Jason Yu was at a loss about what to do. He sat listless in his warehouse. Kevin Won walked in, interrupting Yu’s thoughts about Kathy.
Won sat. “I talked to that cop last night.” He pulled out a wad of bills. “Here’s three hundred of the five. I should have offered less than two hundred. The guy is so low-class.”
“Yes, okay,” said Yu. “So what’d he say?”
“The parents heard from a kidnapper. They weren’t supposed to contact the cops, but they did, right away. Apparently the guy wants two hundred thousand for her.”
Jason Yu’s anger shot up. “Kidnapper? That’s incredible.”
Won said, “You know her dad runs Hawaiian Savings Bank, right? He’s got money.”
Yu shook his head. “Yeah, I know, but why her? Why now?”
“Well why not her?” said Won.
Yu only shook his head, incredulous. Just then the Halm twins walked in and sat down.
“Jason,” said Allen, “we know something about your girlfriend.”
Both Yu and Won looked at him as if they were expecting some good news.
Alden said, “She was kidnapped.”
“Shit,” said Won, “we already know that.”
“But how did you two know it?” asked Yu.
“It’s Sung,” said Allen. “We heard him talking about it.”
Ted Sung was one of the mechanics. He worked as part of the warehouse disassembly unit.
“What?” said Yu. “You mean you heard him talking about her being kidnapped?”
The twins shook their heads. “No,” said Alden, “we heard him say something that made it sound like he did it.”
Jason Yu’s focus grew laser sharp. He’d known Ted for a long time, considered him a good friend. “How? How did you hear him talk about it.”
“We were all over at Club Gina last night. He got up to use the phone. We got up to hit the can. When we came out we overheard him on the phone. He was talking to someone about Kathy. He was asking the guy on the other end how she was doing.”
“Get him in here,” said Yu. Won and the Halms went out into the main warehouse. In a matter of moments they had Ted Sung sitting in front of Yu.
Sung showed no sign of uneasiness. “Hey, Jason, what’s up?”
Yu stared at him. He’d never killed someone before. He wondered what it might feel like. “What do you know about Kathy Thurston?”
Now Ted Sung looked very uneasy. He glanced at the twins. They stood one on each side of him. He probably would have looked at Kevin Won as well, but Won stood behind him.
Yu repeated the question. Ted Sung tried to stand up. The twins each grabbed an arm. Kevin Won had his hands on both of Sung’s shoulders and pushed him back down into the chair.
“Tell me.” Yu did not shout. If anything, his voice grew softer as his anger increased.
Ted Sung writhed in the grips of the other three. “Why you asking me? I, I don’t know nothing about her.”
“Well you know who she is,” said Yu. “You know what she is to me, right?”
Sung said nothing.
Kevin Won reached around Ted Sung’s head with two big hands and covered Sung’s mouth and nose. The others waited as Sung began to fight for breath. Still Won kept his grip on Sung’s face.
Finally, after Ted Sung began trying to scream, Won let go. Sung gasped for air.
“Tell me,” Yu repeated softly, “or it looks like you’re not going to make it out of this office.”
Genuine terror now gripped Ted Sung. He didn’t say anything, but he began to cry.
“Do it again,” said Yu softly, looking up at Kevin Won. Won gripped Ted Sung’s face once more, and Sung began to kick and give out muffled screams.
Finally Won let go again.
“Please tell me,” said Yu to Sung. It sounded not like a plea, but a threat.
Kevin Won made to put his hands over Ted Sung’s face, but Sung said, “No no no, please, no more.”
Won placed his hands back on Sung’s shoulders. The twins still had him by both arms.
“We took her when she was on her way to school.”
“We?” asked Jason. “Who’s we?”
Sung said nothing, looked down at the floor. “All of us. We. Us guys.”
Kevin Won spoke up. “Us guys meaning which guys?”
Ted Sung swiveled his head up at Won. “The boys.” He named all the other Death Star members. There were eight, including Sung.
“Really?” asked Yu, still in near-whisper mode. “All of you? Why on earth would you do that to her? To me?”
“We know she’s loaded,” said Sung. “We thought it would be easy money.”
