Blood Brothers
By Peg Keeley

Part 5

Audrey followed Lonnie up the cleache and shell road that led the fifty yards from the tarmac highway down towards the drive to the cottage. "I wanted Paul to drive us again," she complained shuffling her feet and kicking up dust.

"Audrey, Dad wanted us to ride the bus. I promised him we would come straight home," Lonnie answered for the third time.

"Well, we didn't have to do that yesterday," she sniffed.

"Yesterday was an accident."

"Well, I wanted to go back and make another shell necklace with Hannah," she grumbled.

He stopped walking and tugged her arm. "Just shut up about yesterday. Pretend it didn't happen. Understand? It's not going to happen again."

She gave a sneaky smile. "Then why did you wear that red thing today?"

He walked away from her annoyed at her remark and even more so at her simplistic logic. How do I explain that I am wearing the colors of a gang, but I'm not hanging out at their hut with them? He stamped up the steps, just as he heard tires on the road and recognized the familiar sound of his father's car. He gave an internal sigh of gratitude that he had done what was right this time. What if he'd come home earlier yesterday? His spirits lifted as he anticipated an opportunity to discuss this mess. As the car came into view, Lonnie noticed right away there were two people in the vehicle and one was a woman. Now what. His hopeful thoughts of some time with his father were dashed.

The car stopped, the engine shut off, and Danny got out. "Hey, Lonnie, just getting home?"

He nodded, squinting in the sun and watched Danny hurry around the other side of the car and open the door. Why is he doing that? She must be something special. I don't want some special woman around right now. Not with all this other junk, too. I want it to be like it used to be.

Danny extended his hand and assisted Carrie from the car. "Come on in and have a drink," he offered.

She glanced around at the small, but friendly cottage and agreed.

Lonnie had noticed the cast of her left arm instantly, but said nothing. He turned his back and went into the cottage and straight back towards his room.

Audrey hopped around Danny and Carrie like an excited puppy. "What happened to you?" she demanded.

"I had an accident," Carried answered. "It will be all right."

They entered the house and the cool breeze from the porch that faced the ocean greeted them. Danny led Carrie out there and gestured to the soft wicker lounge. "Make yourself comfortable. I'll be right back." He went to retrieve some iced tea from the fridge.

Audrey stood in the doorway watching Carrie. "What's your name?"

"Carrie Donagan," she replied. "What's yours?"

"I'm Audrey Harvan -- but I live here." She tossed her blonde curls. "I used to live in New York with Papa Lincoln, but now I live here with Danny."

Carrie gave a nod, feeling a little uncomfortable. Talking to children was not something she did very much. Even when she visited elementary schools for the PR value, she tried to keep the interactions to a minimum.

"I'm in second grade," Audrey continued, "but I am too smart for my school. My teacher says so. She says I already know everything."

"Everything?" Carrie asked.

"Yes," Carried said with a firm nod.

"Then you must really be quite a girl," Carried managed a slight smile. "I don't know everything and I'm a grownup."

"Well -- I don't know really everything," Audrey clarified, a seriousness about her, "but my teacher says I do. Do you know about to make shell necklaces?" She chattered on. "Well, Hannah taught me how yesterday when Lonnie and I went with Paul after school."

"Really? That must have been fun," Carrie said to maintain communication.

"It was, but it's a secret," she whispered.

Danny walked out onto the deck with two glasses of tea. "Here you go."

"Thank you," Carrie accepted the glass. Most guys I know would be offering me wine or beer right now. This seems like a strange, but calm alternative. Kids and tea.

He sat down next to her and glanced at Audrey who stood before them arms crossed. "You want something, Audrey?"

She scowled. "I think I should stay here so you two behave yourselves," she commented in a very grownup fashion.

Carrie was unable to contain her giggle.

"Beat it," Danny ordered gently and Audrey scampered into the living room where she turned on the Power Rangers.

"Your kids are cute," Carrie commented. "Must be hard work."

"We do okay," Danny replied.

"I remember when you were fighting to keep custody of Lonnie. That was a bad time for you," Carrie said.

