Santa's gained a little weight, and with an ever-increasing number of toys to deliver he'll need a larger sleigh and more reindeer. But Santa has a plan.
Vixen is ready for motherhood and sets her sights on Dasher. He's handsome and healthy, but all the tail swishing and antler rattling doesn't get the buck's attention. On Christmas Eve she gives Santa's plan one last try, but Dasher is all about hanging out with the boys and drinking eggnog before the big flight.
Vixen thinks all is lost, but she's in for a Christmas surprise. Comet knows nothing about Santa's plan, but he's been flying in Vixen's scented wake for years and no way is he losing her to Dasher. Can a determined Comet convince Vixen he's the alpha of her dreams?
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Excerpt from Vixen
Vixen fluffed her brown curls and checked her lipstick. She wanted to look her best for the meeting with Santa. She left her apartment and zipped downstairs to the ground level of the reindeer barn. Only the residents of the North Pole knew that Santa's reindeer were shape shifters.
She passed by Dasher's stall. "Merry Christmas."
Dasher shook his head, rattling the jingle bells on his antlers in greeting. Dasher preferred to sleep in his stall, but Vixen loved her apartment upstairs. Hooves had limitations while fingers and thumbs were far more useful. She waved goodbye, leaving Dasher to his breakfast of reindeer moss.
Snow crunching beneath her boots, Vixen headed for the center of town. The North Pole was a busy place, especially on Christmas Eve. Elves scurried about, gathering toys and loading up the sleigh. Vixen must have said Merry Christmas several dozen times during the short walk to Santa's home.
Smoke curled from the chimney of the large gingerbread house. Although the temperature was always perfect and the snow wasn't wet or cold, Santa loved a cheery fire. A candy cane fence surrounded the house and a large wreath hung on the front door. Vixen walked up the front steps and knocked.
Santa answered. "Thank you for coming, Vixen. Please, let's sit by the fire."
Vixen settled into a comfortable chair with fluffy red cushions.
"As I said before, I have something of importance I'd like to discuss with you."
Vixen leaned forward. Rarely did Santa request a private meeting. He usually spoke with the herd, but he'd singled her out. "How may I be of help?"
"You may not have noticed but I've gained a bit of weight recently."
Santa had gained more than a bit, but Vixen wouldn't dare comment on his girth.
"And every year there are more wonderful children which means more toys to deliver. The Elves work harder every year to keep up with the demand."
Last year the increase in volume required Santa to return to the North Pole and load up the sleigh two more times. Between pickups, both Santa and the reindeer had to refuel with eggnog.
"We can handle the extra loads," Vixen said, wondering why Santa hadn't spoken with the herd.
"The Elves have drawn plans for a larger sleigh. They begin construction after the holidays. The sleigh will require two more reindeer."
Santa was adding to the crew, two new reindeer to recruit and train. The last recruit was Rudolph and he'd been a blessing for the herd.
"I'm sure if all of us put our antlers together we can find suitable recruits. Perhaps we can hold a competition?"
"I don't wish to recruit from the wild herds," Santa said. "Even with Christmas magic training a wild reindeer to shape shift and fly takes years. We need to handle this need internally."
Vixen blinked. Surely, Santa wasn't thinking about calves. Only the wild reindeer took mates and had offspring. Pulling Santa's sleigh was an honor and all nine reindeer had taken a solemn oath to preserve the team above personal needs. Sex between consenting reindeer in human form was acceptable. Christmas magic prevented the females from entering breeding cycles.
Was Santa going to let her go into heat?