Author's Note: This manuscript is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of my imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or to actual events, products, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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Chapter 1: The Maneater Bites Back

It's Labor Day. A gorgeous, warm Labor Day at that. There are a ton of people outside on the streets or on the Boston Common to celebrate. But I'm not outside. Forget that crap; I'm not an outdoors person. I'm pale as hell and probably allergic to sunshine. So to celebrate the last summer holiday my way, Dahsan and I are chilling out in my studio apartment, watching TV and drinking the not-so-fresh beer that was left over in my fridge from before summer break. Ah, there's nothing like drinking a cold Sam Adams Boston Lager in Boston, even if it's not my first beer of choice. But it's still a fairly decent way to kill time.

"Well," Dahsan snorts, leaning his head back to swallow the last of his beer, "this was a pretty crappy Labor Day, huh, Elle. If it weren't for Sammy here, it would've been a total waste."

"Yeah, tell me about it." I'm pretty depressed at the thought of starting the new academic year tomorrow, even if it is my last one. "Dude, I am so not looking forward to tomorrow morning. I've gotta take that stupid lab safety-and-protocols seminar first thing in the morning. I don't know how I'm gonna get through it." My stomach churns at the thought of attending yet another one of those Welcome-to-the-Clinic lectures. I've already had the distinct displeasure of attending two of them. If I can't get the information right after all this time, well, I'd better just slit my wrists now and get it over with.

"Well, I've got four hours of oral pathology." He smirks as he raises an eyebrow at me. "Wanna trade?"

I punch him in the arm in reply. "Dude, I already put in my time with that class. You're on your own."

I missed Dahsan so much during my summer break. I haven't seen him in two months, which feels like forever, considering how long a week in dental school can run. The first-year dental students have an eight-week summer break instead of four weeks like the rest of us, which means that while I was still slaving it out in the clinic, that little punk Dahsan was boarding a flight to go home to San Diego. He told me that he really lived it up while he was home, hitting up the bars and hitting on girls, drinking heavily, hanging out with David (read: using David as his wingman) and discussing my endless dates with him. Apparently, they both came to the same conclusion: that I should just give up dating and marry David. I fell off the loveseat in hysterical peals of laughter when Dahsan told me that one. I mean, I do love David and all. Maybe if I'm not married by the time I hit my 34th birthday, I'll do it. Hell, there are worse things in life than marrying someone you love.

So here we are, each of us beginning a new year in dental school. He has one year down, I have one year to go. And I'm pretty sure that in both our cases, it's going to be a crappy year. Let's face it, no matter what year it is, dental school sucks.

"You know, Dahsan, this is my last year living in Boston." With a little bit of wistfulness, I swallow another mouthful of Sam Adams. This can't be good for my waistline. Three bottles of Bud Light is one thing, but three bottles of Sam Adams is quite another. I think I've consumed my entire dinner's worth of calories with these beers. Damn it.

"Yeah, I know. How do you feel about that?" He looks over at me, but this time he's not being a smart-ass. He's being honest.

"I'm not sure yet," I answer honestly. "It'll be the greatest thing, the greatest feeling in the world to finally be done with dental school, but I don't know how I feel about permanently relocating to CT."

It will be incredible when I'm finally done with school, I've become a dentist and can get on with the rest of my life, I know that much. No questions there. Unfortunately, being out of school will also mean moving out of my apartment in Boston and leaving behind friends I consider family, as well as places that qualify as my home away from home, like Beantown Pub or even Rock Bottom. I have mixed emotions about the concept.

One thing's for sure, though. I'm going to grab Boston by the balls and make the most of my time left. I'm going to work hard, play hard, and date harder. The Maneater is going to bite back. I sure hope Boston and its boys are ready for me.