He nodded. "It was. Look, Carrie, I know you want to go back to your place and all -- but I think we need to make sure it will be safe. Let me get Steve to assign you police protection."

"You aren't serious," she smirked.

"Dead serious," he replied, hoping to convince her of the importance. "Until we get the FAA report back on the cause of that crash, we cannot discount that Caputo may have tried to kill you. You don't know this guy."

"Danny, I am a reporter. I have been in some tough places before. Tell you what. I'll stay at a hotel tonight instead of home, would that help?" She smiled and pressed a little closer to him on the seat. "I don't think I could stay here, do you?" she whispered softly.

His eyes met hers. "I guess not." He blushed, but I wish you could. He placed a little kiss on her ear. "How did we suddenly fall into this?"

She nuzzled against his shoulder. "I don't know." I've been trying to get to you for two months, you thick-headed man!

Lonnie stood in the kitchen, glaring in hot fury out of the window to the porch where Danny and Carrie sat. It seemed his whole world was ending. First Audrey, now this! He remembered Paul's words: 'When he dates a woman, what color is her skin?' They all look like they belong together: Dad, that woman, Audrey, and I am the misfit -- different. Nothing is right anymore. Dad doesn't want me anymore, he doesn't need me. He doesn't love me, he loves some haole woman. He forced the tears back as he gripped the pencil in his hand so hard that it snapped in two.

Carrie sighed and took a sip of her iced tea. "Pretty place you have here. A good place to just sit still a reflect."

"Reflect, huh?" Danny murmured with a grin. He gazed at the gulls that sailed effortlessly out across the ocean, dancing on the offshore breeze. "Care to reflect enough to stay for dinner?"

"Oh my!" Carrie looked at her watch. "I need to call the station." She jumped to her feet, and indication of her former calmness gone.

"The station?" Danny frowned.

"It's past four o'clock. I need to get in for makeup."


"My job, Danny." And she sounded all business.

"You were nearly killed today, Carrie, no one expects you to be on the screen tonight."

"All the more reason to be there. The noon news put me in the hospital, I have to get back to show everyone I am still me."

He frowned. "Still -- what is this about?"

She paused. "It's about ratings, Danny. Everyone in Honolulu will be watching KOAH tonight. It's my job to not disappoint them."

He blinked. Her job? Her career comes first. Is that so wrong? I don't know. Can I have a relationship with a woman whose career comes first? He forced a smile at himself. Maybe I need a lesson in what I teach others. His hesitation showed in his expression. He picked up the phone and called HPD dispatch. "This is Dan Williams," he identified himself.

"Who?" The officer was unimpressed.

"Dan Williams --" he hesitated. What do I tell this guy? "I need a police officer at my home tonight for protection of my kids. McGarrett of Five-0 said I could get them protection if they needed it."

"Who? What is this about?" the man asked bluntly. "Who's McGarrett?"

Danny sighed. How soon they forget. "Call McGarrett, he is handling Five-0 for Conners. My children are a risk and I need protection for them."

"What are you talkin' about, Mister? Who is threatening you? Has the guy said anything? Done anything?"

"No," Danny was beginning to feel foolish. "Look, officer, just talk to Steve."

"Sorry, buddy, the police aren't babysitters. You think your kiddies need someone -- stay home with them." The officer hung up.

Danny blinked, stunned at the reception. Who is there to call?

Carrie glanced at her watch and tried to look patient. "You don't feel safe leaving them."

"Damned right I don't," he muttered.

Lonnie crossed his arms. "I don't need a babysitter. I can take care of myself."

"It's not babysitting," Danny tried to explain. "It is not safe for you to be left alone, Lonnie."

Carrie spoke up. "There's this guy I used to date. An ex-fireman. He owes me a favor -- maybe more than one." She took the phone and quickly dialed a number, hoping it was still the same. "Kenny," she said sweetly in the receiver. "This is Carrie." She scowled. "Carrie Donagon." There was a moment of silence at her end. "Yeah, it's been a long time. Really? Well, I was wondering if you had tonight free."

