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Tingle All The Way
Magic Moments, Book 2
by Mackenzie McKade

Ellora’s Cave

eBook ISBN: 978-1-41993-837-5

High-profile attorney Kayla Jones thinks she just might be losing her mind when Hector, a mischievous wood faery, appears before her. Are the martinis to blame? Or has her loneliness pushed her over the edge? And if her subconscious must create an imaginary man for the holidays, why can’t it be the good-looking prosecutor who visits her nightly dreams?

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Chapter One

A nervous giggle burst from Kayla Jones’ pinched mouth. A three-inch man was balancing atop the rim of her glass as if he stood on a tightrope. She wasn’t sure if she was certifiably insane or she’d had one too many martinis. Fortunately, dim lights and a corner booth in the back of O’Malley’s Pub made the little spectacle hers alone to view.
A misstep and his body swayed, his arms flailing, releasing the scent of pine and something earthy, possibly fresh-turned soil. When the rugged-looking mirage regained his equilibrium, he proudly swiped his hand before him and dipped at the waist, bowing low.
Oh, thank God. If he had fallen in her drink, the toothpick speared through a green olive would have stabbed the little fellow right in the ass. That’s all she needed—shish- kebabbed faery.
Faery?
“This is ridiculousss.” For heaven’s sakes, she was an attorney, a logical woman. Well, up until now. “Am I so pitiful I have to conjure an invisible playmate?”
And she couldn’t even do that right.
Instead of the dark-haired prosecutor she dreamed of every night, the one that made her tingle inside every time she saw him, she stared at a faery with dark skin, translucent wings, tights and a vest made from tree bark. If she had to wager a guess, she would have to use a microscope to see his penis.
No. This little guy didn’t exactly have the makings of a wet dream.
With a huff of self-disgust, she glanced around the bar. Laughter resounded. Glasses held high toasted the coming of Christmas only two days away.
And to make matters worse, her nightly dream man sat at the bar sipping a beer. Barry Allred. Alongside him on a stool sat another gorgeous man, but where Barry had dark hair, the other was blond. Pity she couldn’t be wedged between them.
A sound brought her attention back to the scarred wooden table where a live, two- feet-high Christmas tree decorated with colorful bulbs and battery-operated lights twinkled softly. She released a heavy sigh. Why had she brought the thing into the bar? Maybe because it was the only gift she’d receive this holiday. The tree was from Joan, who gave it to her when she discovered Kayla didn’t have a real Christmas tree at home. The light scent of pine rose above the blend of cigarette smoke, liquor and an assortment of perfumes and cologne.
Kayla didn’t dare tell Joan she was spending the holidays alone. Her administrative assistant was a fixer-upper. In a heartbeat, an invitation to join her and Timothy, her new husband, would be on Kayla’s desk.
No. She wouldn’t do that to the newlyweds.
The tender moments she had glimpsed between the couple at the office had only made the heavy sensation in Kayla’s chest deepen, exposing her own vulnerability—her own need to be wanted, loved—especially during the holidays.
“Bah humbug,” Kayla mumbled before pinning a scowl on the imaginary faery gliding around her glass as if he were ice-skating. Drawing to a halt, he returned her sour expression with a teeny-tiny grin that was all teeth.
Through tired, bloodshot eyes she took another fuzzy look, narrowed her gaze and then pulled a face. “I don’t need anyone.”
The apparition raised a brow as if he secretly knew she was lying.
Her position as a high-profile attorney didn’t allow room for a personal life. Not to mention, professional women tended to be too much to handle for the average Joe. It probably didn’t help that she was five-ten and a mean kickboxer.
She could literally kick most any man’s ass inside and outside of court.
A disgruntled puff of air escaped her and blew back a lock of hair that had dared to come free from her tightly wound bun and fall before her eyes. When the golden strand returned to its annoying place, she mumbled, “Yeah, yeah. That old adage that blondes have more fun is wrong—dead wrong.”
Then again it had been a successful day. “That went straight to hell,” she added to herself. Kayla had won her white-collar case in court. “The Ice Queen always wins.” She chuckled at the name her officemates gave her. But the truth was, it hurt.
Kayla hiccupped. Her elbow slipped off the table and she jerked, righting herself.
“If I’m ssso damn successful,” she slurred, “why am I here at O’Malley’s drowning my sorrows in enough gin and vermouth to sink a battleship?” She directed her question to the faery.
