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Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a great week!

I’m consumed in the world of Damian, so I can’t complain. 😉

So I have good news and bad news. But to tip the scales on the good news, I have another teaser for you from Damian! <3

It was a very difficult decision, but recently I decided that I wanted to take Damian’s story in another direction than what I had originally planned and wrote. I LOVE this new story line and I’m really excited to share it with you all! But because of this, I have both good news and bad news:

Good news: there is likely a sequel to Damian, which will come out in early 2014. 🙂

Bad news: I’ve scrapped a large portion of the original Damian, and am in the process of adding in the new story. I’m going to try really hard to get the book ready by the release date (11/14), but there is a chance that it may be delayed a week. So it will be released sometime between 11/14 – 11/21.

I’m so sorry that I cannot give you a solid date at this time. I’m in love with this story and I cannot wait to share it with you all. If you’d like to get an email the minute it’s live on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, iTunes, please sign up for my mailing list: http://goo.gl/hxnrcl.

To help ease the pain of waiting (I hate waiting myself!), here’s another teaser from Damian. Don’t forget to add Damian to your TBR on Goodreads. 🙂

You can find the draft Prologue here.

CHAPTER ONE
*This is the unedited draft and is subject to changes before publishing*

Alexis

“Here are you,” said the airport shuttle driver as he pulled up in front of my new apartment building.

I grinned widely and felt a thrill of anticipation run through me as I looked up at the building that would be my new home.

“I’m here,” I whispered softly to myself as my eyes took in the beautifully-aged cream Victorian-style building. The first floor of the building was a bar called “Damian’s”. Above the bar were four stories with three bay windows jetting out on each story.

I smiled when my eyes landed on the windows. That was the one requirement I had for my new studio: bay windows. It would remind me of my mom. I sighed and felt a jolt of emotion wash over me. It had been ten years since I lost my mom, and yet, it was just as painful now as it was ten years ago every time I thought of her.

“Just these two suitcases?” the driver asked as he pointed to two large suitcases in the back of the van.

“Yes, just those two.”

“Damn, these are heavy,” he exclaimed as he pulled the two suitcases out of the trunk. “Are you sure you don’t need any help with these?” He looked at doubtfully and eyed the packed tote that was already weighing down my shoulder.

“Yeah, I think I can manage,” I reassured him.

Truth be told, I wasn’t sure I could manage, but for some reason, I didn’t want the driver to linger around. I wanted this moment to be mine. I wanted my first day in front of my new apartment building in this completely new city to be all my own. I wanted to take in the first few moments of my new life alone.

“Okay, hun. Welcome to San Francisco,” the driver said as he closed the van door to the trunk.

“Thanks.” I smiled at the driver and gave him a tip for his help.

As I watched the van drive down the street and disappeared around the corner, I was consumed with a new sense of fear and excitement.

I turned my attention back to my new building and a cool breeze blew past. I shivered. It was late summer afternoon and I was shivering. You’re not in Iowa anymore, Dorothy, I thought sarcastically.

I wasn’t. I was in a new city. I was starting a new life. And for the first time in as long as I could remember, I was going to have a life without my past weighing me down. And at that moment, I felt so much hope in front of me. For that brief moment, I felt like anything could happen and everything was a possibility for me. For that brief moment, I felt like maybe this could be the place I could find my happiness—where I could find the happiness that would fill the deep holes of sorrow in my heart.

I thought back to how quickly things had changed for me, and how it was that I was standing in front of this building in the Mission District of San Francisco. It was only two weeks ago when I ended a relationship with a man that didn’t deserve my love. It was only two weeks ago that I decided to move away from the only place I’ve known for my entire life—the small town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was only two weeks ago that San Francisco became my destination, the city in which I was determined to find a new life for myself—a life where I wouldn’t be known as “that girl who became an orphan overnight at age thirteen.” I would be in a city where I wouldn’t receive those looks of pity and sympathy that I have been all too familiar with during the last ten years.

I walked through the lobby area. Straight ahead of me was the staircase leading up to the apartment units. A couple of rows of small mailboxes lined the wall to the right of the stairs, and on the other end, to my right, was a door to the bar, Damian’s. I looked up the steep staircases and groaned. I may need a few drinks after moving these suitcases up these steps, I thought.

I readjusted my large tote over my shoulder and started to lug my two large suitcases up the front steps of the building. “Unit 205. I’m on the second floor. I can totally do this,” I tried to encourage myself as I felt the strain against my fingertips as I heaved my suitcases up the steps, one in each hand.

Halfway up the first flight of stairs, I heard two people coming up the stairs behind me.

Shit, I’m blocking their way, I thought as I realized how unbelievably awkward and stupid I must have looked with two large suitcases and an over-filled tote.

“Ooo. Emm. Gee. She’s like going to take forever,” I heard a girl whisper to the person she was with, deliberately loud enough for me to hear.

