Authors: Mina Carter
Tags: #Paranormal Erotic Romance
“Christmas elf?” Darrick’s brow puckered in surprise. “No, no, no…she said she was a winter elf.”
Both men looked at her, and she shrugged. “Christmas elf… Winter elf, same thing.”
It wasn’t, and a little light in Cole’s eyes said so but he didn’t correct her. She blushed again, dropping her gaze as heat shivered through her veins. He only had to look at her, and her senses went haywire.
“Well, thank you for that nugget of information,” Darrick said waspishly, wrapping an arm around her waist. “Don’t let us keep you.”
“Get your hands off her,” Cole growled, stepping forward with murder in his eyes. His gaze dropped to where Darrick had his hands on her. But the pixie didn’t let go, forcing her to pinch his arm. Hard. Startled, he looked down at her.
“Let go,” she ordered, her voice firm. She knew most people saw her as the shy one, but she wasn’t, not really. She just didn’t like to interact with people she didn’t know well. But she could be firm, and confident. Like now. “I’m okay. Cole and I are practically family.”
“Yeah?” Darrick didn’t sound convinced but did as she asked and released her from his embrace. “I’m not seeing much of a family resemblance.”
Neither did she, and she
want to be related to Cole, not with the fantasies she’d had about him in the last few months. Fantasies that left her hot and needy alone in her bed. Fantasies that had meant she’d needed a regular supply of batteries.
Stepping to the side, out of Darrick’s range, she smiled at them both. Well, she smiled at Darrick, but by the time she turned to Cole, her expression was probably somewhere between overexcited fangirl and teenager looking at her first crush. He looked back, and magic sparkled in the air between them. Not the stuff of movies, but seriously as the fairy lights from the wreaths flew up around them. She stifled a gasp, she’d never seen them do that before.
“Leave,” Cole suggested, his voice hard but he didn’t look away from her. “Now.”
She didn’t watch as Darrick left, her gaze held captive by Cole’s. His eyes were blue, but a blue she’d never seen before. It was somewhere between midnight and periwinkle, shot through with gold. The magic of Christmas, she realized as he took a step nearer.
Gone was the easy, indolent grace she’d admired from afar. Now his movements were stalking, predatory… Lethal. She backed up a step. He followed her, step after step, until the railing pressed against her back and she had nowhere left to go. He didn’t stop there, taking another step, and then another until he almost pressed against her. The heat of his body blazed against hers, evident even through the layers of their clothing.
Neither of them was dressed for the outdoors, not by mortal standards anyway. For any other creature, her shift dress, with its sequins and thin straps, coming out here would have been a one-way trip to hypothermia. Cole, likewise, wore a thin shirt and dress pants. They were creatures of the winter though, and the cold never bothered them.
She looked up at him, eyes wide. He reached out a big hand to capture a loose curl of her hair. His lips quirked as he wound it around his finger. “Christmas is coming, little elf. Can you feel it?”
His voice was low, mesmerizing, and despite herself she opened her senses as he ordered. She
feel it, the magic of Christmas waiting just around the corner. But mostly, she could feel Cole, Christmas personified, mere inches from her.
“You do,” he whispered, and slid an arm around her waist to pull her up hard against him. She gasped, the sound lost under a soft ringing of sleigh bells she knew only the two of them could hear. “I know you do. I can feel you do.”
She nodded, unable to speak, dumbstruck by the perfection of his lips so close to hers. Her hands curled around his upper arms, trusting to his strength to hold her up. He was going to kiss her, surely he was? Men didn’t just grab women in a tight embrace like this for a comfy chat, did they?
He didn’t disappoint. His gaze roved over her face for a moment, as though fascinated by what he saw. She didn’t know what he found so fascinating. Short, prettily plump, she had brown eyes, brown hair and a nose that was best described as ‘button’ over lips that were far too wide. She was no siren, yet he was looking at her like she was the most beautiful thing in the world. Then he dropped his head, brushed his lips against hers, and any sense she had left exited the building at high-speed.
He’d meant to kiss her once. Just once, to get a taste of those soft lips that had teased him for so many months. As soon as his lips touched hers though, he knew that one kiss would never be enough. A lifetime wouldn’t be enough.
