Part of the Luck of the Irish series.
Three men and a leprechaun? When Dermot, Greg and Zev meet at the wedding of a past lover, the little green guy offers each man a golden opportunity to possess his greatest desire. Unfortunately, figuring out what that greatest desire amounts to isn't as easy as it sounds.
Wealthy, powerful and recently voted the year's most eligible bachelor, Dermot Stone has it all. But he wants more. He wants magic. Irish witch Eileen Daniells has her hands full with a busy writing and teaching career. The last thing she needs is an arrogant American stirring up trouble among the faerie creatures in her woods. When a tree spirit appears and seduces him, Dermot thinks he's getting the wish the leprechaun promised--only to discover it may cost him his life. Eileen uses her powers to save him, but Dermot must confess to his secret sexual longings before her rescue can be complete. Could she be the answer to his heart's deepest desire?
Publisher's Note: Originally appeared in the Luck of the Irish anthology.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Sticks and Stone by Jennifer Dunne
Dermot Stone picked his way carefully through the darkened forest, cursing his stupidity. Wandering through unknown woods with only a single Coleman lantern for illumination, in search of his heart's greatest desire, was a calculated risk. He knew what he desired more than anything--to see members of the faerie realm. Incontrovertible proof that there was more to life than the relentless pursuit of money and power that formed the bedrock of his father's life. Proof that Dermot was right to believe in more, in the magic of unseen possibilities.
Already tonight he'd seen, and captured, a leprechaun, although that could have been an elaborately staged prank. The drunken nerd who'd accompanied him had disappeared suspiciously, possibly to set up the second stage of the joke. And it had been the nerd's singing that summoned the leprechaun.
Still, it would show more wit than his beer-soaked brain had seemed capable of to mastermind a prank of this magnitude. Dermot couldn't see what he would gain from such a stunt, anyway. No, he was mostly convinced that he'd bargained with a real leprechaun. And the little man had promised that Dermot's greatest desire lay this way.
He checked his watch. He'd been walking for twenty minutes. Another twenty should bring him to the edge of the forest. If he didn't find his heart's desire before then, he'd use the GPS feature on his cell phone and call his driver to come pick him up.
His trek through the woods might be foolish, but he had a plan, and a contingency plan. His stupidity lay in what he'd done before he and the two other wedding guests had caught the leprechaun. That's when Dermot had revealed that Tamara Fuller had been both his last nanny and his first lay.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. The tabloids would have a field day with that news. Dermot could only hope the men didn't know who he was, or wouldn't remember his confession in enough detail to repeat.
At least he hadn't been foolish enough to tell them the details of his relationship. His parents had pulled him out of prep school for the summer and hired a nanny for a grand trip of Europe that was supposed to unite them as a family, or some such foolishness. He'd protested that he was nearly in college and far too old for a nanny, especially one who was barely older than he was, but his parents had insisted that he not be allowed on his own in countries where he was over the legal age of consent. His mother had visions of gold-digging foreign women lurking in wait for American heirs they could slap with paternity suits. Given the number of out of court settlements his father had arranged for himself, her fears seemed fully justified.
Dermot had suspected at the time that the young woman, tall and lean with a dancer's graceful strength and model's stunning looks, had been hired because his father wanted to sleep with her. She matched Dermot for height, but he was awkward and uncomfortable with his newly added inches, and seemed to become even more clumsy and tangle-footed whenever he was around her. He had been appropriately awful to her in the way only a self-involved teenager could be. The poor girl had been at her wit's end when she finally decided the only way to keep him in line would be a good, old-fashioned spanking. She'd pulled off his pants and shorts, shocking him into immobility, and laid him across her lap, her miniskirt riding up so that he was stretched across her bare thighs. What followed had been like no spanking he'd ever known.
Thinking of Tamara, his ass cheeks heated. He still remembered how her small, soft hands felt slapping his ass, over and over again, while his hardening cock rocked against her bare thighs with every blow. Then his cock had slipped between her legs. She clamped her thighs around him, and he thought he'd died, the pleasure was so intense. Every slap of her palm against his ass forced his cock down, stroking against her thighs. When she lifted her hand, he pulled back, stroking the other way, so that she could do it again.
He'd been terrified that he'd embarrass himself by coming in her lap, the fear keeping him rock hard longer than he'd known was possible. Her slaps grew harder and faster as her breathing turned ragged. Then she gave a strangled gasp, and her thighs relaxed.
"Let that be a lesson to you," she'd said. "Now pull up your pants and go." He'd run to the bathroom and jerked off, harder than he'd ever come before, his vision fogging and his body shaking with the force of his release.
After that, he'd found a reason to be "punished" every night that his parents were out. Since they went out almost every night, his ass was incredibly tender by the end of the trip. A few soft swats would be sufficient to have him gasping across Tamara's legs, fighting not to come.
