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Damian's Conquest (Scanguards Vampires #14)

Damian's Conquest (Scanguards Vampires #14)

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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Lara Adrian, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Midnight Breed series: "I'm addicted to Tina Folsom's books! The Scanguards® series is one of the hottest things to happen to vampire romance. If you love scorching, fast-paced reads, don't miss this thrilling series!"

Scanguards Hybrids #2
As a hybrid vampire who not only works as a bodyguard for Scanguards, but also moonlights at the nightclub Mezzanine, owned by his father and Samson, Damian has his pick of beautiful women. But when journalist Naomi Sutton breaks into the nightclub’s office while investigating allegations of supposed blood rituals at the club, Damian’s blood stirs in a way it has never before. But how can he keep Naomi from digging up his secrets when he wants nothing more than to have her close?
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About the Book

Excerpt

1

“Do you think I should have breast reduction surgery?” Naomi Sutton asked.

Heather, her best friend since high school, stared at her. They were having lunch in the food court of the Westfield Shopping Center just around the corner from Naomi’s office at the San Francisco Chronicle, where she worked as a news reporter. It didn’t happen often that they had time for lunch together, because Heather worked in Mission Bay at one of UCSF’s new medical research buildings. But today, Heather had to run errands downtown, and they’d gotten together for an impromptu lunch.

“Why would you do that?” Heather asked, her dark-brown eyes boring into her.

“Well, wouldn’t you in my shoes?” Naomi gestured to Heather’s perfect figure. “You’re a size six, and look great, but look at me, I can barely fit into a twelve as is, and with my boobs, I always look like a cupcake with frosting spilling over the top.”

Heather laughed. “You don’t look like a cupcake. You’re just… uh, voluptuous.”

“Voluptuous, my ass. People stare at me all the time.”

“You mean guys check you out,” Heather corrected her.

“I get so self-conscious, you know. I always have the feeling I should cover up.”

“Don’t do that, Naomi. You look gorgeous. You have beautiful blond hair. I wish I had that, instead of dull brown. And on top of it you’ve got blue eyes. No wonder guys look at you, you’re pretty. So what if you’re a little larger than other women? Not everybody can be model-thin. And guys like boobs. I wish I had more up top.” She gestured to her breasts, which to Naomi looked perfectly proportioned. “Just because your ex is now dating a skinny bitch doesn’t mean that he dumped you because you’re…uh…”

“Fat?” Naomi helped.

“You’re not fat. Your figure is more like what women used to look like, you know, in the fifties. Besides, Marilyn Monroe wasn’t skinny either. There. You’re basically like Marilyn Monroe. And nobody ever told her to get a breast reduction or lose weight.”

Naomi forced a smile. “You sure? It’s just, I haven’t been on a date in months… and I figured maybe it’s because guys want a slim girlfriend.”

Heather chuckled. “The reason you haven’t been on a date in a while is because you intimidate guys.”

“I don’t intimidate guys.”

“Yes, you do. You’re bossy, opinionated, and you don’t take shit from anybody.”

“Well, in a guy those characteristics would be positive. He’d be seen as assertive.”

Heather shrugged. “Yeah, but that’s the world we live in. Guys want women who’re easier to handle. Whereas you are Capital-T grade trouble. You’ll just need to find the right guy who’s up for the challenge.”

“Hah!” Naomi blew out a big breath. “Guess I’ll be single and dateless for a while then.”

Naomi’s cell phone chimed. She looked at it and saw a message from her editor, Wei Guo. “I’ve gotta get back. Wei wants to see me.”

She quickly typed a message to let him know that she was on her way.

Heather sighed. “Bad timing. I wanted you to come to the Halloween store with me. I still need a costume for Carrie’s party tonight.”

“Sorry, no can do.”

“Why don’t I buy you an outfit, and you’ll come to the party with me?”

Naomi rose and grabbed her jacket. “You know how much I hate costume parties. Or parties in general. It’s just another excuse for everybody to get shitfaced and behave badly.”

“Mr. Right could be at the party, waiting for you,” Heather teased.

“More like Mr. Right-Now,” Naomi said with a chuckle. “I’ll think about it, okay?”

“Just don’t wait too long to make a decision. The stores are all pretty much out of decent costumes already.”

Despite her claim to think about it, Naomi knew it was doubtful that she would go to the Halloween party with Heather. She would most likely curl up in front of the television and watch a horror flick while eating ice cream.

Naomi rushed back to the office. Her editor immediately called her into his office.

“Hey, Wei, what did you want to speak to me about?”

The short Chinese man with the full black hair pointed to a manila folder on his desk. “I want you to check something out for me. We got reports that there might be something odd going on at one of the nightclubs South of Market.”

Naomi raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean by going on? Drug dealing?”

To her surprise, Wei shook his head. He tapped on the folder. “Neighbors are reporting that people are coming out of the back entrance of this club covered in blood.”