He shrugged, raising his wings and stretching them wide. A whiff of dark green faery dust fell from their folds.
“Exactly.” She leaned forward and widened her eyes. “Like you would know the answer.” Her imaginary friend might not, but she did. It was due to the comments she overheard when she stopped before the door of the break room. She closed her eyes remembering the cruel things her colleagues had said.
Dan Sutter, a junior lawyer, leaned against the doorjamb. “The Ice Queen won again.”
“Heard that.” Tom Davis from Finance slurped his coffee.
“Too bad she never takes that stick out of her ass.” Dan chuckled.
Tom joined him. A couple more jokes followed about her bottom half and what they’d like to do to it.
“She’d probably freeze your dick off,” Dan teased.
Crushed, Kayla had turned and walked away, the mood for coffee lost somewhere between wanting to do Dan and Tom physical harm and hauling their asses to Personnel.
But what good would it do?
The good ol’ boys’ network was alive and well at Buckman and Chase.
And then, as if it couldn’t get any worse, she’d dropped in the chair behind her desk just as Joan had waltzed in.
“Ready for the Christmas party?”
Oh, hell no.
One look at Dan and Tom and she’d probably bitch-slap the bastards. And the last place she wanted to spend Christmas was behind bars or before a judge defending herself. Of course that was one way to avoid spending the holidays alone.
With a couple of commands, Kayla had shut down her computer. “I’m meeting a client later tonight.” A bald-faced lie. With a push of a finger and a yank, she’d dislodged her laptop. “I won’t have time for the party, but tell everyone Merry Christmas.” After cramming the computer into her satchel, she knew she had to get out of there.
“But it’s a time to spend with friends and family,” Joan argued.
Kayla gave her administrative assistant a sincere hug. Before the woman could say anything else, she hauled her ass to O’Malley’s, opting to get shit-faced, alone.
So here she sat. But she wasn’t exactly alone.
Eyelids rising, moisture clouded her vision as she stared at her apparition. “I have no one.”
Pity parties were usually a waste of time, but there was something about alcohol that made her forget herself. So what if her parents had abandoned her at an early age? An elderly aunt had raised her, giving Kayla what she could financially and emotionally, although something had been missing. Then two years ago her aunt had passed away, leaving Kayla thoroughly alone.
She was always alone these days.
Well, if she didn’t count her newly acquired friend. Small legs crossed at the ankle, feet clad in slippers sharpened to roach-killer points gave a little kick, drawing her attention.
The only thing Kayla had now was determination and a level head. Scholarships had put her through Berkeley. Hard work and long hours had done the rest.
So she didn’t have a life outside of work.
When Kayla was younger she told herself there would be plenty of time later for a husband and family, but later never came. There was always just too much to do. Now she was pushing thirty, and any hopes of marriage and children were slipping as fast as time marched across her face.
“Well, screw it,” she mumbled, talking to the faery before her. Who, she added to herself, didn’t exist.
Staring at him, she blinked hard.
Damn, if the finger-size fellow didn’t look real. She cocked her head. Not a bad- looking sort if you liked the rugged type. Of course, she did have that beer-goggles phenomenon going on, or would it be martini goggles in this case? Hadn’t she read that alcohol stimulated the part of the human brain used to determine facial attractiveness, the nucleus accumbens? Or had it been so long since she actually slept with a man that even a three-inch imaginary one looked good come closing time?
Remembering her prior thought about his microscopic penis, she snorted, laughing out loud.
One thing she knew for sure, the dark-brown tights and pointed slippers had to go. As well as the bark vest embroidered with wilted leaves and vines.
What the hell was he shooting for—the destitute elf look?
As she leaned closer for a better view, his chest puffed up, a cocky grin sliding across his face. Bright white teeth sparkled against his Latino skin tone.
¿Cómo te llamas?” she slurred. “What’s your name” was practically the only Spanish she remembered from school—that and a few other worthless sentences. The firm of Buckman and Chase provided her with an interpreter when she needed one.
“Hector,” he replied. His mischievous grin deepened.
“Holy shit! Now I’m not only seeing things, but I’m hearing things too.”
He chuckled softly.
