Ties That Bind
By Peg Keeley

Part 6

At last he returned inside, shivering. Being out there without a coat after the experience earlier in the day was probably not a good idea. He went down to Gideon's kitchen. No one was there, but the pot of stew was on the stove as though Gideon had known he'd come looking to eat eventually. This was an old room. He found a ladle and scooped some stew into a china bowl, then pulled a stool up to the butcherblock table. The warm meal tasted good. This place was friendly and he felt more at ease. It was the only happy place he recalled about his childhood visit. He'd spent time with Gideon here. After returning to Hawaii, he had told his friends Gideon was his grandfather. A childish thing. It was growing late and his eyes were heavy, his arms and legs moving sluggishly. The stew had warmed his stomach and he wanted nothing more than to fall into the pile of quilts in his room and sleep away this depression of loss that encompassed him.

"Lonnie took himself to bed," said a voice in the kitchen doorway. Lincoln stepped down into the kitchen, violating Danny's sanctuary. "Is there any of that stew left?" He peered into the pot.

Danny nodded. He rose with his empty bowl and put it into the sink, intent on leaving.

"That Lonnie is a remarkable young man," Lincoln claimed. He put his stew, and a spoon on the table, pulled over the second stool. In a very un-lincoln-like way, he perched on the stool and sipped the broth. "Dan, you have raised him well."

"He's a good boy," Danny replied, still facing the door.

"It hasn't been easy, has it?" Lincoln commented quietly.

Danny frowned, turning back towards Adair. "What?"

"Raising him alone."

"I haven't raised him alone. Some very good friends have been there for both of us. We do all right."

"It must have been --" Adair paused, " -- a shattering experience to discover you had a son the way you did."

"How -- oh yeah, your hired peeping tom. Finding out about Lonnie was hardly a shattering experience. It was the high point of my life. It changed everything for me."

"Dan, I wish we could have been closer," Lincoln said slowly. "I would like to try to make up for things a little."

Not on your life. "Why?"

Lincoln blinked at the challenge. "Because, like it or not, we only have each other now. I know we have had our differences, but we also have so much in common."

"The only thing we have in common is that we have differences," Danny answered coldly. What does he expect us to do? Move into this gothic nightmare with him? A suffocating fear gripped him.

"I have missed you. I know you don't want to believe that but it is true." There was an odd hopeful look on Lincoln's face.

"Missed me? How can you miss someone you never knew?" He shook his head.

"You are dear to me. It is why I asked for reports on your well-being. You are like a son to me," Lincoln insisted.

Danny just looked at Lincoln wondering if the old man could even fathom what a father-son relationship was.

Lincoln misread the silence as acceptance. "In the critical times -- those critical experiences -- surely you have wished -- even once that we could just -- talk?"

"Which critical experience would that be?" he asked bluntly.

"Surely at a moment when it all hung in the balance you wished for -- well -- family counsel to share with," Adair, the gifted actor, was struggling to express his intent.

Danny was furious with Adair's insinuation. I should need him? Like he ever was there for anyone! How dare he come in here talking about fathers and sons and try to pry into my past. "What do you know about critical experiences?" He demanded starting quietly, but as he spoke, the volume grew. "My critical experiences? Like the first time when I was gut-shot by a wacko soldier? Or the last time when that pscho tried to blow my brains out? Or is it all the little ones in between!" He knew he was really angry now and a piece of him shouted for him to calm down, but was washed away in the emotion of the moment. "Or is it the really big one -- the one you had to go buy the photo of. Is that it? Life and death ? Just what do you want from me?! This!" He yanked up his shirt revealing the starburst scar over his heart. "Take a good look, Adair. That's all there is now. It's done. It's over. Life goes on." He pulled his shirt back down. He was breathing heavily as he said more quietly, "Just what do you want, Adair?"

Adair, the old man, sat in stony silence.

Danny shook his head. "You hate me. You have for years. Now you suddenly want to be a cozy little family. It isn't worth it."

"I have never hated you. I wanted Clara to stay here with you. I would have adopted you as my own. I have always wished you were my son. I thought of you as my son."

"Adair, not this time. You won't use me or Lonnie."

There was a momentary spark of wonder in Lincoln's eyes. "You are afraid of me."

"Of course I'm afraid of you!" He shouted. "Isn't that the idea? We were all afraid of you!"


Danny stopped, a puzzled look on his face.

