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Authors: Mark M. DeRobertis

Tags: #murder, #japan, #drugs, #martial arts, #immortality

Killer of Killers (4 page)

BOOK: Killer of Killers
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* * * *

It was a sunny afternoon, and duties in the
Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office were lighter than usual. Dr.
Harpreet Singh was typing the final entry of his most recent
report. Always diligent, he was proud of the way he ran his
department and, being an immigrant from India, was pleased with the
status and position he had attained.

Harpreet’s fingers tapped an unbroken rhythm
onto his keyboard until a woman’s footsteps drew his gaze from the
computer screen. Looking up, he witnessed a heavenly visitation
centered in his doorframe. It was Detective Jones, the blond angel
sent by the gods to remind the men of earth why they bothered
toiling in the pits of hell every day.

Harpreet was first to speak. “Detective
Jones, it’s so nice to see you. What brings you to my humble
workplace?” At this point, he didn’t care what it was, only that it
would occur more often.

“Hi, there, Harpreet,” Samantha cooed in a
voice Harpreet immediately noticed was sexier than usual. Her long
hair fell loose about her shoulders, appearing fluffier and
atypically disheveled. She wore her usual tight skirt, but it
seemed a little tighter today. Hot pink in color, the matching top
was also extra taut, especially around her bust. The upper two
buttons were undone, revealing cleavage, and it was something
Harpreet was also quick to notice. Her full breasts, propped
upward, appeared likely to burst through her blouse with but the
slightest prod.

Trying to keep his eyes above her neckline,
Harpreet managed to sputter, “Yes, well, what can I do for you

“Oh, I’m just here in L.A. for a bit,” she
crooned, “and then I thought of
.” She pointed at
Harpreet with an index finger atop a bent wrist. “So I said to
myself, ‘Gee, I wonder what my good friend Harpreet is doing right
now?’ Well, hhhmm, you don’t look too busy. Are you?”

“No, no, not at all,” Harpreet quickly
answered. Although a married man, he dared believe his lucky day
had come.

Samantha stepped into his office, and with
every switch of hips her bosom notably jiggled. Harpreet cared not
at all when she sat on his desk next to his mouse. It was when she
leaned over in front of him, that’s when he almost choked. He made
a concerted effort to maintain control. He failed miserably,
however, in the effort to keep his eyes off her breasts.

Samantha fiddled with his tie. “What are you
typing, Harpreet?”

“Typing?” He had forgotten already.

Samantha turned her head, as if to read the
death certificate on his computer screen. “Oh, I see it’s your
official report on the Stiles case.” She swung her gaze back to
him. “Now Harpreet, I saw this report, and I just didn’t believe
you could have missed what really killed this man.”

Harpreet’s heart skipped a beat. “You already
knew what killed him?”

Samantha smiled. “Of course. When your report
listed cardio-vascular disease, I just knew you must have made a
mistake.” Her sparkling blue eyes seemed to pierce his soul. “I
also know there’s someone out there who’s made your bank account
much larger than the measly checks you cash from here. Much larger.
Isn’t that right, Harpreet?”

As Samantha combed her nails through his
hair, Harpreet hoped it was only his bank account she noticed was
larger. With a gulp, he asked, “How did you find out?” Then he
scrunched his eyes shut to lessen the pain.

Samantha played once again with his tie and
pulled it tight. “Never mind how I found out. What I want you to
tell me is exactly what
found out. I know you’re good.
good, aren’t you, Harpreet? My good, little
Harpreet.” Each time she said
, she dabbed her finger on the tip of his nose.

Realizing this wasn’t his lucky day at all,
Harpreet babbled, “Yes, yes, I mean, no, I mean, yes, I am good.
Please, Miss Jones, what do you want me to do?” His eyes remained
closed, but Harpreet was sincere. He put himself at the mercy of
the goddess he adored.

“I want you to prove to me how good you are
and tell me what your
findings were. If they match what
I already know to be true, then I will let you keep your little
secret as long as you use your extra bonus in the bank to take your
family to Disneyland this summer.”

Harpreet opened his eyes. “Disneyland?”

“Disneyland. And one more thing. Whenever you
fix your reports from now on, be sure to tell me. And I’ll be sure
to keep it secret. Okay?”

