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Just What I Needed
Author: Kylie Scott

 

 

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


There are reasons why people with careers like mine don’t tend to date. Most notably, when the hell would we find the time and energy?

I regularly chase after a small child up to six days a week. It depends on what’s going on with the family. My day usually starts at eight despite Jameson waking at around six or so. And it finishes at different hours depending on what’s happening. Some celebrity parents want a nanny to be available twenty-four seven. Some would even basically like you to raise the child in question.

Once, for instance, I was offered a job living in an apartment with two children under the age of two while the parents occupied a mansion nearby. Their plan was to drop by once a day, time permitting, to visit with their kids.

I declined that one.

But the people I work for currently, David Ferris (from the world-famous rock band Stage Dive) and his wife Evelyn, are more hands-on. Which is great. And more importantly, they enjoy waking with their son, allowing me to keep my sacred morning rituals intact.

The truth is, I don’t want to start work any earlier than eight. I hate having to fake being a morning person. It’s rude and wrong and shouldn’t be allowed. Both my faith in humanity and ability to get things done is vastly improved after two coffees and a long, hot shower. With emphasis on the words long and hot. The move from L.A. to Portland has been great. I enjoy being back in my hometown. What I do not love, however, is the weather. And November in Oregon is colder than I remember. Guess I got soft down in California. But the coldness—and the constant chasing after a toddler—has seemed to contribute to my sex life.

Or rather, lack thereof.

Which is why it’s surprising on several levels to find a half-naked male in the guest house’s kitchen first thing in the morning. I myself am dressed in my usual sensible oversized plaid pajamas and fluffy socks. He, however, is wearing a pair of those thin, soft cotton sleep pants and nothing else. Not a damn thing. And let me tell you, those pants are sitting dangerously low on his hips. Though the real kicker is the dusting of dark hair leading down from his belly button to the bulge beneath his thin cotton of his sleep pants. I cannot look away. It’s impossible.

“Hi,” he says cheerfully.

Like I said, due to time restraints, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten laid. And this half-naked man is a lot to deal with this early in the day. It feels like it takes approximately an hour for my sleep-stunned gaze to travel upwards. From his crotch to his abs, then his pecs, thick muscular neck, and finally his handsome bemused face. All while he stands there with a cup of coffee in hand smirking at me. Oh, the shame.

“I’m Dean,” he says. “The record producer.”

“R-right,” I stutter. And try to punch through the cloudiness of my sleepy brain to make sense of his words.

“And I’m guessing you’re Jude the nanny?”

“Yes.” He knows my name, which means he might have a reason to be in my kitchen. But I’m having a hard time forming coherent thought, between my need for caffeine and the distraction of his cover model good looks.

He threads his fingers through his longish dark hair and asks, “Do you need coffee?”

“I really do.”

“Let me get out of your way then.” He wanders over to the dining table and takes a seat. “Sorry I arrived so late last night. I hope I didn’t wake you.”

“No. You’re, um…no.” And it all starts to come back to me. Dave and Ev mentioned that a work friend was coming to town and asked if it was okay if he stayed here in the guest house with me. What they didn’t mention is that he’s one of the hottest men in existence.

“Good,” he says with another smile. As if I am the most amusing woman in the world.

Yay me.

His gaze takes me in from my messy blonde bedhead to my fluffy red socks. No doubt he is wishing he was as warm and comfortable as me instead of flaunting himself like a hussy. Or the thought might not even cross his mind, which would also be fine and dandy given how much I’m enjoying the view.

The guest house is similar in style to the main house. It’s beautiful and roomy and made of wood with a gray stone fireplace feature. Lots of tall glass windows to let in the light. And of course, the weak morning light loves him. Casting all of the ridges and planes of his body in seductive shadows.

But back to the details about the guest house.

There are two bedrooms, each with their own bathroom, and a deck to sit out on in the summer. This is the first time I’ve shared the space since moving in upon its completion a couple of months ago. Not having a roommate was nice. Having the option of staring at this man, however, is…wow. My hormones are bestirred for what feels like the first time in forever. Which is a little embarrassing.

I fill the largest mug I can find with the perfect mixture of coffee and creamer.

Come to me, caffeine. Fill me with joy and turn on my brain. Pretty please.

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