"Why?" Adair asked again.

"Because," he said much more quietly, "to give in to you is to become absorbed into -- whatever you are. It means a loss of identity. It has destroyed everyone you touch. Bea, Ginger, Juliet, Audrey. You didn't get Clara and you won't get Lonnie or me. If I can find a flight, we are leaving in the morning."

"It is just two days until Christmas," Adair commented.

"I'd rather spend it sitting in an airport than with you." He walked out of the room. His body ached, he was exhausted, shaking from emotion, and now his mind scolded him for his attitude. Adair was a pompous maniac, but he was still an old man.


Danny, having reached his room, checked on the sleeping Lonnie, then tried to relax. He paced the floor, a jumble of feelings. He attempted to do a mental playback of the conversations he'd had with Lincoln since their arrival. Every one had ended the same way -- angry words, cutting remarks. The more he thought about it, the more frustrated he became. I am behaving as badly as Adair -- maybe worse. Has he really been trying in his own way to reach me? What did he say? Did I even listen? He wants to make up? Didn't I ever just want to talk? He thought of me as a son? What father treats a son this way? There are millions of fathers who mistreat their sons -- and sons who mistreat their fathers.

He flopped down upon the bed, staring at the ceiling. We never should have come, but we did I made the commitment to come. Why am I so afraid? We bury Juliet in the morning. I really should stay until Audrey's body is recovered. Like it or not, Adair really needs me...

...Voices filled with anger, fear tears, were blending in and out of dreams. Adair's voice pleaded, "You are all I have." Pitifully, it repeated over and over. Danny's angry response echoed: "Then you've got nothing, Pal..."

...Danny awoke with a start, sitting up on the bed. He blinked once or twice. Something was wrong, very wrong. An ominous feeling squeezed his mind. He tried to wake up more, but his heart was already pounding loudly in his chest, adrenaline pulsing through him. What was it? Not Lonnie, he slept sounding in the next room. Adair. It is Adair.

He jumped up and ran from the room, down the spiral stairway headed down the hallway to Lincoln's room. He burst through the door. The bed was empty -- unslept in.

"Lincoln!" He shouted, looking around. He ran back up the hallway and skidded into the parlor, stopping short.

Adair sat on a stuffed chair, facing the wall portrait of Clara. A nearly empty bottle of Southern Comfort stood next to the chair. In his lap lay a Colt 45 pistol.

Danny did nothing for a moment. "Lincoln?" he said quietly, coming into the room.

Adair turned slowly towards him. "Have you come to see me off?" he asked simply.

"See you off?" he murmured. "No, I wondered if you wanted that talk." Danny did not take his eyes off the pistol.

Adair lifted his glass in salute towards Clara. "Courage for the journey," he said with a smile.

"Why don't we talk first," Danny suggested.

"Why? I thought you had done all the talking for both of us," Adair said quietly, without emotion. "You are quite right -- there is nothing left in this life for me. My Clara waits for me on the other side."

"Lincoln, maybe I was a little rash -- hasty." He walked closer.

"Oh no, you weren't. You were quite honest. No one else ever is. I thank you. You are still the same defiant little boy who raised his fist to me." Adair smiled on recollection. "I knew you'd be quite a man if you kept that spirit." He waved his left hand, the right still on the pistol in his lap. "Look at me, rambling like an old man. You know, it's the booze talking."

"Well, it looks like the booze making the choices, too," Danny told him. "Why don't you put the gun away. Let's have that little talk."

"We already are," he replied simply.

"Guns make me nervous. Let's put yours away," Danny persisted.

"They make you nervous?" Adair was amused. "Yes, well, maybe so. You know, when something frightens you, look it right in the eye and yell at it. Like this." He raised the gun towards his head.

Danny leapt forward, grabbing Adair's arm with his good left. The gun discharged, the bullet harmlessly hitting the wall.

Lincoln broke into open weeping. "Why? Why? It is unbearable. What am I to do?"

Danny remained, arms clasped around Lincoln, gun now in his hand. He dropped it to the floor as his grip mellowed into a comforting embrace as Adair continued to cry. His mind flashed back to a rooftop in Honolulu and the excruciating pain. Danny was flooded with guilt and misery. I wanted Lincoln to hurt like he'd hurt others. I wanted him to pay and pay for all he has done to us. He has paid and now I owe.

