Nick (The Kringle Boys Book 1)

BOOK: Nick (The Kringle Boys Book 1)
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NICK (THE KRINGLE BOYS #1)

NICK (THE KRINGLE BOYS #1)

Copyright 2014 by Lily Rede

All Rights Reserved

First Kindle Edition, December 2014

 

WARNING: This work contains explicit depictions of couples engaged in consensual sex and sexual situations. If you’re under 18, read something else!

 

BRIGHT’S FERRY

Safe From the Dark

Safe From the Fire

Safe From the Storm (Winter 2015)

Safe From the Wild (Spring 2015)

 

HEARTS OF STONE

Ensnared (Spring 2015)

Shadow of the Raven (Spring 2015)

The Shattered Balance (Spring 2015)

 

THE KRINGLES

Holly (The Kringle Girls #1) –
Short

Ivy (The Kringle Girls #2) –
Short

Noelle (The Kringle Girls #3) –
Short

The Kringle Girls –
Anthology

Nick (The Kringle Boys #1) –
Novella

 

NOVELS

More Than A Night

 

ADDITIONAL SHORTS AVAILABLE AS SINGLE TITLES

Build Me Up

Hot for Joe

My Fair Hex

Passion & Pumpkins

Pour On the Heat

Teach Me Tonight #1 – Playing Hooky

Teach Me Tonight #2 – Making the Grade

Teach Me Tonight #3 – “A” For Effort

 

ANTHOLOGIES

Bewitch Me – A Halloween Collection

Hot & Sweet – Beginnings

 

 

Email Lily at
[email protected]

Twitter: @RedeLily

Blog: lilyrede.wordpress.com

Chapter One

 

BAH HUMBUG
, THOUGHT NICK Kringle as he leaned on the railing, looking down on the merry party underway on the factory floor.

Christmas was still two weeks away, but the season was in full swing, and though Nick knew that throwing the candy factory workers the mother of all Christmas parties was not only expected, but also the nice thing to do, he resented it with every fiber of his being. Part of the problem was that he knew what was riding on getting their orders, regular and magical, out the door on time. The other part of the problem was that Nick Kringle hated Christmas.

He hated the cheer, he hated all the happy laughter and joyous reunions of family and friends.

He hated wrapping paper and ribbons and pine trees and twinkly lights.

And eggnog.

Especially fucking eggnog.

The whole holiday baffled him, though Nick had to admit, as he looked down on the workers whirling tipsily around the makeshift dance floor and catching each other under the mistletoe, that he might be biased. He’d been taught from an early age that a cheery smile meant someone was hiding something, friends were likely to stab you in the back, and Christmas was a dark day on the calendar, to be endured instead of celebrated. Growing up, Nick and his brothers had quickly learned to detest the holidays. Not surprising, given that their father was Jack Frost.

Yes,
that
Jack Frost.

Nick had vague memories of childhood Christmases, when his flighty elven mother would take the three boys to visit their Kringle cousins. She was one of Mrs. Claus’ sisters, and Nick remembered romping with the Kringle girls along with his brothers, Ethan and Jake. But that was centuries ago. Kringles aged differently than mortals, and those warm memories had mostly disappeared, trampled under decades of bitterness and resentment as the three brothers grew up in the drafty halls of Frost Castle. After a final, monumental fight with their coldhearted, scheming father, Nick’s mother had been banished to another realm, forced to leave her young sons behind. Nick and his brothers had been too little to understand it, but since that moment, their lives had been shaped by Jack Frost’s chilly ideology, and they’d grown up cold, calculating, and emotionally stunted.

Frost’s plan was clear – he was grooming his sons to join the family business, working to destroy Christmas and all that it stood for. On paper, it all sounded looked good, clearly villainous and icy-hearted. Unfortunately for Jack, his sons had taken after their parents in more ways than one.

Ethan, the eldest, was the most likely candidate to step into their father's chilly shoes. Calculating, brilliant, and emotionless, Ethan had a head for business and didn't get discouraged by the trifling little setbacks along the path toward world domination. However, in an ironic twist that infuriated the Master Icicle-Maker, Ethan had also inherited a conscience, a sense of fair play. That unwillingness to break the rules, the need to win fair and square – and not stab an opponent in the back – was a serious blow to Frost's grand scheme.

