ch6 pg 37-39

THE phone rang.
I must have dozed off for it woke me up. The newspaper lay at my feet in a crumpled pile.
"What's up?" It was Ronnie.
"Thanks for calling me back. You busy lately?"
"Nah, Christmas time you know. People don't start killing each other until after the new year."
Ronnie was a funny guy. "I need your help. I need information on football betting."
"Football? Everyone bets on football. What can I tell you that you don't already know?"
What he was really saying was: Why are you asking me and what does it have to do with me? Ronnie was still a cop.
"I want to know if anyone in town is giving you trouble. Making noise. You know, trouble collecting, welshers, stuff like that." I paused. "Or maybe someone is just missing some money."
Longer pause.
"What are you talking about, missing money?" He sounded confused.
I thought about what Ronnie was asking. The questions I had posed didn't even make sense to myself. Without giving Samantha away, I tried another angle.
"How about someone trying to finance a fix? Someone trying to pay someone off."
"A fix?" Ronnie asked. Now there was interest in his voice.
"Maybe, just check for me okay?"
Any fix in this town involved on of the two college teams here. Before the Tiger Sharks made the jump to division one, football meant the state university. Now there were two teams in town.
"Fixing a game. Now that's real low. You got a line on the bum?"
"Nothing solid yet," I hesitated and knew it was a mistake.
"Anything I should know about?" Ronnie asked. He sounded suspicious.
I didn't want him to know that I had Samantha on ice, but a killing was involved. "Well, a certain guy has been missing for about a day. It's not like him to be out of touch for so long."
I could hear Ronnie thinking over the phone. He knew a tip when he heard one. "You got a name for this missing guy?"
Giving Ronnie hard facts was as good as admitting I knew something. I decided to take a chance. "You didn't hear this from me. Check on a guy named Green. Michael Green."
Ronnie knew I was walking a grey line by giving him a name. There was an uneasy silence on the line.
"What's your angle on this?" he finally asked.
"Just helping out a friend." It was a standard response. Knowing cops were naturally suspicious, I hoped it would do.
"Sure." He hung up.
Ronnie worked out of CID, or the Criminal Investigation Division. Specifically he was a homicide detective.
I had a feeling he wouldn't like working on this one.

The sound of the falling rain kept me company as I sat there wondering where the two fifty large had come from. It started to become apparent that Greenie had sent it to her. But why send it to her when she had access to the safety deposit box?
I stood at my window and watched the surfers compete with the weather. A storm from the south meant a swell. Surfing in the rain was not unusual so Waikiki was packed. Most of the surfers out there on their boards would be there until it was too dark to see.
I glanced at the clock. It was time to see Willy.
Mark nodded at me as I took the elevator down to the lobby and walked out the front door. Or at least I tried to.
The bellmen, the front door desk people and the front door man all said hello. Being a part of a hotel meant that everywhere you went, you always felt eyes following you. Although their intentions were good, it was somewhat disconcerting to know that hundreds of people knew when you left and came home. I had hundreds of moms watching over me. The price of my job was high.
Troy, the doorman looked put off at my declining his offer of a cab. I took a right around the corner and walked into the next hotel lobby I came to. I made my way to the opposite side of the Hyatt's lobby and got into a cab that sat waiting at the corner. The Vietnamese driver looked at me twice when I told him where I wanted to go. He must have mistook me for a tourist.
We rode in silence through the afternoon traffic. It was bumper to bumper all the way to my destination.
I was taking a trip back in time. A time I had put away, locked up and thrown away the key to. The events of today had me go back to a life I had left five years ago. Ronnie, Willy, Leinani, they were all part of my past. Now Pandora's Box was about to be opened again, and I was about to face the consequences. The cabbie woke me from my thoughts.
"We here."
I looked out the window at what represented a time machine. I payed the driver and opened the door.
"By the way, what's the line on Saturday's game?" I asked.
"Tiger Sharks by nine."
"Who you taking?"
The driver paused. He grinned at me. "I'm waiting for Friday. Want to see what the line does."
I nodded my approval and closed the door.

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