There were shouts and running feet as the gunshot had awakened Kenneth and Gideon. They both raced into the room, bathrobes flying around them.

Danny glanced at them as he continued to hold the sobbing Lincoln.


The morning was cold, with brilliant sun light. It was only eight o'clock as Danny helped Lonnie with a tie. The funeral was not until eleven, but there were people to meet and things to plan before then.

"So are we staying till after Christmas?" Lonnie asked.

"Yes, Mr. Adair will enjoy the company for the holiday. It's the least we can do," Danny commented.

"And you like each other now?"

"Well, I don't think I'd call it "like" -- we understand each other a little better," Danny said choosing his words carefully.

"He's not so bad when you get to know him," Lonnie advised.

"Yeah, well it's the getting to know part that comes a little hard."

Kenneth knocked on the door. "Mister Dan, there is an Inspector Ginotanio here to see you."

Danny followed Kenneth downstairs. "Inspector, may I help you?"

Jerome looked nervous in the large foyer. "I need you to come with me. I'll have you back before eleven."

Danny agreed. "I'll get my coat." He wondered if he was going to identify a body.


Ginotanio's car sped out across the Tappanzee Bridge, headed towards New York City as he explained. "Got a call from NYPD this morning. It seems that there is a lady who operates a magazine stand in Grand Central Station. A week ago there's this child sitting on a bench near her stand. She doesn't think much of it until it gets late and the kid's still there."

Danny glanced at Jerome. Is he suggesting the impossible? A spark of hope fluttered in his chest.

Ignorant of Williams' thought the detective continued. "So this lady keeps an eye on her. Finally goes and talks to her. Kid says her ma's coming. At midnight, no mom. Lady didn't want to turn the kid into the juvenile and get the mom in trouble, so they leave a note on the bench and she takes her back to her flat. Been going on almost a week -- every day they go to the stand all day and wait for this mom."

"You think she's Audrey Harven?"

Jerome shrugged. "Hell, there's millions of abandoned kids in New York. But a pretty blonde kid?" He shrugged again. "I think we ought to check it out, don't you?"

"Why didn't this lady step forward long ago?"

"Why don't you ask her."

The terrain changed quickly from trees and greenery into the concrete and grime of Manhattan. Whistles blew, horns honked. There was the smell of wet pavement and burning chestnuts as the car wove its way through the heavy traffic on Avenue of the Americas. Danny gazed at the city, interested in the sites, but grateful he did not have to live here. Trash littered the gutters along with drunken men, and youths clad in ski caps and winter coats played amongst parked cars. Everywhere there were people.

Jerome turned into the small guarded parking lot behind the sixth precinct. They locked the car and walked amongst the patches of soot tinged snow into the building. It smelled of old things and body odor. The walls were a sick yellow color.

The middle-aged woman clad in an old dress and dirty sweater still wore her gloves with the fingers torn out. In spite of her old tattered clothing, her hair was clean and her nails clean. She looked frightened sitting in the wooden chair clutching a large black purse on her lap.

Jerome popped a piece of chewing gum into his mouth. "Are you Mrs. Gentry?"

"Miss Gentry," she replied. "I never been married. Never had any kids."

"Tell me and Officer Williams here about the child you found."

She smiled weakly. "Sweet little thing. Not a bother. Her mama put her on the train and told her to get off and wait on a bench for her to come. But the mama never showed. Sweet child has been so frightened."

"Why didn't you tell the police?" Danny asked.

"Police? Awe, I hoped mama would come. I liked having her around."

"And now?" he added.

"I saw the news last night about the people who fell in the river looking for a little girl. I saw her picture on the TV -- she looked something like my little girl. I called right away." Her eyes were wide.

"You aren't in any trouble, Ma'am," Jerome assured her.

She relaxed a little. "Will you take her to her mother?"

"We'll see she gets home," Danny promised. He offered a sincere smile. "Thank you for taking care of her." She didn't do the technically right thing, but she tried. He did not like to think of what could have happened to a child left abandoned in the subway terminal of New York City.

Jerome motioned him down a hallway. "Girl is in here. She hasn't said anything to anyone."

As the door opened, Danny felt his heart skip a beat and fear suddenly washed over him that the girl would not be Audrey. I have come to believe it is her -- what if it isn't? Can I bear that disappointment after this hope?

The small girl sat at a table, a coloring book and crayons scattered across the wooden top, her head in her arms on the table. When the door opened, she lifted her head and turned to look at the two men, the dirty blonde curls framing the suspicious blue eyes and tense little rosebud mouth.