Jake was the youngest, and Ethan's polar opposite. Fun-loving, mischief-making, and flighty as a snowflake, he had his father's ability to live in the moment, but couldn't be trusted with money, power, or any degree of serious magic. He'd been sowing his wild oats for the last hundred years or so, and the few times Nick had been forced to seek him out, he was usually in the company of a harem of voluptuous snow nymphs or living it up in the seedier magical clubs of the world's major cities.

This left Nick as his father's last chance at grooming an heir to take over his chilly empire someday. Too bad Nick wanted nothing to do with it. He gripped the railing, white-knuckled, watching a group of drunken workers attempt a round of "Deck the Halls," and remembering the last tumultuous argument he'd had with his father. He didn't want to ruin Christmas, Nick explained, he didn't want to spread sadness and squash mirth, he just wanted to be left alone.

Nick had no interest in squeezing the life out of the holiday or bringing misery to millions - he just didn't care one way or the other. His entire adult life, he'd been looking for a way to step out from his father's shadow, to live an ordinary, unimportant life of quiet, chilly, peaceful solitude away from the world. But no. He'd been dragged into scheme after scheme for centuries, always the sidekick, always being forced to inflict distress on perfectly well-meaning humans and elves.

It was such a waste of time.

Nick thought longingly of following in his brother's footsteps - he should have taken off with Jake when he had the chance. Right now, he could be balls deep in more-than-willing snow nymph pussy in the heart of Siberia, without a care in the world. Instead, he'd been too chicken shit to go through with it. When the situation finally came to a head, Nick blew up, and the walls of Frost Castle had trembled with Jack Frost's fury and dark magic. Recklessly, Nick had declared himself independent - he didn't need his family, his birthright, or his magic. And so Jack Frost had cast him out.

No money.

No brothers.

No magic.

He'd been dropped in an alley in New York with just the clothes on his back.

Two weeks of living homeless and magic-less was enough to convince Nick that he may have made a serious mistake. Cold, hungry, struggling to deal with the loss of his magic, and generally miserable, he'd finally uncovered the hidden North Pole portal on the other side of Central Park. There were wards on it, of course, to protect against dark magic. Luckily, Nick was no longer infused with dark magic, and he'd always been handy at mixing things. A half-hour of heavy petting with a cute and un-choosy witch at a local magical dive bar got him the ingredients for an unlocking potion that he mixed in a discarded bucket in a back alley, fingers frozen to the bone. The wards dissolved like melted butter, and the next morning Nick was stumbling through the portal, feeling something tight cracking in his frozen chest as the cheery lights of North Pole Village came into view.

He didn't remember much after that. He'd collapsed into the snow as a horde of small elves bounced over to investigate, along with a beautiful young woman with elven ears and pink streaked hair. Her face triggered a memory...

"Merry," murmured Nick, and passed out.

It was an odd feeling to be taken care of. Since his mother's banishment, Nick and his brothers had never really known warmth, and Jack Frost had done the bare minimum to ensure his sons' survival inside the fortress-like walls of Frost Castle. Given that the brothers were practically immortal, the bare minimum was very little indeed. So it felt strange to be coddled and pampered by his Aunt Kringle, cousin Merry, and her boyfriend Ben – a solid, muscled handyman who hovered over Merry, watching Nick suspiciously. Weakened, Nick was grateful that he and Merry were blood relations - he worried what Ben might do if he thought there was any interest between him and his beautiful, exotic cousin.

The Kringles drowned Nick in kindness and understanding, and even Santa, whom Nick had been named after, hmphed and tsked over Jack Frost's treatment of his son. Nick felt humbled and resentful that he'd become a charity case to his relatives, but when Santa offered him a job, he simply didn't have it in him to turn it down.

Just for the season,
he assured himself, long enough to figure out a plan to get back to the chilly solitude and isolation from the world that he preferred.

Maybe Alaska. Or Greenland.

And now, six weeks later, Nick was throwing a Christmas party for his factory workers, just before the start of the last big Christmas rush. Though part of him wanted to just walk out into the cold and leave it all behind, another part of him was anxious. The part of him that
cared
what Santa thought of him, that cared about doing a good job and proving that he was more than just the son of a troublemaker everyone expected.

Nick wasn’t sure he liked the feeling. Not at all.

He glanced at his watch for the fiftieth time in the last hour.

She was late.

