my elbows on the table. “And that’d hardly be an accurate test if you had.”
“Okay, fine, I’ve thought about what a cute couple they’d make, haven’t you?”
“Ethan, I can’t just do a spell on two people like that.”
“Why not? You did it on Will and Amanda didn’t you?”
“Yeah, but Abby got pieces of their hair.” I shake my head. “According to the spell book, it won’t work if I don’t have something from them.” I think. “Otherwise one of them would have to do the spell for it to work. Like, be in on it. I doubt that Kelly or Big Dave would agree to recite some words and burn a piece of paper. If we’re testing this for real, then we need to replicate the process. We’d need to get something personal from each of them. Or we could just forget it and go home, watch a movie or something.” Please choose that option.
“I’m curious, aren’t you?” Ethan scans the restaurant, narrows his eyes, then seems to come up with something. “Okay, you write the spell, I’ll get you what you need.”
Crap. “I can’t—” But he’s up and walking before I can say another word. I glance over my shoulder to see him slipping past the swinging door that leads to the back of the restaurant.
Resigned to my fate, I open my bag and pull out the spell book and my notepad. I start scribbling some ideas down featuring Big Dave and Kelly. By the time Ethan slides back into our booth, he’s got two different colors of hair. Black and red. Big Dave and Kelly. And I have a complete crush spell that will get Kelly and Big Dave stealing a kiss for all to see.
I wrap the spell around the hair, then hand it to him. “Go burn this outside.”
“I have to burn it?” He reluctantly takes the wrapped up hair. “Like, with fire?”
I roll my eyes. “It’s your idea, so yes, you have to do it. Light it on fire and burn it to ash.”
I shrug. “That’s what the book says to do. That’s what supposedly worked with Amanda and Will.”
“Okay.” Ethan mirrors my shrug. Then he beelines for Kelly. “Do you have a lighter I can borrow?”
Kelly turns around as she dries her hands on a towel. “Sure, honey.” She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a lighter. “You’re not going to burn this place down are you?” She leans forward as she hands Ethan the lighter. “Actually, go ahead, burn the place down. I need a vacation.” She winks and smiles.
Ethan laughs. “I’m not the felony type.” He waves the lighter. “I’ll bring it back in a few.” As he walks past me he says, “Maybe we’ll get some heat happening up in here.”
I shake my head and surprise myself by laughing as he walks to the window next to our booth and makes a big show of lighting the spell. This is such a bad idea and yet I can’t help thinking that at least it’s a bad idea that I’m doing with Ethan. He lets it burn to his fingertips before mouthing the word ouch, then drops it to the ground. He raises his eyebrows and I nod. Yeah, that’s it.
“Brrrr, it’s so chilly out there!” He slides back into the booth. “How long does it take?”
“With Amanda and Will, it happened before I got back from the bleachers. So pretty fast, I guess?”
We wait. Ten minutes goes by. Kelly is super busy delivering meals. Big Dave is super busy barking at her that orders are up. I’m not going to lie—anxiety is twining through my body and I don’t know if it’s because I want the spell to work or I don’t.
It’s more than ten minutes later when Kelly finally whips into the back and out of sight.
“Crap!” Ethan jumps out of his seat so he can see through the large pass-through window where Big Dave puts the plates of food.
I get up, too, just in time to see Kelly move past Dave, their bodies brushing against each other. I hold my breath. Ethan takes my hand and squeezes. Big Dave grunts something, then turns and him and Kelly are front to front and staring into each other’s eyes like they’ve never seen each other before.
“Oh…my…” Ethan whispers.
It’s like we can feel the chemistry ignite. It’s heavy in the air around us. I feel the goose bumps rise on Ethan’s arm and I shiver as anticipation swells inside of me. Dave leans down and kisses Kelly at the same time that he wraps his arms around her waist and pulls her up and into him. She’s got her hand in his hair and her legs wrapped around his hips a second after that. She lets out a half sigh, half moan.
Ethan yanks me closer to him, his eyes as bright as Christmas lights and his body vibrating like my phone on silent. “Do me next!”
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