Lincoln Adair glanced at his watch. It was half past ten. They needed to leave for the funeral home. The large black limo sat on the circular drive, awaiting them. "Your father had better hurry," the old actor grumbled to Lonnie.

Lonnie fussed with the tie. "Don't worry," he said reassuringly, "if my dad says he'll be here, he will."

Kenneth came down the steps followed by Gideon. "Shall I take you all on and then return for Mr. Dan? Or maybe the police detective will take him." He suggested.

"Be quiet, Kenneth," Lincoln snapped.

There was the sound of tires on the gravel as Ginotanio's car turned into the drive at the foot of the hill.

"He's here!" Lonnie proclaimed proudly.

The car pulled up behind the limo and Danny got out of the back seat. "Sorry for the delay Lincoln, but I think you'll agree it was worth it."

Even before the last words had been said, there was a squeal from inside the car. A second later, Audrey was jumping from the back seat, hair flying, and streaked into Adair's startled arms. "Papa Lincoln! Papa Lincoln!"

Adair, in shock, fell to his knees fiercely returning the embrace, rapture on his face, in tears of joy. "My God! It's you! My Audrey! You are alive!"


It snowed Christmas Eve. Christmas Day at Lincoln's was like none Lonnie could ever recall. The huge tree ablaze in thousands of little lights and glittering balls, looked like it was from the front of a greeting card. Caterers had arrived with huge trays of all sorts of delicacies and shortly after, the people started coming. All Lincoln's acquaintances, friends, enemies, they all had known of the epic of Audrey and all came to pay their respects to Adair. And every one seemed compelled to bring some kind of a gift for Audrey and Lonnie.

Danny attempted to remain out of sight, but with each retelling of the story, sooner or later some one would seek him out. He was counting the minutes till they could return home. Around nine o'clock in the evening, he stole away from the crowd to place a call to Hawaii.

"Male Kalikimaka, Steve," he said when McGarrett answered the phone.

"How are you, Danno?" his dearest friend asked over the six thousand mile distance.

"I'm ready to come home," he replied truthfully.

"I've missed you and Lonnie."

"We've missed you." Danny was suddenly a loss for words. "Steve....thank you."

"You're welcome -- but what are we talking about?" McGarrett said with a laugh.

"For everything, Steve. For all the years we've put in, for bringing me through so much."

"Well, I could say the same of you, Danno."

"I--I'm bringing you something special when I come."

"Well, hurry back. And tell Lonnie Merry Christmas for me."

"I will, Steve."


Two days later, the temperature soared to a balmy forty degrees and the snow began to melt. It fell from the heavy tree boughs and roofs, icicles broke free with loud cracks and plunged into melting snow banks. On the river, the ice was booming. Lonnie and Audrey raced through the snow in front of the house having mock snow battles, making snowmen and angels. There was a sense of earnest about their play -- like time was running out. It was, for Lonnie would be leaving in the morning.

Danny sat out on the balcony watching them, enjoying the sun he'd missed so much. Michelle Ford sat opposite him. She'd come to see Audrey and seemed pleased with how the girl was handling the tragedy of the loss of her mother.

Ford voiced the question Danny had only thought: "Are you worried about what will become of Audrey?"

He nodded. "It isn't fair, you know. Juliet's dead and Lincoln's alive. Maybe I should have let the old geezer kill himself the other night. Juliet was right -- Audrey should be far away from him."

"Just how far?" Michille asked probing.

He shrugged, missing her point.

"As far as Hawaii?"

"I didn't say that." He watched Audrey throw a snowball that exploded against Lonnie's back and smiled before turning his attention back to Michelle. "To do that to her would be no better. I wouldn't want to take her away from everything she's ever known. Besides, I doubt CPS would be thrilled with having her live with a single parent family of all males."

Michelle shrugged. "That what she'll be doing if she stays with Lincoln. And Lincoln is going to die."

"Yeah, well..." He squinted as he gazed up into the blue sky. "...They've all been saying that for years. Personally, I think he's made a pact with the devil and will live forever."

She laughed.

"CPS will find her a nice normal family to live with. Lincoln can get some kind of visitation rights I'm sure."

"I can tell you don't live in New York," she said flatly. "Have you any idea about the quality of foster families we have here?" She shivered. "Most of them are located in the city."

