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Sample Chapter

 

 

 

Two Shades of Night

 

By

Scott Joseph DaDante

 

 

Tsunami Publications

JANUARY 1st 2009

 

 

 

Scott Joseph DaDante resides in Perry, Ohio. Two Shades of Night is his first fictional novel. Along with being an author he is a musician, martial artist, graphic designer and owner of two businesses. He has written short articles for magazines and has also developed his own style of Martial Arts called the NKK system.

Hawaii… An image of beauty, A picture of paradise, Islands of both tradition and mystery. But, behind this postcard illusion lies another side. For everything has two shades to it.  The truth about Hawaii is that it has as a dark side. Honolulu, being its core for drugs, prostitution and gambling.

For generations, the Asian mobs have ruled the islands while their gangs control the streets. Although all separate entities, they have all managed to remain war free with the Japanese mob boss to thank for that. He has guaranteed them independence, wealth and safety. All this for a small percentage, everything has a price. What do they care, it is just business and business is good!

But, when a new, Japanese, boss arrives to overtake operations with a single agenda in mind, to dominate all mob operations on the islands. His rule stops at nothing and anyone who dares stand in his path will pay the price.

Retired FBI agent, Joseph Scott, feels a disturbance in the air after being informed of mob activity by his former partner. Still haunted by his past, he is now plunged into the realm of mob corruption and is forced to fight his way out.

When an old friend resurfaces, Joseph Scott decides to reform his past team of vigilantes to put a stop to this mob madness. But, this valor attempt will have a price and someone will have to pay up.

Are his intentions justifiable or is he just trying to relive his past? Is he pressed to put closure to his haunting memories? If so, at what cost? Will his friends pay the price for his arrogance? As this story of self discovery unfolds, only time will expose the true nature that engulfs the truth of “Two Shades of Night.”    

 

 

CHAPTER TWELVE

THE GREAT ESCAPE

 

Melissa immediately grabs the first aid kit while Neko and I cut away Shelton’s wet suit exposing the gun shot. It’s located in the back of his left hamstring and there are two holes which mean that the bullet exited his leg. In a way, Shelton is fortunate, although he has lost a lot of blood.  The bullet is not inside of him. Melissa will disinfect the wound, stitch him up and dress the leg. While she does her handy work I administer a shot of antibiotics to Shelton’s thigh.  

As Melissa and Neko both continue to care for Shelton, I discover Rachael curled up in a fetal position at the back of the boat crying. Looking scared, wet and confused, I slowly move in toward her.

“Rachael everything is going to be alright now. You’re safe now. I know you’re in shock after what just happened to you. But try to relax, take a deep breath with me and calm down. Let me get you a blanket. Can you drink something?” I ask.

Rachael nods her head as I retreat to get those items. Upon returning I notice that Neko has moved Shelton over to a make shift inclined bed by combining two of the cushioned seats together. Melissa is now talking with Alicia while Alicia is still steering us toward shore and back toward Shelton’s boat house.

“Here you go, Rachael, this should comfort you.  Try to drink this. Did they hurt you?”

“No!” Rachael says before taking a big sip of the can of pink lemonade I have just given her.

“Joseph, please comfort me. Hold me I’m scared.” Rachael requests.

I move in closer, hold her in my arms and whisper in her ears, “It’s alright everything going to be OK. You’re alright now.”

“Yeah you’re safe now! So stop acting like a whining bitch and be grateful that we saved you!” Melissa chimes in.

“Melissa show some compassion, she’s been through a lot.” I stress.

“Compassion! Joseph where’s your compassion? One of your best friends is knocked out over there because he was shot! Luckily it was just in his leg but what if it was in his head? He’d be dead now. And just like now, instead of being with him I’m sure you would be still back here with her, wouldn’t you?”

“Melissa that’s not true! You know that!”

“Fuck you, Joseph!” Melissa shouts.

“Stop it, both of you!” Rachael cries out. “Please this is all my fault.  If I wouldn’t have tried to involve you all in my father’s plan to try and recruit your team into overtaking the Japanese mob, none of this would have happened!”