Harpreet nodded. “Okay.”

Shortly thereafter, Samantha departed from
the office, at which point Harpreet swiveled his chair back to his
monitor. Only then did he remember what he had been typing. It was
the fatality report of one Fritz Johanson. Harpreet, confused,
scratched his cheek.

* * * *

Samantha exited the county building satisfied
her coroner friend revealed the true cause of Benjamin Stiles’
death. Her top buttoned up and her hair in a ponytail, she stopped
for a moment to readjust the bra beneath her blouse and then
continued on her way. Her gait was quick and determined. She was
thinking about Trent Smith.


Chapter Three

Romp at the Flip Flop


Looming skyscrapers seemed
to frown upon Trent, as he mingled with hundreds of pedestrians
crowding the streets of midtown Manhattan. Blazing neon lights
transformed the night into an eerie haze of commercialized color,
and once again he rambled over the same busy boulevards he had
roamed the two previous evenings. Unfazed by the glowing
superstructures, he thought instead of the reason for his first
time visit to New York City.

The name in his head was Jeremiah Flint, the
famous movie star who also happened to be in town. Flint was here
to accept an award for his latest motion picture despite his
controversial past. Charged with the murder of his wife and her
young daughter, a jury found him innocent due to insufficient
evidence. Since then, it became apparent that his fans had simply
dismissed that dark episode of yesteryear and replaced it in their
collective memories with his scripted heroics chronicled on

Trent’s destination was the Flip Flop Club.
For the in crowd, it was the in thing. With the skill of a ninja,
he slipped ahead of long lines and once again lounged in an obscure
booth, pretending to be part of the scene. Although the setting was
dark, colorful lights spotted every surface, deflected off a disco
ball suspended from the ceiling.

Pulsing beats pounded his eardrums, but they
weren’t sounds Trent could appreciate. This Rap, or Hip Hop
phenomenon, was not music to him. It was nothing more than a beat
with bad poetry. And it was very bad poetry. He gave it no mind.
Once Jeremiah Flint made an entrance, nothing else would matter.
Enough celebrities already attended to his chagrin, and after three
nights of the same, he had his fill of upper-class arrogance. To
him, they were like spoiled children. Privileged and selfish, he
detested them all.

It was interesting to Trent, however, that
when the biggest stars arrived, tuxedoed greeters ushered them into
a hallway across from the front lobby. No one else dared enter
except the women in their company who, most likely, were
high-priced call girls. Even bodyguards were denied admittance, and
that was Trent’s most significant observation, but he gleaned one
other thing. At midnight, a collection of stunningly beautiful
young women would arrive and enter into that same corridor. Trent
surmised a privileged gathering took place in some private room,
and when Flint finally showed, no doubt he’d be welcomed, also.
Trent knew he would have to get in there, but two bouncers guarded
the hallway’s entrance, one on either side.

At the other end of the disco, several
employees worked the bar and the adjoining lounge, but at its
midpoint another corridor accessed the floor. Trent kept a keen eye
on the single sentry glued to its corner. Perhaps this was an
alternate route, and he decided it was time to find out.

After weaving across the swarming dance
floor, Trent stationed himself on the vacant side of the opening.
Eventually, a group of boisterous ladies engaged the idle bouncer,
and during the diversion, Trent slipped inside.

The passage loomed dark and narrow, and
halfway down, several doors aligned the wall. Just as Trent moved
past them, one swung open, expelling a rush of club personnel.
Trent peeked over his shoulder, assured nobody saw him, but turning
his head forward again proved the shock of his life. He nearly
planted his face into the chest of a massive body that seemed to
appear out of nowhere. It was a human roadblock spanning the width
of the hallway. Looking up, Trent distinguished Polynesian features
glaring down at him. A Samoan, he concluded of the hulking
presence. Dressed in a dark suit and tie, the man’s attire revealed
him not to be a bouncer, but someone’s bodyguard.

The man snarled, “Can I help you?”

“Yeah, I was looking for the restroom.”

“Well, it’s not down here,” the monstrous
figure bellowed. “Go use the one on the main floor.”

