Jackson glared hotly at Zito who stood sweating in the office on the unusually hot evening. There was no breeze. "So, Williams is here."
"And he is at McGarrett's?"
"With the boy."
"And the evidence?"
"I've got to assume they have that, too."
Jackson circled his desk as he paced slowly in silence for several minutes. "Last night was a butchery. Who did that mess?"
Zito swallowed once. "I told Sergie to see that he burned."
"Sergie." Jackson made another circle. "And sealing the records wasn't enough. I sent Loui after the garbage disposal and it was gone - the sink had been dusted. Who the hell do you think did that? Why would it have been done if they hadn't seen the body or the report?"
Zito stared at Jackson, mouth agape. "Is Edwards reporting to somebody else?"
"You tell me, Reggie. This is a nasty piece, Zito. I need you to contain this fiasco right now. I brought you here because you were supposed to be the best at this kind of thing."
"I didn't count on that little bastard Quinn."
"Hum." Jackson seated himself behind the desk in regal manner. "The only way to turn this off quick is to do something eye catching, some that will make everyone forget all about poor Richard and about that house fire and the body; some sad, unfortunate tragedy which will take the Island's attention to something else. Do you understand my drift?"
Reggie stood there, uncertain.
Jackson ground his teeth. "You get Sergie out on the street and get some help that cannot be tied back to us. I hear junkies on angel dust will do all kinds of appalling things to people when they are strung out. I want that evidence in my office before morning. I want McGarrett and Williams silenced - for good."
By midnight, Lonnie had wandered away to the guest room to get some sleep and Steve and Danny had plowed through most of Richard's material.
"I've never seen anything turn so bad so fast in all my days," McGarrett remarked. Names of politicians, city officials, officers in HPD and Five-0 had turned up all through the reports. "And I trust this lady, Taylor, will come back to Hawaii and back all this up."
Danny shrugged. "I've got her card but I never met her. Richard thought highly of her. I'm certain she won't come till after arrests. She considers Zito and DeWitt to be lethal people."
"DeWitt," Steve remarked bitterly. The idea of a corrupt chief of Five-0 was unthinkable. "What about Masakaski himself? He sure jumped on hiring DeWitt."
"Nothing here on the governor," Danny replied. "Sure won't look good for him though. Maybe the biggest question is to whom can we go?"
"FBI," Steve answered simply. He yawned. "I recall a young agent who's risen through the ranks there. I know I can trust him. Mark Lawson."
"Want to call him tonight?" Danny asked.
Steve shook his head. "The phone is probably tapped. There's probably a watch on the house. If anything unusual happens here, Lawson would never arrive in time. I'll go to Honolulu in the morning. We need to get Lonnie to safety then as well."
Danny nodded, tired. Jet lag was taking a heavy toll. "We get him to Andy's."
Steve walked to the back door and called Doc in. The sheltie bounded for the door, tail wagging, tongue lolling in delight. It was an unusual privilege to be called into the house. He spent most of his nights protecting the ranch from the outside. Steve patted the old dog's head. "Guard the house," he ordered. That done, Steve went to his room, Danny to the guest room where Lonnie already slept. Both men had loaded guns under their pillows.
The flashlight beam illumined the front window of the ranch house, then traveled down the side, across the shrubbery to the door.
"Nice place," Ari whispered to his two friends.
"Yeah," Tuck, who was not very bright agreed. "Lots of money."
The third member,
Mitch, said nothing. He had no use for Tuck. This moron's a retard.
Leave it that acidhead Ari to pick up this kind of loser. He was sure
the man who had contracted him was a law enforcer of some kind, which
wasn't rare, but a little unusual. He had at first been suspicious that
the man was setting him up, but the advance of $10,000 had gone a long
way to change his mind. There would be twice that waiting for him when
he found the envelope that had been described to him. For another fair
price he would dispose of his partners. He grinned to himself. Of course
the pretty cherry will be my fee to remain silent -- that comes later.
Tuck shivered. "Don't wanna hurt nobody."
Ari winced. He had not wanted to bring Tuck, but he needed a third guy - a big guy - and Tuck was the only person he knew he could get on short notice. "Hey, Tuck, I'm your friend, right? You don't want nobody shootin' me, do you? So, we may have to shoot him instead. Understand?"
Tuck gave an unknowing nod.
"Now, Tuck, we've gotta bust the door open," Ari continued. "You're the strong guy. You gotta do that." He froze as he heard a low growl. "Jeeeze, he's packing a dog, too." This guy must have really good stuff if he's protecting it so well.