Yu snorted. “Ted, my friend,” he said, his voice now returning to normal level, “you don’t get enough money doing what we do here? Easy money? This might end up being the hardest money you ever made.”
Instead of squirming, Ted Sung collapsed, like a balloon giving up its air.
“Where is she?” asked Jason.
“Moon’s family got a vacation house up the North Shore.”
“Where?” asked Yu, “what’s the address?”
“I don’t know. I just know where it is.”
“Let’s go,” said Won, “taking his hands off Ted Sung’s shoulders. “You show us. Out the back way, guys. We don’t want any of these other fuckers to know what’s up.”
The four exited through the back entrance. The drive was silent, and took them to a house overlooking Waimea Bay. They parked.
“Anyone in there?” asked Kevin Won. It was as if he’d taken over the whole show. Yu did not mind this. He was sickened not only over the kidnapping, but also by the betrayal. These friends. Some he’d known since they were in elementary school.
“I, I really don’t know.”
Won rolled up his pants leg and took a gun from an ankle holster.
“What’s that?” said Yu.
“A gun. I made it, Jason. Untraceable.”
Yu and the other three followed Kevin Won to the front door of the house, the twins escorting Ted Sung by the arms. Won reached for the doorknob. It was unlocked. He twisted it, it was unlocked, and he pushed the door open slowly. He signaled for the others to wait.
Won disappeared inside. To Jason Yu, it seemed like an eternity before his friend returned. “Nothing,” said Won. There’s no one here.”
“Kathy?” asked Jason.
Won shook his head. “No, no, man. She’s not here.”
Yu turned and faced Ted Sung. Now his voice came at peak volume. “Where the hell is she?”
Ted Sung shook his head violently. “I swear, Jason, I don’t know. I’m not one of the ones who’s watching her.”
“Hold on,” said Won. He disappeared inside the house again, this time reappearing with some rope and a rag.
To the twins he said, “Tie this fucker up, gag him, and throw him in the trunk. I’m sick of his fuckin’ face.”
They drove back to town. “Jason, how do you want to handle this?” asked Won.
Jason Yu had never made this kind of decision before. How did he want to handle it? And what all did he need to handle?
Alden Halm said, “I say we call a meeting, get um all together.”
“Yeah,” agreed said Allen Halm. “We’ll have the bastards all in one place.”
Yu looked over at Won, who was driving. Then he turned in his seat and looked at each of the Halms. Facing forward again, he said, “And what do we do when we have them all in one place?”
Won turned to him. “Don’t worry, Jason, I’ll handle it.”
Jason returned to the office alone. Won had told the twins that he wanted their help to get some supplies they’d need for the meeting that they’d agreed would take place at 5:00. Won told Yu he’d let everyone know about it.
Jason sat at his desk. The phone rang a few times, but he did not answer it. He stared out at his friends who were diligently taking apart cars. Good workers, he thought. Why do this? They weren’t earning enough money? They were making more money than they’d ever seen in their lives, and they were making more and more all the time.
Kevin Won told the twins that they needed to go back to the beach house and collect some of the items. When they entered the house, Won led them to an upstairs bedroom. There, lying on the floor was Kathy Thurston. She’d been strangled, the rope still wrapped around her neck.
“I didn’t want to tell him,” said Won.
The twins nodded. “What are we doing now?” asked Alden.
“We gotta get rid of the body. The last thing we need is for the Moons to show up here and find her.”
Together the three straightened up the room, taking Kathy Thurston’s body, along with the ropes that had been used to tie her up, out to the car.
Won opened the trunk. Ted Sung, wide-eyed, looked up at him and tried to say something.
Won said, “Eh, fucker, shift over. You got company.”
They put Kathy Thurston in the trunk.
“I’m going to take us back to the office,” said Won. “You guys think you can take care of the body?”
The twins assured them they could. “What should we do with Sung?” asked Alden.
“Leave him in there. We’ll deal with him this afternoon, along with the rest.”
Won got out at the warehouse and went into Yu’s office. Jason Yu sat as if in a daze. Won stood opposite him.
Jason took a moment before he spoke. “Any word about Kathy?”
Won looked out the window. “No, man, nothing. We haven’t heard anything. I’ll go spread the word about the meeting.”