“You can’t blame yourself, Rachael.” I say, rubbing her arms while still hugging her.

“You’re damn right, Rachael! You’re to blame! Ever since you met her Joseph, she’s been nothing but trouble for us and you! You haven’t been thinking straight since, Joseph. Rachael, you used us and Joseph you used us for your personal greedy needs. What are you going through some kind of mid-life crisis Joseph?” Melissa barks out as she storms back to the front of the boat.

Neko is just leaning back against the side rail with his arms crossed, head down slowly shaking it side to side.

“What?” I blurt.

“Nothing my friend, but in some ways I feel she’s right. Shelton foresaw this early after his place was burned down. I know I came back here for the same reasons that motivated you to get involved in this case. But now I wonder if it was all done in vain.  Maybe our best interest was to just step back and let the authorities handle it. I can’t stop thinking about Candace right now. Could Candace’s fate have become Shelton’s?” Neko questions.

“But we’re Two Shades of Night Neko! This is what we do!” I stress.

“We were Two Shades of Night, Joseph! But our team died five years ago, along with Candace. Maybe it wasn’t meant for us to reunite. The Japanese are not just going to stand down from tonight’s course of action. Jimmy Chan has already informed us that they have always known our true identities; I would believe this holds true for the other mobs as well. We must be on our best guard because like I said earlier ‘the best is yet to come’.” Neko states before joining the others at the front of the boat.

“Joseph, thank you for saving me and I’m sorry for using you. Your friend mentioned my father, have you met him?” Rachael inquires.

“Yes and he told us everything. But he had said that you lied about being a Hawaiian Tropics Girl and that it was your idea to suggest our team to come out of retirement.”

“Yes it true! It was my idea. I had overheard my father talk of your team with his associates and that’s when he had mentioned your true identities. When I heard your name mentioned, my heart started racing and I used it as an opportunity to both do his biddings and also give me a reason to reintroduce myself back into your life. It is true that I’ve always had a crush on you Joseph and I have been watching you for many years waiting to hopefully meet you again. I turned my father’s idea into my own suggestion for my own selfish desires.

“I knew of Shelton’s reputation with women and knew he was a good friend of yours, so I conveniently bumped into him and set up the pieces for us to inevitably meet. I’ve seen the pretty women that you have been seen with in the past, and thought if I came across as a Hawaiian Tropics Girl that might turn your attention to me. But like all lies, the truth is soon exposed. I wanted to meet you a long time ago, but I knew at that time you were married. I wish now that I would have reintroduced myself to you back then and on a truthful note because things surely would have been different for us. 

“I’m sorry if I hurt you… and caused tension among you and your friends. I guess I’m just a naive girl still at heart, jumping into things blindly. Guided by my own selfish vanity by placing my desires first, above and over all other thoughts of reason and never considering the consequences or the outcome of who might get hurt or even killed.” Rachael cries out.

“In some ways Rachael, I’m guilty too when it comes to selfish desires. My personal vanity has hurt many people in the past and I guess even the present. I just hope that I’m given an opportunity to rectify what I’ve already destroyed.” I repent.   

“I believe your heart is in the right place and I feel all your friends know this. Why would they trust in you the way they do if they had no belief in you. We all have faults and make mistakes but it is the wise man that can recognize the difference between a mistake from a conscious choice. It is easy for a man to say he’s sorry but it takes a sincere man to ask for forgiveness. You’re a sincere and wise man, Joseph.  You might not see it now, but others see it in you.”

“Wow! That was deep Rachael and very touching and I thank you for those kind comments, I also forgive you for your lies. It is now in the past and we cannot change the past we can only live for the present. I realize now that it’s what we do today that sets us up for tomorrow. Buddha once said, “All that we are is a result of what we think and have thought.” For the first time in my life I understand what that means and how it applies to my life.” I comment while lost in thought.

“See I’m not the only one who’s a deep thinker.” Rachael responds.

