Aiden's loafers stuck to the beer—sodden floor as he made his way up the stairs to the balcony, trying to find a better view of the floor below. Spotting an opening against the railing, he made his way over, cringing at how reluctant the floor was to release his shoes. With a mental note to wipe his feet as soon as he got outside, he rested an arm on the balcony rail and began his search. His eyes darted across the floor like an owl searching for a meal in the dead of night. Aiden took in everything he saw, each sip of a drink, each drunken kiss, each sleight of hand as it lifted a wallet from an unknowing pocket.
He had been following his target for weeks. Every meal he had with his wife and kids, every cringe—worthy date with his two mistresses, and every lap dance at some seedy club, he had been watching. Aiden didn't usually bat an eyelid at the requests of his contractors or his marks, but the tall, dark—haired man playing tonsil tennis with his mistress in the middle of the club made his skin crawl.
"Why, hello there, handsome."
Aiden looked down at the hot pink acrylic nails connected to the slender fingers trying to snake their way around his bicep and tightened his jaw. The woman reeked of desperation and cheap perfume. It was a scent he despised.
"How about you buy me a drink, and I help loosen up that gorgeous face of yours?"
"If you want to loosen up my face, you need to let go of my arm and take a reroute. I'm fresh out of fucks for desperation today."
"Fuck you, asshole, " the woman said.
Aiden smiled at the back of her as she stormed away in heels that had seen better days. He had three rules in life — no women on the job, no complications, and don't get blood on the suit. Women, for the most part, were off the menu, especially if he was staying in a town for more than forty—eight hours. A one—night stand was all well and good, and he had plenty of them, but he had learned a long time ago that even those caused problems if you stuck around long enough.
"Shit!" he muttered to himself, pushing away from the rail. Weaving his way through the dancing bodies, Aiden made his way downstairs, towards the rear of the club. His mark was heading towards the gents, with Aiden only a few paces behind. His fingers twitched as he followed, dodging and weaving between partygoers, being careful not to touch anyone.
Pausing, Aiden waited patiently, watching as the mark stopped to chat up a leggy brunette. He was close enough to hear his cheesy chat—up line and cringed as the brunette burst into laughter. God, she's desperate to fall for that, he thought. He could smell how much his mark wanted her, and Aiden wrinkled his nose as the stench of pure lust wafted its way from the desperate brunette.
"Fire escape in ten, and we will see if your legs really do go as wide as they are long," the mark told the woman. His eyes flashed with need as she laughed again then bit her lip.
What the fuck does his wife see in that? No wonder his father—in—law wants him dead, he thought, as he finally let his fingers brush a rotund, blonde—haired gentleman's hand.
He just needed a touch. That was all it took.
Walking into the bathroom behind his mark, dark—haired Aiden went into a cubicle. A split second later, the rotund gentleman Aiden had touched walked out of the cubicle and went straight to the urinal next to his mark.
"I don't usually pee in public, but it stinks in there," Aiden told his mark.
He looked in the mirror, examining his new blonde hair and chunky features while checking the cubicles for feet. Seeing they were empty, Aiden relaxed his shoulders a little and pretended to fumble with his zipper. His mark paid him no more attention than giving a nod in agreement.
Aiden walked behind his mark to the basin, checking the cubicle locks as he passed.
Flicking up the tap, he let the water run.
"Hey, bud. You left the."
His mark cut off as he saw Aiden behind him, his hands about to clamp on the sides of his head.
A sudden twist was all it took.
He didn't need to hear the thud of his mark hitting the floor. Aiden knew that his neck was broken the moment he realized that the bathroom was empty. No mess, no fuss, and Aiden was out of the way before anyone knew what had happened.
Dodging traffic, Aiden wobbled his way across the street. I don't think I'll ever get used to instantly adding a hundred pounds. How the hell do these damn jeans stay up? I could murder a pizza. Fuck sake. Get a grip. You don't even fucking like pizza, he told himself. Along with appearance, Aiden often took on the traits and urges of the people he mimicked, and more often than not, they were urges that he disliked.
Aiden was a shapeshifter. A rare type of metamorph, from what his birth mother, Sarah, had told him when she finally bothered to track him down on his eighteenth birthday. It hadn't been the easiest of conversations, but Sarah had at least shed some light on why he could shift and where his abnormal strength came from while also explaining why she had abandoned him. Even now, at twenty—nine, he was still pissed at her for abandoning him, but he understood her reasons. An Alpha wolf bedding a faery princess and ending up with an Aiden—sized bundle of joy was bound to end in heartache. After all, no Alpha that he knew would allow a bunch of faeries to bring up their child, and no faery that he ever met would allow their child to be brought up in a pack of werewolves.
Reaching his car, Aiden clicked the fob and grabbed the suit that hung above the tinted glass door, then wedged himself into the back seat pulling the door closed behind him. He had learned a long time ago to make sure he had spare clothes in the car. Aiden had never understood why he could mimic a person's clothing as well as their form or why he took their personality and traits, too, but couldn't return to his original clothing when he shifted back to himself. It had caused him many embarrassing walks of shame in his younger years; shifting was easy until you had to walk home naked.
Sliding into the driving seat after donning his sleek, grey suit, he slipped on a pair of leather gloves and grabbed a burner phone from the glovebox.
"It's done. Drop off point in one hour. I'll be waiting."
Pulling out of the car park, Aiden turned his car towards the club. Police cars lined the street, and officers milled around, taking statements while trying to keep the club entrance clear. Pulling the vehicle to a stop at the side of the waiting ambulance, Aiden surveyed the scene he had caused. He couldn't help but smile as he watched the body bag being wheeled to the back of an ambulance while he waited in a line of traffic.
"Did you see how his head was twisted like that?" One of the paramedics said as he opened the back of the ambulance.
"Yeah. Really strange. This guy definitely pissed the wrong person off, either that or he met with some fucked up monster with super strength." The other paramedic shuddered as he helped slide the trolley into the back of the ambulance.
"Dude," said the first paramedic, "You spend way too long with your head in comics. Monster with super strength. Give me a break."
Aiden smirked as the paramedics hopped into the ambulance, still discussing the severity of the man's broken neck.
"I wonder who will be next?" He asked himself as the ambulance drove away.