Neon Hula Hustle – Part 7

un-jakeWhen they got outside Kai told them to follow him and got in his car and headed down the strip. He took them to a small warehouse on the outskirts of town and when they joined him at the door he unlocked it and took them inside to a cluttered office off to one side. He told them to sit and make themselves comfortable and disappeared through a side door. When he came back he was carrying a two foot-high tiki carved with amazing detail. As he had told them, it had two large rubies for eyes.

The boys were in awe of what they were seeing. The rubies were the standout attraction. Kai sat it down on the desk and let them admire it for few minutes before he spoke.

“My brudders, this is Kumuhonua, the first man. He was carved by a famous artist on Kauai. As you can see, he has amazing eyes, eh?”

They sat quietly taking in the beauty of the piece. Kai carried on.

“Each of the rubies is two carats, my brudders. And as you can see, they’re dark red. The darker the ruby and the bigger they are, the more they’re worth. Rubies this size always increase in value, not to mention the quality of the piece and the artist who carved it. Then too, you can look in the eyes from any angle and the color doesn’t vary. That matters with rubies.”

The boys got up and checked out the tiki, walking around it and checking out the eyes. Reeve was impressed. Sean seemed uncertain.

“How do we know the rubies are real, Kai? I mean, no offence, but we’re talkin’ a lot of money here.”

Kai grinned and pulled a jeweller’s loupe out of his pocket and handed it to Sean.

Sean hesitated, then took it and looked at each of the rubies through the eyepiece, the handed it back to Kai.

“Well, I don’t really know what I’m doin’, but they look amazing to me.”

Kai nodded his approval and waved them back to their seats.

“They are amazing, my brudders. The best. Look, if you guys don’t want to do this I understand, but I’d have to ask you not to say anything to anybody about the tiki, eh?”

“Oh, we’re still keen,” Reeve looked sideways at Sean for confirmation, “We can have the money tomorrow. We’ll make the arrangements today and meet you back here, say, ten tomorrow morning?”

Kai grinned and shook each of their hands in turn.

“My brudders, I feel good about this thing we’re doin’. You guys are all right, and I’m cool with letting this go so cheap. I want this curse off my head and I want the community here to move on from this thing, so it’s all good. You’re helping me out and you’re getting the deal of a lifetime, what could be better?”

They left the warehouse and headed back to the strip to celebrate with a few beers. Kai assured them that the collector could easily be found who would be keen on purchasing the tiki and told them Los Angeles was the best place to sell it. He rattled off the names of some galleries that would put them in touch with keen collectors for a fee. The boys were secretly thinking of ways to spend their new wealth after they sold the tiki. They went to a branch of their bank after parting ways with Kai and arranged for a transfer of the funds.

Later on they met up with Kai and the girls for some dinner and more celebration and then parted ways, agreeing to meet the next morning to close the deal. The girls watched them go and then looked at Kai.

“What? You know the drill.”

They smiled at him and each raised their glasses in a salute.

Tomorrow, Part 8 – The End

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