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Dream of You

J. Lynn

  Dream of You

  A Wait For You Novella

  By Jennifer L. Armentrout

  1001 Dark Nights

  Dream Of You

  A Wait For You Novella

  By Jennifer L. Armentrout

  1001 Dark Nights

  Copyright 2015 Jennifer L. Armentrout

  ISBN: 978-1-940887-38-8

  Foreword: Copyright 2014 M. J. Rose

  Published by Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination and are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or establishments is solely coincidental.

  Book Description

  Dream of You

  A Wait For You Novella

  By Jennifer L. Armentrout

  Abby Erickson isn't looking for a one-night stand, a relationship, or anything that involves any one-on-one time, but when she witnesses a shocking crime, she's thrust into the hands of the sexiest man she's ever seen - Colton Anders. His job is to protect her, but with every look, every touch, and every simmering kiss, she's in danger of not only losing her life but her heart also.

  About Jennifer L. Armentrout

  # 1 New York Times and International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

  Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

  She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

  Also From Jennifer L. Armentrout

  Click to purchase

  Forever With You

  Fall With Me

  By J. Lynn

  Stay With Me

  Be With Me

  Wait For You

  The Covenant Series







  The Lux Series







  The Dark Elements

  Bitter Sweet Love

  White Hot Kiss

  Stone Cold Touch

  Every Last Breath

  A Titan Novel

  The Return

  Standalone Novels





  Don’t Look Back

  Gamble Brothers Series

  Tempting The Best Man

  Tempting The Player

  Tempting The Bodyguard

  Acknowledgments from Jennifer L. Armentrout

  I can’t start off these acknowledgements without thanking my agent Kevan Lyon, who has always tirelessly worked on my behalf. A huge thank you to Liz Berry, the 1001 Dark Nights team, and everyone who worked on Dream of You. Thank you to my other publicist with the most-est K.P. Simmons for helping do everything to get the word out about the book.

  I would go crazy if it weren’t for these following people: Laura Kaye, Chelsea M Cameron, Jay Crownover, Sophie Jordan, Sarah Maas, Cora Carmack, Tiffany King, and too many more amazing authors who are an inspiration to list. Vilma Gonzalez, you’re an amazing, special person, and I love you. Valerie Fink, you’ve always been with me from the beginning, along with Vi Nguyen, (Look, I spelled your name right), and Jessica Baker, among many, many other awesome bloggers who often support all books without the recognition deserved. THANK YOU. Jen Fisher, I heart you and not just for your cupcakes. Stacey Morgan—you’re more than an assistant, you’re like a sister. I’m probably forgetting people. I’m always forgetting people.

  A special thank you to all the readers and reviewers. None of this would be possible without you and there isn’t a thank you big enough in the world.

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  1001 Dark Nights story

  The First Night

  by Lexi Blake & M.J. Rose

  Table Of Contents

  Book Description

  About Jennifer L. Armentrout

  Also by Jennifer L. Armentrout

  Acknowledgments from Jennifer L. Armentrout


  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Also From 1001 Dark Nights

  An excerpt from Forever With You by Jennifer L. Armentrout

  Special Thanks

  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


  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 exp

  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 1

  You’d be really hot if you’d just lose some weight.

  My fingers curled around my car keys as I stormed out of the bar and into the thick, muggy air of July. The jagged edges dug into my palm as I resisted the urge to walk back and shove the keys into one of the jackass’s over-inflated muscles.

  From the moment Rick asked me out, I knew the date was going to be a bad idea.

  The second I’d stepped foot on the elliptical at the gym that was a part of the Lima Academy, I’d seen Rick buzzing from one chick to the next, wearing his nylon sweats and babyGap shirt, so tight I always expected it to burst at any given moment. I hadn’t even realized he worked for Lima Academy until tonight, employed in their sales and marketing department, and I felt like I knew everything about him because that was all Rick did.

  He talked about himself.

  God, why did I even agree to go out with him? Was I that lonely and sad? The clicking of my heels across the sidewalk was my only answer. Parking in the city on a Friday night was ridiculous. It was going to take a year to get to my car.

  You’d be really hot if you’d just lose some weight.

  My lips thinned. I couldn’t believe he actually said that to me, like it was a compliment. What in the actual hell? It wasn’t like I didn’t know I could stand to lose a few pounds or thirty, but in my twenty-eight years of life, I had long accepted that I would never, in the history of ever, have a thigh gap, my butt would always have strange dimples in it, and no amount of sit-ups were going to counterbalance my love of cupcakes.

  Deep down, I knew why I agreed to go out with him. I hadn’t been on a successful date in two years, and my last serious relationship had evoked the “to death do us part” clause.

  I was twenty-eight.

  A widow.

  A twenty-eight-year-old widow who needed to lose weight.

  Sighing, I turned the corner as I reached up, tucking my hair back from my face. A fine sheen of sweat dotted my brow. I stuck close to the edge of the sidewalk, walking under the street lamps and staying away from the dark shadows that bled out from the numerous alleys. I could see my car up ahead, at the end of the silent block. It was early for a Friday night, but I was going to go home, crack open that can of BBQ Pringles that had been calling my name all evening, and forget about Rick while diving into the latest Lara Adrian romance.

  Why couldn’t alpha vampires with a heart of gold be real?

  A sudden pained grunt snagged my attention as I was halfway to my car. Instinct flared alive, a burning fire in my gut urging me to keep walking, but I looked to my right. I couldn’t help it. My head turned on its own accord, a reflex, and I stumbled.

  Horror seized me, freezing my muscles and shooting darts of ice through my blood. Terror slowed time, throwing the scene into stark detail.

