The most surreal part of it was reading about Jane in such matter of fact way, like she wasn’t a flesh and blood person I’d known for ten years.
“Jane Kress, 18, is the latest suspected victim. Her body was discovered at 4:35 am on January 16. She suffered multiple stab wounds, like the other two victims.
Kress had been known to frequent the nightclubs in the area and had returned from a treatment center on January 14. It had been a planned 90-day stay, but Kress left after only 24 days. When asked for comment, both the center and her family declined to say what Kress had been treated for, or what led to her early departure.”
I read the article through three times, and Bobby sat on the couch next to me, saying nothing. I leaned back on the couch, staring at the screen as if I expected something new to happen. But nothing did. It didn’t tell me anything more about why Jane was dead.
“Why were you looking at this?” I asked.
“They were talking about it in class today.” Bobby sounded apologetic and pulled at the ends of his sleeves, making them swallow his hands. “I didn’t know very much about what happened, or her for that matter, so I just… I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have.”
“No, it’s okay.” I shook my head. “I’m not mad.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah. Where did you find this?” I asked.
“I just Googled it,” Bobby shrugged. “Why?”
“Do you think there’s more information?” I was already typing Google in, preparing to do a search for everything I could find on Jane’s murder.
“Yeah, there’s tons of information.” He moved closer so he could look at the screen with me. “A lot of the major news networks have picked up the stories, especially since Jane got murdered.”
“Why?” I glanced over at him as I sifted through the endless list Google gave me, all mentioning Jane’s name.
“Cause she’s rich and beautiful. The other two girls were poor, and one of them was allegedly a hooker,” Bobby said. “But what are you trying to find out?”
“I want to find Jane’s killer.” I paused as Bobby looked expectantly at me. “I’m going to kill him.”
“That’s a little sexist, don’t you think?”
“How is revenge murder sexist?” I shot him a look.
“You automatically assumed her murderer is a guy,” he said. “It could be a girl.” I thought of Violet again, but I pushed her from my mind.
“Serial killers aren’t usually women, but alright, whatever,” I shrugged. “I’m going to kill whoever killed Jane.”
“Do you think a human killed her?” Bobby asked.
I was pleasantly surprised that he hadn’t tried talking me out of it. He didn’t even question it, as if going after a serial killer was the most logical thing in the world. It was stuff like that that made me dig Bobby.
“I don’t know what to think.” I clicked a link and leaned into the screen, devouring as much information about the whole thing as I could. “I mean, at first, I thought it was a vampire. For sure. But now... all these articles are saying there wasn’t a mark on the girls.”
“That doesn’t mean anything,” Bobby said, and I looked over at him.
“What do you mean?”
“There’s always one detail the police hold back,” he explained. “That’s how they can verify people’s claims when they say they killed her or they saw it happen or whatever. There’s always one thing they keep out of the press that only the killer would know.”
“And that one thing could be bite marks?” I asked, and my heart thudded in my chest.
“Right,” Bobby nodded. “And I’ve always wondered what kind of relationship vampires had with city officials anyway.”
“What kind of relationship?” I wrinkled my nose.
“Well, remember in the fall, when the lycan killed that guy in the park and Ezra’s car was right there?” Bobby asked. “Ezra got the Lexus out of impound without any problems. He was never questioned in the homicide, and I’m pretty sure that guy’s murder was written up as mugging related.”
“That could never pass for a mugging,” I said incredulously. “He had his throat ripped out.”
“Exactly,” he nodded. “And V is open until seven in the morning. How could they possibly get licensing for that? And they don’t card anyone that goes in there, ever. It’s easier to get into a vampire club than it is any other club in the city.”
“You think that the city officials are on a vampire payroll or something?” I raised an eyebrow.
“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “Probably not a payroll, but some of them have to be involved with the vampires in some way to cover this all up.”
“And if they are, and these murders are vampire related, they’d probably cover that up too,” I said.
“You guys try really hard not to kill humans, and I’m grateful for that, but sometimes, some people have to die,” Bobby said. “And you never hear of people dying with all the blood drained from their body.”
“Oh my gosh.” I exhaled and leaned back. “They had to have covered up vampire deaths before. And if Jane and these other girls were killed by vampires, they would’ve covered them up too, except they were out in the open. People saw the body before they could fix it.”
“But whoever is doing this wants to get caught.” Bobby sounded excited, not about the death, but about solving a crime. He sat on his knees and faced me. “I don’t think it’s the normal serial killer like Hannibal Lecter doing it for attention. Maybe he’s trying to expose vampires.”
“You said ‘he’ too,” I pointed out.
“Sorry, he or she,” he corrected himself.
“But why would anybody want to expose vampires?” I asked.
“I don’t know.” He shook his head. “But why else would he leave the bodies for everyone to find?”
“I don’t know,” I sighed and looked back at the screen. “But this is based on a lot of conjecture. It’s more likely that it’s just some twisted human.”
“They found Jane a block from V. You think that’s coincidence?” He tilted his head skeptically.
“Yeah, and that happens to be within a few blocks of like 10 other clubs. Maybe it’s an angry bartender sick of getting stiffed on tips.”