No one remembered poor Jack Frost anymore.
Grumbling under his breath, he contemplated getting another drink, this time with way more vodka. But a peculiar arrival caught his attention.
The door opened with a loud creak, startling the patrons inside. Snowy gusts blew in, a touch of nippy frost, as a slender man staggered in, clutching his cloak to his chest. He slammed the door closed and leaned against it, panting roughly.
Jack snorted. Not everyone who lived in the Winter Wasteland was accustomed to the ice, snow, and freezing colds. Most beings were but not everyone. The newcomer must have been of a different sort.
The man shoved aside his hood. Jack licked his lips as he stared at the lovely vision.
With flaming red hair pointing upward in long spikes, a swarm of amber-hued freckles on his cheeks, and hazel eyes that burned feverishly, the visitor was like a spark in the dark, visible even to a blind man. And Jack had both eyes open and fixed on the young man.
Wiping his brow, the man shuddered nervously, pushed off the door, and made his way deeper into the tavern. He avoided people’s gazes as he waded past the round wooden tables.
Jack quirked a smile. “Rudy, over here.”
The young man started at the sound of his name, and his gaze swept the room. When he spotted Jack sitting in the corner, his tense shoulders relaxed and a shy smile graced his full lips. He beelined to where Jack was and sat down in the chair opposite him, his back to the rest of the tavern and its patrons.
“Hi, Jack.” His melodious voice reminded Jack of ice music and how the howling winds caressed icy hollows and created thin, flute-like sounds that spoke of home. “Didn’t expect to see you here.”
Jack shrugged, downing the last bit of condensation from his glass, already thirsty for more. “Wanted a drink. You?”
Rudy slumped, his head tilted as if he planned on glancing over his shoulder but didn’t go through with it in the end. His voice had gone small. “It’s December. At long last. I can finally start showing my face around here again.”
Jack glowered at the occupants of nearby tables who all seemed to be staring at Rudy. “Fuck ’em. They’re not worth your time or heartache.”
Rudy chuckled for an instant but quickly quieted, hiding his smile behind his hand, as if he were embarrassed or scared. “Thanks. I…I appreciate that.”
Jack waved at the buxom waitress, a brunette sprite, nimble on her feet, but mischievous if left without thanks or pinched on the bum. “Another iced tea, lass, and make it a double this time. No, a triple. And be ample with the vodka. As for my guest here—”
“Let me guess.” The girl giggled, giving Rudy a naughty once-over, her hips and wings both swaying. “Irish coffee?”
Rudy swallowed hard and ducked his head, slipping further down in his chair, as if he were trying to vanish under the table. “Hot chocolate with marshmallows, please. Thank you.”
Jack growled at the waitress. “Hop to it, brownie baby, or I’ll freeze your tits off. Don’t think for a second I won’t.”
The sprite blinked at Jack’s words, then blushed, went serious, nodded firmly, and left.
Jack harrumphed, grimacing. “Damn all these elves, gnomes, goblins, brownies, sprites, hobs, imps, kobolds, trolls, and leprechauns to hell. They’ve no right to talk to you like that.”
Rudy straightened up, a relieved, bashful smile making a sunny appearance. “Thanks, Jack.” Then he glanced around, swift as a breeze, perhaps hoping no one would notice. “I’m so tired of all the jokes, you know. Poor Rudolph Hreinn, maybe he wouldn’t have such a shiny nose if he just laid off the sauce.”
Jack raised an eyebrow, studying the reindeer shifter before him. Rudy didn’t have a red nose, no redder than most all patrons at this here drinking establishment. He wasn’t an alcoholic. Rudy was, in fact, one of the kindest, most innocent creatures to ever grace the Winter Wasteland that lined the outskirts of the ancient realm, Yuleland. All the shit, both ridicule and scuffles, he got from the other reindeer was nothing short of bullying, mental abuse, and verbal violence.
As far as Jack was concerned, Rudy Hreinn was one of only a handful of people whose company he could tolerate, even like on occasion. There was no pretense in Rudy, no subterfuge, no cruelty, no mean spirit. He was sweet, and Jack valued that even when his heart was too cold to care for anyone.
“Have you talked with Santa Bear and his Kinky Bottom Elves?”
