Authors: Viola Grace
Tags: #Adult, #elf, #erotic Romance, #Shapeshifter, #Holiday, #Fantasy
Cupid takes a position managing a stressed-out crew at Christmas, and she finds a lawyer with an interest in her stockings.
Cupid launched herself into organizing a branch of Legal Aid only to meet a handsome lawyer who sends her senses into disarray.
Watching the families who needed help and those who were paid to help them was an education. No one stayed un
less they had a feel for the job and all of those working with her want nothing more than relief of stress for their clients.
When Tyr arrives as holiday relief, he sweeps through their caseload like magic. His interest in late-night takeout and casual chatter are enough to catch and keep her attention, but when she realizes who and what he is, her holiday season goes from snowbound to hot.
The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Blizzard of Heat
Copyright © 2015 by Viola Grace
©Cover art by Carmen Waters
All rights reserved. With the exception of review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the express permission of the publisher.
Published by Viola Grace
Look for me online at violagrace.com, Amazon, All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Kobo, B&N and other eBook sellers.
Blizzard of Heat
Operation Reindeer Retrieval Book 6
“Well, you have gotten rid of nearly all of us.” Cupid looked up from her filing, and she smiled at Ru.
“You know that that isn’t what is going on. Change requires leaps of faith. I am trusting him to do the right thing.”
“It is a big chance.”
Ru sighed. “I know, but something has to change. He has been locked in his pattern for too long, which has locked us up. Both things need alteration.”
Cupid nodded and finished her filing, making notes on how far she had gotten. She was meticulous.
Rudolph chuckled. “So, have you figured out what you want to do?”
“I think I would like an office with actual people and a chance to help folks through the stress of this holiday. Since I can’t do it for you, I would like to do it for someone.”
Ru smiled slightly and gave her a quick hug. “You have always been there for folks that need it. Your team depends on you, and you never let them down.”
Cupid sighed. “I know. I just want to try it with others and see how things work with humans. I have heard things, and I want to see for myself how horrible the holidays can be for some.”
Ru put her hand on Cupid’s shoulder. “That is going to be rough on you.”
“I can take it.”
“I know you can, but seeing pain changes you. It either makes you colder or increases your empathy.”
“I will welcome the change. I have had too much of my life be static and immobile. Change is growth, for good or other.”
“Just don’t lose yourself in their pain. You are not human; you can never be human. All you have is a moment to share with them and to be with them.”
Cupid blinked at the bald statement. “If I can ease one person’s cold and hostile winter, I will do it.”
Ru grinned. “That’s the attitude I expect from you. Here is your transport.”
Ru extended her hand, and a small box was in her palm.
“Did you have that with you the whole time?” Cupid blinked.
Ru snickered and opened the box. A small and elegant snowflake was sitting and glittering against dark velvet.
Cupid took the snowflake and pressed it to her shoulder. The rush of magic made the hair on the back of her neck stand up.
Ru handed her the box and smiled. “Think about where you want to be and go there. The magic will do the rest.”
Cupid closed her eyes, and she was swept away in a blur of magic and snowflakes.
She opened her eyes to the knowledge that she was Cwen Uma Piderson and she was the office manager for Legal Aid. It was time to face the holidays with those who had little to celebrate.
Cwen hung up the phone and massaged the back of her neck. Four weeks of being the office manager and getting the supplies she needed never got easier.
Fighting her way through bureaucracy was a challenge that exhausted her, and keeping the supplies flowing and the files in their proper places was her contribution to what was going on at Legal Aid.
She kept snacks and everything else well stocked for the clients. The stunned expression on most of their faces was more than enough for her. Their faces were those of people who had lost everything or who had everything hanging in the balance.
The cheerful decorations in the office weren’t Cwen’s idea. She frankly thought they were in bad taste, but the children who came in with their parents loved them.
The lawyers often chided Cwen for being too serious. She just wanted to keep things running smoothly.
One of the lawyers came into her office. “Cwen, we just got a new hire. Can you show him around and get him set up?”
“Sure, Anthony.” She smiled and got to her feet, rotating her shoulders.
She came around her desk and walked into the lobby. It wasn’t hard to spot the new recruit; he was the only one wearing a coat that cost more than most of the occupants of the room made in a month.
He smiled at her approach, and the breath left her lungs.
He was going to be very good for their win rates.
“Hello. I am Cwen. I manage the office.”
His smile warmed. “I am Tyr Westerson, here to take some of the burden off the rest of the crew.”
“Excellent. Please, come this way.” She shook his hand and gestured for him to follow her down the hall.
She showed him the receptionists. “This is Deanne, and this is Dana. They will be your hands and feet. Feel free to call on them if you need anything, and they will do what they can.”
Tyr stepped over and shook the hands of the dazed women. “Pleased to meet you.”
The ladies looked like they were scrambling for something else to say, but the phones rang and they had to turn away.
She led the way through the maze of hallways, pausing to point out the breakroom before she showed him his office.
“Here you go.”
Tyr poked his head in and sighed. “I was terrified that the room was being used for storage.”
