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Blind Wolf(Werewolf Shifter Romance, book 1)(1) by Aubrey Rose

CHAPTER ONE

Julia

It was just a normal day at work until he arrived.

Julia piled the stack of books on top of the rolling shelf. Her back ached—the college library had gotten in a shipment of new books. Thirty-four boxes of them, in fact. Julia knew it was thirty-four boxes because her boss had made her carry every single one of them into the back storage room, and then unload every single one of them onto the shelving racks.

Hurry up," Helen said, craning her neck out of her office and adjusting the glasses on her wrinkled, hooked nose. "We're closing soon."

I know," Julia said, rolling her eyes so that her boss couldn't see. "I'm almost done."

Really? Those books need to be shelved tonight."

What?" Julia straightened up and then bent over again, her back twinging with pain.

You heard me." Helen said.

I can do them tomorrow," Julia said. She gritted her teeth and tried to keep her tone civil. "I'll come in early—"

They have to be shelved day-of-shipment," Helen said. "Not my rule. It's the college's rule. Do it tonight." Her head disappeared back into her office before Julia could speak another word of protest.

This is crazy," Julia muttered, piling an armful of new books onto the top of the shelf.

Excuse me? Did you say something?"

Nothing!" Julia pushed the rolling rack away from Helen's office and heading around the corner to the book stacks. If she was going to get this done by midnight, she would have to get started. Thirty-four boxes of books to shelve—

Hey, watch out!" The cart jerked to a stop, spilling books on the floor. One of the college students she'd run into dropped his notebook, and paper spilled everywhere. His friend laughed meanly.

I'm sorry," she said automatically, bending down to clean up the mess. The college student yanked his papers out of her hand, not even meeting her eyes.

Clumsy," he said, scoffing as he walked away.

Weight equals momentum," his friend said as they turned away. "You didn't stand a chance against her!" Their laughter echoed in the hallway as they walked out of the library entrance. Julia bent down and shoved the books back onto the rolling rack roughly.

Stupid boys," she said. "Don't know anything. They're mean anyway." She blinked fiercely to stop the tears that had pressed up against the backs of her eyes. She wished with all of her heart that she could be a college student like them, spending the day at class and studying in the library. All of the students that went to the college seemed to be young and beautiful, with bright futures ahead of them.

But no, not her. She didn't deserve it. The tears that had burned her eyes now spilled over her cheeks.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself," Julia whispered. "Dumbass jerks. Stupid frat boys." She knelt down to grab the last book off of the floor and a man's voice behind her startled her. The book tumbled from her fingers.

Excuse me, can you show me where the audiobooks are?"

We're closing," Julia snapped, wiping the tears from her eyes as she stood up. "I need to—"

She gasped as she looked up at the man in front of her. He was unlike any college student she'd ever seen, but he didn't look old enough to be a professor. She'd never seen him before. He was tall, with a shock of dark brown hair that tumbled over the dark glasses which concealed his eyes. His jawline was strong, his arms muscled, but his clean, crisp manner made it unlikely that he was one of the college jocks. In his hand was a polished wood cane with a red and white tip.

Julia felt a shock run through her body, a jolt of familiarity—from where?— accompanied by an intense desire that arced through her nerves at record speed. It startled her—the blind man standing in front of her was attractive, sure, but she had never fallen headlong for any boy just because of his handsomeness. This man, though, took her breath away as he stood in front of her, his expression polite and dignified, his features dark and masculine. The air between them crackled with electrical energy.

When Julia had been a little girl, her mother read her fairy tales. There were knights and wolves, and of course princesses. Princesses who fell asleep for ages or were poisoned to death, and woke up with a kiss once their Prince Charming had arrived. She had always imagined her very own Prince Charming. He would be tall, dark, and handsome, of course—all princes were—but he would also be smart. Daring. Intelligent. Ambitious. And kind. For years Julia had dreamed about her prince, but the time she had spent warding off advances from drunk college boys or too-old creepy professors had convinced her that such a man would never exist. Or if he did exist, she would never get to meet him. But at that moment when she looked up and saw the man's face, there was only one thought that ran through her mind.

That's him.

For one split second, she swore he had felt the same shock. His hands clenched at the top of his cane, and he raised both eyebrows in a look of surprise. But then he relaxed into a neutral expression, and she shook the thought of some kind of connection between them out of her head. There was no way.

I'm so sorry to bother you," he said. The soft curve of his smile apologized a second time.

I wouldn't ask if it weren't very important."

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