Rudy burst into giggles, again hiding the sounds and the expression behind his hand. “Stop. You’re…naughty, not nice. Santa will hear and—”
“And what? I won’t get any presents this Yule? Oh, poor me, how will I survive?” Jack rolled his eyes. “Pfft. Who cares?”
Rudy’s smile was sad. “I’d care.”
“You’d be the only one.” Jack scanned the tavern, the dim lanterns, the gloomy smoky interiors, clusters of tables, the big fireplaces, the bar at the far end of the place. The ambience was homey but it did nothing for him. “When they replace Christmas with Frostmas, like I’ve requested for centuries, maybe my mood will improve.”
Rudy’s hazel eyes lit up with amusement. “Write up a public petition, and I’ll sign.”
That was really nice. Jack wanted to smile but those gestures typically turned into grimaces, so he didn’t. “Stop. You’re giving me a tooth ache, you’re so sweet. And you ain’t the fucking Tooth Fairy.”
“I’m not that into sugar.” Rudy shrugged bashfully, his cheeks reddening. “I like bland tastes, like…ice and snow.” He bit his bottom lip, his whole face now flaming. His gaze aimed downward at the table, his nails scraping the surface absentmindedly, or nervously more like.
The bold words, stated with such insecurity and hesitation, stirred something inside Jack and his nether regions. It had been ages since he’d last scratched that itch. Not that it affected him often. Despite his powers, Jack wasn’t frigid. But for him, passion was mostly glacial.
And since his breath and touch were both practically arctic, it wasn’t easy to find a lover who could handle his chilly skin and wintry respiration and still retain either desire for him or a stiffy to finish the job.
He and Rudy had never slept together. In fact, they hadn’t even spoken frequently. Jack rubbed people the wrong way so he travelled a lot. And Rudy, poor abused little reindeer, spent the better part of each year in seclusion, or so Jack had heard. Their paths rarely crossed.
Not that Jack wasn’t intrigued by the proposition. Because he was. Rudy was sweet and sexy, in and out of bed, Jack surmised.
But Jack’s touch was tantamount to death from hypothermia. Rudy was too great a guy to inflict such pain on. Jack would’ve wanted to give him pleasure instead. But he couldn’t.
Jack closed the gap between them. His Adam’s apple bopped as he gulped. A sheen of sweat showed he was nervous. Rudy hadn’t even figured the man could get sweaty. Except maybe during sex, like most everyone with a pulse. And even Jack had a pulse, as cold-blooded as he was.
Then Rudy realized why Jack must have been so jittery about. “You’re worried. Lack of heat in your body?”
Jack’s expression hardened for an instant. Clearly, this was a sore point for him. Then he seemed to make a conscious effort to unwind, and tension abandoned him as he nodded. “Yes.”
Rudy smiled because this he could do. “I’m half fire giant. Your coldness won’t affect me, hurt or wound me. And it won’t turn me off. Besides…the happier I feel, the hotter I am. Being with you here…I’m pleased.”
Jack gifted him with a lopsided grin. “Good.”
Yet Jack hesitated briefly. Then, he gently gripped Rudy’s hips and brought their lower bodies close to each other tight. Rudy felt Jack’s excitement behind the fabric barrier of his white pants, and his own cock responded in kind, twitching and eagerly pushing against his fly.
Jack was about the same height as Rudy, maybe an inch taller. Jack moved first, leaning in. Slowly, he pressed his lips against Rudy’s, the brush feather-light.
Neither man closed his eyes. Rudy didn’t want to miss a thing. He longed to see Jack’s eyes grow dark with lust. He wasn’t disappointed because those blue eyes morphed into mere icy rims around black pearls as his pupils dilated.
Rudy sighed in satisfaction. Jack took advantage of the opening and pushed his tongue in deeper. Their lips fused together and their tongues snaked and coiled around one another as their kiss deepened. Jack tasted of mulled wine and spicy mustard, both heated flavors.
Nonetheless, Jack hadn’t lied. His skin, breath, his silky tongue—all were colder than anyone Rudy had ever been with. Which was a short list of one. But none of that seemed to matter in the end because Rudy’s body heat burned away the sting of biting cold until their kiss became, quite literally, steamy.
Jack pulled back and blew out a breath of steam, chuckling. “Well, that’s new.”
Rudy chimed in with a laugh of his own. “Never happened to me either.”
Jack swayed their hips together as if they were slow-dancing seductively. “Never made out with a frost giant before?”
