4. Blood on the Water

by Paddy Killeen

JAPAN BY THE LAKE

I suppose the last thing I never expected to find in the middle of rural Ireland was a Japanese Spa. But find one I did. The owner, a beautiful Japanese-American woman named Yoko Sato called in on my office one day and asked me to investigate a murder. Not to solve one particularly but to prove that she did not kill her business partner, another American named Louie Lavoie. The police had not proven their case but the fact that she was under suspicion was ruining her business, bookings were down over 50%.

“I have to clear my name Mr. Killeen,” she said, “I have done nothing wrong but I stand to lose my business and everything I have worked for.”

I hate to see a grown woman cry, particular one who looked as sexy as Yoko, and so I agreed to go out to the Yuri Gardens Spa and do my best to clear her name. In reality, it turned out to be more of a fat farm that treated overfed women from all over Europe, but in an effort to be more sensitive they convinced their clientele that they were there to get fit and rejuvenate.

My landlord, the Colonel, who ran the charity store downstairs, was going to look after my office while I was away. In spite of him telling tall tales and insisting on me listening to him sing operatic arias, he had become increasingly useful to me and so had his wife Wanda. She was Italian, was educated, sophisticated and looked like a countess, which her devoted husband assured me she was. He also hinted that she once worked for the Servizio Informazioni Difesa, an Italian spy agency. Whatever the truth, they now ran a store where they sold donated junk to support a clowder of stray cats that they kept at their small holding just outside the city.

With my trusty magnifying glass and notebook in my pocket, I bid farewell to my two associates and drove out towards Lough Mordha. I passed through Rokeby, which was directly across from the spa and drove around the beautiful lake until I saw the impressive Japanese three-story building appear out of the trees.

The layout was most impressive, the surrounding gardens were well kept and full of water features that made you feel relaxed as soon as you entered. I was escorted to my suite on the top floor by Yoko’s personal assistant, Tomiko, and a man named Kelly, a stereotypical Irishman, who carried my bag, and had an opinion about everything.

“Yoko will meet you for lunch at 12 o’clock,” I was told, and after much bowing, I was left on my own to survey my most opulent surroundings.
Although the room had a Japanese flavor the furnishing were more in line with a ‘twelve star’ North American hotel, including a king sized bed. It actually consisted of three spacious rooms. The living room was decorated with silk wall coverings and gorgeous artwork, and my feet sank into the plush carpet like as if it was quicksand. There was a dining section for those who didn’t want to rub shoulders with other millionaires in the restaurant and fortunately, the table was full height, because being six feet tall, sitting at one of those low Japanese contraptions can sometimes be a little awkward.

The bathroom was Italian marble of course and it was almost as big as the living room. There was a Jacuzzi shaped like a huge shell, a massage table and a variety of other contraptions I didn’t even recognize. By the time I’d tried out the shower and dried off with a big fluffy monogrammed towel I was ready to meet my client.

I thought that we would probably meet in the restaurant but I was eventually summoned to her personal suite by Tomiko,

“I am so glad to see you Mr. Killeen,” she said, as she poured me a drink, “This situation is getting me down .”

She handed me the glass and then sat down beside me on the overstuffed sofa and crossed her long shapely legs.

“I think you need to fill me in on the details,” I said, “I know virtually nothing about the case at the moment.”

Before she could start, there was a faint tap on the door and a young waitress came in pushing a serving wagon laden heavy with food. I could see why we were eating in private, it would not have been appropriate to consume such fare in the presence of clients dining on three lettuce leaves and a carrot. The girl was going to serve us but Yoko said she would look after it and asked me to take my place at the elegantly laid table.

What a meal, and what a conversation. It seemed that she’d first met Louie and his daughter Latifa in Ireland when they both arrived to put in a bid in on the property.

“As we were all Americans we got talking and ended up deciding on a joint venture,” she pattered her lovely mouth with her napkin and went on to tell me that the former resort had been abandoned and was in a state of disrepair.

“Louie arrived with the idea of giving it a French flavor but I persuaded him to go Japanese, I said there would be nothing like it in the whole of Europe.”

“Was it just between the two of you or did his daughter get a share,” I asked.

“It was just between Louie and I, straight down the middle,” she said, “although I did agree to let his daughter be the chief cosmetologist at a rather hefty salary.”

“And how did your partnership work out?”

“Business-wise quite good, but we had a few disagreements, mostly about his personal life. To be quite frank with you – he was a womanizer, not with the clients, he knew better than that, but he couldn’t keep his hands off of the female staff. Even his own daughter was shocked by his behavior.”

“And what about you,” I asked, “did you find him attractive?”

My question seemed to hit a nerve, “I didn’t ask you here to inquire about my personal life,” she snapped.

“It might be relevant to the case.”

“I don’t see how.”

“Well, as you’re the number one suspect on the list of the Gardai, they obviously suspect that you either had a personal or a business motive.”

“I had neither.”’

“But who benefits now that your partner’s dead?”

“I do – if the matter ever gets settled.”

“So you get one hundred percent of his share?”

“That’s how it was set up – if I would have died he would have gotten mine.”

“What about the daughter?”

“She inherited over two million from other assets he had – she’s in clover.”

“But I understand that she’s still working here – why would she do that when she’s so wealthy.”