“That’s my problem! I think too much… I’m always trying to find the answers, pushing others into my way of thinking, placing blame on other reasons and always trying to show others how great I am. When the answer is simple, it’s me. My thoughts control the outlook and reality of my life.  Like Melissa said to me earlier, I always take something simple and complicate the hell out of it. Life is simple and to be happy it is just that - keep it simple. Why am I telling you all this I really don’t even know you?” I say embarrassed.

“You know it sometimes is easier to talk to a stranger than to even the closest person to you. You don’t have to feel like you could say the wrong thing to them, they in a way act as a third party kind of like a ‘Noticer’ and you’re never pressured by them judging you.” Rachael adds.

“You’re right and I thank you for this talk. In a way I believe you rescued me, not the other way around. If you would excuse me, right now I feel I should be with my team.”

“And with Melissa!” Rachael adds.

I just stare at her for a brief minute before heading toward the team. How could she know this? Is she like this ‘Noticer’ that she talked about. My Aunt Beverly used to tell me that people come into our lives for brief periods to help us out and to recognize things we seem to overlook. Simply to offer a different perspective; she called these people ‘land angels’ and I think I just met one of them.

I approach my friends and stand close to Melissa. I place my hand around her waist and whisper simply in her ear, “Forgive me.” She does not even acknowledge my presence but I can see her eyes have watered again.

The night is quiet, not even small talk over takes the silence; just the sound of waves crashing ashore and the sound of the idled down engines of the Cigarette boat as we slowly approach Shelton’s boat house.

Now docked, the sounds have changed to the waves still crashing but the wind is now blowing through the palm trees and other natural surroundings. It echo’s like a distant flute singing a song of calm. We are all exhausted and spent. Our only concern is that of rest and the care of our friend, Shelton. I believe we will just stay here for a while.

After about a half an hour has passed, I notice that Rachael, along with the others, are all fast asleep. Neko and Alicia are bonded together so close that they appear as just one. They look like they have been together for a lifetime. The feeling of Melissa in my arms is comforting although she has not still said a word to me since I last talked to Rachael.

I have to get up because I have to use the restroom. As I ease my way out from under Melissa, I check on Shelton. He is still asleep and his dressing looks good. I’m sorry my friend.  I wish you didn’t get hurt but I have to remember it could have been me or any of us for that matter. The possibility of getting injured has always been present in this line of work; so I can’t take the blame for my friend’s injury.

I am exhausted as I sluggishly work out of the boathouse and down the private clubs community boardwalk toward the rest rooms. I can see the sun trying to peek its head out from under the ocean’s horizon. The air is warm with a slight breeze and I can still hear the sound of wind’s distant flute and this relaxes me. I feel good about myself and believe my internal war is finally coming to its end and life is about to change for me. Simplicity takes over my mind and it seems nothing can bring me down off this new high.

I enter a private stall to take care of my business. Now in mid stream I hear the main door open up and the footsteps of someone walking in. The sink’s faucet is turned on to full volume and I hear the word, “Joseph.” It’s Neko.

I answer, “Hey man this has been one crazy weekend hasn’t it? I want you to know that I truly understand what you said to me earlier and I’m sorry if I hurt you in any way. I’m happy for you and Alicia.” I say as I flush the toilet with my shoe. I open up the stall door to discover a Japanese man standing directly in front of me with an AK47 pointed in my face and it’s not Neko.

I instantly move out of the line of fire and grab the side of the gun with my left hand while jabbing my right hands fingers into the man’s eyeballs. I grab the rifle again, this time with both hands and ram it back into his face over and over until he is out cold. My thoughts are consumed by my friends’ safety. I am not thinking clearly as I slam open the door, exiting the rest room. I’m stopped in my tracks as I discover five Japanese Yakusa standing in front of me all with their rifles locked on me.

The pressure of a cool handgun barrel presses against the back of my neck, obviously by a man who was hidden behind the entrance door.

“Good night Mr. Scott.” Is all I hear as I feel the pricking puncture of a syringe penetrating into the side of my neck. My eyes immediately get heavy. Melissa… Alicia… Rachael… my vision starts to fade as the last thing I can think of is Neko’s remembered words. “The best is yet to come.”               

 


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