Genre: Fantasy; BDSM
Release Date: December 14, 2011
Barnes & Noble
Can Christmas magic be found with the help of one very irritating little wood faery?
High-profile attorney Kayla Jones thinks she just might be losing her mind when Hector, a mischievous wood faery, appears before her. Are the martinis to blame? Or has her loneliness pushed her over the edge? And if her subconscious must create an imaginary man for the holidays, why can’t it be the good-looking prosecutor who visits her nightly dreams?
When Barry Allred offers to take Kayla home from the bar, he doesn’t expect her to pass out in his arms, leaving him no alternative except to take her to his home. But more surprises await him…
When the beauty awakens the next morning, she’s under the impression that they not only had sex, but that she inadvertently revealed to him her deepest, darkest BDSM and ménage fantasies. He can’t figure out how she came to this misunderstanding… But he is definitely the man to make all her fantasies come true.
Note for Readers: You must be of legal age in your country of origin to read this excerpt.
Kayla set the borrowed clothes on the commode. Either Barry knew nothing about the case between her and his father or the Allreds were a forgiving bunch. She quickly dismissed the first thought, because surely father and son spoke of business issues, especially one that would reduce their family profits. Maybe they were of the mind business was business, and personal issues were personal. How refreshing.
Opening the medicine cabinet, she found several toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, and even a hairbrush and comb right where Barry said she’d find them. What she hadn’t expected when she glanced down was to discover Hector sitting on a soap pump by the sink, swinging his tiny legs.
“Shit!” The curse burst from her mouth as she stumbled backward, striking the door. “I’m hallucinating again.” Her pulse throbbed as she willed herself to pull it together.
Moving forward, she turned on the facet and began to splash her face with cold water. Blinking, she looked back at the dispenser, but the little faery remained.
“Now, as I see it, you can have a wonderful holiday season. Of course, that is if you don’t mess it up.” Hector jumped down from his perch to the sink, a burst of sparkles surrounding him. “You know that red dress you have in your closet with that racy lingerie? The clothing you bought on impulse, but have never worn? It would be perfect for tonight. I think the white fox stole would accent it perfectly and pearls—can’t forget the pearls.”
Kayla rubbed her eyes. “You’re not real.”
Dammit. Her head was starting to hurt as her stomach pitched, forcing her palms against the sink. She bent over, swallowing several gulps of air in an attempt to gather her control.
“Now you know that’s not true. I’m here, therefore I exist.”
“No. It’s the drugs. They’re still in my system. That’s it. It takes days, even months for some of them to work out of the bloodstream.”
“Kayla, you’re blabbering.”
Maybe if she ignored him he would go away. Grabbing a toothbrush out of the cabinet, she peeled the package off and hurried to unscrew the top of the toothpaste. As she squeezed the tube, he spoke again.
“Really? Do you think ignoring me will make me disappear?”
Kayla pushed so hard a stream of paste flew past her toothbrush and dropped with a splat in the sink.
She closed her eyes. “Go away.”
“But I’m here to help you.”
Turning a glare on the little man, she frowned. “Do you think making me second-guess my sanity is helping?” She slammed the cabinet shut, getting a glimpse of herself in the mirror. “Oh Lord.”
If she didn’t know better, she would swear she’d been struck hard with an ugly stick. The bun atop her head was skewed to the side, hair poking out all over. Her eyes were bloodshot, and she must have slept on a hand because the reddened print was still there.
“You’re not insane—just lonely.”
Kayla hated the sympathy in his voice. Tears bloomed in her eyes. Yes. She was lonely, but it was her own fault. Her abandonment issues made trusting people not one of her strong points, but getting things done was. She had earned the Ice Queen title.
“I’m here to assist you with your charming prosecutor.”
Kayla jerked her startled gaze to the faery. “You have to be kidding me.” Of all the asinine things she had ever heard. This imaginary pixie was playing matchmaker?
Hector leaped on to the soap pump again. “Nope. As I see it, you can make the most of this day and the night.” He wagged bushy brows.
Reaching out, she touched him. “You feel real.” That’s when Kayla remembered the humiliating moment Barry had told her nothing had happened between them. Like the expert with witnesses he was, he skillfully had her spilling her guts about her fantasies. She had always admired his tactics in court. Then she recalled the person responsible for this entire misunderstanding.
“You sonofabitch.” She balled her hands into fists. “I should squash you.”
Lickety-split, Hector streaked across the small room, nothing but a trail of dark-green dust in his wake. When he landed atop the shower door, he scowled down at her. “That was a payback for flicking me against the booth at the pub.”
“Payback?” she screeched. “Do you have any idea what you’ve done?”
“Everything okay in there?” Barry’s muffled voice seeped through the closed door.
“Fine. I’m fine.” But she wasn’t. Not if standing in a strange man’s bathroom arguing with a faery counted as rational. “I’ll be out in a bit.”
“You’re killing me, Kayla,” Hector groaned. “Work with me here.”
She began to pluck at her hairpins. “You don’t exist.” But even as she said those words, she knew there wasn’t any other explanation. Faeries did exist.
He smirked again. “Then what do you have to lose?”
“Nothing but my sanity.” The idea of things that go bump in the night being real was earth-shattering.
After taking care of her morning needs, she stepped barefoot from the bathroom, closing the door before Hector could squeeze through it. As she fastened the drawstring on the large sweats, his last words kept churning in her head.
“What do you have to lose believing in me?”
It was better than believing she was crazy. And what about Barry?
He already knew about her deep, dark secrets. If he wanted to ruin her, he could do it with or without the truth. Surely someone saw them leaving the pub together. People would believe him before her.
So, what did she have to lose?
Barry had already shown himself to be pleasant company. It was Christmas Eve and she really didn’t want to spend the entire day watching television or going to the movies alone. Tonight she would join him at his parents’ house and afterwards who knew what would happen.
As a woodsy scent rose from the t-shirt she wore, she smiled. Yes. A night with Barry Allred would be her Christmas present to herself.
As she wandered down the hall of the one-story house glancing at the frames on the wall, she realized they told a story. From a dark-haired boy fishing with his father to Halloween where a woman who Kayla guessed was his mother painted his face. The werewolf design was creative and amazing. Kayla continued to stroll down memory lane. There were a series of football and baseball pictures of a youthful, energetic and extremely handsome Barry. High school and college graduation photographs and a series of impressive awards were amongst snapshots of his parents and friends. There was even a picture of him with Colin Powell and a senator from California.
As she entered his living room, she paused to take in the sight. The biggest “real” Christmas tree she’d ever seen stood a few feet from a marble fireplace, its hearth flickering with orange and red flames. The scent of pine joined the warm sensual aroma of cinnamon. In addition to the tree, holiday decorations draped the mantel. In fact, the entire room was dotted with festive colors. Kayla had never seen such extravagance, such an expression of holiday spirit, except for the outside decorations some people placed in their yards.
From out of nowhere, a knot formed in her throat. Aunt Milly hadn’t had a lot of money. Kayla’s childish requests for a tree or wreath had usually gone unanswered.
Instead of pondering the past, she moved onward to where the smell of rich coffee brewing teased her nose.