Sosie flipped through the magazine on her lap with a bored sigh. It was an old copy of Working Elf someone had wedged in the seat pocket in front of her, so she’d already read most of the articles. Even so, she paused when she came to an article on which products were going to be a big hit for the holiday season. It would have been more interesting if she hadn’t spent the last four months up to her elbows in the exact same gadgets and gizmos the author claimed were so wonderful. After making three thousand copies of anything by hand—even the Happy Rabbit Clitoris Vibrator she’d helped design—the thrill was gone.
No one ever volunteered to go to the South Pole. It was where elves went when they got on Santa’s bad side. She’d had to do something, or she was going to go crazy, and leaving the North Pole for a change of scenery, even if that scenery did happen to be in the armpit of the elfin world, seemed like the only way to stop her from going insane.
Shorter than he was by more than a foot, she barely came up to his chest even with the little heels on the black boots that went with her costume. He could see why the people who did the hiring down at whatever department store she worked in picked her. With her small, slightly upturned nose and creamy skin, she looked exactly as he imagined an elf would look. Although he had to admit, he didn’t picture an elf having quite so many sexy curves.
She hugged herself and looked up at the roof across the street, wondering if she should go up there and wait. At some point, one of her fellow elves was bound to notice she wasn’t with them and they would come back for her like the handsome man from the club had said. But the longer she stood there, the less likely she began to think that was going to happen. For all she knew, they’d realized she had gone off somewhere and purposely left her. Not because they didn’t care, but because it was too dangerous to venture into the city to look for her. They had probably already reported the whole thing to Elf Central. The Special Forces elves were most likely getting ready to mount a rescue mission even now.
That should have made her feel better, but instead it only made her more nervous. She’d never heard of an elf getting lost. Just because they set out to rescue her didn’t mean they would find her right away. She would have to fend for herself until they did. That was easier said than done. Going into a dance hall for a few minutes was one thing. Living in a BP city for an extended length of time was definitely another.
She glanced over at the line of people waiting to get into the club. She wasn’t a Special Forces elf. She had no training on how to survive on her own for long periods of time outside the North Pole. It was true she’d learned about how the BPs lived, worked and played when she’d been in school. In addition to that, there was all the research she’d done as part of her job as a toy designer. And of course, she had seen plenty of stuff on The Polar Evening News. But all that was a far cry from actually knowing how to live among them while keeping her identity secret.
To her surprise, almost everyone in the waiting area got on the same subway she and Derek did. She automatically looked around for a seat, but they were all taken. She was about to ask Derek if they were going to have to get off and wait for another subway when the thing suddenly sped forward. She stumbled and would have fallen if a strong arm hadn’t wrapped around her waist. Startled, she looked up to find Derek gazing down at her.
“You okay?” he asked.
Sosie opened her mouth to tell him she was, but all that came out was a gasp. She had already come to the conclusion he was well built from how broad his shoulders were underneath the leather jacket, but she hadn’t known how hard his body was beneath all those clothes. Snickerdoodle, the man was as solid as a chimney.
How could she be expected to control herself when he was quite possibly the most gorgeous being she had ever seen among elf or man?
Sosie’s gaze went to the bed. Figgy, it was huge. Two of the big people could easily fit in it, much less an elf like her and a man Derek’s size.
She turned back to him. “There’s plenty of room in the bed for both of us. Are you sure you want to sleep out on the couch? It can’t be very comfortable.”
His mouth quirked. “While I’m sure that would be a lot of fun, I think I’d better be a gentleman and sleep out on the couch.”
Sosie was disappointed, but she supposed she could see his point. She wouldn’t get any sleep at all if she was in such close proximity to that hard body of his. Not that she would have minded. She might be sleep-deprived when morning came, but she was sure sleeping next to him would be more fun than a snowball fight.
“Do you need a shirt or something to sleep in?”
She shook her head. “No, thanks. I sleep naked.” At his raised brow, she blushed and quickly added, “But since I’m a guest, maybe it would be better to wear a shirt.”
He nodded. “Much.”
Sosie nibbled on her lower lip as he opened a dresser drawer and pulled out a shirt. She hadn’t meant to make him uncomfortable. Perhaps she shouldn’t mention being naked around him again since it seemed to cause him concern.
Wondering if Derek was asleep yet, she tiptoed down the hallway and peeked into the living room. She’d intended to thank Derek one more time for his hospitality, but the words got stuck in her throat at the sight of him. He was sprawled on the couch, the blanket pushed down to his waist, leaving his muscular chest and rock-hard stomach bare. Holy Kris Kringle. She thought he’d looked good with his clothes on, but half-naked, he was even more gorgeous. She’d never seen muscles like that on an elf guy. Never, ever, ever. It was all she could do not to jump on the couch with him and run her hands all over that glorious body of his.
“You two do realize where you’re standing, don’t you?”
Sosie turned at the sound of Tracee’s voice to find that she and Linda had come over to join them. For some reason, both women were regarding them with amusement. Sosie glanced at Derek and saw he looked as confused by the question as she was.
Tracee gave them an impatient look. “Look up.”
Sosie obeyed and blinked when she saw the sprig of mistletoe hanging from the doorjamb above their heads. Elves might not celebrate Christmas with roast turkey and presents, but they did put up mistletoe, so she knew what standing underneath it meant. Wondering if Derek did, too, she looked up to find him gazing down at her with that same sexy glint he’d had in his eye when he leaned in to smell her perfume before. Her pulse quickened and she wet her lips in anticipation.
But to her dismay, Derek didn’t move to kiss her. Maybe he didn’t know the tradition, after all.
“Well, what are you waiting for?” Tracee said impatiently. “Go ahead and kiss her already.”
