Lars is the sarcastic elf who runs Santa’s Mail Department and he follows the dating rule of “no repeats”. But lately he's been having a romantic textlationship with another elf, via the dating app Elf4Elf. When his cyber boyfriend goes AWOL after a misunderstanding, Lars realizes too late that there is more to life than sex, work, and cookies. On Christmas Eve, Santa asks Lars to personally deliver a gift to Rudolph—a former reindeer handler who left the North Pole because of a misunderstanding. Rudolph lives on the secluded Sugar Plum Ridge and the only way to get there is by sleigh. Lars just can’t get a break! When a sudden blizzard forces the two elves to hole up in Rudolph's cabin, will they find a way to make their own fun and games or will one surprise ruin it all? One thing is certain: after this night, they both will believe in the magic of the Naughty North Pole!
"...Deanna Wadsworth delivers another one of her quirky Naughty North Pole stories. A mix of traditional, contemporary and fairy tale/fantasy elements that is a fun romp through a winter wonderland that is uniquely hers...If you want a bit of angst with your chuckles, this is definitely the story for you." ~Review by Kayla Jameth
“What were you thinking?” my rescuer growled as he put his sword away. “These damn sleigh bells are like painting a big target on your back that says ‘come eat me.’”
His crusty demeanor and bad temper irked me. “Well, how in the name of Christmas was I supposed to know that I would get attacked by a yeti?”
“Never mind,” he said with a surly grunt. “Get over here.”
Tamping down my frustrated tears—I’d almost been killed and this guy was scolding me like I was a wayward child—I joined him, having no idea how he intended to free the animals when they were thrashing about, tangling themselves even worse.
The warrior removed his gloves. To my shock, his hands appeared normal, no claws or magic sparks or anything. Without fear of the beasts or their projectile antlers, he placed one hand on each reindeer, whispering words I didn’t understand. The soothing melody of them made me think he might be speaking the ancient language of the Elven races, but I had no idea what he said.
Instantly, the beasts calmed.
I stared in shock, my adrenaline still pumping. “How did you—?”
Eyes that had first appeared to be glowing stared out from above the balaclava covering his face. Snowflakes sparkled atop heavy lashes and the slight red in his brown irises indicated he was not a god, but rather a Dökkálfar.
“No time for explanation, my young elf,” he said. “We have to get them free.”
Nodding obediently, I agreed to help.
I assisted the best I could, holding the things he told me to hold while he did all the work. Lula was the first one loose and the second she realized it, she bolted and ran up the ridge.
“Wait!” I called after her.
“She’ll be fine,” the other elf told me. “Lula knows the way to my barn. Help me with Betty. She looks hurt.”
“Lula poked her with an antler.”
“Doesn’t surprise me with that one. Lula’s a real pistol.” I could hear the smile in his voice and, when it wasn’t yelling at me, it was a very pleasant, youthful sound, one that soothed me as much as it had the beasts. Though a dead yeti lay mere feet from me, I suddenly felt safe and protected beside this elf.
“Well, Betty,” he said to the reindeer. “Let’s see if ol’ Lula got you for real this time, or if you’re fit enough to walk.”
Thankfully, once he released the harnesses, she was able to stand. After he ran his big hands over her withers and legs, he buried his face against hers, whispering more of those ancient words. She huffed a few frosty breaths and tossed her head, as if nodding.
“What’s your name, elf?” he asked me.
“Well, Lars, what say you and I let Betty carry us out of this place before any more yetis show up?”
“Sure,” I said, letting out a whoosh of breath. Curious, I stared at the big, fur-covered elf but already had my suspicions about the answer. “Who are you?”