“Nope. First time for everything. For frost and for…giants.” He waggled his eyebrows lewdly and rocked his hard length into Jack’s responding bulge. Both men groaned.
Jack grinned wickedly. “Well, it’s true. I have nothing to be ashamed of in the below-the-belt department.”
Rudy giggled and blushed. This sort of playful, sexy teasing was new to him. Initially, he wouldn’t have guessed Jack to be capable or into such foreplay. But Jack was full of surprises, a regular jack of all trades. Rudy couldn’t wait to see what Jack had up his sleeve—other than a nude body of lithe, fair perfection.
Then Jack kicked their luscious game up a notch by wrapping one arm around Rudy’s waist and used his other hand to squeeze and rub Rudy’s shaft through his clothes. Rudy moaned as his dick threatened to burst out at any second, a wet spot already forming where his cockhead was leaking like a faulty faucet.
“Mmm, how does this feel?” Jack murmured into Rudy’s ear, nibbling on his earlobe as if it were his favorite food, a lick following soon to soothe the sting. His hands refused to stay still. “Too cold?”
“Nu-uh.” Rudy had lost contact with the eloquent part of his brain. His dick ruled the show now. “My, um, my heat’s…leveling your cold.”
Jack chuckled. “Yeah, I figured from all the steam.”
Then his deft fingers worked on unlacing Rudy’s fly, wiggled through the flaps to wrap around Rudy’s cock and start a slow steady stroke. “Oh. Hot.”
Rudy got goose-bumps when icy fingers held his shaft firmly. “Ah, cold…” He closed his eyes, relishing the unusual mix of sensations. “Amazing…love your hands on me.”
“I believe you’re the first person to ever say that. Except perhaps those couple of frost giants I’ve slept with over the years. They didn’t mind my freezing touch. Theirs was the same.”
“No other beings?” Rudy was admittedly curious. Though Jack Frost was a legend in his own right, next to nothing was known about his sexual proclivities. In fact, most folks seemed to assume Jack didn’t even have sex because he was frigid or something.
“A few snow elves. No one else let me touch them longer than a mere moment.”
Jack’s casual tone hinted at some embarrassment and mild regret but not sorrow. Rudy surmised Jack hadn’t developed deep feelings for his past lovers. Jack’s shrug also suggested the situation bothered him somewhat but that he wasn’t willing to let that show, not in so many words.
Then Jack’s thumb flitted over Rudy’s slit, and Rudy stopped thinking altogether.
Jack maneuvered Rudy toward the bed. A thick thermal mattress and blanket covered a block of ice, but Rudy had no experience with such ice bunks. No springs equaled no bounce. What else would be out?
“I’m not a full ice jotun,” Jack said out of the blue, or after sensing Rudy’s concerns. “I can’t sleep entirely on a bed of ice. There’s a wooden frame in the center, with the mattress on top. It has springs and it’s soft and comfortable and—”
“You had me at springs.”
Rudy snickered and kissed Jack’s cool lips. The touch sent shivers down Rudy’s spine but the best was the hushed sigh of contentment Jack released, perhaps beyond his control. That told Rudy he was on the right track.
He wound his arms around Jack’s neck, slanted his mouth against his, and then delved deeper into Jack’s delicious mouth. Their tongues slid together effortlessly, hot and wet. The flavor of mulled wine had faded, and now Jack tasted of…cold spring waters and fresh snow. To Rudy, it wasn’t bland as much as it was subtle and pure and fascinating.
With dexterity, Rudy wiggled his other hand between their bodies, unbuttoned the fly of Jack’s pants, and gripped Jack’s cock. Like a column of ice, Jack’s member was rigid as a pole but cold as stone in the arctic. The tip was wet, a half-frozen teardrop of pre-cum clinging to the tender slit. Rudy swiped it onto his thumb and put it in his mouth.
“Mmm…” Jack groaned, his mumbled words indistinct, his eyes hooded with lust, heat of passion definitely there.
The taste of Jack lingered on Rudy’s tongue, chilled but salty and sweet, too. He smiled. “Melts in my mouth.”
Jack’s eyes widened. Then he burst out laughing, the sound like clinking ice in a glass, a musical quality to it. Rudy was mesmerized. “I feel like I’m melting all over in your arms.”
“Well, let’s put that to the test, shall we?”