Danny looked at her sharply, knowing the guy on the other end was being set up.

"Great!" She exclaimed. "Well, I need this favor. There's a guy helping me with a big story and he has these two kids at home, but the story is a bit risky for his family. You still have that Smith & Wesson? Could you come by for a couple of hours?"

Danny wondered what thoughts were going through the guy's head, but whatever they were, he had agreed to Carrie's request. She provided instructions to the house, then hung up the phone.

"He's on his way," Carrie declared with a grin. "He'll be here in fifteen minutes."

Lonnie's disapproval deepened. "I don't need a babysitter," he repeated gruffly and walked to his room.

Danny followed him down the hallway. "It isn't babysitting -- I told you that. The guy's a fireman. Maybe he'll have some cool stories. Look, I know things are confused. I promise you we will get this sorted out soon. Okay?"

He is picking her over us. If it is so dangerous, why is he leaving with her? Why can't I come, too? Dad doesn't want me anymore. Maybe Paul is right. Lonnie gave a stiff nod. "Sure, Dad."


Carrie arrived at the station amongst the attention and fussing of most of the station staff. Her hairdresser stepped forward.

"Lord, girl, if you are going on in ninety minutes we need to do some serious work with that hair!"

"Go easy on it!" the producer called back. "I want her looking a little disheveled."

"Disheveled?" Carried muttered as the cluster of people drew her away from Danny. She glanced back at him.

"Hey, you Williams?" a go-fer called, waving the phone. "Call for you."

He was surprised. "Williams."

"Danno, I need to talk to you," Steve's voice betrayed anxiety.

"How did you know where to find me?" he asked.

Steve did not answer. Given his recent attention to Ms. Donagon, where else would he have been? "I need to see you. Can you come in to the office? And the University called. You were a no-show for your three o'clock class."

How could I do that? I have never missed a class? "I'm on my way." He hesitated, glancing wistfully back towards the door Carrie had passed through.


"Are you sure of this?" Danny asked examining the stick he'd picked up from Steve's desk.

"No. Right now I don't feel certain of anything. The preliminary report from the FAA says the wreck was too hot to determine any early findings."

"Does it speculate on why it was so hot?"

Steve shook his head. "Full fuel tank. Hope to have a more details report by tomorrow."

"Tomorrow," Danny whispered. "That could be a lifetime."

McGarrett paced the area in front of the desk. "If this is Junior, what does he have to gain? Seems he has more to lose than gain. So why risk it? If he shot Max to get him out of the way, he must have had something in mind."

"I don't follow," Danny admitted.

"Do you think he anticipated the governor reassigning me to Five-0? What if he thought it might have been someone else?"


"I don't know."

"Maybe he was hoping you coming back so he could show his old man he can beat you," Danny guessed.

McGarrett pondered the suggestion. "And Tutu and Carrie?"

Danny shrugged. "We don't have any evidence. We are chasing ghosts."

Steve stared out of the window as he had thousands of times over the past years. "Chasing ghosts." Is that what we are doing; looking for something that isn't there? Could this really be some kind of horrible co-incidence? Grandma Tutu was old maybe it was her time. And that tabu stick? And helicopters accidents are a tragic fact of life. And the attempted assassination of the chief of Five-0? That's been tried before as well. Are they all linked? Are we paranoid? He looked back at the file box on his desk containing the evidence from twelve years ago. "We need answers."

Danny did not reply. McGarrett's comment had been the obvious one.

The office door opened and Kono entered, a paper sack with cardboard containers of Chinese food in hand. "Just like the old days," he remarked setting the bag on the corner of the desk. He proceeded to hand each man a container. There was a quiet sadness about him, but a look of determination.

"Watch that 'old' stuff," Steve remarked with a slight grin just as the phone rang. He picked up the receiver. "McGarrett."

The voice was that of Masakaski. "I want to see you in my office -- now." Although not antagonistic, there was none of the friendly warmth Steve would have once known with Jameson.

"On my way." He hung up. "I need to see the Governor. Find Gary and Richard. See what the latest street talk is. And get someone to relieve Louie. He's been at Caputo's all day."


