Janice honestly couldn't believe what she was seeing. Aiden Mercier, the rich party boy who owned multiple nightclubs and whose father was a powerful, influential business mogul was sitting on an all black throne and calling himself the King of the Undead.
Although, Janice supposed she really shouldn't be too surprised. Men like Aiden—men who loved a good party and extremely beautiful women—probably would frequent a club like Euphoria. Not only was it his brothers' club—a fact that Janice had almost forgotten until Aiden showed up—but it was a place where women like the woman outside and the redhead standing at the bar worked. A place where women too perfect to exist walked around all the time.
Still, Janice couldn't help but feel a little shocked...and suspicious...
According to the redhead, Aiden had known, not only Ayana but he had also known one of the other victims. Janice couldn't help but wonder how many other victims he had known but hadn't told the police he had known. Was he guilty? Janice was about to find out.
The club had come to life again but it was a little different now. The women were moving more seductively than before, trying to catch Aiden's eye although those eyes said he would rather be anywhere but where he was. Janice noticed the human portion of the club seemed to be battling whether or not to approach him.
Janice herself paid that no mind as she marched toward the "King of the Undead." As she moved toward him, she saw his eyes shift to her sharply, surprised. And it was truly only his eyes. The rest of him didn't move an inch. It was completely unnatural, how still he was sitting.
When he saw Janice and recognition had shone in his ice-like green eyes, he moved for the first time that night. He relaxed on the throne and a smile broke free on his face like a dam. He was actually so beautiful, Janice almost forgot why she was suspicious of him in the first place.
When she had come to a stop right in front of him, Aiden parted his perfect lips and spoke.
"Well, well," he murmured, tapping the arm of the throne as he spoke. "Janice, as I live and breathe." He smiled a tad wryly when he said that. "I never figured you for a vampire fetishist."
"I could say the same about you, your Majesty," Janice replied, narrowing her eyes.
Janice could hear uneasy whispering behind her. Apparently, people weren't used to someone speaking to the "King of the Undead" the way Janice was. Janice wanted to roll her eyes.
Aiden himself was smiling. It seemed that he was having more fun now than he'd had all night. His eyes trailed down the skin tight dress and he leaned forward, his eyes doing that thing where they smoldered, the icy depths melting.
"That dress becomes you, Janice," Aiden spoke lowly, so quiet that not even the prying ears behind them could possibly hear. "If you look that incredible in that dress, I can only imagine how you must look out of it."
In the icy green depths of his eyes, Janice found herself drowning. It was like nothing she had ever felt before. There was something inside of her pulling, tugging, begging her not to argue. Some foreign part of her telling her to go into his arms, to flirt back, to accept his charms and fall into bed with him and let whatever happened after that happen.
Something about Aiden Mercier made Janice want to be incredibly reckless. A trait that Janice shied away from the best she could.
Instead of doing any of the things her mind was screaming at her to do, however, Janice instead said, "Imagining is all you'll be doing."
And although the words came out shaky, Janice regained her train of thought as soon as she said those words. Now, she was herself again. She was Janice Cooper and she was in the middle of a murder investigation. A murder investigation that involved the untimely demise of over one hundred girls. A murder investigation that somehow seemed to lead back to the Mercier brothers.
"I need to ask you a few questions."
Aiden leaned back, resting his head against the throne as he looked up at the ceiling. His posture made it clear he wasn't at all looking forward to the questions he knew Janice would be asking.
"About the Maidens of Sorrow, am I correct?"
"You are. I want to start by asking why you didn't tell the police that you knew not only one, but two victims?"
Aiden's head snapped down in his eyes met Janice's in surprise. Whether that surprise was genuinely or very brilliantly acted, she couldn't tell.
"Excuse me?" Aiden asked, his tone polite.
"I just had a chat with your lovely bartender and she alerted me that both of the girls had come to offer themselves to you before. She said you turned down Ayana—the girl found dead in the bathroom of your club—but you tasted the other. Any thoughts on that?"
"Well, firstly, I never got a look at the girl who was killed in the bathroom of my club," Aiden answered slowly, eyes narrowing at the implications in Janice's voice. "I sent one of my bodyguards in to check after that guy came up to me rambling about a dead body in the men's room. Once my bodyguard confirmed it, I boarded off the bathroom and called the police. As for this other girl, if I tasted I don't remember. Many of the girls who offer themselves up to me blur together."
Janice narrowed her eyes at that and dug around in the clutch she was holding, pulling out the two photographs she had just showed the bartender a few seconds earlier, presenting them to Aiden with an annoyed click of her tongue.
"These pictures ringing any bells, undead Casanova?"
Ignoring the jab, Aiden leaned forward, studying the pictures with narrowed eyes for a moment before eventually leaning back and nodding.
"She," he pointed to Ayana's picture, "would come here every night, begging me to take her. It was clear she had been bitten by a vampire with very potent venom. Someone had gotten her addicted and then cast her aside. I found her beautiful, but her desperation turned me off so I turned her away repeatedly. That one," he pointed to the picture of the other victim, "I did taste. She, like the first girl, seemed to have been bitten by a powerful vampire with potent venom, but she was less desperate. In all honesty, it seemed that getting powerful vampires to bite her was something she had experience with. Eventually, though, she began showing up in my day to day life, begging for another hit, if you will. So, I cut her off." He shrugged.
Janice placed the pictures back into her clutch, staring at Aiden Mercier through narrowed eyes. She could hardly believe what she was hearing. Aiden was a businessman and he seemed smart, focused, sane. And yet, here he was prattling on about Vampires and venom and tasting women.
"So, you actually believe you're a vampire?" Janice wondered, unable to stop herself from asking the question.
Aiden's gaze swept over the flabbergasted look on Janice's face, before his lips tipped up in a wicked grin. A grin that was complete with two sharp, pointed fangs that had definitely not been there before.
"Don't you?" He countered.
And when Janice's forced her eyes to trail from the two sharp fangs and back to his eyes, she found that those icy green eyes were glowing eerily and unnaturally. And all she could do was stand there, wide-eyed, shocked and terrified.