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Authors: Lexxie Couper

A Sprite's Tale (novella)

BOOK: A Sprite's Tale (novella)
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A Sprite’s Tale

www.escapepublishing.com.au

A Sprite’s Tale

Lexxie Couper

When an Aussie bushland sprite collides with Santa’s nephew on a sunny, isolated Australian beach, the sand won’t be the only thing that scorches!

Having decided his uncle is due for a break, Santa’s nephew, Nick, takes on the job of delivering presents and heads straight for the sun-drenched beaches of Australia. After a cataclysmic sleigh disaster with a low-flying Qantas airbus, Nick finds himself rounding up reindeer on an isolated coastal stretch. When all seems lost — including Rudolph — Nick stumbles upon Chrissie, a woman just as mysterious as he.

Chrissie is an Australian bushland sprite, sent after Nick by his uncle. Santa has made his own decision — it’s time for his nephew to settle down, and Chrissie’s just the sprite to fill his empty heart.

Christmas is always hot in Australia, but this year, things are really heating up!

For all the adults who love being cheeky and mischievous at Christmas. Welcome to Santa’s Naughty List.

Contents

About the Author

Acknowledgements

Nick Saint Nicholas

Chrissie

Nick Saint Nicholas

Chrissie

Nick Saint Nicholas

Bestselling Titles by Escape Publishing…

About the author

Lexxie Couper started writing when she was six and hasn’t stopped since. She’s not a deviant, but she does have a deviant’s imagination and a desire to entertain readers with her words. Add the two together and you get erotic romances that can make you laugh, cry, shake with fear or tremble with desire. Sometimes all at once.

When she’s not submerged in the worlds she creates, Lexxie’s life revolves around her family: a husband who thinks she’s insane, an indoor cat who likes to stalk shadows, and her daughters, who both utterly captured her heart and changed her life forever.

Contact Lexxie at
[email protected]
, follow her on Twitter at
http://twitter.com/lexxie_couper
or visit her at
www.lexxiecouper.com
where she occasionally makes a fool of herself on her blog.

Ackno
w
ledgements

The author would like to acknowledge Chrissie Henderson, who taught her when to use semi-colons and when not to.

Nick Saint Nicholas

The rumbling in my gut hit me before the jet did. Well, before the jet’s turbulence did. One second I was skimming through the sky, the cool wind on my face, the next my gut feels like the San Andreas Fault having a bad day. I toss a look over my shoulder, see the Qantas Airbus and think,
oh shit
.

Ten seconds later, I’m in a wild spin, heading straight down; sleigh, sack of presents, eight reindeer — plus that red-nosed ninth wheel, Rudolph — and all. Not the perfect situation, I have to say. No wonder my uncle is a jumpy mess come Christmas Eve.

Ever plummeted through a high-altitude cloudbank while trying to regain control of a sleigh chock-full of presents? It ain’t easy, especially when said cloudbank makes you blink like mad and you’ve left your sunglasses back in your uncle’s workshop at the North Pole, damn it.

Especially when Rudolph’s nose is flashing like an insane traffic signal, Blitzen is trying to pull right, Donner is trying to pull left and Comet looks like he’s two seconds away from throwing up. Trust me, reindeer vomit is
not
easy to get out of denim.

Scrambling for both the wildly flailing reins and the gyro leveler on the sleigh’s control panel, I flicked a quick — and I have to admit, worried — look at the rapidly approaching terrain coming up to meet me. Or rather, the wide stretch of completely isolated beach
I
was rapidly approaching. If I didn’t get some semblance of control back, my uncle was going to be down one nephew, his
only
nephew, and a lot of kids were going to wake up Christmas Day
sans
presents under the tree.

This wasn’t good. So much for a dream run to warmer skies to give the old man a break.

Snatching the lashing reins — just — I yanked on the strip of leather. It always cracks me up that my uncle’s sleigh is decked out in technology way beyond human comprehension but he insists on retaining reins to steer the thing. Come to think of it, he probably doesn’t need the four-legged fur-covered propulsion units either, but Santa’s always been a fan of tradition so…

All right, all right, I hear you. Enough of the back story, Nick. Get back to the situation, already.

So, I’m heading for a deserted beach somewhere — I think on the far north coast of Australia — wrestling madly with a set of reins that feel more like a live snake. The beach is getting closer, the night air is getting hotter, I’m sweating and it has nothing to do with the tropical summer’s heat.

The reindeer are frantically pawing at the sky desperate for traction, that bloody nose of Rudolph’s is flashing like crazy (who knew it acted as a hazard signal as well?), Dasher’s throwing me surly looks, the moonbeam-bathed beach is about to turn us all into flapjacks, I’m close to popping my shoulder-joints yanking on the reins…and we pull out of the spin. Not entirely, but enough. Thank the Christmas Spirit for that.

We hit the beach. Hard.

Reindeer tumble and roll everywhere, antlers clack, clatter and crack, reins snap, the sleigh smashes into the surf-compacted sand, bounces once, twice, smashes down again, and I’m flying through the air in a wild arc, flung from the carriage like one of my uncle’s expertly made rag dolls.

Guess I should have been wearing my seat belt, huh?

* * *

Maybe I should introduce myself before I go on. Nick Saint Nicholas. The one and only Saint Nicholas’s one and only nephew. I do the odd Christmas miracle for my uncle when he’s pressed for time. It’s been a mad year this year and I wanted to give the old man a vacation — he’s never taken one, not even during the mid-2020s when the UN declared him a potential terrorist target and banned Christmas for three years. ‘Christmas without Santa may as well herald the end of humanity’ I heard him grumble moments before shooting into the skies on a covert present drop.