Governor Masakaski lived in comfort. It was his conviction that prestige sent a message to all that arrived in the Governor's office that this was 'the man.' The furniture was the most expensive chip and dale he could find. The pictures spoke of Hawaii but had been painted by masters. The carpeting was rich, deep, and white. The wooden wall panels from Jameson's day had been torn down and replaced with inlay -- except where Masakaski, at taxpayers' expensive, had installed a large picture window towards the park made of bullet-proof one way glass.

"Thank you for coming," he stated cordially to Steve extending a handshake.

Steve shook the hand. Not that I had much choice in the matter. "It is good to see you again, Sir."

Masakaski cut to the point right away. "I have had word from the hospital that Max Conner is awake."

"Really?" Why wasn't I called? I have a million questions to ask him. No one even told us.

The Governor read the look on McGarrett's face. "I am sure someone will notify your department shortly. The doctors are encouraged that he will survive."

"That is good news, Sir." Where are you going? You could have said this on the phone.

"You are, of course, aware that he is going to be permanently disabled."

"Yes, sir."

"The state will, naturally, see to it that he and his wife are provided for in comfort."


"And we are facing a problem." Masakaski sat down at his desk in a theatric gesture.

Steve, taking the cue, lowered himself into the chair facing the desk. "Which problem is that, sir?"

Masakaski managed a smile. "Yes, I suppose there are actually several problems. My first problem is: Who shall run Five-0? I have reviewed the short list of those who work within the department. Do you have someone there you would recommend?"

"I hardly think I am in a position to offer an opinion, Sir. I have been in the department just…" he glanced at his watched "…thirty six hours."

"All right -- off the cuff, what is your gut feeling, McGarrett? Allow me the opportunity to see that wonderful 'cop sense' that I have heard so much about."

He is patronizing me, the little bastard. What is on his mind? "Kono has years of service, devotion, experience."

"Too old -- like you," the governor snapped.

McGarrett paused. Well, that is an interesting comment. "Gary Newman has about 10 years -- but lacks administration. In time he would make a good choice."

"In time? How much time? And who will provide him this guidance -- you?"

"Governor, where are you going with this?" Steve interrupted. "I am not here to play guessing games. I have an investigation in progress. You obviously are going somewhere with this. You've already made up your mind. What is this dance about?"

Makasaki chuckled in the face of McGarrett. "The world has passed you by. It is changing, McGarrett. Not so black and white. We need law enforcers who will understand that -- go with the flow."

Steve cocked an eyebrow. "Go with the flow of what?"

"I am going to proceed with the selection to the casino comptroller's position. I have narrowed the field to tw, eliminating York. I would like you to continue as chief of Five-0 on a temporary status. We will be seeking a permanent chief from outside the department."

McGarrett gave no emotion or response. If his choice of chief has as much integrity as his comptroller candidates Honolulu will be the next Crime Capitol of the US. "I wish you well," he said simply and rose.

As McGarrett turned towards the door, Masakaski called to him. "Answer me one more question, McGarrett: What is Williams doing?"

"Williams?" He turned, looking innocent. "I believe he teaches at the university."

"You know what I mean, McGarrett. He is all over this investigation. He's been in your office, he's been asking questions on the street."

"He has a friend who was hurt this morning -- and he is good friends with Max. He has no official capacity."

Masakaski nodded. "Then see to it he understands that. Good day, McGarrett."

Steve could barely contain his emotion long enough to make it to the car. He grabbed the radio and requested to be connected to the office. "Kono, contact Louie and find out what Caputo is up to. Get a surveillance truck from HPD with the works: phone tap, microphones, cameras -- all of it. Meet me at Maxi's old spot." I can't even talk to my own people openly!


Lonnie had made sure the supper dishes were in the dishwasher. He'd helped Audrey with her math, made sure she had her books collected, then gotten her off to bed at eight. Carrie's friend, Kenny, had propped himself up in front of the television to watch hockey after commenting about a lack of beer in the house. That had been the sum total of their communication. It wasn't long before he was snoring.

