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Hunt on the beach

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"What's up with that katie girl?" Steve asked as the two of them lay on the beach under an umbrella and sipped a cocktail. Katie was a good friend of Danny's and they seemed to be having a little romance, or so Steve thought.

"She's just a good friend - nothing more." Danny said, his eyes closed and daydreaming.

"Just a good friend? It didn't look like it when she was here." Steve said, wanting to annoy Danny a bit.

"We've known each other since school and have always been very familiar, so that's how it looked to you. But I can reassure you. We're just friends and we'll always be friends.” Danny said, his eyes still closed. The two colleagues and friends spent half the afternoon on the beach until they were startled by Liam, who once again managed to find them. Danny rolled his eyes when he heard Liam's voice.

"So there you are!" said Liam and stood under the umbrella since the sun was even stronger at this time than in the morning.

"And I'll be searching the whole hotel for you two while you're lying here on the beach enjoying the sun!" Liam sounded like he was upset about this, which prompted Danny to make a comment that Steve probably wouldn't like.

"You may have overlooked one small thing – we're here for a holiday!" Danny's words came out sharper than he'd intended, but finally he was right and Liam finally seemed to get it for just a moment.

"Yes, I know that, but I thought you would help us solve these cases because you are one of the best teams I know. We need your help very badly.” Liam said and Danny groaned inwardly. But this man couldn't solve his problems on his own, could he?

"What's going on?" Steve asked who had been surprised about Liam's appearance.

"Well, it might sound totally silly and made up, but we received a threatening letter about the kid who disappeared without a trace. But before we could respond to the demands, the child showed up in the lobby." Liam explained the current state of affairs.

"The kid just showed up in the lobby?" Steve and Danny couldn't believe what Liam was telling them.

"That doesn't make any sense. I mean, what criminal writes a threatening letter when he's kidnapped a kid and then releases the kid before he gets the ransom or anything?” Danny murmured because now the case was very different from what you previously assumed.

"We've been wondering that too," Liam said, scratching his head. "But we also have no idea why the child is back here after we received the letter.", he added and looked at the two questioningly.

"It's really very funny. It doesn't make any sense.” Steve hadn't said anything the whole time, just stared at the sea, lost in thought.

"Steve? What do you think of this?” he was torn from his thoughts by Danny.

"Do you think we're dealing with a bogus scam here like we did back then?" Danny asked and Steve nodded slowly.

"I was just thinking about that too – at least it seems to be the only thing that makes sense." Steve said while Liam looked at the two and didn't understand a word.

"What is this about, please?" Liam finally asked and Steve told them about a case they had recently worked on. It was about a scammer who faked crimes, made crime scenes look like a crime had just happened there, and then sent threatening letters, which shortly afterwards are no longer relevant because he had released his hostages.

"This is totally insane. I've never heard of someone like that before!” Liam said after Steve had finished talking.

"And you couldn't catch that guy?" Liam asked and the two friends shook their heads.

"Unfortunately not. Not only is he good at fabricating crimes, he always seems to be one step ahead of the police force,” said Danny, who remembered the case very well. At that time, his little daughter Grace was almost in danger, which had weighed heavily on him. To this day he is afraid that something like this could happen again if the guy were to strike again.

„You know, you can´t really figure out when this guy is about to do his next crime. They happen when you dont expect them to happen. And you can´t catch him at the places he was before.“ Steve said after Liam gave them a look which was saying like „and how do we catch him?“

„So what do we have to do then? We can´t just do nothing because we dont know what he´s going to do next. We have to do something“. Liam said.

„Liam, we are aware of that more than you are!“, Danny said stressed. This guy was playing with his nerves already freaking him out.

„You have to be cool and wait until he strikes again, after that you will know more about that whole thing, just trust me.“ he added but Liam wasn´t listening to him. His face looked like he was freaking out because he coulnd´t do anything about it to stop that guy, but that was the thruth he had to face first.

„But was the kid saying anything?“ Steve asked when Liam wasn´t saying anything after what Danny had told him about the guy.

„Not really.“ Liam said a bit disappointed . „The only thing he said was that he saw a guy in a van following him and his dad when they got home from the boat.“ Steve mubled something nobody could understand why Danny wasn´t saying a word about it. He wasn´t a fan of Liam and his ways he forced them both to help him.

"So were you followed after you left the boat?" Steve asked and Liam nodded as if that was enough of an answer.

"And the father didn't notice?" Danny asked and Liam shook his head.

"Apparently not," he said.

"I'm surprised." Steve said, remembering Grandma's words.