  Dull yellow light formed a halo over the three men in the alley. One stood further back from the other two. His hair bleached blond and greasy, sticking up all over his head. He had a scar. A thin slice across his cheek, paler than his skin. Another man was leaning against the brick wall of the building, crowding the alley. I couldn’t make out his features, because his head was hanging from his shoulders, and he appeared barely able to stand, obviously injured. The other man, his head completely shaven, stood directly in front of the injured man, and even though I only saw his profile, it was a face I’d never forget.

  Hatred bled into every line of the man’s face, from the dark slash of brows and squinty eyes, to the hooked nose and distorted, curled upper lip. He was a big guy. Tall. Broad in the shoulders. He wore a white tank top, and as my gaze tracked down his arm, I could tell his skin was shadowed with markings. A tattoo. But I wasn’t thinking about the tattoo when I saw what he held in his hand.

  The bald man was pointing a gun at the injured man!

  Instinct was screaming like a five-alarm fire. Run. Get away. There’s a gun! Go. But I couldn’t move, torn between shocked disbelief and some inherent, possibly suicidal urge to do the right thing, to intervene and to—

  A small light burst and thunder cracked overhead. The injured man crumbled as if some grand puppeteer had cut his strings. He hit the ground with a fleshy smack, and for a moment, all I could hear was my heart beating fiercely, pushing blood through my veins.

  That popping snap wasn’t thunder. The burst of light was a spark.

  Reality slammed into me as I stared at the fallen man in the alley. A dark puddle formed, spreading from where he lay face first on the dirty pavement. My heart seized in my chest as I opened my mouth, dragging in air.

  No. No way.

  The man with the scar was talking to the one with the gun, his voice an excited, high-pitched squeal, but I was beyond hearing the exact words. My hand spasmed, and the keys slipped from my grasp. They clattered off the sidewalk, as loud as me trying to run on a treadmill.

  Bald man’s head swung sharply in my direction, and if I had felt like time had slowed before, it stopped right then. Our gazes locked, and in an instant, a horrifying connection was formed. He saw me. I saw him.

  I saw him shoot someone in the face.

  And this man, this killer, knew that.

  His arm started to lift. All my muscles reacted and unlocked at the same moment. Pulse pounding, I spun around and started running back toward the bar, my lungs burning as a scream tore out from me, a sound I was sure even in my darkest moments, I’d never made before.

  Brick exploded to my left, showering wickedly sharp chunks into the air. Flashes of pain erupted along my cheek, and I stumbled. The heel on my shoe snapped and slipped off, but I kept running, leaving the shoe behind.

  I needed to find someone. I needed to call for help. I needed—

  Rounding the block, I slammed into someone. A startled scream was cut off as I bounced back. There was a grunt, and I felt a hand grasping for my arm, but it was too late. I went down, landing hard on my side. A flash of pain jarred my bones, knocking the air out of my lungs.

  “Holy shit,” a male voice boomed above me. “Are you okay?”

  I gulped and wheezed air as I flopped onto my front as I heard a woman say, “Of course she’s not okay, Jon. She kamikazed into you!”

  Lifting my head, I peered through the hair that had fallen into my face. I saw them—the one with the scar and the bald man, the cold-blooded murderer, running away, down the sidewalk, beyond where my car was parked. I watched them until they disappeared.

  “Miss?” the man asked. “Miss, are you okay?”

  Hands shaking, I pushed up onto my knees. The whole world took on a startling clarity. Cars driving by sounded like airplanes. Nearby doors closing sounded as if they were being repeatedly slammed, and my own heart was beating like a steel drum.

  “Yes. No.” I rasped out. Pressing my fingers to my burning cheek, I jerked my hand back when I felt the wet warmth. Darkness smeared the tips of my fingers. My gaze shot back to where I’d run from. “We need to call the police. Someone has been shot.”

  Chapter 2

  I’d never been inside a police station before. One might think I lived a boring life. No parking tickets to appear for. I’d never been fined for speeding. Even as a teenager, I obeyed the law.

  Well, I did do a little underage drinking here and t
here, and I most definitely smoked a bit of weed in my day, but I’d never gone overboard.

  And I’d been clever enough to not get caught.

  But now I was sitting in one of those rooms that I’d only seen on reality TV. I was sure the camera in the corner wasn’t for show. Although I’d done absolutely nothing wrong, I half expected a barrel-chested detective to burst through the door and start throwing accusations at me.

  My fingers curled around the crumbled tissue I’d been holding for what felt like hours. The man I’d kamikazed into had called the police since I hadn’t been able to figure out how to get my phone out of my purse and use it.


  That’s what the EMTs who’d arrived right behind the flashing red and blue lights of the police cars had told me. They had wanted me to go to the hospital to get checked out, but the responding officers were understandably impatient. They needed answers. I was a witness to a—to a murder.

  Because that man in the alley was dead.

  And there was nothing seriously wrong with me. My palms were a bit raw and my body ached from my tumble. The cuts on my cheeks were nothing compared to what had happened to the man lying facedown in the alley.

  I would be fine.

  My breath caught, and I refused to close my eyes for anything longer than a second because when I had as the police officer drove me to the station, I saw the bald man firing the gun. I heard it crack. I saw the man fold like a paper sack.

  I saw the bald man pointing the gun at me.

  Terror resurfaced, and I shut it down before it took hold, but it was a struggle to not think about the fact that the murderer had seen my face. He knew that I was a witness. That was terrifying because there was no doubt in my mind that he would have no problem putting a bullet in me.