Dad was worried enough to carry his gun today. He said there were some bad people out there. Could those people come here? Could they hurt us? Certainly Dad won't allow that. But he seems to only be thinking about that woman. I have never seen him like this before. All this stuff started happening after Audrey came. With a sigh, he shoved his art text across the table and noticed the choir permit stick out from between the pages. I still don't have it signed! Mrs. Jones is gonna be mad. He placed the slip in the middle of the table. Maybe Dad will see it there.

There was a sound outside the door and Lonnie's heart jumped. Someone is out there! Lonnie glanced at the slumbering Kenny thenmoved towards a window to try to see the person he had heard near the door.

"Hey! Koko! It's me, Koa!"

He gasped in relief, recognizing Paul's voice. He threw open the door. "Sssh." He motioned to the sleeping man on the couch. "Boy, I'm glad it's you!" he whispered enthusiasically.

Paul glanced around. "Who's this guy? Family?"

" he said quickly.

Paul grinned. "Well, I saw that your Old Man wasn't here. Wanna come down the the beach and hang out with us for awhile"

Lonnie glanced nervously towards Kenny. "I can't leave here, I'm watching Audrey."

"Watching? Watching her do what?"

"Well, she's asleep."

He wrinkled his nose. "You're watching her sleep? Give me a break. Nothing's gonna happen to her asleep. She can't even snitch on you. Besides the guys are down on the beach right there. It's not a hundred yards from here."

Lonnie looked were Paul had pointed and could see the dim forms of two cars between the trees. There was a thin line of smoke from a campfire that had been built and people moving around.

"Nothing's gonna happen. You worry too much," Paul advised. "We'll protect you - and your little haole cousin."

Lonnie gave in and followed Paul against his conscience. He tried to justify that it wasn't really leaving since the beachhead was still on their property. He liked that resolve and began to feel more comfortable.

As they approached, Lonnie recognized several of the boys from before. BJ, Me'e, Makani, and Ao. There were also two newer people there, both of whom were older than Paul who were turning corn cobs on the fire.

Paul motioned towards them. "Ikaika and Mu. This is Koko."

"Hey, Bro!" Ikaika slapped Lonnie's shoulder with a broad smile. Ikaika gave a deep laugh. He appeared to be full Hawaiian with a chest of dark hair, large muscles, and just over six feet tall.

Mu seemed to be of slighter build, but taller and sported a small mustache. He gave a semi-wave, and was little less outgoing than his partner.

Lonnie felt warm, happy, and proud to be recognized as important by these older guys.

There were shouts from boys who were splashing in the waves in the semi-light. "You can go join the guys," Ikaika commented to Lonnie. "Have fun."

Lonnie moved towards the edge of the water at a slow pace.

Paul turned to Ikaika. "So what do you think? I said I'd deliver."

Ikaika nodded. "I tell you, Koa, he's small enough, but is he smart enough?"

Paul chuckled. "Maybe too smart. Watch what you do; his daddy's an ex-cop."

Ikaika cursed. "You giving me a talk-story, Koa."

"The truth, man. But he'll do good. Just make something up, know what I mean."

Ikaika thought about that for a moment. "Will do." He dug into his pocket and passed Paul a hundred dollars. "He works out or I come back for my money."

"He's like all them other little ones, wants to be the big man," Paul said with a grin. He noticed Lonnie still standing at the water's edge. Paul threw off his shirt, ran down the sand to the edge of the surf, splashed in and dove into an incoming wave. He broke the surface with a shout of glee. "Don't get any better than this!"

Ikaika walked over to Lonnie. "You not going in?"

He hugged himself. "Naw, I don't - feel like it."

"Hum," Ikaika crossed his arms and Lonnie noticed the large muscles under the shirt bulge. "You not feeling good?"

"No," he replied quickly, "I feel fine."

"You just don't like the water," Ikaika commented.

"Yeah, I don't like the water," Lonnie agreed, his embarrassment visible even in the failing light.

"Come help me turn corn," Ikaika stated. They walked back to the fire. "You know each of the brothers has to prove himself when he joins."

