He maintained the contact while he took a slow sip of his champagne and then put it back down again. He cocked his head to one side as if listening for something and then looked briefly around the room before leaning towards Reeve.
“Lailani’s got quite a mouth on her, that girl. Now why would she have told you something like that?”
Before Reeve could answer he continued. “It’s just a little something you might say I got stuck with, and I need to pass on the opportunity, you dig? I doubt if you guys would be interested though.”
He waved his hand vaguely, but Sean had picked up on the situation.
“What’s all this about? Am I missing something?”
Reeve moved a little closer to him.
“Lailani thought we were here to do some business with Kai. She said he has a tiki he needs to sell.”
Kai crooked his finger at them and leaned in conspiratorially.
“Okay, my brudders, it’s like this. I have this tiki I want to sell. You guys know what a tiki is?”
They shrugged their shoulders in unison then Sean said, “It’s a carving of some sort. In the shape of a person, I think.”
Kai nodded. “Yeah, that’s right. This tiki I’ve got is a carving of the very first man in Hawaiian cosmology. His name was Kumuhonua. It’s a very valuable tiki, carved by a great artist. The eyes are great big rubies, and the carving is worth a quarter of million.”
He sat back and sipped his champagne, letting his words sink in.
Sean and Reeve sat and stared, not knowing what to say, but Sean was liking what he had heard.
“So how you gonna get that kind of money for something like that, and why would Lailani think we were gonna buy it?
Kai shook his head. Lailani don’t know nothin’, brudder, she was just making conversation. Anyway, I’m not lookin’ for that kind of money for it. It’s not exactly legit, me having it. Besides, a medicine man put a curse on me, and…well, it’s complicated.”
Reeve was getting big ideas.
“A curse? Wow, this is strange days, man. What’s up with that? Somebody cursed you for stealing this thing?”
Kai put his glass down and sighed.
“Hey budder, I didn’t steal the damn thing. It came to me after a brudder of mine…well, let’s just say he should have known better, and now he’s not with us, you dig? Anyway, some stuff didn’t go right and the curse was put on me, so I have to get rid of this thing. There’s no giving it back because the original owner ain’t with us no more either. It’s complicated, what can I say?”
He could see their eyes get big when he mentioned the passing of a couple of people associated with the tiki. He saw the girls coming back from the powder room.
“So I just need to offload it is all. Lailani should learn to keep her mouth shut.”
The return of the girls put paid to the conversation, but Kai was pleased with the unfolding of events. The girls were in rare form and he made a mental note to reward them. He ordered more champagne as the two couples got reacquainted, winking slyly at the waiter.
Tomorrow, Part 5