Dare to Tease : A Dare Nation Novella by Carly Phillips




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.





Chapter One



“Today was one for the ages,” Brianne Prescott said to her sister-in-law Quinn, her brother Austin’s wife and his personal assistant. They all worked at Dare Nation, the sports agency her brother and uncle owned and where Bri was a publicist.

Quinn shook her head and laughed. “What was it you once told me? Athletes are like babies with big bank accounts?”

“And big dicks.” Bri grinned at her own joke.

Quinn chuckled. “Considering I’m married to your brother, I won’t comment.”

But she’d insinuated it anyway. “Eww. Don’t even make my thoughts go there,” Bri muttered.

“Sorry,” Quinn said, but she sounded more amused than apologetic. “Bad day?”

Bri nodded. “If it could go wrong, it did. I’m sure you heard about most of the fires I had to put out.”

It was her job to keep the babies she’d mentioned in line, and for whatever reason, today had not been the day for good behavior. She’d had a client test positive for PEDs, one married guy accused of fathering a baby with an obvious gold-digger, and another who’d accidentally posted said big dick on Instagram, getting himself banned but not before the news had gone viral.

Quinn tucked a strand of her dark hair behind one ear and shook her head. “It makes you wonder what some of these guys are thinking.”

“Amen.”

Although Quinn knew firsthand what it was like to get involved with an arrogant former pro football player. Austin had come home one night to find a baby on his doorstep, and in a panic, he’d called Quinn. She’d moved in to help and never left, the two falling in love and Quinn taming the former playboy and becoming a mother to one adorable baby girl.

Wheeling her desk chair back, Bri stretched her legs with a groan. “All I want to do is go home, undress, pour myself a glass of wine, and relax.” She glanced around the office she considered her sanctuary and sought peace.

The walls were painted turquoise, the shelves white. Her intention had been to give the room a beachy feel that would relax her during stressful times. Like now. Breathing in and out and enjoying Quinn’s company, she began to chill out.