Home > The Vampire’s Fake Fiancée (Nocturne Falls #5)(3)

The Vampire’s Fake Fiancée (Nocturne Falls #5)(3)
Author: Kristen Painter

“I have a job.”

“Are you the dean of anything?”

Now it was Tessa’s turn to sigh. “No. But I could get promoted.”

“The only way you’re going to get promoted is if that old battle ax that’s in charge dies.”

“Jenna, that’s unkind.”

“It’s true, though, isn’t it?”

Tessa frowned. “Yes.”

“And didn’t you call me last week and say that if you could find another librarian job, you’d take it in a heartbeat?”

Tessa took a breath. “Yes. But that was in the heat of the moment.”

“It still happened. Now you have a chance. So take a week off, come down here and submit your resume. What have you got to lose?”

“I’d have to bring Duncan.”

Jenna gasped. “Do you have a boyfriend?”

Tessa pressed her hand to her forehead, the headache of confession surely on its way. “Duncan is my cat.” Who was now chewing off the end of the curtain pull.

“I knew you adopted a cat.”

“I didn’t adopt him, exactly. Someone dropped him in the book return slot, and Mrs. Unger was going to take him to the pound. Can you imagine? The poor thing. He’s just this tiny little ball of brown and black striped fur. Some dog would probably think he was a chew toy. Or a snack.”

“Told you she was a battle ax.”

“She is an enormous grump. Constantly nitpicking my work. And between us, she smells oddly like Lipton onion soup mix. All the time.”

Jenna laughed. “See? You don’t want to work there. You want to be in charge of your own library. The library dean. Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?”

“It does.” Tessa closed her eyes. The library at a well-funded private academy could be a magnificent thing. “Do you have any idea what the library at this school looks like?”

“I’ve only been up to the academy once. They have their own security force. But the campus is gorgeous. I’m sure the library is great.”

Tessa bit her lip. A library like that could be really something. And to be in charge of it? That was a little dizzying. “I’ll have to put in for time off.”

Jenna muttered disgustedly, “What if Battle Ax says no?”

“I don’t think she’d do that. I have two vacation days coming. I just have to fill out the form and get them approved. Shouldn’t take more than ten days. Two weeks, tops.”

“Wait that long and the job could be gone by the time you get here. Just quit and come here. Bring Dumpling. Bring everything. Move.”


“Yes, him too. C’mon, Tessa. You can live with me until you get on your feet. I make enough money for both of us to live on. We’re not going to be taking a singles cruise anytime soon, but we’ll be okay until you start the dean position.”

“If I just quit my job, I’m not going to be able to use them for a reference.”

“You really think Unger is going to give you a decent reference? Doesn’t she blame you for the county deciding the library needed a Facebook page?”

“Yes.” That had been an ugly few weeks. Even with the four hundred likes they’d garnered. “But what if I don’t get the job? What if something happens and the interview doesn’t go well?”

“What’s the point of being a valkyrie if you don’t use what you’ve got? If you get a vibe that the interview isn’t going well, you can change tactics. Tell them what you think they want to hear. Or you could always become a deputy like me.”

“You know how I feel about violence and fighting and all that.” And about anything that might cause her to get upset, but seeing as how Jenna knew that already, Tessa didn’t see the point in bringing it up again. She stared at the pale scar that transected the last three knuckles of her right hand.

“For crying out loud, do I need to mention again that we’re valkyries? Warrior goddesses. Protectors of the worthy. Fierceness is in our DNA.”

“Maybe for you, but that’s not the life I’ve chosen to lead.” Not after the incident. Not after she’d figured out what she was really capable of.

“I know.” Jenna exhaled in the sort of long-suffering way she did whenever they had this conversation. “You probably don’t even remember how to swing your sword, do you?”

“I do.” Probably. “I chose not to.” Or ever again, actually. At the thought of her sword, a small trill of energy zipped down her spine. She ignored it. Like she always did.

“When’s the last time you had it out?”

“I’m a librarian. The opportunities to wield a sword are few and far between.” Which made this job perfect for her. “Now, back to what I’m going to do for work if this job doesn’t pan out.”

“Something will turn up. There’s plenty of other stuff you could do in this town.”

“But I want to be a librarian. It’s what I went to school for. It’s what I’m good at. It’s where my heart is.” She loved books. In a book you could escape and be anything you wanted, no risk involved. No chance of hurting anyone else.

“You’ll get the job, Tessa. How could you not?”

“Because someone with more experience could come along.”

“Yes, but you have to also be a supernatural to get this job. And you don’t get much more supernatural than being a descendant of one of Odin’s shield maidens.”

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