Jingle Bear: BBW Paranormal Holiday Shape Shifter Romance (North Pole Book 1)

BOOK: Jingle Bear: BBW Paranormal Holiday Shape Shifter Romance (North Pole Book 1)
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Jingle Bear

(North Pole, Book 1)

 

Ruby Shae

Jingle Bear

(North Pole, Book 1)

Copyright 2014 by Ruby Shae

 

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work, in whole or in part, in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the author.

The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement (including infringement without monetary gain) is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $ 250,000.

Please purchase only authorized electronic editions and do not participate in, or encourage, the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

About This Book

 

Quinn Miller, a polar bear shifter, is an enforcer at the North Pole. Protecting Santa’s Village is his number one priority, and the job leaves little room for anything else. A mistake made years ago hardened his heart, and he’d rather live alone than allow love to alter his judgment again.

Chloe Winters is free to celebrate Christmas for the first time in five years and she decides to spend it in Christmas Town, a popular tourist attraction, alone. When a sexy, muscle bound stranger offers her friendship, she’s reminded of her long ago wishes for someone to love her, curves and all.

When Santa issues an ultimatum, Quinn finds out the big man really does know everything. The challenge? Convince his curvy, damaged, mate that his love, and shifters and Santa, really do exist.

Jingle Bear

(North Pole, Book 1)

 

By Ruby Shae

Chapter One

 

Quinn Miller stopped running and surveyed the area one final time. The low amount of human sightings over the last month made him nervous. Usually, the months of November and December were flooded with eager humans, most of them unequipped to deal with the harsh conditions of the region, ready to dispel the secrets of the North Pole.

His scan revealed nothing but miles and miles of stark white snow. Not even a paw print remained due to the magic surrounding the land. He let out a heavy sigh and disappeared into the seemingly invisible tunnel that led to Santa’s Village.

The whole village was concealed in an invisible cloaking device, which provided much needed protection from those bent on revealing the secret of Santa. Only those that lived in the village could see the inside through the barrier. To them, their home looked like a Christmas snow globe from the outside looking in. Everyone else saw an endless blanket of snow.

He walked down the hallway in his polar bear form and the other enforcers he came in contact with scattered, leaving him to enjoy the silence of the corridor. At the end of the walkway, he lumbered into one of the changing stalls and shook to empty his coat of all the ice and snow. He then shifted into his human form.

“There you are!”

Quinn looked up and saw Tracey assessing him with interest over the stall door. Once again he was thankful for the ability to shift fully clothed.

“What are you doing in here? This building is for enforcers only.”

Tracey was a petite artic fox who worked in the toy department. She’d hinted several times that’s she’d be up for some no-strings-attached fun, but he wasn’t interested. Even if he hadn’t given up women, Tracey, while pretty, wasn’t his type. He preferred his partners to have ample curves and big, voluptuous breasts. Considering his height, he wanted a tall woman who could take a pounding and give as good as she got. Flattening his partner was the last thing he wanted to worry about during sex.

“Santa wants to see you. I volunteered to bring you the message.”

“Message received, now get out of here.”

“Quinn Miller, you are an arrogant—”

“Hey, Tracey. Don’t waste your time on Quinn,” said another voice.

Mark, his best friend, sidled up to Tracey and peered over the stall.

“You should know by now that we call him
Grumpy Bear
for a reason,” Mark flashed Tracey a huge smile and then winked at him when she turned away.

Quinn glared at Mark, but his friend ignored him.

“Yeah, you’re right. I guess that will never change. Santa wants to see you, Grumpy,” she said and then turned toward Mark. “Want to buy me a sugar cookie, handsome?”

“I’d love to,
Sugar
,” Mark said.

They left the lodge laughing at him and though he hated to admit it, he knew they were right. He was grumpy and if he were being honest, he had been for the past ten years. A band tightened around his heart as he remembered the cause of his grouchiness, and the man he’d been before, but he pushed the thoughts away.

One mistake had nearly destroyed them, but he’d learned from the experience. He couldn’t risk losing everything again. He couldn’t afford to let his guard down, even for a moment.

 

***

 

“You’ve got to be kidding,” Quinn blurted.

Santa and Mrs. Claus looked like a king and queen sitting in their red velvet high backed chairs and, in a way, he supposed they were. Santa had used his magic to create their home. Without him and Mrs. Claus, Santa’s Village wouldn’t exist.

