ch10 pg 68-70

"Darling, I got the scoop on Green." It was Ronnie.
"Probably nothing you don't know about," he said sarcastically. "The way we figure, there was a struggle of some kind and he fell. There was some bruising on the body, but the blows didn't kill him. Forensics thinks he hit his head on the way down. The dent in his head matches the corner of the coffee table. Coroner thinks he was alive when he went down, expired when he hit his noggin. We're still waiting for toxicology. We swept the place, the only thing we found that wasn't consistent with the crime scene was a piece of jewelry."
"Jewelry." I repeated. He was talking about the pendant. I wondered if he would tell me about the note pad.
Ronnie paused. I think he was wondering what I could do with the information. Or maybe he was wondering why I was asking.
"A Hawaiian pendant."
"With a name on it?" Come on Ronnie, you gotta trust me.
I could hear him thinking over the phone. "Yeah, Pika."
Samantha looked at me with some concern. I shrugged.
Ronnie went on. "The coroner estimates the time of death to be either late Sunday or early Monday morning. Hard to tell with his air con turned on so high. This Green guy lived like an Eskimo. Security tagged a car out front at one thirty in the A.M. on Monday. Right now we're trying to track down a white van that was seen leaving the scene at about the time of the killing. Witnesses say that three guys illegally parked out front and entered the condo. They disappeared about then minutes later."
"Descriptions?" I asked.
"Well, two guys were big. The other guy was skinny, kinda small. The big guys looked Polynesian."
The same van that was at Samantha's place? "Anything on the van?"
"Darling, do fishermen drink? Stolen from a Kaneohe parking lot on Saturday night."
"Any connection to the Tiger Sharks?"
"The apartment was clean except for some betting sheets. But that could have been personal. We've got nothing to connect Green to booking or anything else. Apparently, Green, if he was making book, kept it all in his head. No notes, no books. Nothing."
They hadn't found his ledger either. Without the book, neither I nor the police could trace the money. if he had died Sunday night, he wouldn't have had time to go do the bank.
"Anything about partners?"
Ronnie paused again.
"No, just some girl that visited him once or twice a week. Probably his girlfriend, we're checking that angle now. Darling, if you got something, you better let me know about it. Since murder and maybe gambling is involved, the word has come down to wrap this up fast. Read the paper, you'll know what I mean."
"Ronnie, if I get something, you'll be the first to know." For what ever reason, he had held back on the note with the three initials.
"Look Darling, the vice guys had Green under surveillance for some time. They were ready to take him down. If you know anything more, you better let me in on it."
I let his threat go in on ear and out the other. Something didn't sound right. I wondered if Ronnie could be trusted.
"What team was the first on the scene?"
"What are you talking about?" he asked.
"Who was the first on the scene?"
"Vice was watching his place, the gambling detail was the first through the door."
That made me wonder about the note. Ronnie worked homicide, but sometimes they weren't always first on the scene. There was a lot of time to tamper with evidence.
"Ronnie, who else did they have their eyes on?"
"Sakama's supposed to give me a full report today. By the way, we're holding back on releasing his name. Gotta let the family know first."
"You'll fill me in right?"
"Darling, you remember what we talked about last night?"
"I remember."
"You wanna tell me what your angle is? There are a couple of cops on this case wondering why an innkeeper's so interested in all of this."
So far there was no reason for me to to divulge Samantha's name. It would come up sooner or later. What worried me was the more smoke I blew there way, the more suspicious I would become. "I told you earlier, just helping out a friend."
There was a long pause on the line.
"Look, I don't need to give you jack. But I'll tell you this: what ever you're into is big. You're on your own."
"Ronnie, you do what you think you have to do, just like me. The difference is that I'm a civilian, you gotta play by the rules. As soon as something goes down, I'll get back to you." I hung up.

ch10 pg 65-68

"RISE and shine Hawaii. Well, maybe not shine. The storm front is still lingering with us. Expect thunder showers all through the day with flash flood warnings for all islands. Forecasters say the front will hang over the islands at least until tonight. The bad news is there's a northern front heading towards us, it should hit us by early morning. With the heavy rains traffic will be a mess, especially for those coming over from the windward side. Leave early and drive safely.
In the news today-"

