“Yes, of course,” said Byung Yu. “If – I mean when you kill David Chan, you will have killed Honolulu’s hero. The best man, the Superman, of the Honolulu Police Department. They will stop at nothing to ferret you out, and I would choose a hideaway accordingly.”
Sung-min nodded. “Yes, I know. Mr. Yu, could I go to Korea, stay in your father’s compound.”
Yu smiled. “I couldn’t think of a better place. If they came for you there, it would be their tragic mistake. Yes, Mr. Wang, I will speak to my father, and I assure you that once he knows you are eliminating the good Lieutenant, he will welcome you with open arms.”
Wang said, “That’s good, thank you. And say, fifty thousand?”
Yu smiled broadly. “Only fifty? That’s too modest a sum. I’ll make it a hundred.”
This startled the tall man. “Well, okay, yes, sure, Mr. Yu. That would be great.”
“How soon can you get this little job done for me?”
“Well, let me check him out for a few days, see what he’s up to. How about I do it by the end of next week?”
“Perfect. I’ll call my father and arrange for your passage.”
Yu reached out his hand. “Here’s to your great success.”
Wang stood and shook Yu’s hand. Then he headed out the front door of the Beretania Follies and made his way to Fort Street. While he walked, he wondered if he should follow Chan right from the police station home, or if he should find out where he lived and wait there.
As he passed Liberty House, one of the window displays caught his attention. The scene was of a baby’s nursery, and everything you could imagine the perfect nursery to have was on display there. But it was the crib that caught Cho’s attention. It reminded him of his childhood, took him back to his earliest years. Those had been the best sleeping years he’d ever had. How he used to rock back and forth, his hands gripping the bars that some might see as imprisoning, but that he saw as freeing.
One murder can be enough to cause a killer sleepless nights. So when you’d killed scores of people, although the money was a compensation of sorts, if you had any kind of conscience you were doomed to more and more troubled sleep. You never got used to it if you were weak that way. There was no numbing of the brain, no falling into a routine.
Sung-min Wang had a conscience that he cursed. He was weak that way, and he hated it. Another killing, every time he did it, made things worse. This would be the last time. With the small fortune he’d amassed, and the possibility of living out his days ensconced in Kang Yu’s legendary fortress, he’d be set. No more killing. That was what he’d do with his life, he thought, picturing his mother and hearing her whine. He’d retire from the murder business and take up a life of leisure. The nightmares would end. Wouldn’t they? Of course they would.
Wang turned from the window and headed down toward Honolulu Harbor. The police department was mere blocks away, but his favorite diner, Lani’s Place, was just around the corner on Nimitz Highway. Pushing through the door, he noticed that the place was empty. Of course, it was too early for the lunch crowd, but still. It seemed odd.
Taking a seat in the last booth toward the kitchen in the back, Wang waited for Eve to appear. She was a beautiful Hawaiian-Asian mix woman in her mid-30s, and Wang had always liked her. Usually, she was out front. Wang sat silently.
After a few minutes, he began to feel a little antsy. Standing up, he made his way to the kitchen door and popped his head through.
“Eve?” he called out. “You in here?”
Not only was there no Eve, but there was no Buddy, the breakfast and lunch cook.
Wang walked into the kitchen and surveyed the scene. There were two doors. One was for the storage room, the other was for the back exit. First, he checked the storage room. Nothing. Then he stuck his head out into the back alley.
“Eve? Buddy? Anyone back here?”
No one answered. He went back through the kitchen and out into the restaurant. Could they both be in the restroom?
First, he went into the men’s room. No one. Should he try the women’s? Well, why not.
Wang knocked on the women’s door. The sign said Wahine, and there was a black figure of a woman dancing hula.
Wang knocked again. “Eve?”
Then he opened the door cautiously. The sight might have staggered another man, but Sung-min Wang had seen too much blood in his time. He was a little shocked, however, to see both Eve and Buddy lying in a very large pool of it.
“What the fuck?”
Wang pulled one of his throwing knives from inside his jacket pocket. Turning around to face the restaurant, his senses were firing now. Very carefully he made his way to the front door. Searching in every direction and seeing nothing suspicious, he stepped out onto Nimitz Highway and proceeded in the ‘Ewa direction.
Just as Wang made it to Bethel Street, he saw Lieutenant David Chan running across the street with two uniformed policemen.
Wang crossed the street quickly, but not too quickly, and proceeded along Nimitz Highway. Looking back to make sure the three had disappeared behind him, he made his way to his car near Beretania Street.
Someone had killed Eve and Buddy, and David Chan had heard about it and was rushing to the murder scene. For caution’s sake, Sung-min Wang decided he’d look up the lieutenant’s home address and proceed with his observation of Superman from there.