David Chan couldn’t figure if it were part of the riot, or if it were a separate incident. The riot had been big enough for there to have been bloodshed, and with the noise, a gunshot could be hard to hear.
He parked in the red zone in front of the place and displayed his department placard on the dash. There weren’t many perqs, but this was a good one.
A variety of locals, tourists, and military were loitering loudly outside. It was Saturday night, and Hotel Street was pumping, the heart of Honolulu that beat hot and dangerous.
He had his gun, another professional perq. As he entered the noisy, smoky, room, he could pick out the others who were packing. If he’d been in the mood, he might have arrested them for illegal carrying, but he was tired.
And he was off duty. He wedged himself in at the end of the bar and ordered a Primo with a Jack back. Nothing like a boilermaker to clear the head.
Surveying the room, he could spot the Koreans who were part of Kang Yu’s gang. He’d arrested some. That none of them looked at him was a sure sign all of them were up to something illegal, but tonight that didn’t concern him either.
It was too early for the show to begin. That was intentional. He wasn’t here to be entertained. He didn’t care for any kind of entertainment that demeaned women, and if he’d had his way, the Cling Club would be out of business, both for that reason or because it really was a local cesspool of underworld excreta.
His favorite bar was the Blue Light Bar and Grill. The singer was terrific, and the company was decidedly more mellow, except for the impromptu wrestling matches that sometimes got out of hand.
“Hey,” he said to the bartender, “is Chieko in tonight?
“Yeah, she stay. She be back.”
It had been two years since he’d seen his murdered partner, Victor Yamamoto’s ex-wife, the woman whom Byung Yu had blackmailed into leaving Victor.
That was just one of the many good reasons why Byung Yu was dead.
Chieko come out of the back and headed toward the bar. He waved her down. She smiled, which instantly saddened him, thinking about how Victor had died believing Chieko had left him for Byung Yu by choice.
“David, it’s good to see you.”
He nodded. “You too. I hope you’re doing well.”
“Not so well, really. I mean, I’m still cocktail waitressing here.”
“You could do anything,” he said. “Why stay?”
She just shook her head. It didn’t help his sadness.
“Chieko, were you working when that riot broke out night before last?”
“I was. It’s one of the bigger ones I’ve seen.”
“Any idea what started it?”
“Maybe. I think maybe some kind of problem between Kang’s men and some others. I’ve never seen them before.”
“Koreans?” Chan asked.
“Turf war,” Chan said, picking up his beer.
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