Soft and plump, her lips clung to his. Clung, caressed and tempted all in one go. With a groan, he pulled her closer until they were plastered together from thigh to chest. Slanting his head, he stroked his tongue against the closed seam of her lips in a silent demand for access. She gave it, her soft gasp lost as he surged forward in triumph.
Her taste exploded on his tongue. Like cinnamon and candy, with a hint of oranges…all his favorite tastes combined into one heady, heavenly rush. He groaned and deepened the kiss, exploring her honeyed mouth with soft strokes of his tongue against hers as their lips met in a sweet embrace that turned torrid.
Heat burst through him. Invaded his cells and exploded to infiltrate his bloodstream. Every inch of his larger body, and every cell it contained, was reset. Attuned themselves to the tiny, curvy little woman in his arms as though the world had shifted and she’d just become true north. He broke away with a gasp, looking down at the little sprite in his arms in shock.
Her eyes were dark and sultry, as affected by the kiss as he was, and he bit back a groan. How had he not known kissing her would be like this? That beneath the shy exterior was a well of passion hot enough to make him forget all about Christmas tomorrow.
Her cheeks flushed and she looked down. He didn’t miss her quick glance upward again, as though checking his reaction and he chuckled, tucking a finger under her chin to lift her lips to his again.
“Carry on looking at me like that, little elf, and Christmas’ll come early this year,” he whispered against her lips. “And we can’t have that, can we?”
Christmas. Coming. Hell, yeah, she was all in for that.
Mia smiled and wrapped her arms around Cole’s neck as he claimed her lips again. Somehow, he was into her…and the evidence was hard against her belly. An iron bar so thick and wide it would have made her knees weak, if his hot kisses hadn’t already compromised her ability to walk beyond repair.
She murmured in the back of her throat, parting her lips to allow him to plunder her mouth again, but she didn’t leave it there. Sure, she might have been shy around him before—he was a Claus for Christmas sake; that was like a god in her world, or a rockstar at the least—but now he was…yeah. Into her. Literally. He thrust his tongue deep, seeking hers, but she evaded him. Instead of letting him have what he wanted, she teased him, and made him work for it
He growled, a delightful low sound, and drove a hand into her hair to hold her head still. Allowing herself to be capture, she moaned as his tongue stroked along hers. His grunt of triumph made her smile, but she had more than one trick up her sleeve. With a wriggle, she slid her hand between them and stroked his cock through his pants.
“Fuck me!” He broke their kiss to look down at her. Heat and surprise blazed in his unusual eyes. Yeah, they always did say to watch out for the quiet ones.
She stroked again. “I rather thought that was the idea?” she asked, her expression as innocent as she could make it. “Although, if not, I could always call Darrick back…”
His feral snarl matched the expression of fury on his face. “Do that and he dies. You’re mine, understand?”
“Shhh sshhh,” she comforted, reaching up to press her fingertips to his lips. “I’m joking, I promise.”
“Hmmm,” he grumbled, his expression somewhat placated and kissed her fingertips. Even that, the brush of his lips against the skin there, sent her senses into overdrive. Especially when he swept his tongue against the pad of her index finger. A shiver hit her, working its way from the top of her head right down to her curling toes.
“That’s what I want to do to you,” he whispered, his voice whiskey-rough. “Taste every inch of you to see if you’re as sweet as you look. Lick and tease you until you scream my name.”
She whimpered, biting her lip as her clit ached in response. Hell, what was she supposed to say in answer to that? Yes, please? Drag him off to her apartment to have her wicked way with him?
“Well, we could do that…” she said, a small part of her brain amazed that she sounded so calm and put together. “But we could get arrested if we try it here.”
“Oh, I wasn’t thinking about here.”
His answering grin was slow and sexy, full of blatant desire and intent as he put space between them long enough to reach into his pocket. Her eyes widened at the small object in his hand. At first glance, it looked like a pocket watch, until he flipped the lid to reveal a compass. Inside though, there were no markings for north, east, south and west. Instead, there was just one inscription and no needle. Where the needle should be, the golden sparks of Christmas magic shimmered.