“Because the little bitch is waiting to see how things work out if I was found guilty, and she seems convinced that I am, she would inherit her father’s share.”

She got up and began to pace around the room and seemed to be hyperventilating, “Do you know what that little whore offered me? do you know?”

Of course, I didn’t have a clue and I waited for her to settle down so she could tell me. At length she returned to the table, nervously began re-arranging her cutlery, and went on to tell me that Latifa had suggested that she take off back to the States and turn the whole resort over to her.

“She had the fucking nerve to offer me two million for this place – is worth close to forty.”

She got up again, and once more paced the room, “I want you to prove that I’m not guilty Mr. Killeen and maybe the Irish Police will come to their senses and remove me from their list of suspects.”

“To do that I will probably have to find the real killer.”

“I’ll give you a list of all those who had a grudge and as long as you don’t upset the few clients I have left – you can do whatever is necessary.”

Yoko not only provided me with a list of her suspects but also assigned her pretty diminutive PA Tomiko to show me around the resort and to answer any questions I had. She was actually Japanese but she spoke excellent English with an American accent. Apparently, she’d been educated at Harvard.

After getting an idea of the layout and being introduced to a few of the staff we retired to my suite to go over some of the paperwork. Newspaper articles outlining details of the police investigation were plentiful and she helped me work through them.

According to the local fuzz, Louie and his soon to be bride, a Korean masseuse who worked at the resort, named Ji-won, were in Rokeby making arrangements for their forthcoming marriage. Rather than drive around the lake they had gone over by boat. She decided to stay in the town for an extra few hours to get a dress fitting and do some other shopping, while he went back to the resort. Almost smack in the middle of the lake the launch exploded and scattered debris over a wide area. Although the police suspected a bomb, activated by a timing device, they could not assemble enough fragments to prove it, although they were sure dynamite was used.

For security reasons there was a tracking device on the boat, allowing Yoko or anyone with access to the office, to establish the whereabouts of the craft. However, this had been fitted many months prior to the incident.

Some explosives had been taken from a contractors hut on the resort, as some rock blasting was being done to create a new fresh water pool. The hut was locked, the door had not been forced, and the only key was in possession of Mr. Napier, the site foreman.

Suspicion was centered on Yoko because she had a great deal to gain if Louie was dead. They’d been heard having a violent argument a few nights before the incident and it seemed to center around his impending marriage and the fact that he wanted a new agreement to protect his new wife’s interests.

After I’d gone through all that shit, I was dying for a drink. I was about to raid the bar fridge but Tomiko suggested she order a bottle of wine. It was obvious she’d studied my likes and dislikes as a bottle of 2012 Croix de Beaucaillou was brought in by a maid, I let it breathe for a couple of minutes and then I poured us both a glass.

As we sipped on our vino I went through the list that Yoko had provided. At the top was Zlata, the Russian chef (or dietician, as they prefer to call them there), who had apparently been carrying our heroes child. She’d been pressured into having an abortion in England and at one point was so angry at the way he’d treated her she threatened him with a meat cleaver.

Next was Goro the young gardener, he was under the impression that he and Ji-won were engaged until she announced she was going to marry Louie. He’d also been heard making threats.

What surprised me was finding Latifa, the victim’s daughter on the list. Afraid of losing her inheritance she actually threatened Ji-won. As a result, her father was planning to send her back to the States.

Right at the bottom of the list was Ji-won’s name – with “you never know” written on the side of it.

A REAL LADIES’ MAN

I’d probably not uncovered all of the people that wished to do harm to this asshole Lavoie but I had enough to go on with. After a wonderful supper, shared with Tomiko in my suite, I worked out a schedule to start interviewing the individuals but first I had to get real personal with my assistant.

“Mr. Lavoie seems to have been quite a lady’s man,” I began, “It might be easier if I could find out who he didn’t sleep with.”

She gave a funny smile, “What you’re asking is – did I sleep with him?”

I shrugged and waited for her answer.

“The answer is yes,” she said, blushing a little, “I am attracted to European types, and he was very good looking.”

“But how did he treat you?”

“When we were in bed he was wonderful and caring, but afterward he became indifferent.”

“Did that upset you?”

“Am I on your suspect list?”

“I have to suspect everyone and then gradually eliminate them.”

“After a while – I didn’t like him anymore. He was beautiful on the outside but ugly on the inside.”

“Do you think he slept with Yoko?”

“I think you will have to ask her,” she replied, but I knew from her expression that the answer was affirmative.

I was going to suggest that I could perhaps talk to at least one person that evening but I didn’t have to. There was a timid knock on the door and when Tomiko opened it – a very frightened Zlata stood there.

“You are looking for who murdered Mr. Lavoie,” she said.

I invited her to sit down before I answered, then I explained that I was not a policeman but I was trying to establish some facts so that I could turn them over to the police.

“I don’t want to lose my job,” she said, “I support my family back in Russia, I need the money, they pay very well here.”

I assured her that I would do my best to keep her name out of the evidence I was compiling but I couldn’t promise anything.

She looked a bit doubtful but then went on to tell me that some woman used to meet Mr. Napier the contractor in the dynamite shed for sex. I asked who it was but she said she’d only heard the noises.