“No, we’re not. You need to find a mate, and since no one here seems to interest you, you need to take a vacation and meet someone new,” Santa said.

“You know I can’t do that. Don’t you remember what happened the last time? I’m not destined to have a mate,” Quinn reasoned.

“That’s not true. There’s someone for everyone,” Mrs. Claus said. “You just need to go out and find her.”

“Quinn, that girl was determined to carry out her plans, and it could have happened to anyone. I know you carry most of the burden, but she fooled us all. Don’t let one mistake dictate your life,” Santa said.

“I’m sorry, but,” he shook his head, “my heart can’t be trusted.”

“You don’t have a choice,” Santa informed him. “Start actively planning a vacation, one where women will be present, or you will no longer defend our walls.”

“You’d kick me off the team? I’m your best enforcer and Christmas is in three days. What about my men? ”

“You’ll be replaced,” Santa stated.

The jolly man rarely frowned, but his smile had completely disappeared.

“But, I—”

“Quinn, you are the best at protecting us,” Mrs. Claus said, “but you’ve lost sight of the bigger picture. Christmas is about happiness, friendship, and love. It’s the magic of believing in something impossible, for the pure joy of it. You’ve sworn to protect us, but you haven’t protected yourself. You’ve allowed anger and pain to push the magic of Christmas out of your heart and you’re becoming the very thing you protect us from.”

“No, I—”

“You’re grouchy and unyielding with your team,” Mrs. Claus ticked off one finger.

“I don’t want them to get comfortable,” Quinn said.

“You push everyone away except Mark, and you don’t participate in any extra-curricular activities. When was the last time you pulled a sleigh or gobbled up some sugar cookies?” she ticked off another finger.

“I’m busy training my men.”

“There’s more to life than training, Quinn. You need to have some fun,” she reminded him gently.

“I can’t—”

“It’s not up for debate. You need to start planning a vacation. Now,” Santa interrupted.

Santa’s words were final. He had no choice but to comply with their wishes. He agreed to plan a vacation and left their office with his head held high.

Anger and fear warred within until he realized Santa hadn’t given him a deadline. All he had to do was pretend he was actively searching, and they’d leave him alone.

With a new sense of purpose, he went to find Mark.

 

***

 

“So, how’d it go?” Mark asked.

Quinn sat down on the opposite side of the wide booth and glared at his friend.

“You knew what the meeting was about, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, it wasn’t too hard to figure out,” Mark said and stuffed a fry in his mouth.

“Does everyone know?”

“Pretty much,” he stuffed in more fries. “I can’t say I’m surprised though. I’ve told you at least a million times, you need to get laid.”

“What the hell? I thought you were my friend.”

“I
am
your friend, but in case you haven’t noticed, I’m the only one you’ve got.”

“No one is forcing you to stick around, you know,” Quinn scowled.

“Cut it out. You know as well as I do that you let that woman do a number on you. Find a woman, have some fun. If you don’t want to take a vacation, ask one of the women here. Tracey would love to fuck Mr. Gloom and Doom.”

“Tracey. Really?” Quinn asked. Mark had wanted the woman for years. He didn’t understand why his friend didn’t make a move on the little fox.

“Yeah, why not?” Mark asked and took a bite out of his burger.

“Cause I’m not an asshole. I know you’re in love with her. You really want to see me try to get in her pants?”

Mark growled low and glowered at him.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

“She doesn’t want me,” Mark sighed. “In case you haven’t noticed, she
loves
you,” he made air quotes and sang the word loves.

“Oh please. She’s infatuated with me and nothing more.”

“Yeah, whatever. So, where are you going?”

“Nowhere anytime soon. I agreed to plan a trip, but there’s no time limit. I can drag this out for a long time.”

“Don’t try it,” Mark shook his head. “Listen to me. The big man knows when kids are sleeping, and when they’re bad or good. He knows everything, man, and he’ll find out your plan sooner rather than later. You’ll be kicked off the team, or worse… He could throw you out of the Pole. Don’t risk it. Plan a trip and get going.”

“Anyone ever tell you you’re paranoid? Seriously, I’m handling it.”

“Okay, but when it backfires, I’m going to say
I told you so
,” Mark shook his head and proceeded to finish his meal.

Quinn appreciated his friend, but the guy worried too much.

He had everything under control.