"Because she told us that there had been some sabotage on the ship in the last few weeks, which is why some men and women of the crew are no longer with them. They are scared and someone is targeting the project." Steve told Liam what they had learned from the old woman.

"If that's really true, then we're dealing with someone who will stop at nothing and is even willing to kill." That was it. Someone who is ready for everything and doesn't let anyone tell him anything, made it to the small island again. Sometimes Danny hated Hawaii for exactly that reason, but of course he couldn't say that in front of Steve. He had come here exactly for this reason, because the small volcanic island was exactly the right place for him to be able to lead a life with his daughter, even if everything wasn't always exactly right and he was exposing her to a danger associated with his job was.

"So you're saying it could be this guy who fabricates crimes?" Liam asked again, although he'd already had multiple answers to that question.

"Well it would at least give an explanation as to why such strange things are happening here," said Steve, who wasn't entirely sure if they were dealing with the same perpetrator or if it was someone else entirely.

"Fine, then I won't bother you any longer," Liam said, stepping out from under the umbrella.

"I'll tell the others about your assumptions and then we'll see what we can do next." With these words, Liam said goodbye and left the two alone on the beach.

"Honestly then," Danny began, leaning back while closing his eyes and putting his sunglasses back on.

"We all agree that it can only be this bogus cheater, right?" he asked Steve, who only gave a growl in response.

"Because who else would kidnap a child, write a threatening letter and release the child before he gets any money or something?" Danny murmured to himself.

"Unless there was never a kidnapping, just a murder," Steve said in a serious voice.

"Something's not right here and I'll get to the bottom of it. It has to be something to do with this hotel." Steve was sure: someone wanted him and Danny to investigate this, even if there was no actual crime.

In the evening Steve and Danny entered a small restaurant, which was very close to their hotel. the small restaurant called "seashell" belonged to a chain of restaurants that only existed in hawaii.

"What can I offer the gentlemen for dinner?" asked the waiter who had just walked over to their table and was holding a small notebook in his hand.

"I'd like this!" Danny said, pointing to the number 34 on the map.

"I have no idea how to pronounce that, but you know what I mean." He said to the waiter who wrote down the number and gave Danny a smile. Steve opted for a Coke and a small pizza. He didn't want to eat anything exotic that evening. When they got their food a good half hour later and were sitting comfortably at a window, Danny's gaze fell outside where the sun was just setting and the sky had turned orange and yellow.

"Tell me," he began and stopped eating. He narrowed his eyes and tried to see the person better in the slowly gathering darkness.

"Am I wrong or is that Liam Dixon over there?" Steve was now looking out the window and Danny was right.

"Yes he is," said Steve

"And who is that next to him?" Danny asked, watching the two people and immediately getting a bad feeling in his stomach. Liam met with an unknown person. The two looked quite familiar, he thought.

"I don't know. I don't know everyone from the island.", said Steve, who had turned his attention back to his pizza.

"You, he puts something in his hand. It looks like a small bag." Danny whispered, still watching the two people.

"Maybe it's a friend of Liam's bringing him something." Steve said without looking out the window. But Danny didn't want to believe that.

"I'll keep an eye on Liam. He's weird."

 

"Danny, why do you see a criminal behind everyone?" Steve rolled his eyes. Danny was exaggerating again, which had been happening more and more over the past few weeks.

"Honestly, I'm totally sure about Liam this time. It's not true about him.", Danny said and turned back to Steve after Liam had disappeared and he couldn't see him anymore.

"And why do you think that?" asked Steve, who had finished his pizza in the meantime.

"Because he's acting very weird and he's also annoying," said Danny, convinced Liam was hiding something from them.

"That's no reason to accuse him of being a criminal, is it?" Steve said but Danny declined.

"I don't care if you don't believe me, but I'll tell you one thing. I know there's something wrong with Liam and I'm going to prove it to you."

„Alright then prove it.“, Steve said, not believing Danny at first.

„You know, I´ve been working as an Detectiv for many years now and I know when something isn´t right with the people around me.“ Danny said but Steve just laughed at him.

"I remember the last time you took an old woman for a thief just because she was carrying such a heavy bag." Steve laughed at the little incident that had happened a few weeks ago.

"Yeah well I admit it. That was wrong of me but that can happen to anyone." Danny defended himself but Steve just laughed.

"Well, if you think there's something wrong with Liam, then I won't stop you from getting to the bottom of things. But I warned you.", Steve said and Danny was satisfied with his answer.

"But we should now slowly go back to the hotel. We should talk to the child tomorrow, maybe that will help us in this case.", Steve said and the two got up and left the restaurant.