“I know sex when I hear it,” she said.

Tomiko seemed a little embarrassed and decided to return the dishes to the kitchen. I asked if she recognized the voice but she said that there were no spoken words just a lot of moaning and whimpering.

“Did you tell the police about this?” I inquired.

She said she hadn’t and that she was very nervous when they were questioning everybody and just forgot. I went on to ask her about her relationship with Louie and then she exploded.

“He was a very wicked man,” she cried, “He made me kill my baby, I hope he is rotting in hell.”

“Did you kill him because he made you kill your baby?” I asked abruptly.

She looked a little shocked at such a suggestion but then she took a big breath and said she wished she had done but she didn’t.

After a few more questions and some tears, she left and when Tomiko returned we relaxed with another bottle of wine and just chattered about this and that. She seemed to have a lot of nervous energy and just kept jabbering about some of the problems they had with demanding clients and I listened intently, thinking that somewhere in her little commentary there might be something that could be relevant to the case.

Around 10 o’clock she left my place and beginning to feel the effects of too much vino I turned in for the night.

I was awakened on my second day there with the clinking of dishes. Staggering into the living area I found Tomiko laying the table for breakfast. It couldn’t have been a pretty sight seeing a middle-aged man wearing nothing but his boxer shorts, but she smiled and said, “Good morning,” as though she was not particularly shocked. I guess working in a place where some women are so fat they have to lift up their tits to locate their vaginas, prepares you for just about anything.

I told her I had to get a quick shower and when I re-appeared I was properly dressed and eager to get on with the day’s business. Over breakfast, we began to discuss the relationship between Goro and Ji-won.

“Did it seem serious?” I asked.

“Well they were always holding hands and kissing each other,” she replied, “it certainly looked serious.”

“And when did she and Louie begin to fool around?”

“When he’d finished fooling around with me and Zlata,” she said, bowing her head a little, as if ashamed that she could have been taken in by such a man.

“Did he ever propose marriage to you?”

“Never.”

“So for some reason, he was ready to commit to her but not to others.”

“Ji-won is the kind of girl that gets what she wants,” she said, “and perhaps she gave him a lot more than Zlata and I were prepared to give.”
“Like kinky stuff?”

“Possibly.”

I didn’t pursue that line of questioning but I suggested I should talk to the grieving fiance later.

“She’s not been outside of her suite much since he was killed,” she informed me, “I think she intends to stay here until they pay up on the insurance policy.”

“He took out a policy for her?”

“For half a million American dollars I understand.”

“And the police didn’t treat her as a prime suspect?”

“At the time of the explosion she was with the woman who was designing her wedding gown and she swears that Ji-won never touched her cell phone the whole time she was there, and that was apparently how the bomb was activated.”

I decided that she was going to be a prime suspect as far as I was concerned and I drew a thick line under her name on the list. However, rather than be accused of harassing a recently bereaved woman I decided to delay meeting with her for a while.

After one more cup of coffee, she phoned Goro and asked him to come over. He was one of only three Japanese citizens on the staff, Tomiko and a young chef named Sachihiro, being the other two. Apparently, Yoko would like to have hired more, to add to the authenticity of the place, but work permits for non-EU members were hard to get.

He was very nervous and his relationship with Ji-won seemed very painful for him to talk about. The fact that he didn’t speak very good English made the interview somewhat difficult but Tomiko jumped in to translate where necessary.

“Let’s talk about Mr. Lovoie,” I said, “Tell me about the time you threatened him.”

“I very angry with him,” he panted, as though he was short of breath, “I want kill bastard.”

“And did you kill the bastard?”

“No boat exploded.”

Feelings that the possibility of him being the killer somewhat remote, but not impossible, I let him go back to his Azaleas until further notice. It was at that point that I suggested we take a walk down to the Dynamite Shack and get some fresh air at the same time.

The gardens were very beautiful and relaxing, they were a great credit to Goro‘s creativity and hard work. There was one water feature that had to be crossed by stepping stones and she took my hand like a little child and guided me across. She didn’t let go of it when we reached the other side and we walked along the sandy beach hand in hand until we reached the rocky promontory, where three men were working on carving out a fresh water pool.

After introducing myself to Napier, I asked him about the missing explosives. He said that the door was always locked and he had the only key. I went inside to look around but there was not much to see except a number of bed covers, with the resort logo on them lying on a bench.

I picked up the end of a blanket and held it to my nose and sniffed like I was savoring some old cheese, the contractor, who stood there watching my every move, looked at me in bewilderment, and so did Tomiko.

“This would make a nice little love nest,” I said, putting the cover down and making towards the door.

He didn’t say anything but I know he knew what I meant. Standing with his back to me he whispered something to Tomiko. I had the distinct feeling he didn’t like me much, but not many people do. While he was still cutter muttering to my assistant I picked up a small piece of folded cardboard that was lying amongst some cigarette butts near the wooden step. I quickly tried to see if it would fit in the lock’s receptacle and it did.

I heard a ‘bing’ in my brain and I began to see how someone could have gotten into the shed to steal the dynamite. After being involved in some sexual activity with Mr. Napier they could have stuffed the cardboard into the hole, preventing the bolt from going all the way in when it was locked. It was just a matter then of coming back later and pulling on the door, which would have opened quite easily. After they’d helped themselves to a few sticks of explosive all they had to do was removed the cardboard and closed the door behind them. When the key was turned the next morning no one would be any the wiser.

