Love can thaw the fiercest winter.
In a society where elves are no longer creatures of myth and magic, Brynne Mirren is just trying to survive the holidays as one of Santa’s Rejects. Loyal to her duty as the eldest child, she stands outside in the freezing cold and sell matchbooks—not that anyone would buy anything from an elf. Each fruitless day is the same without exception until her path crosses with Carter Holly. Persistent though he is, she can’t help but wonder if he has an ulterior motive.
After all, very few humans look kindly on elves these days.
Days before Christmas, Brynne’s life takes a drastic turn and she is forced to trust the gentle stranger in the darkest time of her life. Carter Holly continues to surprise her, stirring up new feelings within her with every act of kindness.
Though the threat of freezing along with her matchbooks is very real, Brynne can’t forget that falling in love with a human is even more dangerous.
“Here,” he said, jogging across the street and reaching for her hand. She squeaked as he dropped the two quarters into her palm. “Here’s half of what I owe,” he whispered before holding up a finger to his lips. “This is for you.”
“Just for you,” he emphasized.
He smiled only briefly before he jogged back across the street, acting as though nothing had happened. As though he hadn’t taken a huge leap of faith by touching her. Luckily, no one saw. He stole a curious glance at the girl across the street, wondering if he had crossed a line, and was glad to see her with a look of wonder on her face. She looked across the street and for a brief moment met his eyes.
“Thank you,” she breathed with a soft voice that pooled like mist in the winter air. He smiled back at her.
Perhaps this winter would bring something more than more snow and sweets.
C.E. Wilson is currently living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband, beautiful daughter, fat beagle and two cats. She loves Supernatural, leggings and shoujo manga. When it rains she feels at peace and loves a sweet cup of coffee with way too much sugar and cream. She loves the fall because of football and all things pumpkin. Her favorite subject to write about is size difference, but she enjoys to try her hand at all things fantastical.
Mary Dublin has been writing fantasy stories since childhood. Growing up where the sun is always stronger than the coffee, she maintained a fascination with worlds that can never exist. More than ever, Mary finds joy in putting these worlds to the page through words and paintings. She enjoys pilates, rainy afternoons, and bakes a mean batch of double-fudge brownies. Matchsticks and Candycanes is her first published work.