Wild Wind : A Chaos Novella (Chaos #6.6) by Kristen Ashley






One Thousand and One Dark Nights



Once upon a time, in the future…



I was a student fascinated with stories and learning.

I studied philosophy, poetry, history, the occult, and

the art and science of love and magic. I had a vast

library at my father’s home and collected thousands

of volumes of fantastic tales.



I learned all about ancient races and bygone

times. About myths and legends and dreams of all

people through the millennium. And the more I read

the stronger my imagination grew until I discovered

that I was able to travel into the stories... to actually

become part of them.



I wish I could say that I listened to my teacher

and respected my gift, as I ought to have. If I had, I

would not be telling you this tale now.

But I was foolhardy and confused, showing off

with bravery.



One afternoon, curious about the myth of the

Arabian Nights, I traveled back to ancient Persia to

see for myself if it was true that every day Shahryar

(Persian: شهريار, “king”) married a new virgin, and then

sent yesterday's wife to be beheaded. It was written

and I had read, that by the time he met Scheherazade,

the vizier's daughter, he’d killed one thousand

women.



Something went wrong with my efforts. I arrived

in the midst of the story and somehow exchanged

places with Scheherazade – a phenomena that had

never occurred before and that still to this day, I

cannot explain.



Now I am trapped in that ancient past. I have

taken on Scheherazade’s life and the only way I can

protect myself and stay alive is to do what she did to

protect herself and stay alive.



Every night the King calls for me and listens as I spin tales.

And when the evening ends and dawn breaks, I stop at a

point that leaves him breathless and yearning for more.

And so the King spares my life for one more day, so that

he might hear the rest of my dark tale.



As soon as I finish a story... I begin a new

one... like the one that you, dear reader, have before

you now.





Prologue



Fuckin’ A



Jagger



When Jagger first saw her, it was eleven years ago.

On his sixteenth birthday.

His brother Dutch had let Jagger use his truck and Jag drove by himself for the first time.

Where’d he go?

He went to his father’s grave.

That was another first.

The first time he’d been there by himself.

And it was the only time Jag could remember that he and his dad had been alone together.

Well, kinda alone.

She was there.

Not with him and his dad.

She was at a funeral that was happening across the way.

When he first clapped eyes on her, she was in one of those chairs they set up, right at the front, staring at the casket.

Jag sat, and he was supposed to be sharing part of his sixteenth birthday with his dad, but he couldn’t help himself.

He kept glancing over at her, mostly because she was pretty.

But he looked her way so often, he knew, eventually when he did it, she’d be looking at him.

And eventually, she was.

She was so pretty, he didn’t think about what she was doing there, he just thought about how pretty she was.

But when they caught eyes over those thirty yards dotted with headstones, he felt the look on her face in the back of his throat.

Only then did he take in her surroundings.

There was a man sitting beside her and a guy maybe Jagger’s age sitting on the other side of the man.

But there was no woman.

So…

Yeah.

He wasn’t surprised.

He knew that look on her face.

He felt it.

Still.

Fuck.

Even though it was his birthday, and he was finally legal to drive, and there were a million other things he wanted to do, he didn’t do any of them.

He hung there until the service was over.

He didn’t get why. Maybe it had to do with the fact that, once she saw him there, she kept glancing at him. Maybe she knew what he knew, and they both just got it. So, if she was looking his way, he needed to be there for her.

Or maybe it was that she was just that pretty.