As we walked back in another direction, still holding hands, we ran into Gary Byrd who was a fitness expert and trainer. His sleeves were rolled up almost on the top of his shoulders so that he could display his muscular arms. When we shook hands I think he was surprised that I could squeeze just as hard as he could. With a silly look on his face, he quickly let go and said he was pleased to meet me but explained that he couldn’t stay to talk because he had to run five miles before lunch.

“I’ll catch you another time and we can have a chinwag,” he called back as he took off down the beach.

I knew it was going to be difficult to contain myself until that day arrived but I was determined to cope.

“He’s a European type,” I pointed out to Tomiko, “do you fancy him?”

“Gary’s gay,” she laughed, “he’s not interested in the women here – it’s a shame really – he’s frightfully good-looking. Of course, you are too,” she said, squeezing my hand affectionately.

As we continued to walk I asked her why Mr. Napier seemed so upset. She said that he thought that I suspected him of the murder just because he had access to dynamite.

“I explained that you were talking to everybody and he calmed down,” she said.

Back up in the main garden I saw a wishing well and asked if she’d like to throw a coin down for good luck.

“I’m not superstitious,” she said, “You would just be wasting your money.”

I told her I was only thinking of investing fifty cents but she just laughed and tugged me back towards the main building.

I’ve always like a leisurely lunch, particularly when it’s in private with a beautiful young lady, and especially one that knows how to choose a good wine. It was about one thirty when I began to look at my list again and for some reason, I added Gary to the names.

Before I got down to more interviewing I contacted the Colonel back at base and gave him the details on Gary Byrd and Hwang Ji-won. I asked him if he or Wanda could check up on them for me. He was thrilled with being given such responsibility and asked me how things were going. I told him that the wine was excellent and the companionship delightful.

“You should be ashamed of yourself,” he laughed and rang off.

THE SITUATION GETS MORE EXPLOSIVE

In the afternoon I resumed my questioning, starting with Louie’s daughter. She told me I had to hurry because she was due to give a facial in fifteen minutes. Consequently, I thought that I shouldn’t beat around the bush.

“Are you happy that your father’s dead?” I asked.

Tomiko seemed shocked by such a direct question but it didn’t faze Latifa. She squirmed in her seat a little but then admitted that it had benefitted her considerably and that her father’s behavior was bound to have got him killed sooner or later.

“But I didn’t kill him,” she added, “that bitch Yoko did.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because she wanted to marry him, but he didn’t want the slut, so she found a way to get revenge and to get the company all to herself as a bonus.”

“She told me that you offered to buy her out.”

“Why not – if she stays around here she’ll end up in the slammer for the rest of her life, she could put a lot of miles between her and Ireland with two million dollars.”

“Was your father sleeping with her?” I asked.

“He was sleeping with everybody, even Tomiko here.”

Tomiko looked a little upset but she didn’t dignify the comment with a reply. After she’d left however, she used a very appropriate four letter word to describe her. I’m not sure where she’d learned such language but the way she said it was almost poetic.

As more and more people seemed to have had a reason to kill the little bastard, the more and more difficult my job became. It looked like being a very frustrating case. Fortunately, I had my petite sidekick that I could share my thoughts with even though she couldn’t be entirely ruled out as the person responsible for turning the debonair Lavoie into fish food.

Before discussing the case any further or letting her sit in on the interviews I had to swear her to secrecy. She crossed her heart and said something in Japanese and so I started to review what I had so far.

“I tend to think we’re looking for a woman because it seems likely someone offered to give Mr. Napier a good time in the shack so they could fix the door and re-enter to steal the dynamite later. But on the other hand, it could have been a man who made the noises that Zlata heard.” She looked at me quizzically as I continued, “in moments of ecstasy both sexes are inclined to groan, moan and whimper – even squeak.”

“Do you squeak Mr. Killeen?” she asked, with her head to one side and a faint smile on her face.

I didn’t want to sound like a sleazy old man and say, “would you like to try me out,” but I was sure thinking it. And of course, it did cross my mind that perhaps she was sending out encouraging signals. To be on the safe side I pretended I didn’t hear her because I was concentrating on my notes.

I still had at least two prime suspects to go – Ji-won and Yoko, and I also wanted to question Mr. Napier in private because I knew if I could persuade him to come clean about his extracurricular activities, I might well have the identity of the murderer. However, according to Tomiko he was a married man with children and so extracting such a confession was not going to be easy.

I’d not seen Yoko all day and I thought that maybe she was trying to avoid me and so decided to go over to her office to ask her a few questions. She didn’t appear upset by my barging in unannounced, in fact, she offered me a cup of coffee and then went on to inquire how her PA was working out. I told her she was a great asset and that we’d interviewed most of the people on her list.

“During questioning,” I said, “I learned that you and the deceased had more than a business relationship, maybe even talked about marriage.”

She laughed, “Yes I went to bed with Louie occasionally because I happen to like sex and I’m not always particular who I do it with but there was never any thoughts of marriage – the man was a prize-winning fornicator, who’d want to be tied to someone like that.”

