The Flaming Luau of Death

The Flaming Luau of Death by Jerrilyn Farmer

Book: The Flaming Luau of Death by Jerrilyn Farmer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jerrilyn Farmer
clock on the wall, I was scheduled for the next luxury treatment in my Day of Beauty in twenty minutes. But it could wait. First, I would go see Keniki Hicks. And the thought of Keniki, her long hair swaying, spreading Hawaiian cheer at our luau only last night, and now suddenly thrown into such anguish, made my eyes sting. Why had fate brought such tragedy to this nice young woman?
    An array of sprays and lotions and creams and ointments were displayed in a row of glass jars along the marblecountertop before me. One of them promised to detangle and condition. I had been making little progress through the thicket of hair, and so I gave a few spritzes to my unruly curls, and then a few more spritzes for good measure, before going back to work with the comb.
    And I couldn’t help thinking of Keniki’s boyfriend—his body found right there at our own Anaeho’omalu Bay. Just hours after our luau, it must have been. Just yards away from the beach upon which Keniki had distributed hula skirts and taught us all how to make the hand motions for “a man” and “a woman” and “enduring love.” It was an irony of such bitterness.
    I turned away and tried to concentrate on some facts. Keniki’s boyfriend had been washed away, no one yet knew how or from exactly where he entered the water, and then found early this morning among the rocks at Anaeho’omalu Bay. He was wearing his work clothes. Had he been working late at night on some misty path and fallen into the ocean, becoming injured in the fall? Had he been out on a beach, perhaps walking out on the lava rocks that jut into the sea? People got swept away by an unexpected surge all the time, Pualani had warned me.
    I looked again in the mirror and was surprised to see the spray-on detangler stuff had actually helped. I picked up the can and checked the label. Perhaps I would have to buy some of this. It smelled faintly of grapefruit. Nice. I gave my head a shake, and corkscrews of redblond hair fell gently into place on the left side. The right side was still a bird’s nest, so I went to town, giving several additional spritzes, and began working out the tangles with the comb.
    And yet, I thought again, I knew almost nothing about this couple. Had they been happy? I hated to give words to this question, but having dated a cop, I know howthey think. An accident? And so close to where the girlfriend was working. Could there have been something sinister going on? Had the couple been fighting? I hate this sort of thinking, but I know how predictable investigators could be. In an unexpected death, they would wonder, who had something to gain? Who held a grudge? And always, look to those closest to the victim. Poor Keniki.
    What a shock, to have your life planned for happily-ever-after and discover one fresh morning that it simply will not be. It was all too familiar to me, stirring up old memories too difficult to remember.
    I’ve had a few shocks of my own, enough to remind me how little control we truly have over the course our lives will take. I thought about Xavier and the pain I’d felt when he left me. And here I was, nine years later, doing just fine, thanks. Doing just great.
    I padded over to my locker and then realized I had somehow misplaced the key. Probably left it in the treatment room. But when I made my way back down the hallway, the door to the treatment room was locked.
    I tried a few other nearby doors. Several must have led to additional treatment rooms, but they were locked as well. I stood in the dimly lit, narrow hallway and thought it over. There were no spa attendants in view. And the tinkling New Age music was beginning to get on my nerves.
    The one door that wasn’t locked was marked: STAFF ONLY . I peeked in, looking for help. This room was also empty. It appeared to be a plain-wrap version of the guest locker rooms down the hall, and much larger than I’d expected. I walked in. On a bulletin board were employee notices, including warnings from

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