She recognized it. It was the compass of a Claus, to help him return to the Pole each year. Her Grandpops had a similar one, albeit a little smaller, but in his the magic was gone. No golden swirls waited to show the way home on request. They hadn’t for many years, but her grandfather still kept the compass. She’d caught him looking at it sadly when he thought he was alone.
Amazement held her heart captive as the magic swirled. She’d never seen the pole. Hell, she’d never even seen a Claus elf until coming to the PPA. Now she was in the arms of the sexiest Santa she’d ever seen and he was about to take her to the birthplace of her family. She realized he was looking at her, waiting for her answer, and nodded.
The needle formed in the compass, pointing to the inscription. ‘The Pole’. Around them the fairy lights danced, spinning faster and faster until the world joined in. Everything lurched and she gasped, closing her eyes and clinging to Cole. He chuckled and rubbed her back reassuringly.
“You can open your eyes now, we’re here.”
Cracking open an eyelid, she braved a glance and found they were in a small bedroom. Wooden walls, beams above them, and a fire crackling in the grate to one side. But they didn’t get her attention, what did was the large four poster bed in front of them. Crisp white sheets. Colorful patchwork blanket. If she’d had to describe a typical room at the North Pole, it was exactly what she’d have described.
Her lips quirked. He’d brought her to the Pole, but typical man, he’d brought her to his bedroom first.
“Welcome home,” he whispered and bent his head to claim her lips again.
She melted into his arms with a moan, parting her lips and kissing him back with a passion that scorched her veins. He rumbled deep in his chest, a sexy sound of approval and pleasure. Molding herself to him, arms around his neck, she gave everything she had. This might be a dream or a one night stand, but she knew one thing for certain.
She would enjoy every minute of it.
His hand smoothed up over her back and his fingertips hooked under the thin strap of her dress to pull it from her shoulder. His lips broke from hers, ghosted over her jaw, and blazed a path down her neck.
Her own hands weren’t idle. Fingertips tested the hard muscle in his arms and skated up to explore his broad shoulders before following his collar around down to the buttons at the front of the shirt. His hands spread out over her back, one behind her shoulders and the other behind her hips to pull her up hard against his groin. His cock, hard and thick, pressed into her stomach and she bit back a moan. He was big, she was small... Would it even fit?
Those thoughts flitted away into the ether as he found the zipper at the back of her dress and drew it down inch by teasing inch. The fabric slipped from her body, neckline relocating a couple of inches. Bending her backward, he followed it with his lips eagerly, leaving a trail of fire against her skin. Off-balance, she resisted the urge to cling to him, trusting in his strength.
She played with the buttons on the front of his shirt, dipping her fingers between the fabric to stroke beneath before popping them one by one. The thin material parted, allowing her access to the muscled expanse of his broad chest. Spreading her hands, she stroked over the hard planes. Her fingertips brushed his flat male nipples and brought them to attention
He muttered under his breath and yanked her dress down further. The garment slipped down under her bust to reveal the lacy strapless bra she wore beneath and his curse was audible as he pulled back to look down at her. His expression, somewhere between reverence and feral need, rocked her to the core.
“You’re so beautiful.” His voice was so raw, so honest that she couldn’t help but reach up on tiptoes to kiss along his jaw, nibbling and flicking her tongue in the groove of the small cleft in his chin.
He pulled away a little to strip her dress off her and leave her standing in front of him clad in her underwear and high heels. Reaching out a hand, for balance and contact, she found it enveloped in his. Short and heading towards plump, she’d never considered herself attractive to men, but his face made her reassess a lifetime of assumptions in seconds.
Stalking towards her, he stripped off his shirt as he went. She couldn’t help but ogle and drink in the perfection of his chiseled male form. Then he was there, body heat beating against hers again and she lost the ability to think. Instead, she lifted her lips for his kiss, a soft sigh escaping her as big hands encircled her waist, skimmed up her rib cage, and smoothed over her back.
The clasp on her bra gave, the garment gone, and her breasts freed. He groaned, the deep sound one of male need, and cupped her. The stroke of his calloused palms against her soft skin drew a shiver from the depths of her soul. His strong fingers tweaked her nipples, and fire arrowed straight down to her clit.