“Ji-won?” I said.

“She was just after money, she’d even tried to persuade him to change our agreement so that she would get his half of the company if he died but there was no way he could do that.”

“So he took out a half million policy instead.”

“Yes – enough to kill him for.”

“But she’s not on the police suspect list,” I pointed out.

“That was because they believed she had a cast iron alibi, but that’s not my opinion”

“And mine neither,” I said, and then I made my exit hoping to catch Napier before he quit work but he was already gone, however, I did see Gary hanging around there. I dodged into some bushes to see what he was up to and a couple of minutes later a young waiter appeared on the scene. After a few hugs and kisses, the two of them took off along the beach with their arms wrapped around each other.

When I got back to the suite Tomiko was gone and I decided to just sit and meditate, see if I could get any ‘pings’ but I didn’t. At six o’clock my delightfully bubbly companion returned with dinner on a wagon.

“Anything exciting happening,” she asked, as she began to set the table complete with candles.

“No – maybe after I’ve talked to Napier and Ji-won tomorrow something will click and I’ll be able to say who killed the “much maligned” Louie Lovoie.”

“Why don’t you just relax tonight, drink some wine and clear your mind.”

“If you’ll join me.”

She gave me a quizzical look, “I’m not attracted to every European looking man you know.”

“Is it necessary to be attracted to somebody to share a glass of wine?”

“I’m not sure if that’s all that you want to share,” she responded.

“I’m just asking you to share my Bordeaux not my boudoir,” I said, rather proud of my quick repartee. She began to giggle, “I believe I should say “Touché,” and then she pulled out a chair for me insisting that I eat.

It was difficult to know if she was teasing me or not, but she lit the candles and then proceeded to switch off the main lights. My god, she looked so beautiful as the shadows created by the flickering flames danced across her face.

“Would it offend you if I told you how beautiful you look?” I asked.

She smiled, “No but I suspect that you’re trying to soften me up.”

I didn’t say any more until we’d finished dinner and we were sitting on the sofa together sipping on our Bordeaux.

“What did you do before you became Yoko’s PA?” I asked her.

“I worked for a public relations company in Osaka.”

“Which do you prefer?” I continued, hoping to disguise my real intention of trying to seduce her.

“Are you really that interested?” she asked, leaning over to kiss me on the lips.

At that moment I knew she’d cottoned on to me, and I slipped my arms around her slender waist and drew her close. The kissing became more intense and she slipped her sweet tongue into my mouth. There are times when you think if you’re going to die it should be when you’re in the arms of a beautiful woman because life can’t ever get any better than that.

When my hand ventured up her top and I began to fondle her small exquisitely formed breasts, she assisted me by slipping out of it entirely and then came the skirt and panties. She was so delicate I was almost afraid to touch her, she was what I would describe as doll-like, refined and indescribably beautiful. I gently leaned her back on the cushions and when my lips made contact with her nipples she arched her back and whimpered a little.

As I continued to lick and suck I slid one hand between her thighs and I very lightly ran my fingertips over her trimmed bush. She opened her legs a little more to facilitate my finger and I ran it slowly up and down her wet crack. Her whimpering became more pronounced and it didn’t take long before she gasped, “I’m cumming – I’m cumming.”

By the time her gorgeous body had stopped twitching, I was naked and standing over her with a cock that was so hard it hurt. Although I would have liked to have driven it into her tight little quim fast and furious it somehow didn’t seem appropriate, so I eased it in slowly, as she wrapped her legs around me and closed her eyes.

Of course, I didn’t have the willpower to fuck her in slow motion and I gradually increased the pace until I was ramming it into her a mile a minute. When I could feel my goo boiling in my balls and gradually moving up my pipe I yelled, “Holy fuck,” and shot my load deep inside of her. She held onto me tighter and tighter as I made those final thrusts and then she relaxed, opened up her eyes, smiled and whispered something in Japanese. Fuck knows what it meant but I didn’t really care – I’d just been to heaven and back.

Although we went to bed together and continued to cement our relationship, when I awoke in the morning she was gone. Before I could gather my thoughts there was a loud explosion and as I struggled out of bed and staggered into the living room I found Tomiko, who had been about to pour my coffee, glued to the window with the steamy pot still in her hand.

“Oh my god,” she cried, “it looks like Mr. Napier’s cabin has exploded – there’s debris everywhere.”

Before I could get dressed and go out to investigate we got the news confirming that it was the dynamite shack that had blown up – along with the unfortunate contractor. Soon Police were all over the place, but because it was deemed to have been caused by the victim carelessly smoking on the job, they soon left, apart from one specialist who was making a thorough search of what I thought to be a crime scene. I doubted that a cigarette was to blame, even though I’d seen lots of discarded butts beside the step.

I felt that whoever had scattered Louie Lavoie’s remains over a wide area was probably responsible, and had used the same trigger mechanism. It didn’t actually eliminate any of the suspects and so I was still at square one.

Unfortunately, I also knew that my pretty assistant had the opportunity to do the deed, According to her she had apparently slipped out of the bed around midnight and returned to her own room.

“I was afraid that Yoko might check on me and think it inappropriate for me to stay with you overnight,” she told me.

