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From #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes the next installment in her Wicked series.
As Caden and Brighton’s attraction grows despite the odds stacked against a happily ever after, they must work together to stop an Ancient fae from releasing the Queen, who wants nothing more than to see Caden become the evil Prince once feared by fae and mortals alike.
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**
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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
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
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
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
“I don’t think this is wise,” Tink said for what had to be the hundredth time since he realized I was getting ready for a night out. “Like I think this is very poorly thought-out, if you ask me, Lite Bright.”
“I didn’t ask you, Tink.”
My uninvited roommate of sorts hovered outside my bathroom. Tink wasn’t human, but right now, he looked like any normal twenty-something guy. Well, if normal, twenty-something guys had natural, shockingly white hair and were beautiful in a way that almost seemed fragile.
This was his full-grown Tink size, something I was still—even after all this time—getting used to. I was more accustomed to pint-sized Tink with the translucent wings. After all, he was a brownie.
After the attack that had taken my mother’s life and should’ve ended mine, he’d basically moved in with me. He’d been here for the last two years, something Ivy’s husband pretended to be grateful for, but in reality, I knew he secretly missed the dude.
“You should ask me,” he replied. When I glanced over at him, I got a little distracted by the dazzle…emanating from the sequin tank top he wore. It was so shimmery that I wondered if he was using some of his magic.
Tink may be a goofball, but he was also one of the most powerful creatures in our realm.
Thank God there was only one of him.
“I am a wealth of amazing advice,” he continued. Dixon, the cat he’d named after a Walking Dead character that Tink called “the hottest redneck eva” slinked around Tink’s ankles. The cat was all gray except for his tail, which looked like it had been dipped in white paint.
I snorted. “When have you ever given me good advice?”
“When I told you two weeks ago not to eat the whole carton of beignets because you’d get sick and you did,” he shot back.
I winced, picking up my mascara. I had gotten sick, but I deserved that carton of sugary, fried goodness. That day…
I didn’t want to think about that day.
“And what about when you ordered that supreme pizza and ate almost all of it?” he said. “I told you that it would probably make you feel bad later.”
Nose wrinkling, I tried to remember what night he was talking about. There were a lot of Friday nights—pizza night in my household—that I ate an entire pie and felt terrible afterward.
“Or how about that time I told you that the seared ahi tuna looked a little gray for my liking? But, oh no, Brighton knows better.” He reached down, scratching Dixon between the ears. “You ate it all, and then I spent the night cleaning up your puke.”
I hadn’t eaten seared ahi tuna since then.
“And let us never forget when you ate the whole bag of—”
“Why do all your examples involve me pigging out?”
Tink raised his brows.
I rolled my eyes. “Whatever. You know, you used to totally support me going out there and finding the fae responsible for killing my mother.” I twisted toward him just as Dixon scampered across my bedroom, launching himself onto my bed. “I have a name now. The Ancient who was with the fae that night. The one who ripped my mother’s throat out and tried to gut me.”