The last night of their trip, his ass had throbbed even before she'd pulled down his pants. The light scrape of cotton and elastic over the burning skin had made him instantly hard. Tamara had licked her lips, gazing at his straining cock, and wrapped her fingers lightly around it.
"You're a bad, bad boy," she whispered, her fingers tightening until they gripped his cock with a delicious pain that made it even harder. "Would you like to be a bad, bad man?"
"Please," he begged.
* * * * *
Dermot smiled, warmed by the memory. Then he realized he'd stopped walking, and had been absent-mindedly rubbing his cock while he was lost in the past. His rigid cock was stretching the lines of his Armani slacks in a way the designer had never intended.
He cupped his balls, thrusting against the heel of his hand. What the hell. Maybe he should find a nice, dark tree to lean against, drop his pants, and toast the bride the way she deserved.
He lifted the lantern in his other hand, looking for a suitable spot, when a flash of white to his right caught his attention.
He dropped his hand to his side. He wasn't letting some paparazzi catch him fondling himself in the woods. Shrugging out of his suit coat, he draped it over his free arm and held it before himself to shield his erection from sight.
"Who's there?" he called.
A woman's silvery laughter floated through the trees.
He turned off the faint path he'd been following and threaded his way between the wych elms, ashes, and sycamores. Their branches swayed suggestively, urging him on, as if someone had run between them a moment before.
He burst from the trees into a small clearing, no more than eight feet across. The twined branches of the trees on the far side of the clearing formed an impenetrable wall. The woman he'd followed had disappeared.
"Where are you?" he called.
Airy laughter tinkled from his right, very close. He lifted the lantern higher, throwing a beam of light to the far end of the clearing, and realized an elm he'd thought was part of the surrounding trees was actually a foot or two inside the clearing. The woman must be hiding behind it.
"Who are you?" he asked again.
The beam of his lantern revealed her pale face, peering out at him over a fork in the trunk.
He stepped closer, and realized she was not standing behind the tree, looking over it. She was standing inside the tree.
Now that he knew what to look for, he saw that the forked limbs of the tree looked remarkably like uplifted arms, and the smooth gray bark of the trunk resembled the curves of a woman's body, concealed by a flowing garment of bark.
"A dryad," he whispered.
His heart hammering in his chest, Dermot slowly set the lantern on the ground, his gaze never leaving the dryad's. Moving as if he was forcing his way through liquid resin, he took one step closer, then two. Then he was standing in front of the dryad's tree, near enough to touch her if he dared.
Dermot had been accused of plenty of personality faults by his competitors or the press, but no one had ever called him timid. He lifted a hand and touched the dryad's cheek.
Her silvery laugh cascaded over him, along with a confetti of leaves and seed pods that fell from the branches above. She stepped forward, passing from tree to human form so smoothly that she seemed to simply appear before him.
Her white skin gleamed in the reflected lantern light, like a moving, living statue. A naked statue.
She had a slim, slight build, what he'd previously called "willowy." Inanely, he wondered if "elmy" was a word, since she obviously lived in a wych elm, not a willow.
The dryad had wild brown hair, reminding him of an out of control chia pet, framing a face that could have been carved by Michelangelo. In a less jaded age, men might have been reduced to tears by the sight of such beauty. Even Dermot, who had known his share of beautiful woman and recipients of the plastic surgeon's art, felt an urge to fall to his knees before her and beg to be allowed to worship her.
His gaze traveled from the dangerous perfection of her face, to the safety of her delicate breasts. They swept up in graceful symmetry to her pointed nipples, already tight and hard with arousal.
He swallowed, flexing his fingers as he imagined playing with those nipples. His cock surged with anticipation as he pictured his mouth closing over one of the dryad's breasts, while he tugged and fondled the other.
He wanted to go to her now, to begin loving her immediately, but knew that a creature of such perfection would never allow the coarse touch of a human lover. It was enough to admire her, and imagine himself loving her.
He let his gaze drift lower, admiring her trim, flat abdomen, then lower still.
Dermot blinked. Her body was completely hairless. Her legs joined smoothly, like two branches meeting at a fork. A pang of frustrated desire shot from the back of his throat to his groin, as he realized she might not even be capable of making love in the human way.
As if she knew what he was thinking, the dryad swept one hand across her smooth abdomen, then beckoned him forward.
Dermot swallowed. His cock, already primed by his memories of Tamara and his admiration of the dryad's body, surged to full readiness, jutting forward like a mighty oak. Throwing his jacket aside into the wall of trees surrounding them, he revealed the bulging eagerness of his cock. He pointed to his tented slacks, then to her, and raised one eyebrow. The dryad nodded.
Hardly daring to believe his luck, Dermot undid his belt and dropped his pants and drawers, ruthlessly kicking the fine Armani into the fallen leaves and other debris ringing the dryad's tree. Lifting her arms above her head, she wordlessly offered him her body.