When we got back in from looking over the damage I got a telephone call from the Colonel in Dun Laoghaire, he and his wife had apparently been working night and day tracking the backgrounds of Gary Byrd and Hwang Ji-won and had come up with interesting conclusions.

Gary Byrd, alias Gary Martin had graduated from MIT with a degree in electronic engineering, but his father’s company, that he was destined to join, went broke. Being one of those sweatband types, who spend every spare moment at the gym, he decided to re-invent himself and make a career shaving the pounds off middle-aged women. However, the most interesting twist was the fact his father’s company went down the crapper because of a failed contract he had with one of Lavoie’s companies. Mr. Martin senior died shortly after filing for bankruptcy and it seemed possible that Gary held him responsible for his death.

The report on Ji-won was a little less colorful but it was never-the-less quite revealing. It appeared that she was already married to a Korean national and they had both been engaged in illegal activities. It was possible she intended to get a quick divorce from Louie and get a nice settlement or send him to a watery grave for the insurance.

I rang the number for Gary provided by Tomiko and after getting no reply we knocked on the door of his room. There was no answer and so we got clearance from Yoko to go in.

Unlike my bedroom, it was neat as a pin. The bed had either been made as soon as he got up that morning or he hadn’t slept in it. We looked in the closet and all his clothes were there, the same applied to the drawers. But then my colleague shouted and held up a small plastic bag of electronic components, mostly clips and short pieces of wire, she’d found in the back of a cupboard. Carried away by her discovery she was convinced the case was solved but I explained that “just because a man wears cowboy boots it doesn’t mean he can ride a horse.” She seemed a little confused.

If indeed Gary was our bomber – where was he? If he’d absconded he was certainly traveling light as he didn’t even bother to take his wallet and later we also found his car was still in its parking spot. Being a physical fitness trainer I was sure that he could have swum the half mile to Rokeby but that didn’t really make sense, I was sure he was still in the resort.

Unfortunately, Tomiko now had her fingerprints all over the plastic bag but I carefully wrapped it a handkerchief anyway. Back in my suite, I made yet another attempt to figure things out. On a large sheet of paper, I began to create a miniature evidence board. It didn’t help.

Yoko turned up before lunch and asked if we’d located Gary, she seemed certain that he was the perpetrator, particularly when she was told about the bits and pieces we’d found.

“But what was his motive?” I asked, not letting her know what I’d found out from my able colleagues in the cat shop.

“Maybe he and Louie were in a homosexual relationship and he was jealous when he heard about his forthcoming marriage to Ji-won.”

“But surely working here he must have known that your late partner was screwing everything on two legs.”

She didn’t say anything for a few seconds and then her cell phone rang. Yoko listened intently to what was being said and then went very pale and had to sit down.

“There were the remains of two bodies in the shack,” she said, shaking her head in disbelief.

The place was soon swarming with police again and this time I was questioned by Inspector Coyle, who was not aware of my presence at the resort and seemed genuinely interested in what I’d uncovered so far. We both agreed that the bits and pieces in the plastic bag did not make Gary the bomb maker. He did have a suspicion that our man was actually the second person whose scattered remains were found hanging from trees and bushes around the shack. I was inclined to agree with him.

This turn of events complicated matters for me. I was working on assumption that his coital companion was a woman but now I had to accept that Mr. Napier liked his bread buttered on both sides. There was more re-thinking to do.

SUCKED UNDER – WELL ALMOST!

Before the police inspector left he gave me his cell phone number and told me to keep in touch. In the hope that I’d soon have something to report to him I put Tomiko back to work, rounding up my only remaining suspect Ji-won. At first, she refused to come out of her suite but when told there had been two more murders and her life might be in danger, she emerged bleary-eyed from her lair and entered my door like the Ghost of Christmas Past.

At my request, she sat across the table from me and I caught the distinct smell of funny tobacco. I could see behind that spaced out look there was a very attractive young woman but at that moment in time her eyes were glazed over and her speech was somewhat slurred.

“I wanted to ask you a few questions about your late fiancé and your current husband I asked,” throwing her into confusion.

“What…?” she looked at me as though I was slightly crazy, and then continued, “what do you mean husband?”

“Your husband Dong-ju – don’t you remember him?”

“I don’t have a husband – I’m going to marry,” she paused again, “was going to marry Louie.”

“But you are already married to a Dong-ju back in Korea.”

“No – Dong-ju is my brother,” she said, now looking a bit more awake.

“I have confirmation from the authorities in Busan that you are already married.”

“I’ve never ever been to Busan,” she replied defiantly.

“It really doesn’t matter about being married anymore, you’re not a bigamist because you did not go through the ceremony but you do have half a million dollars insurance to come don’t you.”

“Are you looking for a cut?”

“No, I want to know if you arranged your fiancé’s death.”

“That’s ridiculous, I loved Louie, and the police cleared me of any involvement.”

“What about Goro?”

“What about Goro??” She shot back.

“Weren’t you also in love with Goro?”

“That’s ridiculous – it was always Louie – I never wanted anyone else – Goro used to pester me all the time but I wasn’t interested in some immature gardener.”

“Did you sleep with him?”

“Who?”

“Goro.”

“Maybe a couple of times when I was angry at Louie – that’s all.”

