Fear cascaded throughout my body, and I felt as though I could have passed out right then and there! I’m honestly not sure what kept me upright, and it mystified me as to how I summoned the strength to walk down the hall right then! I’m grateful that my mind seemed to have went on autopilot because inwardly, I was screaming! Aidan had my phone number and could talk to me any time he wanted to, so for him to see me in this capacity made me think he had something to contribute to the case and probably not anything good! I didn’t think he would have anything to tell us but a confession, and the idea of hearing someone I had fond feelings for admit to a ghoulish crime spree just sickened me! I couldn’t believe someone who showed me such kindness had such malice for other innocent people! It didn’t feel real, and even as I gazed at the outside of the interrogation room they placed him in, my mind raced as though it had just entered into a sinister nightmare! I had no clue how to cope with this impending doom!
At that moment, Sandra offered, “I’ll give you two some privacy!”
“No!” I reacted vehemently. The concept of doing this alone frightened me, and it suddenly seemed urgent to have someone accompany me in there. I didn’t know exactly what I’d do in there, but if I completely lost it, I needed somebody to take the reins! “You should come with me!”
“No you shouldn’t!” Chief Mazarine objected. “I don’t need someone in there drooling over him during such a critical time!”
Sandra differed, “I’m not gonna drool over him! I’ve lost interest in since I found out he’s dating… someone.” She tried not to look at me as she said that. I could legally date him now, but I think she wanted to spare me from an awkwardness that would evolve into more office gossip. Plus, if Chief Mazarine knew about our relationship, he would make somebody else take over his questioning. If Aidan really had intended to confess, I wanted to at least say goodbye! I would need some closure, and I’m not sure if she knew all that or not, but I appreciated her effort either way.
Chief Mazarine turned to me and directed, “If she starts to act like a fan girl again, l’expulser tout de suite!”
“Yes, sir!” I didn’t understand that last part, but from the context of the conversation, I figured out what he meant. I briefly felt the urge to laugh, but I just couldn’t stomach it right then. As he walked away, I took a couple of deep breaths and tried to mentally prepare for this momentous event.
“Are you okay?” Sandra inquired. I nodded, but I think she could tell I lied. “You lead the way!” She put her arm around me to push me forward, but I could sense she found a subtle excuse to give me the brace that I desperately needed to do this. I appreciated her support, but all I could do was listen to my heart pounding in my ears as the time for this horror to begin grew closer and closer with each step…
I saw Aidan glance up as we entered the room, and while he gave off a depressed vibe, he smiled when he saw me. I couldn’t help but grin a little, and as I sat down, I studied him. He exuded so much benevolence and gentility, so it boggled my brain that such a genuinely nice man could have done what I suspected he did! A part of me wanted to embrace him and console him for whatever bothered him, and I had to fight the urge to treat him romantically. At that instance, I knew this process would become more difficult than I could have imagined! It pained me to do anything that might hurt him, but I wanted to get this done and over with, so I pulled out my notebook and pen and stated, “My chief says that you have something to tell me.”
As he opened his mouth, I anticipated the worst. Instead, he asked me, “Jasmine died this morning, didn’t she?”
“Yes…” I answered with a slight confusion. “How did you know that?”
“Well…” he explained, “Last week, she texted me saying she thinks some guy was following her. At first, she could just feel someone’s presence around her and thought she was just being paranoid, but then she started seeing a guy with a hood covering his face everywhere she went. She felt sure someone was stalking her, so I advised her to go to the police. She didn’t think you guys would help her ’cause she’s a Fay, but when I heard on the news that three Fays were murdered, I knew she had to be one of them!” After he finished speaking, he shook his head sadly.
I waited for my adrenaline to spike down before I replied. In a way, it pleased me that he hadn’t come here to admit to killing anyone, but it bothered me that he still wanted to act like he played no role in this grievous matter! He knew about her death awfully quick, and I thought perhaps the news did report it that rapidly, but I also considered that he may have known about it because he participated in the activities leading to her death. It made me wonder why he had actually come in that day. If he did play some role in it, I thought maybe he had come to give us some type of evidence to get on our good side. He didn’t realize that I’d never stop suspecting him until I found out the truth of what he kept hidden from me! “I’m sorry for your loss.” I gave him a minute to grieve before I queried, “What made you tune into the news this morning?”
