Shamus is small...really small, but being a leprechaun, that’s okay. What isn’t small about him though, is his magic. When his father banishes him from not only the family but also his clan, Shamus knows the resulting upsurge in his magic will eventually burn him out. Instead of concentrating on finding a solution to his problem, his thoughts remain on the most irritating man he has ever met, Zee.
Zee is a water sprite hiding a dark secret, one that led to the death of his only lover. He can’t let anyone in, can’t let anyone close—it isn’t safe. While he has been able to keep his distance from everyone so far, a redheaded leprechaun with a smart mouth and irresistibly shiny toys tests his resolve.
Zee hates Shamus and delights in irritating him, but when the leprechaun goes missing, Zee is going to have to decide if he really hates Shamus, after all, or if he is just lying to himself.
Shamus was pissed. Actually, he had passed that point an hour ago and was steadily approaching the point of full-blown postal meltdown. Did the source of his anger seem to notice, or care? Nope! Zee, the water sprite the guardians had rescued a couple of weeks earlier, paraded himself around the buffet table without a care in the world, his plate full of fruits, salad, and oh hell no! Was that the last slice of Betty’s fudge brownie? Yep. The water sprite grinned at Shamus as he took a bite and moaned, closing his eyes as if on the verge of a climax from that one taste, before he turned and ignored Shamus once more.
Dressed in board shorts that looked to be at least two sizes too big—so much so that they barely hung onto his hips—and showed off the dimples on either side of his lower back, Zee practically screamed take me now! Of course, he pretended not to notice the way the workers stared, yet Shamus just knew that nothing the sprite did was innocent. Zee had to know that the workers around him were practically salivating.
Shamus growled as the guy pranced off, happily sitting with a bunch of other sprites and laughing. The group turned as one, giving Shamus the stink-eye and giggling even harder as they turned back. Honestly, the world wouldn’t miss one little sprite, would it? Make that a whole bunch. Hell, there might even be a reward in it. What he wouldn’t give to have a flashbang on hand.
Shamus snatched up his own tray, stomping along the buffet table and growling louder the further along he went. The worst thing about the sprites was that they preferred the same vegan diet that he did. The containers for each of the dishes he would normally pick looked as though they had been licked clean. It left only meat options and the bread rolls to choose from, and there was only one of the rolls left, too. Shamus snatched up the sorry looking roll and sat it in the middle of his tray, sneering in the direction of the sprites as they started to fling food at each other from their overflowing trays. A blob of what looked to be vegetable lasagna landed on Shamus’s shoulder. He gave it a momentary glance before he glared back at the table of delinquents, they all seemed to hold their breath, stunned looks on their faces as they stared, before falling into a heap against each other and howling with laughter.
Carefully holding the tray containing his pitiful lunch with one hand, Shamus flicked the mess off his leather duster, then had to dive to one side to avoid a baseball-sized ball of mashed potato, with what he could swear were corn and peas imbedded into it. The flying monstrosity looked like a green and gold snowball as it splattered the wall behind him, but that wasn’t the last straw that broke the camel’s back. It was the fact that his pitiful bread roll had gone flying off his tray, landing on the ground, and rolling into yet another pile of unrecognizable crap. He assumed it had at one time been coleslaw, but it looked like someone had chewed it and spat it out.
Rage burned through Shamus. He glared at the chaos, turned and dumped his empty tray back down on the sideboard and stalked from the room. It had been this way all week, and his stomach growled painfully in protest of too many skipped meals. Hell, it was as if they never left the damn dining room, camped out and causing chaos every single time Shamus tried to sneak in to grab a bite to eat. It wasn’t as if he could just give in to his urge to use some of his toys on the little brats. He had promised Davis he would behave. The Delta rehab centre couldn’t be finished fast enough, as far as he was concerned. The sooner those troublemakers were on their way, the better!