“Are you saying the neighbors witnessed a crime at the club? Have you asked Katrina what info she can get from SFPD about that? Because I haven’t seen anything like that come across my desk.” After all, she handled mostly entertainment news.

“That’s because the neighbor who saw this, a Mrs. Zhang, says the police dismissed her claims. And she couldn’t give them any definite proof that a crime happened there. Apparently, she’s previously lodged noise complaints against the club, so the police think she’s just stirring up some shit again.”

“So why are we looking into it then? I mean she’s probably doing just that: complaining about the club because she’s annoyed about the noise. And since the police aren’t doing enough about it, she’s escalating.” Naomi shrugged.

Wei rubbed his neck. “That’s probably what it is, but what if there’s something to the story after all? What if there’s some kinky BDSM shit going on down there? Or some satanic rituals? You know, like those fraternity societies. Why would she invent something so outlandish like people with blood all over their clothes and their faces? We could do with a juicy story. Our subscription numbers are down. Find something. Just go there, and look around.”

“Why me?” Naomi asked. “That’s more a story for Katrina. She works the crime beat.”

“Yeah, and she’s pushing fifty and not the right demographic for the club. If she goes there, she’ll stick out like a sore thumb. You’re the right age. You’ll blend in.” He handed her the folder. “Club’s name is Mezzanine.”

“The Mezzanine?” Naomi asked. She’d heard of it. Everybody who was anybody went to the Mezzanine. “How am I gonna get in there? They’re pretty choosy about whom they let in. I mean the bouncer—”

“Wear something sexy, and they’ll let you in. Just like any other nightclub,” Wei claimed. Then he pointed to the folder in her hand again. “Mrs. Zhang’s contact info is in there, as well as who owns the club. Look into it, and let me know if there’s anything to her claims.”

Wei Guo turned to his computer, and Naomi left his office.

The large newsroom was half-empty not only because some of the staff had taken off early to go trick-or-treating with their kids, but also because there’d been layoffs. Naomi still had a job, because she was one of the young staff members whose salary was low. Some of the senior and much better paid staff had either been laid off or been lured away by online news blogs or cable news outlets.

In her cubicle, Naomi perused the thin file Wei Guo had given her. There wasn’t much: the contact information for Mrs. Zhang, a neighbor living in an apartment building behind the club, a summary of her rantings about bloody clubbers and seemingly clandestine meetings behind the club, as well as information on the ownership of the club.

According to the public records, the club was co-owned by two individuals: Samson Woodford and Amaury LeSang. She couldn’t find much about the two men on the internet. They had no social media accounts. The only time she found the two men’s names mentioned anywhere was in a report about security companies. It appeared that both men were associated with Scanguards, a nationwide security company providing bodyguards for personal protection. However, their website was bare-bones, only giving an address in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco and a telephone number. By the looks of it, they didn’t advertise their services anywhere Naomi could find, leading her to believe that they relied mostly on word-of-mouth to grow their business.

Luckily, the Mezzanine had a website. According to the About Us page, the club was run by two managers, Damian LeSang and Patrick Woodford. The same last names as the owners. She guessed that the two managers were sons of the owners. She knew what that meant: the owners had bought their sons a business to run. Yeah, rich kids who wanted a toy and got it in the form of a successful nightclub. To confirm her assumption, she googled the two managers, but neither of them had a social media presence. Odd. However, she dug a little deeper, and found that Damian was mentioned in several social media posts. She clicked on the first post and saw a photo of a gorgeous redhead with a model figure who fairly clung to a tall hunk with dark hair and blue eyes. According to the post, this was Damian LeSang. He looked like sex personified.

Her heart began to flutter at such perfect maleness. She quickly closed the tab on the browser and went back to the nightclub’s homepage. There she looked closer at the colorful banner announcing a Halloween party at the club tonight. She read through it, until she came to the end, where two lines were bolded.

If you’re not wearing an awesome or sexy costume, you won’t be admitted tonight. Impress us!

Naomi’s breath caught. There might as well have been a third sentence: We mean you, Naomi.

Well, she wasn’t one to back down from a challenge. Maybe checking out the club during a Halloween party would actually be a good thing. She would be disguised, and the club would be so busy that nobody would notice her sniffing around. In fact, the more she thought about it, the more she liked the idea.

She glanced at the clock. She had to hurry to find a suitable costume before everything was sold out. She needed to find one that would guarantee her admittance to the Mezzanine.

About the Scanguards Vampires series

The Scanguards Vampires series is full of fast-paced action, scorching love scenes, witty dialogue, and strong heroes and heroines. Vampire Samson Woodford lives in San Francisco and owns a security/bodyguard company, Scanguards, which employs both vampires and humans. And eventually some witches. Throw in a few immortal guardians and demons later in the series, and you'll get the drift! Each book can be read as a standalone and always centers around a new couple finding love, but the series is more enjoyable when read in order. And of course, there are always a few running jokes - you'll understand when you meet Wesley, a wannabe witch. Enjoy!

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