Ride DirtyBy: Laura Kaye
A Raven Riders Novella
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
“Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel like you're nothing
You're fuckin' perfect to me”
Caine McKannon eased his naked body off the bed, doing his best not to disturb the couple entangled next to him. He retrieved his jeans from the floor and stepped into them, then repeated the process with his boots, shirt, hoodie, and leather-and-denim Raven Riders cut-off jacket. He’d shower the ménage off of his skin when he got home. Fucking he could always handle. Talking, not so much.
So it was time to fly.
Caine had perfected ghosting through his life before his age had hit double digits—silence had been a survival skill given the way he’d grown up—so he was surprised to find a pair of eyes on him when he turned. The man was older than him, early fifties maybe. Elliott was his name, not that it mattered. But he’d been the one to contact Caine about being a third with him and his wife through the message boards, one of the main ways he found partners who wouldn’t have expectations for more.
Because Caine didn’t do more. Not with women. Or men. Or even with the couples for whom he served as a twisted fucking fantasy fulfillment. Hell, Caine barely had friends, let alone anything more intimate. And he never had. Sometimes, he could hardly believe his brothers in the Raven Riders put up with his anti-social bullshit. Actually, calling him anti-social would’ve been generous.
But distance made him good at his job. Distance provided perspective, ensured dispassionate reasoning, kept everyone safe. Himself included. And that was his job for the club: Enforce the rules. Keep everyone safe.
Punish any sonofabitch who dared cross him or the club.
Tugging the black beanie down over his shorn hair, Caine gave the man in the bed a last look.
Elliott met his gaze and acknowledged him with a single nod, before pulling the sheet over his much younger wife’s bare legs and ass like he was done sharing her. Caine had…absolutely no emotional reaction to the gesture at all. Sex wasn’t about finding a place or making a connection. It was about getting off. Fulfilling a need. Scratching an itch. Finding a release. He’d been used and had used in return, and that was fine by him. But now, he’d fulfilled his purpose with these people, and they were as done with him as he was with them.