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Blurb: Denny is a top secret agent on a mission to protect London from Ethereal Beings – elves – who are seen as dangerous mind-reading parasites who prey on human emotions.
Kit is an elf on the run, misunderstood and persecuted by humans. When Denny catches him, he shatters everything Denny’s been taught about elves. He’s gorgeous and funny and claims he’s been searching a long time for a guy like Denny. He shares Denny’s kinks and now he needs Denny’s love to survive.
But if Denny doesn’t take Kit to jail, he’s in big trouble. Dare Denny break the law and gamble his life to save the Ethereal Being in his bed?
Denny picked up his mug and took a sip of the remaining mulled wine. It seared like a flame on his tongue, spicy and faintly sweet. It was good. Damn good. He smoothed his lips together.
“Elves don’t even have names,” he said.
“Yes, we do. Although I suppose your sort would say I stole it.” Kit’s words grew garbled, as if he knew he played for time. “I…I borrowed it from a man I once met in a tavern, a very interesting man who used beautiful words and gave beautiful kisses, although he was a little…fierce sometimes. In, uh… I think the year was 1592.”
“Fifteen-fucking-ninety-two?” Taking another sip, Denny glanced at the clock. It read 10:55 p.m. When the time reached eleven o’clock, he’d get rid of the elf.
“Yes, that’s what they said. Well, not fifteen-fucking-ninety-two. The year of our Lord 1592 was a nobler choice of words. And the man from whom I borrowed my name—he was called Kit Marlowe.” The elf balanced a saucepan on the draining board and reached for a chipped Crystal Palace FC mug.
Wasn’t that Christopher Marlowe, some playwright, a bit like Shakespeare but less famous? And wasn’t he gay or something? And murdered? “Pull the other one. You can’t expect me to believe you were about in Shakespearean times.”
“Oh, I had a ball back in my theater days, in the reign of good Queen Bess.”
Theater? Kit hadn’t been leeching this crap off Denny. History wasn’t his subject, and neither was Shakespeare. The elf must have bugged some West End actor before he’d been caught.
Denny scowled into his mug. The EB mustered a bright smile, took off the yellow gloves, and turned to spoon the pasta bake onto two plates. It was now 10:57 p.m.
Nearly time to get Kit back to the garage, although Denny twitched with indecision.
And his stomach grumbled.
“You must be starving.” Kit placed one of the plates in front of Denny. Then he sat down opposite, pronged two tubes of pasta with his fork, and popped them into his mouth. He slowly licked white cheese sauce from his lips, and Denny fought a faint ache in his groin. “Yeah, elves do eat. At least we do when we need to. And this isn’t bad, is it? It’s better than gingerbread and those little sets of dried herbs. I ate those for a month. Oh, and boiled sweets.”
And Kit still had such shiny teeth? Okay, that had to be rubbish. Denny wouldn’t listen. But he was bloody hungry. They’d eat the pasta, and then he’d put Kit out.
He couldn’t help but hear what Kit said as they dined. The elf claimed he’d materialized just after Christmas in the bargain basement of a department store among all the leftover festive items, of which he’d grown fond.
“So lovely to see Christmas still going on,” said Kit. “That’s the thing with moving on all the time; sometimes customs just vanish. I miss St. Bartholomew’s Fair, you know.”
Kit had grown so attached to the bright Christmas decorations that he’d wasted no time removing Denny’s tree from its box under the stairs to remind him of his most recent home. He’d remained in the store several weeks, chatting to staff and customers and reading his way through any books and newspapers he found lying about. “Working out how the world works these days, what laptops are, and what all the new words mean.”
Then his body grew solid enough to set off the alarms at night, and he’d had to leave. He’d spent his days and nights after that busking on the Underground network, as the great outdoors freaked him a bit at first.
“After last time I was in London,” explained Kit, “with all the bombs.”
“Right, that’s it.” Denny pushed his half-eaten meal away and got up. Swallowing a mouthful quickly, Kit rose too, turning to drop his plate in the sink behind him. Denny hurried about the table, grabbed him by the elbow, and spun him around. “Why do you keep going on about bombs?”
Kit furrowed his brow, and that strange look glazed his eyes, whispering of memories. Shouting of pain. “I was here in 1941.”
Denny shook him. “You’re telling me you were in London in the Blitz as well as in Shakespearean times? You must think I’m loopy.”
Kit drilled his gaze into him and fluttered his long lashes. “No. I think you’re horribly messy. Apart from your underwear drawer. You keep that neat enough.”
Denny froze. “You’ve been poking around my things?”
“I loved your things. They were beautiful.”
A hot flush spread from the base of Denny’s neck to his brow. The elf had been messing with his most intimate possessions.
His women’s underwear. His sex toys.
Yet his humiliation burned out quickly. This elf had cut to the heart of his “disgusting habits” and didn’t seem bothered at all.
Kit arched a brow, overtly flirtatious. “I hope you don’t mind. I, uh, tried some on.”
“Your lace thong.” Kit dropped his voice to a sexy growl. “I’m wearing it now.”
Kit grabbed Denny’s wrist and pushed Denny’s hand down the back of those scruffy black trousers. Next thing Denny knew, he was grasping one of Kit’s buttocks. Smooth flesh yielded to muscles hard as nutshells beneath. Then Kit steered Denny so his fingertips slid up the elf’s crack. He felt the delicate thread of lace spreading Kit’s arse, slicing down that warm, vulnerable cleft between.
Denny had never sprung into full erection so quickly in his life. He yanked his hand away.
“You had no right to mess with my stuff.” Although that particular thong had always been a bit small for him and didn’t quite suit. It felt hot on Kit. It must look hot on Kit. “Y-you’re going straight back to the safe.” He grasped the elf’s shoulders as if they’d been fused together, acutely aware of Kit’s breathing, hot against his neck. Of the hard line of his hip brushing intimately close to Denny’s groin.
“What are you waiting for?” murmured Kit.
Denny had no idea. The tap dripped, water smacking against metal the only interruption to the buzzing of the light and the relentless pounding of Denny’s blood.
He felt as unsteady as he felt horny. The deeper he scrutinized Kit’s face, the more emotions he seemed to read there. Every trace of mirth on the elf’s lips died, replaced by a firmly set line, a smoldering sincerity. His eyes spoke of joy, hope, desperation.
And raw hunger.
Kit rose onto tiptoes, lifted his chin, and it seemed electricity arced between them. Delicately he brushed Denny’s mouth with his own. The elf tasted of wine, cheese sauce, and something heady and enticing that might have been the spices. Or might just have been Kit. Whatever it was, Denny needed more.
He grabbed Kit by the collar and kissed him hard.
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