"Prove?" Lonnie gave a worried look. What do they want me to do? Something wrong?

"No, sweat, Koko," Ikaika said quickly. "I got this little trick to play on the 'Iwi o'po 'Ele'e'e. Kind of thought you'd like a little piece of that, huh?" He smiled.

Lonnie's worry deepened. "Um - what are you going to do?"

Ikaika laughed. "Don't worry, kid, we aren't killing anybody. We're just gonna go snitch some stuff from 'em. I need you to get in and unlock the door for me."

"Me? You want me to break in somewhere?"

Ikaika shook his head. "We need to fix your talk, Koko. We don't break in, we just play a joke. See?"

Lonnie stared at the fire.

"You have played jokes, right?"

"Well, yeah-"

"Good." Ikaika playfully punched Lonnie's shoulder. "You were scarin' me there, kid." He pulled out stick with a skewered corn cob. "Here. May not be authentic Hawaiian, but it's good."

Lonnie accepted the corn, a lingering look on concern on his face.

Paul ran up and dropped beside them, dripping water. "Still worried about offending the Great White Father, Koko?"

"No," Lonnie answered quickly, attempting to be convincing.

"You one of those goody-kids," Ikaika remarked. "They believe that stuff about gangs being bad. That's haole trash talk wanting to keep us weak and divided. We're brothers who must be able to trust each other, Koko. Our word is our blood bond. You part of this now. Ain't nobody gonna be hurtin' you cause you're a true brother." He looked over at Paul. "Me an' Koko gonna do the job."

Paul smiled. "Koko, I knew you were a good man! You a brother for sure!"

Lonnie had completed his assessment of the quiet Mu and noisy Ikaika. "Are you guys in high school?"

Ikaika laughed, his white teeth gleaming in the darkness. "No way. I left that deal two years ago. White man's school wasn't going to help me; I've got a really good job. Work for a mechanic, make five bills a week sometimes. Most guys I knew in high school are still going into debt at college. And are they ever miserable!"

Lonnie wondered about this piece of life he'd never heard before. As a son of a college professor, only a college future was ever discussed. "Really?"

"For us it is real. Koa tells me your haole papa is a big kahana teacher professor man at the university. He went to college, right?"

Lonnie nodded. "Berkeley."

"Mainland school to boot!" Mu hooted in the first time Lonnie had heard him speak.

Ikaika had a gracious look on his face. "Your haole papa means well, Koko, but he doesn't understand what it means to be Hawaiian."

Lonnie frowned again.

Just then Me'e and BJ ran up from the water. "Say, Ikaika, got some money?"

"Sure." He waved his fat wallet like a trophy. "Take what you want."

Lonnie watched in awe as Me'e and BJ each took a bill from the wallet.

Ikaika rose to his feet. "Koko an' me are gonna go get the 'Iwi o'po 'Ele'e'e . Mu and BJ, you in?"

Great enthusiasm washed over the group and all the boys cheered, chanted, jumped around like warriors preparing for the raid. Paul tossed Ikaika his keys and the four boys ran to the car.

Lonnie, felt swept up in the excitement of doing something great. For the first time he was accepted and cheered by an important group of peers. The euphoric effect was intoxicating and instantly addictive.

Ikaika revved the engine and the wheels threw sand as he spun the tires. "We bring back our trophy - and some drinks!" He floored the gas, the car lurched out onto the road and, in a hail of dirt, rocketed towards the highway.

McGarrett stood quietly by the door to the ICU cubical watching Nina as she held Max's hand and spoke in almost inaudible tones. Steve did not have to hear the words to know the content. She is grateful he is alive to continue sharing a life. It will be hard -- very hard, but they will go through it together.

Max was awake, only his sightless eyes moving to follow the sound of her soft voice, but he looked alert and aware of everything she said.

Nina noticed Steve and turned with a pleasant, mildly tense smile. "Good evening, Steve."

"Good evening, Nina. I heard that Max was awake."

There was the slightest blush under her light brown cheeks. "I was going to call you. I -"

He silenced her with a slightly raised hand. "No problem, Nina." He stepped closer. "Max?"

