LEI ME DOWN
It was so gorgeous here. I walked along the street, taking in the palm trees, the beautifully tanned people, the white limousines, and the lovely Romanesque architecture.
Luke and I were going to the beach later today. There was a luau tonight at the hotel, then we were planning to visit some Oahu sites tomorrow and then do some island hopping the next day.
I wondered how finding the body on the terrace below ours would affect our plans. I figured it wouldn’t overmuch. We didn’t know the man, had no connection to him whatsoever, and couldn’t contribute anything to the investigation.
And, yet, there was a homicide detective waiting for me when I returned to the hotel.
He was in the lobby and had approached me the instant I walked through the door.
“Excuse me, are you Mrs. Fontaine?”
He flipped open a wallet to show me a badge. Then he motioned the bodyguard forward.
“And are you Mr. Fontaine?” the detective asked.
“No.” The bodyguard put himself between the detective and me. “I’m with Mr. Fontaine’s security detail here on the island. Is there anything I can help you with?”
“Where is Mr. Fontaine?”
“He’ll be along in about twenty minutes or so.”
“Thank you.” He stepped to the side so he could see me beyond the bodyguard’s bulk. “Mrs. Fontaine, I’m Detective John Harker. I’d like to speak with you.”
“Of course,” I said. “I don’t know that I’ll be of much help, but I’ll be glad to answer your questions.”
“The hotel has provided us a small conference room,” he said. “Please step this way.”
The bodyguard stepped forward. “Wait. Mrs. Fontaine, shall I accompany you?”
“I’ll be questioning Mrs. Fontaine alone,” Detective Harker said.
“Very well. Then I’ll wait here for Mr. Fontaine.”
“Please do,” said Detective Harker. “Let him know I’d like to speak with him as soon as I finish talking with his wife.”
“Mrs. Fontaine, would you like me to take your bag up to your room?” the bodyguard asked.
My eyes widened. “Please.”
He nodded and took the bag. “I’ll see to it right away.”
Detective Harker, a man of average height, slender build, and thinning dark blond hair, led me back to a conference room with an oval table surrounded by six chairs. Although the table took up the majority of the room, there was a credenza on the far side of the room with bottled water and a coffee maker.
“Would you care for a bottle of water?” Detective Harker asked.
“No, thank you. I’m fine.” And I was…at the moment. I simply hoped this wouldn’t take too long. Something about the entire ordeal made me nervous. I was beginning to wish we hadn’t been the ones to make that morbid discovery.
And, with that thought, Detective Harker seemed to dive right into my thoughts.
“Mrs. Fontaine, you told the security guard here at the hotel that you were standing on your balcony at approximately seven fifteen a.m. when you discovered the man lying on the balcony below yours. Is that correct?”
“Actually, my husband is the one who first saw the body. He took a photo of me with the phone in his camera, and then he noticed the man lying on the veranda below us.”
“And did he immediately call security?” he asked.
“Of course he did.”
“Had you met the couple staying in the room below yours?” he asked.
“As we already told the security guard, we have not met them…nor have we met any of the other couples staying at the hotel,” I said. “We’re planning on going to our first luau tonight. Perhaps we’ll socialize some then.”
“Right. So you know nothing of the man you discovered this morning?”
“Nothing.” What was he trying to get at? Hadn’t I made myself pretty clear?
“All right. I guess that’s all I have for you for now.” He handed me his card. “Should you think of anything…even anything you can think of that might be trivial…about the victim or his wife….”
“Victim?” I interrupted.
“Yes. Mr. Columbus was murdered.”