Dale Edinger has just inherited a house from his aunt. It's a good thing too because traumatic shoulder damage and PTSD has forced the Marine lieutenant to retire. Fortunately, or unfortunately, Aunt Mildred's inheritance is more than an overfull and chaotic house. All kinds of surprises await Dale as he sorts through his aunt's hoard.
Riadh is one of those surprises. He's a djinn, a being of magic from another culture -- and Dale is his new owner--much to Dale's dismay. Riadh has his own history and a set of rules that make it impossible for him to be freed. It's not only Riadh that Dale has to contend with either. In fact, just finding the magickal objects that his aunt had squirreled away in her house will be a trick. When he finds them, what does he do with them? And what about Riadh?
Dale finally decided that he should start with the bedroom he was sleeping in. If he got the majority of Aunt Mildred’s accumulated mess out of there, maybe he could begin to feel like the house was actually his. Those boxes Carol dropped off were a start. Dale began excavating the closet in the room he’d slept in. Eight pairs of shoes and eleven purses came out of the floor of the closet. He started on the upper shelf next, thinking he’d deal with the clothing hanging in the closet last. A totally ugly lamp with elephants on the bottom, and four hat boxes were the first things off the shelf. Then came a shoe box labeled black pumps with a tiny picture of a high heeled shoe. He didn’t remember his aunt ever wearing anything high heeled. The box was awfully light. Was it empty?
He lifted the lid off. A plume of smoke erupted from the box, swirling up and out. Dale stumbled backward, startled. He fell and landed on his ass. The mini blue-gray tornado swirled up to the ceiling then back down to the floor and coalesced into a ... guy. Dale stared at him. What the hell? Where had he come from? And why was he dressed like that? The man was slender with nicely defined muscles. His skin was the warm tan that might indicate Hispanic or middle eastern descent, and he wore exactly one item of clothing, an almost transparent pair of blood red harem pants.
“How may I serve?” asked the man. He pressed his hands together in a praying motion and bent slightly at the waist.
“Uh ... who the fuck are you?” Dale demanded. His eyes were drawn to the guy’s crotch. He couldn’t help it. The guy was damn near naked.
“I am Riadh. How may I serve?”
“Where’d you come from?”
The man looked puzzled. “The box.”
“No, really. How’d you get in the house?” Dale demanded.
“I was gifted to Mistress Mildred. Perhaps you should ask her to give you the pertinent details.”
The man looked pained. In fact, he looked as though he might burst into tears. “Then you are my new master if you are the owner of my box. How did she die?”
Dale slowly got to his feet. “A stroke followed by pneumonia and heart failure. She was ninety- four. There wasn’t much they could do. What did you mean by I’m your master? I’m not into the BDSM lifestyle.”
“I am a djinn. I must be owned or I am nothing.”
“You’re what?” Dale tried to connect the word the man had used to the spiral of smoke he’d seen. No, that couldn’t be possible. Weren’t djinn some Arabian Nights mythos thing? Mythos as is fairytale. As in not real.
“A djinn. I am an elemental spirit of the desert, harnessed by magic.”
“So do I get three wishes?” It was a smart-ass reply but the only thing that popped into Dale’s head.
“It doesn’t work that way.” The man still looked visibly upset.
“So then why the hell did you say I’m your Master? Not that I’m sure I’m believing any of this, but I’ll humor you.”
“Are you the owner of the box?”
“Yes, I guess so. Mildred was my aunt. When she died, I inherited the house and everything in it,” Dale replied.
“Then I serve you.”