The Crying Game

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Chapter Six

Louboutin heels clicked softly against the white porcelain floors as the impeccably beautiful woman moved with grace down the spacious ballroom that had been decorated for the event. Her hair—like spun gold—hung heavy down her snowy colored back. Her tall, statuesque form moved toward her target with enviable flair. She moved with such grace, it was like watching a ballet routine. Her blue eyes—so light they were nearly the color of ice—seemed to take no notice in the fact that everyone in the room was watching her with wide, enamored eyes. The dress she wore was skintight, showing off her incredible figure and it stopped at her knees giving a great view of the rest of her legs. It was as white as the porcelain floor beneath her and only a shade lighter than her own incredibly pale skin.

She came to a fluid stop in front of the man she had been looking for: the man who had called her here tonight. He looked to be in his late sixties but still retained an air of refined beauty that had clearly entranced all the people that were surrounding him. His gray hair was pushed away from his face and his serious brown eyes seemed to hold answers to secrets others hadn't even thought to ask yet.

As the man saw the beautiful woman stop in front of him, he turned to his group of admirers—all of who were staring at this incredible looking woman openmouthed—and said, "My dear friends, I really must talk with Rana. If you would all excuse me."

He held out a hand and the woman—Rana—turned as if she were in the middle of some beautiful ballet routine and was twirling for a crowd of adoring fans. She let the man lead her out of the crowded ballroom and into the hall of the hotel where the event was being held.

"You summoned me." Her voice was like a pure white feather floating across a blue sky and her words were like the wind that kept that feather afloat. The English accent that adorned her voice only made the sound of her speaking more pleasing to hear.

"I did," the man said, frowning. "I'm sure you're familiar with the murders that have been happening all over New York for the past month."

Rana's full lips thinned with displeasure and the man took that as his answer before he continued on.

"I wasn't going to intervene," he sighed. "My son swore he could handle the situation himself but there's no time now. The NYPD has assigned Janice Cooper to this case."

Rana's expression didn't twitch although the man in front of her said the name like it was something she should fear.

"Is that supposed to mean something to me?" She asked.

"It should," the man replied, his voice suddenly sharp. "Janice Cooper has solved a total of fifty-two unsolved cases and she's only twenty-six. Not to mention, she has special motivations pushing her to solve this one." He reached into his tux pocket and pulled out a picture, handing it to Rana.

Rana took the photograph and studied it when her eyes saw the person smiling happily, she felt her eyes pop out of her head in disbelief. Her head snapped up and her icy eyes met the man's unsmiling ones.

"She's her daughter."

"Indeed. And as you can probably imagine, Janice was the one who found her mother as a child. I'm afraid pushing what happened under the rug only helped us for a little while. Janice can be a real pain in our asses if left to her own devices."

Rana's eyes lingered on the photograph a little, the shock of finding out that this woman had had a daughter still in her system. She snapped back to the present quickly, though, turning her attention back to the man.

"And what is it that you wish for me to do?" She wondered.

The man leaned back against the wall, somehow still managing to look like royalty even as he did. He looked up at the high ceiling which was decorated with beautiful drawings that reminded him distinctly of the Sistine Chapel. His eyes captured by the angel with his graceful white wings banishing a demon to Hell.

"What do I wish for you to do, indeed."

After checking her car to make sure that her brakes were intact and that there were no bombs or bugs planted inside or outside, Janice deemed it safe to drive home. The entire drive back, she felt edgy. She didn't exactly feel like she was being watched anymore but she still couldn't shake the edge of paranoia that floated through her veins.

Someone had been in her car. And since there were no bombs or bugs and her brakes were still intact, Janice couldn't help but wonder what the person had wanted. Was it the same person that had tailed her to the vic's house?

Janice's hands tightened on the wheel as she pulled to a stop behind the car in front of her. She could see the long line of cars in front of her and she knew in this moment that it would take a long time for her to get home. This annoyed her today more than it would have annoyed her any other day. In this moment, what Janice needed was a hot shower to relax all the stiff muscles and all the paranoia and all the worry and all the anger that was boiling her alive.

She leaned back in her seat, resting her head against the headrest and rubbing her temples as she tried to push down the headache that was threatening to rear its ugly head.

