Home > Nice Girls Don't Live Forever (Jane Jameson #3)

Nice Girls Don't Live Forever (Jane Jameson #3)
Molly Harper

1

The worst thing you can do in a relationship, vampire or otherwise, is actually telling your partner that you don’t trust him. Even if it’s true.

—Love Bites: A Female Vampire’s Guide to Less

Destructive Relationships

My life didn’t begin until I died.

Pre-vampire Jane worked Saturdays and holidays and any other days that no one else on the library staff wanted to work. I had never done anything for myself. I’d never traveled. And now, I was my own boss. I’d had the opportunity to kiss foreign soil. Actually, it was the tile in Heathrow Airport’s Sunproof Lounge on the very first stop of our trip—London. I think my worship of solid ground embarrassed my sire/boyfriend, Gabriel Nightengale. And the pickpockets were able to peg me as a tourist right away. But I was really, really happy to be off that plane.

I have claustrophobia issues.

I’d never had a healthy adult relationship as a live girl. Then again, I’d just abandoned my 150-year-old boy-friend in a hotel room in Brussels, so maybe this one didn’t count, either.

I’m pretty sure it was Brussels. We’d made quite a few stops since London.

My ’round-the-world romantic getaway with Gabriel turned sour early on, right after we checked into our first hotel in London. There was a note waiting for Gabriel at the front desk, fancy linen paper addressed in spidery black ink. Whatever it said, it put him in a very foul mood. The minute we’d settled into the exceedingly posh room, he put his flowy black coat back on, said he had to make some phone calls, and disappeared for most of the night. My newly purchased trunkload of lacy underthings took this very personally. When he returned, he gave me a cursory kiss good night and collapsed into sleep. I managed to say, “What the hell?” in about fourteen languages.

You know how after you’ve hung around a person for a while, you can tell when they’re trying to have a good time? Well, this phenomenon was just frightening in Gabriel. He was like a Carlson Wagonlit agent on crack, manically planning all-night excursions to museums, the opera, beer gardens, fancy intimidating parties with his fancy intimidating friends—anything that would keep us out of the hotel room from dusk till dawn. Gabriel’s credit-card company put a fraud watch on his accounts as we switched hotels on a whim, two or three times per city. Each time we checked in, a creamy linen envelope was waiting for him at the front desk. And each time, his eyes got just a little more Manson-ish. Charles or Marilyn, take your pick.

His cell phone rang incessantly, and every time it did, he either let it go to voicemail or whispered, “Business,” and took the call outside. I tried to ignore the warning signs. I tried to give Gabriel the benefit of the doubt, but a girl can only bury her head so deep in the sand. He had told me months before that he was having issues he couldn’t tell me about. There were frequent business trips during which I couldn’t reach him by phone. And I’d found out that on several occasions, he’d lied about where he’d been. He’d assured me that it wasn’t another woman, despite the fact that the name “Jeanine” had popped up on his cell phone several times. Never had I wished so much that my stupid, inconsistent mind-reading powers worked on my sire.

Even though I still had (raging, screaming) doubts, I had chosen to believe him. And now, I was starting to feel like one of those women at whom people yell, “How stupid can you be?” when they inevitably appear on Dr. Phil .

I suppose one should expect a certain amount of drama in a relationship that started with one party dying in a muddy ditch off a dark country road. I don’t like talking about the night I was turned. All young vampires eventually get drunk with their buddies and share war stories about how they became undead. I do not partake in such revelries. Why?

The short version is this: I was (unfairly, unceremoniously) fired from the library and replaced by my supervisor’s barely literate firebug stepdaughter. But instead of getting a severance check, I got just enough of a gift certificate to get rip-snorting drunk at Shenanigans. I met Gabriel, flirtation ensued. I sobered enough to drive, but as a result of unfortunate circumstances, my ancient car, Big Bertha, died halfway home. I was spotted walking down the road by the town drunk, Bud McElray, who mistook me for a deer and shot me. I was left in the ditch to die, only to be found and turned by Gabriel.

You don’t become a vampire just by being bitten. Vampirism isn’t a germ or a curse or karmic justice for overtanners. To make a childe, a vampire will feed on a human until he or she reaches the point of death, then feed the initiate as much undead blood as he or she can take. The process takes a lot out of the sire, which is why a vampire will only turn a handful of “children” in his or her lifetime.

Gabriel being my sire and my boyfriend caused some complications in our relationship. It was his job to lead me through the transition to vampirism, but since I rarely listened to him, that didn’t work out so well. And confrontations between the two of us tended to get sort of violent … and naked. So, instead of indulging in accusations of infidelity and undead Johnny Depp hotel theatrics, I bit my tongue. Hell, I bit a hole through my tongue. Fortunately, I had vampire healing, so it grew right back. But then we checked into the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Munich, and a linen envelope was waiting.

The look on Gabriel’s face made a bellboy cry.

Our itinerary became even more packed. I was frequently left alone with Gabriel’s strange Euro-vampire friends as he held urgent “business meetings.” I occasionally woke up at dusk and couldn’t figure out where Gabriel was. Of course, we switched locations so often, a few times I woke up and couldn’t figure out where I was. But that didn’t make me feel any better when Gabriel crept into the room with lame excuses about running out for a newspaper or a fresh bottle of blood. Even my “white lie acceptance” level has limits.

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