Home > Easy with You (With Me in Seattle #8.5)

Easy with You (With Me in Seattle #8.5)
Author: Kristen Proby

Foreword

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: شهریار, “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

~Asher~

“You should consider moving here,” Mike says and takes a pull of the long-neck bottle of his beer, then shifts his gaze from the baseball game on the screen above the bar to me. We’re in the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans, at some bar on Bourbon Street, having a few beers after a long day of work.

I shake my head. I’ve heard this line from my brother at least a dozen times since he and his wife moved here from New York last year.

“I’m happy in Seattle. Casey’s happy in Seattle.”

“Casey will be happy wherever you’re happy,” Mike replies. “Don’t you want to be close to family?”

“I’d be kicking your ass all the time,” I reply. “You’d be begging me to leave in a week.”

“You could try, little brother,” Mike says with a smirk. “The force could use you.”

I shrug a shoulder and drink my beer. I like working for the Seattle force. I have a dependable partner. Casey does well in school. But there’s no family for us there, and I admit it’s hard when my babysitter bails on me.

Being a single father fucking sucks.

“I’ll think about it.”

Mike nods and checks his phone when it lights up with a text. A group of girls behind us are laughing loudly, clearly having a good time. I wonder if it’s a bachelorette party.

“Franny’s wondering when I’m coming home,” Mike says with a smile. “I’m getting laid, buddy.”

I laugh and shake my head as I take a drink of my beer. “Good for you, buddy.”

“Yes, she is good for me,” he agrees.

“Ten years and two kids later and you still get that shit-eating grin on your face.” I smile, happy for my brother.

“Of course, I love her.” He shoves his phone in his pocket, swallows the last of his beer, and claps his hand on my shoulder as he climbs off his stool. “I’m out. See you tomorrow.”

“Goodnight.”

Suddenly, the sexy redhead from the group behind me is standing next to me at the bar, blinking her glassy green eyes. “Hi there.”

“Hi.”

“Having a good time?” I ask with a grin.

“Yes.” She blinks some more, and then her eyes widen in recognition. “I know you!”

“You do?” I’m quite sure I’d know if I’d met this woman.

“Yes! You were on the plane with Lila yesterday. Asher?”

“That’s right.” I take her offered hand and shake it, immediately remembering the gorgeous woman I caught in my lap on the plane. “Is Lila with you this evening?”

And if she is, how in the ever-loving hell did I miss her?

“Yep. She’s my BFF. We drink together. One time in college we made out, but it was no biggie.”

“Okay.” I laugh, wishing I’d been there to see that.

“You didn’t ask for her number.” She scowls and pokes her finger into my chest. I look down at it, then glance up at her with a raised brow.

“You just assaulted an officer.”

“I did?” She swallows hard.

“Yes. I might have to arrest you.”

“With handcuffs?” She smiles gleefully, clearly excited at the thought.

“Would you like me to arrest you with handcuffs?”

“Hell to the yes!”

“Kate?” There’s suddenly a very tall, very irritated man standing behind the fiery redhead, staring daggers into me. I can’t help but laugh.

   
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