He revealed, “Yesterday, all of my coworkers who were Fays quit on me. All of them! I didn’t get much of an explanation why they did it, and even Jasmine stopped texting me, so I got left in the dust! I knew something weird was going on, so I put a news alert on my phone and kept checking it at work. I didn’t want anything crazy to happen, but I needed some answers! Not like I got many from this. I mean, it’s good that I found out what happened to my friend, but I think I have more questions than answers right now! I’m guessing you can’t give me any details though since you’re still trying to solve the case.”
“Sorry.” I didn’t really mean that apology. I never have remorse for refusing to sharing my knowledge of a case to anyone not directly involved in solving it, but I especially didn’t feel remorse for refusing to give away anything pertinent to someone who I thought committed a crime related to the investigation! If he came to gather information like that, he wasted his time because no amount of charm or sexy looks would allow me to compromise my principles!
“I understand,” he glumly commented. “I just thought you guys should know about the stalker. I hope it helps your case!”
I mulled over this revelation a bit. If his version of events proved itself accurate, then I imagined that the killer aimed to recruit all of the Fays that he could for his doomsday operation. I knew he had Giada’s drug dealer helping him, but if he wanted to have a greater impact, it made sense for him to get more Fays on his side. Clearly, he couldn’t persuade Jasmine, and he tried to bar her from turning in a key piece of evidence. The other two probably got silenced since they became witnesses after he committed that act, but other than those three, he really didn’t go after Fay victims. If he had the time to follow Jasmine and, most likely, intimidate the other Fay Folks in the area, then I wondered how the killer found the time to pursue his potential human victims on top of all that. It seemed logical to keep Aidan on my radar since he had the means to do it while his workers did all the work to finance his company. I had no idea if he made that story about the stalker up or not, but whether it bore truth or not, I couldn’t rule out his involvement.
Of course, I didn’t tell any of that to him! I couldn’t let him know I was onto him or else I would have spoiled my shot at observing him in a social setting. I kept up the charade of his innocence by displaying some gratitude, “It could! Thank you for letting us know!”
“Happy to help!” He grinned at me, and for a second, my melting heart made me forget all about my suspicions! “Let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you!”
“Wait!” I called out before he could leave. “There is one thing.” He sat down and gave me his fullest attention. “Do you know anything about the last thing she tried to sell before she passed?”
Aidan’s face twisted in puzzlement. “The last thing she sold was a wedding dress. The woman who owned it wanted to sell it before she had a chance to walk down the aisle ’cause her fiancé made a pass on her best friend! A young lady in Virginia bought it from her. I think she was working on finding more things to sell after that. Why? Are any of the women from that sale involved?”
His response seemed authentic, but I still maintained that he mastered faking his emotions, so I pressed him, “So, you don’t know anything about a cellphone she may have tried to sell?”
“A cellphone?” He jogged his memory and apparently came up blank. “She didn’t mention anything about a cellphone. Why? Was that part of the reason she got… why he went after her?”
“Maybe.” It bugged me how adept he became at keeping up his poker face! “We’re still trying to figure that out.”
Aidan appeared to have pictured a gruesome image because he shuddered slightly. “I’ll never get over her dying alone and scared for something like that!”
Without thinking about it, I corrected him, “She wasn’t alone! I…” I cut myself off when I realized I almost divulged a tidbit from the case that should have stayed classified, and I berated myself for letting my amorous interest in him sway my judgment like that!
“It’s okay!” Sandra took out her wand and turned off the recording devices in the room. “Off the record, your girl held Jasmine and comforted here before she went to Heaven!”
“You did that for her?” Aidan’s eyes glistened as if he had his heartstrings pulled enough to emanate an outward effect.
While I had a hard time getting over Sandra breaking protocol like that, I temporarily shelved that issue as I gazed at Aidan’s face. He stared at me in awe, and I couldn’t help but blush. “Just doing my job!”
Aidan admirably expressed, “Not a lot of police treat Fays with that kind of decency! Thank you!”
I repeated what his words that he uttered a minute ago, “Happy to help!”
For a while, the two of us didn’t say a word. My instincts had the strongest desire to kiss him, but I held back since I knew that people still had a visual of us through the two way mirror. It amazed me that he had the power to make me forget everything else and created waves of bliss for me to bask in like that! That sentiment didn’t last long though. My pulse ran a million miles a minute as he requested, “Since we’re off the record, I need to ask you for a favor…”