He chuckled. “They’re not going to be satisfied unless I kiss you, you know.”
She smiled. “Then I suppose you’d better kiss me.”
“You know, I feel awful about putting you out of your bed again. I was thinking maybe you might want to sleep with me tonight.”
He studied her in silence, his dark eyes unreadable. Sosie held her breath as she waited for him to say something. What if Tracee and Linda had been wrong? What if Derek wasn’t as “into her” as they’d thought?
“If I share the bed with you, Sosie,” he said softly, “sleeping is the last thing either of us will be doing.”
She gave him what she hoped was a flirtatious look. “Good. Then the mistletoe won’t go to waste.”
His mouth curved into a grin at the tiny sprig of greenery dangling from her fingers. “Mistletoe, huh?”
“I thought I could put it wherever I want you to kiss me.”
He chuckled. “Honey, you don’t need mistletoe for that. I’ve spent the past two hours fantasizing about kissing every inch of you.”
Derek hadn’t been to FAO Schwartz since he was a kid, but he got the feeling Sosie would love the place. He was right. Sosie squealed the moment they walked in the door and immediately ran over to sit down on the floor in the center of the store to play with the toys. Within minutes, she had a dozen kids down there playing with her. There were even a few adults who joined her. Though it completely destroyed his cool cop exterior, Derek found himself loading wood blocks in a Tonka truck right along with everyone else. That was when he realized how amazing Sosie was. He wouldn’t get down on the floor of a toy store and relive his childhood for any woman, that was for sure. But something told him Sosie wasn’t simply any woman. She was special.
Which was why he couldn’t resist buying her the huge stuffed reindeer he spotted sitting on one of the shelves.
“But you’ve already done so much for me already,” she protested.
He grinned. “Think of it at as belated Christmas present.”
She nibbled on her lower lip as if not sure whether to accept the gift, then smiled. “I love it. He looks exactly like Prancer.” She lowered her voice conspiratorially. “Don’t tell anyone, but he’s always secretly been my favorite.”
Derek was astonished she’d never eaten ice cream, but as she spooned some into her mouth and let out a low, sexy moan of appreciation, he couldn’t focus on anything but those luscious lips of hers and what they’d feel like wrapped around his cock instead. He stifled a groan as his jeans tightened in the groin. Suddenly, he couldn’t wait for Sosie to finish dessert so they could go back to his place.
Sosie, on the other hand, seemed oblivious to his plight and what she was doing to him. She took her time, slowly savoring every bite of ice cream until he thought he was going to explode. When she was finally finished, it was all he could do not to toss some money down on the table and whisk her out of the restaurant. Somehow, he managed to control himself.
Once outside, he didn’t lead Sosie to the subway, but hailed a cab instead. With the hard-on he was sporting, he wasn’t sure he could have walked that far anyway. Sosie didn’t mind. In fact, she loved the idea of taking a cab. Like so many other things, it was a first for her. Derek was sure she probably would have “oohed” and “aahed” over everything inside it, but he didn’t give her a chance to look around. Instead, he pulled her into her arms for a searing kiss.
Sosie kissed him back, parting her lips as her fingers threaded in his hair to pull him in close. She tasted like the chocolate ice cream they’d had for dessert and it was even sweeter on her tongue. God, what was it about her that had him losing control?
He didn’t remember the cab ride back to his apartment, much less paying the cabbie. One minute he and Sosie were running up the stairs, the next they were inside his apartment.
Shoving the door closed, Derek urged Sosie back against the wall. He slid both hands in her hair and tilted her head back to cover her mouth with his. She moaned and dropped the shopping bag on the floor, sliding both hands up the front of his shirt to grasp his shoulders. Her breasts were soft against his chest, her body hot as a furnace underneath her clothes. Oh, man. There was no way they were going to make it to the bedroom. He was going to take her right here against the wall.
She threw her leg across his and rubbed his semihard cock with the inside of her thigh. “Sure I can’t convince you to stay home and play hooky instead?”
“Woman, are you attempting to interfere with an officer of the law in the performance of his duty?”
Regardless of his stern tone, Sosie had the feeling he was teasing her. Since she couldn’t be sure, she decided it might be best if she stopped rubbing her leg against his penis. But when she went to move it, he wrapped his hand around her thigh, pressing it more firmly against his now rock-hard shaft.
Her pussy purring, she leaned forward to kiss her way up his chest. “I’m guilty as charged, Detective. Perhaps you should punish me by staying home and making me scream at the top of my lungs for the rest of the day.”
Derek groaned. “You are a bad girl, aren’t you?” He lifted her leg and slid her over so that she was beside him. “And while I’m tempted, I have to go into work this morning.”
She gave him a playful pout. “You wouldn’t leave a poor damsel in sexual distress like this and run off to work, would you?”
“Sexual distress, huh? Well, we can’t have that, can we?”
With a growl, Derek urged her onto her back, then settled between her legs and drove his cock into her very wet and waiting pussy.
“I thought you said you had to get to work,” Sosie said, the words coming out in a rush as he drove the breath from her lungs with his fast, hard thrusts.
She wrapped her arms and legs around him. This wasn’t going to be the same kind of slow, languorous lovemaking like they’d had the night before, but something wild and frantic. Primal. Not that she was complaining. Derek could do this to her as long as she was trapped here in the land of the BPs as far as she was concerned, which, hopefully would be for a good long time.
“I do have to get to work,” he said, bending his head to nuzzle her neck. “But I’m not the kind of guy to leave a woman in sexual distress. Besides, I set the clock early in case I woke up horny.”
Sosie was pretty sure he hadn’t sprouted horns since last night, but decided it must be another one of the strange phrases BPs used and concentrated on what Derek was doing to her body instead. And right now, he was doing incredible things.
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