I cranked up the heater in my car and hit the button for the seat warmer. Almost every time I did this I thought of all the crappy cars I had driven in my life most of which could barely say they had heaters let alone seat warmers. But my Mercedes SUV had no problem fending off the Colorado winter before I even pulled out of the parking lot. If my new boss – most recent in a series of four in the last three years – thought it was odd that one of his waitresses drove a Mercedes, he never said anything. Probably because he had hired the waitress and bartender together and the bartender drove an even more expensive car, only worked the late shift and scared the crap out of the bar's owner.
Eric and I had been in Aspen, Colorado for about six months now, the last stop in a long line of towns we'd been through in the last three years staying well ahead of the FBI and several other groups that were none too happy with my vampire boyfriend or me. Husband? Bonded? Whatever, titles weren't important. Although I did kind of wish that America would make up its mind about vampire marriage so we could have it be a little less awkward. Calling Eric my undead life partner was just a little too weird for me. Anyway, what was sort of amazing about all of it was five towns in three years, my life wasn't really so different. I was still slinging drinks for a living, although now at a really high-priced tourist bar and we rented an amazing farmhouse way outside of town with no one to speak of in terms of neighbors. Although this one didn't need the constant work that mine had and I had totally redecorated it when we'd moved in. I was still involved with a vampire. Although not with the same doubts that I had in the past.
We'd left Louisiana after the situation with the FBI and de Castro really got out of control. It wasn't just about me either, nobody seemed too happy about the connection that Eric and I shared and he had royally pissed off de Castro during the fairy war too, a little too aggressively negotiating for my life with the fae.
It became clear that the only way we were going to get out of anything alive, let alone together (and by together I mean neither of us being shipped to Vegas against our will and living in one of Felipe's hotel as his "guest" while the other one met some equally questionable fate somewhere else), was to "take a breather" as Eric had surprisingly put it. I'd been stunned that he was willing to do this for me, but he had simply shrugged and said that you only get to be a thousand years old by knowing "when to fold 'em and when to run." The quoting of Kenny Rogers had startled me three years ago, but nowadays I knew that Eric adapted and he blended that was why he was more than a thousand years old and how he was going to keep me alive too.
So my adaptable, blendable vampire and I took off for destinations unknown, which turned out to be a series of tourist towns where people didn't really look at the wait staff too closely – well, except for Eric. He had plenty of money that we could have drawn from but we really didn't even need to touch it. I'm a good waitress, so I do okay in a place where people have lots of money to tip, but Eric tending bar in a place where rich divorcees go to relax, it was a gold mine. I think Eric probably could have drained one of the patrons on top of the bar and the owner still wouldn't have cared. Every bar was the same within about two weeks he had tripled their business.
And I thought fangbangers were aggressive. After the first bar, I bought him a wedding ring, but by the third bar I told him to take it off, it just seemed to make them more aggressive. Nothing like a rich woman hearing that the man she wants is married to a waitress, it was like, well I guess like cutting yourself in front of a vampire. Not that I worried about the silicon squad, they were just the same annoyance that the fangbangers had been.
Actually, despite running away from everyone I had ever loved, leaving my home and freezing to death in this climate, I was pretty happy. A fact that I was reminded of as I pulled into my driveway that night.