Conner's brows lifted slightly as he identified the voice of his former boss and friend.

"You gave us a scare," Steve commented with gentle smile. I remember this experience. I remember Danno lying there, ventilator supported, unable to speak. I remember the tremendous relief when I knew he would live. Relief? Or was it guilt lifted? And why do I feel a sense guilt for what happened to Max? "Max, do you remember anything about who shot you?"

He gazed blindly at the ceiling for several moments searching the memory of murky images of a mind trying to resort itself. His brows knit for a moment and he blinked twice.

"No," Nina whispered. "The nurse says one blink is yes, two no."

Dear God! Communication limited to blinks of the eye? "Max, do you remember needing to meet someone?"

After a painfully long time, a look of frustration settled on his face and he blinked twice.

"It's okay, Max," Steve assured him, although they both knew it was not. "Get some rest, maybe it will come back to you later." But they both knew that would not happen either.

As he headed down the elevator, Steve felt a heavy sadness. Everything I have worked for, everything I made Five-0 into for over nearly thirty years is coming unwraveled before my eyes and I feel powerless to do anything. Why did Masakaski finger Danno? Was he suggesting Williams take over the department? Not likely. The governor was just letting me know I am being watched and he is loving every minute of it.

Less than fifteen minutes later, Steve turned the old black Lincoln into the first scenic overlook off of Diamond Head. Kono's gray Buick was parked facing the road and Kono, Gary, Richard, Louie, and Danny stood around it holding hamburgers in different stages of consumption.

Kono extended a hamburger towards Steve.

He accepted it with thanks noticing the night glow of Honolulu below them.

"So, I like the view, but why are we here?" Kono replied.

Steve unwrapped the burger. "I just saw Max. He is conscious."

"Can he tell us anything?" Richard blurted with a boyish grin.

Steve gave him a somber look. "Max is probably not going to say anything -- ever, Richard. He cannot breathe on his own. He cannot see. He cannot move."

Richard's grin slowly slipped away as his face reddened.

"Max is communicating by blinking his eyes. Right now he recalls nothing," Steve finished. "Louie, is the survallience truck in place?"

He nodded. "Can even hear him piss in the john."

Steve did not laugh. "What have you learned that is of more value that Junior's kidney function?"

"He's going out to Micky Kwann's tonight."

"The future casino comptroller is hanging out in a casino?" Steve asked.

Kono cracked a small smile. "Keeping his hand in."

"Sounds like a good opportunity to shake him up a little," Danny suggested.

"Yeah, Danno. Gary, get with HPD for extra support. Let's raid Micky Kwann's tonight. Let's see what we can shake out of there." There was a gleam in Steve's eye. "Loui, you and Richard get back to the survellience group, let me know when they move."

"Right, boss."

"Kono, you get the search warrent."

"Sure. What reason do I give?"

Steve smiled. "It's the good old days -- make something up."

"Sure, boss."

Danny gave a subtle smile. "'Make something up'?"

Steve returned the smile and shrugged. "Usually works." He waited until the rest of the team had piled back into Kono's vehicle, then he and Danny walked to the Lincoln. "Danno, I want you out of this."

His mouth dropped. "Out? Steve-"

"I know -- I brought you in. I'm sorry. Masakaski asked why you were part of this."

"How did he know?"

Steve gave a nod. "That's the point. How did he know? He seems to have contacts everywhere. I am afraid for you, for the children. Look what happened to Carrie today!"

"I can't just walk away from Caputo, Steve! Don't close me out," Danny blurted in anger.

"You're not an officer any more, you have no authority."

"Then deputize me!"

Steve slid into the driver's seat. "I can't."

"Why not? You've never let a politician push you around before," Danny snapped.

"It is not Masakaski. I don't care what he thinks. It is too dangerous."

Danny exhaled slowly. "Don't you think it's about time you stopped playing my papa? It has never worked well before."

He nodded quietly. "I know." The tires squealed as Steve turned onto the highway. "I had to try." He glanced over at Danny. "Just don't get shot, okay?"

