Monday, August 6, 2012

Island Surprise Continues

Sam, Claire and Nancy have returned back to their hotel for the rest of the conference. This week's prompt is baseball. 

When Sam and Claire headed over the television lounge area, a baseball game was on the screen, the sound was muted. They stopped at the coffee bar and sat at two bar stools. Sam glanced up at the television again and saw that the local news interrupted the game. A crowd of uniformed and plain clothes police where at a wooded area, ‘Woman Found Dead’ read the caption under the scene.

           Sam stood up and took Claire's hand in his and held it tight, standing next in front of the bar. He could see the TV in the reflection of the walled mirrors that decorated the lounge area. He kept one eye on the reflection of the screen showing the crime scene and the other on Claire.
"So are you attending any workshops today?"
"I'm planning on going to a few." Claire looked at Sam with an odd expression on her face.
"Oh, great! Which ones are you going to?" Even though the screen was mounted on the wall behind the bar, he moved closer to her to hold her attention.            
            The coffee bar waitress approached them. "Would can I get for you two?"            
            Claire moved to the left so she could talk to the waitress around Sam. "I'll have a small mocha latte with soy milk." She smiled at the waitress and gave a questioning glance to Sam. He smiled at her and turned around to the face the waitress.
            "I'll have a medium regular coffee with half and half, please."
            "Okay, coming right up," the waitress said and went off the place the orders.
The scene was still on the screen with a reporter interviewing a police official. Sam turned back to Claire and attempted to block her view of tv again. "Would you like something else? They have danishes and things..."
            "We just had a big breakfast. I can't eat anything else."
             He need to continue the conversation. "You didn't say which workshops you're going today."
            "Why don't you sit. You're making me a little nervous. Is there something wrong?"

            Great, now she's suspiscious. Well you're not going to get academy award for this performance."No, I'm fine. I'll sit. I don't know I just feel a little wound up today." He sat on the stool next to her. He glanced up at the screen again and was relieved to see the camera was back on the anchor and they had moved on to the next story. He took a few deep breathes trying to reclaim his inner claim state. He didn't want Claire to see the story about the woman's body found, not just yet. He figured it was best to let the police do their thing, without getting involved. It bothered him that Claire might be involved in this as it is, he didn't want to attract unwanted attention from Dan if he was the involved in this. He had the feeling that Dan was indeed playing cat and mouse with them, and he certainly didn't want Claire or Nancy to know any more than they needed to. In his experience of reseraching criminals for his thrillers, he knew that they usually gave themselves away and that other people stepping in to play cop was usually a bad idea. It often lead to more murders when the killer thought he would be discovered.

            "Maybe you should have a decaf coffee or some tea." Claire leaned into him a bit. He got a hint of her musky cologne looked down into her concerned face.
            "I'll be all right." Their eyes locked for a moment.
            The waitress returned with their coffees. "Can I get you anything else?"
            "No, thank you. This is just fine." Sam said to the waitress while still looking at Claire.
            "Okay. Are you two here for the writer's conference?
            "Yes, it's been great." Claire picked up her spoon the stir her latte.
             "Is this your first time in Hawaii?" The waitress started wiping the bar next to them.
            "Yes, it's our first time here. It's lovely and the hotel's great." said Sam
            "Yeah, just sorry you have to be here when we've had our first murder in like twenty years or more. It's just terrible. They just found that poor girl's body on the small island yesterday. I sure hope they get the creep who did it."
            Claire practically dropped her spoon on the bar.  "What? A girl found dead on the small island?"
            Sam's face went white. He sat motionless for a moment while his mind shifted gears.
            The waitress continued. "Yeah, the small island next to this one. They’re planning on building an extension of the hotel over there. It's been the top story on the island all day yesterday and last night."
            "Oh, no, I was right all along. Did you know anything about this?" Claire looked at Sam.
            "Of course not." He blurted out. He fumbled with his coffee cup, needing something to do with his hands before he started over gesturing which he did whenever he was nervous. The cup shook in his hand, spilling a bit of coffee on the bar.
The waitress came back and wiped it up. "Just an awful shame. I came here to get away from the senseless crime. And now this poor girl..."
            Sam wished the waitress would go away and shut up. His prayers were answered when a few people walked into the lounge and sat down at the other end of the bar. The waitress left them alone.
            “So it looks like Dan, our perfect host murdered someone. I knew I wasn’t seeing things.” Claire got up from her stool. “Are you sure you didn’t know anything about this, Sam?”
            “Well, I didn’t want to alarm you.” He looked down behind the bar avoiding her accusing brown eyes.
            “Alarm me?”
            “Yes, alarm you. Look at you, you’re ready to bolt out of here and do what? Confront Dan who could be involved in this.  Or are you going to the police, to tell them what? That you may have seen something, but you’re not really sure. This is a powerful man Claire, you have to tread lightly here. And I’m trying to help you and protect you.” He looked at her hand gripping the bar, and wanted to reach out and put his hand over hers.
            “When did you find out about the body?” She appeared to be calming down. She loosened her hand on the bar railing, but he could see her heart was still beating rapidly.
            “I found out last night at dinner.” He told Claire about his friend from the 14th Precinct calling him while they were dining with Dan and Lacy.
            “Wow, I just don’t know where to start, Sam. Why didn’t you tell me this last night?” She sat back down and looked at him. He met her gaze.
            “I thought about it, but you know last night was special. We were finally alone, even pretending to be a couple, which was fun. I really didn’t want to hit you with that kind of news.” He looked down at his hands around the coffee cup.
            “Why, because I’d be too distracted to give us a whirl? Since we were getting along so well together.”
            “Well, it’s not a bad thing, is it? It was something like that, Claire.”
            “I can’t believe this. You’d keep this important information from me, just so we could share a bed together and get closer.” She kept her voice low, which Sam was quite thankful for, but her eyes screamed. He saw the hurt in them, and his hands started to shake again. He released the cup.
Claire stood up, took her bag off the stool back, and put it over her shoulder. “I have to go,” she said quietly and left.
            “Wait, Claire…”
The waitress returned.
            “Can I get you anything else?”
            “No, thanks.” Sam reached in his pocket, pulled out a bill clip and put a ten dollar bill on the bar. He told the waitress to keep the change and went after Claire.

 Return to Tuesday Tales for more great stories from talented authors.


  1. This doesn't look good for Sam

  2. Looks like Sam got himself caught in a white lie. Now I have to wonder how much trouble Claire is really in.

  3. Love how the waitress blew the truth in Claire's face! So much tension in this story. I'm loving it. I'm pulling for Sam to keep Claire safe and win her over but I'm dying to know who the dead woman is and why Dan killed her. Great story, Carolyn.