I imagined the jammed freeways and choked intersections around town. People scrambling to get to work on time, running red lights and blocking cross walks o make that last light. Calm ordinary people stressed out and ready to kill someone before they even opened the door to the job. I was glad I lived at work.
I willed my eyes open and checked the time. It was seven thirty.
The dull light that shone through my window told me it was still cloudy outside. I lay there for a minute and collected my thoughts. the cold air inside had made my windows fog up again. The humidity outside must have been heavy and thick.
My tired body complained to me as I lifted myself front he comfort of the bed and made my way to the bathroom.
The cold tap water sent a shiver down my spine as I splashed some on my face. I looked up into the mirror ans saw Samantha appear behind me dressed in matching satin pajamas. She looked good in them.
I opened a drawer and handed her a fresh tooth brush. We would have to share the toothpaste.
Samantha and I stood over the wash basin. Even without her makeup, she was a pleasant distraction. The fatigue and defeat she wore on her face yesterday had been replaced by an air of resolve and purpose. The lines on her face had disappeared and her eyes were now clear and sparkling. That we were seeking a solution to her problem had something to do with it.
She smiled at me as she worked her toothbrush back and forth.
"Why didn't you wake me last night?"
"I got back late ad didn't want to bother you." I watched for her reaction in the mirror and was kept waiting. I placed my toothbrush back in it's holder and looked her over.
"Nice pjs."
"I didn't think you would mind." She held the tooth brush in her mouth and grinned. A small bit of foam escaped her lips and dripped down her chin.

Dark sinister clouds were poised low over the horizon as we ordered our breakfast. By the time Dave from room service cam up and knocked on the door, they had leisurely drifted over the island only to open up and send tourists scurrying for shelter. Dave pushed the cart to my table, took out a table cloth and began to set breakfast for two.
The rains created a somber mood in my room as it cast grey shadows across the floor. Samantha seemed to be equally affected as she moped to her chair and sat down in a huff.
"Isn't this rain ever going to stop?"
Dave and I took her question to be rhetorical and didn't answer. he handed me the paper and silently placed our morning meals in front of us. Two ham and cheese omelets sat there steaming in the silence. Like a good waiter, Dave could feel the strained atmosphere in the room. He left without making a sound. Then again, maybe he was just surprised to see me awake so early in the morning in the company or a woman wearing satin pajamas.
The weather was starting to wear me down. All my efforts of yesterday yielded nothing but heat from the cops more questions. The prospect of having to go out and trudge about in the rain again depressed me. I wished for the sun to come out and lift away the gloom that hung over my breakfast. The only bright spot in my life sat in front of me.
Samantha's dark round eyes and long shapely legs contrasted against the light color of her pjs. Her ethnic mix of hauole and Korean combined with her dark tan to make her look exotic. Or maybe it was just that it had been a long time since I had sat down to breakfast with a beautiful woman.
"Can I have the sports section?"
I put the front page down and handed her the sports. She unfolded it and set down to her right, reading intently.
The police beat was what I was looking for. Hopefully there would be something there on Greenie. My guess was that they found him too late to make the morning edition.
Two Navy men had found a body floating in one of the streams that flowed into Pearl Harbor. Some teenager stabbed another outside a Pearl City night club. The police were looking for two local males who had shook down a pair of Japanese tourists right on Waikiki beach.
Honolulu was no longer the town where you could leave your door unlocked at night. We had the same problems of any metropolitan city. Gone are the days when a smile was just a smile, not an invitation. I remember as high school kids, my friends and I would hitch hike to the beach and back. Now if someone offered you a hand out, you had to wonder what they wanted in return. Neighbors watched each other suspiciously, and the guy who offered you a ride might be after your wallet.
The reasons for the change were the same all over the United States. Drugs, poverty, gangs, they all led to one thing: crime.
Welcome to paradise.
I opened up the Entertainment section of the paper and started on the crossword. Between bites of my omelet, I had just about finished the daily when Samantha broke my concentration.
"You don't like me very much do you."
"I beg your pardon?" Her question surprised me. I put the paper down and turned toward her.
Samantha was the kind of woman who didn't have any trouble getting a date and her question was a dead giveaway. She was looking for attention, or a reason for lack of it. The have a member of the opposite sex treat her with so much indifference was unfamiliar to her.
"You act so indifferent towards me and you seem to keep your distance. Am I so bad?" She brushed the hair from here eyes and watched the rain fall. "I know what I did was wrong, but I'm trying to do the right thing."
She turned to look at me waited for a reply.
"Samantha, I'm just here to help you." I didn't feel like playing today.
"I'd like to be a friend," she said softly. Our eyes met and she smiled weakly.
The smile on her face didn't say friends. It asked me why I hadn't made a pass at her yet and was it okay for her to make on at me. We both searched for the answers to our questions.
Looking into her eyes was like looking into a lava tube; dark, smoldering and dangerous. You never entered on without knowing the way out. I caught myself staring.
Samantha was just a woman who had come to me in trouble. I didn't know if she could be trusted, or if she was telling me the whole story. For now, she was just someone who needed a break.
I reached over the table and took her trembling hand. Her fingers gripped mine with a strength I supposed was partly fueled by fear. then her thumb began to caress the back of my hand in a gesture I didn't think was appreciation.
"Samantha, I'm here to get you out of whatever you're in." I let go of her hand and grinned. "If you can't trust me, who can you trust?"
The phone rang.