Fucking bitch, I thought. I knew instantly that I would hate her.

I stopped and tried to turn towards them as best as I could as my suitcases and tote weighed down my heavy hands and arm.

“Ooo. Emm. Gee. Like, thanks so much for your patience,” I said sarcastically, mimicking her Valley Girl accent.

To my surprise, I heard the other person—a guy—snicker.

“Hey!” the girl scorned at the guy and I heard a slap, which I could assumed was her hitting him against the chest.

“What? That was funny,” the guy said with a chuckle, who seemed completely undisturbed that the girl was upset.

I smiled to myself. There was something in the smoothness of his rich, deep voice that drew me in. I tried to move the suitcase that blocked my view of him so that I could see his face. But the only thing I could see was an intricate arm-length tattoo down the guy’s left arm.

He’s one of those guys, I thought to myself, somewhat judgmentally as I automatically painted a picture in my head of what kind of guy he would be: a cocky guy who was nothing but trouble.

Now my curious had gotten the best of me. What did he look like? I wondered.

I cranked my head further downward towards where he stood on the staircase, trying my best to be subtle. Suddenly, I knew it was about to happen before it did: the strap to my tote began to give way to the amount of items I had stuffed in it. I watched in horror as several items from my tote, including a large Nalgene water bottle fell out of my tote and down towards them.

“Ouch! What the fuck?” exclaimed the girl as the half-full Nalgene bottle hit the girl’s shin.

“Oops, sorry about that,” I said, trying to sound sincere. I felt bad for her, but a part of me instantly thought: that’s Karma.

“Yeah right,” the girl huffed. Clearly, we were on the same page about how we felt towards one another.

“Here, let me help you,” offered the guy. I heard the girl give an exasperated sigh as the guy moved up the stairs towards me.

“Oh, you don’t have to,” I insisted, a part of me still determined to keep this move-in experience all to myself. I felt one of my suitcases lift out of my sore hand, and immediately felt relieved for the help.

As he lowered the suitcase down to where he stood on the stairs, I drew in a sharp intake of breath as I saw him for the first time.

He’s fucking gorgeous.

He was an image of perfection, the most attractive man I’ve ever seen in my life, in real life or on a glossy magazine. My heart skipped a beat and I immediately felt self-conscious.

Ugh. I look like shit, I thought. I knew I probably still had some sweat on my face from heaving up the suitcases up these steps.

I should have listened to my best friend, Deb. She said to always look your best when traveling because you never know who you’d bump into—at the airport or once you’ve reach your destination.

But I had brushed off Deb’s advice. This was my first time traveling on a plane—I was not lying when I said I’ve lived in Cedar Rapids all my life—and six hours of flying, with a layover in O’Hare International in Chicago made me extremely nervous. So comfort was the only thing I had in mind—well, comfort and not dying, that was.

So naturally, the one time I decided to not listen to Deb’s advice, I bump into the most gorgeous man alive. Typical. Here I was, a midwest girl with mousy brown hair in an Iowa State sweatshirt and baggy jeans lugging two suitcases that were each larger than my body up these stairs. What’s worse, there was a large, faded yellow mustard stain on the sweatshirt, smack in the middle of my right breast. I knew I should have gotten rid of the sweatshirt after failing to clean out the stain, but I just couldn’t seem to part with it. As odd as it may have been, I found comfort in that sweatshirt. It was worn and loose at just the right spots. And a lot of great college memories involved that sweatshirt. It was like a grown-up version of a security blanket for me. I loved wearing it.

But at that very moment, I wish I would have worn anything else but that sweatshirt. I winced in embarrassment as I caught the guy’s piercing blue eyes dart to my right breast, where the large mustard stain resided, and I felt my face grow hot.

The guy gave me smile, and for that brief moment, I was paralyzed by that smile. For that brief moment, I was unable to move, to think, or even to tell you what my name was.

“You should be more careful,” he said as he eyed me with amusement.

“Sorry.” I gave him an apologetic smile and hoped he didn’t think I was some idiot. “My bag just broke.”

“Perfect timing,” he said, and for some reason, I couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic.

“Oh, and you dropped a few things,” he said with a devious smirk on his face.

I pulled my gaze from his deep-blue, mesmerizing eyes and looked down towards his hands. I cringed in horror at what I saw.

Along with the Nalgene bottle that hit the girl’s head, a strip of Trojan Magnum Ecstasy condoms and a pair of pink fuzzy handcuffs must have also fell out of my tote because they were now in this guy’s hands. My face grew hotter as the guy handed them to me. I thought I saw a twinkle in his eyes as he looked up at me.

“Oh—” I began, unable to think, let alone speak.

I grabbed the condoms and handcuffs and stuffed them back into my tote.

“Umm …” I tried to think through the haze of mortification that was clouding my head. “Those aren’t mine.”

“Right,” the guy said as he dragged out the word and nodded. He was unconvinced.