Chapter Two

 

Chloe Winters looked around the dimly lit cabin and smiled. She’d finally made it to Christmas Town, the popular tourist attraction in northern Vermont, and it was perfect.

Six years ago, right before she met her ex-boyfriend, Rick, Chloe picked up a pamphlet for Christmas Town and vowed to visit one day. Christmas had always been her favorite holiday, and a whole town dedicated to the season seemed like a dream come true.

The center of town had everything you could think of to celebrate the holiday, including an exclusive Christmas themed hotel. For those wanting a greater adventure, several semi-isolated cabins were available for rent, with or without the decorations. The cabins were often reserved months in advance, but when Rick broke up with her six months ago, a call to the reservation desk had been her top priority.

Rick hated Christmas and refused to celebrate the holiday even though he knew how much she enjoyed it. He’d tried to take away her joy and she berated herself for allowing it. Five years had been five years too long with the man.

Aside from his disgust of the best holiday of all time, he also seemed disgusted with her appearance more often than not. His comments about her weight, diet and exercise routines were degrading and she hated that she’d put up with his verbal abuse for so long.

On the rare occasion they did have sex, he made her keep the lights off and refused to go down on her though he wanted his puny dick sucked every damn time. When he entered her pussy, she couldn’t come from his mediocre moves alone, and he’d blame her for his inability to bring her to orgasm. Every coupling left her unsatisfied and humiliated.

He’d been an ass during their entire relationship. She never should have stayed with him for as long as she had, but she did and she had to accept that about herself. She’d been so afraid of being alone, that she’d been willing to stay with a man who hated Christmas, made her feel ugly and insecure, and slowly depleted her savings account.

Luckily, she’d caught on to his lies and started a separate savings account a couple of years into their relationship. She still didn’t have the capital to open her own bakery, but she’d been able to replenish a lot of what he’d spent over the years. Opening another account should have been a clue, but she’d overlooked it, grateful for any bit of attention he’d send her way.

Eventually he’d sucked the happiness out of every aspect of her life and she’d begun to hate him. When she’d finally worked up the nerve to break up with him, she came home to find him fucking two women in their bed. His current girlfriend had been bouncing on his cock while her sister sat on his face. She’d walked in the room, seen the three of them going at it, and walked out.

Her best friend, Laney, welcomed her with open arms. The next day, she packed up all of her stuff and removed her name from the lease while he was at work. He’d called several times, but she’d never answered, and a couple days later he stopped.

When her best friend asked what she was going to do next, she replied, “I’m going to Christmas Town.” Five minutes later, she’d booked her cabin for the Christmas holiday. Laney would have accompanied her, but they both knew the trip was something she needed to do alone.

She’d asked for her cabin without decorations and brought up her own ornaments, tree stand and wreath. Some ornaments were old favorites and some she’d purchased new to celebrate her new start, asshole free. She also had lights, tinsel, candy canes, hot chocolate and tons of Christmas music loaded on her phone.

Several Christmas tree lots lined the highway, and when she got close to her destination, she pulled over and picked out the biggest tree she could drag into the house by herself. The attendant strapped it to the hood of her car and she drove into Christmas Town ready to celebrate. Christmas was three days away, and she’d booked the cabin until the New Year.

After a quick stop at the registration desk, the man behind the counter handed her a map of the town, a map of the cabin locations, a list of daily activities, and a list of warnings and helpful hints to the cabin dwellers.

The drive had been long and she’d overestimated her strength with the tree. She’d had to drag it into the cabin and though it was in the tree stand with water, it tilted slightly to the right. In her eyes, it was beautiful and if she couldn’t straighten it out on her own, she’d love it anyway.

Originally, she’d planned to pick up provisions after she’d dropped off the tree, but her droopy eyes and tired muscles had other ideas. She sat on the comfy couch, layered with extra pillows, and started to read the helpful hints for cabin dwellers.

Even though the cabins had electricity, if bad weather came through, they recommend fire wood to warm the cabin and possibly heat up food. She made a mental list of things to pick up at the store and drifted off to sleep.

 

***

 

Chloe woke late in the afternoon and stretched across the couch. Sometime during the night she’d left her position balled up against the arm and laid over the length of the comfy cushions. Her muscles thanked her for allowing them to stretch after her long journey the day before.