Well, enough was enough. The only thing stopping her from drinking the remaining contents of her glass was her imagination. And he hadn’t been invited to her pity party.
With a flick of her fingers, she sent the faery into the air.
“Hey,” he gasped, flailing his tiny arms and legs. His wings appeared at blurring speed. A stream of red faery dust trailed him, exploding into a cloud as he hit the back of the seat across the table and then slithered down and out of sight.
As he rose into the air, brushing off his backside, he glared at her. “Oh, baby, you’ll pay for that one.” Then he drove straight for her Christmas tree and vanished inside.
Kayla picked up the martini glass and down the remaining liquid. “Time to go home.”
The back of her bare legs stuck to the vinyl seat. With a rather uncomfortable tug, she slid out of the booth, stood, and eased her skirt down to its mid-thigh length. When she leaned down to pick up her briefcase, she stumbled and nearly fell.
Male laughter came from the Christmas tree. A smug look appeared on Hector’s face as he peeked out from between the branches.
In a huff, she narrowed her eyes on the specter. “Shut up, you-you…faery.” Big or small, men could be irritating. “You’re not going to ruin my evening.” With a teetering step, she spun around and walked away, weaving through the crowd, aiming for the bright-red exit sign.
From across the room, Barry watched the Ice Queen rise. Her curvy body swayed. Was she drunk? Who would have guessed that the prim and proper lawyer lady would be celebrating her win alone in a pub? Her skirt rose higher up her long, delectable legs as she reached to retrieve her briefcase. Balance off, she slipped.
He jumped up from his barstool, stopping as she grasped the table.
“You okay, Barry?” Stan Keller’s gaze followed Barry’s as Miss Jones steadied herself. “Nice.” Male appreciation was clear in his friend’s voice.
“I know.” Barry released a discouraged breath. “For a moment I thought I’d actually get the opportunity to hold her in my arms, even if only to pick her ass up off the floor.”
“Oh.” A note of interest rose as Stan pushed out of his chair. “Who is she?”
“An attorney for Buckman and Chase. Not only is she good-looking, she’s intelligent and knows her way around a courtroom.”
Would she also know her way around a man’s body?
“Guys at her office call her the Ice Queen,” Barry continued. Her chill had always left him in an aroused state. Maybe the adage about wanting something you couldn’t have referred to him in this case, because this woman outclassed him to where it wasn’t funny.
“Hmmm…”
Barry knew what Stan’s hmmm meant. Game time.
They had fought over and shared many women. It was a competition they’d played since college. But more recently his position, as well as Stan’s as a broker, had led them down different paths.
“She’s out of our league, buddy. Kayla Jones is a look-don’t-touch kind of woman. In fact, she kicked my ass today in court.”
If Barry were an insecure man, he might have let it affect his ego. Instead he admired her. She was a damn good attorney and the kind of woman that made a man long to control, especially in the bedroom.
Just the thought of having her bending to his desires, serving his lustful needs, sent his blood pressure skyrocketing. When his cock jerked in agreement, he had to admit that maybe it wasn’t his blood pressure that rose to the occasion. Hell. Barry was always in an aroused state when he was around her. Even the starched, conservative business suits she wore couldn’t hide her femininity. Many nights he lay in his bed and mentally peeled one layer and then the next from her tall, statuesque frame.
In reality he’d given himself more hand jobs since he met her than when he was a boy hiding beneath the covers at night. Truthfully, every woman he bedded had Kayla’s face. As their legs slipped around his waist, he pretended they were her long, shapely ones surrounding him.
The woman haunted his thoughts too. Yeah. He had it bad for her.
“They’re usually the most fun to break and whip into shape.” Stan playfully waggled his brows.
His friend had an amazing collection of whips and floggers, and he knew how to use them.
As they watched Kayla, wrinkles furrowed her forehead. She glared at the small Christmas tree atop her table as if it were guilty for her near fall. She mumbled something that directed Barry’s attention to her full, luscious lips. What he’d give to have those beauties wrapped around his dick. He sucked a tight breath through clenched teeth. He’d fuck her mouth, then every other orifice.
It didn’t help his arousal when he noted the buttons of her silk blouse had come undone and the edge of her lacy bra showed, taunting him.
Stan chuckled, reaching for his beer. “She’s talking to herself, or singing.” He took a swig.
“She’s drunk.” Kayla swayed again to confirm Barry’s assessment. With a twist and a wobble, she started toward them.
