It’s not always easy to leap into a scene and make you laugh. Great humour, like great sex, involves a lot of foreplay. It’s not simply the punch line that makes it funny.
But let’s try anyway. I’m going to hit you with a sneak peek snippet from my upcoming Carina release, Tangled Tinsel, available December 6th. Enjoy, and then hit the other Snippet participants for more opportunities to make you smile.
Shopping was domestic and non-exciting and…he loved every minute of it. At least until he had to make a pit stop. The restroom doors were wrapped in shiny paper and ribbons, with the words “Elves” and “Pixies” to choose from. He actually had to peek in to discover which one had the urinals.
When he finally returned to where he’d left El, she wasn’t alone.
She was nose to nose with a hulking dark-skinned giant. Loosely congregated around them, a half dozen other shaggy-haired men casually loitered, and Kyle increased his pace, ducking through the milling crowds. The scent on the air screamed wolf.
Then the giant grabbed El and planted his lips on hers, and Kyle’s vision got a trifle hazy. He snarled out a warning and the path cleared, humans between him and his prey falling aside like fir trees in a Christmas tree lot in November. One of the pack stepped in his way, and he simply pressed the man to the floor with a hand, using his forward momentum to fly over top of a display unit and tackle the guy mauling El to the ground. Unfortunately, that meant El went as well, but Kyle twisted them as they fell, ensuring the lupine ended up on the bottom. A rattling gasp escaped the wolf as the full weight of their two bodies slammed into him hard.
El threw out a hand toward the rest of the pack that instantly surrounded them. “Wait. Don’t do anything stupid. Sam is fine. No need to rip out any throats.” She peeled herself off the pile of bodies and scrambled to her feet. The next thing he knew she smacked his shoulder. Hard.
“Kyle, what the hell are you doing?”
Kyle thought for a moment. “Is this some kind of a trick question? Christmas shopping.” Her gaze narrowed and she knelt beside him, pointing to his hand. Kyle gasped in mock surprise. “My goodness, what am I doing?”
The wolf’s eyes bulged, the whites showing red-tinged. Kyle had his hand wrapped around the shifter’s throat, pinning him effortlessly to the ground. Of course, part of the effortlessness was because Kyle still sat on the beast, all his weight centered directly over the wolf’s gut. Any energy his target had went into breathing and not into trying to escape.
Sudden pain gripped Kyle. He meekly let his quarry free, attempting to stay as close as possible to El and the death grip she had on his ear. She tugged again, peeling him off the wolf, who instantly rolled to this belly and dragged in a huge gasp of air.
El yanked one last time to get Kyle to face her before releasing his aching ear.
“What happened to staying quiet as a kitten? You dumb-ass,” she hissed at him sotto voce.
“He was touching you.” The words leapt from his lips before his brain engaged.
She rolled her eyes and buried her fingers in her hair, tugging the locks into an unruly mess. “Great. More macho shit, just what we needed.” She leaned closer. “You will not say another word while I try to fix this, got it?”
He batted his eyes innocently and then folded in two to cradle his belly. Fuck, her right hook was getting stronger, and she was deadly accurate when it came to hitting his solar plexus. “Got it,” he squeezed out.
El stepped around him. “Hey, Samuel, sorry about that. My friend’s a little shaky from all the sugar—you know, cats on a holiday high and all that.”
The wolf had gotten to his feet and now glared in Kyle’s direction. “Sure. We’ll accept that as an excuse this time.” The rest of his boys circled in behind him. “I’m serious, El, it’s good to see you again. You’re looking mighty fine.”
You’re looking mighty fine. Blah, blah, blah. The “I want to get into your pants” tone of the wolf’s voice was all too familiar. Kyle had used it too many times himself not to recognize it.
El folded her arms in front of her. “Thanks, but like I said before, I don’t think you should be kissing me. We’re not a couple anymore.”
“We could be,” Samuel growled, his voice low and dripping with intention. Kyle’s fingers itched to return to the man’s neck. His own grumble of dissatisfaction escaped, and El butted him with her hip.
“But we’re not. And haven’t been for a long time.” She raised her gaze and nodded to the rest of them. “Hey, guys. How’s it going? Y’all coming out to the party this weekend?”
A pack of animated wolves in a toy store was a scary sight. Grown men though they were, they almost vibrated with excitement. “You bet, Eloise,” one piped up. “Your family makes the best damn hooch—”
An elbow in the ribs cut him short. “Ix-nay on the ooch-hay in ublic-pay”
The rumble of voices as the pack chatted excitedly at El smeared together into white noise. Kyle had his eyes locked on the leader, Samuel, and the man was equally focused on him. The wolf’s gaze darted between him and El, suspicion and jealousy on his face. Kyle snuck out a hand to cup her waist, just to yank the other guy’s chain. El didn’t even realize that as she spoke, she settled unconsciously against Kyle’s body, her long frame nestled intimately close.
Samuel looked as if Kyle had stolen his favorite bone.
Kyle wondered for a second what the freak was going on. He wasn’t supposed to feel protective toward El. Cats didn’t. Not this cat anyway. Prowl, howl and get the hell out—that had always been his motto when it came to relationships. But somewhere along the long bike ride to the land of endless Christmas carols, he seemed to have lost his mind.
He was dragged from his internal debating by El’s firm grip, and brought back into the December sunshine, his arms piled high with bags from their purchases. He glanced around to spot the wolves, but they were long gone.
“What am I supposed to do with you?” El shook her head in disappointment.
“I have a few suggestions—”
She stomped on his foot. “Don’t even start with me, bucko. It was bad enough I had to issue a personal invitation to Ranger Bob and his posse to the Christmas party to make sure things didn’t get out of hand after your little display of uber Alphahood. Don’t push your luck.”
Christmas party. He’d heard those words an awful lot lately, yet only now did they register. “Christmas party?”
She piled the bags from his arms into the back of the truck they’d borrowed to come to town. “Party. As in the yearly Scotts’ booze-it-up-and-get-down Christmas bash. It’s a tradition around here. The whole town is usually invited.” She tossed him the keys and he couldn’t stop the grin that burst to his face. “I can hardly wait to find out how nicely in control you’re going to be at that event.”
And here you go for more fun and frolics…
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