In this novella, Holly desperately wants a perfect Christmas, and she's perfectly willing to make herself miserable getting one. Unfortunately, there are mystical forces at play that threaten more than her holidays...her life is in danger. And the only one who seems to know what's going on is a darkly handsome, but mysterious, wizard who makes her want to add "romance" to this year's Christmas wish list.
How far are you willing to go for a perfect Christmas?
Christmas music was being piped onto the streets. Deck the Halls and Fa, La, La, La, La....Holly was ready to deck something. Fa, La, La, La, that.
Her suitcase toppled over again.
And again she had to stop, put the suitcase back on its wheels before she could continue dragging her personal albatross down the street. Why had she packed so many clothes? This was insane.
A few bouncy steps further, the suitcase hit a deep rut and one of the wheels got stuck. Brilliant. It took some effort to pry the wheel from the crack in the walk. And she was getting colder by the minute.
When she started pulling it again, she ran straight into an arm. A healthy male arm.
"Need a hand?" Hadrian asked. He was leaning against the storefront and blocking her way. He smiled. It made her stomach do a little flip.
"I-I'm okay," she said, and tried to push him out of her path. She didn't trust him. He was too interested in her, and she didn't understand why.
"Didn't you say you were going out of town?" His brow kicked up as he eyed her suitcase. "I didn't realize you were walking to your destination."
"I'm heading over to the train station."
"Really? That's blocks from here. Let me drive you."
Her throbbing feet wanted to scream, "Yes!" She'd dragged her suitcase from one end of town to the next in search of a non-existent hotel room. Her feet didn't want to take another step. Ever.
"I'm okay," she said, much to her feet's chagrin. But if he drove her to the train station, there would be a good chance he'd insist on staying with her until her train left. And she had no ticket because she had nowhere to go, and what was she doing telling complete strangers about her fantasy trip home in the first place?
She pushed him out of the way and hauled herself forward. He caught the handle of her suitcase.
"You're limping," he said.
"I'm fine." She tried to pry his hand loose.
"I'm not." His fingers wouldn't budge.
"You're afraid of me."
Her gaze flashed up to his face. He looked harmless, but then so did many of the mass murderers caught in recent years.
"I'm being reasonably cautious," she said, tugging at the handle with all her weight. "Let go of my suitcase or I'll scream."
He let go so fast she nearly smashed her face against the sidewalk.
"You know me, Holly." He sounded so darned reasonable. "Deep in your heart, you know me. You know I'm not a threat to you."
"Perhaps. But maybe I'm not a very good judge of people. There is no Oblique Café. No one in my building has ever heard of it. I think you drugged me. Or hypnotized me."
"Hypnosis? Really? That's the best your wildly imaginative mind could come up with?"
"Goodbye Hadrian. Have a very merry Christmas."
She stuck her chin in the air and hoped she looked determined when she felt anything but. Tears stung the backs of her eyes. This was her chance, perhaps her one chance to spend Christmas with someone. Anyone.
She stopped, but didn't turn around.
"What if I told you I didn't have anywhere to go?" she asked the empty space in front of her.
"I'd ask what happened to your apartment," he answered.
"It's a long story."
"It's a stupid, long story," she amended.
"There's plenty of time to tell it, you know. There's six days before Christmas."
She wanted to laugh. But if she did, she'd probably end up crying. So she bit her lower lip.
"What should I do?" It was a desperate plea. A question framed more for herself than for anyone else.
"Come to the café with me. Jake has a room upstairs. It's not the Ritz, but it's comfortable. And affordable."
His offer sounded like a blessing.
"But there is no café."
"Not in this world. But, Holly, it does exist." He held out his hand. "Believe me. It exists as a refuge for people like you...and me."
Meet all the heroes in THE PROTECTORS series:
(1) Novella: A Wizard for Christmas
Holly desperately wants a perfect Christmas, and she's perfectly willing to make herself miserable getting one. Unfortunately, there are forces at play that threaten more than her holidays...her life is in danger. And the only one who seems to know what's going on is a darkly handsome, but mysterious, stranger who makes her want to add "romance" to this year's Christmas wish list.
(2) Sensual Novella: Neptune's Lair
It's worse than a bad hair day! Dallas's new lover is taking control in the bedroom, and an unworldly force is threatening her soul.
(3) Sensual Novel: Mystical Seduction
Faith was looking for a one-night stand. What she got was an otherworldly hunk who appears determined to make her his sex slave.
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