Ice fairy Sugarplum has wanted Santa's only Cyclops in employ, Heath, for years. She knows he returns her interest, but why won't he give in to his feelings for her? With a little nudge from her best friend, Ice Queen Erika, she is bound and determined to get what she wants this Christmas.
Heath has secrets that he knows would damage his chances with the curvaceous fairy. He would much rather protect both their hearts than risk something that could hurt them both forever. Will he take a chance once Sugarplum brings him a pretty Christmas present that he can't resist?
"Visions of Sugarplum (Yule Tied)" is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes!
Praise for Visions of Sugarplum (Yule Tied)
"Visions of Sugarplum made me smile. If you’re in the mood for a saucy Christmas tale, I’d strongly recommend jumping into this one."
-- 4 Stars from Astilbe, Long and Short Reviews
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Visions of Sugarplum (Yule Tied)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2016 Sara Jay
Most of the Elves, Fairies, gnomes and other North Pole citizens feared approaching Heath's workshop, but it wasn't his surly disposition that scared them away. On the contrary, most of them considered it a personal challenge to take on the biggest bah-humbugs and turn them with holiday cheer.
No. Magical creatures feared Heath's workspace because it brimmed with metal -- most notably, iron.
Painful, even lethal to the fair folk, iron normally wasn't allowed around any of their communities, but the North Pole made for an obvious exception. Not only did Santa require iron for several different types of gifts (although it was always curious to see who wanted a hot poker as a gift), but his very sleigh required it for durability.
The reindeer were immune to the iron, but none of the Elves or Fairies knew Santa's secret to staying protected from the effects of the toxic metal. The only thing they all knew was that he shied away from the sleigh during most of the year, only checking on it briefly during the weeks leading up to the holiday.
Many thought his proximity to the sleigh resulted in severe illness, which was why he had to recuperate so long after the holidays. Sometimes they didn't see him for weeks after Christmas.
Others believed that he had a special brand of holiday magic that made him immune that only worked during the holiday period, but there was no precedent for that kind of magic anywhere in Elf history. No matter what belief any of the creatures subscribed to, it remained a mystery to all the citizens of Santa's realm.
Sugarplum had no idea how he managed to remain immune from the effects of the sleigh but she did know one thing: it had to have something to do with Heath. After all, Heath was the person who worked on the sleigh to begin with. Maybe he knew some kind of secret spell or charm. Perhaps the Cyclops who worked on it before him had taught him some ways to make it safe for Santa.
As she approached his shop she could feel her strength beginning to dwindle. She felt no pain, only a slight sluggishness, a desire to sit and rest -- which was completely alien to her usual vivacious self.
The steps creaked as she crept up the planks, and she grinned in spite of her mild fatigue. He could fix anything metallic, but Saint Nick forbid he repair his steps!
Then again, it could simply be that he didn't find it a pressing need. Heath was all about doing what needed to be done, himself and his own needs be damned. Most people might not notice that about him, but Sugarplum could write a thesis on what she'd gleaned from her studies.
The door markedly bore no metal. Heath didn't utilize iron where it wasn't needed, both out of an unwillingness to waste the metal that he so respected as well as out of respect for the fair folk themselves. She raised a fist to knock, pulled it back, and took a deep breath.
"Here goes," she muttered, asking for the Snow Queen's stately strength as she knocked once, twice, and a third time.
Waiting for Heath to answer was like waiting to throw up when a stomach started to churn after eating a corndog and then trying the Tilt-a-Whirl, which she had done at the annual winter carnival.
She twisted her hands around the small box, feeling foolish, feeling as if this was the stupidest idea she'd ever had and that she'd be much happier preparing to play with candied mead, no matter how weird that had sounded earlier.
The door slowly creaked open and she held her breath.
Smile. Keep smiling!
Her entire body buzzed with nervousness and anticipation.
A single eye the size of her fist glared beyond the crack, then softened as it landed on her. "Sugarplum." Mild surprise registered in his tone and she nearly sighed at the cadence of it, at the sound of her name on his lips.
Father Christmas, but his voice! Heath had come to the Pole several years ago from Australia, giving him a rich accent anyway, but coupled with his quiet baritone timbre it made the sexiest sound this side of the equator.
"Merry Christmas, Heath!" she chirped a bit too quickly, holding out her gift. Her hands trembled as she stretched them out, continuing to offer the gaily wrapped box under his steady gaze.
He opened the door and crossed his arms over the bulk of his chest, towering a full two feet above her. "I'm afraid I didn't get you anything."
What she heard was, "I'd like to toss you into my bed right now." His mop of curly brown hair touched the collar of his thermal hunter shirt, which stretched almost tautly across his chiseled figure and biceps. A dusting of sexy freckles dotted his cheekbones, their shade matching the warm brown hue of his eye.
That eye. How many times had she dreamed of his gaze roaming over her body with appreciation and desire? How many times had she practically re-written The Tell-Tale Heart in her mind, locking him up in her cottage and screeching to the Elf police to leave her alone with him if they dared to search for the missing Cyclops?