The Gentleman Killer

This is a story about a man without any real identity, he is defined by what he does; murder. The man travels around stealing and killing women usually, but he is unique in the way he does it. By making the victim kill themselves. This story will be interchangeable between his POV and a third person look at what is happening. Enjoi!

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3. A Night of Lore

“You look lovely tonight, Charlotte, truly.” He spoke over the rim of a glass goblet, filled with a pungent dark wine that’d been aged to perfection. The woman he addressed stood two feet across from him, dressed in a silky white gown and a modest set of pearls, drawing back a loose strand of curled blonde hair with one slender finger. A shy nod was her response, as she was handed champagne by one of the many waiters that milled about the large crowd. Rounded, familiar din rose over the two, as several other groups of formally dressed men and women conversed about them. Charlotte wasn’t quite sure why she decided to approach the cryptic Dr. Valenti in the first place, though she recognized his visage from the many photos of attendees she’d been smart enough to memorize; it was beneficial to know who was who at such a high-class gathering, especially considering she was the daughter of the hostess herself. Marianne Lore.

It was a dinner party at the most prestigious restaurant in all of New York, in celebration of the hostess’ 50th birthday. Only the richest of aristocrats were permitted inside, by exclusive invitation. So, of course, he was expected to make an appearance. The only problem was that no one ever knew who he was, when he’d strike and whom his victim would end up being. In the past four months alone he had committed an estimated 17 murders, but what baffled investigators was that each death had been set up flawlessly to seem as suicide… Their only clue as to the nature of the deaths was that each time, it was evident that some sort of valuable was missing. Always a ring that a family member couldn’t find, a necklace that the victim wished to be buried with, a portrait that had been passed down for years; something disappeared. There were a few undercover detectives mingling with the others in the hall, but there was still not a single trail. Of course, very few if any of the attendees knew about the serial killer… They were all oblivious.

“Thank you, you’re very kind," she managed to stutter her reply, glancing about with a bit of a nervous air as she realized there was no other guest nearby for her to excuse herself to speak to instead. The twenty-seven year old woman was still new to the system of etiquette and socializing, so conversation was not her strong suit. It’d become an insecurity of hers. Valenti picked up on this anxiousness, giving a soft smile with a knowing tinge, as he lowered his glass.

“You seem to be here only for a greeting. Go on your way if that is what you wish.” His cadence was comforting, reassuring, though if one paid close enough attention they would hear underlying dismay. Valenti, with his deep amber eyes, holding countless secrets unfathomable to the sane mind, was indeed disappointed that this beauty was unpleased with him. Most women found him attractive, whether by natural charm or something else... so it was a surprise that this one was not as easily seduced. She was innocent, yet elegant at the same time; a combination you might not find in her elders. Perhaps too innocent to fall to desire and impurity. No matter, a challenge was refreshing every now and again.

It seemed the woman noticed his disappointment-- as well as hidden furtiveness-- as she shook her head and beamed a charming smile. Almost robotically came her response. She had used it all before, the same smile and words, to reassure someone potentially important in stature.

“No, no, I simply didn’t wish to bore you… I am young, uneducated on the topics you might fancy.” Her cheeks became a light pink in embarrassment; she felt gauche when compared to the many other women that stood about with their engaging discourse. A horrible excuse for a wealthy woman, Charlotte thought herself to be. It seemed, though, that the Doctor was unfazed by it all. He instead came off as captivated by what little good there was about the woman. The fact made her feel a bit better about her state… but only slightly.

Please, darling, I didn’t come here to talk about political nonsense or things of that sort. I came to have an enjoyable evening, and to celebrate your mother’s life; may she live another 50 years.” His reply was much more cheering than the last, as he took a slow sip of his favorite vice. Knowing that it was not he who was the issue, he felt less challenged and yet more interested in his new acquaintance, seeing as she was indeed naive. Miss Lore knew not of the life-sucking conversations he’d sat through many a times just to woo a lovely damsel. 

“That’s a relief, I must admit. And thank you, I’ll let her know you wished her well.” The young woman replied, looking down into her untouched champagne, before taking a hesitant sip. She wasn’t one for alcohol, much less white wine, but it would be out of place not to have a glass with her. What would people say? That she didn’t know how to have a good time, maybe. Or perhaps nothing at all, simply strange glances would be cast in her direction. It didn't occur to her that she’d been staring into her glass as she dwelled over such matters, and suddenly reminded, she looked back up at the Doctor. He was smiling in an inquisitive way, as if he were about to ask her what was on her mind. She spoke up before he had to verbally question her. “I don’t really like champagne but, it’s a party, so I have to live a little.” She spoke in a quiet manner, surprised by a low chuckle. He found it funny. He was laughing at her… In indignation, Charlotte glared, until she realized that it wasn’t Valenti.

It was another man, dressed in a black suit and walking up to the two, who seemed to be much more jovial than either of them. He had his brown hair slicked back, and a gleam in his blue eyes, as he held a glass half full with the same substance Charlotte abhorred. “Why, if it isn’t Miss Lore and Dr. Valenti; I’m surprised to see you two chatting.” Judging by his informal banter and overly cheerful mannerisms, Charlotte chalked him up to be one of the investigators her mother had spoken about earlier in the day. Why there would be any form of undercover enforcers at the dinner Charlotte couldn’t imagine. Every single one of the guests had been checked before stepping in and there were guards at key places. There was little chance of anything going wrong… Nonetheless, he was stepping on the woman’s nerves, especially so for making her feel ridiculed. 

“Is it truly that strange for me to want to speak to a man of class?” She retorted to the investigator, her tone a bit bitter but at the same time forcibly saccharine. It was no good to be completely rude, though giving a subtle hint was enough.

Dr. Valenti shared a dislike for this intruder, seeing him to be less than elegant. Moreso for the way he gazed upon Charlotte… It was a protective, alpha-male kind of look, as if he was set on taking the woman home to be his prize. Disgusting, and certainly in the way of any plans the Doctor could’ve made. But he spoke nothing at all. This slick man was obviously just another reinforcer of the law, and yet he proved that conception that the law is blind. His promotion, his ticket to being a hero on the front page of the newspaper stood there, sipping leisurely at a goblet of bandol. 

"I take it I've interrupted something important. I'll make my exit, you lovebirds," he replied with a cocky grin, before stepping away and moving on to pester the next group of chatting women. He seemed to be enjoying his trek through the vast sea of beautiful women...  

Dr. Valenti sighed for a moment, watching, almost glaring holes into the retreating investigator's back. "Goodness, it's a shame your mother would invite someone so... uncouth." The man cringed at the word alone, despising anyone of such low nature. Of course, he himself were no better, but at least the Doctor was chivalrous. 

"If I can be frank with you, that man was an investigator. We did not plan for him to be invited, nor any of his comrades... It was decided at the last moment." 

Valenti raised a brow, glancing around the room before looking back towards Charlotte. "You mean to say, he isn't the only one. I don't want to handle another encounter with one of those cheap men." Taking a long swig of wine after he ended his sentence, the agitated male suddenly had an idea. "Why don't we take our conversation somewhere more private. No more worrying about anyone interrupting us... and we can see what interests we share without fear of someone listening in on us. It will be a fun time, Charlotte, dear."

What would the chances be, that young Charlotte found this a wonderful idea. The naive woman led Dr. Valenti to her boudoir... Needless to say, her night was enjoyable. He made sure to treat her as if it would be her last.

~Mona

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