"Fine by me," Danny replied with a smirk.


The car stopped before a large house that was in a wealthy neighborhood. Lonnie stared, open mouthed at the structure. "Skulls kids live here?" He whispered.

Ikaika turned off the engine. "You know that dude Konito, right?"

Lonnie nodded.

"This is his makahine's house."


"Yeah, he hides some of his stuff here. That is what makes it so righteous! He thinks it's safe here. She even got a security alarm that we gonna beat."

"She does?" Lonnie could feel his heart beating faster.

Leaving Mu and BJ in the car, Ikaika took Lonnie's arm and started around the side, ducking amongst the fragrant foliage. "You feel that?" Ikaika whispered into Lonnie's ear.

"Feel what?" His heart was racing so fast, he could barely breathe. His legs were shaking.

"Your heart beating fast? You feel shakey?"

Lonnie managed a nod and a gulp.

"That's the fun. Like a carnival ride. You scared now, but when it's over -- what a rush! Trust me. You gonna love this." Ikaika motioned him towards a pipe that was set into the basement wall. The diameter was about fourteen inches. "You go slide down that tube and into the cellar. Then you go to the front, turn off the alarm and unlock the door. Simple."

Lonnie eyed the pipe. It seemed awfully narrow. "Where does it go?"

"Laundry pile. She uses it for towels after they get out of the pool."

"What if I get stuck?"

"Stop whining, Koko, this is your time to prove yourself."

"How do I turn off the alarm?"

"There an off button. She hasn't got anything fancy -- too cheap for the cool type of alarms."

"How do you know this?"

"I did some work for her, okay? That's how I know she's Konito's makuahine. Now, you goin' down that pipe or we gonna talk all night?" Ikaika was becoming impatient.

Lonnie got his feet into the pipe, but his rubber soles stuck to the plastic surface, so he took them off. It was a snug fit, but seconds later, he was in the basement, sitting on a cluster of half dry chlorine smelling towels. Gee, I am in somebody's house! What if I get caught! What would Dad say! He decided his best course was to follow Ikaika's instructions and get out as fast as he could. He scurried up the steps and peeked around the corner of the door into the dark kitchen. All was still. What if she's got a dog? I guess he would already be barking. Even in the dark, the kitchen was spotlessly clean and huge. The kitchen is bigger than my whole house. I wish we had this house so Dad could sleep in a bedroom again.

Forcing his mind back on the task at hand, he slipped into the hallway, spent a precious moment trying to decide the route to the front door. He could hear the gentle rhythmic breathing of the old woman sleeping in the room off the hallway. I hope Ikaika gets the Skulls stuff without scaring her or damaging some of her things. He paused in the living room, admiring the huge baby grand piano. He thought about Mrs. Jones. What would she think about this?

He stepped to the alarm, it lighted panel made the off button simple to see. He pressed it, half afraid it was booby-trapped. The little light went out. Very gingerly he went to the front door, unlock the latches and turned the knob. He pulled on the door, afraid any second an alarm would sound, but nothing happened.

"About time," Ikaika snapped, pushing the door open.

"What are we getting?" Lonnie whispered.

Ikaika pushed past him into the dark house, leaving Lonnie standing in the dark doorway. Ikaika was back in a matter of minutes. "Let's go."

"What did you take?" Lonnie asked.

"Later. Come on." They stepped outside and Ikaika pulled the door shut. He gave a low chuckle. "You were awesome,Koko! You are a man! You one of us!" They raced like wild men back towards the car.

Mu and BJ gave quiet high-fives and cheers. "This is so great!" BJ declared.

Lonnie was relieved this was over. As they leapt into the convertible, he felt a sudden surge of excited energy. I did this! I got away with it. No real harm done, it was just a way to get even with those Skull jerks. But a little voice wondered about the lady sleeping back in that house. What did we take? Does it matter? We invaded Skull turf - they will be so mad. The tires spun as the car accelerated, pushing Lonnie against the back of the seat.

Beside him, BJ laughed with glee.



End Part 5

Part 6

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