She padded to the kitchen for much needed coffee and remembered she still needed to go shopping. Luckily, she found some coffee grounds, filters and sugar packets in the cabinet. She also found two cans of chicken noodle soup, two cans of clam chowder and a container of frosting.

The fridge yielded a package of pre-made cookie dough and a welcome note. She’d have to have her coffee without cream this morning. She grabbed a piece of paper from the desk and started making a list of the things she needed.

The coffee gone and the list made, she took a shower and donned a t-shirt and a pair of jeans. Curious about the cold and how many layers she should add, she stepped outside and saw the snow for the first time.

Snow topped her vehicle and surrounded it a foot high all the way around. If she wanted to go anywhere, she’d have to dig her car out, but that wasn’t the problem. The problem was the roads were covered. It didn’t matter where she looked, snow blanketed the landscape.

A quick call to the front desk clued her in. An unplanned storm had rolled in the night before and dropped a foot of snow all over the town. Loss of power was still a possibility, especially after sunset when the temperatures would start to drop. Crews couldn’t start clearing the roads surrounding the cabins until the following day, and only if no more snow fell.

The town had a team of trained first responders if an emergency occurred, but for the most part, the cabin dwellers had to wait out the melting and clean up.

Chloe tried not to panic. She could stretch the contents of the cabinet out two days if she didn’t think about what would happen next. Hopefully by the time she ran out of food, the roads would be clear and she could better prepare herself for Christmas day and the rest of her stay. Only desperation would lead her to call for help.

She decided to check the firewood supply before she settled in with her favorite Christmas movies and the tube of cookies.

When she walked to the back of the house, big logs were piled up against the firewood storage crate, but none of the pieces had been chopped.

How hard can it be?

She struggled to lift one of the pieces of log onto the stump she assumed was used for chopping, and pulled the ax out of the protective holder bolted to the side of the house. The blade felt heavier than she thought it would, but she raised it above her head, took a deep breath and swung.

The ax hit the wood hard and pain shot up her arm. The jarring sensation made her eyes water, and she grasped her arm at the elbow and whimpered. The sharp blade hadn’t even cracked the wood.

“What the
hell
are you doing?”

Chloe jumped and turned toward the source of the angry words.

Less than five feet away stood a man with his arms crossed over his chest, and from the look on his face, he wasn’t impressed with her. Tall, broad and beautiful was the only way to describe his almost magical good looks.

He towered over her five foot, ten inches by almost a foot, and had bleached blond, almost white, short, spiky hair and piercing blue, aquamarine eyes. She mentally traced the diagonal scar that started over his left eyebrow and ended at the top of his cheek bone. The mark did nothing to take away from his beauty. The thin sweater and jeans he wore couldn’t hide his muscular frame, and the image of an angry snow god popped in her head.

Punish me, snow god! I’ve been a very bad girl!

The response he elicited from her made her blush, but shame soon followed. An angry stranger should produce fear, not cause her pussy to throb with need. Even if he hadn’t been angry and yelling, men like him didn’t like tall, chubby women with long, unmanageable, curly hair. They liked small, immaculate, petite women who rivaled their looks. A sugar plum fairy would be a perfect match for him.

“I—” she started to explain herself, but something inside her snapped. Anger at being yelled at for years by her ex compounded with the anger she felt for being attracted to him. Where the hell did he get off butting into her business? She doubted he worked for the hotel, and she refused to let another man push her around.

“What do you care? Who the hell are you anyway?”

“Go inside and stay warm,” he said gruffly. She backed up a few paces as he approached and pulled the ax out of the wood. “I’ll finish out here for you.”

His words weren’t nice, but they didn’t hold all the anger from before and something about him held her in place until he raised the ax above his head. Suddenly, the fear and flight instinct she should have felt raced through her and she ran back into the cabin and bolted the door.

Through the window she watched as he cut the wood easily and piled it neatly against the house. Something inside her softened and though she tried to hold on to the tiny spark of fear she briefly felt, it dissolved into her initial response of longing and arousal.

The strong feelings of want and desire confused and embarrassed her. Even though she knew he was way out of her league, it seemed as if something were pulling her toward him, demanding they be together.

She shook her head of the silly thoughts. The nostalgia of the cabin, Christmas and finally being free of her asshole ex had obviously stirred up old dreams of love and forever.

She needed to get a grip.

BOOK: Jingle Bear: BBW Paranormal Holiday Shape Shifter Romance (North Pole Book 1)
9.51Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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