That evening went by in a blur of over indulgence. Le Chef, a gruff guy with a Euro accent, had prepared a cool dinner; fresh oysters on a bed of ice, followed by lobster thermidor topped with tender asparagus tips, accompanied by a bottle of chilled Chardonnay.
We sat opposite each other at an antique dining table in the flickering glow of lighted candelabra while we ate. From her look while she sipped her wine, I sensed I would be dessert.
That turned out true enough, but it wasn’t all.
Not all, by half.
I picked up my goblet and swirled the wine around. Squinted at her through the glass.
‘What you said earlier ... about the coke...’
She shrugged as if it was no big deal. ‘This is Hawaii, babe ... everyone does it.’ She giggled. ‘Makes me horny.’ She gave me that look again.
Okay, I smoke joints, but not coke – hell - I wanted to keep Linda interested.
‘It’s just that I don’t want my ass busted.’
She put a finger to her lips. ‘Don’t worry about Van and Pat. They’ll never know.’
The two gays that had hired me, warned me about taking drugs; but it would only be me and Linda, not a fucking party. I finished my wine and stood up.
‘Let’s do it,’ I said.
Two lines of coke later, washed down with another bottle of wine, I was high. So was Linda. We left Le Chef to clean up, and took a third bottle of wine and a pack of rubbers up to the Penthouse suite. Had a Jacuzzi together before tumbling naked onto the king-size bed.
Sex was heaven; I could see a galaxy of stars twinkling through the skylight when Linda rode me. She was unquenchable and so was I. Afterwards, we drank the wine.
Then I saw flashing lights and then darkness.
I came to with the sun streaming in through the roof. I squinted and wished I hadn’t moved my head. A sledgehammer pounded away inside, which I put down to the coke and wine.
But I was wrong. So very wrong.
Linda had gone. Gone from my bed, my room, her room – the whole damn place. At first, I figured she’d gone shopping and I thought a dip in the pool would clear my head.
Outside, I climbed onto the springboard.
That’s when I saw the body, floating naked on top of a wave - eyes staring into space.
I toppled off the board and splashed over to her in a frantic attempt at a rescue, but it was too late. Her third eye, a bloody hole in her forehead, made me throw up.
My head ached, couldn’t focus as I paddled back to the pool steps. Then the sounds of rushing boots as several cops broke cover; I was hauled away and detained inside.
Detective Carl Patterson was a patient officer; he listened to my story while his officers searched the mansion, asked several questions before hitting me with the bombshell.
‘Why did you kill Linda Adams?’
I stared at him. Couldn’t speak.
He stared back. ‘We had a 911. Caller heard shots.’
I felt sick, shook my head in disbelief. ‘I didn’t do it.’
A cop came into the lounge. ‘We found a gun in the bushes by the pool, Carl.’ He looked at me then back at Patterson. ‘Also, some used rubbers on the terrace ... wanna take a look?’
This was the point when my life started to unravel. Stunned and in shock, I was like a fish out of water, helpless and gasping for breath while the case against me piled up. I was taken down to Pahoa station and booked in. I had my rights read to me; fingerprinted, blood samples and DNA taken - then dumped in a holding cell with an ape of a black guy who seemed pleased to see me.
His name was Smokin’ Joe Hardy from Illinois with fists like hams and a gleaming, white grin that showed a couple of missing teeth.
‘Hi, kid,’ he drawled. ‘You wanna share my bunk?’
The way he said it – it wasn’t a question, but I had plenty of experience in sidetracking gays who came on to me, and Smokin’ Joe was no different. By the time Detective Patterson hauled my ass out for another interrogation, the ape and me were brothers.
Outside the cage, Patterson held up his hands in apology. He pointed to Smokin’ Joe.
‘You shouldn’t have been in with him; it was a mix-up at the front desk.’
‘Really,’ I said.
He didn’t elaborate. Not with the ape glaring at him.
‘You take care my brah, you hear,’ said Smokin’ Joe. I didn’t know if that was a warning to Patterson or a sentiment to me. Anyway, I punched the air as we walked on down the corridor to the interview room.
‘Bad ass,’ said Patterson. ‘Killed his wife’s lover ... bare hands.’
Not what Smokin’ Joe had said. “One tap … you know … hands off my wife. The dude tripped, fell down and hit his head, suffered a hemorrhage. Next thing I know, I was flung in jail.”
Somehow, I knew how Smokin’ Joe felt.
The next few days, I was segregated while Patterson recorded my life history during regular interviews. The case against me was watertight. Narcotic drugs in my system, my fingerprints on the gun, residues on my clothes, my DNA in the rubbers and under her fingernails. We were drugged up to our eyeballs, made love on the terrace, had an argument, I got mad and shot her with a loaded 45, dumped her in the pool.
CSI case closed.
They charged me with first-degree homicide.