A Christmas Realm Tale, 1
Once dead, always dead.
Christopher Beaufort works in what could easily be the most cheerful place on earth, Santaâs Christmas Realm, but as a vampire, he is nothing more than a shadow among the living.
Worn out by the demands of his job as Chief Toy Officer, Santa assigns a human woman to help him, Samantha Kraus. Tantalized by the fiery red-head, Christopher makes it his business to seduce her, but as he does, something within him begins to stir.
Life is a gift in which every moment counts.
When Samantha Kraus accepted the job of assistant manager at Santaâs, she expected elves, fairies and maybe some shifters, but definitely not vampires. Least of all did she imagine her boss would be one of them or that sheâd be attracted to him.
Though she tries to remain professional, Samantha finds herself falling for Christopher. But, can a vampireâs heart ever beat again?
âThat went well with Jacobs, right?â she blurted, searching for a distraction.
Christopher looked at her. The intensity in his gaze threw her back and her knees weakened.
âYes,â he replied. âYou were fantastic. I can see now why Santa hired you.â His mouth thinned. âJacobs was practically salivating after you.â
Samantha blinked, surprised by the ferocity in his tone. âI donât know him as well as you do, but from what he spoke, he seemed devoted to his wife.â
âItâs not what I saw.â
She smiled, trying to ignore the low timber of his voice and the way it curled in her belly, heating her from the inside out.
âIs that why you were glaring at him while we were working?â she joked.
âI wasnât glaring. I was simplyââ Christopher raked his gaze over her. âWatching.â
Samantha shivered. She lifted her chin. âAnd did you observe anything of interest?â
Christopher slid his arms to the height of her elbows. He didnât touch her, but the hairs on her body rose. Nerve ends tingled. Christopher leaned in. âAbsolutely.â
What was she asking? She knew full well they werenât talking about work anymore, but she couldnât stop herself. Her body had taken over her mind and all it wanted was for Christopher to come closer. She craved to see him bring out his humanity in the most carnal way possible.
âIâm not sure youâre ready.â
Christopher grinned. His gaze held a warning which she should have heeded because the moment his lips touched hers, she knew she was lost. Burying his hand into her hair, he slanted his head and dove into her mouth. Like a flower urgently seeking sunshine, she opened up to him. His groan reverberated through her and she arched against him. His minty taste swept over her, taking her by surprise. Holding her firmly, he devoured her like a man starved of nourishment. Each stroke of his tongue drew her further away from reality, into a bubble where only they existed. Desperate to find something to hold on to, to keep her grounded, Samantha fisted his shirt.
It didnât help. The world vanished, leaving only him behind. His essence. His strength. The heat of his passion, which she frantically desired.
The train lurched to a stop and they stumbled, breaking apart. Gasping for air, Samantha stared at Christopher. His eyes had deepened to an indigo blue and he had a wildness to him that spoke of danger and unyielding hunger. For her? She swallowed. She had to stop this now. Before it got too far. It was one thing to flirt with him so he would smile, and another one entirely different to kiss on a train full of people.
People shoved their way out of the wagon, drawing them close again. Christopher wrapped her in his arms. His scent flooded her and for an instant, she shut her eyes and pretended the sound against her ear wasnât her own heart thrashing, but his, beating.
But it wasnât. The knowledge chilled her to the bones. Christopher wasnât really alive. He spoke and he moved but his heart was dead. How did he even exist?
The piercing whistle of the shutting doors signaled the trainâs departure. Christopher tilted her chin.
âAre you all right?â
Samantha sucked in her cheeks.
âChristopher, we canât do this,â she said.
âBy this, I imagine youâre talking about the kiss?
âWhy not, Samantha?â
He stroked her bottom lip with his thumb, leaving a tingling trail which echoed in other parts of her body. Damn it all if she didnât want to nip his finger and tease him. She yearned to kiss him again, to feel his unpredictable heat against her.
âI donât see the problem. Weâre both adults and weâre attracted to each other,â he continued.
Youâre not alive.
âWe need to work together. Things could get complicated,â she said instead.
Christopher cupped her cheek. His eyes narrowed and he set his jaw. âComplicated?â
âWe work together,â she repeated.
Wanting you scares me. Itâs unnatural.
Christopher raised his eyebrows.
âI see.â He disentangled himself from her. Samantha shivered and fought the urge to wrap her arms around herself. Christopher smirked. He knew.
âIâll respect your wishes, Samantha. For now. But, just remember, doll, Iâm an animal of prey. What I want, I hunt down and get. Iâve lived long enough to know I want you,
Samantha, and a night of hot, passionate sex wonât make things, as you put it, complicated.â The train started to slow again. Their stop was next. Christopher leaned in. âSooner or later, doll, I will have you.â
About Elyzabeth M. VaLey
When she's not writing, she can be found walking in the Spanish countryside with her black Lab, exploring castles, or enjoying some tapas with her friends.