“Why were you angry with him?”

“It’s really none of your business but if you must know I didn’t like the way he let Yoko push him around.”

“Do you think that he was in love with Yoko?”

“So many questions – what right have you got to ask so many questions – you’re not working for the insurance company are you?”

“No – I don’t have anything to do with insurance I’m simply trying to find out who killed Louie Lovoie.”

“Yoko did – she was crazy about him – even though he fooled around with other women she still wanted to marry him.”

“And his fooling around with other women didn’t worry you?”

“He was rich – he could do whatever he wanted as long as he looked after me.”

I knew that even if she didn’t kill Louie she certainly intended get rid of him at a later date, she wanted the money, not the man.

When she’d gone my thoughts turned to Yoko and the fact that I’d been remiss in not checking up on her more thoroughly. Instead of phoning the Colonel I sent him an email, providing as much information that I could on my client. After that, because it was such a nice warm evening Tomiko suggested that we went for a dip in the lake.

I told her that I didn’t have my swimming trunks with me and she suggested that we went skinny dipping.

“There’s a little cove just up the beach,” she said, “It’s very secluded.”

She was right it was just a patch of sand protruding out into the water, skirted by a mass of Rhododendron bushes that hid it from view. Tomiko was not shy about taking her clothes off and soon she was naked and lying in the shallow water just splashing around. I walked out in the deeper water intending to swim and suddenly realized I was sinking into the soft sand. If it wasn’t genuine quicksand it was a very good imitation and I was soon floundering around trying to get my feet out of it and onto a solid surface.

I was amazed just how much effort it took to break free and make it back to shore. Puffing and blowing like a man twice my age I staggered back to where she was nonchalantly lying in the shallows like The Little Mermaid.

“Why the hell didn’t you tell me that it’s like quicksand out there?” I gasped, “I could have drowned.”

“I didn’t know.”

“How could you not know if you’ve been here before?” I snapped.

“But I never go far into the deep water – I can’t swim.”

She seemed quite upset that I was so angry and started to tear up.

I sat down beside her in the water, leaned over and ran my hand over her tits. She smiled, grabbed onto my wrists and pulled me on top of her wet body. In spite of my dick being a little reduced by the cold water, when I felt it make contact with her cunt it began to get harder and harder. I eased it into her slowly and when it was fully embedded I gave it a little extra thrust. She gasped, as if taken by surprise, but then she started to move her ass up and down as if she was ready for the whole treatment.

As I slid it in and out of her well-lubricated love tunnel we created little waves that rippled around our naked bodies. Ramming it in faster and faster, the excitement and tension began to build. When I blew my load she cried out “OMG” and threw her arms back into the water splashing it all over us. We walked back to the building with our arms around each other and spent the night together.

The next day I received an email from Wanda about Yoko, my employer, and a prime suspect became a little more prime. While in high school in Los Angeles, she’d actually won an award in the state science fair, in the electronics category. Apparently, she had impressed the judges by controlling numerous devices with her cell phone.

This revelation, of course, did not prove she blew the late Louie Lavoie into tiny pieces; it could have been purely coincidental. I had to once more write the suspects down on a sheet of paper and attempt to figure out who had the most to gain from his death.

The late Gary Byrd might well have intended to do some harm to the dear departed Louie as revenge for what he did to his father. However, he and the late Mr. Napier were not taking questions anymore.

Zlata certainly had a motive and made no secret of the fact that she was prepared to kill him. But I didn’t place her very high on my list.
His daughter Latifa was a cold-blooded, money grubbing little bitch but would she really kill her own father? I thought about some of the classic cases of parenticide and came to the conclusion – it was possible!

The victim had taken away the love of Goro’s life and I couldn’t exclude him because he looked so young and innocent, Baby Face Nelson probably looked as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. He left dead bodies scattered across the country including three FBI agents.

Next, I scribbled down what I knew about his fiancé and beneficiary Ji-won, who, if she didn’t kill him that day was just waiting for another opportunity. Perhaps being much younger than he was she intended to love him to death.

And then I came to Yoko. She had a double motive, one she would inherit his share of the resort if he died and two she was not happy about his forthcoming marriage, possibly wanting to tie the knot with him herself.

I poured a very large drink and then I asked myself why would Yoko bring me to the resort to prove she’d not killed her partner if she had killed him? Was it she that was giving Mr. Napier a little love in his shack, enabling her to fix the door so she could re-enter later, or was that Gary?
I took another drink, I desperately needed to get one of those pings in my head, where everything becomes clear, but the lines were down. In the end, I decided to go and see Yoko to confront her with her electronic past. Tomiko was just coming out of the door as I was going in. She looked worried when she saw me, gave me a weak smile and hurried off along the corridor. I wondered if she’d had some sort of a disagreement with Yoko but she seemed quite subdued when I walked in., she even laughed when I brought up the subject of the science fair.

“Oh my god, you have been busy,” she said, “but I can assure you that I’ve forgotten everything I ever knew about that shit, as I’ve forgotten about trigonometry and Civil War history. Screwing in a light bulb is just about as scientific as I get these days.”

To be quite frank I didn’t have a lot more to throw at her and the conversation drifted into trivial meanderings. I even mentioned my experience with the quicksand.