"I don't wanna hurt no puppy," Tuck muttered.
Mitch listened for a moment. "We can give the dog something to eat."
Ari shook his head. "Got nothing."
"Let's just do this, okay?" Mitch grumbled. "I'll go round back."
"Ari, is he gonna hurt the dog?" Tuck asked innocently.
"Naw, he'll just get him out of the house." Ari waited another moment. "Okay, Tuck, we're gonna bust the door. You ready?"
"Uh-huh," he answered.
"Get the door then."
Tuck threw his weight against the door with a crash. At the same instant there was loud smashing and wild barking. A single shot was fired, silencing the bark with a yelp. The front door shattered.
But the warning had been given. In a flash, both Danny and Steve were completely awake and alert, weapon in hand, heading carefully up the hall.
"You hurt the dog!" Tuck wailed, looking down at the body of Doc.
Ari crouched, pistol ahead in the dark, fumbling for a light switch.
Steve reached it first, blinding them with the brilliant overhead light. "Drop it!" he shouted moving into the room, Danny at his side.
Ari hesitated, confused. Things were already not going his way.
"I said drop it!" Steve repeated.
He slowly dropped the gun on the carpeted floor.
"Hands over your head."
As Steve ordered Tuck and Ari to the wall, Danny glanced around, surprised that anyone sent by Zito had been so easily overcome. Something wasn't quite right. He stepped back towards the darkened kitchen. Nothing. There came a sudden movement from the darkened hallway.
"Not so fast, fellahs," Mitch appeared, gun in hand, Lonnie before him. "Now, you guys drop your guns."
"Come on here, let's do this friendly," Mitch warned. "We just want your stuff."
Steve and Danny carefully placed the guns down. "What do you want?" Steve demanded.
Ari, still feeling his high, bounced back from the wall with a giggle, snapping his weapon up. "You really thought you had us," he said with a grin. "Surprise!"
"What do you want?" Steve repeated, deadly serious.
"What do we want?" Ari laughed. "I'd like a beer. Definitely." He went to the kitchen and starting routing through the refrigerator. He gave a grunt of disgust. "No beer! What kind of place is this?" He came out with two cans of Coke, shook one up, then opened it, spraying the contents all over the walls and several valuable original paintings Steve had hanging in the living room. Ari giggled again. "Like my art?"
Mitch glanced at Steve. "You don't like that, do you? Wanna try and stop him?" He poked Steve's shoulder.
McGarrett set his jaw, trying to keep his rage in check. Show nothing and wait for your chance, he counseled himself as the brown soda dripped down the walls. "What do you want?" he repeated the question.
"Ari here wants a good time," Mitch replied diverting his attention towards Ari who was starting to go through the china cabinet in the dining. Plates, platters and cups smashed to the floor as he tossed them aside. Mitch motioned to Tuck. "Get this kid." He transferred his grip on Lonnie over to Tuck. "Don't let him go," Mitch ordered Tuck sternly.
Lonnie squirmed angrily against the big man's grip.
"Hey, there!" Tuck shouted. "You stop that now. I don't wanna hurt you!"
"Ari, the couch," Mitch ordered, keeping his attention fixed on Steve and Danny.
Ari threw the pillows off the leather couch. He pulled a marine style knife and began rip apart the cushions, then the rest of the couch. Padding floated through the air.
Lonnie whimpered. "Uncle Steve! Your couch!"
"It doesn't matter, Lonnie," he said quietly.
Mitch turned to Lonnie who stared back with large eyes. "You know what we're looking for, don't you?" Mitch asked.
"What?" Lonnie murmured.
"I need those papers your Daddy got," Mitch whispered. "Or I'll kill your daddy right now - right here in front of you." He leveled the pistol on Danny. "Don't want that to happen, do you? That would be your fault."
Lonnie's mouth went dry.
"Leave him alone, he doesn't know anything," Danny said hotly.
Mitch moved to face him, staying out of arm's reach. "He doesn't huh? Sure you can't say the same though, can you?" He gave a half grin. "Maybe I should shoot the kid. Where's the papers?"
"Go to hell," Danny muttered.
Mitch punched him once in the stomach and he bent over with a gasp.
Lonnie came battling forward in rage, only to be grabbed more tightly by Tuck who pinned the boy's arms behind him. "Let me go! Let me go!"
"Stop fighting me!" Tuck shouted his panicked plea. "I don't wanna hurt no kid! Hold still!" His grip tightened.
"Lonnie!" Steve ordered, trying to keep the boy in control.
Mitch's was attention taken momentarily by the ruckus. Danny, still bent double, brought up a two fisted blow to Mitch's jaw, sending him stumbling back. Danny made an attempt at Mitch's gun hand but the intruder was faster, slamming the gun butt against Williams' forehead. He collapsed forward, facedown to the carpet.
Even as his friend was still falling, Steve took his chance, leaping for Mitch, but as he moved, Ari issued a high soprano scream and leaped for Steve's back, knife swinging. They both went down on the floor, the knife claiming mostly Steve's robe, but it left a shallow slice up his left forearm.
In the midst of this, Lonnie began yelling and fighting Tuck with all his might.
"Stop wiggling!" Tuck screamed at Lonnie.
There was a sudden, audible snap. Lonnie gave a cry of pain, his knees buckled. "My arm!" he wailed as Tuck in horror released him. He sank to the floor, clutching his left arm.
"I said stop, Mitch! I told him not to!" Tuck blubbered. "See what he made me do?"
Mitch glanced at Tuck in disgust. "Stick the kid in the bathroom. Lock him in there."
"I didn't wanna hurt no kid!" Tuck shouted. "He made me, Ari! You saw!"
Ari was still trying to untangle himself from McGarrett who lay on his side, watching Mitch who, anger seething, had the gun leveled on him with a shaking hand. Ari scrambled to his feet and gave Steve a vicious kick in the back. "Don't worry none, Tuck. Kid ain't worth anything." He glared without sympathy at the sobbing Lonnie who was gingerly cradling his injured arm. "Lock him up, Tuck."
Tuck led Lonnie to the bath and opened the door. "You be a good kid and be quiet. Nothing more bad'll happen then," he advised. He shut the door and yanked the doorknob out of the wood to make certain it there would be no opening it from the inside. He grinned, pleased with himself.
Mitch glanced around the living room in disgust. Ari had done a good job of trashing everything in sight, but had not contributed to finding the prize. He glared at McGarrett. "You think you're a big shot," he snarled.
Steve did not reply.
"Get on your belly." Mitch decided McGarrett would be a lot saver in a submissive position.
Steve complied, lying down on the floor next to the tattered couch.
"Now, Ari, we're just gonna look around here a bit is all, understand?" Mitch said patiently.
"You said he had expensive things here," Ari complained.
"He does. Silverware. Maybe a safe in the wall with jewels - but we have to find it," Mitch explained.
Steve wondered just how gullible Mitch's accomplices really were.
Mitch squatted down next to Steve. "Know where those papers are?" he asked.
"No," Steve replied. "They aren't here anymore. They are in a safe place."
"Safe place? Safe place where?"
Steve gave a smile. "You don't expect me to tell you that unless you provide us something first, do you?"
Mitch kicked him hard in the ribs. Steve heard one crack. "How about I won't do that anymore?"
Steve tried to hide the pain. "Do you even know what you're looking for - or why?"
Mitch gave him another kick. "I could kill you just because I wish it," he bragged.
"What would be in that for you?" Steve replied. The pain in his ribs caught the air in his throat when he breathed in.
Mitch shrugged. "I like to kill things, ya know? Like the dog. Gives me a real turn on. To kill a person - that has got to be the ultimate rush."
"Isn't all it's cracked up to be," Steve answered. "I hope you got paid in advance for this little venture. You aren't going to be around long enough to spend it."
"Pretty big talk from where you are," Mitch said with a smirk.
Steve took another painful breath. "Let's guess. Guy who paid you is a cop, right? He paid you something up front with a bigger pot on completion. What he's really gonna do here after you give him those papers is use you to be a hero. He'll turn around a look like a super-smart cop by arresting you for our murders cause a lot of people are going to get steamed about this. You'll not only fry for this little gig, but probably for the guy who burned in that fire the other night. You can't win."
Mitch's rage began to boil. "You think I'm stupid or something? I can take care of myself."
"If you're smart - and if you find those papers - take them to the FBI. No money but you'll be alive."
Danny moved, groaned, and rubbed his bruised forehead.
Mitch, still furious with Steve, grabbed Danny up by the shirt. "Those papers - where are they!" he shouted.
Danny squinted at him. "What papers?"
Mitch, in fury, hit him in the mouth with the gun, drawing blood, released Danny and jumped to the wall where he, in rage punched two holes in it. He turned and gave the mortally wounded couch a vicious kick, knocking it over.
Steve stared at the large deep-sea fishhook laying on the carpet before him. He hadn't gone deep-sea fishing in ages and he couldn't explain how it came to be there, but he quietly closed his hand over it.
End Part 5