Hello, all! It's been a while since my last #TeaserTuesday. My deadlines have been a wee bit crazy, but I'm hoping to get back on track. Here we have a snippet from Courage and the King, the final book in the North Pole City Tales series which features Dasher, and the imposing King of Frost-Eirik Frost. This is due for release in December of this year. Enjoy!
Rudy joined his Rein Dear brethren, and there were hugs all around. He laughed as he faced Dasher. “That was quite some flying. What in Kringle creation were you doing?”
“I wasn’t doing anything! It was your blasted beau.”
Jack joined Rudy at his side, his frown deep. “Me? What on earth are you blabbering on about?”
“You were toying with my biplane,” Dasher accused, poking Jack in the chest.
Oh, but this was far more entertaining than Eirik expected. No one ruffled Jack’s feathers like Dasher. Eirik remained just outside the grand archway as Dasher followed Jack up the main stone stairway, heading in his direction, so absorbed by his grievance with Jack that he hadn’t noticed Eirik. Dasher always noticed Eirik.
“I did no such thing,” Jack insisted.
“As if I’d believe you.”
“When have I ever held my tongue where you’re concerned?”
“Point taken, but if it wasn’t you, who was it?” Dasher reached the top step just as he said the words. He wasn’t paying attention to where he was going, and came to a halt mere inches away from Eirik. Heads in the clouds these Christmas elves. It was a wonder they didn’t float away. Dasher’s mouth hung open and Eirik tapped his fingers under the elf’s chin to aid him in closing it.
“You look like a fish,” Eirik muttered, ignoring the way Dasher’s full lips spread into a wide smile that reached his ocean blue eyes. Not that Eirik paid attention to that sort of thing. They were simply hard to miss against such fair skin. As was the pink that came into his cheeks. Dasher seemed happy to see Eirik. What a strange little elf.
After that nasty ordeal with Cupid’s brother Gunne, where Cupid had come to Eirik for help in reuniting Jack and Rudy, Eirik had warned Dasher to stay away. Dasher’s words to him that day burrowed deep beneath Eirik’s skin, forcing him to feel emotions he’d long buried. They haunted him.
“Your heart still beats, your majesty. You’re simply afraid to let it beat for someone else.”
The audacity of the elf! To presume he knew Eirik, or his fears. That for a moment he understood what Eirik felt his in his heart.
“Hi,” Dasher said softly.
Eirik arched an eyebrow. Dasher seemed to have lost all thought function until someone cleared their throat. Snapping himself out of whatever trance he appeared to have been in, Dasher quickly bowed.
“I see you still have quite the ways to go on those manners.” Eirik turned to head back inside. Much to his irritation, Dasher scurried up beside him.
“Maybe you can teach me?”
“Perhaps instead we could test your cold threshold.”
Dasher chuckled. “Admit it, you missed me.”
Eirik let out a snort of disgust. The elf was delusional. He came to a halt, his frown deep as he looked down his nose at Dasher. “Why are you following me?”
“Why are you allowing it?” Dasher’s smile was wicked.
The Christmas elf posed a good question. Why was he allowing it? “My purpose here is to support my son, and help him celebrate his marriage. I will not permit anyone to cause him, or his groom-to-be any grief. Consider yourself very fortunate.”
Dasher bowed gracefully. “You are most magnanimous, Your Majesty.”
Oh, for Kringle’s sake! The elf was absolutely hopeless.
“Dasher!” Cupid called out from several feet away. “Our rooms are this way!”
“Coming!” Dasher turned back to Eirik, his smile still in place. He bowed before Eirik once more. “Until we meet again, Your Majesty.” When he straightened, he placed his hand over his heart. “I will keep you in my thoughts.”
Eirik rolled his eyes, and Dasher darted off.
The toy soldiers accompanied the Rein Dear, helping them with their vast number of trunks and belongings while several palace staff escorted them to the royal wing where the bedchambers assigned to the Rein Dears were located. Their laughter and chatter reverberated through the halls.
Malachi stood beside Eirik, his gaze on Dasher. “Persistent, isn’t he?”
Was that amusement he saw in his brother’s eyes?
“Exasperating is what he is,” Eirik grumbled, as he observed the spectacle before him. “Good Goddess, it’s as if they’re moving in. How can creatures so small have so much luggage?”
Malachi chuckled. “Says the winter spirit with his own caravan.”
Copyright © 2017 Charlie Cochet. North Pole City Tales published by Dreamspinner Press.