No, the old man needed some time out, and what’s family for if not to help when the going gets tough? So I hijacked the sleigh and took off from the Pole before he finished buckling that thick black belt of his around his waist. And then — about four hours into the delivery process — the Qantas airbus happened to cross my flight plan. So much for good intentions.

What the hell was I to do now?

Chrissie

The first thing I noticed — apart from limping reindeer scattering into the rainforest edging the sand — was how cute my mission was. Actually ‘cute’ is not the right word. ‘Cute’ is an understatement. My mission, my
target
, was gorgeous. With a capital G and an exclamation mark.

Hovering behind an ancient eucalypt, I watched him push himself up from the sand, unfurling from the crumpled mess of his sleigh to stand upright and cast a look around.

I licked my lips, the warm core between my thighs clenching in anticipation. Old Man Claus had mentioned his nephew was easy on the eyes, but not
how
easy. By the Elf Lord, he was divine.

Tall and lean, with shoulders broad enough to make Atlas envious, a back that rippled with muscle tapering down to low, narrow hips, an arse tight and sculptured and entirely biteable, and long, hard legs. Nick Saint Nicholas looked nothing like his famous uncle.

Thank the Elf Lord for that.

My wings fluttered a little, rustling the long, slim leaves of the gum tree. They’re like that, my wings. When I get excited they seem to develop a mind of their own. The faster my heart starts to beat, the quicker my wings flutter. It’s kinda endearing, but can be a bit frustrating. There are times when I don’t
want
to defy gravity, and sucking in lungful after lungful of air in an attempt to slow my heart and return my feet to the
ground can be a real mood killer. Thankfully at that very moment I was gripping the eucalyptus’s trunk, its soft warm life acting as an anchor. Studying Nick Saint Nicholas was making my heart beat like mad.

I watched him walk to the overturned sleigh, stepping over scattered presents as he did so. He stared at it, dragging long-fingered hands through dark blond hair that belonged more on a surfer than the nephew of the world’s most loveable present-giver. I licked my lips. ‘
Distract him
,’ Old Man Claus had instructed. ‘
I
know he’s acting out of love, but I haven’t the time for a family intervention.’

Distract him.

I’m still not sure
what
type of distraction the old man had in mind. He’d contacted me the second his nephew and the airbus crossed paths. I
think
Claus wanted me to tell the vegetation on the beach’s rim — the Yellow Lawyer Cane, the Wait-A-While, the Lantana… plants of similar ilk — to detain him, tie him up as such. Why else call in a bushland sprite for assistance? But then, who knows the mind of a man centuries old with the sole purpose in life of bringing happiness to adults and children alike?

I flicked an appreciative glance over Nick Saint Nicholas, this time admiring the sculptured perfection of his chest, shoulders and biceps bulging under a form-fitting red T-shirt. A T-shirt Nick suddenly pulled up over his head, bunched into a wad and wiped at the tiny beads of perspiration popping out on his forehead. I stared at his now exposed torso, at the small nipples on a chest both hard and smooth and utterly lickable.

Oh my… My wings quickened their beat. Tying up Old Man Claus’s nephew was sounding quite…appealing.

A squirming tickle of anticipation fluttered between my thighs, in perfect harmony with my fluttering wings. I grinned, letting my gaze caress the delectable form of Nick once more… and shimmered into nothing.

It was time for the ‘distraction’ to begin.

Nick Saint Nicholas

The first thing I needed to do was round up the four-legged propulsion units. Ignoring the raucous laugh of a kookaburra perched, I assumed, in one of the many eucalypts edging the beach, I turned from the sleigh and stared up into the dense rainforest.

And felt soft fingers skim down my jaw line.

What the?

I snapped my head to the left. No one. Nothing. Just miles and miles of pristine white sand strewn with brightly wrapped parcels. I frowned. And the fingers brushed my right cheekbone.

Okay, I’m going to have to admit, I jumped. Not much, but enough for the balls of my booted feet to make new divots in the sand.
Someone
was playing with me and I wanted to know who.

Pulling a deep breath, I centred my spirit and let my senses float, ‘feeling’ for my unseen companion…

There. A faint whisper of wings, a delicate scent of rich soil, nectar and…something I wasn’t familiar with but made the blood in my veins tingle.

‘Fae?’

The humid air about me displaced a little, as if something lithe and nimble moved close to my body. I heard the faintest sound — a giggle? — and those fingers traced a line down my nose and feathered my top lip.

My heartbeat leapt away with me. That mysterious scent filled my nose and I felt soft fingertips on my bottom lip. I moved my tongue — a little — and tasted the sweet taste of dew.

Ah-ha
. ‘Sprite.’ But what kind?

The fingertips traced the fleshy line of my bottom lip in a languid path before dipping deeper into my mouth, touching my teeth and the tip of my tongue again. More sweet dew, with an undercurrent of…what? I didn’t know.

The faint giggle sounded in my left ear and I felt, rather than heard, that lithe body dance around me again, closer this time. Close enough to make the fine hairs on my chest and arms move.

I bit back a curse. Sprites are notorious mischief-makers, hell-bent on causing mayhem through their unique connection with the supernatural world. I sensed a deep affinity with nature in the ‘taste’ of my unseen guest, but what could she — and I was assuming she was a she — do?

BOOK: A Sprite's Tale (novella)
4.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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