Twenty-minutes later, Janice had pulled through the traffic and was turning into the underground garage where the tenants parked their cars. She got out of her car gracefully enough, popped open her trunk, filled her arms with her newly bought groceries and went on her merry way after slamming the trunk shut.

Janice walked easily enough despite the fact that her arms were filled to the brim with groceries. She was eager to get inside and read Ayana's little black book. She wanted to know what secrets this girl was keeping and how those secrets had resulted in her murder.

As she thought of that, her stomach rumbled and she sighed, remembering she hadn't eaten anything all day. Fine, she'd have to multi-task, then.

Janice walked the familiar hall until she reached the door of her apartment. She shifted the bags in her hands so that she could dig into her pocket for her keys. After a moment, she was pushing open the door of her apartment

Most of what happened after that was unimportant. Janice put up her groceries after she had put everything up, she got started on dinner. She tried to do things as quickly as possible, her eyes straying over to the jacket and the little black book she knew was inside.

Almost an hour later, dinner was finished. As Janice ate, she finally began reading the little black book, her eyes squinting as she read little notes that Ayana had written. Janice began to guess that her assumption had been correct, Ayana was most definitely a PI. As Janice flipped through the book and looked at the scraps of paper stuffed inside of it, she saw many handwritten thank you notes. One of the notes was a mother thanking Ayana for finding her daughter.

Wanting to see the last thing Ayana wrote in this book, Janice skipped to the last page with writing scribbled on it.

423 E 6th Street, it read

Janice was on her feet in a second, heading over to her computer. She typed in the address and watched as a trendy looking nightclub appeared on her screen. The exterior was decorated with enormous black double doors and a chic red framed the stylish—almost gothic—doors. The word "Euphoria" was written in neat, visually appealing letters and Janice could only assume this was the name of the club.

A few more moments of investigation told Janice all she needed to know: it was some kind of weird club that was home to people with a weird vampire fetish. The interior—which she had seen with the help of Google images—was decorated like it was home to a more chic, sexier Dracula. Red and black furniture, tables for dancers, a black granite bar with lit up panels and a throne that looked like it was fit for the King of the Undead. At least, that was what the website called him.

So, the person Ayana had been looking for had been a vampire fetishist. Now, as Janice sat in her desk chair, her head resting against the headrest as she stared at the ceiling, she couldn't help but start to tie things together in her head. The victims—all one-hundred and one of them counting Ayana—had been found with their bodies drained of blood. The killer's MO was leaving the girls with two tiny indents in their necks. Almost like fang marks.

That being said, Janice had to wonder if Ayana had entered that club looking for whoever she had been searching for and instead ended up meeting someone who really thought they were a vampire. Someone who had lured her into that bathroom and killed her just like he killed the other hundred girls.

Janice leaned forward and scribbled the words, Vampire fetishist? on a piece of paper before sticking it onto the bulletin board where she was keeping track of the case.

The website had said that the club was owned by Vincent Mercier who was none other than Aiden Mercier's younger brother. Janice was finding it extremely difficult to believe this was all just one big coincidence. Ayana had gone to Vincent's "vampire" club and then had been found dead in Aiden's club.

Janice didn't feel like Aiden had committed the crime. He was a womanizer and a party boy for sure but murderer didn't seem to fit his character for her. But, maybe Janice was wrong. She had felt the strong sense of unease when she had first met him, every instinct in her body shouting at her to run far away from him.

Janice glanced at her computer screen, squinting as she read the words. According to this website, the club opened at 10 PM and closed at 4 AM.

The only way Janice could investigate to the best of her ability would be if she could go to the club and see things herself. Maybe this "King of the Undead" would know something. Maybe Vincent himself would be there and could answer a few questions. She forced herself not to think about Aiden being there. In fact, she convinced herself he would most definitely not be there. He had his own club to think about, he wouldn't be lounging at his brother's weird fetish club.

Janice had no idea what she was even supposed to wear to a vampire club, but she knew that if the killer was there, she wanted to make herself as beautiful as possible. He only hunted women of great beauty and she wanted him to come for her.

She was most assuredly flirting with danger. 

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