“Tomiko shouldn’t have taken you there, the sediment on the bottom is far too dangerous to walk that’s why we’re building the freshwater pool for our guests,” she said.

“As a nonswimmer, I guess she just didn’t think.”

“A nonswimmer – you’ve got to be kidding me – she can swim like a mermaid, and her sister Ikumi was a champion – she used to work here as an instructor and lifeguard on our main pool.”

“Why did she leave?”

“No idea, she just left suddenly, took all her things and didn’t even leave as much as a note. She was a very pretty girl, I’m sorry she left – except…” she paused and I jumped in.

“She was having an affair with Louie.”

“Well I don’t know for sure but I think it was possible. If so, that may have created conflict between her and her sister or any of the other women he was poking at the time.”

“Do you hear from her?”

No, she does phone Tomiko occasionally; apparently, she’s living in Tokyo.”

HE BIG PING!

While I was talking to Yoko about Tomiko and her disappearing sister I suddenly got a ping and it terrified me. What if she had caught Louie and Ikumi in bed together and feeling betrayed by her own flesh and blood she went into a rage and killed her? In a panic, thinking he might be involved as an accessory, he helped her to dispose of the body. Ji-won saw what they were doing and blackmailed Louie into marrying her, with the hope of getting a slice of the business. After all, everyone seemed to agree that the marriage proposal was rather sudden.

Tomiko, who was probably aware of the circumstances surrounding the upcoming nuptials, saw the possibility that one of them might slip up one day and tell someone what they knew. When she planted the bomb she was not to know that Ji-won would thwart her little plan by deciding to stay in Rokeby for a while and that must have been quite a shock.

As for Mr. Napier, who had entertained her in his shack, he may have suspected that she was the one who took the dynamite but wasn’t in any position to expose her without exposing his own sexual indiscretions. However, when I arrived on the scene and began to ask everyone questions he suddenly became a risk she couldn’t afford. And poor Gary – well, he was just collateral damage.

In reviewing my suspects I’d perhaps concentrated too much on the murderer having some knowledge of electronics. I’d overlooked the fact that you can teach yourself to build everything from an Uzi to a nuclear device just using the dark web.

My concern now, however, was whether Tomiko was going to eliminate the last witness in the chain. I dashed out of Yoko’s office and checked back to my suite, my very obliging PA was not there. I went to her room and knocked on the door but got no answer. Ji-won’s suite was right across the hall, this time I didn’t bother to knock I just barged in.

“What the fuck are you doing here,” she snapped, “get out!”

Before I could explain another voice behind me told me to turn around very slowly. I knew who it was, and I complied, half expecting to see a gun pointing at my head, but I was confronted by something quite unexpected. There was Tomiko, dressed in a black Kimono, brandishing a Samurai sword.

“You’re far too clever for your own good Mr. Killeen, I knew if you kept asking Yoko questions you would put two and two together, I couldn’t afford to wait any longer.”

Ji-won, who was standing behind began to blabber about their agreement to split the insurance money.

“I’m not interested in the money anymore,” she said, you are both going to die,” and she whipped the blade skillfully through the air, missing the end of my nose by a fraction of an inch. It appeared that my demure little assistant had become completely unhinged, but even so, I still thought how beautiful she looked.

I had no idea what she was going to do with two corpses julienne, but she must have had a plan. Maybe, to escape justice, she intended to commit hara-kiri but as she raised her sword, with a sinister smile on her face, Japanese tradition was the last thing on my mind.

Fortunately for me the poor Korean girl’s hysteria actually saved my life. She let out a piercing scream that caused my executioner to lose focus for a split second. In matters of life and death, that’s all it takes to change the course of history.

I lunged forward and smashed my fist into the side of Tomiko’s pretty face, sending her sprawling into the hallway. While Ji-won dropped to the floor in a display of Korean ritual bowing, jabbering incoherently, I picked up the limp body and carried her to Yoko’s office.

“What the fuck is going on,” she greeted me as I lay her on the sofa.”

“She’s the murderer,” I said, “and handing her Inspector Coyle’s card I asked her to phone him.

Before he arrived, she regained consciousness and began to rub the side of her bruised face, then she looked up at me and said, “I’m sorry,” before turning her back towards me. She didn’t say another word until the police arrived to take her away for questioning, then she simply gave me a pitiful “Goodbye,” and she was gone.

I told the inspector that I thought he would find the body of her sister Ikumi at the bottom of the old well in the garden and my intuition proved to be correct. In her room, they found printouts of schematics for the mechanisms she used to make the bombs and she even had a couple of sticks of dynamite left over.

A very pretty young woman now faces spending the rest of her life in prison. With Yoko off the suspect list, Latifa had to be satisfied with her two million, and the last I heard of Ji-won was, after being charged with withholding evidence, she was deported back to Korea and the insurance company is challenging her claim.

Yoko’s business is recovering and she’s invited me for a free make-over anytime I want one. Satisfied with how I look I don’t think that will be anytime soon. THE END

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Copyright 2017 Paddy Killeen
The characters portrayed in my stories are, for intents and purposes fictional and any similarity to persons living or dead is purely a product of your imagination.
You may not sell, license, sub-license, rent, transfer or distribute any part of my stories or images in any format, or claim ownership.

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