Stan slapped him on the back. “Well, buddy, it looks like this is your opportunity to melt a little ice. She forgot her Christmas tree.”
As she passed them, heading for the exit, she began to sing, “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way.” Her ass swayed to the rhythm.
Without a second thought, Barry pulled a twenty out of his pocket and slammed it upon the bar. With a swipe of his hand, he grabbed his jacket off the barstool. “Later, bro.” He rushed over to where she had sat and picked up the Christmas tree, spinning around to make haste toward the exit.
“Good luck,” Stan yelled as Barry pushed open the door and departed.
The cool night air greeted him as he quickly scanned the parking lot. The Ice Queen was propped against her white Lexus trying to insert a key into the door lock. She hadn’t even tried the unlocking mechanism on the remote controller she held in her hand.
“Dammit,” she cursed.
No way would he allow her to get into her car and drive. Not in her current state.
“Miss Jones.” He walked to her side and stopped.
“Huh?” Kayla looked up briefly. Determination burned in her icy blue eyes before she continued to aim and miss the lock.
Like everything she did, she did it with passion. Yet if she continued down this road much longer, she’d have the whole door scratched.
Barry took a moment to study her. In court, she led the jury around by their emotions. With just a word she could make them cry or laugh. She was that good. Much better in court then she was putting a key in a small hole.
Barry stifled a laugh. “Would you like me to drive you home?”
Miss Jones glanced up glassy-eyed and released a puff of air that blew a tendril out of her face. A smile softened her features. She straightened. “Barry Allred.”
He nodded. “Yep. That’s me. Can I be of assistance?”
She dangled her key ring before her. “My key’s broke.”
“Sweetheart, it isn’t your key that’s broken.”
“Excuse me.” She stiffened.
“I think perhaps you’ve had one too many martinis.”
“R-ridiculoussss.” She hiccupped, quickly covering her mouth with her palm.
Damn. The woman was adorable.
Barry took several steps backward. “Let’s perform a little test. Walk a straight line to me. If you manage it, I’ll open your car for you. If you fail, you allow me to take you home.”
Miss Jones rolled her eyes toward the star-studded sky. Her shoulders squared. She beamed with confidence, until she took the first step and stumbled straight into his arms. He almost lost his grip on the Christmas tree and his jacket as he caught her with one arm. Slowly he drew her against his chest.
The smell of a light, powdery perfume sent his senses reeling. Barry felt the rapid beat of her heart, and the instant hard-on the woman gave him whenever he was in her presence made itself known.
Her tongue slid between parted lips. “Perhaps I did have one too many.” She blinked, completely unaware of the chaos she was creating inside him.
“One?” This time he did laugh. “Baby, you’re plastered.”
Bright eyes met his. “Maybe you should take me home.”
Continuing to hold her close, he refused to release her—at least not yet. He’d dreamed of this moment too many times. “Your place or mine?” he laughed jokingly. That’s when she passed out in his arms. “Shit. What am I supposed to do now?”
Briefly leaning down to set the Christmas tree on the ground, he heaved her into his arms. As he walked toward his vehicle, he awkwardly reached in his pant pocket and retrieved his keys, giving his remote control a push to unlock the doors. The lights to his Bimmer burst across the parking lot and he headed straight for it.
Gently he stood Miss Jones on her feet, using his body to prop her up against the car. Opening the door, he carefully slid her inside, tossing his jacket in the backseat. The scent of leather upholstery blended with her powdery essence.
Moving quickly around the car, he heard someone yell, “Hey, buddy, did you forget something?” and he screeched to a halt. The lights of the Christmas tree sitting by Kayla’s car flickered off and on before they began to twinkle steadily.
Barry looked about, but no one was in the parking lot. Then who spoke? Brushing off the question, he retraced his steps and gathered the tree in his arms. In mere seconds he was back in the car, engine started and wondering what the hell he was going to do now. It seemed as if his only choice was to take her to his house until she woke up.
He didn’t live far, the drive was only fifteen minutes. Before he knew it he was home and the Ice Queen lay atop his bed, still unconscious.

Buy Now:
Ellora’s CaveAReAmazon KindleNook

One Response to Tingle All The Way by Mackenzie McKade

  1. Hope you all enjoy!

    Mac

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