The demeaning tone irritated Trent, but he
turned around and retraced his steps, all the while noting the
Samoan behemoth close on his heels. Once back on the dance floor,
however, Trent discovered the event for which he waited was taking
place in pompous pageantry. Jeremiah Flint had just made his grand
entrance. Scores of people crowded around him, even while his
buffering entourage scythed a path through the shimmering field of

Dressed in a silk suit of golden teal, the
actor exuded obvious loathing for the cheering fans. His arrogance
was on display for all to see, yet the swooning women and idolizing
men were blind to it. Trent witnessed it personally, and he was
more determined than ever to administer the justice that eluded
this killer for so many years.

When he approached as near as he could
without being manhandled, Trent studied his prey. Flint was as
advertised—a solid six feet, three inches, and two hundred, forty
pounds of steroid inflated muscle. Underneath his unbuttoned
jacket, he wore an open white shirt. His bronzed skin was smooth
and shiny, as though polished for the night’s occasion. A blond
rode one arm, a redhead the other, and when they reached the
guarded hallway, ushers enthusiastically admitted the shameless

Returning to his booth, Trent decided to wait
it out, not wanting to attract further attention than he had
already by bumping into the king-sized bodyguard. But waiting was
never easy for Trent. Tonight he would finish his business on the
East Coast, and now the minutes moved more slowly than on the
nights when the actor never showed.

Still, the hours passed, and closing time
finally arrived. The DJ stopped the music and bid his farewell.
Club workers scurried to and fro, as did customers preparing to
leave. Trent avoided the bouncers who hawked up stragglers by
finding a niche here, a cranny there, or dark curtains to hide

Most of the staff had vacated the floor, and
Trent made up his mind to get into that back room. Though the many
groupies had long since departed, the stars and their ‘dates’ never
resurfaced. Apparently, their celebrity status exempted them from
any kind of curfew, evidenced further by the bouncers who remained
posted in front. But when the one at the disco’s midpoint departed,
Trent wasted no time. Again, he sleuthed the alternate tunnel, this
time with a quicker pace until he reached a T-shaped intersection.
He turned toward his objective, and at the end of the hall, another
lobby contained a door to the restricted room.

Just as Trent approached, the door swung
outward, spewing throbbing beats of techno music along with a man
in a ruffled white tuxedo. It was Robert Westwood, the filmmaker
known for his hardcore living in a bygone era. Trent recognized the
aging actor because his movies had appeared in Japan over the
years, and clearly his drunken ways hadn’t changed. Reeking of
alcohol, he could barely walk. Trent let him pass, and before the
door sealed, he darted inside, where he experienced an instant
shift of his five senses.

First, the louder music assaulted his ears.
Next, the smell of high-grade marijuana invaded his nose, and Trent
could even taste the sickly sweet aroma as it gagged down his
throat. The setting was dark and heavy for low lights and a
hovering cloud of wall-to-wall smoke that clung to his skin.

While his senses adjusted to the alien
atmosphere, Trent took in his surroundings as best as he could. The
room was relatively small, about half the size of the main floor.
Round tables lined the room, each adorned with a red tablecloth and
a single red candle. Both sidewalls and the back remained dark, but
the front featured a stage illuminated by multihued spotlights from
above. Upon the stage, a diverse troupe of dazzling young women
danced to the pulsing sounds provided by a DJ who doubled as a
master of ceremonies.

It was a captivating sight, Trent admitted to
himself, because not one of the dancing women wore a stitch of
clothing. Except for make-up, jewelry, and a pair of high-heels,
each was as bare as the day she was born. Fortunately, the audience
was focused either on the dancers or on the drugs at their tables,
so no one yet noticed him standing beguiled.

As Trent edged the sidewall toward the rear,
he observed the room’s occupancy to be about half its maximum, and
the attendees, to a man, seated up in front. Almost every one of
them seemed familiar, but Trent wasn’t there to play who’s who of
Celebrity Row. He scanned the room for the man he planned to kill
and spotted him at the table nearest to the stage. The ladies with
whom he arrived, disrobed at this point, were engaged in lewd acts
with the star. Trent noticed a lack of discretion at several of the
tables, each participant not caring in the least if someone might
be watching.

BOOK: Killer of Killers
12.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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