Tag Archives: blackmail

Rainbow Connection; chapter thirteen, part three

Rosie stole things from her employers, just as I surmised.  Usually silver or jewelry, but once in a while, she’d have a sheaf of papers and wouldn’t tell Derek what they were.  When I open my mouth to interrupt, Derek hurries on over my questions.  The last time he saw her, he tried to find out obliquely if she was still stealing things.  She just laughed at him and said that was penny-ante compared to what she had going on now.  When Derek asked what she meant, she explained her newest venture to him.  Venture.  He makes it sound like she was an entrepreneur or a small-business owner, not the blackmailer she really was.  She regaled him with stories of her clientele without revealing their identities.  She said one had killed her husband; one had embezzled some money; one didn’t have the credentials she said she did; one was running an apartment scam.  Things like that.

I couldn’t believe he hadn’t gone to the police, and I tell him so in no uncertain terms.  I mean, we’re talking about blackmail.  Derek doesn’t see it that way.  In his eyes, all her clients deserved it because they are all liars and cheats and thieves, not to mention a killer.  I look at him in disgust.  This is the same man who works with juvenile delinquents, trying to rehab them.  Does his attitude mean that he thinks they deserve whatever happens to them?  I don’t ask because he’s still talking.  He says the fact that Rosie’s clients live in Marin is a blackmailable offense.  By now, he’s slurring his words which means I should get as much information out of him as quickly as possible and save my indignation for later.  Besides, I’m hoping at some point he’ll realize if he had stopped her from continuing her ‘venture’, she’d still be alive.

“What else?”  I massage my forehead, feeling the stirrings of a headache.

“Um, well,” Derek stalls again, refusing to meet my eyes.  Suddenly, I get it and heave a big sigh.

“Derek, I don’t care if you slept with her,” I say earnestly, though Greta might care.  A lot.  “As long as it has nothing to do with her death.”

“No!  It’s just, um, well, we had both drank a bit, and um, I invited her back to my place, just to reminisce some more.  One thing led to another.”  I look at him in exasperation.  That is the lamest excuse in my book.  One thing doesn’t lead to another, not without help.  I don’t debate his statement, however, as it isn’t the point.

“So, when exactly did this happen?”

“The day before she was killed,” Derek says glumly.  “I can’t believe she’s dead!  We spent all afternoon in my bed talking and having sex.  She told me one of her clients would be upping her payment.  She was in such a good mood.  When she left, she told me she’d call me after the deal went through.  To celebrate.  I waited all the next night for that call.”  A call that never came.  I have a ton of questions, most of them irrelevant to the case.  I also remember the day in question at work—Derek had called in sick after taking off to see the counselor at the other agency.

“Has the police talked to you yet?”

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Parental Deception; chapter fourteen, part one

“So. Sushi. School me.” Rembrandt says as we are seated at our table in Fujiya. He glances around him in appreciation at the bright and lively room around him. It’s busy as it always is, but the noise level is low.

“My favorite is unagi, which is barbecue eel,” I say. The look on Rembrandt’s face tells me he’s not on board, and I hasten to add, “It tastes just like barbecue meat, I promise. I know you’re hesitant to try raw fish, but hamachi, or yellowtail, is so fatty and good.” My mouth is watering, and I control myself with difficulty. “They also have noodles and tempura if you’re really against trying raw fish.”

“No, I want to try it. There’s no reason to go to a sushi place if I don’t.” Rembrandt sets down the menu and looks at me. “Tell you what. You order for the both of us, and I’ll trust you won’t pick anything that’ll kill me.”

“Sounds good to me!” I order pork gyozas and salmon cream cheese wontons as appetizers. I order a variety of sashimi, nigari, and rolls as entrees, making sure to include seafood ones in case he hates the raw fish ones. I order two miso soups and edamame as well. We talk about nothing in particular while waiting for our food. The appetizers come out in record time, and Rembrandt can’t stop raving about the salmon cream cheese wontons.

“These are amazing!” He exclaims as he gobbles down a second one. “We may have to order another helping because three might not be enough.”

“Wait until after we eat our sushi,” I counsel. “You may enjoy it so much, you won’t want more salmon wontons.”

“I will always want more salmon cream cheese wontons,” Rembrandt says, his eyes dilated in pleasure. “Thank you so much for bringing these into my life. I have to figure out how to make them.” I am pleased that I could give him something that brings him so much joy.

His eyes further widen when our sushi is brought to us. It is attractively arranged, and there is plenty of it. I have the Taiwanese curse of ordering four times more food than we can possibly eat. I act as his tour guide, pointing out the different fish and seafood. He gamely tries a bit of each, and soon, he’s gobbling down the sushi as fast as I am. I beam at him as I eat because I love it when I can widen the horizons of other people, especially with something as delicious as sushi. There’s no shame in not knowing something or not having tried something, but your real character shows through in how you respond to the challenge of trying something new. I have to admit that I’m not always open to change, but I’m trying to be more flexible. Taiji helps, quite a bit, in fact. Rembrandt and I are quiet as we devour piece after piece of sushi. By the time we slow down, there’s still plenty left. I don’t like bringing home sushi because it goes bad so quickly, but I admit defeat while there’s still a third of what I ordered left. We order green tea and sip it while our server boxes our leftover sushi. I have a hunch we’ll finish it tonight so it won’t go to waste.

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