Steve Moore, a black cat shifter, breaks into the North Pole Christmas party in his cat form. Easy enough. No one imagines a black cat would be out of place in a warm building in the middle of the winter. But Steve's not there to sample the cupcakes or eggnog. No, he's there to find the one Elf who makes his heart race -- Landon. Is Landon still interested in the shifter? They only spent one night together. Things could fall apart once they find each other again, but Steve's betting the Elf is craving him, too.
Time to see what magic Christmas has in store.
Praise for Shifter's Challenge
"There was definite chemistry between them... enough to keep me rooting for them until the end. Perfect to enjoy with some hot cocoa. "
-- Breann, The Romance Reviews
"...if you're looking for a short, fun read with some humorous chasing-down followed by hot man-on-man loving, then you might like this short story."
-- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
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Shifter's Challenge (Peppermint Twist)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2014 Megan Slayer
"I'm going to find that Elf." Steve Moore stood outside the main ballroom and peered in the window. He'd found his way to the North Pole with a little luck and good directions... and the help of an Elf. He owed his friend, Luciano, big time. What was a cat shifter to do? He needed to find the Elf who made his heart beat. Landon. Just thinking about the Elf sent shivers down Steve's spine and warmth through his veins.
He could think about his one-night stand all he wanted, but first he needed to get into the ballroom. No point in pining over a guy when Steve was outside freezing. But a human couldn't just stroll into the building. He'd stick out amongst the shorter individuals.
Voices from where he couldn't see grabbed his attention. Steve ducked into the snow-covered bushes on either side of the door. He couldn't be seen. Not yet. The cat within him meowed. He needed to shift and allow the animal free rein. That was how he'd get into the ballroom.
He closed his eyes and gave in to the cat within him. His bones snapped, and fur sprouted on his arms and legs. His clothes slipped from his body and landed in a heap beneath him. His ears elongated, and his fangs jabbed within his mouth. When he opened his eyes, he shook the snow off his small body and then licked his paw. Time to sneak into the Elves' ball.
Steve crept to the edge of the bushes and watched for the owners of the voices he'd heard. Two female Elves strolled up to the building. Steve hurried behind them and sneaked through the door before anyone noticed.
The moment he entered the ballroom, he paused. He'd never seen so much red and green in his life. Icicles dangled from the ceiling and lights glittered all over the place. The room reminded him of the brightest Christmas display in every shopping center all rolled into one. The scent of peppermint wafted through the space. Elves in red suits trimmed with white fur mingled in bunches. Mistletoe decorated the archways, and thick ropes of evergreen garland swooped from corner to corner of the room. A massive Christmas tree stood in the farthest corner, and presents of every shape and size had been piled beneath and around it.
Steve sat beneath a table overflowing with cookies and eggnog. He needed to find his Elf. He'd been told all the Elves looked alike. Not true. The more he glanced over the crowd, the more he realized they were different just like everyone else. A couple of the Elves had dark hair like Landon's, but none were him. He groaned. If he were going to find Landon, he needed to get a better vantage point.
The cat needed to climb. He stretched and dug his claws into the carpet. He knew exactly where he needed to go in order to see the rest of the room -- the Christmas tree. He meandered around the perimeter of the large space to the evergreen tree. Presents had been piled up at the bottom of the tree, giving him great camouflage. He ascended the branches until he found one with a decent vantage point. Steve perched on the limb and surveyed the crowd.
So many Elves and so many happy faces. He'd never find Landon in the myriad of red and white. His heart sank. He'd been a fool to hunt for the Elf. They'd spent one night together. Landon probably didn't even remember him.
Three Elves wandered past the tree, and the sound of one of the male Elves' voices caught his attention. Steve perked his ears and zeroed in on the dark-haired Elf.
Steve dug his claws into the branch. Part of him wanted to jump from the tree and into Landon's arms. The rest of him erred on the side of staying put. Landon seemed happy and like he was having the time of his life. He couldn't intrude on that. The blond Elf kept touching Landon's arm and laughing at everything Landon said. The other Elf nodded. His long black hair swished as he moved his head. The three Elves acted so comfortable together. They had to be close friends. Hell, they seemed to barely notice the rest of the party. Maybe that was why Landon hadn't stuck around -- he had men at home waiting for him. Had he been duped?
Nah, Landon wasn't the type to screw with people... was he?
Steve adjusted his weight on the branch and closed his eyes. He'd had enough of watching Landon and company. His anger melted as he pictured that lone night with Landon.
They'd had a hot time together. They'd shared drinks, danced and made love until dawn. He could still feel the tightness of Landon's asshole around his cock. The words he'd said when Landon unzipped resonated in Steve's head. Damn, you're bigger than I thought you'd be. Not Steve's best moment, but he'd been honest. Maybe the stupid comment had been the reason Landon left.
"There you are," a voice boomed.