“Not on my watch. We keep our records clear and filed. Nothing gets wadded up in a corner.” She nodded and crossed her arms.
Tyr grinned. “You run a tight ship.”
She shrugged. “I try. I will get you a computer and link it to the network. There is a pad and pencil in the top drawer of the desk. You can give me a list of what you need to get comfortable.”
He looked around. “I guess I will start that list.”
He unbuttoned his costly coat and hung it up on the coatrack in the corner. Cwen left him alone, and she headed to the storage room.
Ten minutes later, she knocked on his door with her knuckles, juggling the laptop and the other basics that she had brought with her.
Tyr opened the door and looked down at her in surprise. “That was quick.”
He reached for and took her burden from her. “Wow, it looks like you got everything on my list.”
She chuckled and lifted the notepad as he settled the pile on his desk. “I have already connected the computer to our system, and your temporary password is
. The charger is there and the printer is down the hall to your left. The coffee cups are available in the breakroom. You are welcome to bring in your own. We encourage the folks here to use a little polite whimsy on their desks. It keeps you grounded.”
She flicked her hair over her shoulder, and he focused on her with the sharp gaze of a predator.
Uncertain of what to do next and unwilling to run, she stood there and scowled. “Anything else?”
Anthony came around the corner, and he grinned. “Well, I have heard a lot about you, Tyr. Welcome to our little corner of Legal Aid. This time of year, we are dealing with a lot of illegal evictions and discontinuation of services. I have a stack of cases for you to start going over if you are ready.”
Tyr grinned. “Bring it on. It is why I am here after all.”
Cwen nodded and left them to talk about cases. She checked on the printers, toner, paper and the coffee. The essentials had to be maintained to keep things running smoothly.
It was her job here to keep those around her as comfortable as circumstances would allow. She comforted mothers and children, held the hands of despondent fathers who were losing their homes before Christmas. The season of joy put extra stress on those around her, and she felt it when she looked into every face in the waiting room.
Every night, she went home to her apartment a few blocks away, and she baked treats for the office. Keeping morale up during all of the litigation, restraining orders and visitation arrangements was the least she could do.
There were one set of cookies or brownies for the lawyers and one for the clients. She knew all of the allergies in those working in the building, so she was free to bake within those guidelines. For the clients, she stuck to shortbread.
She returned to her desk and got to paying the bills again. She made sure that the caseloads were evenly balanced and sent notes to Anthony if they weren’t. Cwen never confronted him, she simply did what women always did—she nudged him in the direction she wanted him to go.
She dived into her work and stayed there until she was able to surface again. Her stomach was a remarkable alarm clock, but it had a tendency to let her focus until after the building was quiet.
Cwen got to her feet and stretched, snorting and grunting as she loosened the muscles that hours at the computer had tightened up.
She froze in mid-stretch when she heard the scrape of a shoe in her doorway. Tyr was watching her.
“I thought I was the last one here.” He looked like he had been working hard. His hair was ruffled, and his tie and shirt had been loosened at the neck.
She shook her head. “No, I was doing payroll. It is always engrossing. You don’t want to leave it half done. Folks get irritated.”
He chuckled. “You are correct. I have a personal question to ask you.”
“Where can I get some good takeout? I have a few more hours of catching up to do.”
Cwen reached into her desk and flicked through a handful of menus. “What do you prefer? Italian, Chinese, sandwiches or barbeque?”
“Tonight, I think I need Chinese.”
She brandished a menu and handed it to him. “I was going to place an order myself if you want to split the delivery charge.”
He looked at the menu and grinned. “I am guessing these marks are your favourites?”
“They are. I order from them twice a week.”
Tyr chuckled. “I will call in an order. Can I try a few of your selections?”
“Wonderful. If you aren’t occupied, I wouldn’t mind some company.”
She nodded. “I will be there after I get the handoff for the takeout. You do the ordering; I will bring it to you.”
Tyr nodded and headed for his office, leaving the door open.
Cwen walked around the waiting room and all the meeting rooms, gathering cups, plates, napkins and the tissues left behind by those in shock or grief.
It wasn’t strictly part of her duties, but the cleaners didn’t come in until after ten, so she tried to give them a leg up when she could.
She loaded the dishwasher and heard the afterhours bell as it chimed the arrival of dinner. She nearly skipped to the door and buzzed in the delivery guy after verifying his identity.
She grabbed the first bag and then was handed a second. “Let me get my wallet.”
Rob shook his head. “Nope, it is all paid for. Have a nice night, Ms. Piderson.”
She peeped above the bags. “You too, Rob.”
He left, and she waited until the security door swung shut. Once it was secure, she headed through the building and to Tyr’s office.
She wandered in and found the edge of the desk with her hip. “You must be hungry.”
He chuckled and helped her put the bags down on the desk. “I always shotgun new places. I try everything and narrow down what I want to eat.”
“Well, you can’t go wrong with Heaven’s Garden.”
She identified her cartons by scent, and she settled them. “Hang on, I will get some chopsticks.”
She sprinted to her office, and when she returned with chopsticks and napkins, he was opening her soda for her and gesturing for her to sit in the client chair on the other side of his desk.