“Mistletoe Kisses” by Erzabet Bishop
“A dragon?” Thorne raised an eyebrow. Dragon kind and Night Wing gargoyles were not on friendly terms. Territorial disputes in his homeland had made them natural enemies. But here? That would remain to be seen. Not that he would mind tangling with one.
“An old bastard of a firefighter, too. Seemed like he was setting more blazes at the end rather than putting them down.” Carrick’s lips thinned and his jaw clenched. “He endangered the life of my mate.”
Thorne considered the Alpha carefully.
“If you’ve rooted him out, then why am I here?”
“He’s not the only one,” Reid bit out. “We know there are more out there. What remains to be seen are when and where they choose to rear their ugly heads.”
“Why don’t you go to them?” It seemed a simple question, but the shuttered looks from the men in front of him stopped the suggestion before it could go any further.
“The Yule Gathering is coming and I want no complications. Likely as not, there are more of them out there and I won’t take a chance with my mate, my sister, or my pack. I spoke with your last employer and he said you were the best, most unobtrusive operative he had.”
And Thorne could find the creatures the Alpha sought. All he had to do was give the command.
Thorne wasn’t boasting. It was the truth. People paid for his work and paid him well.
“Good,” Reid snorted. “If you’re tailing Jess, you’re going to need it.”
“Is she your mate, this…Jess?”
“No.” A shade of pink crept up the sides of the other man’s face. “More like…a sister, if you want to know the truth.”
The Alpha sighed. “And she’s stubborn.”
The two men glanced at each other, a pregnant pause filling the room. Any information withheld could jeopardize Thorne meeting whatever goal they had in mind.
“What aren’t you telling me?”
“Her last bodyguard didn’t make it longer than a day.” Carrick closed his eyes, a twitch of humor playing at his lips.
This ought to be good.
“May I ask why?”
“He, ugh…went up in flames.” Reid coughed, but underneath the sound Thorne was certain he heard a note of laughter.
“What did she do, torch him?”
“Not exactly.” Carrick cleared his throat and turned his face away in what Thorne was sure was an effort to compose himself.
Were they hinting he couldn’t handle a woman? It didn’t sound like she needed protection in the least.
Thorne’s lips curved up in a humorless smile. “If she’s such a force of nature, then why the protection? I thought your females were fierce.”
Reid met Carrick’s gaze and the Alpha cleared his throat until his second glanced away, his eyes finding Thorne’s.
“She can’t shift.” The Alpha sighed.
Reid crossed his arms over his chest. “Won’t shift. There’s a difference. She can but she doesn’t want to.”
Erzabet Bishop is an award-winning and bestselling author who loves to write naughty stories. She is the author of Lipstick, Crave, Snow (Three Times More Lucky Box Set), Malediction (A Wicked Halloween Box Set), Map of Bones (A Wicked Affair Box Set), Sanguine Shadows (Vampire Bites Box Set), The Science of Lust, Wicked for You, Heart’s Protector, Burning for You, Taming the Beast, Mistletoe Kisses, Surrender, Under Cover of Darkness (2017), Three for Two (2017), Hedging Her Bets, Cat’s Got Her Tongue (Alpha Heat Box Set), Kitten Around (upcoming), Torment (Feb 2017), Arcane Imaginarium: Spirit Board, Holidays in Hell, Mallory’s Mark (upcoming),The Devil’s Due (upcoming), Charity Benshaw’s Enchanted Paddle Emporium (upcoming), Club Beam, Pomegranate, A Red Dress for Christmas, The Black Magic Café, Sweet Seductions, The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation along with being a contributor to many anthologies. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies.