When The Song Dies
by Peg Keeley
Danny parked the Jag, then made his way inside the amphitheater and found
Mali's dressing room empty. She'd already gone for rehearsal. He glanced
quickly around the room, opened a few drawers. Little was in them. The
cosmetic bag sat open on her makeup table. His breath caught as he noticed
the small plastic bag of white powder on top of the bag. Surely not.
She can't be taking drugs. Why not? An awful lot of really nice people
get caught up in that awful web. Hoping to prove his deduction wrong,
he took a pinch and rubbed it against the tip of his tongue. The tingle
confirmed his fear. Careful to leave the cocaine just as he'd found it,
he stepped away with a sinking heart. What do I do now? Using isn't
the same as selling. But it puts her in with the same type of person.
So, who's in this and where is the stuff? And who's the ultimate buyer?
How do I get her help and not arrested? If I could get her to voluntarily
go to treatment, then I could get those bastards who got her hooked. And
who's that? Alf? Randall? He could hear someone in the hallway, waited
until the person had gone past, then slipped back outside.
"Hey! Beach-boy! I was lookin' for you!" came Alf's loud voice.
He froze and turned. Had he been seen leaving the dressing room?
Alf cornered him by the wall. "What 'er you doin' in there?"
"Just dropped off some of Mali's stuff," he said, lamely.
Alf grasped Danny's shirt and yanked him off the floor, slamming his head
painfully against the cinderblock wall. "You hear me good, Beach-boy:
stay away from Mali. You're a go-fer, not an escort." To emphasize his
point, he placed one hand around Danny's throat, effortlessly keeping
him elevated with the other. "You'd hate to have an accident, I'm sure."
Danny let his expression look a bit fearful. "She wanted to visit the
beach we use to go to, Alf. It was her idea. Maybe if you, you know, lightened
up a bit here. Mali's a big girl, she can make her own choices." I
cannot wait the mop the floor with you, scumbag.
Alf let him go roughly. "Well, you'd better make a few choices that
are good for your health. Stay away from Mali. Randall has a job for you
to do. He needs you to go with him--now." Alf watched as Danny left and
felt uncomfortable. Who is this guy? Williams hadn't been put off
at all by Alf's display of strength--the pulse Alf had felt in his neck
had barely increased at all. But he played the role. He wanted me to
think he was scared. Just who in hell is he? And Alf knew he was no
Randall chattered non-stop all the way into Honolulu. He took the small
blue Jag on a hair-raising path between cars and trucks, with no apparent
concern for his or anyone else's safety. "Alf, you know, he is real possessive
about Mali," he told Danny as he spun the wheel.
"So I noticed," Danny answered, clinging to the arm rest on the door.
"Mind watching your driving a little more closely." He winced as they
ran a red light and the oncoming semi-truck wailed its horn.
"What?" Randall looked at him. "Oh." He again skidded the car into the
right lane. "You'd be better off just staying away from Mali. Trust me."
Sure, I trust you. Danny smirked. "What are we doing here anyway?"
Randall slid the rental car into a parking spot near a Chinese restaurant
just outside of the Waikiki district. He got out and Danny followed.
"What goes on?" Danny repeated, casually.
"Here." He shoved a vinyl flight-bag into Danny's hands. "I need to see
somebody about a promo for the concert tomorrow night. There's a guy's
comin' to pick up these tapes for the pop radio station. The first guy
wants to talk and said he'd buy my meal. You get the cheap one. You just
give him the bag and stick around and wait for me. I'll be about an hour.
Think you can handle that?"
"Yeah, you know, complimentary tapes for radio stations."
"How will I know the guy?"
Randall gave a chuckle. "He'll know you."
He tossed his staff jacket with the tour logo on it towards Danny. "There."
Randall headed for the restaurant door. "Just wait here. Not even you
could screw this up too bad."
Danny watched him leave, resisting the strong urge to check the bag. He
wondered if there were drugs inside. He suspected some drop man to appear
at any minute. Get a grip, Randall isn't going to put me onto his payroll
that quick. This has got to be some kind of a test. He might be watching
to see if I'll check the bag. He chose to stand by the car and wait.
Randall walked in the door of the restaurant, turned back and watched
Danny for a minute or two, then shook his head with a small laugh. He
stepped to the payphone and pressed zero. "Operator, get me the police."
Danny glanced at his watch. Ten minutes. The sun was hot; he pushed his
sunglasses back up his sweaty nose. Randall said an hour. Am I going
to stand here for that hour just sweating? Probably. He moved towards
the shade of a tree nearer the corner. Just as he did, there was a sudden
squeal of tires as a patrol car rounded the corner before him and slammed
to a halt. He spun around. Jeeze, not the kind of set up I had in mind.
His mind raced through the options of how he should handle this moment.
He chose to treat it as he'd observed hundreds of drug pushers caught
in the act--fake it. He hid his face and started to walk away from the
officers, but made it less than four steps before he heard the shot gun
"Police! You with the bag, stop!" one ordered.
Pedestrians parted like the Red Sea as Danny broke into a half-hearted
"Freeze!" the other officer yelled, "or I'll blow off your legs!"
"All right! All right!" He raised his hands, dropping the flight bag,
still facing away. Somewhere, he knew, Randall was watching. And he was
in a most delicate spot. Thank God he didn't know the officers, but as
soon as one checked his wallet and saw the ID, they might blow his cover.
One kicked the bag towards his partner. Danny noticed his name tag identified
him as Billings. "Against the wall," he ordered Danny.
Danny moved to the wall as Billings started to frisk him. "Look, I was
just dropping these tapes off for a friend."
"Sure you were," he remarked, finding Danny's wallet and removing it.
He placed the nightstick against the nape of Danny's neck as he flipped
through the wallet.
The officer with the shot gun dumped the bag out and cassette tapes clattered
noisily out onto the concrete.
"See?" Danny murmured, trying to watch the face of Billings.
He stared at the Five-O ID. There was a split second hesitation and he
started to remove the nightstick.
Danny swung around, grabbing hold of the nightstick, and rammed it into
"Play it out!" he hissed as they collided.
Still bent double from the abdominal blow, Billings slammed his shoulder
into Danny's chest with all his strength, crashing them both into the
wall. He yanked the stick back from Danny's hand and brought it up, catching
him under the chin and lower lip. Danny slammed to the sidewalk, dazed,
blood spurting from the lip.
The officer's partner brought up the shotgun inches from Danny's head.
"Oh your belly!" he shouted. Danny did as he was ordered. "One more move
and I'll dust you. Got it?!"
"Damn it, it's just tapes," Danny murmured as Billings applied the handcuffs.
"Yeah?" The second crushed a tape under his heel. "What's this?" He held
up the tiny pouches of white powder.
Billings yanked Danny to his feet and shoved him into the squad car. He
walked to the front, glanced around, then got in as his partner did the
other side. Without a word, Billings tossed the wallet towards him.
"Damn." The officer glanced at Danny. "I almost wasted a Five-O man."
Danny gingerly touched his tongue to his bloody lip. "Well, you sure played
"Now what?" Billings asked.
"By the book. I have a feeling we just did a performance for someone,"
Travis Elliott was a large, dark-skinned Hawaiian who would have looked
more appropriate on a beach in flowered shorts. Instead, he stood in the
midst of his small kingdom of Honolulu Police Department uncomfortably
squeezed into a three piece suit. It was getting late and he'd long ago
abandoned his tie, jacket, and vest. When McGarrett arrived, he made a
feeble attempt to look formal--he ran a quick hand through his wavy hair.
Steve always looked precise and formal even on this hot night, making
Kimo, who trailed him, look even more casual in his jeans and open Hawaiian
shirt. "Travis," Steve murmured as a hello.
"In my office," Elliott replied, blackly. As they entered, he firmly closed
the glass door. "Sit down, Steve. You may need to."
He looked surprised, but did not sit. Kimo perched on the edge of Elliott's
desk until a sharp look from Elliott caused him to rise. Elliott sat down
behind his desk. "Steve, we've always worked well together, kept good
communications between us."
"Can you come to your point?" Steve asked him, cutting the monologue short.
"No one informed me of your setup. I've got a Five-O cop in my tank on
charges of dealing, possession, assaulting an officer, and resisting arrest.
I've got a two year cop's statement that he nearly blew away Williams."
"Dan Williams?" Steve asked registering no surprise.
"Who in hell did you think I'm talking about! It was your scam, wasn't
McGarrett and Kimo exchanged looks. "Travis," Steve said quietly, "Danno's
out in the cold. Whatever happened, it was to keep his cover. He hasn't
been in touch with us."
"They must be a real fast crowd," Kimo commented.
"Yeah," Steve said in thought. "Travis, we're going to play this out.
My guess is that they're testing him. Let's see if they don't come up
with his bail money. Anyone spoken to him?"
He shook his head. "I wanted to see what you wanted."
McGarrett glanced at his watch. "How long has he been here?"
Elliott looked at the clock. "About two hours."
It was just after seven. "Let's wait awhile. Who else is in the tank?"
"Cha-Lee Sting," Elliott replied. "He's a wino, this is practically his
mailing address. Other one is Ken Shell a nineteen year old kid who fell
from grace with his girl friend. She said he stole her car."
Steve nodded. "He's the one."
"A plant?" Kimo guessed.
"Of course. Later she changes her mind, drops charges, he's out. He'll
report to whomever hired him how Danny handled himself." He turned to
face Kimo. "Kimo, wait at least another hour. Then go down."
"And do what?" Kimo grumbled.
He patted his shoulder. "Feel like starting an acting career? You get
to question Danno like any cop would a two bit drug dealer. Somehow I
think you can get into that part."
Kimo gave a smirk of a smile. "Might actually be fun."
Mali finished washing the dirt and sweat of the afternoon from her face.
She examined her skin carefully in the mirror and then began to reapply
her make-up as she considered what to do with the evening. She'd had a
long rehearsal, but felt good about tomorrow night. There was a knock
at the door. "Come in."
Alf squeezed through the door. "Mali, we need to talk."
"Oh?" She looked up, making eye contact with his reflection. She finished
applying her mascara.
"You gotta keep your stuff out of sight." He gestured to the case. "I
caught Williams snooping around here this evening."
"Danno?" She frowned. Alf's getting off on this possessive thing again.
"He said he was looking for you, but he couldn't have missed it."
"Alf, don't worry about him. He's not gonna cause trouble. He's a washout."
Pulling the tie that had held her hair back from her face, she shook her
head and let her tresses fall loosely about her shoulders. She giggled.
"Are you jealous?" She slipped a hand around his waist.
"Be serious. He could be anything. How do you know he won't turn you in
to the cops or something? You don't. Mali, he could be getting ready to
black mail you." He paused to catch his breath. "I have your best interests
at heart. We can't afford any problems. Randall decided to set him up
to get busted."
"He what!" She leaped away, fists clenched. "You had no right!"
"I have every right, Mali. I don't trust him. I don't know who the hell
he is, but I know he's no beach bum. Maybe he's a cop or a reporter--I
don't know. But he's trouble."
She tightened her fists. "And if he was a cop or a reporter, you just
sent him off with evidence! Every cop in Hawaii would be on our doorstep
right now. Talk about problems! Lucky for you he wasn't a cop, huh? He's
just a harmless nobody and you're trying to get rid of him for your own
good. You don't like the competition. Well, for your information, I can
make up my own mind and right now there's nothing to make up my mind about!
What you did was disgraceful and it's going to call unnecessary attention
to us." She picked up her purse and headed for the door. "What happens
if he tells 'em where his stuff came from?"
He grabbed her arm. "Where are you going?"
"Let me go!" She pulled free. "Whose show is this anyway? You're a nothing
without me, either. Don't you forget it!"
"You're not going to the police station."
"Of course not. A lawyer is but a phone call away. And this comes out
of your cut!" She stormed out.
Alf stood in the dressing room in silence, trying to control his fury.
The barred door slammed shut behind Kimo as he slowly, hands in pockets,
strolled over to where Danny lay stretched out on a wooden bench, wet
washcloth over his face. Lee Sting snored soundly from where he lay on
the floor under a bench contributing a repugnant body odor as well as
Shell was sitting in a far corner, legs tightly together, hands in his
lap. "Is my mother here?" His voice was high and piercing. "I called my
mother. She should be here."
Kimo waved him off. "Naw, I'm not the guard, Kid. No uniform, you know?"
He walked over where Danny lay. "Hey, you." He picked up the cloth, got
a glance at the bruised lip and jaw, then dropped it back onto Danny's
face. "Williams, right? Sit up."
Danny tried to remind himself he was supposed to be a timid guy who'd
tied up with the wrong crowd. Why did Steve send Kimo of all people.
He slowly rose on one elbow. "Me?"
Kimo bent down, grabbing him by the shirt, and yanked him up into a sitting
position. "There, that's better." I could kind of like this.
"I didn't do anything. Can I go now?" Danny tried to look innocent. "I
don't know anything." I'll kill you, Carew.
"Carew, Five-O." He flipped his badge with the mere flick of an eye towards
the teenager across the cell. "Let me explain something here, creep. I
am in charge and you are not." This really is fun!
What an idiot. "What's Five-O want with me?" he asked meekly. "I don't
know anything about any drugs. I was doing a favor for a friend. I was
told they were tapes somebody was picking up."
"Friend got a name?" Kimo put a foot up on the bench.
Cowboy antics. He isn't even from Texas. The Boston Cowboy--cousin
to the Boston Strangler. He remained silent a little longer. "Look,
I think I'm entitled to a lawyer, right? I mean, that is what I've always
Kimo pursed his lips. "Talk now, off the record, and I could make things
okay for you."
Danny stared at him. What if he really does this kind of stuff?
Hey, I got his goat for real. This is a real blast. "All right. Play
it your way. Get all fancy with the lawyer stuff. I can't fix you a deal
"A deal? What kind of deal?" This I gotta hear.
He grinned. I always wanted to muscle crooks like this. "You tell
me what the deal was. I might be able to get you some help. You know what
I mean? Cancel your troubles here, get you fixed up. Get you real deal.
I mean you're using, right?"
"Fixed up?" I can't believe he's pretending to cut a drug deal in a
jail cell. He glanced at the teen in the corner. The guy was riveted
to the conversation.
Kimo laughed. "How I see it, you take someone else's heat if you keep
quiet. But if you're smart, you'll listen to me. You've got no record
till now. Your friend didn't do you any favor. But I've got connections,
you know? You're a new face. I could get you fixed up and making a profit
by tonight. What do you say?"
You're a jerk. "But I don't know anything about drugs."
He scoffed. "Cut the act, okay? I could really use you, you know? I mean,
you are really smart, probably selling for years and undetected."
"But I'm not."
He burst into broad smile. "You're not smart?"
"Go to hell." And he meant it.
"I can send you there, too," Kimo remarked to be glib.
An officer appeared at the door. "Hey, who's Williams?"
Danny looked over to him. "Me."
"Your lucky day. You've got a lawyer and bail money here."
He rose. "Can I go?"
"That's up to Carew, here."
"Give us just a second," Kimo snapped.
Danny blinked. "I think I've got a lawyer now."
Carew cursed. "You don't tell him a thing I said or you'll never leave
this place alive, you got that?"
Shell had pressed himself far back into the corner in pure dread of Carew.
Kimo grabbed Danny's arm. "Come on, smart boy." He led him out of the
cell. They headed down the hall out of the cell block.
As soon as the steel door shut them away
from the cell, they both relaxed.
"You're a real jerk, Kimo," Danny snapped. "I won't be surprised if tomorrow's
headlines read a Five-0 cop got arrested for arranging drug deals in HPD."
"I always wanted to do that just once." Kimo laughed. "Tell me I didn't
give you a shock, huh?"
He smirked. "I thought you were stupid."
"I could tell you didnít expect that. You were lost for words." Kimo gloated.
"Lost for a good reason not to slug you." They had reached the front desk.
"You okay?" Kimo asked more seriously, noting the swollen lip.
"Yeah," he answered. "There is a drug deal of some kind going on. It's
tied to Sanders. He was with Higgens in the parking lot today."
"Can he make you?" Kimo asked.
He paused to consider that. "No, I don't think so. I've never actually
met him or anything. I need to locate where they're storing the drugs.
My guess is a false bottom in one or more of the trunks that hold the
lights and sound equipment. They'll try to move them out quick. There'll
be all kinds of stuff movin' in and out of there tomorrow before concert
"Want a cup of coffee or anything?"
Kimo stopped at the front desk. "Get his personal items."
Moments later, Danny tucked away his badge and weapon. They walked to
interrogation room 3. The door opened to reveal an attorney who was immaculately
dressed, considering the late hour.
"Mr. Williams, Miss Kanae has retained me to represent you," the small
Indian man stated, extending his business card.
"Good, I need all the help I can get." Without looking at it, he stuffed
the card in his shirt pocket.
A full moon hung brilliantly in the eastern sky as Mali's lawyer led Danny
from the police station. It was close to midnight. "I guess I'll see you
later," Danny commented, turning to go.
The lawyer caught his arm. "Where are you going?"
"Back to my place."
"Miss Kanae requests I bring you to her hotel room."
"What?" He turned in surprise.
"She put up your bail money. Maybe she wants to keep track of her investment.
I'll drive you."
As they got into the car, Steve and Kimo watched from a window. "Kimo,
be sure there's a tail on that nineteen year old when he's released. Then
you get on to Sanders. I want to everything he does, who he talks to,
what he says. And use a camera."
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