"Well, what do you think we should do?" he asked.

She raised an eyebrow. "Professionally or personally?"

He paused, weighing his options. "Both."

"Okay, professionally: she has not yet grieved the loss of her mother. Until you and Lonnie leave, she won't. By the same token, she's becoming quite attached to Lonnie -- an escape mechanism to keep from facing the terrible loneliness and fear that awaits her. She lost her father, lost her mother, next she will lose the last holdout that she has -- that of Lincoln. If she stays, how long till she has to grieve again? Professionally, I'd recommend you take her with you. Personally," she hesitated, "well, that's a pretty big commitment for you. And a hard one. You might be better off if you left her here, but she wouldn't be. Legally, you are her only living relative and you get to call the shots."

He rose and walked to the railing and back. "And what about Adair?"

"What about him?"

"If I take her -- you saw how devoted he is to her."

"Why do you care?" she asked flatly.

He was taken aback.

"Or do you?"

He frowned, searching his thoughts. At last he shook his head. "I haven't got an answer."

She turned to watch the children play. "Oh, I know you do, you just don't want to accept it."


Danny paced before the hearth of the picture room, cup of hot tea in one hand, the ghosts of the photos before him. The last night. It is almost over. I wish it was over and we were back home where we belong. An echo of a memory vibrated through his mind.

"I don't belong here! I want to go home!"

It was so real, but it was his childhood calling.

"I'll be a good papa to him," spoke a younger voice of Lincoln. "We can be a family, a real family. Please!"

"I want to go home!" the child's voice declared again.

"Please Clara, just this once. I will try, I really shall." It was pitiful. "Please don't go away. Don't leave me!"

There was a new, clear voice at hand. Danny jumped and turned from the fireplace.

Lincoln stood before him. "You were deep in thought," he remarked.

"Sorry," he muttered, uncomfortable. "Just thinking."

"This room does that," Adair commented nodding to the walls around. "I relive the past here often." He turned his back and walked over to the soft chair he'd occupied the night of his attempted suicide. "You don't have much past here to recall."

"No, I guess I don't."

"But you were reliving it."

Danny ignored the statement. "Adair, our flight is in the morning. I'd like to try to leave on better terms this time."

He chuckled. "Most people don't leave here on good terms."

Danny sat down on the couch facing Lincoln. "Did you ever wonder why?"

Lincoln just looked at him. Suddenly he said. "You will be taking Audrey with you, I suppose."

"I -- wish I knew what was best for her."

"Take her."

"What?" He could not believe his ears.

"You heard me," he said gruffly, his face lacking emotion. "Take her. There is no place for her here. I am an old stupid man who will, sooner or later keep an appointment with death. Sooner, I'd be thinking."

"You aren't planning to kiss that Colt again, are you?" Danny asked cautiously.

He rose from the chair. "That was a moment of weakness. I am indebted to you for your quick thinking. I shall see that Gideon has Audrey's bags packed." He left the room abruptly.


Audrey was excited about her trip, not completely comprehending the finality of it. The flight was rescheduled to the afternoon so Danny could sign paperwork with CPS in the morning.

"Goodbye, my dear," Adair said simply to Audrey. "You behave now. And send me lots of pictures."

She pecked his cheek. "I'll bring you back a coconut, Papa Lincoln!"

He gave a paternal smile. "Yes, darling, yes."

Lonnie watched the scene between Audrey and Lincoln skeptically, hands shoved into his pockets. He did not quite understand why his cousin was coming home with them or how long this visit would be for. Danny had been unusually vague about answering questions, but he suspected this was not going to be just a visit. He had noticed Gideon packing crates of Audrey's toys earlier in the day and the old butler had been crying.

Danny also had witnessed the exchange between Lincoln and Audrey and knew he was seeing an actor at his best. Adair turned away, back towards the house as Kenneth herded the three into the limo. Then they were in the car, headed down the drive with Audrey on her knees looking out of the back window for a final glimpse of Lincoln's estate as it disappeared behind the trees. The big gate clicked behind them for the last time as they turned south onto the roadway.

Danny sighed. I cannot forget all the selfish and cruel things Lincoln has done; how he stalked Clara, how he drove Juliet to destruction, all the bitterness and hatred. But I will also remember this moment of total self-sacrifice forever.