Nick could feel his hackles rising as he thought about the new Candy Manager Santa had hired to supervise him in the wake of the latest incidents.

Babysit me
, he thought darkly.

Sure, the factory had had some odd accidents in the past few weeks – salt instead of sugar in the fudge boiler, and that time the jawbreaker mix somehow wound up in the taffy line – but Nick had it under control. He didn’t need some nosy supervisor poking around in his business, making it look like he was incapable of handling the factory.

Especially not an
elf.

 

PHOEBE WINTERS pulled her coat more tightly around herself as she squeezed her way down the crowded sidewalk. The city was alive with evening shoppers and commuters hurrying home from work. Phoebe knew she was late, but she’d only been living in the human realm for a week, and even though she was half human herself, she still hadn’t gotten used to all the strange technology these poor, magic-less creatures used to get around. But she’d begged Santa for this job, and was determined to do a good job and live like a mortal if it killed her. She reminded herself that the move was necessary, and if the humans could get used to dishwashers and remote controls and central heating, so could she.

One more block.

Phoebe steeled herself for the hundredth time, knowing that in a few minutes, she’d face the ultimate test – a factory full of sweet, glittering, mouthwatering
sugar.
She shuddered, just thinking about it.

It’s a good thing I don’t
do
sugar anymore,
she reminded herself primly.

But
oh
, how she wanted to.

Sugar was a staple of every elf diet. It sustained them, it brought comfort and emotional contentment and boosted their magical powers if made correctly, which was why Santa’s Manhattan candy factory was so crucial – it provided all of the magical elf candy needed to sustain the elves through the grueling Christmas season, as well as the wildly popular normal North Pole brand that regularly sold out around the world.

But Phoebe had gone cold turkey.

She had to. Because sugar had an unfortunate effect on Phoebe. Ever since she’d reached maturity, candy did more than comfort and support her magic.

It turned her on.

She heated, just thinking of it, and squashed down the hot tingle of arousal that raced down her spine. Her elven friends didn’t understand, and she didn’t dare confide in her family. She finally couldn’t take it anymore, and her only choice was to get out.

When Phoebe had begged Santa for a job away from North Pole Village, she had hoped he’d send her somewhere where her organizational skills would be put to good use, away from the piles of temptation that called to her from every corner of the elf kingdom. The job was her chance to prove herself to Santa and finally kick her embarrassing addiction.

A candy factory
.

She should have said no, but it was a management position, and her family was so proud. Santa had no way of knowing that sending her here was the equivalent of pumping her full of aphrodisiacs, and Phoebe wasn’t about to share that juicy little tidbit. She’d just have to make the best of it and keep her naughty little condition under control. And if she did a good job here, maybe she could transition to something less…sweet…like working with Ivy Kringle in the PR department.

She could handle one holiday season. She’d handled it her entire adult life.

Phoebe took a deep breath and stopped in front of the door marked NORTH POLE CANDYWORKS. All she had to do was tour the facility, play nice with the new factory manager Santa had hired, and get out. She frowned, thinking about Nick Kringle.

He was Jack Frost’s
son
.

Even without his magic, he was the stuff of dangerous legend.

He was on the Naughty List.

Everything in Phoebe’s half-elf blood went cold at the very thought. But Nick had taken his mother’s name, and maybe that meant he was ready to mend his chilly ways.

I doubt it,
thought Phoebe cynically.

She had a sneaking suspicion that Santa had hired her not just to make sure the rest of the season ran smoothly, but also to keep an eye on his unpredictable nephew. Phoebe wasn’t about to let him down.

Phoebe pushed the door open and the wave of peppermint, sugar, and cake-scented air nearly brought her to her knees. Her mouth went dry, her clit pulsing.

Be strong, Phoebe.

 

NICK FIDDLED ANXIOUSLY WITH the knobs on the giant, pulsing copper kettle as gummy pink ooze slowly made its way down the sides and across the floor. Spokes, an ancient elf about two feet tall, watched placidly while chewing on a candy cane. The thumping music from the party down the hall was muffled. Cursing, Nick yanked a nearby lever.

“Tried that,” said Spokes.

Nick glared at him.

“Is there anything you haven’t tried?” he asked, trying to keep his temper.

Spokes chewed thoughtfully.

“Haven’t tried unplugging it.”

“Seriously?”

BOOK: Nick (The Kringle Boys Book 1)
9.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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