The sun felt like it was performing a gentle massage across Danny's shoulders and back. He relaxed on the quiet park bench listening to all the sounds and smells that his inner being had missed. He had not even realized how much he had missed the birds. He took a deep breath and drank in the aroma of tropical plants and sea breeze. A long, slow healing of the soul had begun.

Steve approached him. "So there you are."

He opened his eyes and peeked over the sunglasses as McGarrett. "What's up?"

McGarrett sat down on the other end of the bench. "I should ask you that. You've been a real recluse the last week since you got back."

Danny shrugged. "A lot of adjustments."

"I'll bet," Steve said with a chuckle. How's Audrey?"

"She cries every night," he commented without emotion. "But last night it was for her mother." He cracked a small smile.

"And Lonnie?"

"You know him. He adapts to change without ever batting an eye. To him this is a challenge."

"And Dan Williams?"

He grinned without speaking for a moment. "Dan Williams is still trying to figure out why life keeps throwing him curve balls."

"Have you talked to Lincoln since you got back?"

"Once. Audrey insisted on it. I wonder what he's going to do. He's just lost the last thing he had in this world. I had to promise to keep in touch. If I start to get lazy, Audrey's going to be right there to remind me."

Steve shrugged. "Sounds to me like Lincoln hasn't lost Audrey -- he's gained you all. You'll have to take her back to visit; and you can't just stick her on a plane alone."

Danny looked at him as the realization sank in. "Lincoln's no slouch is he?" He gave a small laugh. He thought about it some more and laughed again. "Well, he always did have class. And one way or another, he always wins." Danny passed Steve a gift bag. "For you."

Steve looked at it with curiosity, and pulled out the photo wrapped in tissue paper. He carefully removed the wrapping to reveal the 8 x 10 glossy photo of himself in the thick of the gun fight that had been hanging on Lincoln's wall. He frowned slightly. "I don't understand. "I regret so many things that happened after the Chaney incident. Why is he reminding me of them?

Danny waited for a moment, noting Steve's dark frown. "Then it's always been the same for you, too?"

"What has?" Steve asked in confusion.

"Whenever I saw something from the Chaney shooting I was angry, regretting how things went for a while after that. It started a horrible chain of events that seemed to go on forever. I missed what was really important about that event. I have a copy of this photo too and I'm going to keep it where I can see it all the time. Every time I see it, I am going to be thankful -- thankful that you saved my life. I owe my life to you. I owe Lonnie's life to you. That shooting shouldn't make me angry about everything I lost after that, it should make me grateful to have the kind of friend who would have risked everything for me. It took a week with Adair to make me appreciate everything I have."

Steve did not answer right away. How many times have I recalled everything that started happening then? How many times have I regretted how I pushed Danno away, how it was because of me Caputos made so many suffer? Then Mali died and there was that horrific experience Danny had on the island. I wanted to help, but I didn't want to help enough. I only wanted to bury it, not deal with it. Do I deserve this friendship? This honor? Most assuredly I do not, but is that what matters? He cleared his throat, still uncertain of what to say.

Danny sensed McGarrett's loss of words and said: "I've made a decision."


"I'm tending my resignation from the University effective immediately."

Steve blinked. "And do what?"

"I've missed law enforcement. I guess I'm not cut out for riding a desk. I want to go back to the street and be a real cop again where I can make a real difference."

Steve sat up straighter. "Did this come to you in New York as well?"

He shook his head. "I've been thinking about it ever since Myer went on his killing spree last Spring. I'm not happy teaching. I want to go back to Five-0."

Steve raised an eyebrow. "You may not like what you find."

"What does that mean?"

"Talk to Conner. Governor Masakasi keeps a pretty tight reign on everything that happens. Everything has gotten so much more political than the Five-0 we knew."

Danny clasped his hands, elbows on his knees.

"They may not have space for a detective with a Ph.D. on the team," Steve advised gently.

"What do you suggest? Shall we open McGarrett and Williams PI?"

Steve envisioned the two of them with telephoto camera lenses and trench coats and gave a little laugh. "I think you need to discuss this with Max, not the governor. I have no doubt but that Max will welcome you -- but it may not be official. You are needed there, Danno. I'm glad you want to go back. You belong there."

"What about you?"

"Me?" Steve grinned and stood up, tucking the photo under his arm. "I am a simple retired cop who has a ranch to run."

Danny watched Steve walk away and leaned back to enjoy the sun once more.

To be continued with Blood Brothers

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